Since 1989, the National Stroke Association has recognized May as National Stroke Awareness Month. But this year it came early for many of us in the mystery community when one of our own, Elaine Viets, had a stroke on April 10.
A lot of us spent April 11 walking around in a daze, jumping every time the phone rang or the computer beeped to signal a new email coming in. It's weird, waiting out a friend's medical crisis from afar. Nothing to do but send prayers, good thoughts, healing vibes, or whatever you call it and wait.
By yesterday, the news was sounding better. I won't rehash it all, because you can get any updates available at The Lipstick Chronicles. But I hate the feeling of sitting around, unable to do anything--so I decided that a good way to deal with that feeling was to do some research about stroke, and perhaps learn something that could be useful to me and my friends and family.
I not only learned about National Stroke Awareness Month--I found out that NBC and the National Stroke Association have put together a program called Brain Attack: a Stroke Survival Guide. It will be airing in the D.C. area this Sunday morning at 1:30 a.m., and again Sunday evening at 11:30 p.m., on channel 4. For those of you in other parts of the country, there's a listing of times when it will be showing on various NBC affiliates.
Ironically, the April 3 episode of House, "Fetal Position," featured a 42-year-0ld woman who had a stroke--and may have saved her own life because she was lucky enough to know the acronym 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 sentence. Are the words slurred? Can he/she repeat the sentence correctly?
Time: If the person shows any of these symptoms, time is important. Call 911 or get to the hospital fast. Brain cells are dying!
Yeah, I know better than to get my medical knowledge from network TV, but after seeing this on House, I looked it up with the National Stroke Association. Sometimes TV does get it right.