Stroke. It’s a very gentle word, don’t you think?
We stroke our pets. Ahhhhh.
We stroke our loved ones. Mmmmmm.
However, the facts are that stroke kills twice as many women as breast cancer, kills more men than prostate & testicular cancer combined and yet 5 times more is spent on cancer research than on stroke research. That needs to change.
So why on Earth do we use the very same word for something which causes the greatest range of disability of any known condition? (There are over 1.2 million stroke survivors in the UK, over half of which have some form of disability). And stroke is also the 4th largest cause of death in the UK.
Stroke is an ABI (Acquired Brain Injury) and nearly all stroke survivors will have brain damage, leading to a range of mental, physical and psychological impairments. Not dying from the stroke is one thing, living with disabilties is another.
So, as a stroke survivor myself, I prefer the term ‘brain attack’. Most of us are familiar with the term ‘heart attack’ and how serious this is. Not wanting to make light of the situation, but a heart can be replaced, transplanted. A brain cannot. Any damage to the brain can affect any and all of the body’s systems, both physically and mentally (mobility, swallowing, talking, breathing, eyesight, memory, anxiety, depression, comprehension, concentration, etc).
So, let's change the term 'stroke' to 'brain attack'. Far more people would understand this, I feel.
So, in order for people to understand better what 'stroke' really is, I have written my story to music. I am hoping to;
1) raise awareness of 'stroke', particularly for young people (I was 55 when this happened to me, but it can happen to anyone of any age, even babies), and
2) raise money for the charity Different Strokes.