Can I tell you about having a Stroke?: A guide for friends, family and professionals ISBN: 9781849054959
Published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2014
One in a series of books about medical conditions, this book follows Grandad Fred and his wife Joan as he recovers from a stroke. Told in the first person by Fred himself, he explains that while working in his garden he developed weakness in his leg and arm and realised he couldn't talk properly either. Joan calls 999, and Fred is taken to hospital for a CT scan and a proper diagnoses so that he can be started on the right medicine quickly. There are good, simple explanations of what a stroke is and how it can affect different parts of the brain and body, and Fred is soon admitted to the Stroke Ward. He discovers that while he is actively healthy, his diet is poor and he has high blood pressure, something he has never suspected. A rehabilitation team is set up for Fred, and he tells us all about the members of it: doctor, nurses, occupational therapist, speech and language therapist, physiotherapist, social worker, dietician, and several health care and therapy assistants. Each of them has a special job to do, which is explained carefully. Fred becomes more emotional due to his stroke, and Joan feels lonely and sad too because their nice life has suddenly become very different. They've always enjoyed ballroom dancing, and Fred likes to go to football games, neither of which looks possible at the moment. He reaches the point where going home seems a possibility, but first plans must be made by a 'care team' to make sure he and Joan will be able to cope. Thankfully, it is found that they should be, and Fred finds himself at home again in his own armchair. While he must use a wheelchair in the beginning, he becomes able to walk with a stick around the house and garden and a stairlift makes the stairs manageable. Fred's style of writing, chatty and clear, makes the book very accessible to children, and the occasional difficult medical word is explained clearly. Adults, too, will get lots of good information about strokes, and such information will help immensely in dealing with family members who have suffered. Fred tells us about some other people he and Joan have met through a local support group, each of whom has had a different experience of stroke and its aftermath. The black and white illustrations which accompany every page are also useful in understanding the problems. It is clear from Fred's story that stroke takes a lot of recovery time, but there are many, many people who can help, and he is able at the end of the day to go back to his beloved Norwich City football games! A glossary and a list of ways that family and friends can help stroke victims are included, as well as a comprehensive list of professional and voluntary organisations in both the U.S. and Britain. A most useful book for families and friends of all those who love and care for stroke sufferers, with a positive and realistic approach. Available from Amazon, from good book shops, and from the publisher at www.jkp.com.