'Pay attention to your body': Country singer opens up about mistaking her stroke for a migraine

Chely Wright. (Photo by Brent N. Clarke/FilmMagic)

Country singer Chely Wright is opening up about suffering a stroke in a candid new Facebook post.

The 49-year-old shared the news with her fans on the one-year-anniversary of being hospitalized for a stroke she originally believed was a severe migraine.

Chely Wright. Image via Getty Images.

“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,” Wright began. “Because I had shows booked for the coming weekend, I wanted to get this headache out of the way.”

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Wright recalls dropping her six-year-old twins off at school and heading to the hospital with her wife, Lauren. The “Single White Female” singer-songwriter revealed her doctor was “troubled” by her “headache” symptoms.

“After a series of diagnostic tests, I was informed that I’d had a stroke. A stroke. I’d just turned 48,” she wrote.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that approximately one in five women in the United States will suffer a stroke, also known as a brain attack.

Stroke kill twice as many women as breast cancer each year, and are on the rise in women under 45. In younger women specifically, headaches and dizziness are the most common symptoms of stroke.

The American Stroke Association advises people to remember the acronym F.A.S.T:

F-  Facial drooping or numbness. If a person experiences facial weakness or numbing, it can be detected by asking the person to smile and looking for any unevenness.

A- Arm weakness or numbness. A person suffering a stroke may feel a general sense of weakness or numbness in the arms. Ask the person to raise both of their arms, to spot any differences.

S- Slurred speech. During a stroke, a person may slur their speech or find it difficult to speak. Words can sound like gibberish or speech may be slowed. Ask a person to repeat a sentence several times and call for medical treatment, even if their speech suddenly returns to normal.

T- Time to call 911.  Call for medical attention immediately if a person experiences one or several of the major stroke symptoms.


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Despite her surprise, Wright admitted that she “sort of knew it” since the pain she had been feeling was unlike any other headache.

Image via Getty Images.

She revealed, “I’d even said aloud to myself in the bathroom mirror, ‘Did you have a stroke?”

On the anniversary of her stroke diagnosis, Wright said she is “OK.” By sharing her story, she is hopeful that more people will become educated on the signs and symptoms of stroke.

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“Pay attention to your body and encourage your love ones to do the same,” she cautioned fans. “Again, I am okay and very grateful to have access to quality medical care. As we all know, not everyone has that luxury. We have to fix that.”

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