Stroke is no Joke...

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by stevo, Jul 19, 2021.

  1. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Guys - my wife just had a stroke Friday night. I'll fast forward to say that she is 99.5% better and home already which is amazing. But it was a massive scare and a huge wake up call.

    We are very fortunate to have a best friend who is chief of cardiology at best stroke hospital in town, so we knew where to go and how to react. This place has the ability to go in and remove a brain clot but we didn't need that.

    We got her there within an hour and she was treated right away and it resolved quickly. Her symptoms were speech confusion - both speaking and understanding. Scary to think it could have been permanent.

    So by way of a public service announcement - be ready for this folks. You only have a 2-5 hour window for treatment. Know the symptoms and don't hesitate if you see symptoms. I know too many people who decided to "wait and see if it gets worse" and they're now living with permanent impairment. Catch this early enough and most of the time you end up with little to no lasting effects.

  2. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    Prayers and well wishes sent Steve .
    My father had one back in November at 91 yrs old on a Tuesday Friday he was out food shopping again .. Yes , quick reaction and seeing the signs are key
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  3. dougmon

    dougmon Synchromatic

    Jan 9, 2013
    This is good advice. I knew someone who had a stroke and wasn't found for hours and hours. She lived, but it wasn't pleasant for her.

    @stevo, wonderful that your wife's situation was resolved!
    stevo likes this.
  4. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Thanks mate. Good to hear it worked out well on your end as well. My doctor is saying that 20 years ago, there was literally nothing they could do. For some reason, it gives me anxiety to think about how hopeless it used to be!

    Now they have TPA (clot dissolver) which works pretty well and after they do the scan, if they find a clot, they can actually go in and grab the clot and pull it out. Truly miraculous. For some reason, this really changes my perspective on travel.
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  5. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Thanks mate.
  6. OzzPocket

    OzzPocket Synchromatic

    Aug 11, 2020
    Years ago, I worked with a "Green Thumb" at a State Campground (They were older folks who still wanted to work). "Charlie" was 81...and a big fella (I'd bet pretty imposing in his younger days) who was an absolute sweetheart.

    One day he told us that he had had a stroke several years before.....we never would have known it....but he said he was, for a time, unable to speak, and completely paralyzed on one side of his body....said he could understand everything that everyone said to him, but when he would try to respond, it came out as gibberish...and he realized that, too. But, over time, he got better.

    You never would have known he had a problem when he worked with, keep your hopes high...especially since caught so early and with less serious symptoms.....I bet your wife will be just fine.....I wish both of you well. :)
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  7. DennisC

    DennisC Country Gent

    May 11, 2017
    Glad it seems like it went well. This is one of the true weak points the human body has.

    When my Dad had a stroke, a very small one, it took threatening to beat the door-guy at the hospital to even get us inside - happened on the way back and instead of calling an ambulance, we took one turn different than planned to reach the front door of the closest hospital. The overly well qualified door guy diagnosed a "non-emergency" because ... we used the front door.

    Seems he didn't know about this not being a joke or so.

    What I think of him would likely be censored, rightfully so.......
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  8. DennisC

    DennisC Country Gent

    May 11, 2017
    + they had clot dissolving drugs 20 years ago, too ... my Dad had his in 1998, and didn't even need that - disappeared on its own, as surprising as its onset.

    The ones of today just are better and/or cause less side effects, or safer to use or something of that kind.

    +, if really rushed in, detected early and all that, an attempt to physically remove the clot with instruments going in your blood vessels, like done today in more severe cases as well, was common pracice then, and had been a few years.

    We can call ourselves happy to live in these times without doubt, as we're no more in the times of lobotomies or mercury cures and similar pseudoscience being the edge of progressive cure options ... that's long ago, but time till treatment still is the critical point that hasn't changed. Won't, cant't.
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  9. oneforsorrow

    oneforsorrow Synchromatic

    May 15, 2020
    Glad she's ok and thanks for the tip.
    stevo likes this.
  10. T Bone

    T Bone Country Gent

    So glad she is recovering nicely! It's a scary thing to go through, I had a mini stroke in 2017, was lucky I somehow recognized it almost immediately and was near a hospital. Coworker drove me to the ER and I was also administered TPA.

    One thing that scares me is the potential of having one in your sleep. If you wake up with symptoms, they cannot pinpoint the time of the event. I know someone that happened to, so no TPA in her case. She was able to recover through rehab, also very fortunate.

    Some of the warning signs are weakness on one side, drooping of the face, slurred speech or difficulty talking, and loss of balance. An acronym of FAST has been used as a mnemonic to remember symptoms.

    F for face, which may droop or become numb or partially paralyzed.

    A for arm. Often one side will feel weak (in my case my first symptom was a tingling sensation in several fingers, almost as if "fallen asleep", yet different).

    S for stability, balance can be affected.

