Perhaps we should be asking physicians to “GIVE ME FIVE” more minutes

In my last post I discussed how to recognize a stroke and the controversy surrounding which method or reminders are the best tools to use to educate the public on stroke awareness.

I also set aside some time last month in my business ezine, Health-E-News to remind my subscribers about just how much more still needs to be done in this area of stroke education. I mentioned in this issue that many stroke patients still aren’t immediately diagnosed or may not receive the most appropriate treatment and therapies and too often they are left with the debilitating effects of a stroke. Here’s the issue if you aren’t on my email list

Shortly after making these comments I picked up my May issue of Heart Insight and read the cover story of TV personality Mark McEwen and how his stroke was initially misdiagnosed as the flu. J Gelles also commented on my blog today about Mark’s story, so in case you missed the comments I’ve copied them to the end of this post for more information. These events made me reflect on my own stroke story and how physicians also had trouble recognizing my stroke symptoms.

So, my point in this post is “Yes” – I agree stroke warning signs are missing from “FAST” and a person may only experience one symptom (ie)sudden headaches, as I experienced. “Yes”-it is important that all symptoms be remembered and acted upon quickly. The big idea here is to also get physicians to take the time to know-stroke as well. Even if the public is taught to “ACT FAST”, physicians are also sometimes trained to act too FAST to try to push patients through the system and may miss a stroke. Perhaps patients should be asking physicians to “Give Me Five” more minutes to listen to me and understand my symptoms.

Either way, both the ASA and the NSA agreed Mark McEwen’s story was well worth their attention. If you’d like to learn more on Mark McEwen’s story here’s where to find it:

Stroke Smart Magazine from the Nat’l Stroke Association

Heart Insight Magazine from the American Heart Association

(At last check the May issue was not online yet)

Bottom Line: Learn about Stroke all year long-not just in May

J Gelles Says:
June 4, 2008 at 6:36 pm

Legendary TV Personality Mark McEwen has a new book out on life after stroke. In November 2005, Mark suffered a minor stroke while visiting relatives in Baltimore. The hospital misdiagnosed it as the flu and discharged him. A few days later, on a flight back to his home in Orlando, McEwen suffered a massive stroke during the plane’s descent. It almost killed him, and it might have been prevented.

McEwen, a talented and witty public speaker, suddenly found himself stuck in a hospital, unable to talk, swallow, or move half his body. In his new book, CHANGE IN THE WEATHER: Life After Stroke, McEwen’s writes candidly everything that happened next, in an intimate chronicle of inspiring perseverance.

Today, over two years later, McEwen has returned to much of his normal life—walking, talking, driving, and even going back on TV. With CHANGE IN THE WEATHER, McEwen has decided to share his story because “I want stroke survivors to know that they’re not alone. There is indeed life after stroke, and even in the most extreme cases, patients can expect to recover pieces of their old lives and graft them onto whatever new experiences lay in wait.”

In addition to discussing what we need to know about stroke and its warning signs, he can discuss his illustrious career and how stroke humbled him.

For more information on the book visit:

Thanks also to Stephanie Trelogan for her comments to my last post and for giving my blog recognition. If you missed it:

Stephanie Trelogan Says:
May 12, 2008 at 4:19 pm

Great post, David. I think your blog is a fantastic resource, and in honor of Stroke Awareness Month, I’ve thrown a little link love your way:

Stephanie Trelogan
Senior Editor,
Heart Disease, Stroke, and Depression

Published by David Dansereau

Licensed Physical Therapist, Nutritionist and Author in private consulting practice at PTC Physical Therapy Consulting and SmartMovesPT. is my blog and members resource to raise stroke awareness and educate the public about reducing stroke risk as well as provide tips, tools and review new technologies for stroke recovery. Learn about my book, Body in Balance sold on Amazon at

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