My Dad is a Stroke Survivor
On November 30th, 2015 my father, Orlin Ostby’s life was forever changed. My dad was found in his bed by our neighbor, unable to move or speak. Our neighbor called 911 and an ambulance rushed my dad to the hospital, where it was determined that he had suffered from a stroke and was lucky to be alive. The stroke affected the right side of his brain causing weakness in his left arm, the inability to move his left leg and slurred speech.
You would expect me to say that my dad having a stroke was a complete shock and no one saw it coming, but this is not true. About four months prior to his stroke, my dad was diagnosed with high blood pressure (HBP). His doctor prescribed him medications to help keep his BP in a normal range, he was told to check and track his blood pressure throughout each day, eat a healthy diet and try to stay active.
(Orlin and Mandy Ostby)
After learning he had HBP, he kept a log of his blood pressure, but struggled to take his medication properly and modify his diet. During the four month prior to his stroke, my dad was taken to the ER on two separate occasions due to his BP being too high. His poor management of his BP led to his stroke.
Watching my dad endure the effects of a stroke has made me realize that you have to take care of yourself and you have to be the one to make healthy choices, but you also need support from those who love you. I wish I had pushed my dad harder to become healthier and take his medications properly. I cannot help to think that if I had done more to help my dad, he would not have had a stroke.
Although, my dad’s life is forever changed due to his stroke, he survived. I hope his story inspires others to take their health seriously and listen to the advice of medical professionals. If you were diagnosed with HBP and are having difficulties managing your BP, seek medical help. If you know someone who is struggling with HBP, whether it is a friend, parent, sibling or spouse, do what you can to help support him or her to become healthier. Having a stroke was the consequence my dad faced due to the poor managing of his BP, don’t let it be the consequence of someone that you love.
(Orlin with his wife and three of his children. From left to right: Orlin Ostby, Mandy Ostby, Eric Ostby, Catherine Ostby and Chris Ostby)