My name is Alan - this is my story

Hello everyone, my name is Alan and I wanted to share my experience of stroke.
Firstly I had a stroke (clot) in November this year, my stroke symptoms were not the ‘classic’ ones, not the ones as advertised on the TV. Mine were extreme dizziness, the type where your head is spinning violently and you have to cling on to something to stop yourself from falling, even though your just lying on a bed! and they just didn’t stop, this along with the vomiting went on for hours until I was finally admitted into A&E, a CT scan confirmed the diagnosis. I was quickly sent to Coventry UHCW stroke unit, wonderful people and I have nothing but praise for all the staff, porters, ambulance crew, nurses and doctors.
I had a clot that affected the balance area of the brain, so was lucky in that regard, no other issues thankfully. A week later and I was allowed home, though still suffering from dizzy spells and very wobbly, I could walk to the toilets in the hospital ward with the help of a nurse and could even shower myself (sitting down only) Those lovely nurses even shaved me!
So I’m at home and the Occupational Therapy team come visit to assess me and my home for safety, climbing the stairs, getting into the bath/shower etc and to give me exercises to help with balance and dizziness. The dizzy spells begin to subside, my walking and balance are improving.
I am sleeping a lot better, mainly because I have stopped drinking alcohol, I was a heavy drinker before the stroke, meds now include initially aspirin, now Clopidogrel and statins for cholesterol.
Blood pressure seems ok. I received a follow up outpatient appointment for December.

Its been a bit a ‘whirl’ up to now and I’m just beginning to realise that the outcome could have been very different. Some nights I worry about having another stroke and the effect this would have on my family , friends and especially the grandchildren.
As for alcohol, this is a continuing battle. I have been free for a month and dont want to return to old habits.
Occupational Health have signed me off, and after eye and cognitive tests I’m allowed to drive again. This forum has helped enormously, help, support, good advice and empathy, I thank you all. I’m keen to get back to my golf, when the weather gets better perhaps, I recently became an amateur radio enthusiast or ham! and passed my foundation level exam just prior to my stroke. So if anyone on the forum is also a radio ham, my callsign is M7EYX , looking forward to talking to you. Ok thats it for now…

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Hi @twiggy_1951 welcome to the forum, the club no one would freely choose to join, but so happy that you found it too and finding just as supportive as the rest of us do. :smile:

It’s so good that you have come through your stroke so well and even driving again, and long may that continue :smile: Thank you for sharing your story with us, and we will support you in any way we can. Just post your high’s and low’s, your queries, tips or advice on here whenever you feel the need because we’ve all been through it and still recovering so there’s no one better to understand. And I look forward to seeing you around. :smile: :people_hugging:

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Hi Alan @twiggy_1951

Please let me add my welcome to emerald’s and I expect I won’t be the last :slight_smile:

It’s great to hear that you have recovered capabilities quickly. I hope the med team made you aware that you may have effects emerging through the first months (even years) and that improvements will be never ending while you put in effort. Fatigue and emotional balance will likely have changes to come.

I see you’ve read it a few hundred posts so I guess you’ll be getting the feel of the place. Don’t be reticent to ask questions. The magnifying glass at the top of the page is a very useful tool when you have a question about a topic because it’s likely that there have already been useful discussions on it that a search will turn up :slight_smile:

Enjoy your visits and the company of folk who actually understand :slight_smile:

Ciao
Simon

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@twiggy_1951 Hi Alan & welcome to the forum. Your stroke presented in a very similar way to mine by the sounds of it although I had nausea rather than actually vomitting.

Good to hear you’re making progress with your symptoms & it’s great that you’ve been given the all clear to drive.

Well done on being alcohol free for a month. I’m sure that isn’t easybut hopefully you’ll reap the benefits from being that little bit healthier.

Hope you get back to your golf soon.

Best wishes

Ann

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Hi Alan,

thanks for sharing your story. Since you had dizziness Was your cerebellum (maybe that’s more about balance) affected?

Anyway, can you please talk about HAM radio, and how to get started on that? Have you met interesting people through it? I’m curious about the possibility of learning & taking exams remotely. It sounds so interesting.

Wishing you continued progress, ciao, Roland

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Hi Roland, yes balance was affected and the clot was in the left cerebellum.
Ok Ham radio, to broadcast on the HAM radio frequencies, an Ofsted license is required.
You could choose to listen\broadcast on CB radio and no license is required for CB. This is a fixed frequency range where the available frequencies are split into a number of channels. You are only allowed to transmit on this range of CB frequencies and are limited to the power of the CB radio, I think 8W is the max.
If you want to pursue the HAM radio route you need to obtain a license, as a beginner you would start with the Foundation license, free online courses, tailored towards the exam are available at Essex Ham. You can take the exam online, you would need a PC/MAC desktop machine with internet access and a webcam. The exam invigilator monitors you during the exam via the webcam. The exam itself is online, has 26 multi choice questions with a pass mark of 19. Once passed you get a callsign and can transmit on the allocated Foundation license frequencies. As a foundation license holder you are currently limited to transmit at max 10W. I use a Baofeng hand held mobile, dual band radio, approx £30 , very cheap but excellent to learn the basics of HAM radio. After foundation, you can progress to Intermediate and then to a full license holder, when you progress you can transmit on higher powers and additional frequencies. the Essex Ham website has all the information you need to get started. Stay well, best regards Alan

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Thankyou Ann - hope you are well

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Hello Alan: my Stroke began with horrible vertigo. The whole world was spinning. I also had to hold onto things to avoid falling over. It affected my whole right side and I could not swallow for a while, had a feeding tube put in. How is your eyesight?
I had double vision for months…better now.
Alcohol can really raise the blood pressure and that can lead to stroke in some.
Welcome and we hope for your best outcome. Keep us posted on your progress.
Derek

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Hi Derek, eyesight is ok, thankfully, just the same as it was pre-stroke, Need glasses for driving & reading so no change. Do you ever stop and consider if it might happen again ? it’s been on my mind a lot recently. I suppose I’m looking to pinpoint the reason it happened or is that a pointless exercise?
Stay well & healthy
Alan

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If by that you mean the cause of your stroke then if you have had the standard tests for a steady heart beat, regular composition of blood without abnormalities in platelets and clotting, no PFO, medication to regulate blood pressure & cholesterol - generally whether needed or not! - and no untreated diabetes, genetic factors etc all the other risk factors have been identified…

Then yes it’s fairly pointless! :slight_smile:
Ditto if you haven’t had some of the less accessible tests

What isn’t pointless is having a happy post stroke life, that might be helped by a healthy lifestyle other are plenty of folk here who are very healthy lifestyle. It isn’t the be all and end all - there are challenges in being happy though aren’t there - so I guess it comes down to attitude and the effects that can have on outlook


Simon

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Alan: I agree with Simon’s reply. Take all precautions and make sure you check in with your doctor regularly. To prevent a second stroke, I am on all necessary meds and I exercise like crazy. I have about one alcoholic drink a week, and just one coffee in the morning.

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