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[Wan Qingyi’s Care]Suddenly my face became crooked and my hands became crippled. I had a stroke without warning in my early 50s.

[Wan Qingyi’s Care]Suddenly my face became crooked and my hands became crippled. I had a stroke without warning in my early 50s.

Text ◆ Leong Man Hock (gerontologist), “Ming Pao”

“Oh, why did you choose me!” Audrey said excitedly.

“No matter how you look at it, it shouldn’t be me! Even in my dream, I never thought I would win! It’s not a lottery, it’s a stroke!”

Dr. Leong Man Hock, Geriatrics Department

(Hong Kong News) Audrey was in her early 50s when she became ill. She was very young. She has always been in good health, leads a regular life, pays attention to her diet, and does not have much pressure at work. Moreover, she was slender and weighed about 100 pounds; she never thought that stroke, an “old people’s disease”, would be affected by her.

A colleague noticed that the left side of his face was crooked

“The worst thing is that I didn’t even know that I had a stroke.” Audrey recounted the stroke eight years ago. “Although I felt something was wrong when I woke up that morning, I ignored it and went to work as usual. When I returned to the company, my colleagues took me to the emergency room. . Because they saw that the left side of my face was crooked. When I arrived at the emergency room, the doctor asked me to raise my hands, but my left hand became ‘wasted’ and stuck to my body. I had no feeling at all and refused to listen to instructions. No matter how I tried, it didn’t work. It was unsuccessful. Then, I fainted on the spot and lost consciousness. Looking back now, my heart is still pounding because it was so dangerous. I should have died at that time! I was in coma for two days and two nights, but I couldn’t die. King Yama let it slip.”

The scary thing about stroke is that it can strike without warning and catch us by surprise.

Stroke is the biggest enemy of adults, especially the elderly.

Starting from the age of 50, the incidence rate of stroke will increase year by year.

In Hong Kong, about 20,000 people are hospitalized due to stroke every year.

Accounting for about 5% of public hospital bed utilization.

Stroke is both common and serious. It is the fourth killer disease in Hong Kong, and treatment is urgent.

Audrey is still lucky because she received prompt treatment, otherwise the consequences would have been even worse. The treatment of acute stroke is time-sensitive. The sooner treatment is given, the more adverse consequences and complications the patient may experience due to stroke can be reduced. Therefore, whether it is an ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke, when a cerebral blood vessel is blocked or bursts, brain cells will die within 6 hours.

Stroke first aid golden 3 hours

Therefore, there are “golden 3 hours” after a stroke. That is, if the patient’s brain scan can be performed within 3 hours to find out the blockage, and hemolytic treatment can be given immediately, the blockage can be opened up and blood can flow back into the brain tissue. , reduce damage and promote recovery.

Of course, strokes also vary in severity. If the cerebral hemorrhage is severe, the patient must undergo surgery immediately to save his life. Therefore, the overall mortality rate from stroke is 30%. However, looking at the mortality rate alone cannot fully describe the suffering of stroke victims. Because after a stroke, scars are always left behind. More than half of the remaining 70% of patients have obvious disabilities. Although the patients are rescued, most of them will become hemiplegic or paralyzed, and the road to recovery is often slow and long.

“Yes, I didn’t know it was so ‘serious’ at first. I naively thought that I could be discharged from the hospital after a few days and even go to work.” Audrey continued to recall the situation of being hospitalized after the stroke. “Although I woke up, I could only lie in bed. The left side of my body was very heavy, as if it was pressed by a thousand pounds. I couldn’t move at all, and I couldn’t even sit up. I couldn’t walk or stand. Even though my head pretended to be unconscious, I could not move at all. As time goes by, we have to face the fact of being ‘hemiplegic’!”

Long-term bed rest tortures the body and mind

Being bedridden for a long time will cause different complications, the most common of which is bedsores. Because the buttocks, heels, shoulders and other parts of the body are in contact with the mattress for a long time and are put under pressure, the skin will ulcerate and even become inflamed. In addition, staying in bed all day can also cause respiratory tract infections. Due to weakened muscle strength, breathing capacity is also reduced, making it difficult to cough up phlegm and saliva, which can easily lead to pneumonia.

In addition, stroke patients no longer know how to urinate due to damage to their nervous system. As a result, urine accumulates in the bladder, causing urinary tract infection and inflammation.

