One of the blogs that my wife follows is In Pursuit Of Martha Points. Lori, the author, is participating in a fundraiser to help out the American Stroke Association. The way they raise money is by passing around this purse and get sponsors to donate for you to get dressed up and go out sporting this bag. And the big catch is that you have to take pictures and send them in.
Yeah for Lori. I wouldn't think a lot about it except that my wife decided that she wants to participate. So now this purse is coming soon to our household. Once again, I didn't care too much. That was until my wife had the wonderful (I hope you can feel the sarcasm dripping from that word) idea to have me take the purse to the fire station.
I'm not sure she understands just how many man cards I would lose by taking a purse to the fire station. I'd lose one for having a purse. One for bringing it to work with me. Another for it being such a gaudy purse. And yet another for documenting it all on film (ok, digitally but you get the point). As consolation I get Martha points. Hhhhhhhmmmm.
But it is for a good cause. Stokes are somewhat frightening. They can hit at almost any age now. They can kill or maim you for life. Scramble your brain so you're a vegetable or worse, make it so you can think perfectly clearly but have no control over your body.
When a stroke happens there is a very small window of opportunity for decisive treatment. Once the brain tissue that is deprived of blood dies off it's too late. The latest studies show that we have about 4 hours from when symptoms begin to get treatment (assuming it's a clot that caused the stroke).
I remember once when I was working on an ambulance we received a morning ALS transfer from the local ER to UCLA medical center. When we got there we were told by the RN that our patient was a 30 year old woman that had had a stroke. They were trying to get her to UCLA so they could properly treat her. The problem, I knew, was that the small window of opportunity was closing fast. We told the nurse to call the receiving facility and let them know that we would be there in 25 minutes. We scooped up the patient, grabbed that paperwork and made a quick run to the hospital.
While in back of the box my partner found out that the patient had been getting ready for work when she lost the ability to speak or stand. Fortunately for her she made a lot of noise while collapsing to the floor. Her roommate came in and found her laying there, unable to speak.
As we walked into the UCLA ER we were met by the neuro-surgeon (I bet his paychecks are nice). We gave him a report and transferred the patient to a bed right in the hallway. From there the stroke team whisked her off to get treated.
Maybe the purse will end up visiting my fire house. Stay tuned....
For more information on the fundraiser visit their website: http://projectpurseandboots.com/