Tracey M. Brown was fit, healthy, and had spent 20 years of her life taking care of her body and working out in a gym, an ischemic stroke is the last thing she expected.
03:26 Ischemic stroke
08:16 Ignoring the symptoms
13:54 Left side neglect caused by Ischemic stroke
24:38 Pre-stroke lifestyle and mindset
31:08 Tailored rehabilitation by Tracey M. Brown
40:29 Saving your energy
49:17 Post-post stroke fatigue
59:17 Helping others
1:05:19 Nutrition advice
So I always tell people, so a couple of people in the beginning once asked me like, why are you so positive? Why are you not mad? Because of the simple fact that you had your stroke? A nd a lot of people reached out to me I’m mad, and you’re always smiling, you’re not mad.
I said I had to deal with the fact that I had to sit with the fact that I honestly don’t believe. And even I think I said earlier, my sister, somebody I honestly don’t believe the stroke was for me, the stroke was for me to now be able to relate to a whole nother community of people that I never would have.
Because of the simple fact. Yes, I was always in the health and fitness world. But in health and fitness world, everything I’ve done was in relation to where I am now health and fitness where I was actually a chef, went to culinary school, had my own catering company did all of these things.
And everything works out on one, nutritionist I have a love for nutrition, supplements, things like that. So everything comes together. So I had all of these things. But it was like I didn’t have this one piece to help these people that were less fortunate.
This is The Recovery After Stroke Podcast, with Bill Gasiamis, helping you navigate recovery after stroke.
Introduction – Tracey M. Brown
It’s Bill from recoveryafterstroke.com This is Episode 137. And my guest today is Tracey M. Brown. At the beginning what caused a 12-inch long blood clot to form in Tracey’s leg wasn’t that obvious. It was only after she woke up from a three-day induced coma, the doctors put the pieces of the puzzle together.
Now, if you enjoy this episode or other episodes of the recovery after stroke podcast and you think that others should hear Tracey’s story and the other stories that I’ve shared so far, please share the episode your favorite episode on your social media, and leave the recovery after stroke podcast, a five-star review on iTunes, or your favorite podcast app.
And if you’re watching on YouTube, click the thumbs up button and subscribe to get notified of new episodes. This is going to make a massive difference in helping other people who are searching for stroke podcasts on iTunes or the internet or wherever it is that they go to find good quality content about stroke recovery, it’s gonna make it a whole bunch easier for them to find that type of information.
So I would really appreciate you doing that for me, it would really make my day. Now, thank you so much for being here and listening. I really do enjoy making these episodes and they are so much fun. It is so nice to listen to a stroke survivor talk about their journey, where it started, how it evolved from being about surviving and overcoming and recovering, to getting on with your life and moving forward.
And for a lot of people finding a future and something meaningful to come out of the stroke. This episode is no different. So please do enjoy. And now it’s on with the show. Tracey Brown, welcome to the podcast.
Thank you for being here. I really appreciate it. Tell me a little bit about what happened to you.
January 25, of 2019 traveling to California for Fitness Expo I passed out sometime in between there. So I actually made it to California and one of the mornings to actually get ready to go to the show, passed out and boom, wake up three days later. And they put me in a medically induced coma but woke up three days later they say Oh, do you know what happened? No. I have no idea why I’m here, you had a stroke and boom.
So where were you getting to? What event?
Now I can’t even think of the name of it. I don’t know one of those fitness shows and the Lord have mercy I can’t think of the name of but it was a fitness show. So long story short, after they bunch of tests because I had no previous health issues they found out it came from trauma that happened in 2018 where I had 400 pounds dropped on my knee.
I know it sounds excruciating, but the simple fact that I was a bodybuilder and the way I lift and did everything previous it didn’t kill me and I didn’t break my knee. What happened was I ended up with three small tears in my knee.
And it was two options. The surgeon was like, you get the surgery, it’s gonna hurt like hell rehab it back where the knee brace is gonna hurt like hell but he was based how the three tears were his suggestion was how you work already. I think your body will heal better with just going ahead and doing the rehabilitation first and get surgery to recover the tears.
So we did the rehab and wore knee brace for approximately 16 to 20 weeks. So that’s what ended up finding out was in the process of me wearing in that knee brace and rehabilitation must have formed a blood clot that we were unaware of. So when I went to California to travel took the knee brace off, and boom, then this unknown blood clot traveled and that’s what caused the stroke.
Ah, wow man that’s crazy.
Beyond crazy, because it was even funny with talking to all the doctors and they’re like, tell me about this, tell me about that. And I’m like, wait, you guys have me on 14 different pills, run my lipids. I am totally fine. I don’t have any of these issues. No, no, no, when people have stroke, they have all these issues.
So it was crazy that they literally just put you on all these things, because you had a stroke. So once they ran the lipids, I will say they were like, oh, okay, now we got to run some more tests, because we don’t know why you’re in here. And that’s when they did brought us a specialist and kind of figured it out. But needless to say, I was able to get off everything. I’m like, Yeah, I don’t need your It was a bunch of nonsense they had me on everything you could think of. So I mean, I got off of that.
I was gonna say to somebody who is not as physically active as you isn’t paying attention to her health and wellness and her fitness and all of those things for somebody who’s not doing that, then it’s probably likely that other lifestyle factors, so the opposite of what you’re doing is maybe causing them to be in a situation where cholesterol and high blood pressure and all those things are an issue. Right? So medication makes sense, but they didn’t obviously see your Instagram, they didn’t know.
Exactly. And you know what, it’s funny, you said that because was my family finally got that they were like, let me show you who she is. And they were like, wait, that’s why she looks like this they’re like, well I’m not sure why she’s in here. We’ve been trying to figure out with running all these tests, and we can’t find anything.
And they literally brought some specialist that does all this. I don’t know. I took a million head test. And she goes, have you had any trauma in the body? And I’ve totally forgotten. And that’s when someone says one of my friends says yes, she had 400 pounds dropped on her kness last year.
But she thinks is nothing and the lady goes, you’re insane. That’s exactly what caused it you have a 12 inch blood clot in your leg and I’m like, What the hell? So boom, it went from we have no idea how it happened to the trauma and your body in the leg which caused it.
12 inch blood clot?
Tracey, that’s massive.
That’s what I’m saying. Like, I guess it didn’t really register as when they were saying it because she was just like she was talking. I don’t know. It’s funny because thinking about and telling the story now.
Like I was in the hospital looking at them like, okay, but I’m fine. Like you guys and it was even funny because the Occupational Therapist comes in, he says, so you’re fine. Can you get up? I say yes. That’s when I fall down okay, what’s going on with my left side. I will say needless to say, I did stand up but I didn’t know that I will be off-balanced. So that’s when I was like, Okay, now we’re talking about some issues happening here.
Tracey M. Brown ignored the symptoms
So let’s check back a little bit. We know it’s a 12-inch blood clot. We know that now. You didn’t know beforehand. But did you not have any signs or symptoms, anything?
I say absolutely nothing. I will say the only thing is when I say completely healthy. Previous to that I have one of my best friends. She’s a nurse. And she goes I do remember you say it a week before like have a random headache and because I don’t ever have headaches. I didn’t take anything.
And she had remembered she was like you said it for about a week and a half you had a headache. And she kept saying well maybe you need some sleep but I just brushed it off like yes, I have a weird headache and the day before I actually when we got to California the day before I passed out. I was talking to her and she goes hey, you still sound like your head hurt. I was like yeah, it is weird.
