After being on a hiatus from writing my blog for a few weeks, I thought it fitting to make my first one a writing relative to Black History Month, as it is occurring during the month of February. When I was younger, I vaguely remember my mother getting a phone call, that led to me witnessing her cry. A memory that sticks with me because prior to this, I can’t recall any memory of me ever seeing my mother cry. As I became older, I understood what led to that moment and memory, as I was educated about the death of my grandmother at a fairly young age. My grandmother, who I did not get to know very well because of her untimely death and my young age, was one of the sweetest women one could meet. She was loving, and compassionate, as most grand-mothers tend to be. Unfortunately, it was because of a second stroke that we lost her. She is the reason I dedicated my professional career to the neurological population, and the treatment of the same. Statistically, the Black population is one of the highest groups effected by this disease, and unfortunately, it occurred to both my maternal and paternal grandparents, affecting their quality of life.
Cerebrovascular accidents, or more commonly, strokes, are brain attacks that occur as a result of a reduction of oxygenated blood flow to the brain. Based on where the reduction or loss of blood flow occurs in the brain, the person who experiences this brain attack, demonstrates a loss of motor function that could include a speech impairment, loss of use of the arm and/or leg, and unfortunately sometimes death. Most strokes are ischemic, or occur due to blockage of blood vessels, and the remaining are hemorrhagic, or occur due to bleeds. Physical Therapists that are trained in facilitating the rehabilitation of stroke patients, know the importance of those patients getting therapy as soon as possible, afterward. More current research emphasizes the importance of CVA patients participating in not only treatment to work on returning function, but for patients to participate in a cardiovascular regimen as well. Fatigue is one of the physical affects of a stroke that can be really debilitating to a patient’s recovery, sometimes more than the physical. I admonish all stroke patients to maximize on their rehabilitation with a therapist who knows how to best assist in their recovery, and better yet, get you cardiovascularly challenged to help overcome the effect of fatigue.
So, in this month of Black History, I saw it fitting to dedicate this post to my grandmother. She was the center of our family, and one who inspires me, along with her daughter, my mother, to be the best at what I do! They motivate me to be the best Neurological PT I can be, and in doing that I hope to be able to continue to challenge and educate my patients with every fiber of my being!