This story begins on Carmi’s Blog, and the article: Winding Down the Day that Was
Because this story involves one of my long time friends here on the web, I thought that I would share with you my story, as it pertains to this subject … STROKE.
Back in the day, (circa 1979-1982) both sets of grandparents were still healthy, alive and able.
In my junior year in Junior High School, that would have been 8th grade, we got a call from Connecticut and my uncle on the phone saying that my father’s mother, had had a stroke, and was in hospital. What we did not know then, made all the difference.
Simply put, nobody knew what to do, us, or the medical community.
My grandparents lived in a ranch house, with a grand staircase to the second floor and the bedrooms, it would have been a challenge to get a gurney up those stairs, and ambulance service, back then was almost non- existent as it is today.
Time was of the essence and too much time was lost, in treating her properly. They did not have the drugs we have today to take care of patients. So time and medication was limited and the damage was done. My grandmother had total right side paralysis and lost her speech, save for a few four letter words that she shouted at any given moment.
My father took me out of school, at age 13 and charged me with the task of magically showing up at her bedside, in the hopes that my just being there, would rouse her out of her stupor, and that she would see me, the first born grandson she doted upon, and get up and walk and speak normally.
That did not happen.
We took a night flight out, and the next morning we were taken to the hospital. I walked into her room, grammy’s face was half on the pillow, and half sliding off of her skull. She was drooling and bunched up due to paralysis.
I fainted and my skull hit the floor, which sent me to the E.R. to be checked out.
Over the next few days, I sat with her trying to get her to speak, to see letters, and see flash cards, hoping against hope that she would rise up. I failed at this mission. And I don’t think my father ever forgave me for failing this mission.
There were no special therapy houses or clinics. No special wards for those who were suffering. Patients with debilitating issues were sent to the city hospital (read: Insane Asylum) where psychiatric patients were locked up, but there was a ward with regular beds, stuck in between.
That hospital was abominable. My grand parents, together, never got the care they deserved.
A year to the date my grandmother had her stroke, my grandfather was felled by his own.
Now both were in long term care, (read: Asylum) and were moved from site to site.
My father packed up their house, sold off everything that he could, sold the house, and brought my grandparents to Florida, where we could see them daily, or weekly, as it was.
My grandmother moved from a wheelchair to a cane over the next ensuing years. My grandfather was less limited, and only became more of a pain in the ass.
They moved from one care home to the next. They never really rose to the challenge of being able to properly care for long term patients who needed specific care. They were mistreated by staff. The nurses did a half ass job, and some even stole money and clothing that we would give them / buy them over the years.
It was terrible.
Both my grandparents died later on in my life. I was devastated.
My father was never the same, after this entire ordeal. It fucked him up for life.
So the signs … F. A. S. T.
- FACE … Is your face drooping
- ARMS … Can you lift them
- SPEECH … Can you form words, speak
- TIME … Call 911 immediately
There are several types of strokes, that may happen over a period of time, but they all end up the same way, with a blood clot that travels to the brain, and cuts off oxygen to the brain, therefore causing the death of brain cells and the stroke.
If you think you are having any of these symptoms, stop, pay attention, get help immediately.
- Do Not Wait.
- Do not Think, ah, this is just a little problem, it will go away …
- Think, Act, Get Help Immediately
It could save your life or the life of someone you love.