She was like well you need to eat and I still threw it off like yeah, I think I just need to eat. It was a long plane ride, I think that’s what’s going on. I was like, I’ll call you tomorrow. Let me eat and I’ll go lay down still so I guess that was my only symptoms was the headaches, but I threw it off as like this is weird because I never get headaches but I ignored it.
So it wasn’t any excruciating headache or any migraines. So I mean, needless to say, after going through the stroke for a shoot a month straight, it was horrible with migraines, but I never even had them before so that week and a half to two weeks previous my girlfriend remembered that I said I had a headache but it was just I was brushing it off. So that was a sign of me had this random headache trying to tell him about and knew nothing about it.
Wow. So you know that clot was in your knee or in your leg and then did it travel up or did a portion of a travel up? What traveled up into the brain what was it?
I don’t know what portions so that was funny so on the plane ride I’m like this plane ride sucks well the weather was bad and our plane ride ended up being rerouted for something because of weather so instead of it being like a four and a half hour it was almost like a six and a half hour plane ride.
So again, me not having any health issues not thinking of anything. I’m brushing everything off like, Oh my gosh, I have this crazy migraine. Why do I feel like this? Talk to the store this Oh, you guys are just tired. The plane. everybody’s having a nap. And I’m still like, yeah, then I go from my legs feel heavy. Literally all of this is happening. My legs feel heavy. Okay, let me sit back.
My legs feel like they’re 200 pounds. So I literally went from sitting regular to turning upside down. So that’s why I say this funny like thinking about all this. I did not know the guy next to me. He never said anything. I literally had my head in his lap and my feet up.
So thinking about it now. Like, I wish I knew this guy and wish he could like it’s totally insane. But everybody was kind of like, we hate this plane ride? Like we were on the longest play right ever. So the guy was kind of laid out with one of these. And I ended up turning it over with my head in his lap and had my feet upside down.
So I’m now sitting upside down on the plane. So nobody thinking, hey, is something wrong with you? Because I don’t think anything was wrong with me. I rode the rest of the plane ride like that. Probably about two hours.
How did you not get arrested on the airplane and have the police waiting for you at the airport?
Everybody was kind of like having one of those like, this is horrible. Like, this is a horrible plane ride, like, I didn’t know this guy I literally boom like I was tripping out like, I tried to lay like this. I was like, I’m so uncomfortable. I was doing all this. And something was like oh my gosh, my legs but like they’re 200 pounds.
I was like, I can’t sit here and I literally turned myself up, put the legs up in the chair, head in the guy’s lap. And sat like that. It was still weird. I got off the plane cuz it didn’t happen. So the next day I got off the play, going to get rid of car and I’m still like, you’re still just brushing it off. It’s really crazy how I completely ignore it. Like, I’m still feeling a little off. But whatever. I think I’m tired. I think it’s the play ride? So I blame you know, everything, everything else.
But what was possibly happening, plane, ride? Go get the rental car. I’m sitting there waiting got the rental car went home. Everything was just weird, just but it didn’t register to me that something was going on. It was just like, I’m just having an off day. That’s really what it was. I’m having an off day. I wake up tomorrow and it’ll be okay.
I couldn’t register anyway. I mean, you’ve got no idea how is it ever going to register that something catastrophic could be happening?
It never really, it’s the funniest lead up to a strike I’ve ever heard. And we’re laughing about it. Exactly. Serious outcome. Right? You let it walk you out three days later you woke up? And then what Where did you notice you were gonna struggle with what were the issues that you had?
I still never allowed my brain to realize like, yo, you just had a stroke. I mean, yes, I’ve been in the fitness industry, as a trainer and health and nutrition everything for 18 years. But stroke? The general like me, I think of overweight, out of shape, over age, I had a stroke at what am I? 39 I had a stroke at 37.
Like, who thinks of that and me the health that I was in. So I’m like, okay, I think I know a stroke is but maybe you guys need to tell me more, because this isn’t understanding there goes, well the stroke affects your right side of your brain. So your left side isn’t working I’m like, What do you mean?
Left side neglect caused by Ischemic stroke
So completely. It was funny because I totally did not even recognize the left side. And so they were telling me this, but I don’t know why I still never registered but I remember one particular time I must have fallen asleep. And I woke back up. Nobody was paying attention to me and I woke up and I freaked out.
My arm was on my stomach. So I didn’t know about the disconnection of the brain and your body. My own arm was on my stomach. I woke up, picked it up and tried to toss it. And going through all that I’ve caused a whole nother issue with my shoulder because I literally woke up like, what is this? And it kind of freaked me out like what is this on me? I picked my arm up and swung it completely to the other side.
So for months, they had to give me a shot I had this horrible scapular issue that they I guess I must have thrown it out or somehow like I had to sleep on my right with pillows behind me because anytime I would try to lay back my arm would completely be behind me.
I completely tossed it so I had the weirdest thing. going on, it was just me not recognizing the body. But at the same time, I’m not one of those people that like to sit down and do anything. So I was driving them crazy too because I kept trying to get up and they’re like, Ma’am, you can’t walk.
Hello, give me a chance. Yes, I can get me out of this bed like to sit down. I still to this day, I’m not a person not to sit still. Like I’m always moving about or doing things. So sitting in the bed and things like that. I was driving them crazy, but they were driving me crazy.
Because I’m like, Hello, somebody get me up. All I know how to do is work out somebody get me up to work out. So eventually, they got me two wonderful therapists. OT and his assistant came in and they were like, Oh, we heard she likes to work out. Yes, I do.
Let’s work out. Because this is bed is driving me insane. So I will say I had I ended up at Keck Hospital had wonderful therapists there. And then they transferred me to Casa Colina in Pomona, California.
So that was about an hour and a half away from LA. So that there I was in. I was there I think two months in-home rehabilitation center. Which they were excellent. I mean, when I say excellent. Around the Clock, I had OT, PT and speech therapy when I say and it was funny because they got the message from hospital, like this girl’s a riot. She likes to get up and workout, she’s not gonna sit in the chair.
So when I finally met my PT person. She was like, Oh, I keep hearing that you’re complaining because the workouts too easy, and they’re not giving you anything to do. So I’m like, yeah, so they sent me this one girl, which is funny because I still keep in contact with her via social media.
And she goes I heard you keep telling everybody to let you walk. Yeah, I keep telling everybody let me walk. She pushes me out of the wheelchair and says go. I’m standing like is she crazy? Because I thought I could but not knowing that I never took my first step.
I was like, I guess I don’t know how to walk so eventually, I started taking a step. But I was moving too slow and her hand stayed on my back. Like go go, and she just literally kept pushing me. But when I say absolutely loved her, it was Teresa. That’s how she started my therapy, like get up and go. And I was like, dude, that’s exactly what I needed.
If you’ve had a stroke, and you’re in recovery, you’ll know what a scary and confusing time it can be, you’re likely to have a lot of questions going through your mind. Like, how long will it take to recover? Will I actually recover? What things should I avoid? In case I make matters worse?
Doctors will explain things. But obviously, you’ve never had a stroke before, you probably don’t know what questions to ask. If this is you, you may be missing out on doing things that could help speed up your recovery. If you’re finding yourself in that situation? Stop worrying, and head to recovery after stroke.com where you can download a guide that will help you.
It’s called the seven questions to ask your doctor about your stroke. These seven questions are the ones Bill wished he’d asked when he was recovering from a stroke. They’ll not only help you better understand your condition. They’ll help you take a more active role in your recovery. head to the website now recoveryafterstroke.com and download the guide. It’s free.
