:S. T. R .Posted: February 12, 2008
S. T. R. The first three letters of the word stroke. Remember that. It could make a difference in someone’s life.
I had a client, Ann Jennings was her name. Winston, a Lhasa Apso, was her dog. Winston and Ann were referred to me by an instructor at the training center I use. Winston was a star in his puppy class. I suppose the instructor thought he should be groomed by someone familiar with the breed. Every four weeks Ann and Winston would make the trek up the mountain to my shop in downtown Evergreen. Ann, the picture of health and well-being, led an active lifestyle, caring for her grandchildren, catering parties. Mandy, one of her granddaughters devoured dog books, wanted to be a veterinarian and had visited my kennel with her grandmother.
One day Ann came into the shop with her arm in a sling. When I asked her what happened, she replied, “Oh, Debby. I’m so clumsy. I was hiking along Bear Creek Trail and I fell. I went down so clumsily that I’ve really gone and done it to my arm and wrist. Silly me.”
A few months went by, Ann never missing an appointment with Winston. One day I received a phone call. A strange voice inquired if this was the shop where Winston had his hair done. It was Ann’s daughter. Ann had suffered a stroke, a massive stroke. Ann’s husband brought Winston up after that…at least until they moved into a house in southern Colorado, where it would be easier for him to care for Ann.
It was discovered Ann hadn’t been clumsy on that hike. She’d had a small stroke. That’s why she hit the ground so hard, unable to catch her fall. Maybe if one of the hikers that assisted her right after fall had known S.T.R., Ann would have been aware she’d had a stroke and that could have been addressed in addition to the surgery and physical therapy for her arm and wrist. She was one of my favorite clients and I’d like to dedicate the following to her and her beloved Lhasa Apso, Winston.
A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke… totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough.
RECOGNIZING A STROKE
Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke .
Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:
S * Ask the individual to SMILE.
T * Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently) (i.e. It is sunny out today)
R * Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.
New Sign of a Stroke *Ask the person to ‘stick’ out his tongue.. If the tongue is ‘crooked’, if it goes to one side or the other , that is also an indication of a stroke.
If the victim has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, get him/her to an Emergency Room ASAP or call 999/911 immediately.
I’m going to add the fourth letter in stroke. S.T.R.O. Smile. Talk. Raise. Out. Ask for a SMILE. Ask the person to TALK. RAISE the arms. OUT with the tongue.