Friday 14 June 2024
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Rushcliffe woman shares how after stroke at 49, support from stroke team helped her recover

For Stroke Awareness Month we spoke to Amber, from Rushcliffe, about a stroke she had when she was just 49, how it affected her and the fantastic support she received from Nottinghamshire Healthcare’s Community Stroke team.

Amber said:

“My stroke happened nearly three years ago. I was perfectly fine, then I went to bed one night, woke up half an hour later and I couldn’t move my right arm.

“I woke my husband up, I said I must have slept on my arm funny. I thought I was talking to him but he said I wasn’t talking and I was whacking my right arm on bed.

“My husband went to call an ambulance. Next thing I knew I was in hospital, where I stayed for about three or four weeks.

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“Before my stroke I really enjoyed photography and walking. We used to walk everywhere, for miles every day, we loved mountain walking and visiting the lakes.

After the stroke I couldn’t do any of that and I was really gutted. I was completely paralysed down my right-hand side for about the first year. I’d gone from being really active to just laying in bed or on the sofa. It drove me insane and really affected me mentally, I felt really down. It was really hard at first. I had a lot of falls and I was sort of in denial.

 

“It was a really hard time for my husband as well, he was a big support to me and my hero throughout.

 

“Throughout my recovery period the Physio team supported me with the supply of equipment and aids to enhance my progression, such as a Pedal Machine, Mirror Box and Tens muscle stimulator, to name a few.

 

“Speech therapy was also a great help throughout my first year of recovery, helping me to understand that I may not always find the words, but to be patient and use visual techniques where I can.

 

“My stroke still has some lasting effects, in that I have some spasticity in my foot and my leg, and I wear a brace on my right leg, my hand and arm are still a bit weak,

 

“I still suffer from Aphasia, (this is when a person has difficulty with their language or speech). I find this more noticeable when faced with unfamiliar surroundings or groups of people or when panicked. I also get tired very easily, but apart from that I am doing pretty good.

 

“I’ve been able to get back to the photography I love. I can’t hold the camera quite like how I used to, but it’s fantastic to be able to take photos of nature again.

 

Amber has been involved in setting up a support group in Rushcliffe for residents, to provide a welcoming space for people who have suffered a recent stroke to meet and share experiences. It was set up by Rushcliffe Social Prescribing and Amber after identifying that there weren’t many groups available for people to access. It’s a lovely, friendly group that is growing.

 

You can drop in and join them for a cuppa and chat to people who share similar experiences to you – there’s also table games and will be occasional guest speakers and support from healthcare professionals through social prescribing.

 

The group takes place the last Thursday of every month at the Nottingham Knight pub on Loughborough Road, from 10am – 12 noon. Just drop in, or you can call Amber Howitt on 07494852414 for details.

 

The County Community Stroke team provides rehabilitation to patients in their own home once discharged from hospital. There are occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, clinical psychologists as well as assistant practitioners and rehabilitation assistants that work in the team.

 

The service will work with patients to complete assessments and establish goals collaboratively with patients, that they want to work towards to regain as much independence as possible, and to support with rebuilding their life.

The team works closely with families, carers and other external agencies to support the patients as much as possible depending on their needs.

The team support stroke patients with many areas of their life from increasing independence with personal care, walking, as well as advising on return to driving and work after their stroke. The service offers a six and 12 month review to all patients, whereby a reviewing officer will assess all aspects of their stroke recovery. They can provide advice, information and signpost to other services as required, depending on the patient identified needs at this point.

 

Further information about the service can be found on our website: Community Stroke – West Nottingham | Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

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