Yeah, it’s lovely. She kind of figured out the kind of person that you are. And just ran with what was going to be perfect for you. And the other people are going how are we going to contain this person from getting up and injuring herself more and the risks and all the stuff that’s associated with not being able to walk after stroke because I was 37 when I had a stroke, I woke up from surgery, and my left side was gone as well.
And when I tried to get out of bed, I wasn’t a gym person like no chance. But when I tried to get out of bed to go to the toilet for the first time I came out on my left side, I stepped down with my left foot and of course my left foot doesn’t work out of surgery, like not even 24 hours out of surgery. I ended up on the ground in the hospital screaming because I fell straight away the first thing I ever did was fall out of bed.
So that’s what they we’re trying to avoid with you they we’re trying to prevent re-injuring you somewhere else, you know. So how was that first step? What did it feel like? For me when I did it? It felt like my foot wasn’t even there. Although it was on the ground. I could see it It didn’t feel like it was there and there was nothing coming back. So what was it like for you?
Oh, definitely. It was weird because it’s like, you think you should know how to do this but it was like I’m trying to move but I’m really not moving. So it was really like you said, your foot wasn’t there. But it was almost like I wasn’t there. Like what the hell’s going on? Like, I’m not, I’m moving in, I’m telling myself, I could do it. And that’s what she was like, well, another thing they said, they were like, the funny thing is about the place where I had my stroke, I forgot where but they said, that particular area was one of those places that make you get up and make sudden movements.
And my sister when she came, she was like, Oh, that’s not good, because she’s always been one of those people. So they said, now you’re working with somebody that has it twice per stroke here, there. And she was naturally that person that just jumps up without thinking.
So it’s like me to do it. It’s like, Hello. I know, I’m supposed to do it. So I would try to do things without thought. And then my body will react. And then sometimes we react that sometimes it wouldn’t. So it was good that I had those therapists there that pushed me like, No, you said you could do it. So get them to do it. You don’t get to stop.
You don’t get to run. And I’m like run? That was the weirdest thing ever. I didn’t think I would ever like it felt when I say absolutely insane. To run, you’re only using one side of your body. And the other side is like in your head is moving. And even still, to this day, even though everything works. If I don’t pump that arm correctly. I’ll ask people around me my hand was I moving? They’re like, no, it was just sitting there.
I’m like what do you mean it’s just sitting there? So imagine the first few steps, and somebody tells you run and walk and oh, and another thing was before I learned how to run, the skipping was crazy. I’m like everybody knows how to skip. No, I could not skip. Oh my gosh, I think that was so hard to skip. So all of those things. It really was I guess it was like my mind was there. But then my mind wasn’t like, is this really happening to me? Like how am I supposed to move from either this place? So it was totally weird.
You were physically fit? I imagine you can run for a long time. And you could pump iron and you could do all those things. How exhausting though was it when you were trying to think about walking and think about running? Did you find yourself being in this weird state of fatigue and tiredness? And I imagined much quicker than normally than you would fatigue normally.
Yes, definitely. But it did. But at the same time, like because I said I still never allowed my brain to say Yo, you can’t do this, my mind was still fighting with the reality of what was happening like you can do. So even they will be like, Hey, I think you need a break. No, I don’t think you need a break. You don’t want to sit down who I was just what else was like, No, I don’t need to sit down, I need to keep going. And they’re like, Well, we’ve been up we’ve been moving for X amount of time.
And I’m like, I’m fine. So I don’t know, it was just I constantly kept fighting my brain in my mind. Like Go go go move, move, move you want to get up out of here. You know what you used to look like you know what’s happening. Because everything was hitting me like the more I laid in bed. Like I’m losing it. I couldn’t by this time. I’m in there about a month, I couldn’t fit any of my clothes.
Lean mass had eaten completely eat and everything I had. So I went from I don’t know, it was like, I went from Gordon hospital, I was probably 116 to about 110 in a matter of like a month. It was insane. But it was just how the muscle works. Because Another thing I wasn’t eating didn’t have anything to fuel. And then when you’re not physically moving your body everything which is depleting.
Use it or lose it.
Yeah. So I don’t know it was my I would say my case is pretty weird. But it was cool at the same time because everybody kept saying it was weird because I kept trying to push myself. And then it was funny. They had all these new machines and new things they were using like neurological machines from just a robotic-type things.
So they were like, Hey, we have this new thing coming in. They asked us we have anybody that thinks could take the pain or take whatever. And everybody goes, Yeah, we have somebody that’s pretty crazy, right? So they were trying me on all these weird things.
And I will say one thing in particular was, I mean, pretty dog on paper. Because they would turn up the dial with this electricity going through the body to try to get it to move. But at the same time my body has reacted to it. They’re like, wow, like you’re actually taking that pain because my thought process was, this is how it feels when you work out. So yeah I can take the pain. So it was just like, keep it coming. I don’t know, it was definitely weird.
Thresholds for pain would have been larger than the average person who hasn’t. Yeah, through that ninth or 10th Rep. You know, on the third or fourth set. Not many people know what that’s like what painful it is and how you’ve got to do the mind over matter thing. You got to tell the body. Just forget about it. It’s just pain. Just move on. Like Don’t worry about it.
Pre-stroke lifestyle and mindset – Tracey M. Brown
Your approach up until your stroke. So you’re 37 years old. You’re in fitness for 20 years. Do you think that training has held you in good stead for the type of recovery you’ve had and the type of effort that you’re actually able to put into rehabilitation because you’re talking about rehabilitation like nobody I’ve ever spoken to before, and I’ve done 137 episodes, nobody has spoken to me about rehabilitation like you. What do you think all those things that you did for 20 odd years beforehand, helped you with?
Oh, it definitely did like so my motto previous to this was making a lifestyle and then make it a lifestyle is in relation to anything that you do anything that you do, make it a lifestyle, make it work for you. So yes, my level of fitness may not be your level of fitness, but figure out what it is for your level, what’s going to help you get to the next level. So if my mind state was always there as guess what this is my lifestyle, my lifestyle previous to this was this, I know how to get up, I know how to make things happen, it’s mind over matter.
That’s just the life that I’ve always lived mind over matter, you can get up and make it happen, get up and make it done. You want your body to do this your mind once you get your mind to that state to say, Hey, I can do this, your that mine is stronger than the body at times, because and that’s what they kept saying, like, we understand what you’re saying, because your mind is telling you to do it. But we got to get your body to catch up.
So I had to actually start because I was trying to do so much. And I appreciate the therapist, they would really try to figure out like, hey, she’s a different type of person. We got to figure out what’s gonna work for her. So when more people that was coming, I ended up coming to California that knew me, they were saying things like, she’s not gonna stop, you’re gonna have to get up and do like, it was one particular thing. With my speech therapist.
She was trying to get me to get back into motion because she was like, Oh, she was like, I heard you coach you classes and things like that. She was like, well, we can’t get your pitch out. Which because I totally forgot my pitch will go. And we took one of my so what have come from a big family. So one of my students came, she goes, why are you talking like that? And I’m like, beat me.
She tells my therapist, that’s not her voice my therapist goes I don’t know her voice. We just met her. So they played some old videos of me teaching some one of my youth programs. She goes, excuse me, that is totally not your voice. And I’m listening like, what did I get this voice from? That’s not me.
So it was great, because that’s what she was like, Okay, now that I know you were a coach. Now I know that you were a dancer, you were all this. So let’s relate your therapy to that. So we went from she kept trying to get me to speak. It was like, nope, let’s turn on the music and teach this fitness. But I saw what the funny thing is 30 days into my in home therapy.
