Country music star Chely Wright is opening up about a stroke she suffered shortly after her 48th birthday last year.
The singer-songwriter shared the news Friday in a candid Facebook post.
"Exactly one year ago today, I went to the ER at Lenox Hill Hospital because I was on Day 3 of a migraine, which isn't uncommon for me. Because I had shows booked for the coming weekend, I wanted to get this headache out of the way," she wrote.
Wright, 49, and her wife, Lauren, dropped off their 6-year-old twins, George and Everett, at school and drove straight to the the ER, where a doctor noted some unusual qualities about Wright's migraine.
"The doctor I saw — whom I’d seen before —was troubled by some the symptoms of that day’s headache," she shared. "After a series of diagnostic tests, I was informed that I’d had a stroke."
"A stroke. I'd just turned 48," she wrote.
As shocking as the diagnosis was, Wright revealed, "I sort of knew it."
"What I had been experiencing with that headache and leading up to that headache was different. I’d even said aloud to myself in the bathroom mirror, 'Did you have a stroke?'' she recalled.
Today, the musician is in good health. "It’s been a long year, but I am okay," she shared.
In her post, Wright also urged fans to pay attention to their own bodies.
"The reason I’m sharing this is so you all might take a moment to refresh your understanding of stroke and the symptoms of stroke. Pay attention to your body and encourage your loved ones to do the same," she pleaded.
"Again, I am okay and very grateful to have access to quality medical care. As we all know, not everyone in America has that luxury. We have to fix that," she added.
Strokes can happen at any age
Many people believe strokes happen only to the elderly, but experts say strokes can happen at any age — as evidenced by the tragic death of former "Beverly Hills, 90210" star Luke Perry, who died of a massive stroke in March at age 52.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most strokes, 87 percent, are what’s considered ischemic stroke, which happens when something blocks blood flow to the brain.
The remaining 13 percent of strokes are hemorrhagic strokes, when a blood vessel leaks blood or ruptures, causing bleeding in the brain. People with this type of stroke often report the "worst headache of their lives," with loss of vision, vomiting and nausea.
Symptoms of stroke can be remembered by using the acronym BE FAST:
- B: Poor balance
- E: Eye problems, such as loss of vision or double vision
- F: Facial droop
- A: Arm or limb weakness
- S: Slurred speech or trouble speaking
- T: Time to get to the hospital ASAP
Stroke in women can present with different symptoms, which can make it trickier to identify. These symptoms, according to the National Stroke Association, can include:
Loss of consciousness or fainting
- General weakness
- Difficulty or shortness of breath
- Confusion, unresponsiveness or disorientation
- Sudden behavioral change
- Nausea or vomiting
If you notice any of these symptoms, it's crucial to see a health professional right away.