In his later years, my father battled cancer. However, it wasn’t cancer that done him in. It was a severe stroke. Strokes hit quickly and without warning although the signs are usually there.
My father had just come out of the restroom and said, “I messed my pants. I never mess my pants.” Within the next 20 minutes, the amount of time it took us to get him to the hospital. He went from climbing into the car to a comma. He never recovered and died within three days.
Every 45 seconds someone in America suffers a stroke. Each year about 700,000 suffer from a stroke. It is often called “Brain Attack.” A stroke can cost you your speech, use of senses, thought process, and paralyzes either your left or right side. Sometimes with a lot of very hard work, you can recover from a stroke. Sometimes you never recover.
Basically what happens is that part of the brain is damaged. This is caused by a shut down of blood to the brain that brings in oxygen. The longer that part of the brain goes without it, the worst it gets. Strokes are caused by a blood clot or broken blood vessels.
Ischemic strokes occur in about 83% of most stroke cases. It is blockage of blood to the brain. Hemorrhagic accounts for the other 17%. It is when a blood vessel ruptures. It is the third leading cause of death among adults. It is also 80% the cause of all disabilities
A stroke doesn’t have to remain a disability for long. If we can get another part of the brain to take over for the damaged area, we can start to recover. The sooner this process is started the better off an individual will be. This is why rehabilitation is so important. Simple tasks like picking up pennies or putting a nut on a bolt or even treading a needle need to be practiced. The same is true for the skill of writing.
Strokes not only hurt the individual but, they can also be costly and time consuming to our loved ones. A families whole life can be changed in a matter of a few seconds. This can also be a financial burden to a family. The road to recovery can be frustrating and very straining on relationships inside the family as well. It takes a lot of work, patience, understanding, determination, and love to fight your way back.
Here are some symptoms of an oncoming stroke. Weakness or numbness in the face, hands, feet, arms, and legs. Sudden confusion, understanding, or speaking problems. Trouble seeing with one or both eyes. Problems with walking, orientation, loss of balance, and coordination. Sudden severe or unusual headaches. Loss of memory or problem solving skills.
A person suffering from a stroke could have one or more of these problems. These are the early warning signs. Another sign is that of High Blood Pressure. Check it regularly. If you can’t understand your blood pressure, find a nurse or someone that does and have it checked on a regular basis. Work to get it under control.
If you find yourself starting to have a stroke, call (9-1-1). Get to a hospital emergency room or a doctor now. Forget the idea of an appointment.
Many people believe that you can’t prevent a stroke. However, you can take steps to reduce your risk. Websites like www.strokealert.org or www.webmd.com can go along way in helping you reduce your risk. There are many factors that go into reducing risk. There are things like diet, exercise, weight reduction, change of jobs, relaxation techniques that reduce stress all can be helpful.
The most important thing though is to act now not latter.