Wednesday, May 19, 2010

If you can see this post clearly...don't read it...

...please...

This post is only for semi-blind people, like me.

People who would walk into the wall if they didn't have their contacts or glasses on.

People who wear coke bottom bottle glasses. But you will only understand this post if you are like this, too.

Then you might, possibly, excuse the fact that I am an idiot.

So...

I've been wearing contact lenses for 46 years. It's true. I got them when I was 8 years old. A horrific experience involving lots of screaming, crying, and restraint. And that was just what my Mother did. It was worse for me. In fact, it was terrifying. And I am still traumatized when I go to the eye doctor.

But...

Yesterday I was putting my contacts in when the phone rang...so I answered it, chatted awhile and then started walking down the hall.

My sight seemed really weird, though, and as I walked toward my office I realized my vision was totally blurred in my left eye.

We have a friend that just had a stroke. Part of the stroke manifested itself in blurred vision.

And that's exactly what I thought.

I shrieked!

I yelled!

Mr. Jenny came running.

"Oh no, oh no!" I screamed. "I think I've had a stroke! My vision is all blurred in my left eye!"

Mr. Jenny looked panicked.

He helped me back to our room and I laid down on the bed.

He asked me to smile...which is what you are supposed to instruct a stroke victim to do.

I yelled at him! "I can't smile!" I shouted dramatically, "I am going blind in my left eye!"

I told him we should call 911, but first he should get me an aspirin. I thought I remembered reading somewhere that you should take one.

He went running into the bathroom.

And came back a few seconds later without it!

"Ahem!" he said in a stern voice.

"Ahem what?" I cried. "Where is my aspirin? I am going to die here!"

And he held out my contact case with the left lense still firmly tucked inside.

Hmmm...

I tried telling him it was an exercise in preparedness...so we would both be ready in case one of us actually DID have a stroke.

He didn't buy it.

I think he glared at me...but I'm not totally sure because I still couldn't see out of my left eye.

He went back to his office.

And left me alone.

In my perilous health condition.

Really.

He did.

And I was seriously embarrassed.

So I just put my left contact lense in and pretended the whole ridiculous mess had never happened in the first place.

But I still feel like a moron because I realized I didn't know how to really tell if someone was actually having a stroke. For real. So I looked it up. And it said if you suspect someone has had a stroke to remember the acronym FAST.

F ace - check for numbness or weakness by asking the person to smile. If the person can't or one side of the face droops, it may mean stroke.

A rms - Ask the person to raise both arms. If one drifts down or can't be raised, it may mean stroke.

S peech - Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. If it is slurred or hard to understand or the person has trouble remembering the words to repeat, it may mean stroke.

T ime - Get help immediately if you or someone else experiences any of these signs. Call 911 or get the person to the hospital. Time is the most important factor.

So I wanted to share this information with you.

And I figured even if you have 20/20 vision you might read this whole post anyway to see what strange tangent I was off on.

And then you might be better prepared, too, if you ever think someone is having a stroke! Just remember the phrase FAST! And remember it fast! Because speed is important with a stroke.

Unless it's me. And then before you do the FAST thing, ask me if I remembered to put both my contacts in.

And if didn't, please feel free to just hit me in the head.

And don't be doing your "Oh, poor Mr. Jenny thing!" He likes it when I keep him on his toes like this. I know he does. Sure, he doesn't come out and say it but I can tell by the glazed look in his eyes as he is pulling his hair out! So there!

Sigh...

P.S. I am not making light of stroke. I think the possibility is so frightening. But I personally always learn things better when there is humor attached to the lesson and the missing contact seemed to just tie in with the whole subject.

post signature

71 comments:

Kristi Faith said...

Oh Jenny! I am laughing so hard I'm crying. LOL I also have a horrid lack of eyesight and wear contacts. Without them, I can't tell who is who or where is there. :0) I originally thought you were going to say you put the wrong contact in the left eye, which is what I have done and FLIPPED out that my vision had suddenly become worse. :0)

Jocelyn said...

Oh Jenny....you make me smile and giggle and I know that you are not making light of stroke symptoms....it is scary.... but I can just see you freaking out and then Mr. Jenny finding your lens!!!

Wishing you a great day sweet friend...and make sure you double check your lens case the next time....too much stress and you can have a stroke!!!

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

Ok - so now we need to add one more item to the list "do you have BOTH contacts in?" You're so funny!

Diana said...

You are too funny!

Terra said...

I was you. I couldn't even see my glasses on my nightstand in the night - and I needed them to get to the bathroom. My parents paid for Lasik surgery 12 years ago and it was life altering for me. My vision was so bad our Dr. told me he wouldn't be able to get it perfect and I would pry need the surgery again (and I do) but I can SEE...and the possibility of me having a non stroke due to a contact blunder no longer exists except that I can assure you I TOTALLY GET IT!

