Our Stroke Survival Story One Decision Made the Difference Our law office was the scene of a harrowing experience last month, when our office manager and all-around superstar, Sonya, suffered a stroke. The episode came out of nowhere, was deceptively subtle at first, and became very serious very quickly. The scariest thing is that Sonya almost didn’t go to the hospital at all. You may remember Sonya from our newsletter’s very first edition, where we dubbed her “The Woman Who Does It All.” Normally she’s an unstoppable force, acting as office manager, receptionist, paralegal, and marketing director. But on that fateful day, it was clear something was wrong. She had been experiencing some nausea, dizziness, and pain in her left arm. Both Lee and Sonya’s sister, our paralegal Cyndie, thought she was having a heart attack. Sonya, never one to want to make a fuss, thought all she needed was to go home and get some rest. Fortunately, Cyndie was able to talk Sonya into seeking medical care, a step that saved Sonya’s life. Still unaware of the gravity of the developing situation, our Sonya refused to go to the hospital. So Cyndie, being the hero of the day, literally saved Sonya’s life by insisting that she take her to the urgent care facility. Due to Cyndie’s quick thinking, she thankfully made it there within minutes, which was when the stroke took full effect on Sonya. The urgent care facility immediately called an ambulance and our Sonya was transported right away to Saint Francis Hospital, where she received the tPA medication. If the onset of a stroke is caught within three hours and a person having a stroke meets the criteria for the administration of tPA, it can reverse the symptoms of a stroke and decrease your recovery time. Due to Cyndie’s quick thinking and response time, Sonya met that criteria and qualified. Thankfully, this story has a happy ending. After just a two-week recovery period, Sonya was back to her old, unstoppable self, answering phones, helping clients, and bringing a smile to our faces. We are all incredibly relieved to see her in good health with such a remarkable recovery. Despite the good news, our firm learned a very sobering lesson that day: A stroke can happen to anyone, at any time. The grim truth is that it had not occurred to any of us — including Sonya — that she was experiencing a stroke. Had she not gone to the urgent care facility for what Lee and Cydnie thought was a heart attack, things would have turned out very differently. Continued on page 3...
How Much Sunshine Is Too Much? To many people, summer is all about heading outside to enjoy the weather. But getting too much sun can be dangerous. To have a fun-filled summer with your family this year, remember that it’s essential to protect yourself from harmful UV rays. COVER UP Covering your skin is one of the best ways to avoid skin damage. Wide-brimmed hats, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants or skirts can protect your skin from direct exposure to UV rays. While this tactic protects you from the sun, it offers poor defense against the heat. So, if you opt for cooler attire, it’s important to cover all exposed skin with a copious amount of sunscreen. Be sure to reapply every two hours for maximum skin protection. SPEND LESS TIME IN THE SUN If you’re planning to spend a significant amount of time in the sun, consider your environment. Will there be plenty of shade? Will you have to bring your own? What’s the best way to step out of the sun for a few minutes? Wearing sunscreen and protective clothing are great ways to shield yourself from UV rays, but it’s important to avoid being in direct sunlight for long periods. Taking a break from the sun gives your body the time it needs to recuperate and helps prevent sunburn and heatstroke. COMMON MYTHS ABOUT SUN EXPOSURE Many people think that a tan is better than a sunburn, but the result of tanning is still sun damage. When your skin tone changes due to the sun, regardless of whether it tans or turns red, it’s a result of the epidermis reacting to damage caused by UV rays. Both are symptoms of harmed skin. While vitamin D is important, the sun does not contribute to its creation as much as you might think. Doris Day, a New York City dermatologist, explains that if your skin were to constantly produce vitamin D from being in the sun, it would reach toxic levels. Vitamin D is the only vitamin that your body can produce on its own, through a common form of cholesterol or 7-dehydrocholesterol. Spending time in the sun does help vitamin D form, but you need far less exposure than you think.
Knowing how to protect yourself from UV rays is the first step to having a safe, fun-filled summer!
2 Berlin Law Firm • 918-770-0172
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