Recovery After Stroke https://recoveryafterstroke.com A Community And Podcast For Stroke Survivors And Carers Tue, 20 Oct 2020 01:00:00 +0000 en-AU hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.1 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 118. 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 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/a-link-between-contraceptive-pill-and-stroke/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/a-link-between-contraceptive-pill-and-stroke/feed/ 0 <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/">118. 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.

Socials: https://www.instagram.com/mystrokeofinspiration/

Highlights:

01:05 Introduction
03:16 No signs of stroke
04:53 Contraceptive Pill and Stroke risk
12:24 Lifestyle change after stroke
16:02 Initial stroke deficits
22:44 Having family and friends during stroke recovery
29:25 My Stroke of Inspiration
38:03 Considering mortality
40:10 Positive Mindset
49:05 How to deal with negative comments
56:32 Explaining to people that you’ve had a stroke

Bill 0:00
Did they know what caused those clots?

Priya 0:03
They haven’t actually found out yet, a factor of it was just the contraceptive pill. The thing is if you read the little dockets that come in medication packets and stuff that no one reads because it’s very small writing.

Priya 0:24
It’s actually in there that a side effect could be blood clots. But I wasn’t told that like my doctor didn’t say anything when I was prescribed it either. So it is kind of an, I guess, not normal, but it does happen. It’s just that people aren’t told that it could be a potential side effect when they’re prescribed the pill.

Intro 0:52
This is the Recovery After Stroke Podcast, with Bill Gasiamis, helping you navigate recovery after stroke.

Introduction

Contraceptive Pill and Stroke risk
Bill 1:04
Bill from recoveryafterstroke.com This is Episode 118. And my guest today is Priya Sharma. Although Priya doesn’t have all the answers about what may have caused her to have an ischemic stroke at age 24, she does suspect that the contraceptive pill she was prescribed by her GP to treat a skin condition may have played a role.

Bill 1:25
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Bill 1:36
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Bill 1:49
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Bill 2:02
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Bill 2:22
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Bill 2:39
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. And now it’s on the show. Priya Sharma. Welcome to the podcast.

Priya 2:45
Thank you.

Bill 2:46
Lovely to meet you. We’ve known each other for a little while on social media. And you did some volunteering for the Stroke Foundation, which I also do.

Priya 3:01
Oh, okay. So as much as I can, I guess I’ve got two jobs at the moment. And I’m studying as well. So it’s sort of whatever time I can get.

Bill 3:13
Tell me a little bit about what happened to you.

No signs of stroke

Contraceptive Pill and Stroke risk
Priya 3:16
So I had my stroke in July 2015. I had gastritis the week before, so I was already off work. I didn’t really have any of the signs. And of course, I didn’t expect a stroke at 24. So I was pretty weak already and kind of not eating and stuff. So I got taken to the hospital.

Priya 3:50
And then it was in the emergency department. While we were waiting. They sort of wheeled me to get some blood tests, and I started having a seizure. So that’s when they took me out to ICU and I had like MRIs and CT scans, which is how they found they found quite a few clots in my brain, which obviously caused the stroke.

Priya 4:19
And then I was transferred to a different hospital just that had kind of a better stroke came and everything. And then just during my stay there, they found kind of more clots. So I had two Thrombectomies. And I think that when they were taking the clots out of my brain it must have traveled. So they later found clots in my legs and my lungs as well.

Contraceptive Pill and Stroke risk

Bill 4:53
Wow, did they know what caused those clots?

Priya 4:56
And they haven’t actually found out yet, a factor of it was just the contraceptive pill. But they don’t know the full cause yet. And I’m still on blood thinners so they can’t. Like they ruled out blood disorders and everything. They tested me for all that in genetics and everything. And it was none of that. So it’s still like a mystery.

Bill 5:26
It’s interesting that you said the contraceptive pill maybe, because you’re not any person who I’ve interviewed who said that, that they think that the contraceptive pill might have something to do with it. And it’s still kind of this thing where maybe it has something to do with it. And I don’t really know.

Priya 5:44
It does. The thing is if you read the little dockets that come in medication packets and stuff that no one reads, because it’s very small writing. It’s actually in there that a side effect, could be blood clots. But I wasn’t told that like, my doctor didn’t say anything when I was prescribed it either. So it is kind of an I guess, not normal. But it does happen. It’s just that people aren’t told that it could be a potential side effect when they’re prescribed the pill.

Bill 6:23
Wow. If you had known that, I know, you were 24. So let’s just pretend that you were aware of the issue of stroke as a side effect of taking the contraceptive pill. Do you think you would have taken that seriously that you could have a stroke? Or do you think you maybe would have ignored it and taken the medication anyway?

Priya 6:48
Well, that’s the thing. Like, I’m kind of on the fence about that, because I was only taking it from my skin. So to me, it wouldn’t have mattered if I didn’t take it or not. But then, I guess back then, I didn’t think a stroke could happen to someone so young.

Priya 7:10
And it’s only since I’ve had it that I’ve met so many people around my age, with similar stories. It’s because I guess, young story isn’t publicized. So what you see in the media is just that it happens to like elderly people.

Bill 7:29
So this is the thing about the contraceptive pill, a lot of people think that it’s taken just for contraception purposes, but I know lots of people have taken it for many other reasons that are not related to contraception, and babies and intercourse.

Bill 7:50
And it’s just crazy that this pill is so widely used for so many things. And it interferes with the body in so many ways. And it’s still considered to be okay to prescribe to people, even though it says it on the paperwork that you can have a stroke.

Priya 8:09
And I think so the particular one that I was prescribed has actually got a higher risk of clots than all the other ones. And I think there’s actually, I don’t know if it’s still around, but a local MP, I can’t remember what state he’s from. But his daughter had the same problems. And he created a petition to get it banned.

Priya 8:36
Because it’s kind of I need that particular one that was more dangerous than the others. I had a higher risk. But no one’s told that when they go to their doctor, or their doctor prescribes it.

Bill 8:51
So you haven’t had that conversation with your doctor prior to taking the medication. Did you have a conversation like that with your doctor after?

Priya 8:59
No, because I changed doctors after. And, and that wasn’t the reason why I changed doctors. But I’ve got a different doctor now. And I feel like he’s a bit more like he listens and is more understanding as well. So basically, the reason I changed doctors was because obviously when I came out of hospital, the nurses were like, make sure you’ve just got a doctor who will see you kind of straightaway.

Priya 9:35
And you won’t have to wait too long, especially I guess at that stage, like, I guess you would know you get tired easily and all that. And so we kind of went to this doctor twice and both times I was waiting over an hour to see her. So that’s when we kind of changed doctors obviously, I’m never allowed to take it again. And I was only on it for I think, three months before my stroke. So that’s kind of the more shocking bit is that it only took that amount of time.

Bill 10:19
Yeah to cause a reaction. So how has life changed now that you’re recovering from the blood clots and the strokes that they caused?

Priya 10:32
I guess, like my story is not too, I guess not much the same as everyone else. I pretty much physically recovered when I got out of rehab. So I guess the main things for me, I just kind of when I’m, like walking long distances, I’ve still got kind of stuff muscles. So I guess that’s the main thing. And then just, I just had anxiety since then. And I think those are the main things for me.

Bill 11:10
And the anxiety, what do you think that’s in relation to is that something you’re concerned that something terrible might happen? Or what brings that on? Do you know?

Priya 11:20
Well, yeah, that’s probably a point because we don’t know their cause yet. And I guess my kind of thoughts are like, I don’t know, what sort of things to avoid, or not do to bring on I guess, because of everything I went through, I’m at a much higher risk now of having a second one. And so I guess, yeah, that’s probably one of the main things.

Bill 11:51
So you’re kind of thinking in the background, that maybe there’s something going on? And maybe I’ll have another one?

Priya 11:58
Yeah, exactly. But I think that’s everyone’s, everyone’s scared of that. I think, for me, it’s just not knowing the cause. Every year, I go see my hematologist and they still haven’t figured it out. So it’s just, I guess, in the back of my head, it’d be nice to just have answers as well.

Lifestyle change after stroke

Bill 12:24
A little bit of the unknown, it can be a drama. I know a lot of stroke survivors do talk about the thought, the concern that there might be another one around the corner or something like that. But a lot of them as a result of that take some dramatic steps to change the way that they live their life, you know, the things that they do, for example, you know, if they drink, or smoke, they might stop smoking and drinking, and they might change their diet. Have you done some things like that to sort of support your health?

Priya 12:54
Well, no, because I was already like that I was before my stroke, I was going to the gym five times a week, I was eating healthy, like I drink more than enough water. So it’s not really a change for me. And I think that’s probably what helped me recover really well, as well.

Priya 13:16
So yeah, that hasn’t really been a change. And I guess aside from the basic things that you learn, or that you know, can reduce your risk. I’ve still got that unknown, of not knowing the cause and not knowing, like not being able to exactly pinpoint what I can avoid or do different.

Bill 13:42
Yeah. I think you’re on the right track, though. It sounds like you’re doing all the right things anyway. And your most serious risk of stroke, I think, but I know you and from just from our conversation. Sounds like it’s been already taken out of the picture. So you haven’t, you’re doing that now. You know, you’re not taking that medication. So it’s not likely.

Priya 14:10
That’s the thing though, that was only a kind of small factor. They did say there’s no way it can be the full cause. So I guess trying to pinpoint it would be great, and have answers, but I guess doctors can only do so much as well.

Bill 14:32
Yeah. So you were 24 What were you in the middle of? Were you doing studies? Were you working? What were you up to?

Priya 14:39
I was working full time at the time. So I was working for Serco. So like transport info in New South Wales. But then I was sick that whole week. So I was at home anyway. They actually they’re not sure when I had the stroke because I had it before I got into the hospital as well.

Bill 15:06
Do you think you went to work? And well?

Priya 15:11
Well, I don’t know, possibly because I guess with the amount of blood clots I had, it could be possible. But yeah, I’m really not sure. I don’t even the first few days of me being an ICU, I don’t have much recollection, I was pretty out of it. Which I’m sure most people are at that point.

Bill 15:38
It’s pretty common after the stroke. Most people are out of it. So you’re in hospital for how long?

Priya 15:46
I was in the hospital for three and a half weeks. I was then in inpatient rehab for two weeks. And then I was in outpatient rehab for four weeks, but sort of only twice a week.

Initial stroke deficits

Bill 16:03
When you were, in rehab, what was it that you needed to get back or overcome?

Priya 16:10
So the main thing was walking, and definitely walking up and downstairs, because we have a two-story house. And I guess just my speech, my speech was quite slow compared to what it was before. And then just basic things like learning how to use a fork and knife again to eat.

Priya 16:39
And then just the physio, and that goes with the walking I guess. I’m just getting my strength back and walking without losing my balance all the time. And then, yeah, I think those are the main things I had a bit of occupational therapy as well. But that was more so like, we had a thing where we had to show them that we could make a meal ourselves. Because, and I’m sure you went through that as well.

Bill 17:16
And I was so annoyed, because they were making me make my own meals and my hand wasn’t working properly. I was thinking why they making us cook our own meals.

Intro 17:24
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’ll make matters worse?

Intro 17:41
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 18:04
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.

Priya 18:27
Yeah, so I think that was just a way for them to make sure that if you were alone in your house, you could do like you could at least make yourself food. And even if it was like just a basic toast.

Bill 18:43
I did ask them that. And then they explained it to me. And then I understood why they were doing that to us. And they weren’t being nasty, or lazy. So how long did it take you to get back to work?

Priya 18:55
So I, I had five months off. So I guess three months if you take out like the hospital and rehab part of it. And then yeah, just had the three months off. And then yeah, when I went back gradually, so I started off with like, two days a week, four hours and then I just kept building up from that.

Priya 19:22
I was pretty lucky with my workplace they will or like my contract manager was quite supportive. And when I asked her like I said, I have to come back gradually, because that’s obviously what my doctor had said. And they were very accommodating with that.

Bill 19:43
When you got back to work was fatigue, an issue sitting in front of a screen and trying to do you work during the day?

Priya 19:49
Yeah, for sure i am and i think that i did ask my neurosurgeon about this and he did say sometimes it doesn’t go away. All I don’t know if you still experience fatigue. But yeah, I definitely have some times where I’m still, I get fatigued a lot. And I guess that’s the difference. Trying to explain it to other people is hard because fatigue is different from neuro fatigue is not just I guess tiredness.

Bill 20:29
Right? That’s actually a really interesting point because neuro fatigue is something completely different. I’ve not experienced up until my surgery and brain hemorrhages. I never experienced neuro fatigue before, but I did experience fatigue. And that was really hard. But usually it came from doing too much work or a hard day’s work or putting in too much effort somewhere. But neuro fatigue is just there. And it’s not physical fatigue, isn’t it? It’s just got nothing to do with that.

Priya 21:00
Yeah, it’s not always physical. Like it’s just like, I guess, mental fatigue as well. I guess just wanting to switch off and, like not being able to concentrate and things like that.

Bill 21:17
So did that affect you at work and the amount of time that it took you to get back to, you know, “normal”?

Priya 21:26
Um, yes, I would say so. However, I guess because my recovery was, was quite done quite well. And I, like recovered pretty quickly. I, I think so I went back to work in November 2015. And then I was by, I think, July 2016. I was back at full-time work. Yeah. Okay. So, to me, it didn’t take too long. It was just sort of, I guess, liaising with my doctor and making sure I was okay to increase my hours every so often.

Bill 22:11
Were you living at home during that time when you were unwell? With mom and dad is what I mean.

Priya 22:17
Yeah, I’m living with mom and dad. And I guess that was a good thing as well. Because if I wasn’t, I’d have been alone at that point. And I guess, because I didn’t know I had this stroke. It’s good, because I got treatment quickly. Whereas if I was alone, I wouldn’t have known and it might be very different.

Having family and friends during stroke recovery

Contraceptive Pill and Stroke risk
Bill 22:44
Yeah. What are some of the things that you missed out on during that recovery time? When you were kind of out of it? And you weren’t working properly? Was there people that you couldn’t catch up with? What types of issues did you have to face?

Priya 22:59
Not really, so kind of my friends that. I’m the kind of person that will keep like, I’ll have a close group of friends and I’m kind of more so now I’m very, very picky about who I sort of hang out with, or who I invited out to dinners and stuff. But, um, to my friends at that point, obviously, I’m still friends with them, but they kind of more accommodated me as well.

Priya 23:33
So obviously, my mom was pretty worried about me going out to the city or like, being by myself and stuff. Because this is only a few months after, but they were pretty good. Like they come meet me at the station or something. So I wouldn’t be alone. So that didn’t really change much. I’ve thought, I’ve always kind of been that person like that. I’m quite picky and like, I don’t go out a lot.

Bill 24:10
So is it kind of business as usual? Not too much changed.

Priya 24:15
Yeah, not too much changed. I guess kind of the main thing would have been just work just increasing my hours just trying not to let the fatigue affect me too much. because like you said earlier, staring at a screen for so long. A day does give you the mental fatigue as well.

Bill 24:43
Yep. Were you a driver?

Priya 24:45
No.

Bill 24:46
So you didn’t miss out on driving and learning how to drive again wasn’t an issue?

Priya 24:53
No, that hasn’t been an issue for me. No.

Bill 24:56
Yeah. That’s pretty cool. Most people have real big disruption to their life. Yeah, strike because they, I’m not sure. I’m not sure why? Because maybe because they do so much. And they do. And they cram so many things into their day, and they have to play so many roles, you know, pick up kids drop off, whatever, all that kind of stuff. So although it was quite a difficult time for you, it caused some disruption for sure. You didn’t really change the way that you went about your life for a long period of time.

Priya 25:31
No, not really. And I suppose like you mentioned, like, I don’t have kids, I don’t have any, like, I don’t have dependents. So I don’t have that in my life that would be disrupted. And yeah, I don’t drive anyway, because I don’t feel the need to. Really, um, so especially now, I guess that everyone’s well, working from home.

Bill 26:03
You did well there. So tell me about did it motivate you in different ways, though, it seems like you’re potentially doing things that you haven’t done before was the kind of work that you did for the Stroke Foundation, which is presenting stroke safe talks. Have you done anything like that before? Had you ever considered volunteering or anything like that?

Priya 26:27
No, I actually never heard of the Stroke Foundation until I did my own research. afterwards. I joined a couple of like stroke survivor groups. And I do see a lot of obviously questions for like, has anyone had this kind of strike? And like, how was your recovery and things like that? So I guess Yes, in a way I did. Because I’m getting my story out there as well.

Priya 27:00
And letting people know that strike can happen at any age. I’ve had quite a few people message me on social media, just being like your story. So inspiring. And just asking more questions and stuff. And then, yeah, with, like I mentioned earlier with my muscle weaknesses, kind of, does motivate me to do more like this year was five years for me.

Priya 27:31
So I did the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb, which I probably would have never done because I’m terrified of heights. But I was like that will be a good kind of celebration. My friend suggested it as well. And he’s like, you’ll be at the like, highest point in Sydney. Like, what else would you want to do? Like, that’s an amazing celebration? Because I’m the I’m one of those ones that celebrate each year. Because I look at it, like, I survived this major thing that I probably shouldn’t have.

Bill 28:14
Yeah, absolutely. It’s definitely something to celebrate. At the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, how long does it take to get there?

Priya 28:26
Probably about just over an hour, because the whole climb is three and a half hours. But that being said, we do stop a lot along the way, to hear like the history and stuff of the bridge and the area around it. So it’s not like a continuous walk. So I probably say even less than that if we weren’t if we didn’t stop along the way.

Bill 29:00
That’s quite a few steps up, I would imagine. And you can see a 360 degree view of Sydney Harbour. I mean, was it a good day that you went out there was the sun out?

Priya 29:13
So I did the sunset climb, and we had an amazing sunset, which was really nice. I do have some photos on my Instagram as well of it.

My Stroke of Inspiration


Bill 29:25
Wow. Yeah. I’ll have a look at those. And maybe we can post some as well. And have a look at them. Now. your Instagram is a stroke of inspiration. Is that right?

Priya 29:36
My Stroke of Inspiration.

Bill 29:39
Why was stroke an inspiration to you?

Priya 29:44
I think it’s more because I use the platform to share my story and stuff. And obviously I’ve had a lot of people saying it’s an inspiring story and stuff and I’m like, it makes sense and it’s a different name. I don’t like using my, like full name or just my name on my social media handles.

Bill 30:15
Yeah, fair enough. It’s a great name. It really makes people pay attention, especially with regards to, you know, something from stroke becoming inspiring to other people. That’s a great thing.

Priya 30:28
And I think it’s brought up a lot of conversations as well. Like, when I tell people my handle, it sort of gets a conversation going as to like, why you have that name. And then I tell them, and I share my story as well. So I guess it is, in a way, getting the story out there a bit more as well.

Bill 30:50
Yeah, that’s awesome. Why not? I like that it creates a conversation without really meaning to raising awareness and telling people of something that’s serious, that maybe will help somebody at some point in time.

Priya 31:04
Yeah, definitely. I’ve had, I think there’s been a couple of people that have reached out because they’re, my speakers, people have, like an AVM or something like that, that have caused their stroke. And I think my story is a bit unique. And I’ve had a few people reach out to me being like, I’ve never met anyone with a similar story to mine, as well. So I guess in that way, it’s good as well. And because other people are finding someone that’s had that similar story to them.

Bill 31:45
Yeah. I mean, that’s one of the best things that happened to me is I found people that were, I suppose that was like me, and then they understood me. They got what I was saying. They understood what fatigue meant, you know, when we talk about fatigue, yeah. And it made a huge difference to the way that I was feeling. And then it allowed me to have conversations with that person that I wasn’t able to have with anybody else.

Priya 32:15
That’s exactly right. Like I was saying this the other day to someone as much as I guess our other friends and family tried to understand they just won’t because they haven’t been through a similar situation. Whereas I guess the people I’ve met since they obviously have similar stories, or then they’ve been through the same thing, just a different situation. So then know exactly like what you’re talking about.

Bill 32:51
Yeah. About, probably about 18 interviews ago, I interviewed a lady called Kelly. And she had an ischemic stroke as well, she was 32. Now one of the things that she said, which was similar to you was that she was also taking the pill.

Bill 33:10
And then after the stroke, again, she became aware of the fact that there’s a possible side effect, which causes stroke for some people and blood clots for some people. And she was a bit shocked and surprised as well. And she hadn’t really come across anybody else that had been in that situation. So yeah, it is uncommon for sure that people experienced stroke. But it sounds like there’s still too many of them out there, that experienced stroke because of potentially a medication.

Priya 33:42
And I guess I’m just going back to what I was saying before, it’s more because it’s not publicized. And I’m finding more information about stroke now than I ever would have, like, five, six years ago.

Priya 34:04
There’s a lot more information out there now for people. But I also think, doctors should be going through that with you if they’re prescribing your medication.

Bill 34:17
Absolutely, they should they should be telling you, I’m going to prescribe this medication, this is what it’s for, and have the conversation with you so that you’re informed and you can make a decision at the time whether you want to take that risk or not.

Bill 34:31
If you don’t what’s the alternative? Can they present another version or some other alternative? Instead of just going for the one that might cause another health issue? Because what we’re trying to do is fix a health issue, not create more.

Priya 34:47
Create another one Exactly. And like, I guess it’s going to if it was someone quite young, like say 17, 18 They wouldn’t, I guess like me, they wouldn’t think that a stroke could happen to them and they won’t research it, they would just say like I need this, can you prescribe it to me and the doctors just do it.

Bill 35:17
Yeah. It’s pretty sad. I yeah, I think there’s a couple of things that we need to work towards fixing with the way that doctors become informed about the kind of medication that they should be prescribing. And then their duty of care to go out of their way to explain what they’re actually giving that person to swallow.

Priya 35:43
And I think also, like triage nurses in the hospital. So when I went in, it was a Saturday night. I was 24 years old. I was unable to walk, I couldn’t talk properly. So they probably just thought I had taken something or I was drunk. And then they’re like, it’s gonna be like, a two and a half hour wait to see someone.

Priya 36:13
And then obviously, we waited. But if it hadn’t been for me having that seizure, then we would have just waited for the two and a half hours. And like, you know, how quickly you need treatment after a stroke.

Bill 36:35
Minutes count. You sit on the chair, outside of triage at a hospital. It’s the craziest thing. But it is true that they do generally they do a good job, but sometimes the wrong person at the wrong time.

Priya 36:53
Yeah, exactly.

Bill 36:55
Too much pressure, and maybe before you maybe five or six other people that came in drunk or on drugs?

Priya 37:02
Well, I think it was also quite busy that night as well. So I definitely understand that. But it’s just, I guess a bit of education is probably needed, as well.

Bill 37:18
And maybe some questions of the people that you’re with, Has she taken anything? Is she drunk?

Priya 37:22
Yeah, exactly. Like if they’d done that, they would know I was home. Like, I couldn’t even get out of bed. I guess, like you said, unless they asked that they won’t know. So that’s why I say it was lucky I had the seizure. Right? Not that it’s lucky, I had one in the first place. But that’s what led them to find the clots and everything. And then I got started on a heparin drip straightaway. Which obviously would not have happened if I didn’t have that seizure.

Considering mortality

Bill 38:03
Yeah, that’s nuts. Are you the kind of person who did the whole thing at the beginning? Did you consider your mortality all of a sudden? Did you start thinking about, Oh, my God, I might not be here next week or in a month or has that played on your mind at all?

Priya 38:21
Not really, because I think I always have that kind of mentality that can be for anyone, whether you’ve been through health issues or not. I don’t want to be too morbid, but you could drop dead at any moment, no matter who you are. So that, I guess that’s always been a mentality. And that’s why I guess especially now, I’m also do the things like the bridge climb, I’m doing a hike with the Stroke Foundation next year as well.

Bill 38:59
So what you’re saying is that you were the kind of person that lived in the moment, understanding that life to be lived and perhaps it may be short. So similar mentality. Your you’re going forward with now and it was just who you were before, anyway.

Priya 39:20
Yeah, it was and like, I’ve lost a cousin at 17 years old. So I guess that’s kind of what started that kind of mentality. Like I obviously firsthand, I know, life can be really short. And you don’t have to have health issues for that to be a true statement.

Bill 39:45
Where you 17 at the time or was it your cousin that was 17?

Priya 39:49
I was 17. He was 16.

Bill 39:52
Yeah, so close in age. So that would have been a big wake up call.

Priya 39:57
Yeah, um, and yeah. What probably started that mentality. So it hasn’t really come about after I had my stroke, it’s always been there.

Positive Mindset


Bill 40:10
So you pretty positive kind of person?

Priya 40:14
Yeah. And I think that’s what my nurses were saying that they think that’s what helped me as well, because and I guess that’s true. Your mindset does help you or break you.

Bill 40:29
Yeah, absolutely some people get stuck in a negative mindset and a negative mindset won’t help growth occur. Positive mindset isn’t gonna make anything worse, it’s going to encourage you to be curious and to find, you know, new ways of looking at things and potentially finding new ways to overcome some of the challenges that you have.

Priya 40:57
Yeah, I think, yeah, the positivity was something they said would have helped me a lot. Because I did see a lot of pain, obviously, in the ward I was in was shared with three other people. So I guess looking from the outside, you would have seen such a difference with me, as opposed to the other members in the ward. Obviously, they will all die as well, so. And I like I don’t know, their lifestyles or anything like that. But if you’d come in, you would have seen, I guess the difference.

Priya 41:39
Yeah, I know, you may know, I had all the people in my ward as well. And now, in the beds next to me in the public hospital, they were not getting up and about they weren’t doing much. As I was up and about us walking after the first time, not the second time, and not the third time. But wasn’t walking after the first time. So it was this really weird experience to be in a hospital in a stroke ward, where I’m supposed to be really sick, but I don’t look it to anybody and don’t feel it other than numbness on my left side.

Priya 42:22
This lady I was talking to the other day, I was actually saying that, because she has no physical disabilities or anything. So like, sometimes she just feels like a kind of a fraud, calling herself like a stroke survivor. And I’m like, it’s not always physical, though. Yeah. And I guess that’s, I guess this is all disabilities. So people don’t know it’s there unless they can physically see it.

Bill 42:56
Yeah, it’s the biggest issue that we have with mental health across the planet, not just in Australia. But also then, with people who recover from stroke and may have a limp or an arm that’s not extending fully. Even people like that find it difficult to explain to other people have the neurological fatigue is a problem for them, even though we can see some kind of sign that they’ve had a stroke in the past or they’ve experienced a stroke. I was pretty dumb like that. Like I didn’t understand before I was unwell. That somebody’s in a wheelchair, for example. was doing a tough in many other ways. They weren’t just sitting in a wheelchair. They had all these other issues.

Priya 43:47
What, once you’ve gone through an experience, something like that, I think everyone’s kind of like that as well. Unless you’ve experienced it yourself, or you’ve like, a close friend or family member has experienced it, you don’t understand it. And I do sometimes I feel like that as well. Like I can, walk I can talk I can use my arms, everything’s functional. So I don’t, when you look at me, you don’t know that I’ve had a stroke. Unless you’ve obviously read my blogs and my social media.

Bill 44:31
That would confuse a few people and shock them as well, wouldn’t it? because they’d look at you and go you look like you’ve had a stroke. What do you mean, you’ve had a stroke? Like What’s all that about?

Priya 44:41
Oh, you’re too young or like those kind of comments. Yeah, definitely. I’ve gotten those. I’ve gotten a couple of negative comments as well because I was doing so well after my stroke.

Bill 44:59
A negative thing. How come somebody would say something negative about that.

Priya 45:04
So, I, about a year after. So, just before I went back to full time at work, my doctor cleared me to go back to the gym. And so I was going to a strength gym that time so I was lifting like pretty heavy weights and stuff. And my PT was a neuro psych. He worked in a lot of neuro awards as well. So he was also a physio, so neuro physio as well.

Priya 45:40
So that was kind of good for me as well, because I had someone training me that knew what I had been through. So I kind of was posting some videos on stroke survivor group that I was on at that time. And I guess, people are just kind of upset at themselves that they’re not, if people don’t work on their recovery, or they’re not, because no one’s exactly the same.

Priya 46:10
So my recovery is not going to be the same as yours. And if I’m cleared to go, lift weights and do that kind of stuff, then I’ll do it. Like, I’m the kind of person that will always listen to my doctors, I won’t. So my doctor said, I can’t go like skydiving or anything because of the pressure to your head.

Priya 46:38
I’m not going to be the person that then will go skydiving. So I just got a lot of comments like, Oh, you shouldn’t be doing that. It’s only been like 10 months after your stroke, bla bla bla. And like, when you have another stroke, then don’t come crawling back to us.

Priya 46:58
And I’m like, this should be a group to like, motivate each other. Like, majority of the comments I got were like, Well done, congratulations and all that. But then it’s always I guess the negative ones that do stand out and they were quite negative, like quite rude as well.

Priya 47:21
And I’m like, look, I’m listening to my doctor, if he said I can do this, then I’m gonna do it. I’m not gonna listen to someone that doesn’t know my story. And then I had this one saying, oh, not all strokes are the same. You can’t say like, you’re doing this like 10 months after. And then I kind of went on to list every single thing that happened while I was in hospital. And then I didn’t hear anything after that.

Bill 47:51
Yeah, sounds like those people. Were those kind of people before stroke anyway, it sounds like everything was a competition for them.

Priya 47:59
Exactly. And it shouldn’t be like everyone, like I said, everyone’s recovery is different. And especially with a stroke, you should be lifting people up. You shouldn’t be like saying stuff like that, because like you said, you never know what else is going on for someone.

Bill 48:20
Yeah, it’s nuts that somebody would compare themselves to you. And then complain about what you’re doing and that you shouldn’t tell people to get back on to their lives or with their life. If they can. It’s not like it’s the rules are not for everybody. They don’t have to do what you did. But just have to be happy that you can do it that’s all.

Priya 48:39
Yeah, exactly. And I would be like, if it was someone else, I’d be like, that’s great. You don’t go and sort of tear people down after something like this as well. But then a few people message like privately messaged me, and they’re just like, just ignore it, which I do anyway. But they’re like, they’re probably just unhappy in their own sort of recovery and stuff like that. Which makes sense.

How to deal with negative comments

Bill 49:06
They would be unhappy somewhere. And stroke makes things worse, it doesn’t make things better. So if you’ve got a bad relationship, or if you’ve had some trouble in the past, stroke doesn’t come in and make it all better. It makes it worse. And therefore it might highlight some of the issues that people have in their lives. And therefore make them act out and choose to get offended where it’s not a place to get offended.

Bill 49:34
That’s not somewhere where you need to take offense that somebody is perhaps doing well. And I think what it should do is those people should pay attention to why they’re getting offended with somebody posting that they’ve achieved something amazing after the stroke. I mean, that’s where the lesson is for them more than anyone.

Priya 49:53
Yeah exactly. That’s what I was saying. Not everyone’s going to be the same. Like everyone. Even looking back to the ward I was in, like he said, everyone’s different.

Bill 50:07
And it’s just pure luck that the blood clot went into that part of your brain, that it didn’t go into just, you know, one other part one, how to re over the left or to the right or to the front or to the back. That’s just pure luck, luck that my brain hemorrhage happened, where it happened.

Bill 50:25
And therefore I can be mostly active, and out and about and do all those things, and very rarely suffer from any dramatic problems. And, and I often think about, like how close it came to just being worse somewhere else. And the timing was on my side. And the people I was with, at the times that I happen to was on my side, like, everything that could go right, during a really, really bad time went right.

Priya 50:56
Yeah, that I guess that’s how I look at it as well, like I had, obviously, it was multiple clots in my brain. And then I had the clots in my legs and my lungs. And obviously, the lungs can be deadly as well. And so my doctors were actually quite surprised that I had no chest pain, I could breathe properly. Like there was no other signs. And, and I guess just luck that I got there in time because my surgeons did say if you had waited any longer, you wouldn’t be here today.

Bill 51:36
Unbelievable. So did you go into surgery and they retrieved a lot of those clots or some of them?

Priya 51:43
Yes, I had to clot retrievals. And so they did the first one about two date on the Monday because I got in on Saturday. And then they transferred me overnight to a different hospital. Then they did it first thing on Monday. And then they did another scan and they saw there was still quite a lot. So they did a second one on the Wednesday and got pretty much all of that out. Well, I was actually discharged from my new year last year, because it’s all clear, which is great.

Bill 52:25
Okay, so until last year, you were going in doing new scans and just checking everything out.

Priya 52:30
Yeah, just sort of every year my scans were always clear though it was more they were wanting to make sure and everything. So I still see my hematologist once a year as well.

Bill 52:45
Yeah, and the hematologist is just checkup confirm that everything’s going okay that you’re still taking the medication?

Priya 52:57
Basically, he manages my blood thinners. So, and he just kind of checks to see if like my legs are swelling and stuff like that, to see if anything’s come back. So it’s more just making sure everything’s okay. Honestly, I think I’ll be on the blood thinners for a while. So I’ll probably be seeing him for like the next few years. Just because he’s like, you had so many problems. We don’t want to take you off them. And then you have the same issues again.

Bill 53:38
Yeah. So steady as she goes. And let’s just focus on on paying attention to what changes occur in your body, if any. And address things rather than being kind of blazar about it because yeah, serious.

Priya 53:54
I have heard a lot of stories like that with a doctors have been just so like, just dismissive, or they don’t listen, and it just makes me feel lucky to have the specialists and the doctors that I do.

Bill 54:12
Yeah. I think it’s important for people if they’re not happy with the doctors as well, to find another doctor. Like get rid of that doctor, sack that doctor so to speak.

Priya 54:21
Yeah. changed. Like there’s no issue and changing doctors.

Bill 54:25
Yeah, they just take the record from the previous doctor and move on. I like it so you’re a pretty positive person. You have had a miraculous recovery. It has been an absolute miracle that you didn’t have any lung issues, any brain issues ongoing and all those dramas ongoing apart from a couple of little things that you’re dealing with. What has I know this is a loaded question like has stroke taught you anything like what has it taught you? What have you got out of this holiday experience other than the obvious?

Priya 55:03
I guess yeah, like it is just more the obvious like, life is too short part, I guess a bit more now. So and, just I keep, I guess a tighter group of friends as well. Whereas I’m kind of like people in my group that I know that are there for me or that have been there for me.

Priya 55:34
Especially, I guess people that if I want to talk about something related to my stroke, they’re there to listen, they’re not just going to be like, Oh, you’re always talking about this and things like that. Because I guess if, if you know me, I guess anyone’s like this right? And correct me if I’m wrong if you’re not this way. But after such a big life event, it’s always going to come up in even little conversations you have, you’re always going to make some kind of reference to it.

Bill 56:11
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I have a podcast about it. I don’t stop talking about I talk about it with everybody forever. You know, there’s 117 episodes with this one. So it does come up because there’s some times at dinner, for example, I may not have an alcoholic drink, or something.

Explaining to people that you’ve had a stroke

Bill 56:32
And people who don’t know me, we’ll ask why aren’t you drinking? And of course, you can give them the just don’t feel like it’s story or whatever. Or if they’re the right person, and you think that they might listen, you might say, because, look, I’ve had a brain injury, and I can’t drink because it makes me feel like I’m having another stroke again, or something like that.

Bill 56:55
And that’s how it comes up for me all the time. People notice how I’m different than them. And then they ask me, why am I different? And then I give them an explanation.

Priya 57:08
But it I guess it also educates people as well. When you bring that up, like the other day I had friends over. And I am allowed to drink I just have to kind of be careful how much I drink and just to space it out. But then my friends, like, they’re always like, Are you allowed to drink? If they don’t know that I’m allowed. And then they not in a nasty way either. Like, why are you drinking? It’s more like caring and understanding, like, Are you allowed to? And then it does sort of start a bit more conversation as well.

Bill 57:55
Yeah, it comes in the same way to me. It’s, and I’m not trying to educate everybody all the time. But sometimes they don’t mind listening to a little bit of my story. If if we go down that path, only if they allow me to go down that path, do you not? I mean, like, I don’t shove it down their throats and say, this is what blah, blah, blah.

Bill 58:16
You know, if they know me, because they’ve met me elsewhere, they know that I have a stroke podcast, then it’s not a shock to them that I’m not drinking because I had the stroke years ago. Okay. Yeah. And they’re not really going to have a conversation with me about all of the stroke-related stuff.

Bill 58:33
But somebody who doesn’t know about my podcast, who asks at dinner, who is a friend of a friend, you know, we have a little conversation if it doesn’t go any further, it doesn’t go any further. I’m okay with that. I’m not there to educate them on stroke at a party. And let’s have a party but.

Priya 58:48
Yeah, exactly. Now, I’m like that, like I wont sort of go further unless they ask more questions about it. And I guess, so when I went back to work after I had a lot of people coming up and asking me cuz obviously, no one knew where I was and things like that.

Priya 59:11
And at that point, it was really fresh, and I didn’t really want to talk about it. So I just wrote a blog. Whereas now I’m kind of more I get my story out there if someone asked, I will tell them but then, because there’s so much of my story, I won’t just kind of spill it out if you ask me sort of certain questions then. Because I guess for my story, there’s a lot to digest. Especially for someone new.

Bill 59:49
Yeah. And stroke is a massive thing to just for anybody because most of them are like us. Most people are like us before we had a stroke. They had no idea what a stroke was. So they, you know, get stunned and then and then some people don’t want to deal with that kind of information at that point in time.

