A-Z

Interview 29

Age at interview: 85
Brief Outline: He had a stroke due to clot aged 83 which caused partial right paralysis and emotional lability. Medication' doxazosin, bendroflemethiazide, valsartan, adalat (blood pressure), simvastatin (cholesterol), aspirin, dipyridamole (antiplatelet).
Background: Is a married father of 2 children. He is a retired rail worker/retired shop assistant. Ethnic background/nationality' White/Scottish.

More about me...

This man had a stroke at the age of 83 he is now 85. His stroke was due to a clot blocking blood to the left hand side of his brain. His stroke was caused by high blood pressure and he now takes doxazosin, bendroflemethiazide, valsartan and adalat to reduce blood pressure, simvastatin to reduce cholesterol and aspirin and dipyridamole to prevent further blood clots.

His stroke caused partial paralysis of his right leg and arm. He was very determined to recover and with the help of physiotherapists and occupational therapists in the rehabilitation unit he was able to get back to walking and using his arm and hand. He continued to practice his exercises when he returned home particularly his fine finger movement by transferring Rice Krispies from one bowl to another. He also practiced writing using children's writing books.

He was able to return to his part time job working in a local supermarket but decided to retire when he reached 84.

He has noticed that he has become much more emotional since his stroke but his consultant explained that this sometimes happens after stroke which he found reassuring.

 

He was not bothered about being helped with washing and dressing because he had previous...

He was not bothered about being helped with washing and dressing because he had previous...

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
How about getting up to use the bathroom?

Oh no. The, the first, the first the nurse came with me for the first, oh, I think for the first, I could never' I could never shower myself while I was in the hospital. I always had a nurse to do it. Oh, you're, you'll not do any thingmies when you're in hospital, you know, you just, that's it. I tell you, you learn, you learn fast [laughs]. But it didn't bother me anyway because I was, I'd had many years in the army and I mind after I was wounded in the army, I couldn't do very much then either but however but the nurse came and she showered you and I remember the first time when I was in Ward 6 I said to the nurse, I said, 'Oh, I'd love to get a shower, a wash or something' and she said 'I'll get a lift' and they put you under this lift and they lifted you up and carried you and you over the bath and they dropped you into the hot bath. Oh, and it was heaven. But they couldn't, they couldn't have been better to me really not. Really was good. And up to, I think it was the last week right enough when I was in Ward 4 that I managed to go and shower myself. I did it the last week but you had to be so careful because it's slippery, you see. It wasn't, I think not because in the end I couldn't do it, you know, with my right hand I couldn't have done it but you're frightened you fall, you see, when your legs are not very good. And then it's trying to get, dry yourself, it's difficult when you're one arm, one hand at that time but, oh, I'm alright now.

 

His doctor had reassured that becoming more emotional was part of having a stroke.

His doctor had reassured that becoming more emotional was part of having a stroke.

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
You know, we talked earlier about sometimes people worry that they could become more emotional?

Aye. Oh yes, well that is a problem, I'm sure but it's, but it, it's alright, people get to know you and understand that this is all part and parcel of the, of the disease and it will perhaps get better, I don't know but he said it would, it would be a long time, it would bother you for a long time, the doctor, and he was a very good doctor on strokes and the first thing he said to me, you see, so it's obviously, must be something that even the doctors must know to tell you so that you're prepared for it, you see. So as I said, otherwise, I think it is getting, it is getting better now a bit but oh, when you come home, when at first it was very easy to break down but it gets, it is, it is easing off now and' as time goes on. I think a lot of it too depends on what's happening in your life. 

 

He uses a special pill box which his wife fills for him at the beginning of the week. He only...

He uses a special pill box which his wife fills for him at the beginning of the week. He only...

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
And how do you find remembering to take them?

Oh yes. We've got a box and we set it up for the whole week, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. And it's [my wife] that does it and it's a squa..., it's a, wee squares and there's one for the whole week, for a.m. and p.m. and you can't go wrong.

And have you ever forgotten to take any?

Yes, yes. We were, where was I? Oh, we were somewhere, we were out somewhere and came back and not often, you know, it was getting late and we just tidied up whatever we did and went straight to bed and next morning' I never took my pills. But it's only once, it's only once ever that I forgot. I didn't see any difference myself [laughs] I don't know what it would have done. I don't suppose missing once would do make any difference but I wouldn't tell the doctor [laughs].

So what did you do when you'd forgotten? Did you just not take them?

No, you just don't take them. No, no, you can't take them then. Just continue and start the next day afresh. 

 

Practiced putting bolts on nuts and picking up small objects to improve his dexterity. He was...

Practiced putting bolts on nuts and picking up small objects to improve his dexterity. He was...

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
I went in the afternoon and that was putting nuts on to bolts, putting oh, they had a lot of, a lot of different things that they had and you had to put square things into, into square holes and round and I couldn't do it at first. There was no way. I couldn't pick them up. That was the problem, you see. It's catching something. You hadn't the feeling in your hand that you could catch a wee peg the proper way if they were lying flat. To try and catch them and lift them and put them into the holes, it was so terrible difficult. But'

Did you mind having to do that?

No. I didn't mind at all. Not, not a bit of it because I knew that this was part, part of the game that if, if you kept at that, you would be able to do it if you wanted to do it but if you, if you didn't want to do it, you were wasting their time and yours. You had to work at it because I know some of them there that you know, they sort of gave up and I was determined. There's no way was I going to give up and I just worked at it with them and the girls were marvellous and they would come for you every afternoon and you would have a, you'd have an hour with them and different things you had to do, you know but I remember the bolts and nuts, you see, and that was for you pick up all the nuts and screw it on, screw it on, on to the bolt. And washers and things like that I found difficult. Eventually got better and got better and got better and then in the end of the day, they just said, 'I think you can go home'.

 

Don't give into it, fight it and it will get better and you can have a decent living.

Don't give into it, fight it and it will get better and you can have a decent living.

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
Oh the message is to don't give in, to really fight it because it will get better. If as long as you're prepared to fight the thing and say to yourself, I'm going to get better, it will do. But if you, if you give way, I think it's not good. It's, there's, there's only one way for a stroke I think is to, you know, really fight to get better and you will get better. Perhaps you won't get 100% better but you will get better and you can have a decent living after that. In fact, I'm sure of it.  

Previous Page
Next Page