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When she had her first STROKE! By Nancy Sevier

Updated: Mar 22


Easter weekend of 2002, I was getting displays ready for the bridal expo in Bossier City, Louisiana. I had taken pictures for a bride the weekend before, and had tried calling her, to let her

know her pictures were ready and when could we get together. Well, what I said in my mind, and what I actually said were 2 different things, so I hung up the phone. I thought, that was weird... So I tried that again. The very same thing happened. It scared me, as I had no control over what I was trying to say. My  husband, (ex-husband now) was outside, and I looked at him and said, "Something's wrong, I'm scared, I want to go now!!"


We rushed to the hospital, which is 4 miles from the house. They took one look at me, immediately took me in.


One side of my face was droopy. My speech was not right at all, it was slurry and slurs. My eyes didn't look right, even the way they looked to the Dr., the way my eyes looked to them. My


strength in my arms/hands legs/feet. Nothing..


Are you ready to stay in the hospital for holidays? Well, that stroke was Easter, now get ready for Christmas!! Yes, I'm back for Christmas!! Same thing!! My mom decided to get involved and talked to my Dr. They decided I needed to go to the Mayo Clinic. So in February, 2003, we head north and I had never seen so much snow!!


There were so many tests run, and diet and lifestyle changed.  Many different things can cause strokes. As it turned out, several things caused both of mine. So there were different things that needed to be changed. Diet, lifestyle, smoking, exercise, so many things can help cause a stroke, or help lessen the chances of a stroke. We always heard that Strokes were for the elderly.. I was in my mid-forties....


People think that heart attacks and strokes are the same because they can be caused by similar things. But they are not the same. Heart attack deals with the Heart... Strokes deal with the Brain...

People don't realize that.


Strokes can even be caused by stress. Add it to other conditions, and you have a ticking time bomb. I had surgery on my left carotid artery twice. Along with those, I had a lot of stress from a "stepdaughter" that got whatever she wanted on her weekends here. So, needless to say, when she turned 13, and decided to not come visit any more, in her words, "because of your wife" to her daddy, my stress level went down tremendously!!!


Several years ago, I had my 3rd Stroke. I laugh at myself when I tell about it. Chip had put the dogs up so they wouldn't get out when the paramedics got there. When they were trying to talk to me, and ask me if I could raise my left arm, I held it up with my right hand, and then let go of it, lol. That showed I had no strength, no nothing with my left side. I was also not speaking correctly... It was a bunch of gibberish.


And this one left me with a symptom that neither of the 1st two never did. It left me with Aphasia.



When I couldn't talk correctly with the strokes, that was Aphasia... a symptom of a stroke... and not everyone continues to keep this system. I kept this symptom. Remember with the first one when trying to call the bride, I wasn't talking correctly and that scared me... the 1st stroke I didn't keep the Aphasia, but I did with the 3rd stroke.


Most haven't heard of Aphasia until  Bruce Willis had his stroke and he has Aphasia. It was just announced that Oprah's friend Gayle, had a stroke and has Aphasia.


Aphasia is very frustrating....you will be trying to find that word, or that "thought" ... Look it up, or look up Aphasia...


When it's something you can't put your hands on, it becomes frustrating. Strokes affect your every day life!


You can look at me and never know that I have survived 3 strokes.


People look at me and actually say, "Just to look at you, I would never know that you have had a stroke. " and so I think, what is a person that has had a stroke suppose to look like? All bent over and using a cane or a walker? The world has a bad image of those that have had a stroke... or the handicapped!!



Symptoms

If you or someone you're with may be having a stroke, pay attention to the time the symptoms began. Some treatments are most effective when given soon after a stroke begins.

What is a stroke?

A stroke happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off, killing brain cells. Damage to the brain can affect how the body works. It can also change how you think and feel. The effects of a stroke depend on where it takes place in the brain, and how big the damaged area is.

Different types of stroke

There are three different types of stroke:

  • Ischaemic stroke

  • Haemorrhagic stroke

  • Transient ischaemic attack or TIA.

An ischaemic stroke is caused by a blockage cutting off the blood supply to the brain. This is the most common type of stroke.

A haemorrhagic stroke is caused by bleeding in or around the brain.

A transient ischaemic attack or TIA is also known as a mini-stroke. It is the same as a stroke, except that the symptoms only last for a short amount of time. This is because the blockage that stops the blood getting to your brain is temporary.

What causes stroke?

As we age, our arteries become harder and narrower and more likely to become blocked. However, certain medical conditions and lifestyle factors can speed up this process and increase your risk of having a stroke.

Can you recover from stroke?

All strokes are different. For some people the effects may be relatively minor and may not last long. Others may be left with more serious problems that make them dependent on other people.

Unfortunately, some strokes can be very serious and some may lead to coma or sudden death. That's why it's so important to be able to recognise the symptoms and get medical help as quickly as possible.

The quicker you receive treatment, the better your chances for a good recovery.


Symptoms of stroke include:

  • Trouble speaking and understanding what others are saying. A person having a stroke may be confused, slur words or may not be able to understand speech.

  • Numbness, weakness or paralysis in the face, arm or leg. This often affects just one side of the body. The person can try to raise both arms over the head. If one arm begins to fall, it may be a sign of a stroke. Also, one side of the mouth may droop when trying to smile.

  • Problems seeing in one or both eyes. The person may suddenly have blurred or blackened vision in one or both eyes. Or the person may see double.

  • Headache. A sudden, severe headache may be a symptom of a stroke. Vomiting, dizziness and a change in consciousness may occur with the headache.

  • Trouble walking. Someone having a stroke may stumble or lose balance or coordination.

When to see a doctor

Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a stroke, even if they seem to come and go or they disappear completely. Think "FAST" and do the following:

  • Face. Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

  • Arms. Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward? Or is one arm unable to rise?

  • Speech. Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is the person's speech slurred or different from usual?

  • Time. If you see any of these signs, call 911 or emergency medical help right away.

Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. Don't wait to see if symptoms stop. Every minute counts. The longer a stroke goes untreated, the greater the potential for brain damage and disability.

If you're with someone you suspect is having a stroke, watch the person carefully while waiting for emergency assistance.

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