Bill 1:00:07
So that’s all good. I know why you do it. It’s the same reason why I do it. So, look, I’m really pleased to have gotten the opportunity to chat with you and to meet you and to learn about your story. Thanks for sharing on the podcast, I really appreciate it.

Priya 1:00:22
No worries, thanks for having me.

Intro 1:00:30
Discover how to heal your brain after stroke go to recoveryafterstroke.com.

Intro 1:00:39
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 1:00:56
All content on this website at any linked blog, podcast or video material control 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 1:01:13
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 1:01:34
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 1:01:48
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Intro 1:02:11
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The post 118. A Link Between Contraceptive Pill And Stroke? – Priya Sharma appeared first on Recovery After Stroke.

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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
117. 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 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brain-stem-pons-stroke-gloria-morgan/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brain-stem-pons-stroke-gloria-morgan/feed/ 0 <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/">117. Brain Stem Pons Stroke – Gloria Morgan</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Gloria Morgan had just given 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.

Socials: https://www.instagram.com/howglodoesit/

Highlights:

01:14 Introduction
03:18 Pons Stroke and Brain Stem Stroke symptoms
14:16 What is the Pons?
20:36 Stroke caused by pregnancy?
27:35 Nystagmus
36:50 Refusing to become right-handed
45:12 Tinnitus
50:17 The lessons

Gloria 0:00
And so now I’m recovering my left hand. And I know of a few other survivors who just switch to writing with their other hand, either because they were faced with paralysis, or they just couldn’t make it work, or they just decided that was the best decision for them.

Gloria 0:21
And so I thought about it, and I toyed with it a lot, but I am proud of being a lefty. I feel like it’s part of my identity. And I also realize that because I mean, like I have full use of my fingers like, it’s just a very fine control. And I felt like if I make the conscious effort to start writing with my other hand, then I feel like that will become a learned non-use that will be hard to overcome.

Intro 1:01
This is the recovery after stroke podcast. with Bill Gasiamis, helping you navigate recovery after stroke.

Introduction

Pons Stroke and Brain Stem Stroke
Bill 1:14
Bill from recoveryafterstroke.com This is Episode 117. And my guest today is Gloria Morgan, Gloria experienced a rare Pons Brain Stem Stroke caused by a blood clot that may have formed around the time of giving birth to her third child.

Bill 1:29
Although she had some serious symptoms that were not usual stroke symptoms, it took doctors more than two weeks to make the diagnosis. Now just before we get started, if you have ever wondered what else I can do to help you with your stroke recovery, you should know that I have set up a few recovery after stroke support packages, where stroke survivors can come into a community while trying to get better on their own, and get help from people who are already further along in the recovery timeline.

Bill 1:57
I too am a three times stroke survivor, and a brain surgery survivor and I have built for you what I was missing when I was sent home from hospital in the hopes that you don’t have to do stroke recovery as tough as I did.

Bill 2:10
Support packages give you access to a variety of tools 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so that you can also work on other areas of stroke recovery that you don’t get the chance to at physical therapy or rehabilitation. With tailored support available for less than $8.50 per week all recovery after stroke support packages, bring stroke recovery to you in the comfort of your own home.

Bill 2:32
To try our recovery after stroke support and see if it is right for you to get the first seven days free, as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee no questions asked. As a bonus, you will also get to face to face zoom support calls with myself to take your recovery to the next level.

Bill 2:49
Go to recoveryafterstroke.com/slash support to sign up. It won’t cost you anything for the first seven days. And you’ll get a full refund. If you’re not happy after 30 days. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. And now it’s on with the show. GLORIA Morgan, welcome to the podcast.

Gloria 3:08
Thank you.

Bill 3:09
Thank you for being here. I really appreciate it. I know it’s late where you live. Tell me a little bit about what happened to you.

Pons Stroke and Brain Stem Stroke symptoms

Gloria 3:16
Well, I had an ischemic stroke a left cerebellar stroke. So ischemic obviously I’m sure anyone who listens to this podcast is familiar it’s a blood clot rather than a hemorrhage stroke which is rupture of a blood vessel.

Gloria 3:38
But my stroke was extra special in that the location is very unique. So it happened in a part of the brain called the Pons. I think it stands for something I don’t really know. But basically, it’s part of the cerebellum, which is part of the brainstem. So cerebellar strokes are, I know you’re in Australia. So I don’t know if the statistic is the same worldwide, but I assumed it would be similar but in the US the statistic is less than 2% of all strokes, of any kind are cerebellar.

Gloria 4:24
And because the cerebellum deals with more delicate systems like vision, balance, swallowing and things like that, being part of the brainstem, it doesn’t present with the typical symptoms of stroke.

Gloria 4:42
So you know the acronym fast face, arm, all that stuff. Those are not the typical symptoms. So what I learned is that cerebellar strokes typically present with the three V’s violent headache, vomiting, and vertigo, which I did have all of those three. But we didn’t know. And those are not typical symptoms.

Gloria 5:10
And I’ve never heard of the three V’s. So we didn’t know. So, what happened is, I had a baby. And, about a week after having the baby, I started getting headaches, and they were pretty bad, which was unusual, because I don’t usually get headaches, but you know, I just had a baby, which is a big experience, and all of a sudden, you don’t sleep at all.

Gloria 5:40
So, I just didn’t think anything of it, I just thought, Oh, I need more rest. And I need to drink more water and eat more high protein foods, you know, now im feeding a baby that really depletes your body a lot. So, and then after about a week, after the headache started, I started in addition to a really bad headache, like, I mean, like, it was so bad, it would wake me up at night, it wasn’t a headache I could sleep through.

Gloria 6:13
After about a week of that off and on, I started getting some like, I would have moments where it would look like the room was kind of like swimming around. And after about that, about four days of that happening off and on, all of a sudden, one day, I got double vision, just like the room split in half and just started going like this.

Gloria 6:40
And, you know, that went on for like a minute. And then it went back to normal and just a headache. And at that point, I was like, okay, that’s not normal, I should call my doctor. But the symptoms had already been going on for like a week and a half, almost two weeks at that point.

Gloria 7:00
And so, I talked to my Obgyn, she referred me to my primary care doctor, and my primary care doctor wanted to see me right away. And I’ll just kind of push this all together, because of course, there’s a lot more detail in there. But basically, I went to see my primary care doctor, and she wanted me to see an EMT and otolaryngologist nose, throat guy, just basically to rule out vertigo.

Gloria 7:35
And she insisted on having me see that guy that day. And so I went straight from her office to his office, like she called him up, he was a friend, she called him up and had me go over there and straight away. And this is the only part of the story that I feel like is important, because I think for many of us, especially young stroke survivors, it’s like those little things that we missed that we regret that now we feel like, I need to tell people so that if this happens to them, like they won’t skip over this and think it’s nothing.

Gloria 8:13
They’ll just go like, go get the MRI, go get the test, go get the scan, just call the doctor, you know, so that they’ll find out hopefully, it’s a false alarm. And if it’s not a false alarm, you’ll catch it in time.

Gloria 8:28
So we went to the EMT, and he asked me about all my symptoms, and I did a few tests and stuff. And then he explained at the end of the appointment that probably I had benign positional vertigo, which is you know, very mild thing like crystals and calcium crystals in the ear getting displaced and it can cause dizziness and even cause novel visions.

Gloria 8:57
So I was like, okay, that’s obviously what I had, because it wouldn’t be anything more serious than that. And no just had a baby, you know, that’ll really really mess you up. And little did I know. And so he gave me something called the Epley maneuver, just it’s like a set of exercises you do where you like turn your head to different sides at different angles, which can apparently help roll the calcium, the displaced calcium crystals in your ear and just reposition them so that it basically resolves the vertigo.

Gloria 9:36
And I explained that I needed to do these exercises, you know, at so many times per day, and if I didn’t see the symptoms improve, then I should go to the ER because that means it’s not a physiological problem. It’s a neurological problem. And he didn’t say it was a lot of alarm, because I guess he’s a doctor.

Gloria 10:04
But he didn’t say it seriously. And so when he said, that means, you know, if your symptoms don’t improve, that means you should go to the ER right away because that means it’s not a physiological problem. It’s a neurological problem. And so I said, you mean like a stroke? Like, just joking. And he looked at me and said, Yes, not joking.

Gloria 10:30
I know, right? And so we went home. And by that time, my eyes were just like, not really seeing clearly. And so I was having to walk, I remember I was having to, like, touch things to kind of, like, keep my balance. But I’ve got, displaced crystals in my ear, I just, you know, and just need to rest and do these weird exercises.

Gloria 10:42
So I wake up the next morning, and do the weird exercises, and which it should be noted, these exercises, were literally laying on my back, turning my head in a series of directions, very specifically, which, obviously, I never realized I was basically moving blood clots around in my head, is what happened.

Gloria 11:24
So within about 15 minutes of doing those maneuvers, I got up from doing the exercises, and then you know, I have a baby, I haven’t really slept that much before, I need to eat something. So I scarf, like a piece of toast and some water and then, like, all of a sudden, it just all comes up all of it violently into the sink over and over and over again.

Gloria 11:55
And basically that was the rest of the day. That was it. Like I couldn’t, all of a sudden, I couldn’t walk, I had to like shakily crawl back to my bed. And I couldn’t see I was seeing double, everything was moving around and there’s two of everything. And I couldn’t stop throwing up. And that’s when we knew it was really bad because I couldn’t hold that water and, like not even water, like it would just all come up violently over and over and over again until I was just dry heaving over the toilet.

Gloria 12:30
Nothing would stay in my body. And you know, I had a 24-day old baby who needs to eat like every two or three hours. I couldn’t hold him. I couldn’t see him. I couldn’t see what I was doing. So my husband had to go out like two hours later, he had to go out and go to the store and get baby formula.

Gloria 12:48
And our baby went from breastfed to formula fed, like literally overnight, like in one feeding. He went from breast friend to bottle fed and that was it. Because I couldn’t feed him. And so we thought, I don’t know what we thought at that point. It just the word stroke never entered my mind.

Gloria 13:10
And I’ll be honest, I don’t actually remember making that joking comment to the EMT. I didn’t remember that until months and months later. Like when I was telling the story to someone I was like, Oh, yeah, I actually joke with the guy like he was trying to tell us like this could be a stroke. I joked with him like do you mean I might be having a stroke? And he was like, Yeah, and I didn’t even remember.

Bill 13:40
Well, you’re probably having a stroke. And that’s maybe why you didn’t remember it. How long did it take? How long did it actually finally take for you to get diagnosed?

Gloria 13:54
From the original, like the very first onset of symptoms to actual like, I’m in the hospital getting MRI, it was about two weeks. But from the point of me, calling a doctor to getting diagnosed was probably like 48 hours.

What is the Pons?

Bill 14:16
Yeah, well, even then. So it took you two weeks, you’re dealing with this for two weeks. So just for people listening, who might not know the pons, according to teach me anatomy.info is the largest part of the brainstem. It’s located between the medulla, which is the bottom part of the brainstem that comes up from the spine just before it gets to the actual brain.

Bill 14:44
And then, and then there’s the pons, quite a large area of the brainstem. It’s the last part of the brainstem. And then it attaches to the middle brain, the part that actually is nearest to the cerebellum.

Bill 14:56
I had my bleed near the cerebellum and the second time it bled, and the blade was really large, I had vertigo I had throwing up and I had all those symptoms, except for the headache or didn’t have the headache that you described, I had those other things.

Bill 15:14
And I didn’t have those at the beginning and the, and the symptoms that you described, less than 20% of people who experienced a stroke have the standard fast symptoms of stroke. So the other people, the 20%, that don’t fit that category have all these different versions of potential neurological issues showing up that you ignore.

Bill 15:44
Like you, it took me a week before the hospital to tell them that I couldn’t feel my left side. You know, it took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that the changes in my body were potentially something serious and I was 37. Like, as if I was having a stroke. How old were you?

Gloria 16:05
I was 35. So this was two years ago, almost two and a half years ago.

Bill 16:11
Yeah. What was the hardest thing? not physically or emotionally for you at that time? What was the hardest thing that looking back now you had to deal with?

Gloria 16:24
Emotionally? Really, it was the fact that I just had a baby, like, I had a 24 day old baby who just all of a sudden didn’t have a mom. And we have three kids. And the oldest is six just now. So when the stroke happened, he was not even four and a half. And then we had a two year old who, and he was still having a bottle with me every morning.

Gloria 16:52
So he would get up, have his bottle of milk in my lap in the rocking chair. And then he would go play and I would feed the new baby. And then, you know, all of that, like they didn’t understand. So the hardest part emotionally was basically feeling like my kids were being ripped away from me.

Gloria 17:14
And then also being separated from my husband for six weeks, because we’re very close. And but yeah, the hardest part. For me, it was emotionally, it was definitely feeling like I was losing my kids. And like, knowing that my kids were missing their mom, like I will never forget, my husband’s a tech guy.

Gloria 17:36
So he had everything set up, like connected to our phones. And so even in hospital from my phone, I can click into the monitor in our son’s room, and look, and so I made the mistake.

Intro 17:51
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 now 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 18:15
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 the seven questions to ask your doctor about your stroke.

Intro 18:34
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.

Gloria 18:53
The second night I was in the hospital. I was in the ICU at this point. I clicked into the the monitor in our kids room and like eight o’clock at night around them time basically. And there was my husband on the floor holding my four year old who was screaming with his entire being like just as loud as he could scream like his whole body is just shaking and he was just like screaming and thrashing.

Gloria 19:31
Just in that moment, I physically felt like my heart is going to just rip in half and die like I’m going to die this hurts so bad. so that that was the hardest thing emotionally.

Bill 19:45
Yeah, I’m sorry to bring it up. I just wanted to give people an understanding that when people have a stroke, everything stops automatically and it doesn’t matter what you’re in the middle of nothing continues. And I know that’s the same for anyone else who has any other type of, you know, health challenge, I get it, I get that too, right?

Bill 20:06
That you have to go from being a mom of three kids to a stroke survivor and happens so quickly and leave a 24 day old baby at home with your husband. Yeah, and then somehow you have to navigate all these things, just all at the same time, and you don’t have any of the skills, you don’t have any of the support any of that. No idea. And all of a sudden.

Gloria 20:35
It’s just thrust on you.

Stroke caused by pregnancy?

Pons Stroke and Brain Stem Stroke
Bill 20:36
Yeah. And it’s emotionally really challenging, I didn’t have that kind of separation, anxiety from my kids, they’re a bit old, and we’re able to see them and there was none of that stuff going on. But I can’t imagine what it would have been like to be such a young mom, and there is a theme in some of my podcasts as a few ladies who have had a stroke, or near or around childbirth, Is this some kind of underlying reason that may have caused that to happen then for you.

Gloria 21:07
I’ve never actually talked about this before. But this is the terrifying and sad truth, I probably did this to myself. So what happened is that, you know, I like to be healthy. And you know, I’m young. And I like to consider myself an attractive person. So you know, I want to take care of my body.

Gloria 21:32
And we always talked about having three kids. So this was the third kid and I was like, you know, after this, we’re going to be done. And now I’m going to focus on me and taking care of my body and getting myself back to where I want to be where I feel good in my own skin.

Gloria 21:47
Any mom listening to this is gonna relate. So the third time was, for whatever reason, it was the easiest delivery super fast, I felt great, almost zero pain, like just barely any discomfort, like nothing. So I was feeling really good really fast. And within a week, I decided, you know what, I’m not going to do anything crazy, I’m not going to go run a marathon, I’m not going to get on the treadmill, and I’ll just do some yoga, I’ll just do a little bit of yoga, something very gentle.

Gloria 22:25
And what I realized later, is that, you know, after childbirth, you have an open wound in your uterus that is bleeding. And a major problem, the opposite problem is when women bleed out after birth, so that’s why most women, and after immediately after delivering a baby, they’ll get a vitamin K shot, because vitamin K helps your blood clot.

Gloria 22:57
And what you want is for your blood to clot. So that the wound in the uterus, seals up and you don’t hemorrhage and bleed out. Because that’s a very serious life threatening problem for women who’ve had a baby.

Gloria 23:13
But the thing is, you have an open wound healing up in your body and what I did, because in yoga, you know, the downward dog position, you’ve got your hips up above your head.

Gloria 23:24
And so basically, I was pointing an open clotting wound at my head. And so I mean, this is my theory, and I talked about it with my obgyn she concurred that that was a very likely cause, that it was the yoga of all things. I’m not saying Yoga is bad. But for women who have just had a baby.

Bill 23:52
You don’t need to do that.

Gloria 23:54
Don’t do handstands, like it’s okay to do some stretching, if you feel up for that. But you should never put your hips above the level of your head when your uterus is bleeding. Because those blood clots those teeny, tiny, microscopic blood clots. I mean, just gravity is gonna do its thing, it’s going to pull them down.

Gloria 24:16
And if your head is down there, it’s going to go into your head. That’s why women who just had a baby are also very closely monitored for something called DVT. deep vein thrombosis, which is basically the same thing. It’s just the clots going into your legs rather than your head. So I don’t know, maybe if I hadn’t been doing yoga, maybe I would have had DVT instead. I don’t know. We don’t know.

Bill 24:46
It’s a hypothesis worth thinking about. But the fact that there’s no underlying cause is a good thing in that now you know that it’s not something else going wrong that’s causing these things to occur and how how long Are you in the hospital? And what deficits Did you have when you came out of hospital.

Gloria 25:05
So I was in the ICU for a week, and then I was in a rehab hospital for five weeks, so a total of six weeks. And when I was discharged home, I was not able to walk, I was barely able to stand on my own. Excuse me. And so part of the cerebellum, as you must know, is that it affects your balance.

Gloria 25:35
And my major deficit is I lost fine motor control on my left side. So I can still move all my limbs, thankfully. But the muscle tears basically, in the whole left side of my body didn’t work together. So like, you know, if any stroke survivor, you probably had to do this test where you do this thing, I can move all the fingers in my hand. But like, if I tried to hold a pen, say, like, guide, I can’t.

Gloria 26:14
But it was a lot worse when I was in the hospital, like I would hold up my two arms and my left arm would just float away on it. So and I couldn’t do anything about it, I would have to wait for it to stop floating, and then like, consciously pull it back.

Bill 26:32
So when you went home, you also weren’t able to fully be involved in your motherly duties, your responsibility, your baby again, you still had to sit on the sidelines.

Gloria 26:48
Yeah, basically, I would just move between the bed and the chair so that I would get put in a chair. And anytime the baby needed to feed, they would hand me the baby. And that would just like subtract one of the kids to be taken care of. And so every time he needed to be fed, I would feed him like I would hold him and give him a bottle, which I really appreciated.

Gloria 27:12
But that was about all I could do. Until I was able to start walking again. Which actually happened pretty soon it came together pretty soon after I was discharged from the hospital, I was almost kind of there, which is why I think they were like, Okay, get her out. She’s gonna be fine.

Nystagmus

Gloria 27:35
But that was the biggest physical deficit. But I really the biggest deficit overall was my eyes. So basically, when we went to the hospital, I was seeing crazy double, and everything was just like shaking around. And it just stayed like that. And it’s slowly improved to where I don’t see double all the time. And the movement is less. But that is the greatest misery of every waking moment of my life now.

Bill 28:19
So the slight vibration of the eye, what’s it’s called?

Gloria 28:25
Nystagmus.

Bill 28:27
Say it again?

Gloria 28:28
Nystagmus. So it’s not very obvious here all this. But if you can see, like you’ll see my eye just kind of ticking.

Bill 28:43
Yes, yes, it’s moving. Left and Right, left and right all the time.

Gloria 28:48
Right. And if I look up, then it goes up and down. And if I look straight, like, if I look directly at the camera, it looks like I’m just kind of looking around. But that’s because I can’t directly focus my eyes. So what you see is my eyes just kind of looking around, like I just don’t want to look in the eye.

Gloria 29:10
But what I see right now looking at the camera is I see two edges of the laptop, and four little dots kind of jumping around. And so my eyes are like constantly trying to pull things together and like make things stand still. And that’s every waking moment. And it’s maddening. So that’s the worst thing.

Bill 29:35
Is there. Anything that can be done about that? Does it resolve does it get better?

Gloria 29:44
No. I’m no farther. There’s no treatments and the only treatment I’ve been offered by traditional medicine is opioids. And all that does is basically just it’s not a treatment. It’s it’s symptom management. So it’s supposed to basically just sedate the brain so that hopefully the eyes would less.

Gloria 30:16
And I mean, we were desperate, you know, so we tried one that my neuro ophthalmologist recommended. And it made me It did nothing. It changed absolutely nothing in my eyes, but it made me so like kind of woozy that I would fall over from a sitting position, just like sitting Indian style, or what do you call it? You know? Just on the floor. Cross legs I just fall right over. I fell over on my baby and hurt him. So nope, can’t do that.

Bill 30:55
Wow. Yeah. That’s tough. So you’ve been going through it now for around two years, your husband stepped up and did all the things he had to do. We had a chance to speak to him about what he went through and what it was like for him to suddenly not know what’s happening to you, and what might that mean for his children and him?

Gloria 31:20
I’ve gotten sort of a picture based on things he says, but he’s the kind of guy who’s like, just do what you got to do. Like, I mean, he will push through everything, whether it’s like, his wife having a stroke, or like just doing the dishes or putting the kids to bed or if it needs to be done.

Gloria 31:37
He’s He’s a German engineer. If it needs to be done, he’ll just do it. But I did, just like from his comments here and there, or to other people or things, like his mom told me a lot of things because when I was in the ER, and like, unconscious, his parents and his brother came up.

Gloria 32:00
And so we were in Northern California, they’re in Southern California, it’s about a six hour drive. And so we went to the ER Friday afternoon, and I don’t want to freak anybody out. But it was July 13th. So it was Friday the 13th. I’m not superstitious, but I do like to point that out to people. Because, I mean.

Bill 32:27
It’s fun. It’s quirky.

Gloria 32:32
I like that. It’s fun. It’s quirky. That’s what I’m gonna say about it next time. But yeah, so we went to the ER, four o’clock on a Friday afternoon. And probably within two hours, we knew that it was serious. And I think they diagnosed it, like within three hours or less. It took several stands, because FYI, a cerebellar stroke will not show up on a CAT scan. It might look like a tumor, but it will not present on a CAT scan, you have to have an MRI. So just good to know.

Bill 33:17
So then, are you driving now? Are you back at being physically active like that?

Gloria 33:24
No, I’m able to walk. But I have to fight for my balance every single step. So I’m not yet able to balance on either leg actually, which means that walking is very much a challenge.

Gloria 33:39
So that’s my physical recovery goal for the next year of my recovery is I want to be able to balance on one leg, because having that balance will mean that I have a better command of my body in order to control motion like jogging, like, ultimately, I want to be able to go back to jogging.

Gloria 34:02
I wasn’t a big jogger before the stroke. But that’s mainly because I had small kids. So I was actually starting to ramp up and invest in good workout gear. And like training abs, like I was starting to get into it. And then I had a stroke. Well, when I had a baby and then I had a stroke. And so everything just like you said just everything. It just stops without warning no matter what it is.

Bill 34:32
Yeah, your recent posts on Instagram. You show photos of your face before and after. And how it’s improving. Was one side drooped for quite a while and was the eye affected for quite a while.

Gloria 34:53
Yeah, so I would say I mean it was the whole left side of my face was basically immobile probably for at least the first two months, or no, I should say at least the first month. And then by the end of my time in rehab, I was starting to see a little bit of improvement, they had exercises taped up in my room that I was supposed to do where you like, you know, open your mouth and stretch your lips, and use your tongue and all that kind of stuff.

Gloria 35:26
And, you know, make a fish face and make a big O and all those kinds of things. And because I didn’t know what else to do, there was very little else I could do on my own, I would just do that over and over again. So I was starting to see a little bit of improvement by the time I was discharged.

Gloria 35:48
And then I haven’t been like, consistent with exercises, specifically for my face most of the time. But recently, I have been trying to be more consistent with it. Because to be honest, when the pandemic started, and everything shut down, I basically lost the ability to do any kind of meaningful recovery therapy of any kind.

Gloria 36:17
And doing face exercises, or something for which you don’t need equipment, you don’t need a therapist, you can just, you know, oh, I’m sitting here while my kid plays with this toy in my lap, and he doesn’t need to get some students in here.

Gloria 36:35
I’m just gonna sit here and pull funny faces.

Bill 36:39
Yeah, I’ve also seen a post there with regards to your writing. So were you right-handed? And now you can’t write with your right hand, what happened with the right hand?

Refusing to become right-handed

Pons Stroke and Brain Stem StrokeGloria 36:51
So it was the left side and I was left-handed before. And so now I’m recovering my left hand. And I know of a few other survivors who just switch to writing with their other hand, either because they were faced with paralysis, or they just couldn’t make it work, or they just decided that was the best decision for them.

Gloria 37:17
And so I thought about it. And I toyed with it a lot. But honestly, I am proud of being a lefty. I feel like it’s part of my identity. And I also realize that because I mean, like I have full use of my fingers. Like, it’s just a very fine control. And I felt like if I make the conscious effort to start writing with my other hand, then I feel like that will become a learned non-use that will be hard to overcome.

Gloria 38:01
Yeah, yeah. So I decided, basically, my motto as stroke recovery, in general, is do the hard thing. And like, so even in the rehab hospital, if my therapist like at the end of the session, they would say, Oh, we have time for one more exercise. Do you want to do this? Or do you want to do that? I would always ask, which one’s harder? Ok let’s do that one. Like, whatever is hard, do that.

Bill 38:28
Yeah, that’s not a bad approach. I know that some people avoid doing something hard, that’s painful, that’s difficult. Because they’re going through a lot of other things right. And doing another thing hard and difficult might be, you know, not on the to do this, just let it go push aside, find the easy solution.

Bill 38:48
Sometimes that’s a really good approach to because if that makes you feel better, that you found an easy solution and a quick solution. That’s a positive thing as well. But I’m like you, I tend to take the stairs instead of the elevator or the escalator. And I won’t or if I’m extremely tired, but I will do it when I’m feeling good about it because I can walk and most people wouldn’t notice that I’ve had a stroke.

Bill 39:12
And they would have noticed that our left side struggles a little bit, especially going upstairs, you know, if if I’m tired, I might clip at the bottom of one of the steps. And that might cause me a trip or lose my balance. But if I’m feeling well, I’ll make sure that I take the escalators because I don’t want to get to that point where I’m avoiding doing something that is really important, like walking upstairs because we have stairs at home. And, you know, just want to make sure that I practice that. And it’s such an easy way to practice. Without putting in too much effort.

Gloria 39:46
Absolutely. We just moved into a house that has stairs. And thankfully when we were looking for a house. We didn’t put any limits. assumed it would have stairs. And we both the day we got the keys to the house, I went up the stairs and came down again. And of course, I had to hold the handrail and be careful.

Gloria 40:11
But by the end of the day, I got up and down the stairs probably, I don’t know, half a dozen times, or maybe more, maybe 10 times or a dozen times. And I had to you know, concentrated Be careful each time but I was when did I feel exhausted or fatigued? Or, you know, all I had to do is just be careful and carry things.

Gloria 40:37
And so my husband and I were both like, oh, the stairs are no problem. Yeah. And we Yeah, even just today you’re like, well, so when the stairs problem, and he’s, you know, you asked earlier what his feeling is what his reaction wasn’t, I don’t think I quite answered it.

Gloria 40:56
But basically, he was just like, oh, you can do it. You can do it. But then whenever it’s like, oh, I can handle stairs and it’s fine. He was like, oh, but can you just see the relief Like he wasn’t willing to show that he wasn’t worried. But then the relief comes out like, these are no problems. You’re just like running up and down the stairs. No problem.

Bill 41:15
Yeah. So he’s trying to protect you from showing concern or worry. But then when something amazing happens, he is unable to withhold.

Gloria 41:26
There’s a little crack like, Oh, I really was worried.

Bill 41:30
Yeah, yeah, I understand. That’s a man thing. And that’s probably a German man thing more than it is an Australian man thing. But yeah, it’s definitely a man thing.

Gloria 41:40
Thank you for translating.

Bill 41:41
Yeah. With regards to the children now, how have they been getting their mom back? Have they kind of transition back to, “what was normal” beforehand now with a new sibling, and all that stuff?

Gloria 41:59
Yeah, I mean, you know how adaptable kids are, especially young kids. So they adapted to the changes. But on the other hand, they’re just kids. So like, they understand that mom, had a brain owee that’s how I explained, because, you know, our kids are so young, her oldest was four and a half when it happened.

Gloria 42:21
So he understands owee he is. And so I explained it like, well, I had an owee in my brain made me forget how to walk and I can’t drive anymore. And so he understood that. So that’s what my kids understand. I have a brain owee. And now my oldest son understands that brain owees are called strokes.

Gloria 42:42
Doctors call a brain owee a stroke. And strokes are very serious. And, you know, we try not to get too serious with them. But like, on the one hand, they’ll ask me to come play with them. And they’ll, like, run up to me and like, just like, run into, you know, barrel into me and grab me around the legs. And I’ll have to scream. Don’t hit mama, mama can fall down, you know?

Bill 43:12
They can bring you on stuck.

Gloria 43:14
Yeah. So they’ll like play with me. Like they forgotten that I can fall over and get hurt. But on the other hand, like our oldest is, like, Sometimes he’ll show an extrordinary concern, like, unusual concern, like, you know, Mama, I want to protect you. So you don’t get hurt. Like he’s conscious that’s something happened to me that was serious. And he worries and like our four year old, who was only two and a half.

Gloria 43:46
And it’s hard to tell him because he’s still so young, but he hates being alone. So if you can’t find Mama or Dada, he’ll get really upset. And now that we’re in, like, we used to be in an apartment now we’re in a bigger house, so even if I’m just downstairs, so just want to come in, like, even if he’s just, you know, watching something on his tablet, he has to be where he can see us.

Gloria 44:15
And he’ll like, he still wakes up in the middle of the night and comes into our room and wants to sleep next to me or on me or like, just be closer, all the time. And all of our kids are like that they constantly want to be close to each other or to us and so, it’s sweet.

Bill 44:31
Sensitive Kids, that’s all that’s all.

Gloria 44:35
Yeah, on the one hand, they’ve adapted to what my limitations are and they tend to forget, sometimes they need to be a little extra careful. But they’re just kids, they just play which is great. But on the other hand, they do have this slight kind of awareness in the background on to that thing happened to Mama so they’re extra sensitive about like, being careful sometimes. and wanting to they’re just very affectionate, which I think is wonderful.

Tinnitus


Bill 45:13
It’s beautiful. It’s awesome. Tell me about the noise that they make. So being young and being kids, they’re going to be very loud and boisterous and fully energetic does the noise and the energy that they have sometimes tire you out and take you kind of to that place of fatigue?

Gloria 45:33
Every single day. So I don’t talk about this as much on my Instagram or in person, because I honestly just don’t have time to think about it. But I also lost all the hearing in my left ear and I have really bad tinnitus. So right now, for example, I’m really only hearing you in my right ear.

Gloria 45:59
And in my left ear, I hear like a really high pitched electronic buzzing, almost like a sound machine or like an old CRT TV like that high pitched electronical. And it’s really, really loud. Like, I can hear it over the noise of a vacuum cleaner, or a blender, it’s really loud.

Gloria 46:21
So any background noise at all just like air conditioning, or a fan or like the dishwasher or just like, while I’m washing my hands, any background noise at all, I won’t be able to understand someone talking to me, even if they’re standing right next to me. So any noise the kids make let’s just say I’m really glad we have a big backyard,

Bill 46:53
You can send them out when you need to.

Gloria 46:55
Yeah, and so I just after a while I just decided like this needs to be a rule. Now we have a house, we have a backyard. And so I just tell my kids loud noises are for outside you can make if you’re going to make loud noises, you can go outside. So when they start yelling in the house, I’ll give them morning counts. Like that’s one loud noises outside.

Gloria 47:17
And if I get to three, I just tell them like, it’s not really a punishment, per se. It’s like, okay, that’s three, you need to go outside, go outside, that’s where you make loud noises. Or if they want to like seeing or if they’re just playing a loud game, I tell them like your noises are just for you, you can go do that in your room.

Gloria 47:37
And, you know, if you’re playing that game, or you want to sing that song or whatever, like you can do that in your room. But if you’re going to be in the living room, this is a space for everyone. You have to share, and your noises are just for you. So I’m trying to use it as a way to teach them basically respect and consideration for others.

Gloria 47:51
So I try not to make it too much about me and the fact that I’m deaf. I’m trying to partially deaf, I’m trying to make it more about just educating them to be sensitive to the existence and comfort of others.

Bill 48:13
I think you’re doing a great job.

Gloria 48:15
Cool. Thank you.

Bill 48:16
Yeah, it sounds like it because it’s a really unique approach and a lot of mums and dads will be listening, wondering how to navigate this. And I stuffed that up because I would just lose my marbles and yell and scream and be really insensitive to them and really treat them unfairly.

Bill 48:32
But not because I was trying to be nasty or aggressive. It’s just because I was at my wit’s end. And I didn’t know how else to do it. And they copped it. And, and then I would spend a lot of time apologizing, and try to make up for the mistakes that I made.

Bill 48:48
But I didn’t understand. And perhaps they were a bit older. They were teenagers. So we didn’t have those rules previously. So trying to create new rules around, something like, this was almost impossible anyway.

Gloria 49:03
Oh, yeah, for sure. I mean, my kids are really young. So they’re learning the world for the first time anyway. So in that sense, I’m glad that this happened earlier on, so we can just kind of like all learn and grow. And so I’m just teaching them. Like, they’re learning everything for the first time as it is.

Gloria 49:24
And this is just kind of part of that. Yeah. And I also realized that, you know, everyone’s deficits are different, like, the tinnitus is horrible and terrible and unbearable, and all the negative things, but there are some people who deal with like, you know, noise sensitivity or photo sensitivity or other things that were the reaction to noise or light or things like that is extreme. And, you know, so everyone’s deficits and struggles are different.

Bill 49:59
Yeah, that’s it. I asked now I know, I’m aware of the time because I know it’s after midnight already where you are. So as we come to wrap up, I just wanted to ask you about what some of the biggest lessons have been like, is there something that has stood out?

The lessons


Bill 50:17
That you’ve kind of gone? Oh okay. And, and It happen for me, there was a lot of them. And I know a lot of stroke survivors talk about getting something good out of this thing, like, has there been something like that for you?

Gloria 50:32
Definitely a number one lesson. And this is just a phrase that I made up for myself, everyone’s pain is their own. Which basically, to me means don’t compare you suffering. And I seen those two things as basically a gateway to empathy, like, that should bring you to empathy.

Gloria 50:55
So that was the big aha moment for me was, like, in order to really empathize with people or someone has gone through something hard, so that when you are going through something hard, you know, they get it.

Gloria 51:27
So, I realized early on, you know, if I started talking about what I was going through, people would say, Oh, I totally know what you mean, I get headaches too. Or sometimes my eyes bother me too or, oh, sometimes I get tinnitus too. Or Oh, I know what you mean. Like some days, I just am so tired. Like, oh that’s insane.

Bill 51:58
So they try and have a conversation with you by bringing themselves to a place where they can relate and then continue the conversation in a cordial way. But they don’t know how to relate. And they use skills available to relate. And they failed dismally. But then it’s also important for us, to allow them to fail dismally, and to just not make it.

Gloria 52:27
Not make it a big deal. Yeah.

Bill 52:29
And try to teach them a lesson all the time.

Gloria 52:31
Yeah. But as a survivor, I mean, I’m sure you know, it’s hurtful to just be like, Oh, yeah. And to minimize your own suffering. And after doing that many, many times, and I’m sure, you know, I’ll probably continue to have to do that permanently now. It really just helped me realize like, you know, I probably do that to other people.

Gloria 53:00
And just because I’m going through something harder than them, or that I feel is harder than what they’re going through. That doesn’t mean they’re suffering in any less of a struggle, like my suffering doesn’t invalidate yours. So I remember talking to a friend one day, and she’s just, you know, your typical stay at home mom.

Gloria 53:25
And she was having a hard time. And, you know, you’re talking to him, like, oh, but I know it’s nothing compared to what you’re going through. And that was the little moment where it clicked. I was like, You know what? You know, she has had a stroke. But that does not mean her day is not fresh, straining, or that she should feel frustrated and like vent a little bit.

Gloria 53:48
And so I told her, you know, just because your biggest struggle this week, was that your toddler mashed banana into the carpet. Like if that’s the biggest thing you struggled with this week, if that’s your most frustrating problem this week, the fact that you didn’t have a stroke doesn’t make the mashed banana in the carpet any less frustrating.

Gloria 54:15
So that, to me, it just became this mantra to meet everyone’s pain is their own, like, it still hurts to them, it’s still a struggle to them don’t invalidate what other people are going through. Because it’s not the same.

Bill 54:33
We can win the I struggle more than you battle every time. I mean, if we wanted to, apparently, you know, our like you said it’s worse for us than it is for them. But when the banana gets mashed into the carpet, it’s not the banana in the carpet that’s the issue. It’s all those little things that have led up to the banana in the carpet. That we cop and cop and cop and cop and cop and cop and then one day, a banana in the carpet just drives you bonkers.

Gloria 55:03
Yeah, exactly. See, now I can tell you’re a parent, you know, you get. It’s not about the banana in the carpet, it’s all the other little things. And so I just realized whether it’s a mom at home with her kids getting frustrated over, you know, the mess at home and just never having enough me time, whatever, or it’s, you know, I’ve had friends who have lost a loved one suddenly and tragically in ways that were just devastating.

