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Interview 37

Age at interview: 93
Brief Outline: She had a stroke attributed to a clot and the age of 92 which caused weakness of her right leg and arm and slurred speech. Medication' bendrofluazide (blood pressure) now stopped, aspirin (anti-platelet), but she could not tolerate this and had to stop.
Background: Is a widow with 1 adult child and is a retired writer. Ethnic background/nationality' White/German.

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This woman is interviewed with her daughter and son-in-law. She had a stroke at home at the age of 92. Her daughter, who is a doctor, diagnosed the stroke. Her GP was on holiday, but on his return visited and confirmed the diagnosis and prescribed some medication to reduce her blood pressure and medication to prevent a clot forming.

The stroke was probably due to a clot which interrupted the flow of blood to the left side of the brain. It caused weakness of the right arm and leg and some problems with speech, but she remained mentally bright.

She is very independent and did not want to go to hospital so chose to be looked after at home. She had one visit from a physiotherapist who advised on safety and mobility but since then she and her daughter have set walking goals to help her recovery. This included visiting the gardens in the local area, and it has helped recover her mobility. She can now go out alone for short distances and continues to live independently in a flat upstairs. 

She feels it is very important to not be treated like a patient and they all believe this has been the key to her recovery. 

Two years later [January 2007] she had another similar small stroke, weakening her right hand and leg, but not her mind. She still walks a bit, but not on her own, and uses a stairlift at home.

 

She was initially a little angry at having a stroke but quickly became determined to get better.

She was initially a little angry at having a stroke but quickly became determined to get better.

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Mother' Yes. I was not at all depressed [laughs].

Daughter' Only at first, maybe a couple of '

Mother' The very first day, angry, more angry in the first [laughs]

What were you angry about?

Mother' About the change. Yes. 

And how did you feel when you realised that it was a stroke that you'd had?

Mother' [Sighs] I felt a little bit sad but not long, not very long.

And you were very determined to get better?

Mother' Yes. Yes. Yes. Absolutely. 

And do you think that helped you to get back to normal?

Mother' Yes absolutely. And the cheerful atmosphere in the house and the lovely family [laughs]. It was more important than my behaviour. 

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