Sunday, April 24, 2016

F.A.S.T. Are you at Risk for a Stroke

I have had many illnesses, including heart disease and a mild stroke.  I went through open heart surgery and several angioplasties for heart disease.

On a scale of dread, heart disease was about a 2 on a scale of 1 to 5.  The idea of a stroke was a 6 in my mind, and when it happened quite suddenly, while I was asleep i had an  acute anxiety attack.

When I awoke I realized there was something amiss in my non-dominant right hand, it was numb. In the past I would at times awaken and have one of  my hands tingling or numb which I attributed to a cervical disk problem.(one of my cervical disks bulges,and I have had a surgery on my lower back for a ruptured intervertebral disk)  However this did not go away even with stretching my neck. Try as I might my right arm and hand refused to obey my commands.

I am fortunate. The symptoms and signs diminished quickly over a period of two weeks.  I was left with some residual balance and gait disorder, for which I have learned to compensate.

The best way to treat a stroke is to not have one. I ignored a serious and common factor for stroke risk.  Snoring and sleep apnea, both of which are successfully treated. It is  listed as a risk factor, but is overshadowed by cholesterol issues, hypertension, and diabetes.  I ignored my spouses warnings about my snoring and periods of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when there is total airway obstruction from snoring.  Patients are unaware of these episodes but whoever sleeps with or near them will hear a gasp and see the victim roll over or moan.

Sleep apnea or severe snoring should be characterized as an urgent medical problem. There are tests to easily diagnose the problems, and even an at home testing device, which screens for sleep apnea. A formal sleep apnea test in a sleep lab is still necessary. It's a small price to pay, sleeping away from home for a night, however it is a small price as compared to paralysis

I share this as an admonition for this month' preventive measure as well as weight reduction, a healthy diet, and exercise.

AUT researchers have developed an app to calculate stroke risk factors. Available on both iOS & Android platforms, the Stroke Riskometer App was selected by leading doctors as a top health app for 2014 from 100,000+ apps available. It is available on iTunes and Google Play Store.It is endorsed by the WSO (World Stroke Organization

Remember !

FFace Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to
smile. Is the person's smile uneven?
AArm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms.
Does one arm drift downward?
SSpeech Difficulty – Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard
to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like "The sky is blue." I
s the sentence repeated correctly?
TTime to call 9-1-1 – If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if
the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately.
Check the time so you'll know when the first symptoms appeared. This is critical for
medical personnel to know if blood thinners will be effective in treating the stroke.

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