Larry's experience shows us that we can never be complacent about preventing strokes

Larry White, a Chronic Disease Manager for the South Carolina Department of Health and
Environmental Health, was teaching a program named "Power to End Stroke" and felt very knowledgeable on the subject at the time of his Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA).

His father had passed from strokes, and his grandmother suffered from heart disease.  He knew about strokes from several different perspectives, and he knew he was at risk as far as his family history was concerned.  His first hand experience taught him more than he had ever learned though.  

He remembers missing signs from the day before he had the TIA, and even didn't take the symptoms he experienced seriously, as he now realizes he should have.  Larry was driving when this began, and he realized he was unable to stop his vehicle at a red light.  He utilized his other foot to do so, and knew he needed to call the doctor.  Ignoring the recording "If this is an emergency, hang up and call 911" on the answering machine of the doctor's office, he left a message and carried on with his day.  

Carrying on with his day included going to work meetings and "doing everything the doc asked me not to do" before driving himself to the hospital.  In fact, Larry says he wouldn't have paid any further attention to the symptoms had his doctor not instructed him to go to the emergency room.  This was because while he knew something was wrong, he did not realize he was experiencing stroke symptoms.  He was hospitalized for three days for a TIA.  

After returning home from the hospital, Larry was out of work for a few days but was then able to return to everything he was doing prior to this attack.  This included his career as a Chronic Disease Manager, and engulfing himself as an advocate for several causes around his community.  Larry reports being in good health overall prior to the TIA, and attended routine doctor visits.  He now continues a healthy lifestyle by maintaining a healthy diet and walking twice daily, and he does not hesitate to go to his doctor when he feels uneasy.  Using his "real life testimony" to his advantage, Larry finds his audiences are more engaged in his training sessions.  

As someone who has devoted his life to supporting others in his community, he is happy to hear individuals share their experiences or those of family members so openly with him.  In reflecting on his knowledge of stroke prior to his own encounter, Larry says, "I do wish that someone had told me that some strokes are silent and painless, while others can be devastating and debilitating."  This information is now something he never leaves out of his educational sessions!

Find out more about stroke prevention at www.worldstrokecampaign.org

Picture credit: Paul Olsen 
Story source: http://youngstroke.org/
Larry's experience shows us that we can never be complacent about preventing strokes Reviewed by Sarah Belson on Thursday, October 19, 2017 Rating: 5

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