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Angus - Interview 06

Age at interview: 61
Age at diagnosis: 60
Brief Outline: Angus had 2 TIAs in December 2009. The first time he briefly lost his speech, which he knew was a symptom of stroke; the second time, 2 days later, he lost vision in one eye, and did not realise till he went to his GP that it was connected.
Background: Angus works as a fence erector for sports events. He is married with 3 adult children. Ethnic background/nationality' White British.

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 In late 2009 (about three months before he was interviewed) Angus was sitting at home one evening talking to his wife, when suddenly he lost his speech. He had seen the FAST advert (Face, Arms, Speech, Time) on TV, so he knew this was a symptom of stroke. He wrote ‘stroke’ on a note to his wife, and she was about to call an ambulance when within ten minutes his speech came back, and they thought maybe it was something else. So Angus went to see his GP the following day, who said it was a TIA and that he would make him an appointment at the hospital. But 2 days later, before Angus had been to hospital, he had another TIA, again at home in the evening. This time he lost part of his vision in one eye for 15-20 minutes. At first he did not connect this with TIA, as he did not realise sight problems can also be a symptom, but when he called the GP he was told it was probably a second TIA.

 
This time the GP asked the hospital for an urgent referral to a TIA research clinic. The hospital rang Angus on his mobile and told him to come in immediately. But Angus did not fully realise the urgency of the situation and said he needed to finish some work, so he drove off to finish a fencing contract. He remembers that the doctor ‘wasn’t too pleased’ but does not remember anything being said about the fact that he should not drive. The next day he drove to the hospital for his appointment, and was told he was not to drive for 6 weeks, and it was only then that it really hit home how serious this was and that, particularly for the next month, he was at risk of having a full stroke. His daughter-in-law drove him home.
 
The hospital did lots of tests and scans, and he has since had a range of medication and regular blood pressure monitoring. For the first month, his blood pressure readings were sent off by mobile phone to the hospital three times a day and the staff would ring him if they felt he needed to check his medication. No definite cause of the TIA has been found, and he has not had another one since. He was already taking medication for high blood pressure and the dosage has been increased, so he has now got it down to a normal level, whereas before it was still a little bit high. Angus is trying to lead a healthier life, though he already took exercise regularly and did not smoke or eat particularly unhealthily. Because he has a family history of heart problems, he was expecting that would be his problem, if anything, rather than TIA or stroke. In fact the tests that he has been having have reassured him his heart is in good shape.
 
Not being able to drive had a major impact, as Angus relies on driving for work, so he lost income. He was also advised not to fly, so the TIA meant he and his wife had to cancel their 40th anniversary trip to the Caribbean, the travel insurance firm are disputing his claim. Now, three months on, he is feeling pretty much back to normal and does not dwell on what has happened. He is keen to put it behind him, though his wife wants him to take things easier. Angus feels he is lucky to have had very good care and advises anyone who has any unexplained symptoms like his to take it seriously, because getting treatment quickly is crucial in reducing the risk of further TIAs or a full stroke. 
 
 

Angus checks his blood pressure at home regularly and then sees the research team every three...

Angus checks his blood pressure at home regularly and then sees the research team every three...

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And what have they said to you now because we’re what three months later about what your level of risk is now?
 
It’s back to where it should be, it’s normal, albeit I’ve still got to take these tablets, and probably will have to for the rest of my life, to keep my blood pressure right down. Yeah,, so I’ve not been told to restrict myself in any way. In fact the hospital puts me on treadmills and makes me run marathons on them just to see how I react [laughs].
 
Were you surprised not to be kept in hospital?
 
