It was close, but 2016 didn’t get me. That’s been almost entirely due to luck and good fortune. There were certainly plenty of people who couldn’t say the same. According to the CDC about 610,000 Americans had a first stroke this year (out of 785K total who had a stroke). It’s pretty miraculous that I not only survived having an ischemic stroke, but, nine months later, I’ve almost fully recovered from the damage.
I can’t say I’ve made a full, 180-degree turnaround on my habits and behavior, but I know I’m on the right path. Quitting cigarettes was the first big step that absolutely needed to happen. It’s scary to think now that I got to the point of needing to look at images of the dead parts of my own brain on CD to finally stop smoking and stick with it. Sometimes it takes the full 21′ length of the clue-by-four upside the head (see what I did there?) to make an impression.
First the little one, then the big one.
The next major hurdle will be sticking with daily exercise. No worries, I’m not going to become an overwhelmingly preachy, lifestyle-obsessed asshole; just more of a general type of asshole :-). It’s the folks who won’t admit that they’re *any* kind of asshole that you have to look out for.
For anyone who doesn’t already know it (or needs a refresher), the FAST mnemonic can really save your life! I speak from experience on that one. If I hadn’t already memorized it – mostly from watching House reruns – there’s a good chance I’d have blown off the symptoms and avoided going to the ER to get checked out.