Amy's story (Young Stroke Survivor)
Amy (34) called the Advice Line 6 months after having a stroke. She said she felt very stressed and although her family and friends told her she had made a good recovery, she didn’t feel that way herself. Amy told the nurse that she often got muddled and couldn’t remember things. She said she felt tired all the time but couldn’t sleep because she was terrified she would have another stroke. She wanted to prevent another stroke but didn’t know how.
Amy became tearful, saying she didn’t know anyone else her age who has had a stroke. She said she had had to give up her job as a driving instructor and was feeling isolated being at home all day on her own. Now that she was unable to work, her husband was having to work overtime and they were really worried about money.
The Advice Line nurse listened and supported Amy on the phone. She explained about stroke, discussed Amy’s medicines, and gave her advice on a healthy lifestyle, how to reduce her risk factors and take charge of her recovery. She sent Amy some CHSS publications on Thinking and Behaviour Issues after stroke (PDF), Stroke in Younger People, Coming to Terms with a Stroke, and Reducing the Risk of Stroke, and Coping with Tiredness and Fatigue.
The nurse explained that although more common in older people, Amy is not alone in having a stroke at a young age, and she referred Amy to a CHSS Young Stroke support group. She also told Amy about Stroke in Younger People, a virtual stroke group community which she could join online. The nurse gave Amy the numbers of out of hours helplines which could support her if she was anxious during the night, and gave Amy a number for a local counselling service. Amy was signposted to other organisations for financial help, advice about alternative employment options and training. The nurse also sent Amy a leaflet about a CHSS personal support grant for a holiday to give her and her husband a much-needed break. The Advice Line nurse encouraged Amy to call back if she had any questions or needed a listening ear any time in the future.