Stroke

Interview 34

Female
Age at interview: 55

Brief outline: She had a stroke due to a dissection of the right carotid artery at the age of 55. The stroke caused left paralysis of her leg and arm and problems with eating and speaking. Medication' simvastatin (cholesterol), warfarin (anticlotting).

Background: Is a single mother with 2 adult children. She is a care assistant (but is not working because of stroke). Ethnic background/nationality' White/Scottish.

Audio & video

This woman had her stroke at the age of 55. Her stroke was caused by a relatively rare condition known as a dissection (blockage due a flap of artery wall) of the right carotid artery which carries blood to the right side of the brain through the neck. She now takes warfarin to prevent clots forming and simvastatin to reduce cholesterol.

She was initially completely paralysed down the left hand side of her body and was found by daughters in a semiconscious state. The stroke also affected her speech and eating because of weakness in the muscles of the face and throat.

In hospital she had physiotherapy and was able to get walking again. She can now go out to the shops from her flat which involves going down a flight of stairs. Her arm is still weak and she has some pain in her shoulder because of increased tone in her muscles. She only left hospital a few months ago and is still having physiotherapy to help with her shoulder. She has also been give a sling to help support her arm. 

In the hospital she had some speech therapy and she also had some swallowing therapy to help her with eating.

She has not returned to work and thinks that it is unlikely she will be able to do her job as a care assistant as it involves helping elderly people in the same situation as her. She would, however, like to get back to work and is hoping that a local community scheme for people returning to work will help.

She would like to be independent again and sometimes finds it hard to convince her daughters that she is able to do things on her own, although she knows they are only trying to help. 

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