My Must-Say on Stroke Encounterance

February 11, 2010 jeansdream
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If you live with seniors or take care of seniors on a regular basis, hear me out.

My Aunt in her 70+ had a surgery.  When my cousin visited her the next day in her hospital bed, he talked to her and realized she couldn’t carry a conversation she normally could – he asked her one thing, she answered him something completely different.  Her speech was even slurry.  Then she was drooling on one side without knowing.  My cousin told the doctor and he immediately got her checked for stroke.  My Aunt was then declared to have a minor stroke and was treated immediately.  She is doing ok now.

My parents’ friend was in his 80+.  He was not healthy and was on many pills, but he could otherwise look after himself without needing a housemaid.  He was mentally sharp.  One late night his neighbour found him trying to enter a condo unit on a different floor.  He was sent back to his unit that night by that neighbour whom informed his relative the same night.  The following morning, his relative went and stayed with him and found him “acting weird”.  He was irritable (he’s normally an easy going fellow).  He wasn’t answering conversations normally and when he had a conversation, he was sometimes unable to follow a conversation.  He didn’t want to eat (while he’s normally a very disciplined person – he would have his meals on time).  He was walking wobbly (shaky) and had to lean on the relative on one side when he needed to go to the washroom.  He was sitting on a chair, tearing of pieces of tissue papers – he never did that before.  When I visited him that evening, he couldn’t look into my eyes when I talked to him.  He gave me blank stares instead.  Within 10 minutes, I made the call to have him sent to the hospital – he obviously wasn’t normal.  At that moment, he suffered from a seizure, was sent to the hospital by an ambulance where he had frequent recurrence of seizures and then he went into a coma in the emergency room.  The doctor said he had blood clots in the brain.  He passed away one week after.

My friend’s Aunt fell beside her bed.  Her daughter-in-law picked her up.  She seemed fine after except she seemed to be weak on one side.  Thinking she was quite normal, she wasn’t treated or checked.  3 days later, she fainted at home again, went into a coma and couple days later, she passed away.

My Must-Say (Must-Share) on recognizing strokes:  note what’s normal, and when the first signs of being abnormal appear – losing control over body / limbs / speech (slurry) / eyesight / facial muscle (drooling), can’t carry or follow a conversation suddenly  – send him / her to the hospital immediately and ask if these may be early stroke signs – get him / her checked immediately – it’s better to be false alarm than late.  If he / her is already having difficulties moving, get an ambulance – don’t bother to get him / her dressed nor drive yourself – get emergency medical help right away.  Stroke can affect the senses, motor ability, language, behavioral pattern, thought pattern and memory.  These real-life stories are all some form of manifestations of these symptoms, aren’t they?

Remember:  Stroke can affect the senses, motor ability, language, behavioral pattern, thought pattern and memory. 

As an addendum, these are some of the most commonly displayed stroke symptoms posted on many internet sites:

  • Weakness of the face, arm, and/or leg on one side of body
  • Numbness in the face, arm, and/or leg one side of body
  • Inability to understand spoken language
  • Inability to speak
  • Inability to write
  • Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or co-ordination
  • Double vision
  • Stroke is a medical emergency. It is almost equivalent to a brain attack.  If you or someone you know experiences any of the symptoms listed above, call your emergency medical services number immediately. Swift action improves the chances of surviving and making a full recovery.  The patient may not recognize it.  If you suspect a stroke, don’t hesitate – act on it.

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