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Interview 43

Age at interview: 74
Brief Outline: He had a stroke due to a haemorrhage age 70 which caused right sided weakness and problems with balance and speech. He as also had some depression and anxiety. Medication' enalapril maleate (blood pressure), furosemide (water), citalopram (depression).
Background: Is a married father with 2 adopted, adult children. He is a retired lecturer. Ethnic background/nationality' Indian/English.

More about me...

This man had a stroke at the age of 70 he is now 74. His stroke was due to a haemorrhage on the left hand side of his brain. He had previously had diabetes and this may have contributed to his stroke. He was also taking aspirin and another similar drug for arthritis and it is possible that these two drugs interacted to cause the bleed. He also has high blood pressure and takes enalapril maleate to control it.

The first signs of his stroke were weakness on his right side and slurred speech he phoned a doctor friend who heard that his voice was affected and called an ambulance. He was in hospital for six weeks where he had physiotherapy to help him get back to walking again. He can now walk fairly confidently but uses a stick for long distances. His speech gradually improved although he feels he is no longer confident to speak in public meetings.

Since his stroke he has found that he is quite anxious about being left at home on his own and has suffered some depression for which he takes medication. He has also found that he is very tired and has had to give up some of the voluntary work he used to do. 

He has not attended a support group but feels it would be helpful if the local doctor's surgery ran some sort of support group to help with the emotional consequences of stroke. His wife and extended family have been very supportive particularly the older people in his family as he feels they have a greater understanding of illness.

 

He is frightened of having another stroke and does not like to be left alone. He also finds...

He is frightened of having another stroke and does not like to be left alone. He also finds...

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The one thing which always bothered me was this experience always made me feel as though I'm not far from death, it could happen any day and that way I used to get anxious very soon. I used to feel that my wife should be around me, she should not go out, if she goes much more than an hour, then I'll begin to phone and find out where she is and she doesn't carry mobile, she doesn't keep in technology and whole lots of that. But because of the good neighbour she has gone away, somebody will come and sit with me to talk to me and find out what I need. So in that way I think I've been very, very lucky. Someone or my friends who their children all, they call me uncle and they will come down, you know, to stay with me for a while, ask aunty that what uncle needs and so they kept busy but this, the doctor thought that it's symptoms of depression I think started developing which was a bit sad. Every time I will see at funeral, if I will go to the funeral, to anybody, it will be very difficult. Normally if I'm going to funeral, I have to speak there and that is first thing I learned that, no, I should not. But some of the family would expect me to, even though I speak a sentence but they would have want me to say and of course attended many funerals of my friends who passed, passed away and was a bit of shock and my wife realised that attending a funeral is not a very good thing. So recently there has been two or three but I couldn't make it.

But the doctor recommended some sort of, it is not that antidepressant but yes it definitely keeps my nerves control, citalopram, 10mg dose, and that has given me a bit of patience now. At night, I can be by myself I will not be scared of it. But still, you know, all the time, the key's in the door [laughs], when I lock it and go upstairs. It will come to my mind that if, if something happens, how would they open the door.

 

Felt that nurses made assumptions about him without knowing who he is or what his background is....

Felt that nurses made assumptions about him without knowing who he is or what his background is....

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I think I stayed in hospital for about 11 days and had a lot of experience about like once the nurse making mistake giving me the dose which was not prescribed, it was more than that and having an experience with an just training nurses about cultural awareness, I mean, I have that experience that they do not know who I am or what my background is. They think I can't speak or I have no English, that sort of thing. 

Second day, the physiotherapist and they had a very strict, restricted schedule like in a 10 minutes to a patient or 15 minutes to a patient. That, to me, is not, the moment you are told and the nurse will look at the watch, you feel disheartened, you know. I think that she is, she is not interested in me. That is also one of my observations where I do, don't find it. Yes, there are good nurses where they will relax and first they will find out whether, are you feeling thirsty, are you feeling tired, do you need your stick in with you, do you, you didn't forget your purse and your raincoat. Very simple things. The moment you talk about these things, you build up a relationship with the person you are talking to, that you are going to do, you care about it, the rest, everything easy. After that, you know, whatever you do, it will be very easily accepted. 

 

Wondered whether a stroke support group would be useful for other people in his community. Felt...

Wondered whether a stroke support group would be useful for other people in his community. Felt...

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Have you had any experience of support groups for stroke at all?

I begin to think that a support group would be very helpful, especially for Asians, it should be a helpful. We could exchange, we could talk about it, what is happening. 

But I definitely wish to see that stroke support group should be there. That would be better than spending more time in rehab because in rehab, psychologically, you are still in an environment which is technically surrounded with machines, with white collared doctors with stethoscopes which psychologically affect you, you are a sick man. 

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