Country music singer Loretta Lynn suffered a stroke at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. She is currently under medical care and is responsive and expected to make a full recovery. Loretta, who just celebrated her 85th birthday, has been advised by her doctors to stay off the road while she is recuperating.
May might be Stroke Awareness Month, but strokes happen every month. In fact, in the U.S., a stroke happens every 40 seconds, with someone dying from stroke every four minutes, according to the National Stroke Foundation.
When it comes to strokes, time is everything. Minutes can mean the difference between life, disability (stroke is the leading cause of adult disability in the U.S.) and death (stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S.) That’s because strokes occur when parts of your brain cannot get oxygen-carrying blood. Think of a stroke as cutting off the air supply for brain cells. The longer they go without oxygen, the more likely they are to die. And brain cells aren’t like soap opera characters. Once they pass they do not come back to life.
There are two general ways that blood supply can be cut off: one is a blood clot leading to what’s called an ischemic stroke and the other is a blood vessel leaking or rupturing, which is called a hemorrhagic stroke because there is bleeding. The treatment for a stroke? Recognize it as quickly as possible and save those brain cells by trying to rapidly restore blood flow. For an ischemic stroke, using blood clot-dissolving medications (tissue plasminogen activator or tPA) can work. Surgery or interventional radiology procedures may help either remove a clot or stop bleeding.
One way of remembering the signs of a stroke and what to do is FAST, as described by the National Stroke Association:
- 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 their speech slurred or strange?
- TIME: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.
LISTEN: Diabetes Late Nite inspired by Della Reese. We’re talking about ways to overcome the initial fears associated with a diabetes diagnosis. In 2000, Della was officially diagnosed with diabetes after collapsing on the set of the hit TV show “Touched By An Angel”. Guests include Diabetes Diabetes Alert Dog Trainer and Author from Chilbrook Kennels, Debby Kay, Central Farm Markets Co-Founders Debra Moser and Mitch Berliner, Master Hairstylist Karline Ricketts, the Charlie’s Angels of Outreach, Poet Lorraine Brooks and Mama Rose Marie.
Throughout the podcast we will be featuring selected songs from Della Reese’s albums courtesy of SONY Music.