Speed of care most important for a stroke
This is not a story about me, but about my mission. On Nov. 15, I awoke to find myself in the intensive care unit of University of California at San Francisco Medical Center surrounded by a group of “white coats” and concerned faces. They asked me many questions: What is your name? Where are you? Can you raise both your arms to the same height? Recite the months of the year backward.
After I answered them, I was informed I had a stroke.
Earlier that day, a friend recognized it. She called 911. After she described my behavior, in minutes, a medical team transported me to MarinHealth Medical Center where an infusion of the “clot buster” (aka tissue plasminogen activator) was waiting for me. Then I was transferred to UCSF.
For me, there is no wheelchair, no speech therapist, physical therapist or art therapist. There is no helper to assist me while I take a shower or dress. That’s because the amazing training kicked in for everyone involved — all performed with precision and speed.
My message: If you see somebody struggling with speech or balance; if they can’t use an arm, have a facial droop, feel sharp chest pain or are clearly experiencing something go wrong, don’t follow your first instinct — which, for most of us, would be to put them in a car and drive them to emergency department. If you do, the preparations necessary to reverse the stroke or physical damage won’t happen until you arrive.
Instead, call 911. Do not hesitate. The person who answers the call will make the decision whether or not to send out a medical team. The dispatcher will stay online with you until you don’t need them. Think FAST by keeping the victim’s face, arms, speech and time in mind. Speed is the most important element. Call 911.
— Elizabeth Appell, Kentfield
Politicians making threats should all be punished
I am deeply disturbed by the actions and rhetoric of my elected officials. I think that the messengers in Washington need to tone it down.
When politicians advocating for a cause allow themselves to go beyond the bounds of civility, they encourage violence in the minds of some of our citizens. Those citizens then take the rhetoric as marching orders and off they go to carry out the “violence” inherently alluded to. Then, when a catastrophe occurs as a result of their words, our politicians say something like, “Well, I didn’t really mean to actually burn down anything or shoot someone.” No punishment or repercussions follow. That needs to change.
In 2020, now Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer stood on the steps of the Supreme Court and emotionally shouted about justices Neil Gorsuch and Grett Kavanaugh. “I want to tell you, Gorsuch, I want to tell you, Kavanaugh, you have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price,” he said. “You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”
Recently, a citizen who may have taken these words as orders was arrested after showing up at Kavanaugh’s home with a gun, duct tape, tie wraps, pepper spray and the admitted intent to kill Kavanaugh. This all occurred as the same politicians are holding a public tribunal to discern whether or not the words of another politician were instrumental in encouraging bad or even illegal behavior of demonstrators.
When will our politicians focus on the country’s challenges rather than constant investigations and their own narrow agendas?
— David McLaughlin, Novato
True impact of inflation will be devastating
I am writing in support of the editorial written by the Southern California News Group recently published in the Marin IJ (“Inflation harms you, but boosts state revenue,” June 9).
What was stated was the fact that inflation is robbing the shrinking tax base at both ends. We have increased taxes while the cost of everything goes up with no end in sight. “Real inflation” is running at 17% average, according to Shadow Government Stats, a newsletter produced by Petaluma economist John Williams. Williams uses the 1980 federal government method, which I believe was removed by Democrats to reduce the appearance of inflation.
Despite cooking the books, the Democrats still cannot get the stench of corruption and mismanagement off the record. President Joe Biden has the lowest approval ratings ever recorded. I never thought he could beat Jimmy Carter’s ratings, but he has done the job. Next up will be mile-long gas lines, food shortages, hyperinflation and recession.
— Tim Peterson, San Anselmo