Don’t Have A Stroke

Posted on May 13th, 2014, by iMinerva


May is National Stroke Awareness Month but it’s important to be aware of this insidious ailment every month.  I will always carry the guilt of not recognizing the symptoms and calling 911 when my mom suffered her stroke one Fourth of July weekend.  She never recovered from the damage done by her bleeding brain, forced to live in a confused fog for several years.

Here are a few statistics you should know:

  1. Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death and a leading cause of serious, long-term adult disability.
  2. Women are twice as likely to die from stroke than breast cancer.
  3. Two million brain cells die every minute during stroke, increasing the risk of permanent brain damage, disability or death.

The National Stroke Association offers the FAST test to help recognize the warning signs:

  • F = Face         Ask the person to smile to see if one side of the mouth droops.
  • A = Arms      Have the person raise both arms and check to see if one arm drifts downward.  Are the arms or hands tingly?
  • S – Speech    Ask for a simple sentence to be repeated to determine if speech is slurred or difficult.
  • T = Time       Time is critical.  Call 9-1-1 if there is any suggestion of a possible stroke.

Mom had none of the above symptoms.  She spoke coherently and remained stubborn about not calling 9-1-1.  However, her equilibrium was totally off.  She couldn’t walk a straight line and felt she was falling over.

Prevention Guidelines:

  • Monitor your blood pressure regularly even if it’s just at the pharmacy. See your doctor if you have a high or irregular reading.
  • Don’t smoke and drink alcohol only in moderation.
  • Monitor your cholesterol level and keep it at 200 or lower.  Clogged arteries can cause a stroke.
  • Identify and treat atrial fibrillation (Afib).  This is an abnormal heartbeat that can lead to a clot and cause a stroke.
  • Exercise at least five times a week.  Walking daily is a great way to start.
  • Eat for good health – fruits and vegetables every day, with linited calories, salt, fats and cholesterol.

Make sure you are prepared to respond quickly if faced with a possible stroke victim.  The life you save could be someone very dear to you.  Visit or



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