Not really, no, no. They explained to me that - I mean, I went up the hospital in the next, in that first month I was up there twice a week, I should think, and in that time I had 24-hour monitors attached to myself, blood pressure monitors, ECG monitors and various monitors. And then went back up and had them removed from me. So they were keeping me sort of monitored 24 hours a day. I was doing my blood pressure three times a day, it was three times a day and three times each time, if you see what I mean, so it was like nine times. And that was being transmitted, I had a mobile phone from the hospital that they gave me and as soon as I took the blood pressure it sent the figures off to the hospital. So I was being monitored by the hospital all the time, you know, in this month, that was, that first month and I was doing this blood pressure three times. So there was, I was being monitored by the hospital sort of three times a day.
 
And in fact they rung me up a couple of times and told me to change my medicines – well, not change them, but up the dosage on particular ones.
 
Was that quite reassuring?
 
Well, it was, yeah, because you felt someone was on your, someone was there looking at you all the time, and I thought it was like being in hospital, actually. As good as, because I was being monitored basically 24 hours a day, you know. And yet I was at home with the family and it was great, you know.
 
I had a detailed MRI. I had, when we went up the first time we had a sort, if you like, a quick scan, but the second time I went up for another appointment to have a more detailed one which lasted quite a long time in the scanner, they found a few things in there, probably associated with my age, but nothing untoward, nothing what shouldn’t have been there. And the same with the rest of the system they scanned through, there was nothing untoward other than normal ageing, that’s how they put it, you know.
 
And this issue of causes and the fact that they can’t find anything particular…..?
 
No, he seems to think blood pressure’s got a big thing to do with it, because I have suffered with blood pressure for a number of years and I’ve been taking tablets for it. And I thought it was quite under control, because it was round about where it should be and had been, because they monitor me. I’ve always monitored my blood pressure . But apparently, probably damage had been done before I realised or maybe - they’re not sure, no one’s quite sure, really, what - and hence this study what they’re doing now. I’m still in this study the hospital’s running and will be for, well, a minimum of five years, whereas I monitor my own blood pressure and write it down, then every three months or so I get another hospital appointment, take it up there and discuss the blood pressures and see if there is anything on there to , if anything happens to me, to see if the blood pressure’s sort of gone that way to give them a pointer of what it is, you know. But they’re not even too sure, reall
 

Angus thinks a little bit more about what he eats but generally he feels that he can live life...

Angus thinks a little bit more about what he eats but generally he feels that he can live life...

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I’m more conscious of my blood pressure now, because apparently this may be a contributing factor towards TIAs, mini strokes, and I subsequently keep it under control and watch what I eat, so I suppose in a way it has affected me that way, because I now make sure I don’t eat salty foods and things, don’t put salt and vinegar on my fish and chips and things like that, you know, because these things contribute or may contribute to it, you know. [dogs barking in background] Other things I’m doing is I suppose – no, really, it really is food, making sure it’s more healthy than what I used to eat. Albeit I really didn’t really eat unhealthily before, I don’t smoke, I don’t drink that often. Perhaps when I do it’s probably a bit too much [laughs] but not very often. But the stroke it, the mini stroke, the TIA, it’s, it really hasn’t affected me to worry about it. And like I say I’m carrying on with my life now, hopefully, as normal, you know.

 

 

Angus found the GPs explanation of what happens during a TIA helpful because he had never heard...

Angus found the GPs explanation of what happens during a TIA helpful because he had never heard...

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My first reaction was I’d had a stroke. The word TIA I’d never even heard of before, and mini stroke, I just thought strokes - a stroke’s a stroke, you know. Because I’d lost my voice I thought this is the start of the - like the advert, that FAST advert, you know, part of that is the speech. But it come back, that was the thing. It come back very quickly, and it’s been explained to me it’s just like a little blood clot going to that part of the brain, then it passes through. But while it’s there you lose that, whatever part of your speech or your sight, whatever it is, for the time it’s there, you know. For some people it stays there and that’s it, they’re disabled.
 
And when did you first hear that term, TIA? Was it the first time you went to the doctor he said that?
 
Yes, yes.
 
And how did he explain it, or how would you explain sort of what TIA is?
 
