One fine day in May, Stealthy Dad went for a bike ride, towing our two sons: three-year-old G-man and his baby brother, the Cadet, who had just celebrated his first birthday. The bike trailer comfortably fits two and we expected they would soon fall asleep, as usual.
An hour after they left, a call came in. The ID said it was Stealthy Dad, but I could not recognize his voice. Did he drop his phone and did some drunk pick it up? He said he needed help and he did not know where he was. Where was he? Where were the kids? Was there an accident? I hopped in the car to try to find them, with no luck. Finally, I convinced him to hang up with me and dial 911. Within a minute, the sound of sirens led me to where Stealthy Dad and the kids were, only half a mile from our home.
Stealthy Dad had suffered a TIA, also known as a transient ischemic attack, or “mini-stroke.” He and the kids had stopped at a neighbourhood park to play. Suddenly feeling weak and unbalanced, how he got the Cadet back in the trailer I will never know. G-man stayed at his Daddy’s side. As I approached, G-man walked up and calmly said, “Daddy’s hurt. The Ambulance People are giving him a bandaid.”
A week’s stay at a specialty hospital and a gazillion tests later, no one could explain why a healthy, fit, 40-year-old man would suddenly suffer a mini-stroke. He did have chronically high blood pressure, a trait he may have inherited from his parents. From that point on, he would be on preventative meds and would need to follow a low-sodium diet.
Typical low-sodium diet plans are geared towards a more mature crowd. This diet change might be a permanent one for us, so unless I endeavored to make separate meals for the kids I was going to have to learn how to make tasty, low-sodium foods that the kids would like. We also sub in ingredients that are reportedly good for vascular health: oats, flaxseed, and olive oil.
As of this post, five months have passed since Stealthy Dad’s mini-stroke. His blood pressure is under control and our life is as back to as normal as it could ever be.
- Stealthy Mom, October 2011