What is stroke?
A stroke is a brain attack. When blood carrying essential nutrients and oxygen to the brain is cut off, stroke happens.
Types of stroke
There are different types of stroke. An ischaemic stroke is caused by a blockage of blood supply to the brain. A haemorrahagic stroke is caused by bleeding in or around the brain. No matter the type of stroke, it affects not just how your body works, but how you think, feel, and communicate.
What do you do when you have a stroke
No one is prepared for a stroke. But how you react to it will determine the chances of a good recovery.
If you suspect you have a stroke, go to the hospital immediately
Going to hospital
The faster your stroke is diagnosed and treated, the better your recovery will be. If you suspect you have a stroke, go to the hospital immediately. There, you will have a series of scans and tests to find out what happened and the best way to treat it.
If your stroke is caused by a blood clot, you may be given a drug to disperse the clot and return the blood supply to your brain. This is best done within four and a half hours of your stroke symptoms starting. The more time that passes, the less effective this treatment will be. It is therefore critical to get to the hospital as fast as possible when you notice the symptoms.
Recovering in the hospital
After accessing the severity of the stroke, the hospital may ward you for anything from a few days to a few months. When you are recovering in the hospital, remember that because every stroke is different, everyone will progress differently. Don’t compare, instead focus on your own motivation. Keep reminding yourself that the more you practise your therapy exercises, the better you’ll be at relearning important life skills. It takes time, patience, practice, and support from those around you. Most importantly, continue to go for rehabilitation after you leave the hospital.
There will be good days and bad. There will be days you will feel like giving up. Focus on the progress you’ve made, no matter how small it may seem to you, and be proud of it. Remember, every little bit adds up. Constantly encourage yourself. You’ve just gone through a life-changing trauma, and it is natural that these things take time to adjust. Just never, ever think that you won’t get better.
Most importantly, continue to go for rehabilitation after you leave the hospital
Rehabilitation is a lifelong process.
Leaving the hospital
Rehabilitation is a lifelong process. It is important to continue with your therapy even after your leave the hospital. Peer support is also significant. This is where and how NASAM can help.
Contrary to popular belief, most strokes can be prevented. Here’s how you can reduce your risk of stroke:
1. Manage your medical conditions
2. Stop smoking
3. Drink less alcohol
4. Keep your weight healthy
5. Exercise more
6. Eat healthy
The truth is, stroke can strike anyone at anytime. Know your risk factors like high blood pressure, diabetes, atrial fibrillation, and high cholestrol. These are risk factors that can be managed.
It is important to recognize the symptoms of stroke. Remember the F.A.S.T test.
Can the person smile? Has their face fallen on one side?
Can the person raise both arms and keep them there?
Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say? Is their speech slurred?
Time to Act