Gloria 55:32
You know, there are, you know, like, I don’t know what it’s like to have, I just told a friend this the other day, like, I would never compare the tension headaches I get with my eye problems to a migraine because I have never had a migraine. You know, she gets migraines all the time, which is terrible. And I know how much how painful and what of what a struggling is for her.

Gloria 55:58
So you know, I’m not gonna be like, Oh, well, you know, that’s nothing compared to what I went through. Like, I’ve never had a migraine in my life. Yes, I had a stroke, but I never had a migraine. So, like, Why make her feel like, what she’s going through? Isn’t worthy of weight? Yeah, it’s like, there’s no reason to invalidate it. Her suffering is still valid.

Bill 56:22
Yeah. Gloria, thank you so much. I really appreciate you reaching out and being on the podcast, I realized that it’s 12:30am, where you are right now.

Gloria 56:34
You’re very kind to keep the time I wasn’t paying attention. And I didn’t notice.

Bill 56:39
I know. If I was a stroke survivor, I probably wouldn’t get on somebody’s podcast at 12:30. I am. Because I don’t do well, if I haven’t slept enough. So I really just appreciate you being on here. I appreciate your sharing on Instagram. It made me curious about getting to meet you and understanding a little bit about what you do and how you’re going about your recovery.

Bill 57:03
I think it does help for me to see what you’re going through and the sharing that you’re doing. And I think a lot of other stroke survivors respond in the same way. So well done, keep doing what you’re doing. And I hope everything goes well from here on.

Gloria 57:16
If you don’t mind. Can I just mention one thing for anyone interested in checking out my story on Instagram, I do want to caveat that, like I do like sharing progress and recovery and hope. But a lot of what I share on Instagram is related to grief and the struggle just because I find that for me at least, I just really believe that sharing the grieving process is very healthy and productive.

Gloria 57:46
But I also don’t want to alarm or depress anyone, I’m not there, constantly, like grieving over my life. Just sometimes whenever those really hard moments happen. That’s what I share. So I do tend to share a lot of that stuff. Just as when I first came on Instagram looking for other young stroke survivors, I mostly saw people who were like your stroke four years, we can do this. And I didn’t see a lot of people who were expressing what I was feeling. So I just started thinking like, Guys, this really sucks and I hated it.

Bill 58:18
And that’s so fair, because it does suck and it is shit. And I go through this a lot. And I didn’t get that from your page. I didn’t get that you just talk about the negative or the grief and all that kind of stuff. I’ve got that it’s an inspiring thing. And your stories are true. And they’re real. And for me, I do post about things like the screws in my head hurt, and why do they hurt and you put that out there and people respond and they go yeah, the screws in my head hurt as well.

Bill 58:46
And then it’s because of the barometric pressure, and oh my god, like it’s scientific. Wow, like, you know, there’s a whole different kind of level of learning and understanding. You know? So thanks for saying that. But I didn’t get that from your Instagram for people who want to follow you.

Bill 59:04
I’ll have a link to your Instagram there. And they can reach out and have a look for themselves. That kind of stuff. your photos are pretty cool. There’s some photos there. There’s food photos. There’s handwriting photos. There’s a lots of stuff. There’s even a book that is about the foods that you should eat to help with health and well being and it’s next to a cake.

Gloria 59:33
Yes, hashtag doing it wrong.

Bill 59:38
I love it thank you Gloria so much.

Gloria 59:40
Welcome. Thank you for having me.

Bill 59:44
Well, thanks for listening to this episode of the recovery after stroke podcast. If you like this episode or any other episode, please hit the like button. If you’re watching on social media. Give us a thumbs up if you are watching on YouTube and give the recovery after stroke podcast a five star review on your favorite podcast app. Doing that, we’ll make the podcast more visible to other strike survivors that are doing it tough right now, and it could help them feel inspired and feel better about the road ahead.

Intro 1:00:19
Discover how to heal your brain after stroke go to recoveryafterstroke.com.

Intro 1:00:29
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 1:00:46
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 1:00:58
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 1:01:14
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The post 117. Brain Stem Pons Stroke – Gloria Morgan appeared first on Recovery After Stroke.

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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
116. Brainstem Cavernous Angioma – Whitney Spotts https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brainstem-cavernous-angioma/ Mon, 05 Oct 2020 12:29:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5286 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brainstem-cavernous-angioma/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brainstem-cavernous-angioma/feed/ 0 <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/">116. 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.

Socials: https://www.instagram.com/whittermac/

Highlights:

00:59 Introduction
03:41 The Stroke Symptoms
04:51 Brainstem Cavernous Angioma
11:21 Life at home after hospital
15:14 More self-love and compassion after a stroke
22:44 A reason to recover after a stroke
31:52 Acceptance
38:09 Finding happiness
45:57 (BDNF) Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
52:24 Meditation helps with stroke recovery
58:04 Intimacy Issues caused by the stroke

Whitney 0:00
I was just a very active person that was my lifestyle. And now to not be able to stand on one leg, not be able to really run for longer than 10 seconds, you know, not be able to do so much like even to write or, you know, a lot of things it’s very different. But I don’t care as much as I did before. I was really upset in the beginning. Because change is just difficult. There’s no way around it. And I learned, the more that you accept what’s going on, the better things become and the better you actually feel, and acceptance is huge in my recovery.

Intro 0:46
This is the recovery after stroke podcast, with Bill Gasiamis, helping you navigate recovery after stroke.

Introduction

brainstem cavernous angioma
Bill 0:59
Bill from recoveryafterstroke.com This is Episode 116. And my guest today is Whitney Spotts. At 34 Whitney experienced a brain stem stroke caused by a cavernous angioma. At the time of the stroke, Whitney was only very recently married and was also a mom to a toddler, who was one of the big motivating factors that kept her mommy going and doing her best to overcome the challenges that stroke caused.

Bill 1:29
Now before we get started, if you have ever wondered what else I can do to help you with your stroke recovery, you should know that I have set up a few recovery after stroke support packages where stroke survivors can come into a community while trying to get better on their own and get help from people who are already further along in the recovery timeline.

Bill 1:49
I too am a three-time stroke survivor and a brain surgery survivor. And I have built for you what I was missing when I was sent home from hospital in the hopes that you don’t have to do stroke recovery as tough as I did. Support packages give you access to a variety of tools 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Bill 2:07
So that you can also work on other areas of stroke recovery, that you don’t get the chance to a physical therapy or rehabilitation. With tailored support available for less than $8.50 per week, all recovery after stroke support packages, bring stroke recovery to you in the comfort of your own home.

Bill 2:27
to try out recovery after stroke support and see if it is right for you, you will get the first seven days free as well as a 30 day money back guarantee no questions asked. As a bonus, you will also get two face to face zoom support calls with myself to take your recovery to the next level.

Bill 2:44
Go to recoveryafterstroke.com/support to sign up. You won’t cost you anything for the first seven days. And you will get a full refund. If you are not happy after 30 days. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. And now it’s on with the show. Whitney Spotts. Welcome to the podcast.

Whitney 3:03
Thank you. It’s an honor to be here and just help raise awareness about stroke.

Bill 3:09
It’s interesting how many people come forward to talk about it. And how many stroke survivors say things like I just want to help other people. I just want to tell other people what my story is what my experience is just to make their life a little bit better, which I just find amazing that stroke survivors are doing it really tough. really have that front of mind and it’s heartwarming. Tell me a little bit about what happened to you?

The Stroke Symptoms

Whitney 3:41
Right before the stroke, you know, I was 34 years old when it happened. But I was a physician assistant in the ER I was comfortable in my job. I’ve been working six years I married my husband just a couple years prior and had a beautiful baby girl and it seemed like you know, life was just starting for us.

Whitney 4:02
And I really didn’t have any warning it was just another Monday morning and I woke up at about 3am with the worst headache of my life. And as a physician assistant in the ER you know what that means, but I didn’t even put it on the radar because I was young, I was healthy. I had no risk factors, no family history.

Whitney 4:28
So I just assumed I had a migraine or something I’d never really had a migraine before. And I was very wrong. I started to get sick and slur my speech and my husband luckily knew that something was very wrong and took me immediately to the hospital but I was having a hemorrhagic stroke.

Brainstem Cavernous Angioma

Bill 4:51
Was it an aneurysm and AVM what caused the bleed.

Whitney 4:55
I had a cavernous malformation in the brainstem. And so in addition to having a hemorrhagic stroke, I needed emergency brain surgery on my brainstem. So it was a very risky procedure and but I’m here all as well,

Bill 5:14
Yeah, well, it’s so fascinating, because I know plenty of people who have had brain stem stroke. I know plenty of people through the podcast, of course, who have had a Cavernous Angioma, that has caused the bleed.

Bill 5:28
And when, in the past, I had heard about people having a brain hemorrhage, or an aneurysm burst or something along those lines, it is very, very rarely was a good outcome. Like we never in the past, we never got to hear about all these amazing stories of survival and recovery and overcoming. When you woke up from all of this drama, what were you left with? What kind of challenges did you have to overcome?

Whitney 5:59
Well, unfortunately, I was awake, I didn’t have the proper affect. Like now I would be scared what was happening, but I was more I had a flat affect that I was just curious, I was losing function on my arm, I couldn’t sign into the ER, I was losing function of my leg. They told me I had blood on my brain. I needed surgery and all these things.

Whitney 6:25
And I’m just like, it wasn’t quite clicking appropriately. But the way there was so much inflammation on my brain that the surgery was done in one day, because it was located in my brainstem, and there was so much inflammation, they weren’t sure that they’d be able to get to it.

Whitney 6:44
So that one day was pretty tough, because I couldn’t talk I had severe facial droop. And I could just think, all day of possible scenarios. And so I kind of wish that I was asleep, but I was awake during that time.

Whitney 7:06
And then when I woke up from surgery, I was completely paralyzed, on the right side the surgery did cracked, the facial droop, and it took about a few weeks to significantly change, and then a few months to change all the way. But it was corrected a lot by surgery. But I was left with my arm and leg paralyzed completely no movement, nothing can wiggle toes, like there’s nothing for about two months.

Bill 7:40
So that was a pretty intense rehab. So what you’re saying to me is you went to the hospital, actually quite aware, although you didn’t realize the significance of what you’re hearing and what were telling you, you actually quite with it, and therefore you had a lot of time to run everything through your mind on what the possible outcomes might be.

Whitney 8:01
Correct. So it was a tough day for sure. I have a daughter, as I said before, and she was 18 months at the time. And so I was fearful of having to say goodbye and my family and my husband and my life. And just I felt young. I was 34. I was like this is all at this time I have you know, it was a tough day.

Bill 8:32
And was family able to get there and see you or did it happen relatively quickly that it was just about getting you well, rather than sort of bringing everyone around.

Whitney 8:44
They did. They flew from California, New Mexico, my mom drove up from South Florida, everybody was there because we had that one day. So it did give people a little bit of time to say goodbye, if you know, that was kind of it was presented like this is really your only choice.

Whitney 9:06
She’s bleeding in her brain and we don’t like to do brainstem surgery, but this is the best option for her. And so it was a very real possibility. And like I said, I just had a very flat affect. Like I couldn’t really comprehend the severity of what was happening to me.

Bill 9:25
How could you I mean, you’re three minutes earlier, you’re just a normal person in bed sleeping, no need to worry about brain injuries or anything like that. And now you’re suddenly bombarded with all this new information about your life being at risk and you can’t comprehend it how can you possibly comprehend it?

Bill 9:45
I went to a hospital and I had a bleed on my brain and I went seven days after it started bleeding. And then when I was at hospital, I was walking around I was never in my bed and the the nurse we’re always looking for me and telling me to stay in my bed. But because I felt well, after they gave me some medication.

Bill 10:07
I didn’t also connect the dots into how serious this could be and turn out. And they were so concerned. And I think that being unaware of the seriousness really helped early on, especially when family found out that I was in hospital, they came and saw me and they did the whole oh, but he looks great. I don’t really know what the issue is. Which was good and bad. Because then later on, they did the whole you look great, even though I was really unwell. So how long has it been since so you were 34? How old are you now?

Whitney 10:45
I’m 36. Now, so I’m very early on my stroke, recovery, and having a miraculous recovery, really. But it was January of 2019. When that happened.

Bill 11:00
Then you’ve gone from hospital into rehabilitation for a few weeks, or was it months.

Whitney 11:06
I was in the hospital for a few weeks. And then I went to two different rehab facilities for a few weeks each. And it was a total about two months.

Life at home after hospital

Bill 11:21
And then when you came home, what was that like how was the reintegration into the house life after that with a little baby and being a mom and dealing with stroke.

Whitney 11:34
It was really, really tough. There’s really no sugarcoating or silver lining, it was absolutely terrible. In the beginning, I couldn’t change her diaper, put her in a highchair put her in a car seat, put her in bed, I couldn’t hold her, I couldn’t really barely walk. So I couldn’t chase after her and play with her, there were so many things that I couldn’t do.

Whitney 11:59
And as a new mother, as a young mother and a new mother, you just almost feel like you’re not doing enough or you’re not a good mom, even though that’s not true. But you just can’t do so many things I couldn’t do her hair, for example, like, which is not important. But like I just couldn’t be the mom that I wanted to be. And I couldn’t drive to the grocery store for my family, like help out my husband and I just been through a lot.

Bill 12:29
Were you hard on yourself sounds like you were hard on yourself for not being able to do these things.

Whitney 12:34
I was in the beginning. And that has been this whole experience has been has taught me so much about myself. But it’s kind of a neat experience, really, I’m grateful for the wake-up call. And just for all of the lessons that I’m learning. And I was proud of myself, when I couldn’t do something, I would say, Oh my gosh, you should totally be able to do this, you know, I would try 20 times or something.

Whitney 13:00
And I couldn’t take as little as I do unto a lid or something like that. And you’d have to ask for help. And it was really hard for me to ask for help. I’m a very independent person. In the beginning, I needed help with everything from tying my shoe to putting up my hair and taking a shower to just driving to rehab. Like I just needed help all the time. And I was harsh on myself. And I’m learning just to let go and soften you know, and just be a different person, I guess.

Bill 13:38
Now, the question would be, what do you say to yourself, you know, the person you are today to the person just two years ago? What kind of conversation would you have with that person now?

Whitney 13:54
You know what I did, which really helped me I put a picture of myself as a baby as a little girl, I think I was four, right by my bedside in a frame. And I really liked this picture. And I talked to that person all the time, because she looks like my daughter, like look like Stella and of course I would never say what I said to myself to my daughter, or my best friend or anybody else besides me.

Whitney 14:25
And I knew that it wasn’t a healthy relationship or personal relationship with myself, and that I was going through a really tough time and that I needed to soften and that I needed self-love. And that was probably the best thing. I still have that little picture by my bedside.

Bill 14:46
Whitney, that’s really profound what you just said. How did you get to that point because not many people think of that and you did and you’ve experienced a profound shift in how you’ve experienced it. The challenges that you’ve had to face so, what made you get to that point to bring little Whitney into the picture and have this amazing heart to heart conversation with her.

More self-love and compassion after a stroke

Whitney 15:11
I must have read it somewhere or seen it somewhere or something, I don’t recall that. But, I mean, just this whole experience, the emotional journey has almost been harder for me in a way than the physical journey. So I have thought about ways to create more self-love to create more compassion for myself.

Whitney 15:40
I mean, I went into medicine because I wanted to help serve other people. That’s why I became a physician assistant. So when this happened to me, I was like, it’s not about serving other people right now. It’s about serving yourself so that you can serve other people.

Whitney 15:57
And that was kind of the turning point where I just started. I feel like I just kind of came into all of the right people at the right time. I mean, books and people like you and, you know, just, I’m in sync or something, you know, and I just feel like I’m getting tons of information.

Whitney 16:25
That’s really neat and really interesting from everything about neuroplasticity, two-stroke rehab, to the American Heart Association that I’m working within the United States. And just, there’s so many great things happening right now.

Bill 16:43
That’s great. I know that in coaching, when I’ve coached people in the past and now. And before I coach stroke survivors are coached people just from all walks of life, often, very often, many of them, when they had an injury that was associated to their body or to their health or to their well being, they often went into the physical side of it.

Bill 17:06
If I can get up and go there, it’s all good If I can do that, it’s all good. If I can do it all good. And they neglect the emotional recovery, thinking that it’s too hard, or they don’t know how to go there, or it’s too raw. And there’s a whole bunch of reasons why they avoid it.

Bill 17:22
But sometimes it’s just because in stroke recovery, to get out of hospital, you really have to be able to be independent in some way, shape, or form, whether it’s pushing your wheelchair around, or walk with a cane, or with the assistance of some sort, it’s all about the physical recovery.

Bill 17:41
And for some people, that takes a really long time. And therefore, it could be the only focus for a really long time. And the emotional recovery just gets neglected, not by choice or on purpose just because it has to take a backseat so that that person can go to the toilet themselves or shower themselves or all those other things.

Bill 18:03
And then it catches up with people eventually. And and if I can bring people to that point where they are doing both recoveries at the same time, then that’s even better. Because what you want is you want to do the physical stuff. But while you’re sitting down and resting do a heartfelt meditation doesn’t take any time, it doesn’t take any extra effort, just pop your headphones in, grab one off YouTube or Spotify for free.

Bill 18:30
And just allow yourself to go into this place, you know, where I think recovery really begins and what we see externally on the physical is important, but I think its second in the order of which recovery is most important.

Bill 18:49
And I know for me, when my head went offline, I actually started to notice my heart in my chest for the first time like I properly started to notice that I didn’t realize that this thing that I was feeling in my chest was my heart and the importance that played in my life and it was just so bizarre. I’m glad I found it.

Whitney 19:11
Yeah, I mean the mind-body, some people speak of the mind-body connection, and I don’t feel like they’re separate. Like it’s one unit. It’s not mind affects body or body affects the mind but like it’s all one thing. So I think that for people to separate physical limitation, and then separate emotional or mental health, that creates a barrier for some because it’s all kind of related and intertwined. And it’s like one unit.

Bill 19:44
Yeah, it’s like the, you know, we’ve got the land that we can’t get to the different continents unless we use the sea and the sea is what connects the entire planet, right? So without the sea. Then we’ve just got this landmass and you could be forgiven for thinking that if it’s all landmass, then it’s all connected.

Bill 20:06
And because the sea is in the way, we kind of see this disconnection. But the reality is that there’s ways to navigate that. And without one, we don’t have the other. We just, we have this different version of it. So I love the way that you spoke to this little version of yourself. It’s a really important thing. And I love that you’re somewhere you don’t know where but somewhere you picked up on that you wouldn’t talk to your friend the way you’re talking to yourself. And you ran with it.

Whitney 20:38
Yeah. It really worked for me. Like I really feel like I actually not that I was never a person that hated myself or anything or thought I wasn’t enough or anything like that. But I wasn’t necessarily a person in love with my qualities, and myself. And now I can say that I am. I think I’m amazing. And I’m just wonderful. And happy to be here and survivor and thriver and everything.

Bill 21:14
Yeah, that’s awesome. How did your husband deal with all of the sudden stuff that happened? hospitalization and then your recovery? How is he doing?

Whitney 21:25
Well, it’s really tough also on him just because we have a toddler. Um, well, I mean, the initial response from him was amazing. Like, he noticed something was wrong. He got me the help that I needed. He was really calm, even when we got terrible news. You know, he didn’t freak out, which probably helped me not freak out.

Whitney 21:49
And he was wonderful. And it was really tough because I live in Florida, and one of my rehab centers was in Georgia. So I was about seven hours away from here. And so it was tough to try to see me like he wasn’t always there. Because we had our daughter. And we were trying to make life as normal as we could for her because she was just at the age where, of course, she didn’t know why I was in rehab or anything.

Whitney 22:21
But she sort of knew that I was in the hospital like mommy’s not here, you know, Where’s mom kind of thing. And so I think that just tugs at your heartstrings, you know, and it was hard for him, but he did a really wonderful job. He’s very supportive. And yeah, I couldn’t ask for more.

A reason to recover after a stroke


Bill 22:44
Yeah. How, what an amazing motivation, though, you know, having the little one at home, thinking, Where’s mom? And it’s like, well, I’m getting back to you, like, I’m gonna get there. You know, I’m gonna get better. Did she play a massive role in your recovery?

Whitney 23:03
Absolutely. When I was at my first rehab center, right out of surgery, I was in the hospital for a couple weeks, but a couple of weeks out of surgery. I was pretty blue. I was paralyzed, I was down and out. I was feeling really emotional. And just wait, what, why am I here? Why did they even save me? Why did I even get out of surgery, I don’t want to even really be here.

Whitney 23:33
Not that I contemplated suicide. But I just felt so useless. And I couldn’t move my right side. And I couldn’t do so many things. And so I put pictures of her all over my hospital wall, like 25 pictures, probably. And I just looked at them every day. And over the course of a few days, even.

Whitney 23:58
I just changed my attitude. And I said, she needs me and I want to be here for her. And I can only be here for her if I’m here for myself. So even if I can’t move my right side ever, it’s okay. And it was like the first step of acceptance. Like I started thinking of all these people that I have seen celebrities and things that don’t have arms or don’t have legs or are in wheelchairs or whatever. And I was like they have a beautiful life. So you too can have a beautiful life.

Bill 24:33
Regardless of what happens.

Whitney 24:36
Yeah, and she has been a huge factor. In my recovery every single day. I play with her toys, like when I did OT, I would play with her toys and just do as much as I could because I had all of these puzzles and blocks and stuff in the beginning that you know, was very hard for me.

Whitney 24:58
And so she’s perfect. She’s at the perfect age. Actually, I don’t like using the word perfect, because what’s perfect, but she was a great age. And really, she’s my little angel.

Bill 25:14
You can say she’s perfect. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with that she’s perfect. In Episode 56, I interviewed Jason Gaudette and Jason was from Canada. And he experienced the bleed in the brain, he had an AVM rupture and arteriovenous malformation.

Bill 25:33
And he, in the interview was talking about how the recovery that he experienced, was happening around the same time that his son was starting to walk. And he couldn’t walk. And he realized that his son was going through the same things that he was. And because he had this real adult awareness of what it’s like to try and walk again, he was his son’s biggest, you know, supporter of go on, you’ll be right, you know, you’re not walking yet or you fell over, you fell on your bum, it doesn’t matter.

Bill 26:08
And he just had this new awareness of what his son was going through to get back on his feet for the first time. And it was so motivating to him. And he was talking about that really massive connection that he was able to have with his son that he wouldn’t have had in that way had he not experienced the challenges of regaining his ability to walk again.

Whitney 26:33
I mean, that’s kind of how I feel this time that I’ve spent at home with Stella recovering and everything, I was always at work, I wasn’t around as much at all. And we have formed a really beautiful bond over this. And I feel the same way. It’s really, kind of neat.

Bill 26:58
I was at home when my kids were in their teenage years. So at a time where I would have been pretty full-on in work and out of the house for many hours. And then in the study, you know, putting together all the things I needed to do for work, I would have spent less quality-focused time on them.

Bill 27:23
And my wife was at work doing all those things that she needed to do to keep us going and keep the family afloat, in financial and all those things. And because I wasn’t able to work, I was able to be there for the kids, when they came home from school. When they left for school, I was able to prepare their lunches and do all those things.

Bill 27:42
And I wouldn’t have got that opportunity to be so involved in their teenage years at a time, which I think is really important for kids for their parents to be really involved when we’re in the thick of trying to keep the bills paid, and the mortgage paid and all that kind of stuff. So it was a really amazing time for me as well.

Bill 28:08
And I got to have this little gift that kept on giving for both the stroke and the opportunity to be at home with the kids. The stroke kept on giving the gift of letting me be at home for years. And the being at home for years kept me involved in those for many years of my kids lives without trying to be a weirdo Dad, you know, who imposes himself all the time.

Bill 28:35
I was just here. So I wasn’t doing the whole imposing myself. It was just I’m here, they’d come home. And we’d chat about things that at 3:30 or four o’clock in the evening. I wouldn’t normally chat to them about because I wouldn’t see them until seven o’clock. So it was a really bizarre gift that you get. It was a great gift that you get from a bizarre situation.

Whitney 28:59
Yeah, yeah, it’s really tough to have kids and have a stroke. And then on the flip side, it’s the most beautiful thing because you do have that time and you do have that bond.

Bill 29:12
Yeah. How long did it take for you to get back to all the things that you were doing beforehand? Basically what I mean by that is, did you get back to driving relatively quickly. Did you go back to work? What happened there?

Whitney 29:29
Well, I’m still am recovering. Today, actually. But I couldn’t drive for about 11 months. I am not able to go back to work yet because the duties of a physician assistant suturing and just doing tons of typing. I can’t really type on the computer. I usually use voice to text a lot for our social media or for texting.

Whitney 30:05
Although it is getting a little bit, it’s gotten better with my left hand. But I had spent last year yeah, it’s just still ongoing. I am just starting to be able to run again I just another probably a couple months ago, got the strength to hold my daughter again. I’m almost fast enough to chase her. But, you know, there’s a lot of things that I once did. I mean, I was a gymnast growing up, I was a competitive cheerleader. I was super active prior stroke. You know, I did yoga paddleboarding, running , I mean.

Intro 30:50
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 now long will it take to recover? Will I actually recover? What things should I avoid? In case I’ll make matters worse.

Intro 31:07
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 31:29
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. 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.

Acceptance

brainstem cavernous angiomaWhitney 31:52
I was just a very active person, that was my lifestyle. And now to not be able to stand on one leg, not be able to really run for longer than 10 seconds. You know, not be able to do so much like even to write or you know, a lot of things, it’s very different. But I don’t care as much as I did before I was really upset in the beginning.

Whitney 32:19
Because change is just difficult. There’s no way around it. And I learned, the more that you accept what’s going on, the better things become and the better you actually feel. And acceptance is huge in my recovery.

Bill 32:36
So what it does is acceptance allows the body to just calm down, it allows the stress hormones to relax, to go away, it allows the blood pressure to stabilize, it allows the heartbeat to you know, just settle down. And therefore that creates the perfect environment for healing in the brain to happen. And then as you go about your daily life because you have to be active anyway, because you have a toddler.

Whitney 33:05
Right, which is a good thing.

Bill 33:07
Yeah, you have to because what that’s doing is that’s allowing neuroplasticity to continue happening and repetition to continue happening. And there’ll be a time where you’re holding something in your left hand, and you’re going to try and reach out with your right hand.

Bill 33:21
And that movement without thinking about it in that acceptance phase of your life is going to allow for great neuroplasticity to occur. And, I’m not saying that that means that your hands are going to come back exactly the way that it was before. But what it will do is allow for the natural evolution of recovery to happen.

Bill 33:40
And therefore you don’t have to really think about it, you just have to know is that I need to be able to chase after this little thing because I need to be able to get to her when she’s going into the wrong direction, you know. So the running will come as well. So I started running probably about eight or nine months after my brain surgery.

Bill 34:03
And at the beginning, I was really afraid to do more than a couple of steps because I felt weird. It felt strange, the feedback from the ground was different. I was afraid that I’ll buckle my knee and hurt. But then as I started to just run to the corner of our street or across the road when it was quiet or something like that. Then I started to notice that the amount of distance that I could take next time just grew, even if it was by two or three steps.

Bill 34:21
The muscle memory kind of kicks in a little bit. And before you know it, you’re like oh yeah, I know how to do that.

Bill 34:44
Yeah, so it might feel a bit different and a bit not the same as before, but it still allows you to do the function of running so that it could be useful. Whereas before when I used to run at the gym I think I did it because I thought I was running to be fit healthy, all those things.

Bill 35:04
But I didn’t realize what they used to running was for me running became useful after the strike because one of my physios said to me, why do you want to be able to run and I said not to run a marathon, but just to get across the road for cars coming, but don’t want to be in the middle of the road? He goes, Well, that’s a great idea. It’s a great reason to run. Now let’s give it a go.

Whitney 35:30
Well, yeah, I actually have found other things that I almost love more than running. Because, you know, adapt is the name of the game when you have a stroke. And so I bought a tricycle and it looks just like a beach cruiser. I live on the beach here in Florida. And it allows me to go with my family for bike rides.

Whitney 35:53
And when I kind of drive, I would ride my bike 8, 10 miles and go to my appointments and stuff. And it was great repetition, and I took up swimming. And running is kind of on the back burner. You know, it was more important in the beginning, because I couldn’t do it. And I just wanted to do it. It was like, something that I had to work with. And now it’s okay, that I can’t exactly run because honestly, I like other things better.

Bill 36:29
You seem like a very curious person. Is it curiosity that gets you thinking down these paths? And tangents? Or is it just a willingness to explore? What is the quality that you’re tapping into, to discover all these new things?

Whitney 36:46
I would say I was just raised from two beautiful people. And I don’t know, I just keep a really open mind, this whole experience has really offered me like an opportunity to just dive deep, you know, and explore and just don’t sweat the small stuff, you know, and just kind of explore options and ideas maybe that you didn’t think about before, or that you are opposed to or closed minded about before, like, maybe, you know, think about something new or try something new.

Whitney 37:31
And it’s liberated me. And in a way, I was always a very, I wasn’t like necessarily. But I did have perfectionism. I did have overachiever in my blood. And I still do a little bit, but it’s not about that. And that’s what this whole experience has taught me.

Bill 37:53
Who would have thought that these profound amazing lessons come from such adversity, but you’re not the only stroke survivor, to say that there’s so many people saying the same thing. And there’s a lot of stroke survivors who aren’t there yet. They’re still cranky about it and upset about it and still have a lot of other struggles.

Finding happiness

brainstem cavernous angiomaBill 38:09
And that’s perfectly fine. And sometimes it’s okay to not be happy with something that it’s left you you know, I mean, that’s perfectly fine, too. The thing is, is not to stay there. It’s just to acknowledge that you’re not happy with something and then go alright, well, I’m not happy with that, what can I be happy with and move towards finding what it is that you can be happy with.

Bill 38:32
And you’ve got so many things that you can be happy with, because you have so many other gifts that life has given you and so did I, and so do many stroke survivors, and one of the great questions that I asked myself was even in this most terrible time, like what’s good about this situation right now? And that one thing of what’s good that curiosity to find what might be good, even if it was just the flower has bloomed? That’s enough.

Whitney 39:01
If I can say one thing, gratitude has changed my life in a big beautiful way. And I was in rehab and somebody told me to start a gratitude journal and at the time, I really couldn’t hold a pen I couldn’t write one letter. And that so I looked at her like, she was crazy. You know, I said I’m grateful to be alive and that’s about it.

Whitney 39:01
Then I thought about it and I was really at that time just very determined to get my handwriting back. I was right-handed and I didn’t want to learn with my left I just want to do my right. And so I did it and it started out, you know, a letter and then I thought and then a word and then months later and sentence and then months later, a couple sentences.

Whitney 39:52
And the uniqueness the muscle memory as we talked about. It has coming back in my In my hand, and it’s like my handwriting has a little bit of its uniqueness back. And it’s still very hard and challenging and my wrists get tired easily. But it’s, it’s a beautiful thing. And in the meantime, my whole life changed.

Whitney 40:16
I see gratitude, everywhere I look every day, I wake up grateful for the day grateful that I’m awake. And it’s a beautiful thing. So just to have one good thing you know, even if you just cling to one thing, you know, flood yourself with gratitude and things shift.

Bill 40:38
They do, because it focuses the mind it gives creates neuroplasticity, new pathways in focusing on the positive rather than the negative. And the sneaky part about writing a gratitude journal is that it’s stimulating all sorts of parts of the brain, and connecting dots that were potentially lost in mist, and I’ve gone to sleep. So you think you’re writing a gratitude journal, just to focus on gratitude, but it’s doing all sorts of amazing things to heal your brain.

Bill 41:08
But we’re not really focusing on that we’re not aware of it’s just happening in the background, just this amazing stuff. So yeah, gratitude is a huge one. And a lot of people who know about gratitude can go into it quite easily. After a serious health issues, some people need to be reminded of the fact that somebody told you that it’s possible at the time for people to also take that the wrong way.

Bill 41:37
Like, if somebody came to me, at certain times in my life, when things were terrible, and I’m not talking about my stroke experience, and tell me to be gratitude, to have gratitude, I would have probably told them where to go, you know, seriously, I should be grateful about this terrible thing that just happened to me. That was, that was where I was then.

Bill 42:01
And, yeah, and when you’re stuck there, when you don’t understand where they’re coming from, it’s pretty easy to get stuck in that place of, I’m going to be shitty with you for even suggesting that I should be grateful about this situation, because I’m not going to be grateful about this situation. But then if you allow yourself to see beyond that, and the offense, and then you can move on.

Whitney 42:30
And that’s my thing, it’s really important just to, to allow yourself time to go through all the phases, because at first I was angry, I was sad. I was like, Why me? You know, and someone said to me one time, why not you? What makes you, you know, too good for this to happen or something.

Whitney 42:50
And I was like, I was so kind of taken back in the beginning. But it’s true. It’s like, why not you? And you know, just to go through that angry face and questioning why and what does this mean, and you know, it is really important to designate time to you know, really feel all those feelings during that time, because so many people have a tendency to say I shouldn’t be angry, I should be grateful, I shouldn’t be sad, I shouldn’t cry, these feelings aren’t valid, or, or whatever.

Whitney 43:27
And it’s not true. And in order to move through those feelings, you have to feel them and they’re uncomfortable, they are painful, they are scary, they give you anxiety. But the bravest thing I ever did was just sit with it for a little bit. And then it’s almost like it just kind of eats away. I mean, it doesn’t go away completely, but it does just change.

Bill 43:55
It becomes less impactful. And that’s the thing, you know, with emotional hurt when people have been hurt in a relationship or in any part of life, and it’s affected them emotionally. You see a lot of people after many, many years and decades, you know have not, for example, talking to a family member or a brother or a relative or whatever.

Bill 44:16
They get stuck on the fear of allowing themselves to experience the emotion in its full experience, right so that then they don’t realize that it’s on the other side of that where the healing happens, where you can then just let go of the hurt that was caused or the misunderstanding that occurred and getting people to go there can be scary, but it’s scarier to stay there because the regret happens later.

Bill 44:48
That’s where regret is. But if you allow yourself to go there and be brave at that time and overcome that fear of feeling the feeling that you are so desperately trying not to feel. Just do that. Then it just, it’s like a switch. Isn’t it just like flicks over and then it’s different.

Whitney 45:10
Yeah, if you can just stick with that, well, it’s so tough. That’s like the transformation. You know, like if you just stay with that. Like I say, I’m trying to get comfortable being uncomfortable. So you know, so that when something uncomfortable comes up and you don’t want to do it’s like, that’s the exact thing you should do it.

Bill 45:33
Yeah get comfortable being uncomfortable. Yeah, that’s a great thing to do. your Instagram is a really cool one, because it’s got a lot of the stuff on there that I like to read about. For people listening who might want to connect with Whitney, they can go to whittermac.

(BDNF) Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor

Bill 45:57
I’ll have the links on the show notes. And the reason I said that it’s a really cool one is because some of your posts, they speak to me and one of them, particularly that speaks to me is the one where you’re introducing BDNF Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor and it’s this cartoon of this little dude, doing this with a, really colorful hat on and blue shorts, and he’s green.

Bill 46:24
And what people need to know about the BDNF is, that’s one of the most amazing things that we create, just by being active. Exercise creates a whole bunch of amazing impacts and positive things into the brain. And one of those things is the BDNF the Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor, and you can support it in many different ways.

Bill 46:46
And here, the other ways, you can support it other than exercise is, you can support it by having good levels of vitamin D going out into the sun, green tea, social connection, omega 3 that comes from foods. And, isn’t that amazing that social connection supports healing the brain after stroke, and getting people better. I’m lost for words like reading that I know. But just reading that, that’s fascinating to me.

Whitney 47:23
They say it’s like Miracle Growth for the brain, you know, it’s really important.

Bill 47:32
Yeah, it’s amazing. How did you grow your social network? Is it roughly the same? Or does it include people now that have had a similar challenge to you?

Whitney 47:45
A few since I started working with the Local American Heart Association. And even the National American Heart Association, I’ve come across a few people that we have connected and shared stories and spoke to each other and done zoom calls together. And some of them you know, I was really big into yoga before.

Whitney 48:12
And some of them were yoga teachers now. And you know, a lot of people that I talked to just had this beautiful life experience that unraveled with the devastation of a stroke. And most people that I’ve connected with have a really positive outlook. I’m not a big fan of like positive vibes only, because it dismisses the negative, which is really important.

Whitney 48:40
And it’s telling you something about your life or yourself or something that needs to be addressed. But, but they’re very optimistic, I would say. And that’s really helped me a lot. Because in the beginning, especially when I was still paralyzed, I was really scared, I was scared of how I would do so much in my life.

Bill 49:06
Optimism is such an important tool. I mean, if you can’t be optimistic, you’re missing out on the possibility to find those unique things that come out of left field you know, those doors that open that you didn’t expect that then change your life like the gratitude journal.

Whitney 49:24
Yeah. I live so much more presently. Like I’m really grateful for the wake up call that I was given, because when you almost die, and as you know very well, and it like shakes something up in you and it makes you realize, wow we might not have as much time as we think we all pretend like we’re going to live to we’re 100 and it’s not the case and you don’t have to be fearful at all.

Whitney 49:55
But if you’re just aware of your time here, and you make the most event with social connections and other people and your work and your family and whatever is important to you, then it’s when it does come. It’s kind of okay. This big, fearful, scary thing.

