Recovery After Stroke https://recoveryafterstroke.com A Community And Podcast For Stroke Survivors And Carers Mon, 27 Jun 2022 16:21:41 +0000 en-AU hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.0 A podcast for stroke survivors and carers of stroke patients. This podcast interviews experts in all matters related to recovery from stroke, as well as stroke patients to help you go from where you are to where you would rather be. Recovery After Stroke clean episodic Recovery After Stroke billgas@gmail.com billgas@gmail.com (Recovery After Stroke) Hosted by Bill Gasiamis Recovery After Stroke https://recoveryafterstroke.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Podcast_1400x1400.png https://recoveryafterstroke.com Stroke & Heart Surgery Recovery – Misha Montana https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-heart-surgery-recovery-misha-montana/ Mon, 20 Jun 2022 11:16:22 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8997 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-heart-surgery-recovery-misha-montana/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-heart-surgery-recovery-misha-montana/feed/ 0 <p>Misha Montana was a single 31-year-old mum working in the adult film industry when she experienced an ischemic stroke which later revealed a PFO which was resolved by heart surgery.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-heart-surgery-recovery-misha-montana/">Stroke & Heart Surgery Recovery – Misha Montana</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Misha Montana was a single 31-year-old mum working in the adult film industry when she experienced an ischemic stroke which later revealed a PFO which was resolved by heart surgery.

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Highlights:

02:21 Introduction
05:54 Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO)
07:36 The Invisible Side Effects
12:55 Oblivious About Stroke
14:57 Stroke Statistics
20:41 Asking For Help
27:30 It’s Okay Not To Be Okay
35:55 What’s Happening Underneath
39:46 Parenting And Having A Stroke
48:06 The Three Bleeds
57:51 A Documentary About Misha Montana
1:12:21 Identity Crisis
1:20:37 Alcohol Problem
1:35:00 Take The Risk

Transcription:

Misha Montana 0:00
So I’m a single mom, I take care of my son exclusively. When I travel, thank God, my parents watch him. So when I was traveling and this particular incident, he was not with me. But that was like the hardest part about it, too, was being away from him then now for a week.

Misha Montana 0:22
And he has no idea what is going on. And I didn’t want him to come to the hospital as much as that thought crosses your mind, where it’s like, should I have him come to the hospital? Like what if I die? But then I answered that question. In my own mind, I wouldn’t want him to see me in the hospital.

Intro 0:48
This is the recovery after stroke podcast, with Bill Gasiamis, helping you navigate recovery after stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 1:02
Hello, and welcome to another episode of the recovery after stroke podcast. Please comment, like and share this episode. Because that makes the algorithm on YouTube and Google push it out to more people looking for inspirational stories of recovery after stroke, especially when they’re just starting out on their recovery journey and they’re doing it tough, and they think that they’re the only one and nobody else knows how to relate to them.

Bill Gasiamis 1:27
That’s exactly why I started this podcast because I was missing this type of information when I was recovering, and my aim is to get it in front of as many stroke survivors and caregivers as I can, so that they can be inspired by all the amazing stories of recovery, resilience and overcoming stroke that my amazing and fabulous guests are sharing.

Bill Gasiamis 1:51
Now also, if you think the show deserves it, I’d love it if you left the show a five-star review. Now this will also help it rank better on search engines, and it will get it in front of more stroke survivors. So combined with leaving a comment liking and sharing, this should make a big difference to giving the show an opportunity to appear higher up in the rankings when people do searches, whether it’s on their phone or their laptop or their iPad.

Introduction – Misha Montana

Misha Montana
Bill Gasiamis 2:21
So go ahead, go to your favorite podcast app and share what the podcast means to you really will make a huge difference. Now, this is episode 199. My guest today is Misha Montana, a single mom who works in the adult film industry and experienced an ischemic stroke that may have been caused by a hole in the heart, also known as a PFO. Misha Montana. Welcome to the podcast.

Misha Montana 2:49
Thank you for having me.

Bill Gasiamis 2:51
My pleasure. Thank you for reaching out. Tell us a little bit about what happened to you.

Misha Montana 2:56
So I actually had a stroke, it was a year ago on April 14, 2021. I was in. There’s a small town about two and a half hours outside of the city that I live in, which is Reno. It’s this teeny tiny mountain town called Susanville, California. And I was out there. And about nine o’clock, I noticed that I lost all of the control of the right side of my body mostly my arm and hand and my entire face went out.

Misha Montana 3:37
And I couldn’t talk at all. And I didn’t realize at the time what exactly was going on. It’s one of those situations or say I googled it and the first thing Google said was you’re having a stroke and I thought Google was being a little bit dramatic. So I did not do anything. I thought I had like some kind of allergic reaction or ate bad food somewhere because we’re in like a super tiny town.

Misha Montana 4:08
And I went to sleep and didn’t go to the hospital. The person I was with thought I was having a stroke and offered to take me to the hospital. And I thought that that was overkill. So I went to bed I woke up in the morning and I still had obviously the same symptoms and I noticed that my hand was getting tighter and like throbbing and I knew something was wrong at that point because it didn’t go away.

Misha Montana 4:38
And so that’s when the panic kind of sets in where you’re like something is seriously wrong. So I actually drove myself to the hospital in Reno which was two and a half hours away.

Bill Gasiamis 4:50
Oh my gosh.

Misha Montana 4:53
With one hand driving and just stroking out the whole time. And I was panicking the whole time and then I knew like something’s like seriously wrong. So I tried to get to the hospital as quickly as possible. And I walked in and it was COVID. So I had a mask on. And I took it off. And immediately they’re calling the stroke codes over the intercom.

Misha Montana 5:19
And, even then I was like, are you sure it’s stroke? I was 31 years old at the time. So I was like, I don’t know why I would have a stroke. And what they ultimately determined was, I was in the hospital for almost a week, multiple CAT scans, MRIs different testings.

Misha Montana Had A Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO)

Misha Montana 5:43
The initial thought that they had was that it was COVID related. And after talking to different doctors, later on, I had the Pfizer COVID vaccine, the second dose seven days prior to the stroke. And now the theory is that I had a blood clot from the vaccine that traveled to my heart, and I had a previously undiagnosed heart condition, I had a PFO.

Misha Montana 6:12
And it shot the clot to the left side of my brain and the brilliant neurologist that I had had noticed that that was indicative of having a PFO, which I never knew. And 25% of the population is also unaware that they have that same birth defect. So after I was out of the hospital, a month later, I ended up having heart surgery as well to fix that hole in my heart. So it was a very interesting couple of months, it’s been a very interesting life post stroke period.

Bill Gasiamis 6:53
I love that you play it down. It’s been an interesting couple of months or whatever. And I love how you play down. Google was wrong. I drove for two-and-a-half hours stroking out, you know.

Misha Montana 7:06
No big deal. Looking at it now to especially I mean, even immediately after like the magnitude of how serious that could have been. And what coz it is serious. I got so lucky. And that’s all I can say about it. Like, I don’t know, some people don’t believe in luck or coincidences or chance. But like, I definitely believe that I was lucky.

Misha Montana Stroke And The Invisible Side Effects

Misha Montana
Misha Montana 7:35
Because of the fact that I regained I’d say like 90% of my physical. My face, my arm, my hand is operable. My speech came back for the most part, I stutter here and there and have different ailments that are permanent, like aphasia is the worst one that I have for sure. aphasia and depression. Those are the things that when people see you, and they’re like, Oh, it’s so great that you survived that stroke, you look fantastic, like nothing ever happened.

Misha Montana 8:10
And it’s like, Oh, thank you. But up here, it’s the invisible side effects that are the worst. Like, I almost would rather have my face be a little off than have horrible severe, like, anxiety and depression and then like, not be able to remember my day, or anything that I have to do. Like, my memory is terrible. And my neurologist at the time, said, you know, give it a six month baseline.

Misha Montana 8:44
And that’s kind of where you’re going to be at and every day, it’s about six month mark. I was like, I’m just like, hoping I would remember more and not to knock the progress that I made because I think that that’s triumphant in itself. But it definitely it’s the unseen parts of it that are the most damaging for sure.

Misha Montana 9:11
And then I had a weird thing where my one year anniversary was just about almost two months ago. And right around that time like a month or two leading up to that I started having weird like blackout kind of things where or blackout and then be somewhere else. And like just weird memories.

Bill Gasiamis 9:38
Spaced out?

Misha Montana 9:39
Yeah, just random like and it’s not one of those things where some people wake up in the morning, and especially I travel a lot so you wake up, you’re like, oh, I have no idea where I am. But you get it right away. Were with me it actually takes like, minutes to try to like, come back to reality and I’d be like in the middle of the day just like standing there.

Misha Montana 10:02
And I’ll just have a black out. And I won’t know where I am, I’ll be in a thought that I had or a memory that I had. It’s a weird phenomenon. And it just kind of started around then. And then I started having the same kind of like, symptoms come back. And I didn’t think anything about it until I started talking to other survivors. And apparently, that’s a fun common thing.

Bill Gasiamis 10:30
Normal, it’s something that you create the psychosomatic response. And you bring it on because of the significance of the anniversary, because you’re taking yourself back there. You’re doing all the things that you know, you’re remembering what it was like to go through that. And you’ve put this date as the date of doom and gloom in all this terrible thing.

Bill Gasiamis 10:56
And it doesn’t really mean anything this next day, 12 months ago, doesn’t actually mean anything. But we make it significant. And I’ll ask stroke survivors all the time? Do they celebrate their anniversary? Or is it something that’s not good? And a lot of people absolutely hate that anniversary? And how weird is it that you’re good the day before the anniversary, you’re good the day after the anniversary and the day of the anniversary, you’re a mess.

Bill Gasiamis 11:26
And it’s so bizarre that people do that to themselves. I remember being in a car lot at a shopping mall, where I’ve done all the shopping. And then I have to do the part where you go back to your car. And I’ve got no idea, I haven’t forgotten. I’ve actually got zero idea where the car is. And I’m going from car park to car park and walking up and down all the levels and all the aisles trying to find the car.

Bill Gasiamis 11:59
And I bring my brother I think, or he calls me. And we’re just chatting about other stuff. And he’s going What are you doing? I said I’m walking around the car park, he goes why? I said I’ve got no idea where my car is. I haven’t forgotten. I just zero. It’s just not in there I cannot bring it back.

Misha Montana 12:21
It’s literally just gone. And that’s what people found. It’s not like, it’s different than other, like memory diseases or, you know, defects because it’s literally just not there. There’s nowhere to even recall it from it just doesn’t exist anymore. Just black hole. I do it all the time too, I so I travel a lot, like I said, and then I’ve gone to the airport, two hours after my flight and left.

Oblivious About Stroke

Misha Montana 12:55
And it’s like, you know, no reason other than your mind, it’s just not connecting to things. And people their sympathy too for anything is very short-lived. It’s you know, it’s temporary. When you’re in the hospital, and kind of like maybe a couple of weeks after you get out and in your you know, immediate recovery. People are sympathetic, but then, you know, six months later, a year later, they’re like, Oh, are you still using the stroke as an excuse for things?

Bill Gasiamis 13:36
They’re ignorant, and how can they get it when they’ve never had a stroke? Because just like we were ignorant before we’ve had a stroke, and we’ve got no idea.

Misha Montana 13:45
100% And I was just gonna say the same thing. I was like, I don’t even blame them because it’s like, I had no idea about what strokes were. I didn’t even I mean, it’s so ignorant to say now, but it’s like, I thought strokes were mostly older people have strokes. You know, same thing with heart attacks, like not saying that it doesn’t happen.

Misha Montana 14:06
But it was rare for anyone under the age of 65 to have a stroke or a heart attack in my mind. And the more that I’ve been, I talked to her a lot, a lot of survivors reach out to me daily weekly, which is a wonderful, wonderful thing for me. It’s difficult for sure to hear a lot of these people’s stories because most of them are so much more severe either for themselves or for people that they know.

Misha Montana 14:40
Most of the people that reach out to me their loved ones have passed away from strokes, various ages, different circumstances. It’s really a fascinating spectrum of people like and it’s amazing how common it really is.

Stroke Statistics

Misha Montana 14:57
And I never knew that before and I mean, I’m sure you didn’t either why would we, you know, but to learn more about strokes themselves, and then the people that their different experiences and recovery, it’s really a fascinating topic. I wish it wasn’t so prevalent. But it’s amazing how many people are affected by it. Whether it’s themselves or people that they know.

Bill Gasiamis 15:26
One in four Misha. Yeah, that’s what the world stroke organization states, one in four people will have a stroke in their lifetime. Yeah, it’s mental.

Misha Montana 15:38
That’s a huge amount of people. And I think again, most people hear statistics like that. And they think that, you know, oh, it’s probably reserved for like, a later part in life. Which is not the case at all. There is even Hailey Bieber, Justin Bieber’s wife is 25. And she just had a stroke. Also. It’s interesting, like, and it’s so shocking when you hear like younger people having them. Obviously, in our like, case, like we’re not 65. So it’s really a tragic situation.

Bill Gasiamis 16:23
Tell me a little bit about, like the kind of person you were before stroke, because now you’re telling me that you’re suffering a little bit from depression, and you’ve got some others to tell me about your personality and what kind of a person you were and how the stroke’s impacted that and changed you a little.

Misha Montana 16:41
I’m super like, I would consider myself to be a perfectionist. I’m an extremely professional person. So I’m very like business-oriented. For me, the worst part about it was, it affects every element of my life. As far as like making appointments, doing things where you have to be on time, and I wear like, never in my life, have I ever missed an appointment, or missed a phone call, I almost missed this because I have to put constant reminders.

Misha Montana 17:20
And I’m just like, oh my god, that’s today, I have no concept of the day. So for me in the position that I’m in to, I run production. And I’m responsible for making other people’s schedules let alone my own. And so it dramatically affected my work. I’ve been lucky in the sense where I’ve been on top of it so much, but it requires that much more effort and energy to just be normal, or my previous normal baseline, I have to do this much more to make it equal to what I was before I’m faking it.

Misha Montana 17:58
Like I don’t know if it’s well, but I’m trying to fake it to make it be like how I was before so that no one would notice. And I’ve always been because I’m so like high strung with my work. And my stress load has always been really high. I overload myself, but I’ve never been depressed the way that I was, and have been on and off like I still am like I have bouts of it here and there too.

Misha Montana 18:31
So I have that feeling of being like trapped inside your own body and brain. And not being able to have any kind of connection with someone in your life that understands you, or understands that situation. It makes it that much more difficult too. So I’ve never really been isolated to that level. And I had to pretend like everything was fine, and it wasn’t fine.

Bill Gasiamis 19:07
So you’re around people all the time every day. And yet, you still feel isolated?

Misha Montana 19:13
I do and I still kind of feel that way. There’s just something that’s never been able to be like shaken from that time that I just feel like I’m in a dark little cave by myself. And I have to like pull myself out of it daily, just to accomplish the day-to-day tasks. And that’s why I went back to work right away. I didn’t take a break from work, because I thought that that was going to be something that was distracting myself from the darkness that was in my own mind too.

Misha Montana 19:55
And that was healing in a way in itself because it gave me a focus other than, not like self-loathing, but just like being obsessive about it. Or, you know, being paranoid that I was gonna have another stroke, all these different feelings and emotions that you naturally go through, I kind of ignored them. I shouldn’t have because it cost me in the end, because I waited, you know, almost to the year mark, just kind of like pushing it off, not really ever acknowledging or even honestly, fully giving myself enough time to heal and recover.

Asking For Help

Bill Gasiamis 20:41
So, you know, in your business, did you start that off on your own? And did you ever reach out to anybody for any assistance, guidance, you know, information tips, did you have to do any of that?

Misha Montana 20:54
I didn’t actually, I didn’t do it right away at all. But that’s because that’s my personality type is don’t ask for help.

Bill Gasiamis 21:09
I set that up on purpose, I wanted to catch you out and say to you, now, that’s it, now’s the time to reach out and get help for your how you’re feeling emotionally, psychologically, physically, because this is completely unknown. And, it’s not like starting a business, or working on your business, or employing people or anything like that. It’s about self-support, self-promotion, self-healing, self-recovery.

Bill Gasiamis 21:42
And we are the worst people to help ourselves. A lot of the times, we need other people to guide us, and give us the ability to overcome what we just experienced, because it’s traumatic. Misha, I mean, you’ve gone through a life-altering situation, it may have killed you. And maybe you haven’t thought about your mortality yet. But I get a sense that part of the challenges that you’re going through the fact that you’re 31, you’ve had a stroke, and you realizing now that your mortal, and you never knew that before 31, you know, so does that relate?

Misha Montana 22:23
Oh, 100%. And I think that’s probably what a lot of the anxiety and the depression comes from that realization. Not feeling like, you know, people immediately around you, again, you know, I’ve tried to explain it to people in my professional and personal life, and they just don’t understand, which I don’t expect them to at some point too.

Misha Montana 22:53
That’s why we, you know, later on about it see, like, I think six months, and I started seeking out other survivors, and doing different podcasts. And honestly, the two that I had done with Joe, there have they’ve been wonderful resources, and just somebody that can share your experience. Like, every time I get to talk to somebody who’s had a stroke, there’s just that unsaid bond that we all have with each other where it’s like, I understand you, I get you, and it’s comforting too it’s like, you know, it gives you a feeling of that you’re not alone.

Bill Gasiamis 23:46
Just to give you an insight into me and my challenge with this whole thing, right? I was 37. That was 10 years ago. And I need to speak with people constantly about this. So much so that I started a podcast, and I’ve done nearly 200 episodes, and I’ve not done enough, and I’m still not done connecting with people and, talking about it and sharing stories.

Bill Gasiamis 24:16
So like, it is a huge thing for me, if I hadn’t had these 200 episodes, I honestly don’t know who I would be today. Like how bad in a psychological space I would be. And I’m someone that goes to counseling. I go to coaching. I’ve coached people and I support people. And I still need all of this level of support because my wife has got no idea. I don’t want her to ever have an idea what it’s like.

Bill Gasiamis 24:47
So I can’t continuously lay down all the stuff that stroke is about to her every single day because she can’t cope with it and she doesn’t even know how to help other than being an amazing wife. Right? And the rest of my family are also oblivious to it. And I look “normal” but I live with it every single day.

Bill Gasiamis 25:12
And I feel the feelings that it left me with every single day. And it’s made me think about things really, really deeply one of those things is my own mortality and my own potential death at some point in time. And I’m coming to terms with it, and I’m getting better about it, and I’m feeling better about it. But it didn’t take, it didn’t happen. In the first 12 months, I was just as terrible.

Bill Gasiamis 25:39
I was just as upset, unwell, mentally, socially, emotionally and physically. It’s taken 10 years of constantly working on myself and doing personal development stuff, and all the things that I had avoided for 37 years because like you, I knew how to do it all on my own, I didn’t ask anyone for how to start my business. I learned things the hard way, I was stubborn, I didn’t want to prove that I didn’t know.

Bill Gasiamis 26:07
And then here I am, 10 years later. And I can see how far I’ve come. And I’ve overcome most of those things. But they all do turn up every once in a while the anxiety, you know, not the depression, I wouldn’t call it depression, but I would call it for me, it’s kind of like, low days where I’m doing doom and gloom kind of stuff.

Bill Gasiamis 26:30
And then the thing that helps me the most is what you’re saying is connecting with other stroke survivors that understand me constantly making a point of sharing the information I learned and then sharing the information that you’re learning to the people that are listening. So I think what I want to do is I want to give you a sense of it’s going to be better down the track, and you’re very early on in your stroke, recovery.

Bill Gasiamis 27:05
It’s not like a broken bone. But it gets better, it gets better and better and better. But it does need you to do a little bit of work as well, like you need to do some work in supporting yourself to get better. And that’s why you need to pick up some local amazing counselors will coaches or somebody who’s going to guide you further.

It’s Okay Not To Be Okay – Misha Montana

Misha Montana 27:31
I agree. 100% actually, one of my majors in college was psychology. So I’m kind of like that person that knows exactly what to do, but then refuses to do it for themselves. But no, I agree. I think it’s critically important, especially, you know, you can ignore things, or pretend like everything’s fine for so long, until it starts like rearing its ugly head.

Misha Montana 28:00
And then what do you do, then it’s a total disaster. Which has happened, I’ve had just bizarre outbursts and breakdowns that I never would have had before. And I almost pushed it off so much that I didn’t even recognize that that’s where it was from. I didn’t know where it was from, but then it was like, Oh, it can’t be from the stroke, you know, I’ve started conditioning my own mind to be like, That happened a year ago. There’s no way that it’s from that, which is not accurate at all.

Misha Montana 28:36
And I know that I mean, I’ve come to the point where I realized, like what’s happening, and that I do have to put in the effort and the work and I think we’re so critical of ourselves and to not feel, “normal” or like your old self. And you judging yourself at where you were before. And it’s like that constant comparison of like, well, I could have done this a year and a half ago, what can I do with it now?

Misha Montana 29:14
And just giving yourself the break, or even just the slack to be like, You know what, it’s okay, that I’m not okay right now. And that’s what I’ve been saying the past couple months, like, it’s okay for me to admit that I need a minute. I need some time. I need some time alone, I needed this. I’m recognizing what I need and establishing those boundaries.

Misha Montana 29:41
So that I can get just for my own mental and mostly mental health but emotional and physical health as well. You know, you need to take care of those things. And it’s like you said it’s not a broken bone kind of event. It’s not like you broke your ankle and heels and then you could probably go back to 99% you know, normal activity resume normal activity.

Misha Montana 30:05
With us. It’s I mean, this is our brain that’s damaged. So there’s a lot more to it. And it affects like, it has changed my personality and mood and routine and sleep patterns and everything else, which I’m sure it has with you as well. It’s one of those things that you wake up one day, and you have to accept that you’re never going to be the same person again. And that’s something that I think a lot of people have a difficult time accepting because it brings up fear.

Bill Gasiamis 30:42
Yeah, it brings up fear because of change and identity is impacted.

Intro 30:47
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, and doctors will explain things that obviously, you’ve never had a stroke before, you probably don’t know what questions to ask.

Intro 31:11
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 recoveryafterstroke.com where you can download a guide that will help you. It’s called 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.

Bill Gasiamis 31:49
There’s a time to heal the rest to recuperate and give yourself space. Now’s the time like give yourself the opportunity, the permission to do that. Now I know that it still gets in the way of your work, your time, your deadline, the kind of person that you were all those things change. But you’ve got to change your identity with this stroke thing that’s happened to you.

Bill Gasiamis 32:10
And if people have a very small description of themselves, when you meet somebody at a party, and say, what do you do? And they say, I’m an accountant, and you don’t get anything else from them. All they say is I’m an accountant. And then say they have a stroke and they can’t do numbers. And they don’t identify as anybody other than the accountant, then their identity is gone immediately.

Bill Gasiamis 32:34
If they’re not, I’m an accountant. And I’m somebody who enjoys walks, bike rides, I’m a father I’m this I’m that I’m whatever, if they are just an accountant. They’re going to struggle with who they are, they’re going to have those questions of like, I can’t do numbers now. So what am I what use am I how am I going to operate in this world, and then they have to reinvent themselves and find themselves. \

Bill Gasiamis 33:01
But they have to do that while they’re recovering from a brain injury. That’s hard. And adding reinventing yourself into brain injury recovery. And all the other stuff that goes with it, like it’s a big task, and it takes a while and the effort is huge. And the fatigue kicks in and the interruptions kick in because of the appointments and the scans and all the stuff that we’ve got to do to make sure that we’re okay and that everything has been sorted. And it’s like, far out. This could take awhile.

Misha Montana 33:32
That’s interesting that you say that too. Because, you know, whenever you meet someone, and usually the first thing people bring up is well, what do you do? You know, I do this as if like, that’s the most prominent, like definitive aspect of someone is their career. And you’re right, like when you have like a sense of identity crisis, when you tie yourself so heavily to your career or like your wealth, different kind of superficial factors that most humans attach to.

Misha Montana 34:12
So when you lose the ability to do those things, for example, with me, the first thing that which is crazy people think that I’m crazy for this line of thought that first and foremost I have a five-year-old son who has cerebral palsy. And excuse me, that was the biggest concern that I had in my mind is my ability to take care of him.

Misha Montana 34:37
And that’s a real concern. The second thing was, I was so terrified to lose my career. And it was not it was like this is my sense of identity. There was actually an article posted about me and Daily Star The one other quotes that I gave someone was, I was joking that I would have to do certain activities are right handed. Because I couldn’t use my right hand, I couldn’t use my mouth in my line of work, that’s a huge deal.

Misha Montana 35:16
But to lose that I was so afraid to do it. And that’s why I went back to work two and a half weeks out of the hospital, when I should not have, but I did it because I was so fearful of not being able to do it. I did it so that I could show myself that I can still do it. Or I was curious to see if I could. And I can, but still, in my mind, I’m not the same person when I show up to do things. It’s like, numb and in a sense.

What’s Happening Underneath – Misha Montana Stroke

Misha Montana
Misha Montana 35:55
And I have to it’s like, you know, when you’re pumping the train full of coal, and it’s just running 100 miles an hour, no one sees that part. They just think it’s running smoothly. When you know, it’s about to fall off the tracks. Like, nobody sees what’s happening underneath the hood of everything. So that’s kind of where I was out. It was like, I’m trying to maintain this facade of, you know, some semblance of normalcy, and it just wasn’t, it’s not working at some point.

Misha Montana 36:32
Because you can’t, you can only hold up that illusion for so long. And then, when it does, the curtain finally falls, it’s messy. And then people think, you know, what is wrong with this girl or is she have a full blown mental breakdown, it’s like, because of what had happened nine months prior. But nobody links those two things together at that point, because it was so far in the past.

Bill Gasiamis 37:02
Yeah. They don’t join the dots. But also, you’re not forthright in coming to them with information about how your last nine months have been, you know, you’re withholding as much information as you can, so that you can appear normal, so you can go back to work. And they’re trying to connect the dots. And they’re going, she was back to work a couple of weeks later. And now nine months later, she’s saying that this is going, how could that possibly be? She wouldn’t have been back to work by then.

Bill Gasiamis 37:37
And then it’s like, they’re all confused. They don’t know about stroke. And they don’t know about all of the psychological challenges that you’re going through to convince people you’re okay. And that you can still perform and that you can still be professional, and you can still do all these things. You’re playing this, you’re putting on this facade. And then people get caught out nine months later going, Wow, she never made it appear as though there was any issues. And I’m not intelligent enough or I don’t know enough about stroke to be able to pick up that it was a facade, they’ve got no idea.

Misha Montana 38:18
Yeah, I really don’t think that people. I mean, most people don’t have the ability to look that far into it with other people too where they take things at surface value. Like if I tell you that I’m okay. Most people are gonna be like, okay, cool.

Bill Gasiamis 38:36
Especially when you first see them in the morning. How are you? Good. And that’s it, we move on.

Misha Montana 38:43
Yeah, everything’s great. But it’s not like everything’s perfect all the time. Right?

Bill Gasiamis 38:49
And nobody ever says, I’m having a really shit day or the stroke is really messing with me today. You know, and I’m stuffed because the other person on the other end of the conversation, when they ask you, how are you they actually just want to hear good so they can move on.

Misha Montana 39:04
They don’t wanna hear anything other than that. You know what, actually, let me tell you, how my day is. They’d be appalled. Because yeah, it’s like that. It’s just kind of disingenuous, like I have to ask you how you’re doing.

Bill Gasiamis 39:25
And they will never ask anyone ever again. If somebody says to him, you know, my stroke did this and I’ve had that and this. They’ll never ask anybody ever again.

Misha Montana 39:35
No. Never, never, never again.

Bill Gasiamis 39:41
So what happened with your son when you were in hospital and how long did you spend in hospital?

Misha Montana Parenting And Having A Stroke

Misha Montana 39:45
I was in the hospital for five days. I’m a single mom. I take care of my son exclusively. When I travel, thank God, my parents watch him. So when I was traveling and this particular incident, he was not with me. But that was like the hardest part about it, too, was being away from him for a week, and he has no idea what is going on.

Misha Montana 39:45
And I didn’t want him to come to the hospital as much as that thought crosses your mind, where it’s like, should I have him come to the hospital? Like, what if I die? But then, I answered that question, in my own mind with, I wouldn’t want him to see me in the hospital. As far as he was concerned, I went to work, which I typically do travel.

Misha Montana 40:51
And then I just might not have come back. So and it was COVID, like, the restrictions at that point, were really, really severe. So I can only have one person come in a day anyway. But I just didn’t that environment is like, especially for children. I remember having to go to my parents are making me go to the hospitals see my grandmother in the hospital, and it’s just traumatic, and awful.

Misha Montana 41:18
It’s not even like I mean one, it’s seeing them in that situation. And you know, the gown and like, it’s really just like, not the best way to remember someone. So I decided not need to have him come. But thankfully, you know, my parents took care of him. But that was the biggest thing on my mind the whole time was, I mean, if I have a serious brain injury, and at that point, like, my whole face was completely gone.

Misha Montana 41:44
They put me on a swallowing restriction. Because of the neurological damage. They didn’t know if I could swallow solid food. So how am I supposed to take care of a special needs child when his father doesn’t support him or myself? In any way? I’ve never asked for child support. I’ve never, you know, nothing custody-handled stuff.

Misha Montana 42:12
So I have 100% custody of him. There’s no one else that can care for him. But me. So that’s again, where mortality comes into play. Because it makes me like it turns the microscope on to your situation. And be like, well, if I hit my best tomorrow, that’s the same thing. Like what would happen then? So you start looking at it more intensely than I think like you would if you didn’t have such an event happened.

Bill Gasiamis 42:43
You didn’t before right? You didn’t before that you didn’t consider it before the stroke. So your son, to what extent is he is he challenged by the cerebral palsy? What are his challenges?

Misha Montana 43:00
Thankfully, it’s not severe. He had he actually had a stroke in utero. When he was just about to be born, that wasn’t caught until about three months old, which is actually relatively early of which I’m thankful for. We caught it really early. So he’s been in physical occupational speech therapy since he was three months old. And a lot of people same kind of thing. And they say, Oh, he looks normal. I can’t even tell. Which, yeah, they’re trying to be polite. But they’re trying.

Bill Gasiamis 43:45
Trying to make you feel better, because they don’t know how to be around persons who are unwell or struggling with a condition. Does your stroke make it easier for you to understand your son?

Misha Montana 44:03
You know, I actually think having him go through that diagnosis. And with all the challenges that I was facing daily before the stroke that actually gave me I think more of like a cushion on like different tools that I wouldn’t have had to be more sympathetic with myself and with others. I think he has given me a lot more comfort and insight into my own situation, if that makes sense. Yeah. It’s kind of an interesting, it’s ironic, I guess, to like, you know, he had a stroke.

Misha Montana 44:50
Totally unrelated. You know, it’s not a genetic thing. It’s just, you know, bizarre coincidence, but no, going through cerebral palsy with him, he’s now he’s almost six. Going through this for the last, you know, almost six years with him, that event actually changed me into a person that almost made me more capable of being able to withstand the stroke.

Misha Montana 45:21
And having that kind of a mindset that was receptive and open to having a disability before were eight years ago, I don’t know what my state of mind would be like, dealing with it. So I think having him actually really has helped me a lot. It doesn’t change the internal workings that I have. But I really think that it’s helped a lot, a lot, a lot, a lot.

Misha Montana 45:56
But it also enhanced my anxiety and paranoia and the fear of, you know, that realization, like you said, mortality, so I could have died from this and what would have happened to him? So then I’m constantly now fixated on that subject. Like what if something happens to me? And it’s not a healthy pattern at all.

Bill Gasiamis 46:21
No. It sounds like you need to put in a few steps in place to protect him in the event that something else happens that we can’t control. Right. And I think that’s going to put your mind at ease. If you put some steps in place, for I don’t know, some kind of funding or something, anything that is going to make it possible for you to sleep better at night, knowing that he is looked after to an extent. You know, that might make it better for you.

Misha Montana 46:51
I did that, too like, just not my recently, I’ve always had some things set up for him. But I mean, I really went into trying to figure out what I could establish so that he would be taken care of. And it does give you some relief. It’s kind of interesting to hear, because my father is a probate attorney, which is ironic.

Misha Montana 47:26
And I never had a will, which we were like, that makes no sense. But I didn’t because one of the things like he deals with clients is that people are hesitant to make a will, because they think that they’re setting themselves up to die.

Misha Montana 47:47
So I don’t know if it was like that superstition, but I avoided for a long time myself. I don’t think it was superstition. I think it was just like, I thought I was young and had no need to be concerned with such things, which is such an ignorant way of thinking about the world.

The Three Bleeds

Bill Gasiamis 48:06
I did my will after the three bleeds and brain surgery is when I did my will I finally got it done. Yeah.

Misha Montana 48:16
You had? Do you mind? I haven’t heard your story.

Bill Gasiamis 48:23
I had to bleed in the brain because of an AVM an arteriovenous malformation is something that you’re born with that’s there that is benign. Most of the time. It does nothing for a lot of people, but sometimes they pop and they bleed. And it bled once in February 2012 and it bled a second time in March of 2012.

Bill Gasiamis 48:46
And then it bled a third time in November 2014. And then I had to have brain surgery, my surgeon just said to me, look, this thing is not going to stop bleeding. And the next one could be the one that ends everything. So you need to get it out of your head. So I had surgery and removed it. And then I had to learn how to walk again and use my left side again.

Bill Gasiamis 49:09
And one of the things that it’s left me with is numbness on my left side, my whole left side is numb every day and my balance is a bit off, especially when I get tired. And I get some stiffness and spasticity on my left side when I get tired. But again, no one can see it, any of it. It’s just all under my skin and it’s not visible.

Bill Gasiamis 49:40
So yeah, in those nearly three years between the first bleed and then brain surgery. I had all of the problems that a lot of stroke survivors talk about but most of them went away. I had a little bit of aphasia, I had a problem with memory, I couldn’t begin and end sentences sometimes, I couldn’t type, I couldn’t read, I couldn’t drive, I couldn’t work.

Bill Gasiamis 50:12
I was angry, angry, angry, I was crazy angry. So, and then, at some point, I also experienced not being able to walk, and in a wheelchair and not being able to push myself with both arms. So I’ve had this really broad range of experiences and symptoms because of these bleeds. And it’s been a lot to bloody handle and a lot to bear and a lot to overcome.

Bill Gasiamis 50:45
And this year, this is my 10th year since it all started, and I kind of felt like, I needed to celebrate it, but then I didn’t. And then one of the reasons is because I talk about it so much, I talk about my stroke and other people’s stroke so much that I feel like anniversaries don’t mean anything to me, it’s like it’s just another day, it doesn’t matter, I am grateful that I’m here.

Bill Gasiamis 51:19
And I’ve done, I’ve changed a lot of things, my personality, the way that I apologize to people, the amount of times I say I love you, to my kids, and to my wife and to my parents and to everybody. And it’s been a blessing and a curse, like the biggest blessing because I’ve had the most growth personally, from 37 onwards, and then I’ve had the most shit to bear in the last 10 years more than most people cop in a lifetime. And then I meet people like you. And last night I was at a fundraising event, called A Night For Aphasia.

Bill Gasiamis 52:10
Where in Melbourne, Australia. There’s an amazing lady who I interviewed for the podcast a few episodes ago, quite a few now is raising awareness for aphasia. And we went there and we met stroke survivors, and we listen to them speak and struggle through speech to deliver their speech and to be interviewed and all that kind of stuff.

Bill Gasiamis 52:33
And, you know, I never hung out with people like us before that I never, ever, ever hung out with people like us, I never met people from the other side of the planet. I never hung out with people from different cultural backgrounds and different ideas and different experiences it was this really, you know, I have a small narrow view of the world. And because of the stroke, my view has expanded, and it’s made it amazing, you know, I’ve interviewed people that were just regular people like me.

Bill Gasiamis 53:17
And then I’ve interviewed people that we’re a little bit more kind of full-on in their lives already. And I’ve met people that are really quiet, they became full-on and people that were full-on that became quiet. And it’s just so broad. So it’s been an amazing learning experience. I wouldn’t change it. But I wish it happened without the stroke.

Misha Montana 53:42
I agree. But I think that, I mean, it does in a way I am which I think that you touched on this too. In a weird way, you’re thankful for that, because it gives us like, as much as I wouldn’t want it if I had the choice. But it gives you a unique perspective, on life, on relationships on love on the world. That honestly, a lot of people will never have in their life.

Misha Montana 54:29
And I don’t know if that’s something that is a blessing because sometimes it’s like ignorance is blissful I think I envy the ignorance because at least like if you were ignorant, then you’d have some sense of peace once in a while. I think you know, being awake to, everything has its ups and downs, it’s a double edged sword.

Misha Montana 54:56
But I really do think that it’s a gift in a sense, because it’s how you choose to look at it. And that’s why when I started feeling, you know, negative thoughts, it’s, if I open up my email when I meet somebody, you know, or talk with people, and just talking to me, which I think is crazy still to this day, but people reach out to me, and it changes their whole day hearing about my story, or the fact that because I’m, you know, a public figure, in a sense, like, people reach out to me, or they look to me, and it does actually impact people.

Bill Gasiamis 55:37
They look to you as a guide. Now, you’re an adult entertainer, you make adult movies, right. And I’ve seen your Instagram, and your Instagram promotes the work that you do, right? And then there’s a post from you talking to the camera, about your stroke, and all the stuff that you’ve been going through, and all the challenges that you’re facing.

Bill Gasiamis 56:02
And it’s like, out of place. But it’s like, it’s that thing that makes you then a real person, because the other person, the other version of you is an adult entertainer an actor, playing a role. And then your fans, or the people who’ve seen your work, will look at it, and they’ll go, they’ll have an opinion and an idea of that person that you portray on film.

Bill Gasiamis 56:38
And then they’ll get blown away when they see you just, you know, to your phone, talking about your challenges and what you’re trying to overcome. And then that will just make them an even greater fan to you. Like, they’ll see another level of you that’s more authentic, and they’ll go, oh, my gosh, this person’s a real person. She has feelings, she’s been through a really tough time.

Bill Gasiamis 57:05
And they’ll relate to you in another way that they’ve never related before. So I get that it’s weird for you that people reach out to you for this type of connection and this type of information, because they do it to me, and I’m like, I’m gonna say, weird as well. Right? I have fans, this is weird, that I even say this, and people get kind of Starstruck when I invite them onto the podcast with me, I’m like do you know who I am? Like, you’ve got no idea. I’m just a weirdo in my garage in Melbourne, Australia, that’s put some stuff on a wall. And in front of me, there’s just two monitors, and a ring light. And that’s it.

A Documentary About Misha Montana

Misha Montana 57:51
But you are, that’s the thing. And I’m the same way I’m like, even to this day, I’ve always like overwhelmed about now people view me in the way that they do. And I don’t know if that’s something that I’ll ever get over. But it’s like, it’s just kind of interesting, because when they reach out and they’re like, you know, so what I did with my stroke, is I created an adult showcase DVD.

Misha Montana 58:31
And it’s never been done in the history of adult film, which believe it or not, because everything has been done, right? We did a documentary-style showcase that actually has the stroke in it. And my whole life in it.

Misha Montana 58:50
My son is not inhibit mentioned, you know, things like that. And that movie changed the industry this year in a way that I never thought it would. My whole point was doing it as I never I was very private before. No one knew I had a son. I kept that part of my life. Like, I felt like, I put myself out into the public eye so I can be destroyed.

Bill Gasiamis 59:21
People can go after you.

Misha Montana 59:23
Yeah, they go after me. It’s one thing like, Yeah, but you know, I was always afraid of the people in my life that I wanted to protect from this because I chose this. They didn’t, you know. And when that happened, and we started I had a documentary crew with me for the adult film because we were showcasing I have unique tattoos.

Misha Montana 59:49
And that was kind of the preface of that whole thing and it switched directions when I had a stroke. And the direction they went was, you know, this is a human piece and I am you know I’m an EP on that project. And obviously I have a huge role in it because it’s about me. But I remember Ivan, who was directing it called me.

Misha Montana 1:00:10
And it was the day before it went to cut, because he has all this footage of my son and my dad had a heart attack and all this different stuff that was very, very personal stuff. And he asked me if I wanted to use it, and I was so adamantly like, no, no, no. And then I said, you know why? Yeah, actually, I was like, because if I’m going to stand up here, and share my experiences, and try to advocate for, you know, authenticity, and trying to humanize an industry that’s so scrutinized and like, demonized, you know, all the time.

Misha Montana 1:00:49
That I have to be a full martyr for their cause, and I’m going to do it, and it’s uncomfortable for me. But the stroke gave me an opportunity for a second chance. And it gave me the opportunity to use the platform that I have to advocate, and to reach people that might not ever have anyone to look to.

Misha Montana 1:01:12
As weird as it is that I’m in the industry that I’m in, I still have connections with people on levels that you wouldn’t even believe because of that movie. And they’re reworking it now into a mainstream documentary. So fingers crossed, it’ll actually go somewhere, but it’s been nominated. This is the sixth award show, it was nominated for best movie of the year.

Bill Gasiamis 1:01:39
Sensational.

Misha Montana 1:01:41
It’s crazy.

Bill Gasiamis 1:01:42
And it’s what you said, like we touched on earlier, it’s like, you and I, we come from completely different backgrounds, we’re from the other side of the planet, we’ve only met once today is the first time we met other than that a couple of emails were sent to each other. And yet, we had that connection. Because we completely, totally understand this part about each other, we totally understand what each other is going through.

Bill Gasiamis 1:02:10
And we don’t need to know about the rest of our lives. Because this part of our life is so significant that, when somebody gets us, it means a lot. Like it really means a lot. And that’s why people reach out to you. Even though you’re from an industry that they are not familiar with, and they go oh my God I get this person, she gets me and I get her. And then they do that.

Bill Gasiamis 1:02:39
They bridge gaps, that are vast and wide, you know, from all these other reasons that everything just gets breached. And then the view narrows, and then it’s just like these two things, stroke, we had a stroke, I had a stroke, we had trauma. She had trauma, I had trauma. And it’s like, everything just comes together. And that’s why I love that thing that you’re doing. And I don’t know about the adult industry.

Bill Gasiamis 1:03:11
I’ve certainly never seen any adult films that show people that are unwell, or people that have had disability, or people that are amputees or any of that stuff. So I’ve never seen anything like that. I’ve never searched for it, but I’ve never seen it. And I’m wondering, maybe, you know, we’re hearing about diversity and about inclusivity and all that kind of stuff yet.

Bill Gasiamis 1:03:38
There’s still so much more to represent about humans other than what happens, you know, on these kind of normal sort of every day, the same over and over kind of formula for an adult movie or even a Hollywood blockbuster or whatever. I think there’s much more room for people that are different to be included in these spaces, you know.

Misha Montana 1:04:09
I agree. I totally agree. I think that’s why it was kind of one of those things with like this industry where, you’ve probably seen it all, but it’s always in this movie, I think appealed to because if you think about it, you know how many I mean, just last year alone, I would imagine there were 10,000 movies made potentially, in a year and for someone to recognize what I did.

Misha Montana 1:04:45
It’s crazy to me to because it means it’s literally a top five top 10 piece of you know, history potentially. For me, it already isn’t solidified. I mean, these award shows it’s like the Oscars. was nominated for the adult version of the Oscars. Yeah, so it’s like. And I think that that’s impactful, and a lot of ways because everything that you hear to about the adult industry is often negative. It’s always tragic, it’s always dark.

Misha Montana 1:04:59
And when I got into the industry, which is again, why it’s like, it’s, it’s almost like you follow a certain path for a purpose, right? I have always been on that mission to prove that. It’s not like that. And the stroke, as unfortunate as it is, and, you know, suffering consequences from that daily, but it gave me a purpose.

Misha Montana 1:04:59
And it gave me the tools that I needed to accelerate and promote that ideology with people that I don’t think I would have had without it, it makes me not that I’m not relatable, but it gives me something to relate to people on a level that they feel comfortable relating to me, I’ve always felt comfortable relating to other people.

Misha Montana 1:04:59
But now, I think it levels the playing fields, and opens it up so that people and people messaged me that, like, they would never have a conversation with me, if I didn’t have that in common with them. Like you said, like, when you meet stroke survivors, I get so like, excited, in a sense, like not I mean, it’s horrible.

Misha Montana 1:04:59
You know, but it’s like, but I’m so excited, because I’m like, you actually know what it’s like. And I said, that’s why they reach out and I, I sit there and have full conversations with them every day. And it’s beautiful. And that alone, like, that is the most important thing in my life other than my son, it is like making those connections.

Misha Montana 1:04:59
It’s given me that that progress, and I am motivated by that. And it also reminds me of my own circumstances, too. So I need that, you know, constant reminder. But it’s also a reminder that I can’t one operate the way that I was before. There’s no way to I need to take care of myself. And there’s no way that I can help other people if I can’t take care of myself in the first place. So that’s kind of what it ultimately boils down to.

Misha Montana 1:04:59
But it’s wonderful like, and I am so thankful for, for the story to be out there. And I hope that’s what it does. I hope that’s the only hope that I have with it is that it can reach someone on a level that they need in their life. And to know that they’re not alone. And it means so much to me to be that person. And it is like some people find it strange because of the position that I’m in that I am this candidate about my experiences and my wife, and it’s so unweighted to my career. And a lot of people just kind of put their puppet out there.

Misha Montana 1:04:59
And they do it. And nobody knows about their life. But that’s their brand. That’s their business. And I was like that myself, I didn’t want anyone to know anything about me. But now it gives me so much joy. And it actually does, like increase the value of the relationships that I have with fans.

Misha Montana 1:04:59
And with just people in general like they have never seen somebody be that relatable before. And it’s off. I mean, I I never in my right like I no one’s ever seen me cry until this last year. And now everybody just sees me cry all the time. They cry all the time.

Misha Montana 1:05:17
For me, it already is it’s solidified. I mean, these award shows it’s like the Oscars. It was nominated for the adult version of the Oscars. So it’s like. And I think that that’s impactful, in a lot of ways because everything that you hear too about the adult industry is often negative. It’s always tragic, it’s always dark. And when I got into the industry, which is again, why it’s like, it’s almost like you follow a certain path for a purpose, right?

Misha Montana 1:05:30
I have always been on that mission to prove that. It’s not like that. And the stroke, as unfortunate as it is, and, you know, suffering consequences from that daily, but it gave me a purpose. And it gave me the tools that I needed to accelerate and promote that ideology with people that I don’t think I would have had without it, it makes me not that I’m not relatable, but it gives me something to relate to people on a level that they feel comfortable relating to me, I’ve always felt comfortable relating to other people.

Misha Montana 1:06:18
But now, I think it levels the playing fields, and opens it up so that people and people messaged me that, like, they would never have a conversation with me, if I didn’t have that in common with them. Like you said, like, when you meet stroke survivors, I get so like, excited, in a sense, like not I mean, it’s horrible. You know, but it’s like, but I’m so excited, because I’m like, you actually know what it’s like. And like you said, that’s why they reach out and I sit there and have full conversations with them every day. And it’s beautiful.

Misha Montana 1:06:58
And that alone, like, that is the most important thing in my life other than my son, it is like making those connections. It’s given me that purpose, and I am motivated by that. And it also reminds me of my own circumstances too. So I need that, you know, constant reminder. But it’s also a reminder that I can’t one, operate the way that I was before there’s no way two, I need to take care of myself. And there’s no way that I can help other people if I can’t take care of myself in the first place.

Misha Montana 1:07:43
So that’s kind of what it ultimately boils down to. But it’s wonderful like, and I am so thankful for the story to be out there. And I hope that’s what it does. I hope that’s the only hope that I have with it is that it can reach someone on a level that they need in their life. And to know that they’re not alone. And it means so much to me to be that person.

Misha Montana 1:08:13
And it is like some people find it strange because of the position that I’m in that I am this candidate about my experiences and my wife, and it’s so unweighted to my career. And a lot of people just kind of put their puppet out there. And they do it. And nobody knows about their life. But that’s their brand. That’s their business.

Misha Montana 1:08:35
And I was like that myself, I didn’t want anyone to know anything about me. But now it gives me so much joy. And it actually does, like increase the value of the relationships that I have with fans. And with just people in general like they have never seen somebody be that relatable before. And I mean, I I never like no one’s ever seen me cry until this last year. And now everybody just sees me cry all the time.

Bill Gasiamis 1:09:12
And you know, what you’ve done is you’ve changed your identity from being the person on screen in adult movies to the person on screen in adult movies, that’s a stroke survivor, that is also a mom of a child has cerebral palsy. So do you see how now you’ve kind of bridged the gap between being just this one version of yourself to this other multiple different versions of yourself that are all part of the one you right?

Bill Gasiamis 1:09:41
And now you’ve got 50k followers on Instagram, but imagine all the people that have watched your videos. If we say one in four of them, we know either has or will have a stroke in their lifetime. So there’s so many of them already relate to you. And now, how many people know somebody that has cerebral palsy, or how many parents have seen your shows that have children with cerebral palsy, and they relate to you in another level.

Bill Gasiamis 1:10:21
And that’s what I was talking about earlier, when I’m talking about how the accountant is just the accountant. If he’s just an accountant, and not an accountant that does this, this and that, then you’re so limited, and then you struggle so much with your identity shifting after a stroke. And for me, I was just a guy who had a business and painted houses, you know, for a living.

Bill Gasiamis 1:10:48
And I couldn’t do that anymore. And then I had a lot of time at home to try and work out who I was going to become. And whether that was going to stay part of my life or not. And it did, it stayed part of my life. But when, somebody asks me, What do you do now? I’ve got a list that goes about for 10 minutes, by the time I actually get it all off my tongue and tell them again, they wish they never asked.

Bill Gasiamis 1:11:13
So it’s really cool, that you’ve been able to do that, I’ve seen sometimes, you know, Sharon Stone had a stroke many years ago. The actress Sharon Stone had a stroke many years ago. And I related to her in a different way, when I realized that she’s had a stroke and spoken about it publicly a couple of times, because she was in the biggest Hollywood blockbusters. And then she went missing.

Bill Gasiamis 1:11:38
And because I’m not obsessed, I didn’t try and find out where she went missing to. But then 10 years later, you find out, Oh, my gosh, she had a stroke. And it’s like, wow, okay, that makes sense. And now I can relate to her struggles and her challenges. And I see her as somebody who is not so distant from me, like I can’t reach out and relate to her because I’ll never know what it’s like to be a Hollywood star. So I can’t relate to her. But now I can. And I wish I didn’t, but I do now. And that makes her more of a person. Because now I’m seeing beyond the characters that she’s played.

Identity Crisis – Misha Montana

Misha Montana 1:12:21
Right? Which is interesting when that happens too because, you know, in Hollywood, and like in my industry, I am a character I’m not myself, right? I mean, it’s a part of you. And sometimes there’s a blurred line between how much of the authentic you is in that role, versus the persona that you’ve created.

Misha Montana 1:12:49
And a lot of people have identity crisis because of that. But when you’re in that role, people bizarrely, we like put you up onto a pedestal that where you’re like unattainable, and you’re just this figure like an idol. And it’s like it dehumanizes you so much to where you know, you’re not approachable, people just treat you in such a strange way, until you get brought down to a human level.

Misha Montana 1:13:26
And that’s why I say it was a blessing for me too, because I don’t know, honestly, like, no matter what I would have said, to try to relate to people on that level and to try to humanize an industry that, that people are so critical of. I don’t know if I would have been able to, without having the stroke. Because it does bring me down to that level of like accessibility and just in people’s minds, it’s like, not saying that that’s how I view my, like, the superhero effect.

Misha Montana 1:13:59
But for some people, it is like just some people I am like their Idaho self is hard to me. But to them, it’s real, you know, and to be brought down to that level. It gives them, even more, hope and excitement to to how to know that they are Wow, that girl actually is going to talk to me and we’re human. I can’t believe that because she’s this and this and as odd as it is to me and to other people and our you know, different professions that have that issue.

Misha Montana 1:14:36
It’s like, I think I’ve been successful, or at least I hope that I am and will be and being able to bridge that gap. And to be honest and to share my experiences to try to better not only my industry, but just you know survivors in general For people, when you said that have CP for anyone that has any kind of, you know, a health issue or a mental health issue, those are so important to me.

Misha Montana 1:15:11
Like, if I can make a difference in one person’s life, then that’s my purpose in life. So like you said, it’s redefining your purpose, and your identity into, you know, this new version of yourself. And it’s uncomfortable at first. But I think what I’m really embracing it, the only issue that I have is that I have to acknowledge my own, you know, demons with my disease.

Bill Gasiamis 1:15:48
The only issue you have with it is you have to actually acknowledge the demons for the first time in your life?

Misha Montana 1:15:53
I can do as I say, not as I do.

Bill Gasiamis 1:15:57
Yeah. You have to practice what you preach.

Misha Montana 1:16:00
You look at yourself in the mirror and be like, if I’m sitting there advocating, for, you know, people to get help. And so like, be honest, and to be, you know, outspoken about things. It’s like well then, you know, you have to do that yourself.

Bill Gasiamis 1:16:18
You can’t be inauthentic. That’s part of the reason why I do this is because I talk to people once a week on a podcast that comes out once a week, and I give them advice and tips and all sorts of stuff. And I share my experience and all that stuff. And it’s like, I cannot be anything less than the person that I am telling you that you need to become because it doesn’t work otherwise, it’s not authentic people can see right through you. And it’s so fake. Yeah, yeah. So I know, I know that.

Misha Montana 1:16:55
That’s why I tell people. I’m like I tell them, we’ve embraced this authenticity, identity. Almost too far, I think at this point. I tell everybody everything. We’re having a tough day today. But I know, I think it’s good. Because again, I’ve gone through things other than the stroke that I’m just going to be honest about and open about and be like, there are a lot of things that are not pretty, in my recovery that I thought about not sharing. But I wouldn’t mind.

Bill Gasiamis 1:17:38
You know, what’s interesting is stroke is just as taboo as adult film.

Misha Montana 1:17:43
It is, it is, well, as soon as people find out that you’ve had a stroke, too, then you’re potentially eliminating, like your work. Especially I can’t even imagine somebody goes in for a job interview. And they find out you have a stroke, do you think that you’re employable? Like, I mean, honestly, for somebody to be like, oh well, it’s just an excuse, they have mental problems, they’ve got physical problems, you know, they’re gonna go to doctor’s appointments, and they can’t remember anything.

Misha Montana 1:18:15
Like, there’s such a huge stigma around it too that I think, is horrible. And, again, it’s just a lack of education, it’s a lack of understanding that, you know, you and I were in that same situation, before we have a stroke. Most people don’t know anything about it. And so I think that, you know, especially what you’re doing, what I’m attempting to do, is, first and foremost, I could try to spread awareness and promote education.

Misha Montana 1:18:48
And, you know, for people that, you know, fortunately for them have not had a stroke, but may themselves or someone that they, no will potentially have one. And so, it’s important to do these things and to advocate for it, and to talk to other people and to build the community that we have. I think it’s just a wonderful community that we’re in.

Misha Montana 1:19:16
I’ve met so many wonderful people, as I know that you have to so those pawns just mean more than anything, so but I think it’s good. You know, what you’re doing is great. What I’m trying to do is wonderful, and if we can provide awareness and even just somebody to listen, just to be there.

Bill Gasiamis 1:19:34
So now, it’s been a year. What did it leave you with early on? You know, he said, you went back to work so quickly. What were the things that you had to overcome when you went back to work? What deficits were you working with that people didn’t know?

Misha Montana 1:19:55
You know, I honestly feel like the deficits that I NOTICE are more prominent now than they were a year ago. In my own mind. I think that physically, they were more noticeable, because I’ve watched, you know, luckily for me, I have a constant well-documented life over the last year. So I have actually been able to, like see a lot of, you know, different events where I was kind of curious to watch myself to be like, well, I know, I remember how well sometimes, I remember how I felt in that moment.

Misha Montana Had An Alcohol Problem


Misha Montana 1:20:37
So I wanted to see what it looked like, you know, on film, or to somebody that may not know me, and I pulled it off really well, for a while. My speech was limited more, and my face definitely took a little bit longer to come back to where it’s at right now. But I really did play it off well, but I started drinking really heavily.

Misha Montana 1:21:06
And no one knew that. For the scenes I was doing every single scene that I did before the stroke, I was completely sober. I never needed to drink. And I was embarrassed about admitting that because I thought that it would provide, like just another negative stigma of the industry where it’s like, well, of course, you did, because they all do that, you know, they’re all drunks and drug addicts.

Misha Montana 1:21:34
And it just contributed to that idea that people that preconceived notion that people have about people in my industry, so I didn’t ever want to admit that. And that was a form of coping that kind of started just on set, and then it blew up into an every week thing, and then turn into an every other day thing, and then turn into an everyday thing.

Misha Montana 1:22:07
And it just blew up out of control. So and not to the point where, and I say that, you know, where I never like woke up in the morning and drink all day and didn’t take care of my son. But I would drink two bottles of wine at night when he’s asleep every night. So that’s a problem.

Bill Gasiamis 1:22:29
And that’s not helping you recover your brain.

Misha Montana 1:22:33
No, and that was the biggest thing too. It’s like, I have a brain injury. And here I am, like, heavily drinking, that’s not helping my recovery.

Bill Gasiamis 1:22:47
What was behind the need to all of a sudden start drinking?

Misha Montana 1:22:52
I think it was just feeling the the isolation, and that I put myself into that situation. Like it wasn’t there was nothing else that contributed to that except my own, like selfish need to, like prove a point to everybody that I could go back to work, and not take time off and not get home, and just take on the world like I was used to doing all the time. And so it was kind of like that secret escape that I needed. But I wasn’t doing it in a healthy way. It was that I needed to I acknowledged that I was suffering. And so I turned to liquor to solve that problem.

Bill Gasiamis 1:23:48
Suffering in your head? Yeah.

Misha Montana 1:23:53
So it was like I could fake it throughout the day, and do everything the right way. And, you know, take care of my son and run my career and the 12 other careers that I have going and paint this really pretty picture for everyone.

Misha Montana 1:24:12
And you know, even you know, be an advocate and do all these things. And then at the end of the day, I was so miserable and drained and angry and just totally depressed. That it was the only thing that would give me a sense of relief. And even though it’s like fleeting it’s temporary and then you wake up and you feel like shit.

Bill Gasiamis 1:24:40
A lot of people will take it.

Misha Montana 1:24:43
But it was one of those things like and it was so surprising to people too I think, I admitted that recently that I was having that issue. Reluctantly that was honestly like more reluctant for me than talking about my son because because of the negative image and impact that it had, but it’s like, the end of the day, like, I’m a human being, that’s how some people cope. I’ve never cooked that way in my life.

Misha Montana 1:25:13
So I was like, I felt that kind of like weird stigmatic shame, where it’s like, wow, okay. You know, I have a problem with alcohol. And to admit that, I felt shameful, for whatever reason, which is obviously, like, socially constructed. But I thought it was detracting from the message, which struggle, you know, if you’re going to do something, you have to be honest about it, and start use it as an opportunity to be honest about that, and to relate to other people that may have the same issue that might be afraid to say something.

Bill Gasiamis 1:25:52
Many people have had a stroke and went to alcohol. When they’re not meant to. But it’s common, it makes sense. And it’s, again, it’s not something that you should judge that person about, but it happens.

Bill Gasiamis 1:26:07
And, you know, what we’re trying to do is bring awareness to the situation so that we don’t have to judge everybody all the bloody time and we can always just go okay, well, that was a bad solution to a problem. Okay, what’s a better solution to that problem? And, it sounds like you’re you were became aware of that at one point, and then you started to look for a better solution. Where are you at with it now?

Misha Montana 1:26:37
I’ve actually been pretty good with it in the last month. I went through February, March, April, are really bad, heavy drinking. months for me, I guess you could say. And there were like other contributing factors to that right time period. But mostly, it was just heavy, heavy drinking. So I’ve been working on limiting my alcohol intake to the point where it was over six weeks, without alcohol.

Misha Montana 1:27:20
I’ve been smoking weed a little bit here and there, which is a weird thing for me. I’ve never been like a big weed person. And just something to try to, like redirect the, the need to the need to drink. I worked out like crazy. I’m a huge work er, maniac bodybuilding, cycling, all of that. So I turned back into that as a positive out book, you know? What’s the word? No, I just missed it.

Misha Montana 1:27:55
Alright, there we go. There’s the stroke, brain kicking in, outlet, outlet, positive outlets. So you know, working out doing those things, trying to just mentally align them with physical, good choices. But it’s difficult because when you get into that pattern to it’s, it’s destructive, but it’s also like comforting. So when you uproot it, you have all kinds of new anxieties and sweep issues that you already have. And then it just enhances it trying to change that whole routine.

Misha Montana 1:28:40
So luckily, though, I’ve gotten to a point where it’s definitely under control, where it was not before I had major, and like the biggest mental breakdown of my entire life, like, I actually had, like some suicidal thoughts, which I’ve never had. And I’ve been open about that experience. So it’s all a learning experience, and everything that I’m experiencing, I’m being honest about.

Misha Montana 1:29:12
So the other people that might feel some sense of shame in admitting what they’re going through. They could have someone to relate to, or at least to sympathize a little bit with what’s going on. Because a lot of people hear these things and they’re like, wow, like, you’re batshit crazy. Or, you know, it’s just simplified to that level. Like, nobody really looks at the whole picture.

Bill Gasiamis 1:29:38
As if they’re not batshit crazy that they are so perfect that they see you as being batshit crazy and they compare themselves and they come out perfect, so it’s like, no chance that right, everybody else is, “perfect” “normal” or doesn’t have any issues and everything is alright. I think what’s good about putting it all out there and talking about everything, every situation, every issue, every problem is that it makes you more and more relatable.

Bill Gasiamis 1:30:13
And it makes more and more people feel okay about themselves. Because there’s so many taboos. And, when people are pretending that things aren’t happening, they’re making themselves really, really unwell. Even more and more, you know, when you’re denying the reality of what’s actually happening, because you’re afraid. I think it just makes matters worse.

Bill Gasiamis 1:30:39
That’s kind of why I do the podcast. It’s just so that I can share how good bad, indifferent stuffed up normal, or abnormal I am. And it’s like whatever. Yeah, whatever. It’s okay. I’m not sure why I shouldn’t tell you that I’ve had bad issues or thoughts or problems, I’m not sure why I shouldn’t tell you like, why shouldn’t I tell you that? And, and my parents, maybe they were a little bit cautious of what they revealed about themselves, that come from that generation, you know, they’re in their 70s and late 70s.

Bill Gasiamis 1:31:25
And they came from that generation when there wasn’t a lot said, but I don’t live in that part of the world anymore. Or when that error anymore, I live in this modern era, and I’m going to just be what’s appropriate now. And I don’t think it’s appropriate for anybody to not share. And if you are somebody who wants to share, and you’re sharing to the wrong people, and they make you feel bad, choose different people to share to really, yeah, and screw them don’t share to those people who are gonna make you feel bad about stuff.

Bill Gasiamis 1:31:59
So that’s kind of what I found. And that’s the hard part about doing a podcast is now I’m sharing to everybody. And they haven’t necessarily given me permission to share with them, but they become, either they become listeners, and fans, or they become the opposite of that. And they never pick up the podcast and listen again.

Bill Gasiamis 1:32:21
And that’s how I filter them out. And that’s so easy. Right? But even if you think that it’s weird, if you think that people are nasty to people that hang out in your industry and work in your industry, they’re even nasty to me. I have a stroke podcast, and they leave one star reviews.

Misha Montana 1:32:42
Really?

Bill Gasiamis 1:32:43
Yeah.

Misha Montana 1:32:46
But people are just nasty, miserable, horrible people. And I deal with it more obviously, you can imagine what I deal with on a daily basis. I get like death threats every day. And like all kinds, I mean, just like radical out there, horrible, obscene, nasty, just the most foul thing you could think of to say to someone, I hear it all day.

Misha Montana 1:33:17
And it’s like, I read some of this stuff. And I’m just like, who taught you how to speak that way to anyone? By the way? I’m a stranger to you. How do you talk to people like that? But anyway, that’s beside the point. But no, it’s just it’s so interesting to me to see. And I’ve gotten certain messages like I don’t, so what I do is I don’t respond, sometimes I’ll read it, if I start seeing that it’s gone in that direction. I just usually, like, yeet it out of my existence, like it’s delete and ignore.

Misha Montana 1:33:49
Because I don’t need that kind of energy in my life. Every once in a while I do and then like, some of them will make me so mad that I actually, like write something out to respond. And I’ve responded, responded in the past to some of these things. And I will tell you, like, there’s nothing good that comes from it, because certain people are just looking for company in their misery.

Misha Montana 1:34:18
So, you know, if you get down to that level with them, the only thing that’s going to do is hurt you at the end of the day. And so I just I try to block out any like that negative attention, or if I do respond to like, you know, I’m really sorry that someone hurt you, or I’m sorry that you’re having a bad day and you feel are taking it out on me.

Misha Montana 1:34:41
And I do feel sorry for those people because to be at that level, where you’re so miserable, that you feel the need to attack total strangers. Then imagine what kind of pain that they’re going through in their life. And that’s how I tried to have some sense of forgiveness for those people.

Take The Risk

Bill Gasiamis 1:35:00
I think what I hope we’ve done today actually is I hope we’ve shared another stroke story. And then given the opportunity to people to feel like they can be themselves, and also to feel like they can put themselves out there and take a risk to do something that they perhaps didn’t ever had the guts to do before stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 1:35:23
And it maybe as full on as becoming an adult entertainer, it may be as something as simple as becoming an author and writing a book, to share your story or to help other people. And just put yourself out there and risk your worst fears becoming a reality, because the majority of the time, it’s actually pretty good.

Bill Gasiamis 1:35:52
It’s not as bad as you might imagine, in your head. And I had a lot of fear doing the podcast, because I was going to put myself out there. And I was at risk of being judged. And believe it or not, they judged they did they proved my fears, correct, you know, so I hope that we’ve done that.

Bill Gasiamis 1:36:13
I really want to thank you for reaching out and connecting to another stroke survivor and wanting to share your story, you’re going to make a massive difference in a lot of people’s lives in the way that they perhaps feel about their own challenges, health issues, stroke recovery. And I wish you all the best. And I hope you’re pulling one of those awards.

Misha Montana 1:36:40
Thank you. I’ll let you know It’s next week, we’ll find out. So I’m excited. Thank you so much for having me. It truly like I said before, it means the world to me to have these conversations. So thank you so much. And thank you for sharing your story and for doing what you do because it truly truly makes a difference. So thank you for having me.

Bill Gasiamis 1:37:03
Well, thanks for joining us on today’s episode. If you’re watching on YouTube, leave a comment below. Subscribe hit the notification bell to get updates of new episodes as they become available. The more interactions with the show, and episodes the more the algorithm will push the episodes out to the people that need to see it and the greater the impact the interviews will make to them. Thanks again for being here and listening. I really appreciate you and I look forward to seeing you on the next episode.

Intro 1:37:34
Importantly, we present many podcasts designed to give you an insight and understanding into the experiences of other individuals opinions and treatment protocols discussed during any podcast are the individual’s own experience and we do not necessarily share the same opinion nor do we recommend any treatment protocol discussed.

Intro 1:37:52
All content on this website and any linked blog, podcast or video material controlled this website or content is created and produced for informational purposes only and is largely based on the personal experience of Bill Gasiamis, the content is intended to complement your medical treatment and support healing. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health advice.

Intro 1:38:14
The information is general and may not be suitable for your personal injuries, circumstances or health objectives. Do not use our content as a standalone resource to diagnose treat, cure or prevent any disease for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for the advice of a health professional. Never delay seeking advice or disregard the advice of a medical professional your doctor or your rehabilitation program based on our content.

Intro 1:38:36
If you have any questions or concerns about your health or medical condition, please seek guidance from a doctor or other medical professional if you are experiencing a health emergency or think you might be, call 000 if in Australia or your local emergency number immediately for emergency assistance or go to the nearest hospital emergency department medical information changes constantly.

Intro 1:38:56
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Misha Montana was a single 31-year-old mum working in the adult film industry when she experienced an ischemic stroke which later revealed a PFO which was resolved by heart surgery. Misha Montana was a single 31-year-old mum working in the adult film industry when she experienced an ischemic stroke which later revealed a PFO which was resolved by heart surgery. Recovery After Stroke 1:39:21
The Link Between Cardiomyopathy And Stroke – Mike Smith https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-link-between-cardiomyopathy-and-stroke-mike-smith/ Mon, 13 Jun 2022 16:51:41 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8974 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-link-between-cardiomyopathy-and-stroke-mike-smith/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-link-between-cardiomyopathy-and-stroke-mike-smith/feed/ 0 <p>Mike Smith was 38 years old when he experienced an Ischemic stroke and at the time he self-diagnosed the symptoms as Bell’s palsy.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-link-between-cardiomyopathy-and-stroke-mike-smith/">The Link Between Cardiomyopathy And Stroke – Mike Smith</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Mike Smith was 38 years old when he experienced an Ischemic stroke and at the time he self-diagnosed the symptoms as Bell’s palsy.

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Highlights:

00:57 Introduction
03:41 First Signs of Stroke
10:06 All The Dumb Things
15:19 Cardiomyopathy And Stroke
20:52 Why Did This Happen?
26:43 Survivor’s Guilt
32:00 Stop And Smell The Roses
42:11 You’re More Than Your Job
50:05 The Importance of Counseling
1:01:55 Psychological Breakthroughs
1:12:50 Counselors Having Counselors
1:18:19 Finding The Right Therapist
1:21:52 Knowing When To Slow Down

Transcription:

Mike Smith 0:00
I think it took about a year of just kind of introspection and things after the stroke to finally kind of say to myself, you know, I never before until now took the time to realize what I have in my life. So it’s like I was working, working, working constantly, when I was a workaholic, stroke happened. I used to pride myself on never going on vacation. And it’s like, I look back and I go, why, why, why?

Mike Smith 0:30
And I look at what that was doing to my physical health, also to my mental health, you know, as being a reporter. There’s no glory in that.

Intro 0:44
This is the recovery after stroke podcast, with Bill Gasiamis, helping you navigate recovery after stroke.

Introduction – Mike Smith

Bill Gasiamis 0:57
Hello there, and welcome to another episode of the Recovery After Stroke Podcast. This is episode 198. And my guest today is Mike Smith. Now Mike is somebody who experienced an ischemic stroke that had an underlying cause of a heart condition that he wasn’t aware of until the stroke happened.

Bill Gasiamis 1:17
So it’s kind of a blessing that the stroke happened because it revealed an underlying heart condition that is now being managed and taken care of. And if it wasn’t for the stroke, he never may have been aware of the heart condition.

Bill Gasiamis 1:33
Now, it’s an interesting conversation. We talk about a lot of different things. But one of the major things is that shift in the pace of life that Mike leads now, he went from doing a job that was really stressful and difficult and was way too many hours that had encroached on his personal life.

Bill Gasiamis 1:55
To a job that is now got barriers between his work life and his home life, and also a job that he really loves and enjoys and is less stressful than what he was doing before.

Bill Gasiamis 2:04
Now, if you’ve been listening to this podcast episode, for a little while, you would have heard me that you know that the recovery after stroke podcast has now got a number of five-star reviews from a bunch of different listeners. And I really, really appreciate it.

Bill Gasiamis 2:20
And I want to thank everybody very much for leaving a five star review. If you’re somebody who’s listening to this podcast, and you love the show, or you think it’s very useful, and it’s going to make a massive difference to other stroke survivors, because it has already made a massive difference to you.

Bill Gasiamis 2:37
Please go ahead and leave the show a five-star review on the platform that you listen, whether it’s Spotify, or Apple Podcasts, or Google Podcasts, wherever they allow for a review to be left, go ahead and leave some feedback, comment and let people know what you think of the show.

Bill Gasiamis 2:57
That will make the algorithm send the podcast to more people who are looking for this type of content. And it will make life easier for those people that are on the very early stages of stroke recovery.

Bill Gasiamis 3:10
And are looking for a way to get on top of all of the challenges and the issues that they are experiencing as brand new stroke survivors, hopefully will inspire them and give them the opportunity to also feel like there’s some light at the end of the tunnel. Now that’s enough for me, and it’s on with the show. Mike Smith, welcome to the podcast.

Mike Smith 3:33
Thank you. Hello, hello.

Bill Gasiamis 3:36
It’s lovely to have you here. Tell me a little bit about what happened to you.

First Signs of Stroke

Mike Smith 3:41
Well, it was November 29, 2017. Never forget the date. I was 38 years old. I woke up about four o’clock in the morning and had a numbness, like a tingle from about halfway down my right bicep down to my fingers and thought that I’ve slept on my arm and it was asleep and like, I just thought Oh, it’ll wake up.

Mike Smith 4:19
And it wouldn’t wake up just kept tingling. That feeling continued. And so I remember just kind of shaking it. And I remember saying out loud. What’s wrong with me?

Mike Smith 4:34
But I remember it coming out as like, “What wong” And so I repeated it. I was thinking that can’t be and so I was able to roll out of bed kind of get up and go to the restroom and look in the mirror and I could see the droop on sort of the like lower right part of my face.

Mike Smith 5:04
And I had drool, basically like the entire side going down my neck. So I kept trying to tell myself it was Bell’s Palsy. Because I was thinking, certainly I’m not having a stroke, or I didn’t have a stroke. I was 38, though they do run in my family, for older people on my mother’s side.

Mike Smith 5:28
And so I figured, oh, I’ll just rest had been going through a lot of stuff at work. And I was thinking, Oh, I was debating whether or not to go to the hospital. And I was thinking, No, I should go.

Mike Smith 5:45
And you know, when you have a stroke, your cognitive ability is impaired. And I remember getting dressed, and kept dropping everything. Like shoes, it took forever to get the shoes on.

Mike Smith 6:04
And then I made the decision to not call 911 but to drive myself to the hospital. No, don’t do that. But I remember getting to the door. And I think the reason and I don’t know why I thought this but the reason was, I had a very nosy neighbor.

Mike Smith 6:26
And I didn’t want, if I called an ambulance, she would like snoop or find a reason to get into my apartment or something, I don’t know why I was thinking that. But I got to the door, got dressed, got the keys, locked my door.

Mike Smith 6:48
And of course, you’re taxing yourself, cognitively every time you’re doing this. And also, there’s the danger that you’ll have another one. But I’m not thinking about that. Because to me, this is Bell’s Palsy, it can’t be anything other than that, I’m just gonna go find out what’s wrong, they’re gonna give me something I’m going to come home, I’m going to sleep it off.

Mike Smith 7:08
That’s what I thought. And so I dropped the keys about five times trying to lock the door, walked to my car, sat in the car and could not remember why I was there took probably about 10 more minutes to figure out what I was trying to do.

Mike Smith 7:24
And I was like, Oh, I’m going to the hospital drove. I know you’re not supposed to do that I drove green lights the entire way. By the way, I was living in Amarillo, Texas at the time, green lights the entire way.

Mike Smith 7:42
Even got on the interstate and pulled into the hospital parking lot, which is where it’s dangerous but also funny what happened next is that I got on my car and I realized that I was parked in a towaway zone. So I got back in my car and backed it up and re-parked in a place where I would not be towed away.

Mike Smith 8:09
I walked into the ER and I went to the front desk. By that time I just could not, the aphasia was setting in so it’s like I could not say it, I could think it, I couldn’t say it.

Mike Smith 8:21
And so at the front desk, the woman said Hi Sir, can we help you? And I just wanted to tell her, something’s wrong with me. But I just kind of pointed to the side of my face and side of my arms went like that.

Mike Smith 8:37
She threw me into a wheelchair literally and said, sit down. She’s like, do you have your information? I gave her my driver’s license. And so she called back to the ER she’s like, I got somebody coming back he’s a 38 year old male. stroke symptoms, and I’m like stroke? No. And so that’s when I guess the journey began. So yeah, that got us to where we are eventually today.

Bill Gasiamis 9:10
So what made you an expert on Bell’s palsy again, how did you self-diagnose that?

Mike Smith 9:20
Well, okay, I had a friend who had a former coworker. I should mention I was in media at the time. So I was a reporter. When the stroke happened, I was a television producer. But before that I was a news reporter for about 13 years.

Mike Smith 9:37
And so just a very stressful environment. I have a friend who used to get this, it happened to her twice. whole time I worked with her and happened to her twice where her face just went numb. It was a stress reaction. I was like oh, that’s what she had.

Bill Gasiamis 9:56
Yeah, perfectly reasonable. I get it.

Mike Smith 9:59
I mean you know, like, why go to medical school when you have co-workers who you’ve seen have stuff.

All The Dumb Things

Bill Gasiamis 10:05
Hello. And in like a minute, you know exactly what’s going on. And your story is so familiar, I know there’s people listening going, oh my god that was me, because that’s exactly what I was doing.

Bill Gasiamis 10:18
I went into the ER, the second time I had a bleed, and I couldn’t get the words out. The first time I had the bleed, I went in and told them, I’m all good, I just can’t feel my entire left side.

Bill Gasiamis 10:33
And they did exactly what they did to you, straight into the scanners, or wherever they took us, you know, to get to the bottom of why this person is acting like this. And because I had three bleeds, I can appreciate all of the dumb things you did, including driving yourself, because I also did that.

Bill Gasiamis 10:53
I also did that, I also didn’t know what I was doing. And then had to remember what I was doing and then get moving to the job at hand. So it’s so common, but we minimize our problems when we are cognitively “normal”.

Bill Gasiamis 11:18
When we’re not having a stroke. So, you know, we get up, our foot hurts, we automatically assume we stepped on something or we walked incorrectly, or that’s my shoe or whatever. But when you’re having a stroke, you’re doing that normal stuff of minimizing everything, plus you’re having a stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 11:33
So it’s near impossible to actually make a sound decision. Yet something was telling you. Even with all that uncertainty, and that “it’s definitely Bell’s palsy” was still getting you to the ER, you still got there. What was it? What was it that still made you go?

Mike Smith 11:56
I think, just knowing that they run in my family and my grandmother had passed away of one about this would have been five years before. And she and so I remember. I mean, she had one. And then in rehab had another sort of like a larger one.

Mike Smith 12:18
And I know that some of her siblings had them too. And I just remember, I don’t know if it was maybe the facial droop that kind of made me go. Better safe than sorry. But it’s like, I just know, it’s Bell’s Palsy.

Mike Smith 12:34
And part of it was just, I just had so much to do when I was just like, at that time that I was working on, like multiple projects at the time. And I was just like, there’s no time for a stroke, like, No, we can’t do this, not now.

Mike Smith 12:51
Right. So, and I think it was just kind of like a better safe than sorry, but I think there was just from the beginning when I saw my face when I heard myself talk. That was the other thing when I heard myself talk, and I was just like, this doesn’t sound like me, something’s wrong.

Mike Smith 13:09
And also I know when my coworker had Bell’s palsy it did not affect her speech. So I think that was the thing that made me go just kind of go get looked at to see if it was something else.

Mike Smith 13:22
And I knew deep down I knew. I know what this is. But I guess I was just kind of trying to hold on to that. Pre-stroke normal of like, I’m just gonna go on they’re gonna give me something, I’ll rest. They’ll just tell me go sleep.

Bill Gasiamis 13:40
Yeah. So after the initial visit to the hospital, they admit you and how long have you in hospital for what do they do? What do they discover about your suit?

Mike Smith 13:53
That’s another interesting story. So that was my first experience with telemedicine. So, this was 4:30 in the morning, I guess was the time I got to the hospital. And I was diagnosed as having a stroke from a doctor on a video camera from North Carolina.

Mike Smith 14:16
And they were having me talk to this guy, like move my mouth and I’m like, where is he? Why can’t he come in here? They’re like, well, he’s not in the hospital. Like, where is he? And he’s telling me he’s like, well, can you smile? I’m just like, who are you? And he’s like, yeah, it looks like a stroke and then they were like yeah.

Bill Gasiamis 14:43
That’s so bizarre. Yeah, I get it. I had doctors all over me you know, push my arm, you know squeeze my arm.

Mike Smith 14:52
I had nurses that were doing it. They’re like can you push. And they were looking kind of like they’re trying to look at my face up close, like when I would talk and try to move and like, I would have to like, basically push this side of my face up. And so they knew, but they were like, We have to get it confirmed by him who was not there.

Cardiomyopathy And Stroke

Mike Smith 15:19
But I remember then they took me to the MRI. And that’s where they confirmed where it happened. So there were there were confirmations. It took a while, I think I was in the hospital about two weeks with them trying to determine a cause of what happened. And what they eventually came up with was cardiomyopathy.

Mike Smith 15:48
So they could not figure out why, they said my cholesterol was okay, which surprised me because my diet was not the best. My blood pressure was high, just because no rest and I was overweight, you know, just stress and things like that. And it had been kind of creeping up. I never had problems with blood pressure until maybe like about five years before.

Mike Smith 16:10
And so I knew that had been creeping up. So that didn’t surprise me. But they were like, we still can’t figure out like, what exactly is going on with your heart. So the ER doctors kept saying your heart is so weak, we don’t know why it’s so weak.

