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What is a stroke? Recognition. Prevention.

 
pollinator
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Hello Pearl's mom. This post is for you, (and all the Permies). You can take action right now, and so can your friends.

This is not an "old people's" post. Baby's in the womb have had a stroke. No age group is immune.

What is a stroke? Recognition. Prevention.

A stroke is when blood circulation fails, specifically in the brain, and brain cells die.

The are two basic causes of strokes, blockages (Ischemic) and bleeds (Hemorrhagic).

How to recognize a stroke?

The Sooner you get treatment, the better. So TIME is of the essense.
Confusion
Trouble seeing
Trouble walking/balancing/dizziness/coordination
Weakness/numbness in face/arms/legs
Difficulty understanding or speaking
Severe headache with no known cause

Did I mention TIME is of the essence - act quickly.

What increases your risk fator?
High Blood Pressure
Family history/genetics
Inflammation
Inadequate sleep (your body heals itself when you sleep)
Lack of exercise
Tobacco/alcohol/sugar/diet soda/meat/salt/dairy
Stress/impatience/anger
Overweight
Diabetes
Depression

What can you do to lower your risk with prevention in mind?

Exercise - even walking 20 - 30 minutes a day is a good start.
Be aware of and change your mindset, if you are stressed, impatient, angry to optimism and kindness
Control your diabetes
Quit tobacco/limit alcohol and sugar
Take Vitamin D3
Get enough sleep
Eat greens, nuts, cacao, citrus fruits and the pith, bioflavinoids, antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, and garlic

This is a good start.
I didn't even start with all my herbal allies!

Can you add to this list?

What are you going to implement to cut your risk of a stroke?

 
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When it happens, it is so scary, knowing what to do is lost. This memory aid has been invaluable to me and I've managed to help family members survive and prevent excessive damage

 
r ranson
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Sorry for the drive-by posting earlier.

I saw the FAST thing on a TV show once and thought it was nifty.  A few months later, I was visiting a family member and noticed he wasn't quite right when he came to the door.  I did the FAST test and called the ambulance to come and see if this needed attention.  IT DID!

Since then, I think it's been 5 or 6 stokes I've been near and FAST has helped every time.  The first time I wasn't there during the event, but if left untreated longer, the damage would have been major.  As it was, just words and personality change - minimal motor skill loss.  The other times it was much faster because I had an idea what to look for and most of the time the damage was minimal or repairable.

Mini or cluster strokes are the hardest to see as they look more like a confused headache with cyanosis.  If you have a family history of blood clots or heart failure learning to recognize cyanosis symptoms is a valuable skill.  I'm lucky because my family has flyers and divers so they taught me what to look for when the body is oxygen-deprived.

When in the stress of being near a stroke, I find it easiest to focus on time.  Obsess over it to prevent the panic.  What time - to the minute - did you see the first symptom?  What time to the minute did you do the FAST test?  What time to the minute did you call 911?  What time did they last eat or take pills?

Also, all my family members keep a few copies of their medical history (including procedures, current medications (and when they were started), emergency contact, medical proxy if applicable, doctor contact, specialist contact, and allergies)  on the side of the fridge so we can grab one to give to the ambulance attendant and another copy to take with us to give to the intake nurse when we arrive.  


But like the first post said, the best treatment is prevention!  I often think given my family history that I need to find out what foods to eat/avoid to improve my heart health.  
 
pollinator
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Don't forget aspirin.
An aspirin or two as first symptom can help break up a clot and reduce damage and long term effects.
A few "Baby Aspirin" or what ever they are calling them these days, has the same effect and dissolves quicker.
Chew-able is even quicker.

My wife had a minor stroke last June.  That will really change your life.
Prevention
Don't delay when you notice symptoms
 
pollinator
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Are you sure about the aspirin?
In the original post the defintion says "The are two basic causes of strokes, blockages (Ischemic) and bleeds (Hemorrhagic)."
So if the reason is a bleed, aspirin would be counterproductive.

