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Stroke Survivor, Peter Blair, Shares His Top-Ten Tips For Stroke Survivors 8

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.

Admit To Your Condition

It is essential to admit this to yourself and to confide in others. The sooner you do this the sooner the recovery journey can start. In my experience, once I explained to people what was wrong with me they understood and were usually willing to help.

In the beginning admitting to my condition was quite difficult largely because I did not understand it myself. I knew I had hemianopia, in fact I could even spell it, but I didn't understand exactly its effect on me. I did not realise that the reason I walked into people, bus stops, lampposts and the like was because I was half blind.

It was explained to me quite simply. I was told to look straight ahead and stretch out my arms shoulder-width apart, while looking directly ahead. I could see my left hand but not my right. The reason I bumped into things is that, as far as I was concerned, they were not there. This revelation was the start of my recovery journey.

At first I refused to have a white cane and would not entertain one for several years. Eventually I was persuaded that I needed one and was taught how to use it.              

This also avoided confusion when the reason for my odd behaviour was not always obvious and could be mistaken for something else, such as drunkenness or aggression. 

The use of printed cards such as a Stroke Card or a Sight Impaired Card  can be very helpful in these situations.

To learn more about hemianopia and to see a short presentation about a project called Read-Right, developed by University College Hospital London and part funded by the Stroke Association, to help people with it to read, click here.

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By: Peter Blair, Stroke Survivor since July 2005

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1 Fight the fear

2 Be determined

3 Don’t be afraid to ask for help

4 Get out and about

5 Embrace technology

6 Get organised

7 Change your lifestyle

8 Admit to your condition

9 Realise the importance of respite care

10 Deal with aphasia

Dorsi Strap FriendlyBed Speak In Motion