He explained it to me as a mini stroke, a very mini stroke, he said, and lots of people have them and don’t realise they’re having them, or ignore them, which is the worst thing you can do, because it leads to another one. And if you ignore them all, eventually you will have a major stroke.

 

 

Angus has used a number of different websites to find information, and talks to people about...

Angus has used a number of different websites to find information, and talks to people about...

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Did they give you any leaflets about what it was and what it meant, or any other kind of information from the hospital? Or did you …….
 
The hospital has, yeah. My GP hasn’t. He recommended a couple of websites to have a look at which I have done .
 
Which ones have you looked at?
 
The main - they’re basically very, very similar, most of them, even the American websites were covering the same thing. They’re all sort of on a similar vein, you know, so I just went on the National Health Service one. What they do on that is as good as any of them, in fact it’s probably, it explains it better, probably, you know, just in the stroke part of it, you know. And it explains TIAs, it explains mini strokes, and right the way, the whole spectrum of strokes, you know, different types of things, and how it affects people as well. Because no one ever looks at it [laughs] unless something goes wrong [laughs].
 
And I think you mentioned the Stroke Association as well?
 
Yes, I’m on this Facebook site on the computer and there’s the Stroke Association on there, like an application off the Facebook. And that’s very good because people are not, all people are doing is talking about their own experiences, and their families are talking about their experiences on there, which I think is quite good because it’s just people talking, not, you’re not getting diagnosed by doctors and things. It’s just people talking about their experiences and different things, how it affected their work, how it’s affecting their lifestyle and things like this, you know.
 
What do you think you get from individual experiences like that, that you don’t get from the sort of medical information?
 
It’s a real thing, isn’t it? It’s something real. You know, it’s people talking about it. It’s not text book stuff. It’s just people talking about how it’s affected them, you know.

 

 

Angus had two short episodes which were confirmed as TIAs. During the second one he partially...

Angus had two short episodes which were confirmed as TIAs. During the second one he partially...

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I had two TIAs at the beginning of December 2009. The first one I was actually sat in the room where we are now, talking to my wife about Christmas dinner, and I just couldn’t talk any more. Just as quick as we are talking now it just, my voice, my speech went. I immediately knew what it was and wrote on a piece of paper, “stroke,” to my wife and she was in the process of going to ring for an ambulance and go through the process of 999 etc, when my speech come back, as quick as that, and come back, well, as it is now. And of course, it come back, I didn’t really do nothing about it straight away because I thought, “Oh, it couldn’t have been that, it’s something else, and I’ll just get in touch with my GP and make an appointment.” Which we did, and I had an appointment for the next day. I went to see my GP and he confirmed that I had a TIA, this was the first one I had. He then told me that I should go for further tests, and basically that was it with the doctor. I come back home, where I had a second TIA the next night, where I went partially blind in one eye, my right eye, it lasted for about 20 minutes, and this time rung the doctor immediately - not the hospital or an ambulance but the doctor - who confirmed that to come down and see him, which we did, confirmed that it was a second TIA.


I never really understood what strokes were. You always think of people paralysed and things like this, but it’s not. It’s these TIAs, these mini strokes or minor strokes, they affect you in such different ways, and every person you talk to, it’s affected them differently. Maybe it’s just the use of a hand, even, you know, or in my case my voice and my sight in one eye, you know.

 

 

The GP wanted to see Angus immediately but he put off going until the next day as he was busy...

The GP wanted to see Angus immediately but he put off going until the next day as he was busy...

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I mean, it was really silly, but the doctor actually from the hospital rung me on my mobile and said, “Come in, we need you in here now” and I said, “I can’t, because I’m just finishing off some work” and he wasn’t too pleased, sort of thing, and I went to see him the next day. And that’s when he said to me, “How did you get up here?” I said, “Well, I drove” and he said, “Well, you won’t be driving back” you know. Yes, and he stopped me from driving then.
 
It’s interesting he didn’t say that to you on the phone?
 
