A stroke of genius

Tonight’s post has gone a bit medical on me.

Last Sunday when I opened MiniHim’s curtains there was an ambulance outside the house across the road. The couple who live there are getting on a bit but both are pretty sprightly. He walks with a stick but he’s a retired farmer and always used to walk with a stick so it’s more habit than a medical aid. When the ambulance drove off I still wasn’t sure whether it was Mr or Mrs F who was in the back.

There was no sign of either of them in the house for the next few days, although with us at work during the day I knew it would be difficult to work out without being downright nosey what was up. Eventually one of the neighbours set me straight. Mr F had had a stroke and was in hospital but was doing well. I stayed away for a bit longer – they have family who live just down the road and I knew Mrs F would be rushing about between visiting hours.

So I went round tonight with some cala lillies to see how they are doing. Mr F is home now and sees a stream of medical professionals each day – a nurse to take blood, a physio to work on his weak side and an occupational therapist. He’s in good hands and he’s definitely better off at home in Mrs F’s care than in hospital. Mrs F said the thing that surprised her the most was the speed it all happened. One minute he was fine, the next minute he was talking nonsense. She phoned NHS 24 who were going to send someone round within an hour and a half but she started to get more concerned and dialled 999 instead. It’s just as well she did because with a stroke it’s essential that the patient gets specialist help within 4 hours.


By strange co-incidence I’d been discussing with HimIndoors the signs to look out for with a stroke just the other night and I did include these in a blog post but I’m going to share them again. They originally appeared on my Facebook wall but they checked out. Apparently there were just three until recently when doctors discovered a fourth indicator.

  1. Ask the person to smile. If it’s crooked, dial 999.
  2. Ask the person to raise both hands above their head. If they can’t, dial 999.
  3. Ask the person to say something simple like ‘chicken soup’. If they are incoherent dial 999.
  4. Ask the person to stick out their tongue. If it twists to either side dial 999
  5. Mr F has actually identified a fifth one so here goes. If the person wears false teeth ask them to remove them then put them back. If they can’t do either because they don’t seem to fit dial 999. (Sometimes the distortion of the face can be so subtle as to not be noticed externally but Mr F’s jaw was ever so slightly out of alignment and his teeth wouldn’t fit for a few days)

According to the person on Facebook if you share these indicators with 10 other people the chances are you’ll indirectly save at least one life.

This gem also turned up on my Facebook this morning and I have to share this with you too because it’s fascinating and a joy to watch. I know we don’t have a large number of house pools in Scotland but this is such a good thing to teach. In America, where there are more pools hundreds of babies drown each year. Infant swimming resource self-rescue teaches tiny babies and toddlers to right themselves, float and cry for help. Some also learn to swim to the side. I’m telling you, this video is heart-stopping and heart-warming all at the same time. Hang on till the end because the final frame of the baby’s face with his dad will make you melt.

While we’re on the subject of saving lives, can I also tell you about ICE numbers? I store 3 mobile numbers in my mobile phone contacts book called ICE1, ICE2 and ICE 3. One is HimIndoors, one’s my dad’s moby and the other is my mum’s. If I’m ever in an accident and am unconscious but one of the paramedics finds my phone they’ll know to look up my ICE numbers for who to contact because it stands for In Case of Emergency. You should do it too.

Today I have learned:

  • rushing lunch between meetings gives me heart burn
  • not fuelling up enough rushing between meetings makes my blood sugar hit rock bottom at about 4pm
  • on days like today coffee is not my friend

Today’s track

Today’s recipe

Beetroot rosti with smoked salmon and dill dressing


Serves 2


350g raw beetroot, peeled and grated

1 onion, peeled and grated

1 garlic clove, peeled and grated

1 egg, beaten

2 tbsp plain flour

oil for frying

1 packet of smoked salmon (enough for 2)

For the dressing

1 tbsp dijon mustard

1 tbsp wholegrain mustard

a good splodge of olive oil

2 tbsp dill, chopped

Method: Put the beetroot, onion, garlic, egg, flour and some seasoning in a bowl and mix together with your hands.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan, tip the beetroot mixture in and flatten out all out with a fish slice or palette knife. Leave to cook and crisp up for about 10-15 minutes. To flip it put a plate over it in the pan, lift the pan off the heat, place your hand over the plate and flip everything over. Separate the plate and the pan then slide the rosti off the plate into the pan to cook the other side for about the same amount of time. Repeat to remove once ready then slice into quarters and plate up with the salmon placed on top.

For the dressing: while the rosti is cooking place all the ingredients in a jug and whisk well. Serve on top of the salmon.

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