Bill 50:16
I was raised in a family. That’s Christian. I suppose they’re religious, I would say, but I’m not really, really religious. But I do understand what people say when they talk about having faith. And was your faith tested? Did you feel that your faith was tested? Whether you’re religious or not? And has that shifted? Now?

Whitney 50:45
I would say that I’m very much of a spiritual person who believes definitely in a bigger energy or God, maybe that even though that was overplayed, but for me, that’s not the right word. But definitely don’t think that I’m really religious, but I do believe in higher power.

Bill 51:14
I suppose the question was, I know I tied it into religion, but it wasn’t about that it was about faith. And do you kind of practice a faith of some sort, and I’m not talking about a religious faith or faith of things will be right things will turn out all right, that type of thing.

Whitney 51:30
Well, I’m a big believer that life happens for you, not to you. So it’s all acceptance. Like I said, you know, it’s just things are gifts with really ugly wrapping paper, you know.

Bill 51:50
If you chose the gift based on the wrapping paper, you might not want it right?

Whitney 52:00
Right, exactly.

Bill 52:03
That is such an awesome analogy. I love that I’m gonna use that I’m gonna steal it.

Whitney 52:07
Yeah, use it.

Bill 52:09
You’ve got one of your most recent posts on Instagram, it says focus on the shape of your mind, rather than the shape of your body. What do you mean by that? How come that resonated with you?

Meditation helps with stroke recovery


Whitney 52:24
Well, there’s a couple reasons. One is that my body is not the body that I had before, it’s not able to do so many things that I once did. And so you know, really, when I do focus on my mindset, and my mind, some how my body gets better, or more agile, or I can do more things, or, you know, the more meditation I’m really big on meditation, because I didn’t meditate prior to my stroke.

Whitney 53:03
And I wish that I would have, I found it because I couldn’t do anything, I couldn’t walk down my street and drive my car, go for a run, you know, I couldn’t do anything. And I was very, it was hard for me to sit still in the beginning. But I rather do meditation than just cry everyday, like I did for a few months.

Whitney 53:29
And so I found it. And it came to me about a year and a half ago or so. And I love meditation. And I think that’s another reason why I’ve developed the relationship that I have with myself, in addition to the photograph that I put on the bedside, because it just puts you in touch with your triggers and your personality and, life in general and how precious this time is on the planet.

Whitney 53:58
And so the more I meditate, the more my body responds. So it’s like, I’m more focused on my mindset, which in turn brings recovery to my body.

Bill 54:13
Yeah, mindset is really important because it can derail recovery, and it could make it harder than it has to be. Meditation is really awesome because you can do it just by sitting in your chair at any time of the day, you can do it for a minute that has positive beneficial effects. any longer than that, it’s just positive right through.

Bill 54:36
It is bringing together it starts to help combine the body and mind where we’ve experienced our body as separate entities because of the way that it’s spoken about. You know, when you have a headache you go to see somebody about your head when you have a problem with your heart.

Bill 54:54
You’re gonna say somebody about your heart and so on and medicine and the Western world has compartmentalised the body. And we’ve learned about it in the same way. So meditation starts to reunite everything and bring everything together. And I remember being in hospital trying to, and waiting for rehabilitation and to get back on my feet for the first time and start learning how to walk again.

Bill 55:21
And I had been practicing meditation before my surgery. And then after surgery, I was meditating, and watching myself walk again. Because I learned that neuroplasticity activates the same part of the brain, if you pretend that you’re doing something as it does, if you’re actually doing something.

Bill 55:48
So that time that one or two hours, a day that I spent imagining myself walk was doing the same positive things to my brain as if I was actually walking, and therefore I was able to double my rehabilitation time.

Whitney 56:05
I visualization is huge. Also, in my recovery. I visualized just for five minutes or less every single day, for a year of running on the beach, what it would feel like the sand, the smells, you know, everything. And then I did it one day, you know.

Whitney 56:29
And so for me, it’s just, I visualize, you know, I can’t really do certain movements with my foot, and ankle and different things. And I visualize all the time, because I read a study one time that showed if you visualize, you know, doing bicep curls for a couple of months.

Whitney 56:57
My daughter, I’m she’s like, pounding on the door. But anyway, I read that if you visualize that, they actually strengthened the muscle, and they never touched a weight. And so just powerful for me, like I visualize all the time, everything. That’s probably why athletes and CEOs and really professional people do it because it primes the brain, in addition, maybe to strengthening the muscle or something, but it does prime the brain to get ready for the activity. And like you said, the brain doesn’t know the difference between what’s you know, really happening and what you’re imagining,

Bill 57:38
Yeah, we can take a little bit of we can make it think that it’s doing something that it’s actually not, and then we can use that to our benefit. And that’s a really amazing thing. And one of the hardest things for me, one of the things that I feared a lot about was getting intimate with my wife again, because I had a bleed in my brain and it was there for a while I was there for about three years.

Intimacy Issues caused by the stroke

Bill 58:04
So they kind of said to me, you’re going to have to take it easy on a lot of things that are strenuous. And that means you shouldn’t go to the gym, exercise, run any of that stuff. And then I asked the inevitable question, you know, like, what about intimacy? And I said, you know, off. Right, so getting it back was a bit of an issue a bit of a concern. Did you have any challenges around intimacy? Was it something that you guys were able to navigate quite well? Or was it a bit of a challenge?

Whitney 58:16
I would say that it was a challenge. Because of our relationship stressors, because of how stressful this was on a marriage on a young couple that just sent their vows, you know, in sickness or health like just a couple of years ago. And that’s exactly what it was.

Whitney 58:57
And it brought a lot of challenges into our marriage. So I think that played a role in it. I don’t know if it was really the surgery itself or the stroke itself, but maybe our connection at the time. Just was very, it was a stressful time. And it wasn’t as supportive as we are because of each other. He was going through his own stressful event. And then I his wife had a stroke. And it was it was a very stressful time. And I think that had a lot to do with it.

Bill 59:39
A lot of things coming together at once. And that’s interesting, because I’ve been spoken about that specifically. Not the intimacy part, the marriage part specifically with a lot of people in that very early marriage. 34 year old people doing the vow of in sickness and in health in death do us part.

Bill 59:59
I mean, you’re basically not really focusing on what that means. You’re focusing on all the amazing things that are going to happen? And that’s kind of funny that you say, because most people say it. And then, man, you’re dealing with all of that stuff that the vow is talking about right now.

Whitney 1:00:16
Yeah, it’s pretty wild really.

Bill 1:00:24
Wow. I really have enjoyed getting to know you over this last hour. I really appreciate your being so candid, and so open. I love what you’re all about. And I think it’s really important the story that you shared today, because it’s going to make a difference for other people that are listening.

Bill 1:00:46
What makes it possible for you to say, to the stranger from the other side of the planet, who sends an email and says, you know, can you be on my podcast? Like, what makes you able to go yeah, I want to do that I want to be a part of that I want to share.

Whitney 1:01:10
First of all, I’ve made sure you have like a page and that you weren’t a creeper or something. And I looked you up online and made sure that you know that that was okay.

Whitney 1:01:23
Because I get people commenting all the time that say weird stuff, and they don’t have any followers and posts and no website and I’m like, I’m not gonna say anything back to you.

Bill 1:01:33
I know them.

Whitney 1:01:36
I guess I just really want to help be another person that can raise awareness about stroke, because so many people in the stroke community know that it definitely happens to young, healthy people.

Whitney 1:01:51
But outside of the stroke community and outside of the medical field, it’s not common knowledge that a stroke can happen to a young, healthy person. And it’s really become important to me just to be an advocate and just raise awareness. And also to tell people that, you know, we all go through the unexpected.

Whitney 1:02:14
I mean, you if you can’t control what happens to you, like, you can control how you respond. And I just want to give inspiration to people that might be really having a hard time because when I was having a hard time, if I had somebody come to me and say some things that I know now, it would have been amazing.

Whitney 1:02:39
It would have meant a lot to me at the time. So I want to give that back to others. And I just always have loved helping people. So I feel like I’d like to keep sharing.

Bill 1:02:51
Beautiful. That’s a perfect way to end the podcast. Whitney, thank you so much for being on the podcast. I really appreciate it.

Whitney 1:02:58
Yes, thank you so much, Bill.

Bill 1:03:01
Thanks for listening to the recovery after stroke podcast. If you like this or any other episode, please hit the like button if you’re watching on social media. Give us a thumbs up if you’re watching on the YouTube channel and give the recovery aftershock podcast a five star review on your favorite podcast app.

Bill 1:03:19
Doing this will make the podcast more visible to other stroke survivors that are doing a tough right now. And it could help them feel inspired and feel better about the road ahead. Thanks for tuning in.

Intro 1:03:35
Discover how to heal your brain after stroke go to recoveryafterstroke.com.

Intro 1:03:45
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 podcasts or the individual’s own experience and we do not necessarily share the same opinion nor do we recommend any treatment protocol discussed.

Intro 1:04:02
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 1:04:14
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 1:04:30
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 1:04:46
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 called triple zero in Australia or your local emergency number immediately for emergency assistance or go to the nearest hospital emergency department.

Intro 1:05:04
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 116. Brainstem Cavernous Angioma – Whitney Spotts appeared first on Recovery After Stroke.

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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
115. 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 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/showing-kindness-even-if-we-disagree/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/showing-kindness-even-if-we-disagree/feed/ 0 <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/">115. 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?

Socials:
http://www.helenmitas.com/hypnofit                         https://www.instagram.com/helen_mitas_hypnofit_founder/

Highlights:

01:11 Introduction
05:42 Dealing with our disagreements
17:39 Taking conversations too personally
23:37 Why so annoying?
29:48 It’s not about being bad or good
36:05 Using the opportunity to become a better person
41:16 Where the disagreement began
49:38 We all want the same thing
54:49 Fear of uncertainty

Transcription:

Bill 0:00
It’s just about me trying to express myself and have a conversation, which I miss the most at the moment I missed that more than anything because I can’t meet with people. And I can only have this conversation with my wife so many times because she’s amazing.

Bill 0:15
She’s probably sick of hearing me, you know, and she wants respite she doesn’t want to hear from me. Though kindness is one of my core values and for me to feel like I’m not being kind in a conversation really bothers me and concerns me.

Bill 0:32
And I know you’re kind, and I know, we, both have communities who genuinely are trying to be kind, because they wouldn’t be in our communities if they weren’t, now that doesn’t mean that your posts haven’t annoyed me the most. They have and I’m wondering why? Why is it that your post have annoyed me the most?

Intro 0:59
This is The Recovery After Stroke Podcast, with Bill Gasiamis, helping you navigate recovery after stroke.

Introduction

kindness
Bill 1:11
Bill from recoveryafterstroke.com This is Episode 115. And today, I am a guest of longtime friend and hypnotherapist, Helen Mitas from Hypnofit. Helen first appeared on the recovery after stroke podcast in Episode 13, where we discussed ways that hypnotherapy might be able to help stroke survivors quit smoking.

Bill 1:33
In today’s conversation, we discuss something very topical, especially for people living in the state of Victoria, Australia, where we have been in COVID, lockdown in some way since March 2020.

Bill 1:45
And we have had a curfew imposed on 6 million people since August. And at the time of this recording, we are at September 22. Let’s just say that emotions are running high. And in this time, Helen and I have completely disagreed on almost everything.

Bill 2:04
And we learned that we have totally different views about the way the government is handling the lockdown. And this has played out on my personal Facebook page, where I make comments inviting conversation, and then get completely frustrated with the opposing view.

Bill 2:21
But I never become rude and personal. So when this happened again, I reached out to Helen to take the conversation away from the keyboard where things can get misconstrued and became curious about where we agree, and if there was a middle ground.

Bill 2:38
This is really an important conversation, especially with all the turbulence in the world right now. I hope our conversation will help you navigate these important yet challenging conversations.

Bill 2:50
Now before we get started, if you have ever wondered what else I can do to help you with stroke recovery, you should know that I have set up a few recovery after stroke support packages, where stroke survivors can come into a community while trying to get better on their own and get help from people who are already further along in the recovery timeline.

Bill 3:11
I too am out three times a stroke survivor and a brain surgery survivor. And I have built for you what I was missing when I was sent home from hospital in the hope that you don’t have to do stroke recovery as tough as I did.

Bill 3:23
Support packages give you access to a variety of tools 24 hours a day, seven days a week so that you can also work on other areas of stroke recovery, that you don’t get the chance to at physical therapy, or rehabilitation.

Bill 3:38
With tailored support available for less than $8.50 per week all recovery after stroke support packages, bring stroke recovery to you in the comfort of your own home, to feel comfortable about trying out one of the recovery after stroke support packages and see if it’s right for you.

Bill 3:55
You will get the first seven days free as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee no questions asked. As a bonus, you will get two face to face zoom support calls with myself to take your recovery to the next level. Go to recovery after stroke.com/support to sign up.

Bill 4:12
It won’t cost you anything for the first seven days. And you’ll get a full refund. If you are not happy after 30 days. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Now it’s on with the show.

Helen 4:24
I love your jazzy studio setup.

Bill 4:28
I’m trying to make it sound less like a garage and more like a professional recording.

Helen 4:34
It’s awesome. It looks good. I like what you put there on the walls and everything.

Bill 4:39
It was my little project one of my little projects on during lockdown it was to create some soundproofing I suppose or barriers or whatever and it’s made a massive difference to the way my podcasts sound. And I’m really loving it because the room feels different when you come in it’s quieter, it’s kind of like it’s a little bit of a cocoon. It feels really nice.

Helen 5:00
Awesome, you should see what I’ve got. I’ve got hanging a big doonah. And he just lives there now just lives right in front of me this big doonah because my video man taught me to do that.

Helen 5:13
And so it just actually, this doonah lives here in front of my desk, because it actually blocks out the sound coming from all around. Incredible we’re doing this. Yeah, honestly.

Helen 5:23
So before we continue, I’m just going to introduce what we’re doing. So whe didn’t plan this, first of all, this just came about I love things like that I just come about. So for those of you who are listening, Bill, and I have been friends for a long time.

Dealing with our disagreements

Helen 5:42
And, you know, I’ve always respected Bill’s opinion. And I think that, you know, he has felt the same about me. And it’s interesting that during this time, and during this year 2020, when we’re thrown with so many with a different reality, we find ourselves disagreeing with people that we are surprised that we disagree with them.

Helen 6:03
Because, you know, prior to 2020, this is the thing right prior to 2020. Usually, we could predict the why people would think and the people that were in our circle pretty much thought the way we thought, but 2020 has put that into disarray. And people who you thought were on the same wavelength as you are not necessarily seeing things the same way as you.

Helen 6:03
And so this played out this morning, and it’s been playing out all year for Bill and I. So we’ve been thinking we’ve actually been seeing two different sides of the same coin all the way through the year. You know, Bill’s been with his viewpoint. And you know, he’s been pretty vocal.

Helen 6:42
And I’ve been with my viewpoint. And today play that, again, we’re by Bill put up a post on his personal page, about the way that he saw a situation unravelling in Victoria and I had, of course, the opposite view to that. And rather than, you know, saying what a lot of people do around the place, you know, Bill, you know, to your credit, how you’ve always been respectful.

Helen 7:12
And what Bill then did was he private messaged me directly after and said, You know, I see that we don’t see things eye to eye, but I also respect your opinion, how about we have a talk about it. And I thought, wow, I thought, Let’s have a talk about it online.

Helen 7:32
Because I think this is the important thing here, what Bill just did, which is acknowledging, I see things different, he sees things differently. But you know, when we’re actually talking, as opposed to behind a keyboard, where you can write things that are not so respectful.

Helen 7:49
You know, as soon as I saw you, it connected to our friendship, you know, as opposed to a post, you know, where it’s not personal. And as soon as I saw bill just then it connected to the fact that I really like Bill, I really respect Bill’s amazing story. And, you know, it doesn’t matter that we have opposing views, I’m still the same person like I was in 2019.

Helen 8:16
And Bill’s the same person that he was in 2019. We just happen to see things in a different way. And so Bill said, How about we just talk about it? And I said, Why don’t we talk about it publicly? And he goes, I’m up for it. And let’s see, we haven’t had any kind of talk before that in all sort of played out online in the public arena. So tell me, Bill, what inspired you to actually reach out?

Bill 8:47
I think every post that I made this year, I think he’s actually made reaching out to the people who I’m friends on Facebook with because I don’t just have friends. I don’t make friends with people on Facebook and in real life that are not respectful or who I wouldn’t have a beer with, you know what I mean?

Bill 9:09
Those types of people. So over the last, particularly the last two months, but before that, when I was posting about this COVID situation and how our government in Victoria specifically handled it, I was trying to create a conversation so that I can express myself because before I used to do that, when we caught up with people on the weekend or for a coffee during lunch, and what I realized in those conversations was that my passion and my anger and my frustration was the same as it is in private or at a pub or wherever.

Bill 9:43
It’s never rudeness it’s never any of that. It’s never me shutting somebody down. But I noticed that I couldn’t express myself correctly in typing because I don’t have that face to face thing where people actually can see that you’re not having a go at them and that you don’t want to smash him and you’re not being rude, you’re just talking and you’re being passionate.

Bill 10:05
So after months of trying to get my head around, how am I going to converse with people about this topic, I thought you’re the perfect candidate, because I know you’d be up for it as well talking offline, or in any other way. And I thought what I wanted to do was I wanted to speak to you because you have the most opposite view from me.

Bill 10:30
And I know that your view comes from a really lovely place like mine does. And that got me kind of weirded out, like goes in. I know, she’s really thinking about things in an amazing way. And she has the completely opposite view for me, and I have a similar thought process myself, I want the best for people.

Bill 10:51
But what I have realized is that you tend to be on the allaying my concerns, which at the time, I feel like I don’t want you to do, but I’m glad to do it. And I tend to be on that pointing out the stupidity in my eyes of what a government has or hasn’t done. So you’re kind of coming in trying to smooth things over. And I’m trying to go “Did you say what these idiots did?”

Bill 11:15
And I was like, I think I needed to have this conversation face to face so that you can do that to me in person, even though I disagree with those idiots. You could calm me down and allay my concerns and just get me breathing or something. I don’t know what you know, like, that’s kind of why I reached out.

Helen 11:36
I really love that. I really love that you did that. And it shows little character. You know, it really shows character, in that we were both disagreeing online about what our governments, you know, the latest action is. And he reached out and said, let’s talk about it.

Helen 11:51
And I think that, when you did that, I really thought it was important that I put this online, and I’m going to take this video, and I’m going to put this as a newsletter, I’m gonna send it to my database. Because I think this is a very important message. And the message is, I don’t have to convince Bill of anything, actually.

Helen 12:09
And bill doesn’t have to convince me of anything, because it’s his view. And who’s to say my view is right? Who’s to say his view is right? Who’s to say his view is wrong? Who’s to say my view is wrong? But when we get triggered, you know, because we are triggered, all of us are triggered, and especially this year, we’re triggered something is triggering us to respond in such a way, we want to prove the other person wrong. And we want to prove ourselves, right. But at the end of all this, what’s gonna matter is how we treat each other.

Bill 12:40
Yeah, I really hated the thought that perhaps how I was responding was making people feel uncomfortable. And some people did write in my posts, they wrote stuff, like, obviously, we disagree, and I will probably stop commenting on your post. And I was like, no, I don’t want you to stop commenting, because you disagree with me, I need to hear the opposite view, even though I don’t like it.

Bill 13:04
Because, believe it or not, I don’t think the sun shines out of my ass. I don’t think that I have all the answers. And I’m correct. I’m putting it out there so that maybe somebody can throw something my way that I can consider for a moment and go. I wonder if they have a point.

Bill 13:19
And I wonder if I bring that into my point of view, will that make it easier for me to get through this speed hump that I’ve come up to. And for me, that’s what they seem like, they seem like speed humps. And when I reach out in this way, by posting live, or posting on Facebook, it’s like, I’m looking for people to help me over the speed hump.

Bill 13:39
And, and I’m not happy about the speed hump being there, but maybe they’ll help me over it, which means I don’t want to discourage them from coming to help me. I just want to tell them that I’m at a speed hump and I’m struggling to get over it. And this is what I feel and think.

Bill 13:56
And hopefully, your response is going to make me feel or think differently. And I’m not getting mad at anyone who has a different viewpoint. Even though it might seem like that in writing because I don’t have the skills to clearly portray my fullest, deepest emotions and desires and feelings in writing.

Helen 14:20
Exactly. I mean, emojis help us. Thank God, you know, like, if it wasn’t for emojis this year, you know, like, I would be misunderstood everywhere. You know, thank God, you could do that (tongue out) like, I still like you kind of thing because if it wasn’t for that it would be even worse, but you know, you’re not typical Bill because most people are not putting their opinion so that somebody else can bring another opinion. Most people are putting their opinion so that they can feel supported in their opinion.

Bill 14:54
Yeah. I’ve got to say though, it does help when you feel supported because that means that you’re not completely crazy. There’s some other people that think like you. And that’s cool, right that people think like you as well. That’s also cool. But it’s definitely not enough for me.

Bill 15:07
Because if 20 of us are thinking in the way that I’m thinking, and we’re all frustrated to heck, well, I don’t see that being is completely good. I just see it as creating more frustration to beyond heck. So it’s kind of like, alright, how do we all relate to each other and then find another path forward?

Bill 15:30
Because when I get to that speed, hump, I feel stuck. And what I would rather feel is like there’s still a path forward, because there are infinite ways to get beyond an obstacle. And I’m only looking at one way. And I want to be reminded what might be another way?

Helen 15:49
Yeah, and of course, and we’re all making assumptions based on our own experience. So for instance, I’ll give you the back end story to you know, my reaction to your post was that, you know, I had a friend call me a few days ago, and she’s, you know, she started basically the same sort of stuff that you’ve been saying all about, you know, heavy handed, you know, the numbers are down, they’re still not doing and he just wants to control.

Helen 16:11
And I said, Chris, this is my friend, Chris. And I said to her, haven’t you even listened to one, you know, full briefing of the premieres given? Because I’ve listened to every day to the full briefing. It sounds like you haven’t, because you haven’t got the information you have?

Helen 16:27
She says, no, I haven’t, you know, and fair enough. She works, she’s still one of the ones that does go into an office. And so you know, and she’s got a child and all the rest of it. She says Helen, you’re the only one that has given me the opposite view. No one else has given me that view.

Helen 16:44
But I said to her, how many of your friends have actually listened to the briefing? And so then you put a post up today with the same sort of ilk? And so then I say, Have you ever listened to the briefing Bill up, you know, and that reaction is not really about Bill, it’s about the fact that I’ve just had a conversation with Chris, she’s just admitted, she’s never listened to a briefing, right?

Helen 17:04
And you may have, but what we’re doing is we are, as humans, what we do is we gather all the information that’s not even relevant to the moment and we bring it to the moment. So the information that I’ve got is the people I’m talking to, don’t even listen to the briefings.

Helen 17:20
And they come up with these conclusions based on media reports. And therefore you say something similar, and then I base my preconception on what you’re saying. And I’m putting you in that category of people that are not listening to briefings, and then you could probably think, well, in fact, I do listen to briefings.

Taking conversations too personally

Helen 17:39
You’re just assuming I don’t. And that’s true. And this is what happens, right, is that we’re just assuming, based on not just the conversation happening at the time, but based on a whole experience of other conversations with other people. And then people feel personally attacked, because we’re making it personal.

Helen 17:57
And so you see it play out all over the world. And it’s hard, it’s really hard, not to make assumptions, not to want people just think the way you think, you know, you want people to see the way you see it, but that’s never gonna happen, it’s never gonna happen.

Helen 18:17
It’s impossible, because you’ve had, you know, 100 different conversations to me, you’ve seen different things that I’ve seen, you have a different experience than I’ve had, you know, it could be that, and I’m not saying this is the case at all. But it could be that you have a distrust of authority, because of things that have happened in your life, it could be that I have a complete trust in authority because of things that didn’t happen in my life.

Helen 18:43
And that they’ve come, you know, when I needed authority, they were there to back me up when you needed authority, they weren’t. And so we come together with this, you distrust authority. And therefore you draw this conclusion, I trust them, and therefore I back them.

Helen 18:57
And then it seems like we’re actually at loggerheads, when really, you know, I think the most important thing that I want the message to be about as hard as it is, because it is hard, it is hard navigating these times, especially, you know, people don’t know, how it actually feels like to be in the situation that we’re in, you know, and so it is hard.

Helen 19:22
But to be kind. To Be kind, irrespective of your beliefs. And I just think that by you reaching out to me today, when I publicly went against what you said, you know, on your post, so this is your page, and then you reach out to me and say, how about we just talk about it to me, it just like it’s you know, I’ve always respected you but now like, respect you through the roof, because it’s like that is character.

Bill 19:57
So your community is a community that helps people the hypnotherapists community. It’s amazing, right? I’ve interacted with a lot of people from your community, because I’m part of it. Because you’re my coach, once upon a time I came to you to be my coach, because you’ve done things that I wished I could do, and I wanted to learn how you did it so I could do it.

Bill 20:19
So, you know, Steve has come onto the posts and responded, and Steve and I completely disagree. But again, I hope I didn’t annoy or make him feel that I was personally attacking him because Steve and I have never met in person.

Bill 20:32
So I don’t really know how he communicates. And that’s really difficult to navigate is you don’t have an understanding of how face to face people communicate. But if he’s in your community, I’m assuming that he’s a good guy. And he is somebody that wouldn’t be in your community if he wasn’t the kind of people that is good.

Bill 20:55
You know what I mean? Like, because you guys are communities based around helping people overcome drama and challenges and problems and move on in their lives and expand and grow right? My community is stroke survivors. They are people who are looking for somebody to help them get through the hardest time in their lives.

Bill 21:17
And I wouldn’t have a community if my stroke survivors who follow me didn’t feel supported and feel comfortable, and feel like I wasn’t kind. But that gets all blurred when you’re sitting behind a keyboard, and trying to communicate to people like Steve, who hasn’t ever met me, and I’ve never met him.

Bill 21:37
And I was really concerned that I would be doing that. And I always try to at the end of my posts, finished by saying, Hey, guys, thanks for the chat. Sorry, if we disagreed, or hopefully, I didn’t annoy anybody by being too personal or anything like that.

Intro 21:51
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 now long will it take to recover? Will I actually recover? What things should I avoid in case I’ll make matters worse?

Intro 22:08
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 22:31
It’s called the seven questions to ask your doctor about your stroke. These seven questions are the ones Bill wished he’d asked when he was recovering from a stroke, they’ll not only help you better understand your condition, they’ll help you take a more active role in your recovery, head to the website. Now, recoveryafterstroke.com and download the guide. It’s free.

Bill 22:51
It’s just about may try to express myself and have a conversation, which I miss the most at the moment. I missed that more than anything, because I can’t meet with people. And I can only have this conversation with my wife, so many times because she’s amazing.

Bill 23:09
She’s probably sick of hearing me, you know, and she wants respite. She doesn’t want to hear from me. Though kindness, is one of my core values. And for me to feel like I’m not being kind in a conversation really bothers me and concerns me. So I know your client. And I know, we both have communities who genuinely are trying to be kind because they wouldn’t be in our communities, if they weren’t.

Why so annoying?

Bill 23:37
Now, that doesn’t mean that your posts haven’t annoyed me the most. They have, and it’s not. And I’m wondering why is it that your posts have annoyed me the most. And that is the lesson for me. It’s like, I know, Helen, I know how amazing she is. I know how kind she is, I know how super positive she is, I know what she does in the world, I know how helps people.

Bill 24:00
Why a posts from somebody that I value and respect so much so annoying? And that is where my lesson is. And I’ve been asking myself that for a couple of weeks now. And I don’t know that I’ve got the solution or the answer yet. But at some point, I think I’m going to come to terms with the learning that I get from that.

Bill 24:20
And I’ll be able to use that when I’m coaching stroke survivors, when I’m supporting my community, and when I’m putting things out there that other people are getting annoyed with. When I’m being kind, and I’m not being rude, but they’re responding in a negative way that’s going to make me better In my world you know?

Helen 24:40
Exactly. And what you just said then Bill is so like key, which is what you did. That is a strategy. So and that’s what I would teach you know, my people is you stepped outside yourself. And you looked at yourself and you went, why is this a trigger for me? Why is this a trigger for me?

Helen 24:59
What’s going on there, what? What is going on? Why is this a trigger? Why is this a trigger for me? And it’s exactly what I did. Because when I was feeling about a couple of months ago, I was feeling like I was judging people, like I could be very judgmental on their views.

Helen 25:15
And one of my core values, one of my highest core values is to be non judgmental. As a therapist, as a therapist, you know, if someone walks into a room, you know, if I’m judging them for whatever they’ve done, and I’ve seen clients who have done all types of abhorrent, which the community would deem is definitely abhorrent acts.

Helen 25:37
But if I see them in that lot, I can’t help them. So I don’t, I really, really don’t and I take the judgment away. And I pride myself in that. And then a couple of months ago, I saw myself judging. And, I was quite distressed at that, because I tried not to, but then I couldn’t help it.

Helen 25:55
And it’s almost like, then I started judging myself for judging. It’s like, what are you doing? Like, why are you behaving like this? Why are you saying those things, just because people disagree with you, of course, they’re going to disagree with you. So I had to then go outside myself and look at myself.

Helen 26:10
And by doing that, and having compassion to myself and saying, because I’m human, you know, as much as I’d like to believe that I’m be super, you know, light being, you know, I actually am human. And it’s okay to navigate during these extraordinary times, and to, but now that I’ve seen myself do it, and I don’t want to do that, I was able to step away from it.

Bill 26:32
It’s ugly isn’t it? When you’re judgmental, it’s ugly. And then, if you’re judging people and people are judging you, I mean, and it doesn’t feel good when you’re being judged. Well, man, you don’t want to be putting that out there to the person on the opposite side of the therapy, call it screen now or room or whatever.

Bill 26:51
And that is one of my biggest lessons is to pay attention to me, and why am I getting triggered? Why am I responding in this kind of way? And how can I not respond in that kind of way, because what it’s going to do is be better for me, in the long run, and in the short term, and it’s going to be better for that other person on the other side of the keyboard who is typing their response to me on Facebook.

Bill 27:14
And this is the only challenging part with these social medias is that very few people come offline and go, let’s get to the bottom of this, let’s work it out. Let’s understand it rather than stay in the negative cycle into the abyss, you know?

Helen 27:34
Exactly. And even worse, and what’s been happening is that people who have been close for a long time, even closer than us people who catch up on a regular basis, they all of a sudden, have had to disconnect and not talk to each other again, because it became so bad.

Helen 27:51
And that’s what this year has shown us, I think this year has shown us up in terms of what is really inside what is going on inside us and to see it and to be aware of it so that we can actually deal with it. So I think that all this is positive that we are becoming very aware of who we are.

Bill 28:13
I don’t disagree with you, because that I love what you said there about it’s showing us up. I mean, if ever there was a facade around somebody’s amazingness, it’s coming down now you have seen behind the curtain. And that wasn’t good for me when I kind of saw a little bit about that in me like at the beginning.

Bill 28:40
And I quickly addressed that so that it’s not a facade, this thing that people see on my podcast is not a facade, because imagine I’m going out to a community forever. And being this person and then the glitch in the matrix happens and all of a sudden this other Bill turns up, these people are gonna go, who are you? Like, why have we been listening to your crap for the last 110 episodes?

Bill 29:09
Why are we going to continue to listen to you all the good work that I’ve done since 2015 out the window. And it’s not about that it’s not who I truly am. But it is okay to experience that guy who I didn’t really like as well, because now I really know who I don’t like me to be, you know.

Helen 29:30
That we don’t say we don’t like a part of us. Because that is not healthy either. I think it’s important to acknowledge that that was something that we would never get in at the time and we did the best we could. But we don’t have to do that again. You know, we can learn, we can learn from that.

It’s not about being bad or good

kindness
Helen 29:48
But that part of us is not bad. Because it’s not about being bad or good. It’s just about that’s the best we could do at the time, you know, with what we had and just to really be compassionate because we can’t be compassionate towards other people unless we are compassionate first towards ourselves. We have to be it’s okay. You know, Bill just reacted like that, because that’s what Bill was going through at the time. You know, he was feeling frustrated, and he voiced his opinion.

Bill 30:17
Yeah, absolutely. And, look, it’s, I’m lucky that my online community is full of cool people. Even Gabe, who commented in one of the posts said, Bill you’re lucky, you’re surrounded with amazing people in your friendship group. And he’s 100%. Right? Even Gabe and I disagreed on a number of things on a number of posts.

Bill 30:39
Now, one of the best things that I’ve done though, is delete the posts after I’ve put them up, because I have the conversation. And I kind of get it out of my system for a little bit, everyone gets to chime in and get a little bit of stuff out as well. And then the post goes away, because I don’t want to be reminded of that post in 12 months time when Facebook decides to remind me about it.

Helen 31:00
Exactly. And I say that to my therapist community a lot. But she is one of the things that you need to do is declutter your Facebook, just like you declutter your house, just like you want to get your bedroom clean, and your living area and clean, keep your Facebook clean.

Helen 31:13
So you know, get rid of stuff. So if you want to give an opinion about you know, Dan Andrews or whatever, do that, but delete it, you know, delete it after 24 hours. In the end, I’ll put a post up today about the same issue that, you know, we have two opposing views, one on your page one on my page, if you want to see what Bill’s view is go to Bill’s page, if you want to see the polar opposite, go to my page, and in 24 hours a month will be deleted for that exact reason not because I don’t believe in what I said. But because it’s like it doesn’t it’s past, the moment has passed, it doesn’t need to stay begin the day with new energy, you know.

Bill 31:53
It’s actually exactly what it is. It’s a reset. And, I think that if I was able to get together with my friends, in a pub, at a cafe, wherever and have that conversation, I wouldn’t need to have it online. On Facebook, it wasn’t something that I used to do. On Facebook, I never posted about anything that was along those lines, it was always about helping stroke survivors, etc. and sharing something amazing that happened in my life.

Bill 32:16
So the fact that I get to do that on Facebook is a blessing, it’s definitely a blessing. Because we do it, we have the conversation. And then we just draw a line in the sand and go that was then scrub it from the record and move on. And hopefully the people who come back to my Facebook feel okay to be able to have that conversation with me, because I achieved to them the same thing that I achieved for me, which was we had a chat about it, we expressed ourselves. And then we moved on because we still friends, we still love each other, and we value each other.

Helen 32:50
Exactly. And you know, it really is challenging. Not that God knows I’ve edited so many posts so that either message doesn’t come across like that. But not to be condescending to someone else’s opinion, it’s really easy to do that, because you’re so convinced of your truth.

Helen 33:08
So therefore, because you’re so convinced of your truth, you’re just as convinced as somebody else, you know, but it really is just, it’s okay, that’s my truth. It doesn’t have to be someone else’s truth. It doesn’t make them an idiot, if they believe something different.

Helen 33:22
It’s just, that they believe something different. Okay. And just to be caught into people more than ever, just like you would if, you know, people, you know, I gave this example of where I’m at, made a comment on someone else’s page. And people came in who didn’t know me, and actually were abusive towards me.

Helen 33:45
So were quite abusive. And then the person that knew me liked their comments. To me, I saw that the same analogy as if I went to that person’s party at her house, say, and some people came up to me and abusing me, because they didn’t agree with me, just because the hostess agrees with that person or not mean in terms of whose side she’s on.

Helen 34:06
She shouldn’t be patting that person in the back and saying, it’s okay for you to abuse my guest. You know, like, there’s certain behavior that as the owners of our Facebook pages, and what goes on on our Facebook pages that irrespective of who we agree with, that we should have a standard of respect that is occurring on that page. So you don’t it’s not okay, you know, for abuse to happen on your page.

Bill 34:33
Absolutely not. It’s not okay for abuse to happen anywhere. And especially when we don’t know, more than ever, we don’t know what’s happening for the other person, because we’re not in front of them. We can’t judge from their expressions from, you know, the stress levels in their face, you know, with their body.

Bill 34:53
We can’t see any of them so we can’t judge more than ever, what they’re going through and if we’re going through a tough time It’s likely that they’re going through a tough time. Because, you know, we’re all stuck in this Limbo of COVID together. And there’s no way that somebody is kicking back on the other side of Facebook going, Yeah, I’m loving this, this is amazing.

Bill 35:17
No one’s doing that everyone’s having their own struggle. And we should be aware of that more than ever, that we don’t know what the other person is going through right now in this time. And what we might be able to do by having a conversation is help them vent.

Bill 35:30
And if we can help them vent, like they’ve helped me vent, then I think that’s a great thing to add to this online world. And then we can just reset, move on, and then go back to life, when it happens, go back to seeing people in person, and picking up where you left off, hug, that embrace the things that are important to us that we can’t have right now that we value the most, I don’t want to piss off my friends, and then they don’t want to hug me in the real world. No chance.

Using the opportunity to show kindness

Kindness
Helen 36:04
But also, as well as that bill is apart from you know, and navigating through it, actually use this as an opportunity to become a better version, I feel that over the last month, you know, I might be wrong, I feel like I’ve changed already. I actually feel like I am a better version than I was three months ago, because I saw myself, you know, have those judgments.

Helen 36:29
I saw myself reacting a certain way. And now I’ve seen myself pull back and breathe. And that’s their opinion, I respect their opinion. they’re entitled to their opinion, and, you know, show compassion more than ever. So be able to give compassion and love to people you don’t agree with?

