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Dealing with a Stroke

A stroke can happen to anyone at any time. The effects of this dreaded condition varies from mild to severe, and it can even be fatal. None of us want see a beloved family member become the victim of a stroke. If you are in the presence of someone that has a stroke, you need to act quickly.

The time immediately after an acute stroke is crucial. The person who is suffering the stroke needs to get to a hospital very quickly. In order to save some of the brain cells, doctors need to see the patient as soon as possible to restore blood flow to the affected area. The person affected by the stroke will make a better recovery if doctors can save as many brain cells possible. Act immediately.

Unfortunately not many people have enough knowledge to recognize a stroke. A stroke is easily confused with epilepsy. There are a few simple actions that you can take to determine whether the person is having a stroke.

·         Check if one side of the person’s face is drooping. Ask the person to smile at you. This is the fastest way to see if the muscles in the face is affected.

·         Ask the person to lift both his/her arms. Check if one arm remains in the same position or if it goes down after being raised.

·         Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Check if the person slurs or speaks in a strange way.

·         See if there is a weakness on one side of the affected person. This is a sure sign of a stroke

·         Ask the person if he/she can see an object properly. Vision that is blurred or impaired is a sign that you need to get help to this person.

·         When you recognize any of these signs, get the person to a hospital as soon as possible.

What to do?

The value of your knowledge of stroke symptoms, to the affected person, is immeasurable. Most people delay action to see if the symptoms passes. Rather act quickly and if it is not a stroke, nothing is lost. But you might have saved a life. Stay with the person that had the stroke. It is important that no further harm comes to the stroke victim. Be careful how you assist the patient. You need to ensure that the patient does not fall or injure themselves.  

With all the confusion and distress that accompanies the occurrence of a stroke; it is easy to forget important information. Remember to take notes. Note the exact time when the stroke happened. Make a list of all the medication that the patient is on and take it with to the hospital. It is crucial that the doctors see this. Take all the medications with you to the hospital. Never administer medicine to the patient or give them food. Sometimes a stroke can cause an artery to burst and some medications could be fatal to such a person.

Remain calm.  Remember that the patient will be confused and scared, and you need to compose yourself and reassure the person. Tell him/her that everything is going to be alright. It is essential that you compose yourself and reassure the patient that everything is going okay. Remind yourself that you are doing everything that you can to help the patient. The patient must know that you are going nowhere and that medical assistance is on the way. Stay positive. Most stroke victims recover well enough to function normally, even if they might have some permanent symptoms. Over time patients recover most of their normal functions to live a full life.

Recovering from a Stroke

Although a stroke is very traumatic for any person and his/her family, it does affect every patient differently. In most instances stroke patients will improve over time, even if it may take some years. It will be necessary to make some changes to all aspects of a patient’s life, after a stroke.  This involves emotional, physical and social lifestyle changes.  The most important changes are those that will ensure that the patient makes the best recovery possible. The prevention of future strokes will also necessitate some lifestyle changes.

Because a stroke is so traumatic for the patient, it is only natural that they have feelings of anger, anxiety and depression. Questions about their relationships, their work situation and their finances will plague a stroke survivor. These patients want to get back to normal daily life and feel independent again. Rehabilitation should be geared towards an active approach to recovery. The patient might have to acquire new skills or re-acquire old skills.

A stroke survivor may have to accept some new limitations as a result of the stroke. They also have to make peace with their post-stroke conditions.

There is life after a stroke. All you need is good care and effective rehabilitation.