My Brother's Stroke
It's been over two years since my brother had a stroke at age 51. He lives by himself a long ways from any family in a small town out on the Texas prairie. I have a habit of talking to him every Sunday night at 9:00 p.m. I called him as usual on Sunday, November 29, 2009. He sounded different on the phone. His voice wasn't the same. He also complained of being dizzy and therefore, not able to walk. He said he had to crawl. I knew something was wrong, but on some level I wanted to believe it would all be alright, so I never called 911 for him (not that he wanted me to). Instead, after our abbreviated conversation, I sent him an email asking if everything was alright. What a dufus I was!
You would think I could do better by my own brother! How would you feel if you neglected to heed the warning signs of a stroke happening to your loved one?
Fortunately for my brother, he survived his stroke. In fact, he is so dedicated, he even managed to drive to his job the next day! That's when the security guard noticed him stumbling through the parking lot and called the nurse who then called the ambulance to take him to the hospital.
Since then, he has had physical and occupational therapy. Today, he has recovered to an extent, but not 100%. He is able to walk with a limp, able to drive with a knob on the steering wheel, and able to perform the duties at his clerical job, although not quite as efficiently as he used to since he has very limited use of his left hand. Perhaps he can still recover further, but he is no longer getting physical therapy. He was lucky in many ways including the fact that the hemiparesis was on his left side instead of his right side, since he is right handed.
Still, I wish I had gotten him the help he needed sooner. How much better off would he have been? It's hard to say. But we can never do too much for the people we love.
Take time to learn the warning signs of stroke! The life you save may be your own or that of a loved one!