“You said, when the facts became more and more obvious, how could I not fall into the bottom of my emotions!” Audrey sighed.

People who have had a stroke also often become depressed. Mild cases can be improved with encouragement from family members, psychological counseling and recovery of limb function. Symptoms of severe depression, such as insomnia, refusal to eat, bad temper, and even suicidal tendencies, require medication. These symptoms may be caused by changes in chemical transmitters in the brain after a stroke. Therefore, Audrey’s symptoms of depression are human nature.

“I stayed in the hospital for three months. It was really hard. I thought about dying. I wanted to climb to the window and jump out. I wanted to find a belt to strangle myself. I wanted to find a knife to cut my veins and bleed to death. I wanted to stop eating. Until I starve to death… But it turns out that it is not easy to die. Once, the patient in the bed opposite refused to eat and insisted on dying. Her whole family came to persuade her. When I saw her daughter kneeling on her knees and crying bitterly, I couldn’t stop crying myself. I realized that one person fell ill, but the pain was borne by the whole family. My heart ached.” Audrey shared her feelings selflessly.

The treatment of acute stroke is time-sensitive. The sooner treatment is given, the more adverse consequences and complications the patient may experience due to stroke can be reduced.

Going home from the hospital felt 10 times worse Fellow travelers encourage you to stand up again

For many patients, they may still be able to cope with treatment while staying in the hospital. Once discharged from the hospital, waiting for recovery at home is never easy. “Don’t think it’s miserable when you’re in the hospital. After you’re discharged and go home, it’ll be 10 times worse.”

Audrey continues to explain her experience to new stroke patients.

“A simple task such as going to the toilet or picking up chopsticks to eat weighs a thousand pounds. I don’t want to trouble others, so I have to endure it. Patients are always sensitive. No matter how close they are, they will sometimes get annoyed with each other. I can really stand up Get up, the greatest support is actually a fellow traveler who has suffered a stroke! A word of encouragement from a fellow traveler is worth a thousand words from ordinary people.”

One word of encouragement from a fellow traveler is worth thousands of words from ordinary people.

Long-term community follow-up to aid recovery

Audrey took the trouble to share her experience with new patients.

“While I was hospitalized, I met a volunteer. He also suffered a stroke. He still walked with a limp and had to hold a cane in his left hand. However, fortunately, he persuaded him as a person who had experienced a stroke, saying, ‘Life will not end just because of a stroke. , the more pessimistic we are, the harder it is to get out of the predicament. As long as we don’t give up, don’t feel inferior, and open our minds, there are still many things we can do… As long as we have confidence and work hard, we will definitely have a chance to recover. How much recovery depends on you I can stand up again today, thanks to his encouragement. In addition, the physical therapists and occupational therapists are also very helpful. The initial physical therapy was really hard, but you have to bite. Just grit your teeth and get through it, and you will definitely make progress. As the saying goes, the greater the effort, the more you will gain. If you want to recover, you must be patient and work hard.”

For stroke patients, how to adapt to a new lifestyle after becoming disabled, return to the community, re-establish a new daily life, and reduce the burden on their families are issues that must be faced. If we can provide long-term community follow-up for stroke patients and form a community rehabilitation network, it will be of great benefit to the road to recovery.

“Xinjianshe” is a community network self-help organization that aims to bring stroke patients and their families together to discuss how to face difficulties, develop a spirit of mutual help, actively participate in the recovery process, and rejoin community life. Audrey is a volunteer at Xinjian Club. She works tirelessly to visit wards and encourage fellow travelers.

Companionship can help people get through difficult times

“I have been a beneficiary, so I deeply understand the power of understanding and support. I remember when the doctor asked me to be a volunteer, I resisted. I thought: I can’t carry or lift, how can I be a volunteer? But it turns out I can speak. Comfort and companionship can help people get through difficult times. Although I had a stroke and have not fully recovered, I can still do many meaningful things. As long as you are willing to contribute your own strength, the world will naturally become a better place because of you.” Audrey said optimistically.

The road to recovery from a stroke is really difficult. It requires a lot of sweat, tears and persistence, and it feels like living in hell. However, one thought of heaven and one thought of hell. Yes, as long as we can change our mindset and remain positive and optimistic when faced with challenges, I believe that hell can also become heaven.

I wish all fellow travelers to welcome the second half of our golden life happily and comfortably.

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