Lessons Learned…Think FAST!

So a very considerable lesson has been learned out of this weeks events that I would like to share with you all if ever confronted with these effects. As a survivor and advocate of stroke you’d think I’d know if I was having an episode…Well, in fact, I did not! In fact 2 symptoms were noticed, ignored, and precautionary measures were not acted upon for nearly 48 hours…

Always think of FAST:
F…Face-Ask them to smile. Does the face look uneven?
A…Arms-Ask them to raise both arms. Does one arm drift down?
S…Speech-Does their speech sound strange?
T…Telephone-Brain cells die every second. Call 911 at any of these signs.

Now the timeline…
1. Thursday/Friday/Saturday/Sunday…PSU home football weekend, typical shenanigans, rowdy tailgate, cheer hard, a couple aggressive “WE ARE” chants, and in bed by midnight.
2. 8:30am Sunday…I wake up see my fellow PSU buddies off with no sign of compilation nor confusion.
3. 9:15am Sunday…Back to bed at for an hour
4. 10:30am Sunday…wake up to say good-bye to the final houseguest and I immediately realized that my sentences were slurred something awful. I thought nothing of it a concluded that it was due to vocal fatigue from events of a rowdy evening prior.
5. 12:30pm Sunday… Still feeling fatigued so I went back to sleep and wake up with no change in vocal deficiency.
6. 10:00pm Sunday…Commence to bed, thinking this all would pass by morning.
7. 5.30am Monday…woke up and got ready for work. I could still hear my effected voice and noticed slight “facial droop” when I smiled on left side.
8. 9:00am Monday…I made a phone call into one of my customers to realize immediately that I was truly struggling getting sentences out (mentally structuring words was fine but delivery was certainly noticeable that something was off).
9. 11:00am Monday…I start to get very concerned and start making phone calls to family
10. 1:00pm…Enter Mt Nittany ER where CT scan is performed and no sign of brain bleed is found
11. 11:30pm Monday…MRI performed to pin point root cause.
12. 5:00pm Tuesday…Neurologist confirms that acute ischemic stroke was detected having nothing to do with hemorrhagic stroke from eleven years ago. Complications due to a torn vessel in neck sending blood clot to brain.

Again, this outcome could have been far worse. Educate yourselves warning signs. Acknowledge when something is off with your body, and don’t wait to seek medical treatment!

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