I had a major stroke in 2008. My first indication that something was wrong came when a friend called for a favor, and I was unable to help her, since I could barely process her words. Despite the fact that I couldn't speak or communicate, the possibility of stroke never occurred to me, so I went to work like it was any other day. After a few hours of total confusion and inability to read or write (I work as a copyeditor), I left work to eat an apple for lunch (in my disorientation, it occurred to me that perhaps I felt funny because I hadn't been eating enough fresh foods!) and take a nap at home.
My mother was the first to suggest that I might have had a stroke when I saw her several hours later. I didn't seek medical care until five days later, when most of my symptoms had resolved themselves. I finally saw a neurologist, who determined that I had a clot in the language center of my brain, and started me on treatment to prevent any further clots.
I was incredibly lucky to recover so quickly and fully, but I think more people under the age of 40 should be aware of the warning signs of stroke, and aware of the fact that it can strike at any age.
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