strokes - public service announcement

gibby2015February 17, 2013

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.

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This old fart ...

... thanks you, gabby Gibby ...

... aiming for 3000.

Good wishes to your husband for a continued full recovery, and the future, as well ... and to you, also.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 2:48PM
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That's so frightening. I'm glad your husband's all right, and that's good information.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 2:52PM
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Oh my, weren't you both lucky--what a providential phone call! I'm so very glad to hear your dh is doing well. A friend lost her brother during a trip to Ireland when he got a brain aneurism and everyone thought his very bad headache was a hangover and let him sleep in the car while they went to Mass. It was terribly sad as parents and all siblings were on the trip to celebrate their parents' 50th wedding anniversary.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 4:45PM
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FlamingO in AR

What a powerful post, thank you so much! I'm so glad your husband is OK, what a relief and the reminders of the symptoms is very helpful to read, thanks again!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 6:15PM
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Thank you for posting this. May I add another warning. Don't wait till all the usual symptoms are noticed. My DH came home complaining of being a "different" tired. He had been putting in twelve hour days at work. I was a nurse and gave him a basic neurological exam which was negative. No headache, blurry vision, loss of strength, speaking problems etc. I sent him to bed. The next day he said he felt better but by noon said he was tired again. This time, confusion was the only obvious sign but too late for TPA. Turned out to be a relatively large stroke without normal presentation. Ten months of rehab could have been shortened if only I had been more on my toes. He had a great immune system, never sick, never had regular check ups. Lesson learned the hard way.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 9:57PM
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I had a stroke and I felt like I was flying.I called 911 .My address was also 911 .I had a hard time makeing them know it was not a joke.They came they took meto the hospital and I was saved,God was in the plan.I have no problems except I lost my taste.Slowly it is comeing back.Don't fool around if you feel you are losing it.Get on the phone and start praying.Funny thing happend to me -my left arm kept going arround in circles and I had to hold it down with my right hand to keep it from hitting the ambulance driver in the head.Everything is working right now except for my taste budds.Speed is the answer.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 11:47AM
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The morning I had a stroke I had a sudden severe headache. Went into the bathroom, felt suddenly dizzy, fell forward toward the bathtub but luckily I grabbed the shower curtain and instead fell to the carpeted floor. Felt too sleepy even to call out.Lost consciousness, hubby found me on the floor within minutes. He called 911, paramedics came , by then I couldn't speak clearly and my blood pressure was 190 over 125. They got me to the hospital fast, I was treated quickly and fortunately survived. Speed is essential.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 12:39PM
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