Hi, my name is Pete. I am 58 years old. I was working as an insurance surveyor up until my stroke and life was really busy, travelling the southwest surveying all types of property claims. 

At the age of 50, I took a look at my life and regularly visited the gym, weekly personal bests at jogging and cycling were getting better all the time. I felt good. 

However, Thursday 17th November 2022 at about 6am as normal I was getting ready for work, although I dropped my phone twice, I couldn’t brush my teeth with my right hand and my cornflakes missed my mouth. Something wasn’t right. I struggled to stand and tried to make my way upstairs only to get halfway and shout to my wife something’s wrong. Within the hour I was in A & E with many doctors, wires, and monitors upon me. A stay in Southmead followed with daily physio, speech therapists and occupational health checks. All I could think was, “why me? I’m young. I’ve been exercising” and “how will we survive financially?” 

After 6 days I was FINALLY back home. The doctors’ orders were rest, but that’s not me I thought. I need to work. WITH SHEER DETERMINATION I STARTED BACK. Part-time working from home, after a few weeks 30 hours, followed by full time. A stroke affects everyone around you, my wife, my daughter. Friends - that’s when you find out who they are. Mood swings, anger but mainly depression caused by frustration. Why can’t I do this or that?  Then I was spoken to about Bristol After Stroke. I’ve never been one for talking about my feelings etc but what a wonderful support network. There’s counselling, a weekly club to meet other survivors, exchange stories, feelings, tips, and, more to the point, how others have dealt with their own personal situations. Followed by a milestone 1 mile walk, 10 months after thinking you’ll never walk again. 

I’m not fully back and suspect I never will be.  They say the first six months you do your most recuperation. In my case that’s not true. Even now, 15 months later little things are improving slowly. The biggest thing that can return is self-confidence. With family members, friends, and the superb people at Bristol After Stoke life can start to be positive and return to somewhere near normal again. 

This is only my first chapter. I am sure there will be more highs and lows. We just have to do our best to be positive. We are still here. We all must remember that our bodies are fragile. We are not indestructible, your trauma becomes your family’s trauma. The mood swings, dark thoughts, be thankful for who we are and WHAT we have. Life is not a dress rehearsal. My thanks go to my family, friends and Bristol After Stroke. THERE IS A LIFE AFTER A STROKE.

Bristol After Stroke is registered in England and Wales under Charity Company Number: 11841993 and Charity Number: 1182124 at The Gatehouse Centre, Hareclive Road, Hartcliffe, Bristol, BS13 9JN. We use cookies to improve your experience using this website.
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