I taught a fitness class for all of the therapists at the facility. Because they’re like, she’s she’s totally different. We got to get her out of this. We got to get her a speaker, we got to get her engaging in exerting her voice. So it was like so the first one we did was my speech therapist says, We’re going to do a line dance, do you tell us how to do the line dance.
So it took me a minute. And I’m trying to clap at the same time trying to dance because I’m a dancer trying to dance class, say the mind gas and it wasn’t coming out. And my sister comes in and she goes if you don’t speak up, and I’m like I’m trying but there’s no pitch.
So we kind of just get into the mode. And we’re going so I said I just had to, I had to turn my back to them. I said, Let me turn my back and just act like nobody’s here at my time doing this. And it started the speech started coming up. Then I started speaking and dancing and moving at the same time she goes, that’s what I needed. We didn’t know, this is what we were working with.
So went from there. So that’s what she was like, do we say she goes, I want to talk to the head, I think we need something else to do for you. And so they’re like, we’re gonna have you teach a fitness class. And even in the midst of the fitness test, because how my brain works because fitness is life.
I don’t even think about it. So therapists kept saying, hey, maybe you should write out the workouts to get ready. And I was like, Yeah, I write out the workouts, we’ll play a music listening. But even though I did, it was kind of like how my brain even works and how it worked previous. I’m not a person, I write that workout. It’s just I see people in my body in my workouts relate to what their body’s like, Okay, this person needs to work on bath buster, this person needs to work on legs.
So even though I wrote it out, it was as the class got started the engagement, I started changing up the workout and like different stuff, like that’s not what you have on a paper but I just do it right in and I went from not paying attention to where I run on the paper, start doing the total different exercise.
And before I knew what people my arms, I they were trying to one of the things they were trying to get me to do was a lateral raise before I knew it in the middle of the workout. They already know the difference. Tracy, your arms, but I’m just doing I’m just doing my natural.
My natural thing and they’re looking at me like you haven’t done that since you’ve been here. But it didn’t register. I’m just boom, I got into the motion. I’m playing the music. I’m dancing, I’m teaching a class, then it was one thing I go, let’s get on the floor. We got to do the bath and like you can’t get up. I get on the floor. They’re freaking out. Like you can’t do that. I just did it. It’s like it was one of those things that I didn’t once I’m in my mode boom, my body takes over. And that’s what it was. I had to figure out something that related to what I was used to doing.
Have you reflected on that what you just said to me all this stuff that just came out? Have you ever reflected on that and said what the hell is going on with me like who is this person what is this thing? Like haven’t you ever gone what’s going on here? How does it freak you out? Doesn’t it amaze you?
Yes, that I know now that you’re saying it That is crazy to think about it like that. That is crazy. Because literally it went from So say, for instance, so even we’re now that I’m working with and stroke survivors, I’m trying to tell them that when I say give them back to their independence is what were you doing before this? What is it that you’d like to do? What is what was your hobby?
What was your something that you could do with your eyes closed? Me mine was fitness. So they turn on the music, we get me back into fitness, they say, hey, Tracy, we couldn’t get you to Oh, that was one thing. I’m going to skip this and say, so when they kept trying to get me to open my hand, I had the hardest time they’re trying to give me put a rag in my hand, try to put towel, pick up a piece of paper, guess what my hand open to they grabbed the weight and put in my hand my hand said boom, I picked up the weight.
And then it was insane. So it’s like one of those things. So like when I work with people, I’m like, Okay, what were you doing before? Are you a hairdresser, okay, so let’s grab a wig or dial or something, let’s do something that you could do with your eyes closed.
Tailored rehabilitation by Tracey M. Brown
And like that’s, so I’m using myself as how I went through the therapy, how I get my recovery as to help other people like Hello, there’s something that the brain does recognize, even though we had that disconnect, there’s something that it recognizes as a natural being to our body.
So because it was a natural being, it’s not like, so it’s like another doctor, I reached out to me from a YouTube video idea. He was saying, he likes the way that I was going through a YouTube video showing something because he said a lot of people understand that general rehabilitation doesn’t relate to everybody, we got to figure out a lifestyle of something.
And hey, this relates to you, this relates to us. So you tell the person in general therapy, hey, do this, open the finger lift the total lift, we can do something else that’s going to get them because within that’s what I ended, that’s what I had to understand for myself, because we have to disconnect with the brain.
That’s why we can’t everybody can’t do general therapy, we still have to disconnect with the brain. We have to figure out another way that’s not general therapy that our brain somewhere along that thought process that happened before so in our life, that we can relate to the saying, Hey, I know what you’re trying to do.
As far as the therapy move, I can’t I don’t know that I could do that. But I know I could do this because I used to do this. Like I used to pick up weights. So you’re telling me to open up the hand, that the whatever fifth digit of your head do X, Y, Z? Yeah, my brain it related to that right now. But pick up that way, guess what? Both my brain relates to that.
So it’s I don’t know, the correct way to explain it. But it’s just, it just works like that. So the general therapy was not necessarily my friend. It was, hey, let’s take you outside of the box less. If you want to, like I kept telling the girl you take me to the gym, I heard you guys have a gym taken to the gym, I guarantee you I put them away. And eventually she got tired. It’s like, Okay, let’s go over here because I don’t know what else to do.
I think it’s about what motivates people, isn’t it? I because I did get asked what do I want to do when I was doing out of hospital rehabilitation. And basically what I wanted to do, one of the things was to run again, but not to run marathons just to run across the road from a car, that type of thing.
When I got asked, I felt really good about being asked, way different than being told what to do. So I think what you’re talking about is the opportunity for you to do what motivates you anyway. And what you love is going to have a bigger impact than if I told you Okay, I know. I know you’d like to lift weights, but you don’t like to ride a bike.
We’re going to focus on bike riding today. Whoa, whoa, whoa, what are you talking about? Why would I ride a bike? I don’t like riding a bike. It doesn’t benefit me. You know, I hate riding a bike. Why are we doing this? You would? Most people would do because the therapist asked them to or said Sir, exactly. They would hate every minute of it.
And if you’re trying to rehabilitate yourself and you’re hating every minute of the rehabilitation, it’s not going to have that beneficial effect that we want from rehabilitation. What the lesson is for you, and now applying that to the hairdresser who you know, has cut hair or loves fixing hair or doing things to hear.
That is a really good way to really get them motivated, yes to do the things that they need to do, because they’re not thinking about the rehabilitation. They’re thinking about cutting out Okay, I’m going to cut here that the problem with hairdressing is getting a victim in front of them who’s messed up by somebody who can’t use the seasons yet.
It’s funny because the lady I’m talking about her daughter, she has a teenage daughter and I say hey, can you let her she goes no. I said but you have a lot I hear at least just let her do something. She goes, No, yeah, I’m not gonna do that. I said, Well, then that’s what she has to go to get her wigs and let her stand there and do her thing. I said, but she’s been your hairdresser for the 16 years of your life and you’re not gonna let her.
Yeah. But I mean, in relation like, that’s honestly, I think, I think that works for so many people as to figuring out instead of because we rack our brains trying to see like, why can’t the hand open, we don’t know why the head that doesn’t open. And we have to go back to the whole mode of I always tell people even with once I’ve had to go back to the mode of if they never knew how to open their hand, they never knew how to pick up a bar or anything.
So over time, they train themselves by trying by reaching and grab it. And that’s what happens. That’s the same thing with us, after our recovery coming out of his post-stroke, we have to do the same thing that it does, try to pick it up or missed it, try it again, I missed it, try it again.