Mike Smith 16:26
And so more testing, and I mean, they did the stress test where they didn’t want me to run. So it was like you just kind of lay there and they inject you with something that I can’t describe it. But it basically makes you feel like you’re gonna blow up. It is the most uncomfortable feeling.

Mike Smith 16:50
And they didn’t stress tests like that they did the esophageal forgot what it’s called.

Bill Gasiamis 17:02
While you were awake.

Mike Smith 17:04
Yeah, I mean, they did it, they put me under for it. So I was very groggy when it happened. So like, I remember seeing everybody in the room like around me, but I don’t remember feeling anything. And so afterward, it hurt my throat hurt for a long time. They did that, they’re trying to find like they’re trying to look behind my heart to see like, if there’s something back there we can’t see.

Mike Smith 17:32
And so what it was was cardiomyopathy and enlarged left ventricle, and so that weaken the wall. And so my pumping strength was low. And so what’s been determined, or what was told to me was that you have something called your ejection fraction, which is how strong your heart pumps.

Mike Smith 17:52
And that’s the amount of blood that leaves your heart pumps throughout your body. And it’s supposed to be around 50% to 60% for regular healthy adult, the morning of the stroke, I was at 12. And so they basically said there was blood clotting in your heart. And so a piece of that clot broke off and caused the stroke.

Mike Smith 18:16
So if you had not had the stroke, then you wouldn’t have known about the heart and you probably just wouldn’t have awakened one day and we would have been like what happened? He died in his leep. So you think about it that way. It’s like, oh, gosh, it’s like, this thing. altered my life in so many ways actually warned me about something else that was going to be even worse.

Bill Gasiamis 18:45
Yeah. I’ve nearly done 200 episodes of this podcast. So many different ways to experience a stroke. It is ridiculous how many ways?

Mike Smith 18:57
And yeah, because and I’m sorry to interrupt you. When the doctor was telling me you’ve had a stroke. I was thinking like, oh, but my left side was fine. Because you’re always told you’re gonna get that paralysis on the left side, or something or that’s what I was always told. This side. I didn’t know it was the right side. They’re like no, stroke effects, depends on where it happens in your brain.

Bill Gasiamis 19:23
Yeah. It just boggles my mind every time I hear a new way that somebody has had a stroke. And this is another one and it’s kind of insane and intense. And it just goes to show how many things can go wrong in the body. The great thing about your situation was that at least it revealed the issue behind it and then you’re able to attend to that issue and then recover from the stroke but also attend to the cause behind that which is great.

Bill Gasiamis 19:57
But scary I imagine and at 38. I was 37. So, I did a lot of the, oh, you know, what does it mean for my life and mortality and all that kind of stuff? My kids and the rest of it? What’s your family situation like? And did you do all of it the whole, oh my god, I could be dead and all that stuff?

Mike Smith 20:26
Well, I’m single I was living about my nearest family members were my parents, they were about 910 hours away by car. So they had to drive up when it happened. And so when I was sitting, when I was actually sitting in the ER, waiting for the MRI, after the doctor on the weird little camera thing screen told me that I had a stroke.

Why Did This Happen? – Mike Smith

Mike Smith 20:52
I remember saying to myself, so why did this happen? Why did this happen? And so I kept thinking about my speech. And I was thinking I was a television producer at the time, I was like, What am I going to do? Because that is nothing but talking, interviewing people. I’m filming, I’m moving camera equipment around, I no longer carry heavy stuff. What does that mean? Like, I can’t sit at a computer bay and edit, like, what does it mean?

Mike Smith 21:25
What am I gonna do and I was thinking like, you know, what can I do? Am I going to have to go like live in like a home or go home? It was just like, you’re thinking, you know, as someone I like to tell people, and I’m not heavy into astrology, but I do think there are characteristics with their zodiac sign.

Mike Smith 21:49
I’m a Virgo, and so I’m that person that’s got life planned out for the next 35 years. This was not in it. So now it’s like, I gotta recalibrate, and recalculate and rearrange and go, so what does this mean now? And then am I gonna get my speech back? Which I didn’t know at the time if I was or not. And it’s just like, what do you do? What do you do? And I think it just was kind of a feeling of this is the kind of stuff you expected to think about when you’re 68, not 38.

Bill Gasiamis 22:34
Yeah. And it’s interesting, the thing that you said about planning your life out and looking forward, and none of us plan or expect something bad to go wrong with regards to ill health or anything. And I’ve even met stroke survivors, which I’ve coached through through the the inability to totally accept the fact that something happened to them in their 40s.

Bill Gasiamis 23:03
And as a result of that, you know, that’s almost worse than the actual stroke itself. It’s because now I can’t get them to shift from experiencing the emotions that “stroke happened to me”. Why, like, “to me” it’s like, Who are you where stroke shouldn’t happen to you? I’m not saying that we want it to happen, but it’s like, what you’re immune from life? Or you’re immune from life experiences? Because you had this plan that didn’t involve being unwell.

Bill Gasiamis 23:37
And that’s the real interesting thing. I never went there personally. I was just floored that it happened. But I never went to I never went to no hang on a sec, you know, like I’m a bad person and this happened to me for a bad reason or I’m getting paid back for so I never did any of that stuff. And I also never did the whole the feeling sorry for myself but I did do the why me and my why me was not about the why why did it happen to me it’s like what can I learn from this?

Bill Gasiamis 24:15
What’s the purpose of it? What am I supposed to learn from it? Did you do that part of it? Or was the why me the negative version of it which was feeling sorry for yourself and trying to automate somehow? You know, be feel like it should never happen to you because your’re Mike?

Mike Smith 24:38
Yeah. Well, the why me for me, the negative part, I will say was the strong negative part was very brief, because it was that time. Those initial days in the hospital, I will tell you that first day in the hospital, it took them a while to calm me down because just the overwhelming rush of all those thoughts of what happens next am I going to be able to talk can’t communicate really with the nurses to tell them what I need.

Mike Smith 25:08
And so that manifests itself as just uncontrollable crying for probably about five hours and they had to come in and just be like, you need to calm down, because they were like your blood pressure’s still off the charts. And they’re like, We don’t want you to have another one. But they got me to rest and to sleep. And I want to say I took like a short nap. And a friend came by who was in town, who happened to know my parents, and she came to my bedside.

Mike Smith 25:45
And when I woke up, I was just kind of like, okay, and she just spoke, we didn’t talk, but she just kind of talked to me about like, you know, hey, you know, we’re here and this and that. But the long-term negative for me was almost a survivor’s guilt, I guess is the way I could describe it of my deficits, like when I meet people today and tell them I had a stroke, they’re like, what?

Mike Smith 26:16
I noticed that I certainly live with what the stroke, basically warned me of which is the heart condition. But you know, I’m able to talk to you now, normally, you may notice that when I talk, sometimes I switch pronouns, which is weird I’m talking about he/she that kind of thing. But that’s about the only thing that’s left from that.

Mike Smith Survivor’s Guilt

Mike Smith 26:43
But I’ve met other people my age and older who’ve had, what I would term would be similar size strokes as me who are using canes and things like that. It’s just like, there’s a feeling of I came out of this, okay. Why didn’t that person who I met, come out of it with the same thing? And there’s a feeling of kind of like, how am I okay, andd they’re not? Does that make sense?

Bill Gasiamis 27:21
It makes complete sense. I was in therapy about that.

Mike Smith 27:25
Yeah. That’s the thing that still kind of bothers me today, when I meet stroke survivors. And I see them like with visible obvious deficits, and I’m just like, it’s almost like you don’t want to tell them you had one too.

Bill Gasiamis 27:43
Yeah, they look at you, and you look at them, and they look at you and you go. And then they might be feeling bad about their situation. And they’re comparing themselves to you, or they might be doing the why me? Why did I get this bad. And they only got it that bad. And they’re not trying to be negative towards us.

Bill Gasiamis 28:02
But I get it. And I think the survivor’s guilt I got over it. When I started to become proactive about raising awareness for stroke survivors, raising awareness for myself, interviewing people and putting their stories out there, coaching people that were going through that, I think that’s when I got over it, I got over it in that situation, but I absolutely hate it when I find people have had a stroke, and their life is altered and it’s unrecognizable from what it was.

Bill Gasiamis 28:38
Now to them, though, what I say is, regardless of that, I still believe in you, I still have faith that you’ll be able to get back to life. And that you’ll be able to adjust and find a new way to live your life and still have a fulfilling life and make a difference. And be a great example. And when you die, you’ll be able to look back and go. No regrets. And I’ve I’ve moved on so. So I’m over the why me the guilt part of it. And I’ve just turned it into okay, how can I use my situation to make life better for other people? And I never did that before. I was never that kind of guy. So that’s maybe why me.

Mike Smith 29:26
You slow down a bit and you take you take time to look around and go oh, wait, what am I? What’s my place here? What am I doing? What’s my intention? And I tell people about a year ago I started kind of referring to poststroke is like version 2.0. So it’s like I’m not gonna be that person I was before. Physically I’m certainly not. There’s things that I can’t do that I could do.

Mike Smith 29:57
But you do look at it and say, Okay. Let me make the best of this time I have here. I think there’s more of a view. I mean, if you’ve had a stroke or any kind of traumatic event like that, you come close to death. I mean, what could have happened to me in that drive to the hospital? You know, it’s, I could have had another one. And we would have never known why I ran off the road. So it’s like, you know, when I think of that, and it’s like.

Intro 30:30
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, and doctors will explain things that 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.

Intro 31:00
If you’re finding yourself in that situation, stop worrying, and head to recoveryafterstroke.com where you can download a guide that will help you it’s called 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.

Mike Smith 31:30
Think about how close I came I think of what the stroke warned me of. So now there’s this condition that it can be controlled with medication and diet and exercise. But it’s almost like the stroke told me, Hey, you got this thing that you kind of need to handle live your life, but just know you got this thing that you kind of have to handle. And it gives you a different perspective.

Stop And Smell The Roses Despite Cardiomyopathy And Stroke

Mike Smith 32:00
I always tell people like I stop and in America, we say smell the roses. Sounds like you take time to look around. And I think it took about a year of just kind of introspection and things after the stroke to finally kind of say to myself, you know, I never before until now took the time to realize what I have in my life.

Mike Smith 32:34
So it’s like, as I was working, working, working constantly, where I was a workaholic before the stroke happened. I used to pride myself on never going on vacation. And it’s like, I look back and I go, why? why? why? And I look at what that was doing to my physical health, also to my mental health, you know, as being a reporter. There’s no glory in that.

Mike Smith 33:01
If you don’t stop and take time and take care of yourself and look around and just take a moment to breathe and just look around and say, Hey, I’ve got this around me. I’ve accomplished this, why not just savor that for a moment before going on to this next thing? I never was that person before. Now I am I always preach to people my age about going to the doctor because I never really did before this happened.

Mike Smith 33:29
And that’s probably why this you know, I always think to myself, like I had a dad I started taking blood pressure medication would I even be in a situation, that kind of thing. So I always tell people my age, go to the doctor, you’re never too young. I always also tell them especially younger people. It’s like, you know, you get vacation time at work.

Mike Smith 33:51
You need to take it it is for you. Is there you got to utilize it. Just take that different perspective and look at life as a different way. Now I’m just trying all kinds of stuff that I never would have tried before. I never would have had the guts to do like a change careers and everything. It’s certainly been interesting. It’ll be five years in November.

Bill Gasiamis 34:17
You know, reporters are the ultimate bullshit artists. Regardless, I mean, and I’m not doing the political version. Like, I’m not doing the Donald Trump fake news guy kind of stuff. Because they get on camera and pretend that everything is perfect, and all they have to do is deliver the story, the story, the story, the story, and I met a reporter who did an article on me her name was Emily Rice and she’s the health reporter or some kind of reporter in Australia on one of the major network news.

Bill Gasiamis 35:05
And, they were talking about how there was an article that came out that showed the risk of stroke increases dramatically for people that work more than 50 hours a week, and I was one of those people. And washers interviewing me, she realized that she’s one of those people. And you could tell that the coin’s dropping, she’s talking about how my 50, 60, 70 hour a week work week contributed to my stroke, and she’s going and doing the numbers. And she’s realizing that she’s one of those people.

Bill Gasiamis 35:49
And that was interesting to see that coin drop in her head, and then how she just put on the bullshit artists face again. And she went straight back to the camera, and she delivered her story. And then she sent me a clip of it and everything. And then it was like, and God knows what time she started that day. And God knows what time she did her last feed, and last cross and last, you know, drop of a story.

Bill Gasiamis 36:16
And it’s like, wow. And then, because it’s something that you do at work, then I feel like sometimes that’s when work can creep into your real life. And then take habits from work into your real life. And then you’re doing the same things, not realizing that it’s just infiltrated your real life. And there’s no separation between the you at work who is meant to put on a show for a camera. And then the you at home who is supposed to let that go for a little bit.

Mike Smith 36:52
Yeah. And, I was in print journalism at first newspaper, which it’s all the same, it’s all those hours and just I can’t even. There are some times I remember not even really like sleeping, maybe like two hours, I mean, just getting by and when you’re doing it for years, that just adds up when you just think about what that’s doing just internally to your organs and your brain chemistry, everything like just.

Mike Smith 37:26
But like you mentioned about work life separation again. I was that person, but before the stroke when people talked about things like wellness, I would laugh, I’d be like, wellness, like, what is that? Like, you know, you sit in the room and meditate and go, like, people talk about meditation? Are you kidding me? Like what? But now I understand that it can be so many different things, meditation could just be doing something that you love for a while that is not work or not something that you’re obligated to do.

Mike Smith 38:00
And so for me my meditation is in certain hobbies. So I’ve always loved languages, and so I’m picking up different ones. Since the stroke I’m learning Portuguese currently I’ve learned German, I already speak Spanish. So it’s just become a hobby. And to me, that is fun. It’s not stressful. Interestingly enough, some people would find grammar practice in another language be very boring.

Mike Smith 38:36
I find it very interesting because it’s almost like a an equation in a way when you’re putting together sentences, with a new language, but about work-life separation. That is something that I am a huge proponent of now. And I always mentioned even to my bosses like and to coworkers and sometimes I don’t understand this, but I tell them so when you’re a reporter, or when I was a reporter, when you work that many hours, who do your friends tend to be? The people you work with, right?

Mike Smith 39:15
So when you’re not on the job, what are you doing? What are you talking about? The job, right? So then it becomes everything is just meshed into your there’s there’s no separation, there’s no delineation between. Work Life, home life. What I do now, is I do not hang out with people that I work with. I tell them that all the time. They don’t get you know, you’re getting drinks after work.

Mike Smith 39:47
That’s great. Have fun. I don’t do and it’s not always telling us not personal. It’s just that there is a space and a time that we’re together. And then there’s a space and a time that I need to have for myself. And so if there’s, if we’re together 40 hours a week, if there’s something that you couldn’t figure out that you needed to tell me in 40 hours, wait till the next 40 hours, because I’m gonna spend the weekend with you. It’s not personal. It’s just that work is work. Life is life.

Bill Gasiamis 40:21
It sounds like you have an identity outside of work. One of them is a work identity, you do those things at work. And then when I leave work, I have my, my true ID, well, not my true identity, the other part of my identity, which is not work-related, which is filling in my cup, which is not draining my cup.

Mike Smith 40:40
Exactly, so it’s almost like, I mentioned a career change, I’m now a teacher. And I always say I always try to make sure that grades are done. Whatever is school-related is done at school. I rarely, rarely ever, unless I have to have to bring work home. And so that was a big challenge during the pandemic, when we were teaching from home, because now it’s like, those spaces are now like this, my classroom is now on a table in the corner of my living. So now that we’re back, I can do more of the separation.

Mike Smith 41:21
Just yeah, yeah. So. But even then, when we’re doing that at home, it was, I made sure that all of the school-related stuff that I did was at that table in that corner, I didn’t take it to the couch, I didn’t take it to the bed, you know, anything like that. I just kept it in that spot. So that was the teaching quarter, everything else happened somewhere else.

Mike Smith 41:46
So just finding ways to keep those things separate, because you have to have a period where you just recharge, and you’re not constantly dealing with something that, you know, a lot of people always say, you know, I love my job, I love my job. I love my job, too. It can be very stressful. So why am I going to invite that stress into my life? 24 hours a day. Just not realistic.

You’re More Than Your Job

Bill Gasiamis 42:11
Yeah, you’re more than your job. And it’s scary when somebody only identifies as their job. And when you hear a lot of people that have had a stroke, their identity gets hammered, initially very, very abruptly. And the people that it gets hammered with the most are the ones who if you ask them, you know, who are you? Or what are you do they say I’m a reporter. And that’s about it.

Bill Gasiamis 42:37
And they don’t say, I also enjoy the football or the baseball, or growing flowers or whatever, they don’t have any of those things. And it’s like, Well, no wonder you cup, such a hit, when the stroke took your ability to speak or your the stroke took your ability to walk, because you only ever identified as the thing you did. Not the other ways that you occupied your mind.

Bill Gasiamis 43:05
And you’ve got to then try and reintroduce and bring back into their lives, you’ve got to bring back those things that they used to do before their job became all-encompassing. And I think it’s, and I’m not sure what it’s like as being a reporter. But I think it’s not true that everybody’s job requires them to work 1214 16 hours, I think if it does, it’s a the, the not the right job for you and your employer is a terrible employer. B You’re not efficient enough, you’re working inefficiently and you don’t know how to do your eight hours of work in 8 hours, you’re doing it in 16.

Bill Gasiamis 43:54
I’m only getting paid for eight.

Bill Gasiamis 43:56
And potentially, you’re also you’re also because you don’t have those other things to do in your life. You’re filling that empty space with work. And you think it’s because your boss is making you or you think it’s because the workload is too much. So it’s a big conversation to have because there’s no point working to your grave and then not having a life you’re supposed to work to have a life to experience these other things that money supposedly makes possible. Otherwise. What’s the point of it?

Mike Smith 44:37
Yeah, it’s like you it’s almost it’s like a cycle just a never-ending cycle. I noticed with me, it’s like I would bury myself in my work because I would figure I have nothing else to do. So let me think about work. And so then it becomes I’m constantly thinking of work. And then, it takes something like a stroke unfortunately to make you go, gosh, look at all the time I wasted.

Mike Smith 45:04
You know. And then like as a reporter, we used to tell ourselves like to be ethical about things like you don’t get involved in things in the community. So there’s that extra layer of like, this is all you do. If you want to go do something else than go fish in the middle of a lake somewhere, you can’t like get involved with people. And you know, it’s a remain objective.

Mike Smith 45:26
That’s what we would always tell ourselves. And so it was just kind of this is a very lonely world. And I mean, I spent 15 years and it, and since I’ve gotten out of it, I mean, like, I always tell people I went into teaching, they’re like, isn’t that more stressful? I’m just like, No, it’s like, I have 150 kids, that I don’t have to take home. schooling, I get to send them home to somebody else.

Mike Smith 45:59
Like, I get them for just, you know, 85 minutes a day, you know, that kind of thing. So it’s like, that’s, that’s the perfect thing, because they keep you young, they keep you honest, I teach middle school. And it’s just kind of like. There’s a never ending variety, to what happens in a day. Every day is never the same as the day before. And it’s like, I and I was telling a coworkers like, it’s interesting. It’s like, this is the job that I always wanted. I thought reporting would be it. But reporting grew to be so routine, and so stressfully routine, and it just was not fun anymore. This is fun, what I do now.

Bill Gasiamis 46:48
And yeah, it sounds like it’s serving your purpose a little bit more. Do you have more opportunity to feel like you’re making a difference, because you’re teaching children and they’re taking that those lessons into their life, and then that’s going to impact society in a positive way, and them in a positive way. And all that type of thing? Is that part of it?

Mike Smith 47:12
That’s part of it. Always the first day of school, I always tell them the story of my stroke. And I tell them, what happened to me. And I always tell them that story, you know, not to say, for no other reason than to say, the brain is a very powerful, interesting thing. I have watched it happen, I’m still watching it happen, the recovery from this. But also, I know that you’re never going to tell me that you can’t do something.

Mike Smith 47:45
Because I can tell you kind of what your brain can do. I’m kind of experiencing it. So don’t tell me, you know, I can’t do this, I can’t do that. Like maybe you need to do it a different way. Maybe the way I’m teaching yours, not something that you’re used to or something that works for you. But we can find a way to do it. Because of your brain, it’s possible.

Bill Gasiamis 48:10
And that’s why you needed to hear when you are a reporter going through all of the tough times of reporting 24-hours a day, 7-days-a-week by the sound of it is Mike is reporting emotionally taxing? Because my idea of a reporter is somebody who is the bearer of bad news, the majority of the time, that’s kind of how I see the national news in the evenings.

Bill Gasiamis 48:35
And the people that report, they come to work to report something. But the media landscape is about reporting bad events most of the time. And that’s why I can’t tune in and watch that type of stuff. Is that how you see? Is that accurate? Am I right or wrong?

Mike Smith 49:00
Well, I would always tell people, there was an appetite for the bad news. I wouldn’t say that, you know, it’s like if everything was puppies and rainbows people wouldn’t tune in or read. But out of all the things that, you know, we knew that we had to report, think about all the stuff that like you couldn’t say that you knew off the record or things that you saw that maybe you couldn’t print in a paper because it would be appropriate that kind of stuff.

Mike Smith 49:32
So all of that just kind of loads on your brain of just kind of like, Ooh, there’s all this stuff I can’t say. And then I have to sanitize it to say it in a way that is appropriate. To me that was always the tricky part of like, I gotta say this, but I can’t slant it. I have to say it but I gotta use words in a way that you know, tell you what happened without making it, skewing it. That was always tough.

The Importance of Counseling After Cardiomyopathy And Stroke

Bill Gasiamis 50:05
Police officers at least in Australia, I know police officers get the opportunity to debrief and to get some counseling about something that they’ve seen. Same with paramedics and other first responders like, firefighters, you guys get the opportunity to do that? Because you see the same stuff they see.

Mike Smith 50:27
We didn’t, and I think that that has changed, because, again, I’ve been out of reporting for about five years. But I was just talking yesterday with a friend of mine, who was a TV news reporter in San Antonio, Texas. And you’ve heard about what happened in Uvalde, Texas school. So she had been covering that. And I sent her a message just last night saying, Hey, how are you doing?

Mike Smith 50:54
Because I remember those days when it’s like it’s just wall to wall coverage, having to talk to people who are grieving in trying not to grieve with them, because you have to remain the objectionable viewer, the whole thing is like, and that’s tough. I said, How are y’all doing? And she told me that their new station brought in counselors for the reporters. I said, What?

Mike Smith 51:18
Like that is huge, because even five years ago that probably maybe 10 years ago, certainly, that was not happening. And so she was saying that, Oh, yeah, she’s like, you know, at the end of the day, you can go in and talk to a counselor, it’s confidential, about just kind of what’s going on sort of like a debrief and a destress and I said, Oh, wow, that’s amazing.

Mike Smith 51:41
So I know now with the focus on just kind of wellness and things like the thing I used to laugh about with wellness, but people realize now that that’s important, especially in that profession, because you’re right, police officers do get to debrief and paramedics get to debrief. And as a reporter, you do see things that, you know, you see the same things they see.

Mike Smith 52:05
But thing about reporting is that you got to move on to the next thing, and it just never ends never ends. And so but my friend was telling me, at least at her new station in San Antonio, that they have counselors, or the stations running counselors on staff to talk with them at the end of the day when they do these horrible stories and have to come back and then sort of reintegrate into their world. So not to take it with them.

Bill Gasiamis 52:39
So now have you sought out some counselors? And have you done that kind of work to help you move through the phases of stroke and recovery and your heart issue?

Mike Smith 52:52
I’ve always said I want to, I have not yet. And I don’t know why I know it would be good to.

Bill Gasiamis 53:03
What’s stopping you?

Mike Smith 53:04
I don’t know, it’s like a part of me is like, I think I’ve found ways to help me deal with it, although it’s not going to be permanent. And, for example, I do still have just kind of occasional periods where it’s like, I think about what’s going on, especially, like, I might go to get a doctor’s checkup, and maybe like, things aren’t progressing. Like I thought, and I’ll go into like, maybe like, a couple of days, just like, dang it. Those are the only times where I just kind of go like, what is the future?

Bill Gasiamis 53:47
That’s the perfect time to have someone to talk to.

Mike Smith 53:49
That’s what a friend of mine told me just like, he talked to somebody, I’m like, I think I’m fine. And I mean, you can’t walk around like think you’re fine all the time. Usually, when you think you’re fine, you’re not. I don’t know but it’s like, it’s not stigma, and I’m always telling other people to go.

Bill Gasiamis 54:15
You got to practice what you preach.

Mike Smith 54:17
I do I do.

Bill Gasiamis 54:20
I do get it. They I’m not judging them. By all means. You totally know I’m not judging you, right? But the thing is about what we do, what I do this for is to just bring light to these reasons. These silly things that we don’t do that we’re supposed to do, and to make at least some other listeners feel not the only ones who are making the same decisions that we made, you know, the same silly decisions that we made, you know, just to take away a little bit of the guilt about all these decisions, right?

Bill Gasiamis 54:52
And then, maybe this is enough to jog your memory next time to go, you know what, these next two or three days Maybe I’m gonna go and chat to somebody about it. So that I can have a different perspective. And so that I’m not doing it alone. And that that’s kind of what helps me I came from counseling before I jumped on this call. I’ve been in counseling for 25 years, nearly, you know.

Bill Gasiamis 55:19
And I didn’t do it because I thought there was something wrong with me or I was crazy or anything like that, I did it because I needed another voice, another person’s perspective, to help me get beyond my own limitations in my own mind, which used to be the things that caused me to stay stuck in a situation I didn’t like for a long time. Okay? And it helps to unstick me from those situations.

Bill Gasiamis 55:53
And instead of being there for a long time, I’m only there for a short time, and therefore I don’t waste a lot of time. So that’s why it’s, that’s why I do it. And it’s like, interesting, because the people that you go and speak to they don’t judge you either. They just give you options and things that you couldn’t see yourself as being options, because you don’t know what you don’t know.

Mike Smith 56:22
When did you first go? Like, how soon after?

Bill Gasiamis 56:27
My first step stay in hospital was seven days, I reckon. Three days after coming out of hospital, I was in counseling. Okay. And that was 10 years ago, that was in 2012. But I had been in counseling already from probably the age of 25. So another 12 years before that. And not every week, and not all the time. Sometimes it was just random. And sometimes it was back to back in that I had regular appointments so that I could keep up a little momentum.

Bill Gasiamis 57:07
And then when I felt like I was in control of things a little bit or managing, I would just do the odd session here or there. And by the time my counselor died a couple of years ago, I remember one of the last conversations we had, she said to me, How long have you been seeing me and I said, you know, I’ve been seeing you for probably more than 20 years. And she was stunned.

Bill Gasiamis 57:35
And I was stunned when I even said that. But we had gotten to the point where she intimately knew me and I and I intimately knew her style. And I needed her style, I needed to go there, because I knew that she would have my back no matter what. And I was never, there was never an emotional conversation like you have with family sometimes where they go, Well, you just need to go and put your socks up, or you just need to go into this or you just need to do that.

Bill Gasiamis 58:05
It was never about that. It was always about listening to me, guiding me supporting me encouraging me. And then giving me a different point of view. Which I needed. Because even though she was my counselor for 20 years, she was still a stranger. Our relationship never crossed over into anything else. It was always counseling, and professionalism. So, you know, when you go to back to a significant other, and you have a conversation with them about that problem at work, they give you solutions, and you don’t want them? That’s why I go to counseling is to not get solutions. It’s just to get listened to in a way that’s completely not telling me or not judging me or not solving my problems for me, you know?

Mike Smith 59:04
Do you feel you can say things to your counselor that maybe you couldn’t say to like, a spouse or parent.

Bill Gasiamis 59:14
Oh, yeah. So many things.

Mike Smith 59:16
Okay. And it’s all confidential.

Bill Gasiamis 59:20
Yeah. And I talked to my counselor about the people that I love in ways that I would never tell the people that I love those things. I would never speak to them that way because, it’s in the heat of the moment. And, it’s nasty and rude and mean, perhaps, and they don’t deserve it, even though they’re part of the problem sometimes. And it’s a way for me to unload without ruining my relationships. And without always feeling like I am the one who’s right because one of the best things that ever happened to me was, I would go to my counselor after about five or six years of her getting to know me and me getting to know her.

Bill Gasiamis 1:00:09
And I would tell her about all the problems that everyone else was causing me, you know, everybody was causing me all these problems. And then one day, she said, Is there a possibility that you’re the problem? And I’ll be blunt, I told her to get fucked. That’s what I said to her, that’s an Australian way. And I said it in a loving way to her like we had rapport, right? So I said it to her in a way, which was like, how could you possibly say that I’m the one at fault. And she just sat there. And she just listened. And she smiled. And then I walked away and paid her abruptly and, you know, stormed off. And then our next session, I said to her, I think you might have a point there, you know. I thought about it over the last two weeks, you might have a point.

Bill Gasiamis 1:01:10
That’s all so it’s basically, you know, for me, it was that very kind of unattached conversation. There was no emotion. I mean, she was a lovely emotional lady, but there was no emotion attached to the situation. So it was just very clear, philosophical, psychological conversation, you know, about the actual problem. And there’s no complication by bringing in my emotional attachment to the situation. Because she’s an outsider, she’s not in my family.

Psychological Breakthroughs – Mike Smith

Mike Smith 1:01:55
But do you feel that there’s like, I mean, I guess it’s the term breakthroughs, like when you have like, do you feel that those would come about, how long do you think it would take for those to come about without a therapist or would they?

Bill Gasiamis 1:02:13
They may not, because the therapist brings you into an awareness of something that you didn’t know, you needed to know? And one of those things that I didn’t know, that I needed to know was that I was the common denominator to all these issues, I didn’t know that I needed to know that. Now, she had the rapport with me to break me down in a way and tell me that just at the right time, knowing that I might react negatively initially.

Bill Gasiamis 1:02:53
But negatively in a way that was from being blindsided by this information that I never thought was possible I’m the problem. And then once she lay that on me, and I had two weeks to think about it. And then that breakthrough happened, the Coin Drop, and then I was like, Oh, wow, like, the one thing in common in all these arguments and problems is me.

Bill Gasiamis 1:03:31
And then it’s about Okay, now that I accepted that after that next session, it was like, okay, so how can we move you, beyond anger, beyond feeling victimized all the time and beyond getting emotional all the time, about things that perhaps are not things that should make you emotional and angry? And what I started to do then was learn, okay, so if I’m AB reacting What do I need to know about the other person to calm me down when they say something that I didn’t like?

Bill Gasiamis 1:04:10
And what I needed to know about the other person was that they probably had a bad day. They’re doing the best they can with the resources that they have available to them. That they are just human, that they have fears and stresses and anxieties and worries, that they are not being personal. They’re not taking it out on me personally. They are just also lacking resources to know how to respond properly.

Bill Gasiamis 1:04:38
So basically, what that did, is that mirrored to me that those people are going through the same problems and challenges that I’m going through. And when I’m reacting negatively, I’m not doing it on purpose. To give that person a hard time I’m doing it like I’m doing that because I am lacking resources I need to learn learn more skills to handle all my challenges in life.

Bill Gasiamis 1:05:04
And then I was able to go, Okay, so there’s probably a couple of courses that I need to pick up and do. One was, for example, in emotional intelligence course. And learn what about that is, the other one was about how to alter my mindset from being a negative mindset to a positive mindset. The other one was to understand how sleep makes me cranky, and less able to process difficult situations and how I needed to go to bed earlier and sooner and do more sleep and do less 17 hour work days, you know, I needed to learn about meditation, for example.

Bill Gasiamis 1:05:48
So I did a course about that and learn what it was and how it was useful to me. And she used to give me ideas about things that I could learn that would start to help fill my cup instead of feel like my cup was being drained by everybody else, and that they were the cause. And then it also made me feel like I was part of the loop that was causing those negative conversations.

Bill Gasiamis 1:06:15
And if I change myself, how, how does that change the conversation with my brother or my mom, or my dad. And one of the biggest challenges I had was the conversations I was having with my brother, because I was the youngest. And he was the oldest. And we had the teenage thing. And the thing we did when we used to grow up when we were growing up together.

Bill Gasiamis 1:06:41
And instead of moving into adulthood, and becoming different individuals and different adults, we still played the, you’re the younger brother, routine. And you can’t say that to me as the older brother, you know, and you’d have no respect for me and all that kind of junk. And, I realized that what I needed was more resources to start being adults. And move our relationship from being brothers that were bickering and fighting all the time, who loved each other, to being adults.

Bill Gasiamis 1:07:14
And having an adult relationship as brothers, not a teenage relationship as brothers in my 20s and my 30s, you know. So that’s what it is, it’s kind of bringing light and awareness on to a situation where I simply do not have the skills. I’m not knowledgeable enough, I’m not resourced enough, I have not studied enough. And I haven’t done enough introspective work to say what my flaws are. So I can improve them. And I’m bringing somebody else in to shine a light, lovingly and gently without judging me. And that has my permission.

Mike Smith 1:07:54
An objectionable person because a family member is going to be biased.

Bill Gasiamis 1:08:00
And they don’t have permission. So that’s, that’s why I would encourage everybody to see a counselor because that’s the role they play. And you know, what? It’s so lovely when you build, because now I have another counselor, unfortunately, after my counselor passed away, and amazingly, in her 80s, 83 At work, not good for the person who she died while in practice with. But she was living her purpose.

Bill Gasiamis 1:08:35
And she was a great example of how to live your life. And that her work was never done, even though she wasn’t working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, she chose the hours and the time that she would spend counseling people. And now that I have another counselor, I go there with the same needs in mind, but they are different because I have built up 20 years of skills and now I’m learning the skills that I need as a 48-year-old that I’m going to need for when I’m 58 and 68 and so on so on. Still building and building the toolbox.

Mike Smith 1:09:25
Doctors asked me if I needed someone and I think I can’t remember what I told them last time. I was just like, Oh, no. But I mean, I I’ve been meaning to that’s the thing and when other people tell me that they’re going I’m just like, Oh, that’s good. That’s good. I don’t go in there are things I mean, like I said, I tell people I’m fine, but it’s like I know in my in just kind of like my private thoughts, it’s like, I never come to the realizations like, you know, may not live to be 85 or 80 or 75.

Mike Smith 1:10:11
You know, it’s like, how many years do I have? You know, and I know that that’s something I need to kind of talk with someone about. The people who I would normally talk to about it are going to, like you said, approach it, you know, if you’re, if you know them, they’re going to approach it in sort of a biased way of just kind of Oh, and I mean, that’s good. But I mean, you need somebody to kind of, you know, am I being ridiculous about this? Or is there something else that’s causing me to feel this way? I’ll have to do it this summer, I’ll have to do it. I have to do it. A good

Bill Gasiamis 1:10:53
A good counselor is like a good teacher. Actually. That’s what, okay, and they’re teaching you about things, just like you’re teaching children about things they don’t know, they need to know.

Mike Smith 1:11:03
See, and I’m having to do and maybe that’s why, because you wonder, like, do counselors have counseling? It’s like, I’m, I do that on a daily basis. Like, I mean, like teaching middle schoolers, and I’m moving up to high school next year. So like, it’s, oh, my goodness, like, that age group is drama, drama, drama, like all the time. And it’s like you’re giving them like life lessons about, you know, my biggest thing was, late work, like, I would always tell them, I taught American history, so it’s like, I don’t expect you to remember what happened at the Battle of Saratoga.

Mike Smith 1:11:47
But I do expect you to remember that it was due the assignment was due on March, whatever. So it’s like, that’s when you turn it in. And you know, and if you want to say why just understand that deadlines are life. Like, I come from a world of deadlines, where you know, I had to meet them every day, you will have to beat them every day.

Mike Smith 1:12:07
Also, I you know, it’s like, just, I think the example I gave was, tell your parents to tell the power company that, you know, I’ll get that bill to you like, sometime, in a couple of months, see if you have lights, or I’ll pay that car note in October, see if you have a car, it’s like, these are things that are real life things. And it’s like you I think we spend so much time as teachers kind of doing that. That I think it’s like, like you said, it’s like we’re the counselors. It’s like, you don’t realize that you also need counseling.

Counselors Having Counselors

Bill Gasiamis 1:12:50
As a coach, as somebody who coaches, people, stroke survivors to get beyond the challenges that stroke causes. I mean, I’m a better coach, if I’m also being coached and counseled. So think about, if you allow me to be your coach for 30 seconds, what I’d say to you is, think about that thing. That’s the problem that you have that’s been bugging you for five years. And if you don’t address it, ever, whether it’s just going to go away, and in 20 years, it’s not going to be there or not? It’ll be there.

Bill Gasiamis 1:13:28
But if you have the tendency to not do anything about all of those little problems, for the next 20 years, they’ll all be sitting there waiting for you and never addressed. And then in 20 years, it’s kind of becoming a point of, now I’m overwhelmed. Which one do I start with? And the most important one that’s causing you the most grief might be not getting dealt with, because you have to get through all of these other ones first, and you don’t realize that they’re in the way.

Bill Gasiamis 1:14:03
So what I hope I’ve done is as I get to a new problem in life, I hope that I’ve dealt with and put to bed all the ones that have plagued me up until now. So the when the new one comes on board, which because we know that something’s always going to come on board, I’ve already dealt with all those other ones and I can just focus on that one challenge and just overcome it.

Mike Smith 1:14:26
So like clearing, like, cleaning out.

Bill Gasiamis 1:14:31
That’s it. Yeah. And then, you go into work, and you’re a better teacher, and you’re a better example, and you’re a better role model. And you’re a better person to yourself and to your family and to everybody. And it’s not that you become perfect because apparently if you ask my wife it’s just that you stop becoming overwhelmed by all the stuff, and you have energy to focus into the one thing, because you have that clearing that’s been happening and now and now. And now you’ve got, and also you learn the skill of how to clear and you get better at it. And you let go of things sooner, and you put them to rest quicker.

Mike Smith 1:15:25
That tendency to hold on to stuff, and then it’s like, you’ll think about something and be like, Oh, I remember when they said that. That happened to me the other day. And I was just like, God that was 1999. Like why am I still thinking about that.

Bill Gasiamis 1:15:44
I was so good at arguing with my wife, I could argue with her for two weeks about something. But when the two-week period came around, I didn’t know what the original argument started from. And now, I’ve told her my aim is when we have an argument, it’s to end it within a couple of hours. And not drag it out for two weeks where I don’t even remember what it was about, I just got good at arguing.

Bill Gasiamis 1:16:16
And that has saved me. We argue about lots of things, right? But that has saved me so many weeks of being shitty and upset and angry at her for no bloody reason. When she’s amazing, and she doesn’t deserve for me to be upset with her and angry at her for two weeks for no reason. And over something that’s minor. And that’s kind of what I’ve done is, I go back, I take out my frustrations in counseling in a constructive way where I’m getting great feedback.

Bill Gasiamis 1:16:51
And I’m being told, is it you Bill? Is it maybe you Bill? Is it maybe you? And I noticed it is me, it’s her too, but it’s also me. And I can only take responsibility for my actions, I can’t take responsibility for hers. But when I give her an example of how to take responsibility for your own actions, I create the space for her to also step up and take responsibility for her actions, you know? And then that reduces the significance of that whole situation.

Bill Gasiamis 1:17:20
So what I do is I say, look, I’m going to, right from the get-go, I apologize for my part, and how I was stupid or silly or wrong in this situation. And then that takes the steam out of it. And then that allows her to go you know what, I was probably wrong too. And then we we get to this point where we’ve just diffused it. And that’s what I’ve learned in counseling. I’ve learned to defuse things that bothered me for a long, long time and sucked up my time and energy in things that were not constructive. Like, how could that person say that to me? And hold on to that for two weeks?

Mike Smith 1:18:14
I’ll have to, I don’t even know like how to look for one. I’ll have to find one.

Finding The Right Therapist

Bill Gasiamis 1:18:19
You know how you have to do it? You have to interview them.

Mike Smith 1:18:22
Yeah, so someone said it’s almost like you have to try several before you find the right one.

Bill Gasiamis 1:18:27
Like shoes, get some good recommendations. And then you go and have a session with them. And you tell them about what you’re here for and what you need. And you see whether or not they’re a good fit or not. And then if they’re not, you cut ties with them as quickly as possible so that you don’t get caught up in the whole thing. And it’s taken too long. And now you’re disheartened because you’ve gone to two or three sessions and they haven’t felt like they’ve been constructive or whatever.

Mike Smith 1:19:00
But you’ll know, like when they’re constructive. You’ll be like, okay.

Bill Gasiamis 1:19:06
You’ll know that, you know, something’s not clicking here, you know, it doesn’t feel right. And I don’t feel like I can open up to this person or whatever. And you’ll know that okay, that’s a sign that you just need to keep the search on, but that’s how I found my two counselors. And the reason why I stayed with the first one for so long was because I think I gave myself the best opportunity to choose the correct counselor and she was the perfect fit for me.

Bill Gasiamis 1:19:40
And then I was able to even when I had a bad session, and I thought that she did a terrible job that they I was able to get beyond that and go back and know that ultimately what I’m getting is a good out cuz it’s like going to the gym and feeling like I had a bad gym session by going to the gym is better than not going it’s the same kind of thing. So, I mean, food for thought.

Bill Gasiamis 1:20:16
That’s why we have these conversations or stroke survivors like how do we get ourselves to move beyond what’s happened to us as a stroke because sometimes stroke never leaves us. I’m numb on my left side all the time, it’s never going to leave me. So even in 30 or 40 years, I know what caused this numbness and I want to move on from it and live a productive life regardless of what strike did to me.

Bill Gasiamis 1:20:43
I don’t want it causing me problems for 40 years, even though it’s going to be there, I don’t want it to be the thing that stops me from moving forward with my life, it can’t happen, that’s just not something that I can allow to happen. So that’s why I do this podcast, it’s to learn from you and hopefully give you some something that you haven’t thought about before to think about so that we can together move forward, you know.

Mike Smith 1:21:19
I have to do that I’m gonna have to get a therapist I’ve been meaning to my doctor suggested it but I’m like I’m doing fine. But, you know, it’s like the universal response. I’m fine and nobody ever is.

Bill Gasiamis 1:21:44
What’s the one thing that you’ve learned from stroke-like has it taught you anything?

Knowing When To Slow Down

Mike Smith 1:21:50
I think the biggest lesson is just there’s that thing of you know, before the stroke I was constantly working, working, working, trying to achieve something and I think the stroke is what actually made me kind of take a moment to just it made me pause it forced me to pause for about a month and a half. And to just look around and just be like, I’ve got so much already most of the stuff that I’ve been trying to get already have so it’s like take a new perspective on life.

Mike Smith 1:22:30
Just enjoy it take time for yourself and just make sure that you are handling what you need to handle and don’t put too much on yourself. I’ve just I no longer keep loads and loads and loads of work on myself anymore. I spread things out I’m trying to learn to better enjoy my successes for a longer time instead of just always you know getting something going okay now what now what now? Just kind of like take some time to look at that accomplishment say oh I did that but that that’s a view of life that I’ve ever had before this happened I wouldn’t have even thought about looking anything like that like I said I had life planned out through at least 65 And then this comes along and goes No sir.

Bill Gasiamis 1:23:43
So is the anniversary of your stroke something that you celebrate now? How do you deal with that? Because I know some people celebrate it but some people don’t.

Mike Smith 1:23:55
I would say year one two and three, I wouldn’t say I celebrate but I always would mark it, and you’re just kind of like what I’ve started doing it because I want to say around year two and this is when I it since it falls around or Thanksgiving holiday in the US usually have some time, I will just kind of take like a little quiet road trip by myself and just kind of go just thinking that’s how I think if I had just a long drive, it just to a place I want to go just by myself I don’t take people with me I’m not gonna you know, not gonna have a party or anything to like throw a parade over.

Mike Smith 1:24:42
I do take that time and I think in the first couple of years, I think I did give it equal weight to like my birthday. But now it’s just like another date. It’s like kind of like my second. It’s like version 2.0. That’s when it rolled out. And so this is just kind of like a do take that day, November 29, and kind of time around it to just kind of reflect and think about like, man, five years ago, or four years ago, or what have you. It’s like, I always take time to think about those moments of that first morning, where it’s like, I didn’t think I was gonna be doing anything about anything like what I’m doing now. And I just always been very thankful of like, the difference between what I thought life would be like and what it is, I always mark that in a mat. You know, like I said, I don’t, because I mean, I go to Vegas or anything like that, but I do. I do take some time and just kind of think about the difference between what I thought life would be like and what it is.

Bill Gasiamis 1:26:01
Sounds like you’ve moved from planning that into your head to living it from your heart. Yes. Yeah.

Mike Smith 1:26:12
That’s perfect, perfect way to look at it. It’s perfect way to look at it. And I do have friends I know people who do the, strokaversary thing, that’s for them, but for me, it’s just kind of, I do always think about that morning. Because I’m big on like, anniversaries and times and dates and valleys. Remember stuff like that. And I know, it’s always like when I wake up that morning on the 29th, I remember this time, four years ago, five years ago.

Mike Smith 1:26:49
I was in the hospital, I had just been diagnosed. I was just so bleak. Look at me now. It’s like, living on my own. I’ve changed careers. Teaching kids every day. Standing up in front of kids and talking every day, which I never would have thought I would have been doing, this just to some of the things I’m doing now that like, I just didn’t think were possible. I honestly thought that when I had it was got to move home and move back home with my parents and just that. Yeah.

Bill Gasiamis 1:27:31
You’ve come a long way, man. Congratulations. And for people listening, that’s the whole thing I’m trying to get across here is that, you know, there’s that moment of stroke, which is really terrible. And then there’s the days after that, which are hard, and you’ve got to overcome problems and whatever. There’s a possibility for rediscovering yourself and shaping your life and doing something that you didn’t expect. And then you can reflect back in five or 10 years time. And then go, well look how far I’ve come and look how much I’ve changed and look how much better my life is. Even though I’m living with the deficits that I’m living with, even though I have these daily challenges of their physical. I’m still making progress and moving forward and having a meaningful life. And that’s it.

Bill Gasiamis 1:28:27
What else can we ask for? On that note, thank you so much for being on the podcast.

Mike Smith 1:28:40
Thank you.

Bill Gasiamis 1:28:40
Well, I told you this was going to be a great episode, we really got stuck into the benefits of psychological counseling, after stroke, and it’s beneficial for everybody who’s going through regular life. This is really good to have somebody to talk to, to help you get through some of the stuff that’s in your head, that you need some resources to overcome. If you’re watching on YouTube, please like, comment, share, subscribe, hit the notification bell to get notified of new episodes. I answer all comments. Every time somebody interacts with the show, it makes a difference to the way the algorithm writes that episode.

Bill Gasiamis 1:29:19
And it puts it out to more people. And hopefully, it’s putting it out to the people that are looking for this type of content to help them on their own stroke recovery journey. As always, thanks for your positive feedback. You’re amazing emails that I get from all over the world about people who appreciate the show. Thank you for listening and being part of the show. Thank you for joining me on the show. And being my podcast guests. Everybody who interacts with the show one way or another. I really truly appreciate it. Thank you so much. It makes it all worthwhile. I look forward to seeing you guys on the next episode.

Intro 1:29:53
Importantly, we present many podcasts designed to give you an insight and understanding into the experiences of other indie visuals, opinions and treatment protocols discussed during any podcast are the individual’s own experience and we do not necessarily share the same opinion nor do we recommend any treatment protocol discussed all content on this website and any linked blog, podcast or video material controlled this website or content is created and produced for informational purposes only and is largely based on the personal experience of Bill Gasiamis.

Intro 1:30:23
The content is intended to complement your medical treatment and support healing. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health advice. The information is general and may not be suitable for your personal injuries, circumstances or health objectives. Do not use our content as a standalone resource to diagnose treat, cure or prevent any disease for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for the advice of a health professional.

Intro 1:30:48
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Intro 1:30:55
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Intro 1:31:12
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The post The Link Between Cardiomyopathy And Stroke – Mike Smith appeared first on Recovery After Stroke.

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Mike Smith was 38 years old when he experienced an Ischemic stroke and at the time he self-diagnosed the symptoms as Bell’s palsy. Mike Smith was 38 years old when he experienced an Ischemic stroke and at the time he self-diagnosed the symptoms as Bell’s palsy. Recovery After Stroke 1:31:40
Left Cerebellar Stroke Recovery – Dr. Bevan Choate https://recoveryafterstroke.com/left-cerebellar-stroke-recovery-dr-bevan-choate/ Mon, 06 Jun 2022 11:12:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8956 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/left-cerebellar-stroke-recovery-dr-bevan-choate/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/left-cerebellar-stroke-recovery-dr-bevan-choate/feed/ 0 <p>Dr. Bevan Choate had a left cerebellar stroke caused by a vertebral artery dissection. He recently released a book about his ordeal and new found love of painting with a pallet knife.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/left-cerebellar-stroke-recovery-dr-bevan-choate/">Left Cerebellar Stroke Recovery – Dr. Bevan Choate</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Dr. Bevan Choate had a left cerebellar stroke caused by a vertebral artery dissection. He recently released a book about his ordeal and a newfound love of painting with a pallet knife.

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Highlights:

04:47 Introduction
05:26 Left Cerebellar Stroke
08:50 Too Young To Have A Stroke
17:22 Unbelievable Causes of Stroke
29:53 Getting Back To Professional Life After Stroke
38:37 Writing The Book
53:46 Accomplish The Impossible
1:03:08 Setting Expectations
1:11:52 Evolving After A Stroke
1:18:18 The Little Things

Transcription:

Bill Gasiamis 0:00
Are you back in any way in your capacity as a surgeon or a doctor? Are you doing any of that stuff? Are you still on the road to recovery?

Bevan Choate 0:07
I am so I’m back in the capacity of like a clinical neurologist. So I can see patients in the clinic, you know, make diagnoses prescribe and I can do some very minor procedures in the clinic.

Bevan Choate 0:23
I’m still not quite to the place I need to be to do any significant operations like in an operating room, I still have some left-sided left-hand ataxia, my balance is a little off.

Bevan Choate 0:41
And the balance issue is not enough to really, you know, preclude surgery or anything but the left-hand fine motor manipulation is still fairly off. You know that may keep me out for a while.

Intro 0:56
This is the recovery after stroke podcast. With Bill Gasiamis, helping you navigate recovery after stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 1:09
Hello, and welcome to another episode of the recovery after stroke podcast. My name is Bill, thanks for being here. Now, if you are a regular listener, or you just come across the podcast for the first time.

Bill Gasiamis 1:23
Please do me a favor, please comment, like and share this episode, because it’s likely that you found out about the podcast, because it was shared, somebody commented about it, or you did a Google search.

Bill Gasiamis 1:36
And it came up on your feed and you needed to hear about it and you needed to know about it. And you appreciated it when you found it. If you’re one of those people, then please repay the favor to whoever it was that commented, liked, shared, or had an interaction with the podcast which put it up higher on the Google search results or on the algorithms that give you information when you start searching for them.

Bill Gasiamis 2:05
The reason being is because I started this podcast, because I was missing this type of information when I was recovering. And my aim is to get in front of as many stroke survivors and their caregivers as I possibly can. So that they can be inspired by all the amazing stories of recovery, resilience, overcoming stroke, that all my fabulous guests are going through and sharing.

Bill Gasiamis 2:30
If you think the show deserves it, I’d love it if you leave the show a five star review. It will help the show rank better, like I said on search engines and it will help newly diagnosed stroke survivors find it easier. And it could make a massive difference in their recovery. And I hope it’s making a massive difference to your recovery. And it’s something that you’re looking for that you really needed.

Bill Gasiamis 2:53
And it is really a big deal to me when I get the feedback from people telling me how much they love the podcast that it makes putting in the at least eight hours that it takes to get every podcast episode, recorded and edited and live really worthwhile doing. So that’s what it means to me.

Bill Gasiamis 3:14
If I get this type of feedback now there has been some feedback. And I have seen a spike in comments. But I want more. I want more five-star reviews or more amazing comments because it really is uplifting and it makes a difference to me. And hopefully it’ll make a difference to other stroke survivors.

Bill Gasiamis 3:34
Now I want to share a couple of comments that people left Talent Searcher on the Apple podcast app left a comment regarding the interview that I did with one of the guests which had a stroke because of cracking his neck. The comment goes thank you for this podcast, inspirational, courageous and informative.

Bill Gasiamis 4:01
Now Brass Anchor and I love the names that people leave behind Brass Anchor said very informative and worth the listen. Thank you Bill for an incredible series shedding light and sharing wisdom, the interviews and stories the guests share are touching and informative. So it’s making a massive difference it is people are loving it. And more people need to see this.

Bill Gasiamis 4:25
I’ve noticed that as more podcast episodes are being reviewed and as more people leave a review, the show is increasingly reaching more and more people and that’s all I could ever ask. And enough of that from me for now. Because I could go on about that for ages.

Introduction – Dr. Bevan Choate

Dr. Bevan Choate
Bill Gasiamis 4:47
Now, this is episode 197 And it’s another cracker. My guest today is Dr. Bevan. Choate, a surgeon who experienced a vertebral artery dissection that led to a left cerebellar stroke, when he was age just 35. Since then, about a year or so ago, he has taken up painting with a palette knife and written a book called The Stroke Artist, Bevan Choate, welcome to the podcast.

Bevan Choate 4:47
Thank you. I appreciate it.

Bill Gasiamis 5:21
My pleasure, thank you for being here. Tell me a little bit about what happened to you.

Left Cerebellar Stroke

Bevan Choate 5:26
So, yeah, so it was December 3, of 2020. I was you know, kind of set the stage I was in the prime of my career as a neurologic surgeon, and just getting up one morning to go to work just like any other day, woke up terribly dizzy, and just hit the ground like a ton of bricks. And room was spinning, double vision, couldn’t seem to even stand up.

Bevan Choate 6:06
Things were spinning so much. And my wife finally convinced me to go to the emergency room. After you know, some refusals and things like that. And well, you know, once I was there, the sort of conservative management things weren’t really working out. And so they asked if I wanted a CT scan, I said, sure.

Bevan Choate 6:33
Because I really didn’t want one, but I got one. And, you know, there was a, what they called a large hypo density in my left cerebellum, indicating I’d had a pretty large ischemic stroke. And if a neurologist can basically read that CT scan, then, you know, it’s pretty bad. So yeah, I’d had a left cerebellar stroke, and, you know, that was sort of the ground kind of fell out beneath me, you know.

Bill Gasiamis 7:10
Why didn’t you want a CT scan? Afraid of what it was going to reveal? What you knew it was going to reveal? Yeah,

Bevan Choate 7:17
I mean, a combination of like, you know, I think I know what’s best for me, you know, like a little bit of hubris, a little bit of maybe in the back of my mind, if I get this CT scan, then I know what it might mean. And you know the way the presenting symptoms were, you know, I was kind of like, I’m 35 years old, there’s no way in hell, this could be anything serious, right?

Bevan Choate 7:44
Like, it’s probably an inner ear issue. And it definitely wasn’t so you know, it said, yeah you know, this looks like pretty obviously a stroke. And I said, Yeah, I see that. And, so then it was, it was rushed to the, you know, the University Hospital. The problem was, presumably, you know, I had this sometime, you know, in the middle of the night while I was sleeping, so we had no idea when the stroke actually began including blood flow and everything. So, it wasn’t like, I could get TPA, or anything like that, and the nice magic window, So I had to be taken, really to the only hospital equipped to handle a stroke in New Mexico, which is a pretty rural state.

Too Young To Have A Left Cerebellar Stroke


Bill Gasiamis 8:50
Yeah. You know, we talk about doctors, most of the time, not very lovingly on this podcast, not that we’re rude, or anything like that. It’s that a lot of people have had the experience of medical doctors where they’ve done exactly what you did to yourself, which I’m 35, I walked in there, I told them, I was having a stroke, and they looked at me and said, you’re too young, it’s not that, just go into the waiting room and wait.

Bill Gasiamis 9:24
Is it that? What’s the what’s the word? How can I get there? Is there that much naivety in the medical professionals that work in the hospitals, that stroke doesn’t happen to young people because it happens in utero, it happens at every age. And then of course, it happens at a greater quantity in people who are above a certain age, say call it 65 plus, but is there that much naivety that somebody presenting with stroke symptoms, isn’t having a stroke simply because of their age?

Bevan Choate 10:08
I don’t know, if it’s, you know, I think when you’re sort of like a budding physician and that sort of thing, you you always want to go zebra hunting, as they say, you want to find all the interesting things. And, at some point, it kind of gets beaten out of you that, more like beaten into you that, you know, common things occur commonly. And, when you haven’t seen maybe a stroke happened to someone younger than 50 in 10 years, you know, it’s just sort of a shock, or a surprise to everyone.

Bevan Choate 10:54
I mean, in my situation, I don’t think anyone was really putting on airs, or, you know, sort of saying, like, well, you know, I don’t really think this is a stroke, it was more like myself saying that, in my situation, probably not qualified to really, you know, obviously, make my own self-diagnoses, but because what I deal with is more like, genital urinary tract type stuff.

Bevan Choate 11:29
So, I mean, my extent of stroke knowledge was more like, you know, the very obvious things like, unilateral weakness, and, but, you know, like, with an atypical presentation like this, it was just not really on my mind at all, you know, I mean, I was healthy, I still am, but, you know, I, you know, I didn’t have high blood pressure, my lipids were normal, I ran 12 miles a week went to the gym.

Bevan Choate 12:02
I just thought, you know, like, how impossible would that be for me, you know, so it just really wasn’t I mean, I guess you could say that it was in the back of my mind, something like that was in the back of my mind. But I was kind of like, okay, don’t, you know, don’t freak out. Let’s think about the most common thing here. And I said, Well, it’s probably like, you know, benign, positional paroxysmal vertigo. That’s what it is. Right?

Bevan Choate 12:31
And, then definitely was not so. So yeah, I don’t know, I think it’s just really interesting when to talk about, like physicians in the realm of, of like neuroscience, because, you know, when you’re in medical school, they teach you, you know, all of these deductive reasoning skills and things like that. And, I mean, we use them, but not all the time. And according to, I think it was a, like, a neuroscientist in California had done a study about this, I can’t remember the exact person.

Bevan Choate 13:12
But it was, like, tried to understand how physicians actually think when like, and I think they did the study on ER, physicians, and really, they’re more like, they’re more like A.I computers than they are these like, deductive reasoners. Like, it’s all about pattern recognition and stuff like that. So when you see a healthy 35-year-old guy come into the ER, you may not instantly have stroke on your differential, you know, it’s probably maybe in the top 10, but it’s either nine or 10.

Bill Gasiamis 13:46
Yeah, I do understand. Now, when I say we have, you know, sometimes we don’t say nice things about doctors, it’s because doctors are a bit put on a pedestal, and sure enough, they deserve to be there to an extent, right. And then, we are the majority of people that go into a hospital are completely ignorant about anything medical, until something goes wrong with them.

Bill Gasiamis 14:17
And then we go to the hospital, and we want this perfect diagnosis. We want the doctors to be on their game 24 hours a day, seven days a week to work it all out, you know, like they do on the TV shows in half an hour, and solve the problem in the next half hour. And when that doesn’t happen, we feel let down and we feel like the reason has got to do perhaps with the doctors or the hospital or the nurses or somebody could have picked it up or done better or whatever.

Bill Gasiamis 14:51
And we don’t understand the pressures that all of the medical staff face within a hospital, let alone do we understand what happened at home for them that day, let alone do we understand how they are just human. And they make mistakes. And sometimes things don’t go right. And that’s really difficult to accept sometimes when you’re looking for blame, when you’re looking for a way to understand what happened to you and why it happened to you.

Bill Gasiamis 15:23
And there’s no direct answer for some people with strokes that don’t have a cause they just occur. And it’s like, alright, it was probably the doctors, this is I’m this way because the doctors stuffed up or whatever. So I feel like you guys are also scapegoats. But I know for a fact, I wouldn’t be here without doctors, not one single doctor, who helped, who helped me.

Bill Gasiamis 15:49
They all contributed to me being here interviewing you today? Every single one of them doesn’t matter whether they did, supposedly a fantastic job or a terrible job, every single one of them contributed. So did the nurses so did everybody. So I’m not making that comment lightly. The one that, you know, we don’t speak of doctors quite nicely, but it’s not from a lack of wanting to or having faith in their abilities or being completely totally grateful for our outcome and what they did. It’s more from that I think early on that situation where we’re looking for a way to reason our way out of what’s happened to us. And there just isn’t one really there isn’t.

Bevan Choate 16:47
Yeah, it’s interesting that, you know, one of the first things people asked me when they find out that I had a stroke, they’re like, Well, what caused it? And I’m like, Well, you know, it was a left vertebral artery dissection. And then after I tell them what that is, then they’re like, Well, what caused that? And I’m like, Well, I don’t have an answer for that. You know, we did the million-dollar workup. And, there is no answer. And, you know, people don’t really necessarily like to hear that.

Unbelievable Causes of Stroke

Bill Gasiamis 17:22
Not I did a few interviews, just before this one, I’ve done another two today, but the ones I did last week, which is not yet released. One of the guys clicked his neck, he did that thing that we all do, and caused himself of vertebral artery dissection.

Bill Gasiamis 17:46
And some of the people that I’ve spoken to that have had either carotid artery or vertebral artery dissections came from the most benign movements, one girl looked down in the wrong direction with a hair or something, and it caused a dissection. And it’s like, the craziest thing, and it’s just so unbelievably difficult to wrap your head around that. But that’s an injury that occurred just like sometimes you strain your back, or you roll an ankle or you do something to your thumb. That’s just one of those things. It’s just seems benign, but it happens in a place that’s serious. And important. And as a result of that, it leads to, for some people, catastrophic injuries because of the clot.

Bevan Choate 18:45
Right, and yeah, and I got all of those questions. You know, were you doing Brazilian jujitsu? Did you go see a chiropractor? Did you get in a car wreck? You know, and the answer was all No, you know, it’s just, who knows exactly what I did.

Bevan Choate 19:06
But when I look back on it, and the timing and everything, and like, yeah, I guess because, ydou know, there usually is like, some degree of neck pain that precedes it by maybe two to four days. And, I do remember that, but I always had neck pain. You know, I’m a surgeon, so my neck’s always hurting. And so I didn’t think it was any different. But, now, you know, looking back, it does make a little more sense.

Bill Gasiamis 19:38
Yeah. So looking down is something that you do a lot. And I’ve interviewed people that have had dissection because of Brazilian jujitsu. I’ve interviewed people that have had a dissection from a collision in a car. So all those things that you’ve mentioned, And in one of those interviews, I’m pretty sure somebody mentioned that the doctor who treated that person in that particular part of the United States mentioned that you have lumberjack’s disease.

Bill Gasiamis 20:14
And it’s like, well, what’s Lumberjack’s Disease? Lumberjacks, or people who fell trees look up all the time to see where the trees falling. And they are at high risk of dissections, in either the carotid or the vertebral artery.

Bevan Choate 20:30
Strange.

Bill Gasiamis 20:32
Right. So it makes me wonder chiropractors, I’ve obviously interviewed people who have had a stroke, because they’ve been to chiropractors and then I’ve heard, just through general conversation with people that I know about women who go to the salon to get their hair done, they laid back in that sink where they have the hair washed, and that causes dissections and strokes. And it’s like, oh, my gosh, so many ways.

Bevan Choate 21:03
It’s like they can’t do anything. Yeah, you know, one of the comforting things, though, about that is that I heard or read that. You know, it’s only about 40% of vertebral artery sections have like an identifiable traumatic cause. So there’s still 60% out there that are just kind of idiopathic, or meaning. We don’t know why the hell it happened.

Bill Gasiamis 21:35
Yeah. Yeah. Fair enough. So that first day, you’re in hospital, you get the diagnosis? And then, what happens? What’s going on for you in your head? And what are you thinking?

Bevan Choate 21:54
You know, it’s just one of those things where, you know, it’s so absurd that you almost just don’t believe it. But in the back of your mind, you do and then, you know, you start spiraling, like, is my career over? Is you know, this and that, and that?

Bevan Choate 22:13
You’re just not in a very good place, frankly. You know, it was weird, because the hospital that I went to was where I trained as a resident for five years, and so many of the people that took care of me, and, you know, anything from the technicians, to the surgeons, I’ve known a lot of them. So, it was a very weird scenario. Good in many ways, and, you know, sometimes more awkward than others.

Bevan Choate 22:14
So ultimately, like, very good, you know, but yeah, it’s strange to have your friend come in and see you and you have a catheter, you know, sticking out or something like that. But, you know, ultimately, I’d say it was a good experience. So I don’t know exactly what I was thinking it was just kind of all over the place. You know, I was worried, and scared mostly.

Bill Gasiamis 23:26
And you’re swapping roles. Normally, you’re the caregiver. And now, you’re being treated. That would be bizarre. And especially when you’re in that place where you’re very familiar with being the caregiver. And now the roles have reversed, and you have to be the person who gets cared for.

Bill Gasiamis 23:59
And I can see how comforting it is to appoint because you’re around familiar people, but then you’re also in an unfamiliar role, you’re playing a different role, and you have to be vulnerable. And these people are seeing your most vulnerable. And perhaps they haven’t done that yet. They haven’t had the opportunity yet, because prior to that, they experienced you as this up-and-coming doctor and surgeon.

Bevan Choate 24:32
Yeah, so it was very bizarre and I remember one of the general surgeons, he’s now trauma surgeon who I essentially trained with, he had to place my tracheostomy tube and, and the rumor mill was that he was he was sweating bullets. It’s like, nobody wants to have a doctor as a patient. And then to take it one step further, no one wants to have a surgeon as a patient.

Bevan Choate 25:05
And to take it one step further, no one, no one wants to be a surgeon who has to operate on another surgeon. And so, so I think he was pretty, you know, sweating bullets. But I think ultimately, he did a very good job. And I totally commend him for, you know, his equanimity through all the whole thing you know, he got it done.

Bill Gasiamis 25:27
Yeah, it would have been professional sweating bullets on the outside, perhaps, but on the inside, being cool, calm and collected and getting the job done, and getting the right outcome. I mean, I remember going into my pre-surgery appointment with my surgeon, the day of the craniotomy and she was just full of life, she was just beaming, and she was alive. And she was having a laugh with her residents. And I went in there and felt just completely 110% confident in her ability to get the job done. And my AVM was near the cerebellum. And she said to me, was four centimeters in from the ear. And then she had one of the residents and had my scans on the screen and told him to explain to her the approach to the AVM exactly how they were going to go about it. Yeah. And he got it wrong.

Bevan Choate 26:35
Oh, no.

Bill Gasiamis 26:37
She gave him an elbow in the ribs and said what? Try again. Yeah. And he had to try again, any here to make sure that he got the steps, right. And the approach was the correct approach. He got the approach from the top rather than from the bottom. And he got a couple of those little things wrong in front of me and my wife, we were both listening to that. And we, we kind of laughed at him while she was gently reminding him of the correct approach and what they were actually going to do rather than what he thought was going to happen.

Bill Gasiamis 27:23
So that was interesting to be there and experienced that. But I also remember chatting with her about the surgery months before when I said the previous surgeon that I came from Tommy that, that they can’t operate. And you’re telling me that you can is this something that you’ve done before? And she just looked at him? And she said, Well, this is what I do every day. Yeah, of course, I’ve done this before. We can do this, and it will be a good outcome. So if at times, if the time comes, it’ll be fine.

Bevan Choate 28:04
I love that question. You know, if patients asked me that all the time, especially since I’m young, and my you know, my go to answers. Yeah, I’ve done it like once or twice. Just to just to give them a little, you know, a little confidence, right?

Bill Gasiamis 28:20
Yeah, absolutely. Just to make them feel silly for asking the obvious question. Right. Right, that they fear made them ask Otherwise, they wouldn’t have asked.

Bevan Choate 28:31
Right.

Bill Gasiamis 28:34
So 35? Well, we’ll say is young because I was 37. And that was 10 years ago. And you’re 30 you’re only 36. Now, so

Intro 28:50
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, and doctors will explain things that 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.

Intro 29:20
If you’re finding yourself in that situation. Stop worrying, and head to recoveryafterstroke.com where you can download a guide that will help you it’s called 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 recovery after stroke.com and download the guide. It’s free.

Getting Back To Professional Life After A Left Cerebellar Stroke

Bill Gasiamis 29:53
What have you been able to do and get back to since the striker you back in any weigh in your capacity as a surgeon or a doctor, are you doing any of that stuff? Are you still on the road to recovery?

Bevan Choate 30:06
I am. So I’m back in the capacity of like a clinical neurologist. So I can see patients in the clinic, you know, make diagnoses prescribe and I can do some very minor procedures in the clinic, I’m still not quite to the place I need to be to do any significant operations like in an operating room. I’m still working towards that. But that may take a little more time, but I have regained quite a bit of ability.

Bevan Choate 30:40
You know, I still have some left sided left hand ataxia, my balance is a little off, I mean, that’s not the balance issue is not enough to really preclude surgery or anything but the left hand fine motor manipulation is still fairly off. And so that, even though I’m right hand dominant, but that may keep me out for a while. So I’m still doing, rehab and things like that to try to get back to full capacity. But I’m not certain that I’ll ever be like, fully back to 100%. In that in that regard. Yeah, things are definitely improving.

Bill Gasiamis 31:24
Yeah, I can relate to that. 10 years out, things have improved a heck of a lot. My left hand is still a little bit off the game, it’s still numb, and it’s still a little bit off the game. And coordination is mostly Okay. When I get tired, it just decreases a little bit, and I get a little bit wonky on my legs. And my left side wants to go to sleep before my right side for sure. Yeah, so that’s interesting. Has this experience made you a better doctor?

Bevan Choate 31:57
Absolutely. I don’t know. I mean, it’s kind of like, especially, I guess. I mean, yeah, like, in one sense. You know, being a urologist who has been catheterized. That’s a huge thing. You know, that’s like, it’s funny, because I used to tell people, Oh, it doesn’t really hurt coming out, it just hurts going in.

Bevan Choate 32:23
And then I had one, and then I’m like, Oh, I’ve been lying to people for the past nine years. So yeah, I mean, there’s lots of like, practical examples, but I would say like more than anything, just the ability to kind of like really empathize and get down to the level of like, what someone goes through when they are in fact sick.

Bevan Choate 32:49
When surgery is planned and things like that. What are some of the things they think about? Like, what are their concerns? I think it was like, Harvey Cushing was the famous doctor who once said, it’s not enough to treat the disease, it’s not enough to treat the diseased organ, but it’s you have to treat like the entire patient.

Bevan Choate 33:18
And, essentially, like the world in which he exists, so it’s kind of like, I mean, you can’t plan to do something that might have a risk of someone, like losing their entire career over and stuff like that people have different motivations. People have different needs, financially, physically, emotionally, in their lives. And I think I’m just a little better, or like more in tune with that, I guess you could say, now, certainly.

Bill Gasiamis 33:55
Yeah, that makes complete sense to me. So the interesting thing that you said about the catheter is, after surgery, they removed my catheter. And that was a task. And it was an interesting experience, to say the least. But then, the night after the surgery, I had a real crazy temperature and things were going horribly wrong and they didn’t know why. And my amazing, amazing nurse just pulled out all stops to make sure that I was, well, ice bags all over my body, you know, the whole box and everything. And then he actually and I was half out of it. And then he actually leaned into my ear and said, Look, we’re going to have to put the catheter back in.

Bevan Choate 34:49
Yeah, that’s funny. I had a male nurse as well. And I was awake, initially because I just hadn’t urinated In a very long time, and I think it was more than anything was just, it just wasn’t on the forefront of my mind. Because of all the stress of everything going on that whole day. And, you know, like, four hours quickly turned into like, 20 hours without urinating, and then, the guy’s like, we’re gonna have to place a catheter, and I said, Yeah, we probably should.

Bevan Choate 35:23
And I gave him all kinds of pointers, I’m like, I do this every day, I’ve placed 1000s of these. I gave him all these pointers. And then he looked at me like I was trying to sell them a timeshare or something. And he did not take any of my advice. And then it was the most painful, awkward experience. And I’m like, Look, man, I’m this is like a master class right here. And he just did not care. No, not at all. It was painful.

Bill Gasiamis 35:53
Yeah. And that minus did a great job. He was still painful getting it in. But I wasn’t going to argue with him. I was really unwell. I wasn’t going to at all, give him a hard time about it, just do what you have to do. And he got it in. And then of course, we had to take it out again. You know, short amount of time, and in two or three days, it went out and in and out again.

Bill Gasiamis 36:19
And it’s something that you remember, you definitely remember. But it happened while I was being extremely well cared for. That’s so kind of takes the the difficult part of the experience away, because I know that this guy was going out of his way to support me. And one of the challenges that he had was because it was so late at night, he wasn’t getting enough of the support from the attending doctor at the time. And the doctor failed to pass on some information about blood tests or to order blood tests or something like that.

Bill Gasiamis 37:06
And the next morning my surgeon walked in, and she was debriefing with both the doctor and the nurse. And she said, Where are the bloods? The nurse said, I ordered them last night, but I haven’t received them yet. And she looked at the doctor. And she’d just toss shreds through him in front of me and everybody. I said to him next time and experienced nurse gives you this information, do not under any circumstances, ignore them.

Bill Gasiamis 37:37
And make sure that you deliver the bloods that they are requesting from you. So knowing that those two people, and I know that doctor deep down had my best interests at heart. But knowing that those two people really had my best interests at heart took away all of the difficulty that I experienced in the treatment that they were offering me, it was like, Okay, it’s just part of the process. I’ve got to go through.

Bevan Choate 38:08
Right. Yeah. I think, having been in the in the medical field, like, kind of recognizing some of these shortcomings and things. I’m like, Yeah, I know, that sometimes happens. I know why that would happen. And all these other things. So I think it was helpful in the sense to kind of, at least it gives me some peace of mind that I’m not getting angry over silly things like that.

Writing The Book The Stroke Artist By Dr. Bevan Choate

Dr. Bevan Choate
Bill Gasiamis 38:37
So, was the book something at the front of your mind? Was writing a book is something at the front of your mind? Before all of this?

Bevan Choate 38:49
No, not at all. Actually, I can say, zero. You know, I’ve never thought of that, at all. I mean, the only thing outside of neurology that I was doing before all of this, in terms of extracurriculars was spending time with my, she was my fiancee at the time. Now wife, but doing that fly fishing and painting, so I started painting with palette knives and things like that during COVID.

Bevan Choate 39:29
But I had no aspirations whatsoever to write a book. And that thought occurred to me more as like a suggestion. So one of my urology colleagues, I was telling him some of these stories about being catheterized and like, some of the vivid dreams and things I was having under sedation, and he said, you know, some of these things are really interesting, funny, whatever. Are you sure you shouldn’t really write these things down? And I said, No, I don’t really want to remember a lot of these things. I just flat out told him no.

Bevan Choate 40:11
And then he said, well, think about it. And so I said I will, you know my left hand is completely useless right now. It’s like feral, maybe I’ll just write some of these things down, almost like a journaling exercise or something, just because I do need to work on my typing skills. It’s, unfortunately, a pretty big part of my job. And so, it started more as like an occupational therapy, rehab exercise and then, after a few pages, it just seemed like it kind of wanted to take a life of its own on and I was like, well, this may be valuable to other people, like to have this perspective.

Bevan Choate 40:56
And to maybe, kind of gain some insight on how to recover from stroke, and maybe how to deal with like, a really horrific life-changing event, maybe with themselves or a family member or something like that. So I’ve said, maybe there’s some value to this. And so, when I was in physical therapy, occupational therapy, doing an intensive daily therapy, that I actually said, Okay, I think I’m really gonna try to do this and write a book.

Bill Gasiamis 41:31
Let me tell you, it’s a weird thing I’m going to say, it’s really good when a doctor knows what it’s like to have a stroke. But I hate that you have to know about it the way that you learn about it, it’s terrible. I wouldn’t wish that on anybody I’d rather you never knew. But now that you know, since you know, absolutely, the best thing that you could be doing is educating people on the stroke journey from a doctor’s perspective, because I think you are going to make the lives of stroke survivors far better.

Bill Gasiamis 42:11
Simply because now you have both filters, you have the doctors filter, and you have the stroke survivors filter. And bringing those together is such a rare, unique thing. And we struggle as survivors who don’t have a medical background or don’t know doctors, we struggle to bring the worlds together, and then to also impart on the MediCal, fraternity how they need to go about treating us differently than they treat somebody who’s got a broken leg.

Bill Gasiamis 42:52
And I’m sure, and I know they do, generally speaking, but it’s the information that I’ve missed, for example, at every meeting with my doctor, because my brain is not comprehending what they’re saying. It’s the fatigue that makes it impossible for me to actually retain any of the information that I’m hearing from the other side of the desk. It’s all that stuff that, it’s all the noise, the extra noise and the sensitivity to light, and the crazy things that happen when you’re trying to do rehabilitation.

Bill Gasiamis 42:52
And walking drains you for an entire day, because you just started to learn how to walk again. And that’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done. So your insight is so useful. It’s such an amazing thing. And now, I think you’re in a unique position to dramatically improve people’s lives and putting it in a book is such a great gift to us. And I hope that it does, it offers you, it gives you more back than what we’re getting. I expect that it will but it’s such a great gift to stroke survivors who don’t have your background who don’t know what you know about the medical world.

Bevan Choate 44:14
Yeah, it’s very interesting. Like there are definitely things that I didn’t know. Obviously, things that I learned along the way and areas where I think there could be some improvement and, sort of things that I had to kind of figure out for myself.

Bevan Choate 44:39
One example would be like there’s not or at least, I don’t know, maybe it was just me, that maybe I wasn’t seeking it out well enough but there are a lot of us out there you know, and I didn’t find until very recently that having a community and like a fellowship of stroke survivors is just so crucial. And it is like a thought, there’s just a thought that never crossed my mind initially, because you have so many things on your plate, it’s like, I gotta get my hand back to this good, I need to walk without a walker, I need to learn how to drive again, I need to do all these things.

Bevan Choate 45:30
And you know, one of the most important things, having a solid, emotional foundation and place of support where you can go and talk things out, you know, not having any of that stuff. It was kind of confining, it made me feel very isolated, and in many ways. And now that I’m like, I guess you could say active in a support group. It’s just, it’s incredible. It’s funny, the first meeting that I went to was on Zoom.

Bevan Choate 46:10
And they recorded the meeting, and they sent an email out to show me the recording. And I was smiling, like ear to ear smile the whole entire time. It was like a 45 minute or two an hour group. And there was not a second there I wasn’t smiling. It was just cool to like, meet all these other people that were like me, that experienced the same hardship, if not way worse, or maybe a little better if they were lucky, but it was just a great group of people.

Bill Gasiamis 46:49
Yeah. And it allows a doctor to hang out with people that normally wouldn’t hang out with. You know, just simply because of the world that you work in, you wouldn’t hang out with a lot of these people. I’ve had people on the podcast, that are doctors, and I’ve had people on the podcast that were gang members in LA. And let me tell you, there’s no difference between me them and you when it comes to talking about stroke recovery and our desire to get better, and share and learn from each other and turn this thing that happened to us into some kind of a positive to find a positive spin on it.

Bill Gasiamis 47:36
No difference between the three extremes of life no difference at all, you know, and it’s just so amazing to be able to have me, and I never expected to have a gang member who has been involved in terrible things in his life before. He grew out of that, and then became middle aged and then had a stroke, and then a doctor who’s 35, who’s doing surgeries and things like that. I’ve never hung out with people at that speck, either side of that spectrum before. It’s such a world expanding thing to be able to experience you know, in the most positive way. Have you by any chance got a copy of the book nearby?

Bevan Choate 48:29
I do actually. I have one. Here. I believe you give me one second. Yeah. Here it is. It’s called the stroke artist.

Bill Gasiamis 48:54
And tell me a little bit about the book as far as what it’s about.

Bevan Choate 49:01
So it generally starts out as just kind of like, what happened to me, sort of chronologically, maybe a little bit of background and then and then kind of straight into what the experience was mostly like the absurdity the hilarity of some parts of some of this stuff, as it goes on, it goes through some pretty terrible things happen. I had to get a total of three brain surgery, well, I wouldn’t say brain surgeries but, skull then brain surgeries.

Bevan Choate 49:43
And a lot of time in the ICU, a lot of time under sedation. During the sedation period, there were these like, it was almost like living in a just a different world. Like kind of a vivid world, basically, that to me was just as real as you and I are talking right now, but it’s kind of funny. In the stepdown hospital I was asking my wife, all of these questions, you know, as if they had happened as if they were real.

Bevan Choate 50:19
And she said, What are you talking about? Are you crazy or what? I said yeah, I think so. And so then from there, we went through, like a stroke rehab program, kind of just detailing the experience, sort of what that’s like, what the expectations were, what kind of therapy I was doing, and that sort of thing.

Bevan Choate 50:19
And then, the end is more like, what’s kind of like all my perspective on this stuff, and How’s it changed? And, how are things gonna go moving forward? And that sort of thing. So it’s just kind of a big summary of the whole process. It’s a fairly short book, but I think that’s good in the in the modern era.

