Gloria Ferris

one woman’s view from a place by the zoo in the city

Archive for the ‘cholestrol’ tag

Act F.A.S.T.: Face, Arms,Speech, Time

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A little less than a month ago, when I was feeling like the kitten that had cream for supper, I was jerked back to reality and had a small stroke. As usual, my knight in shining armor, Tim in case you were wondering who that could possibly be, was right there by my side not letting me fool myself into thinking that the extreme weakness in my right arm would simply go away with a good night’s rest.

My fingers were so weak I could not lift them from their position on the laptop keyboard. So off we went to the ER at MetroHealth. Sure enough, the CAT scan showed that I had a small stroke but within 24 hours I was showing a sign of returning strength, my speech was no longer halting, and the heaviness and tingling in my right leg was tolerable.

It turns out that the tripping up steps, stumbling, and the feeling of always stepping on a rock was my first clue of a stroke that I ignored. You see, when I had my strokes in 2008 I still had I had the heaviness in the leg, the constant tingling and that “stepping on a rock” feeling that has a specific name but I NEVER remember it when I was released from the rehab center About eight months ago, “the rock”, the heaviness were simply gone and the tingling was only intermittent. That Monday when I was doing the laundry walking up and down the basement stairs they all came back with a vengeance including an incredible weakness in my hip and my balance was none too good. My neurologist told me one out of two’s not bad, but in the future any CHANGE is what you look for which would have meant not ignoring symptoms that had gone away and were now right in front of me.

As usual, I lived and learned. And again, I am sharing Act F.A.S.T.: FACE- Ask the person to smile. Does one side droop? ARMS-Ask the person to lift their arms over their head. Does one arm drift downward? SPEECH-Ask the person to repeat a simple sentense. Are the words slurred? Can she/he repeat the sentence correctly?TIME- If the person has any of these symptoms. Call 911. DO NOT DRIVE yourself or have someone else drive you there. And if you are with the person having the possible stroke do not ask them if they want to go to the hospital YOU make the decision. The last person who should be decision making is the person who may be having a stroke.

I waited to post this latest health incident until after I talked to my cardiologist and the Neurologist Nurse practitioner. I am cleared for beginning to exercise again which I plan to ramp up gradually. My cardiologist and I have a plan for continuing my cholesterol numbers to continue downward because I cannot tolerate statins so it makes for more of a challenge, but it has steadily been improving even though I have been off statins for over a year. If you are wondering what caused my stroke, we do not know. It could have been any number of things or a combination of things. When the recovery from a stroke begins quickly, 40% of the people who have them do not have a definitive cause. I’m okay with that because I am extremely thankful that my symptoms are continuing to go away.

Many of you have asked me about this event so I thought I would post about this latest adventure in the continuing Health Saga of Gloria Ferris. In the words of Rosanne Roseannadanna: “It’s always somethin’.”

Written by Gloria Ferris

September 9th, 2012 at 3:52 pm