So eventually, after those 30 or 50 100 misses, eventually your hand is going to open up, you’ll be able to grab that bottle, the same thing. That’s how the kids that’s how the infants learn, like to hold their own bottle, we have to keep trying these things. But what the problem is, as adults that are having strokes, they’re like, Why do I have to relearn how to pick up a bottle? Like, it’s, it’s like, we know we shouldn’t because it doesn’t work anymore.
But it’s almost like, it becomes tedious that it’s like, Why do I have to keep doing this? Why can’t it just work? Like why do I have to do facial exercises, make all these funny faces to get my lips to be even so all these things that which if it has no choice, that’s a part of their process of living. For us as adults, once we went through this, the issue is with us becoming?
What is the word I’m trying to becoming? I don’t know what us is setting our new norm to say, Hey, this is where we are now. And unfortunately, we got to take 10 steps back to do all of these things that we did as infants to get ourselves better. Yeah. So I believe that’s the fight that we deal with his I know, I need to be doing these hand exercises a million times.
But I don’t feel like, I wish my head were in, we might get to the point that I don’t feel like it because yes, the fine motor skills are not 100%. But I can pick up. I could do XYZ that I need to so we kind of push that to the wayside. And I honestly believe and I’m just thinking from my experiences because we still have that like why I don’t want I don’t want to have to do this all the time. But in reality, we have to do it in order for it to work.
Its way repetition. It’s the training, isn’t it? The training, the training, the stuff that the fundamentals, it’s the, you know, the foundry blocks, or whatever they’re called the foundation blocks, it’s stuff that you must do, because that does create a rewiring in the head.
And if you do that, and you’re really good at doing that, then the other things may come right. Do you look like somebody who would have been able to be to push themselves and as a result of pushing yourself, you’ve achieved great things in your sport. Do you find yourself comparing Oh, I used to be able to do this and now I can’t?
Yeah. It bothers me. So I wanted those people but I’ll still do it. It’s funny because I don’t tell people if I go to a public gym now, which was the times I work out at my job, but if I go to a public gym, people that know me and know my reputation, like this little bitty girl can squat 400 pounds to do XYZ can leg press 1500 pounds.
Some people look at me they haven’t seen me in a while, especially since we just coming out of quarantine and look like why is she moving that slow when she picks up this 45 pound plate? It’s funny just the other day. This big gym guy goes if you want me to pick the waist up, I cannot my natural self wanted to be like, I can pick up my own weights but I was like, you know what? Go for it.
Now it’s like, I’ll only put on, I don’t know, maybe 400 pounds because my hand gets too tired for picking up the other 800 pounds. Well guess what? If you’re gonna tell me you can pick them up 800 pounds. Guess what, I could probably push 800 pounds but I always thought myself because I’m like, if I put all these weights on here, now I got to take them off.
So I’m that does bother me because that’s my favorite thing to do is to do lens but I definitely play the mind game with. If you put all these on, you got to take them off or they’re gonna be a danger you because you didn’t put your weights back in the gym. So I cut myself off with half of the things that I’m doing because I don’t want to go through that process or I want somebody sitting up there like, why are you moving so slow? or Why did you almost drop that 45-pound weight?
Because once I pick up 10 of those, my hands are tired down to all these things. So I do Do you want to know, I do go back and forth myself, like, Oh, I used to be able to do this, I used to be able to do that. But then I have to tell myself, whatever it is what it is you’re doing this.
You’ve become a softy you let.
That’s exactly what it is. And it’s funny because some of the guys just still messing me in the gym. Like, that’s not even doing that you can lift that one leg, I know I can. But we’re doing this process. Now I’m trying to I’m stepping back and I’m doing.
Saving your energy
I like that though, that’s a really smart thing that’s saving energy. So what you want to do is you actually want to be able to push the weights in the exercise in the motion, lifting the weight onto the bar is actually taking energy away from you, to be able to do the things that you love, so let’s not take that energy away. Before you get to the thing that you want to do, let’s get somebody else to help you with that.
Because for them, it’s no big deal. And that’s a really smart way to remain able to have the enough energy to do what you love. You know, that’s like one of the episodes I made a couple of weeks ago, I was talking about some of the things that are important to me, for example, if I’m at home, or I’m not working one day, is that at the end of the day, dinner is ready for the family, my wife might come home from work at 6, 6:30 in the evening, the kids come home a bit sooner.
Now my kids are adults, but there’s still my kids, right? Yeah. And it’s really important for me to have a meal ready so that we can sit down and eat together. Now, if I have a my if I’m having a low day or fatigue day, there’s things I won’t do on purpose to make sure that at the end of the day, I can do this one thing that I want to do.
So I might not sit in front of the computer and edit that podcast or I might not send that email or I might not go for that drive and do that chore or whatever I’ll do absolutely as little as possible so that I can get to making sure that the thing that’s most important to me gets done. And that way, I still feel like I’ve accomplished something for my day. Even though all these other things haven’t been done. It sounds like you’re using a similar approach of in a very different way.
Definitely I am it sucks indeed because there’s another thing I do well, which I took off, I said, I think I will take off for the rest of the month, I do meal prep as well, because I’m a chef. So I do meal prep for people, sometimes I may have 200, 250 meals to prepare, which asks, which is easy to me because cooking, that’s second nature to me.
So boom, I can do things I can knock it out. But I will say something that should possibly take me 5 hours to do 250 meals takes me 10 to 12. Because my hand gets tired, I have to put the pot down instead of me picking up this big pot. Now I’ve got to split it in three pots, because I’m not going to be able to pick up the bigger pot. Once I get all the hot food in there. I can’t pick up the bigger pan.
So it actually kind of sucks because I’m always like, so it’s like, I love doing this. But it takes up so much of me. So to the point that I said I need to take a break right now before I go to the fact that I hate doing it because I will literally that will take up my entire weekend because I started prep on Saturday, I got to finish up on Sunday with prepping and packing all the meals and everything is portioned all of these things.
So because of this having a stroke, so post is like, Yes, I can still do these things. But now my time has doubled. And if I want because I’m a my OCD kicks in, I’m a perfectionist at the same time, everything has to look like this. And I want to move fast. I want to take in more I want to do 500 meals but 500 meals now gonna take 20 for all these things happen. But I have to literally tone it down as I could make this go so much faster by using this one big pot, but I can’t pick up the one big pot. No, I got to switch it into three pots so therefore I can maneuver with it therefore I can make it happen.
Tell me about rest days because you would have been at the gym a lot of days of the week and then you’ve definitely allocated rest days to make sure that your body gets the opportunity to hear and recover. So applying what you used to do in the gym to now you to your life outside of the gym because there is a big portion of that that’s outside of the gym. How do you apply your rest day and how do you know you need to rest when you’re at home and when you want to cook 300 meals and you decide I’m not going to cook them like how do you know?
The craziest day, I honestly almost don’t know I think my body just shuts itself down. Like it completely shuts itself down like I think you would ask I think it was last week. When you put up a post to say something about poststroke do you guys find yourself staying up late or something to that.
If you’re a morning person or a night person.
Oh, yeah, so I’m up all night. And I have the biggest struggle a The clock is like, I’m crying like, Oh my god, I got a client, Jesus, how did I do that to myself like I’m struggling to get myself out of bed where pre-stroke my hours of my fantails first one was for him I was done with everyone by 11 am or I am to 11 is to schedule work now.
It’s like, if I don’t have to present to 11 like Thank You, Jesus. And guess what? And people used to say, hey, you’re not taking my class? No, I’m not taking my class. Now you call me and say, Hey, can I come at 10 o’clock? 11 o’clock? Absolutely. Cuz I’m awake. It’s like, I have no idea what the heck, and I’m trying to.