Helen 36:47
You know, I’ve seen myself do that. And I think that’s a better version, Helen. And we’re all got the opportunity now to do this. So we all have the opportunity now to be better versions of ourselves, because we can always be better versions.

Bill 37:00
Yeah. And we need to step up. I mean, if there’s ever been a time where we need to be better, it needs to be right now, because the world needs more better things than ever before right? And I don’t know if I’ve improved that dramatically in the last few months.

Bill 37:15
But definitely, it’s always my aim. My aim is always to be a better version of myself, so that I have a better experience. So that I can give more so that people around me have a better experience. And this is where I think I’m learning how to navigate this Facebook interaction, because I never really did anything other than like people’s posts and give them a thumbs up, up until now. And now it’s really this. It’s actually a conversation where before it was just, yeah, great photos, nice trip or whatever it was.

Helen 37:48
I would like to eat that too.

Bill 37:50
Whereas now it’s actually we actually tried to have the most serious conversation that we’ve ever tried to have before.

Helen 37:59
About everything, and this is the incredible time about 2020. Right? It’s not just about one thing, it’s not just about human rights. It’s not just about, you know, Black Lives Matter. It’s human rights. It’s you know, sexism, it’s children, it’s everything. So every kind of agenda is all playing out at the same time. It’s no one politics, who’s the best leader who’s the worst leader? You know, it’s all playing at the same time. And we all got different views.

Bill 38:29
Surprise, surprise, we’ve all got different views,

Helen 38:34
And you know, what did you really want to talk about today?

Bill 38:39
I think that’s what I wanted to talk about what we’ve spoken about. But I didn’t want to talk about the politics, because there’s no point in that. And I’m not interested in politics, per se. I’m not a political person, although it may appear, just through my posts that I have been, I’m not, I feel, my biggest issue is I feel like I’m being what’s the word?

Bill 39:00
Sometimes I feel like I’m being personally hard done by with decisions that appear to be inconsistent. And those inconsistency is really frustrating. And I just get frustrated, generally with inconsistencies in the way that people behave and react towards me, where it matters to me now.

Bill 39:20
And that’s because of the kind of work that I’ve done in the past and I’ve had a property maintenance business. And in our business, you can’t be inconsistent with the way that you apply yourself and get work done you need to be consistent so that your clients can feel like you’re delivering the right job, the right result every time so you can get paid every time so they can call you.

Bill 39:41
Also consistency is important to me because when I’m coaching people, I need to be consistently in a space where I am holding the space for them so that they can feel safe so that they can come alive, overcome their challenge, whatever it is.

Bill 39:58
So consistency is one of my values and when I appear to see it in public, by a public figure in the way that I apply a law or rule, and I’ve been doing, quote unquote, the right thing, then I feel like I’m personally getting singled out, for example, perhaps, that a certain group can behave this way and a certain group can’t behave this way.

Bill 40:28
And lately, I felt like I’ve been on the, I’m not allowed to behave this way group. And I feel like I’m getting punished for it. And, it happens in waves, right? So many days, I won’t post about it. But today, I posted about it, because it was kind of like God, here we go again, once again, I feel like I’m being singled out.

Bill 40:50
And why would that person single out all the people doing the right thing, and the people that are doing the wrong thing are getting a slap on the wrist. Now, your response makes sense to me. And the response that Steve had make sense and Gabe had make sense.

Helen 41:03
Just give a bit of context, anyone who’s listening, they don’t understand what we’re saying here. Because I think it is relevant. And it’s a perfect example of how two people can see things completely differently. And what you said there about your value also plays into that.

Where the disagreement began

Helen 41:16
So, what actually happened here in Melbourne, was that we have strict rules at the moment in terms of what we can and can’t do. And if we break those rules, we will get fined and we have been getting fined. Now, what’s actually happened recently is that somebody four or five families have been visiting each other against the rules, though, that one person who was infected with COVID, has now gone to 40 people.

Helen 41:40
So 40 people from one person has now been infected, because they’ve been visiting each other. Now, even before the story broke out, I knew that the government would not fine these people, because for me, it would make no sense to fine them. Because you’re interviewing the family members, the first thing you’ve got to say is, tell me who you spoke to, I promise I won’t fine those people because we need to know who you spoke to.

Helen 42:02
We’ve got to contain this ASAP. So that 40 doesn’t become 400, so 400 doesn’t become 4000. Because that’s the most important agenda right now in the state of Victoria, because we’re nearly there. And what people instead were focusing on was the fact Well, it’s not fair, you know, that, if I did this, I’d be fined, so why aren’t they getting fined?

Helen 42:23
But to me, it’s always about the bigger picture, always look at things from a bigger picture. Now, what you said makes sense, because what you said is your value is consistency. Because of your role. As in building maintenance, it’s important for you to make sure that you treat every client the same, you can’t decide to treat that client different to that client.

Helen 42:43
So consistency is top of mind in terms of value, whereas the way I see things is, yes, I’m a therapist. Now, I used to be a project manager. And I used to manage large projects. in managing large projects. My role as a project manager was always about the overall project.

Helen 43:01
Sometimes we had to make decisions that seemed unfair. And some people as a consequence, were fall out of that decision. But at the end of the day, what I had to consider was the deliverable of the overall project, what is my intention with this project, I will do what it takes to achieve that.

Helen 43:21
Okay, as a project manager, now, what you get there is you will always get people that feel had done by feel that you do your best to be fair, but at the end of the day, you have a project to deliver. And so the way that I saw the state of Victoria is our most important deliverable at this very moment is not about fining a family 1600 dollars.

Helen 43:46
Our most important deliverable is to get to where we need to go to open up the state, you know, we have to open up the stake safely. And we have to open it up in a way that we do not go into lockdown again, because we do not want that none of us want that. So I would rather I know what people want, you know, things to happen earlier rather than later I’m the reverse.

Helen 44:10
I want him to be sure. I want him to make sure that we do not go into lockdown again. I’m always one who wants to do things properly and not half assed, you know, and I was one of the ones who I believe that the mask thing came in too late. So every time I saw a press conference, I would actually put bring in masks, bring in masks bring in masks, I could see how that impacted numbers overseas.

Helen 44:34
We got masks to late. So a lot of mistakes were made. I absolutely agree with that. But I would prefer to properly stay down longer, stay down longer and get this done. So that we don’t go down again because Melbourne can’t go down again. Right. We want to be open and we want to stay open.

Helen 44:54
You can see interstate they’re not even wearing masks overseas. They are you know You want to be in a place in Melbourne, where we’re not wearing masks, we want to be in a place where eventually you know that the numbers are so low and so contained, not not eradicated because they won’t be, you know, we’re not used Zealand, but they will be suppressed.

Helen 45:15
And so the premier, you know, I’ve made it a point that every time it’s the Premier’s briefing, I go for a walk during that time, so I can hear it. So I’m not wasting time. So I actually give him what, like the full hour and a half, two hours that he’s been talking every single day.

Helen 45:33
So this question that you’ve put up, it frustrated me, because for the last four days, the the reporters have been asking this question, what the same question. He’s giving the same answer. And it’s the same question and they still report it. They’re reporting it. Why? Because they want people to say, that’s not fair. We’re doing the right thing. So it frustrates me because I feel like people are quick to go onto social media and complain, but have they listened to any briefing in full?

Bill 46:06
Yeah, I agree with you in that, as a project manager, when you put it that way. Because, as a property maintenance guy, I manage projects too. And that project, the most important thing is to deliver the project on time on budget and the quality that the client expects, they can get paid the same thing that I said before, right and get more work, etc.

Bill 46:25
People do it safely the rest of it. So you do you put in place, things that are gonna rub people up the wrong way, as long as you get the result in the end, and everything went well, and no one was harmed. And everything’s amazing. Everyone makes a buck, that’s really the most important thing.

Bill 46:42
The other side of that is that side where I put myself, personally, when I’m listening to the premier speak, I’m putting myself personally in that position of man, if that was me, you would’ve fined me. And that’s kind of what throws it out of whack. For me, that’s kind of like what gets me derailed.

Bill 47:07
And if I’m thinking about me, if it’s me that’s listening to him, rather than the project manager listening to him. Then I’m taking it personally, the project management in me is going yeah, I get it. And that’s why I also got your perspective on it. And that’s why I wanted to talk about it, because part of what you’re saying made proper sense to me.

Bill 47:30
And the other part was like, now this guy is still having a go at me, he’s still attacking me, it’s all about me. And I’ve done the right thing. And I’m not working. And I’m this and I’m that and I know people, and so on and so on. But there’s nothing worse than me, in my mind imagining us being in lockdown for another month or two.

Bill 47:49
And I think one of my issues with our premier particular is the way that he speaks to me reminds me of one of my teachers who I disliked way back whenever. So I kind of get that that comes into the picture. So I’m constantly aware of why he irritates me, amongst other things, and amongst the fact that I disagree with some of those things.

Bill 48:11
But then I also had an experience on the weekend, where I was at South Melbourne for work for a legitimate work purpose. So it was on a construction site where work was allowed. And I was the only one there. And there was a guy sitting outside. He was obviously unwell. And he was not wearing a mask, but he was sitting alone and he was on his own.

Bill 48:33
And he got arrested by six police officers. They did, it took six people came to surround this guy to take him away. And it’s kind of like, before all of this stuff, that guy was just the guy sitting on a couch on a bench before. Now he’s public enemy number one. And I feel that that’s unfair as well.

Bill 48:58
So you’re exactly right in what you said, My experiences and my background is informing my decision right now like yours are. And I know that I think I’ve become smarter in my older years in that knowing that I know that there’s not only one way for the world to exist and it’s definitely not the way that it exists in my head only.

Bill 49:25
And that’s why the most important thing for me is being able to get together and have the conversation and hear your point of view so I can find where I agree with you because I agree with you in so many places.

We all want the same thing


Helen 49:38
We all want the same thing. You know, my whole view is do it properly. So we don’t do this again. We don’t want to do this again. We don’t want to go into lockdown again. Let’s get this done properly. So no more lockdowns and you know what you said about the police, you know, probably not from the other point of view.

Helen 49:56
We’ve got one of our clients and we still see clients, we see them online, we see them via zoom like this. And one of our clients is a police officer. And she was one of the ladies who was on the, you know, at the, charlotte remembrance during one of the protests.

Helen 50:12
Now, she had to stand there for eight hours with full gear, you know, like, very in an uncomfortable way. And she was abused the whole day. And then she comes home. And then her husband’s complaining about the state of Victoria and, you know, the premier, and what he’s done.

Helen 50:30
And, you know, you can see, so my heart goes out to yes. Am I saying that all police officers do the right thing? Of course not. But that’s you find that in every profession, but now they’re under the microscope like never before, they can’t do anything without a camera. Imagine this Bill, everything you do, someone will be recording it, someone will say you’re wrong in doing what you’re doing. Someone will post it and put it out of context. I’m not saying they’re all out of context. what I’m saying is, you can bet that in some instances, it will be.

Bill 51:06
I feel for that police officer. And I also felt for that guy, you know, that got surrounded by six police officers, and he was just sitting there, he wasn’t doing anything. And it was just, this place that we’ve got to is, it seems like what you said, everything is polarizing. It’s no longer just the bloke sitting there. It’s a bloke doing the worst thing in the world.

Bill 51:30
I mean, he has moved to that very, very rapidly. And we haven’t had time to adjust to what does it mean to be sitting on a chair, in public without a mask on now, three minutes ago, it wasn’t a problem. So when I kind of go through all those things, like you’re right, it’s, all got to do with my view of the world, which is generally positive and, and generally about making things better.

Bill 52:01
And then it’s also got to do with how I’m feeling. And it’s also got to do with what I saw, and how I dealt with that. And then it’s also got to do with who responds to me when I say it, when I say something, if Helen had a go at me. And I felt threatened, I would definitely go, you know, bite back if the conversation was able to be framed in a way and I hopefully I’ve done this now by now I’ve framed my conversation so that people know, they can comment on my posts.

Helen 52:35
Yeah. And it’d be good if you actually share this onto your page as well.

Bill 52:38
Yeah, I will hundred percent

Helen 52:39
To actually bring it to, you know, conclusion, that it’s okay. It’s okay for us. And I love our conversation today. Because what it’s showing up is all the reasons as to why we think differently. You know, you said Dan reminded you of an ex teacher, but the thing is, because of all these things happening at the subconscious level, we’re not aware of them.

Helen 52:59
We know we have this belief, and this is a truth. But we don’t know why. You know, but you stood back and gone why am I so triggered? Oh, he reminds me of my teacher hated my teacher. You know, I’m all about consistency, the building trade, so you’re you’re actually all your experience and everything that you know, is your truth, forms an opinion, that is very different, in my opinion, because my experience is completely different.

Bill 53:29
Yeah. And I’m curious kind of guy. That’s why I go, I never speak to him about this. I don’t want to talk about it on Facebook. I want to speak to her because I’m curious. How did she get to that point? How did she come to that version of events? Can collusion response reaction?

Bill 53:45
And how come I’m not there? And am I okay, with not being there? Am I okay with where I am? Do I want to meet in the middle somewhere? Like what do I want to do about that now that I know. And it helps to inform how I’m going to then behave in the future.

Bill 54:01
And I just reminded myself that what I think I’m going to do from now on is frame my posts, so that I can say I’m, this is my feeling right now. I’m inviting a conversation and at the end of this in 24 hours, it’s going to be deleted, I want to have a conversation. I don’t want to attack you for your beliefs, please respond. That’s going to make it much much better for me because then I won’t feel like people think that I’m having a go because I don’t want that I don’t want people to feel like I’m having a go.

Helen 54:30
And guess to me also it’s about, well what truth serves me. So what truth actually serves me to feel good and to feel safe. And I think that’s important too because a lot of people are buying into there’s a lot of fear going on around now in terms of different fear paradigms.

Fear of uncertainty


Helen 54:49
And so why buy into that fear because to me, that’s the crux of my work in terms of anxiety. Okay, that’s the crux of it is imagining something going wrong. So why buy into this fudgy story, you know, it hasn’t happened yet. Okay, it might happen. But it hasn’t happened yet. And lots of things might happen. But do we need to buy into that as our present moment reality, we don’t.

Helen 55:17
I think that this has been a really, really fruitful discussion, because different people have had two different opinions on the way that 2020 has come out. But really, both of our intentions are good. Yes. Okay. I want what’s best for the world, you want what’s best for the world? We just have different opinions. And most of the time that is the situation for the human rights most of time, not all the time. But most the time, people mean, well.

Bill 55:47
Yes, absolutely. I think that’s where it comes from more than anything is, there is an I dare say, like, even the protesters, they mean, well, underneath. They’re turning up and protesting in a lockdown, which I disagree with. I think that what they’re doing is they’re intending for something good to come from that whatever, in their worldview is good.

Bill 56:11
And, and I appreciate them for that. I don’t appreciate them being out in protest during a lockdown. I understand why they’re doing it. But I wouldn’t be there. I’m not going there. I won’t be supporting their their cause in that way. Because it’s the wrong thing to do during a lockdown.

Bill 56:35
So it’s been an amazing conversation I really thank you for firstly, chatting to me, but I know you chat to people all the time, and you chat to me all the time. So it’s not what I’m thanking you for, I’m thanking you for really taking a leadership position and going, you know what, let’s put it out there. And let’s help other people understand and to navigate this complex conversation that we’re all having behind the keyboard.

Bill 57:02
I needed it, because I needed to understand it. So I really appreciate that you’ve done that. And I think it’s going to make a massive difference to the people in the hypnotherapy community and in the stroke community, because I’m going to post it to my stroke podcast as well. And I think we’ve made a small difference for the good, right now. I think we really have and that’s gonna pay dividends for them.

Helen 57:27
Absolutely. And I want to thank you for reaching out respectfully, and in love, really, which is what you did. And you’re the one who reached out to me. So I really thank you for that. All I did was respond. So you’re welcome. Thank you. Okay, so thanks, everybody.

Helen 57:45
And just to finalize that, at the end of the day, let’s just get away from right and wrong. Let’s just move away from it. It’s your truth. But you don’t have to prove someone else wrong so that your truth can be right. And we can still be respectful to each other. We can still you can see how this one event that played out in Melbourne, just the last few days one little event and get there’s so many events happening in the world right now.

Helen 58:14
And we both saw it so different because of who we are as people, not because one of us is smarter and one of us is, you know, not as smart. But because we just have different life experiences. And we see it different because we’re different people. So that’s all it is. Awesome. Thank you Bill for saying yes to these. Thank you so much.

Bill 58:36
Thanks, Helen. Thanks for listening to this episode. If you like this or any other of the recovery after stroke podcast episodes, hit the like button if you’re watching on social media. Give us a thumbs up if you’re watching on the YouTube channel and give the recovery after stroke podcast a five star review on your favorite podcast app. Doing that we’ll make the podcast more visible to other stroke survivors that are doing a tough right now and it could help them feel inspired and feel better about the road ahead. Thanks for tuning in.

Intro 59:14
Discover how to heal your brain after stroke go to recoveryafterstroke.com

Intro 59:24
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 59:41
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 59:54
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 1:00:09
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 1:00:25
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 called triple zero if in Australia or your local emergency number immediately for emergency assistance or go to the nearest hospital emergency department.

Intro 1:00:43
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 or follow that your own risk and we are not responsible for any information you find there.

The post 115. Showing Kindness Even If We Disagree appeared first on Recovery After Stroke.

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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
114. 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 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/vertebral-artery-dissection-recovery/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/vertebral-artery-dissection-recovery/feed/ 0 <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/">114. 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 changed for the better in the last 12 months

Socials: https://www.instagram.com/aimzwells/

Highlight:

00:52 Introduction
03:45 Life before the stroke
09:54 Vertebral Artery Dissection
12:20 Fibromuscular Dysplasia
16:30 Taking stroke recovery day by day
21:56 Stroke recovery expectations
26:00 Post-stroke realization
39:22 Resting helps heal the brain after stroke
47:00 Physical limitations during recovery
54:42 Uncertainty
1:01:15 Turning corners
1:09:50 Better after stroke
1:16:33 Be kind to yourself

Transcription:

Amy 0:01
I’m in, the hospital had a bit of a tear in artery. They’re saying I’ll be a bit slow for a few days, but you know, I should be back at it pretty soon. Which I guess it’s a blessing to think to be like that, at that point in time.

Amy 0:16
You don’t want to know what’s necessarily ahead and what challenges you’re going to run into. And you know, where that would be awful to sit in a hospital bed and be like, okay, you’re going to come up against this, this, this, this and this, and the next 12 months you’d have a meltdown so that ignorance is bliss is probably a good place to be and you just have to take it day by day.

Intro 0:40
This is the recovery after stroke podcast. with Bill Gasiamis, helping you navigate recovery after stroke.

Introduction

vertebral artery dissection
Bill 0:52
Bill from recoveryafterstroke.com This is Episode 114. And my guest today is Amy wells. At 35 Amy experienced an ischemic stroke caused by vertebral artery dissection. Before the stroke, almost every waking hour of Amy’s life was scheduled and jam-packed with things that needed to be done, and events to participate in.

Bill 1:16
In our chat, we talked about what it’s like for her and the family almost a year post-stroke, and how life has changed for the better. Now before we get started, if stroke has made you feel isolated and lacking purpose, you’re not alone.

Bill 1:30
If you’re fed up with the lack of progress during your stroke recovery, I want you to know that there is help available. Most stroke survivors have been where you are now and you should know that it is possible to get to the other side with a little support.

Bill 1:45
For years now, I’ve been helping stroke survivors beat fatigue, reduce anxiety, and get their confidence back from stroke. As someone who considers themselves fully healed after three brain hemorrhages and brain surgery, I will spend time with you, help you get clarity, on what the first thing is that you need to do to help you get past the roadblocks that are stopping you from getting back to your life before stroke.

Bill 2:08
When you sign up to one of the recovery after stroke support packages, you will get help from someone who was where you are now and has turned the corner to being healthy again.

Bill 2:18
There are different levels of support with packages offering private one on one coaching with myself. instant access to online training materials, access to courses, monthly trainings and challenges made by stroke survivors for stroke survivors.

Bill 2:32
All trainings are transcribed to PDF for people that prefer to read and take notes or highlight important bits for reviewing at a later time. You can access the training area 24 hours a day, seven days a week and complete training at your own pace without needing to leave the comfort of your own home.

Bill 2:49
People that have already taken action and done what you are still thinking of doing have described recovery after stroke coaching as leaving them feeling much more positive about themselves.

Bill 2:59
And this has a clearer understanding of what they can do to take responsibility for their own recovery. If you have tried another program and is still feeling the same or not much better off than when you were when you started, then you might want to consider a more tailored approach where support is designed specifically for you.

Bill 3:16
All support packages are free for the first seven days so you can see if you have chosen the right solution for you. To find out more simply go to recoveryafterstroke.com or send an email to bill@recoveryafterstroke.com I answer all my emails personally. And now it’s on the show.

Bill 3:35
Amy wells, welcome to the podcast.

Amy 3:37
Thanks for having me, Bill.

Bill 3:39
It’s a pleasure having you here. Tell me a little bit about what happened to you.

Life before the stroke

Amy 3:45
Okay, on October 2019 life was babbling along as normal. Normal probably is a bit questionable now. I was you know, trying to do it all thought I was invincible. I had a job, which was quite stressful but demanding. I have two young children who I like to over commit to extracurricular activities.

Amy 4:15
I like to then take on their extracurricular activities. I’m not good at saying no like to jam-pack, the days and the weekends. I also exercise full-on pretty much every morning, every second morning of the week 6am before everybody woke up, and I socialized a lot.

Amy 4:37
So that’s how I thought life was supposed to be until I had the shock of my life. I had a great day at the races on a Saturday last October and went to work that following Monday and just felt a bit off during the day. I thought maybe one of the kids might have passed on a virus and I was coming down with a bit of a cold or something.

Amy 5:07
As the day went on, I just sort of, you know, had a bit of a sore neck. And, you know, I couldn’t really look over my left shoulder, I was like what is this? Must have been gone too hard in my workout last night.

Amy 5:20
Anyway, it was about three o’clock in the afternoon, and I’d walked out of the office with one of my colleagues and as we were walking back in with cups of tea. I looked at my feet, and they sort of went blurry.

Amy 5:32
And then I looked up and the room did a spin. And I felt Oh, that was a bit strange. So I kept on walking and as I sat down at the office desk, I felt my left ear being pulled towards the ground, almost like a force. Something I’ve never experienced before in my life.

Bill 5:52
Like physically pulled.

Amy 5:55
Like someone was pulling a string sort of out of my ear towards the ground, my whole left side. And I tried to sit up and I was able to sort of fight it. And I said to the guy in the office with me, I don’t feel so good.

Amy 6:11
And you know, just getting a little bit sick or I don’t know about this spinning and this force, and I said, I’ll just lay down on the floor and put my feet up on a chair. This guy must have thought I was a bit crazy, but no, that didn’t seem to fix the problem either.

Amy 6:29
And then a half an hour later, I said, I might just go home, so my colleague drove my car, drove me home in my car, and I got home and basically went to bed, my husband fed the kids and I think I must have fallen asleep because about nine o’clock pm, I woke up and tried to lift my head off the pillow, and it was that same force that didn’t want to come off the pillow.

Amy 6:29
And then I sort of opened my eyes and I felt like I was on a roller coaster. So imagine doing like the loop at a theme park. I thought oh yeah, this dizziness is back. And when I did get home from work, I was self-diagnosing on Google, okay, dizziness, head spinning, what does this mean?

Amy 7:18
And obviously, that’s not a good idea at the best of times. So yeah, I sort of caught out to my husband. And luckily the kids were in bed and I said, yeah, I’m not good. I think it’s hospital time. I think something’s wrong here.

Amy 7:32
And he said, Okay, get out of bed and call your mom and get in the car. I said I don’t think I can walk. And then I started becoming nauseous. And luckily, my mom lives around the block just around the block.

Amy 7:45
So she’d started walking over. And my husband got me a bucket and I sort of started growing up. And I said, Yeah, I think it’s ambulance. I think, you know, I could hardly speak and, but we knew that we started to look a bit more serious than just a virus or food poisoning from the races on the weekend.

Amy 8:05
Yep, so an ambulance took me into the a&e. I spent the night you know, in a very bright emergency department laying on a bed, throwing up anything I had to throw up and my husband sitting on his chair and I remember if I had my eyes open and it looked like he was coming off the wall, so it looked like he was turned 90 degrees.

Amy 8:28
But if I had my eyes closed, it was like bright yellow strobing like hallucinations, memories I couldn’t recall couldn’t tell you about now because I didn’t even knew I had them in my mind. So it’s obviously that subconscious. So really bizarre experience, which sort of didn’t let up till about eight o’clock the next morning.

Amy 8:52
Funny enough, I could hear everything everyone was saying I was very much with it and even my mind wasn’t a good hear exactly what the doctors were saying I could hear the cleaners talking I could hear what was going on in that emergency department and when they were talking about me I heard certain words thrown around like meningitis.

Amy 9:15
So you know she’s got vertigo should be going home at nine o’clock in the morning me thinking to myself there’s no way I can go home feeling like this. Yep, so the next morning, the physician came up and said, we’re going to do two scans a CT and MRI.

Amy 9:34
So they got me to complete those and they were interesting because every time I moved my neck even slightly I threw up. So yeah, just looking back on that what an awful experience. And also embarrassed and I can’t move my neck without throwing up these four nurses that had to get me in position.

Vertebral Artery Dissection

Amy 9:54
But yeah, once the MRI and the CT were done, they were able to conclude that I had a vertebral artery dissection on the right side of my neck. And following that, after a few days in the hospital, we did a die angiogram of my renal arteries and also of my brain.

Amy 10:22
And they sort of thought I had a condition called FMD, which I think that inside of your arteries, looks like a spring of pills. So it can look a little bit rougher than it’s supposed to I guess that’s how I interpret it.

Amy 10:38
And that condition perhaps was responsible for this more tear that formed and then the blood clot moved around to the tear and then broke off. So the stroke itself was in the cerebellum.

Amy 10:56
So as the blood clotted around the tear broke off, traveled up landed on my cerebellum. So essentially, that’s what happened. Nine days I think in hospital. I didn’t actually hear the word stroke for, I think about three days. You know like these doctors are talking, in their language they talk in and I remember the neurologist came in on a particular morning, my mom was in the room, and he came in he is bouncing around and he’s saying, oh, yep, so yeah, these strokes are, you know, not so bad.

Amy 11:36
You’ll be back to work. You’ll be back doing what you’re doing before like he seems very, very positive. And I just said to him, hang on did you just say stroke? He said, yeah, small stroke on your cerebellum.

Amy 11:48
I was sort of wind up back a bit. Hang on, hang on. I thought we’re talking about a dissection. What’s the dissection so to get it really spelled out at that basic level, I guess didn’t really happen until I sort of got wind of what was going on and yeah a bit of a challenge because then when you hear the word stroke, that sort of alarm bells.

Bill 12:10
I’m too young to have a stroke.

Amy 12:12
Well, yeah, I just thought I had to be at work that day. I was like a stroke. How did this happen?

Fibromuscular Dysplasia

Bill 12:20
That condition you mentioned FMD fibromuscular dysplasia? And when you look at the images, the images it does look like the blood vessels look like a string of pills that have been put together and what it seems to do is therefore create the incorrect blood flow.

Bill 12:46
And because of the different places the Bloods got to go to flow instead of flowing straight across, bits gets stuck on the inside of the blood vessel and then slightly they just collect them together and together bits of blood.

Bill 13:01
And then when they get big enough, they just let go. And then they just move. So that seems to be what it looks like that might have happened then it’s similar to what happens to people who have a hole in the heart.

Bill 13:12
And then the heart pumps the blood as per normal, but because of that little hole, the blood flow changes and the direction of it changes and then it gets stuck in a little bit of spot, and then it just increases in size and then it lets go.

Bill 13:27
And the first time they realize they had a hole in the heart was when they end up in hospital and they’ve been told the same thing that you were told. But yeah, doctors. They’re so good at what they do in order to be good at that. I think they’ve got to be bad at communication or something because most of them can’t communicate if they like.

Amy 13:50
Yes, or they’re just on a different level. Aren’t they? And if it’s not a crisis, which they obviously thought, you know, the crisis was over. You’re okay, now it sort of gets downplayed.

Bill 14:06
So you’re in hospital and then you’re thinking you’re going to go to work because that was my whole routine. That was why I didn’t go to hospital for seven days. Because I had all these jobs to do. That’s why I argued with my chiropractor who told me to go to the hospital with my wife, with everybody.

Bill 14:22
So then, the next day I rang one of my clients and I said to him, listen, I’m in hospital, and they reckon that I’ve had a bleed in the brain or something and I can’t come to work today.

Bill 14:34
I know we’ve got to do this job. And I started balling my eyes out to my client thinking the world’s gonna come to an end and fair enough right. Did you end up going to work like what happened that next phase how did you get your head around “I’m actually not going to be going to work today”?

Amy 14:54
Yeah, I think I was a bit delirious to be honest. Um, ah, the first thing I said to the irreligious was when will I be back at work? Work was my identity. You know, I’m a finance manager of a large hospital. And that’s all I know is finance, accounting and deadlines.

Amy 15:17
You worked on a monthly cycle. So everything’s so structured. You’ve got deadlines throughout the month and people that need certain reports and forecasts each week and what do I do my stroke happened on a Monday night so on Tuesday afternoons, we had a weekly video call with all the different hospitals in the state.

Amy 15:36
And I was thinking well, I’m probably not going to do that from the hospital bed at three o’clock today. So I had my mom call my boss and explain that, you know, there was no word stroke at that point. It was Amy’s in hospital with the symptoms etc.

Amy 15:54
And finally, because my bosses are all ex nurses or ex-medical professionals, You know they have known ahead of time I guess what is ahead of me? And you know, I’m still a little bit delirious too and a little bit I’m invincible.

Amy 16:13
You know, this isn’t that big a deal. Things will go back to normal. And I guess, resistance to accept. I’m much better at it now but yes straightaway I look at text messages that I sent people during that hospital stay.

Taking stroke recovery day by day

vertebral artery dissection
Amy 16:30
I was doing a cleanout last week and I found some text messages from October. And yeah, it was like gee I’m in, hospital had a bit of a tear in an artery. They’re saying I’ll be a bit slow for a few days, but you know, I should be back at it pretty soon. Which I guess it’s a blessing to think to be like that, at that point in time.

Amy 16:51
You don’t want to know what’s necessarily ahead and what challenges you’re gonna run into and you know, that would be awful to sit in a hospital bed and be like, okay, you’re going to come up against this, this, this, this and this and the next 12 months you’d have a meltdown. So that ignorance is bliss is probably a good place to be, and you just have to take it day by day.

Intro 17:13
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 now long will it take to recover? Will I actually recover? What things should I avoid In case I’ll make matters worse?

Intro 17:30
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 recovery after stroke.com where you can download a guide that will help you.

Intro 17:52
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 there. 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 18:16
I agree with you, I was probably oblivious to everything that happened for around six weeks. And then it happened again to me because the issue wasn’t rectified immediately, and it couldn’t be rectified for turned out up to almost three years.

Bill 18:31
But yeah, my identity was work. Running my business, my identity was telling myself that I needed to be doing that seven days a week, 12 hours to 16 hours a day, you know, from waking up in the morning being at the job to coming home and doing the quotes and then doing the paperwork and then doing the emails and then doing all that junk.

Bill 18:55
That my identity was I was going to be that guy. That’s the only thing I knew a dad yeah, sure that kind of stuff, but there was nothing else. Take that away. And then it’s like, what I’m a guy in a hospital? Like I don’t know what that means.

Bill 19:12
And it’s one of the things that helped me. Eight years down the track go, okay, when somebody asks me, what do you do for a living? I’m like, I can’t answer that question anymore. Because I don’t say that I’m this or I’m that what I talk about is the things that I do on a daily basis. Some days I do this, and other days I do that.

Bill 19:32
And the things that I have, and I involve myself with, so that my identity can’t be questioned by an event or by somebody. And therefore what it also does, it opens up possibilities so that when somebody says, do you want to do this, or would you do that? I don’t say no, I don’t do that. Because I’m this guy. I have a label. And I don’t do those other things because I have a label.

Bill 19:39
I never used to travel, I never used to do all these things, and my wife started to bring in these little experiences to take me out of this very narrow-minded view of what, of who I was. And then I became somebody who loved traveling. And then I became somebody who loved trying a different food than I loved somebody to either become somebody who could handle eating a vegetarian diet, and it didn’t mean that I was the worst person for not eating meat and all this kind of junk.

Bill 20:31
And it’s a real lovely evolution because for the first time ever my identity came into question, and not by the usual methods, not by mom and dad going “we don’t behave that way, Bill” or anything came in from idiot, you’re in bed in a hospital. And it’s a second time you’ve been here in six weeks for the same issue.

Bill 20:54
Maybe you’re not a guy who works 16 hours a day, seven days a week, maybe you need to be a different guy, you know? And then the world opens up. And then I noticed myself while I was in hospital, making, more money, my turnover, increasing my days decreasing, my time on the job site decreasing everything going down except my turnover.

Bill 21:24
And I was like, What the hell have I been doing all this time? How did I have to get to this where I was in hospital to achieve these amazing things without even trying? It’s nutts. So how do you found yourself transitioning back into life? And what does that look like? Now, October wasn’t that long ago. So you’re pretty early on in your recovery? Where are you at?

Stroke recovery expectations

Amy 21:56
So it’s almost 11 months so approaching the 12-month mark? Look, it’s been really difficult. Take the hospital experience out of it. And I kind of just expected that within three to six months, I would be normal again, I’d be myself and when that doesn’t happen, you know, it’s really hard to handle and this recovery is not like getting a cold.

Amy 22:29
It’s not like, I’ve got a cold, but tomorrow, I’ll wake up and I’ll be okay. Because that’s generally what happens you have a cold and the next week, you’re fine. It’s not really the case. I’ve explained it to people as it’s more of a quarter by quarter comparison. So, for example, the start of this year, I take my son to school and we’d cross this busy road and I’d have to hold on to whatever was on the footpath so like a phone box.

Amy 22:58
I put my hand on it to locate way and that would be how we get across the road. But, you know, I often think now when I’m crossing the road, it’s now September, three quarters on, I don’t have to touch that phone box. So that to me is progress. But that’s nine months.

Amy 23:17
You know, that’s, insane when you are someone that used to being results-driven. If I do this, this will happen. You know, I’ve done nothing wrong. I’ve done everything people have told me to do in this recovery. So stroke, you know, stroke survivors, get psychology, get into the nature exercise, eat well, I’ve done it all.

Amy 23:40
And nothing you do speeds this up. So except probably rest and rest isn’t my strong point. So, where I am now, I guess is I’m a lot more accepting of what’s happened. I’m not resisting it. Like you say, opens the doors to other things, and I’m probably enjoying life more than I was before because I’ve slowed down and I can take things in.

Amy 24:10
You know, I’ve had so much time with my kids. My son started new school this year. So I’ve pretty much been there for every drop off and pick up. And prior to that, when I was working, I think I would probably be at school maybe twice a term. So I guess, you know, just little things like that and, my prior life I wouldn’t have wanted to be at school, but now I find enjoyment in that and you know, you make friends with people and you make stronger relationships because obviously I’m quite open.

Amy 24:48
For the first half of this year, I thought I had stroke written all over my face. So anyone I meet anyone I met you know, almost use it as a disclaimer and say I had a stroke in October. So if I I’m looking at you funny. Or if I look like I’m off balance, you know, that’s why there’s something wrong with me.

Amy 25:06
And that’s so silly, because physically, I wasn’t really affected. And you can’t tell by looking at me that where my head is at and how my foggy brain operates. But yeah, yeah, so I’ve got to the point where I’m not having to really throw that disclaimer out there in the first sentence of meeting someone, but you know, when you are vulnerable people will tell you about their vulnerabilities.

Amy 25:29
And I’ve had so many conversations this year that I wouldn’t have had in my previous life. And it’s just opened up my eyes to how rushed and stressed and perhaps how I was doing it wrong before because, yeah, I don’t know how I’d go over that and talking to all these different people on a weekly basis. And it’s kind of nicer,

Bill 25:55
I completely relate to you. I was 37 How old were you?

Amy 25:59
35.

Post-stroke realization

Bill 26:00
Yeah, I was 37. My kids were one of them was a teenager, one of them was in grade six. So I was going through the whole what are my kids thinking and worrying about and all that kind of stuff. And while they were thinking or worrying all those things, I was able to be with them.

Bill 26:20
And therefore, they were able to be less worried and less concerned. Of course, they were worried when they saw me in hospital twice in six weeks. For you know, all up for about, I don’t know, 10 or 11 days. But then I had a good opportunity to start pulling my head in and going and doing things like, you know, when dad was an idiot, you know, a couple weeks ago? I’m sorry, you know, when I did that stupid thing two years ago, like, I know, now that was stupid.

Bill 26:54
And I started to build this connection with them. That was Like you did with the people that you’ve met, I’ve done it with heaps of people, right? Or that I didn’t know that I also got to deal with my kids.

Bill 26:55
And then that next thing that it allowed me to do was go, if this ends badly, and I go to wherever I’m good, I’ve done what I needed to do. Now had three years before surgery nearly almost three years. And therefore, I just ramped that up, ramped up hugging and apologizing and telling everybody what a dickhead I had been and how I apologize for the stupid things that I had done.

