Stroke

Mr Singh - Interview 58

Male
Age at interview: 65
Age at diagnosis: 58

Brief outline: Mr. Singh had a heart attack and four strokes between 2003 and 2010. The strokes affected his left side and left him feeling restricted. His heart muscle is damaged and his heartbeat irregular. Over time he has regained some strength in his left leg but cannot use his left hand. Since having his heart attack and strokes, he has made many lifestyle changes which include daily exercise and healthy eating. His goal is to throw away his walking stick by next year.

Background: Mr. Singh is a 65 year old retired postmaster. He experienced several strokes (the first one in 2003 and the last one 2010). His ethnic background is Indian Muslim.

Audio & video

 

Mr. Singh had a heart attack and four strokes between 2003 and 2010. The first episode occurred while at home with his family. When he started breathing heavily, his daughter recognised that he was possibly having a heart attack and called for an ambulance. While in hospital he suffered a stroke which affected his left side (leaving him unable to use his left hand or left leg) and damaged his hearing. He remained in hospital for 6 months, received rehabilitation, and rated his care favourably. While recovering in hospital, he was determined to see his daughter get married, which fuelled his will to survive. He eventually regained function and was able to walk.
 
Unfortunately he suffered a second stoke while at home with his wife. After falling in his bedroom, his wife called for an ambulance. This stroke left him bedridden in his home for 3 months. Other episodes of stroke occurred while flying to Australia and again in Australia where he was visiting his daughter. Symptoms included a severe headache on his right side while in flight, and then loss of balance while bathing leading to a fall. He was left wheelchair bound and heavily dependent on his wife for support.
 
Since these experiences with heart attack and stroke, Mr. Singh has regained some mobility (uses a walking stick), but is unable to use his left hand. His heart muscle is damaged and his heartbeat irregular. The strokes left Mr. Singh feeling restricted. He no longer drives, and has to rely on others (e.g., his wife) to take him out of the house. At the same time, he is very grateful to be alive.
 
His family has taken an active role in is recovery, particularly his wife who assists him with activities of daily living (i.e., getting dressed and using the toilet). He worries about the emotional toll that his strokes has had on her and tries to be patient when needing assistance. Mr. Singh also received home care services during his recovering periods including nursing care, occupational therapy and physiotherapy and made several modifications in his home to suit his functional needs (i.e., raised toilet seat, bath seat, etc).
 
Mr. Singh feels that his history of smoking and drinking alcohol were the main causes of his strokes. After his first stroke he made many lifestyle changes' he stopped smoking and drinking, started eating healthily, and exercising daily (to lower his blood pressure and cholesterol level). He is working to regain more strength and hopes to throw away his walking stick in one year.

 

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