AVC "stroke" advice sought

My husband had a stroke 4 weeks ago and I’m still trying to come to terms with it. He’s an auto-entrepreneur and is now signed off work for 3 months. The financial implications of this are dire to say the least. As bad luck would have it, the day before his stroke my own cdd contract ended so I’m in the process of applying for chomage which I should receive, albeit not a massive amount. I’m really looking for advice on the way forward. I have a rdv with the RSI, although this has confused me because I know they no longer exist and are called secu independants now but that’s what they’re calling themselves. I have no idea what financial aid is available for an AE and wondered if anyone out there has experience of a similar situation? Our lives have changed in the blink of an eye and not only am I trying to deal with the financial side of things, I also would like some advice/hope on how to help with his recovery. The stroke came out of the blue, he was rarely ill before so it’s knocked me for six to be honest. We’ve been in France for 16 years and I can speak and understand French for the most part so that side of things doesn’t worry me too much. Thanks for any advice you can give - it’s very much appreciated.

Beverley, awful news and what a terrible shock. I can’t help with the financial or bureaucratic side but, with the stroke, how badly affected is he? Speech and movement gone? If he’s not talking get him to try and talk, speech therapy all the time, singing, anything. That can sometimes be recovered in the first few critical days and weeks but has to be pushed. I really hope somebody with more experience and knowledge will advise you better on the practical side of things. My father had a stroke many years ago and my mother nursed him and he recovered somewhat, but it was definitely and absolutely down to my mother’s hard work in making him walk and try to talk and do things. Good luck. My thoughts are with you xx

Hi Beverly

On the financial side… I think you also need to speak with your local Assistant Sociale… who will go through everything with you and advise what Aid (if any) is available.

Ask at the Mairie for their contact details…

Hello Beverly, a horrible shock for you both.
My mother had a stroke here in France 6 years ago (left side) . Once they had ‘stabilised’ her condition it was ‘work, work, work’.
As I was her interpretator I was present during morning kine sessions. During the afternoons I would help her practise these and devised other things also. I took in paper and ‘fatter rubber pens’ that she could grip if I helped her. Using her left hand she then had to write her name, then we played 0’s and X’s, hangman where she had to fill in the letters. Also word games, naming things beginning with A, etc; Believe me these do help. She hadn’t enough strength to use a ‘hand gripper’ so I took in a small rubber ball that she could grip, next she had to throw it to me…
By the end of her second week there she could write a shaky thank you in capitals for the staff. Once home we continued all her routine. We didn’t need visits to or from a kine because I was told I was doing all that they could and more.
If you need advice then do ask for a visit from, or go to a Kine. The professionals are there to help.
For mum, she has never regained full use of her left hand but then she had her stroke at 80 years old so was weaker anyway! Her speech however returned to normal.
It will be so frustrating for your OH and you too. Especially as he is a man in his prime who will keep asking himself ‘why me’? He is going to get really down at times too, and you may find yourself bearing the brunt, if possible try to get out and about with him.
I take it that he is being followed by a specialist, mum had frequent scans and check ups. She is still on medication but at a very much reduced dose.
An AVC comes under ‘maladie long duree’ so your doctor should be able to complete all the forms to ensure your OH gets 100% for any treatments, scans, medications.
For the financial side I do hope that you get answers on what help is available.
My thoughts are with you both …

A friend that we walk the dogs with several times a week had colon cancer a couple of years ago, followed by an AVC. She was in a bad way. Anyway, apart from having to watch her balance on unstable ground, and less concentration than before, she is fine. She listened to and acted on all the health advice given, now eats properly, and exercises daily - a 10km run, a 10km walk, gym, Pilates or swimming every day. So with work it is possible to come back from this, so try to stay positive.

Hello Beverly

I am so sorry this has happened. What a terrible shock.

With regard to your own situation, now that your CDD has finished you should, at the very least, get the French equivalent of jobseekers allowance. It’s called ARE or aide au retour à l’emploi and you need to apply to Pôle emploi. You should make a rendez-vous with a counseiller there who will be able to help you with the application.

Here is a link which should help.

I wish your husband a speedy recovery.

Did he have a bleed or a clot ? The medication will be different depending on which but it is essential that he takes what he has been prescribed. Heathy eating, control of blood pressure, diabetes etc all play a big part. Further investigations maybe necessary to determine the cause and a treatment plan if needed. The problem is stroke is a blanket term that covers a wide range. Someone could have a small stroke in a certain part of the brain and have devastating effects Someone else could have a much bigger stroke in a different part and have much less symptoms
What has been affected in your husband? Movement, speech ,balance , cognition are common problems. Following any injury to the brain some swelling is common , this settles down which is one of the reasons some people seem to make a initial quick improvement then it slows down
The brain is a remarkable organ and will often develop new pathways for itself to bypass injuries however some of these can lead to problems in themselves, which is why sometimes professionals advice can sometimes seem contradictory