This is Buzzy's Country Store blog designed to keep you apprised of what's going on at the Store. Buzzy's is a general store located in St. Mary's County, Southern Maryland near Pt. Lookout State Park. Buzzy and Jean Ridgell purchased the Store from Jean's father Harry Raley in 1953. Buzzy operated it until his passing in 2009. His son J. Scott Ridgell is the current owner.

Friday, April 8, 2022

No Stroke at Buzzy's

When my friend approached the counter in Buzzy's Country Store yesterday I noticed that his left eye seemed a little larger than his right eye.  I asked him about it and he said that he had gotten something in his eye and that it had been bothering him for a couple days now.

He grabbed a beer and took a seat at the bar where a couple of other folks also commented on his eye and then noted that the left side of his face was sagging or drooping.  A few minutes afterwards another friend of mine said that he had to leave and warned me "You need to keep an eye on him."  

I immediately Googled "signs of a stroke" and was startled to read that 1 out every 3 stroke victims does not call nor seek out medical assistance when having a stroke.   I then called 9-1-1.  

After I informed the Dispatcher of my friend's symptoms, he asked me if my friend was coherent.  I started to reply "Well, he is about as coherent as anybody in Buzzy's drinking beer can be."  However, I played it straight and answered "Yes."  

The Dispatcher then said that he was going to send the ambulance, but he wanted me to do 3 tests with my friend.   First, he instructed me to have him try and smile.  When my friend tried to do so, I explained to the Dispatcher that the right side of his mouth showed teeth but on the left side his lips were closed.  Obviously, this was not a very good start test-wise.

For the second test, the Dispatcher then asked that my friend extend and raise both arms in front of him.  When my friend was able to do so with no difficulty, I felt a little better given that the first test hadn't go too well.  

For the third test, the Dispatcher instructed me to have my friend repeat the phrase "The early bird gets the worm."  My friend did it not once but twice as if to prove that  he was ok.  The Dispatcher then instructed me to have my friend sit down somewhere, remain calm, take it easy and wait for the Rescue Squad folks to arrive.   The two of us sat down on the Buzzy front porch to await the Rescue Squad folks.

Mt friend wasn't happy about the Rescue Folks coming but I pointed out to him that both his father and brother had stroked out on us so we needed to be sure he wasn't doing so.  To encourage him I noted "You can't be too bad off because you passed 2 out of the 3 tests."  We continued to small talk and I tried to normalize things as much as I could despite the fact that the two of us were sitting on Buzzy's front porch waiting for an ambulance to show up.  

Fortunately, another good friend pulled into Buzzy's just then and joined us.  I was relieved to hear his layman's diagnosis as Bell's Palsy which he noted that he had once had an attack of.  (A couple of other folks who were in the Store at the time had also mentioned Bell's as a possible cause.)

Soon afterwards, the Ridge Rescue Squad folks showed up and convinced my friend into going to St. Mary's Hospital to be checked out and determine what indeed was going on.   

Later in the evening, I received a text from my friend saying that he was back home and that they had given him medication for Bell's Palsy.  

My Grandfather Harry Raley would often say "Just another day to me."  In the 15 years of running Buzzy's, I have found that there is no such things as "Just another day" at Buzzy's.  John said it best here:

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