Julienne said...

I do like this post! For both the humour and the serious message. A friend had a stroke at a meeting last year and none of us realised it was happening so now we all know the fast rule. Thankfully she is fine.

~Kristen~ said...

I can always count on you for a good laugh to start my day!!! mwwwaahh!!! And I had to read because I am blind as a bat!!! :-) I wore contacts for years but can't anymore. I do have the super thick glasses, though (though, blessedly, with the advances in lens design I can get relatively thinner ones now!). I have to say, if I were still wearing contacts and I forgot to put one in I probably would have done the same thing as you! A few years ago I had a bout of Bell's Palsy and I was convinced I had had a stroke. Never mind that I was perfectly coherent, could lift my arms and legs and everything else, and my husband had also had Bell's and he knew that was exactly what I had. Still I freaked and made him rush me to the ER! Apparently I have a flair for the dramatic...or so the hubs says....

Cheryl said...

Thanks for the FAST reminder with a laugh. You're right, it's easier to remember something when it's told with a funny lead-in.

Check the breath too ~ folks who have had too much to drink can't do any of these things either.

Jeanie said...

Lot's of good news in this post. You kept your sense of humor following an almost-disaster, Mr. Jenny was Johnny-on-the-spot for you and your shared some valuable information with us. Thanks.

kim said...

Oh, thanks for letting me laugh at you again. Sounds like something I would do, but my husband wouldn't even think of looking at my contact lens case. Of course I am not that blind either. Just a little blind. You are going to give that man a heart attack. I have seen those stroke symptoms before and thanks for sharing for those who haven't.

Michele {The Scrap Shoppe} said...

Oh my goodness, thank you so much for the laugh this morning! While I'm so glad you did NOT have a stroke, this was just too funny. And, I'll have you know, *ahem* some of us with perfectly fine vision still manage to walk into walls. :P

Busy Bee Suz said...

I am so happy you did not have a stroke...but just a stroke of silliness!! That is what we expect from you. :)

Jemm said...

Great post Jenny. Strokes are really scary, I think. There's no warning signs. They can happen to anyone who is otherwise completely healthy.

marie said...

Here I thought it was going to be another day of drudgery at my office - but no! Along comes Jenny Matlock and suddenly the day is so much brighter!

Thank you for a wonderful chuckle (okay, truth is I laughed until I had tears!) to start my day at the office!
I appreciate you so much!

lissa said...

I think humor will always be something that helps even in bad situation, I did laugh at this post & now I learn something new, thanks

Sh@KiR@ CK said...

You are hilarious...
bdw, please practice taking half a tab of aspirin everyday...its the BEST STROKE precaution..
love you..poor Mr. Jenny...
hugs
shakira

Pondside said...

Ah Jenny - you're amazing! Loved this one - and you're great to post the FAST reminder.

Lucy said...

Ohhh....the worries. I come from a stroke line on both sides. I think about this more than I would like to. Great post though. Love the reminders.

Cheryl D. said...

Really funny story, but then you became informative on me! Very nicely done!

Bossy Betty said...

Lasik, baby. Lasik.

Sami said...

My vision is fine, so far, but my mom was nearsighted and my dad was farsighted so I'm just waiting for THAT shoe to drop.

I also didn't know about the arms thing for a stroke! Now any time I suspect someone, I'll have them recite "There was a farmer who had a dog, and Bingo was his name-o.." while grinning like a fool and waving their arms like a windmill! Muahaha...

Betty (picture circa 1951) said...

I can so relate to this post. I'm considered legally blind without contacts or glasses, but I personally think as long as vision is correctable it shouldn't be considered legally blind. I've been wearing contacts for 50 years!

What I remember best is when the kids were little and one would come running in our room at night and announce they were going to be sick. I'd have to fumble for my glasses first and usually that gave them just enough time to lean over the bed and get sick.

Parsley said...

Totally made me smile. I'll have to share this with my husband who is has poor eye sight.

Janet Johnson said...

Great story! I'm not a wearer of glasses or contacts, so I guess I read what I shouldn't . . . and maybe I don't fully appreciate the horror of it all, but great!

Always good to know the warning signs.

Linda said...

Girl I am so blind without my glasses so I get it!! I think learning with humor is important and I will remember FAST thanks to you oh and Mr Jenny who I agree loves his part in all this, I'm sure he does even if he has bald patches from pulling out his hair! :)

Sue said...

I had the same experience with my contacts once, which made this so funny to me. Unlike you, though, I didn't forget to put one of them in. What I did was to put both of them in the same eye. And boy, was it hard popping them as a unit!

=)

PS. Thanks for the warning signs of stroke. My grandfather died young of one, so I am very much aware of that genetic tendency.

Aging Mommy said...

