When my Mother stroked I suspected that was what was happening. Unfortunately, my Dad, a physician, didn’t believe me. My Mother was Bi polar and on numerous medications. She lived a half hour away. I called her and her speech was slurring. She said she had a head ache and was going to lie down for a while. I called my Father and told him my suspicions. He chalked it up to too much medication. Still worried, I hopped in my car and headed down to her town to check on her. I knocked and knocked on her door and got no answer. Finally, I found a way in and went up to her room. She was resting. I asked if she was okay and she answered clearly enough so I stayed awhile and then went home.
When my Dad got home he found her stroked. She must have had a couple of mini strokes. He called me and the ambulance and she was taken to the hospital. She spent several days there and the day of her release she had a major stroke that put her in ICU and left her paralyzed, without speech and wheelchair bound for the next 18 years.
Stroke is the leading cause of major disability and the third most common cause of death in the United States. Risk increasaes with age and happens to more men then women.Women are more likely to die. It occurs twice as often in African Americans and is the fourth leading cause of death in the Hispanic population.
People who have had a stroke have a: nine times greater chance of having another storke and are two times more likely to have a heart attack. My Mother eventually died after having four heart attacks.
There are two types of stroke. Most strokes are ischemic, meaning they result from a blockage, usually a clot, in an artery leading to the brain. Hemorrhagic strokes are less common and occur when a vessel ruptures, causing blood to leak into the brain. If a clot forms in an artery leading to the brain, a stroke can occur.
If you have the following risk factors be aware:
High blood pressure (140/190 or higher)
Carotid artery disease
Sickle cell disease or high red blood count
High cholesterol and triglycerides
Alcohol and drug abuse
My Mom had Adult onset Diabetes, was overweight and did not maintain a Diabetic diet. all of the above symptoms are treatable or managable. In my Mother’s case her diet and weight were ignored or worse yet exacerbated by her indulgence in Dove bars and bacon sandwiches.
RECOGNIZING A STROKE
Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately,
the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe
brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Some signs to watch for are sudden numbness or weakness in the arms, legs or face, trouble seeing in one eye or both, dizzness, imbalance, trouble with co ordination or sudden severe headaches.
If you suspect a stroke you can ask the possible victim three simple questions that start with the first 3 letters of the word Stroke:
S Ask the individual to SMILE.
T (Talk) Ask the person to speak a simple sentence (Coherently)
R Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.
Ask the person to ‘stick’ out their tongue. If the tongue is ‘crooked’, if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a stroke. If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks or shows any of the above symptoms, call 911 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher so that an ambulance is dispatched and a Paramedic unit as well.. Time lost is brain lost.
If you can get a stroke victim in hopital within 3 hours there is a chance you can totally reverse the effects of a stroke. The trick to reversing the affects is getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient
medically cared for within 3 hours .
If someone you love is a candidate for a stroke familiarize yourself with the primary stroke center nearest you. Not all hospitals offer the same standard of care. Primary stroke centers have an acute stroke team available. They will have specialized physicians and staff trained in diagnosing a stroke and treating it with the proper neuro imaging and lab services. They should also have a specialized stroke unit.
Administering t=pa, a clot busting drug, can halt a stroke’s progress if the stroke is an ischemic stroke and even reverse the damage if administered within 3 hours of the start of the stroke. Unfortunately for my Mother this wasn’t available for her.
Hopefully this information will help raise your awareness.
quick test for stroke: