I'm currently still in a bit of shock, and looking for some reassurance really.
2 weeks ago my husband was in London for work, and stood up after a meeting and couldn't plant his left leg, he felt dizzy and fell against the wall. After resting and drinking some water, felt a bit better. The same thing happened on the train home later that day, along with tingling in his left cheek, and when I picked him up from the train station he told me about it. He then started talking about snow being outside the train station (there was no snow), which got me worried, and subsequently called 111 who sent an ambulance. I immediately thought stroke. They checked blood pressure and did a heart trace. He presented fine at that stage, so they left putting it all down to maybe sciatica and a virus. I still wasn't happy and took him to the GP the next day. Blood pressure still fine, leg still weak and shaky, but GP seemed to be happy with the physical tests, but seemly reluctantly referred him for Doppler scan on his neck arteries to maybe rule out a possible mini stroke, but was positive this wasn't the case.
Fast forward to Tuesday this week, a week and a half after this, we are seeing a consultant at Addenbrookes. Neck Doppler looked fine, but she wasn't happy with the reflexes in his left leg and sent him for a CT scan, which showed a stroke, apparently a clot not a bleed. Discharge notes show 'A very well demarcated hypodense changes in the right cingulate gyrus. Appearances are not typical of acute infarct, but would be consistent with a two week history' under neuroimaging.
So he's had a stroke. This came a massive shock obviously. He does have risk factors, he's type 2 diabetic, and five years ago to the day almost of having this stroke he had heart surgery to replace his aortic valve as he was born with a bicuspid valve (I'm only just over the shock of this as I was lucky not to lose him then as he had no idea he had this congenital heart condition). He's pretty healthy despite his medical history, plays squash 2-3 times a week, and I ensure he gets scratch cooked healthy meals with lots of veg. So the Stoke has knocked me sideways and shaken me to the core really.
They are certain it was caused by his INR being out of range (he's on the blood thinner warfarin for life following the mechanical valve replacement), and his blood being too thick, hence the clot. They'll obviously have him on a much tighter rein and warfarin range, and I've also ordered a home testing machine for reassurance.
Thankfully, and comparing him to the rest of the patients in the acute stroke unit, he's got away pretty lightly. He can walk fine, but with left leg weakness, communication fine, and seems to be all there personality wise. He has some coordination issues with his left arm and still very tired and spells of dizziness. I'm aware of how relatively unscathed he is considering.
Me though, I'm terrified. Terrified of it happening again. I have no idea what it means going forward. I don't think he'll be able to do the job he does again, nor do I think I want him to, it's highly technical and stressful with long hours. GP has signed him off initially for 6 weeks on Friday, so I need to speak to his boss/HR to explain the gravity of the situation.
Our life has changed in an instant, we were looking to move to NZ where I am from ironically to remove stress factors and slow down. We were hoping to have another child, we have a five year old. It's all off the table now.
I don't know what I'm trying to say, and appreciate this is all a bit of a brain dump/essay above, but I'm scared, worried, tired (haven't slept really since the diagnosis earlier this week). I googled (dumb I know) life expectancy after stroke which has terrified me even more, and basically feel like I'm going to end up a young widow.
Anyone have any advise on how to come to terms with this? I feel bad because I know things could be a lot lot worse, so maybe I need a bit of a virtual slap to say calm down!