Things We Learned at the Stroke National Convention 2012

Cagayan de Oro hosted this year’s Stroke Convention, and an afternoon session for Survivors and Caregivers was held at the Conference Room of Polymedic Medical Plaza hosted by AKBAY.  I think one-third of the participants were survivors while the rest were caregivers. As expected, it did not start on time but the participants interacted with each other so no one was bored.

conference first arrivals

Dr. Joanna Michelle Sabal gave the first talk, moderated the conference, and introduced herself as well. She also set up the audiovisual system and did some electrical works. This tells you the first lesson: the first speaker of a conference becomes the all-around guy when the other staff and crew are late.

The talk was more of a refresher course on Stroke, and not much new has been said, except that it was nice to hear the whole thing in a capsule rather than learn the course through three months of being a caregiver to a stroke survivor. An occupational doctor gave an exciting talk about medical compensation, and finally Mrs. Ravanera, a nurse and caregiver to husband Atty. Ravanera, gave a talk on caring for the caregiving.

We got at least several  take home points:

a. Those who have a history of stroke (the survivors) are the most prone to another stroke. Of course, it makes sense, it’s just that it didn’t really occur to us that Melit will have another stroke. We were more focused on her lungs, and her bladder, and her digestive system that we forget that she is, after all, a stroke survivor.

b. Act FAST as for stroke victims – every second, as in literally, every second count. How many brain cells are destroyed every second after stroke? A LOT! is the answer. And some of those cells might actually contain precious memories with loved ones.

c. There is such a thing as Employer Compensation if the cause of the illness or the accident is related to the job. Cool!

d. Sometimes, caregivers die but their patients live! Tragic!


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