And there’s another thing I was a person that my body naturally lived on for four to six hours. Now it’s like, four to six hours. And that’s a whole nother thing that my body is screaming, like, I’ll be up and try to get out of bed. But I can’t. But it’s unusual to me. Because for 37 years, I’ve been Boom, boom, boom, four to six.
And now it’s like these last two years. And I’m in it’s funny, because I’m talking to people that nobody talks to my clients and like, and there’ll be laughing at me sometimes it was my first one. She’s like, Hey, did you just get up in the wife? She’s like, oh, four babies. I’m sorry, you were probably up to five in the morning. And I’m like, but I was like pushing myself because I’m trying to do it.
Even though I may be up to 5am I’ll still take the 8am person cuz I’m trying to get myself back. But when I say it’s a complete struggle, and because I it’s just it’s it’s, it’s it’s been abnormal, because I’ve been doing it for so long. Because a natural person needs what I don’t know. What do you guys usually do? six, eight to 10 hours? To me, I never did. So it’s unusual that my body won’t let me get.
I love it. I love it. Normal people. Yeah, they do about 789 hours, I’m about seven and a half. If I get seven, seven and a half, I’m pretty good. Okay, if I’ve had a bit of a wake up in the middle of the night, then I need to add that time onto the, you know, it’s onto my sleep at the other side of it. So that’s seven, seven and a half. If I find myself if I have half an hour less a night, then by the end of the week, that’s too much. And then I’ve wasted by the end of the week. I can’t cope, you know?
Yeah. But I always hear people say I have four to six hours sleep and I’m thinking that’s got to be unhealthy for you. But obviously, there’s a extreme there’s, you know, that there’s the normal, we’re gonna there’s the middle of the range where most people sit, and then there’s the extreme, the ones that need to weigh more, and then the ones that need a little bit less and it’s fine.
If you only had four to six hours of sleep a day, how busy was your day? How many things but What did it look like? Because it sounds like you squeezed so much into 24 hours if you’ve got 24 hours a week? What? out of 24 hours? What are you doing for all that time?
And the craziest thing I’ve just always been one of those people that gotta be on the go I’m gonna do this I’m gonna work a little bit the gym from 4am to 11am I’m gonna come home want to cook these meals, I’m gonna dance I’m gonna go work out myself. I’ve always had to do 15 different things then. I’m not doing that. Then I’m teaching a new class. I’m doing this. I’m teaching the cookbook, but I’ve always be one of those people that go global 20 things for me to sit down.
I don’t Oh, yeah, that whole 2019 and recovery. I was like, thinking of going crazy like to sit down and not do anything. It was I was like, Can I go to somebody said can I like hello guys I’m fine, like I had to literally get myself out of because even now these days, My days are a lot slower. The days that I sit here is still kind of bothers me like you never done this before to sit here and not do anything, which everybody around me is like Hello, Tracy, this is what you need to do.
Sit down. And it’s funny because they’ll say God set you down because you never would sit down. So everyone keeps saying I don’t care what you say. And we’re thankful that you okay, but your stroke was not for us because God said you won’t listen to me. I keep telling you sit down but you won’t sit down everyone around you says.
Post-post stroke fatigue
And I get it like I get it because I didn’t really like spending time doing nothing or just watching TV or anything like that I don’t really enjoy it. It does bother me but some days that’s all I have to do. I can’t not do, I can’t do the opposite, I can’t push through, do you even do you even Tracey do you have days where you’re just wiped out and you must do nothing?
I do have those days and it drives me insane. I don’t think it’s normal it drives me insane I’m like, Oh my gosh, I was horrible. I did nothing today but literally I’m out. I couldn’t if I wanted to but my body said goodbye. You think you got to get up and do it and you can’t do it. I do have it’s funny.
I have a more than often it’s like, why is this another day and I caught myself trying to test myself. I think it was last week. Regardless of the fact that what time I go to sleep, I still wake up probably right about 4:45 to 5am to go to the bathroom all the time. So I said this time, if I wake up, I’m getting up and I’m going to the gym. I’m not let myself go to sleep.
But I was so proud of myself that I got up and went to the gym. Even though I moved, it was ridiculous because I stayed up at 4:45. However, so I was moving. I didn’t get to the gym at 6:30. So I was still happy, like, wow, I got to the gym at 6:30 had energy did a workout went through the rest of the day, two days straight.
I was wiped. I’m like, What the heck? How was that possible? Because I got up that one day at 5:30. It was like, I was wiped out for two days. Like I was like, Oh gosh, yeah, I guess my body can’t take it. That was last week. I was like, I just gotta accept the fact that I just can’t do it.
And you’re proud of yourself that you’ve got up and I love that you push yourself and you got up. You learned something that I didn’t need to learned that that’s probably not the right thing for me at the moment.
No, is that definitely because last night? Yeah, I was so happy like, Oh, this is good. That mean I can get up. When I say no two days in a row. I was like, Oh my gosh, I have no energy. Oh my gosh, I can’t I can’t make take it up. No, it’s like, yeah, that’s not good. I can’t do that. And then the how one day in two days of nothing, that ain’t gonna work.
Yeah, that’s it. It’s like, I’m going to take, I’m going to take the enjoyment out of that day that I did get up and I’m going to have two days on my back. And that’s what planning about what you want to do is like, if it’s important for you to get to the gym, sure, just get there so that when you’re recuperating, you’re only recuperating for half a day, or even eight hours, not for 48 hours.
I know that I went back to the gym just before all the COVID lockdowns in Australia and all the crazy stuff in gyms was shut. I went back to the gym, literally for half an hour on a Saturday morning. And that’s it. And so accomplished that I got to the gym, that I did a half an hour, just like a just like a second like a fitness circuit.
I push through some of the challenges that I had, you know, I lifted some very lightweight, and it was real quick, like it’s a real whirlwind. And I remember reflecting back on my recovery having decreased from the entire rest of the day. So the gym session would be at nine or 10 in the morning. Instead of spending the entire day recuperating, my recovery decreased and it got shorter and shorter.
So I was about a half a day worth of recovery after that half an hour of quite full on effort and energy. So it was good to reflect on how quickly I was getting over that half an hour Jim shifted session and it started to become something really lovely to do. And then we had the lockdown and I got out of the routine. How has lockdown affected you? Did you guys have a big lockdown?
Yeah, I was gonna say that that part sucked. Because I would say what are we going to lock down March. So between about March when I say I was back full throttle, like I was in me full throttle. Like I had a goal for myself to get back up to. I wanted to deadlift 500 pounds by March, I was at 350.
So I’m like, Oh, I’m on the right path. I’m going boom, shut down comes. I finally get back to the gym. It’s like, I didn’t 20 pounds What the hell’s going on? By No, it’s like my body completely reversed. Like, after I worked myself up all of that time, get a shut down kick me out of my routine, which I was back running, doing everything timing myself with scripts.
And now I was like, wait, and watch my arm was working. Now you’re telling me is not moving when I’m running everything like when at home. So it was like it is first of all it sucks, basically because it completely pushed everybody at home to stop everything they were doing. And myself. I know that made a huge difference. I mean, yeah, I was able to start doing things at home but still not the same.
Not the same motivation not the same push. And when you hit that hole, it kind of just went into a slump. Like there’s nothing for us to do. We’re stuck in a house. So what are we doing? Like I tried the whole thing with social media. I kind of had the interview in the beginning like You know what, I don’t want everybody go into a rut. I started doing a virtual 7am and 7pm workout live workouts for everybody did that got kind of tiring? And I said okay, no, I do a workout. I record it, but you got to do it later.
