Sunday night I spent the late night and wee hours of the morning at the emergency room with my mother because she had aspirated food and liquids at dinner. She’s doing very well now, but is again experiencing dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing after stroke.
When the nurse at Silverado, my parents’ memory care community, told me that my mother was coughing up copious liquid, I worried that she may have pneumonia or at least was at risk of pneumonia. I rushed over to take her to the ER. As soon as I saw her, I knew that she must have recently aspirated food and liquids, for she looked absolutely gorgeous. She obviously was not sick. I’ve had pneumonia, and I remember how miserable I felt and must have looked.
What is Stroke?
Stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. It is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States.
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts (or ruptures). When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it and brain cells die.