VERY funny! I knew straight away what you had done! I have terrible eyesight too, but can no longer wear contacts which I did for many years. When I take off my glasses I have to try and remember EXACTLY where they are or otherwise I will be on hands and knees or otherwise at eye level with every surface in the house looking for them.

I have been meaning to venture over this way for a long time, so I am very glad I finally did.

Just Kim said...

Haha! Yup, our husbands do like it when we do things like this.

I had my own bit of excitement with my right eye, Friday. This blog is not listed on my profile, but if you care to peek, here's the link:
http://patchsportions.blogspot.com/2010/05/vitreous-detachment.html

Julie Schuler said...

I can never remember that acronym! By the time I've sat and figured it out for ten minutes I can be pretty sure I'm not having a stroke.
I'm going to tell my husband your story, it will make him laugh. We are both blind, but we are glasses wearers.

Lorrie said...

Humour and education in a wonderful post! And in spite of your comments, I still feel a bit sorry for Mr. Jenny. But it sounds like he remembered the FAST treatment.

Tracy said...

It is not often I sit at the PC and worry that I am going to wet myself laughing but I have just done so. That was so funny.Having said that it wa salso a very good reminder to us all what to do if you suspect someone is having a stroke. Thank you

Lourie said...

I thought you put two in one eye. But this was even better. And I would soooo do this if I wore contacts. But I don't. So I guess if my vision is blurred like that I better think quickly.

Golden To Silver Val said...

Oh my lord....I know exactly where you're coming from. I started wearing contacts in 1961. They were a blessing for me back then and they still are for me now. I wear the extended wear ones and its heaven to wake up and actually SEE the time on the clock without fumbling for my glasses on the nightstand. I just recently lost one of them and my back-up pair was scratched. I had to wear them anyway so I could make my way to the doctor and get new ones. I've always been amazed that someone with eyes as bad as mine (coke bottle glasses) can obtain 20/20 vision with just the help of those tiny thin contact lenses. I love the person who invented these with all my heart!! (and I know you do too) Note: Do YOU have a back-up pair just in case?

Lindsay said...

heheh okay this was pretty funny!! Glad you and now many others (me included) know what to look for in case of a stroke. My husband's mom had a mini one about 6 months after we were married and it was pretty scary.. we lived further away (reason we moved closer). There's my tangent!

Nancy C said...

Hilarious! Ohmygoodness.

Have you ever mixed up your right and left eye? My prescription is different in each eye, and it's crazytown when I mix them up.

Deborah Ann said...

Very pertinent info, and told in such a humorous way, that I'm sure to remember it. you crack me up!

myletterstoemily said...

sooooo funny!

i'm really glad you didn't have a stroke
but suspected you could not be that
funny having just had a one.

Becca's Dirt said...

Your story telling always makes me laugh. I love your humor. Now about the stroke - great post. Something we all need to keep in mind. I thought I was having a stroke when I had an incident when I passed out and couldn't stand without a leg giving way. It ended up my BP bottomed out to 50/30. No wonder I couldn't walk. I'm OK but no BP meds anymore. I keep it checked too.

Paula said...

What is life if we can't laugh a little (in this case alot) while we learn? !!

Brenda said...

ROFLMAO, sorry, It's just too funny...hee-hee-hee

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Yes, I can identify! Oh, can I ever! LOL! I can't see, and that's one reason that Jill comes tumbling after! ;-)

And that's good advice. I try to do that to myself if I think I have an issue. And there have been some issues that mimicked a stroke. But they weren't YEA! Strokes, though, are very serious business. Thanks for the reminder..

XO,

Sheila :-)

Tina said...

That was hysterical! I can't see anything without my contacts or glasses, and now I can't read anything, even my iPhone, unless I have my reading glasses...SIGH. You did a great job educating us, with humor!

Beverly said...

Ha Ha Ha!!! Oh my gosh you are too funny. I have been wearing glasses since I was 8 years old also. I am now going to tell you something that should make you feel a lot better and a lot less not to bright LOL. When I went in recently for a physical I had to take an eye exam. The nurse handed me the little card you place over one eye and told to go and stand against the wall. Once the nurse was able to catch her breath from laughing so hard she asked me to "please turn around and face me, not the wall". See, you are no the only one:) We all have our blond moments, even if we are not blond.

Diana said...

Well Jenny I have had two strokes. Both times I lost complete control of my left arm. My sight wasn't affected however my memory was. Trust me you know when your having one.
I can only imagine how strange it felt to be walking around with only one contact! I can't wear them just because of the fear I have of putting something in my eye!
Love Di ♥

mub said...

I love reading your posts. I'm just glad that I'm not the only one who reacts to things like that ;) And I'm very glad you weren't really having a stroke!

Jo said...

You know, that was a great lesson ... funnier than all get out, but i truly did learn something very valuable ... thanks Jenny, for your info and humour!!!

