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!



25 thoughts on “The Art of Awareness blog hop

  1. OMG, I love your crazy sunshine lady! This information is SO important to have. Strokes are sneaky if you don’t know what the symptoms are, you can think something else is going on.

  2. Thank you for all the valuable information about stroke and being prepared for health issues by being armed with knowledge and also financial preparedness. Great information! I love your colorful piece!

  3. Love your crazy bead lady, and I bet you have felt like that a lot in the last 6 months! Thank you for the reminder of the warnings — always good to have to hand!

  4. Love your crazy lady piece! Great info on strokes too. My mother had a long history of severe migraines, which we later found out were actually TIAs. Although she never suffered a major stroke, her doctor believed that all those years of blood vessel damage in her brain contributed to the dementia she had the last 5 years of her life.

  5. Thank you for all of that information on strokes. I hope things have calmed down not and things are better. I love your crazy sunshine lady, she makes me laugh.

  6. Thank you for sharing very important information about strokes, the symptoms, and the importance of being prepared. My mother had several strokes, the first when I was a child, and the last when I was in graduate school. We lived in a rural area outside a small town. All these years later I can’t help wonder how different the outcome could have been if we had been closer to the right kind of treatment. Love what you did with your bead.

  7. Stroke is a very scary thing to deal with. My great grandmother suffered from strokes and grand mal seizures. I sat with her through lots of therapy sessions. She lived to be well into her 80s despite everything. I hope your husband remains in good health and lives just as long.

    I really love your polymer clay heart with all its swirls and colors. “Hello Sunshine,” is very fitting. Thanks for sharing your story.

  8. What a roller coaster ride you have been on. I hope things are settling back to the new normal at your house. I love the wonderful cheerful piece that you made. It is good to be educated, but still most people will not prepare. Wonderful post.

  9. Your bead heart lady is fabulous. Thank you for sharing your story, along with some very sound advice. You’re certainly raised my awareness level about strokes and related issues.

  10. What a wonderful crazy bead lady! I am so glad that things seem to be getting better and thank you SO much for all of the information and food for thought. I will have to be talking to my husband about this, because you are so right about being prepared. Big hugs, lady!!! I hope you get nothing but sunshine in your world for a long time to come!

  11. Thank you so much for that information. This is information you don’t want to think about but you must because you think it could never happen to me. I am going to have to share this with mom for both of us. I love both of your beads – both are fun and creative!

  12. Love your story. I am always on the look out for these things, especially with my husband who has sever diabetes and everything that could possible go with it. Because of the neuropathy I am always afraid he will have a stroke or heart attack and not know it since he can’t really feel it. Love your piece….I know that face..I am sure I have had the same one at times….Good luck with your hubby!

  13. Gracious, what a panic, I would have completely fallen apart. Our hospital is rather awful, and the next one is 45 minutes away. We get a lot of Medivac helicopters landing in our play field in the neighborhood.

    Thank you so much for sharing such a personal story and for giving us all much needed information!

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