Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Spotting signs: Arm or leg

When my stroke occurred almost a dozen years ago, one of the clearest signs was the fact that I could no longer move my right arm or leg.

Both felt as if those limbs were dead - could not move, could not feel. One now-comical moment was when the ambulance crew wanted my driver's license ID or insurance card - something in my wallet. I could not even begin to fish it out.

A more medical explanation of this stroke symptom, from the Australia's Brain Foundation:

Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg, often one side of the body.
  • A lack of muscle strength in any group of muscles, most commonly those on the face, hand, arm and leg on one side (called hemiparesis). At least half of patients suffer some form of hemiparesis, some with a mild form that involves difficulty in controlling movement, rather than weakness.
  • A loss of sensation or feeling in any part of the body. Numbness of the skin of the face, hand, arm, and leg on one side (hemiananaesthia) is most common.
Sometimes, I call my right arm as my "magic" arm - shortly after medical professionals gave me a dose of tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the arm (and leg) moved. From a dead-like feeling to new life.

Reminds me of some words of Paul:

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

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