Hi all. I’m a newbie. I’ll introduce myself as quickly as I can.
I’m a 48 yr old married father of 2 teenagers
Last June I suffered a tia followed by a right hemisphere blood clot stroke which put me in hospital/ rehab for 5 weeks. Progress was rapid at first, but slowed a lot after those first 3 months and I’ve been suffering central post stroke pain since November. Amytryptoline didn’t work so I’m now on gabapentin (3, 300mg tablets a day) it’s been hit and miss so far.
I’ve just been let go by my employer on medical grounds as well. I’m a FLT driver. Really hoping I can return to work by the end of the year
I’m missing work and driving our family car so much
Yesterday my wife took me down to our local ind estate for a first go at driving since the stroke. Huge wake up call as I was awful and really struggled physically with gears and clutch and and mentally with concentration. I feel devastated. I feel like I’ve had 30 yrs driving experience wiped out due to the stroke
Am I expecting to much too soon? I thought itd be like riding a bike and be fine to a certain extent
Will the concentration return as my strength fully returns? I just want to drive. Really hoping later this year I’ll be capable of driving my family to a holiday down on south coast this year. Don’t get me wrong, my wife is great but I hate sitting in the passenger seat
Any FLT drivers on here who have returned to work after a stroke?
Sorry to have gone on but I need a pick me up and advice after yesterday
Thanks a lot
Hi all. I’m a newbie. I’ll introduce myself as quickly as I can.
Hi Wayne @stokiejoey sorry you’ve had cause to join us, that said you’ll find we’re a friendly bunch and there’s a lot of information here for you to access.
Sorry I can’t answer your question as everyone recovers at different rates to differing abilities. Here’s some info on driving after stroke.
Wishing you all the best with the driving
Thank you. Ive been glancing at this forum off and on since the fastastic lady at the stroke association who’s been supporting told me about it last year.
I know everyone recovers at a different rate and that’s why my employers had to let me go but they’ve told me they’ll take me back when I’m fit and ready again. I’ve been trying to look at things positively, I’m relatively young and got time on my side, but im very impatient.
I wasn’t that physically strong before the stroke but it’s wiped me out on the left side and at the moment it feels like a long long road back to where I was before the stroke although I am now capable of walking round the house unaided but but need a stick if I’m out somewhere like shopping with my wife.
We had a holiday booked last year which went out the window, when I had to accept a month before we were due to I couldn’t do it. I still feel guilty and that I owe my wife and kids a holiday this year.
@stokiejoey welcome to the forum. Sorry you’ve had a stroke.
Driving uses a lot of different abilities & can he challenging both physically & mentally. Don’t let your first experience put you off but you may need to accept it might be a bit longer yet before you can return to driving. You could look at booking a driving assessment so you can see what you need to do to get back to driving. It may be an adapted car could be the answer.
I had trouble with my concentration post stroke. Its not where it used to be but is improving over time. I’ve built it up by doing brain training games, mak8ng jigsaws, reading short articles in magazines.
Don’t give up you’ll continue to improve over time.
Newbie too - and a 49 year old. Married and father of 3, albeit only the only teenager so far. Give it time eh!
Wishing you well with your recovery and just wanted to contribute a smidge of info. I appreciate it’s not much help but would driving an automatic take away some of the challenges? I only suggest this because I drive an auto and it’s one less peddle to press and/or think about.
And wishing you well with your recovery fella.
Hello Wayne. I have not been allowed to drive (on Medical grounds) for about 5 years. You say you struggled mentally with concentration. This is also a major issue for me. I struggle to navigate my shopping trolley down the supermarket aisle. I find it very difficult to concentrate my mind and cooordinate what other people are doing and I just ‘freeze’. I cant imagine what chaos I would cause on a road if I were to freeze in the middle of a busy roundabout.
I did hold an advanced driving certificate pre stroke so I am all too aware of the level of concentration and coordination required to drive. I have now learned to be content with using buses, taxis and kind offers of a lift.
I hope that in time you will recover to a point where your concentration levels are restored sufficiently to drive safely once again. Having your independence is valuable.
Sorry to hear about your difficulties. I too suffer from central post stroke pain and can empathize. As far as driving goes, I can offer that it took me nearly five months, driving an automatic medium size SUV. I am left side affected, right dominant, so I am not sure if it is different for you. I echo what others say on here as far as don’t let it stop you from continuing to try. My friend just reminded me that I told her in the summer that I would never be able.
Thank you for the replies. An automatic car is a no go. We bought a new mpv just prior my stroke. Infact the last time I drove it was a day trip to Wales just 2 days before the stroke
The first drive yesterday was in our old clapped out hatchback we own as well.
