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A date with stroke

Everyone remember the date of their stroke – mine was 21st July 2015. It was initially thought to be a TIA but was later confirm to be a real stroke. I came home from work, parked up and was getting ready to go out to Weston Bike Night with Liz, my wife. If I had had the stroke whilst driving on the M5 at 70mph it would have been disaster!

Before the stroke, I was a fit and healthy man running races and fully involved in the biking culture. Although I have never driven a car, I have ridden a motorbike for nearly 50 years. One of my biggest concerns after the stroke was getting back onto my bike – that was my real priority. It was essential for getting to work and the centre of my social life. I was Chair of the Christian Motorcyclists’ Association. Since the stroke, I have changed bike three times, eventually found a scooter to be the best option. It’s a big one though – 300cc!

Emotional impact

I feel like I dodged a bullet with the stroke I had. I was not too affected physically. I have some left-side weakness and long-term fatigue, but it was only after I returned to work in a significantly different role that I realised the psychological impact the stroke had left. I was very depressed and anxious for a while and sought counselling privately. I had been given the Bristol After Stroke leaflet when I was first diagnosed, and eventually through Gill, the Stroke Support Coordinator, attended the South Gloucestershire Stroke Café. It was great but I felt like I didn’t belong – I wasn’t disabled enough! I then attended the ACTion After Stroke course. It helped me to acknowledge the hidden, emotional impact of stroke. Thanks to ACTion after Stroke I am learning to accept my limitations and that I am still in recovery. I’m in a much better place now. 

From service user to volunteer

The course helped me set goals, and now that I have retired officially, I volunteer for BASF. I help out regularly at the Yate Stroke Group and the South Gloucestershire Stroke Café in Downend. I do it because I want to give something back to an organisation that has really helped me. “It’s still early days” is a bit of a catch phrase, but mine have become Bristol After Stroke ROCKS!

ACTion after Stroke

Bristol After Stroke is registered in England and Wales under charity number 287554 at The Gatehouse Centre, Hareclive Road, Hartcliffe, Bristol, BS13 9JN. We use cookies to improve your experience using this website.
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