A-Z

Interview 53

Age at interview: 59
Brief Outline: He had a stroke due to a clot which came from his heart aged 55. The stroke caused right sided weakness and aphasia. Medication' perindopril (blood pressure) simvastatin (cholesterol), warfarin (anticoagulant).
Background: Is a married father of 2 children and is a medically retired home office civil servant. Ethnic background/nationality' White/English.

More about me...

This man has severe speech problems following his stroke. He had his stroke at the age of 55 he is now 59. His stroke was due to a clot which came from his heart and prevented the flow of blood to the left hand side of his brain. He now takes warfarin to prevent another clot, perindopril to control blood pressure and simvastatin to reduce cholesterol.

The stroke mainly affected the speech areas of his brain and he now suffers from a condition known as expressive aphasia where he struggles to find words and make sentences. He communicates using a combination of speaking a few words and writing things down. His ability to read large amounts of text has also been affected. He had some help from speech therapy in and out of hospital but did not find it helped very much and would have liked more.

The stroke also caused some weakness in his right hand and arm but this has now improved.

Since the stroke he has had to give up work. He feels it is important to keep occupied and has instead pursued his hobbies of restoring classic cars and painting, although feels his painting is not as good as it used to be. He enjoys travelling and has travelled to America since his stroke.

He is a member of 'Connect' a Charity which helps people with aphasia. He feels that speech problems after stroke are not well understood and is keen to raise the profile of aphasia.

 

Paralysis on one side of his face means that chewing is difficult.

Paralysis on one side of his face means that chewing is difficult.

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Yes [laughs]. Yes. Yes. I'm alright. I can't speak but anything else very good. 

How about your eating? Were you able to eat OK?

No'The'

You had a'

Yes. (Illustrating - drop in right side of face)

' a drop.

Yes.

And did they have to put a tube in to feed you?

No.

No?

No. 

No?

No. The, the' I was alright.

You, you could eat.

Yes.

And maybe did they liquidise your food?

No.

No? [laughs]

I, I want' No. Oh yuk, oh dear. [Makes sound]

Proper food. [Laughs]

[Makes sound] Oh dear, oh dear. 

And how was your swallowing? 

Alright.

It was OK?

Yeah.

They, did they get you to swallow and '

No.

' do a test on you?

No. Mine is right.

But it just, just your face '

Yes.

' with chewing was difficult.

And this. (Illustrating hand weakness)

And that.

 

He had been given a card to show to people explaining that he had a stroke and has communication...

He had been given a card to show to people explaining that he had a stroke and has communication...

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How is it when you meet new people or if you're out and about with your communication?

Well' difficult.

Mmm

But it's alright.

Do you have something that tells people?

Yes. Yes the' is in. (Showing card).

Hmm. So it says, 'I've had a stroke''

Yes.

''And find it difficult to speak read or write''

Mmm. Mmm.

''I usually understand what is said but please could you speak clearly?'

Yeah.

''Thank you'. And' that was from the, the Stroke Association.

Yeah.Yeah.

That's good. How did you get that? When you were in hospital?

Yes.

Yeah.

Mmm.

Have you' Have you been a member of the Stroke Association since the stroke?

No.

No. This was given to you in the hospital?

Yeah.

Yeah. That's very useful. I think people would find that useful to'

Oh yes. Yes.

' to know about.

Yes. Yes. 

Yes. Because other people might not be get, given it.

Yes. I'

In Philadelphia.

Yes. And I can't speak and they

And you gave that to them.

Yes.

You gave that to the police.

Yes. And said alright.

And, and helped you.

Yes.

That's really helpful. That's good.

 

He has to vary the amount of warfarin he takes on different days by taking pills of different...

He has to vary the amount of warfarin he takes on different days by taking pills of different...

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Medication. Since your stroke, have you had to take tablets?

Yes.

Medication. 

Yeah 

The'

The' oh 

Warfarin?

Yes.

Mmm. And how has that been? Does it, do you have any side effects?

No.

No bruising or'

No. 

'or bleeding?

No. 

No. How about the blood tests?

Yes the' the'

Warfarin pills?

Yes'

You have different coloured ones?

Yes. I know (Illustrating confusion).

It is hard to remember which one?

Yes. Yes. Yes. 

Are they different strengths?

Yes.

' to take?

Yes.

And do you have to vary them over'

Yes.

'different days?

Mm hmm. 

Yeah. Sometimes you have to'

Yeah.

'you know, take 14'

Yeah.

'or 20 another day?

Yeah.

Is that difficult to remember?

Yes. 

 

He would have liked more help from speech therapy and felt it stopped because of lack of funding.

He would have liked more help from speech therapy and felt it stopped because of lack of funding.

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Have you had any help to try and improve your communication?

No. 

No.

The' is' he, he's

Speech.

Yes. Alright not very good. 

Did you have any more speech therapy'

Yes.

'since you left hospital?

Yes. 

Yeah. Was that better than in hospital?

'Yes.

You said that wasn't very good. 

Yes but'

After one year'

Yes.

'after leaving hospital?

Yes. He said finished. 

No. He finished.

You, you get bet, not very good.

Hmm. 

That's, I wanted and they said no. [laughs]

You wanted more?

Yes. 

And they said no.

Yes. 

Hmm. That's difficult. Did they think that you, you wouldn't improve more or was it'

No.

'financial?

Yes.

Financial?

Yeah. 

 

You have to be motivated to recover and find ways to occupy your life.

You have to be motivated to recover and find ways to occupy your life.

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We ask people to give advice to other people that have had a stroke. What's been important for you in recovering from stroke? And what would you advise other people to do? 

The' difficult' sorry, it's diff, the'

It comes from yourself?

Yes. 

So'

Yes.

You have to be motivated'

Yes.

'to continue?

Yes.

Yeah. And what does that mean to, in terms of'

Anything.

'doing things?

Anything.

Mmm.

Good'

Driving, painting?

Drive. Yes. 

You have to find other things'

Yes. 

'to occupy your life'

Yeah. Yeah. 

'and give you purpose?

Yes.

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