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Taylor resident and Coordinated Health Nurse Practitioner Leann Zuby remembers the day she had her stroke. It was the Sunday after Thanksgiving and she says she was exhausted. “I was training for a half marathon so I figured that it was just from that and brushed it off,” she says.
However, about halfway through her shift at an area urgent care the physician she was working with told her she should go home and get some rest. Later that night she woke up with a stabbing pain behind her right eye. She took some medicine and went back to sleep, but when she woke up the next morning she noticed her vision was blurry. As the day progressed, her vision worsened until the point where she was unable to see things that were in her peripheral vision.
She decided it was time to go to the Emergency Room. “Given my age and symptoms I assumed that maybe I had Multiple Sclerosis, but the doctors didn’t think that’s what it was,” says Zuby.
After an MRI, doctors told her she had actually suffered from a stroke. “I was really surprised. I ate healthy and exercised so I didn’t think that could happen to me,” she says.
She was admitted to the hospital and underwent a battery of tests, which all came back normal. After several months of vigilance and testing, it was determined that there was no known cause for the stroke and she was told to continue taking aspirin and to return to her normal activities.
Today, she continues to lead a normal life and advocates for more stroke awareness, especially among women. “Women tend to care for other people and forget to take care of themselves. It’s important to be aware of what the symptoms of a stroke and to take action if necessary,” she said.
Zuby says a friend nominated her to be recognized at the Go Red for Women Luncheon and she was honored to be a part of the event. “It was a great event showcasing women who have suffered a stroke or cardiac event. The honorees ranged from 9-79 and show that heart disease and stroke can affect you at any age,” she says.
Learn the Acronym BE FAST
Balance – having trouble with your balance is often a sign of a stroke.
Eye – if you notice eyesight issues like blurry vision, double vision or vision loss in one or both eyes, you should seek help.
Face – look for any signs of facial drooping. One easy way to spot it is to smile in a mirror to see if your smile is uneven. You may also notice some facial numbness.
Arms – Raise both arms above your head to determine if you have weakness in one side over another.
Speech Difficulty – People who have a stroke may have a difficult time speaking or slur their speech.
Time – If you or anyone you know exhibits the symptoms above, call 911 right away.