Pleased to meet you. My name’s John, I’m a 54-year old former academic and IT engineer.
I’ve been dealing with some serious health issues over the last 2-3 years. I’ve been diagnosed with multiple myeloma - a form of blood cancer. About 18 months ago I underwent an autologous stem cell transplant, which has been successful, and I’ve been in remission since then. However, possibly (at least, my haematologist suspects so) as a result of the chemo I was on, I suffered an ischemic stroke in late April 2023. It may actually have been two strokes, over the space of about two days.
I really wasn’t “with it” over those two days, and I seemed to be very tired. I’d gone back to work over a period of leave, and my manager had noticed that I wasn’t showing up for a meeting. I tried to send him a text and found that I couldn’t remember how to use the keypad on my phone. My manager phoned me and realised that my speech was garbled, and I couldn’t remember the name of the building I was in. Once he’d found me, he realised what had happened, and phoned an ambulance.
I spent about three weeks in hospital, and had about 6 weeks of home visits from the local NHS Stroke Support Team, who have been very kind and supportive, but I understand their resources are limited.
I don’t have any significant physical deficits, but I find that my cognition is sadly not what it used to be. I have problems with short term memory loss. Things don’t seem to “stick” for more than 5-10 minutes when I try to remember them, though in some cases it seems to be coming back bit by bit. My aphasia is better than it was, as my sister will report. It’s been tough though, feeling for months like my head is filled with broken bits…
At the same time, I’m dealing with frequent, and often severe low mood and anhedonia. I live on my own, and loneliness and isolation are a significant problem. My family are loving and supportive, but they live 2-3 hours away, and have their own children to look after.
Thank you, everyone, for your advice and support. It looks like I’ve found the right website,