So here is my time to let you give you a little background on what I do and a PSA. :)
Speech pathologists work with individuals whose oral motor, swallowing, cognitive-linguistic, speech, or language skills have been affected by a neurological event/disease, head/neck cancer, or possibly debilitation related to an underlying medical disease process.
If you happened to look at my mini profile I stated I am a Speech Pathologist. I work at two hospitals, 1 full time and the other prn (about 10-15 hours/week). I work a lot. Anyways, both of them are level 1 trauma hospitals and my full time hospital is a Stroke Center of Excellence and the other one just had had a state of the art Neuro ICU renovation. Both of my hospitals are the major hospitals here in Atlanta and both get a large indigent population. One more so than the other. All this to say I see a variety of patients from laryngectomees to head injuries from falls to STROKES.
This is a definition of strokes I got from Wilkipedia:
A stroke, also known as a cerebrovascular accident (CVA), is the rapid loss of brain function(s) due to disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. This can be due to ischemia (lack of blood flow) caused by blockage (thrombosis, arterial embolism), or a hemorrhage (leakage of blood).As a result, the affected area of the brain cannot function, which might result in an inability to move one or more limbs on one side of the body, inability to understand or formulate speech, or an inability to see one side of the visual field.
A stroke is a medical emergency and can cause permanent neurological damage, complications, and death. It is the leading cause of adult disability in the United States and Europe and the second leading cause of death worldwide.Risk factors for stroke include old age, hypertension (high blood pressure), previous stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA), diabetes, high cholesterol, cigarette smoking and atrial fibrillation. High blood pressure is the most important modifiable risk factor of stroke.
I underlined the last sentence of the definition for stroke from Wilkipedia. Do not get me wrong strokes can happen for a variety of reasons. I see strokes secondary to drugs (coke strokes) and blood clots as a result of birth control pills or broken bones, but by and large a lot of my stroke patients have a diagnosis of hypertension (high blood pressure). Hypertension is something that a lot of people can change. Hypertension is not designated to just overweight/obese people. Hypertension affects all types of people. Environmental and lifestyle factors can influence hypertension. (Genetics can also influence hypertension, but I am not knowledgeable on that.) I am saying all of this b/c on a daily basis I see people who have had strokes and honestly I don't want to be one. I don't want it to happen to any of you. I have to get my shit together, like yesterday. I am fortunate that I don't have hypertension or any other overt medical risk factors, but with getting older and rocking a 300+ lb body, it's only a matter of time. So I'm grabbing hold of it now. Now if you are eating right, exercising and living a pretty healthy lifestyle, then I give you much props. But also remember that stress can also be a trigger for hypertension. Make sure to manage the stressors in your life!
A stroke is an EMERGENCY! Every minute counts! ACT F.A.S.T (Face Arms Speech Time). Some telltale signs of stroke are when one side of the face begins to droop, one arm becomes weak or numb and speech becomes slurred or person becomes nonverbal. I've also heard from patients that they have a huge headache and then nausea and vomitting prior to the stroke. If you notice these symptoms on yourself or anyone get to to the hospital ASAP. Even if you have the symptoms (facial droop, arm weakness, slurred speech) for a short peiod of time go to the hospital. You could have had a TIA (mini stroke) and want to make everything is ok.
*****Public Service Anouncement is over. Back to regularly scheduled programming! :)******
Disclaimer: I am NOT a doctor, I am a speech pathologist. If you are looking for more in depth information or you have had some of these symptoms happen to you, speak to your doctor.
Alright peeps it's the beginning of the week. Are you starting off strong?? If not, get it together! If you are, keep it up!