Early Retirement

I was due to go back to work in January but Occupational Health have said they think I am unfit to do so, I am a carer. They said when I am due to go back I will need a capability to work assessment.

To say I took it badly is an understatement but after long talks with my brother and my husband I have finally admitted that I am no longer fit enough for the job. A heart attack at 45 a stroke at 53 and now being told I am going to need two knee replacements sooner rather than later.

The past two mornings I have woken with vertigo type symptoms like before the stroke and extreme fatigue and headaches I think it’s due to all the decisions I have had to make.

I have informed my work I wish to apply for early retirement due to ill health I just hope I have done the right thing.

Sorry for rattling on this is my go to place when I am struggling and panicking about symptoms


Tough decisions @aodonnell1743
No way to know if you have made the ‘best’ choice, but good to make the choices and what you have done is open the future for new opportunities :slight_smile:

The adjustments will probably take time.

You deffo don’t need to be "sorry for rattling on” - This is the place where we understand the need to have somewhere to share.

Don’t know if your vertigo is a similar thing to what I’m experiencing, for over a week I’ve been getting spacy feelings at random times - it’s definitely scary - have you been to the GP?, do you take your meds & avoid other risk factors? How’s your BP? Stress & anxiety do have physical symptoms. Maybe if you’ve made a decision & come to terms with it some stress will pass and with it some symptoms?

Fingers crossed


1 Like

Hi Simon

I can’t sleep in bed every time I move in bed the room is spinning and feel sick I am now on a livingroom chair.

I take my meds as I am supposed to I haven’t seen my go yet. The hospitals are so bad with waiting times I am trying to avoid going. If it keeps happening I will try see go on Monday. My bp seems fine.

This is how my last stroke (cerebellum brain stem) started so I am very frightened. I had none of the FAST symptoms.


Hi @aodonnell1743
They were the opening lines when I saw the GP yesterday… ”I’m having spacey feelings like I had before my significant stroke, has none of FAST. I don’t want to ignore something that potentially has the same impact, but I can’t now separate the physical effects of anxiety from all of the background"

So I have some feelings that maybe the same as yours. The net effect sounds the same.

Doesn’t reduce the significance or worry in any way. Does mean for me that I try anxiety management techniques Which if nothing else are calming :slight_smile:

I also said to my wife when they started “if I go to a&e they’ll spend 14 hours on 20 minutes of contact with me, tell me that they can’t find any reason, that I should take 75 mg of aspirin for the next 21 days”. So I started taking the aspirin without waiting 14 hours to hear somebody else say it. I told the GP & he didn’t even blink

What he did say that nobody had ever said to me before and I hadn’t read anywhere was that after years of high blood pressure the risk factors are all increased that a clot somewhere sheds a piece that then lodges somewhere. So we then had a conversation about my cholesterol levels and BP meds - I’ve no idea whether the same applies to you.

I found it comforting to talk to somebody who had a more complete picture than I did and could instigate a program of protection and investigation - although I’d been happier if he had suggested I went and had my cartiods etc scanned.

There are definitely head movement exercises that move your inner ear in a particular way to move the crystals in the ear that are involved in the spinning vertigo sensation. I’d definitely seek access to advice there - YouTube would be my swiftest access!

I know academically from my professional background that worrying about risks has a hugely disproportionate focus on what has happened to us previously and absolutely nothing to do with the actual risk profile.

For example if you ask a random population how many miles can you drive on a tire before a puncture you get a significant clusters at low and the high end depending on whether the person had a puncture in the last few years or not within their memory.

So BP and meds are as I should be I have a two pronged attack: 1 to manage my anxiety, and one focused on the physical symptoms

Of course I have no medical training so that’s just my two cents worth


Ps did you do the poll about fast?


Hi Simon

I am at A&E at my husband’s insistence my blood pressure is 142/101 my head is very sore but been sitting here 2 and half hours just want spinning to stop so I can go home. Said it probably is another stroke waiting to see a doctor

1 Like

Gosh I’m so sorry to hear :hear_no_evil:

101 is DEFINITELY a&e territory
Your hubby’s insistence is a good thing :slight_smile:

I hope you’ve got a phone charger with you :slight_smile:

Fingers crossed for you that they can do something to relieve the vertigo AND put your back on an even keel :slight_smile:



Shwmae @aodonnell1743, was it cerebellum and brain stem stroke? All I can say is that three years after a cerebellar stroke I still get giddy, sometimes it gets worse over periods, particularly if I am stressed or my brain has to deal with another bodily symptom like a stomach bug or weakness from not eating. My stroke consultant told me that an unusual after effect of cerebellar stroke can be regression, this is part of what they describe as cerebellar stroke syndrome. Chances are you are not having a TIA or another stroke, the cerebellum fine tunes vestibular-oculomotor reflexes, this a fairly complex system, and requires fairly comprehensive rehabilitation because of the ever changing visual-spatial awareness


@aodonnell1743 sorry to hear you’re back in a&e and i really hope all turns out ok & you can go home soon.

