Struggling mentally

Hi there, I found out in November that at some point in the last 10 years I have had a stroke. It has caused me to lose a quarter of my peripheral vision. I wasn’t aware that I’d had a stroke or that I had lost my vision, it was a routine optician appointment that found it. I had weeks of tests to determine what had caused it and they have found a hole in my heart that they think has allowed a blood clot to travel up to my brain and cause the stroke. I am still waiting over seven months later for the DVLA to tell me whether I can drive or not. That in itself is massive as I drive for a living. It is so stressful worrying about what is going to happen if they tell me I can never drive again. Since Covid the DVLA are only dealing with Covid related issues so I can’t get an update on my case. In addition I am really struggling with the mental side. I say the wrong word for things all the time. Such as washing instead of shopping or hoover instead of lawn mower. As soon as I say it I know it’s wrong but now I don’t know if it’s the stroke that has caused it (as I have been doing it for ages). What else has been affected? I am always tired but have been for a long time. Because I don’t know when my stroke happened I have no idea what to attribute to the stroke. I am clumsy, I have struggled with meltdowns and rants which led me to start taking Sertraline four years ago (the best thing I ever did!). Because I don’t have any visible effects of stroke I feel like a fraud. I am struggling  

Anyone got any advice?





Hi Sally

So sorry to hear of your stroke. DVLA are a pain in the rear as others on here will tell you! Saying the wrong words is part and parcel of the damage to the brain after stroke as is being tired (trauma to the brain after stroke) which can last for a few years.  Clumsiness and meltdowns again, all part of the affects of stroke.  You mention that because you don't have any visible effects you feel like a fraud... most of us on here have had the opposite where people who see us after stroke don't believe us because we have no visible effects. I would guess everyone on here has had "But you look so well" "You don't look like you've had a stroke" etc.  It just goes to show how little is known about strokes in the community and a much wider advertising campaign is definitely needed to show people that not everyone who has a stroke has facial droop or slurred speech and, indeed, not everyone is old!

The mixed up word thing I also had and still do now 3 years on from my stroke, I still refer to the fridge as the safe and our safe as the fridge. Don't misunderstand me, we don't have a safe as big as a fridge lol! But they are square, we keep things safe in there, we have to bend down to get in both and they both have a door with a handle!  That's my brains way of saying they are the same. The likening of your mower to your hoover is the same! You push it, it needs emptying and they are similar shape!  We dealt with the wrong word thing by laughing at it because it's the easiest way of dealing with it.

Feel free to rant and rave on here. There is always someone who can help.


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Brenda has already given you advice and support, from someone who has had the direct experience of stroke, so hopefully her suggestions will reassure you.

The DVLA issue is really infuriating - I cant believe how often this crops up on the forum.  Think some serious action is needed in that 'department'.  I wonder if we all badgered our MPs whether it might cause a shake-up and an improved service, it's shocking.  Clearly you need to know asap whether driving is safe for you - if you have been driving all these years without knowing you'd had a stroke, presumably you are a safe driver, and this would be reflected in your insurance no claims?  I just hope you get some response soon.

So pleased you've found this site, you'll always get good advice and support.  Take care, stay strong xx

Thanks so much for replying. It does really help to hear from people who understand. Hope you are feeling well at the moment x 

Hi there, thanks so much for replying. Yes, I’ve been driving as a sales rep for years with no accidents or problems so I am confident that I am a safe driver, I just need the DVLA to say it’s ok so I’m covered from an insurance point of view. 

Fingers crosses I’ll get an answer soon. Thanks again x 

Hi Sally, I had a subarachnoid hemorrhage in April last year. I understand your frustration with the DVLA as I am also waiting for them to make a decision on whether I can drive again. I have been waiting for 8 months jumping through hoops for them, when I called last week I was told they were dealing with results received on and around the 15th and mine should have been received on the 23rd so fingers crossed that they won't be much longer. Good luck with everything.

Katy x

Hi Katy, thanks for your reply. It’s encouraging that you managed to speak to the DVLA as I haven’t been able to get through- I will persevere!! Good luck with your recovery. I hope you get answers soon x 

Hi Katy. I had my stroke on the 27th of December last year. I was in hospital for over 6 weeks. 4 of these were in the rehabilitation centre in Stirling. I had a brainstem stroke. My sight, balance and speach were affected. I was a driver 7.5 ton multidrop. My GP gave me the go ahead to drive my car. However, I was payed off from my job as they asked for a medical report from my GP. He informed them that I will not be able to drive a truck for at least another 18 months, as I still have balance issues and I have a tremor in my right hand still. Inside the house I'm not too bad. Outside, I've got elbow crotches. I hope by now that you have got some sort of answer from the Dvla. I'd be pleased to hear from you as I can't wait to get back to work. I'm demented being in the house.

Take care x

Hi ,

The DVLA have informed me that I've got to do a driving assessment in Edinburgh as that's the only assessment centre in Scotland. I'm in the north east of Scotland between Aberdeen and Inverness so pretty far to travel. Unfortunately, when I phoned to book the assessment I was advised that the centre were running 5 months behind before Covid started! Think it's probably going to be March/April before anything happens. Still job hunting which is really difficult especially just now, am really bored as I've always worked. On the up side my husband and his colleagues are loving all the baking I've been doing ?.

How's your recovery going? Are you enjoying driving your car? Here's hoping that you get back to work soon.

Good luck

Katy x

Hi, have you managed to get any response from the DVLA yet? I have to do a driving assessment but have no idea when that may be as when I spoke to the assessment centre I was advised that they were already running 5 months behind before Covid started, so think it will definitely be next year before I am able to do the assessment.

Good luck x

Hi Sally not sure if you will see this message as replying to an old post but how did you get on with the dvla?