Lady Banana said...

Funny story, and great to remind us of FAST!!

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

Great way to remind us of an important piece of information.

But.... Ohhhhhh Poooor Mr. Jenny!!!

Oooops, I can't say that, can I???

-heh,heh,heh-

laterg8r said...

you crack me up LOL :D

PeggyR said...

OMG that is so funny! Thanks for posting on my blog. I try to keep it interesting between my art, garden, family, etc.

paige said...

One time I put both contacts in one eye. True story.

It was early. I was sleepy. Oh, and I'm a little silly.

:)

Holly said...

Sorry I couldn't comment right away...I had to get up from rolling on the ground!!!
If ever I'm down (feeling low) I just have to read a post from you and my smile kicks in!!!

I didn't know about the FAST thing so I appreciate the time you took to pass on that information!!

I can totally relate to the contact thing...and "where did I put my glasses?" ...sitting on top of my head, etc.....

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

OH goodness! haha (of course, I am NOT laughing AT you or about the seriousness of a stroke... but I so can relate with your nearsightedness!!!! My vision is something like 20/800+ (seriously). I have a theory about Monet's artwork...I think that how his impressionistic style looks just like how it is for me when I look at something without my glasses...well, actually, even his style is clearer than what I see things as.)

Blessings & Aloha!
I love your sense of humor! An thank you for the lesson on "FAST"...that is a great acronym to know.

jeff campbell said...

This is such a fine post Jenny...you can take a serious subject...make it funny and then bring it back around to serious again. I think you should be a stand up comedian...a twin bill with Lewis Black...Peace and blessings

Ms. Anthropy said...

Remember my WHITE laptop... well... you are part of the reason I was dead set against white! I won't even mention wetting myself, that would be gross.

Dee said...

LOL. Jenny you are soooo cute. Thank you for the F.A.S.T.... it is good for me to know since most of my buddies are now at stroke risk age. I always carry asprin in my purse. Remember if you lose your contact again..chew the asprin not swallow it.

Tracie said...

I'm a speech therapist who used to work in a rehabilitation facility. I think I'm having a stroke everytime I get a headache or my foot falls asleep. A little bit of medical knowledge can be dangerous.

Marlene said...

Excellent PSA. Wanna hear something funny? I used to wear contacts - and I had a similar occurrence once. (Except that I didn't notice the vision was blurred in one eye).

I went to remove my contacts and kept swearing under my breath every time I tried to remove the left one because it hurt like a mother you know what. I found the lens, in the case, where it had been all day....and I had a red bloodshot ouchy eye trying to remove the darned thing that was never in my eye to begin with. How's that for dumb?

Beth said...

That was a wonderful post and I LOVED the tie in to stroke info!

Chatty Crone said...

That was so funny - I love your sense of humor! sandie

Jojo said...

Not only have I been wearing contacts all my life, I am happily wearing bi-focal contacts!!! Whoo-hoo for gas permeables!!!

Sares said...

Better safe than sorry! It seems as if a cooler head prevailed. I want to know how he was smart enough to check the contact case. He must REALLY know you!

Dysfunctional Mom said...

I love this post! Funny yet informative.
I work in a Neuro ICU and I brought my parents one of our magnets that listed signs of a stroke. I told them no offense, I am just trying to take care of them!

Yarni Gras! said...

I love to laugh and this post was perfect...BTW, at 49 when you laugh REALLY hard, you wet your pants.

Wanda said...

You did all of us a servive with this funny but serious post, Jenny. Loved the F.A.C.E. information! Thanks Jenny for being your funny self!
♥...Wanda

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

Getting old is not for cowards.

I walked around my kitchen (with my keys in my hand) for five minutes this morning "looking for the truck keys" so I could go to work...

Mighty M said...

Love the FACE acronym, very helpful. I delight that you are overcoming your embarrassment to bring stroke awareness to light - and I am so glad it was just a missing contact! :)

CherylK said...

I am so, so glad you didn't have a stroke!! I'm sorry but I just have to say it...poor Mr. Jenny. He has his hands full. *wink*

Amy said...

I. can't. stop. laughing! seriously the funniest thing I have heard all week. I am glad it wasn't a real stroke, and I am glad you have now learned what to do in case of a stroke. What a great way to learn, and you will probably never forget again, because it is emblazoned on your memory. And Mr. Jenny probably wont ever believe you if you do it again. Something about crying wolf?

Beth said...

That might be the funniest thing I have read in a long time!!! Thanks for sharing.

Fresh Local and Best said...

It was my lucky day to read your blog (I am a a follower). I love these stories, it's so touching to hear about the pregnant girl who was overwhelmed by your simple generosity, and how cool is it that someone comes back with $2 to show you her honesty and integrity! Awesome, awesome!!! My view on humanity is totally enlightened.