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When to Call 911: Be Fast!
Call 911 right away for any signs or symptoms of stroke. Symptoms occur suddenly and can include:
B--Balance: Loss of balance, coordination, or trouble walking.
E--Eyes: Sudden vision changes like blurry or double vision.
F—Face: Facial droop.
A--Arm: Arm or leg weakness, mainly on one side of the body.
S—Speech: Slurred speech or trouble speaking clearly or understanding.
T--Terrible headache with no known cause. “The worst headache of your life.”
When to Call Your Doctor
It is a good idea to go over this list with loved ones living with you in case they notice any of these changes.
Changes in behavior or mood
Continued nausea or vomiting.
Increased pain not relieved by medicines
Showering and Bathing
If you have had surgery, please refer to the Craniotomy Health Facts for You. Follow the advice of your occupational therapist. At first, shower with someone there to help. It may be better to shower sitting down.
Driving and Travel
Talk with your doctor about when it would be safe to start driving again. Do not drive if you are taking prescription pain pills. Avoid flying for 2-4 weeks. Talk with your doctor before planning air travel within 6 weeks.
Talk with your doctor about when to return to work. It is based on how you are feeling and the type of job you do.
Activities and Hobbies
How much you do depends on how your body feels. Take breaks when needed. Be aware of the risks that headaches, fatigue, and memory loss can have on certain things you do. You should only walk for the first 6 weeks. This is the best way to gain your strength back, while keeping your head safe. If you have questions about when it is safe to start an exercise routine, ask your doctor.
Until you see your doctor at your clinic visit, avoid heavy lifting and bending at the waist. Keep in mind you should not lift over 10 pounds. If you have young children, you may need to gently remind them that it is not safe for you to pick them up for a few weeks.
Try to avoid bending at the waist to pick something up. Bend your knees before lifting. This helps to protect your brain at the site of the bleeding by decreasing the pressure inside your head. These tips should also help to decrease headaches.
Do not use heavy machinery, such as lawn mowers and snow blowers until cleared by your doctor.
You can go back to your normal diet unless your doctor has told you to change your diet.
To help prevent constipation:
Eat foods high in fiber. It helps prevent and treat constipation caused by medicines you may be taking. Fiber is found in many fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day and a total of 25-35 grams of fiber per day.
Drink plenty of fluids unless your doctor has told you not to.
Your headache should slowly improve. As your pain improves, decrease the amount of narcotic pain medicines you take.
Who to Call
Please call the Neurosurgery Clinic at
(608) 263-7502 or 1-800-323-8942, Monday – Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, with any question. After hours, the answering service will help you.