strokes - public service announcement
I don't post much on this forum any more but do read through here fairly often. I posted the below info on another forum and thought I'd share it here as well.
Learn the warning signs of stroke and if you or anyone you know has any of them, call 911 ASAP. Don't go lay down and hope to wait it out until you feel better as my husband was about to do on Wednesday night.
The stroke hit him about 6pm - while I was out of town on a business trip and he was home alone. He's one of those people who is the last you'd imagine to have something like this - the picture of health and fitness with no risk factors (other than family history). Mid-50s, totally healthy, fit and trim, runner, healthy eater, low cholesterol, low blood pressure, etc.
Through some sort of divine intervention, I happened to call him about 10 minutes after the stroke. First call he dropped the phone and I had to call back after it disconnected. Fortunately he managed to talk to me the second time around but I could tell he wasn't talking clearly - like someone who was severely intoxicated (which I knew he would not be). He also told me he was having difficulty standing and I immediately thought he must be having a stroke and told him to call 911 ASAP. He did manage to do that, though I called another friend and asked them to call too because I wasn't sure he could make the phone call.
It's a long dramatic story but I'll cut to the happy ending. He was fortunate to get medical attention quickly after the incident and was taken by ambulance to a leading stroke center. Because the stroke was caused by a clot in his brain (vs. bleeding) and because of his otherwise good health he was able to receive TPA - a very powerful "clot busting" drug.
This drug has risk of severe side effects and a small % of people get worse rather than better but TPA can be very effective in limiting and reversing the brain damage caused by an ischemic (clot) stroke under the right circumstances. The drug needs to be administered within three hours of the stroke so time is of the essence.
DH began his miraculous recovery within minutes of receiving the drug and by the next morning appeared to be completely back to normal. This after he wasn't able to stand up or formulate a coherent sentence. Today we are still unable to wrap our heads around the fact he is "well" instead of dead or severely disabled.
So moral of the story - strokes can happen to anyone including those you least expect. It's so important to the outcome of a stroke to get medical attention immediately. Don't wait thinking it will pass - call 911 ASAP if you or someone you know experiences any of these symptoms of stroke:
- Sudden numbness, tingling, weakness, or loss of movement in your face, arm, or leg, especially on only one side of your body.
- Sudden vision changes.
- Sudden trouble speaking.
- Sudden confusion or trouble understanding simple statements.
- Sudden problems with walking or balance.
- A sudden, severe headache that is different from past headaches.