Yes, I did say this to him and he said he admitted he was a bit taken aback that I didn’t go and see him straight away when he said the first time, [laughs] you know, but I just didn’t associate the second. If he’d have said this after the first one I’d have gone straight away because I associated losing my speech with a mini stroke, with TIA, but no one says about, no one said about eyesight and different things, you know, and hearing, things like this. So I didn’t associate it with it and thought, “Oh, it’s just nothing,” even though the doctor had already told me, “Yes, it’s a second one”, I still weren’t, I weren’t convinced totally with the second one, you know.
 
Yeah, it hadn’t quite sunk in?
 
Not really, no. That’s what it was yes. But I soon, he soon convinced me otherwise [laughs].

 

 

Angus’ wife was going to call for an ambulance but the symptoms soon disappeared so he decided to...

Angus’ wife was going to call for an ambulance but the symptoms soon disappeared so he decided to...

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I was actually sat in the room where we are now, talking to my wife about Christmas dinner, and I just couldn’t talk any more. Just as quick as we are talking now it just, my voice, my speech went. I immediately knew what it was and wrote on a piece of paper, “stroke,” to my wife and she was in the process of going to ring for an ambulance and go through the process of 999 etc, when my speech come back, as quick as that, and come back, well, as it is now. And of course, it come back, I didn’t really do nothing about it straight away because I thought, “Oh, it couldn’t have been that, it’s something else, and I’ll just get in touch with my GP and make an appointment.” Which we did, and I had an appointment for the next day. I went to see my GP and he confirmed that I had a TIA.

 

 

Angus was called to the hospital soon after he had experienced two TIAs, and tests were...

Angus was called to the hospital soon after he had experienced two TIAs, and tests were...

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I went to see my GP and he confirmed that I had a TIA, this was the first one I had. He then told me that I should go for further tests, and basically that was it with the doctor. I come back home, where I had a second TIA the next night, where I went partially blind in one eye, my right eye, it lasted for about 20 minutes, and this time rung the doctor immediately - not the hospital or an ambulance but the doctor - who confirmed that to come down and see him, which we did, confirmed that it was a second TIA. We then had a phone call from, the next day had a phone call from the hospital to immediately go up there, where we had various tests. I had MRI scans, ECG echocardiographs, you name it, all the tests that doctors do for your whole system, I had them all done. And basically that was how it stood even to now, because they found really nothing wrong with me to suggest that I’d have another one, or why I had one.

 

 

Angus takes a number of different tablets some of which he can remember and some he can’t. He had...

Angus takes a number of different tablets some of which he can remember and some he can’t. He had...

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Well tell me what you’re taking. What are they giving you?
 
Yes, there’s, I’m taking various things, simply things like from an aspirin for thinning your blood - and it’s no use asking me for names of them all! There’s about six of them and they, they’re all related to the - no one’s actually told me about cholesterol level. My cholesterol level’s quite good, I don’t know what it is, but it’s quite good, but I’m still taking simvastatins to get it even lower, because that may be a contributing factor to it as well. But yeah, I take about six different types of medicine, and two of them, one’s simvastatins for the cholesterol, aspirin for the blood, and the rest is just for lowering my blood pressure.
 
And before that you were just having the one blood pressure tablet?
 
Yes.
 
Are you still on that same one?
 
I am, but instead of two and a half milligrams it’s now ten.
 
Right. Have you had side effects from that?
 
Well I did have side effects - not from that one, I had it from one of the other tablets, when my ankles swelled up, and really did swell up, so much so that your socks sort of cut your blood supply off [laughs], because it swells your feet up that much, you know, and hard to put your shoes on. But that’s the only side effect I have had, from all the tablets, and they just changed the tablet and its fine now.
 
Yes.
 
They just changed that particular one and its fine.

 

 

Angus got plenty of information about the research he took part in, and he and his family could...

Angus got plenty of information about the research he took part in, and he and his family could...

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They give me all their pamphlets on it, but explained it to me and then just give me the pamphlets afterwards, but it was all explained to me in the hospital' what they were doing, and what they were trying to do, and how many people were on it, on the study. And the time period, you know, what they were aiming for, you know. Yeah, and any question that I asked. And time wasn’t, it wasn’t like a quick, “You’ve got ten minutes to get out.” I could have stayed there all day talking to them if I’d have needed to. Time wasn’t an issue. You know, so I was made to feel, you know, that I could discuss anything with them. And like I say, my wife was with me that day and my daughter-in-law, and they asked questions as well, and that was fine with the doctor I was talking to at the hospital, you know.

 
Mm, good. Have you ever taken part in any medical research before?
 
No.
 
No.
 
No, not at all.
 
Would you do it again if it was offered to you?
 
Yes, I think so, yeah. Now I realise that, yeah, it could help somebody else perhaps, you know, yeah.
 
Was that your sort of first thought, when the GP first said there’s this research project that you can go into? What were you mainly thinking about, medical science or your own benefit or?
 
My own benefit to start with, yeah. Yeah, my own benefit to start with, yeah.
 
Yes.
 
I have to be sort of brutal and say that that’s what made me do it, you know. But now I sort of feel all right, and the doctors have sort of given me the all-clear, if that’s the right word to use, yeah, if I can help someone else now that’s fine. I’ve been helped, so now is the time that if I can help someone else that’s fine, yeah.

 

 

Angus had mobile phone blood pressure monitoring at first, and was impressed that his medication...

Angus had mobile phone blood pressure monitoring at first, and was impressed that his medication...

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They explained to me that - I mean, I went up the hospital in the next, in that first month I was up there twice a week, I should think, and in that time I had 24-hour monitors attached to myself, blood pressure monitors, ECG monitors and various monitors. And then went back up and had them removed from me. So they were keeping me sort of monitored 24 hours a day. I was doing my blood pressure three times a day, it was three times a day and three times each time, if you see what I mean, so it was like nine times. And that was being transmitted, I had a mobile phone from the hospital that they gave me and as soon as I took the blood pressure it sent the figures off to the hospital. So I was being monitored by the hospital all the time, you know, in this month, that was, that first month and I was doing this blood pressure three times. So there was, I was being monitored by the hospital sort of three times a day.
 
Yeah.
 
And in fact they rung me up a couple of times and told me to change my medicines – well, not change them, but up the dosage on particular ones .
 
Was that quite reassuring?
 
Well, it was, yeah, because you felt someone was on your, someone was there looking at you all the time, and I thought it was like being in hospital, actually. As good as, because I was being monitored basically 24 hours a day, you know. And yet I was at home with the family and it was great, you know.
 
I’m still in this study the hospital’s running and will be for, well, a minimum of five years, whereas I monitor my own blood pressure and write it down, then every three months or so I get another hospital appointment, take it up there and discuss the blood pressures and see if there is anything on there to, if anything happens to me, to see if the blood pressure’s sort of gone that way to give them a pointer of what it is, you know.

 

 

Angus’ wife worried about him and wanted him to take things easy but he didn’t want to be ...

Angus’ wife worried about him and wanted him to take things easy but he didn’t want to be ...

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Yeah, my wife’s reaction is I shouldn’t do this and I shouldn’t do that, take things easy, whereas I just want to get back to being normal and carry on as before. I don’t want something to sort of hold me, I don’t want to sort of mollycoddle myself, if that’s the right word. I just want to get back to normal, basically, and carry on as before, whereas other people want me to - my wife in particular, wants me to take things steady, don’t do this, don’t do that, you know.

 

 

Angus needs to be able to drive for his job, so having to stop driving for a while had an effect...

Angus needs to be able to drive for his job, so having to stop driving for a while had an effect...

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The kick-on from all this is that I had all these few, quite a few, six weeks or so off work because of not being able to drive etc. - not necessarily because I didn’t feel right, because I did, you know. But I was told not to drive, so I had to, and that subsequently cost me more work because I wasn’t there to follow on, and so really I’ve not had a great deal. In the last four months I’ve probably only had about a month’s work, you know.

