Prim pensioner Pat Preston swears like a trooper for the first time in her life after waking from a stroke with a changed personality.
Grandmother Pat, 65, has shocked her husband, Michael by turning the air blue with a stream four-letter words in front of her doctor; has sworn in the presence of friends; and has been known to call her grandchildren “little b****s” since suffering a stroke in January.
It is a complete departure from the type of language the retired bank customer service advisor would have used in the past and she even has a ‘swear box’ she adds money to after using inappropriate words.
Pat, of Whickham, Gateshead, said:
“Before I had a stroke I would still get annoyed at things but I could control my upset, however now I just can’t help it. I can swear during conversations and a couple of weeks ago my grandchildren were playing up and I called them ‘little b*****s’.
“My husband gets annoyed because he’s a retired headteacher and gets horrified sometimes at what I say. I can get a little nervous too about what language I might use.
“If something really annoys me I am not able to keep my thoughts to myself and I’m quite outspoken. If I go into a shop and don’t like how the assistants are reacting to me or even someone else I will say so.
“I was not aware that a stroke could affect someone in this way and change their personality. My close family and friends still can’t quite accept that I’ve had a stroke.”
Pat, who also has the condition Lupus, had just enjoyed a weekend of birthday celebrations in January and was in the MetroCentre when she began to feel unwell with a headache, sweating and feeling faint as she got new glasses fitted.
She immediately called her husband but she could not get her words out and it was clear that all was not right. Yet it was not until she got home and was unable to move her legs to get out the car that the emergency services were called.
Pat was taken to Gateshead’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital where she was assessed and treated by specialists. She remained in the combined stroke unit for more than six weeks and now requires the assistance of walking aids to get around, and her home has been adapted to her needs.
“I would be telling lies if I said that there is not a time each day that I don’t think about what happened and the impact it’s had on my life,” explained Pat.
“But I have to accept what has happened and move forward the best that I can as you only get one life. I am about 75% back to what I was like before the stroke. I feel very lucky that I can carry on with my life as I am and you have got to see the funny side of things or it would get you down.”
Pat is receiving help from psychologists to come to terms with the changes in her life and has been able to regain movement to her affected left side thanks to working with occupational therapists.
Specialist stroke nurse Marie Twentyman, who works at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, said:
“Patients can have a change of personality following a stroke. Sometimes words get mixed up in the brain and vocabulary that would not normally be used by a patients is.
“Stroke affects everyone differently. When Pat was on the ward you could see that she would become frustrated as she had been so independent before, and it was when she became tired and frustrated that she would use language that she would not normally have used.
“It is very important that if anyone is suspected to have suffered a stroke that they seek medical treatment quickly so that treatment can be given as soon as possible.”
Source – Newcastle Journal, 23 Sept 2014