18 months following my stroke, I returned to work with the help of the Access to Work scheme. It was a long journey and there were many obstacles that had to be overcome. I had to learn to carry out all my duties without the use of my right hand as unfortunately I did not regain the movement of my arm. I also had to use my wheelchair some of the time. I felt however that I was finally moving on from my stroke. I can now think of some of the positives that have come from me having a stroke.
Q. Can you tell us about your life before your stroke?
- Worked 12 hours most weekdays and also had meetings on a Saturday.
- Rarely exercised, smoked 20-30 cigarettes a day and had a 1-2 pints each evening whilst waiting on train home from work.
- Rarely enjoyed family days out or attended school/social events. I was rarely around to support the wife with the kids.
- I always felt stressed.
- I suffered from high blood pressure, too busy to get checked regularly.
Q. Can you tell us about some of the positive changes to your life since your stroke?
- The stroke has made me think about what matters most to me.
- I’m enjoying being able to spend more time with family because I have shorter working days.
- I still have good days and bad days but I’m proud of the fact that I’m no longer smoking; I’m drinking less and I have started active health classes at the leisure centre.
- I have made many great friends from my local support group.