My Dad (biggest supporter and fan) and myself at my Nursing Pinning Ceremony (May 2016)

I Wear Red for my Dad and Stroke Awareness

  • Published on May 18, 2017 on LinkedIn

Exactly one year ago today, I thought it was just a “normal Tuesday”. I drove back from the Keys and decided to stop by my parent’s house to say hi and visit. My dad was the only one home so I sat down in the living room with him and started up another “normal” conversation. I noticed something was just not right…he didn’t have his usual personality, and for those of you who know him…his personality is the best! He said he felt dehydrated, had a headache, and was having a hard time with memory. Unfortunately, these symptoms had been occurring for almost 4 days before I saw him. I, somehow (he was still his stubborn self…wonder where I get it from), convinced him to go to the Emergency Room where a CT scan was completed. I remember sitting in the Emergency Room at his bedside along with my mom and sister when the doctor came back and told him the results of the CT scan…positive.

My dad had a stroke. I was in shock, we all were, and we were all extremely scared. Being a Nurse at the bedside is one thing, being a daughter is another. 3 long days in the hospital, leaving for maybe 2 hours at most the entire time to go home and shower, sleeping in the chair next to my dad to make sure my mom could get rest and to prevent the nurses from putting a bed alarm on my dad at night (GOD.FORBID.) lol. All this being said, I am so thankful to say my dad has recovered from the stroke, his memory is still intact, and his personality we all love is back. There isn’t a day that goes by that I am not nervous or scared about another occurrence but I’m ok with being nervous because I get to call my dad, visit him, hug him, and love him daily because he is a stroke survivor and truly the strongest man I know.

Ironically, May is Stroke Awareness Month, and it is important to share the signs of a stroke, which may include: Face drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty, or a headache (usually the person will complain of the “worst headache they ever had”). FAST is the best way to remember these signs, T meaning time. Time is everything with strokes, act fast, call 911, DO NOT go lay down to try to “nap it off”. Please share these signs with those around you because it may be enough to help save someone’s life. Lastly, please hug and love those who are dearest to your heart. You learn quickly just how precious life is and how much you love someone especially in a scary time like that.

I love you, daddy, forever and ever, and I’m so thankful for you, all you do, and for your health. Happy 1 Year! You’re a stroke survivor!

You can connect with Jessica via LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessicalclement/