Feb 11, 2020

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Ryan Thought He Ate Something Bad, It Was Actually a Stroke

Who Cares About Men’s Health listener Ryan is an educator in Salt Lake. He’s in his mid-forties and in pretty good health. He’s not the typical stroke patient, by any means, but he was surprised to find himself in the hospital undergoing surgery to save his life. The fascinating thing about Ryan’s experience, his stroke symptoms manifested in a very strange way.

A week or so prior to the event, Ryan had been experiencing an earache that just wouldn’t go away. He had gone to his primary care doctor to try and figure out what was causing the earache. No matter what they tried the pain in his ear wouldn’t go away. Ryan had just seen his doctor for a followup visit just two days before he had his stroke.

The symptoms became worse after his anniversary dinner with his wife. Ryan left the restaurant feeling nauseous and dizzy. He rationalized that the symptoms were nothing more than indigestion or a bout of food poisoning.

The next day Ryan’s symptoms only became worse. He woke up feeling really sick. His nausea was so bad he couldn’t keep food or water down. He was extremely dizzy and couldn’t stay standing for long bouts of time.

But he was also starting to experience symptoms that are not common of a stomach bug. He started experiencing severe vertigo and double vision that wouldn’t seem to go away. When he tried to walk it was as if he “had a flat tire on his left side.” He would continually tilt to the left. His balance was extremely off.

After a full day of extreme symptoms - and the urging of his wife - Ryan could no longer rationalize that his symptoms were nothing more than severe stomach flu or related to his earache. After a call to his primary care doctor, he went to the emergency room.

Once in the ER, the physicians did an MRI and found not only a serious aneurysm on the lower back portion of Ryan’s brain but a pretty serious dissection as well.

Ryan spent 14 days in the hospital after surgery. It was a relatively long road to recovery and he still struggles with occasional vertigo. But according to Ryan, the stroke could have been a lot worse. He came away without any particularly debilitating cognitive issues.

Getting to the hospital on time saved his life and his brain.

There are More Signs of Stroke Than Just FAST

Time is of the essence when it comes to a stroke. The sooner you can receive treatment, the more likely you are to minimize damage to the brain. As such, it’s important to know the signs of a stroke so you can respond quickly.

The Scope Radio has been talking about the acronym F.A.S.T. for years. It’s a helpful way to remind people of the major signs of a stroke:

  • F - Facial Drooping
  • A - Arm weakness
  • S - Speech difficulties (including slurring, trouble finding words, confusion)
  • T - Time is of the essence to get help

But Ryan’s symptoms didn’t fit the FAST acronym. He was experiencing dizziness, nausea, and having vision issues. There are several different ways a stroke can form and impact a person. Not all strokes are caused by deep vein thrombosis. Some can be caused by injury to the head directly. According to Troy, he will often see these injury-related strokes in young people. They will experience trauma from whiplash injuries, sports injuries, falling while skiing or snowboarding, etc.

While we don’t often think of this type of stroke, they can be quite serious. As such, there are additional symptoms you should be on the lookout for beside face drooping, arm weakness, and slurred speech. These include?

  • Leg weakness
  • Balance Issues
  • Vertigo
  • Double Vision
  • Other vision issues
  • Trouble walking
  • Severe Headache

If you have a suspicion that you or someone you know may be suffering from a stroke, don’t wait to see if the symptoms will go away. Get to the ER immediately. Call 911 and get an ambulance if you need to. Time is crucial for stroke treatment, so don’t delay.

You Should Probably Read that Genetics Test Terms of Service

We’ve all been guilty of quickly scrolling through one of those long irritating user agreements you are forced to scroll through when you install a piece of software on your computer. But when it comes to the Terms of Service Agreement you sign when you take an at-home genetics test, it may be worth taking the time to actually read it.

Scot is still considering whether or not he wants to take a genetics test, so he and the Who Cares guys read through the Terms of Service from one of these testing companies. He found some of the strange, concerning, and occasionally downright terrifying implications that are inside the fine print.

They include concerns about what you may learn about yourself, your identity, the health issues you may face, as well as the legal ramifications you should consider before taking a test.

The guys discuss their thoughts and feelings on the issue. And if you’re still interested in entering to win the genetics test, be sure to enter.

Housekeeping - Welcome to the Community

We want to take a moment to welcome all of our new podcast listeners and people who have joined the movement on our Facebook page. We’ve seen a significant increase in both the likes on our Facebook page and listeners of the podcast.

We’re quite excited to have more people joining us on our mission to get men caring about their health. Stay tuned on our social channels. There will be much more community involvement with the show moving forward. Help us come up with ideas and participate in future shows.

If you haven’t liked our Facebook yet, be sure to join.

Just Going to Leave This Here

On this episode's Just Going to Leave This Here, Scot learns a new trick to improve his bathroom habits. In other news, Troy enjoyed the Sundance film festival and gives a recommendation for the film Boys State.

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If you have any questions, comments, or thoughts, email us at hello@thescoperadio.com.

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