Posts Tagged With: health

Early Warning Signs of a Stroke EVERY WOMAN Should Know.

I am reeling.

My life has once again been turned upside down. Earlier this week my friend suffered a massive stroke. She is my boss’ wife, my co-worker, more importantly, my friend. We share an office. We share girl-talk. I spend more time with her on a weekday than I do my own husband.

And she had a stroke.

Life is making less sense to me right now.

She had the stroke right in front of me. One second we are talking and the next second she is having a stroke. I will not discuss her medical information (because that is private) except to say that she is in ICU and in critical condition.

Although I knew at the time she was having a stroke, I didn’t dare say out loud. But what I didn’t know was the early warning signs of a stroke.

Do you?

Did you know?

  • Strokes are the leading cause of disability in the U.S.
  • Strokes are the 3rd leading cause of death
  • There are many different types of strokes

From the National Stroke Association:

Myth: Stroke is unpreventable
Reality: Stroke is largely preventable

Myth: Stroke cannot be treated
Reality: Stroke requires emergency treatment

Myth: Stroke only strikes the elderly
Reality: Stroke can happen to anyone

Myth: Stroke happens to the heart
Reality: Stroke is a “Brain Attack”

Myth: Stroke recovery only happens for a few months following a stroke
Reality: Stroke recovery continues throughout life

Common stroke symptoms seen in both men and women:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg — especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

Women may report unique stroke symptoms:

  • sudden face and limb pain
  • sudden hiccups
  • sudden nausea
  • sudden general weakness
  • sudden chest pain
  • sudden shortness of breath
  • sudden palpitations
  • NOTE THE TIME WHEN ANY SYMPTOMS FIRST APPEAR. If given within three hours of the first symptom, there is an FDA-approved clot-buster medication that may reduce long-term disability for the most common type of stroke.Learn as many stroke symptoms as possible so you can recognize stroke as FAST as possible.

Source: Learn more at the National Stroke Association

Even one of the above symptoms could be a sign of stroke. Don’t hesitate. Better to look silly in the ER than risk not taking action for a stroke. Time is the enemy in this case! I once thought I was having a stroke and went to the ER. Turned out it was a severe case of anxiety. I felt foolish then, but now, I am thankful I didn’t “wait it out”. What if it had not been anxiety?

What makes this event even more confusing? She did everything right. She was not in the risk category. She didn’t take birth control, didn’t smoke, didn’t drink, she exercised, ate healthy, had low cholesterol, was a healthy weight and wasn’t diabetic. It doesn’t make sense to me.

Even though her score would have been low risk, she is not the norm. Get your Stroke Risk Scorecard here to see what you can do to reduce your risk of a stroke.

Categories: Health, Life | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

That crazy thing called Hormones.

{TMI Alert} After being diagnosed in December of 2010 with hormonal issues and menstrual irregularities that were causing me not to ovulate every month, the doctor prescribed birth control pills. After only a month and a half the pills I thought I was going crazy. And not PMS-kind-of-crazy but let’s-drive-off-a-bridge-crazy. Scary stuff.

Fortunately, years of dealing with depression and anxiety have taught me one thing…those thoughts ARE NOT NORMAL! So, I promptly stopped taking the pills. My doctor wanted to try a different brand of birth control. Still reeling with anxiety from the pills, I just didn’t feel comfortable with that idea. So, I started my own research on natural remedies to level out the hormones.

Herbs can be tricky. Some can actually do more harm than good. I chose to look further. Not to say that herbs don’t work for some people and I am not totally ruling out that option. I certainly will get advice from a herbalist; someone who knows a whole lot more on that subject than I do.


Then I came across acupuncture. I hadn’t thought about it as a treatment for hormonal issues before. I know people who use it as a pain reliever. So, I did my research and decided to give it a try. Turns out one of the Synchro Skate Moms is an acupuncturist. {Just my luck! Talk about Him working things out before I know I need it!}

Chinese medicine has recognized gynecology for around 3500 year. Acupuncture is a very subtle treatment, looking closely and carefully at what imbalance has occurred and this is why  it is particularly effective in treating all sorts of gynecological disorders. {Source here.}

My last of four treatments of acupuncture was today. I am still a week away from seeing if my cycle has returned to normal. But I can say that I have not spotted once this month. (Oh, TMI, again. But we’ve got to be honest here. It’s a part of being a woman.) I also can say my anxiety has been reduced. I seem to be more patient. Patience is something I was not born with and the stress of raising a family magnifies that fact!

