Recently my family experienced an unexpected, terrifying trauma. A member of our family suffered a series of small strokes and was hospitalized. A vibrant, active woman, she was seemingly healthy and was quite surprised to suddenly have such a drastic change to her energetic lifestyle. Now that she is on the road to recovery, our family is much more cognizant of signs and symptoms that can be red flags for something much more serious. Our family doctor made sure that we knew the most common indications that you may have had a stroke.
Common symptoms of a stroke include:
- Tingling, numbness, or acute weakness in any part of your body, particularly if it’s predominantly on just one side
- Your vision suddenly becomes blurred, distorted, or you have trouble with focus
- You have trouble speaking or your speech is markedly slurred
- You suddenly feel confused or find simple comprehension to be extremely difficult
- Your balance is suddenly off, or you have trouble walking in a straight line
- You develop a sudden, severe headache similar to a migraine
Can your computer suffer a stroke? Technically no. A stroke is an event in which blood is prevented from getting to the brain. But your PC can suffer damage similar to that of a stroke survivor. In a human brain, the lack of blood can kill blood cells, which results in physical and/or mental damage. If your PC’s “brain” – the hard drive – is detrimentally affected, the damage can be extensive and sometimes even permanently disabling. This is often noticed by you, the user, when your computer crashes. The culprits include user error – deleting files you shouldn’t touch, improperly installed hardware, and viruses, among other reasons. How can you watch for signs that your computer might be in the throes of a major problem?
Common symptoms of a computer crash include:
- Your PC is unstable: sometimes it boots up properly, sometimes it doesn’t, sometimes programs open and run smoothly, sometimes they don’t... you get the picture.
- You get error messages, but if you reboot, or close certain programs, they disappear.
- BSOD – the Blue Screen of Death is aptly named. If you repeatedly see this screen, there is a major problem with your PC that needs to be addressed immediately.
- Your computer crashes: while you’re using your PC, it suddenly shuts down without warning.