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My Stroke Story


rprice38
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Hi

I had a stroke in November 2011. I am a teacher and I went to work like any other day. I was in the middle of my lesson when I suddenly felt my arm go floppy and heavy. I tried to get up but couldn't walk. I didn't really want to let the students know what had happened so I emailed the school nurse with a HELP! Please come quickly. Luckily she was in her room and she came within 5 minutes. When I explained what had happened, she knew it was a stroke and phoned for the ambulance. She arranged for my students to go on a break and waited with me until the ambulance arrived. I have never felt so undignified being carried out of my workplace on a stretcher. I could see students in all the windows looking to see what was going on. At the hospital I had a CT scan and was taken to a stroke unit where they took me into a special room called the thromolysis room. They gave me a piece of paper to read which was something to do with having an injection to clear the clot. I couldn't take it all in and didn't really understand what I was giving consent to. Luckily, my neurologist arrived and made the decision not to thrombolyse. (I have a neurologist because I suffered a previous stroke in 2003 which just affected my peripheral vision but I didn't go to hospital or take time off work)

Anyway back to the recent stroke - I spent 4 days in a stroke unit and worked with a physio to work on my arm. It was when went home that I started to realise that the arm was the least of my worries. I was tired all the time and found that my memory and concentration were poor. I saw an occupational health advisor and she helped me to develop strategies to cope with the mental difficulties. I have found lists very useful and in the beginning had a notepad which I carried everywhere to write down what task I was doing otherwise, I would forget and start something else!

My GP was excellent and very supportive throughout. The cause of my strokes are still unexplained - I have had numerous tests but nothing - this is very frustrating as I sometimes feel like a ticking bomb and it is only a matter of time before stroke number 3 comes along. I have two children aged 5 & 6 and want to enjoy them growing up.

I went back to work on a phased return just before Easter. It is a hard slog as everything takes longer than before. I am still hoping to be back full time within 12 months of the stroke. I was hoping to be back full-time in September but I'm not sure whether that will happen. I have just had an occupational health review and he wants to see me again in August to decide on the plan for September. In the mean time I have seen my job advertised in the paper which has really upset me. I know that the Head has to make sure he has enough staff for September to cover all the classes, and I think I would have been ok with it if he had just advertised for a teacher. But the advert is for a Head of Department which is my role. I don't know what is going to happen if he appoints someone because I am not giving up a job I have worked hard for. I will be there in September, even if part-time.

Is there anyone else who have faced similar issues in return to work. I have only just found this website - I wish had known about it before as I'm sure that seeing other people's stories would have helped me.

Anyway, it's after 2am and I should be in bed.

Would love to hear from someone.

Edited by rprice38
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Hi Rhiannon, welcome to BTG!

I had my non-aneurysmal bleed a year prior to your stroke.

You are doing amazingly well and you have great spirit and determination! Can you speak with your boss and discuss what they plan to do with the extra person when you are back to work? It's too bad they posted the position without discussing it with you first, that must be creating all kinds of uncertainty.

Sandi K.

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Welcome to btg. Try not to let it get to you to much like you say the head needs someone there to do the job, and ask them if it will be yours as soon as you are fit to return full-time until you know don't stress to much.

Drink plenty of water and rest when you need to and hope you recover well and fast. Jess.xxx

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Hi Rhiannon,

Welcome to BTG:-D

Sorry to hear your situation, I think I would be upset if I were in your shoes. It can't have been nice discovering that your job had been advertised without your prior knowledge. Hopefully, with the long school hols approaching, it will give you a bit of time to recover further from the stroke and you can be back in September - although having two young children of your own won't give you much time to rest! Are you in a teachers union that could give you some advice as you could do without the "wondering" anxiety hanging around for weeks. Hope everything works out for you. Good luck,

Sarah

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Apply for your own job and give him grief j/k.....do hope you get better soon..and you just need a little faith....or someone to

believe in you....but for now be selfish and think of number one ....You xx....spoil yourself rotten....but dont do what I did after

SAH (eat chocs)..keep positive xx all will be well xx Good Luck xx

Love

WinB143 xx

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Hi Rhiannon im cath i had a sah 6 months ago ans am also off work , im a nurse and like you i love my job im waiting for a ct, then hopefully a phased return my boss and collegues are very supportive and i dont think i can go back just yet . however not bering able to do my job is the worst thing about having a sah, but the fatigue make it very difficult im praying i can get back sooner rather than later.keep your chin up xx

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Thanks to everyone who replied to my first post on BTG. It is good know that there are people out there who know what it's like. I have got an appointment to see my Head tomorrow morning so fingers crossed I will be able to sort out my return to work. Another question - my most recent blood test was a lupus screen. Has anyone else has this or know anything about lupus?

I'll let you know how things go at work.

Rhiannon x

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Hi everyone

Have negotiated my return to work and an starting back 3 half days next week. Only problem is that I am now on half pay for 6 monthes with a review in November to see if I am fit to resume normal duties. Does anyone know anything about any additional benefits I am entitled to. I've still got a mortgage and family to support! This is just another blow to my already low self esteem. I didn't ask to have a stroke - I would much rather be healthy and working full time. I have never claimed for benefits - wouldn't know where to start so any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks

I have got a pamper and pizza party tomorrrow for my daughter's 7th birthday so that is something to look forward to.

Rhiannon x

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Hi Rhiannon,

Great news that you are going to start back at work. I had the same problem with half pay issues. Job Centres (Benefit Office, whatever they call themselves now) have a disability employment Advisor, I had an appointment with one. She was very helpful & worked out what I could apply for. The help isn't enormous, so I don't want to get your hopes up but every little helps & they are very experienced with benefits (like you, I had never been involved with benefits before my SAH and it is very, very confusing). Also Citizens Advice can help you too.

Hope this is of some help to you.

Michelle x

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Hi Rhiannon, good to hear you were able to negotiate your return to work. Sounds like it worked out well but the half pay will take some getting used to. I get 3/4 of my pay but even that took some getting to. I hope you are able to qualify for benefits.

Sandi K

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