‘I still look exactly the same’

This multimedia report depicts my mother Tracy Whitfield who explains the effects a stroke has had on her body. Despite physically appearing ‘exactly the same’, Tracy has what is potentially long-lasting vision impairment and a headache that won’t seem to go away. According to The Stroke Association anyone can have a stroke, although there are some things that put particular people at a higher risk than others.

Risk factors to a stroke that you cannot change include; age, ethnicity, family history and genetic conditions. Risk factors that can be changed include; medical conditions and lifestyle factors. It is important to know what the risk factors are, so as an individual you are able to ensure you reduce your own risk. For further information on risk factors please follow this link.

The video ‘What is Hidden’ explores Tracy’s insight into the matter of the ‘hidden stroke’ and the way it has affected her. She describes the affects of the stroke that are still present as; “a squiggly spot in my vision, a white spot that won’t go away… and a pain in my head that’s been there for a long time now”. You also briefly hear from myself, Paige Whitfield, explaining how I knew something must not be right with mum – as she is not the type of IMG_2096.jpgperson to admit herself to hospital unless something is seriously wrong. I tell  that, “when you hear the word stroke you think about all the physical impairments that that has on a person’s body. And we didn’t see any of that in mum”.

As Tracy is not displaying any obvious signs, people are quite surprised to hear that she has suffered a stroke. In fact, before this small stroke that resulted in the vision impairment Tracy suffered five smaller strokes. These minor strokes went unnoticed, however once she realised something wasn’t right she went to the hospital to get checked out.

This story highlights the fact that if you are ever worried about a problem with your body, it is important to seek medical advice, as there are times when what is actually wrong is seemingly hidden. It also educates the matter of people who are suffering pain or other disabilities not displaying any obvious signs and that we should be more considerate to strangers and people whose circumstances we are not aware of.

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