Strike Out Stroke
Stroke is a devastating brain disease that can affect the destiny of an individual. It occurs when the blood supply and nutrients to brain is interrupted either by blockage of brain vessel with clot or outright rupture of the vessel concerned. Based on this we have ischaemic (blockage by blood clot) and hemorrhagic, which is rupture of brain vessels. The outcome (prognosis) is better than the former.
Stroke is not a respecter of age, person or status. It affects the young, the old, the rich and the poor. The risk factors that predisposes to stroke are common except for few changes in the young. Considering the morbidity and mortality involved in stroke, all hands should be on deck to strike out stroke.
It has been suggested that more than 750,000 Americans will experience stroke this year; 160,000 of them will die. But of the four million people who survive stroke, two-thirds then struggle with disabilities ranging from moderate to severe. The Nigeria rate may not be as that high, but there is no available data if any to compare with that of the western world. The only obvious thing is that the rate of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality is increasing among us and stroke is topping the chart. You can help “Strike Out Stroke” in your community.
Years back, a man in his middle age was on his way to attend a meeting at a nearby city when he suddenly felt dizzy, numbness in one part of his body and sudden blindness on one eye which resolved almost immediately. He blamed the incidence on the handiwork of his enemies who never wanted him to get the contract job. What happened was what is called transient ischaemic stroke (TIA) which is a warning sign to ‘real’ stroke. He became well for some months before the stroke struck. From that moment on, his entire dream went away. Friends and business associates supported for few months but later deserted him. He remained incapacitated for ten years before he eventually died.
There are many examples as we have also seen in the community within and outside the country who experienced truncated destiny. I pray God will not allow us suffer this setback and for those already having the problem, our God in His infinite mercy will heal and support you. As we pray in faith, let us study further, let us revise the risk factors for stroke and see how we can be involved to strike it out from our community.
Risk factors for a stroke
Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). This comes with age and excessive cholesterol in the body. By eating heart-friendly diet; fruits and vegetables, this can be prevented.
Diabetes is high sugar in your blood which can be well controlled on diet and drugs. I am not against faith or traditional healing but be careful of fake claim for cure. Many abandoned their medication only to land at emergency rooms with stroke or other complication of diabetes.
High blood pressure
High cholesterol level
Smoking. The man with stroke above was not having hypertension or diabetes but was a chronic cigarette smoker and alcoholic. He belonged to the group that finishes cartons of beer at a sitting. If you are in this category, make effort to stop this habit and strike out stroke
Previous transient ischemic attack (TIA)
Heart disease especially rheumatic valvular disease. This accounts for most strokes in the young. We have few of them on admission in one hospital or the other. If you notice any heart symptoms in your children please see cardiologist immediately. Other heart diseases like hole in the heart need to be treated on time. If you do not have money ,meet the philanthropist in the community. Wives of governors are there. Approach her Excellency, Mrs. Goodluck Jonathan. The batch she assisted just came back from India. Do not keep silent and watch your children’s future compromised
Carotid artery disease (the artery that carries blood to your brain)
Stroke Warning Signs
Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
If you noticed any of these symptoms please see your physician immediately. As you take care of yourselves think of others, and together we will strike out stroke.
Till next week, maintain a healthy heart