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Interview 49

Age at interview: 34
Brief Outline: She had a stroke due a clot caused by a hereditary clotting disorder age 29, which caused aphasia, right paralysis and epilepsy. Medication' lipitor (cholesterol), warfarin (anticoagulant), tegretol, epilim (epilepsy), baclofen (spasms in arm).
Background: Is single with no children. She is a secretary but has not worked since her stroke. Ethnic background/nationality' White/Australian/English.

More about me...

This woman had a stroke at the age of 29 she is now 34. Prior to the stroke she was fit and healthy. Her stroke was due to a clot in the left-hand side of her brain and was caused by hereditary clotting disorders Factor V Leiden and MTHFR, it was found her parents each had one of the clotting disorders. Other members of the family have had tests since her stroke. She was taking the contraceptive pill at the time of her stroke but had to stop taking it because she is at high risk of having another stroke.

She takes warfarin to prevent another clot forming and lipitor to control cholesterol.

When she had her stroke she was unable to speak but remained conscious. Her stroke caused paralysis of her left arm and leg. She also has a speech problem known as aphasia which means she struggles to find words and find it difficult to talk in sentences, but can be understood if people are patient with her. She also finds it very difficult to read and write. 

She has had rehabilitation in hospitals in Ireland and in Australia where most her family live and can now walk short distances. Her hand and arm are still weak although she is trying to do her own exercises to improve her function. She also hopes to get some more speech therapy now she is back in the UK. 

She has not worked since the stroke but a good friend is helping her to look into schemes to get people with disabilities back into work. She is keen to try but worries that there are too many barriers to overcome. 

She has been a member of a support group for people with aphasia and finds it great to share similar experiences.

 

She has problems with her speech and with daily activities which limit her life and can make her...

She has problems with her speech and with daily activities which limit her life and can make her...

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How about you? It's a huge thing to happen. How, how has it affected you emotionally?

[Sighs] I wish that had a stroke, I didn't, yeah' Sometimes tough and, you know, crying all the time but, you know' one year or, you know, that a stroke in, in Ireland, why me? You know, why? What's wrong with, you know, the voice, you know? And' Yeah. But other than that' carried on. 

Mm hmm.

Sometimes sad with, you know' why, you know, out of work, you know, socialising, you know, and I'm tired. Exhausting because, you know getting up, shower takes time, you know. Deodorant [laughs]. All, you know.

 

She explains that she has to limit the amount of green leafy vegetables that she eats as they can...

She explains that she has to limit the amount of green leafy vegetables that she eats as they can...

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How about when you started eating again? Did you have special food at all?

Broccoli, can't eat it and pak choi because can't eat it because the vegetables for warfarin.

Oh right.

Yeah. So spinach. I love spinach. I love broccoli and I love pak choi but a tiny bit, you know, all of it doesn't matter a little bit but every day, that's no, no. Yeah.

Because it interferes with the warfarin?

Yeah. Yeah.

 

She would have liked more help with reading because she wanted to be able to read more than...

She would have liked more help with reading because she wanted to be able to read more than...

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Have you had any help with the reading at all?

'No but speech' yes.

Can you tell me about that?

The' in Australia' see, I can't' yeah, I can't, this is too hard this book, this, yeah, but' I could read that one or the, like, like that or this, this one. But in the'

So you can read words but you can't read sentences, is that the problem?

Sentences. Read. Yes. Read. Yeah. 

But have you had any help specifically for your reading?

Yeah. Yeah. 

Would you like to get more help with that?

Yes [laughs] please' but on the waiting list, you know, the, because' you know. And books, baby books, I don't like that' The.

Is that what you were given?

Yeah. 

And you didn't like that.

Yeah. 

What would you like instead? What would be helpful?

Like normal books' Like, you know, newspapers, Herald or' Yeah. 

 

Likes meeting other people with aphasia at Connect meetings and found lots of people she meets...

Likes meeting other people with aphasia at Connect meetings and found lots of people she meets...

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Tell me what you do when you go to the meetings?

A coffee' Well the, I had juice because I, I can't Fanta and lemonade, ugghh, a stroke is strange, I don't know but anyway. Chatting and conversation. 'Ah hello, hello' and, because [one of the men] is a lively one' so upstairs and the group divide' and talk about, you know, books or film or, you know, literature, you know. You know, the Queen, you know. So, and all of us in the circle is and then' and coming altogether and' running up, you know, the' I can't say it, you know the but, anyway.

Is it helpful to meet other people that have the same experience as you?

Yes. Exactly the same as me. Aphasia. One side of my body, well, the different other side of the body but I didn't know because Australia only 2 or 3 got it but' lots of people had a, aphasia on the right side, yeah. 

So it was helpful to meet other people?

Yes. Finally, finally. And numbers, you know, I can't add up, you know. Different. Yes. Finally. This is it. Connect [laughs].

 

Live life and smile a lot and be happy.

Live life and smile a lot and be happy.

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Live life and smile a lot' and' be happy.

 

Finds it helpful to meet other people with aphasia at Connect meetings and found lots of other...

Finds it helpful to meet other people with aphasia at Connect meetings and found lots of other...

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What, tell me what you do when you go to the meetings?

A coffee. Well the, I had juice because I can't Fanta and lemonade, ugghh, a stroke is strange, I don't know but anyway. Chatting and conversation. 'Ah hello, hello' and, because [one of the men] is a lively one' so upstairs and the group divide' and talk about, you know, books or film or, you know, literature, you know. You know, the Queen, you know. So, and all of us in the circle is and then' and coming altogether and' running up, you know, the' I can't say it, you know the but, anyway.

Is it helpful to meet other people that have the same experience as you?

Yes. Exactly the same as me. Aphasia. One side of my body, well, the different other side of the body but I didn't know because Australia only 2 or 3 got it but' lots of people had aphasia on the right side, yeah. 

So it was helpful to meet other people?

Yes. Finally, finally. And numbers, you know, I can't add up, you know. Different. Yes. Finally. This is it. Connect [laughs].

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