We are running the Houston Comeback Trail 5K - a charity event that supports the National Stroke Association. We have set a fundraising goal to support stroke awareness and education.
Jade became a stroke survivor on 12/15/2015, at age 27. Dan was there with Jade for both of her transient ischemic attacks (TIA), her stroke, her ER visits and hospitalizations, and an overwhelming number of follow-up appointments. On 4/14/18 we will jog a 5k to promote stroke awareness and education.
We have learned so much during this journey. A few highlights that can not be emphasized enough include:
- BE FAST = Balance, Eyes, Face, Arms, Speech, Time. The symptoms happen suddenly because they are neurological. Common symptoms include dizziness/loss of balance, vision problems, facial drooping, arm weakness/numbness/tingling, difficulty understanding speech or slurred speaking, and severe headache with no known cause. You may have just some of these, and they may resolve within a few minutes (termed transient ischemic attack). Either way, it is TIME to call 911 or have someone take you to the ER. We didn't know these signs, and wish we would have recognized it sooner.
- Strokes can happen to any one, at any age. We didn't expect Jade to have a stroke because she was relatively young and healthy. But all it takes is a little blood clot in the brain!
- Oral contraceptives (i.e., birth control pills) can increase risk for blood clots! We had no idea that Jade was at risk by taking oral contraceptives. A copper IUD is a much safer alternative for us.
- If you think you might have had a TIA or stroke, go to the nearest Emergency Room IMMEDIATELY. Do not go to an Urgent Care Clinic because they can't scan your brain, and TPA must be delivered quickly.
- Ischemic strokes can be treated with TPA if quickly diagnosed (ideally within 40 minutes). This could have saved Jade (and Dan) a considerable amount of money, time, and stress over the past two years.
- Rehabilitation is an ongoing process. Sometimes people assume that Jade is "done with rehab" and "back to normal," but Jade has yet to have a day that she doesn't feel the long-lasting effects of her stroke. She was lucky to have relatively minor impairment from the stroke, and has made significant strides (especially those first few months) since then. Jade continues to feel minor sensory and motor impairment, and has been surprised by the long-lasting muscle soreness as she continues to strengthen her left side.
- Stroke is the 5th leading cause of death in the U.S. & a leading cause of adult disability.
- Every 40 seconds someone in the U.S. experiences a stroke.
- Every 4 minutes someone in the U.S. dies from a stroke.
- Stroke kills two times more women than breast cancer annually.
Please support us as we continue our post-stroke journey. We appreciate support in many forms, including:
+ Telling us what you recently learned about stroke
+ Words of encouragement
+ Smiling and laughing with us
+ Monetary donations for our Comeback Trail 5k