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Stroke Survivor, Peter Blair, Shares His Top-Ten Tips For Stroke Survivors 1

In July of 2005, Peter Blair had a stroke. It changed him dramatically. He went from a fully functioning adult running his own business to an old and rather simple child. He was forced to retire from full time work and though he has recovered some ability, he still has learning difficulties, aphasia, hemianopia and memory problems.

While recovering he learned about some of the hidden social effects of stroke and how to deal with them, and it is that knowledge that he wants to share with other survivors, their families and care-givers.

Fight Fear

I found that the worst of the hidden effects of stroke was a combination of fear and confusion. Even those who have never before experienced real fear are likely to feel it now. In my case it took different forms. Among many terrors I remember a fear of the unknown.

Many things seemed quite strange to me. I recall a sense of puzzlement about simple things and how they worked. For instance, if I was asked what programme I wanted on the television it would magically appear on the screen. I had no concept of a remote or how it worked.

Among stroke survivors fear is often accompanied by anger, frequently directed inwards, by an increasing feeling of frustration and by an acute sense of 'why me?' I felt all of these.
I found the only way to deal with these feelings was to confront the situation head on. For example, when I first went home to live on my own I had to go out for appointments and shopping and I had to be driven everywhere by a friend.

My rightsided blindness (hemianopia) meant that I couldn’t see who, if anyone, was driving the car. This made even the shortest trip a truly frightening experience. So I  had to ask the driver to keep talking so that I could be reassured that there was someone in control. But I kept doing it week after week until I got used to travelling this way and eventually the fear subsided.


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By: Peter Blair, Stroke Survivor since July 2005

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