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Stroke Survivor, Peter Blair, Shares His Top-Ten Tips For Stroke Survivors 2

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.

Be Determined

Despite the apparent hopelessness of the situation, there are ways forward. With determination and help progress can be made, although it will often seem very slow.

Recording even slow progress is critical. This will show what has been achieved over time and it is particularly important that the survivor's family appreciate this.   

The survivor too can help in several ways; by being awkward in a positive way, by striving to achieve even when there is a risk of failure, by keeping going under pressure and by trying to remember and record the things that work so they can be repeated.

In my case I was determined to go to York, a city I love, but I was very apprehensive about travelling alone by train. I made lots of dummy runs to Cumbria, being put on the train and met at the other end. After a long time was I was able do that journey on my own and was ready to take the next step, the trip to York. So I made my own way to the station, got on the train and was met at York. I cannot describe the sense of achievement that this journey, so simple for others but so difficult for me, gave me. It spurred me on to do more.

I also had an irrational fear of the phone. I was so terrified of getting a call that I would never answer my house phone, which at one stage I actually threw in the bin. For the same reason I refused to switch on my mobile.

I was determined to overcome this and with the help of a friend I received and made calls at a prearranged time each day. After many weeks the fear subsided and I was able to use both phones normally. At the time this was another great step forward.

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By: Peter Blair, Stroke Survivor since July 2005

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