So, what I would say to any woman who is facing hormonal issues is this:  If one treatment is not working for you, don’t be afraid to look for another option. Don’t be afraid to go against conventional medicine. Don’t rule out any options available to you. It’s important to do your research. Be informed. Only then can you make an educated decision about your health.


If you are having suicidal thoughts, thoughts of harming yourself, harming your children or harming someone else, PLEASE seek help! You are not alone. You are not the first woman to ever have these thoughts. I was surprised to learn how many of my women friends confided to me that they too have had “scary thoughts”. So, please don’t “wait it out”…Speak up and GET HELP TODAY.

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

forget resolutions…instead focus on ONE LITTLE WORD

I am not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. All too often we make a resolution of kicking our caffeine habit…losing weight…eating less junk food…or whatever. We do alright at first. Maybe even last a few months but by March we fall back into our old habits again. I like the idea instead of picking one little word for the year and allowing that to be my focus.

Resolutions are too vague. I’ve read that one-third of us who make a “resolution” for the new year dump it within 2 weeks and 50% of the rest say “forget about it” within 2 months. Besides, you can start a diet any day of the week, or any time of the year. For 3 years now I have chosen “one word” rather than make a resolution.

The idea behind the one little word concept is to give yourself something to focus on throughout the year…”A single word can be a powerful thing. It can be the ripple in the pond that changes everything. It can sharp and biting or rich and soft and slow.”

This concept is totally from Ali Edwards. I have found this works much better for me than resolutions.

In 2009 my one word was “be”, as in “just be in the moment.” I struggled with being in the moment at first. It had to be a conscious decision and I still remind myself of it today. It’s not a trait that comes naturally to me.

In 2010 my one word was “faith”. I think I did pretty well with that this year. I renewed my faith and continued reading the Bible. I still have many more Books to read but “it’s the journey, not the destination” or “it’s a long road, but the reward is great.” However you want to look at it, I will still be working on faith throughout my life.

For 2011 my one word is “nourish”. I originally chose “health” as my one word. I had a bit of a health scare this past month and that word is definitely on my mind right now as I go for more follow-up exams at the doctor office. Low Thyroid and  “Disordered Prolifertive Endometrium” (or I like to say: a dysfunctional uterus). Both are something that must be dealt with but are manageable.

“Health” became too vague of a word. For me, it’s more than that, it’s being more mindful of what we, as a family, are putting into our bodies, minds and souls. Yes, I am dragging my family into this too. Some of them are kicking and screaming. So, I thought a lot about it and came up with “nourish” as my word. It encompasses my whole feeling of what I want this upcoming year to be. For my mind. For my body. For my soul.

I have been reading more about “whole eating” or natural eating. A blog I really like is 100 Days of Real Food. The challenge is to eat only “real” food. No prepackaged meals. No junk food. No soft drinks. No fast food or take out, unless you know what is in it, which let’s be honest…how can you really know? Fast food restaurants bill their food as “healthy” when it has more fat and calories than their cheeseburger meal. Tough. Anyway, I am not interested in being extreme about eating, I just want to be more mindful. I don’t want to be a dictator about food, especially with my girls. I want to make smarter choices for each meal. And I want my children (and hubby) to grow up to be more mindful of food. Eat to live, ya know. Another part of the goal is to start practicing yoga again. It’s good for the body, as well as the mind. And of course, continue to feed our spiritual souls.

So, what’s your “one little word” for 2011? What do you want to accomplish or focus on in the coming year? I challenge you to create something, anything that will help you focus on your word in the coming year. Maybe I should post my word on the fridge…

Flourishes on the above “nourish” sign from

Categories: Food, Good things, Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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