Generic regular strength enteric coated 325mg aspirin tablets, distributed by Target Corporation. The orange tablets are imprinted in black with “L429”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When I started my blog, I intended to devote myself to writing about historical events and people. Over time, I received mail from people saying they enjoyed my articles, and that the articles distracted them from their troubles, if only for a few minutes. Troubles we have all faced to one degree or another through the weak global economy of the last ten years, and recession of the last five years. This was when I started to include other topics in my writings in an attempt to help as much as I can. Today’s article is in that vein. It is also very personal, but if it helps just one of you or someone you know, then it is worth it.
On Monday July 22, I walked into the plant medical department at work (my night job) asking for aspirin. I had been feeling bad since Friday afternoon. After a few questions and quick examination, I was rushed to the hospital and admitted to the intensive care unit. The doctors had determined that Friday afternoon I had a mild stroke.
There are signs that someone is having a stroke and I will share those with you at the end. However, I spent eight hours working around dozens of people on Friday without displaying any of those signs to anyone else’s observations or my own. I had a bad headache by my right temple which spread out to the rest of the right side of my head (I rarely get headaches), but that was all. A headache I had for the entire weekend, something that never happens.
I was examined by three doctors (one a neurosurgeon), had blood draws every three hours, endured sonograms to observe my heart and arteries, endured CAT scans and MRI’s. The doctors expected to find a physical problem, which would explain the stroke. What the doctors found was that I was in excellent health, particularly for a man 50 years old. (I thoroughly enjoyed the looked of confusion at my apparent excellent physical condition hehehe – I know this is not a laughing matter, but it is nice to be in better shape than the doctors anticipate). My heart and arteries are working perfectly, no blockages, weaknesses, or leakage. My cholesterol levels are fine. My blood pressure, high when admitted, returned to 120/80 which the doctors said was very good (normally I am 110/70). Their conclusion was that the only risk I had is the half pack of cigarettes I smoke a day. Then we set down for a conversation.
This is when the doctors discovered the cause of my stroke. Stress. You see some of the problems that some of you have shared with me in your private letters, I am also having. With our recent economy, I have (as many of you are having) several serious issues that all need addressed immediately. Some of the issues have only been made worse by the actions of our politicians, and often those government agencies which claim to offer help are time consuming and in the end offer no help. I will prevail with hard work and attention to detail, and now (on advice from my doctors) taking time to clear my mind from time to time by stepping back to enjoy a pleasant moment without thought to those things I need to do.
The final word of the doctors is that I have a slight weaknesses on my left side, which should be gone in 2 to 6 weeks. I did not notice the weakness, but each doctor discovered it independently of the other two doctors. They also told me that 80% of the effects of a stroke are reversed in the first 24 hours. When I got home Friday night, I took some children’s aspirin I keep in the house for my daughter. I do not use any kind of drugs myself and children’s aspirin for my daughter was all I had in the house. The doctors said the aspirin definitely helped me with the stroke. So, in about 2 to 6 weeks I will be completely recovered with no lasting effects. Very lucky indeed. The doctor’s also said that if I do not follow their advice about relaxing from time to time I will most likely have another stroke and I will not be so fortunate the next time.
The signs of a stroke (my employer has signs posted with these symptoms)
3. Slurred speech
4. Numbness, tingling, or weakness on one side of the body
5. Vision problems are also possible
6. Speech or actions that do not seem to make sense or are unusual for that person
As I said, I did not display any of these symptoms, though I was having an unusual headache. Physically I am in better shape than even I knew, as well. The cause in my case was pure and simple … stress. Stress is a killer. As my doctors found out, there was no physical cause for my stroke.
If you or someone you know is having ANY of these signs or symptoms, seek medical help immediately. If you are having an unusual physical problem (like my long and unusual headache) … seek medical help immediately. Do not wait. If my stroke had been more serious, the three days I waited to seek medical help would have been too late. I was lucky this one time. Do not count on luck.
A stoke can strike anyone at any time, no matter how good or how bad your health may be. Slob to professional athlete, no one is immune.
DO NOT WAIT TO SEEK MEDICAL HELP.
English: A right MCA artery stroke. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)