I Am Afraid For My Life: What I learned About My Family History And Stroke

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Makeba Giles

Makeba Giles

Content Creator and Curator at MELISASource
Makeba Giles is an Health, Family, and Lifestyle Blogger. She is also a Midwest Mother of four, and the Founder and Creative Director of MELISASource.com. |

EMAIL: [email protected]
Makeba Giles

My Maternal Grandmother died of stroke when I was ten years old. I knew then that stroke was something that I would have to watch out for with myself. While the chances of me having a stroke were there, I viewed them as being low since it was my Grandmother and not a direct descendant.

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That is, until March 25th of this year.

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That was the day that my Dad suffered a massive stroke.

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He passed away on April 6. Through the overwhelming feeling of loss and grief, through my world being completely shattered beyond repair so suddenly and unexpectedly, I was forced to face the fact that stroke runs on both sides of my family.

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I am afraid for my life.

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  Since my mother had heart health issues, I have been doing everything that I know how to live a healthy lifestyle. I prepare my meals in a healthy way and (most times) watch what I eat—except in times when I’m depressed. I am working on increasing my level of exercise. I am considered overweight for my height, so I am determined to shed some pounds. I am even striving to keep my stress levels under control. I’m reading every article, watching every video that I can get my hands on about ways to be healthy.

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But I am afraid for my life. With what has happened, I now wonder if every effort that I am making is all in vain.

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See, from what I knew, my Dad was healthy. Heck, the entire side of my Dad’s family was healthy. It was not until this happened that I learned from my Aunt that the paternal side of my family has a history of stroke, too. I froze. First in disbelief, then in fear. So many questions with absolutely no answers.

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My Dad had just turned 82 years old in January. He was still very physically active: always staying busy doing something. He even still traveled frequently. That I knew of, he watched what he ate, and he was never seen without a bottle or cup of water in his hand. He was not overweight at all. He did not smoke. His had no heart ailments. He had far more physical capabilities than most people his age. He was blessed.

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I always thought that it would simply be natural causes that took his life. Never did I dream that it would be a sudden stroke. Additionally, I know that the risk of stroke is much higher in women than in men.

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So now what? What does this mean for me? Am I doomed? Will my body still fail me even after good health practices? Is there anything that I can do to reduce my stroke risk now?

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Maybe. Only time will tell.

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Some Facts About Stroke:

About 55,000 more women than men have a stroke each year.
Stroke is the #3 Cause of Death in Women and #4 Cause of Death in Men.

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Number of STROKE DEATHS IN ONE YEAR: (from 2010, the most recent year the statistics are available)

Women: 77,109
Men: 52,367

I am afraid for my life

But for now, I plan to keep doing what I am doing, which is my very best to stay as healthy as possible. Even though still I am afraid for my life, I will keep doing the things that have been found by the American Heart and Stroke Associations to help women lower their risk of stroke. I will ask more questions about my family health history. I will step up my learning when it comes to stroke and stroke prevention. I will talk to my health care physician to create an individualized action plan to safeguard myself against the risk of stroke as much as I possibly can.

I am afraid for my life

 I-am-afraid-for-my-life-may-national-stroke-month-american-stroke-association-goredstl I am afraid for my life

Although I am afraid for my life when it comes to stroke, I cannot allow my fear to stop me from being proactive when it comes to my health. Just like what happened with my Dad, no one knows what the future holds. But one thing that I do know is that whatever happens, I want to have the confidence that I did my absolute best to prevent it.  .

I am afraid for my life

May is American Stroke Month, which is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s annual campaign to increase stroke awareness and to educate Americans about stroke. There are a whole host of tools and resources you can use to empower yourself against stroke:

I am afraid for my life

To learn more about stroke prevention, visit:

I am afraid for my life

. melisasource-go-red-blogger-american-heart-association-goredstl-button I am proud to be a Go Red Blogger Ambassador for the American Heart Association, using social media to drive awareness of the fight against heart disease in women in order to live healthier, stronger and longer lives.

I Am Afraid For My Life

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