My Family has suffered a loss. My sister’s ex husband and father to her 3 children under 14 years old passed away last week. He was 35 years young and other than suffering from migraines from time to time, he was healthy. He worked out all the time so we NEVER saw this coming.
I normally wouldn’t post something this personal but, I feel it is my duty to raise awareness. You see my Brother-in-law suffered what we now know to be a Hemorrhagic Brain stem Stoke that was caused by a burst in a blood vessel that pooled in the base of his brain and brain stem. The pooling of the blood ultimately interrupted the flow of blood to his brain and caused pressure to build up in his brain stem.
As a family, we are baffled. Don’t get me wrong, we have faith that God has the final say. we just want to educate ourselves and know how to prevent this from happening to anyone else. Over the past weeks I’ve found myself wondering if there were any signs.
According to NYU’s Department of Medicine, there are many risk factors and other medical conditions that can lead to hemorrhagic and ischemic strokes. You can check them out here.
Of all the conditions and risk factors, and there almost 30, only two of them are related to my brother-in-law. The first being that he was a black man and the second being that he suffered from migraines. I know so many people that suffer from these dreaded headaches, including myself, and it scares me. If you’re not familiar with symptoms of an Aura or other symptoms attached to migraines, you can take a look here
Symptoms of a brain stem stroke can come on very strong and they are severe. You can have difficulty breathing, chewing, swallowing, and speaking. With similarities to strokes in other parts of the brain there can be weakness or paralysis of your limbs and/or face, hearing and vision problems, balance issues with tingling sensation, vertigo (a feeling of spinning when you’re not moving), Locked-in syndrome (occurs when only the eyes are able to move), and coma.
All of these symptoms are very serious, as with most illnesses, early detection and treatment is key. Brain tissue without blood flow dries quickly so if someone you know, including yourself, have any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately. I truly believe if my brother in law would have sought medical attention when his symptoms first appeared, he would still be here.
On a positive note, my family’s bond has gotten even stronger and individually our faith has gotten stronger. I’m thankful for that and i’m also thankful for the research of this post because it made me dig deeper into the information the doctors gave us and I now have a much clearer understanding.
Do you suffer from migraine headaches? Have you ever experienced an aura? I’d love to open up dialogue on the topic of this silent killer.