Bill Gasiamis 51:10
Yeah, with the attention spans being. I love some of the things on the back page. You know, there’s a paragraph there that says, brave and irreverent. The stroke of an artist is an unforgettable firsthand divulgence, of facing the unthinkable tragedy, and emerging victorious to tell the tale.

Bevan Choate 51:33
Yeah. I mean, the victorious in the sense that I’m here talking to you now, you know, whether I’m going to be a urologist again, and my full capacity, time will tell, but, it kind of puts things into perspective, those things may all be secondary in the grand scheme of things.

Bill Gasiamis 52:00
Yeah. And that’ll evolve and emerge. And it’ll all happen, as your recovery continues to occur, and things become clearer to you and things become to come into your awareness. And, you know, it might be that your role is completely different in this space.

Bill Gasiamis 52:20
But it is still involved with influencing the medical world about how to go about better supporting or dealing with stroke survivors and their families. So you just never know. And that’s one of the amazing things about putting yourself out there like this writing a book is putting yourself out there in a way that you have never done before.

Bill Gasiamis 52:49
Far more visible than your role inside of a hospital ward and inside of a theater. And we get to have a deeper insight into the mind of a human stroke survivor, surgeon, doctor, that we very rarely get to have. And again, that’s another gift that we get to have, because of this shitty experience that you had to have.

Bevan Choate 53:23
Yeah. I appreciate that. It’s well put, yeah.

Bill Gasiamis 53:28
My pleasure. The other thing that I like, I’m gonna read pretty much the whole back of the book here is at 35. Dr. Bevan was a successful surgeon and the captain of his own ship. Suddenly, in the blink of an eye, he was alone and adrift, the victim of a massive stroke.

Accomplish The Impossible


Bill Gasiamis 53:46
And then you’ve got quotations. Your thinking, self begins to panic, you’re revving the engine with the pedal to the floor, but the clutch is still in first gear. You have been told by every impassioned therapist, that the brain is an amazing thing. And they all have a story of Methuselah returning to rollerblading at six months after his stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 54:13
That was worse than mine. So you ask yourself the impossible. You say, Look, you son of a bitch. We are going to do this. Even if it kills us both. And you make something happen. The first few times you look like an absolute fool. You stumble, you literally dropped the ball, you are failing, but at least you are doing it in style.

Bill Gasiamis 54:39
Then, after lots of failing, you begin to start succeeding. You accomplish the impossible. Your soul, your being, your amazing brain just won a battle that puts you that much closer to winning the war. Men, water couple of paragraphs there, there is some powerful stuff.

Bevan Choate 55:04
Thanks. Yeah, it’s just kind of my personal experience with some of these things like, I don’t know, walking, for instance, like, anything, I mean, it’s how many skills do our therapists ask us to try to do and then, at some point, we just have to kind of do it, out of thin air, use some previously unused part of your brain to try to make up for maybe a part that’s now gone.

Bevan Choate 55:40
And so yeah, it’s very difficult, as you know, right. But it’s incredible, what I think people can do, you know, I’m not the only one that’s experienced something like this, I think, several, you know, 1000s, if not millions of people have, but yeah, it’s a pretty incredible process.

Bill Gasiamis 56:13
In hindsight, do you think that your career set you up for a really good outlook on stroke recovery? And did it help you with your thought process of, you know, how to tackle this, and perhaps seeing all those amazing stories of people that you’ve helped to recover from serious stuff? That didn’t help?

Bevan Choate 56:38
Yeah, I think people’s, it’s kind of weird to put these in the same sentence, but maybe like, people’s willpower, and maybe even, like, their spirituality and things like that. Definitely do have a bearing on, like, their medical and surgical outcomes. I can’t quote any papers, but it’s like one of those things, you just know it when you see it? And so I think it’s definitely helpful.

Bevan Choate 57:16
Yeah, it’s difficult sometimes to always, you know, like at least in my initial recovery, I was kind of like a sponge. I was like, oh, because, and sort of with a sponge that has a slant towards, am I going to get better? Am I going to get better? You know, everything you hear that’s positive, you kind of put that in your pocket and keep going. But the negative stuff you’re like, well, it may not be me. I don’t know. But yeah, so.

Bevan Choate 57:45
But I will say that, I think those things are important, I think a lot of the things I heard were very helpful. Some of the things that I heard, that I know, you know, people were coming at it from, they were in definitely in my corner. But to me, it sounded very different. When people were saying like, well, you’re gonna be okay. I mean, you’re so young, right? Like, you’re gonna be fine. You’re so young. And I’m saying like, Well, do you know that? Like are you a qualified? You know, are you a prophet? Or are you a qualified, medical person to say something like that?

Bevan Choate 58:31
Because, you know, when I heard people say stuff like that, it kind of felt like it put all the burden on me. Like, if I don’t get 100% better, it’s going to be because I was lazy, because I should have been able to do this, I was young, I am young, I should be able to make a full recovery. Right. And they don’t know that and you don’t know that. And so I think it’s, some of the promise of that is a little kind of much for maybe a young stroke survivor to hear.

Bill Gasiamis 59:04
You know, what I think that is, I think, because I had the same experience, I think it’s the other person. It’s obviously more about them than it is about you, but it’s the other person trying to convince themselves that you’ll be okay. So that they don’t have to deal with your lack of being okay, or your death or your total and permanent disability or whatever it is. So what they’re doing is they’re putting it out there. They’re hoping that you’re gonna say yes, so that they can go home and sleep at night.

Bevan Choate 59:41
Right, right. Yeah. Yeah, I think. Yeah, and that’s fine. You know, I mean, in a situation like that, I mean, it’s kind of like, you know, I I don’t know how things are gonna go for me, but you know, it’s things might as well you know, go go pretty well for you. You know, it’s Yeah, that’s fine. That’s, that’s great. But yeah, and you know, like, there are many times in my hospitalization where I came pretty close to dying. Not that I necessarily remember those I feel more sorry for like my family members and my wife. But But yeah, I heard a lot of, well, if you if you survived that, then you know, basically getting back to 100% will be will be, you know, walk in the park, and then it’s not it’s, it’s, it’s definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to do in my entire life.

Bill Gasiamis 1:00:40
Yeah. And, you know, on the other end of the spectrum of that version of response from somebody that comes to visit you is the is the doctor that says to the patients, you’ll probably never walk again, or let’s expect not too much from them, it’s probably all they’re going to regain in a psych or God, like, why would you say that? What’s behind the mind of a doctor who gives an opinion like that, rather than makes a statement based on facts on solid evidence.

Bevan Choate 1:01:17
Yeah, I think there are definitely some situations where there are just there are not enough facts or data points, like for the physician to to make an accurate statement. And then there’s the situation where they probably do have enough data points, but they would they seem to want to, like set expectations low so that if they are exceeded, then then you both look good.

Bevan Choate 1:01:46
And so it’s kind of like, Yeah, you get a lot of this, I guess, sort of negative self talk or negative thinking and in the medical field too often. And I think it’s, I think it’s, you know, like, has to do more with like brain chemistry, where if you say, Oh, well, this thing probably won’t go well, tomorrow, you know, the, the hand were dealt is bad, like things will probably not go all that great. Well, if they don’t, then you know, your brain gets a little dopamine hit, because think you are correct. And if you’re wrong, and things go really well, then the brain gets a massive dopamine hit.

Bevan Choate 1:02:32
So it’s like a it’s a win-win either way, you know, and I think that’s, I think that’s not totally unique to doctors, I think a lot of do this, they’ll say, oh, this meeting is not going to go well, tomorrow, or my presentation is going to be bad, or this job interview is going to go poorly. And I mean, I don’t know, it’s just a it’s a really negative way to live. You know, I don’t think people find that way of living, very fulfilling, but But you know, I think, but yeah, it definitely is more, you know, pervasive in the medical field.

Setting Expectations

Bill Gasiamis 1:02:35
It’s just, you know, there’s more at stake in the medical field, you know, when you’re giving that kind of feedback to somebody just way more at stake, and you could set the person off, down a negative spiral of, you know, losing hope. And what I feel doctors should be doing is offering hope, where all hope seems lost, because let’s face it, that’s what you actually do. When you take somebody into the surgery, and you use a scalpel to open them up.

Bill Gasiamis 1:03:44
Before you amazing people existed, there was no hope for those people. And now surgeons only in the last 100 years, are offering hope, where there was no hope before. So they’ve done all this amazing stuff, and then they’re dropping the ball in that space. You know, some doctors are dropping the ball in that space where they could offer hope, but we understand not set the expectation too high so then people are let down because you said I was going to be 100% better or whatever.

Bill Gasiamis 1:04:22
No, no, we don’t want that either. But we also don’t want doctors to just decide that we are probably not going to see much better results than that. And to be blind to be unaware of their own blind spots. I suppose that’s what it is. Actually, that’s where I’m coming from, you know, and I get and I get the doctors, they want people to get better. That’s what they do for a living. It’s just sometimes those words come out of their mouths and all the lots of people that I’ve interviewed on the podcast will will tell me That’s what they experienced. And they are grateful that they prove their doctors wrong. And that’s kind of like a win. Well, ha, I proved them wrong.

Bevan Choate 1:04:40
It’s empowering on their part for sure.

Bill Gasiamis 1:05:15
But I never hear from them. I never hear from the people, the people that that are not on my podcast are not the ones that are that haven’t done well. You know what I mean? I’m not getting contacted by people to be on the podcast, when they are doing really, really badly, and they don’t want to, and they don’t recognize any part of their life and life’s terrible and all that none of those people are contacting me. So I’m wondering about them and where they are and how we can reach them. And I’m hoping we’re reaching them and just offering them hope here. That’s, that’s what I want to do.

Bevan Choate 1:05:51
Yeah, to your point about the expectation setting. You know, I’ve seen doctors operate on both ends of the spectrum where the promise patients the world, which is not, which is totally wrong, and then there’s the ones that are like, you know, this is probably not gonna go well, you wouldn’t say it that way. But you know, I mean, they’re hinting at that. And, and, yeah, you definitely have to find a middle ground.

Bevan Choate 1:06:19
And just, I think it’s weird, because like, some patients will just, you know, more than anything they want to be, I think they want to be, you know, they always say, shoot me straight, you know, like, tell me exactly what is going on, what’s the prognosis, and this and that, and sometimes, you know, we could lose sight, and how we deliver that information.

Bevan Choate 1:06:42
I think it’s important that you, have to be you know, truthful, honest and open, but I think you can have a little more tact and, I think, yeah, and to the people that have you that may not necessarily get the outcomes they want. I think one of the things is like, my whole perspective on like, the kind of my life even like, a lot of things going on in my life after the stroke is that I try not to really set goals anymore.

Bevan Choate 1:07:20
That sounds pretty bad, right? Because we’re all told, since we’re kids, that we’ve got to have goals, and we’ve got to achieve them and everything. But I try to, like, live in such a way where I have, like, either repeatable habits or, you know, like repeatable habits that bring me joy. Like, for instance, I started trying to run again. And from a guy that used to run at, you know, 30 miles a week, I hit a, like a little benchmark the other day of half a mile.

Bevan Choate 1:07:55
I was totally proud of myself. And the only reason was because I did just a little bit more like every day, and I wasn’t like, Okay, well, I think I’m going to start with two miles, because, anybody should be able to do that. That’s not true. I mean, and I think sort of, you know, tempering those things that we call goals down to like, things that we may look forward to and need to kind of have some sense of fulfillment like, and just keeping them and more of a habitual format, I think is very good, and it can be very fulfilling for people.

Bill Gasiamis 1:08:36
Now, one of the people that I met very early on, probably 10 years ago, very early on in my recovery, was somebody who had a stroke and following his journey to getting back to walking. And I remember, one of his first posts was that he managed to walk, I think it was, you know, 10 meters or some very small distance. And he said, it only took half an hour or something like that.

Bill Gasiamis 1:09:05
And it was phenomenal to read his post about how something that he would have done without thinking about just weeks earlier. Yeah, happened to become one of the most dramatic experiences of his life, after the stroke, to get to walk that short amount of distance and only took that long is like, wow, okay. So what I knew from that was that he had, in his mind, the goal was to work, walk further, and in a shorter amount of time, at some point, no deadline on it, no timeline.

Bill Gasiamis 1:09:47
Just let’s see if I can improve on yesterday and go a bit better than next day. And was it hard on himself when he didn’t improve? He was just up and getting up and just trying to get further and further and now About 10 years down the road, he’s still has a, a walking a four, a four stage walking cane or not sure what they called, and, and is quite mobile and quite active in getting back to work in the capacity. That in a field that he was previously involved in, and his life has improved his life is getting back on track, he does face a lot of challenges and struggles that other people don’t.

Bill Gasiamis 1:10:35
But he’s not letting those things stop him from going after his wins, and he hasn’t said this to me, but it’s exactly what he’s doing. He’s doing small repeatable things that as a result of that, get him at the beginning, very small gains, and then those gains just compound and they become greater and greater. And then 10 years down the track, he’s looking back going, look how far I’ve come. Figuratively, and literally.

Bevan Choate 1:11:08
Yeah, cuz if I’ve said, Well, you know, I should be able to run two or three miles now, you know, because before I could run this for you know, if I tried to do that I’d likely fail. And to be honest, at this point, I would, you know, fail. And then I may say, well, you know, I’ll get back to it. And then I just never would, as simple as that, you know? So, yeah, I think there has to be a little bit of a psychic shift when it comes to how you view fulfillment and things like after stroke. And I’m not saying you have to lower your standards, but they’re just different, you know?

Evolving After A Left Cerebellar Stroke

Dr. Bevan Choate
Bill Gasiamis 1:11:52
Yeah, they are. They’re still high standards. They’re just differently oriented. And, the approach is different. And how hard you’re gonna go has to be different. And how gentle on yourself has to be different? Because I like to think that the people that go through something like we’ve been through are evolved, it may not appeal that way, at the beginning, but they are evolved, they are living a life, that very few people get to live in experience.

Bill Gasiamis 1:12:35
Most people get to live in experience, this is just me making up stories, perhaps the quote unquote, normal life. Very few people get to experience that evolved version of life, because it’s growth that happens, you’ve, you have another perspective on life that lots of other people don’t get to have. And I don’t necessarily want that to be a negative thing for people.

Bill Gasiamis 1:13:03
I don’t want it to only be negative, I want them to also experience it as a wow. Like, as a wow moment, not only this is difficult, horrific, terrible. And all the things that could be why can’t Why can’t it be an evolved version of existence of being that very few people get to experience and therefore that makes you wiser, greater to be able to empathize with a far larger group of people in our community than before? Yeah. And and use that to make your life and their life better.

Bevan Choate 1:13:50
Right. Yeah. And totally agree with that. It’s it doesn’t all have to be been doom and gloom, as they say.

Bill Gasiamis 1:13:58
No, definitely doesn’t. So your book, the stroke of an artist is available, where if people want to reach out to A, connect with you and B, buy the book, where would they go?

Bevan Choate 1:14:12
You go to thestrokeartist.myshopify.com, or the stroke artist is also on amazon.com, which I think is probably the easiest way.

Bill Gasiamis 1:14:31
Yeah, yeah. Excellent. And it’s a real, inexpensive purchase. I say, it’s not that expensive to buy. You can also get it on Kindle, which is the electronic version. And, you know, probably the only thing missing is the audio version of it. Did you manage to get an audio version out?

Bevan Choate 1:14:58
No maybe later down the road, I gotta see where I’m at. But yeah, not quite yet. Would you want to do the audio version for me?

Bill Gasiamis 1:15:12
Well, you never know. I might, too. But you know, what I love about audio books? is I, I download the ones, especially where the author has narrated the book. Because then I get to hear in the author’s own voice, and expressions, what they’re trying to say, in words in the book.

Bevan Choate 1:15:35
Yeah, absolutely.

Bill Gasiamis 1:15:36
And it’s a far better experience than an aussie guy, trying to read the book of an American guy, who’s a doctor and a surgeon. And this guy over here is just a trades person who’s only ever worked as a painting contractor.

Bevan Choate 1:15:50
Okay, all right, fair enough.

Bill Gasiamis 1:15:53
I’m not, that good of an actor, that I can pull off a surgeon from the United States, I couldn’t do it. So anyhow, it’s just something. And the reason I mentioned that is because lots of people can’t read after a stroke. And at some point, they may love to hear your book instead of read it. And it’s just something for you to think about for the future. No pressure there.

Bill Gasiamis 1:16:23
And that’s why I love the podcast is because I get a video version that goes on YouTube, for people who want to look at us, I turn the audio version for podcast, Apple, iTunes, or Spotify. And, then I get somebody to transcribe everything that we’ve said and put it into a document that they can download from my website.

Bevan Choate 1:16:48
Yeah, I mean, I completely understand that, you know, I certainly couldn’t read. You know, immediately after the stroke, it took me a while, I had to wear those, for a while I had prism glasses I started with an eyepatch then it went to prism glasses. And then I went to plus one readers. And then ultimately, my vision after lots of vision exercises. Gosh, I didn’t even know there was such a thing. But yeah, now my vision is, at least I feel like it’s back to normal. I think it’s back to normal.

Bill Gasiamis 1:17:28
Yeah, that’s great. You know, the worst gift that somebody could bring to you after a stroke in hospital is a book that’s that thick, and expect you to read it.

Bevan Choate 1:17:37
Exactly I mean, I couldn’t read text messages I was kind of a nightmare. And, you know, the prism glasses, they need to try to make those look a little more chic. You know, they’re pretty bad. One of the nurses in the rehab hospital asked me, she saw me wearing the prism glasses, you know, and for those who’ve never seen them, they’re like, these gigantic Coke bottle, you know, circle glasses. And, you know, she said those things work? And I said, Oh, yeah, like, nobody hits on me anymore.

The Little Things

Bill Gasiamis 1:18:18
Yeah, and they, they work to keep everybody away. I know the ones you see those little things that really make a massive difference for some people who are in recovery, right is not having to wear something that looks so terrible. That would really make a huge difference. You know, with children. Now in Australia, at least I don’t know about anywhere else in the world. Prosthetics a lot of prosthetics are getting pimped up with, you know, Marvel characters or the Disney character or whatever, so that the child sees this thing and instead of being repelled by it, is drawn to it and wants to have it on because look how cool it looks.

Bill Gasiamis 1:19:06
And can you imagine all the amazing feedback and comments they get rather than stairs? And the oh my god, they get all these? You know, beautiful responses which are well, I love Spiderman, perhaps oh my god, isn’t that a pretty Disney character or whatever? It is like those little things make a huge difference to the way people feel about how their identity has changed since that experience of their your health has impacted them, you know?

Bevan Choate 1:19:43
Right. Yeah, absolutely.

Bill Gasiamis 1:19:47
Bevan, I really appreciate you reaching out and filling out the form and saying Kombi on the podcast, man. It was a great pleasure to receive that email and then have you on the podcast get to know you a little bit and Share your story. And hopefully, hopefully you go from strength to strength. And your book makes a big impact on people who need to read it. And your career evolved so that you can get back to doing what you love as well as hopefully improving patient outcomes. Just because you’re a doctor who had a stroke.

Bevan Choate 1:20:24
Yeah, I appreciate that. Yeah, it’s weird. Obviously, I didn’t think about you know, any of these things. Like, initially right after the stroke, over this past year, I’m kinda like, yeah, I don’t know, you know, like, maybe I could probably help a lot more people in this space than then what I was doing not that, you know, what I was doing wasn’t, like, my career or whatnot, and what I wanted to do, but yeah, it’s just kind of given me a whole new perspective. And seems a very cool, community, you know?

Bill Gasiamis 1:21:04
Well, I’m not glad you’re part of it, or Thanks for being part of it.

Bevan Choate 1:21:10
Absolutely. I’m glad to be a part of it. Now. That’s for sure.

Bill Gasiamis 1:21:15
Thanks for being on the podcast.

Bevan Choate 1:21:17
Absolutely, man. Thanks for having me on.

Bill Gasiamis 1:21:19
Thanks for joining us on today’s episode. I really appreciate it. I told you it was gonna be a cracker. Dr. Bevan Choate, unfortunately, has become a stroke survivor. But isn’t that amazing? The kind of role that he’s decided to take after his experience with a stroke and the message that he’s trying to put out there and the impact that he’s trying to make as a stroke survivor for the rest of the stroke survivors and the rest of this community. I think it’s to be commended. And I really appreciate him sharing his story.

Bill Gasiamis 1:21:51
Go ahead and check out his book in the shownotes you’ll find the links to his Instagram and where you can get the book. And I really would love to encourage you to comment like and share this episode. If you’re watching on YouTube. On YouTube comments, subscribe, hit the notification bell to get updates of new episodes as they become available. The more interactions the episode has, the more the algorithm will push the episode out to the people that need to see it and the greater the impact the interviews will make. Thanks again for being here and listening are really appreciate you.

Intro 1:22:27
Importantly, we present many podcasts designed to give you an insight and understanding into the experiences of other individuals. The opinions and treatment protocols discussed during any podcast are the individual’s own experience and we do not necessarily share the same opinion nor do we recommend any treatment protocol discussed all content on this website at any linked blog, podcast or video material controlled this website or content is created and produced for informational purposes only and is largely based on the personal experience of Bill Gasiamis.

Intro 1:22:57
The content is intended to complement your medical treatment and support healing. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health advice. The information is general and may not be suitable for your personal injuries, circumstances or health objectives. Do not use our content as a standalone resource to diagnose treat, cure or prevent any disease for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for the advice of a health professional.

Intro 1:23:22
Never delay seeking advice or disregard the advice of a medical professional, your doctor or your rehabilitation program based on our content if you have any questions or concerns about your health or medical condition, please seek guidance from a doctor or other medical professional if you are experiencing a health emergency or things you might be, call 000 if in Australia or your local emergency number immediately for emergency assistance or go to the nearest hospital emergency department.

Intro 1:23:46
Medical information changes constantly. While we aim to provide current quality information in our content. We did not provide any guarantees and assume no legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, currency or completeness of the content. If you choose to rely on any information within our content you do so solely at your own risk. We are careful with links we provide however third-party links from our website are followed at your own risk and we are not responsible for any information you find there.

The post Left Cerebellar Stroke Recovery – Dr. Bevan Choate appeared first on Recovery After Stroke.

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Dr. Bevan Choate had a left cerebellar stroke caused by a vertebral artery dissection. He recently released a book about his ordeal and new found love of painting with a pallet knife. Dr. Bevan Choate had a left cerebellar stroke caused by a vertebral artery dissection. He recently released a book about his ordeal and new found love of painting with a pallet knife. Recovery After Stroke 1:24:13
Pons Stroke Recovery – Brisa Alfaro https://recoveryafterstroke.com/pons-stroke-recovery-brisa-alfaro/ Mon, 30 May 2022 12:37:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8941 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/pons-stroke-recovery-brisa-alfaro/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/pons-stroke-recovery-brisa-alfaro/feed/ 0 <p>Brisa Alfaro had a pons stroke that caused her to be completely locked in her body with no movement except for her eyes for at least 2 months before she got some movement in one of her pinkies.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/pons-stroke-recovery-brisa-alfaro/">Pons Stroke Recovery – Brisa Alfaro</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Brisa Alfaro had a pons stroke that caused her to be completely locked in her body with no movement except for her eyes for at least 2 months before she got some movement in one of her pinkies.

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Highlights

03:02 Introduction
04:13 Brisa Alfaro Before The Stroke
11:18 Stop And Smell The Roses
17:01 What It’s Like On The Other Side
26:16 Pons Stroke And Locked-In Syndrome
29:51 Right Place At The Right Time
38:18 Playing The Game
47:15 The Power of Thoughts
58:56 Efficient Use of Energy
1:06:09 Limitless
1:19:04 Unburden Yourself

Transcription

Brisa Alfaro 0:00
I didn’t think that I wasn’t going to recover. I knew I was going to recover. Call it naive, call it, you know, stubborn, whatever you want to call it. But I mean, I was faced with facts, I was faced with less than 1% chance to recover, I was faced with the data that they had around the world, that there was less than five cases per year worldwide of the type of stroke that I had of people that have survived.

Brisa Alfaro 0:39
I mean, all roads lead to a certain outcome. But call it naive. Maybe I didn’t want to believe that. I wanted to believe my story. I believed that I was in charge of my own story, and the way the direction that I wanted to go in.

Intro 1:04
This is the recovery after stroke podcast, with Bill Gasiamis, helping you navigate recovery after stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 1:11
Hello, and welcome to another episode of the recovery after stroke podcast. Please comment, like and share this episode or your favorite episode or any other episode. Because that makes the algorithm on YouTube and Google push it out to more people who are looking for inspirational recovery stories about stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 1:38
And especially when they’re just starting on their recovery journey, we all know how stroke can be really, really difficult, especially at the very early phase of recovery and diagnosis. And I started this podcast because I was missing that type of information when I was doing my own recovery, way back in 2012 and all the things started for me.

Bill Gasiamis 2:03
And I need this to get in front of as many stroke survivors as possible because that’s the whole point of it. It’s to share inspirational recovery stories. There are nearly 200 episodes now and my guests are all fabulous people overcoming tremendous challenges and difficulties and moving forward with their lives in spite of what the stroke has done to them or caused to them.

Bill Gasiamis 2:28
And if you think the show deserves that, also, I would love a five-star review, if you can, anywhere you listen to the show, whether it’s on Spotify, or the Apple podcast app or Stitcher or the Google app, it doesn’t matter where if you can leave a review, because the particular platform allows it, that’ll be great. It’ll help the show rank better. And it’ll get in front of those really important people, the caregivers, and the survivors who really need that information. And hopefully, it’ll make it easier for them to recover.

Introduction

Brisa Alfaro
Bill Gasiamis 3:02
So, thanks so much for doing that. This episode is 196 and my guest today is Brisa Alfaro, 32, out of nowhere, with apparently no signs that there was a stroke about to happen experienced a Pons Stroke in her brainstem that caused her to become locked-in.

Bill Gasiamis 3:25
And that meant that she couldn’t move any part of her body. She was like that for at least two months where there was nothing that was moving. And then at around the two-month mark, one of her little pinkies started to move. And that was the beginning of this amazing, miraculous recovery.

Bill Gasiamis 3:45
Brisa is now an author. She is a public speaker and she helps people in recovery. And this is just an amazing episode. I really became really inspired when I heard this. And that’s it for me. It’s on with the show. Brisa Alfaro. Welcome to the podcast.

Brisa Alfaro 4:06
Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Bill Gasiamis 4:08
It’s my pleasure. Thank you for being here. Tell me a little bit about what happened to you.

Brisa Alfaro Before The Stroke

Brisa Alfaro 4:13
Okay, so before I tell you what happened to me, you have to kind of know who I was before. So, as a lot of people, you know, I share this with a lot of people, they’re go-getters, right? You have a goal and you go after it. And that’s how I was, I was working every day on my craft.

Brisa Alfaro 4:36
I was constantly trying to better myself in my career. I was you know, any given moment that I had, I would just fill it with more and more and more. I was trying to climb the ladder. I was successful in my industry. My industry was the beauty industry.

Brisa Alfaro 4:58
So I was hair, makeup nails. I worked on celebrities, I lived in New York City, I would work New York Fashion Week, my work was displayed in magazines, and I was able to share my work on stages. So I was living the life of my dreams. And I honestly never expected to come to a complete stop. And I don’t think we ever do. We just go and go and go and, never really expect for bad things to happen when they do. And it’s really never the right time.

Bill Gasiamis 5:41
One of the things that surprise me Brisa is I speak to obviously a lot of stroke survivors. And sometimes you get that one stroke survivor who says, why did it happen to me, and they kind of naively lived in this world where they expected that being alive for them specifically, it was going to be smooth the whole time.

Bill Gasiamis 6:06
And they were going to get to the end, it was going to be like a Hollywood movie ending or something. And it’s such a hard thing to tell them. You’re alive. That’s why it happened to you no other reason that it wasn’t God, you didn’t do anything wrong. It’s just what’s meant to happen to us. Even though that’s terrible to hear. And it’s not nice. And there’s no explanation sometimes for it, that’s just how it is. That’s part of life. And it’s a terrible part of life, but it is part of life.

Brisa Alfaro 6:42
It is and I think when we stop living in the “why me?” mentality, is when our life starts to open up and change for us. But as long as we stay stuck in that, why me? That poor me? Why did it happen to me? I think we need to realize that honestly, these things can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere in the world.

Brisa Alfaro 7:05
And why not me? So now it’s my job to take this and change it and evolve. And okay, so now, this happened to me. Now, what can I do from this point on? How can I learn and move forward? How can I grow?

Brisa Alfaro 7:31
It’s when we stay stuck, it’s when we constantly are stuck in the mentality of why me poor me that we stay there. And we don’t grow from that. Because we’re constantly thinking of, you know, the negative. And if we use that negative to grow from it, then that’s when amazing, powerful things can happen to us. And that’s what actually happened to me.

Bill Gasiamis 8:03
Yeah, the stroke, The why me person is the stroke victim. And then why not me is the stroke survivor.

Brisa Alfaro 8:13
Right? Yeah. You use that negative and turn it into a positive and you realize that it didn’t happen to you? It happened for you. And you just have to figure out how did it happen for you? You’ll find out?

Bill Gasiamis 8:30
Yeah, that’s a tough question to contemplate for some people. But I’ve definitely done that. And the how did it happen for me was clearly for anyone who’s listening to this podcast is clearly because this podcast had to happen.

Bill Gasiamis 8:46
I had no idea about podcasts, strokes, or anything of that nature. In 2012, when I became unwell, zero things in my mind about being on a podcast that goes globally that gets downloaded by people from all around the world where I get to meet them and talk to them and share their stories and inspire people and all that kind of stuff. No idea that was the how is this thing?

Brisa Alfaro 9:12
It happened for you? And now, you know, I think that we have to evolve to figure out why this happened. How did it happen for us? And as you said, I mean, what you’re doing, sharing what you’re sharing, sharing the stories that other people have lived through and accomplished and what they’ve done, and maybe they too, can help you in your journey.

Brisa Alfaro 9:20
I think that the way that it evolves, if you never had gone through what you went through, you wouldn’t be here today. You wouldn’t be sharing and helping us, you know, going through what we’re going through. So I think that’s how it happens for you. And that’s how you have to look at it.

Bill Gasiamis 10:00
Yeah. I love that question that how? That’s a great question. And really, one that I didn’t ask immediately, clearly, a lot of us are not that resourced immediately to be able to ask the right question. And sometimes you have to ask the wrong question a few times.

Bill Gasiamis 10:21
That doesn’t feel right, you don’t get a good outcome. And then, you get to ask a better question, find a better question. And then keep asking until you get an aha moment, whether it comes from the universe or from God, or from within you from wherever it comes.

Bill Gasiamis 10:38
As long as you get that aha moment at some point, and it will come. So what’s life like, for you living and working in the space and in the world that you worked in? You’re I imagine coming into that, from very young in your life, you’ve trained for that you’ve aimed for that you’ve shot for that you’ve got that? What is daily life like? How intense is it how full-on is it?

Stop And Smell The Roses – Brisa Alfaro

Brisa Alfaro 11:18
Then it was pretty intense. Honestly, whatever moment that I had free, I would fill it with something because I felt like I had to be productive. And if I wasn’t moving and going and filling my day up, then I wasn’t productive. And as a result of that, you know, what happened to me, instead of, you know, when they say stop and smell the roses. I didn’t have time for that.

Brisa Alfaro 11:51
Until life forced that upon me. And then I realized, like, oh, that’s the thing. You do, stop and smell the roses, you do appreciate life. And if you don’t do that, then life will do that for you. And that’s kind of what I ran into. I didn’t appreciate life to the gravity that I appreciate life now. But that happens to a lot of us, right? We have to kind of go through things to realize what we had.

Brisa Alfaro 12:31
And then all of a sudden, we appreciate it. So unfortunately, I had to realize what I had, through having a stroke at 32 years old, and living through surviving a less than 1% chance to recover. Surviving something that I never expected to go through at my age. It was something that I always thought that was for other people to experience like other people go through that kind of stuff, not me.

Brisa Alfaro 13:06
Why would I go through that? Like I felt like I was healthy. I didn’t do drugs, I didn’t drink I was a good person. I was a good person. So bad things don’t happen to good people. Right? I was blindsided. That, yes, it can happen. And I think that my recovery really started when I stopped focusing on like what we were talking about before, why me? Stop focusing on why me? Why me? Poor me? And I started thinking, Okay, what do I have to do next? What do I have to do next to grow and learn and evolve and recover? And that’s when my recovery started.

Bill Gasiamis 13:53
At 32 had you ever met anybody before that was clearly disabled in a wheelchair clearly unwell from something severe, that you might not have been aware of what it was, but had you ever met somebody with that kind of a challenge?

Brisa Alfaro 14:13
Yes, my grandfather. He had a stroke. But my grandfather was also older. So he was much older. He was in his late 80s. You know, I never had been around anyone really that had survived a stroke. I’ve heard of people having them and even people in my family that have had them and then they had a stroke and they passed away. And then my grandfather he had a stroke.

Brisa Alfaro 15:00
And he survived through it. However, his way of life completely changed. And in my mind, that is something that happens older people, and not someone my age. So while I was living my life, I never expected something like that to happen to me at such a young age. I thought, maybe when I’m older in life, you know, both things happen.

Brisa Alfaro 15:28
But I really was never exposed to it much other than watching my grandfather recover, and his thing, the challenges and things that he was going through, not until I was going through it myself, did I honestly put myself in those shoes. I mean, physically, like every sense of the word, because I didn’t realize like how much of a struggle and I think that’s what a lot of us go through.

Brisa Alfaro 16:02
I mean, we’ll run into other people, you know, on the street, that have deficits, and they go through their deficits. And they’re challenging every day just to go through life, and we’ll pass right by them. And don’t even think twice of it. We don’t even realize the challenges that they go through, just to get from their car, to the inside of the store, just that little tiny bit, that challenge.

Brisa Alfaro 16:32
And I didn’t realize that until I had to go through it myself. And that’s when I realized, like, I think a lot of people, they just need a reminder, a reminder of what is and what can be, and just appreciate life, for what it is right now. And that was my wake-up call.

What It’s Like On The Other Side

Brisa Alfaro
Bill Gasiamis 17:01
That was my story. Pretty much the guy walking past people not paying attention, and not giving a second thought to what difficulties somebody might be going through, probably be getting frustrated, because there was somebody in front of me with a wheelchair, and I had to go around them and, you know, the usual stuff.

Bill Gasiamis 17:22
And then one day, you end up in a wheelchair, and it’s like, oh, shit, this is hard. Oh, my God, this is hard. And not only is it hard, I can only do it with half my body, I can’t do it with that entire part of my body, and somebody else has to do the majority of it for me, you know, I was in a wheelchair where I was unable to push myself maybe for a few months in total.

Bill Gasiamis 17:48
And then rehabilitation made it possible for me to, you know, get on my feet slowly and stumble away from a wheelchair, that kind of thing. So things improved. But that was enough for me. And then my whole journey was, you know, it’s 10 years and counting.

Bill Gasiamis 18:06
But a very good portion of the first three or four years was so difficult that I appreciated every other single person who I saw who had deficits who was in a wheelchair who appeared visibly unable to go about quote-unquote, life normally. And then now, It’s like those people see me and I see them and we communicate to each other without talking.

Bill Gasiamis 18:42
And one of the most interesting things is seeing people who are homeless, who are sitting, you know, on the pavement, and they’re asking for money, and they’re not even asking for money, they might just be sitting there and have a handout or something like that. And going up to them and just saying giving them a few dollars and then saying how are you?

Bill Gasiamis 19:04
Or what are you reading if they’re reading, and then getting the full life story from that person. And the most important thing is getting them to feel like somebody actually cares. And then they say to you, you know, thanks for stopping and having a chat or talking to me or asking me or whatever. Making them feel important. Yeah, and it’s not that I’m actually trying to do that.

Bill Gasiamis 19:30
I’m actually very curious about them, per se that person, because I interact with people who don’t sit on pavements, the majority of the day, I interact with people that drive that have clean clothes, most of the time I interact with people who work in offices or you know, from home or whatever.

Bill Gasiamis 19:52
And it’s kind of a stale way to interact with people because it’s all you do you get the same of the same way. All right, and now it’s like, oh, hang on a sec, what a different perspective in life just sitting down at their level, and seeing the world go by. That is even a big mind-opening kind of experience different perspective and the rest of it.

Brisa Alfaro 20:18
That’s important. Perspective is everything.

Bill Gasiamis 20:22
Yeah, we can only get it from being at the same height, we can’t get it from being in a different position, right. And then there’s the people who we’ve got a really lovely organization here. It’s a, it kind of pretends to be a charity, but what it is, is that it’s an organization that sells a magazine.

Bill Gasiamis 20:45
And the magazine gets purchased by people who come from, you know, from who are homeless, or who don’t work full time, or have a whole bunch of different reasons why they can’t actively seek out a job and hold the job and all that sort of thing. And they go there, buy the book, and then they sell the book for double what it costs for them to buy it.

Bill Gasiamis 21:08
So they might buy it for $5, they sell it for $10, the $10, half of it is split they get $5. And the other $5 goes back to the proprietor who made that book who printed that book. And then that covers the costs of that organization. So it’s kind of like a charity.

Bill Gasiamis 21:31
But it’s pretending to be this organization that sells and makes books for people who are disadvantaged, who can come in and have their corner somewhere in the central business district, and then just have a pile of books, and then just go and sell them.

Bill Gasiamis 21:49
And then you get to meet some amazing people there, because the book’s called the Big Issue. And it’s been around for, let’s say, a few decades, at least, and you buy the book, and then you ask that vendor for some information about the book.

Bill Gasiamis 22:05
And you might say, you know, what’s in it today? Am I gonna get anything good out of it? And then they’ll tell you what they think. And then you’ll ask them about whether they need anything else or how they’re going, or what’s happening, or how many have you sold, and they’ll ramble off whatever they feel like telling you.

Bill Gasiamis 22:23
And then you’ll just get to have an interaction with a person, again, that’s selling a product in a different way in a different location than in a store, which is sanitized. Where the customer service is terrible, where most people don’t speak to you, where you’re interfering with their life where you go up to them and say, can you help me out with this shirt or with this pair of pants.

Bill Gasiamis 22:48
And it’s a really refreshing experience to have with people and that I can honestly say I walked past people selling the Big Issue my entire 37 years and never noticed one of them or saw one of them. And then all of a sudden, you see them because it’s kind of like I could have been very easily one of those people now who sells the big issue because what happened to me could have been more dramatic like it has been for some other people.

Bill Gasiamis 23:25
And that would have made it very difficult for me to get through my old life and wouldn’t have been possible anymore. Well, it’s a different version, and I would have had to evolve and those people have evolved. They’ve grown like you’re saying, and they found a solution to a problem. And thank God there is this opportunity for them. You know, so I get where you’re coming from that naivety is that what we’ll call it? We’ll be kind to ourselves.

Brisa Alfaro 23:57
Yeah, thank you. I honestly believe that, while I was recovering, I was also kind of naive. I didn’t think that I wasn’t going to recover. I knew I was going to recover. Call it naive, call it you know, stubborn, whatever you want to call it. But I mean, I was faced with facts, I was faced with a less than 1% chance to recover, I was faced with the data that they had around the world that there was less than five cases per year worldwide of the type of stroke that I had of people that have survived.

Brisa Alfaro 24:50
I mean, all roads lead to certain a certain outcome, but call it naive. Maybe I didn’t I want to believe that I wanted to believe my story, I believed that I was in charge of my own story. And the way that the direction that I wanted to go in.

Intro 25:10
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, or doctors will explain things that obviously, you’ve never had a stroke before, you probably don’t know what questions to ask.

Intro 25:36
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 recoveryafterstroke.com, where you can download a guide that will help you it’s called 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.

Pons Stroke And Locked-In Syndrome

Brisa Alfaro 26:16
I wrote my own story. And I did that by a series of what I call Pinky moves in the hospital. So while I was in the hospital, I didn’t see a clearer way of how I was going to bust out of the hospital and live my life again. But I did know that I needed to continue to show my family and the doctors and everybody assigned that I was still in my body. So going back to my stroke, I had something called a pons stroke and I developed locked-in syndrome.

Brisa Alfaro 26:55
And I was essentially locked in my own body. And I couldn’t express that I could hear everything that was going on around me. So I needed to show my family and doctors a sign that I was still in my body. And I did that through a series of Pinky moves. That was the first sign of my recovery was a pinky move.

Brisa Alfaro 27:26
A lot of us think that we have to like move mountains right away, that we have to completely recover. And we have to do all these grandiose things, but you really don’t. You just have to keep flickering your pinky over and over and over again. And then you’ll get the results that you’re looking for. But you can’t give up. So yes, I flickered my pinky. That Pinky move was what built my recovery. I thought, well, if I can do that, then what else can I do? What else?

Bill Gasiamis 27:57
Can you describe what it’s like? Tell me a little bit about the lead up, the day of the stroke. Did you notice anything? Was there any any hint that something was about to happen, which was going to be life threatening?

Brisa Alfaro 28:13
No, I didn’t. I honestly believe that I was in the hospital at the right place at the right time. I was there for a symptom that was unrelated to my stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 28:26
What was that?

Brisa Alfaro 28:25
I had severe allergies. And to the point where my face was like, puffing up. I couldn’t take any more Benadryl because I was about to speak on stage the next day and I was slurring full like I knew, Okay, I need to stop taking Benadryl, like Tic Tac like a tic tac I mean, I was popping them. And I realized like, I need something stronger. I need to figure out what’s going on.

Brisa Alfaro 28:50
And I went in for that. And they ruled it out. They ruled out the allergy was part of my stroke. But I believe it brought me to the hospital at the right place. I was at the right place the right time. So that’s the reason that I was able to get immediate help. And the What was difficult was when they had to when they realized that I was locked in, because it’s such a rare, you know, something that happens to less than five cases per year worldwide. How would they know that? Oh, this one’s got locked-in syndrome. It’s not like that. Right? So they had to do a series of tests and figure out what was going on with me.

Bill Gasiamis 29:48
And hospital.

Right Place At The Right Time To Have A Pons Stroke

Brisa Alfaro 29:51
I didn’t. I was I was sitting there while I was in the hospital because they were treating me for my allergies. He’s, and as I was sitting there laying on the, you know, hospital bed, I wasn’t really laying there. I was just kind of sitting there. But that’s when it happened while I was in the hospital while they were treating me.

Bill Gasiamis 30:13
Wow. As far as timing is concerned, I think you’re the one person in the world that has timed it perfectly to be at the right place at the right time. That is a fact. That’s a world record holder right here.

Brisa Alfaro 30:29
Thank you. I don’t know if I want to carry that record. But thank you.

Bill Gasiamis 30:35
There’s no better place to have a stroke. I’d rather not have the record too but if you’re gonna do something like that. Congratulations.

Brisa Alfaro 30:44
Yeah, you’re right. I mean, thank you, and they did tell me if I was anywhere else in the world, anywhere, I wouldn’t have made it. Because it was so severe, the stroke that I had was so severe. So and I didn’t really want to hear that. But I did. And they said that, you know, if you were anywhere else, you wouldn’t have made it. So you should be happy with what you got.

Brisa Alfaro 31:15
But I wasn’t so I going back to being able to move little little things, I was able to move my pinky, I was able to later move my hand later move my arm. This is all a series of, you know, weeks and months, you know, so long, but I knew that I was giving myself no other option. I was giving myself No, Plan B.

Brisa Alfaro 31:42
I knew that it was I was going to be okay. So every time I would go back to the hospital, and they would check on me, they would say Brisa is amazing. You are not even supposed to be doing all this stuff. And I would say thank you, Doc, but when am I going to do XYZ again? When is this going to come back to me? When am I going to be able to, you know, sit on my own without a wheelchair or walk without a walker or a cane.

Brisa Alfaro 32:13
And you know, every time I would go back, it was always something new. And I would always accomplish something. So I’d be proud, you know, I’m not in a wheelchair anymore. Doc, I’m walking with a walker. But when am I going to be able to walk out a walker, barista? What you’re doing is incredible. You should be proud of what you’ve accomplished. You should be happy with what you’ve accomplished. How many times do we hear that? You should just be happy. Well, I was happy.

Brisa Alfaro 32:45
Nobody was taking that from me. I was happy. I was proud of myself. But I wanted more. And why is that such a bad thing. I just wanted more. And I kept going for more. I think it’s when we start to settle. And then we start to get angry with what we’ve achieved. to the level that we’ve achieved it at. Well, we settled when we were supposed to keep going, why don’t we keep going.

Brisa Alfaro 33:20
And I think that I realized like I could be happy with what I’ve got right now. And I could I could be fine. I mean, I’m gonna have achieved a level of success. And I shouldn’t be happy with this. But I wanted more. So I kept going for more I kept going for more, until the last time I went to the hospital and checked in with my doctor and I told him, Doc, I think this is the last time you’re going to see me because I just ran a 5k.

Brisa Alfaro 33:54
And he was like, what? I’m the girl that was supposed to be in a wheelchair forever. I’m the girl that evolved to like, just you’re gonna be walking with a walker forever. That’s okay. I’m the girl that was supposed to be walking with a cane forever.

Brisa Alfaro 34:12
I’m not supposed to be the girl that speaks on stages and is traveling around the world and telling my story and writing a book and do it. I’m not supposed to be that girl. But who said that I’m not supposed to? Other people? Am I going to let them place their limiting beliefs on me? Or am I going to decide when I’m done? And I decided that I wanted more. So I just kept going and kept going. And that’s what I’ve done through my whole recovery.

Bill Gasiamis 34:45
More what? So okay, I like what you said about why not more. Let’s break it down. Because let’s say you told me now, after what you’ve been through in 2004 Maybe you said to me, I wanted more money, more cars, or more mansions or something. And I’ll be like, Brisa, really, that’s what you got out of this? You told yourself that you need more cars and more that and more this. So your version of more is more what more health more life more what is it, what kind of more?

Brisa Alfaro 35:28
I could break down into one word. More Love. I wanted to love me, and I wasn’t, I was loving myself to the degree that I had achieved. And I wanted to make that limitless. I wanted to love me completely. I wanted to love where I was at. And I wanted to love where I was going to be. And so I realized that, in order for me to achieve more, I need to love me for where I am now.

Brisa Alfaro 36:03
And I think that was a wake up call for me. I had many as we’re recovering from our stroke, we’re gonna have many Wake Up Calls, I mean, some of your podcasts, our Wake Up Calls for people, this podcast can be a wake up call for people. And I believe that I had many Wake Up Calls. And I realized that I the one thing that when I was laying in that hospital bed, the one thing that was tangible, was love.

Brisa Alfaro 36:39
That was the only thing. So if I expanded on that, and loved myself for surviving, loved myself for recovering to the degree that I had recovered. And been proud of myself, for all of the pinky moves that I achieved to get to that point, instead of worrying about what I have not done yet, what I have not achieved yet. Loving the point that I made right now, the place that I’m at right now, I think we need to do that more and celebrate us more. And if we do that, we’re going to receive more.

Bill Gasiamis 37:25
My heart is expanding right now like I can feel what you’re saying to me right now my heart’s expanding, I can feel it in my heart. You know, love, and more love around what you’ve achieved, what you’ve accomplished, what you’ve overcome, what you’re going to overcome, I think is what makes it possible for you then to achieve greater things in the future, regardless of the deficits that you’re left with after the stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 37:53
Whether you’re left with none or many, I think that loving yourself more opens doors and opportunities that you otherwise would not have noticed, because you wouldn’t allow loving. And it’s not necessarily love when somebody approaches a stroke survivor and says, Do you want to come on stage and tell your story? It’s not necessarily love. But I think you wouldn’t see that if you didn’t love yourself.

Playing The Game – Brisa Alfaro

Brisa Alfaro
Bill Gasiamis 38:18
And if you didn’t give yourself the opportunity to have people approach you and tell you things and ask you questions like Do you want to share your story or, or do something like that? That’s the sense that I’m getting out of that. And that’s kind of how I feel like for you, it seems like it was instinctive to go there. A lot of people don’t have the instinct to love themselves. You did? Is that something that you’ve practiced beforehand? Or was it something that came to you after all this?

Brisa Alfaro 38:54
To an extent before, but I realized that everybody around me, physically around me, was proud of me. And they love me so much. And they were proud of me. And they were cheering me on and they were my cheerleaders. Right? And no one else is going to play the game. I am going to play the game. I am going to be in the ring boxing. I’m the one that’s going to be doing that.

Brisa Alfaro 39:30
If you look back onto any like huge athletes, celebrity athlete, I mean, going back to Muhammad Ali. He loved himself. And because he loved himself, he was able to achieve so much and everyone else could be telling him you’re so good. You’re so good. You’re you’re going to achieve great things. But unless he believed it himself, unless he believed that he was so good, he was the greatest. You gotta believe it yourself, you gotta love yourself.

Bill Gasiamis 40:11
And he was able to take not metaphorical blows, like, actual physical daily blows he’s getting in the ring, and he’s just getting hit, and getting knocked down, and getting hit, and getting knocked down again and getting back up. And he’s just copping it every single day, he was really good at taking the blows getting knocked down. I think what he was really good at, other than, obviously boxing was getting back up no matter what.

Brisa Alfaro 40:39
And that’s what we need to do, we need a little bit of that, right? We need to be able to get back up no matter what, we need to love ourselves that much that we know we deserve it. We deserve it, we don’t deserve to wallow in our sorrows and have a pity party, because that is not going to get us to where we want to go. We need to be able to be proud of ourselves.

Brisa Alfaro 41:03
So, so what you didn’t accomplish the big goal that you had set, you accomplish a bunch of other little ones, celebrate those, because what gets celebrated gets repeated. And you’re going to just get that much closer to your big goals. And I think that’s why I say like, you gotta love yourself.

Brisa Alfaro 41:25
I mean, everybody else is gonna love you, the fans in the in the stadium, they’re going to love you, cheerleaders, they’re going to love you, networks are going to love you, the fans at home watching you on TV, they’re gonna love you. But you got to love yourself, if you’re going to be playing the game, you got to know, like, I love this game. I know that every move I make is not going to be the exact right move I want to make.

Brisa Alfaro 41:54
But it is going to get me closer to winning my championship is going to get me closer to winning my game, my championship, the lifestyle that I want. And I think that we break things down into like little micro micro victories, we’ll be able to condense them, and then put them together into what we want our lives to look like. Like, if you if your own always micromanaging all the little things that you do wrong.

Brisa Alfaro 42:27
You’re just attracting more of what you did wrong. When you see players like that they lost it. Their heads, not in the game. Well, why is that? Because they’re focusing on what they did wrong. Don’t focus on the past. Focus on the present. Focus on right now what can you do now that’s gonna move you forward?

Bill Gasiamis 42:49
When you wake up locked-in, how long before some little movement happened in your pinky? How long? Were you not moving anything other than your eyes?

Brisa Alfaro 43:04
So I was technically completely locked in for about two weeks. And that’s around the time where they were all having me. Well, they were telling my family and friends to come say goodbye to me, because it was there was no movement. There was no, what did them there was no hope.

Bill Gasiamis 43:24
They were coming and saying goodbye to you. Is that what they were saying? Well,

Brisa Alfaro 43:28
I mean, they didn’t say goodbye. They were telling me to try. But I know that I knew that they were there to say goodbye to me. That it? It was a challenge. It’s just like, you know, I’m telling Michael Jordan that you’re not gonna win. It was a challenge.

Bill Gasiamis 43:50
It seems like more than just a challenge like that. Like it seems a lot more dramatic than that. You’re Oh, are you purposely playing it down? Because you just seem like it was like, Do you know what I’m saying? Yeah. You’re describing it in a way that’s not as dramatic as it actually is. You’re making me feel like you’re just going, Yeah, whatever. You know, like, if this is a challenge, I’m going to overcome it. Yeah, this is a problem. I’m going to overcome it. People are doing everything for you Brisa they are doing every thing for you. You can’t move, you’re 32 you’re vulnerable, you’re in a hospital. And for you was just a challenge that you were gonna.

Brisa Alfaro 44:32
There was a lot of things that I was going through. I mean, for me, what worked for me was a challenge. That’s the kind of person I was before. However, there was a lot of things that played into my recovery. Like, while I was locked-in my mother played something for me an audiobook and that I audiobook was The Secret. And I don’t know if you know the secret, but it focuses on the law of attraction on what you focus on grows.

Brisa Alfaro 45:09
So a lot of that book is making you realize, like, what are you focused on? Because whatever it is that you’re focused on, it’s gonna grow. So if you’re thinking in the negative, you’re going to receive more of that. If you’re thinking about what you want to create in this world, what you want out of this world, then you’re going to receive more of that. And so I realized I needed to clean up my thoughts.

Brisa Alfaro 45:36
And that happened listening to that book. And one of the ladies that I remember hearing was the voice of a woman named Lisa Nichols. And she said in that book, she said, the first step is to ask, make a command to the universe. Let the universe know what you want, because the universe responds to your thoughts. Well, thoughts are all I had. That’s all I had. Yeah, I was laying in my hospital bed with no movement with locked-in syndrome.

Brisa Alfaro 46:13
Thoughts were all I had. So if all I had to do was clean up my thoughts, then that’s what I was going to do. So was it simple? No. Was it challenging? Absolutely. It was a constant battle of letting negative thoughts come into my mind. And almost like playing, pushing, pause on them, and pushing play on what I wanted to hear and what I wanted to see.

Brisa Alfaro 46:44
So I had to kind of create my own movie, of what I wanted. And I had to play that movie over and over, I had to play the movie of me, being in a healthy, happy state, being recovered completely. And living my life again, I had to play that movie, over and over and over in my mind of what I wanted. And not the not the movie, I had press pause on the movie that kept coming up that, oh, you’re going to be like this forever.

The Power of Thoughts


Brisa Alfaro 47:15
Oh, it’s going to always be hard for you. Oh, you might not make it. Oh, you’re going to be fed through a tube for the rest of your life. You’re not going to be able to breathe on your own forever. And all these things kept popping up. No, you just keep pressing play on them. What do you want to see? What do you want to hear? What do you want to live? Play on those thoughts? I don’t think people realize how powerful your thoughts are. When people say thoughts become things. It’s not just to say, it’s a reality.

Bill Gasiamis 47:52
I completely believe you and I trust you. And I trust you because I’m trying to get you to focus on the negatives, and you are not capable of doing it almost. And, you are only focused. I’m not, I’m not saying that you didn’t deal with them and overcome them and think about them and park them and pause on them.

Bill Gasiamis 47:52
Absolutely. But I’ve never struggled so much in an interview to get somebody to go to the hard part to the difficult part, you’re telling me about the opposite. And that is great. That’s perfect. That’s kind of me, that’s how I became after the strike. At the beginning, I was a bit of a negative guy had everything. I never stopped and smell the roses, either.

Bill Gasiamis 48:36
I was always complaining about the things that I couldn’t achieve, didn’t have, all the problems in life. And I had none really, let’s face it. And then after the stroke, it was like, oh my god, they weren’t even problems before. It was just a bullshit story, silly story I was telling myself, I had no idea that I’ve got 10 years of recovery in front of me and then that in that 10 years, I’m still not going to get back all of the feeling on my left side.

Bill Gasiamis 49:05
And I’m still going to have dizzy spells and I’m still going to have balance issues every once in a while. And when I miss out on sleep, I’m going to be struggling the next day and the day after that. So your positivity is amazing and it is true. You do create your own reality with your thoughts. And if you can use them for good instead of evil, you will have good things happen. And if you use them for evil, you’ll have you know not so good things happen.

Bill Gasiamis 49:35
And I’m not saying that you won’t catch you won’t find yourself doing that every once in a while the negative thoughts. It’s about catching yourself when you’re there and doing exactly what you’re saying. I love the metaphorical pause on that movie. And just keep pausing it and keep pausing it that’s brilliant because what that does is that acknowledges the negative thought it allows Was that to have been played to that point. And it doesn’t take it out of your life, it just says that hang on a second, I don’t think I like this movie.

Bill Gasiamis 50:09
And I’m not going to watch it. And, and listen to I’m going to watch this other one, which is uplifting. And it reminds me of something one of my counselors, my counselor said to me, it would have been, you know, the very first few sessions that I had with her when I was a younger guy, probably around 25. And I was pretty angry kind of guy and walked in and she said to me, go and borrow, it was back then when you could borrow VHS videos. And she said to me, go and borrow some videos that are funny.

Bill Gasiamis 50:47
Action, shoot him up, kind of videos, go borrow some that are funny and sit and watch those. And I was like, Okay, that’s an interesting request. Now, and very early on, after that, I realized what she was saying. And that’s what I consumed, was making a difference to my life. And the consumption, the consumption didn’t have to be food, it was, who I hung around with, and what conversations I had, it was what music I listen to it was what videos I watched what movies, I watched, what shows I tuned into in the morning.

Brisa Alfaro 51:23
Who you’re hanging around?

Bill Gasiamis 51:25
Who I’m hanging around with, where I’m getting my information from all that stuff, you know, and it was food for thought. All that stuff was feeding my thoughts. And if I was putting junk in, I was getting junk out. You know, and that’s what you’re doing. That’s what you’re doing from day one in hospital while you’re locked in.

Brisa Alfaro 51:55
It was and it was something that I continued to do as I was recovering. Because you, I’m sure have heard of the phrase misery loves company. And I think a lot of us stroke survivors we love, to share our deficits. And we will get caught up in that. And instead of celebrating what we can do, we immediately go to what we can’t do. And I think that that’s something that all of us, everyone that goes through that.

Brisa Alfaro 52:35
I mean, you can just ask anybody on the street, like how are you doing? Oh, well, you know, the bees surface level, but often it’s not really celebrating the good. The great that they’re going through, even if it’s a little they’re not they’re focused on the small Oh, my car broke down yesterday. And they’re still worried about something that happened a couple weeks ago.

Brisa Alfaro 52:44
But we’re today. Yes, that sucks. Yes, that sucks. And I think that’s what I did in my recovery. Like, I took my negatives, and I would be like, Okay, I give it the time. And space, I got mad, I got pissed. I gave it that time. And then I put it aside. Okay, now, it’s on to the next. So I understand that. This, these are the cards that were laid out for me. And the air, they suck, it’s a bad hand.

Brisa Alfaro 53:39
But I’m not going to focus on the fact that it’s a bad hand. I’m gonna put it aside and I’m gonna keep playing. I’m like, keep playing, keep playing. And I think that’s what we get caught up in. In life in general, when something happens to us, we get caught up in the how bad this situation turned out, or it’s not the outcome that we were looking for. And we stay there. And we don’t move into, like, what can we do now to be able to grow and learn and evolve from that? Because otherwise, we’re just walking around living our old stories. And that’s not what we’re here for.

Bill Gasiamis 54:25
No, no. The past is meant to be in the past for a reason. You’re supposed learn from it and move on from it. And you’re supposed to look forward to the future. And because there’s more challenges coming. So if you’re letting Oh, yeah, past stack up. It’s hard to overcome the new challenges because you still haven’t dealt with the past challenges. Right? And it’s so overwhelming. It’s like, where do you start and it’s so frustrating and annoying and you don’t learn anything. You stayed dumb, as dumb as you were back then you know, and you got to keep moving forward. How long did it take? For your tracheotomy to come out.

Brisa Alfaro 55:04
I think it was three months. Three, three, about little over three months. Yeah. I think my G tube was the last to come out. So I was fed, there are two longer than Well, clearly this had to come out first. So yeah, and then it had to heal. And then I was able to start eating baby food.

Bill Gasiamis 55:31
How was it like, when it comes out? After three months? What does that feel like? How amazing is that experience? Or is it amazing?

Brisa Alfaro 55:41
I mean, I felt like it was another pinky move. It was something else to celebrate. I believe that everything that was happening in my recovery, because I, you turned it around and said, it’s happening for me, not to me. So every time I would have like, I would get sick often. And then they couldn’t take out my trach yet, because I was I would catch pneumonia or something, and they couldn’t take it out.

Brisa Alfaro 56:19
So prolong it. And then after they took out my trach, they didn’t realize that I was gonna develop scar tissue that blocked my airways. And till this day, I’ve had seven, eight surgeries on my airways, because I keep growing scar tissue. So they have to go in and basically wrote a root or my throat, take out all of the scar tissue so that I could breathe again.

Brisa Alfaro 56:47
Because I keep choking on food. I’ve had the Heimlich maneuver done so many times. I mean, I have a hard time breathing, talking, doing regular, you know, work because of those things. And, every time they would do that out, they would say, Oh, we got to do another surgery, I would say okay, well, you know what, it’s a pinky move, it’s gonna get me closer to my goals, right?

Brisa Alfaro 57:18
My goal is to be able to live again, and to be able to achieve the things that I want to achieve and to be able to impact the world and to be able to make people realize that this is not as bad as you’re making it out to be. It can be beautiful. And I think a lot of times, we look at, at our situation like a burden. And we look at what we’re going through as too difficult to get through.

Brisa Alfaro 58:02
And like what you were saying, Before we focus on, it’s hard to get me to keep going back to focus on the negative because I do want to see what I can do. So I don’t want to focus on the fact that oh, here comes another surgery, I don’t want to focus on the fact that I can’t remember I have short-term memory, I have aphasia, I have all these things.

Brisa Alfaro 58:23
Like if I didn’t say those things you wouldn’t even know because I don’t focus on them. So even when I couldn’t walk, I didn’t focus on it. I was whatever, I’m going to walk again, whatever. Anyways, I got to do more stuff that’s going to help me get there. So what I can’t, I can’t do it now. I will do it later. So why am I going to focus on the fact that I can’t do it now, move that aside, and think about what I can do.

Efficient Use of Energy

Bill Gasiamis 58:56
It’s allocating energy to the right place at the right time for the right thing, not into wasting energy on negative thoughts on stuff that’s not possible on all that junk. And that’s so efficiently using time and energy. Because when you’re recovering from a stroke, energy is a real big issue. It’s something that we have to always manage. And we always have to make sure that we’re not fatigued and if we are fatigued, then the recovery is harder or takes a bit longer or can’t be done as much as you want to do so.

Bill Gasiamis 59:29
I love that whole, like focus on this now do this part, and then put their energy into the future then put it into the past. It sounds like also it stops you from having anxiety or depression. And I very badly describe anxiety as depression and depression as anxiety is thinking about things that are happening that may happen in the future that are gonna go wrong.

Bill Gasiamis 59:53
And depression is focusing on the past and worrying about things that did go wrong in the past, more than the present. I mean, if I’ve, if that doesn’t describe you, and you’re listening to this and you experience depression and anxiety, yet don’t Don’t take it the wrong way. I’m just sort of having a conversation. So it sounds like you had all the right opportunities to be depressed and anxious. Did you experience any of that stuff at all?

Brisa Alfaro 1:00:25
I still do. I’m human. I’m not what’s the word? It’s not like, I can’t feel those things. I can, you know, and I do. And I realized, like, I have to check myself, you know, why am I feeling this way? Why am I feeling so I get emotional, I will get severe anxiety, and depression will creep in and strike try to take over my life to the point where it’s debilitating. But I also have to stop and ask myself, Am I going to let this take over all the work that I’ve done? Is that going to be am I throwing my cards in now? Is that it? Am I just saying, Okay, well, I’m done.

Brisa Alfaro 1:01:28
No, I’m not. What I’m gonna do is acknowledge it. I think a lot of people try to ignore it. And because they ignore it, it still creeps up. It still comes up, and it still derails them. So I, instead I’m going to acknowledge it. Give it the time, give it the space, and then say, Okay, I’m gonna pause you now. I might pick you up later. But right now, I got things to do.

Brisa Alfaro 1:01:55
So I’m gonna pause you, I’ll put you aside. And I’m going to play on what I want to see in my life. What I want in my future, how do I want things to play out in my life? I’m gonna play on that. So I start feeding my soul with like, audiobooks, with podcasts and reading books and watching. Like you were saying movies like uplifting movies, and I was doing all the little baby steps, all this pinky moves, that I needed for myself. In order to get me to back into gratitude. I needed to start like.

Bill Gasiamis 1:02:41
I love it that’s awesome, gratitude. That pause button again comes up, pause. Oh, that is depression. That is a bit of anxiety. Okay, pause, pause that. Okay, what’s making me feel that? Back on task, acknowledge it, back on task, acknowledge it, back on task, acknowledge it, back on task. What they talked to us about when you learn about mindfulness the first time it’s like, people think they have to do something in levels.

Bill Gasiamis 1:03:09
You don’t have to you just have to focus on your voice and on the guided meditation, for example of the music and then when something comes into your mind. I go, Oh, okay. That’s a weird, crazy, interesting thought. Okay, back to the breathing back to the breathing. Oh, he comes another crazy weird thought. Okay, back to the breathing back to the breathing.

Bill Gasiamis 1:03:35
It’s like what you’re saying it’s exactly that, sounds like you’re being mindful In a non-meditative kind of zoned out state, like in a live awakened state, you’re being mindful at that time. And going, oh, here comes another voice or another story or another negative thought, okay, what are you about? Alright, tell me a little bit about that. And that’s like, that’s enough. I don’t want to hear any more about that. Let’s move on.

Brisa Alfaro 1:04:05
Yeah, well, I think think about it this way. Make it simple, the way I envision it when negative. Even negative stories hearing on the outside, you know, negativity just it’s going to happen. People are just going to shoot, yeah, it’s everywhere. And it’s going to come to me and it might consume me, and I don’t want that.

Brisa Alfaro 1:04:30
So I kind of see it. Like, do you have an iPhone Bill? Yeah. So when you kind of when you open your windows, right? You’ve got all these windows open or something a push notification comes through your phone, and you are right now focused on this screen, but something just came through. And now that’s in front of you. That’s not what you want us See? So what do you do?

Bill Gasiamis 1:05:03
Pause those notifications or swipe.

Brisa Alfaro 1:05:05
Swipe it away. Just pause it. Yeah, pause it, go back to the screen, you want to see you want to be on or swipe away. Just swipe it away. That’s, that’s what I just keep doing this. When, when negativity will of my own account, because that will happen. I mean, I’m invited to speak among, you know, some of these sometimes speakers that I feel I’m not worthy. I don’t feel like I should be in the same room with them.

Brisa Alfaro 1:05:35
I’m not professional. I didn’t go to college to be a speaker. All I’m doing is talking about my story. So who am I to be among these people? Okay, those are negative, limiting beliefs that are popping into my mind, and I don’t need them. So I’m gonna swipe it away. I’m gonna swipe it away. I’m going to pause on it. So either way if it comes up again, swipe it away. What do I want to see right now? That’s what you need to focus on.

The Book Limitless By Brisa Alfaro

Bill Gasiamis 1:06:09
You wrote a book? Bring me your book. Tell me bring it to the screen. Tell me how about your book.

Brisa Alfaro 1:06:19
So this is Limitless: Small Moves To Your Greatest Life After A Paralyzing Stroke. It became an international number one bestseller. And my foreword was written by the woman from the secret that I was just talking about. Lisa Nichols, she wrote my foward.

Bill Gasiamis 1:06:43
My gosh, wow, that’s fantastic. How long after your hospital experience did the book come into your mind? Did it become an idea that you were going to start looking at?

Brisa Alfaro 1:06:58
I’ve always, while I was recovering, I was always thinking about writing book. But I never thought that writing a book was for me. And I think a lot of people go through stuff like that, like, Oh, am I again, going back to that? Who am I to write a book, who am I to be, you know, to be able to put my all of my thoughts into a book. That’s for other people. It’s not for me, because I never thought I would do something like that.

Brisa Alfaro 1:07:06
But all it was was a pinky move. I flickered my pinky, I surrounded myself around the right people at the right time in the right place. And I was open to opportunities. And instead of saying, that’s not for me, I can’t do that. I would never be able to I have a cognitive like cause, like my cognitive might, I can’t even say the right word, deficit, deficit, thank you.

Brisa Alfaro 1:08:03
My cognitive deficits are not there, and I are there and so present that I would never be able to, like, align my words, and be able to express myself and people would understand me, and I just didn’t think that something like that was for me, those were my first thoughts. Then I paused on them. And I realized that I love myself. And I just do deserve this.

Brisa Alfaro 1:08:33
And you do too. And I could do it. And you could do it. Anyone can do it. As long as you are grateful for where you are. Right now. You’re present in this moment. And you just keep pushing pause on those limiting beliefs. Because honestly, you can do anything that you put your mind to. I mean, there are pet people that are in this world that have much less than we do.

Brisa Alfaro 1:09:06
And they are making so much more on their lives. And we look at them, like think of the Paralympics. You look at them and you think, Gosh, how are they doing what they’re doing? They’re not looking at themselves, like they’re defeated? They’re not. They’re focusing on what they can do.

Brisa Alfaro 1:09:27
And I think if we all do that a little bit, and start celebrating the fact that we are making pinky moves, and we’re just gonna keep making pinky moves. You don’t have to move mountains. You don’t have to get to the top right away. You just have to keep flickering your pinky. And that’s how you get to the top.

Bill Gasiamis 1:09:47
Yeah, the Paralympics is such an amazing thing, isn’t it? I mean, it’s an example of what’s possible. And I imagine more I exceed my imagination goes to the fact that most of the people there were able-bodied before they decided to become an athlete and go and try out from the Paralympics. And maybe as an able-bodied person, they thought that they weren’t capable of performing at a world-class level.

Bill Gasiamis 1:10:23
And they probably thought I, you know, I’m not good enough, all those things. And yet when they had whatever they experienced that caused them to be too, to question, perhaps their life and their experience and all that kind of, they probably thought, Well, what the hell, let’s go for it. You know, we’re only here once Well, we got to lose. Let’s go for a see how far we can go see what happens.

Bill Gasiamis 1:10:50
And those people end up at the Paralympics. And if you don’t end up making the team, you, you still end up achieving great and amazing things in the other practice and in all the sessions in the community that you meet. And in the people that are coming through, that are looking at you going well, if he can do it, I can do it. If shaken, though, I can do it as like, Well, yeah, there’s nothing negative about it, is it? Nothing at all.

Bill Gasiamis 1:11:18
It’s just the whole entire thing can be a positive experience, yet hard, yet tough yet? Frustrating, challenging, yet sucking out your energy and making you question all of the things you know that you thought you were going to do. But yet, it’s still a positive experience writing a book for me, which I’m going through now, the cognitive abilities are not there for me to sit down and smash it out and say, three months or six months, it’s taken me a year so far, I’m halfway through.

Bill Gasiamis 1:11:53
And I’m getting there, and I’m doing what you’re saying little paragraphs every day on my pinky moving as much as I can to get it done. And at the end, it’ll be done because life is long. You can be over tomorrow for both of us for hopefully, not, but it can be over tomorrow, literally, but it’s long. And and that means I’ve got a long time to write the book. So there’s no rush, I’m not going to worry about it.

Bill Gasiamis 1:12:20
And if I don’t ever finish it, the fact that I have written, you know, seven and a half chapters is good enough, that’s good enough, that’s more than I had ever dreamed of doing. Because, like you, I don’t identify as a writer, I don’t identify as somebody who’s done literature or studied English, or any of that stuff was a tradesperson. I don’t know, I don’t write people like that don’t write books.

Bill Gasiamis 1:12:48
You know, we didn’t hang around with people who speak on stages, and all that kind of stuff. I first got on the stage after my stroke in 2013, a year after my stroke who got on stage and I keep doing that. So my identity has shifted, it upgraded so much. And I was lacking so much more than I had before. Before I had it all. And I had and it was impossible to become a speaker.

Bill Gasiamis 1:13:20
And it was impossible to become an author. It was impossible to be a podcaster. And then I lost so much, and everything became possible. And it’s what a weird transition to possibility. I had to lose things to make other things possible. You know, it’s so strange, but counterintuitive, and I love it. I love it. Because now I see loss as opportunity. Now I see setback as well, this means that something good is gonna come. So I love it.

Brisa Alfaro 1:13:58
I think when we compare ourselves to other people, that’s when we’re setting ourselves up for failure. So when you’re talking about how long it’s taken you to write your book, there are a lot of other people that are regular able bodied people that take much, much longer, but it’s because we start comparing ourselves to other people that have done it in like no time. That’s when we start feeling a certain way about our deficits.

Brisa Alfaro 1:14:35
That’s when we compare, well, that person walked before me and that person spoke before me and that person, you know, did this before me like stop comparing. Stop comparing anything like all of your recovery. You just focus on you and I think that is something that all of us are stroke survivors, we tend to go to that all the time. We navigate like, through life, like I’m just doing me, I’m just doing me, I’m trying to recover, I’m focused, I’m not focused on other people.

Brisa Alfaro 1:15:14
But we really are sometimes. And I think we need to be able to check ourselves and like, Okay, I’m going to do the best that I can. Whether or not bill, it takes you another year, it takes you a couple more months, it happens and lightning speed all of a sudden, one day you wake up and you get it done. Or if you never get it done at all, and you just do it for yourself.

Brisa Alfaro 1:15:48
Right? We have to stop comparing ourselves to other people. And just live. That’s what I’ve been doing. That’s what makes me that’s what makes me feel limitless. Because I’m not comparing myself to other people. I feel like I’m limitless. Because I don’t know, we’ll see what I can, what else I can do. What else can I do? What else can I do? Like? I don’t know, give me something else? I don’t know. Can I do it? I don’t know. But let’s see. Let’s see. Just keep trying. And I think that putting limitations on ourselves.

Bill Gasiamis 1:16:25
Yeah, absolutely. So the book, limitless, small moves to your greatest life after a paralyzing stroke, just give me a bit of a rundown of what people can expect to find in it.

Brisa Alfaro 1:16:40
So, at first I was writing it just to tell my story, I wanted to get it out, it was very therapeutic for me to be able to write it out and get it out there. But I also realized, I did need to do it for me so that I could move forward. Because a lot of it was holding me back. And I realized, like what I’ve learned from my recovery, should I should not hold it just for me, I should be able to share it with other people so that they too, can use it in their recovery.

Brisa Alfaro 1:17:25
So if there’s anything in my book, that expresses how I recovered, and maybe they can turn it around and apply it in their recovery, then I feel like I’ve done my job, I feel like I’m doing what I’m I’ve been sent back here to do is to help inspire other people to not give up. And this book is not just for stroke survivors. It’s not, it’s for survivors of life, we are all going through things.

Brisa Alfaro 1:18:01
And we all want to be limitless. we all we all wish that we had a map that tells us the directions on how to get there. But the reality is, we’re all of our routes are going to be different, our end goal may be the same. Like when you’re putting your end goal into a GPS, it may be the same, but it might reroute us, we might have to go through different roads to get there. But as long as our goals are the same, as long as we know where our goal is, we’re going to get there. And that’s kind of what my book is all about. Where I was going, where I what I needed to focus on. And what helped me. And what were my pinkie move that got me to get there. So that’s what it’s really about.

Unburden Yourself


Bill Gasiamis 1:19:04
Perfect. I’m reading the back cover of it. And it says, one person wrote this book is for every person living I couldn’t stop reading after I started it. Thank you Brisa for never giving up and continuing to show up every day. You are truly an inspiration to me and I know to everyone that reads this book, pause and play. I think one of the most therapeutic things is the ability to tell your story.

Bill Gasiamis 1:19:40
And that’s what I find fascinating is when you get to interview a stroke survivor who’s never really spoken about their stroke and it could be 3, 4, 5, 10 years since their stroke and they’ve never really spoken about it. And I find that jarring that that’s the case. And they’ll tell me that I’m the first person they spoke to about their stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 1:20:07
And it’s like, instantaneous, I want to go over there and hug them, but I can’t because they’re in America, and I’m in Australia. But it’s like, how is it that you’re experiencing this on your own, it’s a big burden to bear. And you need to share that burden, and not dump it on somebody else.

Bill Gasiamis 1:20:31
But you just need to, you know, lift that burden from your shoulders, and you need to make yourself you need to give yourself the space to feel, to recover, to overcome to do all that stuff, not just bear the burden. And I think when I see stroke survivors who write books, I don’t know if it’s just a thing, and I wasn’t paying attention before when I was recovering in 2012, first time, and second time and third time.

Bill Gasiamis 1:21:03
But this seems to be every second stroke survivors reading or writing a book. And that amount of books for stroke recovery is going to make a difference to people’s lives, it’s going to help them get through recovery, and audiobooks. Oh, my gosh, like now that you can just listen to them, and you don’t even have to read them. That is even better. For me, it’s really difficult to read for a long time.

Bill Gasiamis 1:21:26
And listening is such an amazing piece of technology that has changed my life and has helped me continue to learn and get inspired and feel good about all the and learn the things that I needed to overcome all the stuff that I need to overcome.

Bill Gasiamis 1:21:43
You know, so it’s just great that you’ve done this and lovely that you’re doing the work that you do, I love your Instagram. And we’ll share some of that stuff at the moment in a little while. We’ll also share your website in a little while. And some of the other things that you do. But I want to talk about a friend of ours. Duncan Camplin. And he is Yeah, because he listens is his biggest supporter, I reckon.

Bill Gasiamis 1:22:21
And he listens. And he always sends me emails and he always sends me Instagram messages. And he reminds me of you because his Instagram is so uplifting. It’s so fun, it’s funny, he tells us stories about stuff that, you know, he’s interested in, like, music and guitars. And he updates us with his most recent thing that he’s achieved, you know whether he walked for a little bit or stood up or did some weights or whatever. Tell me about your mate Duncan, what do you think about him?

Brisa Alfaro 1:23:03
Well, one thing, when we started working together, I remember telling him, I love his attitude. And I think that’s everything. And just because I knew how positive he was. I already know how his recovery is going to go. And when he would, as you know, when he shares anything on his platform, there is most of the time a positive spin on it.

Brisa Alfaro 1:23:44
And I think that he’s not looking at his recovery as poor me he’s looking at it like Okay, what’s next? And as a result of that, he is recovering. And he inspires me every day. He also had locked-in syndrome. And he’s just such a fighter. And I’m working with a couple other locked-in syndrome survivors. And the ones whether or not they’re recovering from locked-in syndrome or any other stroke.

Brisa Alfaro 1:24:29
The ones that have that positive mindset. I can’t keep up with the recovery. They’re just hand over fist just constantly evolving, constantly growing. And I honestly attribute that to celebration to celebrating their pinky moves. I mean, I say it that’s my my tagline small move is small moves, big results. I say that all the time, because that’s all you need are small moves, and celebrate those small moves, and achieve those big results. And that’s what Duncan does. He celebrates, who he is, who he was, and who he’s going to be. And I think more of us need to do that.

Bill Gasiamis 1:25:20
Yeah. You know how I try and get people like yourself who say, nearly 10 years past it, or eight years past it to go back there and you guys can’t refuse or choose not to. Duncan is the guy right there right now. He’s living it every single day. And that’s the thing, like, I’m trying to catch him out. I’m trying to find him on his bad day. And I want to see his terrible post.

Brisa Alfaro 1:25:52
He’s got so much good going for him. Why would he want to do that?

Bill Gasiamis 1:25:55
And you just don’t get that. You always get the positive twist and the good out of the story, you know? And every once in a while, I’ll send him a private message. And I’ll say to him that looks hard. Was that really hard? Or was that a tough day? You know, of course he’ll respond. He will say yes, it was a tough day. And it was hard, and it was difficult. But he does things regardless of the fact that it can be hard or difficult or hard to overcome.

Brisa Alfaro 1:26:33
And he’ll finish it off with that. So you can ask them, you know, was that tough? Or was that hard? And he will be honest just like anything. Yes, but and then he’ll focus. So he’ll start off with his, you know, challenge. But he’ll finish with what he wants. And what his celebration. And that’s, I think what more stroke survivors need some of that Juju that he’s got, I have another client that is currently like struggling to come back from locked-in syndrome. And he’s young, he was how old has he been? 20?

Brisa Alfaro 1:27:18
He’s a young kid, the world is in front of him. And he’s like, in this state and such a positive, positive kid and knows he’s gonna be okay. And because of that, because of the way that he looks at everything with a glass half full. I have complete hope. I know he’s going to be okay. Because he’s not going to stop. Neither is Duncan. They’re not going to stop. You put a challenge in front of them. It’s going to be a challenge.

Brisa Alfaro 1:27:56
But they’re not going to stop. And I think that’s what we need more of us need to be that way. You’re just not going to stop. Yes, it’s a challenge. But you’re gonna keep going. It’s when we stop. That’s when we’re settling with the cards that were dealt with us. It’s when we want to keep growing. It’s like the ones that are in the Olympics. How many times the people going back to that? People tell them like you should just be happy with what you got right now. They wanted more. And why not?

Bill Gasiamis 1:28:33
Absolutely not. Yeah, I love it. Now. We won’t tell Duncan that we’ve mentioned him in the podcast. I want to test him and see if he listens to every single episode right to the end.

Brisa Alfaro 1:28:48
And he probably will.

Bill Gasiamis 1:28:49
I know he’ll say, Yeah, I listened. Guaranteed. I know he will, but we’ll test him. Anyway. Let’s see what happens. As we wrap up. Tell me where can people find you online on Instagram? And also, is there a website that they can go to?