 

 

The GP wanted to see Angus immediately but he put off going until the next day as he was busy...

The GP wanted to see Angus immediately but he put off going until the next day as he was busy...

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I mean, it was really silly, but the doctor actually from the hospital rung me on my mobile and said, “Come in, we need you in here now” and I said, “I can’t, because I’m just finishing off some work” and he wasn’t too pleased, sort of thing, and I went to see him the next day. And that’s when he said to me, “How did you get up here?” I said, “Well, I drove” and he said, “Well, you won’t be driving back” you know. Yes, and he stopped me from driving then.
 
It’s interesting he didn’t say that to you on the phone.
 
Yes, I did say this to him and he said he admitted he was a bit taken aback that I didn’t go and see him straight away when he said the first time, [laughs] you know, but I just didn’t associate the second. If he’d have said this after the first one I’d have gone straight away because I associated losing my speech with a mini stroke, with TIA, but no one says about, no one said about eyesight and different things, you know, and hearing, things like this. So I didn’t associate it with it and thought, “Oh, it’s just nothing,” even though the doctor had already told me, “Yes, it’s a second one”, I still weren’t, I weren’t convinced totally with the second one, you know.
 
Yeah, it hadn’t quite sunk in?
 
Not really, no. That’s what it was yes. But I soon, he soon convinced me otherwise [laughs].
 
And when you went up to the hospital and he said, “That’s it, you’re not driving home,” was that a shock?
 
Yes, yeah. Yeah, it was. I weren’t expecting that, because I actually felt normal again, you know. Like I say, they both only lasted, the first one for about 10 minutes and the second one about 20, maybe, 15 to 20 minutes. And I just felt normal afterwards, straight away. In fact I felt like a fraud, even, up the hospital, having all these tests done, because I felt normal, you know, but....
 
But what really got us was two or three things as to how it affected my work, in as much as I had to have, I weren’t allowed to drive for six weeks, which included - this was the beginning of December it started - so it included all of the Christmas period, which really upset our plans to do things. And also we had our 40th wedding anniversary on the, we was leaving this country on the 28th December to celebrate our wedding anniversary on the 3rd January in the Caribbean. And that had to be cancelled, because we were advised not to fly because of the condition. But this, it really affected my work more than anything in as much as I couldn’t drive, and I need to drive as I go all over the country doing my work as a fence erector, on working on Astroturf pitches, sports grounds etc.
 
The kick-on from all this is that I had all these few, quite a few, six weeks or so off work because of not being able to drive etc. - not necessarily because I didn’t feel right, because I did, you know. But I was told not to drive, so I had to, and that subsequently cost me more work because I wasn’t there to follow on, and so really I’ve not had a great deal. In the last four months I’ve probably only had about a month’s work, you know.

 

 

Angus was surprised to have to stop driving for six weeks because he felt back to normal very...

Angus was surprised to have to stop driving for six weeks because he felt back to normal very...

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I didn’t know what to think, because it was the stopping me driving which really hit home that there was a problem, when they said that a lot of people, quite a high percentage of people who had TIAs go on to have a stroke, a debilitating stroke, within the next month, you know, and it was that I was more concerned with and not - getting over that month was great, after Christmas had come and gone it was like a month had gone and it was, “Yeah, I’m sort of, I’m okay”, sort of thing, you know. That was the only time I really worried about it, because that was the time - and once I’d got my, once I was allowed to drive again, you know, I felt then, yes, I’m back to normal. Even though I’d felt normal all the time, in myself it was, “Yes, this is great”, yeah.

 

 

Angus had not heard the term TIA before he experienced one and the doctor explained that it was...

Angus had not heard the term TIA before he experienced one and the doctor explained that it was...

