Stroke Survivor Series: At Home
Part one of the Stroke Survivor Series
It’s a Friday night after a busy week at work. Your daughter is visiting from out of town and you can’t wait to see your grandson. You glance at your phone before sitting down for dinner and see that it's 6:19 PM.
Suddenly something doesn’t feel right. Your vision blurs. You try to talk to your family, but your words come out slurred and unintelligible. No matter how hard you try you can’t seem to say the right word. Time seems to warp, with each passing second feeling like an eternity. Panic sets in as you realize that something catastrophic is happening within you, yet you are unable to articulate your distress. Your blood pressure rises and starts to pound in your head. You try to use your hands to communicate when you notice that your right arm feels unresponsive. The left side of your face feels weak, you notice. You start to drool and don’t know why. You feel trapped within your own body as once familiar movements become impossible, it’s as though your brain is no longer connected to your muscles. You try to lift your right arm but it feels impossibly heavy. Trying to eat or use a fork seems out of the question.
You clumsily try to reach for your cup but you end up knocking it over and spilling the water everywhere. Your family members start to look at you, first with confusion and then with concern. You try to stand up but feel off balance, and you slump back in your chair. Heaviness envelopes your face and arm, like a dentist just injected you with numbing medicine. You feel no pain and you sit there trying to figure out what could’ve caused things to go so wrong. Everything is happening so fast. What had started off as a nice family dinner has transformed into a nightmare. Through a fog you hear your family calling out to you. They all seem so far away, when did they start speaking so quietly? It takes all of your concentration to understand what they say to you.
Focusing on their lips you stretch with all your might to process the sounds coming increasingly from all sides of the table at you. Giving it all the strength you have left you ask them to slow down so you can understand what they are saying. The sound that you are making doesn’t feel like language at all. Confused, you stare helplessly as your daughter pulls out her phone and calls 911. The oven clock glows 6:22 PM.
See what Zeit Medical is doing for stroke survivors and those at risk for strokes here.