Monday, May 24, 2010

The appearance of a disease is swift as an arrow...

its disappearance slow, like a thread.

~ Chinese Proverb.

A friend once told me that in Britain, if someone says "how're you doing?", the correct reply should be a "how're you doing?" as well. At least to the elders...

I'm not too sure about that, but I practiced it for a while. I did it for a while here in Malaysia as well, but stopped because people didn't really get me.

Anyway, today I met colleague whom I hadn't met for about a month.

"How're you doing?" I ask.

"I just had a stroke," he mumbled with difficulty.

I was stunned.


"3 weeks ago."

He proceeds to show me how one side of his face is paralysed. He takes off his glasses and blinks, but only one eye blinks.

"How come you're back at work?"

"I can't sit still at home. I'm still undergoing treatment though."

He explains that one side of his body was slightly affected, and he can't carry stuff with that hand.

I've come across people I know who've suffered a stroke. But seeing this friend - it messed me up a bit.

Back home, I wikiepedia-ed stroke.

A stroke (sometimes called a cerebrovascular accident (CVA)) is the rapidly developing loss of brain function(s) due to disturbance in the blood supply to the brain, caused by a blocked or burst blood vessel. This can be due to ischemia (lack of blood flow) caused by thrombosis or arterial embolism or due to a hemorrhage. As a result, the affected area of the brain is unable to function, leading to inability to move one or more limbs on one side of the body, inability to understand or formulate speech, or inability to see one side of the visual field.

A stroke is a medical emergency and can cause permanent neurological damage, complications, and death. It is the leading cause of adult disability in the United States and Europe. It is the number two cause of death worldwide and may soon become the leading cause of death worldwide. Risk factors for stroke include advanced age, hypertension (high blood pressure), previous stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA), diabetes, high cholesterol, cigarette smoking and atrial fibrillation. High blood pressure is the most important modifiable risk factor of stroke.