Brisa Alfaro 1:29:08
Yeah, so like, my handle is Brisa Alfaro. Facebook, Instagram, my website is brisaalfaro.com And also you can get a free download on pinkymoves.com. And you can also get connected to my book there. My book there I have some merchandise and I live my life by No more bad days. I constantly am trying to remind myself that this is just a moment not my day, so I have no more bad days. Reminder bracelets. It’s just a moment, not your day. And I’d love to connect with anyone that is listening to your podcast Bill. I’m super excited to befriend, all your friends.

Bill Gasiamis 1:30:04
Yeah, absolutely. And I am going to share all those links back to those sites so people can find you if they need to. I love your pose with your pinky. You know who was that evil character? Dr. Evil, he does it differently right? Show us your version.

Brisa Alfaro 1:30:27
Either way.

Bill Gasiamis 1:30:28
He did it like that.

Brisa Alfaro 1:30:30
Yeah, he does.

Bill Gasiamis 1:30:34
Brisa, thank you so much for being on the podcast. I thoroughly enjoyed this episode.

Brisa Alfaro 1:30:39
Oh, I’m glad. Thank you. So did I was great speaking to you. Thank you.

Bill Gasiamis 1:30:45
Well, guys, I told you this was going to be a great episode. Thank you so much for listening. And for staying right through to the end, Bruce is an amazing person, you can follow her by checking out the shownotes recoveryafterstroke.com/episodes.

Bill Gasiamis 1:31:00
If you’re watching on YouTube, please comment, give us a thumbs up, subscribe, hit the notification bell to get updates of new episodes as they become available. The more interaction this episode has, the more the algorithm will push the episode out to the people that need to see it and the greater the impact the interviews will make to caregivers and stroke survivors.

Bill Gasiamis 1:31:23
I’ve noticed that every interaction is helping the show get in front of more and more people. It really is working I’m seeing that the number of views for each episode is increasing. The view time is increasing, everything is increasing. And that is just fantastic. Because I put a lot of time and effort into each episode.

Bill Gasiamis 1:31:42
It takes about 10 hours for each episode to go live after recording, editing, and then uploading to YouTube and to the podcast apps. So that will be my gift to me. If you do that for me. comment like share that will be the gift that you give me. I really appreciate you for doing that. Thank you so much for being here and listening to another episode. I’ll see you on the next episode.

Intro 1:32:07
Importantly, we present many podcast designed to give you an insight and understanding into the experiences of other individuals’ opinions and treatment protocols discussed during any podcast or the individual’s own experience and we do not necessarily share the same opinion nor do we recommend any treatment protocol discussed.

Intro 1:32:24
All content on this website at any linked blog, podcast or video material controlled this website or content is created and produced for informational purposes only and is largely based on the personal experience of Bill Gasiamis, the content is intended to complement your medical treatment and support healing. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health advice.

Intro 1:32:47
The information is general and may not be suitable for your personal injuries, circumstances or health objectives. Do not use our content as a standalone resource to diagnose treat, cure or prevent any disease for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for the advice of a health professional.

Intro 1:33:01
Never delay seeking advice or disregard the advice of a medical professional, your doctor or your rehabilitation program based on our content if you have any questions or concerns about your health or medical condition, please seek guidance from a doctor or other medical professional if you are experiencing a health emergency or think you might be, call 000 if in Australia or your local emergency number immediately for emergency assistance or go to the nearest hospital emergency department.

Intro 1:33:26
Medical information changes constantly. While we aim to provide current quality information in our content. We did not provide any guarantees and assume no legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, currency or completeness of the content. If you choose to rely on any information within our content you do so solely at your own risk. We are careful with links we provide however third-party links from our website are followed at your own risk and we are not responsible for any information you find there.

The post Pons Stroke Recovery – Brisa Alfaro appeared first on Recovery After Stroke.

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Brisa Alfaro had a pons stroke that caused her to be completely locked in her body with no movement except for her eyes for at least 2 months before she got some movement in one of her pinkies. Brisa Alfaro had a pons stroke that caused her to be completely locked in her body with no movement except for her eyes for at least 2 months before she got some movement in one of her pinkies. Recovery After Stroke 1:33:54
Be Here Now – Jason DePetris https://recoveryafterstroke.com/be-here-now-jason-depetris/ Mon, 23 May 2022 16:25:17 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8897 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/be-here-now-jason-depetris/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/be-here-now-jason-depetris/feed/ 0 <p>Not only did Jason DePetris experience a stroke because of a brain aneurysm, no less than 9 months after the first incident he also experienced an ischemic stroke due to a previously undiagnosed genetic condition making him more prone to clotting.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/be-here-now-jason-depetris/">Be Here Now – Jason DePetris</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Not only did Jason DePetris experience a stroke because of a brain aneurysm, no less than 9 months after the first incident he also experienced an ischemic stroke due to a previously undiagnosed genetic condition making him more prone to clotting.

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Highlights:

02:35 Introduction
04:28 Ischemic Stroke
11:52 Embrace Life
14:55 Be Here Now
22:44 The Caregivers
29:13 Writing The Book
36:15 Taking Time To Recover
51:52 Reinventing Yourself
1:03:49 Chapters In The Book
1:14:44 The Be Here Now Collective

Transcription:

Jason De Petris 0:00
The book originally started out as a journal, it originally started out as me just journaling my own thoughts and I realized I have a lot to say. And I kind of decided to turn it into the book because early on in the recovery, it was really hard to find anything positive, especially about brain aneurysms.

Jason De Petris 0:23
Everything that I could find a read was really scary and negative, I couldn’t find anything positive really. And so the book was sort of my effort as well I wish there was something like this available for me when I was going through it.

Intro 0:41
This is the recovery after stroke podcast. With Bill Gasiamis, helping you navigate recovery after stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 0:54
Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Recovery After Stroke Podcast. Thanks to all the listeners who went along and have already left the show a five-star review.

Bill Gasiamis 1:03
It’s really heartwarming to see and read the many positive comments about what the show means to you. And it makes spending a lot of time putting each episode together so very worthwhile.

Bill Gasiamis 1:15
Now, I want to share a couple of the reviews left recently by a couple of listeners. Scam Destroyer left a review that says such a huge help. This is so far the most helpful podcast regarding stroke recovery and better healthy living.

Bill Gasiamis 1:32
So much appreciation for this. Thank you. Thank you. Well, thank you Scam Destroyer, I really appreciate the feedback. And I’m glad that you’re getting a lot out of the episodes.

Bill Gasiamis 1:42
Shannon Lavery also left a review and said such a great resource. Thank you for having this podcast. And for all those on the show, who are courageously sharing their stories and making a difference through education and connecting.

Bill Gasiamis 1:56
And that’s exactly why I did this podcast, I set it up because I wanted to connect with other people learn from them, and hopefully impart some of my knowledge on them as well.

Bill Gasiamis 2:06
So, yeah, it’s a really amazing thing to read all the reviews, they’re making a huge difference. And they’re making the show more visible to people who are looking for this kind of content.

Bill Gasiamis 2:18
Now also, thank you to the person who left me a one-star review without comment. That’s really curious as to why this particular podcast might deserve a one-star review. I never expected it, but everybody’s different. So fair enough.

Introduction

Jason DePetris
Bill Gasiamis 2:34
And the majority of the reviews are fantastic. So it really makes up for it. And it’s all good. Now, this is episode 195. And my guest today is a two-time stroke survivor, Jason De Petris.

Bill Gasiamis 2:48
Not only did Jason experience a stroke because of a brain aneurysm about nine months after the first incident, he experienced an ischemic stroke caused by a previously undiagnosed genetic condition that makes him more susceptible to flooding of the blood.

Bill Gasiamis 3:04
Now recently, Jason launched his book, Be Here Now, and has joined me on the podcast to chat about his journey so far, and how his book came to be. Jason De Petris. Welcome back to the podcast.

Jason De Petris 3:18
Thank you. Good to be here.

Bill Gasiamis 3:20
You know, you were on episode 110 previously. And that’s more than 80 episodes ago.

Jason De Petris 3:31
Wow.

Bill Gasiamis 3:33
And it’s about a year and a half ago, it doesn’t feel that long since we last spoke, and I’ve been following your progress on Instagram. And I’m really excited to be able to share a follow-up interview with a stroke survivor.

Bill Gasiamis 3:52
And really dive into the before which was, you know, a year and a half ago when we first spoke and now give people a good insight into what happens or what’s possible or what occurs in that time after stroke. And how long things take the happen or you know how far you get.

Bill Gasiamis 4:15
So, can you give the people listening the ones that haven’t listened to Episode 110 yet, give us a little bit of an insight into what it was that brought you and me together? What happened to you?

Jason DePetris Had An Ischemic Stroke

Jason DePetris
Jason De Petris 4:28
Yeah, It’s interesting. You say it was only a year and a half ago feels like a lifetime has passed during that year and a half. So yeah, just a brief timeline. In October of 2019. I experienced an ischemic stroke.

Jason De Petris 4:44
It was the day before I was scheduled to run the Chicago Marathon. I was in Chicago. And luckily the stroke occurred before the race did not during the race. While having breakfast in a restaurant, I had a stroke, was rushed to the hospital when they did a CT scan to confirm their suspicion that I was having a stroke they discovered a large brain aneurysm behind my right eye.

Jason De Petris 5:09
And basically I was told this aneurysm needs to be repaired yesterday. And so I was in the hospital for a week or so once it was safe for me to travel home, I came back to California.

Jason De Petris 5:26
After lots of testing and conversations, I had a cerebral bypass in California, which entails taking an artery from my arm, grafting one end of it onto my carotid artery, a full craniotomy, they opened up my skull grafted the other end in my brain.

Jason De Petris 5:46
That surgery was unsuccessful for a variety of reasons. I was on the operating table, more than double the amount of time I was supposed to be I had a seizure during the operation, almost didn’t survive the operation.

Jason De Petris 6:01
And when I finally woke up, I was told oh, yeah, and that operation didn’t work. So 32 days after that, I went to a different hospital in California, and I had a stent and coiling of the aneurysm.

Jason De Petris 6:18
And recovery was progressing nicely, I think somewhere in that timeline was when I connected with you over Instagram, and you allowed me to be on the podcast, it was kind of mid recovery, if I remember correctly.

Jason De Petris 6:34
And then about nine months after the first stroke, I experienced a second stroke. And after a lot of testing, they did just about every kind of test that you can imagine, to figure out why I had this second stroke, because as far as everybody knew, including the doctors, my healing was progressing normally.

Jason De Petris 6:57
All of that testing led them to discover that I have a genetic condition related to my bone marrow, that makes me extra prone to clotting. And so essentially what happened we didn’t know that I had that condition there was no reason to think that I had that or to test for that if the second stroke hadn’t happened.

Jason De Petris 7:16
So essentially, what happened was the stent that had been placed in the aneurysm, clotted and blocked. And through are very strange twist of fate, the bypass that originally had not been successful originally hadn’t worked. When I had the second stroke, it started working.

Jason De Petris 7:37
Essentially, as I understand it, the stent clotted up was blocked, the blood had nowhere else to go. And so it forced its way through the bypass, which up until then had been useless. So ironically, that bypass that we thought was not successful, probably saved my life, that’s probably why I survived the second stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 7:57
So I’m not laughing. You know, that’s that nervous, kind of weird, strange thing that happens when people hear something like that. And then they realize the complete ridiculousness of what you just said. And then it’s also amazing that you just said that, and that you’re here this much time later.

Bill Gasiamis 8:21
And what you’re going to share today is going to be amazing. It’s going to be the amazing kind of what’s possible. After all of this drama that occurs, you know, these are the notes that I had, on your original podcast was I had the notes where you spoke about, you kind of avoided or didn’t recognize the signs of stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 8:44
You were saved by a stroke, you were definitely worried about deficits and concerned about what you might have to recover from or deal with. You were dealing with the uncertainty of exactly that second stroke or another stroke and what life’s going to be like, you know, at some point, you started to take responsibility for your recovery.

Bill Gasiamis 9:06
And you started dealing with your emotions, which is a very common thing that comes up, you changed your diet. And then we spoke about Be Here Now, which is your whole kind of philosophy now. Your Instagram, it’s your book.

Bill Gasiamis 9:28
It’s everything you know, it sounds like it’s the topic or it’s the way of being that you’re building your life around, you know?

Jason De Petris 9:40
Absolutely.

Bill Gasiamis 9:41
So I think most people who listen to this podcast caregivers, or stroke survivors, and the ones who watch on YouTube will relate to all those things that you said they’ll relate to all those issues, concerns, and everything that you said.

Bill Gasiamis 9:57
And what they often don’t get is this whole if specially if they’re very early on, and they find the podcast early on in their stroke experience or recovery, they need somebody to ease their mind. And that’s what the whole purpose of the podcast is. Hopefully it does that.

Bill Gasiamis 10:14
And then some, you know, it eases the mind. How did you start to notice that even though you were worried about deficits, and even though you were dealing with uncertainty. How did they take like a step back from being at the front of your mind? Because I’m feeling like you’re not at that place now?

Jason De Petris 10:43
Yeah, that’s an interesting question. It’s interesting, you say that you’re feeling like I’m not in that place. I mean, I definitely have my moments. Ironically, and I still kind of struggle to figure out where this has gone mentally.

Jason De Petris 11:01
Ironically, the second stroke, I mean, when it happened, when the second stroke occurred, I mean, it was my worst fears. It was basically confirmation of everything I had been afraid of.

Jason De Petris 11:12
And I was shocked, and along with a lot of other emotions. And, you know, the days and weeks after the second stroke, that was some of the darkest moments I’ve ever had. But when I climbed out of that, which happened thankfully, relatively quickly.

Jason De Petris 11:31
It almost gave me this gift, so to speak of you know, I wish it hadn’t happened. But when the second stroke happened, I sort of realized, I’m like, Okay, well, I’m not going to live my life in fear. I’m not going to spend all of my energy being afraid of what might or might not happen.

Embrace Life

Jason DePetris
Jason De Petris 11:52
Because that was kind of proof to me that you can do everything, right. You can eat healthy, you can be fit, you can exercise, you can take all your medications, you can follow all the doctor’s orders, and it can still happen.

Jason De Petris 12:08
And if that’s the case, if you can do everything right and tick all the boxes, and you can still have another stroke, well, then there’s no point in me worrying about it all the time. Like I’m gonna live my life. And so that was a weird sort of positive thing that came out of it. I don’t know if that’s going to make sense to people.

Bill Gasiamis 12:29
It makes sense to me, it’s the whole okay, I’ll be blunt, we’re all going to die, no matter what happens, we’re all going to die, that’s where we’re headed. Instead of being afraid of death, which is stopping you from living your life, it’s not embrace death, but it’s like accept that that’s where we’re heading and just embrace life.

Bill Gasiamis 12:53
Embrace the opportunity to live fully, as much as you can. And then you’ll have no regrets if the inevitable comes sooner rather than later or whatever that is, you know, we don’t know.

Bill Gasiamis 13:11
And just because you’ve had one and two strokes doesn’t mean the third one has to be the worst one or the one that gives you death it just there’s another one that you get to recover from, it may not mean anything, so let’s not necessarily apply meaning to what anything may mean.

Bill Gasiamis 13:29
I had the first stroke than I had a second one than I had a third one three times bleeds in the brain from an AVM and not once did I fear the fourth one or the third one or the second one I never feared them.

Bill Gasiamis 13:43
I kind of accepted early on that I’m going to make the most of whatever happens after that. I’m just going to make the most of it. I don’t know what the future holds.

Bill Gasiamis 13:54
But I’m not going to predetermine in my head and make myself the block to me living a proper life. I had done that before stroke, before stroke I was the guy that had all the reasons why life wasn’t possible to live the way that I wanted it to. I’m not doing that now.

Jason De Petris 14:15
I absolutely get what you’re saying and again I wish the second stroke hadn’t happened but I almost feel like it gave me that gift because I had been sort of saying Be Here Now and I’ve been preaching be here now.

Jason De Petris 14:31
Now I get it now it’s like all the more reason to live in the moment and another piece which maybe I’m skipping ahead here but the second stroke happened three days after I finished writing the rough draft of my book, I had finished the book. I finished the first draft three days later I had the second stroke.

Be Here Now

Be Here Now
Bill Gasiamis 14:55
Wow. So tell me what is Be Here Now? The concept what does it embody? Tell me.

Jason De Petris 15:04
It’s all about for me, it’s all about living in the present moment. That’s being here, present mentally, physically, spiritually, however you want to look at it, being present in the present moment, not worrying about what happened in the past, not, you know, regretting what I have or having done or what has or hasn’t happened.

Jason De Petris 15:27
And not ruminating on the future, what may or may not happen, it’s all about living. In the moment right here when the first incident happened, when I was in Chicago to run marathon, I was there with my best friend that I had grown up with, we no longer live in the same part of the United States.

Jason De Petris 15:46
But we grew up together since birth. And we spent a lot of time talking about my anxiety after the first stroke, she has a phrase that she uses called Future tripping.

Jason De Petris 15:58
Meaning, you know, she’s your future tripping again, like I would go off and my mind would spin on these Oh, well, what if this? What if that what if this, and she kept saying, future tripping, which really stuck in my head, and I was like, I need to stop doing that I need to be here, I need to be right here. For this moment. That’s where that comes from.

Bill Gasiamis 16:16
I love that, because anxiety is exactly that it’s worrying about something that hasn’t happened yet. Yeah, that you’re expecting to happen. And if you get good at worrying about things that haven’t happened yet, you can come up with frickin endless number of things to worry about that haven’t happened yet.

Bill Gasiamis 16:33
And what we know is that 95 or more percent of the things that we worry about, don’t actually ever happen. And what we’re doing is putting energy into trying to avoid something that we don’t need to avoid, we actually don’t need to avoid it.

Jason De Petris 16:51
Well, and really when you do that, and I find that that concept translates to so many areas of my life. I mean, obviously, my recovery, but everything else, too, into my business, into my marathon running, which I’m fortunate to have recovered enough that I can do that, again.

Jason De Petris 17:07
It translates to all of that if I’m worrying in my business, I have a small business, if I’m worrying about oh, my gosh, well, what if this? What if that what if this, my business appointments that I have right now are not going to go well, because my mind’s not in it.

Jason De Petris 17:26
If I’m running a race, if I’m running a marathon or half marathon, and I’m like, Oh, I still have nine more miles to run. I’m not focusing on what I’m doing. And I’m less likely to do a good job you know what I mean, so it just translates everything.

Bill Gasiamis 17:39
Imagine people that are listening and watching imagine, Jason and I are having a conversation, and all of a sudden, I pick up my phone, and I start checking my messages all my notifications, right? And what’s happening is, Jason’s going on his merry way and talking about his book and his experience and all that kind of stuff.

Bill Gasiamis 18:05
And I’m not there, you don’t want to be that guy, you don’t want to be the guy that picks up the phone and starts checking notifications and starts doing things like that, while the other person is engaged, because your mind is worrying about the future, or expecting some notification to come or whatever.

Bill Gasiamis 18:25
It’s like you’re the worst person to be around as well. And you just haven’t. And you might not have realized, like how much you impact that other person that’s with you in the room, at the cafe, at the kitchen table, you know, wherever they are, you’re not realizing how much you’re impacting them in a negative way by not being able to just ease your mind about stuff that you can’t control.

Bill Gasiamis 18:52
And just being in the moment and enjoying every single moment of that interaction with that person. That’s kind of my way to bring attention or give people an idea of what that looks like. That’s what it looks like. Like, as if I did that to Jason right now.

Jason De Petris 19:11
It’s like you’re doing that to your own life. I mean, that’s a really good analogy. Is that because everybody’s been across the table from somebody who was checking their phone, but it’s like, you’re doing that same thing that that person with the phone is doing to you. You’re doing that to your life.

Bill Gasiamis 19:25
To yourself. So then you’ve come out of hospital, and you’ve written a rough draft. And what were you thinking at the time at that moment, what were you thinking about like all the steps that you had taken and all the things that you had achieved to that point.

Bill Gasiamis 19:55
And now you’re dealing with another stroke, it did turn out to be a blessing in disguise. But what were you thinking right at that moment about the book and releasing it and all that stuff?

Jason De Petris 20:06
Well, okay, so I’m gonna go a little bit before the book. And I’ll tell you just in the immediate moment when the second stroke happened. I knew exactly what was happening. So the first stroke, I didn’t know what was happening, I didn’t realize I was having a stroke.

Jason De Petris 20:21
When the second stroke happened, I knew exactly what was happening because it felt, looked, sounded, it was identical to the first one. So I knew exactly what was happening. And it was absolutely terrifying because I thought, okay, I dodged the bullet the first time. What is this one going to do to me?

Jason De Petris 20:42
And it was absolutely terrifying. And I was in intensive care for I forget how many days it was right in the middle of the pandemic, so nobody can visit me. I mean, I basically waved goodbye to my spouse from the curb as the ambulance drove away.

Jason De Petris 21:04
So that was really rough. The first couple of weeks after that stroke were really rough, I was in a very, very dark place. Because I was thinking, is this what my life is now? And you know, am I going to recover from this one this time?

Jason De Petris 21:23
I’ve been lucky with both strokes. My deficits are relatively minor, but they were made worse by the second stroke. And so I thought, okay, am I going to recover from this?

Jason De Petris 21:35
And then, getting back to the book, when it became clear that I was recovering, and I was going to kind of bounce back. And I thought, Well, what do I do with the book, I just finished the book, I ended the book on a very positive note, you know, I was very happy with the way it ended.

Jason De Petris 21:53
And I thought, Well, what do I do now? Do I include anything? Do I add? Like, do I add something to the end? Do I tell people that I had the second stroke? Do I you know, does that negate all the positivity that I was trying to build up to in the book.

Jason De Petris 22:07
And I ultimately decided I have to include it, I have to say something because of the book is all about recovery. Recovery is ugly, recovery doesn’t happen the way you want it to it’s not linear, it’s not clean.

Jason De Petris 22:22
Sometimes it’s two steps forward, three steps back. So I thought, you know, if I’m gonna publish this book, I gotta be honest, I have to say what actually happened. So I did decide ultimately, to talk about second stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 22:35
And you added that to the end of the book, so to speak, was it?

Jason De Petris 22:40
Yeah.

The Caregivers

Bill Gasiamis 22:44
It’s already the second iteration of the book, and the book hasn’t even come out yet. Usually, you hear about somebody releases their book, and then they update it, you know, five, six, ten years down the road, and they tell you they have a recently updated version, and it goes out. You did that all in one go. How does your partner deal with the second stroke? What is going on there?

Jason De Petris 23:19
Gosh, I mean, yeah, that’s a hard one to answer. So I can’t even imagine what was going on in my family’s mind when this was happening. Because like I said, it was in July of 2020. It was at the height, at least in Los Angeles, it was at the height of the pandemic.

Jason De Petris 23:41
So I was allowed no visitors to the hospital. So I was so focused on my own at that time, but I’m sure it was rough. And up to that point, he had been such a constant caregiver. And I’m sure it was like, Oh, here we go again.

Jason De Petris 24:04
And I was not in a good place mentally when I came out of the hospital I was not in a good place mentally. The whole poor me thing didn’t last very long. Because that’s just not really my personality. That didn’t last very long. I came out of that pretty quickly.

Jason De Petris 24:22
The feeling sorry for myself, but I was in a very negative headspace. And it set off a whole nother spiral of things of anxiety, which took a while to gain control of so yeah, I’m sure I was not fun to be around for a while there.

Bill Gasiamis 24:42
And, you know, we’re gonna give you a bit of a break for that. We’re going to give you a little bit of a break and say, Look, you know, your heads been messed up because of this thing that happened and it’s second time and it’s like, yeah, fair enough and some self-compassion in that moment when people are doing it tough.

Bill Gasiamis 25:00
Because they’ve been through a really tough time is really important. You know, I was pretty terrible as well, in my behavior to my wife, and I was no saint beforehand, but it was like, a little bit next level, idiotic, you know.

Bill Gasiamis 25:16
And it was really important for me to just realize that I didn’t need to beat myself up about that, and I needed to then apologize about that part of not beating myself up about it was that I could make it right by apologizing.

Bill Gasiamis 25:29
And by trying to be the best I could be most of the time, but I’m human and most of us are, so we’re going to act up and misbehave and, and also have negative thoughts and also have positive ones and then be balanced and then be completely unbalanced and nuts.

Bill Gasiamis 25:50
And that’s all normal, you know, that’s part of our style, our spouses. Well, that’s how they normally are, but then they’re dealing it from the filter of this person I love nearly died or might have died or whatever.

Bill Gasiamis 26:06
And it’s completely, again, different level of experiencing us because they want to make sure that we’re okay, caring for us and the rest of it. And maybe they’re getting frustrated, and they don’t know how to help and how to be because they’re not caregivers.

Bill Gasiamis 26:24
They’re humans, who are moments before the strokes, were just normal, regular people, and now they’ve got to be caregivers, they’ve got to know everything about stroke, and how to deal with their own emotions as well as help you out of it. And it’s like, so much to ask of them.

Jason De Petris 26:42
It really is, it is a lot to ask. And I think and Jeremy and I’ve had many conversations about this, about how, you know, obviously, he knows more about the situation and more about how I feel about it than most people do.

Jason De Petris 26:58
But I don’t care how close you are to the person like you. I don’t care how much you think you understand you don’t, unless you’re the patient and you went through it, I don’t care how much you think you understand. You don’t completely understand.

Jason De Petris 27:15
And, that can be frustrating from the patient side as well. Especially because stroke, I mean, it is a brain injury, and it does affect your emotions. And it does affect certain things.

Jason De Petris 27:29
And it is from what I understand it is common after a stroke to have a short temper, and to get irritated quickly and you know, get anxious easily. And I definitely exhibited those symptoms, and I definitely would bite his head off when I shouldn’t have. So yeah, it’s a really tough position for a caregiver to be in.

Bill Gasiamis 27:51
Yeah, my heart goes out to all the caregivers in the family members and their loved ones it does. And it goes out to the stroke survivors as well, there’s no doubt about it. There’s no one’s winning out of those experiences at that time in that moment, at the most acute phase of the experience.

Bill Gasiamis 28:12
And then the very early parts of the recovery. No one is equipped enough to handle it all and to be perfectly fine. And that’s part of our growth and our learning, right.

Bill Gasiamis 28:26
You know, what’s really, really interesting to me, is the amount of stroke survivors that have gone from that experience. And then gone, you know, what, I am going to learn, grow from this. And then I’m going to tell everyone else about this as many people as I can. And I’m going to reach as much as I can.

Bill Gasiamis 28:52
And I was even shocked that I did it myself that I started a podcast and looking back on it. I don’t even know how I got to here and what I was thinking other than I think I need to share stories or learn from people or something and I need to create a community for me, and then became about other people.

Writing The Book – Be Here Now


Bill Gasiamis 29:13
And so it’s an amazing thing that I reflect on that I did and I never was that way before I never was that generous with giving my time and my knowledge, you know? How do you get to that point where you have a stroke? The first one and then you think I’m gonna write a book about this.

Intro 29:43
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.

Intro 30:00
Doctors will explain things that 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 recoveryafterstroke.com, where you can download a guide that will help you.

Intro 30:22
It’s called 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.

Jason De Petris 30:45
The book originally started out as a journal, for me, it originally started out as me just journaling my own thoughts, and I really have a lot to say. And I kind of decided to turn it into the book because early on in the recovery, it was really hard to find anything positive especially about brain aneurysm.

Jason De Petris 31:11
Everything that I could find a read was really scary and negative, I couldn’t find anything positive really. And so the book was sort of my effort as well, I wish there was something like this available for me when I was going through it.

Jason De Petris 31:26
And I don’t know if you Bill, have experienced this, but I know in the thick of it, I forget how crazy my story is sometimes until I’m introduced to somebody new and it comes up and that you know, I try not to make that the first thing I talk about.

Jason De Petris 31:43
But you know, you know comes up and I forget how extreme my story is until I’m telling somebody who hasn’t heard it before. And I see their face change. And they’re like, holy crap, you know, and, and they’re fascinated, they always want to know more, they have more questions, they want to know more.

Jason De Petris 32:02
I thought well, and I very, very often get the question, what is a brain aneurysm? I’ve heard that term, but what did they don’t know what it is. So it kind of came out of all of that it was you know, it was kind of me getting my thoughts out.

Jason De Petris 32:02
It was me, thank God, I wish there was something that could give some people a path through the recovery or something positive. And it was, hey, people want to know about this, especially if you have to be a caregiver or whatever. So it was kind of a combination of all those.

Bill Gasiamis 32:32
Yeah. I get the opportunity to share my story once a year with the third year occupational therapy students at the Australian Catholic University here in Melbourne, as part of one of the modules that they’re doing, which is in stroke recovery, so occupational therapy, as, as a tool support talk for stroke survivors.

Bill Gasiamis 33:01
And I tell it, and every time the professor who invited me to speak there, or doctor, I think she’s a doctor. Anyway, when we first started, she was just somebody that was there now, she’s moved through the ranks and become either a doctor or professor. I’ve known her for about seven or eight years.

Bill Gasiamis 33:23
And every time she says to me, oh, my gosh, I learned something new that I didn’t know, since the last time you told the story. And, and it what it is, is always it’s one of those shocking moments or amazing moments or fantastic moments.

Bill Gasiamis 33:38
And I didn’t realize there’s so many of them that are limited in the story. Yeah. And it’s what you said is they come out every once in a while. Right? It’s like, wow, gosh, that also happened. And then you realize on what a dramatic roller coaster ride it has been and how much you’ve overcome to get to the other side.

Bill Gasiamis 34:04
It’s what you’re talking about, right? It’s like you’ve overcome this, the dramatic dips. And I My experience was the high highs, very high highs. And I was never really at the middle ground for a long time. Afterwards, it took a while to get to the smooth end of the roller coaster ride, which was as it takes off, whereas it ends and there’s just a very small amount of time of that. Is that what you felt as well as that you’ll take?

Jason De Petris 34:38
Yeah, that’s very similar to what I felt and I feel like I’m just now it’s interesting that we’re reconnecting now because I feel like I’m just now kind of settling into that middle like I’m, I feel the most like myself, so to speak that I have felt since this journey began.

Jason De Petris 34:56
You know, for a long time I felt like I mean, the easiest way I could think of just ascribe was I didn’t recognize my life. And I feel like I’m just now within the last couple of months, I feel like myself again. And with some positive improvements, I hope, but I have found joy again, because there was a long this was not a fun process, as you know.

Jason De Petris 35:21
And there was a lot of time, there was a lot of the journey where I was just unhappy and angry. The and it wasn’t even really, like, why did this happen to me? That stuff happens to people all the time. It wasn’t even really like why me it was it was more like, I gotta deal with this crap. Now, you know what I mean? And I feel like I’m out of that. Now. I feel like I’ve cleared that hill.

Bill Gasiamis 35:54
Yeah. So I had a lot of joyful moments at the very beginning, that they sort of kept coming, maybe because of my tendency to focus on the positive and see light, where there’s a lot of darkness. So that’s just me, that’s just who I’ve always been.

Taking Time To Recover

Bill Gasiamis 36:15
And my experience with stroke, one, two, and three, and then brain surgery that was over three and a half years. By the time I got out of recovery, and finished outpatient occupational therapy and rehabilitation, it was nearly four years. It was gonna, it was definitely three and a half years.

Bill Gasiamis 36:37
So it took a really long time for me to start to feel like myself again. After the rehabilitation ended, I kind of sort of started going back to my regular life. But it was a lot of interruptions with hospital visits, or I’m having a major headache, or I don’t know what it is, I’m afraid it might be a stroke, let’s not muck around and just go and get it checked out.

Bill Gasiamis 37:06
Although the surgery removed the blood vessel that was potentially going to bleed. Yeah, I still had all that stuff to do. And I was still in these weird Twilight Zone places in my head where I couldn’t really grasp the the reality of where I was like I was just in this weird sort of haze or fog and strange places.

Bill Gasiamis 37:33
And it took about eight years since the first stroke for me to start to feel like myself again, properly, fully, even with my deficits, even with my left side numbness and why wonky balance when I get too tired, and my inability to concentrate a lot after say 12 or one o’clock in the afternoon. I still, even with those things start to feel.

Bill Gasiamis 38:02
I’m still feeling like I’m the most, quote unquote, myself that I’ve ever been. Yeah. And I say that because what I want to demonstrate is for you, you got there after about, you know, two years to somebody there. I got there after eight years, you know, it takes different amount of time for different people.

Bill Gasiamis 38:22
The key part of the story is we get there, everyone kind of does get there in this new way. And they start to upgrade their identity, even though they’ve had a stroke. Stroke is not their only identity, they start to add all the layers back into their identity that they’ve been missing, or they’ve been put on hold or, you know, they put to the side for the moment where they were really unwell.

Jason De Petris 38:53
Yeah, no, that’s true. And I think you bring up a really good point there where the stroke is not your identity. It’s one thing that happened to you in your life, but it’s not your identity. And I relay back to in a previous career, I used to be a special education teacher.

Jason De Petris 39:10
And it’s always been a pet peeve of mine you commonly hear and it’s not. People don’t mean this in a negative way. But you hear people say, Oh, that Down’s kid or so and so has a downside. And that was always a pet peeve of mine. I was always like, Well, no, it’s a kid who has Down syndrome.

Jason De Petris 39:31
It’s not a Down’s kid. Because you’re reducing that person, you’re reducing their entire identity to that one element. And it’s the same kind of thing. It’s like, I’m not a stroke patient. I’m somebody who had a stroke once and starting times in the right and I’m starting to find my identity again. Outside of that one thing that happened or two things that happened.

Bill Gasiamis 39:53
Yeah. I really love that what you said because I’m a stroke survivor, not a stroke victim and a lot. And a lot of the people that we interact with on Instagram and through the podcast and knew who you’ll start interacting with through the book, often are referred to by other people as stroke victims, or stroke patients.

Bill Gasiamis 40:17
But the stroke survivor, I think, is something that we take and run with. That’s something that we identify with that we describe ourselves as. And it’s really empowering of the first person to tell me that was my counselor after episode number two.

Bill Gasiamis 40:41
And she leaned in and said, You know what you are now, I said, I don’t know what I am. She said, You’re a stroke survivor, you can start using that label. And I didn’t realize what she was saying what she was doing. I know now.

Bill Gasiamis 40:55
But that was a really empowering description of me. And I think it was a real big key to the way that I then went about relaying my story to people and actually turning into a positive and then getting them to do the whole, what you experienced the whole Wow, or amazing or that’s unbelievable.

Jason De Petris 41:21
Well, and words matter. I mean, words do matter, the way you choose to express it does make a difference in how you see yourself. I mean, obviously, it makes a difference in the way that other people see you too. But more importantly, I think it makes a difference in how we see ourselves the way you choose to express that story or not.

Bill Gasiamis 41:43
So going forward, what’s the how are you managing the condition that you discovered after the second bleed? How is the medical world and you managing that?

Jason De Petris 41:58
That’s been a little bit of a journey in itself. So I’ll tell you what I know about the condition. But I’ll start by saying I don’t know a lot about the condition. One of the things that Jeremy my spouse laughs about a little bit, is, I’m not interested in doing a lot of technical research on my conditions, it was bad enough to live through it, I want to get through it and move on.

Jason De Petris 42:25
So I kind of take the attitude for good or bad or whatever, I take the attitude, okay, doctors, tell me what I need to do, I’ll follow your orders. But I’m not going to sit here and read the textbook, I frankly, don’t care, like, tell me what I need to do to not die and I’ll do it.

Jason De Petris 42:43
So so I don’t know a ton about the condition. As I understand it. It is a genetic condition in my bone marrow that the way it was explained to me. I think it what happens is my bone marrow doesn’t know when to stop producing red blood cells that just continues producing, producing, producing, producing. So I clot over very easily.

And that condition is most frequently seen in patients who have either leukemia, or sickle cell anemia. So the treatment for that condition is a medication that is technically it’s a form of chemotherapy, it’s a pill, I don’t have any I don’t get infusions or injections or anything like that. It’s a pill. And it’s a mild chemotherapy.

But technically, it’s chemotherapy. I mean, it says on the pill bottle, do not handle these pills with your bare hands. So it’s a very, it’s a very harsh medication, and it does have side effects. It took about took over a year for the doctor to adjust to get the dosage right.

When they first put me on that medication, I was going every two weeks, I was going for blood tests every two weeks, every two weeks. And it was because it was throwing all my levels off. And it was created some unpleasant side effects. We now have it at a level that I’m stable. So but yeah, it’s I’ll have to be on that medication or some version of it for the rest of my life.

Bill Gasiamis 44:15
And it’s not something that’s able to be impacted by blood thinners or anything like that, because it’s not a type of condition.

Jason De Petris 44:26
Correct. So I do take aspirin, which I guess is technically a blood thinner, but I’m not on a blood thinner medication. I take aspirin and that I take the medication for that other condition.

Bill Gasiamis 44:36
Yeah, that sounds like the aspirin is kind of the sort of support mechanism to help the blood flow a little bit. therefore reduce the possibility again of potentially clots or anything like that. That’s

Jason De Petris 44:50
That’s my understanding. But like I said, I mean my understanding I mean, I go to a cancer doctor, I go to an oncologist for that condition. I don’t have cancer, which when they feel was told me we’re going to put you on this medication, I was a little alarmed because we looked it up. And I was like, that’s a cancer medication. I do not have cancer. But it’s because of the nature of my condition. That’s the medication that’s used for but I haven’t researched it much more than that. I go to the doctor, I love my oncologist. She’s, she’s great. She really explain things explain things in a way that I can understand. And I don’t ask beyond that. Because I’m like, Well, I just want to live my life.

Bill Gasiamis 45:27
That’s so good. There’s nothing wrong with that. I mean, I totally get it. I’m the opposite. I need to know all the gory details. Yeah. And it just that what that does is it gives me the same experience that you get, it allows me to live my life. Yeah. So weird ways, completely different ways of getting to the same outcome. Yeah. But then what I think about is, if I know, every single thing that there is to know, then I know what I need to do, then I have all the information that I need to do what I want to do. So I just need to go a bit deeper than you. But you seem like you have all the information that you need to do what you need to do next, which is perfect.

Jason De Petris 46:09
That’s interesting, because I can absolutely see from your side, I can absolutely see how that would accomplish the same thing for somebody. I think for me with my you know, I have a tendency towards anxiety anyway, even before obviously, it was made worse by the stroke, but I have a tendency in that direction anyway. So I think with my personality, if I spent too much time and energy researching, and I think what that’s going to do is give me a whole bunch of other reasons to be scared. Right? So So for me, I’m like, Just tell me what I need to do. And I’ll do it.

Bill Gasiamis 46:43
Like that. You’ve worked out how to hack your anxiety and don’t go, I love it. Yeah. Yeah, that’s such a great skill. I mean, to know what not to do. A. Okay, so first, like, now you know what to do to stay alive. And now you also know what not to do to trigger anxiety for no reason.

Jason De Petris 47:05
Right, exactly. I mean, if there’s anything that I’ve learned from this experience, it’s I’ve learned about my own personality.

Bill Gasiamis 47:14
Everyone else knew your personality, and they judged you because of it. And you just worked it out. How old are they?

Jason De Petris 47:21
44

Bill Gasiamis 47:24
I love it. Better late than never. Huh. Have you got a copy of the book with you? The deal? Show us throw it up in front of the camera. Okay. It’s Be Here Now by Jason de Petrus. Surviving stroke and brain aneurysm? Yes. Brilliant. It’s an awesome cover. I love the image of the head. And the brain and the tree all combined. Is that? How did you come up with that image? Is that an image that you just came across? or did somebody design that for you? And what does to you? So my,

Jason De Petris 48:07
one of my business clients actually is a graphic designer. And I’ve gotten to be friends with him over the years. And he’s done a lot of graphics for my business. So I immediately and he and he’s also an art visual artist outside of his graphic design business. Excuse me, I’ve always loved his art. And so I told him, I was doing the book. And I said, I would like to hire you to design the cover. And he was like, yeah, absolutely. So yeah, so he did that for me.

Bill Gasiamis 48:35
And did you have to give him a lot of guidance on how to come up with an image because that’s a pretty unique image.

Jason De Petris 48:48
No, I mean, he gave me I think like 12 or 13 potential options for the cover, and they were all very, very different. And that we narrowed it down to like two or three. And that was the one that I picked the other one. The other image that I liked it was an image you’re looking at the back of somebody and his head was sort of opening up and there was light coming out of it.

Jason De Petris 49:18
And I thought it was a really cool image but the reason I chose not to do that one was it was like a shirtless man and he was really buff. And I said well that’s a cool image but I look nothing like that. And I was like if I make that the cover of my own book, people are gonna be like, well you have a high opinion of yourself. So I was like, no, let’s let’s not do that. Let’s not try and pretend that the cover is me. Let’s just have like, you know, more of an artistic image.

Bill Gasiamis 49:48
So does it say anything to that did speak to you in a particular way is did you interpret that image as something that therefore made it the perfect image

Jason De Petris 50:01
Yes, I love the fact that the head is sort of blowing away in the wind. Because that to me is like, you know you do when you go through something like this, obviously, I’ve gained a lot from this. But initially, it feels like you’re losing a lot, it feels like you’re losing a piece of your life. And that’s what that image looks like to me.

Bill Gasiamis 50:26
Yeah, you’re losing a bit of your life, some of the losing some of the not-so-good stuff, the bad stuff, or you’re losing some of the good stuff as well in that whole thing. What are the some of the things? How has your life changed? Has it taken away some good things? Did it kind of give you like an insight into some of the stuff that you didn’t like? What did it do this whole stroke experience?

Jason De Petris 50:53
Yeah, I think I definitely gained more positive things from it than than anything else. Which is also why I like that picture, too, because it’s hard to see probably on the camera, but it’s also Yeah, it’s blowing away. But it’s also a tree, it’s growing, it’s continuing to grow. It definitely improved a lot of my personal relationships. It’s one really interesting, while I’ve improved my relationship with my spouse, I think we can withstand anything after going through what we’ve been through.

Jason De Petris 51:27
One really interesting one was it improved my relationship with my brother, which was not a bad relationship, but we became much closer, he became a really, really good support system for me, which kind of surprised I have a brother that’s 18 years younger than me. And so we’ve always had kind of like an uncle-nephew kind of relationship. But he, you know, he’s an adult now.

Reinventing Yourself

Jason De Petris 51:52
And, he was a really surprisingly good support system, for his age and for never having gone through that before. So that brought us closer, it definitely put a mirror up in front of me to learn about my own personality, and the things I like about my personality, and a lot of things I didn’t like about my personality, too. And you’re kind of getting, when you go through something like this, you’re kind of getting a chance to start over.

Jason De Petris 52:26
And you can be whoever you want to be. You know what I mean? Like, I don’t know if this is a productive way to think about it or not, but I sort of look at my life as like before the stroke and after the stroke. And, you know, I kind of got a chance you can make your life, whatever you want it to be. And you can do that at any point in your life, you don’t have to experience a stroke for that. But that definitely showed me I’m driving the bus here. I can do whatever I want with this time I’ve been given.

Bill Gasiamis 52:58
I completely relate to that. And I had to wait till I was 37 and have multiple brain bleeds. And not know my name, and not know who my wife was, and not be able to type an email and not be able to work not be able to drive. Have or not be able to walk not be able to move my left hand. All those things, I had to go through all of that to realize exactly what was definitely possible for us to realize beforehand, but somehow the profound trigger wasn’t there, I suppose.

Bill Gasiamis 53:35
I don’t know. I don’t know how else to explain it. And I definitely am a before-stroke guy and an after stroke guy, absolutely. 100% I mean, the before-stroke guy didn’t put this much time and effort into other people at all zero. I didn’t do that in my family. I didn’t do that outside of my family, the before-stroke kind of guy had you know, I felt like I was at the whim of other people’s demands on me requests and etc. And my business was being run by my clients rather than he was being run by me.

Bill Gasiamis 54:15
And the before me guy, before stroke guy, although we had a lot to say, never had the guts to say it. And if I did say I said it to the wrong audience and therefore it went down like a lead balloon. And therefore I felt discouraged about speaking up and speaking my mind and giving people an insight into the things about me that they didn’t see on the outside, you know.

Bill Gasiamis 54:52
And one of the scariest things for me to do was at the same time that I started this podcast I started another one because there were two very different audiences. And the other one kind of took off a bit quicker. And somebody contacted me and gave me really bad feedback, really bad negative feedback. And it put a hold on everything.

Bill Gasiamis 55:20
It made me recoil, and then go into this state of freeze and not put anything out there for a while, because I was afraid that people would tell me what I’m doing was no good, or it was my opinion, was not worth having out there, or it was going to be challenged. And I didn’t know how to deal with any of that stuff. I gotta say it took a good year before I really properly got over that and said, they stuff this, I’m going for it.

Bill Gasiamis 55:54
And I’m going to have these conversations regardless, now the other podcasts ended after about 20 episodes. And recently, I’ve taken down all proof that had ever existed. It’s been a number of years, and it’s just not me anymore. But then this podcast, when I accepted the possibility that I will be challenged, that I will be judged, and I’ll be all those things that you do.

Bill Gasiamis 56:26
When you put yourself out there. This podcast just took off. And it was because I enabled myself to be vulnerable. And to put myself out there so people can judge and heart and criticize and be harsh towards and whatever. And I thought well, you know, that I learned somewhere along the line that’s more says about more about them than it does about me.

Jason De Petris 56:54
Absolutely.

Bill Gasiamis 56:55
And for the first time, it also allowed me to experience different opinions and actually test my very narrow focus and my very narrow range of experiences that created this opinion that I had. And now my opinion has evolved. And my focus has evolved. And my, my knowledge has evolved. Everything has evolved. It’s grown, I’m a better person for it. When you were writing the book, did anything into your mind to stop you at the beginning, from this crazy idea that you had to write a book about stroke, your recovery.

Jason De Petris 57:40
Oh, yeah, for sure. I mean, yeah, I was definitely afraid my book is written in kind of a unique format. Which I’m not, I don’t want to go to off on a tangent. I want to answer your question. But, but yes, a lot of things stopped me because I realized pretty quickly that I had to write about more than just my stroke in my hospitalizations. Otherwise, the book would be completely unreadable.

Jason De Petris 58:08
Nobody wants to read 300 pages of this is what I went through and how much it sucked. I don’t want to read that. So I wove the, I realized pretty quickly, like, that’s not gonna work. So I wove a lot of flashbacks into the story. So the book kind of jumps back and forth between the present moment what I was going through when I was writing the book, and past moments in my life, and I sort of tied them together. So that each flashback kind of tied into one of the lessons I was learning in the present.

Jason De Petris 58:45
But where that comes into the answer, your question is, you know, they’re all real people in my life. And these flashbacks, it was people that I worked with, and people I grew up with, and friends and family members. And, you know, I thought, you know, I don’t necessarily know what they’re gonna think about me putting this in the book of it, you know? And do I want to share that much of my life and art, you know, are people going to get where I’m coming from?

Jason De Petris 59:08
And so yeah, absolutely, I wasn’t sure whether I was going to publish it or not. And I also, through that whole process, created a DBA for my business and open an office and I decided to name my business Be Here Now also. And I when I did that, I was like, Is that too much? Like, are people going to get that? Are they going to think that’s cheesy or whatever?

Jason De Petris 59:33
And I ultimately, you know, kind of came to the closer look, I don’t care either either people are going to get it or they’re not going to get it but like that’s where I’m at. That’s where my personality is. That’s where I’m coming from. And if you’re going to engage with me as a business person, or just as you know, as an acquaintance or whatever, you’re either gonna get it or you’re not gonna get it but I’m not going to change who I am to suit everybody else because no good book was ever written that way?

Bill Gasiamis 1:00:01
Absolutely 100% concur. It’s, that same feeling that I just spoke about. It’s that whole one where, as soon as I started putting myself out there and talking about these topics, I positioned myself as an expert in the field now, because I’m the podcast guy that talks about stroke. And I’m not an expert. But people see me as that. And they never would have if I didn’t have the guts to go down that route, and be me and talk about my story and my experiences, because they’re my truth.

Bill Gasiamis 1:00:39
And that didn’t have to be your truth. Your truth is your truth. And we can see where we’re different, but what I’d rather see is where we’re the same I would rather see where we’re the same. And I would rather be a beacon for encouraging you, hopefully, somebody’s listening to this podcast, right and going, if that idiot can do it, well, then so can I, you know, and what that’s doing is creating an abundance of stroke podcasts, so that our community has tons of places to go to, and not say the things that we say, which is there was not enough places for me to go to.

Bill Gasiamis 1:01:19
Because not everybody wants to listen to my version of the recovery after stroke podcast, because a lot of people don’t get me and they don’t want to, and that’s perfectly fine. And, therefore, we’re not competing with each other, which is something I’ve had to learn again, even more recently, because I made a massive error, about how I have responded to somebody who I thought was trying to manipulate me for their gain, we’re not all competing with each other, there’s a whole world of people, a whole planet of people, they’re in so many different parts of the world, there’s 7 billion humans on the planet, and one in four is going to have a stroke in their lifetime.

Bill Gasiamis 1:02:02
That’s more than enough people to support all our desires, to create content for them, or to support them, or to help them or to sell them a service or whatever it is, right? It’s just, that thing that you did, it’s like, that’s it, that’s me take it or leave it, and I accept whatever decision that you make, and I’m not going to judge you for it. I’m just going to live my truth.

Jason De Petris 1:02:31
And you are gonna get criticism, and I’m gonna get criticized, like, you know, you were you were talking about that you kind of froze in place after that first experience. You know, and it’s, it’s not like, Oh, if I do this, right, I won’t get criticism. It doesn’t matter how you do it, you’re gonna get criticism, people are gonna judge you. You know, and that’s, that’s just life.

Bill Gasiamis 1:02:53
And then you do it. Anyway, you do it, even despite or in spite, that whole fact that you will be criticized to do it anyway. Yeah. Yeah. So tell me what the titles of the chapters are. And then just give me an idea so that people listening can sort of have a good understanding of what the books about. Okay. So let’s see.

Jason De Petris 1:03:22
I’m wondering if, do you want me to read the kind of synopsis on the back that might help? Or do you want me to just go through the chapters.

Bill Gasiamis 1:03:33
No, if they want to know the synopsis, we’re going to send them to your website. So sorry, people that are listening, you’re not going to get it that easy. I want to know just briefly the name of the chapters and just to give people a good idea of what it’s about.

Chapters In The Book

Be Here Now
Jason De Petris 1:03:49
Okay, so Chapter One is called How It Feels To Quit, Chapter Two is Blink of An Eye, Chapter Three is Looking Back Moving Forward. Chapter Four is Nobody’s Coming To Save You, chapter five When You Don’t Recognize Yourself, chapter six when Shit Gets Real, that’s a long one. Chapter Seven. It Takes A Village, chapter eight is Here We Go Again. Sorry, I didn’t have them put a table of contents in here in chapter nine Second Try. Chapter 10 Double Vision And Video Games. Chapter 11 Clouds Begin To Clear, chapter 12 is Haircuts Appointments And Coronavirus. Yeah. My, first haircut after the craniotomy that was an interesting experience.

Bill Gasiamis 1:05:16
Yes. Same.

Jason De Petris 1:05:22
Chapter 13 Birthdays Past And Present.

Jason De Petris 1:05:30
Chapter 14 Mile 20. That’s a marathon reference. Yeah. Chapter 15 meaningful gifts. Chapter 16 Relationships are hard. That’s all about the relationships that maybe did not come closer during the journey. 17. putting the pieces together. And chapter 18 is the last piece or the last chapter rather. And that is Another Chance For Success.

Bill Gasiamis 1:06:01
That sounds like an amazing transition, a book that shows the transition from beginning of this, you know, potentially short story to a really positive outcome and all the little bumps and all the highs and lows in between. You just said something, though, during that reading about the first haircut, so I wear my hair really short. So that’s a buzz cut, right? And I had a scar that was about four or five inches long on my head. And I was kind of gritting my teeth and holding on to deal life when they were buzzing. And I could feel it in a different way. What was it like for you?

Jason De Petris 1:06:45
Oh, God, I write about it in the book. And I give the give the guy who cut my hair a lot of credit here. So I was super, super nervous for a bunch of reasons. So number one, that was right in the middle of the pandemic. And for people who know me, I was a germaphobe. Before the pandemic. I was already a germaphobe. I already, you know, carried hand sanitizer with me before Coronavirus.

Jason De Petris 1:07:12
So I was scared because of that. Because I was like, Oh God, I don’t want somebody touching my face after they just touched a bunch of other people. My stitches from the craniotomy had not fully healed yet. So I was and I obviously I wear my hair short, too. So I was really worried about the stitches I was worried about, like the Clippers snagging on it or something, I was still in quite a bit of pain at the time. And the guy that cuts my hair. He’s a young guy like a surfer guy.

Jason De Petris 1:07:43
Superduper nice, but he’s let you know. He’s quite a bit younger. And you know, he’s like, Hey, dude, you know, one of those kind of people. And I was like, Oh, God, is he going to understand? Like, how delicate I am? You know? So I wrote about in the book because the night before the haircut, I almost canceled because like, I don’t really no if I want, so I texted him and I was like, just so you know, I’m really worried about germs. Just so you know, I’m really worried like my head still sore. Just so you know, like, I was like, I said to Jeremy like he’s gonna think I’m crazy.

Jason De Petris 1:08:14
So we got there, we got to the shop. And I had I don’t know if you had this whole side of my head was still very numb. And I you know, occasionally I still get nerve pain down the scar or whatever. He could not have been better. He was like super, super careful and delicate. And he was very careful. But yeah, it was it was I had nothing to be afraid of. But it was it was pretty funny because I was like, Oh God, I’m like I regret having this haircut.

Bill Gasiamis 1:08:43
I remember I remember the same experience or similar experience. So I never used to wear my hair like this. And then it started the day before I had the brain surgery. And of course, I knew they were going to cut my hair so I thought I’ll just do it for them. But what I didn’t know was that I should have cut it a lot shorter. Because when they trim the area that they’re going to do the incision on they go right down to the skin while my hair was about this long when I went into surgery, because the first time and then I had this landing strip here, which they had done.

Bill Gasiamis 1:09:23
So I had to get my hair cut pretty quickly because as soon as the bandage came off about seven days later, I had two layers of hair. This one which had grown and the landing strip, which had just grown a little bit and it looked ridiculous, right and I already felt a little bit bizarre and strange and I thought let me just even out the hair. So I was I was getting a haircut maybe when I first was allowed to leave the hospital for day release type thing.

Bill Gasiamis 1:09:56
I was getting my hair cut within the first three or four weeks the fall for Last month or something like that, yeah. And then I was at, I was at my local regular hairdresser. And she didn’t get to cut my hair that one of the other ladies did. And she was telling the other lady, you know, be careful with the way that you cut his hair and make sure you don’t touch it didn’t ruin that and make it worse or something.

Bill Gasiamis 1:10:24
And they were amazing. And they really helped me as well. But now that time has passed since it was, that was November 2014, when I had surgery. Now that the faint scar is still visible when my hair is really short, because they can’t see it. That’s where the screws are that hold the flap in. Some of them go over really rough with the clippers. And I’ve got to kind of either mention that, Oh, don’t say anything, and just sort of hold on for a few minutes while it happens, and then just move beyond.

Jason De Petris 1:11:02
I don’t know about you, but I have it’s luckily you can’t really see it because there’s hair grown over. But I have like, an indent on this side. And it’s soft right there. And it’s I don’t like being touched. I mean, it’s a headache because it makes me really nervous. I don’t like being touched still. It doesn’t hurt anymore. But I don’t like being touched.

Bill Gasiamis 1:11:23
Because of the indent. The Clippers don’t go straight over the top. They’ve got to get in there.

Jason De Petris 1:11:33
Yeah I don’t know, I don’t remember exactly. Yeah, I can. In the right kind of light, I can see where the screws are and stuff.

Bill Gasiamis 1:11:41
So they’re the real quick and little things that I experienced that a lot of stroke survivors have had brain surgery, anyone who’s had brain surgery can really relate to, and I’m sure some people are cringing and you know moving like I like I am and just can’t cope with it in the form of it. Now the other thing that that’s done is that’s really made it difficult for me to watch those crazy sports like boxing and UFC, which I was a keen fan of beforehand. Oh, interesting. I just can’t do it. Now. I can’t bear the thought of somebody getting hit in the head. Yeah, in any way, shape or form repetitively, like the way they do in those sports. So I couldn’t really grasp the concept of jumping into a ringing, get beat up as a Korea anyway. But, but now even more, so it’s like, yeah, all power to him. But like, wow, they do that.

Jason De Petris 1:12:38
It took me a long time to get over. I had a lot of anxiety about crowds afterwards, because particularly crowds where there’s children running around. Because I was so I was in a lot of pain. And, and, and my head was I mean, my head was all swollen and whatever. And I was so afraid that somebody was going to knock into me or knock me over or I was going to trip over a little kid or you know, I mean, and I was like, I don’t know, I don’t want to know what’s gonna happen if I hit my head. Yeah. So it took me a long time to get over that fear of going out in public when after immediately after the surgery.

Bill Gasiamis 1:13:12
Yeah, I found myself those probably two months after surgery when I first started going back to do some chores, like pick up some stuff from the mall on my own or whatever, you know, for groceries. I found myself becoming a magnet for people to bump into all the time. It was like, what’s happening to me? Why am I attracting so many people to run into me right now when I’m so vulnerable?

Bill Gasiamis 1:13:39
And I don’t want my head touched and I don’t want to fall over. It was exactly the same feeling. And it kind of went away. But it did create that bit of experience of kind of, you know, phobia of crowds. You know that agoraphobia that people talk about it was kind of a mild version of that. Yeah, I didn’t enjoy it at all. So I would go when it wasn’t busy when it was a low numbers of people through there.

Bill Gasiamis 1:14:11
It’s been a really amazing opportunity for me to get an interview for the second time, especially since so much has happened between the first time and the second time and you’ve come so far, and you’ve released this book. Congratulations on the book and getting through and overcoming the obstacles you’ve overcome so far. And thanks for being on the podcast. I wonder if people are interested in connecting with you and getting a copy of the book. Where would they go?

The Be Here Now Collective

Jason De Petris 1:14:44
So I’m really easy to find on Instagram so my Instagram Well, I have two Instagrams. One is just my name @JasonDePetris. And then I have an Instagram called The Be Here Now Collective which is specific We for the book. So they can find it there. In my bio, I have a in the bio, I have a link the Amazon link to purchase the book. I have had a few people actually reach out to me directly that just saw a post or whatever.

Jason De Petris 1:15:16
Send me a DM, which I’m I’m always happy to answer those. Yeah, I mean, I hope that people get something out of it. I hope that I hope that there’s something positive they get out of it where they can see you can recover. It’s not all doom and gloom. I mean, everybody’s experience, obviously is different. But there are certain things that all of us have in common. And I hope that people see that you can get through this. And I am donating the proceeds to the brain aneurysm foundation.

Bill Gasiamis 1:15:46
Yeah, that’s really cool. Well, thank you so much for being on the podcast.

Jason De Petris 1:15:52
Thank you for having me back on again. It was enjoyable. I always learned something. And it was fun to kind of talk through it.

Bill Gasiamis 1:16:02
My pleasure. Well, thanks so much for joining us on today’s episode. I hope you really enjoyed the chat with Jason and you got a lot out of this episode and maybe learn something. Please comment, like and share. If you are watching on YouTube subscribe hit the notification bell to get updates of new episodes as they become available.

Bill Gasiamis 1:16:22
The more interactions the episode has, the more the algorithm will push the episode out to people that need to see it and the greater the impact that Jason and his book will make in the world. Go to recoveryafterstroke.com to check out the show notes and any links to Jason and his website and where you can find the book. Thanks again for being here. I really appreciate you and I look forward to seeing you on the next episode.

Intro 1:16:52
Importantly, we present many podcast designed to give you an insight and understanding into the experiences of other individuals. The opinions and treatment protocols discussed during any podcast are the individuals own experience and we do not necessarily share the same opinion nor do we recommend any treatment protocol discussed.

Intro 1:17:09
All content on this website at any linked blog, podcast or video material controlled this website or content is created and produced for informational purposes only and is largely based on the personal experience of Bill Gasiamis, the content is intended to complement your medical treatment and support healing. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health advice.

Intro 1:17:32
The information is general and may not be suitable for your personal injuries, circumstances or health objectives. Do not use our content as a standalone resource to diagnose treat, cure or prevent any disease for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for the advice of a health professional.

Intro 1:17:47
Never delay seeking advice or disregard the advice of a medical professional, your doctor or your rehabilitation program based on our content. If you have any questions or concerns about your health or medical condition, please seek guidance from a doctor or other medical professional.

Intro 1:18:00
If you are experiencing a health emergency or think you might be, call 000 if in Australia or your local emergency number immediately for emergency assistance or go to the nearest hospital emergency department medical information changes constantly. While we aim to provide current quality information in our content.

Intro 1:18:17
We do not provide any guarantees and assume no legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, currency or completeness of the content. If you choose to rely on any information within our content, you do so solely at your own risk. We are careful with links we provide however third-party links from our website are followed at your own risk and we are not responsible for any information you find there.

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Not only did Jason DePetris experience a stroke because of a brain aneurysm, no less than 9 months after the first incident he also experienced an ischemic stroke due to a previously undiagnosed genetic condition making him more prone to clotting. Not only did Jason DePetris experience a stroke because of a brain aneurysm, no less than 9 months after the first incident he also experienced an ischemic stroke due to a previously undiagnosed genetic condition making him more prone to clotting. Recovery After Stroke 1:18:38
Brain Stem Stroke & Locked In Syndrome Recovery – Greg Lewis https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brain-stem-stroke-locked-in-syndrome-recovery-greg-lewis/ Mon, 16 May 2022 09:58:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8890 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brain-stem-stroke-locked-in-syndrome-recovery-greg-lewis/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brain-stem-stroke-locked-in-syndrome-recovery-greg-lewis/feed/ 0 <p>Greg Lewis is recovering from a Brain Stem Stroke and locked-in syndrome at the age of 32.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brain-stem-stroke-locked-in-syndrome-recovery-greg-lewis/">Brain Stem Stroke & Locked In Syndrome Recovery – Greg Lewis</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Greg Lewis is recovering from a Brain Stem Stroke and locked-in syndrome at the age of 32.

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Highlights

02:26 Introduction
04:28 Brainstem Stroke
08:21 Dealing With Emotions
11:59 Locked-In Syndrome
18:42 My Kids Liked Me Better After Stroke
29:04 Accepting Your Current Situation
40:39 Driving Again
46:58 Using Food For Comfort
50:45 Wired For Love
1:00:20 Having Something To Share
 
Transcription

Greg Lewis 0:00
But if I’m out in the middle of Walmart’s parking lot, and I stumble and fall, I’m gonna be okay. But I don’t know how I’m gonna get back up. And so there’s that.

Bill Gasiamis 0:12
Have you had many falls?

Greg Lewis 0:14
Well, it really depends on how you define it.

Bill Gasiamis 0:17
I’m falling over onto the ground, Greg.

Greg Lewis 0:24
Well, I know. I mean, I had a medical student explained to me that a fall is going from one plane to another and not knowing how you got there.

Bill Gasiamis 0:37
Oh, okay.

Greg Lewis 0:39
And then a trip is, knowing what you did to make you get on a different plane. So, I stumbled a lot. But I haven’t really fallen in a while.

Intro 0:58
This is the recovery after stroke podcast, with Bill Gasiamis, helping you navigate recovery after stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 1:11
Hello, and welcome to another episode of the recovery after stroke podcast. Recently, Spotify released a new feature that allows people to narrate their favorite shows in the same way that the apple podcast app allows them.

Bill Gasiamis 1:25
So if you think the recovery after stroke podcast deserves it, I’d love it if you left the show a five-star review. This will help the show rank better on search engines. And it’ll help newly diagnosed stroke survivors find the show and it could make a massive difference in their recovery.

Bill Gasiamis 1:42
There’s nothing better than people who are going through a tough time after stroke, listening to a podcast, about an interview about somebody who has had a bad time from stroke, and is going along in their recovery and getting through the obstacles and overcoming all the challenges and becoming better.

Bill Gasiamis 2:02
I mean, this episode today is really all about somebody who’s had a major drama with regards to their stroke, ended up being locked in at the age of 32. And then is back with us to have a conversation about stroke recovery, what it’s taught him and all the things that he’s had to overcome.

Introduction


Bill Gasiamis 2:26
I learned a few things about this episode today. This episode is episode 194. We’re fast approaching episode 200. And Greg Lewis was just somebody that I really appreciated chatting to and was somebody that I really got a kick out of listening to because a little while ago, he had a brainstem stroke he was locked in.

Bill Gasiamis 2:47
And the guy was I wasn’t able to communicate, now he can. So it’s a real trip, just like all my episodes. But every once in a while, I really get excited to have somebody on the show that wasn’t able to communicate that long ago.

Bill Gasiamis 3:02
So as I was saying, if you appreciate this podcast, if you think it makes a massive difference, if you think people should be able to find it easily and access it as they are experiencing the difficulties of stroke recovery, I’d really appreciate if you left a five-star review, you can do that on Apple or pod or your podcast app.

Bill Gasiamis 3:24
If you are listening on another platform, it doesn’t matter where you listen, just if you can, that’ll be much appreciated, also very much want to thank the people that have already done that. It does make a massive difference.

Bill Gasiamis 3:37
And it’s obvious to me that people are leaving reviews and giving the show five stars because I’m seeing that the numbers of people downloading and the amount of episodes that are being listened to is increasing nicely and slowly. And I’m just loving that. So thank you. And I appreciate you all for listening.

Bill Gasiamis 3:59
Now, let’s just get stuck into today’s episode. It’s a real treat, like I said, to have a listen to somebody who is recovering from a stroke that was quite serious in the brainstem, and then woke up with locked in syndrome and is now on the way to recovery. It’s on with the show. Greg Lewis, welcome to the podcast.

Greg Lewis 4:25
Thank you. How are you doing? Glad to be here.

Brain Stem Stroke

Bill Gasiamis 4:28
Yeah, glad to have you. Tell me a little bit about what happened to you.

Greg Lewis 4:39
I was 32 and we just got home from family afternoon. And you know, and I lay down on the couch, take a nap and I couldn’t get back up. Next thing you know I was told in the hospital, it’s got to be a stroke. But the funny thing is, we knew it was a stroke because my wife was just had a class on how to recognize a stroke.

Greg Lewis 5:18
And on the way there, they thought I had OD’d because I was so young. And the ambulance drivers kept asking me about that. And it took about an hour and a half to three hours to get the right treatment.

Bill Gasiamis 5:39
Wow.

Greg Lewis 5:40
But they’re able to give me a clot buster and it seemed to work. Then followed up about two and a half months of ICU, and critical care and then same amount of time, I’m just regular hospital, trying to work up the ability to get into outpatient therapy. And once I was able to go to outpatient therapy it was another eight, nine months.

Bill Gasiamis 6:27
And that was back in 2013?

Greg Lewis 6:30
Yeah, that was back in 2013.

Bill Gasiamis 6:33
So it’s been some time between now and then. If you can remember back then you lay down on the couch just to have a rest. Did you notice any of the symptoms that your wife knew about? Did you notice anything that gave you any warning signs that there was something going wrong?

Greg Lewis 6:54
The only sign that I paid attention to, one that I could pay attention to at the time was I had a headache for about two weeks that no amount of ibuprofen or Tylenol or anything like that would touch?

Greg Lewis 7:17
It would kind of take the edge off. But I would just gut my way through it. And other than that no, I didn’t recognize anything. When my wife was telling me, you’ve had a stroke, we need to call the doctor.

Greg Lewis 7:36
I can hear her just fine. And I could see her. But I could not talk to her. Apparently, all my words came out as gibberish. But to me, they sounded absolutely normal. I just kept saying all I got to do a stand up, It’s alright, I’m going to be fine.

Bill Gasiamis 7:59
But you couldn’t do it?

Greg Lewis 8:01
No, I could not. I couldn’t stand up. And just like I was saying every word I was saying came out just gibberish. And then on the ride in the hospital, all I could do was cry.

Dealing With Emotions After A Brain Stem Stroke

Greg Lewis 8:21
It was kind of interesting. I’ve never really talked in almost nine years, I’ve never really talked about my stroke. And what happened. I’m kind of bits and pieces.

Bill Gasiamis 8:37
Have you avoided it?

Greg Lewis 8:40
No, it’s more that. I mean, I guess yes, I’m avoided it but because it has brought up emotions. And when I get too emotional, it’s hard to talk. But after a while after thinking about it and internalizing it.

Greg Lewis 9:09
I gotten to the point where the stroke no longer defined me, who I was it was more like a refining moment. And once I hit that point, it already been so many years that nobody really cared.

Bill Gasiamis 9:25
Yeah. So the emotional side of it, was it triggering your trauma from the experience that you had or was it bringing up stuff from the past?

Greg Lewis 9:40
Kind of both and on top of that I was really for a long time I was suffering from PBA pseudobulbar affect and I still deal with that. I have a hard time watching Disney movies because I’ll either laugh or break down crying at just the weirdest stuff.

Bill Gasiamis 10:22
That’s familiar for a lot of people that have had a stroke. And even me, it’s not as it’s not as common that I do that now after 10 years, but definitely for the first few years I was doing that regularly.

Bill Gasiamis 10:41
And everyone was trying to work out, was he upset was something wrong. And there was nothing wrong. I wasn’t upset. I was just crying. And I couldn’t stop crying. And it was hilarious. To me it was but everyone else was uncomfortable.

Greg Lewis 10:58
Yeah, I know how you I feel.

Bill Gasiamis 10:59
So why do you reckon Greg you never really spoken about what happened to you to anybody?

Greg Lewis 11:09
Just never really, from start to finish no one’s ever been too deeply interested in stuff. And they I don’t know really how to explain it. I’ve never really gotten too deep into it.

Greg Lewis 11:33
And because one, I mean, now it doesn’t really affect me to talk about it. But I know it affects other people. So I don’t really avoid it. I’m just quiet about it.

Bill Gasiamis 11:49
Yep, that’s okay. So did it impact your work? How did it impact your life and change your life those early days?

Locked-In Syndrome

Greg Lewis 11:58
I’ve been in complete turnaround. I used to be a plumber, I was a journeyman plumber for 10 years. And you know, I’m going around being very physical, doing a lot of stuff that honestly other people had trouble doing.

Greg Lewis 12:20
I can do by my myself. And then I had a stroke, which was combined with locked-in syndrome. And I lost everything. I mean, I couldn’t breathe on my own, my heart would regulate right.

Greg Lewis 12:38
All my muscle mass was gone or my ability to move correctly, I should say. And so now I’m at the point where I can work around the house, but it takes me a lot longer to get stuff done. And I haven’t been able to go back to work.

Bill Gasiamis 13:03
How long were you locked in for?

Greg Lewis 13:07
I was locked-in completely where I couldn’t move really anything but my eyes for about a month. So I am very, very lucky on that point. I know some people that have been locked-in for a lot longer.

Bill Gasiamis 13:24
A month earlier. You’re supposedly fit and healthy. You’re going to work you’re going about your business, you’re very physical. You’re a married, man. You’re doing all those things. And then a month later, you’re locked in.

Bill Gasiamis 13:51
How is it? Are you able to comprehend what is happening? And are you thinking about how your life has changed? What goes through somebody’s mind a month after something like that?

Greg Lewis 14:10
I don’t think I really realized the impact of losing everything like that then until after I left the hospital. I don’t know it’s kind of hard because you know most men, I don’t know how it is in there, but most men here and they’re kind of judged by what they do, or how they do it physically. And for a long time, I really felt that there’s nothing I can offer. But at the same time it drove me to gain some of it back.

Bill Gasiamis 15:02
What you described about men? It’s the same everywhere. It’s the same in Australia, it’s the same in the United Kingdom. It’s the same everywhere you’re judged by things that are related to your physicality for sure.

Greg Lewis 15:18
Yeah. And then it’s not that anybody’s really mean or demeaning about it. It’s just kind of the way we’re program naturally as men, but also as society. So I didn’t hold that against anybody.

Greg Lewis 15:39
In fact, it’s really kind of funny, because I will do something that I shouldn’t be able to do according to other people, and they’ll be like, Whoa, how did you do that? Or, you know, it’s okay, I could have helped.

Greg Lewis 15:55
And I’m like, Well, I know, but I need to learn how to do it. Even if I have to do it a totally different way. Even if I’m going to ask you for help. I’ve gotten to learn how to take those steps, and be able to one, accept your help or two, go through the messiness trying to figure it out.

Bill Gasiamis 16:19
It’s how to help neuroplasticity happen. You’re trying to activate neuroplasticity new pathways to generate your ability to do these tasks, whether they are simple or difficult or whatever it is.

Bill Gasiamis 16:38
That’s the only way you’re going to do it. You have to activate neuroplasticity. And there’s only one way to do that. And that’s just to be the one who does it no matter how hard or easy, it seems.

Greg Lewis 16:50
Yeah, and it’s that and also, what’s helped me is my insane desire, and memories to do stuff. Like when I started driving again. All I had to do was recall I mean, not all I had to do, but what I had to do was recall like, Hey, I know I can do this, because I’ve done it before.

Greg Lewis 17:14
So I can do it again. You know, and it took time. But now I’m in driving and you know, cooking and taking care of the kids and doing what I can in the house while my wife is out working.

Bill Gasiamis 17:34
How old are the kids now?

Greg Lewis 17:35
18, 16 and 13 now.

Bill Gasiamis 17:45
So you guys had a busy household and then you had a stroke and your wife had her hands full?

Greg Lewis 17:52
Oh, yeah. And we were very lucky that my family was in a position to offer the financial help that we needed while she was able to finish school.

Greg Lewis 18:10
I mean, everyone chipped in, they were just like it’s too much for you to try to go to school work, take care of the home and take care of him. That’s just too much.

Bill Gasiamis 18:24
Yeah, how did the kids manage with their dad being so unwell? Are they able to work out what was happening to you? Were they curious, how are they responding?

My Kids Liked Me Better After Stroke

Greg Lewis 18:42
First, I think because there were so young it was confusing. Now it’s just a part of life, like my son, he was so young when it all happened. He’s 13 now he only really remembers me this particular way.

Greg Lewis 19:03
My daughter on the other hand who’s a little older remembers what it was like beforehand but they actually both told me that they liked the changes that I made they don’t really mind that I’m not as physical because I’ve been able to approach life differently and really change my perspective and how I show up in my for them and for me.

Bill Gasiamis 19:47
Tell me about how you’re different What were you like beforehand? And what are you like now?

Greg Lewis 19:54
I liked to think that I wasn’t much different mentally. I came from a very traumatic background or childhood. And I would like to think that I was much the same way I am. And I know I wasn’t. And I have to remind myself of that.

Bill Gasiamis 20:19
Were you violent? Were you angry? What were you?

Greg Lewis 20:24
No, I was probably a little more strict. But my kids were all so young. And I’ve always believed that, the younger they are the more a kind, heart and mind you have to be. Like, hey, you’ve got to eat all your vegetables, now and that they’re older it’s kind of like well if you don’t like them, you’re gonna live.

Bill Gasiamis 20:53
So it’s just softened you a little bit. It’s enabled you to be a little bit softer.

Greg Lewis 20:59
Yeah, and I always I’ve always believed that, hey, once they’ve got those principles instilled in you eat vegetables, because they’re good for you.

Greg Lewis 21:08
They’ll live by those principles when they get older. But they also can make their own decision, no matter how hard that is for me to understand.

Bill Gasiamis 21:21
Did you make a conscious decision to change your behavior towards them? Or is it just something that happened?

Greg Lewis 21:27
Oh, yeah, I totally had to make a conscious decision. Especially as they’ve gotten older and more independent, I’ve had to amazingly, say, hey, look, this is your decision. And I’m gonna stand by you what you decide, even if I don’t like it.

Greg Lewis 21:52
And not is not easy. Because you can see when they’re making bad choices, you know, excuse me, you know, because you’ve made them. And there’s just some choices they have to make. And ways to learn for themselves.

Bill Gasiamis 22:14
And learn the hard way, I can totally relate to what you’re saying I was similar my kids. They were 15 and 11, at the time. And it was quite a difficult time, because then my wife became everything, and she had her hands full.

Bill Gasiamis 22:34
And I’m definitely a different dad compared to the one that I was. And I was quite strict and very unforgiving if the line was crossed, and they heard about it, if they stepped out of line and did the wrong thing.

Bill Gasiamis 22:53
But now it’s different, we have a really amazing relationship, and they get to make the wrong decisions as well. And I hate it. But that’s the only way they’re going to learn.

Bill Gasiamis 23:08
And then at least we can talk about it after at least we can, you know, have a chat and work out what went wrong and how to fix it and how to solve it.

Bill Gasiamis 23:18
And now they come to me for help and support without me asking them or making them. And that’s really good. Whereas before they used to avoid me if they could, they always thought they’d be in trouble. And they always thought that I’d be angry.

Bill Gasiamis 23:36
And they were right, I always was angry, and they were always in trouble. But not anymore. It doesn’t need to be that way in any way. They’re adults now. My kids are both 25 and 21.

Bill Gasiamis 23:49
So there’s no telling them what to do anymore. But it was a really good change in the last 10 years that I’ve been able to adjust the way that I ran the household for example.

Greg Lewis 24:06
Yeah, I know what you mean. And it’s interesting in the last couple of years. I’m taking my son to school, I’ve been able to just have little talks with them, you know, and I’ll spout off some kind of principle or something, whatever I’ve learned.

Greg Lewis 24:27
And he just sat there and listened to it. And so is my daughter and I didn’t know they were listening. And then the next thing you know, they’re randomly opening up to me in a way they’ve never done before.

Greg Lewis 24:43
They don’t open up to their mom like that. Or rarely, and, you know, or randomly given me hugs, saying, Hey, Dad, I love you. You know, so I get to see that what I’m learning is actually good, it’s good. And they’re just eating it up.

Bill Gasiamis 25:07
Yeah it is one of the good things that came out of the stroke for me. So what’s your mindset like these days compared to what it was like then? Where you a kind of a happy-go-lucky, cheerful type of guy? How did you go about seeing the world back then?

Intro 25:26
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.

Intro 25:36
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.

Intro 25:51
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 recoveryafterstroke.com where you can download a guide that will help you it’s called seven questions to ask your doctor about your stroke.

Intro 26:10
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.

Greg Lewis 26:31
I was a very, and I still am a very gritty person. But I think about it differently. I was a very greedy person. Because I believe that even though I had my issues, and I didn’t even know what they were before my stroke, never even thought about them that I ended just keep going.

Greg Lewis 26:55
No matter what I remember on one job I stepped down in my car funny and sprained my ankle really bad. And my boss said, hey, you need to go to the hospital. And I said, no, I’ve got to do this job.

Greg Lewis 27:16
I’ve got to finish it. I told these people, I would do it, I need to do it. I’d probably still be the same way now. But at least this time, I’d be like, No, I would take a minute to recover and assess the situation. And figure out what I needed to do that would help everyone out instead of gutting through it all.

Bill Gasiamis 27:46
So you’re a little bit more considering of the current situation and readjusting and evaluating things, rather than just going for it.

Greg Lewis 27:54
Yeah, exactly.

Bill Gasiamis 27:56
You know what you said about the gritty person that you were, say before the stroke, you know, the way that you would respond to being injured? That sounds like it might have really helped you get through and recover after locked-in syndrome.

Greg Lewis 28:18
Oh, yeah. I mean, holy cow. I remember the first thing I do was wiggle my right thumb. And I remember, it took forever, I could finally do it. And to do it more than once to another in a while. And then I remember being so distraught on my anniversary.

Accepting Your Current Situation

Greg Lewis 29:04
Because all I could do was wiggle my thumb and that was it. I couldn’t do anything else. I remember just crying for like two or three hours. And the nurses had no idea why. But I knew why in my head because I wanted to show more.

Bill Gasiamis 29:23
You couldn’t tell them that you were moving your thumb?

Greg Lewis 29:28
Well, I could tell him I was moving my thumb. I just wanting to do more to show my wife or my family that hey, I can do more. But I couldn’t. And I had to figure out a way to live with that.

Bill Gasiamis 29:46
Did you figure out a way to live with that or just accept the situation as it is? Because it’s the most dramatic version of accepting the things you can’t change that moment.

Greg Lewis 30:07
I learned how to accept it at that time. And that thought that came to me when I tried to accept it was, it doesn’t matter how fast you race, but that you do raise that you show up and you keep going.

Greg Lewis 30:35
Just like what was it tough mudder when the Spartan Races were just starting about that time, and then that same principle, doesn’t matter, if you come in person only matters that you finished.

Greg Lewis 30:48
It doesn’t matter how long it takes. And, or that you just don’t and you do it. And then it’s kind of the mindset I had for a long time. And now, anything I gain comes back super slow.

Greg Lewis 31:11
Well, I mean for example, about a month ago, I finally got full motion, or full range of active motion in my left shoulder. And I mean, that took 8 and a half years. So I mean, it does happen, it just happens a lot slower. And that I’ve had to accept as in, this is just the way it is. And that’s okay.

Bill Gasiamis 31:46
What are some of the things that helped that shoulder come back online? Was it physical therapy? What was it?How did it help?

