WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
A hemorrhagic stroke happens when a blood vessel in your brain bursts. This may happen if the blood vessel wall is weak, or if a blood clot gets stuck in blood vessel. Blood then flows out of the vessel and damages brain tissue.
AFTER YOU LEAVE:
- Anticonvulsants: These control seizures.
- Antidepressants: These decrease or stop the symptoms of depression.
- Other medicines: You may need medicine to treat diabetes, depression, high cholesterol, or blood pressure problems. You may need medicine to decrease the pressure in your brain, reduce pain, or prevent seizures.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your primary healthcare provider or neurologist as directed:
You may need regular tests of your brain function. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Rehabilitation (rehab) is an important part of recovery. Physical therapists help strengthen your arms, legs, and hands. You learn exercises to improve your balance and movement to decrease your risk of falling. Occupational therapists teach you new ways to do daily activities, such as getting dressed. A speech therapist helps you relearn or improve your ability to talk and swallow.
Prevent another stroke:
- Manage health conditions: High blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol all increase your risk of stroke. Take your medicines as directed. Follow your primary healthcare provider's instructions to check your blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Write the numbers down to show him.
- Reach or stay at a healthy weight: Weight loss can decrease your blood pressure and your risk of stroke. Ask your primary healthcare provider how much you should weigh and how to lose weight safely. Get 30 minutes of exercise each day. Ask which exercises you should do. You will need to exercise carefully after a stroke so you do not fall.
- Eat healthy foods: The foods you eat can help prevent or manage high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Eat foods that are low in fat, cholesterol, salt, and sugar. Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Include foods that are high in potassium, such as potatoes and bananas.
- Limit or do not drink alcohol: Alcohol thins the blood, which increases your risk of hemorrhagic stroke. Ask your primary healthcare provider if it is safe for you to drink alcohol. You may not be able to drink any alcohol at all. You will need to limit the amount you drink if your primary healthcare provider says some alcohol is safe for you. Men should limit alcohol to no more than 2 drinks per day. Women should limit alcohol to no more than 1 drink per day. A drink of alcohol is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1½ ounces of liquor.
- Do not use street drugs or smoke cigarettes: Your risk of another stroke increases if you use drugs such as cocaine, or you smoke cigarettes. Ask your primary healthcare provider for help if you are having trouble quitting.
Know the FAST test to recognize the signs of a stroke:
- F = Face: Ask the person to smile. Drooping on 1 side of the mouth or face is a sign of a stroke.
- A = Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. One arm that slowly comes back down or cannot be raised is a sign of a stroke.
- S = Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence that you say first. Speech that is slurred or sounds strange is a sign of a stroke.
- T = Time: Call 911 if you see any of these signs. This is an emergency.
Contact your primary healthcare provider or neurologist if:
- Your blood pressure is higher than you were told it should be.
- You have skin tears, or sores on your heels, head, or buttocks from lying in bed.
- You have bowel movement problems.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- You have a seizure.
- You are bleeding from your rectum or nose.
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
- You suddenly feel dizzy, lightheaded, and short of breath.
- You have chest pain. You may have more pain when you take a deep breath or cough. You may cough up blood.
- You have weakness or numbness in your arm, leg, or face.
- You are confused and have problems speaking or understanding speech.
- You have vision loss or a severe headache.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.