    T for talking, speech is often impaired. This was my 2nd symptom, I went to tell coworkers something was wrong and realized I was having difficulty speaking (drooping facial muscles and weakness).

    T is also for time. It is critical to note the time of symptom onset, and to seek medical attention immediately. There are time limits for administering certain treatments. Symptoms may include some or all of the above, possibly others. If something is wrong, get checked out right away, do not wait!
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2021
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  11. ruger9

    ruger9 Country Gent

    Nov 1, 2008
    So glad to hear your wife is going to be fine. This stuff is very scary. Had 2 in my family.

    My sister-in-law, who was only 32 at the time, had a stroke... it can never be verified, but it was caused by a CrossFit exercise, according to the neurologist/surgeon- a "torsion" event that tore a hole into one of her arteries. Then it clotted, broke off, and went to her brain. And initial treatment was AWFUL- local ER did a scan (CT? MRI?) and told her "take some aspirin and go home, if you're not better, come back in the morning." Well, she was NOT better then next morning, and before she could call the hospital, that day's neurologist came in and reviewed the ER logs... and told her GET HERE RIGHT NOW, WE ARE LIFE-FLIGHTING YOU TO THE NEUROLOGICAL SPECIALTY HOSPITAL. She's totally fine, but... even when you recognize the signs early on, incompetent medical can cost you your life. It's a terrifying proposition. Had she had permanent damage, the ER hospital would have been sued.
    [for those who don't know this, it's very common for late-night ERs to NOT EVALUATE THEIR OWN SCANS. Because it's the middle of the night, it's cheaper to email them to a doc somewhere else- like Australia- where a doc is on day shift and evaluates them CHEAPER. It's INSANITY.]

    My sister had a series of strokes, caused by blood pressure spikes, and she didn't even know it... until the last one, when she was having balance issues. She had none of the classic stroke symptoms except that ONE, so that makes it more difficult to recognize. Not until she was transferred from ER to another regional hospital (one where strokes are one of their specialties), was she told "you've had numerous strokes over the past few years". The doc told her she needs to be on both BP and anxiety meds, likely forever, or "the next one" could kill her. She retired, about 1-1/2 years early, that very day.

    Apologies for the long post, and I'm not trying to make it "all about me"... just trying to emphasize, from my families' experiences, how very serious and potentially damaging and fatal strokes are. If you even MAYBE SUSPECT anything like a stroke, get to an ER- fast. And preferably one at a GOOD hospital (because not all of them are). Ive told my wife, if we ever think one of us is having a stroke, we are NOT going to to local ER- we'll drive 45minutes to to Neuro hospital's ER. That's how badly our local ER did. In these situations, "everybody makes a mistake sometimes" is not acceptable.
  12. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck I Bleed Orange

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    My wishes for a speedy full recovery. You are absolutely correct that speed is of the essence when it comes to a heart attack or stroke. In medicine we say, "Time is tissue," or "Time is the issue," meaning the longer you wait, the less likely you'll recover fully.
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  13. LivingMyDream

    LivingMyDream Friend of Fred

    I'm glad to read that your wife is doing so much better already, stevo. May full recovery ensue!
    stevo likes this.
  14. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Thanks mate!

    I might have heard that one before along with several other maxims.

    One of my favorites is "all bleeding stops".
    drmilktruck likes this.
  15. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Yep - many thanks. And good chance that if Charlie had had a stroke today, he would have had a quicker recovery and probably fewer symptoms overall.
  16. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    No apologies needed!

    Oh man - your sister in law was lucky in the end. That makes me cringe! And I've since also learned that scans don't always give the picture - none of my wife's CT Scans, Echo or MRI were abnormal. But everyone here knew to treat it like a stroke based on her symptoms. 70% of cases are like this - scans and imaging don't give any indication of origin.

    About your sister - she's 100% okay now?

    But you're absolutely right. We had two "best" hospital choices in the area. My cardiologist friend had gotten on the phone right away with his neuro chief friend and they discussed where to go. They both felt the extra 20 minute drive was worth it. I was at the ambulance when he called me and told the driver where to go. In the end, it was massively worth it. Just any old local ER isn't typically a good choice for either heart attack or stroke.

    In our town, the best stroke center happens to also be in the "safety net" hospital that treats mostly indigent people. It's the equivalent to Bellevue in New York. There are drug dealers on the corner outside, a ton of gunshots and knife wounds as well as drug overdoses etc. But the neuro who started this program told my best friend that he built the program in hopes of saving someone in their circle of family and friends. Whew!
  17. Ricochet

    Ricochet Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    My best wishes for a speedy recovery!
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  18. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    I wish her well. Scary thing to have gone thru. Be well.
    stevo likes this.
  19. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck I Bleed Orange

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    Eventually, one way or another, for good or bad.
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  20. juks

    juks Synchromatic

    Nov 26, 2020
    Fremont, California
    Best wishes to you guys. Glad it turned out so well.
    stevo likes this.
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