Angela went about her regular daily routine on Monday, she put in eight hours work; after work she stopped by the grocery store to pick up a few items; then she went home and prepared dinner and spent a pleasant afternoon with her family. Later Angela went to the mall to finish up some last minute Christmas shopping.
The next day was pretty much the same routine. What Angel didn’t know; there was a ticking time bomb inside her brain, just waiting to explode. She didn’t realize that both her blood pressure and her cholesterol were extremely high. She didn’t realize there was an artery inside her brain that was more than 85 per cent clogged. She felt wonderful; she couldn’t have felt better, everything was going just right. Angela went on about her daily routine going to work and planning a fun and beautiful holiday with the family.
On Wednesday morning, Angela was getting ready to go to work; when she stumbled just a little; as she walked to the shower. Just a little stumble, nothing big. Later that night, Angela was walking from her living room to the kitchen; she thought her left foot stuck to the floor for a few moments. Had to have been her imagination, she was walking just fine the next minute. Her daughter thought she detected a slight change in her mother’s voice; seemed as if it slurred a little. Angela put it off as just being sleepy and her daughter agreed.
Angela still had no idea that her blood pressure and her cholesterol were dangerously high, anything could happen at any minute. Angela was at a high risk for a major stroke or a major heart attack. She was only 51 years old and feeling great, naturally, a stroke or heart attack was not something that was on her mind. Angela and her family watched movies on TV and had a regular family night before retiring for bed.
Walking to her car the next morning, Angela experienced more difficulties with her left leg. Seemed as if it dragged, just a little. She figured she slept wrong, so she got in her car and took off for work. God must have sent an Angel to guide and protect Angela, it was a miracle that she made it to work safe and with no accidents. It was a miracle that she was able to park her car, in the parking lot, with no incident and without running into another car, or a tree or the building. On her way to work, Angela totally lost control of her automobile; she lost mobility on the left side, it was almost impossible to control the car with her right hand, her car was all over the road. Usually, Angel could drive with one hand, but on this day something was going on in her brain. She was having a stroke. Actually she’d already had a stroke and didn’t know it. The stroke was progressing. Angela was experiencing a slow progressing major stroke. With God’s help Angela made it to work and inside her work place.
It would have been better if an ambulance was called but nobody expected a stroke so Angela’s husband was called instead of an ambulance. At the hospital, Angela was diagnosed with a mini stroke and was allowed to go home with medications, even though it was the policy to keep stroke patients over night for observations; the doctor discharged Angela because she didn’t want to spend a night in the hospital if it wasn’t life threatening.
Since this was a slow moving major stroke and not a mini stroke as the doctor alleged, the clock was still ticking inside of Angela’s head; the stroke was progressing and Angela’s condition was getting worst every few hours. Angela returned to the hospital the next day and was admitted into the hospital, where more tests were taken. Her blood pressure was extremely high and her cholesterol had sky rocketed, it was exceptionally high. The stroke progressed until it stole Angela’s speech, she lost mobility on the left side; and would need a wheel chair when she was able to get out of bed. She was down graded from a regular diet, to a soft diet and later that same day she was down graded to a puree diet and finally to a feeding tube.
Just a few days ago, Angela had no idea that her blood pressure and cholesterol were high and that she was on the verge of having a major stroke. She felt wonderful before she started having symptoms.
This is what makes high blood pressure and high cholesterol so dangerous; this is what makes them a silent killer; some people can be walking around feeling great and meanwhile the blood pressure or cholesterol or both can be dangerously high and the person doesn’t feel any symptoms. Or like Angela, a few days before her stroke came into full play, she had symptoms that were ignored, because other wise she felt fine.
There were no dizziness, or stagger when she walked, there were no red spots before her eyes, or passing out, or swelling of the ankle. Angela was leading a normal life until that one morning; on her way to work; then the stroke took control of her body.
At first, the doctors and neurologists thought the disabilities, from the stroke, would be permanent and they advised Angela to learn how to live with her disabilities. Angela didn’t buy that. She believed she would beat this stroke. She has lots of hope, faith and determination. She is a fighter.
After spending a couple of weeks in the hospital, Angela went to a rehab center where she received extensive therapy. Angela worked hard, prayed and held on to faith and hope. She is getting so much stronger. The feeding tube will soon be gone. Angela can now chew and swallow puree food and drink thick liquids. She can use her right hand to eat; with no help from others. Her spirit is high; she has lots of faith and hope. She laughs and jokes with the family. Her speech has improved and is improving more each day.
Seven weeks have passed since Angela suffered that major stroke; the doctor and neurologist now believe that she will recover from most of the disabilities that was caused by the stroke.
Angela will be released from the rehab hospital in a couple of days, she still has a long ways to go; at home, she will need a lot of help because she is still confined to a wheel chair and she will need so much help from family and friends. She has a lot of hard work ahead of her in therapy. She has given up smoking and not only does she feel good about it, she have realized how much money was spent on cigarettes.
Angela’s advice to everyone is to get your annual check up every year. If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure or high cholesterol, take your medication everyday no matter how good you feel or how young you are; if your doctor feels you need medication to control your condition, by all means take your medication. Sometimes your cholestrol can be controlled by a diet and exercise alone. In other cases medication may be needed to control the condition if diet and exercise can’t do the job.
You need to do what it takes to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control. Also, there are portable high blood pressure monitors that can be bought for home use; you can keep a regular check on your blood pressure by using this monitor. Visit your doctor on a regular basic, exercise and eat healthy.
No matter how good you feel; if you are walking around with high blood pressure or high cholesterol; even if you feel great, you can be a time bomb waiting to explode. It is extremely important to stay over night in the hospital for observation if you had any type of stroke, no matter how slight; you need to be observed for any changes that may take place. Even if you are diagnosed with a mini stroke, if the doctor recommends that you spend the night in the hospital; listen to the doctor.
Remember if your blood pressure or cholesterol is not kept under control, if you are walking around with high blood pressure or high cholesterol, you could be a walking time bomb, just waiting to blast off. See your doctor on a regular basic and talk to him or her about options on how to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control.