Healthcare Professional and Survivor
My experience with stroke was actually a TIA (a transient ischemic attack or a "mini stroke")
that occurred suddenly one evening and fortunately left no permanent deficits
after running its course for about 30 minutes. Still, as both an individual and
a healthcare professional (I have been a physical therapist for the past 40
years), my life has been impacted by this experience. On a personal side, I
feel blessed to have known about the FAST mnemonic. During my TIA, I used it to quickly
identify what was occurring when my left arm went numb, my facial muscles
drooped and my speech began to slur. I was able to communicate to my husband
to take me to the ER where, even though my symptoms were resolving, they
treated me with great care and concern. I was hospitalized for 3 days following
this event. It was discovered that my previously diagnosed atrial fibrillation (Afib) was not being controlled and my doctor changed my medication to help control it. I also learned of dangers associated with my blood thinning medication.
Thankfully, all is well now. I've lost 40 pounds over the last year to increase
my overall health status. On a professional note, I have been able to use my
"story" for emphasizing what TIAs are all about for various classes
of physical therapy students. They are quite taken with the knowledge that one
of their instructors has experienced what for them is a foreign concept. I have been teaching for the last 37 years. Providing insight and
guidance about both the impairments associated with stroke and the physical
therapy management of those impairments have been primary teaching
responsibilities. "All's well that ends well" and, fortunately, my
story has a happy ending!
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