Greg Lewis 31:58
Well, I kind of do my own physical therapy right now. And so it’s probably not very good. But it’s been going to the gym constantly for about three or four years.

Greg Lewis 32:18
Doing stuff that doesn’t feel good I mean, if it hurts too bad, I stopped. Or, sometimes my body just stops for me. You know, when you’re lifting something and you lift it up about halfway and then you stop.

Greg Lewis 32:37
But if it hurts a little bit, I just push through and I lean in the pain I go, Hey, that’s a good thing. Because now I’m using something I don’t normally use.

Greg Lewis 32:50
So I’ve got to develop that. And working with those pretty little pink, five-pound weights, or two-pound weights. Even though everybody at the gym is using huge weight it’s being comfortable with, Hey, here’s where I’m at, that’s where they’re at so what?

Bill Gasiamis 33:17
It’s not really manly is it? It’s testing your manliness. But I think it’s really simple to just go. We’re not here to be comparing ourselves to each other. It’s just me getting better, making myself better and going slow and steady.

Greg Lewis 33:37
Exactly. I’d actually like to disagree with you on that. It is testing my manliness nice. Because it’s not whether or not I can do what the other guys doing. Or I can lift heavy objects. It’s when they’re not. I can accept myself as I am. And not been to choose how society views people.

Bill Gasiamis 34:03
Nice. I love it. Yeah, I agree with that. 100%. Now, that’s a great way to reframe it. But you can imagine there’s some people in the gym going, Oh my God, what’s he doing with those pink weights? That’s ridiculous. And I know exactly what you’re saying. And I completely agree with it.

Greg Lewis 34:22
I think it looks like that all the time. Because I’m going to the gym I walk with a quad cane when I’m not home. And I go to the gym all the time with that. People look at me weird. Like, what is she doing? And I’m just like, I’m doing my thing. You do your thing.

Bill Gasiamis 34:44
What’s the reason for the quad cane outside of the house? Is that because it’s unfamiliar, and there’s more obstacles. What’s the situation with that?

Greg Lewis 34:53
It’s kind of both, in the house I kind of know where I’m going. I’m comfortable. And something I know for a long time ago, if I’m comfortable being somewhere, I’m okay walking.

Greg Lewis 35:07
I mean, I still have like a foot drop, or I stumble or whatever. But I know I’m within reach if I’m gonna get myself back up. But if I’m out in the middle of Walmart’s parking lot, and I stumble and fall, I’m gonna be okay. But I don’t know how I’m gonna get back up. And so there’s that.

Bill Gasiamis 35:34
Have you had many fall?

Greg Lewis 35:38
Well, it really depends on how you define it.

Bill Gasiamis 35:40
Okay, falling over onto the ground Greg.

Greg Lewis 35:48
Well, I know what you mean. I just had a medical student explained to me that a fall is going from one plane to another and not knowing how you got there.

Bill Gasiamis 36:02
Oh, okay.

Greg Lewis 36:04
And then a trip is knowing what you did to make you get on a different plane. So I haven’t really, I stumble a lot. But I haven’t really fallen in a while.

Greg Lewis 36:21
I don’t know if you can see right above my right eye. It looks a little funny. That was one of the last times I fell, I fell and cut right above my eyebrow. Right during the height of COVID, too. So that was real fun to get patched up.

Bill Gasiamis 36:40
Yeah, during the lockdowns and COVID and all the stuff that went with it. Yeah, right. Okay. So when you fell, and hit your head and got that scar? Were you’re alone? Were you at home? Where were you?

Greg Lewis 36:57
I was at home. I was walking out in the garage. And I have no idea what I tripped over probably my own feet. And I hit a bike or something. Right on the gears and just split it ride open.

Bill Gasiamis 37:17
Wow did you get knocked out?

Greg Lewis 37:21
You know what, I take that back. I was alone. Because I had to patch it up myself. And then drive myself to the hospital. They actually thought I was a little crazy.

Greg Lewis 37:34
Because here I am with a head injury and a cane driving myself in get patched up. But yeah, I mean, I lucked out. I was, besides all the blood, I was okay.

Bill Gasiamis 37:52
Yeah, yeah. I’ve had a few falls. And now I like that distinction between a trip and a fall, a trip is you know how you got to the other side and a fall, you ended up somewhere and you don’t know how you got there. That’s a huge distinction.

Greg Lewis 38:13
I don’t know if that’s correct terminology. That’s just how someone a long time ago explained it to me. And I latched on to that. So now when my wife says, oh, yeah, you fall all the time, no I don’t.

Bill Gasiamis 38:30
I love it. It’s a technicality. And you’re gonna use it and accept it, and use it in your favor. I like it. Why not? It’s a good thing to know the difference. I’ve definitely fallen after brain surgery, I fell at home a couple of times. It was pretty dramatic.

Bill Gasiamis 38:50
One moment I’m sitting on the couch, everything’s fine. And I got up to take a plate to the kitchen. And as I got up, I couldn’t feel my left leg. So it just collapsed and I fell down onto the floor broke the plate and thankfully didn’t get to hurt or too damaged.

Bill Gasiamis 39:13
But it’s a very common thing and it does impact a lot of people negatively. I know somebody else who had a stroke who fell and broke her leg and then that became a setback a major setback for her stroke recovery.

Greg Lewis 39:29
Oh yeah. And then I have a fall just the other day my family took us bowling and I can’t really walk with the ball and so I had to throw it differently.

Greg Lewis 39:49
And I ended up hurting my shoulder my rotator cuff. I couldn’t drive the next day and scared the living bejesus out of me now I was thinking I was slipping back, I was really scared.

Greg Lewis 40:06
And then took me a good day to realize that it’s okay, you’ll be alright. You know, I mean, that doesn’t make it really feel any better. But it took me a good day to wrap my head around it.

Bill Gasiamis 40:24
And realize it’s not a setback. It’s just an injury to your rotator cuff.

Greg Lewis 40:31
Exactly. And that was pretty minor compared to what other people have gotten through.

Driving Again After A Brain Stem Stroke

Bill Gasiamis 40:40
How long did it take for you to get back behind the wheel of a car?

Greg Lewis 40:49
Two, maybe three years. Funny thing is I can just move my feet fast enough. And but I had most of my mental faculties around, like I could look around and pay attention and whatever you need for driving, I can do that.

Greg Lewis 41:16
And I think that’s mostly because I spent 10 years driving every day all around town for 10 hours. You know, going from call to call. So I think it was just so ingrained, I was able to redirect traffic with neuroplasticity a little bit.

Bill Gasiamis 41:40
So what’s it like getting in the car for the first time? I imagine the doctors have said, Yep, Greg, you’re allowed to drive. And you get back in the car for the first time you’re behind the wheel. What’s that like? Was it exciting? Was it scary?

Greg Lewis 41:56
Well, actually, there was a little snafu that happened with that they were supposed to take my license. And they never did. So I could have gotten back in the car on day one.

Greg Lewis 42:10
But I knew I couldn’t do it. And my wife knew I couldn’t do it. And even when I finally you know, when you’re first learning, and you take that Driver’s Ed test, driving test, I finally had someone do that for me.

Greg Lewis 42:28
And he convinced my wife that, hey, this guy is okay. He’s doing really good. Excellent driving. And she didn’t really trust me. I had to go on little trips first to build it up.

Greg Lewis 42:50
But oh, man did feel good. Because I felt like I finally had something to offer you know, I can take the kids to school. I could go to the grocery store. I could I don’t know drive to get dinner if need be.

Bill Gasiamis 43:12
And was there any mobility scooters involved? Before that? Did you have one of those little golf carty things to get you around and help you get around?

Greg Lewis 43:23
I didn’t own one. But I had one even after I started driving. I used them when I went to storage for a long time. But then one day, I just went no, I’m not going to use these anymore. I’m gonna walk around the store.

Greg Lewis 43:38
And no matter how long it takes, this is going to be my exercise for the day. I mean, my mother in-law would laugh at me, because she can track on your phone where you’re at.

Greg Lewis 43:52
And she goes I can see you going up and down on the map at the store. So I know you’re going up and down the aisle. You know, and she’s like, you’re there for like, two, three hours. Like, yeah, that’s how long it takes.

Bill Gasiamis 44:08
Yeah, but you do it regardless. So if your wife says go get some bread and milk. She has to say that first thing in the morning so she can make sure that you’re back by lunchtime.

Greg Lewis 44:19
Yeah, pretty much.

Bill Gasiamis 44:23
Why does your mother-in-law track you?

Greg Lewis 44:36
That was something I didn’t know until that time that my wife put on my phone. It was like a little tracking app you can use for kids as soon as she told me that I found and deleted it. But it was still pretty funny. It was simultaneously scary. But nice to see that everybody was so concerned about me.

Bill Gasiamis 45:03
And they were really looking out for you, they really wanted to know, in case you fell out in public and they could get help to you, etc.

Greg Lewis 45:10
Exactly. And I just said, Hey, look if I can do this on my own, I’m gonna be able to get to my phone on my own and let you guys know what’s coming up. Let you know what’s going on.

Bill Gasiamis 45:22
So it sounds like you have a good relationship with your mother-in-law, though.

Greg Lewis 45:27
Yeah. Like I said I had a fairly traumatic childhood. And when I met my wife’s parents, we just seem to click, we have very similar personalities and attitudes toward life. And they were always there for me through the stroke and after everything and it’s kind of they’re a lot like actual parents to me.

Bill Gasiamis 46:04
Yeah, that’s lovely. So your childhood also, sounds like it’s set you up for being able to be gritty, and also get through this really tough time. If you’ve been through tough times.

Bill Gasiamis 46:17
And you know, what it’s like to be going through them. It probably gives you some really good tools to get through something as serious as being locked in and having had a brainstem stroke.

Greg Lewis 46:31
Oh, yeah. I mean, it did give serious tools to help get through everything, but it also gave me a whole slew of problems I’ve had to figure out. Some of those men worse than the stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 46:51
If some of those problems rear their ugly head did they sort of come back to bite you on the bum?

Using Food For Comfort

Greg Lewis 46:58
Oh, yeah. And just, for example, like my relationship with food, and I used food to regulate my emotions and stuff like that. And the next thing you know, I put on over 100 pounds.

Greg Lewis 47:15
And then when I finally figured out why I was doing that with food, I was able to get rid off almost 100 pounds by but it took me in realizing that hey, this from my childhood, because I’ve always been a bigger kid. This is from my childhood this is why I’m eating constantly. And this is why I’m eating this stuff. Because I hide my emotions in food.

Bill Gasiamis 47:46
So you feel a certain way and therefore you reach for a certain thing that makes that feeling go away. Does it just quiet that feeling? What does it do to that feeling when you reach out for that certain food? And what’s your go-to food?

Greg Lewis 48:05
It’s been so long since I’ve done this. I can’t remember. I just can’t remember the exact food. I will tell you what my weakness is. Cinnamon Bears. Those get me every time. But oh man, I can’t remember your question.

Bill Gasiamis 48:29
My question was, so that situation with emotional eating? Do you feel the feeling? And then you reach out for something, you eat that thing? And then what happens to the emotions? Do they go quiet? Do they get forgotten about? How does it help with the feeling that particular emotion that you’re not enjoying?

Greg Lewis 48:55
It gives a little bit of comfort. And then it’s a temporary relief. It’s kind of like, oh, yeah, I feel a little bit better. I feel a little bit comfortable. And then it goes away. So you eat more.

Greg Lewis 49:11
And then yeah, that feeling come back. And you do that basically until it goes quiet, settles down, or you deal with the emotion and dealing with the emotion is the more permanent way. But it’s also the harder way.

Bill Gasiamis 49:32
It’s painful. Yeah. At the time. But then there’s a certain amount of relief after that as well.

Greg Lewis 49:39
Exactly. It’s painful to you. It’s been pulled to who’s ever involved. But yes, the relief is there, and it’s more permanent. And when I would eat to get rid of my feelings?

Greg Lewis 50:03
I would still feel the weight of the emotion. But it would be temporary relief when I actually looked in the emotion, digested and really dissected it the weight was lifted off my shoulders.

Greg Lewis 50:26
So it wasn’t just okay. I’m doing all right. It was more like, all right now I’m really seeing who I am. And when I’m willing, not just able to do but willing to do.

Wired For Love

Bill Gasiamis 50:45
Yeah. Did you get help deal with those emotions? Did you go to counseling? Or did you deal with that on your own? Did you work out how to do it on your own?

Greg Lewis 50:57
At first, I started out on my own. But I go see a therapist. And unfortunately, it’s not often enough. What we do talk about stuff. She’s given me some really good books to read.

Greg Lewis 51:16
Stan Tatkin. His book I think it’s called Wired For Love. Excellent book. It sounds a little funny. But it’s more about you. How you come to the table, and how other people are probably perceiving that and what is making you come to the table like you’re doing. And then it’s a total game-changer. Because he doesn’t write it to his peers. He writes it to the everyday average person so they can understand it.

Bill Gasiamis 52:01
I’ve just looked it up here. And it’s Wired For Love: How understanding your partner’s brain and attachment style can help you defuse conflict and build a secure relationship. By Stan Tatkin.

Greg Lewis 52:15
Yep, Stan Tatkin and one of the reasons why I really vibe with this book is I’ve listened to just about every podcast he’s ever been on. And he has been through it. He hasn’t had a stroke or anything. But he’s been through a lot of trauma. He’s been through hard times in his life.

Greg Lewis 52:40
He’s been through total life changing things, and he’s come out of it better. And figuring all this stuff out. And he wants to help everybody else feel that same way. And I know it’s really helped me. It may not solve the problems, but at least I know what the problem is.

Bill Gasiamis 53:00
Yeah, that’s a great thing to know the problem because then when it’s about to happen, you know, oh, my gosh, that’s about to happen. And you can somehow intervene. Without food and you can start to find like circuit breakers, you can start to find circuit breakers to help you get better at finding circuit breakers, whatever they are.

Greg Lewis 53:26
Exactly. And you know I mean, the problem, what is it? The devil, you know, is better than the one you don’t know, you know, on the problem, you know, if it’s known, at least you know what it is. And then you can figure out how to dissect that problem. But if you don’t know what it is, you have no idea how to attack it.

Bill Gasiamis 53:57
How to tackle it how to take it down, well, I mean, it sounds like you’ve learned a lot after your stroke sounds like you’ve actually grown as a human being and you’ve become wiser to the world.

Greg Lewis 54:18
I hope I have I’ve followed a lot of people and they’re really big into the self-help and, and I’ve noticed something in the teachers that are really good. They’re all saying the same thing, just a little bit differently. And find the one that you vibe with and then learn it and apply them because they’re universal principles that these people are teaching.

Greg Lewis 54:46
And why once you figure out those principles, and you start living by them as best you can. It’s a slow change, but you’ll notice how in your life changes But the biggest and quickest change is yourself how you approach stuff. And you just have this new Hey, I know what’s going on. I know what I can do. And I’m going to approach life differently. And how you show up in life really determines how, let me put it simply, you don’t react to life, you act instead of react.

Bill Gasiamis 55:36
Instead of being passive, you’re actually active and you’re moving towards the version of life that you want, rather than reacting to a life that’s not the one that you want.

Greg Lewis 55:49
Exactly.

Bill Gasiamis 55:52
So what’s your purpose these days? What’s the next nine years gonna be like? What are your goals?

Greg Lewis 55:59
The next nine years, I honestly have no idea. I’ve spent a long time praying and trying to figure out what my purpose in life was. And I always got patience. Just be patient. It’ll come it’ll happen. You know. And I finally realized that me being the best I can be and constantly improving, and just showing up every day is going to me enough for whatever might happen.

Greg Lewis 56:36
And you know how I can show up, I’m showing up for my kids. I’m trying to be their dad, I wanna be a good father, I’m trying to read pull my weight around the house. I mean, you know, my wife’s got enough on her plate. What can I take off that plate? And, you know, she gives 100%, I have to do that too just my 100% may look different than hers.

Bill Gasiamis 57:24
That’s all good. So it sounds like learning patience. Were you a patient person beforehand?

Greg Lewis 57:36
I thought I was.

Bill Gasiamis 57:37
But you weren’t?

Greg Lewis 57:42
I think I approached differently. And I thought I was patient. But I think I was I just look at it totally different now.

Bill Gasiamis 58:03
Yeah. I feel like patience is something that gets thrust upon you. Like, my experience was, I never thought it was worth going through the long process of, for example, getting a, you know, a degree of any sort of a university degree, you know, what’s the point of doing four years to get to that point, you know, it’s too long, it takes too long.

Bill Gasiamis 58:31
But the truth is, all good things that, that you’re you have to build that you build, take time to develop. And you’ve just got to go through the steps. And if you’re able to go at a certain speed, well, your steps will take as long as they take and if you’re able to go. And if somebody else is a bit quicker in the way that they do things, or slower, it’ll take as long as they take. And patience is a great thing.

Bill Gasiamis 58:58
Because for me, anyway, I’ve learned that all I have to do is a small amount every day, I don’t have to do large amounts. And then I have to just reflect on how much I’ve done in the last two days. And then in the last week, and then in the last month.

Bill Gasiamis 59:14
And that little bit, just little bit, little bit a little bit adds up to being something really massive in a year or two or two years. And it doesn’t matter that it took two years but it just matters that we’re doing those little bits towards the goal. And eventually, we chew off enough that we’ve got to the end of that, and we just have the last bite.

Greg Lewis 59:39
Yeah, exactly. There was one thing I was learning from one guy who’s not even in the self-help realm, he would just always say, if you’re just a little bit better than than yesterday, one day and that’ll make a huge difference. And he goes and he said in the context of you knew 10 10 Push-ups today, maybe you do 11. That’s still better. And still more. And I was saying that in the other name is someone more is more. I mean, if you take three steps forward and two steps back, you’re still pouring one. You’re still going forward.

Having Something To Share

Bill Gasiamis 1:00:20
Yeah, I agree with them. Greg, thanks so much for reaching out. What made you reach out to be on the podcast? I know, I put it out there. And I asked people to come on board. But what specifically made you reach out? It was quite a lovely email that I received from you. It was fairly, it was fairly long. What was it that made you reach my knees?

Greg Lewis 1:00:43
I honestly don’t know. I have just been listening to your podcast. And it was the first one I never really heard about it, or her likeness. And I honestly I can’t remember which episode I listened to. But I just finished the episode. And I saw that oh, hey, I can reach out to you. So I did it.

Greg Lewis 1:01:15
And then ever since I send that email up. I’ve been 100%, doubting myself, every day. I am just been going there’s no way I can do this. You’re not special. And well, I know I’m not special. I was like, No, I’ve got something I can share. Got to have something. I’m sure that’s what everybody else was feeling like, what am I going to share? What am I going to do? And I just realized, you know, after nine years, it’s time to break the silence and share something speak out.

Bill Gasiamis 1:01:57
Yeah. I really appreciate the fact that you do that. I’m telling you now, there there are stroke survivors that have had a brainstem and that have been locked in, that are listening to this right now. And they are they are lapping it up. They are saying this is fantastic. This is exactly what I want to hear. The great thing about it is that you are nine years down the track.

Bill Gasiamis 1:02:19
So there’s an unbelievable difference between being locked in and being where you are now. Oh, yeah. And people need to know what the future for, for locked-in syndrome sufferers is going to be like, because it’s not going to be locked in forever. It’s really important that you came on and share this so and you’re not special. And none of my guests is special. I’m not special. But what we do is special sharing the stuff that we share that is special.

Greg Lewis 1:02:52
Exactly. You know, I just want to share something. I’m always had this feeling that I need to be smart and profound. And have everybody think that and that something from when I was a kid that I used to think and not still with me every day and I’m like, I don’t have to say anything profound I don’t have to think it’s profound.

Greg Lewis 1:03:20
It can be just something totally average that I think that someone else finds profound, or, or smart or whatever. You know, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Absolutely. So what this art means to me, it may mean something totally different to you, but it still is the fact that I hold the meaning.

Bill Gasiamis 1:03:43
Yeah, And you know, that thing that you said that seems benign to you could be the thing that somebody has been waiting to hear for such a long time, and it turns their recovery around. And the reason it’s benign to you is maybe because you had the lesson you learned from that you move on and now you’re nine years down the track. So now it kind of seems like everyday life. It’s a run of the mill.

Bill Gasiamis 1:04:13
But when you first heard it, it was like, wow, I needed to know that that was amazing. And that is what I find a lot of people get, and they contact me like you do, because they’ve been listening for a year or two. But it was that episode it was that question. It was that answer that made him go well, I need to reach out or do something or speak to somebody or, or make a change.

Bill Gasiamis 1:04:40
And that’s why we have these conversations. And they’re always a similar format. You know, we’ve talked about what happened at the beginning, so that people can understand that it’s pretty shit at the beginning. And then we talk about what it’s like a little bit after, and how things start to improve. And now that you’re nine years down the track Man, and you’re still getting improvements in your shoulder. That’s amazing.

Greg Lewis 1:05:08
Yeah, I couldn’t even walk after a year, or just barely with a walker. And they’re like, well, all the doctors like, well, that’s all you’re gonna gain. And I said, this isn’t all I’m gonna gain. There’s no way this is not all I’m gonna gain, I will not let it happen. And whether I gain it physically or mentally, I didn’t care. I just knew I’d be more.

Bill Gasiamis 1:05:36
Yep. On that note, thank you so much for reaching out. And being my guest. And also thank you so much for reaching out and sending me the email that you did. I really do look forward to them. I love it when people reach out and send me emails and asked to be on the podcast. It just, that’s exactly why I set it up to give people like you the platform to express yourself after nine years. And to break the silence.

Greg Lewis 1:06:06
Oh, yeah, I’m so appreciative of your podcast. I’m randomly look it up one day. I am never searched for podcasts like this before, randomly searched up, and I fell in love with it instantly. And it’s just exactly what I needed there. And I mean, you’re out there doing it. And that’s what people need.

Bill Gasiamis 1:06:31
Yeah. Thanks, again for being on the podcast.

Greg Lewis 1:06:36
My pleasure. Thank you for having me.

Bill Gasiamis 1:06:39
That’s a wrap, Greg. We’ve done it, mate. We got to the end. toilet breaks. All sorts of things happened during that interview. But it’s all good. I’m going to edit this. And then I’ll send you an email that you know that it’s done. And I’ll also put you I’ll tag you on Instagram.

Bill Gasiamis 1:06:59
And then we can chat about it. Feel free to reach out anytime I’m more than happy to chat with you at any time about anything. Send me an email, whatever you like. And if you need to stay in touch, please do.

Greg Lewis 1:07:12
Oh, yeah. Thank you. I will. Oh, for Instagram. I have a totally different handle. I don’t go by my name. I go by 22Cheapster. It’s a little different. It’s not centered on the stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 1:07:38
Okay. Okay. Done. I’ve followed you. And I’ll tag you. When the time comes probably about three or four weeks away, I’d say because there’s a few that I’ve done. So it’s about three or four weeks away before it’s ready.

Greg Lewis 1:07:58
No problem. Take Simon. Thank you.

Bill Gasiamis 1:08:00
My pleasure. Be Well, man, all the very best.

Greg Lewis 1:08:04
Right you too. Thank you.

Bill Gasiamis 1:08:10
Well, thank you so much for joining us on today’s episode. I hope you got a lot out of it. I learned something that’s for sure. I hope you did. And isn’t it just a treat to hear somebody who was locked in from a serious brain stem stroke, speak and tell his story and tell us how he’s coming along in recovery.

Bill Gasiamis 1:08:30
Unfortunately, brain stem strokes seem to go hand in hand with locked in syndrome. And at least people are getting through them and overcoming them and getting back to life. And this is a real amazing thing for me. And I really hope that it inspires you as well. Now, if you’re watching on YouTube, and you can please leave a comment. I’d love to read comments from people.

Bill Gasiamis 1:08:58
And if you’re watching on YouTube, and you want to get notified of new episodes, hit the notification bell. And also hit the thumbs up, give it a like and let the YouTube search engine also rank the show better and give the podcast access to more people so that they can appreciate the amazing stories that the stroke survivors are sharing about their recovery and also the caregivers, because there’s a few caregivers that have been on the podcast and they also need information and hope about stroke recovery.

Bill Gasiamis 1:09:33
So if you can interact with the YouTube video as well, I would really appreciate it it’ll make a massive difference. So thanks so much for listening again. I really appreciate you being here. Thanks so much for supporting the show and for commenting and for sharing the episodes and letting people know about the podcast and that it exists. I love being here for you. I hope that you love the podcast. asked as much as I do to Thanks for being here, and I’ll see you on the next episode.

Intro 1:10:05
Importantly, we present many podcast designed to give you an insight and understanding into the experiences of other individuals their opinions and treatment protocols discussed during any podcast or the individual’s own experience and we do not necessarily share the same opinion nor do we recommend any treatment protocol discussed.

Intro 1:10:23
All content on this website at any linked blog, podcast or video material controlled this website or content is created and produced for informational purposes only and is largely based on the personal experience of Bill Gasiamis, the content is intended to complement your medical treatment and support healing. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health advice.

Intro 1:10:45
The information is general and may not be suitable for your personal injuries, circumstances or health objectives. Do not use our content as a standalone resource to diagnose treat, cure or prevent any disease for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for the advice of a health professional. Never delay seeking advice or disregard the advice of a medical professional your doctor or your rehabilitation program based on our content.

Intro 1:11:07
If you have any questions or concerns about your health or medical condition, please seek guidance from a doctor or other medical professional if you are experiencing a health emergency or think you might be, call 000 if in Australia or your local emergency number immediately for emergency assistance or go to the nearest hospital emergency department.

Intro 1:11:24
Medical information changes constantly. While we aim to provide current quality information in our content. We do not provide any guarantees and assume no legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, currency or completeness of the content. If you choose to rely on any information within our content you do so solely at your own risk. We are careful with links we provide however third party links from our website are followed at your own risk and we are not responsible for any information you find there.

 

The post Brain Stem Stroke & Locked In Syndrome Recovery – Greg Lewis appeared first on Recovery After Stroke.

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Greg Lewis is recovering from a Brain Stem Stroke and locked-in syndrome at the age of 32. Greg Lewis is recovering from a Brain Stem Stroke and locked-in syndrome at the age of 32. Recovery After Stroke 1:11:51
Remote Patient Monitoring – Deborah Gulbrand https://recoveryafterstroke.com/remote-patient-monitoring-deborah-gulbrand/ Mon, 09 May 2022 10:54:11 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8877 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/remote-patient-monitoring-deborah-gulbrand/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/remote-patient-monitoring-deborah-gulbrand/feed/ 0 <p>Remote Patient Monitoring became a necessity during the covid 19 pandemic as non-urgent patients were unable to attend their hospital appointment for their regular check-ups. Listen to how this technology is set to revolutionize outpatient care.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/remote-patient-monitoring-deborah-gulbrand/">Remote Patient Monitoring – Deborah Gulbrand</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Remote Patient Monitoring became a necessity during the covid 19 pandemic as non-urgent patients were unable to attend their hospital appointment for their regular check-ups. Listen to how this technology is set to revolutionize outpatient care.

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Connect America

Highlights:

02:27 Introduction
05:04 Deborah Gulbrand
07:57 What It’s Like Being A Nurse
12:05 Saving Lives is Terrifying
18:49 Stroke Denial
26:40 From Hospital To Home Health
31:57 We’re Not Meant To Live Alone
36:44 Connect America
39:00 Remote Patient Monitoring
51:19 In The Comfort of Your Own Home
1:04:28 Improved Patient Treatment
1:10:39 Other Applications

Transcriptions:

Bill Gasiamis 0:00
How does it feel to be somebody that saves people’s lives?

Deborah Gulbrand 0:06
It’s terrifying.

Bill Gasiamis 0:08
Oh my gosh, I would have thought you were going to say the opposite.

Deborah Gulbrand 0:09
No, it’s terrifying. I mean, it really is rewarding at the end of the day. But, you know, you think about there’s some really big moments in life when someone’s born, and being able to witness that as a nurse, that’s fantastic.

Deborah Gulbrand 0:22
When someone dies, that only happens once. Being with that person where they’re in between really, are they going to live? Or are they going to die? It’s a huge weight. But it, you know, it’s a responsibility. And with that, it really is a privilege to be able to walk with that person on that journey.

Intro 0:58
This is the recovery after stroke podcast, with Bill Gasiamis, helping you navigate recovery after stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 1:11
Hello, and welcome to another episode of the recovery after stroke podcast. Firstly, a big thank you to everybody who went along and left a review for the show, either on Spotify, or the Apple iTunes podcast app, whatever it’s called, I really appreciate it, it makes a massive difference.

Bill Gasiamis 1:31
It means that it’s possible for people who are looking for this type of content because they’ve just had a stroke or one of their loved ones has a stroke, it means it’s possible for them to find this podcast or podcast like this type a lot easier.

Bill Gasiamis 1:47
And you know what it was like when you were going through your recovery. And you needed information. And it was hard to find? Well, this is what the purpose of this podcast is to make it easier for people to access information about stroke recovery, that’s going to make a difference in their lives.

Bill Gasiamis 2:06
And it’s going to improve the recovery. And it’s going to give them hope. So if you are listening, and you can, I would really appreciate it. If you went along to the Spotify app or to the Apple podcast app, or to whichever app you listen to podcasts on and leave the show a five-star review, it really will make a huge difference.

Bill Gasiamis 2:27
And I’ll really appreciate it. So today’s episode is episode 193. And my guest today is Deborah Gulbrand, a registered nurse who transitioned from helping patients in a hospital setting to developing a solution for monitoring patients from the comfort of their own homes.

Bill Gasiamis 2:48
Now remote patient monitoring has been around for a while. But its benefits were never more obvious than during the pandemic as hospitals stopped seeing patients for their scheduled regular checkups in fear that it may lead to additional COVID infections and place a further strain on hospitals.

Bill Gasiamis 3:07
Their ability to care for sick people, and then also put people who were not quite sick, or were just needing care at risk of getting COVID and then becoming quite unwell.

Bill Gasiamis 3:19
So if you’re the type of person that finds it difficult to get to your regular appointments because of distance or because of your mobility, remote patient monitoring might be something that you could benefit from and you might find this podcast episode quite interesting.

Bill Gasiamis 3:36
Now, most of the episode is not being allocated to discussing remote patient monitoring, we get to learn about Deborah who was a nurse and still is a registered nurse, and what it’s like being a nurse and going through the process of helping people who are quite unwell.

Bill Gasiamis 3:55
And then from there, towards the end of the podcast episode, we talk about her transition to remote patient monitoring and the benefits of it and how it helps, and how much additional information and data can be collected on somebody’s vital signs by having their vitals monitored remotely.

Bill Gasiamis 4:17
Rather than going into a hospital once a fortnight or once a month and doing checkups because in the time between your appointments we’re missing a lot of valuable information. There’s a lot of gap between each appointment, and that additional information makes a huge difference.

Bill Gasiamis 4:38
That’s why I did this interview because I think it’s really important for people to understand how they can get better care by being at home with a product like remote patient monitoring. So anyway enough for me. Let’s head straight to the episode. Deborah Gulbrand while Come to the podcast.

Deborah Gulbrand 5:02
Thank you so much for having me, Bill.

Deborah Gulbrand

Deborah Gulbrand
Bill Gasiamis 5:04
My pleasure Deborah tell me a little bit about what you do.

Deborah Gulbrand 5:08
Well, I’m a registered nurse, I also have a business degree. I started out in the ICU in critical care. And from there, I went into the cath lab. So if you were somebody that was having a stroke, or if you were someone that was having a heart attack, I would be the one that you saw first.

Deborah Gulbrand 5:29
So I did that and afterward went into home health. One of the things that I did when I was in home health because I did have a lot of experience with cardiopulmonary medicine, was I was tasked with developing a remote patient monitoring program.

Deborah Gulbrand 5:49
And once I did that, you know, it was before it was even reimbursed. But once I did that, and I saw the effect that it had on our patients that were really, really critically and chronically ill, I was hooked.

Deborah Gulbrand 6:04
And so many, many years later, 17 plus years later, I am still working in the field, which is a huge passion of mine. And the company that I work for now Connect America brought me on to help develop their remote patient monitoring program.

Bill Gasiamis 6:23
Very good. Very good. Let’s get back to the beginning. Because you would have experience that most patients who are going through a really, really tough time, kind of don’t like doctors, but really loved nurses. We think that nurses are the best. You know, we talk amazing stuff, we say amazing things about nurses.

Bill Gasiamis 6:49
What’s it like to become a nurse at the beginning? You’re this person who’s young, and you’ve got these big dreams of helping people and making all this all this amazing work. But you’ve got to go to university, and you’ve got to work through getting a degree and what you’re getting exposed to is really difficult situations because nurses see it all right? What’s it like to transition from being naive to being a nurse?

Deborah Gulbrand 7:20
Well, you know, it’s interesting, because I already had my business degree, when I decided I wanted to go back and become a nurse, I thought I was going to be a lawyer. My mom was a lawyer and a retired judge. But I was very interested in holistic medicine.

Deborah Gulbrand 7:38
I was a massage therapist for eight years and decided, you know, I really want to explore and really have more of a cerebral relationship with my patients. And so I wanted to learn more. And I felt like a natural extension of that would be to go to nursing school.

What It’s Like Being A Nurse

Deborah Gulbrand 7:57
And my eldest brother who’s a cardiologist, and a doctor asked me, why don’t you just go become a doctor. And I told him, I don’t want your life. So I went back to nursing school. And it was different this time, because first of all, mom and dad paid for that first degree. And this time, I worked while I was going to school.

Deborah Gulbrand 8:19
And I felt like I had a little bit of an edge over some of the people that I was in school with, because they were first of all, they were younger than me, and maybe not as focused as I was. So I felt like that was a huge advantage for me. But you’re right, you see things. And most people they think of a nurse, oh, that, you know, it’s a great job, you can make a good living.

Deborah Gulbrand 8:45
But they don’t understand all of the things that we have to do and see. And after you go through nursing school, and you’re in that first year of working, and you’re out there, I remember the first thing I thought I was just in this panic, yes, I thought I hope I don’t accidentally kill somebody or you know, because of something I didn’t know.

Deborah Gulbrand 9:08
And what you discover is so much of what you learn, you learn after you graduate, and it’s that on the job training. And so I feel like it’s important for anyone that’s thinking about going into that career, to have in the back of their mind to go out there and jump into something that is really difficult. You know, the ICU the ER, something that’s going to force you to learn as much as you can.

Bill Gasiamis 9:39
Yeah, definitely intense places to learn if you can learn under those conditions where you have, really but if you can, then it really does sort of train you for all levels of nursing from the very benign and the very basic to the very high intensity and it’s all very important work now, how old were you when you decided to study and become a nurse?

Deborah Gulbrand 10:08
I was in my mid-20s. And so like I said, I’d already been through school and had gone back to school. And it was hard. It was a struggle. I felt like, honestly, it was harder than law school for me. I just felt like it, you know, just the critical thinking. And some of the different things that I was challenged with.

Deborah Gulbrand 10:39
You know, you say that going into the ER, or maybe some of those high-paced adrenaline-type jobs. But when you have somebody that comes into the hospital, normally, decisions have to be made very quickly. And so being in that environment, trains you to be able to adapt, triage the situation, and then be able to move forward with a plan.

Bill Gasiamis 11:06
That it’s a really intense situation, you have to come up with all these decisions, do the right thing, and then keep moving forward, and you can’t stop. And it sounds like you can’t really stop and think about it too much.

Bill Gasiamis 11:20
I imagine there’s some cognitive focus and processing that’s happening. But the overthinking is definitely not able to happen. You can’t overthink a situation, what if I do the wrong thing, etc, you really have to take action. If you take too long, there could be a problem as well.

Deborah Gulbrand 11:39
It’s true, it’s true. I mean, one of the worst things to do is nothing. And so what happens is, you have all this information that you’ve learned in nursing school. And then when you’re put in that situation, although it’s situational awareness, that you didn’t necessarily learn in school, it was all of that information that you learned in school that you draw upon, in that situation.

Saving Lives is Terrifying – Deborah Gulbrand

Deborah Gulbrand 12:05
So that’s when it really starts to come together. And, you know, the reason I say I think it’s so important, because we are going to be talking about stroke, is that in and of itself is one of those situations where time is everything. And so I feel like you know, training yourself in one of those areas, really sets yourself up, to be able to go through those types of situations and make good decisions that save your patient’s life.

Bill Gasiamis 12:39
How does it feel to be somebody that saves people’s lives?

Deborah Gulbrand 12:46
It’s terrifying.

Bill Gasiamis 12:47
Oh, my gosh, I would have thought, you’re gonna say the opposite.

Deborah Gulbrand 12:50
No it’s terrifying. I mean, it really is rewarding at the end of the day. But, you know, you think about there’s some really big moments in life when someone’s born, and being able to witness that as a nurse, that’s fantastic. When someone dies, that only happens once being with that person where they’re in between really, are they going to live? Or are they going to die.

Deborah Gulbrand 13:20
It’s a huge weight. But it you know, it’s a responsibility. And with that, it really is a privilege to be able to walk with that person on that journey. And myself having been in the hospital in emergent situations in my life.

Deborah Gulbrand 13:43
You know, I feel like it has given me a very good understanding so that I can empathize with patients when they’re going through these things. I know that when you’re in that situation, you’re not thinking about all of the minutia.

Deborah Gulbrand 14:02
You know, when people always ask you’ve got these patients and they’re at home and how come they can’t figure out that they need to go to the doctor or how come they can’t figure out this step or that step?

Deborah Gulbrand 14:12
Well, it’s easy when you’re on the outside looking in and myself as the clinician, I’m looking out going well you need to do this, this and this, can’t you understand that? But you cannot because your brain is so focused on what is happening to you in the moment. And really just your overall wellness.

Bill Gasiamis 14:31
That’s a very big one. I speak to stroke survivor after stroke survivor who says I thought it was a headache or I thought it was something I did to my neck or I thought it was something I ate or you hear all these stories. I ignored the symptoms for seven days before I did anything about it.

Deborah Gulbrand 14:52
You’re lucky to be sitting here.

Bill Gasiamis 14:54
I am, it’s an absolute miracle. I was lucky because the bleed that was occurring in my had because of an AVM was just a really slow bleed. And it was just kind of leaking instead of gushing. But I had a couple of big bleeds where they did gush and caused a lot of issues. And I couldn’t delay seven days worth.

Bill Gasiamis 15:15
But the first the very first one, I noticed a numb sensation in my big right toe. And then over seven days that numbness spread from my big right toe, all the way up and to the left side of my body, my entire left side. And that’s when I finally listened to the chiropractor who told me there’s nothing wrong with my back.

Bill Gasiamis 15:34
And my wife, who has been noticing me walking differently for three or four days. That’s when I finally listened to them, and went to the hospital. And was completely shocked when they said to me, you’ve got a shadow on your head. And we don’t know what it is yet. That was day one. So day two. The second time it bled was six weeks later. And I was against doctor’s orders went to work.

Bill Gasiamis 16:03
And we have a painting company I wasn’t working though, I wasn’t working, I was sitting on a chair, watching my guys working. And I started to notice the numbness. And the room started to spin and I started to feel nausea. And I said to them, look, I’m not feeling well guys, or what I need you to do is finish what you’re doing, which was the job that we were there to do.

Bill Gasiamis 16:29
It took about an extra hour or two to finish something like that. Finish what you’re doing, and then take me home. I drove with them. They drove me past the hospital to my house, which was about an hour’s drive by the time we got there because we were in the city and there was traffic. Then I got to my home, told my wife to take me to the hospital.

Bill Gasiamis 16:57
She thought okay, she took me to the hospital when we walked out of the car door. And I went to emergency triage emergency. It was about a 50 meter walk. Now we were conversing in the car as you and I are now.

Bill Gasiamis 17:16
By the time I got to triage I didn’t know my name, what I was doing there or anything. And I blanked out. When my wife came, I didn’t recognize her. When she finished packing the car and came to see me I didn’t recognize who she was, I didn’t know what I was doing all that type of thing.

Bill Gasiamis 17:36
So that was bleed two, and bleed three it all happened between February 2012 and November 2014. So bleed three was in November 14. And that time, I was driving because I had got back to work, I had got back to driving, everything was okay. The doctors were telling me that things were improving, I started to feel a lot better.

Bill Gasiamis 18:01
And I started to feel sunburn sensations on my left side. And I drove myself to the hospital. The first time I had no idea that I should go the hospital the second time, I was a bit hesitant to go to the hospital. The third time, I looked up at where my car was parked.

Bill Gasiamis 18:27
And it didn’t occur to me to ring the ambulance and say to them come and get me from this location. I’m parked outside of this particular street. It didn’t occur to me to do that. But it did occur to me to ring my client and tell them that I won’t be able to come to see them today.

Deborah Gulbrand 18:45
You’re not thinking clearly, you know, your brain is not functioning properly.

Stroke Denial

Bill Gasiamis 18:49
Zero. It’s what you said it’s when you’re going through the process. And you don’t have the nuanced understanding of these things because you’re only dealing with them maybe once in your lifetime or twice in a lifetime, even three times in your lifetime. You just make excuses. And you do the whole “It’s not me. It can’t be happening to me”.

Deborah Gulbrand 19:14
Because you don’t want to be having a stroke. That’s not the thing that you’re going to admit to yourself. Even if you’ve already had it, which you know, the phrase that kept coming up to my mind listening to you talk was just in time you got there, just in time you got there just in time over and over again. And, you know, you maybe this is partly what really your real life’s mission is is that and that is educating other people because obviously, the good Lord needed you here for something and gave you multiple chances.

Bill Gasiamis 19:53
Absolutely. It does feel like it’s my mission to do this. And I have had to have I have some really difficult conversations with people that have lost children to AVMs and their loved ones to stroke. And I never signed up for that part really, I didn’t.

Bill Gasiamis 20:14
I didn’t even know that it was coming. But that’s kind of what how I know I’m not comparing myself to you. But that’s kind of how I see nurses is that you guys don’t really sign up for what you end up experiencing. You kind of sign up for something different, I imagine it’s completely different to what you expected.

Deborah Gulbrand 20:39
In some ways, it is, you know, I would say this, that whatever I thought it was going to be. In those cases, it was that times 100. And then it was all the other stuff that I didn’t really understand. And I honestly feel that that other side of it, which to me is the human side.

Deborah Gulbrand 21:01
Having been a little bit older, I felt like I was a little better prepared for it. And, you know, I think that you definitely have to have that sympathy, empathy, understanding and caring, and want to be able to help people that are really in crisis mode.

Bill Gasiamis 21:24
Do nurses get encouraged to get counseling and support to help them deal with the things that they have to experience?

Deborah Gulbrand 21:34
Yes, in fact, I would be very surprised if you were to go to a large health system. And they would not have as one of the benefits, that there was some type of psychological counseling are one of those things, because, you know, everywhere that I’ve worked, there is something like that that’s made available, because you are dealing in some really stressful situations.

Deborah Gulbrand 22:01
And, you know, people always say, Well, are you here, people say, well, let’s don’t get too attached, don’t do this, don’t do that. And in my opinion, I think the exact opposite. I think that you absolutely should be attached, you absolutely should care. Because the person that you’re dealing with is somebody’s mom, or daughter, you know, or some type of family member and someone loves them.

Deborah Gulbrand 22:29
And so that can take a toll, just that amount of emotion. The one good thing about it is because it usually isn’t something somebody that’s part of your family. When it’s necessary, you can put that emotion to the side and say, Okay, I have a job to do, and this is what it is. And then when you’re done, you can go back to, you know, feeling and caring.

Deborah Gulbrand 22:55
But yeah, it is difficult, especially when you have someone and for me, it’s not just the patient, but when I have someone and I’ve gotten to know their whole family, you know, and they’ve been telling me things that they haven’t even told some of their family members, you know, it’s just that type of a situation where and it happens to me everywhere I go too when I’m in the grocery store.

Deborah Gulbrand 23:23
My husband’s like, why do people tell you these things? And I don’t know, I guess that I’ve learned to be a good listener, but you start to be part of that niche. And when you lose someone like that, then that’s the really hard part.

Bill Gasiamis 23:45
Do nurses ever get to the point where they are going to work and because of situation, because of a life that’s happening outside of work. And then because of what’s happening at work? The nurses ever get burnt out feel like they don’t care anymore and can’t be there anymore and do all those tough tasks. Is it taxing? I imagine it’s a level of emotionally and psychologically taxing for some nurses to do that kind of work.

Deborah Gulbrand 24:21
It depends on the person. Some people absolutely live for that. And I know there’s different areas of nursing where people that tend to be able to, like live for those types of situations. They stay in. One of those is the neonatal ICU, the nurses that do that, they love it, they usually have that job and they had that job forever.

Deborah Gulbrand 24:49
You go to most really big health systems that have you know, good benefits, and you’re gonna go look in that NICU and you’re gonna see nurses that have been there. For years, but yes, you’re right. I think it really just depends on the person. But I will tell you for me, I had children later in life.

Deborah Gulbrand 25:14
So I was able to go and be a nurse, and do all those high adrenaline jobs where it’s intense, you know, so you bring that home sometimes, okay? Being on call, and having to come in for an emergency. Like I said, someone’s having a heart attack, someone’s having a stroke, you know, you’re gonna see me probably on the worst day of your life.

Intro 25:37
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, or doctors will explain things but obviously, you’ve never had a stroke before, you probably don’t know what questions to ask.

Intro 26:01
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 recoveryafterstroke.com where you can download a guide that will help you it’s called seven questions to ask your doctor about your stroke.

Intro 26:21
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.

From Hospital To Home Health – Deborah Gulbrand


Deborah Gulbrand 26:40
And when I decided that I wanted to have children, that’s when I left the hospital setting. And I went into home health because I knew for me, I didn’t want to have to bring that intensity. And that adrenaline home to family life.

Deborah Gulbrand 26:59
I just for me. I was so in it, and involved in it. And in the moment, I felt like it would be better for me to go and do something different. And that’s one of the great things about being a nurse, there are so many really cool things that you can do. And I’ve had the opportunity to do quite a few of them.

Bill Gasiamis 27:21
Yeah, fantastic. It’s really lovely to get the opportunity to talk to somebody who has been a nurse who is a nurse. Because I always felt like I should have gone back to meet the nurses who cared for me, in those different times where we were really struggling.

Bill Gasiamis 27:38
Especially when my wife was helping the nurses push my bed into the CT room to get a CT scan. Because the nurse couldn’t wait for somebody to come and help. She said to my wife, you know, jump it into the bed and help me push it to CT.

Bill Gasiamis 27:57
Like just thinking about an ounce emotional level of intense support and care and need to look out for you and care for you and make sure you’re well, and they’ve never met you. It’s just I know that most humans would help people who are doing tough wherever they come across them.

Bill Gasiamis 28:22
I know most people would stop and help and all that I get that part. But to go and do it day after day after day, every day. And to be amazing at it all the time. It seems like nurses going to put their emotions and their feelings and all their issues aside, and just park all of their stuff and come in and just allow themselves to be there fully and totally for the person that’s in the bed in front of them.

Bill Gasiamis 28:49
And it’s a lot to do that it is a lot to do that all the time and to make it about somebody else all the time. It’s so much and it’s just heartwarming. You can tell like I really love nurses up there. And I don’t really like doctors, although I appreciate them a lot.

Deborah Gulbrand 29:13
Oh, boy. I can’t wait to tell my brother that.

Bill Gasiamis 29:19
But definitely tell him that I still appreciate him and love him. I don’t like them, but I love them. I love them and appreciate them it’s a different thing. Like it’s a love-hate relationship. You know, and I appreciate them. And of course I wouldn’t be here without them, all the modern technology or the people that cared for me. I mean, really, I should not be here. Absolutely.

Deborah Gulbrand 29:44
I mean three times. Unbelievable. But you know, I’ve had a lot of people say that to me, and having been in the hospital like I said several times myself in emergent situations. You always feel such a pain vitiation that someone cared for you at a time when you needed it the most and even myself.

Deborah Gulbrand 30:10
Now, I knew some of the people that cared for me. But even me, you want to say thank you. But at the same time, it’s something that you want to put behind yourself so much, that it’s almost difficult to have to go back and revisit it.

Deborah Gulbrand 30:26
You know. So I mean, you say, I want to go back there. And I want to tell these people in your mind, you feel that way. And they know that you appreciate them, you know, because you say it when you’re there. But at the same time, you really don’t want to go back there.

Bill Gasiamis 30:43
Yeah, it’s kind of revisiting the trauma, perhaps.

Deborah Gulbrand 30:48
Yeah. Yeah, that’s what I think, too.

Bill Gasiamis 30:51
I think I would be a ball of mess if I went back and met my nurses. Even my surgeon and my doctors, if I went back and met them to thank them, I’d been a ball of mess. I think I’d get anything out.

Deborah Gulbrand 31:05
And that’s okay, too.

Bill Gasiamis 31:06
Yeah, yeah. But look, what you’re experiencing here is I know what the word is. It’s gratitude. Like, it’s just complete and utter total gratitude for the decisions that people make to do the type of work that helps people that they’ve never met before. It’s just a lot for me to comprehend.

Bill Gasiamis 31:30
And because, you know, maybe people don’t feel like they deserve it, or whatever. I do feel like I deserve help and support. So. But there’s a part of me that’s like, you know, what, what’s so special about me for you to decide to care for me? Why are you caring for me? It’s really weird I don’t know I can’t explain it, but I’m deeply grateful.

We’re Not Meant To Live Alone

Remote Patient Monitoring
Deborah Gulbrand 31:57
We’re not meant to live alone. Humans aren’t meant to be alone. And, and I think that’s part of it, too, is that, you know, we can’t survive alone. And so, you know, that I think that’s part of it is just that need to be there to help someone that is truly in need of it.

Bill Gasiamis 32:23
Yeah, yeah. It’s lovely to know, we’re going to briefly I’m going to talk briefly about my experiences becoming mortal and discovering a 37, that I’m mortal. nurses, nurses probably learn about mortality very early on in their training.

Bill Gasiamis 32:44
Is that something that you thought about? And is it something that you were able to use positively in your own life to know that? Look at this could be me at any time any? Anything could happen? And I could be? The roles can be reversed? Yeah. Did you think that as a young kid?

Deborah Gulbrand 33:05
I think it’s one thing to say that, and you can say, you know, wow, this could be me. But until it actually is you, you’re still just those are still just words. Or until it is someone that you love. And you can even look at someone else and say, Oh, I’m so sad that you lost this person. But there’s no way that you can truly feel it.

Deborah Gulbrand 33:30
Until you are there. It happens to you, you witness it, you are you know, really, it’s an intimate part of you in some way. And I really feel like it’s just like, when I remember, this is such a great analogy to me, because I didn’t have kids until later in life. And you know, I could never understand why somebody was always 10 minutes late to work.

Deborah Gulbrand 33:58
Because I would be like, just get start getting ready. And then you have children, you go, Oh, that’s why because every time you walk out the door, somebody’s got to use the bathroom or somebody forget something. And it’s not even something you can understand until you walk in those shoes.

Deborah Gulbrand 34:18
But I will tell you, the more and more I was around it. And the more I saw a patient that was like me. The more that you know that the more I really felt that I did have to deal with patients even though I worked in critical care in the ICU. The majority of our patients are geriatric, and I worked on that floor.

Deborah Gulbrand 34:40
I didn’t work with children and there was a reason for that for me, because it wasn’t something I didn’t feel like I could be the best nurse doing that. But then I would have people that came in like you and I will tell you when you have somebody coming in and they’re you I’m especially we care for all of our patients.

Deborah Gulbrand 35:04
But if you work in an environment where you’re dealing with adults, and you have someone that comes in, and they’re dying, or they are very close to dying, you think to yourself, This person has a whole life ahead of them. You know, whatever I do, I’m going to be my best, I’m going to do my best. And I’m going to everything that I have inside of me to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Deborah Gulbrand 35:32
And I just feel like, you know, everybody, it’s an all hands on deck such situation, somebody comes in with a stroke, it’s an all hands on deck situation. But when you have that young person that comes in, I think it’s scarier for everybody. And maybe it isn’t, that’s just my experience with it. But that’s how I felt about it.

Bill Gasiamis 35:57
Yeah, yeah, I get it, there’s like a more of a sense of importance, or urgency or some kind of more heightened level of maybe anxiety about making it right, getting it right, and getting them over the line is something like that?

Deborah Gulbrand 36:17
For me, I always felt like they’ve got so much more to do. You know, this can’t be the end of their life. You know, there’s just so much more out there, you know, what if this person is going to be the person that cures cancer? You know, and I wouldn’t necessarily think about those things when they were happening, but after the fact, you know, it was something that I would think about a lot.

Connect America And Remote Patient Monitoring

Bill Gasiamis 36:44
Wow, sliding door moments, I love it. It’s so good to get an insight from a nurse and to understand what it’s like and what they go through. It’s lovely to hear. Let’s talk about Connect America and the work that you’re doing now, as well. So, tell me, there’s been a recent study, or you guys have put some time and effort into understanding how you can support people out of the hospital in their homes, which is really great, especially during a lockdown. Where, nobody wants you to go to hospital in case you have COVID. And you spread it to everybody. Tell me a little bit about the work that you’ve been doing recently?

Deborah Gulbrand 37:33
Well, you know, let me tell you, it’s not only that, but there are so many other things that were taken into consideration, for instance, and your large hospitals. It wasn’t just okay, we don’t want these patients to come into the hospital because this is the absolute worst place for them in terms of, you know, being in a situation where they can actually contract the disease.

Deborah Gulbrand 37:58
But let’s say that you do have those patients that are in the hospital, you’ve got a ward, let’s say you’ve got 10 patients right now in the hospital. Every time somebody goes into that room, they have to put in PPE, all the protective gear, every time they go in, every time they come out, they take it off every time they go in again.

Deborah Gulbrand 38:19
And so it taxes the system in more ways than one. It becomes financially expensive. All right. Your resources dwindle your human resources. Because if you’ve got somebody that’s having to gown every time you go in, just like if somebody has an infectious disease, there are other diseases that this happens with.

Deborah Gulbrand 38:40
But so there’s so many other things that people don’t think about, just like when people didn’t want to go into the doctor’s office, because there may be people sick there with COVID. There also may be people there with the flu, and pneumonia and all these other things, too. But COVID was the real scare.

Remote Patient Monitoring

Remote Patient Monitoring
Deborah Gulbrand 39:00
And so for me, and what’s been going on with my company is now remote patient monitoring is happening at a time when there are so many more reasons that it’s necessary. You know, when I started in this 17 plus years ago, it wasn’t something that was even reimbursed. It was something that some very forward-thinking health systems, providers said, you know, I have to figure out a way to improve my patient outcomes.

Deborah Gulbrand 39:40
I need to make sure that what I’m doing is making sure that my patients are getting better and If not getting better then not getting worse. Okay, and so they were saying I’m going to make this investment because I’m going to improve outcomes and ultimately In the long run.

Deborah Gulbrand 40:01
We’re going to have cost avoidance because they’re not going to be going back into the hospital. Fast forward to now. And, you know, what was traditionally used for the big disease process, which is I always call hypertension, CHF, COPD, pneumonia and diabetes, now it’s six.

Bill Gasiamis 40:26
What’s CHF?

Deborah Gulbrand 40:27
Congestive Heart Failure. Sorry, now it’s six, number six is COVID. So you’ve got hypertension, which has high blood pressure, which is also the number one leading cause of stroke. So you’ve got hypertension, you’ve got congestive heart failure, all right, that’s when the heart muscle isn’t working properly.

Deborah Gulbrand 40:49
And there’s a backup of fluid in the system, which leads to organ failure and renal dysfunction. Then you have pneumonia. And, and you know, you have patients with emphysema, frequently, COPD, pneumonia, emphysema, those things are always together. And then you have patients with diabetes.

Deborah Gulbrand 41:10
Now, when I worked in the cath lab, we would have a patient that would come in, they would have a heart catheterization, and that’s where the doctor goes into a vessel in the body goes up to the heart, and they take a picture of the vessels in the heart. And this is where they find out if there’s a blockage or not.

Deborah Gulbrand 41:32
Okay. So, you know, you would look at somebody that was a smoker, and you would look at their vessels, and they would be really, really tiny and closed off. And then you would look at a patient that was diabetic, and look at their vessels, and they would look very much the same.

Deborah Gulbrand 41:50
And so, you know, I don’t think a lot of people think about that with diabetes is that there are all these other issues that happen, and oh, what happens when your vessels are closed, you can maybe form clots, and maybe have a stroke. So there, they’re really all you know, together, because so as your body, you know, your body functions, all these organs function together, when one goes down, another is going to be affected.

Deborah Gulbrand 42:20
So you add COVID into that. And now, the government is saying, we have we have this huge health emergency in Yeah, we have a lot of patients that have all those other diseases. But this one is killing a lot of them really quickly. And so what are we going to do about it? Oh, wait a minute, we’ve got remote patient monitoring that’s been around.

Deborah Gulbrand 42:46
And so with the big push with COVID, they started having all these patients on remote patient monitoring, because they didn’t want to bring him into the hospital. And of course, a lot of these patients have guessed what one of those five disease processes that I told you about, and they found out that wait, it really is helping us deal with all these other things, too.

Deborah Gulbrand 43:12
And so what I see is we’ve moved forward in leaps and bounds after COVID In remote patient monitoring. And because of what we found and the results that we achieved, we’re not going backwards. So, you know, it did teach us a lot about the benefits of being able to care for either chronically, or acutely ill patients at home. And it really is the wave of the future.

Bill Gasiamis 43:46
Are you attending the home to check up on them, or is it happening online? I know there’s maybe a portion of both. But to me, when you’re talking about remote, I’m thinking, okay, they’re doing something that’s connecting them to some kind of a software program, and that’s sending you guys information, and you have it at the drop of a hat. Is that right? Is that right?

Deborah Gulbrand 44:10
That is exactly how it happens. So you know how the patients get the monitors, there’s, there’s a few different ways that that happens. Sometimes you have a patient that goes into the ER, and because their frequent flyer, the ER says, you know, we’re gonna send you home with one of these monitors, so that you’re not in here every week.

Deborah Gulbrand 44:30
Or you have a health system that says, you know, we’re seeing this patient every three months. And we got to figure out how to keep this patient well for a longer period of time. And so you have physicians that are are seeing this with a lot of their patients.

Deborah Gulbrand 44:49
So what they’ll do is they will work with Connect America, and they will plan on sending these devices and And one of our favorite things that we have, you know, remember I said that the company used to basically be a purse company.

Deborah Gulbrand 45:07
And that’s that personal emergency response, I’ll fall in, I can’t get up. Press the button. So what they’ve done is they’ve actually combined that with remote patient monitoring. So you can have a patient that’s elderly, you put one of these devices out there, there are peripherals that are attached to that not attached to the, to the box, okay.

Deborah Gulbrand 45:31
But transmit through the box, like a blood pressure cuff, a pulse ox that tests oxygenation, potentially a scale, potentially a glucometer, if the patient is diabetic, and so that patient will, under the instruction of a clinician or clinic, a team, they’ll educate them, you need to get up every morning and take your vital signs.

Deborah Gulbrand 45:55
And when you do that, all of those results will be transmitted back to me. And I’ll be able to view all of this through a portal, and the portal that we call our porter, touchpoint care. And so as a clinician, I would be sitting in front of my computer like I am now. And I could look at all of the information, all my patients all their vital signs.

Deborah Gulbrand 46:21
When I get that data, and I can set the system up to where it will actually alert me if these vital signs are outside of parameters. So I’ll look at the information up maybe I’ll call the patient. Hi, Miss Betty, you know, I see that your blood pressure’s high today, have you taken your meds yet?

Deborah Gulbrand 46:40
No, honey, I just woke up. So you know, why don’t you go ahead and take your medication, Miss Betty and then recheck your vitals in an hour. So it seems like something really simple. Just that minor communication.

Deborah Gulbrand 46:54
But you remember, we talked about this earlier, that when you’re in the middle of this disease process, and all of these things that are going on, it’s sometimes hard to know what to do next. So not only do you have a device where the patients can be monitored every single day, but you also have now opened up the window of communication to where that clinician can communicate with that patient every single day.

Bill Gasiamis 47:24
And that’s for some people more communication with somebody than they would usually have about these matters. That’s way more communication than some of these people might have for weeks. Between visits so the hospital.

Deborah Gulbrand 47:42
Well, you think about this, too, not just visits to the hospital. But how many times do patients see their doctors a year? Some people every few years.

Bill Gasiamis 47:55
Some people every day or every second day or something.

Deborah Gulbrand 47:57
Yeah, but usually you have a yearly checkup, yeah, maybe twice a year. And so when you’re in the doctor’s office, they’ll take their blood pressure, they’ll take vital signs there, but patients are nervous. So if you’re going to be dosing medications, dosing those patient medications, are you going to be dosing those medications on one reading, and then hope for the best until six months passes?

Deborah Gulbrand 48:25
This way, you’re able to That’s right, that’s right. This way, you’re able to more closely follow the patient, you’re able to change the dosages when needed, so that instead of this patient doing this with their vital signs, they’re more like this. And so you are able to identify and recognize those problems, either before or as they’re happening, and make sure that the patient gets the changes to their plan of care, or comes in to see the doctor or you or at least the clinician, that is directing what is happening with that patient.

Bill Gasiamis 49:06
One of the most annoying things was going to the multiple doctors and follow up appointments and outpatient appointments. It was one of the most annoying because you’re kind of trying to do recovery, and you’re trying to get back to your life. And then what’s happening is you’re being interrupted with these appointments that you have to get to and sometimes I had two, three appointments a day every second or third day.

Bill Gasiamis 49:36
So this is really improving the amount of time I get to have back to myself, it gives me the opportunity to not have to have that one-hour commute to the hospital in that one-hour commute home. To have a regular general checkup and to discuss things with my doctor. I like that idea and I know what remote dialysis has done for dialysis patient.

Bill Gasiamis 50:07
And how much improvement in their own life that has created because they can monitor it from home and do it from home, and not have to spend hours and hours in hospital, taking up the resources of the hospital, and also then the space of somebody else perhaps. But then also, just the trouble of for some people who also don’t live close to a hospital, the hours and hours of travel to get there just to do dialysis.

Bill Gasiamis 50:39
So I like the idea of being able to monitor somebody have really good data on them know what their vitals should look like on a normal day, and then be able to really respond rapidly instead of again, waiting for them to get to hospital, or get to a doctor, and then take action from there.

Bill Gasiamis 51:03
And you’ve only got half the picture, you’ve only got well not even half the picture, you’ve only got the information that you get. When you get to the doctor, when they take your vitals you don’t have all of these other weeks and weeks and weeks or maybe even years of data.

In The Comfort of Your Own Home – Remote Patient Monitoring

Deborah Gulbrand 51:19
Right. And just think whenever the nurse every time that nurse is having a communication with that patient, they’re writing nurses notes. So not only do you have all of this trended data that you can look at.

Deborah Gulbrand 51:32
But there’s all these notes that go along with it. So you really get a true picture of what the health status is of that patient. And you know, having a patient that can be cared for at home, what’s the most relaxing, comfortable place that you can be is in your own home.

Deborah Gulbrand 51:54
And so for a patient’s overall wellness, just being able to be in an environment where they feel calm, protected, it does a lot for their overall health and wellness. So it’s a great place to be I mean, look, my mom lives with me. And we care for her. She’s handicapped, and she does have some health issues.

Deborah Gulbrand 52:21
And I’ve literally have, you know, one of these monitors up in her room for when, and here I am downstairs, I have one of these monitors in her room. So that if if I’m gone, if something happens, she can press that emergency button. You know, we’re monitoring her vital signs.

Deborah Gulbrand 52:43
So that when she goes into the doctor, or when she has a communication with a doctor, she can say here, look, these are my vital signs. These are my readings, this is what’s been happening to me. And she’s had several surgeries over the past few years. So it’s been a huge benefit. Because it’s always easier to make a decision. When you have more information.

Bill Gasiamis 53:05
Yeah, we have my father in law, who is at home is in a wheelchair, he has very debilitating arthritis, and his limbs don’t move properly. And therefore he can’t walk and be totally independent, although he has a level of independence. And the three girls that care for him, his daughters on a rotation roster to care for him in the evenings.

Bill Gasiamis 53:31
And then we have caregivers that go during the day and they prepare him in the morning and help him shower and the rest of it. But there’s a period of time where he’s alone because the girls go after work. Before they go home to their own families. They go cook him a meal and make sure he’s ready and prepared and got everything he needs.

Bill Gasiamis 53:52
And they put away his groceries or, you know, do some chores or whatever they need to do. But there’s a gap there where we don’t know how he’s doing. And we don’t know what’s going on. And he has one of those personal devices that he can press if something personal emergency response device, he has one of those that he can press.

Bill Gasiamis 53:52
And that has been a relief because it’s connected to somebody that will call us and say hey, your dad’s pressed the device we spoke to him on the speaker he is responding. But we’re not sure exactly what’s up, you need to go there and sort it out. So we’ll attend pretty rapidly or we can very easily get a neighbor to go and attend.

Bill Gasiamis 54:39
And we can have him cared for almost immediately after he presses the button. And that’s a lot better than finding him the next day in God knows what situation now. He is also constantly monitoring well, he’s not so good at doing it because he can’t do it alone. But we’re constantly monitoring his blood pressure, his sugar levels, and all those different things.

Bill Gasiamis 55:13
And one of the things that has been happening with him lately is he’s getting really tired of going to all the doctor’s appointments, because, he might have two, three or four appointments a month, and he’s just over it, he does not want to be doing it anymore. And the girls have to drag him to the appointments almost.

Bill Gasiamis 55:32
And usually, it’s to address these types of things that you mentioned, it’s to address the medication, or the level of medication that whether we need to put it up or down, whether it’s the right medication. And he had a triple bypass when he was in his 50s. And now he’s in his 80s, so about 30 years ago.

Bill Gasiamis 55:54
And we’re starting to get that aftereffect of the triple bypass surgery, which is heart failure that happens later on. And fluid build-up and all those things. And it’s been a definitely, it’s been a battle to get to the point where we have him now stable. And we’ve worked all of that stuff out, there’s been a team of people behind that achievement, plus the three girls and everybody else that is involved in their family, you know, in their lives.

Bill Gasiamis 56:31
All kind of trying to just get into this balanced state. And if you ask me, now that I know that it exists, what we’re missing is we’re missing data. We’re missing all this data that we can respond to rapidly, because none of my sister-in-law’s or my wife, none of them are experts.

Bill Gasiamis 56:53
And they don’t know how to work it out. And he doesn’t know also how to communicate what’s happening to him. It’s that whole thing that he doesn’t exactly know how to express what’s happening to him.

Bill Gasiamis 57:05
And we assume because of the way that he was describing it, we assumed that the fluid buildup was indigestion or something else. Because that’s how he would describe it. And then it said he would feel a heavy chest when he would go to bed, therefore he stopped sleeping. He started sleeping, sitting upwards, which made his legs expand.

Deborah Gulbrand 57:30
Classic symptoms.

Bill Gasiamis 57:32
Yeah. And we had no idea because we’re not educated in that space. We’ve never seen it before. And I think what we were missing is the ability to have somebody really answer our questions rapidly look at data and go yep, this is what’s happening. This is what’s going wrong. Let’s address it really quickly. I love the idea and the possibilities that the remote patient monitoring how much it can improve people’s lives, as well as caregivers, loved ones, siblings, children, everybody?

Deborah Gulbrand 58:07
Well, so think about, you know, you’ve got that the Personal Emergency Response device, think about what it would be like if you had attached to that or something that would transmit all of these vital signs. But on the other end of those is a clinician that is able to evaluate the information, talk to your dad, and call and ask the right questions.

Deborah Gulbrand 58:33
And based on the answers, and how he’s describing his symptoms, they would be able to say, Okay, this is what needs to happen next. And if you can’t make it into the Doctor, why don’t we have a video visit with the doctor? We can do that right now. Can you get you know, can you pull up your tablet?

Deborah Gulbrand 58:53
Can you you know, that sort of thing. We can have a video visit and then the doctor can talk to you on the phone. And you might not have to go into the office and see that doctor. They can make changes to the medications. They can certainly you know titrate you know, you said that he’s diabetic? Did you tell me he was having to test his blood sugar?

Bill Gasiamis 59:22
I think it’s blood pressure.

Deborah Gulbrand 59:26
Okay. So you’re able to titrate all of those things. And you know, you talked about how you had your whole family in this team. And this isn’t unusual, because it literally does take a village to care for someone, not just some little child.

Deborah Gulbrand 59:41
Takes a village and the way I see it is that remote patient monitoring is definitely going to be part of that village moving forward. It just doesn’t, you know with the cost of health care. All right, and honestly, I I would have to say that I would never want to send somebody to the hospital and not be there with them to make sure that everything is going, okay.

Deborah Gulbrand 1:00:11
You know, my mom has me here, she’s got her own private nurse, right. But most people don’t have that. But knowing that you’ve got somebody that is, you know, maybe they have a family, maybe they don’t, maybe I’m the one that’s on the other end of that monitor monitoring this patient.

Deborah Gulbrand 1:00:30
And I’m the only one that talks to that patient all week long. You know, so it’s not just the physical, the medical, it’s the the emotional, and, you know, really the psychiatric part of everything as well.

Bill Gasiamis 1:00:48
Yeah. And that’s the one of the good things that came out of COVID. Sounds like it’s accelerated the level of the acceptance of this. And I have a friend of mine, who’s a former intensive care nurse, and he’s set up a business called intensive care at home. And, of course, his business was going nuts in Australia, when COVID was, at its peak, say maybe even less 12 months ago was at its peak here.

Bill Gasiamis 1:01:24
And it was pretty difficult to access it was difficult to be able to go to a hospital, see people in hospital attend the hospital. So for the loved ones, it was such a dramatic time, because we could not get into hospitals, under any circumstances, it does not matter what condition your loved one was in, you just couldn’t get in there.

Bill Gasiamis 1:01:49
And to help people at home in an intensive care situation being cared for. It seemed to create great relief for the hospitals, the feedback that I’m getting from my friend it created relief from the hospitals because it had more ICU beds available. And then it created relief from the patient’s perspective, because they were at home with their loved ones.

Bill Gasiamis 1:02:17
But for the loved ones, it was a relief, because then their loved one was not isolated in a hospital that they couldn’t get to and see. So it was just an amazing experience. And his biggest problem is trying to find ICU nurses to support the business. Right? You know, we’re we’re in the past, his biggest problem was trying to convince people that this service is necessary. And how can you guys not understand the benefit of of making free an ICU bed?

Deborah Gulbrand 1:02:57
It’s so true. It is so true. And you know, I kind of laughed at the our marketing team when they they said, Hey, there’s going to be a podcast. Can you talk about remote patient monitoring? And of course, I laughed, because I said, you know, I could talk about remote patient monitoring all day.

Deborah Gulbrand 1:03:14
But you know, during the 17 plus years, I’ve really been living it. I’ve been doing it. I’ve been helping organizations across the country, basically develop programs. And so when I knew I was going to have this podcast, I said, Well, you know, let me do a little bit of research and see what’s out there.

Deborah Gulbrand 1:03:33
And see, you know, what studies have been done, because when I first started in it, it was really relatively new. So we didn’t have all the studies. No, there was very little out there that you could research on it. And when I was doing research for this, it was just overwhelming how much information that I was able to find, study after study.

Deborah Gulbrand 1:03:55
And what you’re saying is absolutely true. I feel like this COVID 19 epidemic has really opened the eyes of the medical community, on the benefits of being able to monitor someone at home. And whereas we were doing it all this time for all of these really chronic illnesses. I think that it just really opened their eyes to say wow, this is really great, you know, and it’s great for so many reasons.

Improved Patient Treatment – Deborah Gulbrand

Deborah Gulbrand 1:04:28
For me as a nurse, I love the fact that it improves outcomes. You know, you try in you think of what can I do to help this patient? What can I do that’s going to make a difference? You know, how can I change the outcome, the trajectory of of their health care in the future.

Deborah Gulbrand 1:04:50
And for me, it has been designing a program that is going to not only monitor what’s going on with them, address their needs needs, and really allow me to walk them through the healthcare continuum.

Deborah Gulbrand 1:05:05
And say, this is what you need to be doing today. And this is what you need to be doing tomorrow. And you need to go see your doctor in 10 days, and making sure that all those things happen for that patient.

Deborah Gulbrand 1:05:19
I feel that it’s been, you know, you want to always look at the positive things that come out of a bad situation, right? And you hate for it to sound like a cliche, but for me in what I do, the fact that it has really raised the awareness for the need for something like this has been something that I’ve been waiting for a long time.

Bill Gasiamis 1:05:44
Yeah, definitely nothing more dramatic than a pandemic, or some really serious situation in the world for you to become critically aware of, we need to do things differently, you can imagine. And I’m thinking about, you know, the good old days, you know, where there wasn’t the hospital systems that we have now, which, by the way, are flawed and have all these problems.

Bill Gasiamis 1:06:12
But even as flawed as they are, they’re the most amazing thing to even exist. The old days. 150 years ago, people used to care for their loved ones at home. And whether they were a nurse whether they were a doctor, doesn’t matter what they did, they were treating and caring for their patient, at home, their loved one at home the best they could.

Bill Gasiamis 1:06:39
And I know that not everybody would want to do that. But there’s a level of comfort in being able to do that at home and decreasing the anxiety. I know my wife and her sisters, anxiety at some points was through the roof, because we would call for hours and hours and hours trying to get through to just check up on their father to make sure that it was okay. Now we couldn’t, under any circumstances get through them.

Bill Gasiamis 1:07:11
So that whole, being able to being able to be a little bit in control of that has been taken away by hospitals, like hospitals have taken away our ability to be in control of at least our our, the situation where we are able to connect with our loved one, our patient, family member, our friend, our whoever.

Bill Gasiamis 1:07:38
And, in COVID went to the extreme, it went to the point of complete isolation from them, not only have we outsourced now, the health and care and the well being which is great. We’ve also now completely isolated them in order to help them and care for them.

Bill Gasiamis 1:07:56
And we’re making matters worse, because he was not happy when he was not seeing his kids for three days or four days or five days in a row, he wasn’t happy about that at all. And that wasn’t making him better at hospital, he didn’t want to be there.

Bill Gasiamis 1:08:14
You know, it wasn’t helping the situation, it wasn’t increasing patient outcomes, always making it worse. So I can see it as a person who’s been through stroke, the benefits of it, I can see the benefits of it as a person who has a loved one who’s constantly in need of care, and monitoring, how that impacts their life and the difference it makes.

Bill Gasiamis 1:08:42
And I can see how it impacts my sister in law’s and my wife, you know, when they’ve got to deal with all of the stuff that they deal with every day. And then the intense emotions when they get a phone call that says hey, your dad’s fallen. And somebody needs to get to the house to get to him.

Bill Gasiamis 1:09:10
And we’ve called the ambulance and they’re on their way. I think it’ll make for them a product like this, a service like this would make would create peace of mind. I imagine. That’s one of the main goals there for people.

Deborah Gulbrand 1:09:26
Well, the I feel like there are some definite changes to certain models of care. I mean, one of the things as we’re talking to different types of organizations, you know, I’m seeing this resurgence of doctors making hospital visits or making visits patient visits at home.

Deborah Gulbrand 1:09:46
And you know, we just talked to an organization and this doctor actually goes out and sees all of his patients he wants to put Remote Patient monitors on all of them and be able to collect This data, have the clinicians instead of him going out for maybe necessarily a wellness visit, to really be able to plan his visits based on patient need.

Deborah Gulbrand 1:10:12
And so they’re able to say, this is what’s going on, this is what’s trending, this is what’s happening with the patient, this patient needs a visit, blah, blah, blah. And so they’re being able to use this in different ways, as they start to turn towards different models of care. And so, you know, it’s been really fascinating to me to see how it’s been used in different ways.

Other Applications For Remote Patient Monitoring

Deborah Gulbrand 1:10:39
Before, as I said, those top five diagnoses, that’s really where I saw remote patient monitoring, and the majority of the people that use it, now we have programs that are psychiatric programs that are monitoring their patients at home because their patients don’t feel comfortable coming into the doctor’s office.

Deborah Gulbrand 1:10:58
So they’re having that outreach and having that constant communication with them, checking on them, etc. Even for our patients that are high-risk OP, you know, having these moms that, you know, I was a high risk obstetric patient, so having them and sometimes there’s gestational diabetes, so having these monitors at home, so they’re not actually having to come into the doctor’s office.

Deborah Gulbrand 1:11:28
And, you know, when you’re huge pregnant, it’s not always a fun thing to do to have to get dressed, then go into the doctor’s office, and then when you start to have issues like being on bed rest, so it’s fascinating to me, and I love seeing how many different ways this technology can be used.

Deborah Gulbrand 1:11:49
You know, one of the things that I came across that I wanted to share with you, when I was doing my research was that, and this is I love looking at the Mayo Clinic because it’s such a huge research institution. And they’re always, they’re always doing something that I find interesting.

Deborah Gulbrand 1:12:09
So they were using telemedicine, what they were doing, and this has two-stroke. So what they were doing is they would send the, they would send EMS out to the patient’s home. And they would actually have a remote patient monitor in, in the actual vehicle.

Deborah Gulbrand 1:12:30
And so while they’re in the vehicle, they’re giving all this information to the physicians that are in the hospital, so that, you know, everything that would have happened once the patient hit the door was happening in the EMS van.

Deborah Gulbrand 1:12:48
And it was utilizing this equipment, and that was something that I had never heard before either. And so I I just love where we’re going in the future with this. And I love that the medical community is now embracing this for the the tool that it is absolutely great.

Bill Gasiamis 1:13:10
Yeah, it makes sense. You mentioned the hospital having however many extra minutes of data from the ambulance ride, imagine, you know that that’s live that data, it’s in the ambulance, it’s getting delivered to the hospital at the same time live on the system.

Bill Gasiamis 1:13:35
Rather than waiting and not necessarily knowing exactly what the situation is you are getting feedback from the ambulance perhaps they they’re preparing the hospital for the person’s arrival. But imagine having some additional data that’s been live transmitted directly to the ER.

Deborah Gulbrand 1:13:54
Right. I mean, they’re able to do a stroke assessment, they can see where the patient is, they can tell them, hey, it’s it’s time for you to start this medication. Get these things going so that by the time they’re walking in the door, they’re going straight up to wherever they need to be. You know, in in cardiac medicine, we always say that time is muscle.

Deborah Gulbrand 1:14:18
The longer that patient was somebody’s coming in with a heart attack, then that’s that’s, that’s heart muscle that’s dying. Yeah. And it’s the same way with a stroke except his brain. Yeah, it’s the brain. So very, very important to be able to get that quick response and to know what’s happening.

Bill Gasiamis 1:14:40
It’s really lovely that you guys reached out. I’m so glad I got to talk to you about the nursing side of this as well because that’s something that really, as you realized, was really important to me and it’s really important to a lot of family and other people you guys care for. So thank you for being a nurse and doing that amazing work and making people better.

Bill Gasiamis 1:15:08
That’s amazing. Thank you so much. Thank you for doing this kind of work, because this is going to make things better for people as well, I really believe that it’s necessary and it’s missing. And it’s really interesting to see how technology is making things better for everybody.

Bill Gasiamis 1:15:41
It’s so great that we can embrace technology in this way and use it for good and make a massive difference to the, to the daily experience of, of the people having in the medical system.

Bill Gasiamis 1:15:54
I think that I would have loved to be able to connect with a couple of doctors, or a couple of the people that were caring for me. And save the three or four hours of travel backwards and forwards, absolutely, especially in the time where after-stroke fatigue is a major challenge that you have to overcome.

Deborah Gulbrand 1:16:18
Among other things.

Bill Gasiamis 1:16:19
Yeah, and you have to sometimes drag yourself to these appointments, which are important, but they’re so difficult to get through. Sometimes you would rather not go even though you really have to go. So it’s great. It’s great that technology is doing that I really appreciate the fact that you guys reached out.

Deborah Gulbrand 1:16:38
I’m so happy that you’re you’re you have the show so that you can raise awareness. Because, you know, everybody says, and you hear this heart disease number one killer, but what people don’t understand is where stroke actually falls in with that. I mean, as a woman, and you know, you have a lot of studies that don’t necessarily focus on women.

Deborah Gulbrand 1:17:03
And I thought it was really fascinating to learn that women are affected by stroke, or actually die from stroke, twice as much as breast cancer. And you know, people just don’t know that. They don’t know how important it is to know what the early warning signs are.

Deborah Gulbrand 1:17:26
And if they see somebody that is having any of those issues that they need to you know, it’s not something where you need to wait around and see what happens, you need to go to the ER, you need to call 911 immediately.

Bill Gasiamis 1:17:41
And that’s one thing we haven’t actually discussed. But as we wrap up, we should briefly discuss it is this can also intervene really, really early on. If somebody is presenting with arrhythmias or somebody’s having a stroke. This can be a real quick intervention, we could really rapidly respond to somebody that’s at home. That’s about to have serious health scare. Right?