When I’m sitting in passenger seat while wife is driving and I’m looking on at what’s going on around me I feel like I can do it mentally. But yesterday proved otherwise and really upset me cos I know a lot of people,my wife included, find driving stressfully. I love driving. Nothing better than being on the roads on a nice day with your favourite music playing. I just want to be that person again
I will stick at it. Need to get this stroke pain proper under control as well. I’ve enquired with my doctor today to see if I can up the dosage of gabapentin. So hopefully it’ll be a yes
Hi there, I’m another newbie here. TIA 2 years ago at 59yrs old, left side brain affecting right side of body affected, still slight weakness down right side but nothing to hold me back now, oh, and still have drop foot as the day wears on.
I don’t know how much of my experience will help you as its affected the right side of your brain, but it may still give you hope and encouragement.
That tends to be the way with most physical trauma be it stroke or hip replacement in my experience. Like a new born baby’s growth and development is rapid in their first months/year and gradually slows down. Your brain sort of takes breaks to process and digest what it has re-learnt, your brain cells/neurons are trying to make new connections/re-establish broken ones maybe. Speaking from my own experience, I felt exactly the same way until I’d think back to what I like say 3 months ago (keep a diary of your progress if need be).
Do not give up on driving, I got my licence back a year after my TIA. I surrendered it as it was up for renewal anyway. But once I got it back, my husband would take me to drive around quiet streets and carparks as often as we could and it was worth it. Repeat, repeat, repeat is the key to all this.
Like most on here, concentration was also an issue but it does come back. I just got into the habit of moving on and moving on again. Whatever I was doing, I’d just down tools and go do something else. Gradually it has built up to the point where I can once again spend an evening with my nose in a good book, I’m talking 3/4 hours here…the computer I can still only manage an hour or so for example. But I think that’s because I now have so many activities and other interests.
My TIA was during the height of covid so there wasn’t much help to be had, not even remotely via computer due to the effects of the stroke. So walking was everything to me. Walking built up over time, from max 15mins to 2 hours+. I avoided using a stick by using my hubby’s arm instead because I would veer all over the pavement and out into the road if he didn’t stop me, so he always kept me the inside, well away from the kerb. Now I’m out and about on my own, go trekking with a rambling group, up and down hills and rough terrain.
1yr 4mths after my TIA I joined a keep fit class, ramblers club and the gym where I do weights. You do suffer a lot of muscle loss after a stroke/TIA and lost over 2 stone in that first year. I could barely push the hoover around let alone the furniture to hoover underneath. I don’t have that problem anymore, out gardening, lifting heavy bags of compost and pots no problem.
Get some brain training apps on your phone, puzzle games such as Flow Free, Water Connect and even Pokémon Go are all great for the finer motor skills in the fingers too. Get yourself a balance ball too, great for playing around on at home and highly effective, wouldn’t be without mine now.
All in all, I would say you are just about on track by comparison. Do everything and anything you possibly can…and repeat, repeat, repeat…that’s what I was told by my stroke team. Whatever you do, keep moving, stay physically active, and rest when your brain tells you to. The amount of progress you make all depends on the amount of effort you are prepared to put in.
I seem to have written a lot more than I thought, I hope you find something useful within it all. Stay strong and stay positive, there’s still a lot of hope for you there.
Hi, I’m not sure about the driving, but the post stroke pain i totally get. I’m on pregabalin and hoping i can up the dose soon. Hope you get to drive again. x never give up
Several drivers here. My brother was a driver all his life, artics included. His stroke (at 68) was a bad one a year ago and we are still talking about if he will get to drive again.
I think in his case it will be his sight on his left side that won’t recover and right now he is working hard on rehab exercises just to stand.
But you are all survivors. And whatever happens you have to adapt and adjust to what you can do. Some have never had the pleasures of the driving you used to do… So just don’t make it the must get goal. If you get close, you must take it as that and crack on taking the positives.
Good luck with the rehab.
@stokiejoey Hi Wayne sorry to hear of your stroke. I too was let go from my job due to medical grounds, luckily it was just as I was in the middle of redundancy proceedings . I haven’t driven for over 2 years, except when I get a private field or carpark. I know I couldn’t manage gears now, so practice in the family automatic car. hopefully you can get back to driving very soon.