Bill 27:35
And then that brought me closer to my circle of people that I was around all day, every day that I was mistreating because I was stressed, tired, short of time and running these stories that were created in my head.

Bill 27:50
When my head switched off, it completely switched off like I couldn’t connect to it and makeup bullshit stories like that anymore. And I started to notice my heart actually in my chest. I Physically, I noticed something in my chest for the first time. And I wondered, What the hell is this? Like? What am I feeling in my chest, it was my heart.

Bill 28:09
And those conversations that were pouring out, were waiting there. They’re sitting in the background, while my head’s doing all this bullshit, for 37 years, and then eventually they got a chance to come out and talk and say what they had to say. And then, I felt at ease with everything.

Bill 28:25
And I knew that my kids, if I croaked, it would not say, you know, we had my dad, he was a good bloke but he was always kind of pissed off and angry. And I was then highly motivated to be the guy that I know parents screw up their kids, that’s just their job. That’s part of what we do. But I was going to be the guy that was going to minimize the amount of damage that I was going to do to my kids as much as I possibly can.

Bill 28:53
Knowing that I can’t control anything other than my behavior, how I behave. Pick-ups, Drop-offs, schools cooking. When I got the energy, my wife would go to work in the morning I’d go out and pick up a few things from the shopping center and prepare the meal so that when they all came home at around 6:00, 6:30 food was ready to go.

Bill 29:16
You know, everyone got to eat. I’d be exhausted most days that I did that. But if I broke it up and planned it properly, it meant that we could eat together as a family not rushed. And not sitting down for cook dinner prepared, you know, at seven o’clock. Oh my god. It was I had never experienced that life in all our married years and with the kids, I’d never experienced that type of old school, old style family life, you know?

Bill 29:45
And I would have traded my job for being able to just stay at home and be a stay at home dad. If my awesome clients didn’t keep calling me but also if we were financially better off right. I would have just gone. I’m done. You know, like 180 degree turn is just completely improved my life so many ways, and I had all these issues that I never had before, you know, stroke issues like, most people wouldn’t think that that’s a an improvement on your life.

Amy 30:20
Yeah. Like a new-found harmony.

Bill 30:24
Yeah. And it came from this massive amount of what we call it like, chaos like it came from chaos and disaster. Just such a beautiful place to be. And I’m kind of still there. You know, like, I’m not really, I haven’t really adjusted back. I haven’t really gone back to my old ways too much. Of course, sometimes I’ll work too many hours. But sometimes I have to but I’m aware that I’m doing that because I’ve just got to get by for that particular time. And then I’m going to go back to the new way of doing things.

Amy 31:01
Yeah. It’s so great to have that perspective, which I don’t think anyone can truly understand. I can’t put it into words. And the old me wouldn’t have understood it. Like it was all about status and how high you can get on the corporate ladder. And you know how many sports you can have your kids down for? Every night of the week, you know, are we doing all the extracurricular we need to and you wear everybody out, you wear the kids out you wear yourself out?

Bill 31:33
Yeah. And then you wonder why kids become hyper-vigilant and why they come always obsessed to put their head in a device or whatever, because they’ve had enough of you that don’t want to bloody listen to your bullshit anymore.

Bill 31:48
They want a distraction, and they’ll take it wherever they can get it. You know, and my kids stopped playing sport. I was devastated when they stopped playing sport what do you mean you’re not gonna play sport? And really made them feel bad about not playing sport anymore. It was terrible that I did that to them because it started off as something that we’re going to do for fun. And then I made it about me and I clued on that as soon as I made about me, they were like, no, I’m out of here.

Amy 32:15
Yeah. And also having the time to understand what your kids are into. So, you know, I’ve had extra time to watch my children and go, you really like making comics? And it’s, you know, if you’re stressed all the time and busy, you don’t have the time to sit down and really understand. What is it that these kids like to do? You just assume that they like what they’re supposed to like or what society says.

Bill 32:44
Yeah. And you impose your model of the world on them. You then get kids to resent you because like, I like doing that stuff that you like doing, you know, Why should I do that? And it’s a strange gift. Stroke can be a strange gift, you know, and I’m not saying that it’s easy. And I’m not saying that it’s pleasant.

Bill 33:02
And I’m not saying that you should like it especially early on Absolutely not. You know, you should feel every emotion and go through all the trauma and all the troubles and all the anger and everything, you should do it all.

Bill 33:15
And then when dust settles, reflect back and look at how you’ve changed and how you’ve evolved, and become a better version of yourself because of these lessons that didn’t take your life that just came as a reminder that she has to change.

Amy 33:36
Yeah I agree.

Bill 33:39
How do the kids deal with that?

Amy 33:44
Yeah, obviously, like you the hospital stay. It’s not great to see a mom in a hospital bed. But at the same time, I don’t look any different. So from that perspective, I guess it’s been lucky, if I was struggling physically, then I think that would have impacted on them a little bit more.

Amy 34:07
However, in saying that old mom has gone and there’s this new mom that gets really tired and you know, I have only recently just being able to start kicking the football with my son or, you know, any sort of neck movement up until about nine months ago, up until about the nine-month mark just made me dizzy and made me feel sick instead of vertigo.

Amy 34:31
So I am different, but I think it’s a blessing that they don’t see it and I like to think I’m pretty tough and deal with it internally. And yes, I’ve might go to bed at eight o’clock every night. But you know, that’s not impacting on them. I’m home and I can help with their homework, I can help with a research project.

Amy 34:55
I can take them to the school and pick up and drop off and so I think the loss probably got better. But yeah, there’s definitely times where I mean my daughter, she’s five, she probably feels a bit more than my son who’s eight. Whether that’s a female intuition type thing.

Amy 35:16
She, I think is struggling with it a bit more. She doesn’t like seeing mommy tired. And I think it’s sort of just worn off a bit more on her. So she senses that I’m struggling some days and yeah, she’s regressed a little bit in some areas. But I think she starts school in January. So hopefully, when she’s got a full structured day, that’s full week where she’s busy and you know, wearing myself out and that might improve. But yeah, on the whole, I’ve been quite lucky.

Bill 35:53
Interesting, isn’t it like five year old child dials straight in knows exactly what’s going on. And can feel what you’re feeling and has enough awareness and consciousness to say no I don’t like it when mom’s tired.

Amy 36:10
She, yeah, I was talking to a neighbor the other day and explaining obviously what had happened to me and why I’m not working at the moment. I said, I had a stroke last year, and my daughter was standing next to me. And she looked up and she said, it was in October. And I thought, oh, okay. Yep, it was they, listened to everything. And maybe I need to be a bit more aware of that, because she’s probably heard the story multiple times.

Bill 36:39
Yeah. My kids probably got sick of me talking about it and basically do the same thing to you. That as you I have to tell people that I had a stroke because sometimes I would just fade out like while I was talking, or I couldn’t get the word out, I would get stuck when I speak or whatever, you know?

Bill 36:57
And I would tell people and often it would come up when I was eating because I really changed my diet a lot. So to decrease inflammation, I really changed my diet. So part of what happens in the brain is the stroke happens. And then there’s an area around it there’s a technical term for I don’t know what it is, where, where the deficit is happening from, as well as the area that’s actually physically died.

Bill 37:22
And that area is the area that’s going to come back over time. As things get better inflammation goes away, the healing happens, it comes better, right? So I wanted to take control of something that I could, and what I could take a job was what I used to eat, and my diet wasn’t the best before Coke, two or three days, two or three cans a day.

Bill 37:42
Smoking, alcohol, all that kind of stuff. And I’m not saying that somebody should never indulge in one of those things, but really sugars like that. They don’t really help they increase the fatigue. So we would go to places and I would have a salad and Grilled Chicken and a mineral water with a little bit of lemon in it.

Bill 38:04
And people would go to me, are we going to have dessert again? I’m good. Don’t you have dessert, no I don’t eat it. And then I would try and avoid the conversation for as long as I could. And then eventually I’d say, look, had a stroke, blah, blah, blah, the kid was sitting there, their eyes be rolling back, because then the conversation goes to the next level.

Bill 38:23
They think oh my god, here we go. And of course, I did that you guys need to stop eating sugar so much and they were like oh my god, this goes on and on and on. And eventually what happened was, I just let them be themselves. And I just stood up, and I lead by example without preaching.

Bill 38:44
And then I just accepted that they’ll come to their version of balance in their own way, but at least they’ve got somebody to refer back to when they have a question to ask about something that’s troubling them. That was similar to me when I was in trouble you know with your daughter I mean what a great example to set to a five-year-old when you’re tired you rest when you feel unwell you rest instead of soldier on.

Resting helps heal the brain after stroke

Bill 39:24
Go to work and smash another five hours out you know what a great example. What you know about stroke recovery and how your brain heals you know that it happens when you rest what we want for our daughters and our boys when they’re recovering from being unwell is we want them to rest and when they’re growing and we want the growing brains to grow as healthfully as possible, we want them to rest as much as possible.

Bill 39:49
Because at night is when the gold happens. It happens when we slip this awesome book called why we sleep I forget the guy’s name but I’ll bring it up in a second. And he talks about how at night, the cells decrease in size, they kind of shrink, and they separate from each other.

Bill 40:09
And they allow the cerebral fluid to get up into the cells and do this kind of a wash and drain all the toxins out of the brain and get it out into the excretory system. And that only happens at night when you’re doing REM sleep. And stroke survivors will tell you that they often struggle to sleep after a stroke.

Bill 40:35
And it’s all sorts of reasons why, if they dial that down, if they can get their sleep cycle, kicking in and better. They’re doing so much to support their brain in recovering more than they would if they know more than they could ever imagine that it does for them. It is such a fascinating thing that people especially in Australia probably in other Western countries go yeah, I only slept for three hours last night.

Bill 41:04
I mean, I don’t need to sleep more than three hours. I’m good to go. Dude like stroke survivors, the more you sleep the better. You’re in that really cool phase of knowing how if we transfer what happened in our brain and how to heal the brain into the how to develop a brain like you’re in a really cool space because you’re learning about how to get yourself feeling good in that put that into a child’s brain and then bang you’ve got an amazing healthy you know creative child who with a really, really sort of happening brain.

Amy 41:47
Yeah I’ve seen quiet myself to my five year old in many different ways. Yeah, cuz I basically I’m retraining my brain she’s developing her brain and at night. I have this little ritual where I balance on one leg on a piece of foam to help with my cerebellum repair and balance.

Amy 42:08
And she sees me doing it. And last night, she’s trying to stand on it with me, and she could probably almost do it better than me. But like, how good’s that to teach your five-year-old to balance on a piece of foam? Well, that’s difficult. And um, yeah, my son who’s eight can’t do it. All that well. But it’s, you know, I’m doing something that an eight-year-old and a five-year-old can’t really do that well. It just yeah. So I try and teach them to do it too. And we can all do it together.

Bill 42:36
And it’s really helpful. You people don’t realize how powerful that is. But that means that you, if you can balance better, that means you’re less likely to fall, that means you’re more is activated better, which if your cause activated better, then when you get a dizzy spell, you can, you know, stabilize yourself, you can make sure that you’ve got a little bit of time to respond and react.

Bill 42:54
So it’s amazing and the kids, a lot of them don’t have that because they don’t exercise enough and I’m not saying Now take them and do 10 times more exercise, but they don’t exercise enough because it’s sitting down too much. their bellies aren’t activated. And they should be able to stand on one leg on a piece of foam. Like their kids. They’re the ones that are going to be able to do better than anybody.

Bill 43:14
But look, it’s not about that. It’s lovely that you’re in that stage where you see how this could this thing that you’re doing to help yourself is rubbing off. Like it’s a beautiful thing. And you do it together, you know? connecting over balancing on a piece of foam.

Amy 43:33
I know I would have thought hey, um, yeah, stretching on the ground and throwing a tennis ball against the wall trying to catch it on one leg and yeah, I think balance is good for kids too. Their coordination.

Bill 43:50
Who in your family was the worst in a crisis? For me it was my dad like the time I ended up in hospital the first time. He forgot to take his blood pressure tablet or something collapsed at the house and came to hospital in an ambulance.

Amy 44:17
Oh, because you went there?

Bill 44:20
Because he found out that I was unwell in hospital. He went to water and then ended up in hospital and I was in the stroke ward and I had to come down to see my dad come to visit me in hospital in the emergency room, connected to heart machines and all sorts of stuff.

Amy 44:40
That’s crazy. Funnily enough, my 84-year-old grandma was in hospital, the same hospital around the corner for me when I was in hospital after having a stroke, but I don’t think it’s for the reason your dad was it was more so heart fluttering. Yeah, I was walking around with a walking frame to visit her room you know to try and push get moving and get better and get back to work and get life back to normal.

Bill 45:08
That’s what I was doing. Who else was terrible in a crisis around you? Or wasn’t there anybody?

Amy 45:17
I didn’t think there really is anybody I mean, it’s been a learning process for everyone. There’s no history of stroking our family at all. And I guess people deal with it and dealing with it in different ways. But you know, my husband seen it from the beginning from that night in my bed when I was on a roller coaster to you know, now being out of fill my days with more things, and I think he’s managed the process really well and has been positive for the whole thing.

Amy 45:55
I mean, I guess I found difficult is you know, it’s such an invisible problem and people want you to be normal and people want you to be better. So yeah, I think my mom is super positive, optimistic lady that you know, she can’t really get it down, go back. It’s amazing.

Amy 46:21
And in the early days, you know, we didn’t know straight recovery was a one to two-year thing. We thought we thought it’s just a small obstacle to get you need to get over and you should be like, okay, so maybe on the weekend, we can do this, this and this, and I’d say yeah, okay.

Amy 46:38
And then we get to the weekend and it would be, you know, one of the bad days of the week and we physically just need to be in a quiet room. And not much fun to anybody. And, you know, I’d have to say, No, I can’t do that. And I think that’s been the hardest part is me thinking I’m letting people down or I’m having to say no to friends.

Physical limitations during recovery


Amy 47:00
Like, I don’t want them to stop inviting me, but you know, come out to dinner at seven o’clock on the weekend and I’ll be thinking, but I go to bed at eight o’clock. And it’s really hard to sometimes I kind of wish I had a sign to put on my head to say, you know, it’s not normal, or, you know, I was walking down the beach last night and I was thinking maybe I should get a T-shirt printed on the back says I had a stroke, I walk slow or it’s that I’m trying to get other people to understand what you’re going through.

Amy 47:35
And while everyone’s been great in a crisis, like beyond great, it’s I think it’s they can’t understand it and it’s only a straight about the cat.

Bill 47:47
My wife’s been on that journey now as well. As long as I have in the beginning. It was really difficult. You know, I do remember her saying to me like it’s getting old enough. And me getting really offended about that, and thinking that she was telling me, you know, to get over it and just, you know, be better.

Bill 48:09
And she wasn’t really saying that she was really saying it’s getting old for her that she’s struggling through not having me the way that she remembers me being and all that kind of stuff. And not wanting to go out in public because too much noise was affecting me, or on a particular day I’d be wasted or whatever.

Bill 48:30
And I remember traveling overseas one year and Christine’s amazing. She’s the kind of person who, if you want to go overseas, just give her a buzz and she’ll itinerary, the whole thing for you to the nth degree. Yeah, not one thing. There’s no one thing that you miss.

Bill 48:48
However, what that means is that I don’t get time to just do nothing when I’m overseas because she’s overseas and it took us so long to get there and money and all that. So I want to say as much as I can I’m like, man, I can’t do that, like I need a day where I’m doing nothing.

Bill 49:05
At least please give me one of those so that I can do those other things The next day, you know? Yeah. So we would go somewhere and I would say to her, listen tomorrow, do not expect me to be up and about all day to do all those things that you’ve claimed. Don’t expect there is no chance. And she’d go all right.

Bill 49:25
And then if I had a good night’s sleep and woke up feeling well, I’d say to her, you know those things that you wanted to do today? They’re on baby let’s go and she’s like are you sure? Are you just doing that because you want to make me happy? No I’m feeling really good.

Bill 49:41
I want to do them let’s go like strike while the iron is hot you know? And we started, it took some time, but we started to get to that point, just through a lot of conversation about how it made me feel how fatigue made me feel, and me reminding her about how fatigue when she was fatigued a couple of times, for example, in her life how it felt well, but I reminded her of how, when you’re fatigued and completely wiped out remember that day?

Bill 50:10
Well, that’s how I feel most days, you know. So that was the only way for me to get my to get an understanding across for her to go, I can relate to that. And I’d say to her like, and it happens all the freakin time and I can’t stop it from happening and I can’t just rest and switch it off, you know?

Amy 50:29
Yeah, you can’t predict it.

Bill 50:31
Yeah, which is the worst part, right? And, and then what I would do is go to parties. And I would hang out, like on a stool on my own in the corner. Just try and quietly get out of, you know, the, business of the party and just try and be there so that people could say, ah, he came and then maybe they wouldn’t notice me sneak away into the corner and just sit quietly and just chill.

Bill 50:59
That made it easier for me to be there a little bit longer. Yeah. And then not make them feel like, you know, Bill never rocks up anymore because, people who are living outside of the house, are even harder to bring on board and make them understand the ones living in that house are doing it hard enough, but the ones outside the house even worse.

Bill 51:21
And then what I found was that as I sort of stretched my being out time from 8:00 to 8:30 then I realized where my new normal was, and then it started to creep up and creep up. And I don’t enjoy being out till one or two o’clock in the morning at all anymore. I can’t because then I don’t sleep enough hours to feel good in the morning. But if I had to, I can get through it if I had to. But back then we often sort of said it’s 11 o’clock. I’m going home.

Amy 52:00
And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Bill 52:03
And my friends didn’t understand and how could they the only way they’re gonna understand is if they had a stroke and bloody hell. We don’t want anyone to understand us that way.

Amy 52:13
No, it’s kind of like being a baby or like a young child is sometimes how I explain it in, they need their rest, you know, they get to have a playdate and they play for two hours straight and then they all pop all end up piled up on top of each other. It’s almost like that they’ve drunk too much alcohol. It’s like that tipping point. And you need that risk to regenerate. And yeah, it’s very much like it’s being a child. It’s like having an immature brain again.

Bill 52:42
Yeah, I I you stole away also then took it upon myself to use it to my advantage a couple of times as well. Yeah, yeah. So it did some stupid I would say, Hey, guys, I’ve had a stroke.

Amy 52:56
Get away with more.

Bill 52:59
After about five years you kind of got, enough. How are your work colleagues? Being that they’re all from hospitals? How are they sort of relating to you now that you haven’t been back to work?

Amy 53:19
I couldn’t ask for a better response from them. They, right from the beginning. You know, I’ve got different contacts there that I speak to regularly. And some have said from the beginning, you know, this is a 12 month journey for you. And I’d laugh and be like, no, it’s definitely not how dare you say that I always get offended.

Amy 53:42
But then I had one that straight up said to me, you know, you need to treat this like it’s maternity leaves and people take 12 months off to go and have a baby. And obviously, she knew that I’d had children and well while working and sort of listen to that and thought, yeah, okay, I can do that.

Amy 53:59
You don’t lose what you know, through maternity leaves, you get back and there’s a bit of a transition period to, you know, get that from the folk. But yeah, like we have recently had some chats, and we’ve got a bit of a plan in place to start up in a couple of weeks.

Amy 54:17
But yeah, with some limitations. So as I approached the 12 month, Mark, there’s no way I would have even been considering taking on work, even probably three months ago, that something’s turned a corner at some point, which I can’t quite identify. Also, just the more people you speak to, they give you those two years, don’t they?

Uncertainty

Amy 54:42
And they say you’ve got two years to technically rebuild the brain cells, or do as much as you can in your recovery. And while physically it’s been tough this last 12 months and a lot of the time I don’t know if I’m standing up for where I am in space. But as that improves with my phone balancing, you know, I want to start pushing the mental side of it. And intellectually I know I can still do the job. It’s whether I have the stamina, the fatigue allows it, whether cognitively can be as quick as I used to be. So all those, you know that all those little challenges are going to be coming up.

Amy 55:29
And yet it’s all a bit of the unknown, which is a bit scary. But I won’t know unless I try. So I want to use those two years to jam in as much as I can. Because that’s my mentality is Go go go. And I don’t want to regret anything. So I don’t want to get to two years and mentally say, Oh, well, that’s my recovery done.

Amy 55:52
I didn’t try hard enough to get my cognitive thinking going. And yeah, I guess you I’ve got a bit of a challenge, a different phase of the recovery coming up. And I’m expecting it to be very, very tough. And you know, I’ve been told by you know, the professionals and the people I work with a lawyer on the weekends like this is going to be hard for you don’t expect it to be easy. But yeah, it’s something I do want to try. I don’t want to left it, leave it. I’m not ready to close the door.

Bill 56:28
Yeah. No, I agree. I was never an office kind of guy. Yeah, it was worked outdoors because we had a property maintenance business. I still have it. And that business was it was I was unable to go back to a fully for for many, many years. And at around the six year mark, I was completely wiped out or probably about around the five and a half year mark, which was about a year and a half after brain surgery.

Bill 56:55
I was completely wiped out. But I was wiped out through issue with my thyroid, which creates neurological fatigue the same way as the strokes did, they just happen to one come after the other, right. And I went into an office for the first time in a long time in probably the first time in about 15 years to do an office job.

Bill 57:18
And I remember sitting in front of a screen and trying to get through the first hour or two, and then being wiped out completely, and then struggling to get through the rest of the day and recover and do all those things. And then as time went on, I ended up being employed there for just just less than three years.

Bill 57:39
As time went on, the ability to stay in front of the screen and do those heavy, heavy lifting with my brain, you know, thinking and solving problems on a computer started to increase and it started to get better and better. And it was like it was like a physical recovery of the brain in that the before that cover that part of the brain recovery couldn’t have happened if I didn’t sit in front of a computer.

Bill 58:05
So I had to do the stuff that I was doing outside of an office, which was happening, you know, through rehab through my nutrition through all those things. But then there was this part that I had to do, which I didn’t realize at the time, but reflecting on it now, which was in front of the computer.

Bill 58:21
And that slowly allowed my mind to get more resilient at dealing with bright lights in an office and all that kind of stuff. And I asked them to switch off the two lights though on top of my head. And we put a filter over the screen, and I wore glasses with a filter. And everything that I did, added just a little bit more time to my day, so that by the end of the three year mark, I was no problem.

Bill 58:50
You know, like any other staff member, able to be completely functional for eight hours a day and productive for them and do my job. They were extremely happy. In, in taking me down that path, I didn’t have the awareness of having the conversation with them again, at the beginning, sorry, and saying, you know, my brain doesn’t do well with lots of light, fluorescent light, and it doesn’t do well with lots of noise.

Bill 59:14
So I didn’t create the right environment for a healing brain when it when they get back to work. But you’re in a situation where you can have a conversation about that. And they already understand that because they’re medical people. So you’re, really, you’re well set up to achieve success in that space. And don’t don’t put a timeline on it. Yeah, people talk about two years, but it might be three might be four.

Bill 59:43
Others might come back and things might work in six months, other things might not work for a different amount of time. So I found that by not having a deadline on those types of things, but having little goals, and it worked better because my goal was for example, to be able to be present. for eight hours at work, but I didn’t put a timeline on when.

Amy 1:00:03
Yeah, sure.

Bill 1:00:05
That takes the pressure off. And then it doesn’t make me feel like a failed at the 24 month mark, you know?

Amy 1:00:13
I think it’s, um, I was I’ve listened to a lot of podcasts during this time. And I heard something on one a little while ago. And, you know, you go, Okay, so I want to achieve this. So and that might be a particular row or a particular number of hours a day, whatever it may be, but it may seem daunting, and you know, to me going back to work is a little bit daunting.

Amy 1:00:39
But it’s all about breaking it down into steps. So think about where you are. Now, that’s step A. Step b is, you know, do your three hours a day in the morning, two days a week. And then once you get to B, you go to C instead of saying, oh, I’ve got to get from A to Z.

Amy 1:00:58
And that’s anything in life, really. Looking at A to E, well, it can be quite overwhelming. And you have to get to B, C and D before you can get to E. So I’m just trying to take that approach in really not looking too far ahead.

Turning corners

Bill 1:01:15
Yeah, absolutely. And I think you continue to recover and turn corners all the time. Like I spoke about it. I think it was just a couple of weeks ago, on one of my posts on Instagram, you know, I spoke about how I had, I’ve turned another corner, you know, and in COVID, I’ve been able to actually focus so actually sitting at work and working in a computer is one thing.

Bill 1:01:43
But focusing on for extended periods of time is another thing and for me, that’s another layer to the spin able to sit in front of a computer and work being able to sit there and focus without distraction. Like that’s another level. So I found I found myself because I’m in Melbourne, we’ve been in lockdown for 37 years. And I know where I’m still in lockdown.

Bill 1:02:07
And I don’t know if we’re ever going to get out of bloody lockdown. But I’ve been really productive in this last six week block. And, and focused, really focused. And normally I wouldn’t be able to do that, you know, where I find myself spending 12 hours a day in front of the computer with breaks and coffee breaks and all that kind of stuff.

Bill 1:02:29
But without even noticing that I did it and not feeling like shit at the end of it. And it’s doing work that I love. It’s all about the podcasts, right I’m putting courses together, thinking about meditation challenges that I can create for people. I’m thinking about who I’m going to interview next and transcribing it and doing all that kind of stuff.

Bill 1:02:48
But that don’t just happen in the last six weeks and I’ve been doing this podcast since 2015. And it’s been a bloody pain in the ass struggle. that entire time, but the value and the joy that I get out of it made it impossible for me to stop. But nonetheless, like, I haven’t been able to focus on it, and it was happening episodes would happen intermittently.

Bill 1:03:14
And all the work that I was able to happen just infrequently. And now it’s kind of been like, just bang, like on point. So, I’m eight years down, and you still turn corners all the time.

Amy 1:03:27
So it does happen. So you have to you really have to expose yourself to it to train your brain again, which is what I keep getting told by the, you know, the doctors and it’s another phase if you don’t try, you’re not gonna know.

Bill 1:03:42
And you’re early on, Amy, I mean, you’re so early on. And what they do is, we haven’t spoken about it a bit. So maybe we can, like, how did you I’ll ask the question, and then I’ll explain why I’m asking it. So my question is going to be at the end of this little next section. It’s going to be how you dealing with it psychologically?

Bill 1:04:05
And because dealing with it psychologically, for me they do not also offer another level of leveling up and another turning point in how my brain heals, and it sounds weird, but if I deal with my psychological issues, then the healing in my brain happens differently and better and takes another level. So I how have you experienced the whole did you do the whole? Oh my god, I’m mortal thing?

Amy 1:04:36
Yeah, I think I went through phases. So I know it’s kind of like great isn’t that I don’t know those seven phases off by heart. But yeah, there was denial for sure. That was the hospital phase. And then there was a fear phase and which brought on anxiety so because that day when the stroke happened, I remember how I felt. I felt like I was getting a virus I felt like I was getting a cold.

Amy 1:05:03
And I had a really sore neck like someone was sitting on my shoulders and you know, I had anytime I feel a little twinge in my neck, I would go doing oh my goodness, oh my goodness, I’m gonna have another stroke. And that’s kind of passed now, but that was awful.

Amy 1:05:19
That was, you know, that’s only just sort of passed in the last two months. And the more people that tell me the physios the GPs and neurologists you know, these dissections are quite rare to happen twice, especially in the same spot and you know, you could have professors telling me that I still wouldn’t believe it I’ll be I’ll be the one that has it twice.

Amy 1:05:38
And so there’s that fear. There was frustration there’s still frustration you know, I if I exercise for more than 20 minutes I get dizzy. So if I live quite near the beach, I can handle 20 minutes if I went for 30 minutes. Oh, that dizziness would start kicking in. springs on a bit of anxiety, what if I fall over and public?

Amy 1:06:05
So, that’s bizarre because I exercise of exercise a lot in my life, I kind of live for it, you know, used to teach aerobics at one point have played different sports. I like long-distance running and to not be able to do that that is also a loss of identity, which has been awfully frustrating.

Amy 1:06:28
And, yeah, I guess with the fear with the frustration with the denial, eventually you have to accept and, you know, move on, and this is how it is now. So I sort of reconfigure your loss to how it is or keep dwelling on what happened. So psychologically, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with, like hands down. Just Wow. Like you cannot describe it to anybody.

Amy 1:06:59
It’s It’s just, it’s a roller coaster. And like you say, you might wake up one morning, feeling like you blacked out for the day. I can’t do anything today. But along with that comes frustration and fear. And I feel really tired today, but I didn’t do much yesterday. So does that mean, I’m going backwards.

Amy 1:07:18
And you know, back in January this year, I might have had five bad days and two, good, two semi-good days in the week. But I can say now that those bad days are nowhere near as bad. So I’m not I’m very rarely sort of bed bound. Now, a bad day might be just staying home doing not much and resting and sitting on the couch a bit more.

Amy 1:07:43
But I think I, you know, tend to have maybe four good days a week so it does shift and that helps you psychologically as well when you see those shifts and when you can cross the road without holding on to the phone box. But it’s slow. And it’s tedious and you have to be very patient and all of these things I’m not I was not so I’m a different person.

Amy 1:08:11
Yeah, it is a complete 180 I now have to be patient I have to become there’s nothing I can do that’s going to speed this up and I saw a psychologist straight up after the stroke happen because I was told, you know, get some psychology that’s what strikes others do so I saw one. And she was good at the time. But now I switch to a new one. He uses the David Schwartz technique at some about internal family systems and labeling your parts of your body and I’m finding it really really effective.

Amy 1:08:52
So it’s, yeah, we focus on why have you got that pushy part? You know you’ve had a stroke you can rest it is okay to respond. sit on the couch and I’ll look at the ceiling and I’ll say that ceiling, it’s really dirty. It needs painting. We’re gonna paint the ceiling. So I’ll call my dad often you’ll come over and we’ll paint the ceiling.

Amy 1:09:09
And the psychologist will say, okay, but we don’t want to be painting ceilings, we need to address this pushy part and trying. Yeah, we try and isolate it, talk to it. So we’re having a bit of success with that. I’ve only seen her three times. But um, yeah, I think I think psychologically, your podcasts have been really good.

Amy 1:09:29
Particularly like the ones where you’ve spoken to other survivors that have had the vertebral artery dissection because it’s, you know, I can relate to it and also the young girls that are in their 30s. And I’ve, you know, I’ve made friends with Kelly, and we talk a bit on Instagram.

Better after stroke


Amy 1:09:50
But it’s Yeah, it’s a it’s a new life and I’m a much clearer about what, what matters to me now. And I am a better person, and there are silver linings. And there will continue to be silver linings. But where I’m going to go and what I’m going to be you know, I think there’s lots of possibilities.

Amy 1:10:13
And as I start to feel better, and my focus gets better and my brains less foggy, I kinda want to use this experience for the better. Like, I want people to know, and kind of like what you’ve done. You know, there’s, people out there you can help and I want to share and I want to I kinda want to show the world that just because something bad happens to you. You can overcome it. And yeah, I’m not sure how that looks right now.

Bill 1:10:49
That looks perfect it looks the way that it needs to look for right now for nearly a year. And what an example you’re sitting for your children, you know, you didn’t take these thing’s lying down, and then I just fall into a bowl of mess and then just, hope that your life is over and blame things, you know, blame everything on this one experience.

Bill 1:11:12
Like, it’s not what you do, you know, it’s the seven stages of grief, a shock and denial, pain and guilt, anger and bargaining, depression, the upward turn reconstruction and working through and acceptance and hope. I mean, you’ve gone through all of those. And now what happens is what I found was that you cycle through them one at a time again, and again and again.

Bill 1:11:34
I went through it shock and denial. Every time I wanted to do that old thing that I used to do, again, frickin Hell, I can’t do that still, why can’t I do it? And for me, it was bike riding, you know? Yeah, and I still love riding my bike. And I don’t ride it like those guys in lycra or anything like that. I just ride it just for just for the sake of riding.

Bill 1:11:55
And I remember getting back on my bike and then my foot falling off. pedal because I couldn’t feel my foot and then the pedal scraping my shin and destroying machine, you know, then I got a stirrup, I tied my foot onto the pedal. And then I would go to put my foot down.

Bill 1:12:11
When I stopped the bike, forget that my foot was in the stirrup and not get my foot down, fall over. Oh my god, I can’t do that either. And then I discovered, you know, so I went through all those prices. And then I discovered electric bikes, which meant that my left foot didn’t get tired, it didn’t need to be in a stirrup. And now I can ride because the motor is doing most of the work.

Bill 1:12:34
And I don’t have to worry about falling or any of that stuff. And I’m back and that took four years to get to that point, you know. And I wasn’t going to like you, I wasn’t just going to accept the fact that no, I can’t do that. And that’s not going to happen. Because just before I bought the two-wheeled electric bike, I was considering a three-wheeled regular bike because that meant that even if I got tired, I didn’t have to worry about resting and stopping myself from falling.

Bill 1:13:04
But what I discovered this electric bike so you know, we get there we go through the cycle over and over again and you’ll get there one of the things that I do want to mention and discuss with you is just that idea that when you get to the 30-minute mark of exercising that you can start feeling dizzy again and seeing how much of that is the fact that you’re getting there.

Bill 1:13:28
And you’re getting sick or the fact that you’re expecting yourself to get there and getting sick and therefore making that happen. Now, I could be wrong, right? But there’s an expectation and an anxiety level that builds up at 30-minute mark. What makes you think that you’re not setting that up at around the 15-minute mark and then creating the environment to trigger you at 30 minutes? Because your body will do what you set it up to doing what you tell it to right. So when your body realizes that 30 minutes are up, it’s Go. she’s expecting this. Let’s give her this.

Amy 1:14:03
Yeah, yeah.

Bill 1:14:04
I could be wrong. But a lot of people have these ideas again, that they create in their brain, in their head about what it means you know what all this stuff means and the meaning they give to it they might live up to. So be careful the meaning that you give to things because if that meaning is not a supportive one, and you’re living up to it, and you’re not noticing, well, you might be the person who’s getting in the way of your own recovery. You know, possibly, yeah.

Bill 1:14:34
And I was that guy, because I used to do that, to do that to my wife. You know, I used to sometimes have those days where I talk about, you know, how I’m never gonna do this again, and I’m never gonna do that again. And I would just devastate her. And I realized that I was never doing those things because I was the one that was saying that she wasn’t saying that to me.

Bill 1:14:55
It was me and I was living up to my words and as a result you know, I created one of the one of the presentations that I did for a group, probably a couple years a bit years ago now, maybe three years ago was a presentation that I’ve labeled words like weapons, you know, they win sometimes.

Bill 1:15:16
And I talk about how one of the people that I was in recovery with was calling his hand a bastard and every time he called it a bastard it didn’t do what he wanted to do. As soon as he changed those words to friend, that hand moved and did what it wanted him to do. Like, it was a one-word, the time difference was 30 seconds.

Bill 1:15:37
And the achievement was dramatic improvement in his ability to move his hand just because of that word. So he was setting himself up. Because a bastard hand is not a supportive one it doesn’t do what you want it to do. It lives up to what you call it. When he called it his friend man that was a compliant hand. It didn’t have a perfect function, but it was just compliant.

Amy 1:16:05
Yeah, I’ve been told it’s a bit similar, but speak to yourself like you’re a child or like you’re a baby. You know, don’t be so aggressive and don’t be so angry towards yourself. So, and I’ve actually got a written on a pink post-it note from psychologists that said, that says, you know, speak to yourself in a kind manner like you would to a little person.

Be kind to yourself

Bill 1:16:33
And don’t speak to yourself in a tone of voice that you would never speak to another person in. You wouldn’t speak to your friend like that. Why would you speak to yourself like that? It’s a really important thing to remember and just catch yourself out when you’re doing it.

Bill 1:16:52
That doesn’t mean you’re always going to be perfect. That just means that you have a bit more awareness and when you do, stop and treat yourself how actually go. You know what? Omar, I forgive myself, I’m sorry for speaking that way. And you can just get on with it. You know, what I love? About what you said is that you’ve connected with Kelly.

Bill 1:17:14
And you guys are friends and you talk from time to time, because of my podcasts. I mean, my God, that is amazing to hear. I really loved that you said that, you know, it’s the most brilliant thing that I never expected would come out of a podcast that I would connect people and help people find other people that could relate to that were like them.

Bill 1:17:39
And there was another time that that happened to me was when somebody asked me from New York, whether I knew instruct survivors in New York, and I said, Yeah, I do. I know about four. And I was able to connect somebody who’s in New York who didn’t know any stroke survivors, two stroke survivors. We’re in New York and I’m on the other side of the planet.

Amy 1:18:07
no worries a lot. We have a lot in common and um, she’s in Hawaii at the moment about to move back to mainland America. And I just recently moved house so it was kind of just going through a lot of the same stuff. Yeah, when her when she turns her neck her eyes make her feel dizzy and it’s similar to what I experienced. And she does some really good like, Instagram stuff about physical recovery and different exercises. Yeah, she’s quite inspiring, inspiring person.

Bill 1:18:43
Yeah, she’s lost a paperweight she realized that maybe she was eating way too much and indulging way too much on you know, those things that that we love, potentially dine support us and she does a lot of awesome assizes she had a stroke at 32. Yeah, she was on episode 99. Kelly. I can never pronounce a surname.

