- Danielle Lance, 34, had a stroke in January 2022 after battling a double ear infection.
- Doctors thought her vertigo was caused by an ear infection – until her right side became numb.
- Loss of balance, facial drooping, and arm numbness may indicate the possibility of a stroke.
Danielle Lance, a paramedic and mother of four, was recovering from a painful double ear infection when her symptoms worsened.
The 34-year-old woke up dizzy after a prolonged seizure in late January, according to WakeMed Voices, Blog associated with Raleigh, North Carolina’s hospital system.
This dizzy feeling continued the next day, when Lance woke up unable to move her right side. In the WakeMed emergency department, I felt weak and had difficulty speaking. The triage nurse quickly recognized the signs of a possible stroke.
Stroke signs It may include sudden loss of balance or coordination, eye or vision changes, facial drooping, numbness or weakness in the arm, and slurred speech. Any of these symptoms should indicate that it’s time to call 911, and complete signs of stroke, the acronym, “BE FAST.”
Stroke symptoms It may not always be obvious, as ear infections share some common symptoms. Dizziness, lightheadedness, and nausea may be caused by a stroke, ear infection, or a host of other illnesses, according to WakeMed.
However, diagnosing and treating a stroke quickly can make a big difference to a patient’s eventual recovery.
She was sedated on one side and had difficulty walking
After a patient woke up that January morning, Lance said she continued to feel dizzy throughout the day. Soon she felt a tingling in her right side and was having trouble walking. Her husband took her to a nearby emergency department, where doctors sent her home with a diagnosis of a cold and an ear infection — something she already knew.
The next morning, Lance said she could not move her right side. She returned to the emergency room, this time on the WakeMed campus in Raleigh, and was admitted with the help of hospital staff.
When a nurse knew that Lance Symptoms could be a strokeThe care team began working to diagnose and treat her. They ordered a CT scan and quickly diagnosed her with a stroke, which occurs when blood flow to the brain is cut off.
Strokes can occur when a blood clot travels to the brain from elsewhere in the body, or due to spontaneous brain haemorrhage, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Stroke risk factors include high blood pressure, heart disease, smoking, and taking certain medications such as Contraceptive pills.
She recovered well with physical therapy
Within an hour, Lance was brought into surgery to stop the stroke. Doctors removed a blood clot from her brain, which is only one way to treat strokes.
In other cases, a stroke can be treated with blood-thinning medications, or the offending clot may pass on its own.
The young mother needed a month and a half of psychological, occupational and physical therapy to recover. According to WakeMed, Lance was able to return to work in July – a month earlier than expected – due to her rapid progress.
She said to her her right arm, which was Paralyzed due to stroke, is still somewhat weak compared to the left. She added that she sometimes has trouble opening and holding things, and her speech and short-term memory are not the same as they were before the stroke.
Still, Lance said she’s grateful to be back at work and keeping up with her family.