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[Off topic] May is stroke awareness month

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Hi Folks…

Back on 12/27/07, I had a clot type stroke in the cortico-spinal area
of my brain…I was left with a paralyzed right side, a vague
awareness of what was going on, and a face out of a B-rated Horror
Movie… Because of the extent of the paralysis, I was told I faced
the prospect of assisted living…

That scared me more than anything…

Today, I am existing independently, though I need a brace and cane
to get around…My right hand (the prior dominant one) has maybe
20% function, with no fine motor control to speak of…Everything is
harder to do, essentially one handed, and I do get tired easily…

I’m not griping…I’m glad to be alive, and an independent
Survivor…My cognition was essentially unaffected…My face is
normal, as is my speech…I’m one of the luckier survivors…

The thing is…had I recognized what was happening to me, I might
have none of these affects… For a clot type stroke, there’s a 3-4
hour window when it can be reversed…I got to the hospital too
late to reverse it, but soon enough so I lived…

How common is stroke? It’s the third most common cause of death in
the US…Eighty percent of all strokes are the clot type…There
are over 6 million stroke survivors in the US alone…

How to ID a stroke…S…T…R…

REMEMBER the 1st Three Letters… S…T…R…

S…Ask the individual to SMILE.

T…Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE
(Coherently). Example…It is sunny outside today…

R…Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.

If the person (or you), have a problem with any of these tasks, it’s
time to call 911…

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

They’ve recently extended the window to 4 hours in some cases…

NOTE: Another ‘sign’ of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick’
out their tongue… If the tongue is ‘crooked’, if it goes to one
side or the other, that is also an indication of a stroke.

Hopefully this bit of knowledge will help some folks in the

Surviving a stroke takes a lot out of a person, both physically and

How successful one is depends a lot on the support they have, and
believe me, I can personally attest to the need for that
support…And thank the folks that provided it to me, from the
bottom of my heart…

I found a great online resource for Stroke Support…It’s a free
site, started, run by, and for, Stroke Survivors and
Caregivers…If you are a Stroke Survivor, or Caregiver, or know
someone who is, give them this link…

I suspect they’ll thank you…It puts you on the Forum discussion
page, and you will meet folks who are walking the talk…As a
guest, you can read the posts, to get a feel for what the site is


Another Anagram is F.A.S.T (Face, Arms, Speech, Time) If they have
trouble smiling or something is not “right” with their Face (F),
if they are unable to hold their Arms(A) out in front of themselves
at equal height, if their Speech(S) is affected or if the words
come out Slurred(S), then you need Time(T) to be on your side by
responding quickly. Don’t hesitate. It’s better to be wrong than

Care to All…

Gary W. Bourbonais
L’Hermite Aromatique
A.J.P. (GIA)