Hey Guys, Don’t be a Ditka!

Take Stroke Warning Signs Seriously

Regardless of what Mike Ditka says, STROKE IS a “Big Deal”.

You may have heard recently Mike Ditka had a minor stroke a few weeks back while playing cards at his country club.   This story grabbed some media headlines and it was first reported by Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune.  Pompei reported Ditka was at a suburban country club playing cards Friday when he noticed his hands “weren’t working quite right,” and then he had a problem speaking.

[Personal Sidebar] Sorry, just had to put this one in, when I heard Ditka was at his country club when he had a stroke I had an immediate flashback to “Da Bears” on SNL when they spoofed how he minimized the seriousness of his heart attack back in the 80’s.

OK, I’ll get back to the point on this post…

Dan Pompei reported Ditka, 73, has not had any major health problems in recent years. But in 1988 when he was coaching the Bears he suffered a heart attack.

When he was contacted by Pompei after his stroke, Ditka said, “I feel good right now and it’s not a big deal.”

As reported, Ditka spends his time doing broadcast work for ESPN, tending to his restaurant Ditka’s on East Chestnut in the Tremont Hotel, making appearances and playing golf.

Ditka will not fulfill his ESPN duties from Bristol, Conn., this weekend, the network said.

After he suffered his heart attack at 49, he was back in the office eight days later and back on the sidelines in 11 days against doctor’s orders.

At the time, Ditka said he was “embarrassed” by the heart attack, and he reflected on his mortality.
“I don’t know what I experienced,” he said at the time. “I think I almost experienced embarrassment. It kind of was embarrassing that it happened to me. I mean, how could this ever happen to me?

I’ve highlighted above in red some of the classic warning signs for stroke as well as some of the typical excuses especially men give in regards to dealing with serious health issues like heart attacks and stroke.

Mike Ditka had two classic warning signs when he had his recent stroke but you should know them all, so here’s a review:

The most common stroke symptoms are:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

If you see someone having these symptoms or experience any of these symptoms yourself, call 911 immediately.   Treatment can be more effective if given quickly. Every minute counts.  So once again guys, don’t be a Ditka, take stroke seriously!

by David Dansereau for Know-Stroke.org

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David Dansereau at Know-Stroke.org

Published by David Dansereau

Licensed Physical Therapist, Nutritionist and Author in private consulting practice at SmartMovesPT. Know-Stroke.org 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 https://www.physicaltherapycoach.com Listen to the Know Stroke Podcast here: https://knowstrokepodcast.buzzsprout.com/

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