Colin Day - My Stroke Story

I am a 52 year old male, non-smoker, fit and active and not over weight, so little did I think that I would have a stroke!!!

It was Monday morning and I felt a bit odd so laid down on the floor. I sensed I could not focus properly. However the feeling passed and I thought no more about it. Friday morning I had a bit of a dull ache at the back of my head. I showered and was having breakfast using the computer. I then felt really odd, had a loud ringing in my ears and felt I needed to lie down straight away. I was on the floor for 30 minutes and again felt i could not see properly, but this time it did not go away. My wife phoned my gp and they said go to the local hospital. My wife drove me there and after being tested It was suggested I went to A&E. Another hour drive to A&E. The doctor who assessed me was convinced it was just a migraine. However, she eventually agreed to me having a CT scan. The results of my scan showed I had suffered an ocipital stroke which had affected my vision. After more than 6 hours following my stroke I was eventually given aspirin!!!

I was in hospital for the weekend but then discharged on Monday evening. My visual field test showed I had lost vision in the right upper quartile of both eyes.

Over the next few weeks I often felt sick, had various twinges and pains in my head which made me quite anxious that it was all happening again! I found the clopitogrel made me feel sick - I now take it first thing in the morning with tea in bed and by the time I get up the nausea has passed. Everything I did made me feel incredibly tired. Reading and watching the Tv were very difficult as I could only see half the page/screen. Sometimes when I went to bed I would worry that I wouldn't wake up again!

My first venture out was to a music concert in Plymouth which I had bought tickets for before my stroke and I was determined to go. As I was unable to drive it was my first trip on a bus for years and at 2 hours long it was quite an ordeal. When I arrived in Plymouth my wife and I went round the shops. I found walking through the shopping mall quite overwhelming and I was close to tears for no logical reason. My head was full of twinges and it felt like I had a weight on my head! That evening I went to the concert but felt sick on arrival and was worried that I wouldn't last the evening. However, once the music started and the air got cooler I began to feel ok and actually the lighting almost made me feel I did not have a visual problem!

Over the weeks the twinges gradually got less and the anxiety has lessened too. I felt that my eyesight was improving and that reading and TV were getting easier. However I had another visual field test after 10 weeks and quite disappointingly it showed there had been no noticeable improvement in my vision/blind spot. However I personally feel there has been an improvement and that I can see more than the test shows I can. I was told that the biggest improvement is in the first 2 months and not to expect much from now on, and as there was apparantly no improvement that was quite deflating. I was told there was nothing really i could do to help improve my vision. However I have read that there are some visual stimuli which may help encourage neuron activity and help improve my vision. I am determined to try everything, but just find there is not much information out there regarding vision!

The worst thing for me is not being able to drive as living in the country I am reliant on the car. I live miles from a bus route and am unable to get to work,especially as I work nights! I am currently signed off work but know that can't last forever, but without being able to drive I am unable to get to work! I am reliant on my wife to drive me, but before this happened she hadn't driven for over 10 years and hates driving the country lanes! My stroke has not only impacted on me but also on those I love!

But I remain positive as at least it was only my vision that was affected and I am still alive!

I am still waiting the results of my 7 day tape test (heart monitor) and my ecg so don't know whether there was an underlying reason fo rmy stroke or whether it was just one of those things. Least I am on medication now which will hopefully reduce the likelihood of it happening again.

I remain optomistic!










I too was treated for Migrane in the A/E dept ( I had a Drs letter stating that I had a stroke which  A/E ignored)and sent home without treatment but was admitted next day vomiting profusely. Still got no treatment for a stroke for 48 hours . I am beyond blessed to escape without any neurological residual defects.I had a left cerebellar  ischemic stroke. Now on Clopedigrel & Rosuvastin .But I did have alot of difficulty with my vision  since my stroke 15 months ago I have had my lens changed 3 times and each time my Optician has reassured me that my vison would improve  and so it has now almost back to what it was before my stroke,I am an avid reader always have been but could not read to lines in the first few months .Really enjoying reading again.Keep Positive and hopefully you will  have gradual improvement too.

 A very Happy Christmas to you and your wife. (I know them Devon lanes well I hated driving there too so have sympathy for her .




So pleased to read that your vision is back to what it was before your stroke. It encourages me that your vision still improved after 15 months - still hope for me. Glad you appreciate the driving difficulties my wife is having - she is obviously not alone!!! Happy Christmas and healthy new year to you too.

If you can't get to work because you can't drive you and it might be permanent you could look into Access to Work. They can help with travel costs, even taxis.


Thank you - I will take a look.

Happy Christmas and healthy new year.



The indignity of having  a stroke when you are active, non smoking and not overweight takes a lot of accepting, but trust me you are not alone. I, apart from being older than you, had a similiar experience. The only thing that I can blame is that I had recently had an operation to remove a cancerous spleen and was taken off blood thinner tablets. This should have been rectified when the operation was completed and recovery under way, but it was overlooked by the authorities.

Initially there seems to be an unlimited range of problems one has to face. I am in my sixth year of recovery and can assure you that many of them now have dropped down to minor irritations although the worst ones like my inability to talk properly ....still exist.

Look forward to hearing from you again.



Hi Deigh

Thank you for your response to my posting. It sounds like you have been through quite a lot! 

The more replies I have the more encouraged I get that things will improve over time, but that I just need to be patient. I think I got the impression from health service proviers that I shouldn't hope for much after 2 months, but other people's experiences show otherwise. I think a positive outlook and hope play an important part in recovery.

Have a great Christmas!

Dear Colin

I am yet another SS who was fit and quite healthy.

Recovery does not stop at two months. I suggest that recovery rate often slows after six months but it doesnt stop.

