Welcome back to the “Healthy Life” podcast. Today I want to talk about intuition - our 6th sense and how it relates to stroke. For many this may not be something you were aware of. For others you could probably sit down and give me a lecture.
Intuition is something that many people say they don’t have... so instead of calling it that, I will refer to it as their still small voice. Consider this: when I was in the middle of suffering my stroke I knew... I knew what was happening and I felt like I was in a slow motion movie... watching as it occurred. For me I went from suffering a hot flash, to projectile vomiting and then slowly loosing control over the right half of my body as I made my way through a gymnasium to a woman’s bathroom. I saw myself as I made my way inside the bathroom and clung to a sink so I wouldn’t fall down... I heard my self issuing verbal commands to my cousin who was with me and I heard the nurse in the bathroom speak to me as she helped me to the floor.
In my head I was transitioned to a time, when as a paramedic, I showed up to a car on a “man down” call... that meant we had someone with an unknown medical emergency. When we pulled up at the scene at a university parking lot with a middle aged man sitting in the drivers seat of a nice car slumped over the steering wheel... seemingly conscious but non-responsive. I remember speaking to him as we gently lifted his head and place a neck brace on him. His eyes were opened and looked panicked... I spoke slowly and reassured him and explained everything we were doing while still hoping to get a verbal response. My own history, experiences, and training had taught me to be aware and observing everything around as I worked. I looked at him carefully being inches from his face, I gently sniffed to detect any odors that might be present on his breath...hmmm none... my mind was working all the while.. I used my penlight to check his pupillary response and notice it was slightly sluggish on the right. I called for our half board as we gently strapped him to it, rotated him and slid him onto our awaiting stretcher. Great! He’s out... now we could move him to our MICU and do a more proper evaluation out of the hot sun. We placed him inside and closed the doors. I stayed at his head and explained everything we were doing as we did it. We completed our exam an I became aware as soon as he was in the MICU that he wanted to... but could not communicate so I asked him if he understood me to close his eyes and keep them closed until I asked him to open them. He did! Hallelujah, communication at last. When I asked him to open his eyes then he did and I noticed a tear welling up. As I gently dabbed the tear I asked him to blink once for no and twice for yes. We were all thrilled and emotion was filling us all. He had suffered a stroke and couldn’t tell anyone. It was up to us to not only figure out what happened but begin to restore him emotionally and mentally. As we made our way to the hospital I was able to glean a good medical history through blinks... and I saw him later in ICU after his voice started returning... he was overjoyed at the lengths taken to communicate...
Fast forward to my own stroke... I knew what was happening but I didn’t know how much I would be able to talk and be understood. That “intuition” is often our own experiences leading us and guiding us. I can’t count the number of times as a paramedic that I’ve been called to a house where a person is unresponsive only to discover they’ve suffered a stroke.
I have found that as a stroke survivor we often live in our minds because our bodies don’t work right. I think that’s one of the reasons that we tend to be sad, seemingly depressed, and introspective. We often lack that still small voice or person that will keep us encouraged and properly focused. Many times we slip into a negative cycle without even recognizing it.
My husband and I used to have key words when we were around our kids and needed to convey something, home owners who have security systems have a code word if there alarm goes off. Sometimes as a stroke survivors I think we need to have a key word that we can use when we’re in trouble and need help to be encouraged or focused.
One of the things that we as stroke survivors often do is tend to repeat ourselves or seemingly shift responsibilities or blame on to others. Suck it up and face facts we’re not the same after our stroke. I have found I need lists much more and rely on them. Now I blame my stroke for this but others say it’s an age thing.
Well that’s all the time we have for today ... thanks so much for joining me, and remember don’t be afraid to make a list and use it... please feel free to leave me a message at stroke.global or on Facebook @stroke.global.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this podcast we keep it brief so it’s easy to add to your day... we want to thank our sponsor TCM Restoration for helping us provide this venue. Feel free to share this podcast with others, offer your feedback and questions and follow us online on our website stroke.global or on our Facebook page. See you back here tomorrow!