So I find myself doing that. And to me, I’m like these are too easy for me. So it’s not really challenging my body. The ones that I Generally, the workouts I usually record for social media is an easy workout, it’s not a really challenge to myself, so I could do those. But at the same time, I was in a slump, because I’m like, I did that for everybody else. But it’s not for me, because that’s not taking me to the level where I need to be or where my body likes to go.
So that right, there was more of a mental thing for me mental challenges, like, Yo, I was doing all this work to get myself back up, got myself back up. Everybody, the whole world is at a halt. We can’t move, we can’t do anything. And so that’s what it’s had to tap in to figure out ways to still be able to do the things that I was doing before. And also because I knew I was going to ask, there’s so many other people are going through the same thing.
So that’s why I start reaching out to people saying, Hey, who’s sitting at home not doing therapy XYZ. As far as survivors, you need help. And boom, there you go. I started doing virtual therapy, Helping Survivors. And it’s funny, because somebody will say, hey, the lady that you posted on social media where she lives, I’m like, I don’t know. I know, she’s somewhere in the world. I just we connected, I started helping her and she started getting results.
And I posted, like, like, I’ll guess like, I don’t know, maybe she’s in New York, maybe or whatever. But it was just, it’s something that ended up happening. And I love doing it. Because it was to me, it’s like, and it’s funny, because, like thinking about doing it. And just because of from my religion, and based up my father was a pastor Christian background.
So I always tell people put so couple people in the beginning once asked me, right, so why are you so positive? Why are you not mad? Because of the simple fact that you had to stroke? Where are you and a lot of people reached out to me, I’m mad, I’m just mad, you’re always smiling. You’re not mad. I said, I had to deal with the fact that I had to sit with the fact that I honestly don’t believe.
And even I think I said earlier, my sister, somebody obviously don’t believe the stroke was for me, the stroke was for me to now be able to relate to a whole nother community of people that I never would have. Because of the simple fact. Yes, I was always in the health and fitness world.
But in health and fitness world, everything I’ve done was in relation to where I am now health and fitness where I was actually a chef went to Coventry school, heavy metal catering company did all of these things. And everything worked on in one, nutritionist, I have a love for nutrition, supplements, things like that. So everything comes together. So I had all of these things.
But it was like I didn’t have this one piece to help these people that were less fortunate and less fortunate being because less fortunate because of the disconnect they have with their brain but less fortunate as they don’t have to wheel them to drive to be able to do these things. And also the less fortunate being because they don’t have the knowledge to do these things. Okay, I had the knowledge. I sleep on eat drink and sleep fitness.
Like it’s To me, it’s it’s like how I tell people, they’re like how are you thinking that workout? I didn’t think some of the stuff I do. I don’t think it’s names, but I just love doing it. So I know how the body works. I know it moves. I’m one of those hands on people fitness, all those types of things that I can look at a person say, hey, let’s try this. I may not know exactly what the time is called.
But let’s try this. And then you say, oh, it does work. I’ve just always worked like that. Even with it’s funny when I really now I’m talking about even in relation to cooking. People say Hey, you got a recipe? No. Why did you cook it? I don’t know. I just do some things together.
But then even going back, I brought in for 15 years, they’ll come up to me say hey, what’s that drink? You just make? I don’t know. So I’ve always operated like that. I don’t know, I figured out what this one particular thing tastes like in my brain just says, Hey, calculate both these things go together make it and they will come back to me and say, Can you do it again? I think I can, but I have no idea what it was called. I don’t know the recipe or anything. I just made it happen.
So it was funny. It’s really funny. Because how I’m saying these things. It’s a relation to everything I’ve always done from my fitness, to cooking to bartending, I really don’t know, it’s just how my brain works to put these things together. And at the end of the day, it works.
So the same thing is happening with this fitness in relation to if I had the fitness I had the nutrition background. Now the Lord said, Hey, I want to put you through a process of having a stroke. So you can now have a different understanding. You knew how to put all these things together, but having a stroke and actually going through this. So I always tell people, it’s a difference as a doctor to say, Oh, yeah, I studied this, I studied this. This is how you should react. But until the doctor actually went through this, yeah, you’re the neurologist.
Brown helping others
So you understand that, but you did not physically go through this. You did not have to relearn how to move your fingers, make your mouth work, make your talk, speak, all of these things you have to have to think about and how your brain process all these things. So yes, you know that part, but you don’t know this part that we went through. So it was like I knew all of that.
But the Lord was saying you don’t know this part. So now actually, haven’t you go through this gives you another thing that you can use to help people get and it really does give me a better understanding as to what I’m looking at people and I’m doing I see them struggling.
As I’m trying to show them an exercise with moving the finger. I have the patience for that I have which a therapist in that field. There are therapists they may not have the patient say okay, you can’t get that. Let’s move on to the next one. No let’s not move on to the next one, let’s figure out how to get this person to do this. You don’t have the time, but you don’t have the patience if you think we should move at this level, but you don’t understand that we’re trying to, and we really can’t.
So it’s I don’t know, it’s just weird because I obviously think, Okay, boom, now that I have this, I wanted this with you. And so when I work with people that I follow, have a word that I felt pressured, you frustrated for what I was frustrated to, but I understand why you’re frustrated, we’re going to be frustrated together until we get. So your frustration, I’m totally fine with your frustration, your frustration is going to help you get you invited to the next level.
Because if you were frustrated, and I didn’t know where you were coming from, with your frustration, I wouldn’t be able to help because I know where you’re coming from, from your frustration, I’m going to talk you through this, and I’m going to work with you until we can get ourselves out of this midst of frustration and help our body physically get to the next step.
So I don’t all of these things, I honestly believe, for whatever somehow somewhere that it was written that Tracy, I need you to go to having a stroke. So you can help all these other people because you have fun figuring out the science of the body and figuring out how things work, like I promise you, I’ll get on the phone with somebody, when somebody reaches out to me, I say, hey, let’s get on a FaceTime or zoom so I can see what you’re dealing with.
And I get people all the time with a fist might be a hand or wrist. And literally I’m looking at them. I’m trying to think they’re like, hey, try this. And over time, it’s like, I may shock myself, but I’m like, oh, it actually does work. But it’s just the process of figuring things out and how the body works, how the mind works, and just try it out, figure it out and make it work. It works at the end of the day.
You’re the worst kind of person, how did you just did it, you’re the worst person. I disliked people like you because sometimes, especially if you made that perfect meal, and I want it again, and I want to taste it again. And I want you to take me back there and you cannot take me there it’s like damn Tracey come on get back there you know I love what you’re saying your reframe is amazing your reframe like, it’s a pretty dramatic thing that happened to you living with it every day.
It’s not something that we’re going to wake up with, and it’s going to be gone, it’s not going to go away. The fatigue is going to be different from now one of the your abilities are different from now on your your your time has shifted and changed, you know the times that you’re able to be up and the compared to the times when you’re sleeping, everything has changed.
And yet you’ve taken it as a opportunity to get more life experience so that you can relate to more people and help more people. And it seems something similar to how I ended up becoming a podcast host, you know, and deciding I’m going to do a stroke podcast.
The guy before stroke, had no idea what a podcast was, and would never have bought a microphone and put himself out there and made an effort to meet people from all around the planet and learn all these amazing things from my 137 guests so far, and then put it out there and create something that is actually making a difference in the world.
