Sunday, April 13, 2014

Repost: Tazi's Corner #43 - Think FAST! It May Be A Stroke!

Dear Readers,

It has been al,most a year since my Mommie was afflicted with Bell's Palsy - a condition that mimics a stroke.  While she has completely recovered because she received immediate medical care, there are others out there who still do not know the signs of a stroke! As a PSA, I am repeating the column that ran that weekend. --T.K.

Gosh, my Mommie has given me a scare! Yesterday,  I was rubbing against her jaw like I always do to show affection when she pushed me away, saying her jawline hurt. The next morning over breakfast, that same jaw went slack as she was eating her cereal; she drooled all over her work uniform. Lucky for me (and her) my Mommie is trained in basic medical emergency care. She knew the early signs of stroke:

Face: Is one side of your face drooping to once side? Can you smile, or does one side of your mouth not move? Can you blink both eyes or does one not close or only close with great effort? Can you lift both eyebrows or does one stay put? Some have said that the symptoms feel like a sudden, very painful sinus infection on one side of the face.

Arms: Can you lift both arms above your head? Do you have unusual weakness in one hand as you try to make a fist or grip something?

Speech: Can you talk or do your words sound slurred or even nonsensical? Do your words catch in your mouth because one side of your tongue feels inoperable? Are you unable to purse your lips to mae a "p" or "
b" sound?

If your answer "yes" to ANY of the above than don't waste...

Time! The above symptoms are early symptoms of a stroke, and every minute lost is precious time lost. After about five minutes without oxygen, brain cells start to die. If you experience any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately! Do not wait for someone to drive you to the hospital - call rescue! The EMT's and paramedics will be able to start treatment en route to the hospital, and call the hospital so the Emergency Room personnel can prepare for your arrival. A friend or family member cannot accomplish this in their sedan or SUV.

My Mommie was very lucky. She did not have a stroke, but a virus that mimics the symptoms of stroke, resulting in Bell's palsy. The virus in question attacks the facial muscles on one side of the face, leaving those affected with facial paralysis. The paralysis is only temporary if you seek immediate medical treatment, so even if you are not convinced you are having a stroke the above symptoms do require immediate treatment to avoid permanent damage.

Do not be afraid or feel foolish calling for emergency assistance. Many an EMT has said that they would rather be called to duty for a false alarm than see a true emergency go ignored. Again, the word to remember is FAST:

The life you save may be your own. For more information on the early signs of stroke, please visit the American Stroke Association. They even have a free app for your Apple or Android smart phone! 


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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