Sunday survival

For anyone expecting something light and goofy today, I’m sorry, but this is going to be one of those rare completely serious posts for me.

Remember the warning signs of stroke … I need you guys to stay healthy! Someone has to read my column.
Image found on AR Saves.

It was five years ago today that I suffered an embolic/ischemic stroke on the left side of my brain when a clot broke free. I stupidly drove myself to the hospital, but got there in time for tPA to work. A few days later, the morning after I’d returned home late the night before, I had another mini-stroke (transient ischemic attack, or TIA), but it cleared by the time I got to the hospital (in an ambulance that time).

I’m mostly OK. I still have memory issues every once in a while, and I get tired far more quickly than I’d like, but my recovery was fairly quick and almost total. I was one of the lucky ones. I now take blood thinners and a cholesterol drug. I didn’t have to change my diet too much because I was already on a low-fat diet because of my IBS. I do still worry when I get a headache, but I know what to look for and what to do if I start having those symptoms again (hint: it’s not to drive myself to the hospital).

Please, make sure you know what to do. It’s a terrifying ordeal, but knowing what can happen can ease the fear.