I was reading an article in a newspaper the other day, about a GP Doctor, who was enjoying his usual cup of coffee and cereal with his wife, one morning somewhere in the UK.
His wife noticed that some cereal was dribbling down his mouth, and it was uncharacteristic of her husband not to clean it up immediately. She also suggested that his speech was a little slurred, but she was brushed off as being ‘silly’. He struggled a little bit with the keyboard on the computer, but again, he thought this could be anything. The Doctor went about his day, including going for a cycle into the local village, to convince himself further that there was nothing wrong with him and that his wife was just making a fuss.
Later on in the day, he sat down with his wife for a coffee and a well earned break, when his wife asked him “what would you do if a patient of yours presented these symptoms in your surgery?”
The Doctor had no answer for her, and he immediately rang for the emergency services, where he was taken off to hospital.
It turned out that he had had a Stroke, a small one, but still a serious event if ignored. His wife had been right to fuss over him, and just because he was a Doctor he thought he knew better. He recovered at home prescribed with a few circulatory drugs and to this day, listens to everything his partner says, even though he is the ‘expert’ in the Community when it comes to heath!
If you or someone you know has any of the following symptoms, don’t dismiss them as ‘old-age’ or one of these things, get yourself checked out by a health professional.
The FAST test helps to spot the three most common symptoms of stroke. But there are other signs that you should always take seriously. These include:
- Face – the face may have dropped on 1 side, the person may not be able to smile, or their mouth or eye may have drooped.
- Arms – the person may not be able to lift both arms and keep them there because of weakness or numbness in 1 arm.
- Speech – their speech may be slurred or garbled, or the person may not be able to talk at all despite appearing to be awake; they may also have problems understanding what you’re saying to them.
- Time – it’s time to dial 999 immediately if you notice any of these signs or symptoms.