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Care and Rehabilitation

Julian’s Stroke Journey

I work from home as an end-user IT engineer. When I finished work on a Monday I was really tired, which is unusual for me, I felt like I needed a nap on the sofa and I did actually fall asleep around 5.30pm. 

I usually take my 14 yr old son to jujitsu at 7.15pm but I didn’t wake up until 7.30. I walked to the toilet and as I nearly fell over I noticed my left leg wasn’t doing what it was supposed to. It might have been my left arm too but it didn’t really register it at the time. Its weird it didn’t set off any alarm bells at the time. I had no idea I’d had a stroke.  

My son didn’t want to go to his class as he’d missed the start. Luckily I had gone and slept as otherwise we would have left on time and who knows what would have happened, as I wasn’t really in a fit state to drive. 

I made dinner and then fell asleep on the sofa again. I don’t remember too much of the detail but I was still asleep on the sofa when my son left for school in the morning – I hadn’t gone to bed, which is very unlike me. When he came home from school I was still asleep on the sofa which he thought was weird so he contacted his mum. I remember him saying “there’s something wrong with dad” as I couldn’t walk, which probably freaked him out.  

His mum came over and she assessed what was happening but she had to work. She came back after work and took me straight to East Surrey emergency. They rushed me straight in and did all their stuff and then I was in East Surrey hospital for a month before coming to QEF. 

All of my left side was impacted. I couldn’t really do anything with my left arm – for about 2 weeks the physios were trying to get me to bring my left arm to my mouth but I couldn’t do it – I couldn’t find it. My speech was fine though which was lucky. For the first few weeks I couldn’t really walk unassisted, but that came back quite quickly once it started. For the two weeks before I came to QEF I was taking myself to the shower and toilet.  

So when I came to QEF I was in a good place for rehabilitation. I have been mainly focused on my walking here. I couldn’t bend my knee properly, I was carrying my leg out to one side. The physio has been really good, especially the body strengthening exercises they’ve been awesome. 

I’ve had a bit of support from the psychology team but I’ve not really needed it. I’m quite a positive person really and I’m just focused on what I need to do to move forward.  

After here I am going to stay with my sons mum for a while before going back to my place. We live in the same village so its just for peace of mind really – its good to have someone there although I think I would be fine if I was just going home as well. My son wouldn’t have to do anything for me. 

I’ve not really needed a home visit to prepare for going home. I’ve done a lot here like practicing climbing stairs. In my first session at QEF I met the physio downstairs and I walked up the stairs with her straight off, without having practiced or knowing if I could do it. 

I’m a vocalist in a reggae band called Dread Centre, so that’s a major hobby in my life. We have a booking for Good Vibrations Society Festival at Ashdown Forest in August which I really hope I will be able to do. I don’t think it will be a problem as long as I am confident I can put on a show as it’s a big stage, so I can’t just stand in one place.  

I’m not really sure what caused it. I don’t really do stress. When I had my GP check up at 40 my cholesterol was medium high but not enough for medication. I’m relatively fit and healthy. I could do more with my cooking maybe as I use a lot of butter and the same thing was mentioned when I was 50, so maybe ten years of that caused the issue? It was an Ischaemic stroke which translates in my mind to a bit of plaque breaking off and sticking in the wrong place. It could have been worse if it was in my lungs or heart maybe. Think I got lucky as the effects I’ve had have been relatively minor.  I’m very active I do Spartan events and go to the gym 3 times a week. I thought I was invincible but when I came to my senses I’d been in hospital for 3 weeks already.  


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Driving was my ticket to a future of independence and I got so much out of the course with QEF. They gave me with the opportunity to increase my independence and to increase my understanding of my own skills. By passing my (driving) test they helped me to better myself – it was an incredible opportunity.

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