May is National Stroke Awareness Month. A stroke is an interruption of blood flow in the brain. It could be caused by a blood clot or a broken blood vessel causing bleeding in the brain. This prevents blood and oxygen from reaching brain tissue. It is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. The American Stroke Association developed this easy-to-remember guide to help identify the signs of a stroke.
F – Face drooping. Is one side of the person’s face drooping or numb? When he or she smiles, is the smile uneven?
A – Arm weakness. Is the person experiencing weakness or numbness in one arm? Have the person raise both arms. Does one of the arms drift downward?
S – Speech difficulty. Is the person’s speech suddenly slurred or hard to understand? Is he or she unable to speak? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Can he or she repeat it back?
T – Time to call 9-1-1. If any of these symptoms are present, dial 9-1-1 immediately. Check the time so you can report when the symptoms began. As the meme said, this is the lentiest lent I’ve ever lented! We have been going through a time that has left many of us stressed, confused, lonely, and a bit scared. We’re anxious to have our lives back, go back to the way things were. It won’t happen overnight. I’m sure we will be back in the church building soon, that plans are being discussed at the conference to pastoral levels. But it won’t be business as usual for awhile.
We will need to continue to protect each other and ourselves. Depending on when we return to the building, there may be some of our church family who should not return right away. We must support them in making that decision. People who are immune compromised, have chronic illness,
especially respiratory disease, will need to be especially careful. We will need to continue to be vigilant with hand washing and sanitizing. We may need to continue social distancing for awhile, meaning we may need to hold off on handshakes, hugs and gathering close in pews and tables.
It will be wonderful to be together again, to see each other and hear voices without computer distortion. We need to do all we can to prevent a second wave of COVID 19.
I’m writing this April 16 and much can change between now and when you actually read this. I’m prayerful that we will be able to be physically together soon and we need to prepare for the possibility that the quarantine may continue a little longer. I’m asking you to think about the last several weeks and the range of emotions we experienced. Take a moment; name them. Acknowledge them. Now take some deep breaths. When were you aware of God in this unusual time? What awareness did you experience of God? When did you feel the absence of God? (Yes,
it’s ok to admit that you feel the absence of God. It’s just a way of acknowledging that you were not aware of the presence of God.) How has this time changed you? How have you/we managed to still be the Church, the hands and feet of Christ, without being in church? How should we go
forward from here?
Christy Friedel, R.N., S.D. 269-535-1032 email@example.com