We catch up again, one year later.
Last year, we spoke to Nova Entertainment team member whose father suffered a stroke in 2015 . We caught up again to discuss the lasting impact stroke has had on her family.
In 2015, her dad collapsed when he was out on a morning walk along the Central Coast. He was rushed to the nearest hospital after a nurse recognised his symptoms as evidence of stroke. He had just turned 70 years old and was generally in good health. Last year, she shared her heartbreaking story:
It’s devastating and absolutely heartbreaking. The poor man, it’s been four years and he can’t do anything for himself. We’re lucky he’s still with us but the damage has been done. It’s like there’s been a car crash in his brain.
A stroke happens when blood flow to the brain is interrupted by a blockage in an artery, starving the brain of oxygen and essential nutrients. Symptoms include blurred or decreased vision in one or both eyes, numbness and weakness or paralysis in the face, arm or leg. Other symptoms to look out for include difficulty understanding or speaking, dizziness, difficulty swallowing or a severe headache.
How is he now, one year later?
Dad’s still in high-level care with nurses working around the clock. His speech has improved since he had the stroke. We’re really working on that and continuing to do as much as we can.
We’ve all had to adapt to the new normal in 2020. For her Dad, the pandemic has had a huge impact on his quality of life.
We were supposed to go back to Ireland to see his family for St. Patrick’s Day. Obviously now, we can’t go anywhere. He’s getting quite homesick as he can’t go back to see his brothers and sisters who are getting older. I think that was getting him through but who knows when that will be now.
What can you do to reduce the risk of stroke?
Lifestyle changes are key. Say goodbye to cigarettes, for one. Smoking more than doubles your risk of having a stroke.
Alcohol isn’t much better, either. As hard as it may be to turn down that extra glass of wine on a Friday, try to enjoy alcohol in moderation. It really pays to listen to your body.
Look at ways to reduce your stress levels – perhaps through exercise or cooking. A huge benefit to your overall health is limiting your sugar, salt and saturated fat intake. Paying attention to your diet and eating well will help you maintain a healthy weight – another important part of stroke prevention.
Knowing your risk of stroke is extremely important. Blooms The Chemist can help you understand your risk with a free stroke risk assessment. Your one on one consultation with an expert pharmacist only takes nine minutes – an important nine minutes that could literally save your life.
Think FAST — Face, Arms, Speech, Time.
The Stroke Foundation recommends an easy way to remember the most common signs of stroke.
Face: has their mouth dropped?
Arms: can they lift both arms?
Speech: can they understand you? Is their speech slurred?
Time: is critical.
If you notice any of these signs, call 000 straight away.
A Blooms The Chemist Stroke Risk Assessment takes only nine minutes and is an initial step toward stroke risk prevention.
Your pharmacist will take your blood pressure and ask a series of simple lifestyle, familial history, and age-related questions, to assess your overall risk of stroke.
If your pharmacist thinks you may be at-risk of stroke, you will be advised to seek prompt medical advice. Written results will be provided to allow you to share this with your doctor.