Stroke

Jackie - Interview 64

Female
Age at interview: 61
Age at diagnosis: 53

Brief outline: Jackie suffered a stroke in 2003 while home alone and was found by her daughter 28 hours later. She voluntarily chose to retire from work so she would have enough stamina for other things including recreational activities in the community.

Background: Jackie is a 61 year old retired property manager, who left work voluntarily after her stroke. Her ethnic background is White British.

Audio & video

 

Jackie had a stroke in 2003 while at home alone and does not recall having any symptoms leading up to it. Her last memory before the stroke was housecleaning, where she presumably collapsed in her kitchen. She was in and out of consciousness for a period of about 28 hours before she was found by her daughter.
 
The stroke initially affected Jackie’s speech and mobility, which she has since regained, even though she was initially told that she would never walk again. She has limited function in her right arm and no use of her right hand. She subsequently taught herself to write with her left hand. When asked if she felt the stroke had changed her, she mentioned that she noticed a small personality change in that she is not as passive as before and much more assertive.
 
After receiving care in the hospital, she spent some time living with her sister-in-law who is a nurse. While living with her sister she purchased private physiotherapy homecare services, which she preferred over the public homecare services available. With the help of her family, she transferred to a neuro-rehabilitation centre for 3 months where she received a range of care including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, nursing, speech therapy and recreation therapy. She rated her care experience favourably. Jackie is now connected to other community resources including pilates, which she feels has really helped in her recovery.
 
Jackie has a history of low blood pressure which causes her to faint periodically. She experienced several fainting episodes during her post stroke treatment which was initially mistaken for epilepsy. She was given medication for epilepsy even though Jackie tried to explain that her symptoms were likely due to low blood pressure. This was cleared up over time. In addition, follow-up medical appointments indicated that she had a previous arm fracture which had gone undetected. The fracture likely occurred at the time of her stroke. Jackie feels that the focus on her stroke as the primary health problem may be why her fracture had gone undetected.
 
Overall Jackie was happy with her care, and attributes much of her success to her own motivation. She is divorced and feels that the absence of a partner forced who to do more for herself, thus, aiding in her recovery.
 
Jackie voluntarily withdrew from the workforce upon realising that if she stayed at work she would not have stamina for other activities such as volunteering, visiting with her grandchildren and participating in community recreational activities.

 

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