50 Shades of 50!

Firstly I would like to apologise for my silence over the last few weeks but I was unwell again. To begin with I had been admitted to hospital with a mini stroke but whilst in contracted some horrid flu type illness, to be honest I am not totally sure what it was. No one was able to visit, only a few staff were allowed to enter and only if they were wearing protective gear including face-masks. When I eventually left the room had to be fumigated and left for four hours before anyone was allowed in?! Anyway here I am back again.

I am not sure if during the week you noticed in the papers reports about studies carried out on behalf of the Stroke Association. They were looking again at stroke in working age people and if they could be prevented if awareness was raised. Those of you who know me already know this is something I feel passionate about which is why I am donating money from the sales of my book and doing talks.

Findings show that still many people are completely unaware of the condition called AF, the abbreviation for Atrial Fibrillation. This is commonly known as an irregular heart beat. It is often unknown in a person and yet is the cause for approximately twenty per cent of all strokes in the UK. This condition is so easily treated once detected and then the risk of having a stroke is reduced by sixty seven per cent, this is why raising awareness is vital. We could start today if after reading my blog you took a photo of it and sent it to five or ten friends via whichever social media you prefer then you ask each of them to do the same and so on. Think of how much more awareness we could have collectively raised as a result of one blog and a few minutes of your time, if you will please help me. If also anyone wishes to purchase my book to learn more, it isn’t a heavy read, you do not have to have had a stroke or know anyone who has experienced a stroke to get something from it I am informed, then also awareness is rising again yet further and the extra money raised for the cause.

I thank you all in the hope you will join me in doing that.

Now to return to AF ( Atrial Fibrillation) it is something I’ve written about previously but clearly it is a topic that needs repeating several times. It is an abnormally fast heartbeat and common symptoms someone may experience are shortness of breath, dizziness, and fatigue according to the NHS.

Until now it hasn’t been possible to detect AF by taking blood pressure which is why it can often go unnoticed, people also ignore palpitations etc. Now however there is an advanced blood pressure monitor which is available from Boots and can detect Atrial Fibrillation. It has an alert feature. The difficulty in spotting AF is that it is intermittent so one visit to a doctor might not necessarily show any signs. Once AF is diagnosed your GP can prescribe the correct blood thinning medication for you. Everyone’s requirements may be different depending on many other factors and medication you may be on already.

Remember, as the Stroke Association say stroke is a ‘brain attack’ which happens when part of the blood supply is cut off to the brain.

The effects can be relatively minor for some, others may be left with permanent brain or limb damage or both for the rest of their lives. Theirs’ and their families lives change for ever as a result of that one moment, no warning. Not forgetting that one in eight people die within thirty days of suffering a stroke. Many have a second stroke. Help change these figures, be aware of blood pressure and AF.

Look up Gutsy film by clicking on the link below and you can see my story filmed by a pharmaceutical company trying to increase awareness of AF, and please help raise awareness toady. Share this blog with ten people you know. Help save lives. More and more strokes are in people of working age, people in their 50’s let’s change that, change statistics. Take part in raising awareness to reduce the number of strokes.


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