Thanks again for all your replies
I’ve just had my gabapentin upped to 4 a day. Fingers crossed it works. I’m also intensifying my daily exercises. I’ve got to improve my strength on my affected left side if I’m to get back driving. If I get strength to operate the gears and clutch,. I think it’ll be easier driving the family mpv than the small hatchback cos of the powered steering and its just generally more comfy and I’ve always been used to driving larger cars.
When I was in hospital I just wanted to get home and nothing else mattered. But I miss driving and work so much. and it now gets me down at times being at home . I miss my work mates, my fork lift truck and the actual job which I really enjoyed. But I know I’ve come a long way so far and I’m still 'a work in progress ’ and the brain fog is starting to lift,and who knows where I could be in say another 3 months
Has anyone got any tips to get rid of the swelling around my affected side joints? Knee, ankle and fingers. I’m very tall and skinny, but my fingers have turned into sausage fingers and unable to wear my wedding ring anymore. I know ibuprofen is a no go cos of the meds I’m on. Cheers!
Sorry to hear about u story. It takes time to recover so do as best as you can but be kind to yourself as well. If you do not have a stroke team ask u GP if there can refer you to one with kind regards des
As I never had any swelling from my TIA so have heard of anyone who has. So this is just suggestion, is your doctor aware of this? If not, I’d suggest you see your doctor as this could be a reaction to your medication perhaps. In the mean time, ice packs for 15mins at a time, elevate if possible, Ibuprofen if you can take it…speak to the pharmacist or your doctor if not sure how it’ll react to any other medications you are taking.
It does sound as though you are well on your way to recovery and that brain fog will continue lifting Keep up with being active and over time you’ll find you need less and less little breaks and agility will continue to improve. The improvements tend sneak in when you are paying least attention to them. Just being on here the past few days and reading others posts has reminded of so many of the little issues I used have just a year ago and don’t now … like your brain fog, I’d forgotten that one
Hi, and welcome to the group. Every stroke is different. I had mine 4 yrs ago, took me months to get my licence back.
Took a driving assessment course, to see if I could still drive. It was decided that I couldn’t work the clutch, and drive at the same time. Had to switch to automatic cars.
Cut a long story short, my advice is get professional advice, ie a driving assessment. I had been driving for 39 yrs, it comes a shock to the system when all of a sudden you cant do, what you believe the simple tasks.
I wish you good luck
Hello @stokiejoey. I second what @mikeyids suggests. A driving assessment at my local NHS neurorehab hospital (North East driver mobility) through the NHS ensured that after a year of not driving I was considered safe which is more important than anything else to me, both for myself but for other road users. Confidence should be well placed and is a necessary part of driving. Even if it means accepting a different way of driving for you, if it makes it possible then it’s worth the transition. I am fortunate to have regained enough use of my left side to drive a manual but have to wear an opaque patch over my right affected eye to prevent double vision. I wish it was different but it is just what I need to do to comply with the regulations. It took the DVLA 6 months to look into it but I heard in February (been driving since assessment in July with their knowledge and ongoing permission) that they accept the evidence from my rehab consultant as well as the report from the mobility people.
You can get an assessment via a self referral, but I understand there are long waiting lists.
Hope you get back to what you miss, Julia
May sound a bit simple but I now drive an automatic and have to concentrate on concentrating as my mind easily wonders! Good luck you!
Getting over a stroke can be difficult, please don’t fret in the first year and do be careful. The first year is the danger period, look on it as a blessing that you are no longer employed at this stage, don’t push yourself too hard, things will come back, albeit slowly. Your brain and body need time to recover. You may find even several years after a stroke, if you do too much you will get tired and some of the symptoms you now have will come back a bit but a day or two’s rest and a change of focus will help. I have had lots of Tias and a couple of strokes, so I am learning how to deal with them. The vast majority of people I know who have had strokes appear to be almost 100% a recovered, as far as the outside world is concerned, after a few years, until they overexert themselves. Just take everything one day at a time.
If you are in a lot of pain, and I know how awful that is, have you thought about CBD patches. I had to change to them. Talk it over with your GP first, mine thought it was an excellent idea. The patches have no side effects whatsoever, except they must be put on hairfree skin and not in exactly the same place every time. Each patch lasts 36 hours, it might take a few days to fully kick in, mine only took a day. There will be no withdrawal symptoms when you stop the patches. NHS will not pay for the treatment at present but the cost for regular use goes down. I use Amazon to get my patches, which contain no nasty THC, they are called Simply CBD patches on a regular subscribe and save. Vets are even recommending CBD for pets with severe pain.
@stokiejoey you could try light weight weights to gain left sided strength. I am now up to 3 kg which isn’t much but better than I was.
good luck and keep at it, but most importantly don’t over do it