Sunday, July 12, 2015

Enjoy summer!!

Organization Highlights
By Maria Erichsen
Operations Manager of

RRSC Blog Note: The following article was originally published in the June 2014 StrokeNet NewsLetter. I have modified some wording slightly to fit the audience of this blog. I urge you to visit their site as it contains many excellent articles pertaining to strokes and personal experiences of stroke survivors and caregivers.

The StrokeNet Newsletter may be reached at:

Contact Maria at 

Summer is an important time to remember to provide encouragement to others in the stroke family.
...Schools are closing, grills are firing up, nature is in full bloom, and it is great to be outdoors. All part of what lets us know the season is summer. Do you know what is not seasonal? Exactly!! A stroke!

If you have been part of our community for a while you know summer can tend to slow down a great deal in terms of activity on this site in general. We understand everyone has been cooped up this very long, snowy, miserable winter and wants to get out and away from a computer screen, but keep in mind those who are new to us need help now not in the fall. Maybe if we all make the effort to check in and see if someone needs someone else who gets it, we can keep the ball rolling and have hope continue to flourish throughout the summer.

More important than anything you could give just a little bit of your time. Setting aside just a few minutes a day to offer a hand of comfort and support throughout the summer will do a world of good to let our stroke friends know how important their recovery really is to us.

Experienced Stroke Survivor or Newbie, take every opportunity to get out and enjoy your life. With summer approaching, we would like to remind you that spending time out in the sun and heat should be done with some precaution.

Sunscreen should always be used even if you are not prone to burning easily. Stroke often causes diminished neurosensitivity and you may not feel you are burning until you have gotten a considerable burn. Dealing with it later will not at all be pleasant. An ounce of prevention is well worth it. Similarly, certain medications advise against sun exposure. It would be wise to check your medications to be sure they are sun friendly. If not, this does not mean you should not take them to venture out.

Never skip your medication. What it does mean is you need to accommodate the medication. You can still have a good time and go out. You just need to do a little planning. Sunscreen will do nothing to counter the sun’s effect in this case. What you need to do is be sure there will be a place where you can be out of the sun. You may want to scope out where you are going in advance to be sure there is a shaded area; you might need to bring an umbrella.

One of the most common questions we hear from survivors is why they can’t seem to warm up. Having the chills or an inappropriate read on the ambient temperature is extremely common and why you must stay hydrated.

Without an accurate read on whether or not you are too warm you can easily over heat. It takes a very short time to develop heat stroke. The signs of it are nausea, headache, and dizziness, if you feel any of these physical conditions move into a cool air-conditioned area as quickly as possible. Drink plenty of water. Do not drink alcohol as it will raise your body temperature. NEVER mix alcohol with your medicine!

Mixing alcohol with certain medications can cause nausea and vomiting, headaches, drowsiness, fainting, or loss of coordination. It also can put you at risk for internal bleeding, heart problems, and difficulties in breathing. In addition to these dangers, alcohol can make a medication less effective or even useless, or it may make the medication harmful or toxic to your body.

Most importantly never use your stroke as an excuse to not get out and enjoy your life. Don’t turn down an invitation. We know everyone will appreciate and enjoy seeing you there more than you realize, isn’t that why you were invited?

Until next month get out enjoy the weather, make some time for us, and please stay safe!


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