Tuesday, March 31, 2009

At the Third Stroke…

Apart from Dad’s sciatica my parents enjoyed good health for most of their lives but a stroke got them in the end – my father in his eighties and my mother in her nineties. Dad smoked most of his life but I think it was the frequent flying that exacerbated things – flying to Portugal and the States 2 or 3 times a year to visit my sister and house- sit for her. Towards the end Mum emigrated - aged 90, and one year did nine flights. It was their choice and no amount of pleading from me had any effect.

There is an excellent public health information ad on TV at present and as some of you don’t watch TV I’m passing it on with the rider that a stroke can occur at any age; the trick is to spot it before it does its worst.

There are just 4 things to watch for – remember FAST

F- face – is there a drooping on one side of the face?

A – arms – can they raise their arms above their heads and keep them there?

S – speech – is there a slurring in their speech?

T – time – is of the essence. Dial 999. The quicker the response, the less damage is done.

The ad can be seen on you tube.


Paul Nichols said...

Good. We need to hear FAST often. B'leeve it or not, it's easy to forget.

kenju said...

I learned all about this after mr. kenju's stroke. Of course, if the person won't let you take them to the hosp., it's all for naught.

lom said...

I really do think this is a good advert, it's clear and to the point.

Jimmy Bastard said...

Pat, we have a close relative who suffered a severe stroke last year.

Her quality of life is now nil, and the strain it places on the rest of the family is stressful to say the least.

Life can be cruel when you least need it to be.

PI said...

Paul: I'm glad you approve - not everyone likes being reminded of their mortality but my long held belief is 'a stitch in time...' Drives my family nuts.

Judy: you did all you could and I remember only too well the anger and frustration I felt when my mother went to spend the rest of her life flitting twixt Portugal and the States. I knew she would be left for weeks at a time. When she had her final stroke she lay in the garden for six hours guarded by the Alsatian dog. In the end people are in charge of their own destiny. It's very hard for everybody else.

LOM: that is the beauty of it. Clarity saves lives.

Jimmy: I'm sorry to hear that. Life isn't all cakes and ale is it? It's especially tragic when it hits the young.

R. Sherman said...

You should also mention some of the precursors, i.e. hypertension or high blood pressure. A history of that along with the symptoms you mention is a tip-off.


Anonymous said...

We have ads like these in the Netherlands too. It's good to spread the word on this!

scarlet-blue said...

I've seen the information film and it does hit home.
I'm with you on the 'prevention is better than a cure' theory as well.

angryparsnip said...

Such a wonderful picture. . .

I envy you! What pictures I had were burned in one of California's major wildfire. I miss the few I had so very much. Part of my history that I can't show to my children, and I don't get to visit ever again but I get to see yours.

PI said...

Randall: thank you - you've done it for me.

wontlet: thank you.I think it is important too.

Scarlet: it's so obvious isn't it. But people can be so short sighted sometimes and stick their heads in the sand.

apprentice said...

It is a good ad. I can't believe Monty Don didn't go and see about his stroke until his GP father in law told him that he looked awful some days later.

PI said...

angry parsnip: that is so sad. It's only when you mislay one you realise how irreplaceable they are.

Anna: I didn't know that. I know he is very prone to depression which can't help.

Anonymous said...

Pat, thank you for posting this. My dad had a minor attack last year and it was initially thought to be a stroke.

We were extremely thankful that it wasn't, but I'll never forget the feeling of sheer powerlessness that was sitting in the acute stroke ward and the inability to stop water pouring from my eyes.

The more we can do to prevent strokes, the better.

PI said...

Miss D: it is very hard to see our parents - our rocks - getting weaker. My dad fell from his chair whilst he was in hospital and the sight of him with a bruised face looking lost was more than I could bear.
I hope your father recovers completely.