Deborah Gulbrand 1:18:12
And you know, with the remote patient monitoring equipment, the equipment will actually identify if the patient is in an arrhythmia. It doesn’t as of right now, it doesn’t say the exact rhythm. But the fact that the patient isn’t in a normal sinus rhythm is significant. And it absolutely is a reason for the patient then to seek medical help.

Bill Gasiamis 1:18:39
Fantastic. On that note, thank you so much for being on the podcast.

Deborah Gulbrand 1:18:43
Yes. Thank you, Bill, it was really great to talk to you.

Intro 1:18:47
Importantly, we present many podcasts designed to give you an insight and understanding into the experiences of other individuals opinions and treatment protocols discussed during any podcast are the individual’s own experience and we do not necessarily share the same opinion nor do we recommend any treatment protocol discussed.

Intro 1:19:04
All content on this website and any linked blog, podcast or video material controlled this website or content is created and produced for informational purposes only and is largely based on the personal experience of Bill Gasiamis, the content is intended to complement your medical treatment and support healing.

Intro 1:19:21
It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health advice. The information is general and may not be suitable for your personal injuries, circumstances or health objectives.

Intro 1:19:32
Do not use our content as a standalone resource to diagnose treat, cure or prevent any disease for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for the advice of a health professional. Never delay seeking advice or disregard the advice of a medical professional your doctor or your rehabilitation program based on our content if you have any questions or concerns about your health or medical condition, please seek guidance from a doctor or other medical professional.

Intro 1:19:56
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Intro 1:20:08
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Intro 1:20:19
If you choose to rely on any information within our content, you do so solely at your own risk. We are careful with links we provide however, third-party links from our website are followed at your own risk and we are not responsible for any information you find there.

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Remote Patient Monitoring became a necessity during the covid 19 pandemic as non-urgent patients were unable to attend their hospital appointment for their regular check-ups. Listen to how this technology is set to revolutionize outpatient care. Remote Patient Monitoring became a necessity during the covid 19 pandemic as non-urgent patients were unable to attend their hospital appointment for their regular check-ups. Listen to how this technology is set to revolutionize outpatient care. Recovery After Stroke 1:20:33
Aiming For Greater Recovery Outcomes – Marabeth Quin & Danielle Stoller https://recoveryafterstroke.com/aiming-for-greater-recovery-outcomes-marabeth-quin-danielle-stoller/ Mon, 02 May 2022 13:19:56 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8858 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/aiming-for-greater-recovery-outcomes-marabeth-quin-danielle-stoller/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/aiming-for-greater-recovery-outcomes-marabeth-quin-danielle-stoller/feed/ 0 <p>Marabeth Quin & Daniele Stoller created Expanded Practice to teach physical, occupational, and speech therapists how to start utilizing the power of positive mindsets in the recovery process so they can help them reach greater recovery outcomes.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/aiming-for-greater-recovery-outcomes-marabeth-quin-danielle-stoller/">Aiming For Greater Recovery Outcomes – Marabeth Quin & Danielle Stoller</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Marabeth Quin & Daniele Stoller created Expanded Practice to teach physical, occupational, and speech therapists how to start utilizing the power of positive mindsets in the recovery process so they can help them reach greater recovery outcomes.

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Highlights:

01:48 Introduction
05:22 Never Say Never
08:15 Danielle Stoller
14:24 The Right Kind of Tool
21:22 How Marabeth And Danielle Met
28:47 Mindset Chapter One By Bill Gasiamis
35:46 The Power Positivity
43:38 The Four Questions
52:17 Having Good Communication Skills
1:04:20 The Indispensable Therapist: Clearing The Lens
1:12:38 Realizing The Gifts

Transcription

Danielle Stoller 0:00
I authentically believe that your brain is amazing, I can continue to heal with the right input. I know that I have gone to extensive continuing Ed and I know how to treat a stroke patient very well.

Danielle Stoller 0:13
And I believe that I can set up the environment, both external and as much internal as I can affect to help you optimize your healing potential. And so when I start talking and doing things and watching my patients.

Danielle Stoller 0:29
And really observe their emotional responses to what I’m doing their physical responses to what I’m doing, they start to feel differently. And they oftentimes will say, why hasn’t anyone done this before?

Intro 0:47
This is the recovery after stroke podcast, with Bill Gasiamis, helping you navigate recovery after stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 0:59
Hello, and welcome to another episode of the recovery after stroke podcast. Recently, Spotify released a new feature that allows people to now rate their favorite shows in the same way that the apple podcast app allows it.

Bill Gasiamis 1:14
So if you’re an Apple podcast app, kind of person or a Spotify kind of person, please go along and leave the show a five-star review. If you think it deserves that. That is, I’d love it if you left the show review because this will help the show rank better on search engines.

Bill Gasiamis 1:31
And it’ll help newly diagnosed stroke survivors find the show better, quicker, easier, and it could make a massive difference in their recovery. So go to your favorite podcast app now and share what the podcast means for you. It really will make a huge difference, and it will help people in their stroke recovery.

Introduction – Expanded Practice

Danielle Stoller
Bill Gasiamis 1:48
Now, this is episode 192. And my guests today are Marybeth Quinn, whose daughter had a stroke when she was 1910 years ago, and who decided that there was more that could be done to support her daughter’s recovery that other therapists were not doing.

Bill Gasiamis 2:07
And my other guest today is Danielle Stoller, who was an occupational therapist who almost walked away from the profession. Until the fateful day when Marabeth walked into her practice.

Bill Gasiamis 2:21
Ages later, together, they created expanded practice.com, an organization that teaches physical, occupational and speech therapists to start utilizing the power of positive mindsets and expectations in the recovery process so that they can connect with their patients on a more significant level and help them reach greater recovery potential.

Bill Gasiamis 2:47
Expanded practice is passionate about improving the rehab experience for patients and therapists that both thrive and achieve the highest possible outcome. Now, if you’re in therapy right now, and listening to this, or your loved one is in therapy right now, and listening to this.

Bill Gasiamis 3:06
This would be a great episode to share with their therapists right now. They are probably looking for new ways to expand their skills and achieve a better work-life balance to become better therapists, better mothers, better fathers better human beings at home, and also to become better at helping their patients achieve greater outcomes.

Bill Gasiamis 3:33
So just listen to this episode, and you’ll know exactly what I mean and why I think that you should share this episode. So please do I hope you love the episode as much as I do. And without further ado, let’s get on with the show. Marabeth Quni, and Danielle Stoller, welcome to the podcast.

Marabeth Quinn 3:55
Thanks. We’re so glad to be here.

Danielle Stoller 3:56
Thanks for having us.

Bill Gasiamis 3:57
Thank you for being here. Firstly, let me just ask Marabeth to introduce yourself and then we’ll go with Danielle.

Marabeth Quinn 4:06
Hi, I’m Marabeth Quin, and I am a mother of a stroke survivor. So I’m really glad to be here today, because we have a lot in common.

Bill Gasiamis 4:18
Well, we certainly do. And Danielle?

Danielle Stoller 4:22
I am a physical therapist. I’ve been a physical therapist for 21 years, and for the last 10 years I have treated predominantly stroke survivors.

Bill Gasiamis 4:32
Fantastic. So tell me Danielle, why are you predominantly treating stroke survivors? What’s so special about us?

Danielle Stoller 4:40
Oh, stroke. Rehab is challenging. It’s fascinating. I love working with the brain. I love watching people transform and I love knowing that the brain can continue to get better with good input and practice.

Danielle Stoller 4:58
And being part of that and helping a patient through that has really been a great joy for me. So the more I learned about it, and the better I got at it, the more I wanted to learn more and get better, because I think there are so many patients that have potential that is untapped. So that’s why I like doing this.

Never Say Never

Bill Gasiamis 5:22
You need to speak to some of those doctors that tell stroke survivors that, hang on a sec, you’ve had a stroke, your left side doesn’t work, you’re probably not going to walk ever again.

Danielle Stoller 5:33
Yes, those health care providers are quite frustrating. And I think it’s both Marabeth and I that’s one of our missions is to do what we do. And maybe more people will hear that those kinds of predictions are just not accurate.

Danielle Stoller 5:54
And even studies are showing that they’re not accurate. So hopefully, these doctors that are saying those things will catch on, because it’s just not true. And it’s not helpful for the patient at all, to hear that.

Bill Gasiamis 6:07
No, not helpful at all, and it could put some people in a real tailspin. And can create a lot of setbacks early on in the process, when the last thing you need, because you’ve had all the setbacks already, you’re in hospital, and you can’t feel one of your sides or it’s not working.

Bill Gasiamis 6:25
Or both sides for some people. And then the last thing you need is a doctor to come in, and superimpose the negativity on already a situation that it’s not that bright and positive. And it’s just really challenging.

Bill Gasiamis 6:43
And I thought when I had my first brain hemorrhage 10 years ago, and then I had a second one and then had a third one. But when I had that happen, I thought that doctors were saying that then, you know long time ago when it was like back in the day?

Bill Gasiamis 7:01
Well they’re not they’re still saying it now I get comments from people regularly who tell me that the doctor said this, and the doctor said that and they’re reaching out for support to find out is it possible to get better and overcome that even though I’ve just started this process, or I’m 12 months in or 18 months in?

Marabeth Quinn 7:21
Yeah, it’s crazy. I don’t understand at all, why doctors are saying that. Now I understand that they don’t get maybe out in the field a lot. But there is research. And the thing about that is so much of the research shows that when people believe that they’ve run out of time, then they don’t act in ways that can change that.

Marabeth Quinn 7:50
And so in a way, those predictions that they’re handing out based on statistics are actually self fulfilling. They’re perpetuating people not getting better. And there is nothing at all to that time limit they give people that has not been our experience in the least. So I’m sure we’re not special in that, you know?

Marabeth Quin

Bill Gasiamis 8:15
No, not at all. Tell me about your daughter Marabeth, was it your daughter or your son? I forgot to ask.

Marabeth Quinn 8:22
Daughter.

Bill Gasiamis 8:23
Yes. What happened?

Marabeth Quinn 8:26
Well, it was in 2012. She was just a few weeks shy of her 19th birthday. Her name is Sophie, she was away at college. And we got a call late one night that she had fallen on a treadmill.

Marabeth Quinn 8:43
So thinking that it was nothing too big. We sent her brother who was also living in the city where she was in Chicago. And we sent him to the hospital and said go check on Sophie. And he called us and said, well, I’m here, I think she knows who I am but mom, she’s not talking.

Marabeth Quinn 9:06
And in that moment, I think I realized, well, this is something, something has happened. And during our drive to Chicago, we definitely got the call, you know your daughter’s had a massive stroke. And there it was, you know, I didn’t know anything about stroke at that time.

Marabeth Quinn 9:29
I didn’t know young people could have a stroke. I didn’t know what it meant for your life when you have a stroke was completely a blank slate. But I decided that I was not going to listen to anyone. I was just going to believe in possibilities and believe in my daughter.

Marabeth Quinn 9:54
And when we got to the hospital, we had the experience that you just described exactly where the neurologist came in with all of these residents, because it was a teaching hospital, and they all asked us all these questions, tons and tons of questions.

Marabeth Quinn 10:15
And then when they were done, he stepped up and he said, your daughter has had a massive stroke that’s damaged over 80% of the left hemisphere of her brain. And then he looked at her and he sort of shook his head and he said, she might walk again, with a cane.

Marabeth Quinn 10:34
And then he left the room. We were absolutely stunned. I just couldn’t believe 1 that he was saying something like that to us and 2 I was thinking, how can you possibly know that? Why would you say that? You cannot predict the future, why would you say something like that? That’s so dismal.

Marabeth Quinn 10:57
And right behind him, the nurse her name was Jessica, I wish I knew her last name, so I could find her. But she walked behind him, closed the door, pull the blinds and then came back over to us. And she said, Do not listen to a word of that, she is young. I have seen miracles.

Bill Gasiamis 11:19
I’m cringing like it’s making my blood boil. It really is. And it happened ages ago. But it still makes my blood boil. So I had 18 months after my brain surgery, I had thyroid surgery.

Bill Gasiamis 11:35
And the lead up to the thyroid surgery was I had the endocrinologist surgeon was going through the whole process of trying to diagnose me and etc. And they did exactly what you said she walked in the room where there was a resident who was asking me some questions.

Bill Gasiamis 11:53
She said, we did the biopsy, it could be cancer, she closed the door, and she walked out. And the resident the poor resident saw the steam start coming out of my ears, she started to defend her. And I said don’t defend her. I will sort her out when she comes back.

Bill Gasiamis 12:15
And she came back and I had to pull her aside. And I said to her listen, we need to have a conversation about what you said and what you did. When you came into that room before. It’s not appropriate for you to walk in and speak to me like that and close the door after you’ve dropped the C bomb.

Bill Gasiamis 12:39
And then she started to apologize and backpedal. And we kind of reset the whole consultation, but it was so terrible. Now I knew I never had cancer. So it was not an issue for me. I’d been through the wringer already, even if it was cancer, it wasn’t going to be something that I was going to be concerned about with.

Bill Gasiamis 12:58
But that whole approach, and then she said to me, what happened to your head and I said, I had brain surgery, she goes well, that’s pretty serious. I said, That’s not as serious as what you did when you walked in the room and spoke to me like that.

Bill Gasiamis 13:13
So imagine, you know, that Hippocratic Oath, amongst other things, there’s a part in it that says do no harm. Oh, my gosh, those statements are so harmful. And then I imagined Danielle, that you would have been seeing patients like that regularly. And now you have to undo all the stuff that’s been done to them apart from the stroke that they’ve had.

Danielle Stoller 13:42
Yes. And that really brings us into, what we do is that we work with therapists to really make them master communicators so that you can navigate the psychological and emotional elements that come into play in rehab.

Danielle Stoller 14:00
Because a healthcare provider is seen as an expert to that patient, and what you say carries a lot of weight. And so, you know, I can undo that very quickly. I’ve found with just saying a few of the things that they’ve been longing to hear that I believe authentically are true.

The Right Kind of Tool


Danielle Stoller 14:24
I authentically believe that your brain is amazing and can continue to heal with the right input. I know that I have gone to extensive continuing Ed and I know how to treat a stroke patient very well.

Danielle Stoller 14:39
And I believe that I can set up the environment both external and as much internal as I can affect to help you optimize your healing potential. And so when I start talking and doing things and watching my patients and really observe their emotional responses to what I’m doing, physical responses to what I’m doing, they start to feel differently.

Danielle Stoller 15:04
And they oftentimes will say, why hasn’t anyone done this before? Or, you know, they’ll tell me a story like yours. And, then you just have to say to them something like, Well, I don’t know what your ultimate outcome will be, but I know I have something that I can help you right now. And that’s what they need, they just need a little hope they need you to nurture that hope, and foster it with what you do.

Bill Gasiamis 15:32
That’s amazing. See that’s exactly what I needed. And the first hospital I was in, I had to actually gather all my goods and leave that hospital and go to another hospital. Because I had, again, the neurologists would come around with all the residents, they would talk about me at the edge of my bed as if I wasn’t there.

Bill Gasiamis 15:51
And I wouldn’t be involved in the conversation. And then I left. And I, I would imagine marbeth that you experienced that whole same thing. But as a parent, I would have been livid as a patient I was still unwell and a little bit kind of nicer, because they were caring for me.

Bill Gasiamis 16:14
But as a parent, I would have been livid. Did you have that experience? Did you have the whole conversation, watching them talking about your daughter, and then trying to reconcile what was happening?

Marabeth Quinn 16:29
I was livid for the moment. But honestly, since I didn’t know much about stroke, I was mostly just bewildered. Like, I honestly could not figure out why someone could think that would be helpful. Just logically, I could not figure out why. And also how he was getting it confused with facts, and that is something that I think is an actual problem.

Bill Gasiamis 17:03
Opinion instead of facts of the case in front of you. Wow.

Marabeth Quinn 17:07
Exactly. I think a lot of us confuse the facts. And then the story we have around the facts where we’re extrapolating what we think will happen, those are not facts. And those are also not helpful, if what you’re extrapolating is really dismal.

Marabeth Quinn 17:32
Now, if what you’re extrapolating is hopeful, then it’s helpful. So that is another thing that we really try to teach therapists that we have storytelling brains, like, we can look at a fact. But our brain immediately tells a story about it, and tries to predict what will happen in the future and why it’s happening and what it means.

Marabeth Quinn 17:56
We have meaning-making machines in our head. And so you know, patients are always trying to figure out, they’re writing a story about what they think their chances are, how far they’re going to get an every person that comes into contact with them is playing into that story is giving them bits and pieces that they will make meaning out of.

Marabeth Quinn 18:26
And so what we really try to teach therapists is you got to take this seriously, every word that comes out of your mouth, it either needs to be just not only factual, but what’s necessary. There are 1000s of things that are true. But only some of those things are necessary to know in the moment, and only some of them are actually serving the patient.

Marabeth Quinn 18:51
And so we really just we sort through all that stuff, because that can get I think, very confusing for medical professionals, you know, they, they think, Well, I don’t want to do harm. I don’t want to set somebody up to be disappointed, not realizing because they’ve never been in those shoes.

Marabeth Quinn 19:07
No, no, no, that is not the danger here is that you’re going to be hope and be disappointed. The danger is that you’re going to get hopeless and you’re never going to try at all. That’s what the real danger is. And so we just try to really sort that out for them. And you know, just to I don’t want it to be left unsaid.

Marabeth Quinn 19:27
Here we are. 10 years later, they we were told by people that Sophie had six to 18 months in which she would see some recovery and that was it and like everybody else who’s been told that talk about a stressful experience.

Marabeth Quinn 19:44
That is your you’ve got a ticking clock in your head all the time. But here she is 10 years later and she is still gaining ground in all areas. She walks beautifully without cane and you know, she had global aphasia and was completely paralyzed on her right side.

Marabeth Quinn 20:09
And you know, she’s got great movement in her arm again, she’s still working on hand function. But like I said, she works beautifully. And she couldn’t talk for years. Like, I mean literally, like, couldn’t tell you a thought.

Marabeth Quinn 20:27
And now she is talking in mostly complete sentences. And she’s read like 140 books in the last two years. So this time limit business needs to go away, there is no time limit. It’s all about just continuing to give your brain good input and repetition. You can keep getting better.

Bill Gasiamis 20:52
I just realized I forgot to ask how you guys came together? We’re going to do that next, Danielle will tell us that next. But before we do that, I’m going to offer some rules, I’m sure that most of the people that you’re teaching have seen Fight Club.

Bill Gasiamis 21:06
And the first rule of fight club is we don’t talk about fight club. The second rule of fight club is we don’t talk about fight club. The first rule of occupational therapist school should be, make no meaning in your head.

How Marabeth Quin And Danielle Stoller Met

Danielle Stoller
Bill Gasiamis 21:22
And the second one should be, do not offer that meaning should you make it against our advice, do not offer that meaning that you’ve made in your head to the other person that you’re supposed to be helping. So that you’re starting from a fresh, blank slate, and you’re allowing the recovery to emerge, rather than setting parameters on how the recovery should look. Danielle, how did you guys meet?

Danielle Stoller 21:54
We met because Sophie needed physical therapy. And I think what might be kind of interesting to talk about is that when we met, I was actually quite burned out and thinking about quitting my job. In fact, I was looking for ways to quit the profession altogether. Because, you know, the healthcare system can be quite demanding.

Danielle Stoller 22:24
There are productivity expectations, there are insurance restrictions, there are all these things that make doing patient care, quite difficult. And also, at the time, I was approaching patients with a very biomedical mindset, like just going out with a physical therapist that was going to do physical things to their physical body.

Danielle Stoller 22:47
And I really wasn’t paying that much attention to the emotional psychological parts. I wasn’t trying to affect their mindset. I realized it was at play, but I was like, that’s not really my job. And then Marabeth walks through the door with her daughter and Marabeth had this attitude. Actually, it’s not even an attitude, it was a way of being an energy.

Danielle Stoller 23:14
And that energy was very clear. It was full of well-being. And I felt it immediately. And I thought, wait a minute. This is affecting me. I know it’s affecting her daughter, I can see how well her daughter is doing in this environment. Now, I have something I can work with how do I take what this woman has figured out how to do because she loves her daughter, and put that into my sessions with all of my patients.

Danielle Stoller 23:48
So we started having these conversations that started as very typical family education. And then I would hear her responses and she would tell me things that she was observing and I would go to the research and say what can I learn more about what she’s seen? And over the course of several years, but we ended up creating a class and a accompany.

Bill Gasiamis 24:15
Unbelievable, Marabeth. Did you know, what not Did you know, but did you find Danielle easily it? Was she the first port of call? What happened? How did you guys, how did you get there?

Marabeth Quinn 24:28
Well, it was totally serendipitous. We were we we did inpatient rehab in Chicago, where Sophie had her stroke. And the OT that Sophie worked with, in inpatient wanted her to use a particular device which in you know, big picture she never wound up actually using.

Marabeth Quinn 24:51
But at the time, she said, I found one therapist in Nashville that certified for this device. I said, Okay, great. Give me her name. So we contacted that therapist, she became Sophie’s OT. And of course, she immediately said, you know, I would never use this device.

Marabeth Quinn 25:09
I was certified just, you know, continuing education, but I would never use this device. But, I will treat your daughter and I’ll love treating her and she’s a fabulous therapist. And so it was through her that we met Danielle, because we were seeing another PT for just a little bit of time.

Marabeth Quinn 25:32
And it was this OT that said, Oh, no, you need to use her, you need to use Danielle Stoller, for PT. And it was the best decision ever, because they wound up actually treating Sophie together like they conferred with each other a lot. And it was so clear, both of them saw Sophie’s body, not as an arm or a leg that they treated.

Marabeth Quinn 25:58
But as a person, like she’s a person, she needs to move like a person, she needs to express like a person. And they were just wonderful. They had amazing influence on Sophie at the time, like I said, for years, she couldn’t talk.

Marabeth Quinn 26:19
So obviously, all of her friendships were gone. You know, when you can’t have a conversation, and you’re so physically altered, she was really sick for a long time. So they were not only the people that were putting her body back together, but they were her friends, like other than us.

Marabeth Quinn 26:43
They were her social network, they were the people she laughed with, they were the people that sometimes she confided in. They were completely and utterly necessary in this way to her recovery. And, you know, that’s the other thing that when I saw the influence, they had, you know, therapists are with patients, more than any other medical professional, those patients have.

Marabeth Quinn 27:12
Like, exponentially more hours and hours more, they get to actually create a relationship, like an actual friendship sort of I get to know you, you get to know me sort of relationship, there’s incredible influence in that. They’re also viewed as the experts. So everything that comes out of that therapist mouth, that patient is going to be greatly influenced by.

Marabeth Quinn 27:40
So if that person has a really good outlook on what their chances are and what their future is, they can influence that patient in that way. And so when I saw that, about therapists, I thought, if there is one thing I could do, like make beauty out, if something painful in the world, it would be to let every therapist know the incredible position that they’re in.

Marabeth Quinn 28:10
Because what I mostly saw is that they didn’t realize they had that power, they didn’t realize that that’s the role they could play. Some of them played it here and there in a natural way. But a lot of it I just saw, you know, they don’t get most therapists get hardly any education in like, the psychological component or the emotional component of what their patients are going through. And as you know, mindset in a long recovery, that’s where it happens, that’s what keeps you going.

Mindset Chapter One By Bill Gasiamis

Bill Gasiamis 28:47
Mindset is number one, the book I’m writing is going to be mindset chapter one. And everything else comes after that. And the reality is if I could actually make the emotional recovery, number one, I would, but you can’t reach people at the emotional level, in the Western world, you have to reach them, and convince them at the head level, and then bring them to have the emotional recovery and convince the head that it’s okay to have any emotional recovery as well.

Bill Gasiamis 29:17
So, unfortunately, mindset is first because of the way that we treat the head being the intelligence that has been given the most credibility out there in the Western world. So we’ve got to start there and then lead them to the emotional recovery and then bring them back and convince the head to do all the other holistic part of the recovery.

Bill Gasiamis 29:44
So I love how you guys spoke about holistic Danielle, I imagined in my head that as Marabeth was talking about her experience meeting you and vice-versa. I imagined that you were at that point. The way you were ready to leave your work, because you didn’t realize that you had the capacity to really make such a massive difference.

Bill Gasiamis 30:10
And that you played so many roles for these people that you were actually their friend, when they were spending so much time with you because they had lost friendships and all that kind of stuff. Is that accurate? Did you not see yourself as playing that important role?

Danielle Stoller 30:28
It’s partially accurate, you know, I’ve always been a kind and compassionate therapist, right, I’ve always cared deeply about my patients and wanted the best for them. And, I did know that that I was some sort of social support for them.

Danielle Stoller 30:49
What changed in me was, I didn’t know that I could intentionally affect these things to help their physical body recover. That was the missing piece. It was like I did this physical stuff. And I was nice. But what I didn’t realize was, because we believe and expect certain things, our bodies respond in certain ways.

Danielle Stoller 31:15
And I didn’t realize how stress was contagious, and how emotions were contagious, and how I could impact my patient’s physiology by my state of being. So when I started recognizing that, then I realized there’s two ways I affect my patients is with my clinical skill, and it’s with human presence and connection, and both are going to affect their bodies. And that just made my job that much more meaningful, and it made my connection stronger with them.

Bill Gasiamis 31:46
And influence greater, and your job easier.

Danielle Stoller 31:51
Yes. All of that. And when that started to happen, I thought, I can’t be the only one that knows about this. Other therapists need to know about this. And, and so I just wanted to share it and Marabeth is the perfect person to partner with. Because when we blend our two perspectives, you get this whole picture of a patient.

Danielle Stoller 32:13
You get what happens outside of the clinic, and you get this perspective from a caregiver. And you know, Marabeth is very wise. And she’s very intuitive and insightful. And so it really takes a clinician’s mind and kind of goes, whoosh, let’s look at this other part too. And, and it just it benefits everybody.

Bill Gasiamis 32:37
First, a couple of horror stories from my perspective, because you’re describing the gold standard, the real gold standard of how people should be cared for, and how you need to approach caring for people.

Bill Gasiamis 32:52
So I’m in rehabilitation, and I’m in there for a month and nobody has realized that I am there, they need to connect with me, I have no social contacts, I’m only seeing my family when they come as often as they come all that type of thing, and I’m stuck with them.

Bill Gasiamis 33:10
So my communication my attempt to as you can tell them very chatty, I love a chat. My attempt to be this way with those people who I imagined were inundated and overworked, wasn’t working. And I was feeling lonely and on my own, and all the usual things that people feel when they’re isolated, especially after stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 33:38
Not that I was too upset or distressed or depressed about the fact that I couldn’t walk I was just after, you know, it was just a week out of surgery. So I wasn’t my best self. Nonetheless, there was a situation where there was another lady who had come in, and I imagined that she was completely unable to move any of her body and she was there for rehab.

Bill Gasiamis 34:02
I suspect now that she probably had locked in syndrome or something like that. So she was soiling herself. And they were going through the process of cleaning her a couple of times a day at least. But the thing they were doing is they were not moving the bin that they were putting all the soiled goods in from the corridor outside of her room and outside of my room.

Bill Gasiamis 34:30
And all they had to do was take it out to the area that was allocated for that outside of the actual hospital. And I would ask them to please remove that there because I’ve got to smell the soiled goods all day, every day when I’m in my room and therefore I’m not staying in my room. They couldn’t move it they wouldn’t understand.

Bill Gasiamis 34:56
And I had to get to the point where I had to go to reception at lunchtime, and invite them into my room to have lunch with me. And they wouldn’t come, and they said well we can’t do that I said, well you need to come because you need to come and understand how I’m having to experience lunchtime in my room with that bin outside my door.

Bill Gasiamis 35:25
Anyhow, that was kind of the last straw. And that made that happen. And I got that over the line. And it was days of arguing and fussing when what I should be doing is learning how to walk again. Not telling them how to do their job. So there was that, then another time, this is a better story.

The Power Positivity

Bill Gasiamis 35:46
We’re in rehab. And I’ve got my hand in the rice, trying to find the pen lid and you know the ball bearing and all the different things and label them and tell them what it is before I pull it out and identify it. And while I’m doing that there’s a gentleman in a wheelchair who also had a stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 36:06
I’ve named him Ivan, I don’t know if it was his real name or not, but I don’t know his name. And I did a whole presentation on this for a group. And Ivan was looking at his hand and saying, come on, you bastard move. And it wouldn’t move. And he had a toilet roll and empty toilet roll.

Bill Gasiamis 36:30
And he was supposed to pick it up, and then put it on the other side and settle it down without falling over. And he was calling it a bastard. And his hand wouldn’t move. Now I’m a coach, I’ve been a coach before I had the stroke. I’m a coach now. And the coach in me with my hand in the box of rice said, Hey, Ivan, if your hand moved, what would it be?

Bill Gasiamis 36:54
He goes it’d be my friend. I said alright, so call your hand your friend now. Pretend that it has done what you wanted it to do and see what happens. And sure enough, Ivan goes, come on friend move within one second. After he picked up the toilet roll. He put it on the other side and then let it down without it falling.

Bill Gasiamis 37:21
And everyone went nuts. Everyone did that Oooh, I did that, everyone did that. But I think the therapists missed the real thing that just happened. They missed it and of course, I wasn’t in education mode beyond that thing with Ivan, I was just, we got a result, call it your friend from now on Ivan, and hopefully things get better.

Bill Gasiamis 37:53
And then I didn’t get to see him because I left a month earlier than I was meant to leave. I was booked in for two months. I was only there for a month. Hopefully I had done enough for Ivan to take the mantle and to take the baton and run with it right? So I’m very passionate about this topic. As you can see, like I’m fully aware of how you’re impacting my recovery, how Ivan’s impacting his own recovery, how I’m impacting my own recovery.

Bill Gasiamis 38:28
And I’m going through this process of trying to affect change in this way. And one of the most amazing things to come out of my stroke is that I get a phone call from one of the local universities, Australian Catholic University, and I’m asked to do a presentation every single year to the third year occupational therapist students about my experience with occupational therapists, and what they could do better.

Marabeth Quinn 38:59
Oh how wonderful.

Bill Gasiamis 39:00
Right? So you can see how this episode for me is going to be the most necessary episode. We don’t get enough to get it out there to share these stories, because I know that people are watching and listening now and going, oh my gosh, I wish I found these ladies.

Bill Gasiamis 39:19
I wish I went through this therapy. I wish the therapists that I was with learnt the things that these guys are talking about. And I hope that this episode gets shared through to occupational therapists all over the place. That’s how passionate I am about it.

Marabeth Quinn 39:36
Yes, I totally agree.

Intro 39:36
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.

Intro 39:55
Doctors will explain things but obviously you’ve never had a stroke before. You probably don’t didn’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.

Intro 40:07
If you’re finding yourself in that situation, stop worrying, and head to recoveryafterstroke.com, where you can download a guide that will help you. It’s called seven questions to ask your doctor about your stroke.

Intro 40:21
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, and 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.

Bill Gasiamis 40:40
So tell me about that first course that you guys developed, and then started teaching. How did that happen?

Marabeth Quinn 40:50
Well, it was actually just the evolution of so many conversations that we had had. And it wasn’t, it wasn’t like either of us started out going, You know what, it’s my dream to have a company. And let’s teach this stuff like it literally just happened organically to the point where our conversations were such that we were like, we’ve got to do something with this.

Marabeth Quinn 41:18
And so it really is an introduction into a new way of looking at what’s happening in the rehab experience. We talk about all sorts of different things, we talk about much of what we’ve talked about here, how our brains are storytelling, meaning making machines and how hope is actually a medical necessity, like you cannot make this journey without hope.

Marabeth Quinn 41:51
And so hope, therefore, is something that is not well, first, you have to make sure you don’t trample it, but then figure out responsible ways to nurture nurture hope in your patients, because it seems to be even part of the, the emotional side of a physical healing process.

Marabeth Quinn 42:18
And then, you know, we go on, and we talk about, you know, how therapists can sort of branch into it following their intuition more, like really paying attention to how their patients are feeling, using those emotions as sort of messages or, you know, ways to know which way to go and just tried to give them a whole new look at what is actually happening in that patient, and what their role could be in it. What would you add Danielle?

Danielle Stoller 42:55
I would say the first course we did it was a three hour continuing ed course. And, each one of the things that we’ve developed since then we have something that we keep in common. And what it is, is we give the therapist, a framework that they can use so that they can repeat things. You know, this is accessible, it’s easy to use, and it’s repeatable.

Danielle Stoller 43:18
So that moment, like you had with Ivan is something that I could do with the next patient too, because that’s what we want. So you know, the framework were used in that first class called writing the rehab story was for this therapist ask themselves four questions.

The Four Questions – Danielle Stoller

Danielle Stoller 43:38
And we get into this, but if you could just ask yourself these four questions. What am I thinking? What am I conveying? What am I feeling? And then how am I stabilizing? Because it all has to start with you. Your true feelings and emotions are going to leak out through your body language, it’s going to reflect the exact story you’re telling.

Danielle Stoller 43:58
Emotions are contagious, what you feel they are going to feel. So you have to learn how to stabilize. So that’s where we started in. And then we’ve just developed from there, you know, when COVID hit, there were no live classes anymore.

Danielle Stoller 44:14
So we pivoted and now we have an online program. And that’s, you know, we’ve been talking about mindset mindset is the lens through which you see the world it’s important for the patient, it’s important for the therapist, so it’s called clearing the lens. And there’s a there’s a structure for that one as well.

Danielle Stoller 44:33
But, you know, just like when when you had that interaction with Ivan, I can imagine when he was successful, you felt great to you know, you felt great when you gave him the key to success right there. You gave him that little nugget that made him change his performance.

Danielle Stoller 44:53
So this is you know, as a therapist, you’re looking for that all the time. You’re looking for that win and that’s why it’s, it just makes you feel better about your job. Not only is your patient improving, but your job satisfaction is going up.

Bill Gasiamis 45:10
And your home life is improving because you’re doing that unconsciously, at home as well, you haven’t realized that you’ve taken those skills that you’ve learned in that occupational therapy additional training room, you’re taking it home, because everything is a loop, because it worked at work, it’s going to work at home with your children.

Marabeth Quinn 45:33
Yeah, yes, exactly. And I was going to add that the story you told about Ivan, it just reminded me so much, one of the concepts that we teach therapists is you’re not just rehabbing a body, you’re rehabbing a relationship.

Marabeth Quinn 45:50
You’re rehabbing the relationship that person has with their body. And one of the things that a lot of people don’t understand about when something like this happens to your body, the relationship that you’re required to have with your body.

Marabeth Quinn 46:09
So you can move forward is deeper and more full of self-compassion than you ever had to before this happened like it, it forces you into those places. And if you don’t go, then you’re just left with what sort of happens naturally in the body, right, and all of those conflicts and the understandable frustration, and even maybe just anger at your own body, that actually fuels what’s happening physically in a negative way.

Marabeth Quinn 46:47
And it’s easy to see, you know how that happens. And it’s easy to see how when someone can learn how to relax, and have a little bit of compassion, see their body as their friend or their brain. As, as doing its best for you actually doing miraculous things by rewiring. When you have those feelings. You see those played out in the body physically as well.

Marabeth Quinn 47:16
And so they’re paired, the emotion and the physical, they’re paired up, they’re linked up, always. And so when therapists know this, and they’re looking what emotion is getting linked up with what we’re trying to do here physically, then it is a huge Impactor.

Bill Gasiamis 47:40
For the people watching and listening, we glossed over Ivan. Danielle did the whole woohoo I did the woohoo. That was me, like in the room, you know, that’s exactly what happened. But what people don’t realize what Ivan did, by changing his words, is he decreased his blood pressure, had decreased his cortisol levels, he decreased the tone in his muscles, he increased increased serotonin, oxytocin, and he did all of those things, just by changing that one word.

Bill Gasiamis 48:20
In the song that Cher sings on a big ship, to a whole bunch of sailors. The words go, words are like weapons, they wound sometimes, if I could turn back time, right? And it’s really important. That’s what it is, words are like weapons and that doesn’t make me perfect. The fact that I know that doesn’t make me perfect.

Bill Gasiamis 48:44
That doesn’t mean that I speak properly to my spouse and my kids all the time. But it means that I’m aware of that. And I can go back and undo the harm that I’ve done at the time, I can undo that, because I’m aware of that. And I can go and apologize. And I could try and make it better next time by not speaking that way.

Bill Gasiamis 49:03
But then also, so many stroke survivors that I coach, I’ll say to them, would you speak to your best friend the way that you just described yourself? Honestly, would you say that to somebody else? And they would say no.

Bill Gasiamis 49:19
Why wouldn’t you say that to that person? Because if I said that to that person, they would feel like this. And this would be that experience. And so well, how do you think you’re making yourself feel by speaking to yourself that way. And by talking to yourself in such a negative way that your body let you down?

Bill Gasiamis 49:40
Your body didn’t let you down? Nobody let you down. This is life, life happens. And what you have to do is you have to find a way to get back to life or whatever that is going to look like in the future. We don’t know but it’s your responsibility to take nobody else’s responsibility. It’s not your body’s responsibility.

Bill Gasiamis 50:00
It’s your responsibility to take, you’re the one that can take the first next step towards your recovery towards healing towards where you want to be in the future, nobody else can do that. Danielle Marabeth, you guys are just the vehicle for guiding where the path leads, because you guys are on the right path to recovery.

Bill Gasiamis 50:27
And you’re supporting occupational therapists and other practitioners to go down the same correct path with their clients, rather than letting them down some garden path that ends up nowhere. So that’s the whole, holistic, that’s what we talk about when people hear about, you know, that overused word holistic, and they don’t even know what it means.

Bill Gasiamis 50:53
It’s a holistic recovery heals mind, body, soul. And then in order to do that, we have to change our behavior, we can’t just do that, by turning up to the problems that we have, in the same way that we created those problems, that we’re just gonna get more problems Danielle is going like this.

Danielle Stoller 51:18
No, I everything you’re saying it just really resonates. You know, that’s, that’s one thing that we also share with therapists is that you’re not there to fix their problems, you’re there to invite them, you know, and I’m gonna make it as easy for you as possible.

Danielle Stoller 51:36
Like, if you were looking for your keys, you know, what I want to do is put those keys in an empty room on a table, so you can just walk there and get those keys like that. And that’s how I see my role, I’m going to do everything I can to support this healing.

Danielle Stoller 51:51
But you’re right. I mean, that there’s so much work that that individual has to do, and they have to take that that little step that’s available to them, even if it you know, it’s not the one they want, you know, what they really want to do is play golf, they don’t really just want to stand. But but you got to stand first, you know, and that’s sometimes the hardest work of the whole thing, I think.

Having Good Communication Skills – Marabeth Quin


Marabeth Quinn 52:17
Well, and having good communication skills, to know how to help them see that playing golf has a bunch of steps in it. And standing is the first of those, like just saying to a patient, well, you can’t play golf right now.

Marabeth Quinn 52:18
This is what you have to do right now, that does not really reach in there and speak to what they’re really wanting. But if you can talk about, find out what it is that they want, and help them see that everything that they’re doing. They’re on their way. This is part of the path that leads there.

Marabeth Quinn 53:03
They’re not just cut off from their life and everything they love. But it’s a process. And they have to have that inspiring factor because otherwise it’s just too long and arduous. So if you don’t have ways of talking to them, that are taking their emotions, and their desires and their dreams into account, then they’re going to run out of fuel very quickly.

Bill Gasiamis 53:30
Yeah, that’s absolutely right. I mean, one of the best things that happened to me is one of the therapists said to me, what would you like to do? Well, let me tell you what I would like to do. There’s a list of things. And then she said, Okay. I said, do you guys have a pool? I didn’t realize, when I went there that they had a pool, it took a week to find out that they had a pool.

Bill Gasiamis 53:54
And was like, yeah we have a pool, I said, can I do my therapy in the pool? Because that way, I’m not afraid of falling and I can, you know, be supported and all that stuff. And they’re like, Yeah, you can, please let’s do that. Like, oh, my gosh, I didn’t know that you guys had a pool. So that was a real exciting part of my therapy because A have got to be in the pool completely supported.

Bill Gasiamis 54:17
And therefore for an hour I would forget about the possibility that I might fall over on my legs didn’t work properly on my arm didn’t work. And I would get a real a real buzz out of that session, and I’ll be energized and it’s nice and warm and cozy in a heated pool in therapy, you know, so I needed that and it was great.

Bill Gasiamis 54:38
And then I could go and rest and settle down and and allow myself to imagine myself walking so I did a lot of that I did a lot of imagining myself walking so is there and that was supporting neuroplasticity, right? Because as you imagine yourself doing something, you’re fine firing off the same neurons that you would if you’re actually doing that.

Bill Gasiamis 55:04
So that’s awesome. The thing that people don’t talk about is all the all the negative talk that the doctor does fires off. Positive, negative neuroplasticity because neuroplasticity happens regardless of what you do. If it’s a positive outcome you get, that’s positive neuroplasticity, if you’re doing something negative, that’s getting negative neuroplasticity.

Bill Gasiamis 55:29
And if you’re rewiring, that, that’s staying there for longer and you might not be aware of it, and then you need to change that pattern, and you need to break that pattern need to reset and do a new one. So do you guys have these conversations with the therapists? Do they understand the concept of plasticity and neuroplasticity? And that there’s this negative element to it, Danielle?

Danielle Stoller 55:56
Yes, that’s definitely something because, you know, the brain is going to change with whatever input it receives. Right? So when we’re talking to therapists about how they’re interacting with their patient, even something as small as saying to them, boy, your hand’s really tight today?

Danielle Stoller 56:21
Is that helping your cause? Now, I don’t think the therapist meant to say anything negative there, or they probably weren’t even thinking that that could be harmful. They were maybe just making an observation. But when you realize that you have this influence in this impact on your patient, then those kinds of things, you start to train yourself, is this serving them? Is this serving them?

Danielle Stoller 56:48
Because you want everything you do when I come in with a patient, I want every look on my face, every breath I take every touch I do to be serving your recovery and to be pointing you towards that positive neuroplasticity, I only get you for an hour or two hours or three hours a week, whatever it is.

Danielle Stoller 57:11
I want to make the most of that using all of these things. So that’s definitely something that we encourage therapists to become more aware of. And again, give them processes things that they can think about on a regular basis. So that you don’t have to think about it, every session, it just starts becoming the way you are.

Bill Gasiamis 57:35
It becomes you it becomes part of your being the part of the way that you turn up. You know, there’s those people who turn up to a party and bring the mood down. And then, there’s the life of the party, the person that walks in the room and the party just goes off to the next level.

Bill Gasiamis 57:54
It’s like, I want some of that bottle that sell that and hand it around to all these party poopers. How do you guys go about encouraging therapists to look after themselves? Because therapists do a lot of looking after other people. And I imagine some of them miss the queues to look after themselves.

Marabeth Quinn 58:24
Well, one of the things and I’m sure Danielle has some ideas on this too. But you know, one of the things that we clarify is that the best way to fight something like burnout, let’s say is to thrive, figure out what is going to make you thrive in your career.

Marabeth Quinn 58:45
And what we have found that people really begin thriving, when they learn productive ways of thinking about what they don’t just take the definition of what their profession has come up with for them, but they make their own.

Marabeth Quinn 59:04
And they make sure it aligns with what their intentions were when they chose this career. And also when they learn how to effectively connect with another human being, like really see them really get to know them really be present and in the moment.

Marabeth Quinn 59:26
Because when you’re doing those things, you know, our brains they’re designed to connect. We’re wired for it. And so when you are really doing that, as you’re doing your job, you are automatically going to be happier in your job. You’re going to get better ideas. The vibe that you’re going to be passing on to your patient is going to be good, it’s going to feel good to them, it’s going to be healthy.

Marabeth Quinn 1:00:02
And you’re going to go home at night, feeling like you know, when you are like that, you’re going to have moments with your patients in which they say something, and you have that perfect opportunity to say something like you did with Ivan, you have that perfect opportunity to say that thing and you see something change in their mind, or their heart.

Marabeth Quinn 1:00:29
And you get to go home that night and think, wow, I did that. Because those pivotal things, and this is what I’ve realized with Sophie over all these years, she has people that have worked with her body, laboriously for hours and hours, and that is entirely necessary.

Marabeth Quinn 1:00:50
But the pivotal moments, the moments where she was feeling like, I am tapped out like I am, I’m feeling done. You know, this is too hard. Those pivotal moments were when someone connected with her, and said something that helped her change the way she was thinking. And then when her mind opened up a little bit, then everything else happened.

Marabeth Quinn 1:01:17
Like she had more energy, she had the will to go on she had a better connection with her body, and all those things happen naturally. So when you’re on the other end of that, and you’re the person that gets to save the thing, you do go home at night feeling like you thought you might when you chose that career. But what would you add to that, Danielle, I’m sure there’s things you have to.

Danielle Stoller 1:01:43
I would say along with all of that the connection is so important, but you really do have to train yourself to come into the present moment. Because the healthcare world for many people is an environment of chaos. And it’s very busy. And you have all of these expectations, and it’s so easy to get lost in that. And, you know, now I treat private clients and a cash-based practice.

Danielle Stoller 1:02:10
And so I have much more control of that. But I remember times when I was thinking, oh my gosh, my patient, I really need them to cancel, so I can get something done. You know. And so because I was so behind on paperwork, and that’s not what I went into this for, you know. So when you can learn to train yourself to come into the present moment, when you’re with your patient.

Danielle Stoller 1:02:34
That makes a huge difference, you’re gonna make that connection. And, and then again, like you were saying, Bill, it carries over into other aspects of your life. So whatever that is, if you do yoga, or you run or, like I do Chi Gong, whatever that is to make sure that you’re building in times when that happens outside of work too. Because it is a practice, you know, our brains, they go and go and go. So it really is something you have to intentionally do.

Bill Gasiamis 1:03:08
I love what you said that it’s a practice. And you can practice it, you can practice every day doing all the wrong things. You can practice every day doing all the supportive and helpful things supportive to you and to everybody else or unsupportive to you or anybody else.

Bill Gasiamis 1:03:24
And if you’re going to work every single day, and you’re feeling like things are not going well and you’re not happy. It’s because you’ve practiced that so much, you’re so good at doing things so terribly wrong, or in a way which is not supportive, you just become really good at it.

Bill Gasiamis 1:03:42
That’s all. So now you have to learn some new skills, and learn how to become really good at doing amazing things that feel good for you have good outcomes for your clients and make and make it all worth it rather than the opposite.

Bill Gasiamis 1:03:57
And make you want to go to work rather than make you want to have your clients cancel on you. That’s a first having to hope that your clients cancel. That’s a first I love it. Tell me about a couple of the courses. What are they called? And who are they intended for?

The Indispensable Therapist: Clearing The Lens

Marabeth Quin
Marabeth Quinn 1:04:20
Well, we have sort of our flagship at this point is a 30-day immersive course that we have. It’s called the indispensable therapist clearing the lens. I think Daniel mentioned it just a few minutes ago, but it’s it’s 30 days there. There’s digital content. And every week we meet with the therapists and that way it isn’t just disseminating information and it remains conceptual.

Marabeth Quinn 1:04:53
And they go on with their life that in this course they actually we hash through the information together. You They experimented or observe it in their practice, they come back to us, they talk about their clinical problems, we, we go through different scenarios with them. And we talk about what worked, what didn’t work. And they get to practice these things. So they actually make it into their practice.

Marabeth Quinn 1:05:19
And they get to see the results as well. And by the end of the 30 days, you’re in a solidly different place than you are when you began. So that’s our main, our main course. And we also have a class called How To Communicate With A Healing Brain like an expert. It’s strictly digital. There are CEUs that go with that course.

Marabeth Quinn 1:05:47
And that class is, you just take it online, and it is all about communication. But it’s not just about what you say, because, you know, some of the research says that up to 93% of our communication is nonverbal. And so we really go into what is that nonverbal communication? What does it look like? What are the practical applications of changing that or paying attention to that, and it gets very practical in that class, it’s an excellent class.

Marabeth Quinn 1:06:24
Even if you don’t work in neuro, that’s a great class, because as long as you’re working with a human being, you’re working with the brain. I mean, I don’t have a stroke. But um, neuroplasticity is working with me every day, it’s working with all of us. And so that’s an excellent class as well.

Marabeth Quinn 1:06:44
And we also, and I wanted to be sure and get this in just in case there are therapists listening, we have a monthly therapist meeting that’s free. It’s just online, it’s the last Tuesday of every month. So you can find, you can sign up for it on our website, but it’s called Where You Stopped.

Marabeth Quinn 1:07:02
And it’s just an hour long, and the therapists of all disciplines come and they get to actually talk about these things, learn a little bit and share their expertise, share their problems, and get feedback from other therapists who are really trying to grow.

Bill Gasiamis 1:07:20
There’s nothing like finding like minded individuals, and then sharing what you’ve just learned, because sharing what you’ve just learned and speaking about to help cement it and keep it in the front of your mind. And it creates more neural pathways to make sure that it becomes embedded.

Bill Gasiamis 1:07:37
I love the sound of these courses, I love the names of them, you know, The Indispensable Therapist Clearing the lens 30 days to combat burnout, plus build resilience without ever having to quit your job, everything you can possibly want at the end of 30 days.

Marabeth Quinn 1:07:55
You don’t have to quit.

Bill Gasiamis 1:07:58
Not at all, how to communicate with the healing brain like an expert. I mean, everybody should be able to communicate with a brain but a healing brain even better, facilitating an optimal healing environment in the mind and body of the patient.

Bill Gasiamis 1:08:15
Oh, my gosh, there’s clearly a lot of thought, a lot of effort has gone into A lot of courses B the titles, every aspect of that begins to build those neural pathways for these people, before they’ve even started the course it’s already set them on the right path to achieving being that version of themselves at the end of the course.

Bill Gasiamis 1:08:43
And that is very rare to see. It’s very uncommon. And it’s very needed and very necessary. And I want to talk about the, if you think you’re an individual who can’t make a difference in life, because you’re only one person, what can one person possibly do? Well, I want to just circle back and talk about the mum, who’s 19 year old daughter 10 years ago, experienced a stroke and decided, as an individual to do something about it.

Bill Gasiamis 1:09:20
And find this other amazing therapist who on her own, was doing all this amazing work and feeling like it wasn’t working anymore. And was about to walk away from this whole thing. And now two individuals are changing the lives of so many individuals because they’re working with the people who are then influencing even more individuals.

Bill Gasiamis 1:09:50
And oh my god, guys, you are the Dream Team, like you’re my dream team, that’s kind of who I wanted to be involved with and working with and I’m so Glad that we connected this way, because what I hope that will happen from this podcast episode is, every person listening who is a stroke survivor or caregiver of a stroke survivor is going to share this with their therapists.

Bill Gasiamis 1:10:15
And it’s going to then go to the rest of the therapy community all throughout the world. But let’s start locally in the United States, wherever you guys are. And what I’m going to do is I’m gonna have links to all of these courses in everything in the show notes, so people can find them easily.

Bill Gasiamis 1:10:36
And we’ll hopefully get a spike in interest from people who are therapists who are looking for new ways of doing things so that they could feel better about their jobs, better about the work that they’re doing, and the importance of the work that they’re doing. And then make a massive difference as an individual to a whole bunch of people that they’ve never met before. Can you tell them? I’m a fan.

Danielle Stoller 1:11:08
I was just sitting here thinking, all I want to say is thank you. And I don’t think we could have received a better endorsement. And it means a lot. It means a lot coming from someone who has been through a stroke, because you have a very unique perspective, I have not been through it. And even though Marabeth has been very close to it, she hasn’t either. So we appreciate that coming from you.

Bill Gasiamis 1:11:35
Yes, it’s my pleasure, Marabeth. I mean, I wish you’d never been down this road, let’s be honest, I wish you’d never experienced your daughter having a stroke. But you did. And instead of becoming all cynical, and critical and negative about it, you did the opposite.

Bill Gasiamis 1:11:57
And it’s not what happens to you, it’s how you respond, that makes the difference. So thank you for being the kind of mum that decided to lay it all out on the table, and then just go for it, and then doing what you did for your daughter and your family firstly.

Bill Gasiamis 1:12:19
Then thank you for continuing to, to learn things and then realize that that learning that you’ve have gained is going to be useful for other people. No point learning all that stuff, and keeping it to yourself. What’s the point?

Realizing The Gifts – Marabeth Quin

Marabeth Quinn 1:12:38
Exactly, exactly. And, you know, if we can all figure out how to process the painful things, and maybe make something beautiful that is the redeeming part, right is when you realize the gifts maybe not from the actual event, but from the way it’s changed you the way you’re you’re different the way your life is richer in some ways, and the way you that you’ve you find that you can do far more than you ever dreamed you could.

Marabeth Quinn 1:13:10
I mean, I witnessed that every day and my daughter, she’s amazing, we can all do so much more than we think we can. And you’re the richer for it in the end, might be a little beaten up, but you’re such an extraordinary human being and stroke survivors to me, I just, you know, I know a lot of people wind up with physical deficits.

Marabeth Quinn 1:13:38
But the humanity and the spiritual side of them what the heights that they are forced to go to, or that many of them choose to go to is off the charts, as far as who they are as a human being. And I always see that part. Because it’s just an extraordinary thing.

Bill Gasiamis 1:14:03
I love always referring back stroke survivors back to the main man, who is the epitome of achieving amazing things under the most hostile and difficult conditions. And that’s Stephen Hawking, the great late Stephen Hawking, who has lost every capacity to communicate or operate in the world and manage to become one of the most renowned physicists I believe he was in his field most renowned.

Bill Gasiamis 1:14:37
So if it’s possible for somebody to exist in life, just by being slumped on a mobility scooter, and makes such a massive difference, then it’s possible for everybody to make a massive difference in someway somehow. So on that note, thank you so much for reaching out. And thank you so much for being on the podcast. I really appreciate you both.

Marabeth Quinn 1:15:07
Thank you so much for having us. This was a complete joy and pleasure.

Danielle Stoller 1:15:11
Thank you. Absolutely.

Marabeth Quinn 1:15:12
I can’t wait to read your book too.

Bill Gasiamis 1:15:15
I’ll be sure to let you know when it’s available. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do is write a book, oh my gosh, that is such a difficult task. But, I’m three chapters complete, and I’m halfway completing most of the other chapters. So I’m getting there.

Marabeth Quinn 1:15:33
Good. Can’t wait.

Danielle Stoller 1:15:35
Fantastic.

Bill Gasiamis 1:15:35
Thank you so much for joining us on today’s episode, you may have worked out that these two ladies would have been my dream team to have with me on the road to recovery would have been amazing. And even if they weren’t there directly, but if they had impacted my therapist in a positive way, like they do all the therapists that they support and help, that would have made a massive difference to my recovery.

Bill Gasiamis 1:16:03
So that’s why I’m bringing you this episode. Because people out there need to know about these two ladies, they need to know about expanded practice, and they need to learn a better way to go about supporting the people that are doing it tough recovering from serious life threatening illnesses and in rehabilitation to get back to some kind of normal life.

Bill Gasiamis 1:16:32
So also, please comment, like and share this episode. If you’re watching on YouTube. Leave a comment, let me know what you think of the episode. Subscribe to the channel and hit the notification bell to get updates of new episodes as they become available.

Bill Gasiamis 1:16:48
For more interactions an episode has, the more the algorithm will push the episode out to the people that need to see it. And the greater impact these two amazing ladies will make in the world. Go to expandedpractice.com to find out more about them.

Bill Gasiamis 1:17:04
Thank you so much for being here. I really, really appreciate it. I will have all their links in the show notes. So just go to recoveryafterstroke.com/episodes to find this episode. And you’ll be able to get all the show notes from there. Thanks again for listening. I really appreciate you.

Intro 1:17:23
Importantly, we present many podcasts designed to give you an insight and understanding into the experiences of other individuals. The opinions and treatment protocols discussed during any podcast are the individual’s own experience and we do not necessarily share the same opinion nor do we recommend any treatment protocol discussed.

Intro 1:17:40
All content on this website at any linked blog or podcast or video material controlled this website or content is created and produced for informational purposes only and is largely based on the personal experience of Bill Gasiamis.

Intro 1:17:52
The content is intended to complement your medical treatment and support healing. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health advice the information is general and may not be suitable for your personal injuries, circumstances or health objectives.

Intro 1:18:08
Do not use our content as a standalone resource to diagnose treat, cure or prevent any disease for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for the advice of a health professional. Never delay seeking advice or disregard the advice of a medical professional, your doctor or your rehabilitation program based on our content.

Intro 1:18:24
If you have any questions or concerns about your health or medical condition, please seek guidance from a doctor or other medical professional. If you are experiencing a health emergency or think you might be call 000 if in Australia or your local emergency number immediately for emergency assistance or go to the nearest hospital emergency department.

Intro 1:18:42
Medical information changes constantly. While we aim to provide current quality information in our content. We did not provide any guarantees and assume no legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, currency or completeness of the content. If you choose to rely on any information within our content you do so solely at your own risk. We are careful with links we provide however third party links from our website are followed at your own risk and we are not responsible

The post Aiming For Greater Recovery Outcomes – Marabeth Quin & Danielle Stoller appeared first on Recovery After Stroke.

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Marabeth Quin & Daniele Stoller created Expanded Practice to teach physical, occupational, and speech therapists how to start utilizing the power of positive mindsets in the recovery process so they can help them reach greater recovery outcomes. Marabeth Quin & Daniele Stoller created Expanded Practice to teach physical, occupational, and speech therapists how to start utilizing the power of positive mindsets in the recovery process so they can help them reach greater recovery outcomes. Recovery After Stroke 1:19:07
Emotional Recovery After Stroke – Dr. Bradley Nelson https://recoveryafterstroke.com/emotional-recovery-after-stroke-dr-bradley-nelson/ Mon, 25 Apr 2022 11:45:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8799 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/emotional-recovery-after-stroke-dr-bradley-nelson/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/emotional-recovery-after-stroke-dr-bradley-nelson/feed/ 0 <p>Dr. Bradley Nelson is the author of the book emotion code and share some useful insights about how emotional baggage interferes with stroke recovery.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/emotional-recovery-after-stroke-dr-bradley-nelson/">Emotional Recovery After Stroke – Dr. Bradley Nelson</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Dr. Bradley Nelson is the author of the book the emotion code and shares some useful insights about how emotional baggage interferes with stroke recovery.

Website

Instagram:
Dr. Bradley Nelson
Discover Healing

Highlights:

02:01 Introduction
03:47 The Importance of Emotional Recovery
05:28 Dr. Bradley Nelson
14:37 Trapped Emotions
21:19 Emotional Energy
29:02 The Heart Brain
35:19 The Heart Wall
50:17 Hopelessness
58:23 Inherited Emotion
1:09:16 Discoverhealing.com
1:16:13 Open Your Mind

Transcription:

Dr. Bradley Nelson 0:00
When you have a stroke, and you go through all of that emotional energy, all those ups, and downs, the grief, the sadness, betrayal, depression, all of those energies can also become trapped in the body.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 0:15
And one of the fascinating things that we found about this Bill, is that when you develop a trapped emotion, that trapped emotion is more likely to go into an area and lodge in an area where there is some kind of preexisting weakness or injury.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 0:32
So it’s very likely for most people, most of the time what happens is when they have a stroke, and they are experiencing all those emotions, those emotional energies will tend to lodge more often than not in that area where the stroke occurred, thereby distorting that energy field in that area even more than it already is, and making it more difficult to recover.

Intro 1:04
This is the recovery after stroke podcast, with Bill Gasiamis, helping you navigate recovery after stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 1:17
Hello, and welcome to another episode of the recovery after stroke podcast. Recently, Spotify released a new feature, which allows you to now write your favorite show in the same way the apple podcast app allows it.

Bill Gasiamis 1:30
So if you think the show deserves it, I’d love it if you left us a five-star review. This will help the show rank better on search engines and help newly diagnosed stroke survivors find the show easier, and it could make a massive difference in their recovery.

Bill Gasiamis 1:45
So go to your favorite podcast app, whether it’s the apple podcast app, or Spotify or any of the other podcast apps, and share what the podcast means for you. It will really make a huge difference to how other people find the show.

Introduction – Dr. Bradley Nelson

Dr. Bradley Nelson
Bill Gasiamis 2:01
And hopefully, it’ll help support them on their stroke recovery. Now, this is episode 191. And my guest today is Dr. Bradley Nelson, who started his career as a chiropractor, and in 2007 published the book The Emotion Code, which has the foreword written by Tony Robbins.

Bill Gasiamis 2:19
In our conversation, amongst other things, we discussed how emotional baggage from the past is getting in the way of your stroke recovery, and how dealing with negative emotions can improve your life and support your recovery. Dr. Bradley Nelson, welcome to the podcast.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 2:37
Well, thank you, Bill. It’s great to be here.

Bill Gasiamis 2:39
Just to give you a bit of background on me, I’m a stroke survivor. My first episode with a hemorrhagic stroke was in February of 2012. I had another one in March of 2012. And then I had another one in November of 2014. I had brain surgery, I had to learn how to walk again, I had to get my memory back, I had a whole bunch of things that I had to go through, it’s very common for a lot of stroke survivors.

Bill Gasiamis 3:05
But somewhere, I got lucky. And I found that one of the things that improved my recovery more than anything was connecting with my heart. And probably for the first time in my 37 years, I actually found there was a heart in my chest like I felt it for the first time I noticed it was there.

Bill Gasiamis 3:31
I didn’t know what I was feeling or noticing. And it was very strange to me. Now, there is evidence that I had been warm and loving and caring and all those things to my family and to my wife and to my children.

The Importance of Emotional Recovery


Bill Gasiamis 3:47
But I didn’t really know what I was doing. I wasn’t consciously aware that I was doing that. And 10 years on from that first incident. And about 200 podcasts later, we’re fast approaching 200 I think I’ve concluded that the one major thing missing in stroke recovery is the emotional recovery.

Bill Gasiamis 4:15
And I’ll tell you why I say that. I say that because when we have a stroke and people discover that some of our limbs don’t work properly, they immediately put us into physical recovery.

Bill Gasiamis 4:29
If you’re lucky, you’ll get somebody come to your ward and have a bit of a counseling session with you and kind of go through the little mental recovery, the beginnings of a mental recovery.

Bill Gasiamis 4:44
But nobody comes in to talk to you ever. And do you ever get any suggestion that there’s an emotional recovery that needs to occur? And when I asked nearly 5000 people that follow me on instagram about which part when I give them the choice, psychological, emotional, physical.

Bill Gasiamis 5:09
When we give them the choice about which part of themselves, they’re neglecting in their recovery, very often, they come back and say, the emotional. Now you know why I needed to reach out to you. Tell me a little bit about what you do?

Dr. Bradley Nelson


Dr. Bradley Nelson 5:28
Well, I practice as a holistic chiropractic physician for about 20 years in one form or another. And what I found was that all my patients had something in common, no matter how old or how young, they were, whether they were male or female, whether they were suffering from mental issues, emotional issues, depression, anxiety, phobias, panic attacks, PTSD, eating disorders.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 6:01
Or whether they were dealing with some kind of a named disease process, or whether they were dealing with some kind of physical pain. What I found was, they all had something in common.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 6:17
And what that thing was that they had in common was what I came to call their emotional baggage. And it took me a long time to figure this out. But I spent a lot of years trying to understand how our bodies really work, and what’s really going on with our bodies.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 6:38
And I actually, made it a matter of prayer, really, every person that came in to see me, before I would go to work with them, I would just take a moment. And it was a momentary pause, really, nobody ever knew that I was doing this, it was a totally private, totally personal habit.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 6:57
But I would ask for help from, you know, the higher power. And, you know, we all have different names for the higher power, if we believe in a higher power, we all believe different things, that’s fine.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 7:07
But I mean, I found that answers came, you know, sometimes suddenly, sometimes in a huge download of information that was rare, usually, the information would just kind of gradually come little bit by little bit, you know, over the years.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 7:23
So what I came to understand, and having a stroke and suffering from the after-effects of a stroke is such a concrete such a physical thing, the emotional side of it, to understand the emotional side of it, you have to step away from the physical a little bit for a moment.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 7:50
And you have to start to understand a little bit about what our bodies really are made of, and what they’re really made of his energy. I mean, if you look at your hand, your hand looks pretty solid.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 8:02
But if you were to magnify your hand with a big enough microscope, if you magnified about 850,000 times, under a microscope, you might be looking at a strand of DNA. And that looks nothing like your hands, but it is your hands still.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 8:16
And if you were to continue to zoom in somewhere over a million power magnification, you might be looking face to face with a single individual atom. And if you look inside that atom is so there’s really nothing in there, it’s just empty space, it’s just pure energy, with some other little energies that are zipping around at the speed of light.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 8:37
And that’s really what we are, we’re beings of pure energy. And so you know, quantum physicists like Albert Einstein have been trying to tell us this and trying to help us understand these ideas, these abstract concepts of what our reality really is, for over 100 years now.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 9:00
But what I found was that when my patients would go through some kind of an intense emotional experience, oftentimes, they would end up with emotional energy that was trapped in their body, and that’s really what our emotional baggage really, actually is.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 9:23
And so, I developed a way to find and remove this emotional baggage, and that’s what the Emotion Code actually is. And by finding and removing that emotional baggage, all kinds of things improve. And there are a couple of reasons for that.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 9:44
One reason is because when you have a trapped emotion, that emotional energy is like a ball of pure energy, if you can imagine and again, what we’re talking about here, is we’re talking about the body in terms of quantum physics now this is the science of the new age, the new millennium.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 10:10
I mean, many people, many scientists and prominent doctors have said for the last 30 years, the future of healing, the future of medicine is energy, its energy medicine is energy healing. And, they’re, they’re absolutely right. Because to understand what our bodies really are, gives us the basis to really work with our bodies and help our bodies in these ways that can be very profound, really.

Bill Gasiamis 10:38
I was gonna interrupt it for a moment and said, one of the most interesting things that I’ve done is I’ve been to a functional medicine doctor who did a finger prick, got some blood, and put it under a microscope while I was there in the room with them.

Bill Gasiamis 11:02
And I got to see how my blood behaves differently every time I went there, and how quickly the cells were moving around differently every time I went there, and one of the things that was quite interesting was how I could see the impact of my habits in that particular morning on the way to that appointmen.

Bill Gasiamis 11:23
Impacted the way my blood looked and the way it behaved. And one of the classics was being dehydrated the night before and not having enough water in the morning and getting there and seeing the cells being very sluggish.

Bill Gasiamis 11:37
And then being consciously aware of that, after I’d seen that video, and then making sure that I did a good job the next time I went and drank plenty of water, to see how my blood would behave differently.

Bill Gasiamis 11:51
And then, like that, you get a clearer vision of how we’re impacting our own well being or our own blood at this stage, let’s not take it to the deeper level because I wasn’t that progressed with my awareness yet. And that gives a sense of power that gives a sense of this is interesting information. I wonder what I could do with it.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 12:18
Right? Absolutely. Well, you know, we’re on the verge of stepping into a whole new era of of how we are going to be taking care of ourselves. And the way that the emotion code works, essentially, well, let me share a story with you.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 12:39
Actually, let me read you a story that came from someone in the UK. She said, I just want to give a huge thank you to Dr. Bradley Nelson and share this story. My father has gone from about to die, or survive as a cabbage after having a major stroke to back to normal.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 13:02
She said I worked back to back along with many other fellow Body Code and Emotion Code practitioners. Those are people that have been trained in the work that we do to save my Father, I prayed that if he didn’t return as a man, then we let him go.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 13:15
This was the hardest thing to do. Yet he walks talks and even wanting to get a train to go to a family funeral. I’m amazed. This happens all the time. I never failed to be amazed. I’m eternally grateful and so blessed to have met you and train with you this remarkable life saving and life changing energy practice works, its energy, and energy is where it’s at, it’s the future.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 13:35
He is not only recovering quickly, but he’s gone from not believing in my work to being a believer. She’s one of our practitioners. Actually, her name is Beth Foley, as have the rest of my family.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 13:46
Thank you, Dr. Brad, and everyone who supports you and all the fellow practicioners, I do believe in miracles. Now, think about this, what happens, these physical bodies of ours are also really energy.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 14:01
In fact, some quantum physicists recently, just to make a point, said recently that if you could take all the empty space of everyone’s body on Earth, you could actually fit all 7.8 billion people in the world into a box the size of a sugar cube.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 14:20
Because these bodies of ours really are energy fields. And so this physical state that we’re in is really it’s more of a force field than anything else. Well, let me share some stories with you.

Trapped Emotions – Dr. Bradley Nelson

Dr. Bradley Nelson
Dr. Bradley Nelson 14:37
One that comes to mind just to help illustrate how this stuff works. This man came in to see me many years ago. His back pain was a nine on a zero to 10 scale. And I tested him using the Emotion Code and found that he had a trapped emotion and the emotion was anger.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 14:58
Now the subconscious mind knows these answers, the conscious mind knows very little. But the subconscious mind is that part of us that’s digesting our food and keeping our blood cells multiplying, and so on and doing all of those things automatically.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 15:15
And so we have a way to tap into that in the Emotion Code. And so I found that this emotion, this trapped emotion, this ball of energy, literally a ball of anger, if you can imagine that was causing this guy’s pain.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 15:33
And it had actually gotten stuck in his body about 20 years before. And when I arrived, that he immediately spoke up, and he said, well, I know what that’s about. And he told me that it was a work situation, he’d been falsely accused of something at work.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 15:50
And he was really upset, very angry about it, that energy became trapped in his body. Ultimately, he was able to get all of that resolved. But nevertheless, he still had this energy in his body.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 16:03
Now, 20 years later, that emotional extreme that he went through, was manifesting as physical pain for him and severe on a zero to 10 scale, he was a nine. So just one point away one step away from going into the hospital, you know, anyway, so I released that trapped emotion of anger from him, and the pain went from a nine to a zero instantly.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 16:29
Now what you need to understand, that there’s more to this story. But the reason why that happened is because you see, when you have a trapped emotion, it’s a ball of energy, in this case, a ball of anger in his low back, and it was constantly distorting the energy field that was making up his body in that area.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 16:49
So all the chemical reactions in that area were all affected. The blood flow, the lymph flow, the flow of acupuncture energy in that area, all of those things were being distorted to some degree.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 17:02
So eventually, he’s got this terrible pain. And when we released that trapped emotion, the pain went from a nine to a zero, boom, just that fast. Well, the interesting thing about this is that, and this is why I said this is such a great illustration, a couple of days later, he came back in to see me.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 17:21
And he said, Dr. Nelson, my back pain is still gone. He said I still can’t quite believe it. But he said, when I came in here, I had another problem that I didn’t tell you about. He said, for as long as I can remember, I’ve basically been what you’d call a rageaholic.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 17:37
He said, I’m always yelling at my wife and my kids, I’ve got to watch the road rage. I’ve been to anger management several times hasn’t really helped me. But he said, since you released that trapped emotion of anger for me, I don’t feel that way anymore. I just feel kind of peaceful and relaxed.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 17:53
He said, How did that work? And at the time, I said, Well, I’m not really sure. But now, understand that, in this guy’s case, he had this ball of anger, okay. And it was causing this physical pain because of the distorting effect it was having on his energy field, and thereby his physical body.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 18:17
But when we released that energy, suddenly, he didn’t feel as angry anymore. Why? Because you see before that, before we release that energy, when a situation would come along in his life, where he might tend to feel the emotion of anger, he would feel that emotion, he’d fall into that frequency that vibration much more easily, much more readily than he otherwise would have.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 18:42
Because part of his body was feeling that emotion, 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, of course. So one of the things you have to understand with these trapped emotions, we all have these, and the average person has probably two or 300 of these, if they’re an adult.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 18:59
Not all the emotional experiences that we go through in our lives leave us with emotional baggage, but some do. And so what these things do is they again, they distort the normal energy field of the body, and so they weaken the body, and they interfere with the body’s function in that area.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 19:20
Now, imagine having several of those trapped emotions in your brain affecting your brain, is that going to help the brain function better? Or is it not going to function as well? Is it going to be more prone to weaknesses and vessels and things like that?

Dr. Bradley Nelson 19:38
And I think the answer clearly is yes, because we’re beings made of energy. So anyway, that gives you a little bit of a glimpse into how this works, so in other words, trapped emotions, I believe in my experience, can be a precursor or an underlying contributing factor to stroke. But also…

Intro 20:08
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?

Intro 20:25
Doctors will explain things that 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.

Intro 20:37
If you’re finding yourself in that situation, stop worrying, and head to recoveryafterstroke.com where you can download a guide that will help you it’s called seven questions to ask your doctor about your stroke.

Intro 20:51
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.

Emotional Energy – The Emotion Code

Dr. Bradley Nelson 21:19
When you have a stroke, and you go through all of that emotional energy, all those ups and downs, the grief, the sadness, of betrayal, depression, all of those energies can also become trapped in the body.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 21:34
And one of the fascinating things that we found about this Bill is that when you develop a trapped emotion, that trapped emotion is more likely to go into an area and lodge in an area where there is some kind of preexisting weakness or injury.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 21:52
So it’s very likely for most people, most of the time, what happens is when they have a stroke, and they are experiencing all those emotions, those emotional energies will tend to lodge more often than not, in that area where the stroke occurred.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 22:10
Thereby distorting that energy field in that area, even more than it already is, and making it more difficult to recover, you see, and prolonging the recovery and the healing time in that area. So this is one of the things that happens.

Bill Gasiamis 22:32
I was gonna say like, I love the way that you describe it, because you’ve got a lot of words to describe the way emotions play a role in our health and well being or the opposite of our health and well being.

Bill Gasiamis 22:46
And I relate to a lot of the stuff that you said. So I believe, and a lot of stroke survivors I’ve interviewed believe that they’ve also created the perfect storm around the weakness in their body or in their head, especially in the form of a hemorrhage for me, I created the perfect storm around that blood vessel to pop.

Bill Gasiamis 23:07
I created the relevant necessary emotions, the relevant stress, the relevant, all the things that do come together to create a big emotional outburst. I used to behave inappropriately yell and scream all the time. I used to blame everybody else.

Bill Gasiamis 23:35
For my problems. I used to think there was no solutions to all my problems. And I never really had many problems until I had the stroke. But then I had a real new set of problems that I actually had no skills or idea how to solve.

Bill Gasiamis 23:49
So I became consciously aware that I was very much responsible for there was a part that I played in this blood vessel bursting. It was a blood vessel that is known to burst I was born with this blood vessel. And it’s a faulty blood vessel it’s called an arteriovenous malformation.

Bill Gasiamis 24:10
And for some people, they never burst for some people they do and and I got to that point where bursts so when I discovered when I started to listen to some words that I used to use to describe myself it makes sense that something happened in my head so I used to call myself a headcase.

Bill Gasiamis 24:30
That’s never a pleasant thing to call somebody or yourself a headcase suggests that you do. A lot of your life happens in your head when I started screaming when I had a screaming match with somebody which, of course I needed to make sure that I would win.

Bill Gasiamis 24:48
I used to get so intense, my eyeballs would be almost popping out of my head, my blood vesels would all be just expanded on my forehead and then I would have this massive headache for hours afterwards, I imagine the blood pressure went through the roof, everything was going wrong.

Bill Gasiamis 25:08
So simultaneously to that I was this guy that could be very loving and very caring and the rest of it. And when I was lacking resources, and I don’t know what they were right now, I don’t know what they were for me to get to that point.

Bill Gasiamis 25:23
Well, actually, I do know what it was, I believe the reason’s always like I was just oblivious to my body, really, I had no idea. And I think fear was behind a lot of the anger and the stress and the frustration that I used to manifest.

Bill Gasiamis 25:45
But when I unlocked this thing in my chest, when I discovered that, then it became apparent to me that one of the major things I needed to work on was my anger, and resolve the anger and do whatever the work that was necessary to resolve the anger.

Bill Gasiamis 26:01
So it’s not like the anger just went away. But discovering my heart in my chest made it possible for me to realize to have that realization, that now that I have discovered my heart, and now that I’m noticing all these amazing feelings and connecting better with people.

Bill Gasiamis 26:17
Anger is probably a trait, or a behavior, that is not going to serve me well going forward. Because it’s going to interfere with this new discovery that I’ve had this emotion, and this different level of connecting with family and friends.

Bill Gasiamis 26:33
And that became really important because they were responding to me really well. And maybe I had the upper hand because I just had a stroke. And they were feeling sorry for me anyway. But the whole cycle just started to blossom into this amazing thing.

Bill Gasiamis 26:51
And then I started to have these conscious awarenesses of all the things that I was doing, to interfere negatively in my life to impact my life negatively. And then I just sort of started ticking them off one by one, nutrition, work hours, relationships, I went to counseling, all these different things.

Bill Gasiamis 27:11
And things started to improve. Now the stroke was still there was still with me every day, I still wasn’t allowed to work. I wasn’t allowed to drive at times. There was still all these other issues, but I was having one of the best experiences of my life I’ve ever had. And I often say that stroke was one of the best things that ever happened to me. So I can really relate to what you’re saying.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 27:41
Well, you know, it’s, it’s interesting. My father had an aneurysm. And it happened right after something kind of traumatic happened with my mom. And they’d been married for, I don’t know, 60 years around that at that point.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 28:07
And I really think that precipitated his aneurysm. And I think that there are emotional things that happen to us emotional events, life is so interesting. They’re often metaphysical causes of things.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 28:26
And things happen for us to learn from sometimes, and sometimes we’re on the wrong track. And sometimes things like this can really be a blessing. So it’s really interesting. And you know, you mentioned about the heart.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 28:45
And you know, one of the fascinating things about the heart is that some scientists not too long ago, did a study, they were looking at the brain, the nerve conduction between the brain and the heart measuring those messages going from the brain to the heart.

The Heart-Brain – Dr. Bradley Nelson

Dr. Bradley Nelson 29:02
And they were expecting that they would see the bulk of the messages traveling from the brain to the heart. And they found just the exact opposite. These are normal, healthy individuals, they found that most of the messages, the bulk of those messages are traveling from the heart to the brain.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 29:25
Now that was interesting. And that goes along with the discovery of the little brain in the heart. The heart has gray matter and white matter in it. There’s a little brain there in the heart, and the heart contains the memories of things that we really love our true affinities.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 29:45
And that’s why you know, back in the 1960s when doctors started doing heart transplants, it didn’t take long before patients would come back and relate these strange things.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 29:59
They would talk about how their tastes and music or food or sports are totally changed to something else. And they find out that sometimes their handwriting would totally change.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 30:13
Sometimes they would have memories of being in places that they never in their lives have ever visited. And in every case, and there are books written about this, in every case, when these people were connected with the family of the heart donor, they find out oh, yes, that’s our son’s handwriting that you have now how strange is that?

Dr. Bradley Nelson 30:29
Or, Yes, our daughter loved baseball, and played it all the time. And now you love baseball too, but you didn’t care for it before, or our son was a concert violinist. And so you didn’t used to like classical. But now you do. And those passages that you play over and over and over. Those were his favorite passages.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 30:52
There was a an amazing story about a nine-year-old girl who received a heart from another young girl who had actually been murdered. And after she recovered, she started having nightmares about being killed herself, while she was seeing the murderer of the heart donor, this other little girl.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 31:14
And her descriptions from her nightmares of the killer, and the murder weapon and everything else and she was able to describe to the police everything about this guy, what he was wearing.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 31:26
All of that helped lead to the arrest and conviction of the killer of the donor. Think about that. So, you know, the ancient peoples believed that the heart was the seat of the soul, and the source of creativity, and the source of love, and romance and really the core of our being.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 31:47
And, you know, in the modern world and modern medicine and biology, we never really paid any attention to those ancient ideas. But those ancient ideas, they permeated the whole world.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 32:03
I mean, it doesn’t make too much difference where you live in the world. If someone wants to give you some kind of a romantic gift, it’s probably going to end up being in the shape of a heart or very likely, right? Because those ideas have been around since time out of mind.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 32:22
Well, in the Bible, for example, the word heart is mentioned just shy of 1000 times. And there are writings in the Bible that say that, you know, God doesn’t look on the outward appearance of a person, but he looks on the heart.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 32:35
And that as a person thinks in their hearts, so they will be the ancient Egyptians believe that when we die, we go through a ceremony on the other side, where our heart is weighed on a scale against a feather.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 32:54
And if our heart is lighter than a feather, and then we go to the good place, but if our heart is heavier than a feather, indicating we’ve maybe made some bad choices, and so on now.

Bill Gasiamis 33:05
That’s a lovely analogy, having a heart that’s light as a feather. That means it has no emotional baggage. That means it’s just loving, and it’s nurturing. And it’s connecting with other people.

