“Be Kind! ” This is what Jennifer Tyman Williams wrote on her Facebook a few weeks ago. Her husband was only 41 when he had his stroke…..
6 years ago today our world was interrupted and changed by a blood clot that got stuck in my husband’s brain stem causing a stroke. Ryan Williams has worked so hard to overcome and I cannot be more proud of him. Has changed both of us… But changed me to be more aware.
Know the symptoms of a stroke
Slurred speech Tongue when sticking out goes to the side Droopy mouth Loss of movement in limbs Dizziness
What To Do If You See Any of These Behaviors
Be aware of the disabled Stay clear of people walking with canes and in wheelchairs Cross a street with someone walking with a cane to make them feel safe Offer to hold a door for anyone Be patient in the grocery line or any line Be kind Host/hostesses – be aware of a cane stop seating the disabled in the back past open tables just bc that waiter is next Don’t stare… Don’t stare… Don’t stare – so rude
He doesn’t always realize how far he has come. I remind him everyday when he came home he was in a wheelchair… and that put everything in perspective. My hubby is my hero.
These are beautiful words. It certainly opened my eyes to look at people with my eyes WIDE OPEN.
Nina Mitchell was 26 years old when she suffered a massive stroke that robbed her of her speech and mobility. After surgery, months in the hospital and a grueling, yearslong regimen of physical and speech therapy, Mitchell — now 41 — is a successful writer, blogger, wife and mother.
Mitchell (@mindpop) joins Here & Now‘s Robin Young to tell her story.
On having a stroke at 26 years old
“There are various kinds of stroke. There’s the older people stroke, which tends to err on people who have high blood pressure and various other things. But then there’s another kind, and that tends to skew younger. It’s called hemorrhagic stroke. People with the more common kind of stroke have a clot in their brain. People with my kind of stroke have a bleed in the brain. So it’s just blood that leaks out into the gray matter itself.”
On having a smaller stroke prior to the massive one
“I had one that was about golf ball-size, which is not tiny, but that was being monitored. And then at this friend’s wedding, I just felt very strange. So I went home and then I called my parents, which was probably a good sign that something was very odd. My parents lived in Los Angeles, and they suggested that I go to a friend’s house for the night, given my history. And all my friends were at this wedding. So the only person who was home was my ex-boyfriend. And the next morning, I was just not making sense.”
“Your mind is so important to you, and it disappeared in my case for a while. And when it came back, it wasn’t the same as it had been.”
On symptoms she noticed prior to the stroke
“I had had problems typing, and I went to see a hand doctor, and she looked at me and said, ‘Oh, you don’t have carpal tunnel. But I’ll refer you to a neurologist, maybe you had a nerve injury.’ A few days later I went to see the neurologist, and he looked at me and said, ‘Go get an MRI immediately,’ because he noticed all kinds of things that I had just not picked up on. He noticed that it was hard for me to balance on my right leg, on my heels. Things like that where, I hadn’t noticed that. I had asked the neurologist, ‘What are we talking about,’ and he said, ‘Well, [multiple sclerosis], a brain tumor or a stroke, and stroke is the best possible option.'”
On talking with her son about how the stroke affected her
“I don’t really talk to him directly about it. But there’s plenty of things that he picks up on, just as a little kid. And I’m sure at times in the future, he’s going to notice. Right now there are little things like, you know, mom has trouble opening those really annoying pouches, like the baby pouches. Daddy does it better and faster if you’re hungry.”
On the phrase “mindpop,” also the name of her blog
“Your mind is so important to you, and it disappeared in my case for a while. And when it came back, it wasn’t the same as it had been. I just think of that as a good catchall for all the things that have changed.”
On experiencing grief over having a stroke at a young age
“Especially early on, when my lot of my friends were on the make: they were off to grad school and starting companies and writing books. That was very hard to watch that happen, because I had to stop and do rehab for years, while my other friends were, you know, discovering planets. But I think I sort of see my life as having ups and downs. I’m definitely in an up period. I have a lovely son, I have a lovely husband, I work. So it’s all very exciting.”
October 29th is World Stroke Day, a day to raise awareness about stroke, America’s fifth leading cause of death. World Stroke Day is a global campaign aimed at reducing the incidence of stroke around the world by educating communities on the facts and myths about stroke. In the United States, stroke affects nearly 800,000 people each year and is the leading cause of long-term disability.
A stroke occurs when blood supply to the brain is disrupted causing brain cells to die. Stroke can happen at any time and to anyone at any age. Timothy Gamble is a prime example of this as he was only 25 when he had a stroke over Easter weekend.
The American Heart & Stroke Association recommends that you think F.A.S.T. to spot the signs of stroke. Knowing the noticeable symptoms of stroke is important because the sooner a stroke victim gets to the hospital, the higher the chance of survival and decreases the likelihood of long-term damage.
F.A.S.T. stands for:
Face Drooping Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
Arm Weakness Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
Speech Difficulty Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “the sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
Time to call 911 If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.
To learn more about the F.A.S.T. stroke warning signs and other sudden symptoms of a stroke, visit www.strokeassociation.org.
The good news: Now, stroke is the 5th leading killer is the US…down from the 3rd just a few years ago. That means MORE people are surviving a stroke.
But it made me think: why not make EVERYONE aware of stroke and the problems it can cause so their survival would be assured? That is why I will be having links to other blogs and sites where you can learn more about the impacts of stroke and how you can be prepared. I will also continue to speak about my hurdles and challenges I go thru because I want you to know I still FACE them.
Have you had symptoms that might be from a mini-stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA)? Answer the questions below to see what your risk of stroke or TIA might be as compared to others who have answered the same questions.