About Rick & My Stroke

Strokes run in my family but I never thought it would happen to me.

My Early Years

I grew up living in the Cascade Mountains in Oregon and Washington. Our family was always outdoors working on our land or going camping nearby. I lived for sports in high school, playing year around. I was able to eat anything in any amount and nothing seemed to ever stick to my body except muscle. Of course that all changed after college as I moved into my career as a transportation engineer designing highways. That line of work involved a lot of sitting, designing and attending meetings. The weight started adding up while the physical activity became nearly nonexistent.

 

I knew several people in my family had strokes, including my Mother. I cannot recall how many light strokes she had but there were several of them. One stroke my Mother had when she was pregnant with my little brother, caused here to go into convulsions. My brother died during the convulsions and my Mother lost about half of the use of her right arm.

Many years went by and everything was fine with my Mother and myself but then the strokes hit my Mother again and myself for the first time.

My First and Only Stroke to Date

One day in January 2012 I had been working many late nights on a highway project. I had about three nights or more of very little sleep or none at all. It was easier to do that when I was younger. We made our submittal on the project and I took a sigh of relief and went off to bed. There was nothing to worry about and I could rest easy now that everything was finished.

I’m not sure if was partially to do with my family history of strokes, the stress of the job or not eating well during that time or if it was the extra weight I had gained. It may have been all the above. I woke up in the middle of the night feeling numbness in my right arm but it must have been me sleeping wrong on my right side. I rolled over and tried to stretch out my arm to grab the nightstand to just re-position my arm to get the tingling to stop but the next thing I knew I was rolling over on to the floor. I tried to push myself up but nothing was working right. My wife realized something was wrong and asked me if I was ok but the words in my mind came out all garbled and I couldn’t get my mouth to work right.

What a scare that was for me and my family. My children had never been so scared. The firemen and the paramedics came and the next thing I knew I was having a nice vacation in the hospital for about three days. The doctor had to relay most everything to my wife because even though I was listening and nodding my head, most of the information was leaving my mind as quickly as it arrived.

It took my about two months before the numbness in my right arm, right leg and right side of my face went away and physically, everything returned to normal. It took about six months before I could sit down for long periods of time again and concentrate on my work as I was able to do before. Fifteen minutes was about the longest length of time I could focus on work before having to get up and clear my head.

You would think that light stroke was all I would need and I would completely clean up my life to reduce any future stroke risks but that wouldn not be the truth.

WHY I WANT TO HELP STROKE VICTIMS

I want to help people reduce the risk of having a stroke for personal reasons. I have seen what happens firsthand to people with even a light stroke but now I have seen my Father have to take care of my Mother 24/7 since she had a severe stroke in 2010. This is partly a path I want to take to help myself and keep my immediate family from having to care for me if I ever have a severe stroke. I didn’t realize that anyone who has had a stroke has about a 10 times increased likelihood of having another stroke.

It became obvious to me, even after a short time of stroke research, that proper diet, weight loss and increased physical activity were some of the most important things anyone can do to reduce the risk of a stroke.

MY GOAL

My goal here at Stroke Prevention Nutrition is to help people who have had a stroke or are potential stroke victims to follow along with me as we discover together how to reduce our stroke risks. I have to warn you in advance though that I am against medicine to reduce the risk of stroke. I understand that many people need to take proper medication but I truly believe that there are lifestyle changes and natural remedies that can help most of us in this journey we are on.

 

I hope you walk with me through this for yourself and for your loved ones. I believe I will have great things to share with you, not only in ways to reduce stroke risks but also in my personal success story of making changes based on what we find here together.

If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

Here’s to a Brighter Future,

Rick

www.strokepreventionnutrition.com

Click on the image below to see a YouTube video of my stroke story.

My stroke story

14 Comments on “About Rick & My Stroke”

  1. Great site and a captivating story. I am so pleased you made it through and are now able to share your experience in a meaningful way.
    I need to heed the warnings too since joining WA I have spent many hours sitting on my butt before the computer and not getting adequate exercise. It is so easy for all of us to fall into that way of life. Not good and certaily not healthy.
    I will look forward to more articles on this site.
    Thank you for sharing

    1. Hi Judy. Thank you for the warm welcome.

      Stroke prevention may not fall in the category of things I love to do but it sure is something to be passionate about.

      Rick

  2. Great article, superb work. Love the way you have described everything. Looking forward to read more from your and I will forward it to others as well.

  3. So good to know you will be around longer. You write a good article and it was engaging as well. Thank you for sharing this so people can understand about strokes.

  4. Hi Rick,
    Great post and wonderful story of resilience. Happy to know that there are people like you in this world!
    Have you read the book by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor – My Stroke of Insight ?
    It is a very inspiring book and quite revealing.
    I have no record of stroke in my family – as far as I know – but it is always good to have your kind of site handy to learn how NOT to get into that category!
    Thanks for that!
    Orion

  5. Wow! This is such a great website! I’m very impressed. There’s so much useful and interesting health information. It’s very organized too.

    I love how you go in chronological order from reducing your risk to so you had a stroke, then nutrition to recovery.

    There’s so much valuable information it’s amazing. The imagery is great. Oh and I also love the breast cancer risk quiz. Well done! ~Becca

    1. Thank you Becca for the encouraging comments. Can you tell I am an engineer by day but an artist at heart? I think that could be classified as an oxymoron. Ten years ago I would never have had an interest in making people aware of stroke prevention issues. Now after having a stroke, this subject means a lot to me and others in my family. Please stop by any time and offer comments or ideas to improve on.

  6. I enjoyed reading your article. I appreciate you sharing what you and your family went through. We have very similar goal in terms of helping and disseminating information to those that might benefit from our knowledge. I love websites that share health related information to help people take charge of their health. I will share this information to those I think will benefit from your website. Thank you for your dedication. I am looking forward to your next article.

    1. Thank you for the kind and encouraging words. There have been some tough times through this but I believe me and my family have become stronger through it.

  7. I’m so sorry that you had to go through that ordeal, I’m happy to hear that you recovered and are taking preventative measures for future episodes. I can relate to how you don’t like to take prescription meds, having first-hand experience with my mother being put on statins for high cholesterol was a disaster, her memory disappeared and she was in a state of despair, once off of them she returned to her normal self. I incorporate a clean diet, exercise, take supplements to maintain a healthy lifestyle, sometimes I cheat and have wine, but it seems to be paying off, knock on wood!

    1. Thank you for the encouraging words. Even after having the stroke and knowing the right things to do to reduce a risk of another stroke, it’s still a challenge to pass up some foods and certain drinks.

      My dad told me recently that they finally had to make permanent lifestyle changes when there was no choice but to do it. I hope I am encouraging others to make those changes before something bad happens in their lives.

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