Friday, May 26, 2017

A long hard road to recovery for Mr Anson


    It has taken Mr K Anson nine years to become fully independent after his stroke. Read his story of stroke survival.

 


Where were you when you had your stroke?

I retired at the age of 55 and started a showroom of furniture. Every day, I used to go to the showroom and sell furniture. So the whole week was full of active work which I always loved to be involved in. When I was 56 years, on the morning of 27th September 2009, I couldn’t get up. But I was apparently well when I went to bed previous night after dinner. Suddenly, I noticed that the right side of my face, my right arm and my right leg were heavy and difficult to move. I could not utter a word. I could not see my right side. There was no control over my bodily functions and I could not swallow a drop of water. 



Could you access hospital?
Fortunately, I was at home and my wife promptly took me to the National hospital of Sri Lanka by 11a.m same day. There I was admitted to the stroke unit and was investigated. Then I was found to have left middle cerebral artery infarction after the CT scan of my brain. 



What expectations did you have for your treatment, rehabilitation, recovery?

I was conscious, rational and alert but with so much of depression. I felt that my life was not worthy anymore. I was worrying about my little son and my loving wife.  



What was your experience of treatment and/or rehabilitation?

The caregiver was a paid person. But he was very kind and helped me so much. But with the time, I felt that my speech, swallowing and my right side motor functions were gradually improving. Because of the expert stroke team, I didn’t get any complications due to the stroke or a secondary stroke during the period of rehabilitation. As a risk factor, I had only dyslipidaemia which was in a good control by the time I had a stroke. All the relevant investigations were done and lifelong drugs were started to control  high cholesterol and prevent a further stroke. I was given speech therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy to a daily schedule. Actually I didn’t have any expectations when I entered the stroke unit. But day by day I had been gathering more and more expectations to get my usual life back as early as possible.



What has helped you in your recovery?

It was not very easy despite all the services I was provided with. For that, I have been waiting for long nine years to fulfil my expectations. Now, I can do my day to day activities alone. I am totally independent now. But my right side motor disability and my speech are not completely recovered, whereas my swallowing, vision and continence are completely normal. But still I have hopes to reverse these residual disabilities back to normal in future.   

                           

What have been/are your fears?

The only fear that I had in my mind was to live like a disabled forever.



How did your family and friends feel and respond?
My wife is a housewife who looks after me very well. My wife and son used to visit me daily. My friends who were working with me in the Postal Department came several times and shared my sorrow.

The stories of stroke survivors are what drives our fight at the World Stroke Organization to achieve our goal of a world free from stroke. Welcome to our stroke survivor stories series, which we'll pop up on the blog every Thursday, you may wish to contribute to this poignant narrative of stroke globally. Please contact Sarah.Belson@stroke.org.uk

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Stroke survivor stories - Mr Nishantha


Mr Nishantha was only 29 and about to become a father for the first time when he had a stroke. Read his story here:



Where were you when you had your stroke?  
I am 29 years old. I got married one year ago, and my wife is expecting. On 21st January 2017, I attended the funeral of my friend and came back home around 3 am the following day. Soon after, I entered the bathroom and had a quick wash. I remembered that I came out of the bathroom. After that, I could not remember anything that happened. I could remember things only 20 days after the incident. 

Could you access hospital?
I was found fallen on the floor by my wife with weakened right side of my body. Although she was pregnant she had managed to admit me to the nearest hospital as soon as possible. The local hospital authority had decided to transfer me to the National Hospital of Sri Lanka in Colombo. So the same day, I was admitted to a neuro-surgical ward in the National Hospital and I was investigated. I was found to have bleeding in the left brain by a CT scan of the brain and transferred to a neurology ward on the following day without any surgical intervention.

What expectations did you have for your treatment, rehabilitation and recovery?
Three days later, I was transferred to the stroke unit for rehabilitation. By that time, I was conscious, but not alert and rational. I was aphasic, couldn’t move my right side of the body including my right side of the face, couldn’t swallow, couldn’t see my right side and had incontinence. I was looked after and given the care by my own brother, around February 11th I could remember things and I was alert as well as rational.

What was your experience of treatment and/or rehabilitation?
The stroke team is very specialised, giving multi-disciplinary tasks with targets on a daily basis. The head of the team is a senior consultant neurologist, who leads other doctors, nurses, therapists, counsellors and social service officers. As I was a young hypertensive and a young stroke survivor, I was investigated thoroughly. By the time I had the stroke, I was suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes and  high cholesterol.

What has helped you in your recovery?
I was asked to continue drugs to prevent a secondary stroke and to control risk factors. I was advised to continue speech therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy regularly. I was fed through a nasogastric tube and there was a urinary catheter inserted.

What have been/are your fears?
I was shocked by hearing the tragedy I had gone through. I had spent my all fearful days unaware. So beyond that I didn’t have any fears but expectations to get rid of the disabilities quickly. The most troublesome disability was the communication difficulty. I could understand what I was told but I couldn’t express my feelings as they were (expressive dysphasia).

How did your family and friends feel and respond?
My wife, my parents and my brother were around me to give the maximum care. After one month and 10 days of hospital stay, I was able to walk out of the hospital without support with restored good communication skills, normal swallowing, right side vision and good continence.

I would like to thank everybody that helped me to survive from the dreadful stroke. Now I expect to go to work as early as possible. May the triple gem bless them all!!

The stories of stroke survivors are what drives our fight at the World Stroke Organization to achieve our goal of a world free from stroke. Welcome to our stroke survivor stories series, which we'll pop up on the blog every Thursday, you may wish to contribute to this poignant narrative of stroke globally. Please contact Sarah.Belson@stroke.org.uk

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