Monday, June 16, 2008

Information on Stroke

picture courtesy of Google Images

Since my husband suffered this cerebrovascular accident or stroke for short, my family learnt a lot about this disease and we learnt to be more health conscious. We are now eating healthy foods, more fruits and vegetables and mostly we buy food items with the Healthier Choice label by the Health Promotion Board.

Here are some information about stroke and stroke prevention courtesy of National Healthcare Group.

Stroke occurs because part of the brain is damaged by lack of blood supply. The lack of blood supply to the brain may be due to blockage or bursting of a brain blood vessel called an artery. The lack of blood supply leads to the symptoms of stroke. About 10% of stroke victims die from stroke. Many of thosee who survive are left severely disabled by the stroke.

Risk Factors:

1. 40 years old and above- but even younger people can get a stroke.

2. Male

3. High blood pressure


5. High cholesterol

6. Diabetes mellitus

7. Irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation)

8. previous stroke or TIA (mini stroke)

9. Excessive alcohol use.

My husband is not smoking, not drinking alcohol, exercises every day, and not diabetic, how come he became a stroke victim? From what I gathered from hospital information and the doctors themselves, stroke is hereditary and is the greatest factor.

As highlighted in , here are the risk factors for stroke that can't be changed.
Age - The chance of having a stroke more than doubles for each decade of life after age 55. While stroke is common among the elderly, a lot of people under 65 also have strokes.
Heredity (family history) and race - Your stroke risk is greater if a parent, grandparent, sister or brother has had a stroke. African Americans have a much higher risk of death from a stroke than Caucasians do. This is partly because blacks have higher risks of high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.
Sex (gender) - Stroke is more common in men than in women. In most age groups, more men than women will have a stroke in a given year. However, more than half of total stroke deaths occur in women. At all ages, more women than men die of stroke. Use of birth control pills and pregnancy pose special stroke risks for women.

So if you have a family history of stroke, you need to be more conscious and well informed. I think, it is a responsibility of a family member who survived stroke to communicate and inform their children and siblings their own experience, like what they felt with this disease so as their loved ones can also prepare and reduce stroke risk.

Symptoms of stroke:

1. Weakness or numbness of one side of the body.

2. Slurred speech, difficulty in speaking.

3. Loss of vision, double vision

4. Unsteadiness in walking, uncoordinated movements

5.Giddiness together with one of the above symptoms

6. The worst headache in your life.

7. Loss of consciousness, coma.

Stroke prevention:

1. Early detection and treatment of high blood pressure.

2. Not smoking.

3. Early detection and treatment of high cholesterol.

4. Early detection and treatment of diabetes mellitus

5. Early detection and treatment of atrial fibrillation

6. Taking prrescribed medication for previous stroke/TIA

7. Limited alcohol intake

8. Adopting a healthy lifestyle.

My husband is taking his medication religiously. Aside from having his physiotherapy and doing his daily exercises, he also eat healthy foods now. I cook food that is less in sodium and less oil for him.

Some of the dishes I cooked for him are here

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Follow Your Dreams

Above are photos of my husband before he had his left thalamic bleed. And whenever I look at him now, I feel a little bit sad. Sad that he is not that healthy now. There are so many "ifs " that are flashing in our mind which we should have done to prevent that stroke. You see, stroke is hereditary. As the doctor said, it is bound to happen but can be prevented. "If only if."

What console us now is that my husband is stronger in spirit now. He always recite his affirmations to himself which helped him realized how great a person he is. Here are some of his affirmation (taken from a book I let him read):

1. I am relaxed, trusting in God's plan that is unfolding for me.
2. I have a positively thinking mind and a perfect body.
3. I let go anything I have ever held against myself and see it dissove into the highest light.
4. I give myself permission to live, laugh & love to my fullest capacity.
5. Divine love now dissolves & dissipates every negative condition in my mind, body & circumstances.
6. My sense of worth cannot be measured by comparison with others.

Me and my daughters are very hopeful that my husband will recover fully. And this day, we want him to know that he is well loved. Happy Father's Day! We love you!!

This is for you.

Follow Your Dreams
Follow your dreams
wherever they lead,
don't be distracted by
less worthy needs....
Shelter them, nourish them,
help them to grow,
let your heart hold them
down deep where dreams go.
Be faithful, be loyal,
then all your life through,
the dreams that you follow
will keep coming true.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

My Pride and Joy

Since morning I was thinking of a way how to place all the photos my daughter sent me last month on my computer. My scanner has retired already. Then I remember my digital camera, my Canon IXUS 850 15. I decided to take a shot of each of the photos. You know what happened? The photos looked as if I took their pictures myself. Who would imagine I just aimed my shot on the paper and not on them posing in front of me? Thanks to my digital camera.

Now look at them, my pride and joy.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

My Thoughts

Hmm, I am now sitting in front of my home computer and decided to visit this blog site of mine. I decided I better write an entry now, while I am not that occupied yet. Well, I am on my fourth day of school holiday. And on the 23rd of this month, classes will resume again. Therefore, this is the right time for me to write my thoughts, those thoughts that are swaying and dancing in my mind.

1. When my husband suffered a brain attack or stroke for short in December 2007, I almost decided to resign from my teaching job so I could concentrate on my husband. In the end I continued teaching and find an alternative care for him. Now that he is already “well”, I am thankful that I made the right decision. I know in my heart that my pre-school children helped me a lot in coping with my situation. They made me happy, confident and loved even though I felt so lost, scared and confused then.

2. I heard a lot about anti-depressant pills like Prozac. Of course, I have nothing against these pills as long as they are prescribed correctly to the right people who need them. Though there are many articles stating new ideas or research which claims that millions of prescriptions for anti-depressants may be having no medical effect at all on the people taking them, I still cling to that idea that it can cure acute depression. But how to know if a person is suffering from depression? Just because a person is manifesting one or two of the symptoms, the doctor can assessed in one sitting that the patient is depressed? With that, I beg to disagree. Correct me if I am wrong, but I learnt in my Clinical Psychology that a person has to go for a battery of tests before he can be diagnose as suffering from depression. Though I believe that pills can help a lot in curing depression, psychotherapy should not be forgotten also. Why I am saying all these? Because my husband’s rehab doctor prescribed 20 mg of Prozac to be administered for a month without my knowledge. Oh, I was not there when he went for his outpatient appointment. But people could not understand why I was so ANGRY and decided not to give those pills to my husband. Why” marunong pa raw ako sa doctor…”? Well, I am “marunong pa sa doctor” for these reasons:a) the doctor concerned should treat my husband’s post stroke problems and not his well being, he is not a psychiatrist by the way, b) I have my right to refuse prescriptions which I think is not appropriate for him, c) I know my husband’s personality and state of mind. I’ve known him for years compared to this doctor who have known him for only a few months, d) I just don’t believe that my husband is depressed, PERIOD. NOW I am thankful that I never let my husband took a single of those pills. I let him read books on relaxation. I let him do relaxation exercises/techniques too.

3. My husband is back to work already. It has been a month since he went back to work. Though he still got difficulty with walking and he has problems with his posture and balance, I can see that he is progressing day by day. I bought the thread mill and exercise bike for him. He still is undergoing physiotherapy and massotherapy every weekend. I am doing my best to help him recover fully. Though, I need to be patient. But I am sure one day he will his own self again.

4. I will always feel the pain those people had inflicted on me and my daughters. Though I may have forgiven them, I will surely not forget. So please, I have closed the book already. Don’t ever come back to our lives again. We don’t need you.

5. I want to say that we still enjoy TFC here in Singapore. We all like LOBO very much. We like Angel Locsin. She can really act.

Oh, this is getting longer. I better write TO BE CONTINUED….