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Interview 46

Age at interview: 82
Brief Outline: He had a stroke due to a clot aged 75 which caused right sided weakness and numbness. Medication' atenolol, lisinopril, adalat (blood pressure), furosemide (water), simvastatin (cholesterol), aspirin (antiplatelet).
Background: Is a married father of 2 children. He is a retired Professional Engineer. Ethnic background/nationality' White/Scottish.

More about me...

This man had his stroke at the age of 75 he is now 82. His stroke was caused by a clot that blocked the flow of blood to the left side of his brain. This resulted in weakness and numbness in his right leg, arm and face. He had a heart/circulatory problems some years before the stroke and since the stroke he has been diagnosed with secondary diabetes and thinks that the stroke may have been due to these conditions. He now takes atenolol, lisinopril, adalat to control blood pressure, simvastatin to reduce cholesterol and aspirin to prevent further clots forming.

A week before the stroke he experienced some transient visual disturbance whilst driving. He had seen the doctor who did not think they were any cause for concern but said they should keep an eye on it. When he had the stroke he was found by his wife in their bathroom, although he did not totally lose consciousness he can not remember much about the stroke. The doctor came out and arranged for him to go into the local cottage hospital after the weekend. The doctor also arranged for some tests in a larger city hospital some distance away - these took a long time to come through which both he and the doctor found annoying.

He was in the cottage hospital for 10 days. He feels he received little in the way of rehabilitation and realises now that he should have perhaps asked for more as he found out recovery of function is better if more is done straight away. He wanted to get better after the stroke so took up swimming and attended a sports session overseen by a doctor. He has been able to walk again but still has numbness and weakness in his arm and hand.

 

One man said he was generally very good at taking his medication but took special care and made...

One man said he was generally very good at taking his medication but took special care and made...

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How about remembering to take your medication?

I'm very good at remembering to do these things. I recognise that it's a case of life or death really, so it's pretty important that I get my pills. So I get my pills and when we go away, I take my good, a good stock of pills with me that if we're going away for 10 days, I'll have enough for 20 days and I keep them in a purse really of my own, which is a pill purse [laughs] if you like. So I'm very careful with my medication. If I'm going on an aeroplane, the medication stays with me. It doesn't go into the hold, where things might or might not get lost. They stay, it stays in my personal baggage, you know, so I'm very good that way. 

 

He told the DVLA that he had had a stroke and given up driving but when he felt better he wrote...

He told the DVLA that he had had a stroke and given up driving but when he felt better he wrote...

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What happened with your driving after the stroke?

Well, after my stroke, I recognised that I was a bit feebler and so forth and I certainly couldn't drive the car' normally and so I wrote, I wrote to the DVLA and told them I'd given up driving. I didn't cancel my motor insurance or anything because I'm an eternal optimist and I expected to be driving again within a few months but I felt that, that one ought to tell the DVLA that you've had a stroke and you're not fit to drive, which I wasn't. And I think after about 4 or 5 months I thought I was OK again, so I wrote to them and said, 'I think I'm OK now' and they wrote to my doctor to see if he thought I was OK and he apparently said OK, so I received a letter from the DVLA saying, 'You're fine, carry on, there are no special provisions' and I wrote to the insurance company, I kept them involved, telling them what I'd done and' wrote to them telling that the DVLA had cleared me with no special provisions and they wrote back and said, 'Your insurance cover has no special provisions', so everything's normal in other words. So I drive using my left foot accelerator. I had the car modified with a simple gadget which consists of a bar or an axle with a flat doodle that does that and that can be pulled back out of the way for a normal right footed driver or put forward for me as a left footed driver and I press on this lever and it presses that accelerator. Simple. And not very expensive to have fitted. 

 

Since he had the stroke he has experienced problems getting an erection and puts this down to...

Since he had the stroke he has experienced problems getting an erection and puts this down to...

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How about your relationship? Has it had any impact on that at all?

Well, we don't have any sex... but we didn't have a lot before really... But... I can't just remember when I recognise that sexual activity was over but it's been over for and I can't remember just when it ceased completely but it's... quite a while now. 

Is it that you have a functional problem now?

Yes. I mean... apart from anything else, if you take pills to reduce your blood pressure, that has an impact, you know. 

Have you ever talked to a doctor or anybody about the problems with your sexual relationship?

Yes. Yes. 

And have they been able to offer you any solutions or is it something that'?

No, they've been able, they've been able, they, they've said, 'You haven't got a good enough blood supply to your nether regions' and so I couldn't get a satisfactory erection and there wasn't much they could do about it really... And' again, as I say I certainly now have diabetes. I didn't have any treatment for diabetes before I had a stroke but... it may have been insipid and that affects the minor blood vessels, doesn't it? So they would be slowing up... earlier than I had my stroke I imagine. So I, I'd be getting circulation, I was having circulation problems in other words beforehand. 

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