May is Stroke Awareness Month
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This is a personal one, as last week my grandma suffered a stroke.

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “time lost is brain lost”. It is so true in terms of a stroke. The brain is literally dying from lack of oxygen.

Because of quick thinking and action, my grandma is okay. In fact, less than 24-hours after her stroke, she was able to speak clearly, move her right leg and arm, even sign her name – simple tasks she could have lost the ability to do. I cannot express how thankful and humbled my grandma and the rest of our family is after this experience…

Here I’ll share some basics in hope of raising awareness and giving knowledge that can make a world of difference.

Every 40 seconds, someone in the U.S. has a stroke.

Stroke is an emergency that can happen to anyone – any age, any time.

From the onset of symptoms, there is only a 3 to 4 1/2 hour window to use clot-busting drugs (thrombolytics) to try to restore blood supply to the affected part of the brain.

In the event of a stroke, immediate emergency medical treatment can greatly reduce the risk of brain injury and disability, making a remarkable difference in a victim’s recovery. Yet less than one-third of Americans can correctly identify a single warning sign of stroke.

The idea is to ‘think F.A.S.T.

Pay attention now.

F.A.S.T. stands for:

F – Face drooping. Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.

A – Arm weakness. Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

S – Speech difficulty. Is speech slurred? Are they unable to speak? Are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence like: “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?

T – Time to call 9-1-1. If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.

Time lost is brain lost. As mentioned earlier, there is only a 3 to 4 ½ hour window to administer clot-busting drugs to try to restore blood flow to the brain.

Here’s a link to a handy wallet card you can print, cut out, and carry with you:

http://www.stroke.org/sites/default/files/resources/ActFAST-walletcard-english_0.pdf

I know this blog hasn’t been the most entertaining or fun and filled with bad puns – but you’ve got to have a working brain to create or even read stuff like that, so think of this as insurance of sorts. ;)

Something else I’d like to share with you is a quote from my grandma. Now, you’ve heard this a thousand times over, but when someone you could have easily lost says it, you pay attention: “You have to live one day at a time. You really never know if it’s going to be your last.”

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Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Love from me to you.

via GIPHY

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