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My first reaction was I’d had a stroke. The word TIA I’d never even heard of before, and mini stroke, I just thought strokes - a stroke’s a stroke, you know. Because I’d lost my voice I thought this is the start of the - like the advert, that FAST advert, you know, part of that is the speech. But it come back, that was the thing. It come back very quickly, and it’s been explained to me it’s just like a little blood clot going to that part of the brain, then it passes through. But while it’s there you lose that, whatever part of your speech or your sight, whatever it is, for the time it’s there, you know. For some people it stays there and that’s it, they’re disabled.

 
And when did you first hear that term, TIA? Was it the first time you went to the doctor he said that?
 
Yes, yes.
 
And how did he explain it, or how would you explain sort of what TIA is?
 
He explained it to me as a mini stroke, a very mini stroke, he said, and lots of people have them and don’t realise they’re having them [phone beeps], or ignore them, which is the worst thing you can do, because it leads to another one. And if you ignore them all, eventually you will have a major stroke.
 

Angus thinks the research team have been dedicated and very thorough. He can ring the research...

Angus thinks the research team have been dedicated and very thorough. He can ring the research...

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How have you found the staff who are running the research project?
 
They’re - I’m not sure how to describe it. They all seem very keen on every little thing you talk about to them. They’re all, they like to know everything about you, what’s happening, you know. They’re very dedicated on that, they’re very thorough, is what I meant to say, very thorough in what they’re doing. Yeah, I think I had magnificent hospital treatment, you know.
 
And have you felt able to ring them up in between times? Is there someone you can talk to if you’re worried about anything?
 
I’ve got direct lines to the doctors, not just at the hospital, I’ve got direct phones to the doctors, straight to their phone. Yeah, in fact one of the researchers there I’ve got her mobile phone number.
 
So you really couldn’t ask for anything else. It’s like having a nurse beside you all the time, isn’t it? I could ring her anytime I wanted.

 

 

Angus says that if you are experiencing symptoms and don’t quite know what’s wrong go to the GP...

Angus says that if you are experiencing symptoms and don’t quite know what’s wrong go to the GP...

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Well, if someone’s experiencing one, the first thing is to identify it, and not to ignore it and think it’s something else If it, if something goes wrong with your body and you’re not sure what it is, it could be a TIA. It may be nothing, but it’s worth getting to see someone sooner rather than later to talk about it, to discuss it, because the doctors, they see it all the time and they can probably recognise it for what it is. And the tests are non-intrusive, what you have, apart from blood pressure - blood tests, taking blood. It’s nothing sort of untoward, what you have to do, and they’re all painless, is what I’m trying to say, and they’re readily available. So it’s really identifying that it is and not ignoring it, because to ignore it could make it turn into something worse, you know, yes.
 
But I think the main thing is to identify that you have actually had a TIA, quickly I mean. And not ignore it. Because like all the doctors I’ve spoken to, all the doctors have said a lot of people ignore them because they come and go, and you think, “Oh, it’s nothing, a little blip sort of thing , you know, something I’ve eaten maybe”, you know, but not to ignore them. If they’re, if you lose your speech it’s not something you’ve eaten, it’s not because you’ve had too much to drink. Because you don’t lose you’re speech, you know, so there is a problem there so you, you know, and the same with your eyesight. Unless you’ve actually had an accident of some description and your eyesight just goes, there is a problem, you know so you need to sort it out, you know.
 
Did you have any of the numbness or anything?
 
No, not at all, nothing. That was it. Yeah, I was asked various questions by the doctors about different things, different parts of my body, you know, feet, fingers, toes, all that. Nothing, no. No weakness in my arms, legs, no.
 
So it’s quite unpredictable, isn’t it?
 
Yeah, yeah. And like I say, other people, the doctors have said, hearing goes, other things don’t work, you know, like I say fingers and toes. There’s always a reason, and it could just be these, could be a TIA. Best checking it out quickly, because as in my case, check it out reasonably quickly and it can be treated, and hopefully it will stay away and that will be that.

 

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