10. What To Do If Someone You Know Is Experiencing a Stroke
You can do several things immediately if you think you or someone you know is having a stroke. If you begin to experience any, even one of the symptoms indicative of a stroke, the most crucial thing to do is take action quickly. Time is not on your side when experiencing this kind of destructive interaction in your brain and body. If you have identified or suspected that you are having symptoms of a stroke, you need to begin receiving medical attention as soon as possible. Whether dialing 911 to call for an ambulance or getting to the nearest hospital as quickly as you can, it is of the utmost importance to get medical attention as soon as possible.
Have you ever heard of FAST? It stands for face, arm, speech, and time. Each of these words refers to a way to identify symptoms of a stroke. First, examine your face and whether or not you can smile. Is one side drooping? This is a sign of paralysis. Next is the arm. Can you raise both arms in the air without one of them starting to drift downward? If you cannot keep both arms evenly lifted into the air, this could indicate a stroke. The ‘s’ is FAST is for speech. Can you form words and sentences normally? Are you struggling to talk and even understand others? The last and probably most important part of FAST is the word time. If you suspect that you might be experiencing a stroke, call 911. You should immediately get medical attention. Every second counts!
9. This Is What Recovery and Rehabilitation From a Stroke Looks Like
Recovery from a stroke can take several different forms depending on the extensiveness of damage done inside your brain and body. It also depends on what kind of damage was done to either the brain’s left side or the right side. The left and right hemispheres of the brain are responsible for the development of different skills and for shaping things like personality and behavior traits. If brain damage has occurred on the left side of your brain specifically, language impairment can occur as well as the possibility of the development of language disorders. Additionally, if damage occurs to the right side of your brain, the left side of your body will experience issues with movement and sensation. Likewise, if the damage was done to the left side of your brain, you might experience problems with movement and feeling on the right side of your body.
After experiencing a stroke and being treated for it, doctors will most likely keep you in the hospital for a day at least for additional observation to be sure no further issues present themselves. Then once you are cleared to go home, rehabilitation can take several forms, depending on the severity of the damage done to your brain and body. Your doctors will look at all the results from the tests they conducted and decide on a treatment plan for you going forward when you head home from the hospital.
There are several things to remember that can be helpful to a person who is experiencing a stroke. One of the everyday things that occur naturally is the fear of the unknown and not understanding exactly what is going on, as symptoms can be very frightening to experience. Being able to stay relaxed and level-headed to keep a person experiencing a stroke as calm as possible can mean the difference in promptly getting to the hospital. Someone who is very scared about what is going may not be level-headed to decide that they need to get themselves to the hospital and be seen by a doctor.
You can do several other vital things to support and help someone who is having a stroke. Stay with them and try to keep them in a calm disposition. Also, talk to them regularly, and keep their immediate environment as distraction and stimulation free possible. One of the most helpful things to do is call 911. Again, when someone is experiencing a stroke, time is crucial in keeping damage done to the brain and body to a minimum and keeping options open as far as what medical treatments can be administered to help save someone’s life. Another way you can support someone experiencing a stroke is to drive them to the hospital. If someone is dealing with any of the symptoms that might indicate a stroke, especially having any kind of paralysis or trouble seeing or walking, letting them get behind the wheel and drive is not a good idea. You do not want to let them get into the position where they are possibly putting themselves and others at risk of further injury.
7. Avoid Doing These Things If Someone is Experiencing a Stroke
When you suspect someone may be having a stroke, you do not want to say this aloud to them. The symptoms of a stroke can be scary. Thus, it does not make sense to add to a person’s fear and uncertainty. This will increase their anxiety and possibly make them act irrational. How? By denying their symptoms and not being willing to get medical attention. The best thing to do is to remain calm. Identify the symptoms they are exhibiting. Call 911 immediately, and get them to the hospital as quickly as possible.
Two other important things to avoid letting them do and not doing yourself is not giving them or letting them take any medication. This can do more harm than good, depending on the type of stroke they are having. Not all strokes are caused by blood clots, so taking aspiring is not a recommended. Why? Because if the stroke is from a ruptured blood vessel the aspirin could make the bleeding more severe actually. The other thing to avoid is letting them have any food or drink. This is because someone who is experiencing a stroke can be dealing with some level of paralysis, and it is easily possible they could choke on something they try to eat or drink. Again, the very best thing is to act fast and get them to the hospital as quickly as you can.
6. Differences in Symptoms of a Stroke for Men And Women
Stroke symptoms can present very differently for women compared to men. Having some knowledge of this variation can be key in the early detection of the experience of a stroke. There are several critical differences in the way a stroke might develop in women, and they are more subtle things that may be a little harder to identify than the main signs and symptoms of a stroke. One big difference is that women may not have any classic symptoms that can signify a stroke. Women may experience trouble breathing, tightness in the chest, and feeling anxious more than usual. It is essential to take these symptoms seriously. Often, these signs are brushed off or disregarded as just feeling overwhelmed by life stressors. A stroke is a medical issue that needs immediate medical attention to avoid severe damage and lasting consequences.
The biggest thing to remember here is that you might experience symptoms that differ from someone else’s experience. Your body is different from others. Therefore, you may experience signs and complications utterly different from, say, someone you know or heard about who experienced a stroke. You do not want to allow yourself to compare your experience to others so that you may downplay, minimize or discredit the validity or intensity of your symptoms that may be developing. If you are in any way suspecting that symptoms characteristic of a stroke are beginning to develop, you need to get medical attention as soon as possible.
5. Maintaining a Good Support System After Having a Stroke
This area gets overlooked concerning how to keep getting better after experiencing something as scary as a stroke. For many people, this experience was most likely quite frightening. The idea of the unknown regarding how and why these symptoms came on so suddenly can be scary. So can the fact that there may have been some serious damage done to the mind and body. For some, it is necessary to relearn specific skills to become and maintain independence again. And for still others, the idea of independence is no longer an option. For many, that can be a challenging thing to wrap your opinion around.
Did you live independently before having a stroke? Maybe you have to rely on someone else to complete daily tasks for you. That can be a tough pill to swallow. The damage that can occur to the brain and body due to a stroke can be completely life-altering. This is not something that you should have to experience or go through alone. It is imperative to your well-being that you try to maintain a healthy level of support from other people. You can get help from your spouse, other family members, doctors, or support groups. You can get help online or in-person.
The amount of social interaction you have while rehabilitating can play a massive role in improving your health. Furthermore, maintaining that level of health and wellness, both in your body and mind, is important. One of the more detrimental things you can do after experiencing a stroke is isolating yourself from others. Although it may not seem like it, this can begin to take an enormous toll on your emotional state. It can be a debilitating factor in your improvement and progress overall. There are excellent resources available for people who have experienced almost any health crisis, including having a stroke.
Reaching out and staying connected with others, in your family, community, and with others who have experienced similar events is ideal. It is a great way to ensure that you will keep getting better after leaving the hospital. Sharing your experience with others can be a prominent form of therapy. It can help you create and maintain lasting connections that may one day get you through another crisis. At the very least, keeping up a healthy level of social interaction will help you feel like you are not alone. Why? Because it’s entirely possible that having a stroke made you feel just like that. Don’t be afraid to ask others for help as well. Many people are ready and willing to be a resource and source of support for others. However, they aren’t always sure how to do it if you haven’t asked for it. The simple act of meeting a friend for coffee or getting into an online support group can be very beneficial. These actions can be quite therapeutic in your recovery journey from a stroke.
All the information you just received from the hospital can be scary. That goes from the first consultation with a doctor to the various stroke tests. Not to mention dealing with the debilitating symptoms and complications that you might experience. Then you have endless conversations about what happened to you. There are questions about why. Beyond that, you need to know what you should expect now. The combination of all these things can be tough to handle. As if that is not enough, you might have to navigate the concerned family members and friends who are checking on you. This can be very overwhelming.
The challenge of dealing with the symptoms and complications of having a stroke alone can be enough to make you feel defeated. Then you question yourself, competency, and capabilities. You might wonder why this had to happen to you. Was there something you should have done differently? These are all very natural and valid thoughts and feelings that can arise from dealing with this experience. Understand that you may not have been able to do anything differently to avoid it. Please realize that you have the necessary resources you need to get through these complications. Reaching out and maintaining a healthy level of social support is crucial. It will be beneficial in rehabilitating from having a stroke.
2. The Best Takeaway To Remember After You Have Experienced a Stroke
So, you have had a stroke and survived a terrifying medical emergency. Now what? The following are some key points to keep in mind as you begin your recovery journey after leaving the hospital. One of the first things, and quite essential thoughts to understand, is that you are not alone. As scary as the experience of the stroke may have been for you, know that you are not the only person in the world who has gone through this event.
In saying that, it does not mean to invalidate or minimize your personal experience in a way. Remember that you can reach out and find others around you who have experienced similar things. It can be a good source of comfort and support as you are trying to digest, decipher, and comprehend everything you have just been through. The way you reach out might be to your spouse, best friend, or a family member. It may be talking to your doctor, counselor, or finding a support group, whether in person or online. That way, you can discuss your experience with others out loud and hear the things other people have gone through as well.
You can talk about what you experienced and hear about the events that others went through. Listen to them talk about their fears, concerns, thoughts, and feelings. It can be a great source of comfort and support for you as you try to navigate this new chapter of your life. You might find out that someone else has the same thoughts and feelings of inadequacy. By talking to each other, you could discover how that person is coping with those same issues. Do not be afraid to reach out and discuss your experience with others. You will gain a great source of support and encouragement. Likewise, you will try to cope with the things you have experienced.
The events surrounding your experience of having a stroke might not be that clear. It greatly depends on what type of stroke you experienced and the extent of damage to your brain and body. It might benefit you to reach out to the people around you and might have helped you when the stroke occurred. Not having a clear picture or accurate memory of what events took place can be an unsettling feeling. You should not be afraid to seek out others in the form of social interaction. It can help gain some clarity regarding the accuracy of the events that transpired surrounding the timeline of a stroke.