Wake Up Call:
A smoker for 40 years, Blanche knew the habit was unhealthy. But she had no idea how it would eventually affect her health.
When Blanche almost fell down one morning after getting out of bed, she blamed her dizziness on vertigo, a condition that makes you feel dizzy or lightheaded. But when she tried to turn on the light, her arm felt like dead weight. So she rested a short while until she felt better. Then she took a shower and drove to work. She had no idea she had suffered a mild stroke.
When she arrived at work, a co-worker noticed that Blanche was not walking straight. When Blanche spoke, she felt as if she had to push the words out of her mouth.
Blanche was lucky: When she got to the hospital, she was diagnosed with a transient ischemic attack, often called a “mini-stroke.” Unlike major strokes, mini-strokes don’t cause permanent injury to the brain. But mini-strokes can lead to a major stroke.
Blanche’s mini-stroke was a wake-up call. Two weeks after her mini-stroke, Blanche quit smoking for good. Like many African-American women, Blanche also had high blood pressure. She now takes medicine to control her blood pressure and walks her dog every day to stay active. She sees her doctor regularly and works to keep her weight down.
Blanche always talks to her friends and family about how to reduce their chances of having a stroke and how to recognize when someone is having a stroke. She has learned so much about how to prevent stroke, and she likes to spread the word to others about the importance of going to the doctor and quitting smoking.
Listen to Blanche's story here:
What did we learn from Blanche's Story:
- If you smoke, stop, if you don't smoke, don't start.
- Know the symptoms of a Stroke and TIA.
- Again, get regular checkups from your doctor.
- Again, monitor your Blood Pressure, record it daily, then take your BP records with you, for your doctor to look at.
- Exercise regularly, daily if possible. Make it part of your daily routine.
- Manage your weight, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Tell your friends and family your story, so they may avoid a similar situation.
All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Many opinions and viewpoints are based on my own Personal Stroke Recovery journey. As every Stroke is different, so is every Stroke Recovery. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Reliance on any information provided by the JGH Rehab website is solely at your own risk