When this happens, call 911 immediately

You've never asked for help before -- never needed it, and proud of it -- so it's tough to start asking now.

I get that.

Some folks are so stubborn they won't even let someone else mow the lawn!

But there's a fine line between stubborn and stupid, my friend, and I want to make sure you don't cross it.

So, when it comes time to get help... when your LIFE is on the line because you might be having a stroke... don't hem, don't haw, and don't hesitate.

Call for help!

Call 911, because new research shows once again why you want to make sure you arrive in an ambulance rather than a car: You not only get help quicker at a time when every second can mean the difference between life and death, but you could also be less likely to suffer disability if you survive.

A growing number of hospitals and other emergency units now have what's known as mobile stroke units, or MSUs. These are special ambulances that are sent out when there's even a hint of a stroke so essential treatments and even imaging tests can begin the moment it arrives.

And in the new study, the folks who arrived in the ER via a mobile stroke unit were more likely to survive their stroke without suffering from any serious disability.

The difference was small -- but they compared MSUs to regular ambulances, which are also pretty good at getting you help fast. If you put them up against people who arrive by car, you'd see an even bigger difference.

There's a simple reason for it: Every minute after your stroke, 1.9 million neurons, 14 billion synapses, and 7.5 miles of myelinated fibers are wiped out.

The more of those that are destroyed, the more likely you'll die -- and the more likely you'll face crippling disability if you live.

Think you don't like asking for help now? Imagine how much help you'll need if you can barely talk and can't walk... and you need help to eat, get dressed, and bathe.

So watch out for the warning signs in the acronym F.A.S.T., which stands for: Face drooping... Arm weakness... Speech difficulty... Time to call 911.

While those are the big ones, they're not the only ones. Other stroke warning signs include sudden vision loss or blurring, confusion, and/or a severe headache that strikes out of the blue.

Get to know them yourself, and make sure your spouse and other loved ones also know the warning signs -- because in many cases, when you're having a stroke, you'll need someone else to call 911 for you.