Knowledge is power, but sometimes I wonder if too much knowledge gets us in trouble. When SR had the stroke, I went through all those diagnostic things that they drill into our consciousness. The only thing he had was the excruciating headache, which had started while he was in a long meeting at his job. He had none of the other signs.
We're not docs and can't make those decisions. I was so glad that I learned and when he had the seizures, called 911 instantly, as he ended up having more seizures in the hospital. There would have been dire consequences had he not gone to the hospital so quickly.
The type stroke he had was the less common one. I've been going through guilt no matter what anyone said to me about not forcing him to go in as soon as he came home from work til one doc finally sat me down and explained that the damage done happened instantly, while it initially happened at work and he sat through that meeting and then drove himself home.
Just food for thought. You never know when something like this could happen to you or a loved one.
From Everyday Health:
Do You Know the Signs of a Stroke?
Every second matters when you or someone you love has a stroke, so it's important to be able to identify stroke symptoms and learn when to get help.
By Beth W. Orenstein
Medically reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH
A stroke occurs when blood flow to your brain is interrupted. If you suspect that you or someone you love is having a stroke, you need to get medical help immediately. The faster you get treatment, the better the chances of reversing the damage and having a full recovery.
Call 9-1-1 for stroke help. “Don’t call your doctor. It just wastes time,” says Mark Green, MD, a neurologist and professor of neurology, anesthesiology, and rehabilitation medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. Get to the ER so that the medical staff can determine whether you’ve had a stroke and if it can be treated with clot-busting drugs.
Ischemic strokes are the most common kind of stroke. These occur when a blood clot blocks or narrows a blood vessel leading to or in the brain. Ischemic strokes can be treated with a clot-busting drug called tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA). Hemorrhagic strokes, however, are caused by blood vessels that break and bleed into the brain and cannot be treated with t-PA.
A CT scan of the brain can show whether you’ve had a stroke and, if so, what kind. People who can benefit from t-PA need treatment within three hours of their first stroke symptoms to reduce the effects of stroke. That’s why you need to act fast, says Dr. Green.
The Most Common Stroke Symptoms
How do you know if someone is having a stroke? Here are the most common signs of stroke in both men and women:
The National Stroke Association says a good way to recognize the warning signs of stroke in another person is to think “FAST”:
- Numbness. You may suddenly feel weak or numb in your face, arm, or leg. “Typically the weakness is on one side of your body,” Green says. You also may feel numbness around your mouth.
- Speech problems. You may have trouble talking. “Your speech may be slurred or you may not be able to speak at all,” Green says.
- Confusion. You may become confused and have trouble understanding what people are saying to you.
- Vision problems. You may experience double vision or difficulty seeing out of one or both eyes. “It can seem like a shade has been drawn over one eye,” Green says.
- Dizziness. You may feel dizzy and have trouble with balance and coordination. “You walk like you’re suddenly drunk,” Green says.
- Head pain. You may have a headache that comes on suddenly, like a bolt out of the blue, Green says. Your severe head pain may be accompanied by vomiting.
Stroke Symptoms Unique to Women
- F is for face. See if one side of the face droops when you ask that person to smile.
- A is for arms. When trying to raise both arms, does one drift downward?
- S is for speech. Is the person speaking clearly or is there slurring?
- T is for time. If you observe any of these signs, immediately go to the ER for an evaluation. The sooner the person gets treated, the lower the risk of permanent damage.
Women may experience any of the most common signs of stroke listed above for both genders, but they are also likely to experience a unique set of symptoms that come on suddenly, including:
Keep in mind that it’s possible to have a stroke that is accompanied by some but not all of these stroke symptoms. On the other hand, Green says, “if you experience any of these symptoms, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re having a stroke." Sometimes it’s a migraine or some other problem, says Green, who specializes in headaches. “Regardless, you should go to the ER and be checked out. You never want to self-diagnose, given the consequences.”
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Racing of the heart or heart palpitations
- Fainting or loss of consciousness