Second Stroke

I know this is something we are all afraid of, so I thoulght I would write about my recent experience in more detail. Firstly, my first stroke was four years ago. It was a haemorrhage stroke which took away my whole left side. I needed lots of support after my six weeks in rehab and, whilst not fully recovered, after four years I was doing pretty well.

Last Saturday doing an arm lifting exercise, I noticed my weak arm was not going as high as it did, but thought nothing of it. Then at four in the afternoon I noticed the thumb and index finger of my stroke hand were bending forward a bit and not really moving. A few hours later I noticed the other fingers had very limited movement. I dialled 111 and an ambulance with paramedics came pretty quickly. They examined me, but because only the hand was odd, they could not diagnose a stroke, but thought it could be something neurological. They wanted to take me to our county hospital, but as it was 8pm on a Saturdaynight and because of the virus situation, I refused to go. They left me with clear instructions as to what to do if symptoms worsened.

Next day my hand was no worse, but I asked my partner to take me to A&E. there were very few people there and stringent health and safety measures were in place. I was seen by a doctor who thought my problem unlikely to be a stroke, but,after consultation with the stroke team, he sent me for a scan to make sure. A little while later I was seen by the stroke consultant and another doctor and told it was a stroke, this time from a small clot. I was to be admitted. This upset me a little, and my partner(who was not allowed into A&E). He went home for pjs and I went in. The first thing they did was give me was 300gr of soluble aspirin which, by next morning, brought movement back to the hand.

After this, I had a more detailed scan which confirmed a very small clot. This was followed by an ultrasound scan of my neck. This showed no hardening of the arteries and that my veins 'are good for your age'. In between scans I exercised as much as I could and walked around the room with my stick ten times twice a day.

I came home after two nights confidence was a little dented and my walking, after two days and nights in bed, was a little wobbly. However, I am back into my exercise regime and have reintroduced hand and face exercises not used since my first stroke. Confidence is returning and the community stroke nurse has already been in touch. I am also taking some new medication,

I have written at length because this second stroke had only a few symptoms, which developed slowly. The stroke consultant told me that a major stroke 'just happens quickly' whilst minor stroke symptoms  are much less obvious. So the moral is, my friends, don't be frightened to check things out and don't be frightened to go to A&E. on admission I was also tested for Covid19 and the test was negative. I live to fight another day.

I am always with you John.

Well done for holding everything together during this latest escapade.