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Ruth R

June 30, 2017

I am ... A Survivor

At age 54, I suffered a "lacunar" stroke in the right hemisphere thalamus in November of 2015. I didn't even know I'd had a stroke until I woke up from a nap with the right side of my mouth numb and my thumb and pinky finger on my right hand. At first I just thought I'd slept wrong and had a pinched nerve, but at the urging of my regular doctor I went to ER and they discovered the lesion -- in addition they discovered other small white matter lesions and sent me for MS testing. After all those MRI's and CT scans and a spinal tap, there was no MS or other autoimmune issues and said I just had a "syndrome" of these "silent strokes".

They're not hemmorragic -- but I had smoked for 37 years before quitting three years ago and, even though I had quit, the damage had been done. Also had some on and off blood pressure issues. Diet and lifestyle changes have gotten that under control. I now take aspirin every day in addition to lipitor because I began having high cholestral back in my 30s! And I am a tiny women with no history of weight issues. It can be very genetic. 

I also used to love to drink wine and learned that this can actually be harmful if you're trying to prevent future strokes in some people. Thanks be to God I haven't suffered another stroke but still have the cold stabbing pins and needles in the side of my mouth (especially during high pressure systems) and my thumb recovered but my pinky finger is still slightly numb. 

Just because you don't have diabetes or are  not obese and even though you quit smoking, you still are at risk of strokes if it's in your make-up. This is something that runs in my family, and while no one ever died from a massive stroke, it broke down cognitive functions during their 70's and 80's and CAN lead to dimentia. So I would urge every post-menopausel woman to keep your eye on your cholestral, your blood pressure, and and try to find any risk factors that might run in your family! 

Faces of Stroke Follow-Up: 

It's been almost two years since the first stroke and I did have another tiny one that went unnoticed, I feel better than ever!

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