My grandfather (or Lolo in Filipino) was one of my best friends. He would take me for walks to the park every afternoon and push me on the swing. Then on our walk back home we detoured to the local groceries to pick out a juicy potato. At home, I eagerly watched my Lolo peel and chop the potato. I knew what he was doing! Impatiently, I waited for my potato chips to be in front of me with tomato sauce ALL over them! Sadly, my Lolo suffered a stroke. It was scary to watch as a toddler. If there is a history of stroke in your family (your parent, grandparent, sister or brother suffered a stroke), your risk of stroke may be greater. So be sure to be assessed by your general practitioner.
According to the Stroke Foundation of Australia1:
Stroke is one of the biggest killers and leading cause of disability.
1 in 6 individuals will have a stroke.
Types of Stoke
Blood clot or plaque blocks a blood vessel in the brain.
A blood vessel in the brain ruptures (i.e. blood leak into the brain).
Transient ischaemic attack (TIA)
Signs of a stroke are present but go away within 24 hours. Although TIA is considered as a mini-stroke, TIA’s is a warning sign.
When an individual is having a stroke, time is of the essences.
“Early recognition leads to early treatment and improved clinical outcomes, increasing symptom recognition could have an impact on stroke survival and stroke patients’ quality of life”2.
A stroke may result in muscle weakness/paralysis, loss of feeling in the arm/leg, gait disturbance, fatigue, speech impairment, altered sensations, memory impairments, difficulties in awareness/orientation/problem solving/reasoning skills, or even death to list a few.
Keep an eye out for the signs of a stroke. You could save a life by remembering this easy acronym –> F.A.S.T.
F = Face – uneven smile
A = Arm – both arms can’t raise equally
S = Speech – speech sounds different
T = Time – Hurry, call 000!
Physical activity in the form of aerobic activity and/or muscle-strengthening exercise provide benefits for stroke survivors.3
2. Wall HK, Beagan BM, O’Neill HJ, Foell KM, and Boddie-Willis CL (2008). Addressing Stroke Signs and Symptoms Through Public Education: The Stroke Heroes Act FAST Campaign. Prev Chronic Dis; 5(2): A49.
3. Billinger SA, Arena R, Bernhardt J, Eng JJ, Franklin BA, Johnson CM, MacKay-Lyons M, Macko RF, Mead GE, Roth EJ, Shaughnessy M, Tang A; American Heart Association Stroke Council; Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing; Council on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health; Council on Epidemiology and Prevention; Council on Clinical Cardiology (2014). Physical activity and exercise recommendations for stroke survivors: a statement for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Stroke;45(8):2532-53