Ann Scarth, a member of Wesley Nurse Health Ministries, spoke to Mason Bluebonnet Study Club members on April 16. While she covered a number of health issues, the main focus of her talk was stroke recognition and intervention.
Mrs Scarth began by outlining personal risk assessment. Factors considered were blood pressure, cholesterol levels, diabetes, smoking, atrial fibrilation, diet, exercise, and family history. She told her audience that knowing each ones risks and taking measures to improve levels of blood pressure, cholesterol levels, stopping smoking, and seeking medical advice on other areas of risk are extremely important in preventing stroke.
The speaker went on to describe mini strokes (transient ischemic attacks) which are caused by an artery leading to the brain being blocked for a brief time. If this happens, the blood flow to the brain slows or stops and brain cells are stunned, then recover when blood flow is restored. Recovery from a mini stroke usually happens within an hour and symptoms are gone within 24 hours. Because they are so brief, 50% of those suffering mini stroke do not even report them to a doctor. Mrs. Scarth said that this is a big mistake because 10% of those having a mini stroke will have a stroke within three months.
Typical signs of stroke or mini stroke include tingling, numbness, or loss of feeling in the face, arm, or leg especially on one side of the body; weakness or inability to move these parts of the body; trouble finding words or inability to speak clearly; trouble understanding words; loss of vision especially in one eye; severe dizziness, lack of coordination, or loss of balance; or a sudden severe headache.
Intervention must be fast. Mrs. Scarth said remember F=face, A=arm, S=speech, and T=time.Mrs. Scarth said that she has been in Mason a year and has become involved in a Walk to be Fit Class held on Mondays and Wednesdays at 10:00 am at the Lutheran Church; a Grief Support Group that meets every first and third Tuesdays at noon in the Methodist Church Conference Room; and a Caregivers Support Group.
Following a question and answer period, refreshments were served by hostess Betty Meyer to Mrs. Scarth, Mary Carlman, Mary Hemphill, Tanya Lamoreaux, Mary Ellen Merkel, and Sabin Nelson.
A short business meeting was gaveled to order by president Sabin Nelson. Minutes were read and approved, a treasurers report was delivered, and a Federation report was given detailing happenings at the Alamo District Spring Convention held in Jourdanton. A motion was made and approved to give a $750 scholarship to a graduating senior this year who will be selected by the scholarship committee from applications recieved.
The Mason Bluebonnet Study Club has been a member for 70 plus years of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs which is an international service organization headquartered in Washington DC. dedicated to serving local communities.