May is the party month! We have Cinco De Mayo, where people use this day to indulge in crazy amounts of alcohol. Graduation season is in full swing, Tauruses are showing out and Geminis are anxiously waiting their turn. Artists are hitting the road and families are going on vacations. In all seriousness though, there are some important causes to highlight this month. May is Mental Health, ALS Awareness and Stroke Awareness month. The last one is very personal to me my father suffered a stroke three years back. I will be giving information on each cause and ways to support.
The premise of Stroke Awareness Month is saving more lives. People also need to learn the signs of people having a stroke. Like the acronym F.A.S.T, it’s a life skill that most people should have like knowing how to do CPR.
Any person with a family member who's a stroke survivor can say it’s one of the scariest things they’ve experienced. Strokes not only hurt your loved one but your whole family. There are ways to prevent this from happening which include regular physicals. Hypertension remains the single most important modifiable risk factor, accounting for nearly 48% of strokes. So, it’s imperative to have a rapport with your physician to keep up with your labs.
Lifestyle habits that make you more susceptible to strokes are: poor eating habits, obesity, lack of exercise, excessive drinking, smoking. Health ailments like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, genetics are things can make you susceptible as well. Factors that are out of your control are age, gender, family history, Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO).
Speaking for myself, since heart disease is prevalent on both sides of my family. Which is why this cause was listed first. It’s something I’m passionate about especially being a former caretaker. It’s imperative that we take care of ourselves, I watched my father live his last years miserably. It killed our family to watch him live like that and if you have anyone you care about don’t do that to them. So, I promised myself that I wouldn’t go out the same way. My family even teases me about my new eating habits. I’m not perfect by any means, but I make sure to put forth the effort. I know we all have to leave here someday but my goal is leave comfortably.