Vim & Vigor - Summer 2017 - University of Virginia - 31
Back at home, safety is your
main concern. Depending
on your level of functionality, you may need adjustments
in your home to make it more
accessible. It's best to consult
an occupational therapist, who
can conduct an in-home assessment to advise you on what
modifications are needed.
include installing grab bars and
nonslip mats in the bathroom,
installing a light switch near
the bed or motion-activated
night lights in the bedroom
and reorganizing the kitchen
for easier access.
Looking at Larry Baker, you'd never
know he had a stroke. At age 78, he
travels the world when not home managing his small Madison County farm.
He is an example of how getting care
quickly can make all the difference
when it comes to stroke, a leading
cause of long-term disability.
Last June, shortly after Baker
woke up, he felt numb on his left side.
Suspecting a stroke, he crawled to his
landline and called 911. He was flown
by Pegasus emergency helicopter
to UVA Medical Center 35 miles
away. Within 19 minutes of
arriving at the hospital, he
was given a drug to restore
blood flow to his brain. An
hour later, Baker said he felt
fine-and has ever since.
"The care I received at
UVA was excellent, and
that's what I would expect,"
he says. He's also proud to
go down in UVA medical history: His time to treatment
broke a UVA stroke-care record
by three minutes.
Once your immediate
needs are met, you'll
want to shift your attention to preventing future
strokes, which account for
approximately a quarter of
all strokes, according to the
National Stroke Association.
"The most important thing
for the long term is to seek
care from a stroke neurologist or neurovascular surgeon,"
Khalessi says. "Strokes don't
just happen. You're being given
a window to intervene. You need
to understand why you had the
stroke event in the first place."
When you know what caused
your first stroke, you can then
take steps to protect yourself
against another one. Quitting
smoking is paramount. But
your doctor will also probably
suggest ways to manage high
blood pressure, cholesterol and
diabetes and recommend eating
a healthy diet, slowly increasing
physical activity and reducing
alcohol intake. ■
Tell His Story
Larry Baker learned that stroke
can happen to anyone, even a fit
vegan like him. Hear how quick
actions made a difference in his
full recovery. Visit uvahealth.
SUMME R 2017