At lunch today one of my coworkers was in the office with me. She asked the secretary if the nurse was here today. The nurse was not in, and we were wondering why she wanted the nurse. She said that the episode was over now, but she felt her body go numb on the left side from her fingertips all the way up her arm into her shoulder and even the left side of the face. I immediately thought stroke; the secretary thought heart condition. After talking to her for a few minutes we let it go. I worried about it some during the afternoon, but became really concerned after school when she came to talk to us. She said that things seemed to be surreal and that she was going to call her mother who was a nurse and see if she needed to go to the emergency room. She ended up in the emergency room, and it was not a stroke, but I am not sure exactly what the diagnosis was. She is to take time off to rest tomorrow and see her family doctor.
A few months ago I was listening to Sunday morning radio and the program was on the signs of a stroke. It talked about an acronym to remember, which I could not today. I looked it up at www.stroke.org under signs and symptoms. It is important to act within three hours in the case of a stroke. The acronym is FAST.
Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms? Does one arm drift downward?
Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is the speech slurred or strange?
Time: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.