Three years ago, a neighbour's daughter who was also a classmate of my eldest daughter had a brain hemorrhagia which was accompanied by severe headaches (age 13 then). She survived luckily.
Her mom told me later that she was lucky not to have given her aspirin as this would have made the bleeding heavier.

I am not a doctor, just commenting.

Phil Swindler wrote:Don't forget aspirin.
An aspirin or two as first symptom can help break up a clot and reduce damage and long term effects.
A few "Baby Aspirin" or what ever they are calling them these days, has the same effect and dissolves quicker.
Chew-able is even quicker.

My wife had a minor stroke last June.  That will really change your life.
Prevention
Don't delay when you notice symptoms

 
gardener
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AND strokes are happening to younger and younger people with all the changes in lifestyle, so please don't assume that just because the person is middle aged that it isn't a stroke!
 
Phil Swindler
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Anita Martini wrote:Are you sure about the aspirin?
In the original post the defintion says "The are two basic causes of strokes, blockages (Ischemic) and bleeds (Hemorrhagic)."
So if the reason is a bleed, aspirin would be counterproductive.

Three years ago, a neighbour's daughter who was also a classmate of my eldest daughter had a brain hemorrhagia which was accompanied by severe headaches (age 13 then). She survived luckily.
Her mom told me later that she was lucky not to have given her aspirin as this would have made the bleeding heavier.

I am not a doctor, just commenting.

Phil Swindler wrote:Don't forget aspirin.
An aspirin or two as first symptom can help break up a clot and reduce damage and long term effects.
A few "Baby Aspirin" or what ever they are calling them these days, has the same effect and dissolves quicker.
Chew-able is even quicker.

My wife had a minor stroke last June.  That will really change your life.
Prevention
Don't delay when you notice symptoms



If the stroke is from blockage - yes the aspirin helps break it up.
If the stroke is from bleeding - you are already bleeding.
Personally I would err on the side of the aspirin.
I'm sure not everyone agrees with me.
Maybe there is a doctor on permies who could weigh in on this.
 
r ranson
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My doctor used to recommend the aspirin a day as prevention as a step before full on blood thinners.  They now don't recommend it as it requires quite a bit more monitoring to make sure it doesn't do more harm than good than previously assumed.  And some of the prescription blood thinners do a better job with less risk.

Here's some  info about taking aspirin and the benefits and risks
 
Phil Swindler
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r ranson wrote:My doctor used to recommend the aspirin a day as prevention as a step before full on blood thinners.  They now don't recommend it as it requires quite a bit more monitoring to make sure it doesn't do more harm than good than previously assumed.  And some of the prescription blood thinners do a better job with less risk.

Here's some  info about taking aspirin and the benefits and risks



My wife had a minor stroke this last June.  The doctor now has her on "Low Dose" aspirin as a preventive.  I'm thinking it's about 80 milligrams per day.
 
pollinator
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So in the beginning of Oct I had a stoke at 47 yrs old. I am back at my place now, but I kept it on the DL as I was away from my land. Last thing I wanted was 40 acres and stuff there to get raided while I was gone.

What started as a couple days away turned into 7 months gone. I went to confront my brother (who was homeless and had a stoke a yr before), and ended up in the hospital then in AZ at my parents place.

Thankfully it was not deadly, and I knew what to do. If I had been on my land I would have been looking for a place to be eaten by the animals. Since I was in Seattle I had my brother call 911.

For 7 months I have been trying to get better. I still have some numbness on my left side and my right is less coordinated, plus I get shakes every once in awhile. My brain wasn't effected but my body needs to learn stuff again. In the hospital they asked me to sign my exit papers, and I realized I couldn't write. It was all new. Since then my step father has worked to help me write some. On a good day I can write almost as good as before. On a bad day it is all shaking and my writing isn't good at all. I also did PT and OT a lot and they knew I lived off grid so kept me a little longer to make sure I could live on my land.

I write this to mention that you get what you put in. If you get complacent you will stop getting better. If however you work every day to get better you will. It can be hard but it is worthwhile.
 
pollinator
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Devin, thanks for posting this!  I wish you continuing recovery, and it seems you know how to do it.  Wow.  Keep getting well.
 
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