In relation to work it sounds, especially given the symptoms you describe, that applying for ill health retirement is the right thing to do. It’s really difficult to accept it though isn’t it. Part of that is because it is not a choice we make…it’s more forced on us.

Your health has to come first though & once you’ve had time to digest the news you’ll be able to move forward & seek new opportunities when the time is right.

Wishing you all the very best & hope you get good news from the hospital.

Ann x


Yes it was a Cerebellar stroke. I have had a lot of stress lately. I have been kept in hospital and probably have a mri tomorrow so the doctor said. I showed the consultant your note she said oh that’s interesting. Will keep you posted how I get on


Fingers crossed for today


1 Like

I’ve heard a Cerebellum stroke hugely upsets balance, vertigo problems and sickness.
Good luck. Roland


I am home now the bppv test was negative. I have to go back tomorrow for an mri scan and take it from there. Thank you for all your support x

1 Like

Have you had a MRI before?

It’s quite challenging to manage the claustrophobia. With a few deep breaths I’m sure you’ll be fine though

I’m glad other tests have been negative so far

How is the vertigo & the BP?

I bet you’re glad to be home & so will your partner be :slight_smile:

Good luck

1 Like

Yes I have had a mri before I am glad test negative.

They didn’t seem to take in my concerns re stroke or offer reassurance that’s why I am angry and upset

I will be glad when it’s all over.

Thank you for your support


Another line that comes straight out of the consultation with my GP this week.

Endemic isn’t it that they don’t listen… Or rather they are unable to hear because They don’t have the visceral understanding from their textbook - books dont do our condition justice.
It’s something I’d like to see us change…



Well @aodonnell1743, you might be interested to know that the cerebellum is an integrator for emotions, so if you have been stressed or upset, it could disrupt its other processes. The entire brain (cerebrum, cerebellum, brain stem and stomach) balance or spin plates every day, any disruption to that process can cause a plate to wobble or even smash.


To be honest my consultant never explained any of this to me.

I feel like a nuisance going back to the hospital but what am I meant to think if I am not given the information


Noswaith dda @aodonnell1743, oh no, don’t feel like a nuisance. cerebellar stroke is rare, only 2-3% of all stroke are cerebellar stokes. This is stuff they need to know. You’ve had one, you can contribute back to the medical database of knowledge. it’s invaluable. The cerebellum is an under-researched part of the brain, medical scientists are only just revising theories about is function, your help will help others change their lives after stroke.

I find it interesting that stroke medicine only talks about the physical areas of the brain that are subject to damage.

Current brain research parallels that at its root by talking about voxels - 3D equivalents of pixels. When scanning a voxel the intended purpose is to identify which brain networks that voxels participates in. Networks are examined to see what functional capabilities -plural- they participate in.

A layman’s explanation is here - It seems axiomatic to me that the fact that networks of brain function are required to process tasks accounts for why we have damage to different voxels but symptoms that overlap.

For example if any part of the central executive network is damaged then the network is degraded, it plus the default mode network are part of a triplet with the salient network.
Looking at graphics of locations of brain areas that comprise these three networks a significant volume of the brain tissues is accounted for by the six major networks. (& who knows how many minor? At least nine overlapping or subsets have been named The naming initiative is called whatnet)

the CEN, the DMN & SN account for a pretty significant degree of our consciousness, attention to detail, appreciation of self, appreciation of others, daydreaming… & Brain tissue

When mentioning any of the networks to medical staff I have not been met with a feeling that they have deep understanding that I lack - and I don’t have any depth of understanding.

So I think the reason that nothing is explained to us is a combination of fear of being sued for saying the wrong thing shuts them up in the first place, the fact that predicting the future (as I think Yogi Berra said) is hard, and they were trained in days before the current and still poorly identified facts became apparent and the state of the art is still in understanding what the facts imply

Ps @Rups I haven’t seen in these models reference to the stomach but I have seen in discussions of brain functions the direct correlation between stomach and brain such as anxiety and nausea. I suspect that is I’d get more understanding if I better understood the difference between central and peripheral nervous system. There are definitely neurons in both

1 Like

Just to let you know my MRI was clear they said I suffered from vestibular neuritis. They gave me tablets that weren’t to be taken if you had a stroke had heart problems or epilepsy I have all three said I can take them but may have a seizure so I refused they gave me other tablets that stopped the dizziness after 10 days

1 Like