** This post is not the kind of post I regularly make, and I went back-and-forth about whether I should write it, but I think it’s very important lesson to share. You’ve been warned. **
It doesn’t matter what kind of physical shape you’re in, or any other factor, it can happen to you. There are different factors that can make the likelihood greater such as your weight, whether or not you have diabetes, smoke etc. but the bottom line is strokes can happen to anyone, anytime.
I’m not saying that you actually say those words or even think that but when you come across someone who’s had a severe stroke like the one I had, you probably look at them, feel sorry for them and probably don’t even think that you could be in the same situation. You can.
When I was in rehab there was a younger person, probably in his early 30s who had a stroke that, from what I could tell, only affected his speech. For the whole time I was there he did not utter a single word (that I can recall, but my memory is very sketchy of that time). We both had physiotherapy at the same time so while I was trying to learn how to walk he was in there doing things like jogging and lifting weights. Think I couldn’t even do before the stroke. Yet he he was in there trying to do it as much as he could to recover from the stroke. Riverview (the place I went to do my rehab) is not somewhere you get placed if you have a mild stroke so whatever happened to him must be on the inside, because on the outside he looked just fine.
There were other people both younger and older (mostly older) in rehab with me that if you looked at them would wonder what it was that caused them to have a stroke.
So next time you see somebody that’s had a stroke, and there’s a lot of us, please remember that that can happen to you. Every day in Manitoba six people are diagnosed as having a stroke. 15% of the people who have a stroke in Manitoba are likely going to die. That’s a very scary number. I was on the brink of being in that 15% but we must’ve hit our quota for the month and I was spared.
There is an election coming up and all of the major parties have said that they will fund a stroke unit in Manitoba. This is a good thing. Hopefully that will bring that number down.
So remember it can happen to you. The odds of you not having a stroke are in your favor, especially if you take care of yourself, so do. I sincerely hope you never have to go through the agonizing pain and suffering of having one because it sucks (I don’t remember the first two weeks of my stroke so I guess I’m lucky).
And now I am going to go back to my positive attitude. It actually sucked to write this post.