And also, I found that it’s honed my purpose, and it’s grown my passion. And because of it when I’m feeling really really shitty and really, really having a tough week. I don’t think I’ve ever canceled on somebody who has recorded a podcast with me and had to reschedule because I was too tired to bored too sick to whatever never did I cancel it.
I cancelled it because I couldn’t make the appointment time because something came up unexpectedly. But never ever for any other reasons. So it’s just, I’m relating to what you’re saying. And I’m reflecting my life back and I’m going man, I can see how I did that as well.
And now a lot of stroke survivors take it as a even if you don’t believe in God, in that sense that you do and that I do because I believe in God and I think I’m a Christian but I’m not a practicing Christian or anything like that. I still feel like somebody something gave me this opportunity to learn in a deeper way and to connect with people in a deeper way. And, it made it worth it made the stroke worth it.
It is crazy, but it is. It’s crazy. But at the end, like I said, but you asked me earlier, you have those times it’s like oh, before I could do that. Yeah, I had and I have I randomly but it’s like, okay, you figure it out. But like say for instance my gym thing, okay, now 15 people are forced to pick up the weight for me. So get over that I’ll be they’ll be okay.
So those things like that. We may say, Oh, I used to do or I could do or what if I or Yeah, but all right right now we’ll figure out how to make your work at With us figuring out how to make it work, we’re gonna say, rather 137, whatever I mean, 1037 people to help them change their life, as to looking at how we operate and how we figured out how to keep moving about with the new norm of us now.
Nutrition advice by Tracey M. Brown
As we’ve come to the end of this, I really want to touch on one thing that I think you’re going to be perfect at describing and telling us about is food nutrition, what is obviously important in the gym forever, right? It’s important because the way you eat the way you feel your body, it gives you suppose you get the results that you want to get after stroke, nutrition is also so important. What are the things that you will not eat that are out of the question things that you do not do? Because they will impact negatively on your ability to get better or recover?
Well see, I can’t necessarily say that, I have so many things that I’m allergic to, so you can’t really use me. So like, I’m allergic to tomatoes, corn, whey like all of these things that so many of those things, especially whey is huge in the fitness world, it’s like that. So always have to look for other supplementation to take to eliminate those things.
But so I can’t say nothing necessarily. But I do have a model that I look for. And I always tell people you want to bind to within your nutrition to have a sufficient amount of protein, carbohydrates, and vegetables. Like everybody looks at these things as carbohydrates are negative, figure out what your actual goal is.
And you got to figure out what works for your body. So carbohydrate is not a negative in the sense of you know what your goal is, my goal is because my metabolism is so high. And I’m constantly working out constantly doing many things like that, I have to take in a higher portion of carbohydrates than anything in order for me to maintain my body stature.
So another person in a sense of you may be trying to maintain lose weight, or just be healthy overall, then I’ll put you, I’ll give you a standard base as to have a sufficient amount of protein. And then for a person that doesn’t want to be technical with counting calories, I tell them look at a smaller plate, look at a softer plate and have your portion of your protein in your palm size of your hand.
Having your carbohydrates being coming down to the bottom part of the palm. And so many people say but I’m still starving, okay, to open up your whole hand open up your entire hand, that’s your vegetable. So your vegetable being your nutrient of your grains and everything that your body feels and feeds itself off, there really shouldn’t have a negative effect to the body.
I don’t know anybody that can’t eat vegetables, but there’s so many people that may not be able to eat beef, chicken, pork, whatever those things that so you look at their protein, okay, we’re going to do that as monitor your protein here that carbohydrates, so many people can’t do so many of those carbs so that we looking at our body does need that to sustain extra energy and things like that.
So we’re looking at the smaller portion there. Now your vegetable who in the world can’t eat a vegetable? So there’s so many people that don’t like the vegetable. So people say, I was so hungry, so I needed more carbs. Okay, what was actually your fitness goal here, you didn’t need more carbohydrates you needed to portion everything else up correctly.
And instead of a lot of people do the thing where it was funny, because somebody just said it to me the other day, I’m not sure why I’m not losing weight, I do good, I eat one meal a day and keep going Hello, the metabolism does not work like that you’re eating one meal a day, it’s like your body’s saying you’re not feeding me at all, because your body does not know, it cannot recognize when the next time you’re going to feed them.
So what they do is they take that one meal, hold on to that and say, Hey, I don’t know when the next day you’re gonna feed me. So instead of your metabolism working up and say, Hey, you got to feed me at 10 o’clock, you got to feed me again at one o’clock, you got to get at five o’clock.
And habit metabolism works is it revs up to say, you’re gonna beat me at 10, I got to rev up and get rid of this energy so I could take in this field because you got to feed me again and one, then you got to pick me again and five, I got to read this up, get rid of this energy, they’re taking this meal at five. So that right there is helping to metabolism where this other person that thinks my one good meal a day is going to help me and I should know your body says I don’t know when you’re gonna feed me.
So your body’s holding on to that your body stores that and then now turns into fat because it’s feeding off of that for 24 16 hours based on how long or how long you go without feeding your body and meal. So really, I can’t really use myself because and I’m just as natural, it’s easy for me to think about fitness. So everybody is different. But with anybody out there, just do a moderate amount of carbohydrate, protein and vegetable and whatever your goal is, as far as before your body goes, just try to do that.
Eliminate a bunch of processes, especially if you are a person who had health issues with stroke, high blood pressure, sodium salt, things like that. You definitely want to keep that under control. Stay away from your processed foods and things like that, that are not natural to the body.
And then another tip to be something I always tell people, the thing to look at when you’re looking at service is people say, Oh, I did good. This only has six grams of sugar. But how many servings Did you eat because that’s six grams of sugar per work service. And that one server probably was for us. 24.
So now you have six times 24. So things like that people don’t take into consideration. That’s nutritional facts, they give you an event as per served. So when you’re doing something that’s already processed or packaged like that, that’s how you can pay attention. Just just being aware of the things that you’re putting in your body that are natural and that are not needing.
Eat fresh. Eat what’s in the grocery store, in the fruit and veggie section.
Yeah, it’s the outside. So the thing we used to and I actually, that’s funny, I used to do grocery store tours for people to grocery store terrorists to teach them the correct way to shop. And we literally stayed around the outer edge. So the best way to shop is the outside going through the aisles, so you have all your processes that they like that that are not natural to the body, and most people don’t pay attention to how they take their consumption. And that’s when they end up having the issues.
Yeah, this has been a really high energy. Episode, thank you so much. I felt like you, I felt like you’re a breath of energy, like you’re just this whirlwind of energy and containing you is going to be almost impossible.
I know. It’s horrible.
And I’m not saying from that person, it’s not horrible, it’s a great thing. Because it’s a great demonstration of what is still able to be done. Like, you’re still able to experience all these downtimes and struggles and all that kind of stuff. But be yourself, you’re still able to be yourself.
And that’s really important to demonstrate that being yourself doesn’t mean that you must go to the gym at 4am. It doesn’t mean any of those things, it means that you can be flexible and adjust everything in your life and still be you and not really have a massive impact on how you identify in the world, you can still identify as Tracey, the person who’s always been full on energetic, always gone to the gym, always helped people and they are here. You’ve just reframed that and change that and made it a little bit different.
Well Bill, I had took me a minute to learn that I needed to just reframing that change because I can’t, I did find myself going back and forth. Like I used to then it was like, okay, that’s realistic right now. So you can still do this, but just change it up a little bit so it did not happen overnight.
Yeah, understand? Look. Thank you so much for being on the podcast.
Yes, thank you for having me.
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