Bill 1:19:09
Something like that. And she was just really, really cool to interview as well, because she was so young and she has so much. She’s so inspired, you know, to overcome and get better and achieve and then also help others. And it’s just brilliant that everyone’s helping everyone. I mean, that is the one thing that struck survivors seem to do heaps off is just that’s it. I know something. I learned one thing that helped me, I’m going to tell everybody about it.

Amy 1:19:40
Yeah, and you should because it’s hard. It’s so hard. I think you’re doing a great job. Keep it up. I really love listening to them.

Bill 1:19:51
Thank you so much. Well, do me a favor. When this one comes out. Listen to this, as if you’re not the same person just so you can have this third person perspective of your own stories that you’re telling yourself about this recovery. Right?

Amy 1:20:09
That’s gonna be psychologically hard, because I’ll just want to criticize, you know.

Bill 1:20:16
That’ll be the next level of learning. And you know what, and then tell your husband when he’s on the way to work when they are wherever he goes in the car, to put it on and have a bit of a listen, because that will also help him in this process of understanding you having a conversation to a stroke survivor, which he doesn’t ever hear.

Bill 1:20:33
He doesn’t ever hear this backwards and forwards between two stroke survivors. It’s going to give him a better understanding as well. And hopefully, it’ll help him with the things that he’s feeling that I imagine. He hasn’t really been so upfront in telling you about, you know, carers tend to be stoic, but I reckon they need to be given the permission to be vulnerable as well and to feel like they’re freakin over it or whatever.

Amy 1:20:59
Yeah. Yeah, definitely over it.

Bill 1:21:04
Amy, thank you so much for being on the podcast. I really appreciate it.

Amy 1:21:08
Yeah, I’ve had a great chat. It’s been really good Thank you.

Intro 1:21:16
Discover how to heal your brain after stroke go to recoveryafterstroke.com.

Intro 1:21:26
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 or the individuals 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 1:21:55
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 1:22:11
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 1:22:34
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Intro 1:22:47
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The post 114. Vertebral Artery Dissection & recovery – Amy Wells appeared first on Recovery After Stroke.

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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
113. Arteriovenous Malformation Recovery – Paul Fink https://recoveryafterstroke.com/arteriovenous-malformation-recovery/ Mon, 07 Sep 2020 14:16:28 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4846 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/arteriovenous-malformation-recovery/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/arteriovenous-malformation-recovery/feed/ 0 <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/">113. 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.

Social: https://www.instagram.com/professor_fink/

Highlights:

00:53 Introduction
07:56 Speech Issues after stroke
16:18 Post-stroke anxiety
20:51 Professor Fink
33:05 What’s it like to have aphasia?
41:18 Stroke recovery goals
57:05 Post-stroke deficits

Transcription:

Paul Fink 0:00
In fact, this conversation on the phone is more challenging because I think using screens or on the speaking on the phone is more challenging. With me with my brain, I need to see the information, written information to understand if not, I struggle a little bit.

Intro 0:41
This is the recovery after stroke podcast with Bill Gasiamis helping you navigate recovery after stroke.

Introduction

Arteriovenous Malformation
Bill 0:53
Bill from recoveryafterstroke.com This is Episode 113. And my guest today is Paul Fink. Calling experienced a hemorrhagic stroke caused by an AVM or an arteriovenous malformation when he was just 34. And has been getting better ever since.

Bill 1:09
Paul has started to walk again, talk again, he’s running and driving a car. He still has some speech issues due to aphasia, but this hasn’t stopped him from also taking up public speaking.

Bill 1:22
Now has your recovery had to take a backseat due to COVID-19 restrictions? If you’re feeling a little disconnected from your support team due to restrictions from COVID, 19, shutdowns, and lockdowns and you are looking for more support, you may want to consider recovery after stroke coaching.

Bill 1:39
People that have already signed up for recovery after stroke coaching get 12 months of unlimited access a private one on one coaching thread with myself by a private forum. You have instant access to online training materials that can only be accessed by coaching clients.

Bill 1:55
You get access to courses, monthly trainings and challenges made by a stroke survivor. For stroke survivors, you also get expert interviews that are only available to coaching clients, and mp3 which you can download for listening on the go.

Bill 2:10
All trainings are transcribed to PDF for people that prefer to read and take notes, or highlight important bits for reviewing at a later time. You also get two live hour long coaching calls per month where you can ask questions and get answers.

Bill 2:26
You can access the site 24 hours a day, seven days a week and complete training at your own pace and without needing to leave the comfort of your own home. To find out more simply go to recoveryafterstroke.com/coaching. And now it’s on with the show.

Bill 2:41
Paul Fink. Welcome to the podcast.

Paul Fink 2:44
Thank you very much.

Bill 2:46
Thanks for being here, man. I really appreciate it. You’re a local lockdown person.

Paul Fink 2:54
Yeah. Well be okay. Very soon, I guess

Bill 3:00
Yeah we’ll be okay eventually can’t go on forever. Paul tell a little bit about what happened to you, man?

Paul Fink 3:09
What happened? Well I had a stroke over six years ago I was 34 I was pretty healthy and fit, never had medical problems growing up and I was pretty fit and anyway, I found out after I had a AVM stroke and what happened?

Paul Fink 3:47
My memory is all a bit hazy because my stroke was very quick. Basically, it was Friday morning. almost going in the shower going to work. And I was Yeah, I was feeling okay. feeling fine, I guess.

Paul Fink 4:18
And my wife said, because I can’t remember saying that. My wife said I have a shocking headache. So but basically all of a sudden, I was sweating trying to speak but my words was not English was very gibberish, I was almost past rational thinking at this stage pretty quickly.

Paul Fink 5:02
Luckily, I was at home and my wife was here. And my wife called the ambulance to help me. And I think I remember the paramedics came with my bed. I remember needing water, lots of water, because I was sweating and I was struggling I think maybe half an hour I reckon I passed out at home.

Paul Fink 6:01
And I can’t remember after that. I can’t remember waking up after two weeks in the coma. Three or I think three brain surgeries. But I can’t remember. I can’t remember my ICU stay. Vaguely I have memories with the ward at the Alfred hospital. And I think because my wife said, I have lots of drugs in my system.

Paul Fink 6:52
So I was partially very confused with the drugs. But I think I was pretty fortunate because I missed everything so and possibly I’m not traumatized with me because I can’t remember and yeah, I think more my wife and my family’s more traumatized.

Bill 7:43
That’s really really interesting man. This whole experience that has left you with, I imagine at the beginning aphasia you couldn’t talk?

Paul Fink 7:52
Yeah.

Bill 7:54
Swallowing issues?

Speech Issues after stroke

Arteriovenous MalformationPaul Fink 7:56
I think I cant’t remember swallowing issues but mouth I have few issues one stage option two with a Trekkie with a my throat but luckily I avoided it and yeah waking up after the coma. My speech was zero but I’m not aware I was not speaking.

Paul Fink 8:40
So I was thinking, always but I thought I was talking also I remember at the Alfred my best friends visiting me And was nice conversation nice laughs laughing and was funny anyway, and I thought I was talking also two way conversation but found out after my speech was zero.

Bill 9:24
How long after did you find out? How long did it take before you realized and someone told you that you weren’t actually speaking in that conversation?

Paul Fink 9:32
I reckon few months maybe I think pretty sort of weird experience but feel never scared because I was feeling normal I guess.

Bill 9:58
Okay so your physical body is not normal, but you’re feeling internally. And in your head. You’re feeling normal.

Paul Fink 10:06
Yeah, I was talking speaking normally.

Bill 10:12
You couldn’t walk right? You couldn’t walk?

Paul Fink 10:15
No, definitely. And I remember one vague memory in Alfred in the ward, I think. And I think I was trying to walk somewhere maybe going to the toilet I can’t remember. Anyway. Lots of cubes in my body, and basically, I tried to walk fell over on the floor. And lots of doctors and nurses running to help me and whatever. But yeah, but I was not aware I was not walking and speaking and all that.

Bill 11:06
So, how long after that did you take to actually speak again and start to communicate and most importantly, realize that you are speaking, actually speaking and not thinking you were speaking?

Paul Fink 11:24
Yeah, I think after moving to rehab at Caulfield hospital maybe four weeks after the stroke. So, I remember what happened was moving to Caulfield and was thinking I was waiting to move and why the wait?

Paul Fink 11:59
I was thinking my wife, Lauren maybe call my folks to come to drive to the hospital or whatever, but basically I need a hospital transport. So, the hospital transport trip one other guy was transport also.

Paul Fink 12:34
So, and this guy tried to speak with me. And this guy said, I remember well, this guy said, what happened to you and trying to respond and my words was zero. So I was lost for words literally.

Bill 13:09
Yeah, literally lost for words right.

Paul Fink 13:12
So after that I found out I’m maybe in trouble.

Bill 13:23
So took you on the trip in a in a ambulance transport vehicle. It took you that long to realize that oh actually there’s nothing coming out of my mouth I’m not actually able to talk yet.

Paul Fink 13:35
Yeah, I think I’m in trouble and after moving to rehab and seeing my doctors and doctors discussing with other doctors and nurses, all about me, but not to speak with me. But always a little bit isolated the conversation and a little bit anxious because I was thinking this guy is this doctor must be.

Bill 14:32
Big road ahead. Yeah? So when you woke up you spent some time in hospital you couldn’t speak you had right side deficits?

Paul Fink 14:43
Yeah, Right side

Bill 14:47
Right side deficits arm and leg? And that meant that you had to recover both your speaking and your ability to walk. How long did you spend in rehab In total, getting back on your feet in some way?

Paul Fink 15:05
Including the hospital and rehab, roughly six months. The doctors trying to discharge a little bit earlier. But I was I’m always going so well with rehab. That the doctors decided extending the stay. I was pretty happy about it. Because I was a bit anxious to coming home.

Paul Fink 15:45
Because I was thinking coming on maybe less rehab. Less sessions. But I think yeah, I think overall was good idea staying more time.

Bill 16:09
Yeah more rehabilitation give you more chance to be safe inside their place where they help you where they’ve got a lot of support.

Post-stroke anxiety

Paul Fink 16:18
Yeah and I’m a bit anxious to I have two overnight trips before my discharge. Try to I guess maybe reacquaint with my own life and because initially I was thinking at home more anxious because thinking where is the closest doctor In case?

Bill 17:04
Yeah, right.

Paul Fink 17:12
Yeah, I said, I’m not much traumatized, but I am a little bit traumatized with the, I guess Anxiety coming home.

Bill 17:23
Yeah. And it’s about what happens if it happens again? How will I be able to get help? Who’s gonna be around to help me out?

Paul Fink 17:32
Yeah because I’m almost 10 months after the stroke my wife drives me to the Alfred my home and not myself. So I was pretty anxious driving further. For example, we had a two days trip at Mount Martha. Maybe one year after my stroke, and I was a bit anxious to drive same feeling.

Bill 18:21
My wife organized the trip for us overseas about a year after my stroke. And that was really hard because we were going to go to New York. And I didn’t want to go because I was afraid. I’m what happens. I’ve heard all the bad stories about you know, New York about American hospital system and all that type of thing.

Bill 18:49
And my thoughts were what if something happens and I’m there, and I can’t get back home quick enough or I can’t get hospital care, wasn’t gonna cost If I have to go to hospital with a will like, give me a bill for $100,000 or something. Yeah, we went and it was okay. But it was on my mind the whole six weeks that we were away it really played on my mind.

Paul Fink 19:14
I think it’s very similar I guess any trips and extending myself and if I survive and I’ll be more relieved and less anxious after that.

Bill 19:32
Did they remove the faulty blood vessels in your brain the AVM is gone now?

Paul Fink 19:37
It’s gone. Luckily.

Bill 19:39
Yeah. Which means it will never bleed again now it’s completely gone, like me that was a relief after they took it out because now I know it can’t possibly bleed again. It’s not there anymore.

Paul Fink 19:52
So true. I think I had an angiogram after eight months after my stroke and before I was pretty anxious because recurring strokes and whatever but after the angiogram and the confirming the I will be all clear. I was so relieved and almost turn the corner with my rehab.

Paul Fink 20:30
Because after that is the worst case you will be tired or, but never not more other strokes. So, again, I’m still very fortunate.

Professor Fink

Arteriovenous Malformation
Bill 20:51
Yeah, absolutely. In your Instagram, your Instagram says your Instagram is professor Fink. Are you a real professor?

Paul Fink 21:02
No. Definitely not.

Bill 21:08
How did you get the name Professor Frink?

Paul Fink 21:13
Basically, my English teacher was a funny and zany person. Mrs. Scott decided every pupil had a nickname. So mine was Professor Fink for example, other pupil was, doctor, I was professor. So, sometimes school friends use it professor so not sure why with Instagram.

Bill 22:04
It’s awesome man. I love it. I love it.

Paul Fink 22:07
Nothing to do with medical. My wife is a physio luckily, because Lauren she’s more medical oriented, I guess. Luckily, Lauren’s background is very beneficial with me because my understanding is sometimes is lacking. But, Lauren always translates with doctor’s conversations.

Bill 22:45
In normal language?

Paul Fink 22:47
Yeah, exactly. So I was working with full time with IT with computers, nothing to do with professors.

Bill 23:05
How long are you back at work? Are you working in your field? Or have you changed fields? What kind of work you do now?

Paul Fink 23:13
Yeah, still not working. I guess my recovery is ongoing. And good chance I will never fully recover. But that’s fine. It’s fine for me. But I’m keen to work on the feature. I guess I’m still smart. I guess.

Paul Fink 24:00
But, I guess I have limits with my aphasia, medication, mobility. But also, I was I said I was working with I’d say, but I was I guess I was trying to get a good job. Any job. Yeah. But I was never passionate with my career.

Paul Fink 24:36
I’m not knocking IT, but I never found the perfect role for me. So and yeah, that’s why I’m not working still. But my wife always said pre-stroke I said I’m always a hands on dad.

Bill 25:15
So you can be, daddy daycare kind of guy.

Paul Fink 25:22
Exactly.

Bill 25:24
Sounds good, man, nothing wrong with that, that’s amazing. I actually enjoyed being at home more when I was recovering from the bleeds in my brain and then the surgery because I was around the kids more.

Bill 25:38
So I was at home when they came home from school. When I started to drive, I would take them to school. So it was really good because I had more time at home, which I’d never had in 37 years, you know, in all the years that I was working, I was always the one who was away from home and my wife was the one that I was always doing pickups and drop offs and all that kind of thing.

Paul Fink 26:03
I’m so fortunate because my oldest son was 7 months after my stroke so very fortunate because my son can’t remember my stroke and I have two sons now and I guess dad me is normal I guess because no other comparison.

Bill 26:40
So no trauma about your stroke and what happened to dad and oh my God, we nearly lost him and none of that stuff.

Paul Fink 26:48
Not really. My son is more curious with more strokes now. And possibly a little bit anxious because Dad had a stroke but (inaudible) yeah, I think I’m very blessed not almost six years not working because lots of time with my family and dropping off and picking up I’m driving now so more independence.

Paul Fink 27:42
The stroke is a life changing experience with me but I feel my manner or attitude I guess, always very positive pre-streike anyway. Always very positive. So I guess my attitude is I had a stroke and I can’t change the past so move forward and I was listening thing with other podcasts recently and pretty similar.

Bill 28:46
Outlook Stephanie Ho you mean?

Paul Fink 28:49
Yeah and I think she said similar thing you can’t change the past.

Bill 29:05
Yeah, I know what you’re saying Stephanie was on episode 102. She’s an extremely positive person. She just talks about moving forward, the future recovery. She’s been recovering for 10 years. And recovery is still continuing, and it’s still ongoing for her. And she’s getting better and better.

Bill 29:23
And it sounds like you’re getting better and better as well. And you had aphasia. Your speech is really good. As far as I’m concerned. Like, it’s fine. You can communicate normally. But tell me, like with aphasia, because I don’t completely understand it, and a lot of people might not.

Bill 29:43
Is it just the words that you have trouble getting out? Is the thinking the same? Is it normal? Is it always kind of happening as it always has? And it’s just the words that don’t come out. How do you experience aphasia?

Paul Fink 30:01
Lots of elements I guess one is, can’t find the words. The thinking is always there, saying it out loud is more harder. And the aphasia is infected with different loss of passes my memory, for example, I mix up with similar objects.

Paul Fink 30:48
For example, I mix up my kids names.

Bill 30:55
Everyone does that Paul I used to do that. My kids are 24 and 20. And I still get them mixed up. And they always roll their eyes or just ask are you having another stroke like what’s wrong with you, man?

Paul Fink 31:10
Yeah, I think for example, pass me that fork and my son Dad it’s a knife. I said oh yes, so similar objects, Knife to fork and spoon is similar objects.

Bill 31:35
Is it getting better? So do you notice that some days the speech is better than other days and what is it affected by? Is it when you’re tired? Does it get a little bit harder?

Paul Fink 31:50
Yeah, yeah, definitely is more challenging after being more tired.

Intro 32:02
If you’ve had a stroke, and you’re in recovery, you’ll know what a scary and confusing time it can be, you’re likely to have a lot of questions going through your mind. Like, how long will it take to recover? Will I actually recover? What things should I avoid? In case I make matters worse, doctors will explain things, but obviously, you’ve never had a stroke before, you probably don’t know what questions to ask.

Intro 32:26
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 32:46
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.

What’s it like to have aphasia?

Paul Fink 33:05
In fact, this conversation on the phone is more challenging. Because I think using screens or on the speaking on the phone is more challenging. With me with my brain, I need to see the information, written information to understand if not, I struggle a little bit.

Bill 33:43
So if you can read something that’s easier for you to take that information in, then just by watching a movie or by listening, is that what you’re saying?

Paul Fink 33:55
Yeah, definitely. And, in fact, recently Sometimes watching a movie or a show. I love using English subtitles. Okay? Because I miss a few words and not sure, I can’t understand it. So subtitles is easier.

Bill 34:32
That’s amazing because I have the opposite. Words don’t do me any favors I can’t get information off a page. If I’m watching a video that is the best for me if I’m watching the video and trying to read subtitle that’s really distracting. That bothers me a lot.

Bill 34:53
So I can’t deal with words I have to watch a video or listen and I think I prefer to watch a video because when I’m listening I get easily distracted with a video I don’t get distracted. I see what’s happening and I hear the sound at the same time.

Paul Fink 35:12
Yeah, so interesting because I love listening on the radio and but listening on the radio even including podcasts and whatever. I enjoyed it. But sometimes the information is in and out quickly. I can’t process quickly to remember it.

Bill 35:48
Yeah. So, when I listen to audio books, because I prefer to listen to audio books instead of read the book. That information seems to stay around longer for me, then the information that I’ve read on the page. Yeah, reading it often I have to go back many times to read the same paragraph. But hearing it, that information goes in better.

Paul Fink 36:17
Yeah, that’s, well, I guess any stroke is different. So, my problem is unique or very common.

Bill 36:31
I’d say what’s happening with you is common. for other people. There’ll be many people that have the same experience as you. It’s just interesting. It’s definitely every stroke is different for every person, you’ve been recovering for six years. And how long did it take you to get back behind the wheel of a car?

Paul Fink 36:56
Two and a half years. My wife was pretty shocked with the progress I was pretty shocked myself because after the stroke I have few issues with my left eye, what happened was after the stroke one eye bled so I was see with one is fine other eye is little bit blurry.

Paul Fink 37:57
The problem is I was not speaking So I can’t tell anyone with my problem and eventually with my wife with a sort of guessing game describing my problem basically one eye was blurry, can’t see well, so, maybe I was in a hospital maybe during roughly I started to walk after four months and basically I had a minor eye operation and basically fixed the eye properly and after that my eye was fine, but saying that other problem occurred.

Paul Fink 39:06
There was a little bit tunnel vision, sort of looking straight is okay. But looking on the side. Very hard to focus on the sides quickly. So, I was a little bit nervous to learning to drive with this problem, but sort of resolved pretty quickly maybe two years.

Bill 40:03
You’re eye got better and the tunnel vision went away?

Paul Fink 40:06
Yeah not fully but pretty quickly and yeah, I think driving was a pretty big milestone with my independence obviously with kids because my goals was to try to, I guess being normal as possible and driving with my son will be and driving to school, is a big part of my motivation to get better.

Stroke recovery goals


Bill 41:18
Sounds good, man. It sounds like you’re, you’ve got some goals. You’re working towards them. You’ve achieved some really big ones. And you’re still achieving more goals. Because I noticed on your Instagram, you’re doing running. How long has it been since you started running again because I remember commenting on one of your posts that you looked like you were running because you had stolen something and they were chasing you.

Paul Fink 41:44
Basically, I was after the strike was we will chip down for months. And first goal was learning to walk, learning to walk was was a big milestone. And I use aid, afos initially and walking cane after that, removing the afo and walking cane and eventually sort of on backtracking but I love running pre-stroke my passion was running or is because running is my sort heavy place, I think clearly with running.

Paul Fink 43:19
But I have a pre-stroke issue injuries with my knees prevent to run. So, it’s a long story but um maybe three, three years or three and a half years after my stroke and I was doing well improving my mobility I found out this program at the hospital with all that high intensity running group.

Paul Fink 44:07
So the guy the physio Gavin Williams was a, I guess the guru in this area with neuro and I start to this program. Initially I was not running yet. So I have lots of drills preparing to run lots of mini tramps and stairs and lots of exercises and maybe 10, 11 months after that technically, I ran.

Paul Fink 45:04
I was using a AFO because I was not using AFO at home around the house but only only this program and I started just 10 meters and stop and start it again. Whatever. I guess very common with stroke survivors is repetition.

Bill 45:40
Yeah. And slowly slowly and then increasing it and then increasing it by a little bit.

Paul Fink 45:47
Yeah. And eventually I guess I started running further. And removing the AFO was a big thing also. And every mini milestone will be good will be nice. Exciting, I guess.

Bill 46:31
So how far do you run now? So how long has it been since you started running? Did you say?

Paul Fink 46:39
Ah, I was. I think 2018.

Bill 46:47
So it’s been about two years. So how far do you run now? And how long do you run for?

Paul Fink 46:55
The most run with not stopping was 400 meters. So, obviously for normal people 400 meters, not that much, not only one lap at an oval. With my one side paralysis it was a huge thing 400 meters.

Paul Fink 47:33
And I’m still going with my running group now and now my more interval training. So more cardio so for example run hundred meters and stop 10 seconds and start again and stop, and helping with a height right and with COVID I guess is more tougher because I can’t see my physios.

Bill 48:18
And your trainer, and you’re running group as well yeah?

Paul Fink 48:22
Yeah but I think i’m achieved with I can do myself now so I go to the local parks and I run and always better with other people.

Bill 48:41
More fun.

Paul Fink 48:43
But saying now I enjoy listening with my headphones and motivational music and whatever.

Bill 48:54
So do you find your happy place again in that time when you’re running is it going back there?

Paul Fink 49:01
Good question because I started to run maybe few years ago. But the feeling was very different versus normal running because I was running not freely. But more than few months ago only, I try to feel a little bit more natural and feeling the same amazing feeling to run again.

Paul Fink 49:47
Not, freely, fully nowhere near but I guess more freely more faster. I Guess.

Bill 50:00
So what you’re saying is slowly, slowly you’re because this was my experience and I don’t run Paul, I’m not interested in running. That’s where we’re different hundred percent. But when I do run, it’s to run across the road or to get away from the car or you know, just to mock around with somebody to run after them just for a bit of fun.

Bill 50:07
I don’t run as for any other purpose, but when I started to rerun, I had to focus where my foot was landing and that made it really difficult and really tiring. Is that what your experience was when you have to focus so much? And now are you starting to focus less on where your foot goes and you’re just doing it instinctively?

Paul Fink 50:52
Bang on basically, initially I was very scared. rolling my ankle all the time, especially not using the AFO. I’m using the soft ankle brace basically almost similar to basketball players use more support I guess. But not AFO not hard. And yeah it was I rolled my ankles so many times and one sense was lucky because my sensation is so much poor I can’t feel my ankles.

Paul Fink 52:02
But I can’t control my ankles. So it sort of with repetition more and more I trust my legs and more level ground because I have a bit inversion issues basically my ankle rolls up easily rolling my ankles.

Paul Fink 52:38
But i’m pretty cautious I never feel, once it rolled badly only sore maybe one or two days but now I’m more and more confident. But saying that I’m anxious to walk with uneven grounds. For example, last year, and my physio and me went to the 1000 steps it was beautiful spot.

Paul Fink 53:32
And I was thinking about going there may be testing it out. unlikely to climb all away. So my physios try to stop Paul stop. But I was thinking, I’m feeling pretty good. And we climbed all the way and it was a nice feeling.

Bill 54:03
Been up there I went there. As I got to the top, my left leg started to get heavier and heavier and it was a bit harder. So I had to pay attention to where I was putting my foot and make sure that it was above the steps or I would have tripped over. Is that what was happening to you as well?

Paul Fink 54:25
1000 steps is a little bit different I guess walking but steps.

Bill 54:39
Yeah. up. Like you’re climbing like steps in a like in a house?

Paul Fink 54:48
Yeah, so versus ramps I guess. But I’m pretty good. a hard pill. But coming down is more challenging because other other muscles not firing yet. Especially with my quads and hammies sorry my quads is firing well sorry, the hammy is not firing at all. Not much. So coming down is more with gravity is more careful to roll down I guess.

Paul Fink 55:38
And coming down the 1000 steps some paths with no railing, basically I sit down on the floor not kneeling, but almost one, step down, down down on my bum.

Bill 56:06
On your behind. Yep. Okay.

Paul Fink 56:08
Yeah. Because it’s the only way or other option is sideways. So because I’m, for example, my home has a double storey house. And after discharging the railing is the only one side. But coming down almost three years, maybe two and a half year I use sideways method coming down at home.

Paul Fink 56:54
Yeah. And I was, I guess resisting home modifications.

Post-stroke deficits


Bill 57:05
We’ve got an upstairs as well but my bedroom is downstairs. So for the first three or four months after surgery, I didn’t go upstairs, I did use the stairs for rehab. So my physio came over and he taught me to step 1 2 3 steps up and then 1 2 3 steps down.

Bill 57:25
That was to give me a little bit of start getting the muscle tone back on the left side. And it was safe because I could hold on. And it was only three steps and I wasn’t going to go to the top. I was doing that as an exercise. But I didn’t actually go to the top of the stairs because I was afraid of falling and my knee used to buckle because I’m not sure why the knee used to feel like sometimes it would just give way It must have been one of the muscles, maybe either the quads or the hammies.

Bill 57:56
I did I never asked for why it was happening. So I stopped. So I stopped going up the stairs. And then I remember coming down the stairs focusing really harder, a lot harder focusing where my foot was landing and being very slow and holding on to the railing in case I lost my balance. But then if the railing was on my left side then it was a problem because my left hand couldn’t grip very well.

Bill 58:32
And I was afraid on my left side so I had to try and find stairs where the railings on the right side and always take the right railing. Yeah, that so are better with time. So did you find yourself feeling more and more comfortable coming down the stairs from your house now without your bum?

Paul Fink 58:52
With level ground? Yes, but uneven ground is still a problem. I guess one goal beside running is I like hiking. So 1000 steps is similar to hiking. And so talking with my orthotist special brace with specifically hiking and this brace physically can’t roll the ankles. So more safer, I guess. Because at the 1007 I use my soft ankle brace. The ankle brace is pretty good with stability, but not fallproof, so I can roll my uncle.

Bill 1:00:00
That’s interesting man as we’re coming up to the end of the episode, so what is the future? Looking like for you? What are your next few goals that you want to achieve or get better at?

Paul Fink 1:00:18
Good question. Our hope will be still always motivation to get better. And try to, I guess being a role model with my kids. To work on the future, I started public speaking a little bit. And I’m liking so far, possibly not full-time roll on feature, but I’m definitely continuing public speaking because I guess people like my story. I’m not sure why?

Bill 1:01:35
You’re a likable guy man you’re alright.

Paul Fink 1:01:44
But other goals I guess improvie my running, hiking, improve my mobility I still go with my speech therapy and OT and physio to improve my physical and mental abilities that will be more ready to work.

Bill 1:02:34
That’s perfect man, that’s perfect for now. You know what will be fun is if you’re up for it and we ever get out of this lock-down, maybe one day I’ll come up to your place and we can go to a cafe and you can buy me a coffee.

Paul Fink 1:02:52
Yeah, I’ll be a coffee you choose.

Bill 1:02:58
Probably a coffee mate.

Paul Fink 1:03:03
Yeah, sounds excellent idea.

Bill 1:03:08
Paul Fink thank you so much for being on the podcast.

Paul Fink 1:03:11
Thank you very much. Bill.

Intro 1:03:13
Discover how to heal your brain after stroke go to recoveryafterstroke.com.

Intro 1:03:23
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 1:03:40
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 1:03:53
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 1:04:08
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.

Intro 1:04:17
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 1:04:31
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Intro 1:04:44
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Intro 1:05:00
We are careful with links we provide however third party links from our website are follow that your own risk and we are not responsible for any information you find there.

The post 113. Arteriovenous Malformation Recovery – Paul Fink appeared first on Recovery After Stroke.

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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
112. 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 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/carotid-artery-dissection-recovery/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/carotid-artery-dissection-recovery/feed/ 0 <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/">112. 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.

Socials: https://www.instagram.com/emilybemily1014/

Episode 28. Running After Stroke – Donna Campisi
Episode 85. Carotid Artery Dissection – Marcia Moran
Episode 106. Weight Training After Stroke – Kelly Studebaker

Highlights:

01:04 Introduction
03:24 The Signs of stroke
09:38 Stroke caused by Carotid Artery Dissection
13:44 My Stroke of Insight
23:19 Stroke recovery timeline
32:57 Proprioception issues
41:12 The stroke carer
44:36 Recovery awareness
53:14 Taking responsibility for your own recovery

Transcription:

Bill 0:00
Are you aware of how you’ve taken your recovery? And you’re doing this physical part, you’re doing this cognitive part where you talk about your goals, your process, and then you do this other part, which is in pictures and in images. And to the point where you’ve got the Emily Strikes Back on your T-shirt, are you aware of like how imagery is important in supporting recovery as well as the words and the actions?

Emily 0:32
Absolutely. The reason why he started the Instagram page was so I could look back at my progress so that when at the end of the day, when he came from after work and was reading me to sleep at night, and he said, What did you do today? How was your day? And I would say, Well, I did this thing when I couldn’t do this, and I couldn’t do this. And the keyword is always yet I couldn’t do this thing yet.

Intro 0:56
This is the recovery after stroke podcast with Bill Gasiamis. Helping you navigate recovery after stroke.

Introduction

Carotid Artery Dissection Recovery
Bill 1:04
Bill from recoveryafterstroke.com This is Episode 112 and my guest today is Emily Hoffman. Emily experienced a stroke caused by a carotid artery dissection in May of 2019 and has been on the road to recovery ever since.

Bill 1:20
Has your recovery had to take a backseat due to COVID 19 restrictions. If you’re feeling a little disconnected from your support team due to restrictions from COVID-19, shutdowns, and lockdowns, and you’re looking for more support, you may want to consider recovery after stroke coaching.

Bill 1:36
People that have already signed up for recovery after stroke coaching get 12 months of unlimited access, a private one on one coaching thread with myself via a private forum, Inside the coaching area. You have instant access to online training materials that can only be accessed by coaching clients.

Bill 1:54
You get access to courses, monthly training, and challenges made by stroke survivors for other stroke survivors. You also get expert interviews that are only available to coaching clients. And mp3s you can download for listening on the go.

Bill 2:08
All training are transcribed to PDF. For people that prefer to read and take notes or highlight important bits for reviewing at a later time. You also get two live hour-long coaching calls per month, where you can ask questions and get answers. You can access the site 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and complete training at your own pace without ever having to leave the comfort of your own home.

Bill 2:31
To find out more simply go to recoveryafterstroke.com/coaching. And now it’s on the show. Emily Hoffman, welcome to the podcast.

Emily 2:41
Thank you, Bill. I am honored to be here.

Bill 2:44
Thank you for being here. It’s so good to have you here. All the way from New York, New York,

Emily 2:52
Brooklyn, New York. Not bad.

Bill 2:55
Do you live near a place called Clifton Hills or Clifton Hill?

Emily 2:59
We live in a neighborhood called Clinton Hill. Close, you’re very close.

Bill 3:06
When I read that, I thought it was Clifton Hill, because there’s a Clifton Hill near my place. And I thought, well, we both live near Clifton Hill.

Emily 3:13
We actually live in Australia in Clifton Hill. fooled you. Haha.

Bill 3:19
Hey, Emily, tell us a little bit about what happened to you.

The Signs of stroke

Emily 3:25
I was at work one day on Friday, May 10, 2019. I don’t know what the date is Friday, May 10, 2019. I had started a new job and I was literally on the third day of my onboarding. I started the new job on Tuesday, the seventh on Friday the 10th I was at work doing an onboarding course I started to get a horrible migraine.

Emily 3:49
And I have had migraines since I was a kid since I was about six years old. It was another migraine-like any other I texted Matt, I said I’m going home from work early. I have a horrible headache. And he said, Do you want me to come home early from work and look after you? I was like, What are you talking about? It’s a migraine.

Emily 4:06
You see me have a million of them. I’m going to go to bed. I’m going to take my medicine. I’m going to go to bed. I’m going to go to sleep, turn the air conditioning on. I’m going to sleep the rest of it. What are you going to do sit next to me in the bed and like brush my hair off my face?

Bill 4:18
That’d be romantic though.

Emily 4:20
Yeah. So I said don’t be silly. He had plans to go out with his cousin that night. I said go out. Have fun. Go to the show. Have a good time. I left work at about two o’clock I took the train home. I got home at about four o’clock I walked home. So no stroke yet. Other than the headache, I was totally fine. Everything worked normally.

Emily 4:45
This is the this is a gross part. We’ve already talked gross things but it gets grosser, when i get migraines I throw up. So I have a designated puke bowl, and I took my puke bowl into the bedroom and went to sleep. That was the end of it I went to sleep and managed to fill the puke bowl in the interim, woke up sometime around six o’clock I think I don’t remember looking at the clock but my memory of what it looked like light wise outside it was about six o’clock pm.

Emily 5:19
So I’ve been home for a couple of hours, looked at the bowl and said oh, that’s disgusting. I can’t possibly have Matt come home and find me in bed with a bowl full of puke next to me. That’s awful. So I got up I carried the bowl to the bathroom, still no stroke carried the bowl to the bathroom, dumped it flush it went back to bed.

Emily 5:38
And next thing I know he got home from the show with his cousin like 1 am I think something like that. Tried to wake me up. And I had been I guess continuing to throw up while I was asleep and when I get migraines I also go into like a cold sweat. I was drenched and had been throwing and you woke me up like clearly that’s not normal.

Emily 6:02
That’s not a normal thing. You don’t find somebody asleep in bed with vomit in a cold sweat. It’s disgusting. I’m sorry. Sorry listeners. That’s disgusting. He woke me up and his cousin luckily he worked in hospitals. So he saw me and he said, something’s not right. You gotta call 911 they call 911.

Emily 6:27
He sat me up to get dressed, I sat up and I reached forward with my arm to grab my leg to help him help me get dressed, couldn’t reach my leg, my whole left side was totally loose. And that was when he knew something is very wrong here, the ambulance came the EMTs put me on the stretcher, wheeled me out to the lobby of our building.

Emily 6:51
And there’s like four stairs to go down. I remembered being wheeled through our living room. We have two cats and I just cleaned out their litter boxes. I didn’t throw the bag full of litter away. And I remember being wheeled through the living room and thinking, Oh, this is disgusting. There’s a bag full of dirty cat litter on the floor. I can’t believe there are people in my home and I left that here. That’s disgusting.

Emily 7:14
This is what I remember. And I remember going to clunk, clunk clunk down the stairs in the lobby. And being in the ambulance, there’s a highway in New York the FDR, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt highway that takes you up the East Side of Manhattan Island. And it’s very bumpy it’s notoriously bumpy. And it was so bumpy that I remember waking up and asking Matt are they doing a CT in the ambulance I thought it was in like a like an ambulance with a CT because it was so bumpy.

Emily 7:52
And next thing I remember is waking up in the hospital bed a couple of days later. With a horrible, horrible headache again, they had shaved my head. And because there was so much swelling in my brain, I got a Hemicraniectomy that took up the right side of my skull. And I had obviously when they mess with your skull, you’re going to get a little bit of a headache.

Emily 8:16
So I had a horrible, horrible headache all over again. And I remember, I woke up and it was not one of those moments like in a movie where you wake up and go, why am I what am I doing here? How did I get here? There’s nothing like I wish it was dramatic and interesting like that.

Emily 8:32
I woke up and that was it. And I was in the hospital bed and there was people around me and I had a horrible bandage around my head and my hair. I had just finished growing my hair out from having short hair the year before, my hair was finally long again. And I was so excited that it was finally long again. Then they shaved it all off. And now I’m stuck with this thing now.

Bill 8:54
And that’s probably not the worst thing you’re stuck with.

Emily 8:57
No, it’s not the worst thing I’m stuck with if I have to choose the hair is good. And I was in acute rehab for the first two months and then I was from acute rehab. I went to subacute. And the subacute rehab was the next step before going home. So I had two months in acute and then another two months in subacute. So this all happened in May I came home September 18, 2019. So I’m approaching the year of being home the year mark of being home.

Bill 9:34
Wow. What was the underlying cause of the stroke?

