World Stroke Day - A Minute Can Save A Life

A stroke can happen to anyone, at any time, anywhere. 1 in 4 adults will suffer from a stroke in their lifetime. Having a stroke is FRIGHTENING and there are enough survivor stories out there to prove just how terrifying the experience can be. Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide, but almost all strokes can be prevented. World Stroke Day is observed annually on October 29th to bring awareness to just how serious and common strokes can be. 

In current times, there are plenty of clear prevention measures and readily available treatment options. The simple version of what a stroke is, is the sudden death of brain cells due to lack of oxygen when the blood flow to the brain is interrupted by blockage or a ruptured artery. By knowing the signs and symptoms of a stroke, you can take quick action and perhaps save a life—maybe even your own.

“We were having dinner at a friend`s, enjoying the meal and the fellowship. At my table there was a 80-year-old lady in a wheelchair - a very close friend of ours, having her meal. I was seated opposite to her, and saw her mouth veer to the left, followed by a slow tilt of her body as though she was going to fall. Her speech was slurring. In a sheer panic, I called out to her son, who managed to catch her just as she was falling from her chair, narrowly avoiding the table. The family immediately rushed her to the nearest hospital where it was confirmed that she had a stroke. She was immediately hospitalised.” 

If you ever happen to find yourself in a similar situation, remember to use the ‘FAST’ test to identify common stroke symptoms. 

Face: See if one side of the face droops.

Arms: Raise both arms. Does one arm drop down?

Speech: Check for slurred or strange speech.

Time: If the answer to any of these is yes, call 911 right away, and write down the time when the symptoms started.

If you have sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body; Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or difficulty understanding speech; Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or lack of coordination; Sudden severe headache with no known cause – SEEK HELP. Every minute counts! Fast treatment can lessen the brain damage that stroke can cause.

How does one recover from a stroke quickly? Let’s dig into the tips that can speed up the process:

  • Stimulation and repetitive practice are essential and critical for recovery. This is how you can rebuild your skills and overcome the side effects of a stroke. 
  • Walking and improving the gait will definitely speed up the recovery process. 
  • If you have difficulty lifting your foot up, Ankle Foot Orthotics (AFO) braces for foot drop will help improve your gait. These help you to adapt to the disability but do not necessarily promote recovery.
  • Speech therapy apps are a great way to improve speech at home. If you had a left-brain stroke, you may have language difficulties like aphasia.
  • The stroke recovery plateau is a well-documented phenomenon, but it does not mean that recovery is over! Some patients after the 3-month sessions prefer to 

be discharged from in-patient therapy.

  • They say meditation provides great benefits for stroke survivors.
  • Some of the best foods for stroke recovery are the ones that promote neurogenesis. Examples are fish, pomegranate, nuts, seeds, and blueberries.
  • Get adequate sleep. It is common to sleep more after a stroke as the brain is recovering.
  • Be intentional with your Rehab regimen. Consistency is the Key. 

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