This month marks the first anniversary of losing my dad (May 12, 2020).
My dad suffered a massive stroke at age 64 in September of 2006 that left him paralyzed for the remainder of his life. I go back to the day he had a stroke in my mind asking myself. Did I miss something? Could I have done more? It was a typical day at Bowthorpe Insurance. He had been to the office and worked a full day. After work, he even stopped by my house to drop of something before he headed back home to Heber City. He was home for a short time before my mom came home from teaching school and asked if they should go to my brother's baseball game. My dad had slurred speech and couldn't respond. My mom dialed 911 and they sent an ambulance. They rushed him to the Heber Hospital, where a doctor did a few tests and called for a life flight. He was then transported to LDS hospital in Salt Lake City, where he spent the next three months. It was clear from that day that his life would never be the same. He would never come back to the office. He was paralyzed on his left side and insulin-dependent diabetic—a new dad and a new life for my mom and the rest of the family. I had been blessed to work with my dad for ten years, learning the insurance business. Suppose you have ever wondered why I am so passionate about Medicare. I knew it firsthand, helping my dad navigate his care and treatment options. My dad turned 65 years old in the hospital. He was too young to suffer a stroke.
Do you know the signs of stroke?
May is National Stroke Awareness Month. If you or someone you're with may be having a stroke, pay particular attention to the time the symptoms began. Some treatment options are most effective when given soon after a stroke starts.
Signs of a stroke include:
Trouble speaking and understanding what others are saying. You may experience confusion, slur your words or have difficulty understanding speech.
Paralysis or numbness of the face, arm, or leg may develop sudden numbness, weakness, or paralysis in your face, arm, or leg. This often affects just one side of your body. Try to raise both your arms over your head at the same time. If one arm begins to fall, you may be having a stroke. Also, one side of your mouth may droop when you try to smile.
Problems are seeing in one or both eyes. You may suddenly have blurred or blackened vision in one or both eyes, or you may see double.
Headache. A sudden, severe headache, which may be accompanied by vomiting, dizziness, or altered consciousness, may indicate that you're having a stroke.
Trouble walking. You may stumble or lose your balance. You may also have sudden dizziness or a loss of coordination.