A year ago last October I got up at 4 a.m., went to the bathroom, and came back to bed -- and all of a sudden everything started spinning. I got up and fell back down. I had blurry and double vision. I was extremely nauseous and vomited for hours.
It crossed my mind that I might be having a stroke -- I've been a stroke nurse practitioner for 8 years -- but I thought, this is too ironic. I'm 44. I'm healthy. I have no known risk factors. I don't have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes...
If you have a tendency to clench your fist on the affected arm, keep your fingernails short and smooth so that you do not cut yourself.
If you cannot feel sensations in your feet, cut and file your toenails straight across so that you do not scratch yourself.
Soaking your hands and feet may make your nails easier to cut. If you have diabetes, talk with your doctor about the care of your feet.
If you cannot feel heat on your affected side, you may be more prone to burns. Tips to prevent burns include the following:
Test the temperature of bath water or dishwater using your unaffected side.
Bathe and do dishes in lukewarm water.
Use pot holders whenever you work near a stove.
Turn pot handles away from you to prevent spills.
Wear nonflammable clothes when you cook, and do not wear clothes with long sleeves or ruffles that could get caught in an appliance.
If you have poor muscle tone in an arm, you may be at risk for shoulder problems. The weight of an affected arm can cause the shoulder to dislocate (shoulder subluxation). You also may tend not to use the shoulder, which may cause pain and loss of motion (frozen shoulder). You can help prevent a frozen shoulder by:
Positioning and supporting your affected arm. For example, wear an arm sling when sitting up or walking.
Maintaining full movement (range of motion) of the affected joints either by moving your arm or having someone move it for you.
Not overexercising your arm. This can cause pain and make exercising more difficult.
Swelling occurs when the affected arm or leg cannot move for a long period of time. A large amount of swelling: