general women's health

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Still getting used to the new me

Postby presland123 on Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:16 am

At 42, had an urgent triple bypass in February this year, three days later had a stroke but the positive was as I was in Papworth,the team were straight on it and treatment started which limited the effects I think. Previously fit (surfer, snowboard, golf, rugby) and really missing my sports (tried golf, let's just say didn't go very well).

6 months on, physio for left side weakness is going well, walking improving (still amazed how much effort it takes to walk and as soon as I stop thinking, tend to stumble) even started driving again short distances. What I'm struggling with though is what I thinks referred to the hidden side. Tiredness, memory/concentration, balance, breathing, sleeping (think sound of these are due to other complications I'm having).

Having a few complication with the cardiac side of things, so still off work, but really keen to return albeit on part time initially, but am a little nervous returning to work after such a period off and hope my memory/concentration and energy levels will hold up. Am hoping to be able to agree a plan to return in sept, as long as they don't find anything cardiac in the coming tests.

If anyone has any tips, experiences about when they returned to work (I'm a office manager for a building society) and what to expect in relation to getting back to full time, would be great.

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Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2015 8:54 am

Re: Still getting used to the new me

Postby mathersmathers on Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:02 pm

Hi David, I had a stroke in 2005 at my most seemingly healthiest. I have done bits and bobs over the years like house renovations, running a toddler group etc and year before last I returned to real work as a teaching Assistant - I used to be a teacher. In Sept. I start a new job as a Higher Level TA five mornings a week and I am terrified as I feel like I have forgot everything I ever learned however I know this is irrational so I am getting myself as organised as possible - both at home and for work - all very mundane but I think it will help in the long run if my house is organised and I am at the bottom of my washing and ironing piles, If I have work clothes ready so I can just just grab and go, if I have resources ready for when I actually get in there, meal ideas - might even dig out the slow cooker etc etc.

Is your phased return very part time or ?? Biggest advice 10 years in is listen to your body and go easy on yourself - be kind to your new self. You sound superfit so that will help.

Good luck with it all and also be open with your work people because some of our trials and tribulations are hidden and just because we might look ok doesn't show the whole picture. I'm visually imapaired as a result of the stroke but mostly well adjusted to that though I would kill to get my driving licence back - a bit clumsy and sometimes depending on light / tiredness / stress etc find reading a bit dodgy but I am ready to challenge myself - it is very early doors for you so be prepared for off days and lows.

I have a pfo which was found following the stroke which is a septal heart defect thing - I have a flap open and it should be closed so good luck with your tests etc. Don;t be afraid to ask for second opinions regarding your health and medication etc.

Wishing you all the best and take some time to get over the shock of it all - for 12 months post stroke I was like a zombie - a shell of myself going through the motions probably down to fatigue and possibly depression though I don't subscribe to it I am a shit happens get on with it kind of woman - I did get my mojo back eventually :-)

Let us know how you get on :-) and all the very best.
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Re: Still getting used to the new me

Postby presland123 on Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:53 am

Thanks for sharing.

Was back in hospital recently for a week due to ongoing cardiac issues, but now at the stage now where we are experimenting with meds to try to control symptoms as there is nothing surgically that can be done due to where the disease is (transplant may be a future option).

Have met with work for an initial chat about coming back to work. Everyone seems to think I'm rushing bac (still have constant fatigue and still sleeping a lot during the day), but it's been 8 months and I think it will do me good. Planning a phased return over 4-6 weeks aiming to get to 25 hours (15 in the office and 10 working from home so I can work around my not so good days). Then will asses can I get to 25 and maintain this, can I do more, do I need to do less. Understand I need to be open minded and whist I would like to get back to full time, this might not be possible.

I am worrying abit about being in the office, memory issues, mood swings, noise, concentration (multiple conversations tend to freak me out) but determined (most call me stubborn) to get back to work in some form. Also unsure how I will be received by my friends and colleagues as I guess they will initially feel awkward and uneasy (certainly when I show breathing and pain issues).
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Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2015 8:54 am

Re: Still getting used to the new me

Postby patrickstar on Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:26 pm

Hi David, my friend's dad had stroke issues, like yourself. As we age, we all would have other complications as well if we dont take care now. Anyways, my friend's dad's condition has become better. I can share with u more if u are interested!

Take care!
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Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2015 6:35 pm

Re: Still getting used to the new me

Postby JoDifferentStrokes on Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:43 pm

Hello David,
All the things you describe are very common and yes the hidden side of stroke can be hard for others to understand (as well as for you to deal with). Have you read the Different Strokes information on the Invisible side of Stroke? We also have a Work After Stroke set of leaflets. These include information for you, your employer and your family/friends. It sounds like you have come a long way and are progressing well. You can find the information here: I hope that you find it useful. You are very welcome to call our helpline (01908 317618 or 0845 130 7172) if you'd like more information or to chat to a stroke survivor about how you are getting on.
mathersmathers I hope that your return to working at school is going well.
Best wishes
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