See, here's the thing:

If you're working on some massive project or presentation for work and you suddenly get a dull headache and lose half your visual field, it's not normal. The dull headache might be, but the loss of half of your eyesight isn't.

If you wake up in the middle of the night totally blind and without the use of one side of your body, that's not quite right either.

And when you're sitting at breakfast and can't talk, well, that's out of the ordinary. Especially if you've already had a cup of coffee, and doubly-especially if one side of your face quits working, causing you to drool.

All of these situations would warrant, at the very least, a call to your doctor. I mean, it's conceivable that you might, in the first scenario, be having some sort of atypical migraine...but wouldn't it be better to know? If something is going wrong with your sight or coordination or speech, wouldn't that freak you out just a little bit?

I would think it would. Yet all of the people who experienced those symptoms above either went back to bed to sleep them off or kept on chugging along with their respective days. By the time they got to me, all three of them had had massive embolic strokes. They'd delayed long enough that there was nothing we could do except start 'em on aspirin and do rehab. One dude kept cutting hay until his entire back forty was done, then dragged his no-longer-working left side up to the barn and called his wife.

This puzzles me. I know that getting the hay in is important, especially with rain in the forecast. But isn't...I dunno, the fact that you can't feel one side of your body a little more important? Don't you think that being able to lift your arm should have priority here?

If you have a seizure, you go to the hospital or somebody calls 911. Same deal with losing the function in your legs, or losing control of your bladder: you'll go to the doctor if you think you've got MS. What is it about strokes that makes people not start worrying? Don't tell me that it's a function of the stroke itself, because it happens no matter where the stroke is.

It makes me wish that strokes came with some sort of awful green discharge or a rash, or something. Maybe if people could see that something's wrong, they'd be a bit more panicky.

>shakes head<