The Art of Awareness blog hop

Are you prepared for whatever direction your life’s journey is going to take you. There are no do overs once life starts throwing curveballs.
December 26, 2013 my little brother suddenly passed away. By mid January my husbands stress level had pushed his blood pressure through the roof. Time to regroup, I was not prepared. We researched and developed a healthy lifestyle. Between medication and eating healthy foods we had his blood pressure down to a healthy level. Or did we?
August 20, 2014 at 4:30 am my husband got up to walk the dogs and collapsed beside the bed. I was startled awake with his yelling “help me”. I thought he was having leg cramps, so I turned on the light threw on a shirt and ventured over to massage his leg. Oops not a leg cramp, he couldn’t feel his leg. Fortunately my son was home from college and knew immediately my husband was having a stroke. My son worked weekends in the neurology surgical unit at Shands hospital in Gainesville Florida, where they deal with strokes all day.

The ambulance got lost on the way to our house and then on the way to the hospital. Yikes. The ambulance driver told us the hospital was stroke trained, however what they had was a neurologist on the phone to the ER doctor. We live in a relatively small village (40,000) that is a bedroom community in Palm beach county. In the winter we become a large equestrian community that triples in size. However our hospitals are rather lacking. Within 10 miles there are 2 stroke approved hospitals. The hospital they took my husband was not approved.

The protocol for non hemorrhagic strokes is a drug called TPA. It does have draw backs, however it can be possible to walk out of the hospital after a ischemic stroke. However with the delays and lack of neurologist my husband ended up needing rehab.
This story is rather long because being prepared can help in an emergency. The other small hospital in our village is a stroke approved hospital. Take a few minutes and learn about your area hospitals.
This is stroke awareness month.
How to spot a stroke F.A.S.T.
F. Face drooping
A. Arm weakness
S. Slurred speech
T. Time to call 911.
TIA is a mini stroke or warning stroke. My husband had a mini stroke the day before his stroke. You need to get to the hospital with either a mini or a stroke. Take note of the time. There can be other symptoms such as a sudden loss of vision, unusual headaches or sudden hearing loss. With a TIA you experience the same symptoms as a stroke but they last a short time.
I would like everyone that reads this to take a good long look at your insurance plans. Do you have disability insurance? There are also some rather inexpensive supplemental plans that will pay up to $300. a day while you or a family member is in the hospital. How about long term care? We had all three for my husband, however none for me. If it had been me, we would have been out of luck. These insurance plans will pay if your child is hospitalized as well.
Do you know what hospitals in your area have the Heart association or stroke association stamp of approval? Do you have a person assigned to speak for you if you can’t speak?
If you are the caregiver please take time for yourself! If you’re ill, remember that your caregiver is pretty much in the fight or flight mode. That is a constant high level mode that really isn’t healthy.
Be prepared and be aware! My awareness bead project is a polymer clay heart with the bead that is a crazy fun lady saying Hello sunshine! As I am coming out of crisis mode that is one of my favorite sayings. Please enjoy your weekend!
I Now back to Lori!