I am four years post stroke and recovery is still going on. 

You are spot on about positivity. It also helps if you smile a lot.

I have kept a diary of stroke recovery and have found this helpful. I started with a list of twenty "goals" that I wanted to achieve along with "signposts" for each goal, namely how I am going to achieve that goal.

It is a long and slow journey. It is however a journey so it doesnt ever have to end.

You will do well. Motivation is good. Self pity is bad. 


Hi Colin

Thanks for the advice. My main goal is to drive again but I should make other more achievable goals to keep the motivation going!!laugh

Like the black cat - we have a similar cat called Merlin!!

My cat has been a godsend to my recovery. He came along as a stray and adopted me. On bad mornings he is the reason to get up. He doesnt mind that I have had a stroke, he loves me just as he would anyone else. I havent had a pet throughout the 48 years of married life and now I am delighted that Sooty has accepted us in to his clan.

If by chance you have copies of the magazine "my cat" you will find Sooty in the October 2019 edition.

Keep going Colin

Best wishes


Hello Colin again I'm 52 and similar conditions , I've left side hemiopia and was told the same if no improvements in the first 6 weeks then what you have is what you will be left with, then you start looking into it yourself and talking to others with vision problems , and you then realise that there is hope . I also agree there is not a lot of help if any for sight problems , so with that in mind went forward with if they don't no then how can they tell me what's going to happen . My mind is now set on one thing and that's to prove them all wrong even if it takes me to my last days lol , and my job was as a truck driver so I no how ya feel about now having to rely on public transport and good old walking good luck mark 

Hi Mark

I like the spirit, and I wholeheartedly agree - determined to prove them wrong. Have you noticed any improvement? You didn't say how long ago you had your stroke? Here's to improved vision in 2020 - they say 20 20 is perfect vision so it's the year it should happen!!


Hello mate I had my stroke in March this year , I do see forgive the pun some improvement but keep it to myself as I've had a few false starts , I experiment with how I look at things as I've found that my left eye has weakened so I wear a patch over my right and I've found it's starting very slowly ,also I can tell shadows on my left as well . Like I said I've sicided to show em they say we're all different so how can they be so certain you won't recover it sorry about the rant . I was told in hospital the only way you will no is by throwing everything at it .then and only then can you say well I've tried . So keep at it mate and good luck 

Thanks again for the encouragement. I like you test the way I look at things - eg my reflection in the mirror.  There are also 2 model robins in the garden and I am determined that one day I will be able to look at the left hand one and see the right hand one in my peripheral vision!! I am not knocking the care I have had but as you say how do they know how an individual will recover especially as they havene't been through it themselves. We are all different and we can all hope!

Happy new year bud , there is something you should prepare for if you haven't experienced it yet ,and that is the depressen , all I can say is I was told after it happened that it will come . People don't talk about it as they don't understand as I didn't until it hits then ku+)me your on your arse and set back 3 months . The one piece of advice if you listen to nothing else is this it's hard and sometimes shit but you will get through it you will think I've had enough and want to give up take a deep breath your mind is stronger than you think , time is not an issue now , find a hobby . Hope this helps I've been there mate believe me there is an end , these professionals don't no all the answers like I said We are the trailblazers good luck 

Well done Colin, being positive does help.

Thanks for the advice. I am aware that depression could hit. At the beginning I used to ask why has it happened to me, but then someone said to me why shouldn't it. Millions of people get hit with illness and misfortune so why should I be immune. I now tell myself that I am lucky to have survived and that the symptoms could have been much worse. I hope that this will keep me focussed and positive and prevent depression from creeping in!! Hearing from other people helps, so thanks for everyones feedback.

Hi Colin. I am 19 and suffered a stroke on the 4 April 2020. I have lost vision in my top left quadrant. Have you found anyways to improve vision through various visual rehabilitation methods? If so how? 

Nice to meet you, 



Hi Aaron - so sorry to hear about the stroke.  It's very, very early days, and with youth on your side I'm sure your vision will improve.  There are others on this site who will give you examples of improvements, so you should remain very optimistic.  Make sure you take plenty of rest, this will allow your brain to do the repair and re-wiring work that is needed after stroke.  Colin would also tell you to drink plenty of water, and to keep smiling!!

Take good care xx

Hi Aaron! I am sorry to hear about your stroke. I have had mine 3 years ago and I am much older than you. I do have vision loss in my right upper quadrant. Please be reassured your vision will improve, maybe not like pre-stroke but with patience it will improve. At the start I was very worried that I cannot drive again because of my vision loss and my drop foot but with a lot of really hard work I got my licence back. Vision loss: I didn't have any rehab done with regards to my vision. So on my own I researched all possible exercises I can do at home that might help. Anything and everything I found sensible and safe I tried. I suggest you do that. My husband even helped me by throwing balls at each other, all directions and speed to work on my vision and mental agility. What I also found very helpful (still very helpful) is using my eyes as much as possible, looking at things (distant and near) and analysing them and seeing how much I can see. Read anything and everything which interest you. At first I have to use big fonts with my Kindle and tablet then eventually I trained my eyes and brain to read books and materials with smaller fonts. I started reading printed books again to help me with my vision loss and my ability to concentrate. I am hoping that in years to come, as my brain retrains itself, then my vision will improve more. If you don't like reading do anything that interest you which requires you to look at things and use your brain. Things will be weird and frustrating at first (until now really) but as your brain rewires itself things will naturally improve so do your best to rehab yourself, in addition to the rehabilitation you are being provided by the medical experts. Keep moving, keep doing things, keep researching about things you can do to retrain your brain. Never give up. Keep smiling and being positive through all the frustration. Wishing you the best. You have your youth on your side. smiley