Last week, a good friend's husband was taken to the hospital by a co-worker with stroke-like symptoms.
Now let me back up a bit. That morning he woke up and was feeling kind of "off", but not poorly enough to stay home from work. He drove my friend to work, went home, had breakfast and drove himself to work. He said later, he felt as though the car was pulling the right but he managed okay.
He still wasn't feeling great, but worked through most of the morning, until the point when he was unable to sign his name. Only then, did he let anyone in his office know he was having problems focusing. Being the stubborn male he is, he refused to have an ambulance called, and instead his boss drove him to the emergency ward at the nearest hospital.
My friend got a garbled message from him on the phone, and when she called his office, no one knew where he was. Eventually, the boss returned to the office and called to tell her, her husband was at the hospital. Since she was without a vehicle at work, she got in touch with me and I lent her my vehicle.
At the hospital she found her husband, laying in the emergency ward, being examined by the doctor. According to the patient, his left side was numb, and they observed that his mouth was drooping to one side, he was slurring his words (hence the garbled message), and when he walked, it was a definite lean to one side. Touching the finger to the doc's finger and to his nose was near impossible, and they quite concerned he had experienced a serious stroke. At 53 years of age, it seemed improbable and frightening to say the least.
He spent several days in hospital, undergoing a number of tests, and was finally released on Friday. The doctors have determined he did not have a stroke (thank goodness) but have diagnosed the episode as a TIA (transient ischemic attack) or a mini-stroke. According to the Heart & Stroke Foundation a TIA is considered a forewarning of a stroke and those who have had a TIA are at a higher risk of having a stroke in the period up to a year later.
It could have been far worse, had he continued to ignore the signs and it had been a stroke rather than a TIA. Would you know the warning signs of a stroke? I wasn't sure I would so I did checked it out. This information is also from the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
What are the five signs of stroke?
Stroke can be treated. That's why it is so important to recognize and respond to the warning signs.
Thankfully, my friend's husband, has made a full recovery, as is usually the case with a TIA. With the assistance of his doctor, medication, a few changes in diet, (and my friend's supervision) he'll live a long and healthy life.