I Am A Stroke Survivor
According to the American Stoke Association, about 795,000 Americans each year suffer a new or recurrent stroke. That means, on average, a stroke occurs every 40 seconds. Stroke kills nearly 129,000 people a year. It is the number five (5) cause of death.
One in three Americans are unable to identify all the F.A.S.T. stroke-warning signs. Do you know what they are?
I am a business owner, safety consultant, educator, wife, mother, and stroke survivor. I am here to tell you my story. I am here to tell you that if it was not for the quick actions, and recognition of the signs of a stroke by my husband and partner, I may not be here today to tell you this story.
Sunday August 23, 2015 started out as a typical weekend day, grocery shopping, laundry, and cleaning was on my agenda, or so I thought. My husband was finishing preparing his breakfast when I came into the kitchen. I was preparing my cleaning supplies. I was actually pouring vinegar into a spray bottle when I dropped the main jug on the floor. Doug, my husband said, what the heck happened, to which my reply was nothing I just dropped the bottle. I proceeded to grab paper towels to clean up the spilled vinegar. I bent over with the towels several times, but when I came up the second time, Doug looked at me and noticed a few irregularities.
“What is wrong with you?” My reply “Nothing” “Yes there is, you are drooling.” “I’m fine, leave me alone.” “No there is something wrong with you.” By this time I was not steady on my feet, and fell into the counter to help prop myself up. I thought it was because of the matt I was standing on, but little did I realize my legs were not holding me up.
Doug, a trained Paramedic of 30 years, realized I was in trouble and grabbed me, and helped me to a chair, but then laid me on the ground. He kept saying you are having a stroke. Your face is drooping. I kept saying I was fine. He picked the phone up to call 9-1-1 for an ambulance. I remember telling him that if he calls the ambulance that I knew my patient rights that I did not have to go I could sign a waiver. “You are slurring your speech. You sound like a drunk. You are having a stroke.” He asked me to move my arms, which I could not, but I thought I was. My mind was tricking me. In my head, my speech was fine, but I could not recognize my signs or symptoms. I thought I was fine.
So my question at the beginning of this was…could you recognize or identify all the F.A.S.T. stroke warning signs? As an educator, trainer of CPR/AED, Basic First Aid, and other health and safety courses, I know the warning signs, but as a patient, I could not recognize my own symptoms. Thank goodness, my husband could. Knowing the signs of a stroke is not necessarily enough, seeing the patient, and recognizing those signs is critical.
F = Face Drooping – is one side of their face drooping? Ask them to smile. Do both sides of their mouth rise equally?
A = Arms – Ask the person to raise both arms. Did both arms raise to the same height?
S = Speech – Ask the person to talk to you. Are they hard to understand? Are they slurring their speech?
T = Time – Time to call 9-1-1. If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you know when the first symptoms started.
How can you learn more about Stroke? Our company SCS Safety Health & Security Associates LLC offers monthly CPR/AED and Basic First Aid certification courses. Check out our classes and to register, click on this link. You can also find more information on the Stroke Association website.
So how am I doing? I’m doing great! I have to say, I was blessed. Because my husband recognized the signs of the stroke, called 9-1-1, the quick response of the rescue squad, and the hospital staff, I have not suffered any deficits. Not all survivors have the same recovery. But remember….Time is of the essence.
SCS Safety Health & Security Associates LLC works with businesses to help keep their employees safe, lower workers compensation and fleet / auto insurance policy premiums. In addition, they help to get a company safety compliant by conducting job site safety inspections, developing written safety programs, and conducting safety meetings. In addition, they offer OSHA 10 and 30 hr. courses, for the construction industry. If your employees need CPR/AED, Basic First Aid, and or Bloodborne Pathogen certification, they can handle that too.
Could you provide an introduction? We are looking to meet TMG Construction Corporation in Leesburg, Virginia, and Katchmark Construction in Chantilly, VA to enhance their safety efforts.
What is the benefit of having SCS Safety Health & Security Associates work with your company to increase safety? We bring over 20 years of experience in safety. We prefer to build a relationship with our clients, so that they come to us as a resource. Hiring SCS Safety Health & Security Associates does not require the overhead, salary, or benefits that may be required with traditional employment. For more information, please contact us at 703-779-7330.