I am a retired neurologist in Indonesia who still has some stroke patients coming to me. Usually they are coming a few days after the attack. They usually go directly to alternative medicine like an acupuncturist. There they get a pin prick on the top of the fingers to let the blood comes out. Then they have to take Chinese herbs which I thought might be a blood thinner (as some complications were such as gastric bleeding). If there is no progress, then they come to us.
We have to do a whole medical checkup, included radiologic and lab examination to get the diagnosis and risk factors. We often have to face some difficulties in carrying out the right treatment and management.
1. It is very difficult to change their way of life and way of thinking (philosophy of life?). Most Asian invest in the upbringing of their children, so when they are retired, old or sick they think their children are responsible for their care. If it doesn’t happen, they are very disappointed and become very stressed.
2. Most people almost never live a healthy life, they do what they like, eat a lot of junk foods, smoke and do not exercise regularly. So there are a lot of stroke risk factors in them.
3. When they got sick, it is very difficult to change their way of life like changing the menu of food to avoid red meat and consume much veggies and fruits).
It is also very difficult to motivate them to do exercises (I have tried Exergames like Nintendo Wii Fit) as they consider that medicine is already enough to make them recover. And if it does not happen they become upset and stressed again.
My conclusion is that there should be a lot of public information about how to lead a healthy life which could be promoted through mass media and TV and should be practiced in schools, universities and senior clubs. As I still teach in a private medical school, I promote that the medical students be good family physicians. Hopefully, they could motivate people to live a healthy life, what to eat, doing regular exercises, stop smoking and have a positive way of life.