Size Matters

Yes, you read that correctly. When talking about stroke, size for sure matters…

:::Dramatic pause:::

All strokes are taken very seriously by medical professionals due to the fact that stroke starts to kill brain cells immediately following an attack. Precisely “2 million brain cells die every minute a stroke goes untreated” according to the CDC.

I’ve always wondered how a “bad” stroke and a “normal” stroke are distinguished.

After receiving my medical records from Sutter Health, I found an interesting number that had correlated with my stroke.

After doing some additional research, I’d found this number scale is essential for doctors to determine how bad the stroke is for the individual patient.

The National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) is a literal stroke scale- a test, sort of speak- for the patient, that helps the medical professionals decipher how to best care for you.

When conducting this “test” they will ask you to touch your nose with your index finger. They will ask you to raise your limbs individually. They will even ask you your name and what year it is. You can see the entire list below, courtesy of The National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale.

Click here to view the stroke scale.

If you score a 15 on this scale, your chance of survival starts diminishing.

Any additional point above 15, and you’re more than likely to pass away due to stroke.

According to my medical records, when I got to Memorial Medical Center, my score was an 18.

After receiving 2 tPA shots, I was then sent to California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC).

tPA’s are a clot busting medication that is administered intravenously (through an IV). I will be posting more in-depth information about tPA’s in subsequent posts.

Once I got to CPMC, my score had gone down to a 15. Which was great, but like I said before, my life was still in danger.

CPMC acted very quickly in giving me the most optimal care. Starting with expedited assistance, my mechanical thrombectomy, and my rigorous therapy sessions.

I was sent home two and a half weeks later, just in time to enjoy Christmas with my children.

I was very lucky to have had someone with me during the onset of my stroke. Someone who knew the signs.

BE FAST is a catchy acronym that helps us remember the signs of stroke. I have this refrigerator magnet at home to help remind everyone just in case something were to happen.

I urge you all to do the same.

Here is the acronym spelled out:

B- Balance is a big indicator of stroke. If you suddenly lose balance and have a difficult time regaining balance. Call for help.

E- Eyesight is also critical when detecting stroke. In some cases, like my own, the patient can’t seem to focus.

F- Facial drooping is a sign of stroke because it means one side of the face is becoming paralyzed.

A- Arms and legs! If someone can’t move their limbs, feel their limbs, or experience weakness or tingling in their limbs, call for help!!

S- Speech! If someone suddenly experiences slurred speech or starts using words that don’t make since, CALL FOR HELP!

T- Time is brain cells! If you or a loved one experiences any of these signs, please call for help.

~You got this!~

For those of you who are unable to spend the holidays with your family due to stroke, I wish you peace, love and the knowledge that it will get better.

Published by unconscious2woke

Well hello there! My name is Jenni and I'm stoked you decided to check out my blog. I'm a stroke survivor promoting stroke awareness and stroke prevention. I will be providing facts about stroke, depression, mental health and my ways that I've learned to cope.

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