Could You Survive a Stroke?

body models

Recently a patient thanked me for saving his life. You don’t hear those words everyday. How did I save your life I asked? Two years ago I saw him for a physical. His blood pressure was 220/110. Absolutely I remembered him.

I took his blood pressure at least six times in various positions over a forty-five minute time frame. It stayed the same. How long has your blood pressure been this high I asked him.

I didn’t know it was high.

I feel fine.

He sat there relaxed, not a bead of sweat on his forehead, wondering why I was making such a fuss calling my collaborating physician, calling his physician, and asking him over and over: How do you feel? Do you have chest pain? Headache? Dizziness? Nothing? Really, you feel fine?

blood-pressure

That’s how it is with hypertension (high blood pressure). It’s earned the name silent killer for a reason. You can walk around with a blood pressure as high as this gentleman and feel nothing. Yet, you are a time bomb. No one knows if and when one of your arteries rupture or become blocked and you stroke, have a heart attack, or drop dead. It took over a year to get this patient’s blood pressure somewhat under control. Still, he suffered a stroke. A non-life threatening one, but a life altering one.

How do you know it’s a stroke? What do you do?

The stroke damaged a part of my patient’s brain. He has trouble expressing himself, is unsteady, and has problems with his memory. But he survived, he’s receiving rehabilitation and he’s grateful to be alive.

What can you do? Stay educated on matters of your health.

 

  • Check your blood pressure and see your provider if it’s higher than 120/80
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Don’t smoke
  • Eat right
  • Exercise

Take care of your body-it’s the only place you have to live. Jim Rohn

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Kathy

I've been a Family Nurse Practitioner since 1991. My most memorable patient was Meinhardt Raabe, the Munchkin Coroner from the Wizard of Oz. I now practice in Addiction Medicine and recently published Hepatitis C Quick Start: A guide for the clinician.

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