Bill Gasiamis 33:16
And it’s serving you really, really well. And you’re probably serving it really, really well. And that says a lot about you. If you have a heart that is light as a feather that is just such a beautiful analogy.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 33:27
Yeah, isn’t that great? My wife and I went to Egypt. And we had just seeing the pyramids. And we were coming back in Cairo. And we stopped at this little shop, where it was a papyrus shop.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 33:41
And as we walked in, there was a guy explaining this hieroglyphic panel. That is this story of this man who dies and he goes through the whole situation and It turns out his heart is lighter than a feather.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 34:01
There’s a scale there, and these different gods Horace, and Osiris and so on. Fascinating. So I have one of those at home, I had to buy it because I’ve been telling the story for years.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 34:10
But anyway, it’s really interesting. So the heart, you see, really truly is a second brain. And in many ways, it’s really the first brain it’s the most important brain. But in the world that we live in now we’re living from the brain that’s in our heads primarily.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 34:30
And that’s why here it is 2022 And we’re still using, you know, war to settle differences between nations and feeling that it’s perfectly okay to attack people from drones and kill people, even citizens of our own country and you know, a lot of insanity in the world still, because this brain feels nothing.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 34:52
This is where we feel and that’s why if you’re really feeling hurt, or if you’re really deeply grieved about something, you’ll feel it here, you won’t feel it in your head won’t give you a headache. It’ll give you this feeling that we call heartbreak or heartache right? Now, when that’s happening to us, our heart is under assault.

The Heart Wall

Dr. Bradley Nelson
Dr. Bradley Nelson 35:19
And so what will happen is, under those circumstances, the subconscious mind will start to put up a wall around that heart. And that wall is an energy wall. It’s invisible, but it’s made from layers of our emotional baggage. And so the reason why the subconscious mind creates that wall is to protect the heart so that it’s not totally broken.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 35:46
And the problem is, I mean, it’s, it’s great in the short term, because you don’t want your heart to break. Because the heart really is the core of your being. And it’s who you really are the core of who you really are.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 36:00
But the problem is, when you have that wall that’s been put up. Now, it’s much more difficult for you to really connect with other people. They’ve done studies actually in labs, where they found that if one person’s feeling love or affection for another person, their heartbeat will become measurable in that other person’s brainwaves.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 36:21
So there’s this communication going on from heart to heart between all of us all the time, when you get a heart wall, it’s much more difficult for that energy of love to get out much more difficult for that energy of love to get in people, when they’ve got a heart wall, it’s much more likely for them to remain single for years and years and years, when the walls taken down.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 36:42
Love shows up in people’s lives very often, even people that advanced ages, who never had even been in a relationship before suddenly find themselves in love. Creative ideas also start to flow for people spontaneously, because the best creative ideas you’ll ever have, will not come from this brain, they’ll come from this brain that is in your heart.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 37:05
Now, think about this in terms of your situation, and what you went through, and this profound learning that it’s so wonderful bill, that you are sharing this with the world that that this needed to happen for you, and what a transformation, right? I believe we’re headed for a world where we’re all going to be living from our heart.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 37:31
And I think that that’s what all the great teachers, all the great spiritual teachers were really trying to teach us is to learn how to operate from this space from the heart space from the heart, brain.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 37:47
And the heart brain communicates in love. And so unconditional love is such a powerful thing. But think about I mean, before you were stuck in your head, and you would verbalize that, right, you’d say that.

Bill Gasiamis 38:01
Not only did I say that, my language really helped support me staying the way that I was before. So when I had the stroke, and I couldn’t actually access my head because it was offline because there was a blood clot the size of a golf ball in there.

Bill Gasiamis 38:18
I couldn’t access those patterns of behavior and words, and I couldn’t say those things. And that’s where the neuronal patterns in my body started to get all messed up amongst other things, you know, the doctors missed about in there and touched it and did all these things.

Bill Gasiamis 38:33
So that helped. But early on, it was the fact that I just couldn’t access my head to think at all. And that meant that my heart kind of kicked in and took over to help guide me through the rest of my day. Because it wouldn’t work any other way. So I was crying a lot.

Bill Gasiamis 38:54
And of course, when you see a male cry, most people get uncomfortable with it, it’s not the common thing. People were telling me to stop crying and I’m telling them no I’m good. Like I need to cry. I’m loving this. It’s coming out.

Bill Gasiamis 39:07
It’s a bit weird and strange and you’re acting all weird and strange, but I didn’t have a problem with crying and I would cry in public or cry onstage I would cry at supposedly the most inappropriate places for other people it was inappropriate.

Bill Gasiamis 39:25
So now I was discovering this thing. I couldn’t think I was less of a headcase I felt less pressure in my head. I felt lighter on my shoulders. Everyone that was connecting with me couldn’t believe that I was unwell because the energy that I was putting out was completely different to somebody who was unwell.

Bill Gasiamis 39:45
Even though I couldn’t finish sentences and remember who came to visit me and all those things. And I just had this profound experience and started to look into it and then realized all the things that you said the heart is a brain, it’s stunning to be referred that way, there’s books been written about that it has neurons within it.

Bill Gasiamis 40:06
About 130,000 neurons, people that are young at heart have 130,000 or more people that are cold-hearted, have 20,000 or less. So when you use words to describe a relationship breakup, and I’ve never done this, because, I never had the words back then when I got supposedly broken-hearted.

Bill Gasiamis 40:31
And my wife is a lovely lady, she’s been with me for 26 years, and she’s putting up with all of my stuff. So I’ve never said, I have a broken heart. And I’m never going to let anyone break my heart again, and I haven’t built that wall.

Bill Gasiamis 40:48
So there was always an opportunity for the right time, the right process, the right kind of path for somebody to get in there and find a way to get in there, there was always that opportunity, I had never built an impenetrable wall. But I know people who I’ve coached through their own traumas over the last 12 or 13 years, who have said stuff like, you know, that person broke my heart.

Bill Gasiamis 41:20
And it’s so painful that I’m not going to let somebody else break my heart ever again. And I’m never going to have another relationship, why risk it? And it’s like, well, okay, that’s pretty intense, because what they’re not realizing is that they’re saying those words in an intense moment when it happened.

Bill Gasiamis 41:39
But the repercussions of that means that they’ve locked that in potentially for 20, 30, or 40 years, and the rest of their life is going to be lonely, they’re going to be in their head, wanting to have a relationship, and their heads going to be saying, Oh, my God, we need to see this through, or we need to meet this person, but then something else will interfere, there’ll be a disconnect, they won’t understand what it is, and they’ll end the relationship, or they’ll find a reason why it’s not right.

Bill Gasiamis 42:06
Or start acting out and the other person will leave, which is usually what happens more often. They sabotage themselves, so that other person makes the decision. And then they can blame the other person for the problem that has happened in the relationship and not take responsibility for themselves.

Bill Gasiamis 42:25
So you’re talking my language, I totally get it. And that is one of the most difficult things to do is to have a head based conversation with a human being who has heart challenges, we need to have a heart to heart conversation.

Bill Gasiamis 42:42
And that means that you need to find a person who you’re prepared to be vulnerable with, who’s going to have you safe in a safe space, whether it’s counseling, or coaching, or some of the work that you guys do, and allow that wall to be broken down.

Bill Gasiamis 42:59
Now, I’m saying these things. And I’m hoping that people watching and listening have paid attention to what you said so far. And now looking inward in within themselves and wondering whether or not they have used words like that, or similar to that they have allowed them to disconnect from their heart.

Bill Gasiamis 43:21
And it’s just then taken off and made their life a little bit harder, a little bit more difficult to, to go through every single day. So and that then brings me back to other things like the inherited emotions, that was something really interesting in your work that I found amazing that you’re talking about it.

Bill Gasiamis 43:46
And there’s not a lot of people talking about it. I think one of the first times I might have heard about it was just after again, I discovered this thing in my chest. And I we worked really hard with my wife to create some wealth over the years. And one of the things that I have is a second property that’s mortgaged than the rest of it, and it’s rented out.

Bill Gasiamis 44:14
And I used to get really stressed when the particular tenants would decide that they didn’t want to live there anymore. And they were wanting to go somewhere else. And I never understood why I used to get so anxious, anxious about it and upset and worried about it.

Bill Gasiamis 44:32
And I used to, you know, be on the case of the real estate agent to find somebody new and I used to tell my wife, oh my god, they’re leaving and all this stuff. And it was such a difficult time.

Bill Gasiamis 44:44
And then one time, I realized I was with my father. And he told me that oh my god, the tenants that he has in this other investment property that he has purchased. And he’s had it for many, many decades now.

Bill Gasiamis 44:59
Because he’s nearly 80 years old, are leaving. And it’s such a problem and oh my God, and all this kind of stuff. Exactly like me, I was mimicking his behavior. And I was feeling the anxiety and stress that he was feeling.

Bill Gasiamis 45:16
And when I realized that it was his problem, not mine, it just went away and never happened to me again. And now I look forward to people to say to me, I need to leave the home and go somewhere else, so that I can get in and give it some much needed maintenance, to get it ready for the next person.

Bill Gasiamis 45:35
And it was just an amazing insight. And again, another release of stress and anxiety that I didn’t need in my life. And if I actually had the opportunity to go back into the past, and visit my grandparents, and ask them about the challenges that they faced, because, for example, my grandparents, would have been through the first World War in Greece, the Second World War in Greece,

Bill Gasiamis 46:08
And then soon after, my dad was born near the end of the Second World War, I imagine that those people, my grandparents, who I hardly met, would have had lots of emotions, about those 30 or 40 years from the early 1900s that they didn’t deal with, because they had to get on with life, and that they passed down to their children, who then pass them down to me.

Bill Gasiamis 46:39
So how do we support people, A to become aware of one of those blockages that they might have through words? How do we support people to become aware of one of those things that they’ve brought forward from one of their ancestors?

Bill Gasiamis 46:59
And how do we intervene to put them to end because I did it. But I didn’t do it consciously at the time. I wasn’t aware what I was doing. But now I can reflect on it. How do we just get somebody through that?

Dr. Bradley Nelson 47:13
Yeah, well, that’s a great question. With the process that I’ve developed with the Emotion Code, the way that we do it is we tap into the subconscious mind in some very concrete ways. Through muscle testing, you can ask questions of the subconscious mind.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 47:34
And the subconscious mind is the part of our mind that’s always awake. Even if we go to sleep, and our conscious mind shuts off, the subconscious mind never shuts off. It’s always running. But that’s where all of the information is about, for example, inherited emotional baggage.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 47:54
I’ll share a story with you. I was feeling that one day, like I needed to get work done. And I called my daughter and she was living about 1000 miles away at the time. And I asked her if she would work on me at a distance.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 48:11
So she agreed, we hung up the phone. And so she told me later what happened, she started working on me at a distance. And this is something that we teach in the emotion guidance, we explain it in the book, you can learn how to do it in the book, we have certification programs, etc.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 48:27
But anyway, so she’s working on me at a distance and she finds that I inherited some emotional baggage when I was conceived from my father’s side. He got it from his mother, and she got it from her mother. And she kept testing this and it went back generation upon generation 22 generations back, and the emotion was hopelessness.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 48:53
Now when my daughter arrived at that, all of a sudden, she could feel the presence of someone standing right next to her. And she knew who it was, it was this grandmother from 22 generations back that this emotional energy had overwhelmed that time.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 49:15
And my daughter could feel the emotions of this woman, she could feel how overwhelmed with gratitude she was that this was being done, but she could also feel how desperate she was to have this emotional energy released from her posterity.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 49:34
She went through something horrifically hopeless, and then that energy kept passing down the line, passing down the line. So my daughter released that and that’s part of the process that we teach is how to release these energies. And she could feel it it released from that grandmother and she could feel it ripple through all those other generations.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 49:55
Well, I’m sitting at my desk 1000 miles away. I know my daughter’s working on me. And the moment that she released that inherited trapped emotion from me, and from my whole line, well, it released from her as well. But it was one of the most profound healing experiences that I’ve had in my whole life.

Hopelessness

Dr. Bradley Nelson 50:17
Because all of my waking hours, all my life, I had this background feeling of hopelessness, very low level, just part of the background. And in fact, I remember when I was writing the Emotion Code Book, this happened about two years after the Emotion Code Book came out in 2007.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 50:46
So, I remember thinking, if somebody would have asked me during the time that I was writing that book, to describe in one word how the project felt, without any hesitation, I would have used the word hopeless, I would have said, well, it feels hopeless. But I’m continuing, right.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 51:07
I’m pressing forward. But it feels totally hopeless. That’s literally how it felt. And when that energy was released from me, and from my whole line, it was the most uncanny thing. All of a sudden, it was like, I’d been living next to a factory all my life, where there was a noise coming out of it. And suddenly it shut down.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 51:33
And the silence was deafening. Suddenly, the absence of this feeling of hopelessness that had been there in the background in my mind, every waking hour of my whole entire life, suddenly, that was gone. And only then did I recognize they didn’t even been there.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 51:51
And I thought, My gosh, I’ve had that my whole entire life. Now that’s gone. It was really an incredible thing. And profoundly healing for me, but also, for my daughter. My daughter is a tremendously talented, I mean, unbelievably gifted painter, she paints.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 52:16
And she’s incredible. And within a year after that was released, she had an art showing in Seattle that we flew up for, and it was unbelievable to see all this art pouring out of her she’d never painted anything before.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 52:32
And I think if that emotion of hopelessness had not been removed from our whole entire line, removed from her, I think that she probably still wouldn’t be painting anything. So now you think about your own life.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 52:47
Think about your ancestors, what did they go through, like your ancestors in both of those wars? I mean, there are books that have been written about the grandchildren of Holocaust survivors, that these people have different DNA and their immune systems are much more unstable, and they’re more prone to disease and so on.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 53:12
And there’s only one explanation, the only explanation is what their grandparents live through, that now is manifesting in their bodies. So think about your own life, your own grandparents, your great grandparents, I mean, what did they go through, and what kind of baggage are you carrying in your life now.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 53:30
And the emotion going makes it really easy to find these, and identify these and then actually just release them because they’re just energies that are stuck in the body, even though they might be antiques and hundreds of years old.

Bill Gasiamis 53:42
Antiques, I love it. That’s a lovely way to describe them. They’re antiques, they’re, you know, they were useful at a time, they served a purpose back then they don’t serve a purpose now.

Bill Gasiamis 53:53
And now they’re just something that we are aware of that they existed once. My, lovely wife, one of the things that I’ve been aware of is because I’m an outsider to the family when I first get there 26 years ago.

Bill Gasiamis 54:08
I see how her mother’s behavior under certain conditions is what she’s mimicking or using or applying to solve a problem in our own home after we were married. And I could see how my wife didn’t enjoy being in that situation, with her mom, when her mum was applying those kind of behaviors into a situation.

Bill Gasiamis 54:35
Yet she wasn’t aware that she was doing it herself. Now, of course, I was doing that as well, but I wasn’t aware of my own blind spots. But what was really interesting to see was when I described that to my wife, and then say to her right now you’re doing exactly what your mom did.

Bill Gasiamis 54:54
That would trigger her curiosity that would get her to the point of going okay. I see how my mom’s behavior impacts me in a situation that’s similar. And now, I’m responding in a similar way to my children in my home.

Bill Gasiamis 55:12
And one of the conversations that I would have was like, How long do we want these traumas before I knew really what I was talking about. How long do we want them to be manifesting in our lives or causing problems in our lives?

Bill Gasiamis 55:29
I think we’re doing the same thing to our kids that our parents did to us. Because we have the resources that we have available, that’s where they came from. We’re doing the best we can with our resources.

Bill Gasiamis 55:41
But now that I’m aware of it, why don’t we try and resolve something or change something or fix it, or make a difference or stop behaving a certain way that’s impacting our kids negatively.

Bill Gasiamis 55:52
Because then I said to my wife, I imagine that her parents, were also going through those things and doing similar things, because of the environment that they grew up in, and the parents before them.

Bill Gasiamis 56:06
Because in grace, there was a lot of instability for hundreds and hundreds of years. So, only four generations back, you’re in the early 1800s. And that’s when Greece became no longer occupied by the Ottoman empire, an empire that we talked about, like as if it was in the past, but it’s such a recent past.

Bill Gasiamis 56:33
And when you’re living in a country that’s been occupied for 400 years by another empire that doesn’t recognize your religion, your ethnicity, and all those things, it’s traumatizing. It’s a real problem, and it gets passed down.

Bill Gasiamis 56:48
So at some point, we intervened, and we did that whole, okay, let’s do something different. Let’s change this. Now, we’re both on nearly 50. And my wife’s just hit 50. And we’re both still unlearning a lot of that stuff.

Bill Gasiamis 57:05
We are forever and learning and growing and discovering ourselves in getting work done. So that we don’t continue the next however many years we have on the planet, living somebody else’s emotions and somebody else’s experience that we’ve never met.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 57:26
Yes, exactly. Right. And I’ve often said that each of us, we are the product, not only of our own emotional experiences and our own emotional baggage, but also that emotional baggage that we received a conception from mom or dad.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 57:49
And, you know, I’ll share one more cert with you about this. I was speaking at this event, once we had about 300 people in the audience and I asked if someone was in pain and a woman came up out of the audience.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 58:04
She hobbled up limping and she said that her pain level was a nine on a zero to 10 scale with her hip and had been like that for a year. And it was so bad that she would have to manually lift her leg up to get in and out of the car.

Inherited Emotion

Dr. Bradley Nelson 58:23
And she’s been to a couple of doctors for it, they couldn’t find anything obviously wrong. So I tested her and found an imbalance and corrected that. And the pain level went from a nine to a four.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 58:35
The next thing that I found was an inherited trapped emotion of fear that she gotten from her father. And as I’m asking questions on getting answers from her body, we use muscle testing to get answers, yes its strong and knows we.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 58:51
I tested that her father gave it to her, but he got it from his dad, and he got it from his dad, and you got it from his dad and went back 12 generations. And so one of the things that I like to do that might be kind of mind blowing for people, but I believe that these, these ancestors of ours are they’re only dead physically, they’re not dead, spiritually, spirit lives on.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 59:17
And so they often, in fact, every time I’ve ever tried to find out I’ve found that these ancestors, the direct line ancestors will always show up for the release of an emotion like this because it’s going to be released from them.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 59:31
So if you can imagine I’m on this stage with this woman. She’s got this inherited trapped emotion of fear goes back 12 generations. And of course the vast majority of those people are dead she got from her father who wasn’t at the event, but was still alive, she said.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 59:45
So anyway, I asked, all right, are these ancestors here with us in this room? And our subconscious mind gave us a yes answer. They were here. And so I asked, Well, are they are they floating around in the air like over the audience? No.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:00:00
Are they sitting out there among the audience? No. Are they up here on the stage with us right now? Yes. And that’s always how it is. Now, I’ve never seen one of these. But let me let me tell you the rest of the story.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:00:15
So anyway, I released the trapped emotion, the inherited trapped emotion. And the pain level went immediately to zero. And so she’s walking around, and then dancing. And there’s a woman that barely got up to the stage. And she’s dancing around.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:00:33
And eventually she goes back and sits down in the audience. And I finished my lecture. And then I went back out into this hall where my staff was, and I sit down with them. And about a minute after I get there, a woman comes up to me and she said, listen, she said, Dr. Nelson, I was in your your class there.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:00:51
She said, I want you to know something. She said, I’m one of those people that has this gift to be able to see these spirits that other people don’t see. She said, I’ve had this all my life, she said, it’s kind of a blessing. And it’s kind of a curse.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:01:04
But she said, I just wanted you to know that when you were describing those grandfathers of hers up there on the stage with you, she said, I just wanted you to know, I could see them.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:01:15
And it was just like you described, but she said there was something else going on. And I don’t know that you’re aware of she said, What I saw was surrounding the stage, where at least 200 spirits.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:01:25
And it came to me who they were, these were the spirits of this woman’s yet to be born descendants, that were there rejoicing that they weren’t going to have to take on this woman’s crippling emotional baggage that that had been released from their line, otherwise, they were going to be owners of that as well.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:01:50
So you know, it’s such a fascinating thing. But we, we see lots of amazing things happen when we start to work on the body, for what it really is and what it really is, is energy and the emotions are such a huge part of that.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:02:08
What I found in practice was that the single biggest common denominator for all my patients was their emotional baggage. And there are other kinds of imbalances as well that we cover in this other system that we call The Body Code.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:02:21
Let me share a story with you. woman wrote in named Jacqueline from Washington, she said I was working with an older woman who had just had a stroke, she lost complete function of the left side of her body and she was unable to speak with helping the body code after a second session.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:02:37
Her speech returned after her fourth session, she regained full function of the left side of her body. Now, we don’t promote this work as a cure for stroke effects or anything like that. But what we’re seeing is interesting things.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:02:57
Here’s another woman from Germany, named Emily, she wrote and she said my dad was taken to the clinic with a suspected stroke. During the conversation with the doctor, his symptoms of hand numbness and hesitant speech disappeared.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:03:09
Just at that moment, I had made an Emotion Code session with him remotely, and released trapped emotions. So she was not with her father, she was somewhere else. Three days later, the suspected stroke was confirmed on the MRI.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:03:24
He’d had several small strokes, some of them a while before, which is probably why they went unnoticed. And that happens. In the days that followed, I released further trapped emotions from him remotely again, at a distance since then his behavior changed noticeably to the positive.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:03:41
He’d been like a loner and withdrawn and now is much more in his inner center, conversing with other people, and is much more relaxed. It sounds kind of like you, my mom says that living with him now is a completely different quality.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:03:56
She’s very happy about it, I was allowed to work on her heart wall, too. So see, her dad had a heart wall and 93% of people have this wall around the heart. I’m very grateful to have found this opportunity to be able to do so much good for others, but also for myself, thank you very much for sharing this ingenious method.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:04:16
So again, you know, we don’t make any guarantees about specific results for anybody. But these are things that people have actually written in about this. And we get, you know, we have a lot of these different stories about all kinds of different things.

Bill Gasiamis 1:04:30
I can relate to them and they make sense. I mean, I interviewed a lady Deb Brandon for episode 178. She was a mathematician professor, you know, she was disconnected from people even though she was a professor and teaching.

Bill Gasiamis 1:04:45
And after her stroke, she became more connected. She found her life changed for the positive. She still has the risk of additional bleeds because she has a cavernous angioma condition that’s sometimes reoccurring.

Bill Gasiamis 1:05:00
And but she’s still says her life is far better than what it was and her emotional maturity has improved. And the way that she connects with people and relates to people has improved and the rest of it, what we’re not saying what we’re definitely not saying is that stroke fixes people, stroke symptoms and deficits such as left side paralysis, or right side paralysis, or spasticity, or eye problems or aphasia.

Bill Gasiamis 1:05:34
We’re not saying any of that, we’re not saying that this stuff brings back things that have been lost because of stroke, because physical damage in the brain can make something go away forever.

Bill Gasiamis 1:05:47
Some of it has only been interfered with, because there’s inflammation in the brain, and then when the inflammation comes off, that will allow some of those deficits to get better or ease or go away.

Bill Gasiamis 1:06:00
But I’ve had an emotional, I’m gonna call it a transformation or awakening, all my deficits are there, all my deficits are invisible, but they’re all there, it’s tightness on the left side, it’s numbness, it’s cold on the left side, it’s issues with my balance, they’re all still there.

Bill Gasiamis 1:06:20
But that doesn’t take away from this emotional change and experience that I’ve had, which has enhanced my life greatly. And I think it was key to my recovery, being able to be described as stroke being the best thing that ever happened to me, because I feel like a completely different version of myself that I never knew existed.

Bill Gasiamis 1:06:44
And this thing that I experienced on my left side, my deficits are not really front and center of my mind, they’re never really the first thing I think of all the time, it’s the first thing I noticed when I get out of bed, because my left leg touches the ground.

Bill Gasiamis 1:07:00
And then I have to be aware that my left leg is on the ground, so that I can get up properly and not fall. But other than that, it’s not something that impacts my life in a negative, I never get upset about or worried about it.

Bill Gasiamis 1:07:14
Or I never compare myself to the old self, well I do but only in the positive way. Like I only see myself as being a better. Well, the old bill was pretty good guy, but cranky and very uneducated, and maybe a little bit ignorant of well, a lot ignorant on a lot of things, and the new bills not.

Bill Gasiamis 1:07:35
So I’ve compared myself to all those amazing things. So I just want to make sure that people understand that. We are not saying that this replaces modern medicine, and it is a miracle cure for deficits of stroke, especially after something catastrophic has happened, we’re not saying that.

Bill Gasiamis 1:07:50
But it does support recovery. So so much. And I can’t emphasize that enough. And when I just found you on Instagram, I thought instantly, I’ve got to have you on here and talk about the work that you do. And then I discovered that you’ve been doing this since at least 2007 when you wrote the book or the emotional code. And I would say that you’d be one of the few people that we’re doing this kind of work that long ago.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:08:23
Yep, it feels like it’s been quite a while now. But it’s been a lot of fun. And it’s been a tremendous labor of love. And you know, we certify people in this method. But you know, this method, The Emotion Code is simple enough that anyone can learn how to do it from the book itself.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:08:45
And, you can have great results with all kinds of things just using The Emotion Code yourself. Now, if you want to have someone work with you, we’ve certified I think, almost 9000 People now in about 80 countries around the world to do this work.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:09:02
And because it’s energy work, it means that you don’t have to travel, you can have someone on the other side of the planet that can work on you and release emotional baggage and take down that wall around your heart and so on.

Discoverhealing.com


Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:09:16
And that can be done. You might find a great practitioner, the website that we use is called discoverhealing.com. And you there’s a map there of our practitioners, you might find that the person that resonates the most with you, maybe they’re on the other side of the world.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:09:33
Maybe they’re in Germany or Singapore or something and yet, the results are the same as if you’re live and in person. And again, you can learn how to do this yourself. So it’s optional, you can have someone work with you and that’s great. Or you can learn how to do this, do it yourself and and I highly recommend that you do learn how to do this yourself.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:09:55
I mean, finding a practitioner is great, but ultimately you’re going to want to know How to do this yourself. Because it’s simple, it’s fast. It’s easy. Kids learn how to do it. We have kids all over the world doing it successfully.

Bill Gasiamis 1:10:11
I’m not in any way affiliated with you. This is the first time we’ve met. I’m not making any money out of anything that we do or discussed, but I did skim through the book. And I noticed that the foreword, so I’m promoting you and the book, but because I think this is important work. That’s what I’m trying to say. And I didn’t notice that the foreword is written by Tony Robbins.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:10:38
Right? Yes, Tony Robbins, it was really interesting, because, he contacted us about probably about five years ago, I think, and just totally out of the blue and wanted to meet us and find out what we were doing with the Emotion Code, he had found out about it.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:10:55
And so they flew my wife and I out to their place in, in Palm Beach in Florida. And we were able to work with them. And we’ve been to their home and a number of different times now.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:11:10
And we’re still, you know, we stay connected with them. And it was interesting, because I was able to share with him how 30 years before his work had changed our life in a really profound way.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:11:24
And so, yeah, he’s a good man, and has done a lot of a lot of good for a lot of people around the world. And that was a great honor for him to write the foreword for the Emotion Code. We’ve also got some great, some great endorsements from a lot of amazing people like Joe Dispenza, and Gregg Braden, and some other people that you’ve probably heard of.

Bill Gasiamis 1:11:49
Yeah, you might have heard of them. I have heard of them, it’s really amazing to discover this, to realize that it was so long ago that you wrote it. I mean, when I say so long ago in the space of my lifetime, that’s that’s quite a chunk away in 2007.

Bill Gasiamis 1:12:08
I was completely unaware of any of the challenges that I have had manifested or that I was that were trapped in my body, the rest of it, I was definitely unaware of a stroke looming. That was going to happen. So in 2012, only five years after you wrote the book, I had the stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 1:12:34
So my search, if it didn’t cover this book, I don’t think I would have been able to read it. I don’t think I would have been ready for it. Because I think there’s other dramatic things had to happen for me to be in that space where I can accept the information like this.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:12:53
Yeah probably right.

Bill Gasiamis 1:12:56
Yeah. But I got there. And I did Tony Robbins work. Back in the early 2000s, I would say, I went to one of his seminars here in Sydney, in Australia. And I did the four days. And that was an interesting thing, because one of the first things that he made us do was do the fire walk.

Bill Gasiamis 1:13:19
And that was a life-changing experience. Because I always reflect back on that time when this you know, wet behind the ears guy traveled to another state to do four days with 5000, complete strangers.

Bill Gasiamis 1:13:37
And the first thing we did was something that you can’t comprehend, which is walk on fire. And the fact that I did it, and the fact that I never got burned, and the fact that all those things was just sensational and amazing.

Bill Gasiamis 1:13:52
But I suppose what I’m trying to do, as we come to the end of this episode is just give people a sense of real dramatic, amazing change is possible and if it’s possible for the negative, it’s possible for the positive and we’re talking about the positive change, and you’re capable of so many things that you didn’t think you were capable of.

Bill Gasiamis 1:14:13
And here’s a classic example of going to Tony Robbins, I shook his hand, his hand was about two size, the size of my hand. And I remember the whole experience as being probably the beginning of this less of this rediscovery of myself and it took between the time that I attended his course.

Bill Gasiamis 1:14:13
And the time that I had the stroke, it was probably about 10 or 15 years had passed. And the lessons that were yet to come I wasn’t aware of like, but I was on that journey. Sometimes I’m saying is that results from doing this work don’t come immediately.

Bill Gasiamis 1:14:56
Sometimes they come down the track when you’re not expecting it. but it’s as a result of all the work you’ve always done. Now, let’s wrap up by asking you, where can people find out about your work? And where would you like them to visit? If they’re curious?

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:15:14
Sure. Well, our, our main website is at discoverhealing.com. And you can read about certification there, you can, you can, of course, get the book in any bookstore, Amazon, it’s available in multiple languages, of course, around the world.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:15:35
And, of course, we have, you know, YouTube channel, and we’re on Facebook, and so on at discoverhealing. And also dr.bradleynelson.com is my personal blog site. But, but a lot of the information there is that discover healing.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:15:52
And so you can go there and right at the top of the page, you can, there’s a place where you can request an emotional, it’s like an emotional toolkit, and you just put in your information, your email address, and then we’ll send you back the first two chapters of the book for free.

Open Your Mind

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:16:13
And so you can start reading the book. And if you’d like the first couple chapters, then of course, you can get the book wherever you want. And, yeah, the book is also available on Amazon, narrated by me and Tony Robbins narrates the foreword for the book.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:16:28
And, yeah, it’s something that you just really need to open your mind to the possibility that what these scientists and physicists have been saying for the last 30 years that the future is all about energy medicine.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:16:46
This is I believe, the simplest, easiest, most cutting edge method of energy medicine that’s available on the planet, who knew that our emotional baggage was actually the single biggest cause of underlying issues in the body.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:17:05
Emotional Baggage can be an underlying weakening factor that I believe can predispose a person to maybe having a stroke. And when and again, if you have a stroke, and you go through all that emotional angst afterward, a lot of that emotional energy may lodge in the area of the stroke again, and may prolong the recovery time.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:17:34
And make things harder, make it harder for you to, you know, to recover completely. And so, anyway, we don’t promote The Emotion Code, or any of the work that we do as a cure for anything.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:17:48
But what we’re finding is that when we look at the body in a completely different way, through a completely different lens, when we look at the body through this lens of quantum physics, and the energy world.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:18:02
When we look at the body for what it really truly is, which is just this very complex energy field, we find that emotional baggage is this huge component of all kinds of things.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:18:13
And when you start removing that emotional baggage, which the Emotion Code makes easy, pretty soon you become a believer, because you see what’s happening, you see pain go away, you see all kinds of things improve and change. And so I would just really urge all of you listening to just be open-minded to the possibility that, you know, maybe this is real, because it is.

Bill Gasiamis 1:18:38
Suspend your disbelief for a little while and allow yourself to experience something different. I’m in the process of writing my book, and I related to your hopelessness, story, but it’s not hopeless for me, it’s just a timing thing for me.

Bill Gasiamis 1:18:55
And you know, Chapter One is about mindset. And chapter two is about emotional intelligence and the heart brain. Then there’s a section in the in chapter two that says, I know, chapter two is emotional intelligence, and the heart brain, I would rather it be chapter one.

Bill Gasiamis 1:19:16
But you’re probably in your head. And it’s probably difficult for me, to move you to your heart at the beginning of this whole conversation, so let me convince you at the head level with chapter one.

Bill Gasiamis 1:19:30
And now let’s talk about what I consider to be the most important part of recovery, which is the emotional part. Because if you deal with that, then everything else, there’s space for everything else to be dealt with, like the physical side of it.

Bill Gasiamis 1:19:46
And all of the things that you have to readjust to in life and all the things that you have to learn about yourself and all the problems that you’re going to face. There is more than more than one way to have a stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 1:19:57
There’s so many ways to have a stroke and I’m speaking about a hemorrhagic stroke, which was as a result of a bleed, but it is 100% known that strokes that are caused by ischemic strokes and strokes that are caused by blood clots, etc.

Bill Gasiamis 1:20:16
And even strokes that are hemorrhagic, it’s known that we can negatively interfere in our vessel health and cause hemorrhages by high blood pressure and not managing that by high blood sugar by all these things.

Bill Gasiamis 1:20:31
So I concur. 100% Thank you so much for being on the podcast, I’m going to have show notes to everybody for all of your socials and links so that everybody can go there. And fantastic, great, that have met you lovely that you’re doing the work that you’re doing.

Bill Gasiamis 1:20:52
And you’ve been doing it for so long, it’s such a relief, knowing that somebody has been doing this for quite a long time. And now, I think what’s going to happen is, the fact that we have access to all of these different ways to find people like you, is going to make it a lot easier for a lot of other people who are going through some serious health condition to get information quickly.

Bill Gasiamis 1:21:16
Whereas I struggled to find information. You know, 2012 was still quite some time that the internet was up and kicking and well. But it was really hard to find the people that I needed to find to help support my recovery. And that’s why I started this, to think about it differently and find a different way to go about it. So thank you for being here. And thanks for the work that you do.

Dr. Bradley Nelson 1:21:41
Well, ditto, thank you for the work that you’re doing and giving so many people that have had strokes, hope and more information about what they can do and what kind of alternatives might be out there. I really appreciate the opportunity to be on your show. And it’s been great to be able to speak with all of your viewers and listeners and hopefully we’ll be able to do it again sometime.

Bill Gasiamis 1:22:04
Thanks again for joining us on today’s episode. I hope you enjoyed the conversation and got something from it that you can use in your own life. Please comment, like and share the episode.

Bill Gasiamis 1:22:15
If you’re watching on YouTube, give the show a thumbs up. Subscribe to the podcast and to the show on YouTube. Click the Notifications tab to be notified of new episodes as they become live.

Bill Gasiamis 1:22:31
And to help the podcast rank better. Leave a comment. Let me know what you thought about the episode. If you’re watching on YouTube, I love people leaving comments. I love responding. It really makes a huge difference to how the episode is broadcast out to other stroke survivors who are looking for this type of content.

Bill Gasiamis 1:22:51
And hopefully, it’ll make a difference in their recovery and improve the way that they are going about healing from stroke. Thanks again for listening. I look forward to having a conversation with my next guest and bringing that to you for the next episode.

Intro 1:23:06
Importantly, we present many podcasts designed to give you an insight and understanding into the experiences of other individuals opinions and treatment protocols discussed during any podcast are the individual’s own experience and we do not necessarily share the same opinion nor do we recommend any treatment protocol discussed.

Intro 1:23:24
All content on this website at any linked blog, podcast or video material controlled this website or content is created and produced for informational purposes only and is largely based on the personal experience of Bill Gasiamis, the content is intended to complement your medical treatment and support healing.

Intro 1:23:40
It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health advice. The information is general and may not be suitable for your personal injuries, circumstances or health objectives.

Intro 1:23:52
Do not use our content as a standalone resource to diagnose treat, cure or prevent any disease for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for the advice of a health professional.

Intro 1:24:01
Never delay seeking advice or disregard the advice of a medical professional your doctor or your rehabilitation program based on our content if you have any questions or concerns about your health or medical condition, please seek guidance from a doctor or other medical professional.

Intro 1:24:15
If you are experiencing a health emergency or think you might be, call 000 if in Australia or your local emergency number immediately for emergency assistance or go to the nearest hospital emergency department medical information changes constantly. While we aim to provide current quality information in our content.

Intro 1:24:31
We do not provide any guarantees and assume no legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, currency or completeness of the content. If you choose to rely on any information within our content, you do so solely at your own risk. We are careful with links we provide however third-party links from our website are followed at your own risk and we are not responsible for any information you find there.

The post Emotional Recovery After Stroke – Dr. Bradley Nelson appeared first on Recovery After Stroke.

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Dr. Bradley Nelson is the author of the book emotion code and share some useful insights about how emotional baggage interferes with stroke recovery. Dr. Bradley Nelson is the author of the book emotion code and share some useful insights about how emotional baggage interferes with stroke recovery. Recovery After Stroke 1:24:53
Neck Cracking And Stroke – Mac & Colleen Brand https://recoveryafterstroke.com/neck-cracking-and-stroke-mac-colleen-brand/ Mon, 18 Apr 2022 13:35:45 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8787 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/neck-cracking-and-stroke-mac-colleen-brand/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/neck-cracking-and-stroke-mac-colleen-brand/feed/ 0 <p>A stroke from cracking his neck to relieve tension was the last thing Mac expected. At 24 years old and a trained EMT he knew immediately that he was experiencing a stroke.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/neck-cracking-and-stroke-mac-colleen-brand/">Neck Cracking And Stroke – Mac & Colleen Brand</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> A stroke from cracking his neck to relieve the tension was the last thing Mac expected. At 24 years old and a trained EMT he knew immediately that he was experiencing a stroke.

Instagrams:
Mac
Colleen

Highlights:

01:57 Introduction
02:57 Neck Cracking And Stroke
09:11 Misdiagnosis
17:15 Initial Rehabilitation
21:35 Parent Concerns
25:21 Realizing The Effects of Stroke
33:01 Losing The Ability
42:29 Seven Stages of Grief
54:16 What Caregivers Have To Deal With
1:01:14 Kintsugi
1:09:59 The Intubated State

Transcription:

Bill Gasiamis 0:00
Hey, Mack, you know, mom just said that you didn’t know that you couldn’t walk? When you found out what was that, like?

Mac Brand 0:08
That was such a harsh learning experience because it wasn’t so much that I didn’t really think about, like, I couldn’t walk, it was more like I remember how easy it was to kind of even move or do stuff.

Mac Brand 0:21
But then I’d be like, a lot of confusion as to essentially why things were so difficult. It was all learning. And just, I mean, like, I was in a fairly delusional state too where it was just like I kind of was expecting that I would just kind of get to leave the hospital too.

Mac Brand 0:39
Like, once I got the tube out and everything, I remember being ecstatic about that, because I could finally talk I didn’t realize how much I wanted to talk after like a week or two. And everything I was saying was delusional and didn’t make sense when I was just excited about it.

Colleen Brand 0:57
This is the recovery after stroke podcast. With Bill Gasiamis, helping you navigate recovery after stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 1:11
Hello, and welcome to another episode of the recovery after stroke podcast. Recently, Spotify released a new feature which allows you to narrate your favorite show, in the same way that the apple podcast app allows it.

Bill Gasiamis 1:26
If you think the show deserves it, I’d love it. If you left us a five-star review. This will help the show rank better on search engines and help newly diagnosed stroke survivors find the show better.

Bill Gasiamis 1:37
And it could make a massive difference in their recovery. So go to your favorite podcast app, whether it’s Spotify, Apple, whatever it is, and share what the podcast means for you. It really will make a huge difference to how people find the podcast and how they have a better stroke recovery.

Introduction


Bill Gasiamis 1:57
Now, this is episode 190. And my guests today are Mac and Colleen brand who I reached out to after seeing a photo that Colleen posted of the scar on the back of Mac’s head, which she upgraded in the tradition of the ancient Japanese art of Kintsugi by painting a gold to enhance it and embrace its imperfections by highlighting it.

Bill Gasiamis 2:24
Now Mac was an EMT age just 24 when he had an ischemic stroke that he caused by cracking his neck to relieve tension. Colleen and Mac brand. Welcome to the podcast.

Colleen Brand 2:37
Thank you.

Bill Gasiamis 2:40
Guys, thanks for reaching out and connecting. I have done a little bit of pre-reading of Mac stuff. And I’ve seen the video the unfixed media video, tell me Mac a little bit about what happened to you.

Neck Cracking And Stroke

Neck Cracking And Stroke
Mac Brand 2:57
So, I think it was it was a long time ago. Well, not that long ago, it was 2018. I remember I got back from really, I think I got back just from vacation. And I was sitting at home one day and I cracked my neck which I guess which ended up causing me to have a stroke or something.

Mac Brand 3:27
I mean, not something. It caused me to have a stroke. So then I walked to the hospital and I woke up like, you know, a week or two later and suffering the effects of the stroke, which was a cerebral brainstem stroke.

Mac Brand 3:50
I when I first woke up, I had, you know, partial paralysis on my left side. Now it’s more just kind of incoordination and stuff like that. Yeah, so that’s the like real summary version of it.

Mac Brand 4:07
Which was just from manipulating my neck, I was able to, I guess shed the inner lining of some sort of veins in your vertebrae, and I’m not sure shoot it up to my brain. It was a kind of experience.

Bill Gasiamis 4:29
I’m curious. You seem not to be completely aware of what happened is that because of a memory issue, or you haven’t really been told or haven’t paid attention?

Mac Brand 4:39
So I know it’s mostly a memory issue right now just because I’ve been told over and over again, honestly, what it is but what happened but it’s a it is more of a memory issue. It’s kind of one of those Yeah, that’s one of the things

Bill Gasiamis 5:03
Colleen, give us your version of that story.

Colleen Brand 5:06
Yeah, it’s interesting listening to Mac because I don’t know whether his memory comes in ebbs and flows. But anyway, he had just come back from being in San Francisco visiting us where we live in San Francisco, he had just gotten back and to Colorado.

Colleen Brand 5:33
And he had cracked his neck like he does, he does that left-right motion and cracks his neck when he has a headache and relieve some pressure. And that caused a blood clot, that action caused a blood clot, which caused him to have the stroke symptoms.

Colleen Brand 5:56
And I wouldn’t have recognized that but because Mac had EMT training. He, knew stroke symptoms. So he identified it himself really quickly. And he knew that it was going he had about 15 minutes before he’s going to collapse.

Colleen Brand 6:19
But he didn’t call 911. I think his logic was already going because he was so dizzy. He went, Okay, I’m a couple blocks from the small community hospital, I’m gonna walk there.

Colleen Brand 6:33
And he was starting to walk there. And that’s when he collapsed. But he knew enough he was able to do 911 before he hit the pavement, and then that’s where he was found. And then that’s where we went through the sequence of Boy, I wish I knew then what I know now about strokes. Because boy, would we have handled it differently.

Bill Gasiamis 7:08
That’s a very common story. everybody’s the same on the same. How do you suppose to know about strokes? If you’re not familiar with somebody who’s had a stroke, and you’re really aware of what happened and how it went down?

Bill Gasiamis 7:22
I mean, you just won’t know. How are you going to know about anything broken toes, damaged knees, you’re not going to know unless it happens to you. And that’s the scary thing. But was Mac alone at the time?

Colleen Brand 7:40
Mac was by himself.

Mac Brand 7:41
I was alone. And so I remember the term it was I had a vertebral artery dissection. That’s just what happened to me, which is kind of like a walking urban legend thing to where it’s like you cracked your neck and you get that?

Mac Brand 7:59
Yeah, I was alone. At the time. I didn’t really recognize that was a stroke until I started feeling paralysis actually, when I was walking there to the hospital it was only about three or four blocks away.

Mac Brand 8:10
And then when the ambulance came, they started running stroke protocols on me and I was like, that’s not right. I’m 24 and I’m just dizzy. You know, it was one of those things where it just kind of kept getting, it started out as just being dizzy.

Mac Brand 8:27
It felt like I described it as like, you know, when you get too drunk and you’re just kind of like spinning so I thought originally I had food poisoning because it’s like, what do you mean I’m having a stroke?

Mac Brand 8:42
But, you know, I eventually learned, waking up I was I had gone to the hospital when I had appendicitis I literally walked in there like pop my appendix out so I kind of figured do the same deal, I woke up a couple of weeks later and was not the same deal at all you know?

Bill Gasiamis 9:02
Yeah. And in those two weeks Colleen what’s the family doing because Max was out of it. What are you guys trying to do?

Colleen Brand 9:11
So the smaller hospital really botched things up. They actually did not treat him for any stroke protocol. So that was a huge delay. These are the delays that it’s so great to get people that everyone should have better stroke information so that they’re empowered understand how critical time.

Misdiagnosis of Mac Brand

Colleen Brand 9:11
Again we don’t know this walk until we walk it right? And so you don’t realize how critical that first 72 ours is. And so they actually dismiss Mac, because he had smoked some weed before he had cracked his neck.

Colleen Brand 10:13
And so they dismissed him as just being a young stoned man. And so when he was walking out of the hospital, he collapsed in the hospital. And that’s when they brought him back. But they still didn’t follow any stroke protocol.

Colleen Brand 10:32
And he’s by himself with no one to advocate for him at that time, there was a tremendous amount of time lost, then they finally got him to the next level Hospital, which didn’t have any type of a stroke department or neurology department that they brought in a neurologist who was a very unqualified individual.

Colleen Brand 11:06
And but he really wanted to hang on to Mack, he didn’t want to take him over to the better hospital at Ann Schultz, which had a proper neurology department, which is what Mac was needing. And he really wanted, I’m assuming that was for the revenue.

Colleen Brand 11:23
He really wanted to, because it wasn’t because of his abilities. So he actually drilled into Max had to try to relieve some pressure. And it was not even in the right spot we found out later. So it was for naught. And so we wasted another night there.

Colleen Brand 11:44
And quite honestly, we, at that point, we started to educate ourselves and make phone calls. And we found out about Ann Schultz. And they wouldn’t release him. And so we had to work on it ourselves to demand that he gets released.

Colleen Brand 12:02
And Mac went unconscious very, very quickly. And but fortunately, at the very same time, the the helicopter team was landing at the hospital. And honestly, these people were right out of a movie.

Colleen Brand 12:20
They’re such heroes in their work. They dismissed that hospital team. Mac was already intubated and passed out at an unconscious at that point. And I watched them literally unplug and redo everything, dismissed those people.

Colleen Brand 12:38
And they took him over and got him airlifted to Ann Schultz, which they told us immediately to drive there. And, you know, we signed the paperwork. And as soon as he landed, they had him going into surgery. And they saved his life.

Bill Gasiamis 12:56
So they drilled into his head to relieve pressure.

Colleen Brand 13:02
Yeah.

Bill Gasiamis 13:02
Was there a bleed in the brain?

Colleen Brand 13:05
Yeah, we had a brain bleed that wouldn’t stop.

Bill Gasiamis 13:09
Okay, so he had a brain bleed and a clot?

Colleen Brand 13:14
Yeah.

Mac Brand 13:14
Yeah, it wasn’t necessarily a clot. I think I remember them describing that as the inner lining of my artery that essentially was shed when I cracked my neck. And it kind of shed itself so it wasn’t like I had a clot that got dislodged it was actually a part of the artery an interior lining or something.

Bill Gasiamis 13:42
But at the same time, there was a bleed Mac? Was there some blood bleeding into the brain?

Mac Brand 13:48
Yeah, I believe so. I mean, yeah, at that point, also, like, I remember, I was either unconscious or my brain was swollen. I wasn’t really aware of anything until probably even like a month after, you know.

Colleen Brand 14:02
No, he wasn’t I don’t even think that he came out of being in this induced coma state for several weeks. And when he first did like I drew him this picture. I don’t know if you can see it.

Colleen Brand 14:27
But basically it was trying to get him to understand do not freak out because you’re intubated. And so we wanted, because I kept thinking about, Oh, my God that has got to be so fearful when you start to become alert from that coma state, and you’re intubated.

Colleen Brand 14:55
I can’t even imagine what the panic one would feel. So we were really, really surrounding him and trying to figure out the best way so that we can stay calm when he came to that you are, you’re intubate you can’t speak.

Colleen Brand 15:17
You’re not going to breathe on your own. I don’t know what a person is going through when they transition from that point to the other. But that was a huge concern for us. Of how do we keep him from being panicked?

Bill Gasiamis 15:36
Mac, do you recall what that was like when you woke up in that state?

Mac Brand 15:43
So it’s, yeah, I do actually. Well, like, it’s really interesting, because I didn’t know I was going to wake up in that state. It’s kind of like blinking. And then, you know, one second here, there.

Mac Brand 15:55
And also, at the time, you have to remember my left side I had center paralysis, and my left side was paralyzed. But my right side was actually just as strong as it was before. So they had to kind of restrain it, when I was getting up to make sure I couldn’t move around.

Mac Brand 16:14
And my brain was still swollen, and when you’re intubated you’re on a lot of like fentanyl and stuff, so I spent, like the first probably week or two fairly delirious under those circumstances.

Mac Brand 16:28
And honestly, I kind of remember it, almost humorously, because they’re some of the things they had to put like a pizza, like an oven mitt on my hand to make sure I couldn’t grab stuff with my good hand.

Mac Brand 16:40
And because I was essentially like, you know, a toddler almost. You don’t want to grab on the tubing or anything like that. So I had this pizza mitt. And I remember thinking, like, Oh, God, I’m in a Pizza Hut, like, you know, like, just not being able to connect the dots even to what is happening. It’s just, I mean, yeah, I honestly, I look back at it almost humorously, but it was pretty traumatizing for everyone.

Mac Brand’s Initial Rehabilitation

Bill Gasiamis 17:16
Absolutely, I can imagine, man. So when you finally got out of the hospital, I imagine you went to rehabilitation, what did you have to rehabilitate.

Mac Brand 17:27
So, I spent one month in inpatient rehab. And then essentially, like, kind of have to test out to make sure you can shower on your own you can do and cook on your own, you’re not going to be a danger.

Mac Brand 17:40
So I did that. A lot of my rehabilitation was essentially strength training. Because the left side of my body fatigues twice as fast as the right side. So a lot of times, it’s just things like, it’s a lot of just walking and, you know, getting that muscle memory to kind of work and retrigger and rewiring that neuroplasticity around those damaged parts of your brain.

Mac Brand 18:10
So it’s like, you know, you lose parts. But the nice thing about having a stroke when you’re 24 Is that your brain will kind of remap itself around that damaged parts. So it’s like, yeah, I might not be able to open a key with my left hand anymore, or whatever.

Mac Brand 18:26
Or hold a spoon with it. But it’s like, I couldn’t really do that with my left hand either way, things like typing. Like, it’s just one of those things where it’s like, yeah, fine motor skills and muscle memory are super important for getting that stuff back and just kind of triggering that neuroplasticity to help rewire your brain around what’s been damaged.

Bill Gasiamis 18:44
And you had to learn how to walk again?

Mac Brand 18:46
Oh, yeah, I spent a long time learning how to walk. I was, you know, I still have my cane with me for when I get tired. I have a lot of neurological fatigue associated with it. So it’s like, I look really good for probably about 30 minutes, and then I get real limpy or I need my cane.

Mac Brand 19:07
So I still get a lot of neurological fatigue. And it’s like, oh, there’s the stroke, you know. So it’s one of those things where it doesn’t really get away for me, while I can kind of like compound the time where I’m, you know, where I’m strong and kind of, you know, mobile and doing my stuff. It’s always kind of one of those things where it’s like you kind of hit a wall at a certain point in the day and it’s like, okay, now I’m, you know, kind of back at it.

Bill Gasiamis 19:35
Yeah, we went and saw Batman with my wife last night. And we got the eight o’clock session, not realizing that it’s a three-hour movie. So sitting down in the chair watching that was pretty cool movie but then you get tired and then by 11, 11:30 we had to walk back to the car quite a distance and the left side is numb the knee is not supported 100%.

Bill Gasiamis 20:07
The hamstring is feeling a little bit weird. And the quadricep is feeling a little bit weird. And it’s like, okay, I’m really tired. Now I can tell that I’m tired, and I need to go to bed and sleep immediately.

Bill Gasiamis 20:20
So I get what you’re saying it does take some time to get beyond the neurological fatigue, where you feel like, I know I’m tired. But I can still sit through the movie, for example. But there was a time where I couldn’t, I would never take an eight o’clock session to go watch a movie. Because I wouldn’t be able to get through it. And then I would feel terrible the next day.

Mac Brand 20:49
Yeah, I’m kind of like, right in that space. I feel like I’ve been doing really well with a lot of my mobility exercises, I feel like have been really helpful with just kind of making me not feel like I’m, you know, almost lopsided, or whatever, you know, with my strength. But yeah, sitting through, I noticed my fatigue hits really hard, where I just even paying attention or focus on like, a movie for three hours. Sounds like a task.

Bill Gasiamis 21:22
Yeah, yeah. It used to be for me as well does gets better. But I think you’re still in the early days of recovery. You might sound like you’ve been doing it for a while. But stroke recovery takes a long time. And so you’re still in the early days.

Parent Concerns

Bill Gasiamis 21:35
Colleen, what’s it like sitting on the other side, watching your son in hospital, being really unwell, and then not being able to use his left side?

Colleen Brand 21:49
In all honesty, because we came so close to losing him. I was so grateful for him being with us. And then that roller coaster of you know, will his brain start bleeding again, because that kept happening.

Colleen Brand 22:17
And there were so many times I’ve never prayed so hard in my life. And just every little thing you’re like, just get us there. We didn’t know when they could finally take out the tube. We didn’t know if his chest would collapse. We didn’t know if he was going to be able to breathe on his own.

Colleen Brand 22:46
We didn’t know if he was going to be able to swallow. And we didn’t know if he would be able to walk again. You’re there’s so many things you don’t know you really do take every moment of that that you get to go forward, it feels like a miracle.

Colleen Brand 23:08
And you’re so grateful. I felt that we had incredible doctors, we had incredible care at Ann Shultz. And we are so thankful that Mac got those breaks to be able to swallow and did not have to go through a tracheotomy.

Colleen Brand 23:32
When they finally were able to have him start to even sit up. He didn’t know he couldn’t walk. There was a lot of things that he didn’t know. And it was probably better he didn’t know because it’s just so much you’re going through.

Colleen Brand 23:59
But yeah, to not lose him, that he would just have the opportunity to get better, was all the miracle I could ask. And then everything else that we got afterwards was just an absolute gift.

Intro 24:19
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.

Intro 24:36
Doctors will explain things that 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.

Intro 24:51
Stop worrying and head to recoveryafterstroke.com where you can download a guide that will help you it’s called 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.

Intro 25:07
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.

Mac Brand Realizing The Effects of Stroke

Neck Cracking And Stroke
Bill Gasiamis 25:21
Hey, Mac you know, mom just said, that you didn’t know that you couldn’t walk? When you found out what was that like?

Mac Brand 25:31
That was pretty. I mean, like, it was all such a harsh learning experience, because it wasn’t so much that I didn’t really think about, like, I couldn’t walk, it was more like, I remembered how easy it was to kind of even move or do stuff.

Mac Brand 25:50
But then I’d be like just a lot of confusion as to essentially why things were so difficult. But yeah, I remember just like, it was all learning. And I mean, like, I was in a fairly delusional state to where it was just like, I kind of was expecting that I would just kind of get to leave the hospital.

Mac Brand 25:55
Once I got the tube out and everything I remember being ecstatic about that, because I could finally talk, I didn’t realize how much I wanted to talk after, like a week or two. And everything I was saying was delusional and didn’t make sense when I was just excited about it.

Mac Brand 26:38
But I was fully expecting to go home and be like, okay, you know, but then I spent another month in inpatient rehab and stuff like that. And it was a slow, painful process to kind of reassess and be like, okay.

Mac Brand 26:53
But it was definitely helpful with me coming to like reality. Just like about what had happened. Because there was a long time where I honestly couldn’t even comprehend it.

Bill Gasiamis 27:11
Yeah, yeah. You probably had a couple of reasons why couldn’t comprehend the first you were on medication. Second, you’ve had a stroke. So it’s difficult sometimes to comprehend things.

Bill Gasiamis 27:23
And, I remember trying to walk the first time after I had the brain surgery, and I got out of the bed on the left side, and there was a nurse who was going to help me go to the, to the toilet.

Bill Gasiamis 27:41
And she said, you know, just step out, place your arm around my shoulder, and I’ll support you, she was half my size, and a bit shorter than me. So I’ve got out, I’ve placed my left leg on the ground. And because my left I couldn’t feel my left leg, it just collapsed.

Bill Gasiamis 27:58
So I’m out of brain surgery. Fresh scar on my head, literally just a few hours out of brain surgery. And then I went on my ass on the ground screaming because I fell out of the bed and the nurse wasn’t able to support my weight.

Bill Gasiamis 28:14
That’s when I found out I couldn’t walk. And then it was ok getting back into bed and book him into rehabilitation because they hadn’t assessed me yet. They just assumed that I came out, okay, because I moved my toes and moved my fingers and it was pretty rough.

Bill Gasiamis 28:32
So I know the feeling. I totally get it. You know mom, he looks pretty cool. He looks okay, he looks pretty normal. Everything’s okay. Is it sometimes difficult to connect the dots that he looks great. But he’s not the same inside like his ability to do the things that he normally did is not there. It’s not the same as it was. Is it hard to connect those dots sometimes do you look at him and go but you look great?

Colleen Brand 29:12
I don’t because I stayed with him in the hospital on that journey. So being able to experience it along with him. I knew we protected a lot of information from him. And mom’s know, you know, we know so I know all the differences of Mac before and after.

Colleen Brand 29:54
I do like even with his walking now. He has to walk at one pace. And I’m learning things all the time. We were out taking a walk the other day. And he was like, that’s when I found out that, oh, you can only walk at one pace.

Colleen Brand 30:13
He told me he can’t go slower, he can’t go faster. Because that’s the rhythm that he has taught himself to move. And so Okay, no problem. Now, I know this piece of information. And so I adjust my behavior accordingly. It’s a lot of eyes and ears, and less mouth.

Bill Gasiamis 30:40
Really learning how to interact with him. That’s awesome. I mean, I remember going for a walk with my son in one of the local malls. And he’s just taken off and he’s left me behind.

Bill Gasiamis 30:51
And he’s not paying attention to me behind. And I said you gotta come back, and he was like, ah, what happened? I can’t walk that fast anymore. I’m gonna walk slower. But we worked it out. I did get faster with time. Mac, what were you doing as a 24-year-old? What was your daily life like, where you at work?

Mac Brand 31:14
I was in my undergraduate, I was working two jobs. You know, I was in a full-time, you know, relationship so I was out in Colorado working on my undergraduate in criminal justice, criminal forensics, and working at a plasma donation center with my day job.

Mac Brand 31:40
And then I also did like, P.I work on the side, like kind of as a resume builder, too, which was an interesting gig. So I was working, I was doing a lot, honestly. And then I was probably about like, I would say, a junior year, like kind of in my undergrad.

Mac Brand 31:40
So it was about one or two years away. Took me another two years to finish it after the stroke, because I had the stroke actually, during my finals too. I failed my finals, I had like, B’s or something in those classes.

Mac Brand 32:08
But because I failed my finals, I had to redo my finals in the hospital. And I was like, I can barely read. So I just kept retaking those classes and just kept retrying. So it kind of spread it out a little bit.

Mac Brand 32:39
But I got the undergraduate done, at least I’m working on my Master’s right now, which is really cool. But yeah, it was definitely a big, huge bump in the road. I am stoked, though, that. I mean, if you’re gonna have a stroke, it might as well be at 24 when you’re still on your parents health insurance, you know, so that’s not the worst thing.

Mac Brand Losing His Abilities


Colleen Brand 33:01
I was a miracle. Yeah it was a miracle that we checked that box, it truly was. But MAC’s, a big dude. He’s about six, three. He’s always been naturally strong without ever lifting a weight. It’s just how he was drawn.

Colleen Brand 33:35
And so he’s always relied on that physical strength for a lot of work and jobs. And just one of those things, it’s like, it’s what you can do. And that’s gone. And so, that’s another adjustment.

Colleen Brand 33:56
It’s fine, you know, you adjust, but it’s just it’s another adjustment. And it’s another frustration for him. You know, when you’re used to having a certain physical ability. And now that one’s off the table too.

Colleen Brand 34:12
And as you know, it takes a great deal of effort of daily discipline, it’s a lot of discipline to maintain. What the corrections and the games you’ve been able to have, you have to work hard to maintain that.

Bill Gasiamis 34:34
Yeah, yep. It’s a different kind of work and because yeah, MAC one side is going yeah, well, let’s keep doing this. And the other side’s going no, I’ve had enough. And it’s a real mental battle because you actually physically have had enough you actually totally drained on one side.

Bill Gasiamis 34:55
But the other side’s quite fine and you got to find the balance right? You can to work out how to continue or why you should not continue, and for me, it was not continue. It’s like stop and rest because you are really tired even though your right side is okay and wants to keep going. That’s not the right thing to do right now the left side is really tired, that means the brain is fatigued. Mac do you relate?

Mac Brand 35:25
Yeah definitely, like essentially, almost exactly like, you know, because if I push my fatigue side or any of my fatigue, it’s going to fatigue my brain, which literally just drags everything out and makes it so much harder to recover when I get that, you know, neurological brain fatigue.

Mac Brand 35:44
So it’s like, you really do have to rest and listen to that side. It’s a real weird dichotomy, especially because it’s like, my left side is my non-primary side. So you know, because I’m right handed. So it’s weird to listen to the side, I almost never really cared about.

Colleen Brand 36:04
Yeah. And Mac was also, you know, far more social. And that also changes after a stroke, which is very difficult, in my opinion, for a very young person, to have these extreme social limitations.

Colleen Brand 36:25
At a time in life when you actually are at such a desire to be, you know, out and about and where things are happening. And that’s no longer tolerable or enjoyable.

Mac Brand 36:44
Once I kind of was ready to get out and about COVID hit and that was a prime too it was like, literally once I was like, you know, done with my outpatient rehab and was kind of seeing people again, it was like, okay, and now we got the mystery disease. Okay, cool it’s a weird one.

Bill Gasiamis 37:06
I remember feeling the same. When COVID hit for me, it was like eight years after the first time I ended up in hospital, it was 8 years. So it still felt like I was in the same kind of fog, as I was back then it used to go, Well, you couldn’t go anywhere, you couldn’t see anybody.

Bill Gasiamis 37:29
You couldn’t go and eat out, you couldn’t do anything. It felt exactly like it did when I had the stroke, and was isolated for quite some time and couldn’t get out and about and I needed to go through this thing to recover, etc.

Bill Gasiamis 37:44
But then I got annoyed being out and about because the overwhelm from noises from all the things that were happening from sometimes even the the sun and looking at, like there was a lot of overwhelm of my brain. Is that what you also experienced? Did you have that kind of neurological overwhelm? And you couldn’t cope?

Mac Brand 38:08
Yeah, I definitely, especially like, before I learned, you know, skills, and learn more about myself, like with my memory and ways to help with just like, essentially, like scheduling and keeping track of things like, I felt overwhelmed.

Mac Brand 38:30
All that like, almost all the time, like, you know, I go outside and then I go be overwhelmed. And just by I remember, the snow was a big deal, because I lived in Colorado at the time, too, because I wanted to be close to answering the doctors who perform the surgeries on me.

Mac Brand 38:47
But yeah, I remember being like, you know, the snow is so bright and everywhere you look is so bright, and it would be just hard to just sit there and kind of like, look at my own feet and just like be afraid of ice and lurching around is all one of those things that was very overwhelming.

Colleen Brand 39:03
Mack wanted to go on what I was calling a memory towards thinking that that was going to be this miracle. As soon as she saw these places from his past, things would click or people.

Colleen Brand 39:20
And so we went to Michigan where he had spent a lot of time as a child. We had a summer place up there. And we went up there and it was very disappointing for him because memories were not coming back.

Colleen Brand 39:39
And then the same thing in San Francisco, where we had moved when he was 12. He lost his dad passed from a heart attack when he was 12. And so we moved from DC to San Francisco just for a change and so he was hoping that go into these places would spark instantly a memory.

Colleen Brand 40:03
And they didn’t and that was something that it took the wind out of his sails a little bit. And it may with other stroke victims as well, where you’re thinking, Oh, when I see these things that were in my past, it will click.

Colleen Brand 40:22
And then it doesn’t. And that to me is like another. There’s a lot of things I feel people that have had experienced strokes have to say goodbye to. And I think that’s something that needs to be understood and felt on their journey.

Bill Gasiamis 40:48
Yeah, there’s a lot of loss. There’s a lot of grieving. And people struggle with it, because it’s happening at the same time as their recovery. And the recovery is really difficult and really hard. And they are physically exhausted and they’re emotionally exhausted.

Bill Gasiamis 41:06
And then they’re grieving this loss of their previous life, or their previous limbs or whatever it is that they’ve lost, and they’re trying to get it back. And it’s really hard. Did you relate to that Mac? Is grief, something that you experienced?

Mac Brand 41:23
Oh, yeah, absolutely. I, because I thought it was kind of going to be easy, honestly, like, you know, like, things would kind of click, and I had the story of my life down. But it was one of those things where it was like, I didn’t really have the memories in my head, but it was like, okay, like, this is, this is who I was.

Mac Brand 41:46
So I really did have, and you know, I can get back to this. So it was one of those things where it was like, things are going to be different now forever. So when I kind of had to do that I did go through, I approach that as a typical grieving process.

Mac Brand 42:00
And so when you lose someone, so I essentially pretend to be, you know, this guy that I knew, and, you know, basically, love that I wanted to be is no longer here. So you kind of have to bury it and be like, Okay, this is new. Now. I’m new, this is fine. So there was a big, coming to terms and it felt like a literal grieving process for bypass.

Seven Stages of Grief

Bill Gasiamis 42:29
Yes the seven stages of grief, are shock and denial. Pain and guilt, anger and bargaining. If I just get this back, you know, it’ll be okay. Depression, any of that stuff? Did you get?

Mac Brand 42:50
I definitely went through all like, you know, the whole rounds of it. For sure. Definitely. I know, I experienced generalized depression, especially like one year, and general a lot of generalized anxiety to just kind of being that it was new, but yeah, a lot of depression.

Mac Brand 43:11
With it being, you know, essentially, saying goodbye to that person. And the fact that it wasn’t going to be easy, you know, that was a hard thing was things are kind of, you know, when I had my, all my other surgeries, you know, easy, whatever, you know, this was one of the things where I was like, this is never going to be easy, like, you know, ever.

Bill Gasiamis 43:37
But what does it taught you about yourself?

Mac Brand 43:39
Oh, I mean, it taught me everything. It taught me, you know, essentially, it gave me a really fundamental understanding of life with just that we assign meaning, we create meaning in our life, my ultimate understanding is that life is essentially meaningless.

Mac Brand 44:05
Unless if you create it, unless, where you create it, you know, and I just want to kind of, I kind of looked at as just, the only thing I can do is just try to make things better, if not for me than other people, just wherever I can.

Mac Brand 44:22
You know, I wanted to just perceive the world as what I can put into it, and not what I want to put into it, but literally just measuring physical positive impacts that I can do to just make things better, I guess.

Bill Gasiamis 44:39
In the stages of grief, right? That’s called the upward turn what you just described. Is stage five, right. So you’re heading up. And then the next stage is reconstruction and working through.

Bill Gasiamis 44:52
And then the next stage is acceptance and hope. I mean, you can see you’ve gone through all of that and you’re at that upward turn and now you’re looking out for ways to support other people, you’re reconstructing everything your life, you’ve got back to studies.

Bill Gasiamis 45:07
And now there’s acceptance of that. And also, you’ve got hope for the future. And you’re looking forward as to how your life’s gonna turn out. Mom has done a pretty good job with you, after losing your dad at the age of 12. Would you agree? Has she been a pretty good mom?

Mac Brand 45:26
Oh, yeah, absolutely. I mean, like, me, my brother, and my mom has been, you know, the real real unit for such a long time after the loss of our dad, it was one of those things where it was like, you know, you’re either going to learn from it and get through it, or it’s going to destroy you.

Mac Brand 45:45
And hopefully, eventually, you learnt from it. But at the end of the day, my mom has been someone who has been the most support, like, in my life that I’ve known, you know, it’s like, it’s one of those things where it’s like, I don’t think I could have gotten to where I am without that support.

Mac Brand 46:02
And honestly, like, you know, it’s like, there’s obviously very, there was very frustrating times for me, and it’s all very much a learning experience. And I’m sure it was frustrating for her too. But at the end of the day, that basis and understanding of unconditional love that there is no condition that is going to remove that support, or that basis for support is important.

Mac Brand 46:02
Colleen it sounds like you actually laid a really amazing foundation from that time when you lost your husband. It sounds like you laid a really amazing foundation and example of how to get through really difficult and tough times. How hard was it to raise two kids on your own when, when your husband passed away?

Colleen Brand 46:51
Oh, you mess up a lot. It’s very, very difficult. I never planned on being a single parent. I think most people don’t go looking to be a single parent, but boy, it gave me a lot of empathy. You can’t do it all, and you often end up doing your job and then parenting, you end up doing both not well.

Colleen Brand 47:27
And you’re just as honest as possible. Sadly, with kids that probably you’d like to not have to be that honest with them at those young ages. But basically, you have to be that honest with them to survive, because we all have to push through it.

Colleen Brand 47:53
So you’ve got to really put everything out on the table of like, you know and fortunately I had raised I have two stepsons. So I already knew what was coming down the path with teenagers. So I took that experience and it was like all that stuff that your older brothers did. You can’t do that.

Mac Brand 48:22
Yeah, especially because she’s gonna be alone.

Colleen Brand 48:25
No one’s allowed to burn down the house. We have one house if it goes we’re toast people understand. So there was a lot of that was what I mean by reality. I was like, Y’all have to learn to clip coupons and get to the grocery store. Do your laundry like they really stepped up guess what y’all just had to grow up a little fast.

Colleen Brand 48:50
So let’s go because they stepped up too we did it together is what I liked to think and it wasn’t easy. It wasn’t ideal for any of us. I mean, for God’s sake, they’re young boys. They’ve lost their father a mom can’t at least this mom, I can’t do all the jobs. You know, so I can do the best I can.

Colleen Brand 49:17
But I kept waiting for that. That Disney moment of this coach that was gonna walk in the door or this male figure that was going to happen. Just like not coming okay. But whatever there’s a lot to be grateful for in there.

Colleen Brand 49:36
Both he and his brother, they’re really good humans. They’re good people. They they got it. They had the common sense to realize that. Yeah, we can’t do a bunch of stupid stuff. because we just can’t, you know, do we can do marginally stupid what we can’t do extremely stupid.

Bill Gasiamis 50:09
I reckon Mac probably achieved doing some stupid stuff though.

Colleen Brand 50:15
Of course they do.

Mac Brand 50:17
We were growing up in the city too we’re having a lot of fun.

Bill Gasiamis 50:24
Brilliant. Brilliant. So now you’ve gone through that with your husband. And now you’re going through this thing with your son, especially in the early days. Did you think you might lose him? Did you have that fear?

Colleen Brand 50:37
Oh, no, that’s when I knew. If Mac didn’t make it. That was the first time in my life that I went. I’m not making it either. I’ve always been a person that was like, oh, no, we’re gonna find a way.

Colleen Brand 51:02
But that night, I was like, yeah, not gonna make it. Yeah, I finally found what was going to chop me off at the knees.

Bill Gasiamis 51:15
Wow, that would have been hard. I’m glad we’re not talking about it.

Colleen Brand 51:22
And again, it gives you incredible empathy for parents that have had that ultimate loss, your heart goes out to them at the deepest level.

Bill Gasiamis 51:39
It sounds like, you’re really well connected, you got a great relationship. But did it get shitty at some times after the stroke after the recovery? Mac he seems like he’s a really nice guy. But did you lose it a few times Mac? Were you terrible to be around?

Mac Brand 51:58
There was a lot especially because in the stages, like when I was in the hospital, and you know, going through that grief and going through like I wasn’t in it a place in my mind where I was as emotionally mature. Like, I don’t like to say I had the mind of a child, but I had the impulse control of a child.

Mac Brand 52:21
So there is like, my emotions were almost very new to me too you know, like swallowing and eating were you know, at the same time, so there are times where I was almost like a baby in bed, like, and I’m six foot three very grown man, and there’s a lot of times where I’m sure I was a little bit that, you know, maybe frustrated or short.

Mac Brand 52:52
And that’s a product that’s something I noticed with brain fatigue, when it happens faster, I tend to get a little bit more shorter tends to be a little bit more of a problem with my increased anxiety and lack of like, kind of control and just kind of like, you know, stuff like that.

Mac Brand 53:11
But yeah, definitely, it was all a learning experience. It’s all just like, you know, I’m sure I wasn’t a peach in bed. But I remember you know, in the hospital, but I do remember times when I was intubated.

Mac Brand 53:27
This is gonna sound really strange. But when I was intubated and I had the oven mitt on, I thought that I was going to be able to escape the hospital somehow. Coz I thought I could walk like my car was in the parking lot that I could just drive away.

Mac Brand 53:48
So I was being really nice to the nurses trying to I guess, trick them and getting me to like leave the hospital it just totally a strange thinking. So I would like pat them on the back and stuff.

Mac Brand 54:02
When I was intubated like to say thank you and things like that. It was very, funny. But the nurses really liked me because I was very nice. But at the same time, I was like I’m going to escape with their help.

What Caregivers Have To Deal With

Colleen Brand 54:19
I am a very fortunate person that I have another partner his name’s Alex. So I was so fortunate to have had love twice. And he has also been a great stepfather to both Mac and Bo we’re so fortunate to have him in our lives to help tremendously. So we’re very lucky that you know, we have him as well.

Colleen Brand 55:05
Which is, yeah, it’s a tremendous help because that male influence is really needed. My, my voice is not always the best one to hear and it’s also, um a safe place for Mac to vent. And I want to be that safe place for him to vent.

Colleen Brand 55:28
And that’s a good thing, you know, that if you’re gonna get upset at your situation or something, get upset with me, you know, because I get it, I know where that’s coming from. That’s not personal.

Bill Gasiamis 55:42
Yeah. That’s such a good thing that you’ve got there Colleen because my wife, she a little bit of abuse, you know, verbal abuse, because I was a mess. And I didn’t know what I was doing. And I was misbehaving.

Bill Gasiamis 55:59
And at the same time, I couldn’t explain myself because they could see me, but then I looked normal, but then I couldn’t explain how I was feeling on the inside. And they didn’t get it.

Bill Gasiamis 56:13
And then she took it personally, because I’d never really gone out of my way to mistreat her like that, of course, we mistreated each other from times in our marriage, but I never gone out of my way to do it.

Bill Gasiamis 56:26
Whereas I was now getting triggered by the smallest thing like parking in the wrong car space, or something like that would trigger me. Go nuts. And she, she used to take it personally.

Bill Gasiamis 56:40
And then to undo that, for me, it was really, really difficult because of course, I appreciated her. She was my everything. And I loved the fact that I was supported by her. But then I was also the guy giving her a real hard time.

Bill Gasiamis 56:57
And then I was trying to undo the pain and suffering that I’d caused her on top of all the other pain and suffering she’s already going through. It was such a difficult time. I mean, the only thing I could do was try and get somebody to intervene for me.

Bill Gasiamis 57:13
So I went to counseling, and I took her with me to counseling a few times, just so I could get somebody else to kind of explain things on my behalf or to try and make her feel better about things. Because I didn’t know what I was doing.

Colleen Brand 57:29
I can only begin to imagine how much frustration Mac had to be going through. And you’ve got I call it kick the dog, you’ve got to be able to kick the dog somewhere. And totally fine having it come towards me because I know exactly what that is.

Colleen Brand 57:58
And I can I know exactly where that’s coming from. And you got to get that out. You can’t. Keeping that in is the worst thing you can do. You got to get it out you’ve got to let those explosions come out.

Colleen Brand 58:16
And you can’t keep suppressing everything for God’s sake, look at what you’re going through. You know, you are really like a baby relearning everything. And how many times is a baby cry?

Colleen Brand 58:30
You know, so it was very easy for me to put it in that category of well, there’s Mac at 2 my God, that two year old Mac was a nightmare. I mean, I can’t tell you but then I could pick him up and leave. You know, with him screaming.

Bill Gasiamis 58:48
At six foot three.

Mac Brand 58:54
My time in the hospital being a very big guy, and you just can’t even really fit in the bed and they’d have to bring the one bigger guy from upstairs to come and carry me around to the bathroom or whatever.

Bill Gasiamis 59:08
That’s another logistical thing that you don’t experience as a What will people under six foot you know, everything’s kind of made for people under six foot roughly. Above that, it’s a bit harder.

Mac Brand 59:21
Yeah, that was that was interesting. I’m so lucky that you know, I did end up at the Ann Shultz hospital because that was such a great place. Like, you know, all the people there were so awesome.

Colleen Brand 59:36
They were all just, I mean, they were really like what you see out of a movie, you know of a hospital movie.

Colleen Brand 59:44
All the good stuff.

Mac Brand 59:48
It’s a teaching hospital, so they all look good too. And they’re all your young.

Colleen Brand 59:53
The doctor that saved him. He had just gotten to that hospital. He had been a Navy SEAL bomb diver gentleman then went to neurology school and then you know became this great brains surgeon I mean, just you have these people of the highest caliber in their skill set and in their moral character. And they were incredibly uplifting to be around also, I can’t say enough about just how noble these people are. They’re truly incredible heroes.

Bill Gasiamis 1:00:38
I appreciate my doctors, too. I mean, I can’t believe there’s people out there that just decide that they’re going to do a job that helps other people to the extent that we get our help. It’s like, it’s just nuts. It never occurred to me. So I assumed that there weren’t other people out there.

Bill Gasiamis 1:00:57
But they really are. And many of us wouldn’t be here without them. You’re really creative. Colleen, I saw a post of yours on Instagram. And I thought, oh my gosh, I need to speak to these people. I need to speak to you immediately and have you on the podcast.

Kintsugi Mac Brand

Neck Cracking And Stroke
Bill Gasiamis 1:01:14
And it was the post where you’ve got a photo of Mac’s head. And it’s the scar down the back of his head towards his neck, the middle of his head. And you’ve put the gold leaf on the back of that. Tell me a little bit about what inspired you to upgrade his scar to gold?

Colleen Brand 1:01:36
Gosh, that is Mac you have to look up what that is. I always forget what it’s called. Thank you. Thank you that is Kintsugi which is to me that is perfect. I wish that everybody that has a scar that wanted to have it embedded with gold that we could do that. Because that to me perfectly explains the scars.

Mac Brand 1:02:07
I really like my scars. Honestly, I think they’re cool. The back of my head was awesome.

Colleen Brand 1:02:13
Yeah, that, to me is everything. And that’s your new journey. And you know, let it be filled with gold, it be that the perfect imperfection that it is and defining that new journey in in such a beautiful way that it is repaired with these precious materials.

Colleen Brand 1:02:42
And then I just thought that was the perfect, metaphor for that the scars that one has from these life altering experiences.

Bill Gasiamis 1:02:55
It really is the perfect metaphor. I saw that and exactly knew about I know about Kintsugi a lot of stroke survivors actually know about Kintsugi. But to see that done the way that you did, it was just phenomenal.

Bill Gasiamis 1:03:10
And hopefully what I can get from you is the photo. So I can include it in the episode so I can show people what we’re talking about. Mac, I love my scar as well. The problem is that it’s disappearing, and I can brag about it. It’s getting better, and it’s getting covered by hair so you can barely see it. It’s pretty cool. You tell me about how you like to show off your scar.

Mac Brand 1:03:37
Oh, I mean, I literally just cut all my hair off because I’m regrowing. But I got the one. I mean, this is where they put one of the drain tubes right here, I liked that one.

Colleen Brand 1:03:52
Yeah. It had to be redone. Yeah, that was cool.

Mac Brand 1:03:57
And then my back was the crazy one, which I noticed is like, I don’t know if they’ll ever really how that one. I don’t know if that one’s ever gonna really run away. really toned down. I feel like that one’s intense.

Bill Gasiamis 1:04:10
They settle down they do and disappointingly more importantly, Yeah, mine was about the same as yours is now for a few years and then it kind of got flatter and flatter and better and better.

Bill Gasiamis 1:04:24
And now other people can see it when I shave because I usually keep my head quite short as well. And other people see it and they can tell yeah, like I can’t feel it anymore. It’s gone. And it’s a bit annoying.

Bill Gasiamis 1:04:44
I was the same I’m not sure what it is about it but I was quite excited by the fact that it was visible and that I was never afraid for people to see it and wonder and ask me about it was all good.

Colleen Brand 1:04:57
These are your battle wounds.

Mac Brand 1:05:01
Other people like with the same scar will be like, Hey, I got to and take off their hat and show me it’s always really, it’s really funny like with that scar in particular, I feel like people are like, Oh, I like that.

Bill Gasiamis 1:05:12
It’s a community. I agree with Colleen as well. That it’s our battle scars, it just shows. We’ve been through life. You know, that’s what’s happening to us. It’s we’re living it, we’re experiencing life.

Colleen Brand 1:05:29
Yeah, it’s so great that I’m so grateful that we’re getting to talk to you. Because we do need to share these stories. And we do need to help people that have had strokes, how that you know, this community to move forward and to have more information and to share the stories and then for people to understand prevention and then if you have want to be empowered with the knowledge of what to do, where you have to get to.

Bill Gasiamis 1:06:11
Yeah, and that there’s a brighter side. Think about it, you know, Mac went through a hard time four years ago. Now he’s getting better. We’ve, we’ve turned the corner, you know, we’ve done shock and denial, we’ve done pain and guilt, we’ve done anger and bargaining, we’ve done depression.

