I’ve had several surgeries and spent a LOT of time in the hospital during my life because of my spina bifida, and in 1994 after I got back home after back surgery, I had a stroke. I don’t really remember much that happened, just what my parents have told me about the stroke. They said I called my aunt, who was staying with us at the time to help mom and dad take care of me, to come help me get a drink of water in the middle of the night. They said when they came to check on me the next morning, my teeth were clenched, and I was staring straight up at the ceiling with my eyes wide open. My parents called 9-1-1, and an ambulance came and took me to Egleston Hospital, now Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, about an hour away. Because of my disability, the paramedics carried me to Atlanta in an ambulance that was a lot bigger and was basically an emergency room on wheels. I don’t remember anything about that night, the ride down or the next few days afterward, but my dad told me the other day that a guy he worked with back then was driving north on Interstate 75 and saw an ambulance headed south hauling ass. Apparently he passed the ambulance I was riding in while I was fighting for my life.
I’ve fully recovered from the stroke, but it left me partially paralyzed on the left side of my body. My left eye stays closed a little more than my right eye, but it’s such a small difference my friends and family can’t tell a difference. They just see a guy who’s overcome so much during my life, who has achieved some of my biggest dreams and goals, and never takes anything for granted because you never know when today might be the last day of our lives.
I hadn’t really researched strokes or given much thought to mine until I received this from a co-worker a couple weeks ago. This really makes you think and now I’ll know what signs to look for if a loved one or co-worker is having a stroke. I hope you’ll take the time to read this and never take anything for granted. The next person who has a stroke could be someone you work with, your husband, wife, brother, sister, mother, father, son or daughter. It could even be YOU.
I never realized you could tell if someone is having a stroke by the appearance of blood clots. Now they have a fourth indicator: the tongue.
Stroke: Remember the first three letters: S, T and R
How to identify a stroke
During a BBQ, a woman stumbled and fell – she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics). She said she had just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes.
They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food. While she appeared a bit shaken up, Jane enjoyed herself the rest of the evening.
Jane’s husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital – (Jane passed away at 6 p.m.) She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Jane would be with us today. Some don’t die. They end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead.
Take a minute, read this
A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within three hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke…totally. He said the trick was recognizing a stroke, diagnosing a stroke and getting the patient medical attention within three hours, which is tough.
Recognizing a stroke
Thank God for the sense to remember the three steps: S.T.R.
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.
Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:
S: Ask the individual to smile.
T: Ask the person to talk and say a simple sentence, coherently (i.e. It is sunny out today.).
R: Ask him or her to raise both arms.
New sign of a stroke: stick out your tongue
Note: Another “sign” of a stroke is to ask the person to stick out his/her tongue. If the tongue is “crooked,” if it goes to one side or the other, it is also an indication of a stroke.
Editor’s note: The next time a friend or family member sticks their tongue out at you, they may not be doing it as a joke. There maybe something much more serious happening. Get informed, save a life!!!