Bill Gasiamis 1:06:26
And we might go back there from time to time as well. And that’s okay, too, right. And now we’re at the upward turn and reconstruction is happening and acceptance in the hope is coming, and it’s happening.

Bill Gasiamis 1:06:38
So this is what I love about the podcast is I get to share the it was really shit at the beginning. And now look how we’re moving forward. And we’re overcoming stuff, problems, challenges.

Mac Brand 1:06:48
You know, I wouldn’t give it up for anything, honestly. Like, I like, my stroke, and you know, so it’s a part of me, same with my dad passing when I was young, they’re all things that, you know, have taught me more at the end of the day and made me stronger.

Bill Gasiamis 1:07:12
Yeah. Mac, your mum sent me a PDF of I no longer dream. Oh, yeah. Tell me about putting your thoughts into words? How does that help your recovery? And why was it important to do that?

Mac Brand 1:07:31
Well, that was kind of like cathartic writing with, I wanted it to be similar to kind of the Dante’s trilogy, where you start out in the inferno purgatorio and paradisumo. By starting off, in trying to describe all the confusion, and coming into being and being, you know, not really understanding what’s happening.

Mac Brand 1:08:03
There was a long period, I know, you know, six months after, where I was kind of like, just, you know, maybe going to outpatient rehab, and just kind of floating and not really feeling like myself, or having really any grounding to the world around me. And then it’s like, you know, I come out here.

Mac Brand 1:08:20
And finally, it’s like, I feel like I have grounding. Like, it’s kind of one of those things where it felt good to write down a journey, you know, and bring it to a point where, like, even if things aren’t perfect, there never will be, Nothing’s ever perfect, it’s fine. You know, everything is what you make. And at the end of the day, it’s like, everything’s better.

Bill Gasiamis 1:08:46
Are you hoping to do more with it at this stage? Or is it just for you.

Mac Brand 1:08:51
I have it sent to like an editor right now. So I have someone editing it, maybe I’ll send it out to see if someone will publish it or something. If not, I might just make it a book and sit on my shelf one day and look through it, I just, I’m always kind of fearful that my plateau so to speak, will end earlier.

Mac Brand 1:09:21
Which I don’t think it will. But it’s kind of one of those fears in the back of my head. So I always want to have these things like writings and you know, art and stuff like that, that kind of remind me of those periods of my life. So I don’t feel like if I do forget it ever, I can always go back and look at these things that I’ve done and be like, Okay, this is where I was, you know, and this is what I was doing.

Mac Brand 1:09:43
So that’s kind of where I’m at with it where it’s like, if it doesn’t become something that’s fine, It’s something to me, and that’s all that matters. And if it does, and if it helps someone or someone finds value in it, that’s fantastic too.

Bill Gasiamis 1:09:56
Yeah, that’s perfect.

The Intubated State

Colleen Brand 1:09:59
When I had one person read it, who works with a lot of people in Walter Reed, and what she liked about it was that, we really don’t understand the perspective of someone that is in a state of intubation.

Colleen Brand 1:10:21
And that they do have awareness? And what is that awareness. So she really liked it as having an awareness of what somebody is going through that is in that state of intubation.

Colleen Brand 1:10:42
Because it is an unknown, and we’re assuming that, oh, there’s nothing but there’s very much going on. And perhaps the experience could be different for the patient, perhaps we could dim the lights, perhaps we could bring in soothing music, perhaps we could be a little bit more gentle and comforting.

Colleen Brand 1:11:05
Perhaps we could perform Reiki perhaps, you know, some other types of things to to soothe the soul and spirit in a more gentle way. Because it’s so horribly clinical, we think that there’s nothing going on there.

Colleen Brand 1:11:22
And that’s wrong. There is much going on. And I think that if some more holistic things could be come in, or even an awareness of Dimming the lights, and what can be experienced. That was what she brought in. And I was like, that is lovely, and very important. That does have value.

Bill Gasiamis 1:11:47
I completely agree with you guys. Absolutely. Look. Thank you so much for agreeing to be on the podcast when I reached out. Mac, thanks so much for sharing your story in the way that you have.

Bill Gasiamis 1:12:01
You guys are doing great, you guys are doing an amazing job of, you know, getting back to life and recovering from trauma and from overcoming your pain and your suffering. And it’s a great example. And I’m glad that we get to share that with other people and just give them a sense of how some other people like you guys are doing it.

Bill Gasiamis 1:12:24
And then there’s 180 or so other episodes where it’s exactly that’s what we’ve done. We’ve given examples of how other people have gone through their own recovery. And it’s not all been pretty, you know, there’s been shitty times and terrible times and hard times.

Bill Gasiamis 1:12:43
But a lot of people are seeming to find the way through the fog and get better at living their life the way that they intended to live their life before stroke happened to them. So really appreciate you guys sharing your story.

Mac Brand 1:13:02
Thank you so much for talking to us.

Colleen Brand 1:13:05
Thank you. It’s nice to not be alone. That’s for sure.

Bill Gasiamis 1:13:10
Yeah, by all means you’re definitely not alone. Mac if you ever need to reach out, please feel free to Instagram is full of people that are recovering from stroke. Hashtag stroke survivor is huge. There’s so many amazing people there. And they’re all willing to share.

Bill Gasiamis 1:13:27
They’re all willing to help others, which is bizarre, strange and amazing to me at all at the same time. So and you guys fit the bill, you guys are exactly the same as them. You know, you want to connect with people.

Bill Gasiamis 1:13:39
You want to feel less alone and you want to share and help others, man, I can’t ask for more from my guests on the podcast. That’s exactly what I want to do. So thank you for helping me do that as well.

Colleen Brand 1:13:55
Thank you so much. We appreciate you.

Bill Gasiamis 1:13:58
Thanks for joining us on today’s episode. I hope you enjoyed the conversation and got something positive from it. Please comment, like and share. If you’re watching on YouTube. Click the like button, leave a comment, subscribe. Tap the notification bell so that you can get notified of new episodes as they become available.

Bill Gasiamis 1:14:18
And just let me know what you’re thinking. I look forward to people’s comments and I love responding to them. And it will also help each episode rank better. And therefore it will make it easier for other stroke survivors to find the episodes and maybe that will help them have a better stroke recovery. Thanks again.

Intro 1:14:36
Importantly, we present many podcasts designed to give you an insight and understanding into the experiences of other individuals. The opinions and treatment protocols discussed during any podcast are the individual’s own experience and we do not necessarily share the same opinion nor do we recommend any treatment protocol discussed.

Intro 1:14:53
All content on this website at any length blog, podcast or video material control this website or content is created didn’t produce for informational purposes only and is largely based on the personal experience of Bill Gasiamis.

Intro 1:15:06
The content is intended to complement your medical treatment and support healing. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health advice.

Intro 1:15:15
The information is general and may not be suitable for your personal injuries, circumstances or health objectives. Do not use our content as a standalone resource to diagnose treat, cure or prevent any disease for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for the advice of a health professional.

Intro 1:15:30
Never delay seeking advice or disregard the advice of a medical professional your doctor or your rehabilitation program based on our content if you have any questions or concerns about your health or medical condition, please seek guidance from a doctor or other medical professional.

Intro 1:15:44
If you are experiencing a health emergency or think you might be, call 000 if in Australia or your local emergency number immediately for emergency assistance or go to the nearest hospital emergency department.

Intro 1:15:55
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Intro 1:16:08
If you choose to rely on any information within our content, you do so solely at your own risk. We are careful with links we provide however third party links from our website are followed at your own risk and we are not responsible for any information you find there.

The post Neck Cracking And Stroke – Mac & Colleen Brand appeared first on Recovery After Stroke.

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A stroke from cracking his neck to relieve tension was the last thing Mac expected. At 24 years old and a trained EMT he knew immediately that he was experiencing a stroke. A stroke from cracking his neck to relieve tension was the last thing Mac expected. At 24 years old and a trained EMT he knew immediately that he was experiencing a stroke. Recovery After Stroke 1:16:22
High Blood Pressure, Stroke & Kidney Failure – Bryan Caldwell https://recoveryafterstroke.com/high-blood-pressure-stroke-kidney-failure-bryan-caldwell/ Mon, 11 Apr 2022 12:58:23 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8776 <p>Bryan Caldwell was 34 and seemingly healthy and well until high blood pressure caused a stroke that would allow doctors to also discover that he had total kidney failure.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/high-blood-pressure-stroke-kidney-failure-bryan-caldwell/">High Blood Pressure, Stroke & Kidney Failure – Bryan Caldwell</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Bryan Caldwell was 34 and seemingly healthy and well until high blood pressure caused a stroke that would allow doctors to also discover that he had total kidney failure. Bryan Caldwell was 34 and seemingly healthy and well until high blood pressure caused a stroke that would allow doctors to also discover that he had total kidney failure. Recovery After Stroke 1:17:23 Stroke After A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Choke – Jake Straus https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-after-a-brazilian-jiu-jitsu-choke-jake-straus/ Mon, 04 Apr 2022 14:17:14 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8755 <p>Experiencing a stroke at age 24 from a Brazilian jiu-jitsu chokehold was a major setback for Jake Straus’ health. Recovering is going well and recently Jake got back into the ring and is preparing for competition.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-after-a-brazilian-jiu-jitsu-choke-jake-straus/">Stroke After A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Choke – Jake Straus</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Experiencing a stroke at age 24 from a Brazilian jiu-jitsu chokehold was a major setback for Jake Straus’ health. Recovering is going well and recently Jake got back into the ring and is preparing for competition. Experiencing a stroke at age 24 from a Brazilian jiu-jitsu chokehold was a major setback for Jake Straus’ health. Recovering is going well and recently Jake got back into the ring and is preparing for competition. Recovery After Stroke 1:38:03 In Memory Of Natalie Kate Moss – Fiona Moss https://recoveryafterstroke.com/in-memory-of-natalie-kate-moss-fiona-moss/ Mon, 28 Mar 2022 17:20:08 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8740 <p>Fiona Moss is the sister of Natalie Kate Moss who died as a result of a ruptured blood vessel at the age of 26. </p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/in-memory-of-natalie-kate-moss-fiona-moss/">In Memory Of Natalie Kate Moss – Fiona Moss</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Fiona Moss is the sister of Natalie Kate Moss who died as a result of a ruptured blood vessel at the age of 26. Fiona Moss is the sister of Natalie Kate Moss who died as a result of a ruptured blood vessel at the age of 26. Recovery After Stroke 1:10:24 Living With Nystagmus After Stroke – Sammy Taylor https://recoveryafterstroke.com/living-with-nystagmus-after-stroke-sammy-taylor/ Mon, 21 Mar 2022 14:40:07 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8729 <p>Living with Nystagmus after a stroke has seen Sammy Taylor go on a deep journey of acceptance and rediscovery that has enhanced her life with unexpected blessings once thought to be unattainable.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/living-with-nystagmus-after-stroke-sammy-taylor/">Living With Nystagmus After Stroke – Sammy Taylor</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Living with Nystagmus after a stroke has seen Sammy Taylor go on a deep journey of acceptance and rediscovery that has enhanced her life with unexpected blessings once thought to be unattainable. Living with Nystagmus after a stroke has seen Sammy Taylor go on a deep journey of acceptance and rediscovery that has enhanced her life with unexpected blessings once thought to be unattainable. Recovery After Stroke 1:32:28 Living With Aphagia After Stroke – Alina Gonzales https://recoveryafterstroke.com/living-with-aphagia-after-stroke-alina-gonzales/ Mon, 14 Mar 2022 12:25:03 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8718 <p>Living with Aphagia after a stroke requires resilience and toughness amongst other things and Alina Gonzales has those qualities in spades. In her time of need she is also thinking of others and reaching out in order to raise awareness about stroke.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/living-with-aphagia-after-stroke-alina-gonzales/">Living With Aphagia After Stroke – Alina Gonzales</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Living with Aphagia after a stroke requires resilience and toughness amongst other things and Alina Gonzales has those qualities in spades. In her time of need she is also thinking of others and reaching out in order to raise awareness about stroke. Living with Aphagia after a stroke requires resilience and toughness amongst other things and Alina Gonzales has those qualities in spades. In her time of need she is also thinking of others and reaching out in order to raise awareness about stroke. Recovery After Stroke 54:00 How A Sub-thalamic Hemorrhagic Stroke Cured My Anxiety – Mali Torres https://recoveryafterstroke.com/how-a-sub-thalamic-hemorrhagic-stroke-cured-my-anxiety-mali-torres/ Mon, 07 Mar 2022 14:51:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8706 <p>Mali Torres was anxious about everything until one day she had a Sub-thalamic hemorrhagic stroke which had a positive side effect of curing her Anxiety for good.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/how-a-sub-thalamic-hemorrhagic-stroke-cured-my-anxiety-mali-torres/">How A Sub-thalamic Hemorrhagic Stroke Cured My Anxiety – Mali Torres</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Mali Torres was anxious about everything until one day she had a Sub-thalamic hemorrhagic stroke which had a positive side effect of curing her Anxiety for good. Mali Torres was anxious about everything until one day she had a Sub-thalamic hemorrhagic stroke which had a positive side effect of curing her Anxiety for good. Recovery After Stroke 1:20:06 Carotid Artery Dissection Recovery – Saran Chamberlain https://recoveryafterstroke.com/carotid-artery-dissection-recovery-saran-chamberlain/ Mon, 28 Feb 2022 14:16:06 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8682 <p>Saran Chamberlain was 37 when she experienced a right ischemic stroke, caused by a carotid artery dissection</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/carotid-artery-dissection-recovery-saran-chamberlain/">Carotid Artery Dissection Recovery – Saran Chamberlain</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Saran Chamberlain was 37 when she experienced a right ischemic stroke, caused by a carotid artery dissection Saran Chamberlain was 37 when she experienced a right ischemic stroke, caused by a carotid artery dissection Recovery After Stroke 1:06:00 Stroke Caregiver Journey – Donna O’Donnell Figurski https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-caregiver-journey-donna-odonnell-figurski/ Mon, 21 Feb 2022 14:41:26 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8661 <p>Donna Figurski became a stroke caregiver and wrote a book about her experience called Prisoners Without Bars after her husband experienced multiple brain surgeries that saved his life after a brain hemorrhage.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-caregiver-journey-donna-odonnell-figurski/">Stroke Caregiver Journey – Donna O’Donnell Figurski</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Donna Figurski became a stroke caregiver and wrote a book about her experience called Prisoners Without Bars after her husband experienced multiple brain surgeries that saved his life after a brain hemorrhage. Donna Figurski became a stroke caregiver and wrote a book about her experience called Prisoners Without Bars after her husband experienced multiple brain surgeries that saved his life after a brain hemorrhage. Recovery After Stroke 1:18:37 Cavernous Angioma Recovery – Heather L. Rendulic https://recoveryafterstroke.com/cavernous-angioma-recovery-heather-l-rendulic/ Mon, 14 Feb 2022 12:09:35 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8647 <p>Cavernous Angioma Recovery - Heather L. Rendulic was 22 when she experienced a series of 5 bleeds in the brain in an 11 month period before her surgical team decided that brain surgery was required to resolve the matter once and for all.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/cavernous-angioma-recovery-heather-l-rendulic/">Cavernous Angioma Recovery – Heather L. Rendulic</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Cavernous Angioma Recovery - Heather L. Rendulic was 22 when she experienced a series of 5 bleeds in the brain in an 11 month period before her surgical team decided that brain surgery was required to resolve the matter once and for all. Cavernous Angioma Recovery - Heather L. Rendulic was 22 when she experienced a series of 5 bleeds in the brain in an 11 month period before her surgical team decided that brain surgery was required to resolve the matter once and for all. Recovery After Stroke 1:06:44 Hemiplegia Recovery – Shaelyn Poisson https://recoveryafterstroke.com/hemiplegia-recovery-shaelyn-poisson/ Mon, 07 Feb 2022 13:07:52 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8634 <p>Shaelyn is recovering from Hemiplegia after a carotid artery dissection at 17 years old created a clot that caused an ischemic stroke.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/hemiplegia-recovery-shaelyn-poisson/">Hemiplegia Recovery – Shaelyn Poisson</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Shaelyn is recovering from Hemiplegia after a carotid artery dissection at 17 years old created a clot that caused an ischemic stroke. Shaelyn is recovering from Hemiplegia after a carotid artery dissection at 17 years old created a clot that caused an ischemic stroke. Recovery After Stroke 1:08:54 Spontaneous Vertebral Artery Dissection Caused A Stroke – Frank Mills https://recoveryafterstroke.com/spontaneous-vertebral-artery-dissection-caused-a-stroke-frank-mills/ Mon, 31 Jan 2022 16:35:49 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8615 <p>Frank Mills experienced a vertebral artery dissection while he was having a shower. He walked into the emergency room and told the nurses he was having a stroke.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/spontaneous-vertebral-artery-dissection-caused-a-stroke-frank-mills/">Spontaneous Vertebral Artery Dissection Caused A Stroke – Frank Mills</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Frank Mills experienced a vertebral artery dissection while he was having a shower. He walked into the emergency room and told the nurses he was having a stroke. Frank Mills experienced a vertebral artery dissection while he was having a shower. He walked into the emergency room and told the nurses he was having a stroke. Recovery After Stroke 1:08:29 Cavernoma Recovery – Deb Brandon https://recoveryafterstroke.com/cavernoma-recovery-deb-brandon/ Mon, 24 Jan 2022 13:17:14 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8598 <p>Bed Brandon believes that life is much fuller after multiple bleeds in the brain caused by a hereditary condition known as Cavernous Hemangioma</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/cavernoma-recovery-deb-brandon/">Cavernoma Recovery – Deb Brandon</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Bed Brandon believes that life is much fuller after multiple bleeds in the brain caused by a hereditary condition known as Cavernous Hemangioma Bed Brandon believes that life is much fuller after multiple bleeds in the brain caused by a hereditary condition known as Cavernous Hemangioma Recovery After Stroke 1:46:12 Raising Awareness About Stroke – Kristi Schiller https://recoveryafterstroke.com/raising-awareness-about-stroke-kristi-schiller/ Mon, 17 Jan 2022 15:04:21 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8548 <p>Kristi Schiller kept experiencing symptoms that she didn't recognize as signs of stroke because they were transient. It took more than 6 months to get an accurate diagnosis.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/raising-awareness-about-stroke-kristi-schiller/">Raising Awareness About Stroke – Kristi Schiller</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Kristi Schiller kept experiencing symptoms that she didn't recognize as signs of stroke because they were transient. It took more than 6 months to get an accurate diagnosis. Kristi Schiller kept experiencing symptoms that she didn't recognize as signs of stroke because they were transient. It took more than 6 months to get an accurate diagnosis. Recovery After Stroke 1:00:56 Stroke In Your Forties – LeeAnn Walton https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-in-your-forties-leeann-walton/ Mon, 10 Jan 2022 14:23:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8534 <p>LeaAnn Walton felt and heard the blood vessel pop in her head while teaching a yoga class. These days she is able to see the good that has come from a bad situation.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-in-your-forties-leeann-walton/">Stroke In Your Forties – LeeAnn Walton</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> LeaAnn Walton felt and heard the blood vessel pop in her head while teaching a yoga class. These days she is able to see the good that has come from a bad situation. LeaAnn Walton felt and heard the blood vessel pop in her head while teaching a yoga class. These days she is able to see the good that has come from a bad situation. Recovery After Stroke 1:23:48 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu And Stroke – Chris Martin https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brazilian-jiu-jitsu-and-stroke-chris-martin/ Mon, 03 Jan 2022 12:24:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8512 <p>Chris Martin experienced a stroke because of a carotid artery dissection as a result of repeated traumas to his neck while participating in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu also known as BJJ.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brazilian-jiu-jitsu-and-stroke-chris-martin/">Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu And Stroke – Chris Martin</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Chris Martin experienced a stroke because of a carotid artery dissection as a result of repeated traumas to his neck while participating in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu also known as BJJ. Chris Martin experienced a stroke because of a carotid artery dissection as a result of repeated traumas to his neck while participating in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu also known as BJJ. Recovery After Stroke 1:18:40 TPA Caused A Hemorrhagic Stroke As Well – Bill Hrncir https://recoveryafterstroke.com/tpa-caused-a-hemorrhagic-stroke-as-well-bill-hrncir/ Sun, 26 Dec 2021 03:04:38 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8496 <p>Bill Hrncir is the 1 in 6 people that will have adverse reactions to TPA (Tissue Plasminogen Activator) which was used to bust a clot that caused an ischemic stroke but also caused a hemorrhagic stroke</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/tpa-caused-a-hemorrhagic-stroke-as-well-bill-hrncir/">TPA Caused A Hemorrhagic Stroke As Well – Bill Hrncir</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Bill Hrncir is the 1 in 6 people that will have adverse reactions to TPA (Tissue Plasminogen Activator) which was used to bust a clot that caused an ischemic stroke but also caused a hemorrhagic stroke Bill Hrncir is the 1 in 6 people that will have adverse reactions to TPA (Tissue Plasminogen Activator) which was used to bust a clot that caused an ischemic stroke but also caused a hemorrhagic stroke Recovery After Stroke 1:17:49 Pontine Stroke Recovery – Corey Getz https://recoveryafterstroke.com/pontine-stroke-recovery-corey-getz/ Mon, 20 Dec 2021 14:00:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8482 <p>After experiencing a pontine stroke, Cory Getz did a ton of physical rehabilitation and also recognized the importance of taking care of his emotional recovery</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/pontine-stroke-recovery-corey-getz/">Pontine Stroke Recovery – Corey Getz</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> After experiencing a pontine stroke, Cory Getz did a ton of physical rehabilitation and also recognized the importance of taking care of his emotional recovery After experiencing a pontine stroke, Cory Getz did a ton of physical rehabilitation and also recognized the importance of taking care of his emotional recovery Recovery After Stroke 1:08:31 Applying The Concept Of Corporate Leadership To Stroke Recovery – Mike Cameron https://recoveryafterstroke.com/applying-the-concept-of-corporate-leadership-to-stroke-recovery-mike-cameron/ Mon, 13 Dec 2021 14:08:54 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8472 <p>Mike Cameron is a leadership coach and the author of the books, Effective Leader and The Emerging Leader. </p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/applying-the-concept-of-corporate-leadership-to-stroke-recovery-mike-cameron/">Applying The Concept Of Corporate Leadership To Stroke Recovery – Mike Cameron</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Mike Cameron is a leadership coach and the author of the books, Effective Leader and The Emerging Leader. Mike Cameron is a leadership coach and the author of the books, Effective Leader and The Emerging Leader. Recovery After Stroke 1:30:54 Spontaneous Vertebral Artery Dissection – Steve Molter https://recoveryafterstroke.com/spontaneous-vertebral-artery-dissection-steve-molter/ Mon, 06 Dec 2021 14:23:13 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8453 <p>Steve Molter was 33 when he experienced a stroke as a result of a spontaneous vertebral artery dissection. Since then he have overcome much and considers the stroke one of the best things that has ever happened.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/spontaneous-vertebral-artery-dissection-steve-molter/">Spontaneous Vertebral Artery Dissection – Steve Molter</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Steve Molter was 33 when he experienced a stroke as a result of a spontaneous vertebral artery dissection. Since then he have overcome much and considers the stroke one of the best things that has ever happened. Steve Molter was 33 when he experienced a stroke as a result of a spontaneous vertebral artery dissection. Since then he have overcome much and considers the stroke one of the best things that has ever happened. Recovery After Stroke 1:42:38 Cerebellum Stroke Recovery – Mark Sanchez https://recoveryafterstroke.com/cerebellum-stroke-recovery-mark-sanchez/ Mon, 29 Nov 2021 14:55:15 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8435 <p>Mark Sanchez experienced a cerebellum stroke which may have been as a result from a dissection in one of his arteries that was most likely caused by a car collision while on a business trip in Las Vegas two years prior to the stroke event.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/cerebellum-stroke-recovery-mark-sanchez/">Cerebellum Stroke Recovery – Mark Sanchez</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Mark Sanchez experienced a cerebellum stroke which may have been as a result from a dissection in one of his arteries that was most likely caused by a car collision while on a business trip in Las Vegas two years prior to the stroke event. Mark Sanchez experienced a cerebellum stroke which may have been as a result from a dissection in one of his arteries that was most likely caused by a car collision while on a business trip in Las Vegas two years prior to the stroke event. Recovery After Stroke 1:39:25 Spinal Cord Stroke Recovery – Jeffrey A. Morse https://recoveryafterstroke.com/spinal-cord-stroke-recovery-jeffrey-a-morse/ Mon, 22 Nov 2021 14:07:54 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8417 <p>At age 49 Jeffrey Morse experienced a spinal cord stroke due to complications from brain surgery an intervention which left him paralyzed from the neck down.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/spinal-cord-stroke-recovery-jeffrey-a-morse/">Spinal Cord Stroke Recovery – Jeffrey A. Morse</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> At age 49 Jeffrey Morse experienced a spinal cord stroke due to complications from brain surgery an intervention which left him paralyzed from the neck down. At age 49 Jeffrey Morse experienced a spinal cord stroke due to complications from brain surgery an intervention which left him paralyzed from the neck down. Recovery After Stroke 1:26:16 Cryptogenic and Ischemic Stroke Recovery – Vinny Valentino https://recoveryafterstroke.com/cryptogenic-and-ischemic-stroke-recovery-vinny-valentino/ Mon, 15 Nov 2021 14:00:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8400 <p>Vinnie Valentino was on tour playing guitar with his band when he experienced an Cryptogenic and Ischemic stroke. A year later he is starting to get back to playing guitar once more.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/cryptogenic-and-ischemic-stroke-recovery-vinny-valentino/">Cryptogenic and Ischemic Stroke Recovery – Vinny Valentino</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Vinnie Valentino was on tour playing guitar with his band when he experienced an Cryptogenic and Ischemic stroke. A year later he is starting to get back to playing guitar once more. Vinnie Valentino was on tour playing guitar with his band when he experienced an Cryptogenic and Ischemic stroke. A year later he is starting to get back to playing guitar once more. Recovery After Stroke 1:45:19 Functional Neurology And Stroke Recovery – Dr. Lauren Brindisi https://recoveryafterstroke.com/functional-neurology-and-stroke-recovery-dr-lauren-brindisi/ Mon, 08 Nov 2021 12:56:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=7625 <p>Lauren Brindisi is a doctor of chiropractic and with her sister Dr. Dana Brindisi they run the Carolina Functional Neurology Centre help people from all walks of life discover the root cause of their symptoms.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/functional-neurology-and-stroke-recovery-dr-lauren-brindisi/">Functional Neurology And Stroke Recovery – Dr. Lauren Brindisi</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Lauren Brindisi is a doctor of chiropractic and with her sister Dr. Dana Brindisi they run the Carolina Functional Neurology Centre help people from all walks of life discover the root cause of their symptoms. Lauren Brindisi is a doctor of chiropractic and with her sister Dr. Dana Brindisi they run the Carolina Functional Neurology Centre help people from all walks of life discover the root cause of their symptoms. Recovery After Stroke 1:18:37 Parenting After Stroke – Dr. Bettina Tornatora https://recoveryafterstroke.com/parenting-after-stroke-dr-bettina-tornatora/ Thu, 04 Nov 2021 10:04:56 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=7410 <p>Parenting is hard enough but parenting after stroke brings with it so many more challenges. Today I am joined by Dr. Bettina Tornatora for a discussion of some of the problems parents face after a stroke</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/parenting-after-stroke-dr-bettina-tornatora/">Parenting After Stroke – Dr. Bettina Tornatora</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Parenting is hard enough but parenting after stroke brings with it so many more challenges. Today I am joined by Dr. Bettina Tornatora for a discussion of some of the problems parents face after a stroke Parenting is hard enough but parenting after stroke brings with it so many more challenges. Today I am joined by Dr. Bettina Tornatora for a discussion of some of the problems parents face after a stroke Recovery After Stroke 1:22:32 Global Broca’s Aphasia – Francisca Wilson https://recoveryafterstroke.com/global-brocas-aphasia-francisca-wilson/ Mon, 25 Oct 2021 14:21:39 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6847 <p>Francisca Wilson had just arrived at the hotel in Nepal for the trip of a lifetime when she experienced an ischemic stroke that left her with Global Broca’s Aphasia</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/global-brocas-aphasia-francisca-wilson/">Global Broca’s Aphasia – Francisca Wilson</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Francisca Wilson had just arrived at the hotel in Nepal for the trip of a lifetime when she experienced an ischemic stroke that left her with Global Broca’s Aphasia Francisca Wilson had just arrived at the hotel in Nepal for the trip of a lifetime when she experienced an ischemic stroke that left her with Global Broca’s Aphasia Recovery After Stroke 1:09:17 Getting Your Brain & Body Back – Dr. Bradford C. Berk https://recoveryafterstroke.com/getting-your-brain-body-back-dr-bradford-c-berk/ Mon, 18 Oct 2021 13:23:35 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6833 <p>Dr. Bradford C. Berk is a spinal cord injury survivor, a former Chief Of Cardiology, CEO and Chairman of the University Of Rochester Medical Centre. He is the author of the book, Getting Your Brain & Body Back.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/getting-your-brain-body-back-dr-bradford-c-berk/">Getting Your Brain & Body Back – Dr. Bradford C. Berk</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Dr. Bradford C. Berk is a spinal cord injury survivor, a former Chief Of Cardiology, CEO and Chairman of the University Of Rochester Medical Centre. He is the author of the book, Getting Your Brain & Body Back. Dr. Bradford C. Berk is a spinal cord injury survivor, a former Chief Of Cardiology, CEO and Chairman of the University Of Rochester Medical Centre. He is the author of the book, Getting Your Brain & Body Back. Recovery After Stroke 1:09:45 AVM Rupture And Recovery 11 Years On https://recoveryafterstroke.com/avm-rupture-and-recovery-11-years-on-juan-gonzales/ Mon, 11 Oct 2021 14:13:03 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6817 <p>Juan Gonzales experienced a hemorrhagic stroke due to a ruptured avm at age 21. At the time of recording this interview he is 11 years post stroke and in training for an ultra marathon.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/avm-rupture-and-recovery-11-years-on-juan-gonzales/">AVM Rupture And Recovery 11 Years On</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Juan Gonzales experienced a hemorrhagic stroke due to a ruptured avm at age 21. At the time of recording this interview he is 11 years post stroke and in training for an ultra marathon. Juan Gonzales experienced a hemorrhagic stroke due to a ruptured avm at age 21. At the time of recording this interview he is 11 years post stroke and in training for an ultra marathon. Recovery After Stroke 1:10:46 Dealing With PTSD After Stroke https://recoveryafterstroke.com/dealing-with-ptsd-after-stroke-dr-john-a-king/ Mon, 04 Oct 2021 16:24:46 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6791 <p>Dr. John A. King is an author, poet, long-time activist and founder of the Give Them a Voice Foundation in Texas, which he launched in 2015 to provide advocacy, support, resources and rescue for those who have been sexually abused or trafficked.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/dealing-with-ptsd-after-stroke-dr-john-a-king/">Dealing With PTSD After Stroke</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Dr. John A. King is an author, poet, long-time activist and founder of the Give Them a Voice Foundation in Texas, which he launched in 2015 to provide advocacy, support, resources and rescue for those who have been sexually abused or trafficked. Dr. John A. King is an author, poet, long-time activist and founder of the Give Them a Voice Foundation in Texas, which he launched in 2015 to provide advocacy, support, resources and rescue for those who have been sexually abused or trafficked. Recovery After Stroke 1:40:15 My Stroke Recovery Story – Michael Shutt https://recoveryafterstroke.com/my-stroke-recovery-story-michael-shutt/ Mon, 27 Sep 2021 14:57:10 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6778 <p>Michael Shutt is recovering from multiple ischemic strokes the aftermath of which left him with vision issues and some paralysis. In that time he wrote and recorded the podcast series a lesson in swimming.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/my-stroke-recovery-story-michael-shutt/">My Stroke Recovery Story – Michael Shutt</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Michael Shutt is recovering from multiple ischemic strokes the aftermath of which left him with vision issues and some paralysis. In that time he wrote and recorded the podcast series a lesson in swimming. Michael Shutt is recovering from multiple ischemic strokes the aftermath of which left him with vision issues and some paralysis. In that time he wrote and recorded the podcast series a lesson in swimming. Recovery After Stroke 1:27:36 Intracranial Brain Hemorrhage – Christina DeVille https://recoveryafterstroke.com/intracranial-brain-hemorrhage-christina-deville/ Mon, 20 Sep 2021 14:35:41 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6767 <p>Christina DeVille was giving her dogs a bath and when she stood up felt disoriented and dizzy, moments later she collapsed in the toilet and crawled on the ground to get to the phone and call for help. Socials: https://www.linkedin.com/in/christinadeville/ https://www.instagram.com/christinadevillefreedom/ https://www.drivenlv.org/ Highlights: 02:09 Introduction 06:58 Symptoms of Intracranial Brain Hemorrhage 16:20 Don’t Pass Out […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/intracranial-brain-hemorrhage-christina-deville/">Intracranial Brain Hemorrhage – Christina DeVille</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Christina DeVille was giving her dogs a bath and when she stood up felt disoriented and dizzy, moments later she collapsed in the toilet and crawled on the ground to get to the phone and call for help. Socials: https://www.linkedin. Christina DeVille was giving her dogs a bath and when she stood up felt disoriented and dizzy, moments later she collapsed in the toilet and crawled on the ground to get to the phone and call for help. Socials: https://www.linkedin.com/in/christinadeville/ https://www.instagram.com/christinadevillefreedom/ https://www.drivenlv.org/ Highlights: 02:09 Introduction 06:58 Symptoms of Intracranial Brain Hemorrhage 16:20 Don’t Pass Out […] Recovery After Stroke 1:35:50 Finding Purpose After Brain Injury – Gary Kearney https://recoveryafterstroke.com/finding-purpose-after-brain-injury-gary-kearney/ Mon, 13 Sep 2021 18:59:47 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6752 <p>After he was hit in the head with a plank of wood Gary Kearney was left with two subdural hematomas and a subarachnoid hemorrhage amongst other injuries. Today he is a disability advocate in Ireland. Socials: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/purplelights19/ https://www.facebook.com/gary.kearney.507 Highlights: 02:21 Introduction 03:22 Drugged And Mugged 12:33 Reconciling With The Present 18:43 Dealing With Anger 26:17 […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/finding-purpose-after-brain-injury-gary-kearney/">Finding Purpose After Brain Injury – Gary Kearney</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> After he was hit in the head with a plank of wood Gary Kearney was left with two subdural hematomas and a subarachnoid hemorrhage amongst other injuries. Today he is a disability advocate in Ireland. Socials: https://www.instagram. After he was hit in the head with a plank of wood Gary Kearney was left with two subdural hematomas and a subarachnoid hemorrhage amongst other injuries. Today he is a disability advocate in Ireland. Socials: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/purplelights19/ https://www.facebook.com/gary.kearney.507 Highlights: 02:21 Introduction 03:22 Drugged And Mugged 12:33 Reconciling With The Present 18:43 Dealing With Anger 26:17 […] Recovery After Stroke 1:12:15 Stroke Recovery And The Gut-Brain – Dr. Michelle Eisenmann https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-recovery-and-the-gut-brain-dr-michelle-eisenmann/ Mon, 06 Sep 2021 16:35:56 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6733 <p>Michelle Eisenmann is a chiropractic doctor and has a masters degree in clinical neurology. In this conversation you will get an insight into why gut health matters in brain health</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-recovery-and-the-gut-brain-dr-michelle-eisenmann/">Stroke Recovery And The Gut-Brain – Dr. Michelle Eisenmann</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Michelle Eisenmann is a chiropractic doctor and has a masters degree in clinical neurology. In this conversation you will get an insight into why gut health matters in brain health Michelle Eisenmann is a chiropractic doctor and has a masters degree in clinical neurology. In this conversation you will get an insight into why gut health matters in brain health Recovery After Stroke 1:18:58 Nerve Pain After Stroke – Luis Diaz https://recoveryafterstroke.com/nerve-pain-after-stroke-luis-diaz/ Mon, 30 Aug 2021 15:46:10 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6672 <p>Luis Diaz says that gang life in LA was worse than experiencing a stroke. His leg is in so much pain because of the neurological deficits that stroke caused, that he is seriously considering having his leg amputated.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/nerve-pain-after-stroke-luis-diaz/">Nerve Pain After Stroke – Luis Diaz</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Luis Diaz says that gang life in LA was worse than experiencing a stroke. His leg is in so much pain because of the neurological deficits that stroke caused, that he is seriously considering having his leg amputated. Luis Diaz says that gang life in LA was worse than experiencing a stroke. His leg is in so much pain because of the neurological deficits that stroke caused, that he is seriously considering having his leg amputated. Recovery After Stroke 1:22:47 Vision Problems After Stroke – Candice Vogel https://recoveryafterstroke.com/vision-problems-after-stroke-candice-vogel/ Mon, 23 Aug 2021 15:48:25 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6662 <p>Candice Vogel is working to overcome vision problems after a stroke. Ironically before the stroke, Candice was employed as a reading and vision therapist helping children do better at school by addressing reading and vision issues.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/vision-problems-after-stroke-candice-vogel/">Vision Problems After Stroke – Candice Vogel</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Candice Vogel is working to overcome vision problems after a stroke. Ironically before the stroke, Candice was employed as a reading and vision therapist helping children do better at school by addressing reading and vision issues. Candice Vogel is working to overcome vision problems after a stroke. Ironically before the stroke, Candice was employed as a reading and vision therapist helping children do better at school by addressing reading and vision issues. Recovery After Stroke 1:24:34 Life-Long Stroke Recovery – Jo Ann Glim https://recoveryafterstroke.com/life-long-stroke-recovery-jo-ann-glim/ Mon, 16 Aug 2021 13:00:12 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6645 <p>Jo Ann Glim experienced a hemorrhagic stroke at age 52. She is the author of the book Trapped Within which was written to help and encourage other stroke survivors no matter where they were in their recovery.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/life-long-stroke-recovery-jo-ann-glim/">Life-Long Stroke Recovery – Jo Ann Glim</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Jo Ann Glim experienced a hemorrhagic stroke at age 52. She is the author of the book Trapped Within which was written to help and encourage other stroke survivors no matter where they were in their recovery. Jo Ann Glim experienced a hemorrhagic stroke at age 52. She is the author of the book Trapped Within which was written to help and encourage other stroke survivors no matter where they were in their recovery. Recovery After Stroke 1:05:22 Emotional Changes After Stroke – Sam Hanes https://recoveryafterstroke.com/emotional-changes-after-stroke-sam-hanes/ Mon, 09 Aug 2021 14:42:41 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6622 <p>Sam Hanes Experienced a bleed in the brain due to an AVM, he is also dealing with 4 aneurysms, has had a craniotomy and gamma knife treatment and 5 years since this saga started he is now raising awareness about stroke</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/emotional-changes-after-stroke-sam-hanes/">Emotional Changes After Stroke – Sam Hanes</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Sam Hanes Experienced a bleed in the brain due to an AVM, he is also dealing with 4 aneurysms, has had a craniotomy and gamma knife treatment and 5 years since this saga started he is now raising awareness about stroke Sam Hanes Experienced a bleed in the brain due to an AVM, he is also dealing with 4 aneurysms, has had a craniotomy and gamma knife treatment and 5 years since this saga started he is now raising awareness about stroke Recovery After Stroke 1:21:53 Developing New Tools For Stroke Survivors – Elizabeth Vasquez https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-recovery-research-elizabeth-vasquez/ Mon, 02 Aug 2021 12:58:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6466 <p>Can you help Elizabeth Vasquez with her stroke recovery research? Follow the links to fill out the online questionnaire</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-recovery-research-elizabeth-vasquez/">Developing New Tools For Stroke Survivors – Elizabeth Vasquez</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Can you help Elizabeth Vasquez with her stroke recovery research? Follow the links to fill out the online questionnaire Can you help Elizabeth Vasquez with her stroke recovery research? Follow the links to fill out the online questionnaire Recovery After Stroke 23:47 Neuropsychology In Stroke Recovery – Dr. Jennifer Sumner https://recoveryafterstroke.com/neuropsychology-in-stroke-recovery-dr-jennifer-sumner/ Mon, 26 Jul 2021 15:21:08 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6444 <p>The importance of neuropsychology in stroke recovery can not be overstated. Having a base line of where your cognitive deficits are helps you to track how far you’ve come and identify areas that need additional resources.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/neuropsychology-in-stroke-recovery-dr-jennifer-sumner/">Neuropsychology In Stroke Recovery – Dr. Jennifer Sumner</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> The importance of neuropsychology in stroke recovery can not be overstated. Having a base line of where your cognitive deficits are helps you to track how far you’ve come and identify areas that need additional resources. The importance of neuropsychology in stroke recovery can not be overstated. Having a base line of where your cognitive deficits are helps you to track how far you’ve come and identify areas that need additional resources. Recovery After Stroke 1:06:27 Anatomy Of The Brain – Hilary Helt https://recoveryafterstroke.com/anatomy-of-the-brain-hilary-helt/ Mon, 19 Jul 2021 14:37:51 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6424 <p>Understanding the anatomy of the brain is something that stroke survivors may benefit from when trying to comprehend how a stroke has impacted their body and personality and their health.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/anatomy-of-the-brain-hilary-helt/">Anatomy Of The Brain – Hilary Helt</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Understanding the anatomy of the brain is something that stroke survivors may benefit from when trying to comprehend how a stroke has impacted their body and personality and their health. Understanding the anatomy of the brain is something that stroke survivors may benefit from when trying to comprehend how a stroke has impacted their body and personality and their health. Recovery After Stroke 1:01:31 A Night For Aphasia – Olivia O’Hare https://recoveryafterstroke.com/a-night-for-aphasia-olivia-ohare/ Mon, 12 Jul 2021 13:52:27 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6404 <p>Held annually, a night for aphasia is the brainchild of speech pathologist Olivia O’Hare. The event is designed to educate Australia about aphasia. </p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/a-night-for-aphasia-olivia-ohare/">A Night For Aphasia – Olivia O’Hare</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Held annually, a night for aphasia is the brainchild of speech pathologist Olivia O’Hare. The event is designed to educate Australia about aphasia. Held annually, a night for aphasia is the brainchild of speech pathologist Olivia O’Hare. The event is designed to educate Australia about aphasia. Recovery After Stroke 58:08 Losing Appetite After Stroke – Tamare Orilus https://recoveryafterstroke.com/losing-appetite-after-stroke-tamare-orilus/ Mon, 05 Jul 2021 14:28:56 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6387 <p>Losing your appetite after a stroke is a very rare condition that only affects very few stroke survivors. Tamare Orilus has had no appetite for 9 months and lost almost 100 pounds but is now ready to eat again.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/losing-appetite-after-stroke-tamare-orilus/">Losing Appetite After Stroke – Tamare Orilus</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Losing your appetite after a stroke is a very rare condition that only affects very few stroke survivors. Tamare Orilus has had no appetite for 9 months and lost almost 100 pounds but is now ready to eat again. Losing your appetite after a stroke is a very rare condition that only affects very few stroke survivors. Tamare Orilus has had no appetite for 9 months and lost almost 100 pounds but is now ready to eat again. Recovery After Stroke 44:36 Young Stroke Survivor – Izzy Hirst https://recoveryafterstroke.com/young-stroke-survivor-izzy-hirst/ Mon, 28 Jun 2021 14:14:52 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6258 <p>Izzy Hurst was at the Manchester Arena in England the day a terrorist detonated a bomb at the completion of the Ariana Grande concert. This began a series of health events that would lead to Izzy Hurst experiencing a stroke aged just 17.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/young-stroke-survivor-izzy-hirst/">Young Stroke Survivor – Izzy Hirst</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Izzy Hurst was at the Manchester Arena in England the day a terrorist detonated a bomb at the completion of the Ariana Grande concert. This began a series of health events that would lead to Izzy Hurst experiencing a stroke aged just 17. Izzy Hurst was at the Manchester Arena in England the day a terrorist detonated a bomb at the completion of the Ariana Grande concert. This began a series of health events that would lead to Izzy Hurst experiencing a stroke aged just 17. Recovery After Stroke 1:13:22 How Neurofeedback Can Take Recovery To The Next Level – Louloua Smadi & Dr Lynette Louise https://recoveryafterstroke.com/how-neurofeedback-can-take-recovery-to-the-next-level/ Mon, 21 Jun 2021 14:00:06 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6239 <p>Louloua Smadi is the author of the book from client to clinician a book about neurofeedback and her experience with how neurofeedback improved the lives of all the members in her family</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/how-neurofeedback-can-take-recovery-to-the-next-level/">How Neurofeedback Can Take Recovery To The Next Level – Louloua Smadi & Dr Lynette Louise</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Louloua Smadi is the author of the book from client to clinician a book about neurofeedback and her experience with how neurofeedback improved the lives of all the members in her family Louloua Smadi is the author of the book from client to clinician a book about neurofeedback and her experience with how neurofeedback improved the lives of all the members in her family Recovery After Stroke 1:09:20 Overcoming Foot Drop – Emily Knosher https://recoveryafterstroke.com/overcoming-foot-drop-emily-knosher/ Mon, 14 Jun 2021 14:20:04 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6199 <p>Overcoming foot drop thanks to some amazing technology has inspired Emily Knosher to join the board of the Freedom To Walk Foundation.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/overcoming-foot-drop-emily-knosher/">Overcoming Foot Drop – Emily Knosher</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Overcoming foot drop thanks to some amazing technology has inspired Emily Knosher to join the board of the Freedom To Walk Foundation. Overcoming foot drop thanks to some amazing technology has inspired Emily Knosher to join the board of the Freedom To Walk Foundation. Recovery After Stroke 1:19:30 Living With One Arm – Kate Ryan https://recoveryafterstroke.com/living-with-one-arm-kate-ryan/ Mon, 07 Jun 2021 12:11:02 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6158 <p>Kate Ryan has been living with one hand since age 10 after a stroke. Her book shares tips to help you be independent with the use of only one hand</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/living-with-one-arm-kate-ryan/">Living With One Arm – Kate Ryan</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Kate Ryan has been living with one hand since age 10 after a stroke. Her book shares tips to help you be independent with the use of only one hand Kate Ryan has been living with one hand since age 10 after a stroke. Her book shares tips to help you be independent with the use of only one hand Recovery After Stroke 1:09:33 Ignoring The Signs Of Stroke – Stacy Quinn https://recoveryafterstroke.com/ignoring-the-signs-of-stroke-stacy-quinn/ Mon, 31 May 2021 14:05:12 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6122 <p>Fit, healthy and full of energy at age 41, Stacy Quinn never associated the signs of stroke to someone of her age so she avoided getting the help she needed.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/ignoring-the-signs-of-stroke-stacy-quinn/">Ignoring The Signs Of Stroke – Stacy Quinn</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Fit, healthy and full of energy at age 41, Stacy Quinn never associated the signs of stroke to someone of her age so she avoided getting the help she needed. Fit, healthy and full of energy at age 41, Stacy Quinn never associated the signs of stroke to someone of her age so she avoided getting the help she needed. Recovery After Stroke 1:11:20 Riding 9000 kilometers for stroke awareness – Tommy Quick https://recoveryafterstroke.com/riding-9000-kilometers-for-stroke-awareness-tommy-quick/ Tue, 18 May 2021 01:06:09 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6090 <p>15 years after the stroke, 27-year-old Tommy Quick decided to ride more than 9000 kilometers or 5592 miles on an epic year-long journey to challenge himself and raise money for stroke research.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/riding-9000-kilometers-for-stroke-awareness-tommy-quick/">Riding 9000 kilometers for stroke awareness – Tommy Quick</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> 15 years after the stroke, 27-year-old Tommy Quick decided to ride more than 9000 kilometers or 5592 miles on an epic year-long journey to challenge himself and raise money for stroke research. 15 years after the stroke, 27-year-old Tommy Quick decided to ride more than 9000 kilometers or 5592 miles on an epic year-long journey to challenge himself and raise money for stroke research. Recovery After Stroke 50:27 Mrs. Ohio International & Stroke Survivor https://recoveryafterstroke.com/mrs-ohio-international-stroke-survivor/ Mon, 10 May 2021 15:56:51 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6066 <p>Jeri Ward is the current Mrs. Ohio International, who in 2018 heard a popping sound in her head and instantly knew something was not right.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/mrs-ohio-international-stroke-survivor/">Mrs. Ohio International & Stroke Survivor</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Jeri Ward is the current Mrs. Ohio International, who in 2018 heard a popping sound in her head and instantly knew something was not right. Jeri Ward is the current Mrs. Ohio International, who in 2018 heard a popping sound in her head and instantly knew something was not right. Recovery After Stroke 1:05:22 Paige Keely Foundation – Gina Keely https://recoveryafterstroke.com/paige-keely-foundation/ Mon, 03 May 2021 13:59:30 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6039 <p>Gina Keely is a mother of 3 children, her youngest daughter Paige passed away in 2018 due to a ruptured AVM aged 6.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/paige-keely-foundation/">Paige Keely Foundation – Gina Keely</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Gina Keely is a mother of 3 children, her youngest daughter Paige passed away in 2018 due to a ruptured AVM aged 6. Gina Keely is a mother of 3 children, her youngest daughter Paige passed away in 2018 due to a ruptured AVM aged 6. Recovery After Stroke 1:26:10 Brain Stem Tumor & Stroke Recovery https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brain-stem-tumor-stroke-recovery/ Mon, 19 Apr 2021 13:38:07 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6023 <p>Neale Mahon experienced an ischemic stroke nearly 30 years after radiation treatment to deal with a brain stem tumor.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brain-stem-tumor-stroke-recovery/">Brain Stem Tumor & Stroke Recovery</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Neale Mahon experienced an ischemic stroke nearly 30 years after radiation treatment to deal with a brain stem tumor. Neale Mahon experienced an ischemic stroke nearly 30 years after radiation treatment to deal with a brain stem tumor. Recovery After Stroke 1:11:17 Cryptogenic Stroke Recovery https://recoveryafterstroke.com/cryptogenic-stroke-recovery/ Mon, 12 Apr 2021 13:26:50 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6010 <p>The last thing Karen Moorman expected after a Stroke was that the Cryptogenic Stroke Recovery would make her migraine headaches go away for good.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/cryptogenic-stroke-recovery/">Cryptogenic Stroke Recovery</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> The last thing Karen Moorman expected after a Stroke was that the Cryptogenic Stroke Recovery would make her migraine headaches go away for good. The last thing Karen Moorman expected after a Stroke was that the Cryptogenic Stroke Recovery would make her migraine headaches go away for good. Recovery After Stroke 1:05:11 Anxiety After Stroke – Kent Bragg https://recoveryafterstroke.com/anxiety-after-stroke/ Mon, 05 Apr 2021 13:45:58 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5988 <p>Kent Bragg lived a full paced life when a bleed in the brain caused a stroke that shut down his left side and slowed down the pace of his life</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/anxiety-after-stroke/">Anxiety After Stroke – Kent Bragg</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Kent Bragg lived a full paced life when a bleed in the brain caused a stroke that shut down his left side and slowed down the pace of his life Kent Bragg lived a full paced life when a bleed in the brain caused a stroke that shut down his left side and slowed down the pace of his life Recovery After Stroke 1:09:46 How A 12 Inch Blood Clot Caused An Ischemic Stroke https://recoveryafterstroke.com/a-12-inch-blood-clot-caused-an-ischemic-stroke/ Mon, 22 Mar 2021 15:41:39 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5948 <p>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.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/a-12-inch-blood-clot-caused-an-ischemic-stroke/">How A 12 Inch Blood Clot Caused An Ischemic Stroke</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> 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. 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. Recovery After Stroke 1:14:21 A Successful Solution To Leg Spasticity https://recoveryafterstroke.com/a-successful-solution-to-leg-spasticity/ Sun, 07 Mar 2021 14:00:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5923 <p>Sarah Curlee had constant leg spasticity in her leg as a result of an ischemic stroke at age 27 and by age 29 she made the dramatic decision to have her leg amputated to solve the problem.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/a-successful-solution-to-leg-spasticity/">A Successful Solution To Leg Spasticity</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Sarah Curlee had constant leg spasticity in her leg as a result of an ischemic stroke at age 27 and by age 29 she made the dramatic decision to have her leg amputated to solve the problem. Sarah Curlee had constant leg spasticity in her leg as a result of an ischemic stroke at age 27 and by age 29 she made the dramatic decision to have her leg amputated to solve the problem. Recovery After Stroke 1:08:17 Stronger After Stroke – Peter G. Levine https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stronger-after-stroke-peter-g-levine/ Mon, 01 Mar 2021 14:59:18 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5904 <p>As stroke survivors in rehab reach their plateau they are often discharged. Peter G Levine a clinical researcher says that this is when the real work starts</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stronger-after-stroke-peter-g-levine/">Stronger After Stroke – Peter G. Levine</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> As stroke survivors in rehab reach their plateau they are often discharged. Peter G Levine a clinical researcher says that this is when the real work starts As stroke survivors in rehab reach their plateau they are often discharged. Peter G Levine a clinical researcher says that this is when the real work starts Recovery After Stroke 1:06:36 From Anxiety To Calm In Just A Few Sessions – Bill Gasiamis with Scott Stevens https://recoveryafterstroke.com/from-anxiety-to-calm-in-just-a-few-sessions-case-bill-gasiamis-scott-stevens/ Mon, 22 Feb 2021 12:14:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5881 <p>Scott Stevens is a father and husband who had a stroke at 44. Listen to how he went from anxious to calm in just a few coaching sessions</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/from-anxiety-to-calm-in-just-a-few-sessions-case-bill-gasiamis-scott-stevens/">From Anxiety To Calm In Just A Few Sessions – Bill Gasiamis with Scott Stevens</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Scott Stevens is a father and husband who had a stroke at 44. Listen to how he went from anxious to calm in just a few coaching sessions Scott Stevens is a father and husband who had a stroke at 44. Listen to how he went from anxious to calm in just a few coaching sessions Recovery After Stroke 41:07 Overcoming Locked In Syndrome – Duncan Campling https://recoveryafterstroke.com/overcoming-locked-in-syndrome-duncan-campling/ Mon, 15 Feb 2021 11:30:07 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5779 <p>Duncan Campling has been in recovery from locked-in syndrome since 2018. The father of two is living in a nursing home and due to Covid has not been outside in 9 months</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/overcoming-locked-in-syndrome-duncan-campling/">Overcoming Locked In Syndrome – Duncan Campling</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Duncan Campling has been in recovery from locked-in syndrome since 2018. The father of two is living in a nursing home and due to Covid has not been outside in 9 months Duncan Campling has been in recovery from locked-in syndrome since 2018. The father of two is living in a nursing home and due to Covid has not been outside in 9 months Recovery After Stroke 33:47 How To Manage Setbacks After Stroke – Bill Gasiamis https://recoveryafterstroke.com/how-to-manage-setbacks-after-stroke/ Tue, 09 Feb 2021 08:25:08 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5753 <p>7 Tips to help manage setbacks after stroke by Bill Gasiamis will give you some ideas that may help you navigate stroke setbacks</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/how-to-manage-setbacks-after-stroke/">How To Manage Setbacks After Stroke – Bill Gasiamis</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> 7 Tips to help manage setbacks after stroke by Bill Gasiamis will give you some ideas that may help you navigate stroke setbacks 7 Tips to help manage setbacks after stroke by Bill Gasiamis will give you some ideas that may help you navigate stroke setbacks Recovery After Stroke 38:26 Losing Your Independence After Stroke – Ruth Carroll https://recoveryafterstroke.com/losing-your-independence-after-stroke-ruth-carroll/ Mon, 01 Feb 2021 11:30:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5726 <p>Ruth Carroll gave birth to her son on March 31 2017 and the very next day experienced an ischemic stroke which was a result of complications from a brain tumor.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/losing-your-independence-after-stroke-ruth-carroll/">Losing Your Independence After Stroke – Ruth Carroll</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Ruth Carroll gave birth to her son on March 31 2017 and the very next day experienced an ischemic stroke which was a result of complications from a brain tumor. Ruth Carroll gave birth to her son on March 31 2017 and the very next day experienced an ischemic stroke which was a result of complications from a brain tumor. Recovery After Stroke 1:06:51 Cryptogenic Stroke – Andy Dobinson https://recoveryafterstroke.com/cryptogenic-stroke-andy-dobinson/ Tue, 26 Jan 2021 05:25:45 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5712 <p>Andy Dobinson is an ultra marathon runner and an endurance bicycle rider who experienced a cryptogenic stroke</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/cryptogenic-stroke-andy-dobinson/">Cryptogenic Stroke – Andy Dobinson</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Andy Dobinson is an ultra marathon runner and an endurance bicycle rider who experienced a cryptogenic stroke Andy Dobinson is an ultra marathon runner and an endurance bicycle rider who experienced a cryptogenic stroke Recovery After Stroke 1:06:39 Changing Perspective After Stroke – Jennifer Chapman https://recoveryafterstroke.com/changing-perspective-after-stroke-jennifer-chapman/ Tue, 12 Jan 2021 01:07:37 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5673 <p>Have you ever noticed how your Perspective After Stroke has now changed and what is important, is not what it used to be.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/changing-perspective-after-stroke-jennifer-chapman/">Changing Perspective After Stroke – Jennifer Chapman</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Have you ever noticed how your Perspective After Stroke has now changed and what is important, is not what it used to be. Have you ever noticed how your Perspective After Stroke has now changed and what is important, is not what it used to be. Recovery After Stroke 1:10:38 Exercise After Stroke – Lilia Artimenia https://recoveryafterstroke.com/exercise-after-stroke/ Mon, 04 Jan 2021 11:49:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5659 <p>Lilia Artimenia is recovering from an ischemic stroke and recently began sharing her story and adaptive exercises on her Instagram page</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/exercise-after-stroke/">Exercise After Stroke – Lilia Artimenia</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Lilia Artimenia is recovering from an ischemic stroke and recently began sharing her story and adaptive exercises on her Instagram page Lilia Artimenia is recovering from an ischemic stroke and recently began sharing her story and adaptive exercises on her Instagram page Recovery After Stroke 49:08 Living With Aphasia After Stroke – Jack Breitenstein https://recoveryafterstroke.com/living-with-aphasia-after-stroke-jack-breitenstein/ Mon, 28 Dec 2020 14:07:17 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5644 <p>Jack Breitenstein is recovering from a ruptured avm, which placed him in a coma at the age of 15 and now 3 years later joins the recovery after stroke podcast to discuss aphasia after stroke.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/living-with-aphasia-after-stroke-jack-breitenstein/">Living With Aphasia After Stroke – Jack Breitenstein</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Jack Breitenstein is recovering from a ruptured avm, which placed him in a coma at the age of 15 and now 3 years later joins the recovery after stroke podcast to discuss aphasia after stroke. Jack Breitenstein is recovering from a ruptured avm, which placed him in a coma at the age of 15 and now 3 years later joins the recovery after stroke podcast to discuss aphasia after stroke. Recovery After Stroke 46:53 Diabetes and Progressive stroke – Joe Cassaniti https://recoveryafterstroke.com/diabetes-and-progressive-stroke/ Tue, 15 Dec 2020 15:06:34 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5616 <p>Joe Cassanitit sometimes didn't take his diabetes diagnosis seriously. The decision to stop taking his medication resulted in a brain stem, progressive pons stroke.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/diabetes-and-progressive-stroke/">Diabetes and Progressive stroke – Joe Cassaniti</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Joe Cassanitit sometimes didn't take his diabetes diagnosis seriously. The decision to stop taking his medication resulted in a brain stem, progressive pons stroke. Joe Cassanitit sometimes didn't take his diabetes diagnosis seriously. The decision to stop taking his medication resulted in a brain stem, progressive pons stroke. Recovery After Stroke 1:05:56 How Emotional Intelligence Helps With Stroke Recovery – Usha Raman https://recoveryafterstroke.com/how-emotional-intelligence-helps-with-stroke-recovery/ Mon, 07 Dec 2020 12:41:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5602 <p>Emotional Intelligence can help you get unstuck, remove emotional baggage, gain more confidence, and live mindfully and happily after a stroke.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/how-emotional-intelligence-helps-with-stroke-recovery/">How Emotional Intelligence Helps With Stroke Recovery – Usha Raman</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Emotional Intelligence can help you get unstuck, remove emotional baggage, gain more confidence, and live mindfully and happily after a stroke. Emotional Intelligence can help you get unstuck, remove emotional baggage, gain more confidence, and live mindfully and happily after a stroke. Recovery After Stroke 1:00:57 Vertebral Artery Dissection And Stroke Aftermath – Stephanie Flynn https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-aftermath-of-a-vertebral-artery-dissection-and-stroke/ Mon, 30 Nov 2020 15:35:44 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5581 <p>Stephanie Flynn remembers the exact moment when a sudden movement caused a vertebral artery dissection that created a clot which caused a stroke.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-aftermath-of-a-vertebral-artery-dissection-and-stroke/">Vertebral Artery Dissection And Stroke Aftermath – Stephanie Flynn</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Stephanie Flynn remembers the exact moment when a sudden movement caused a vertebral artery dissection that created a clot which caused a stroke. Stephanie Flynn remembers the exact moment when a sudden movement caused a vertebral artery dissection that created a clot which caused a stroke. Recovery After Stroke 1:28:02 Muscular Dystrophy And Stroke – Courtney Gabrus https://recoveryafterstroke.com/muscular-dystrophy-and-stroke/ Tue, 24 Nov 2020 02:01:04 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5560 <p>Muscular dystrophy is a degenerative condition that increases the risk of ischemic stroke. Courtney Gabrus was living with muscular dystrophy when at age 22 she also experienced an ischemic stroke</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/muscular-dystrophy-and-stroke/">Muscular Dystrophy And Stroke – Courtney Gabrus</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Muscular dystrophy is a degenerative condition that increases the risk of ischemic stroke. Courtney Gabrus was living with muscular dystrophy when at age 22 she also experienced an ischemic stroke Muscular dystrophy is a degenerative condition that increases the risk of ischemic stroke. Courtney Gabrus was living with muscular dystrophy when at age 22 she also experienced an ischemic stroke Recovery After Stroke 1:07:10 The Brain Injury Solicitor – Laura Barlow https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-brain-injury-solicitor/ Mon, 16 Nov 2020 14:45:40 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5542 <p>When a brain injury is caused by negligence you may need the help of a brain injury solicitor.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-brain-injury-solicitor/">The Brain Injury Solicitor – Laura Barlow</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> When a brain injury is caused by negligence you may need the help of a brain injury solicitor. When a brain injury is caused by negligence you may need the help of a brain injury solicitor. Recovery After Stroke 49:43 Finding Purpose After Stroke – Nicholas Kemp https://recoveryafterstroke.com/finding-purpose-after-stroke/ Tue, 10 Nov 2020 01:22:11 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5525 <p>Finding purpose after stroke is a key ingredient that helps with the recovery process.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/finding-purpose-after-stroke/">Finding Purpose After Stroke – Nicholas Kemp</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Finding purpose after stroke is a key ingredient that helps with the recovery process. Finding purpose after stroke is a key ingredient that helps with the recovery process. Recovery After Stroke 1:14:00 Art Therapy For Stroke Recovery – Noreen Walsh https://recoveryafterstroke.com/art-therapy-for-stroke-recovery/ Mon, 02 Nov 2020 12:28:32 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5470 <p>Noreen Walsh discovered art therapy, 30 years after experiencing a stroke due to complications from Hemolytic–uremic syndrome (HUS) at 18 months old.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/art-therapy-for-stroke-recovery/">Art Therapy For Stroke Recovery – Noreen Walsh</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Noreen Walsh discovered art therapy, 30 years after experiencing a stroke due to complications from Hemolytic–uremic syndrome (HUS) at 18 months old. Noreen Walsh discovered art therapy, 30 years after experiencing a stroke due to complications from Hemolytic–uremic syndrome (HUS) at 18 months old. Recovery After Stroke 1:27:23 A Brain Aneurysm That Burst At 40 – Claudia Faulkenberry https://recoveryafterstroke.com/a-brain-aneurysm-that-burst-at-40/ Mon, 26 Oct 2020 12:06:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5396 <p>Albert Rand Faulkenberry was watching TV when he experienced a hemorrhagic stroke due to a ruptured brain aneurysm and that's about when Claudia Faulkenberry became the caregiver to a stroke survivor.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/a-brain-aneurysm-that-burst-at-40/">A Brain Aneurysm That Burst At 40 – Claudia Faulkenberry</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Albert Rand Faulkenberry was watching TV when he experienced a hemorrhagic stroke due to a ruptured brain aneurysm and that's about when Claudia Faulkenberry became the caregiver to a stroke survivor. Albert Rand Faulkenberry was watching TV when he experienced a hemorrhagic stroke due to a ruptured brain aneurysm and that's about when Claudia Faulkenberry became the caregiver to a stroke survivor. Recovery After Stroke 1:11:07 A Link Between Contraceptive Pill And Stroke? – Priya Sharma https://recoveryafterstroke.com/a-link-between-contraceptive-pill-and-stroke/ Mon, 19 Oct 2020 14:59:40 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5384 <p>Priya Sharma was 24 years old when multiple blood clots caused an Ischemic Stroke. There is some suspicion that the stroke, may have been caused by the contraceptive pill.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/a-link-between-contraceptive-pill-and-stroke/">A Link Between Contraceptive Pill And Stroke? – Priya Sharma</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Priya Sharma was 24 years old when multiple blood clots caused an Ischemic Stroke. There is some suspicion that the stroke, may have been caused by the contraceptive pill. Priya Sharma was 24 years old when multiple blood clots caused an Ischemic Stroke. There is some suspicion that the stroke, may have been caused by the contraceptive pill. Recovery After Stroke 1:02:25 Brain Stem Pons Stroke – Gloria Morgan https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brain-stem-pons-stroke-gloria-morgan/ Mon, 12 Oct 2020 03:08:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5352 <p>Gloria Morgan just gave birth to her third child when a brain stem pons stroke threatened to turn what was supposed to be a happy time into a tragedy.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brain-stem-pons-stroke-gloria-morgan/">Brain Stem Pons Stroke – Gloria Morgan</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Gloria Morgan just gave birth to her third child when a brain stem pons stroke threatened to turn what was supposed to be a happy time into a tragedy. Gloria Morgan just gave birth to her third child when a brain stem pons stroke threatened to turn what was supposed to be a happy time into a tragedy. Recovery After Stroke 1:02:15 Brainstem Cavernous Angioma – Whitney Spotts https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brainstem-cavernous-angioma/ Mon, 05 Oct 2020 12:29:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5286 <p>Being a mom to a toddler is challenging enough and when you have to deal with a brainstem cavernous angioma causing a bleed in your brain it becomes even harder.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brainstem-cavernous-angioma/">Brainstem Cavernous Angioma – Whitney Spotts</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Being a mom to a toddler is challenging enough and when you have to deal with a brainstem cavernous angioma causing a bleed in your brain it becomes even harder. Being a mom to a toddler is challenging enough and when you have to deal with a brainstem cavernous angioma causing a bleed in your brain it becomes even harder. Recovery After Stroke 1:05:31 Showing Kindness Even If We Disagree https://recoveryafterstroke.com/showing-kindness-even-if-we-disagree/ Mon, 28 Sep 2020 15:50:50 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5245 <p>Disagreements in 2020 have been on the rise, especially with the COVID crisis and world events that polarize communities everywhere. How can we be kind and still disagree?</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/showing-kindness-even-if-we-disagree/">Showing Kindness Even If We Disagree</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Disagreements in 2020 have been on the rise, especially with the COVID crisis and world events that polarize communities everywhere. How can we be kind and still disagree? Disagreements in 2020 have been on the rise, especially with the COVID crisis and world events that polarize communities everywhere. How can we be kind and still disagree? Recovery After Stroke 1:01:11 Vertebral Artery Dissection & recovery – Amy Wells https://recoveryafterstroke.com/vertebral-artery-dissection-recovery/ Mon, 14 Sep 2020 14:28:56 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5042 <p>A vertebral artery dissection is not what you’d expect at 35 years young. In this interview Amy Wells talks candidly about her stroke and how life has change for the better in the last 12 months </p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/vertebral-artery-dissection-recovery/">Vertebral Artery Dissection & recovery – Amy Wells</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> A vertebral artery dissection is not what you’d expect at 35 years young. In this interview Amy Wells talks candidly about her stroke and how life has change for the better in the last 12 months A vertebral artery dissection is not what you’d expect at 35 years young. In this interview Amy Wells talks candidly about her stroke and how life has change for the better in the last 12 months Recovery After Stroke 1:23:12 Arteriovenous Malformation Recovery – Paul Fink https://recoveryafterstroke.com/arteriovenous-malformation-recovery/ Mon, 07 Sep 2020 14:16:28 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4846 <p>While getting ready to go to work, Paul complained of a shocking head, soon after his speech was gone and the next thing he remembers is being cared for by the paramedics.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/arteriovenous-malformation-recovery/">Arteriovenous Malformation Recovery – Paul Fink</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> While getting ready to go to work, Paul complained of a shocking head, soon after his speech was gone and the next thing he remembers is being cared for by the paramedics. While getting ready to go to work, Paul complained of a shocking head, soon after his speech was gone and the next thing he remembers is being cared for by the paramedics. Recovery After Stroke 1:05:09 Carotid Artery Dissection Recovery – Emily Hoffman https://recoveryafterstroke.com/carotid-artery-dissection-recovery/ Mon, 31 Aug 2020 15:31:35 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4721 <p>Emily Hoffman is recovering from a carotid artery dissection which caused a stroke in early 2019. She had now started to set some walking goals and is making great progress every day.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/carotid-artery-dissection-recovery/">Carotid Artery Dissection Recovery – Emily Hoffman</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Emily Hoffman is recovering from a carotid artery dissection which caused a stroke in early 2019. She had now started to set some walking goals and is making great progress every day. Emily Hoffman is recovering from a carotid artery dissection which caused a stroke in early 2019. She had now started to set some walking goals and is making great progress every day. Recovery After Stroke 1:11:17 8 Of The Best Stroke Recovery Tips – OT Sisters https://recoveryafterstroke.com/8-of-the-best-stroke-recovery-tips/ Tue, 25 Aug 2020 12:50:45 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4637 <p>Learn 8 of the best stroke recovery tips as shared by the OT Sisters, Jaimee Perea, and Suzy Burns who between them have more than 20 years of experience helping people recovering from a stroke and other neurological conditions. Socials: www.instagram.com/o.t.sisters/ Episode 87. Occupational Therapy and Stroke Lecture – Bill Gasiamis Highlights: 00.53 Introduction 03:13 […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/8-of-the-best-stroke-recovery-tips/">8 Of The Best Stroke Recovery Tips – OT Sisters</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Learn 8 of the best stroke recovery tips as shared by the OT Sisters, Jaimee Perea, and Suzy Burns who between them have more than 20 years of experience helping people recovering from a stroke and other neurological conditions. Socials: www. Learn 8 of the best stroke recovery tips as shared by the OT Sisters, Jaimee Perea, and Suzy Burns who between them have more than 20 years of experience helping people recovering from a stroke and other neurological conditions. Socials: www.instagram.com/o.t.sisters/ Episode 87. Occupational Therapy and Stroke Lecture – Bill Gasiamis Highlights: 00.53 Introduction 03:13 […] Recovery After Stroke 59:36 All The Signs Of Stroke – Jason DePetris https://recoveryafterstroke.com/all-the-signs-of-stroke-jason-depetris/ Mon, 17 Aug 2020 11:00:29 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4486 <p>The last thing Jason DePetris expected when eating breakfast one morning before running a marathon was that the numbness he was experiencing on his left side was one of the signs of stroke.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/all-the-signs-of-stroke-jason-depetris/">All The Signs Of Stroke – Jason DePetris</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> The last thing Jason DePetris expected when eating breakfast one morning before running a marathon was that the numbness he was experiencing on his left side was one of the signs of stroke. The last thing Jason DePetris expected when eating breakfast one morning before running a marathon was that the numbness he was experiencing on his left side was one of the signs of stroke. Recovery After Stroke 1:00:34 The Power Of Suffering – David Roland https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-power-of-suffering/ Mon, 10 Aug 2020 11:00:12 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4446 <p>David Roland is the Author of The Power Of Suffering, a book written after he experienced a Stroke that lead to his career as a Psychologist coming to an end due to stroke and the effects of previously undiagnosed PTSD </p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-power-of-suffering/">The Power Of Suffering – David Roland</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> David Roland is the Author of The Power Of Suffering, a book written after he experienced a Stroke that lead to his career as a Psychologist coming to an end due to stroke and the effects of previously undiagnosed PTSD David Roland is the Author of The Power Of Suffering, a book written after he experienced a Stroke that lead to his career as a Psychologist coming to an end due to stroke and the effects of previously undiagnosed PTSD Recovery After Stroke 1:09:02 Rewiring The Brain – Michael Merzenich https://recoveryafterstroke.com/rewiring-the-brain-michael-merzenich/ Sun, 02 Aug 2020 00:12:00 +0000 http://thetransitloungepodcast.com/?p=426 <p>Neuroplasticity and rewiring your brain. Stroke Podcast Episode 27 – If you have had a similar experience with stroke as I, Rewiring the brain may be just as important to you as it to me. After I experience 3 brain bleeds between 2012 and 2014.  I have left no stone unturned while on the search to […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/rewiring-the-brain-michael-merzenich/">Rewiring The Brain – Michael Merzenich</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Neuroplasticity and rewiring your brain. Stroke Podcast Episode 27 – If you have had a similar experience with stroke as I, Rewiring the brain may be just as important to you as it to me. After I experience 3 brain bleeds between 2012 and 2014. Neuroplasticity and rewiring your brain. Stroke Podcast Episode 27 – If you have had a similar experience with stroke as I, Rewiring the brain may be just as important to you as it to me. After I experience 3 brain bleeds between 2012 and 2014.  I have left no stone unturned while on the search to […] Recovery After Stroke 55:00 Better After Stroke – Sheri McIntyre https://recoveryafterstroke.com/107-better-after-stroke-sheri-mcintyre/ Mon, 20 Jul 2020 15:21:23 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4392 <p>Sheri McIntyre believes that she is better after stroke. Sheri feels this way even though the bleed in the brain due to an AVM (arteriovenous malformation) that ruptured when she was in her early 50’s has caused deficits including vision issues, balance issues, and speech issues.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/107-better-after-stroke-sheri-mcintyre/">Better After Stroke – Sheri McIntyre</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Sheri McIntyre believes that she is better after stroke. Sheri feels this way even though the bleed in the brain due to an AVM (arteriovenous malformation) that ruptured when she was in her early 50’s has caused deficits including vision issues, Sheri McIntyre believes that she is better after stroke. Sheri feels this way even though the bleed in the brain due to an AVM (arteriovenous malformation) that ruptured when she was in her early 50’s has caused deficits including vision issues, balance issues, and speech issues. Recovery After Stroke 1:09:21 Weight Training After Stroke – Kelly Studebaker https://recoveryafterstroke.com/weight-training-after-stroke/ Mon, 13 Jul 2020 13:20:48 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4368 <p>Kelly Studebaker has been recovering from the challenges of a ruptured AVM from the tender age of 11. In the years that followed she has overcome many of stroke life's challenges and achieved so much.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/weight-training-after-stroke/">Weight Training After Stroke – Kelly Studebaker</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Kelly Studebaker has been recovering from the challenges of a ruptured AVM from the tender age of 11. In the years that followed she has overcome many of stroke life's challenges and achieved so much. Kelly Studebaker has been recovering from the challenges of a ruptured AVM from the tender age of 11. In the years that followed she has overcome many of stroke life's challenges and achieved so much. Recovery After Stroke 55:17 Stroke the greatest thing that happened to me https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-the-greatest-thing-that-happened-to-me/ Mon, 06 Jul 2020 16:20:51 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4348 <p>Lianne Karla Bigornia was a registered nurse who then became a call center agent and was working from 9 pm to 4 am. Living an unhealthy lifestyle lead her to have a stroke due to high blood pressure and AVM.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-the-greatest-thing-that-happened-to-me/">Stroke the greatest thing that happened to me</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Lianne Karla Bigornia was a registered nurse who then became a call center agent and was working from 9 pm to 4 am. Living an unhealthy lifestyle lead her to have a stroke due to high blood pressure and AVM. Lianne Karla Bigornia was a registered nurse who then became a call center agent and was working from 9 pm to 4 am. Living an unhealthy lifestyle lead her to have a stroke due to high blood pressure and AVM. Recovery After Stroke 1:05:23 A New Approach to Occupational Therapy After Stroke https://recoveryafterstroke.com/occupational-therapy-after-stroke/ Mon, 29 Jun 2020 15:32:30 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4297 <p>JJ Flentke is the owner of a physical therapy and Wellness Center called Boomerang therapy works designed for aging patients and people with neuromuscular disorders.  JJ is a physical therapist with a Master's degree in public health, health administration, and a doctorate in physical therapy, with an emphasis on the aging process.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/occupational-therapy-after-stroke/">A New Approach to Occupational Therapy After Stroke</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> JJ Flentke is the owner of a physical therapy and Wellness Center called Boomerang therapy works designed for aging patients and people with neuromuscular disorders.  JJ is a physical therapist with a Master's degree in public health, JJ Flentke is the owner of a physical therapy and Wellness Center called Boomerang therapy works designed for aging patients and people with neuromuscular disorders.  JJ is a physical therapist with a Master's degree in public health, health administration, and a doctorate in physical therapy, with an emphasis on the aging process. Recovery After Stroke 37:21 The Fully Recovered Mindset – Maddi Neibanck https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-fully-recovered-mindset/ Mon, 22 Jun 2020 15:14:42 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4268 <p>When migraine headaches led to a brain scan, the last thing Maddi expected to hear was that she had a ticking time bomb in her head in the form of an AVM. Her decision to remove the AVM at age 20 would change her life forever.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-fully-recovered-mindset/">The Fully Recovered Mindset – Maddi Neibanck</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> When migraine headaches led to a brain scan, the last thing Maddi expected to hear was that she had a ticking time bomb in her head in the form of an AVM. Her decision to remove the AVM at age 20 would change her life forever. When migraine headaches led to a brain scan, the last thing Maddi expected to hear was that she had a ticking time bomb in her head in the form of an AVM. Her decision to remove the AVM at age 20 would change her life forever. Recovery After Stroke 48:10 10 Years of Stroke Recovery – Stephanie Ho https://recoveryafterstroke.com/10-years-of-stroke-recovery/ Mon, 15 Jun 2020 12:57:10 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4249 <p>After experiencing a ruptured AVM in her early 20’s Stephanie Ho has now been on the stroke recovery journey for more than 10 years. In that time she has had to overcome a lot of obstacles including readjusting with her new self and dealing with lost friendships and discovering new ways to be herself.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/10-years-of-stroke-recovery/">10 Years of Stroke Recovery – Stephanie Ho</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> After experiencing a ruptured AVM in her early 20’s Stephanie Ho has now been on the stroke recovery journey for more than 10 years. In that time she has had to overcome a lot of obstacles including readjusting with her new self and dealing with lost f... After experiencing a ruptured AVM in her early 20’s Stephanie Ho has now been on the stroke recovery journey for more than 10 years. In that time she has had to overcome a lot of obstacles including readjusting with her new self and dealing with lost friendships and discovering new ways to be herself. Recovery After Stroke 1:13:59 Beyond Trauma – Deborah Stathis https://recoveryafterstroke.com/beyond-trauma-deborah-stathis/ Tue, 09 Jun 2020 13:51:49 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4216 <p>Deborah is the author of the book Beyond Trauma and although she is not a stroke survivor she knows a thing or two about recovering from a brain injury. Her message is definitely going to resonate with stroke survivors.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/beyond-trauma-deborah-stathis/">Beyond Trauma – Deborah Stathis</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Deborah is the author of the book Beyond Trauma and although she is not a stroke survivor she knows a thing or two about recovering from a brain injury. Her message is definitely going to resonate with stroke survivors. Deborah is the author of the book Beyond Trauma and although she is not a stroke survivor she knows a thing or two about recovering from a brain injury. Her message is definitely going to resonate with stroke survivors. Recovery After Stroke 56:42 What It’s Like Living With A Stroke Survivor – Christine Gasiamis https://recoveryafterstroke.com/living-with-a-stroke-survivor/ Tue, 02 Jun 2020 03:50:19 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4128 <p>In episode 100 Bill is joined by his wife Christine Gasiamis who shares what it was like for her to go through stroke as a wife and mum and then to live through Bill's recovery and experience all the ups and down that stroke survivors go through.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/living-with-a-stroke-survivor/">What It’s Like Living With A Stroke Survivor – Christine Gasiamis</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> In episode 100 Bill is joined by his wife Christine Gasiamis who shares what it was like for her to go through stroke as a wife and mum and then to live through Bill's recovery and experience all the ups and down that stroke survivors go through. In episode 100 Bill is joined by his wife Christine Gasiamis who shares what it was like for her to go through stroke as a wife and mum and then to live through Bill's recovery and experience all the ups and down that stroke survivors go through. Recovery After Stroke 1:39:31