Stroke caused by Carotid Artery Dissection

Stroke caused by Carotid Artery Dissection
Emily 9:38
It was a carotid dissection or right side of carotid dissection. But it was interesting. I listened to the other episode of the other woman who had a carotid dissection also months ago, and I was really interesting to hear that somebody else I had because you know, I’ve speak with lots of stroke survivors. The Instagram page has put us in touch with other people. She was the first person I heard of who also had a carotid dissection?

Bill 10:02
Yeah, I think that was who was that?

Emily 10:06
I forgott Marcy. Maybe.

Bill 10:08
Marcia Moran?

Emily 10:09
Yes. Marcia Moran. That’s the one.

Bill 10:12
Yeah. So that is quite common. I met people who have had carotid artery dissections nice down low in their neck. And as a result of that, that’s caused stroke. And that person who’s one of my son’s friends had surgery to repair both carotid arteries.

Emily 10:36
Luckily, I did not have that. That’s awful. That’s even worse.

Bill 10:40
Yeah, on each side, but he didn’t actually end up having the kind of strike that you had because it somehow didn’t get to his brain that dramatically. It didn’t cause a problem up there that dramatically so he was up and about and doing really well, quite quickly. So it’s not uncommon. But what’s fascinating to me is the amount of different ways people can get to have an experience with a stroke.

Bill 11:07
That just completely blows me away. Because if I’ve ever heard of somebody having a stroke, it’s always been an ischemic stroke. And very rarely did I hear about people experiencing brain hemorrhages. And then very rare that I hear about people having a stroke due to a hole in the heart, which is called the Patent Foramen Ovale, which creates incorrect blood flow and then that causes a stroke. It’s just so many many different ways that people get there. So you wake up in the hospital and it’s not a dramatic awakening, but Matt’s around. Are you wondering at least like what happened like how did I get here?

Emily 11:51
I honestly don’t remember that moment whatsoever. I remember that my sister lives in Spain. My sisters in Spain. My mother goes once a year. for about a month or two to spend the summer with my sister in Spain, and my mother was this was the month that my mother was in Spain with my sister. I vaguely remember my sister was there when I woke up.

Emily 12:13
I vaguely remember being on the phone with my mother while she was in Spain, and her saying, Well, I’m coming home and I said, Don’t come home. It’s just a stroke. I’m not dead. It’s fine. It’s just a stroke. I’m not dead. And she told me that I did that but even before she told me I have really this very vague memory of doing that. saying, I’m not dead. It’s just a stroke. Fine, so you don’t have to come home.

Bill 12:37
How did the conversation with Matt go?

Emily 12:43
I don’t remember it was just kind of it just sort of like there was never a conversation about it. What are you going to have a conversation about? Well, what do we do now he just kind of swooped in and just kind of took control the situation, kind of saw what needed to be done and started doing it.

Bill 13:07
Yeah, that’s common. I mean, and I can relate to that because we, Christine and I, we didn’t speak about anything, either. It was kind of, okay. This is happening or this is what I need to do today, I need to go pick up the kids need to go do the shopping, and it go see my mum and dad.

Bill 13:21
And I’ll come back and see you in a little while. And then she’ll come back and see me then she had to go to work and life just went on. And there was this little bit of added complexity that we didn’t know how it was going to unfold. And she basically did exactly what Matt did. She just kept going and kept doing whatever he needed to be done.

My Stroke of Insight


Emily 13:44
He somehow managed to continue working full time and be with me every day at the hospital. And the entire time I was in the hospital. He was there every single day. When I was in the acute rehab He would come after work every day stay there until 11 or 12 o’clock you would read to me. As I went to bed he would read to me we read my stroke of insight.

Bill 14:09
Jill Bolte Taylor.

Emily 14:11
Yes, so good. So good.

Bill 14:13
Amazing book, one of my favorite books. I’ve tried to get her on the show. I’ve tried so many times. It’s so hard.

Emily 14:22
I’m sure. A friend of mine actually a former coworker of mine just had a stroke last week. I got her a copy of it.

Bill 14:30
Yeah, It’s one of the best books because it gives that insight from a neuroscientists perspective, as well as a stroke survivors perspective and they come together and she’s our voices how I sort of describe it in that she gives the medical people an unbelievable understanding in a medical kind of way. What stroke survivors go through and we don’t have that often.

Emily 14:58
I was almost a little jealous of her experience. I was like, I want to know, the way she described the filing cabinet getting washed away, and it just being out of reach. I was like, I want to know what that was like, why didn’t I get to I just went to sleep and woke up. I got cheated.

Bill 15:17
Yeah, she had like a LSD moment there. It sounds like yeah, it’s describing a more of a kind of out of body experience with her having an awareness of what was going wrong with her brain at the same time that it was going wrong. And also not knowing a lot of the things that were going wrong. But having this awareness, which is just so strange, bizarre, and beautiful, and amazing, and horrible, and terrific, all at the same time.

Emily 15:48
Exactly. Exactly. That’s the experience. Horrible and terrific. That’s a perfect way to sum it up. It’s horrible and terrific. Yeah. It’s horrible that this is all happening to any of us. But it’s terrific that we survived it, though. You know, many people don’t survive this. But we survived it for whatever reason, and we keep going and we make the best of it.

Bill 16:11
Yeah. What was it like when you started to get beyond the first few weeks of recovery and realized, there’s certain things you can’t do? How did that affect your psychology?

Emily 16:24
That’s exactly what my friend asked me the other day when I went to see her on Friday. That’s the exact question. She’s struggling right now. She said, How are you doing psychologically? It’s not an easy thing. As somebody, I’m a personal trainer. My life is my body and being fit and sporty. Not that people’s lives aren’t their bodies outside of personal trainers, but no, my career is my body.

Emily 16:50
I have to be fit, I have to be strong, and I’m used to being fit and strong. And all of a sudden, I’m not able to do the stuff that I was used to doing and that’s been a strange experience is like trying to figure out if I can’t do that stuff, then what am I? Who am I? And how do I get strong in a different way? If I can’t do those workouts, what can I do to be strong?

Emily 17:20
Like what is the driving force? That’s kind of what I had to realize, what is the driving force behind who I am, let’s say as a trainer, as an athlete. And the whole point was always to be the best version of what I always tell my clients is I’m going to teach you to be the best version of yourself that you’re able to be. So I got to teach myself to be the best version of myself that I can be. That doesn’t mean deadlifting 180 pounds that doesn’t mean squatting my body weight. It means taking what I’ve got going on now and making the best of it.

Bill 17:54
Yeah, that’s pretty fair. Kelly Studebaker is somebody I interviewed for Episode 107. And she started weight training after the stroke. And to the extent that she wanted to be a powerlifter, not just a regular kind of, I’m gonna push a couple of weights up, she wanted to do powerlifting.

Emily 18:12
I used to power lift I loved it.

Bill 18:14
Yeah. And she got to the point where she was able to with one side of her body, do all these amazing things and lift really heavyweight. And you can see one side of her body is really jacked and muscular. And it’s huge. It’s a powerlifter’s body. So she moved into that space afterward, just because I think she was challenged by somebody in a gym, somebody in the gym said to her look, I think you can do powerlifting if you want to, you just have to adapt like you’re saying, and be a different version of yourself and use what you have got, instead of thinking about what you can’t do and what you haven’t got.

Bill 18:49
And it took her five years to get to that point where she was able to, I think compete or be in a position where she was able to do some type of competition. And that’s really what it’s about, isn’t it? It’s about putting as much time and effort in into something that you’re passionate about to get a result, a different result. But still to get a result.

Emily 19:11
It never even occurred to me to do it. one-sided. That’s embarrassing that have never occurred to me, but it should happen. It never did.

Bill 19:21
So you’ve got this opportunity to really learn from stroke. And I know this is almost painfully annoying to hear, but what has you know, for some people that is, what are some of the lessons that you’ve learned from your experience? And I’m not talking about Emily needs to behave herself or not those kind of lessons, you know. life lessons.

Emily 19:46
I never had one of those. I never had like a post stroke epiphany of, I could be this person now or this is my life lesson I’ve learned I haven’t had one of those moments really, What I have learned is I need to be patient with myself. And that I need to wanting to set realistic goals. And the other is that when a goal is set for me, I do whatever it takes to get to that goal.

Emily 20:26
My physiatrist said that she wanted me out of my wheelchair by the end of February. So February 28. I sat in the chair and never sat in again. My next goal is to be rid of my cane by my birthday on the 14th of October. I see no reason why I won’t be there. Mostly I say my life lesson is that I am very goal-oriented.

Bill 20:52
And the goal is something that you set at quite a distance into the future does that timeline that somebody sets for you help you? What kind of goals work for you? Because for me, if somebody gave me a timeline, it would probably not work for me in that if I didn’t make it by the timeline, it would upset me or frustrate me or whatever. What kind of goals work best for you?

Emily 21:19
Um Well, I think I trust people I trust the experts. I’m only an expert in a very small area of the fitness world and but when it comes to physical recovery, it’s a totally different thing. You know, being a physical therapist and being a personal trainer two very different things. I’m sort of in the same genre, but different. So if the experts say we’re going to get you to this place by this timeframe. Of course if you think I can. Of course, I can.

Bill 22:03
If the expert said that you can’t do something, how would you respond to that?

Emily 22:09
I’d say you clearly don’t know me. I have my old boss actually, it’s funny. So I went back to work sort of went back to work. I’m teaching an online polities class once a week. So going back to work, it’s not in the studio, but it’s still going back to work.

Emily 22:28
And I was talking to her when I was just about to go back to work and was telling her about some workouts I had been doing, workouts I wanted to get back to doing and she said, be careful. Don’t overdo it. And I said, have you ever met me? She said that’s exactly why I’m telling you to take it easy and be careful. So if you if you know me, you know I don’t do anything half-assed. Sorry, to all the children listening.

Bill 23:00
Yeah, there’s no children listening. It’s all good. So what you’re saying is that once you’ve made a decision on a goal, you’re pretty much going after it no matter what.

Emily 23:11
Yep, pretty locked in on it. That’s once it’s set, once I’ve decided I’m gonna do it, it happens.

Stroke recovery timeline

Bill 23:19
Yeah, that’s a pretty cool thing and timeline doesn’t seem to bother you. It doesn’t seem to be an issue about time. So it’s great to have a timeline, but then not necessarily bother you. If you don’t get to that time.

Emily 23:35
Right. I’m not going to be horribly devastated if I don’t get to my birthday and I’m still using my cane. Or if I do get to my birthday, and I’m still using my cane, I’m not going to be crushed or devastated. I’m just gonna say all right, well, I’ll figure it out. I’ll do it again later. I’ll get rid of it another time.

Bill 23:52
Yeah. Recently you made a post where you walked nearly a mile.

Emily 24:00
Yes. Without the cane.

Bill 24:01
How long has it taken you to get to that point where you can walk almost a mile without a cane?

Emily 24:07
When did my no cane journey start? I think probably in the spring still, we’re deep into August and we’re deep into summer in New York. So I think probably in maybe in March or April, I did my first couple of steps without the cane. I called it Franken steps. I looked ridiculous. So I did a little Franken steps tours around the neighborhood every like, you know, a couple of one block.

Emily 24:41
And then I’d rest, I was exhausted. One block and I would rest. So I’ve gotten really serious about it. They really in the past week or so, going out every day doing what we call sprints. It’s not a sprint, but it’s a sprint. It’s a no cane sprint. It’s going there. We have a courtyard next to our building with a fence. So I sprint, the length of the fence.

Emily 25:06
I see how long it takes me to get from 1 corner to the next corner. The first time I did it, it took one minute and four seconds. Today I did it. It took me one minute and six seconds I’m going in the wrong direction. But it was the practice run. I’ll figure it out tomorrow. I just have to practice it. Once I’m able to do it once I can do it again. I told my friend the other day I said there’s no regressing and stroke recovery. You do it once you can repeat it. It’s only moving forward.

Bill 25:41
Yeah, absolutely. So what about the things that do get in your way from feeling motivated on a particular day? Do you ever have those days where you’re feeling unmotivated and you say stuff? I’m not doing anything today?

Emily 25:53
Absolutely. Well, I never have a day where I don’t do something. either. I try to do something new every day. one new thing. De. There are days of course, when I just want to be lazy. I want to sit around and fuck around on my phone. I want to watch something online. But I don’t have that luxury. And I have the luxury of just doing nothing. Yeah.

Emily 26:17
I have to I have to do something every day.

Bill 26:20
What’s the thinking behind that? You don’t have the luxury. So is it because you’re concerned about going backwards? Is it because there’s so much to do? There’s so much still to achieve? Like, what? Why don’t you have the luxury to do nothing?

Emily 26:36
There’s so much left to achieve. There’s so much more than I want to be able to do.

Bill 26:42
Yeah, and it’s early days. I mean, it really is still early days in your recovery. You’re not Yeah,

Emily 26:47
it’s only

Emily 26:49
it’s only been a year and a half. Yeah. It’s nothing.

Bill 26:53
Yeah, the brain takes ages to heal properly. Even after the damage has been incurred. It’s still interrupted and in to feud with around the damaged site by other bits of inflammation and things that are sorting out and getting better. And then that takes a couple of years on its own to settle down and heal.

Emily 27:14
Good. Okay, good. That’s actually good to know. I didn’t know that my doctors have not mentioned that.

Bill 27:20
Yeah. So what happened to me was I found myself being technically free from the issue in my brain, the blood vessel, that burst was no longer there, it was gone. But then I started to heal in this other way, which was an internal kind of brain healing. That was different from the trauma of the surgery and different from the trauma of the bleed in the brain.

Bill 27:44
It was different from all of those traumas. And there’s kind of like, an onion you know, there’s multiple layers of different versions of healing and they all happen at different paces and at different rates. So people that are listening who are early on, they might have a kind of like aha moment, a little bit down the track going, Oh my gosh, I can do something that I didn’t realize I hadn’t done for a long time or I remembered something or, my focus has changed.

Bill 28:15
And I had that just recently, probably in the last six weeks if I’m honest, my brain has switched on to a point where I can focus and concentrate for a lot longer. In front of a computer, especially now that we’re in isolation. I’m on stuck at home and I’m doing a lot of online, building my online courses and my offerings to the stroke survivor community.

Bill 28:37
I haven’t been able to sit down and focus for eight hours a day. And being in a computer was the worst thing that you could have done to me. Whereas now, I’ve had this next kind of level of my brain switching on again. And it’s really profound because I haven’t experienced it for eight years and I mentioned it to my wife literally a couple of days ago and told her, I’ve been so productive in this downtime. I’ve never been so productive in the last eight years.

Emily 29:11
That’s amazing.

Bill 29:14
Yeah. So what I’m trying to illustrate is that the perception for some stroke survivors, when they’re in the thick of it is that oh my god, this is hard. It’s always going to be hard. I’m never going to gain anything. I’m never going to achieve anything. But then there are those light bulb moments where things come on and you go, woah, that’s new or that’s different or That’s better.

Emily 29:35
I think that’s part of it is I want to do something new every day. Because I don’t want to feel like I get to a point like there’s so much more ground for me to cover in my recovery that I think there’s plenty of room for something new every day. Yesterday my something new was doing heel lifts in the kitchen. Tomorrow, my new thing will be to walk farther than I have before without my cane. That either seems like something is so simple that you do the same walk you did without the cane before. Of course I can do that again. I just add on another block. I can do that. That’s easy.

Bill 30:26
And do you experience spasticity and left side proprioception issues and numbness and all that kind of thing?

Emily 30:34
My proprioception has gotten much better lately. I don’t have numbness I have tons of spasticity. My hand right now is a little fixed (inaudible). My hand is I’ve been doing a lot of mirror box. So I’ve been doing about a half an hour mirror box every day for the past week or so. And my left hand has seized up dramatically. So mirror box is working. In that my hand is getting another like a bigger message to work, but it’s overdoing it so I have to stretch it a little bit more. My leg seems to be okay, not less spasticity in my leg, for a while my toes were gripping, not so much anymore.

Bill 31:16
So they’re getting better.

Emily 31:18
Yeah, that’s getting better. And I have a tendency to roll my ankle on my left foot. Even before the stroke I did that like a few months before the stroke. I’d had a small I rolled my ankle at work, got a very small fracture, and I never really fully rehabbed my ankle. I was just about hundred percent with my ankle and then I had the stroke and so the whole leg went to shit.

Bill 31:45
Yeah, such a thing, but it has such a major impact because it’s so low and your ankle being just a fraction out, impacts your entire, you know, musculoskeletal system and puts you out of whack at the top. Which bikes with your muscles tense up and tighten up, and then not support you correctly.

Emily 32:05
Absolutely, absolutely. And that’s actually something that as in the classical blobbies world we talk about all the time, you know, that the hip bones connected to the foot bone and blah, blah, blah, and so on and so on. Every bone is connected to something else and your body, say, if one thing is off, everything’s off.

Bill 32:24
So how do you rectify the ankle? Do you brace it? Do you do something with it?

Emily 32:28
I have a really hardcore AFO that I wear a custom made AFOfor my left foot. And it holds me in a nice stable position. There was a period where I was stepping on the side of my foot and rolling my ankle during recovery. And that was a proprioception thing because I just had no idea where my foot was. And that sense by appropriate obsession has gotten much better. That I know where my foot is landing when I’m walking now. I take that as a win.

Proprioception issues

Bill 32:57
Yeah, my surgery was in November 2014. So it’s been nearly six years. And my proprioception is much better than what it was when I first started. But when I get tired, I will run into the doorway with my left side or my right side because my proprioception kind of starts to fade, the quality of it starts to fade a little.

Bill 33:25
And then my ability to judge distance, compared to you know, where the doorway is, and where my shoulder is, also becomes irrelevant, almost like it just kind of goes away. It’s not there. And I often find myself just bumping into the doorway. And when I walk in the city with my wife, or we go for a walk for exercise, and she’s next to me, I’ll forever find myself just walking into her path.

Emily 33:52
That’s something I did before my stroke

Bill 33:57
And she thinks that I’m trying to hog, you know, the footpath or the walkway. And she’s constantly telling me just get out of my way, stop walking into me.

Emily 34:08
When I was a kid, that’s actually funny. You say that when I was a kid, I would do the same thing. I’d be walking down the sidewalk with my mother. She say, stop walking in my way, get out of my way you’re walking. I would just kind of veer into her path. I had crappy proprioception even before I had a stroke, apparently.

Bill 34:25
So it’s interesting that you’re getting better. You’re finding that things are improving. Slowly, slowly, you’re noticing that your ankle is supporting you better just because your proprioception deficits are changing and they’re evolving. And you’ve got a brace that supports you. How does your knee work? Do you get a really good response from your knee or does it sometimes lose the ability to hold you up because I used to stand up and then find myself you doing the one knee dance, you know, these ducking and weaving routines.

Intro 35:04
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 now 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 35:28
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 36:06
How’s your knee doing?

Emily 36:09
My knee is okay. The knee is the least of my worries and he is pretty good. It doesn’t buckle underneath me anymore when I was in acute rehab in the very early days. It wouldn’t do it. It just it just came right underneath me. And I would also get I would as I was on the treadmill getting noticed they say just get the reps in doesn’t have to be pretty just do it. I was walking on the treadmill, my knee would start to hyperextend and snap backwards it got really painful. It’s fine now it’s gotten used to working again.

Bill 36:43
Yeah, you sound like a really headstrong really determined person.

Emily 36:48
Yes, you can ask anybody who knows me That is how they would describe me probably I’ve heard that many times before in my life.

Bill 36:55
Really independent. So what was it like when you, realize that some of your independence was gone?

Emily 37:05
That’s actually been the biggest struggle for me. And I was just talking about that today with Matt. Matt has, I don’t know how he does it. He’s been with me every single day. He is the true hard worker in this situation he’s been with me every single day. He takes care of the house. We have an apartment in New York. So it’s not much it’s not that big, but he does all of the household chores.

Emily 37:29
And it kills me that I can’t help it drives me crazy. Drives me crazy that I can’t just go out for a walk on my own. I can’t just go to the gym when I want to. I can’t just go for a bike ride when I feel like it. So that’s been the thing that most frustrates me is that I’m not able to participate anymore. I can’t help out around the house. I can’t just go where I want to go when I want to. So I’ve had to learn to sound so corny be nicer to myself. Sounds so hokey, but I’ve had to just kind of let it go. There’s nothing I’m you know, I’m doing everything I can to get past that stage. I can’t speed up recovery.

Bill 38:12
Yeah, it’s something that we spoke about with the OT sisters who are on podcast episode that I am going to release just before this one. And one of the tips that they give stroke survivors to support themselves is to be kind and to have compassion for yourself. Allow yourself to stuff up and not achieve something and not do something and then forgive yourself or be okay with it and be your best advocate rather than being your biggest critic.

Emily 38:49
Absolutely. Because there’s only so much I can do to get better and I’m doing everything I can to get better.

Bill 38:57
Are you at the stage where you can comfortably go into shower and bathe yourself and do all of those types of things.

Emily 39:04
Yep, that stuff I’ve been able to do for a while I have a Shower Bench at home. And the hardest part of getting dressed is the bra. I just lost my hand speaking of proprioception, my hand just slid right off the armrest. I, the hardest part of getting dressed is putting my bra on. Everything else I can do that stupid bra clasp. So stupid. So I had to figure out kind of problem-solving techniques. So how do I put a bra on myself? I had to buy a whole bunch of pullover bras and figuring out the ways to make it happen.

Bill 39:46
Yeah, I think there’s a multimillion-dollar invention in there for somebody because every time I speak to a woman, every time I spoke to a woman who’s had a stroke, the bra is, a very, very big issue and I reckon if somebody could solve that problem for them. That would be amazing. And I think it needs to be a woman who’s had a stroke. Not a man who hasn’t had a stroke.

Emily 40:11
Yeah, there’s one little toy that I found on YouTube. I’m not going to say the name because it’s total crap. It’s such a waste. I was so excited about it. I was so hopeful. I got it and it just didn’t work. And I was like, Okay, well, there goes that that ship has sailed. I guess that’s not happening for me. And then I just started buying the pullover kind. If I want to be able to do something, I have to figure out a way that I can do it.

Bill 40:39
Yeah. So the pullover kind is like a sports bra?

Emily 40:43
Yeah, like a sports bra.

Bill 40:45
That you would wear at the gym or going for a run or whatever?

Emily 40:49
Exactly. Yeah.

Emily 40:52
And I do it the same way. I learned to put the T shirt on I pull the sleeve up and over my shoulder, spin it around. Duck my head through spread my other arm in. The only way I’ve been able to do it, and I’ll take it, it works. It’s worked so far. And it’s the last piece of the getting dressed puzzle.

The stroke carer


Bill 41:12
Are you consciously aware? I know the answer is yes. But how did you become consciously aware of what Matt might be going through? And is there some things that Matt your carer is holding out on you and not really telling you about?

Emily 41:30
I don’t think so. We’re pretty honest with each other. I don’t think he’s holding in for any information out from me. If he’s stressed, if he’s tired, he’s exhausted and he tells me he’s exhausted and it’s understandable if he’s is exhausted. He’s doing an impossible task all by himself.

Bill 41:55
Is he hard on himself as well?

Emily 41:58
Yes, he is. Definitely hard on himself. And I think it’s been a learning process for both of us that sometimes I have to say, you know what, I want to be able to do that myself. But I can’t like today in particular. He cooked dinner tonight. I’m not cooking dinner anytime soon. I sometimes do try to cook. I used to cook dinner every night.

Emily 42:24
But I can’t do that every night now. So he cooks every night. And after dinner, he joked, he said, Are you going to wash the dishes? And I said, Yeah, I’ll go put the dishes in the dishwasher. He said, No, you’re not. I said, What do you mean I could totally put the dishes in the dishwasher. He’s like you’re not putting the dishes in the dishwasher.

Emily 42:46
So I want to help he knows I want to help but there’s a limit to how much help I can be. And he also as much as he wants me to help is also realistic and knowing that there’s some things I can’t do so. So I know when he’s frustrated, I know when he’s tired. It’s definitely a stressor. Obviously, it’s a big stress on the relationship. But you figure it out. You figure it out, you have to have open and honest conversations. If something is bothering you, and you don’t talk about it, it’s just gonna turn into resentment. And that’s poison.

Bill 43:27
Do you hold out on him and from the perspective of I know I do with my wife. So what I hold out on is some days when I’m feeling shitty, again, which is all the time or whatever. I maybe don’t share it with her again and all the time so that she doesn’t have to hear about it all the time. At the beginning, she was getting it 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And then as it started to progress, I stopped sharing all of the juicy bullshit.

Emily 43:57
He knows he knows when I’m not feeling off the shelf, he says, Are you alright? I go yeah. He goes are you sure? And then I start to think, wait, maybe I’m not okay. does he see something I’m not aware of? Why is he asking me maybe I’m not okay. And I just don’t realize it. But he knows he knows me better than anyone else. He can read me better than anybody else. It’s amazing. It’s kind of creepy, but it’s pretty amazing. He knows when I’m feeling a little crummy. And he knows how to get the information out of me when I’m feeling a little crummy. And he generally knows why I feel crummy too.

Recovery awareness

Bill 44:36
Are you are aware of how you’ve taken your recovery, and you’re doing this physical part, you’re doing this cognitive part where you talk about your goals, your process, and then you do this other part, which is in pictures and in images, and to the point where you’ve got The Emily’s strikes back on your T-shirt.

Emily 45:05
I had to be on-brand.

Bill 45:09
When I saw that on Insta, I automatically liked your page and said hello or something like that or commented on your post. Are you aware of like how imagery is fully important in supporting recovery as well as the words and the actions?

Emily 45:29
Absolutely. The reason why he started the Instagram page was so I could look back at my progress so that when at the end of the day, when he came from after work and was reading me to sleep at night, and he said, What did you do today? How was your day? And I would say, Well, I did this thing when I couldn’t do this and I couldn’t do this and I couldn’t do this.

Emily 45:47
The keyword is always yet I couldn’t do this thing yet. And then he’ll say we’ll look back at this video. That’s how the video started. Look at this video of this thing you couldn’t do a week ago. You’re doing it now. You couldn’t do it today. Look at what you couldn’t do a month ago. Now you can do this other thing.

Emily 46:06
That was always the point of it was always to reflect back to see my progress. And that’s really what that mean that’s how it started. And now it’s become this other creature in and of itself at people from all over the world I mean you’re in Australia. We’ve got got Lena Elfsborg in Denmark. And how glow does it now in Texas.

Emily 46:31
There are people from all over. Fe the girl who survived we’ve got Fe in the UK people from all over who have reached out we have one woman in Peru qualia. Everybody’s wonderful people who reach out to us and say the things you’re doing I find really inspiring. That’s amazing. And it was for me It started something for me and it’s turned into something else into really different.

Emily 47:01
And it’s amazing. And my friend who just had the stroke as well, now I can at least use my experience to help her through this. So if I can turn this into a positive experience for somebody else into a help to somebody else. Absolutely. That’s, always something that’s been a thread running through my entire life. If I can help somebody else, then it hasn’t been worthless, then there’s been something valuable behind it.

Bill 47:32
How good is it to be in that position where you can be the confidant or the advisor or the emotional support to somebody who’s just been through a stroke, somebody that you know, so closely that if you hadn’t had a stroke, you would be? Well, for lack of a better word, almost helpless, you know, to do anything for but now, you’ve got this thing in common and it’s come from the shittest experience, but how good Is it to be the person who can automatically bridge that gap for your friend who, you know who without you would have experienced the same kind of gaps that you experienced.

Emily 48:14
I’m thrilled, I’m thrilled that I’m able to. It’s one of the few things that makes me happy now. There’s not a lot that makes me very happy. That makes me happy that I can you know, I’m not unhappy. I’m not miserable. I’m not an unhappy person. But there’s not a lot that makes me go, Oh, yay, this is great, that I can help somebody else makes me think this is pretty good.

Emily 48:40
What makes me really happy is helping somebody else. And that new thing I do every day, one new thing a day and if that one new thing is helping my friend kind of have a better understanding of what she’s going to go through. Then it’s good. That’s a good thing. There’s a point to all of it.

Bill 48:56
Yeah, there is a point isn’t there? We should give her a shout out. What’s her name?

Emily 49:00
Barbel. I actually sent her a link to the show. And tell her I’m going to be on this guy’s podcast. It’s about stroke recovery, you should listen to it. So I will tell her I’m gonna tell everybody when the episode goes up the Barbel. Big kiss to Barbel. We love you.

Bill 49:21
Awesome. So yeah, so this is the thing like many stroke survivors do what you have done. And I found myself in a similar situation because I had learned some things that I thought would be helpful. I did start to share them that was about me at the beginning, because, you know, I wanted to feel good about myself.

Bill 49:39
And, it started as the podcast, it was called the transit lounge podcast, and that was in 2015. I had a lot of ideas. I needed to download those somewhere, get them out into the world so that they’re out of my head and they’ve captured some way in case I forgot them. I could go back and listen to them. And then I started to get feedback from people again saying the same thing.

Bill 50:06
Thank you. I needed to hear this episode. This was a great episode, I’m going to share that with somebody. And then it became this thing that was impossible for me not to do anymore. It was because I had often thought, Oh, I’m not gonna do this anymore. I’m over it. I don’t want to do this. And then it became, I can’t not do this. There’s so many people who are going to go through stroke, that they’re going to need as much information as possible. Yeah, wow, I can’t stop. I feel obliged to do it. In a good way.

Emily 50:32
Well, I feel a little in a way I feel obligated to get better. There’s so many people watching me. It’s one of the things that makes me continue to want to get better. I feel like I can’t fail. I can’t fail for myself. Obviously it might. I’m my first priority. I can’t fail for myself. And I can’t tell all the other people who are watching from the sidelines.

Bill 50:59
Yeah. I totally hear you. It’s like putting it out there and creating an expectation and then people are kind of waiting going, alright, let’s see is he gonna trip up, is he gonna get to the end. What’s gonna happen with this guy? And I’m like that too. I don’t want to let people down or disappoint them. Not that I really care if they’re disappointed, but from that, no, I want to show you that it is possible. And I want to be the example of how it’s possible. I don’t want to just talk the talk. I need to walk the walk.

Emily 51:28
Yeah. And it’s not a matter of I think disappointing other people. I’m not afraid I’m going to disappoint them. Because in the end, in the long run, they don’t matter. I matter. They matter in the sense that I know they’re back there. And I know they’re cheering for me and I know they’re rooting me on. But they aren’t going to live the rest of my life for me.

Emily 51:55
I have to live the rest of my life and I have to make the best of the rest of the life that I have. And the best of the rest of my life means not walking with a cane for the rest of my life. It means being able to tie my shoes. There’s there’s a whole laundry list of things that I want to be able to do. And it’s because it’s for me, not for other people.

Bill 52:20
Yeah. But that’s gonna help other people because they’re gonna go alright. Emily did it, then maybe I can do it too.

Emily 52:27
Absolutely, absolutely.

Bill 52:29
Yeah. And I think we need that. And I think hearing these conversations in the way that they, you and I are having it right now. We’re talking about ourselves. And what we need to do is, you know, these are things that people need to do for themselves as well. So that people listening need to go, well. Oh, okay. So I need to do this for me, not for mom and dad or not for other person, whoever. And then the fact that they get better for themselves means that everyone else gets to benefit regardless. So that’s like the bonus

Emily 52:59
Oh, Speak of the devil Look who just popped in the door. Where is he?

Bill 53:06
Is that all we’re gonna get? Hey, Matt.

Emily 53:11
He can’t hear you. I’m still on the headphones.

Bill 53:14
Oh, okay.

Taking responsibility for your own recovery

Carotid Artery Dissection Recovery
Emily 53:14
He’s just checking on me. He’s always checking on me. No, I have a lot of responsibility to myself. I used to say a lot in the beginning, I said, I would say to Matt, I said, I have to get better for me, for you and for us. He would say you’re not getting better for us. You’re getting better for yourself. And it’s true.

Bill 53:41
Yeah, that is so true. And it’s responsibility for yourself. Like it’s taking responsibility, isn’t it?

Emily 53:50
Right. And I thought it was saying it would be flattering to him. He’s got so much unnecessary responsibility on himself. Yeah, that’s just me putting more responsibility on him. Yeah, that’s not very fair.

Bill 54:05
Yeah, it comes from the right place, but I understand that it could be a little bit of a burden on him. And, and having the awareness about how not only how we are impacting our own well being by having the types of thoughts that we have we also impacting the well being of the people who care for us the most, and the people who are doing the most for us and supporting us the most

Unknown Speaker 54:31
And it’s a way of showing appreciation also, I think.

Bill 54:35
Yeah, and carers do get a bum rap. They don’t get the full extent of what they don’t get any support really do they who do they get support from? Unless there is a carers support group somewhere, which most stroke carers can’t get to? Because they’re too busy caring for the person who’s unwell.

Emily 54:56
That’s what he says. He says, Well, how am I supposed to go see my own shrink? To go see my own shrink that leaves me home alone for the hour plus the hour it takes to get there and the hour it takes to get back. So that he goes to take care of himself. I’m the one who gets in if we didn’t have at home health aide is what they’re called here in New York, a home health aide HHA.

Emily 55:23
If we didn’t have an HHA, he would never be able to leave the house. We only have her Monday through Friday, during the daytime hours. And luckily, he’s been working from home all through Corona. So he’s been home the whole time since March. Working doing all of it on top of working and I don’t want this to turn into the Matt appreciation hour. But he does need to get recognized for all the work he puts in.

Bill 55:53
Yeah. It was Matt who sent me a postcard.

Emily 55:58
Yeah, you had our postcard?

Bill 55:59
I did. And I thought, oh my god, like, that’s one of the last things I expected to happen to me. That’s somebody from the other side of the planet would think you know what we need to do we need to send a postcard to this guy in Australia in Melbourne. And it was so lovely to receive it. Because it meant that what I’m doing had purpose, it meant that what I’m doing made a difference. It meant that what I’m doing, helped people in it created support for people and all the things that I imagined that it would do in that car that came in the mail was just like it’s cemented in my mind exactly what I thought I was doing this for. He’s such a cool dude like to come up with that idea.

Emily 56:49
He is a cool guy. He’s incredibly thoughtful.

Bill 56:55
He sent it around the world to a number of people, right? I wasn’t the only one who received a card.

Emily 57:01
We sent to Lena Denmark. And we sent to you in Australia was sent to Lalia and Peru. What else did we send to? Oh, he can’t hear me now.

Bill 57:19
That’s fine.

Emily 57:20
But yeah, we send a couple to different places we send to you. Lena, Lalia, I forget who else. There were a couple others. But it was his idea was like we should, say hello to these people. When he was a kid. He had a pen pal. From like a music magazine. He had a pen pal. And they wrote back and forth about music and all sorts of nerdy things Dungeons and Dragons. And I guess he carried that over into his adult life. It’s a lot of fun to get mail from somebody to get real mail.

Bill 57:55
It is these days it’s far better than an email. Absolutely. It was such a treat to receive it. So tell me what’s on the horizon for you. What are you thinking about doing? And what are your next few short term goals and long term goals? I know one of them is to walk without the cane. What else is on the list?

Emily 58:15
Yeah. I want to go for a jog I’ve never wanted to be running in my entire life more than I do right now. I want to be able to go out for a jog. I want to get a new dog. I want to be able to go out for a walk with my dog. I used to have an 80 lbs Pitbull.

Emily 58:37
It’s a good thing. We didn’t have him anymore when the stroke happen. What would we have done with an 80 lbs dog. So I want to get another dog take him out for a walk. So go for a jog. Get a dog go for a walk. It’s all I wanted to be able to go to the gym on my own and do a workout on my own. To be able to travel again. Get back to work. Just get back to my life.

Bill 59:02
Yep. all the amazing things. Can I challenge you to do that to take the jog and then expand that a little bit and do a marathon?

Emily 59:13
Ah, I appreciate the suggestion. But after two spinal surgeons spinal fusion surgery, I’m not doing any marathon. My distance running got me into the first spinal fusion surgery, so I’m not doing any long-distance running.

Bill 59:32
All right, okay. I won’t hold you to that then. And I didn’t realize there was another underlying reason I mentioned that because, you know, one of the episodes, really early on in the podcast I interviewed a friend of mine, Donna Campisi. It was Episode 28.

Emily 59:49
Yes, I remember that episode.

Bill 59:51
Yeah. And after, man, she had a stroke when she was eight. So she’s in her 40s now, and so it would have been after three years, Donna ran a marathon because she went to a physical trainer, somebody like you probably and said, I just want to run a little bit or something. I don’t know what. And that guy goes, Yeah, well, we’re not doing this, you know, five-kilometer run. He goes, we’re doing a marathon and she was like what are you talking about?

Emily 1:00:20
Oh, that’s a very good trainer. I take that back.

Bill 1:00:22
I’m never running a marathon. And sure enough, they put in all the work and Donna’s a pretty amazing lady. And they went through all of the training and all the effort for her to finally run this marathon and she wears a big like a brace as well. And she adjusted, you know, her technique, the way that she was landing and walking and doing all sorts of things to finally get across the line after a marathon. And I just thought she was amazing because I’ve never gonna run a marathon. Whether I was able bodied or not, it’s just not anything that ever crossed my mind to do. But the fact that she did it after a stroke.

Emily 1:01:06
Unhealthy for you.

Bill 1:01:08
It’s not?

Emily 1:01:10
No as a trainer. Running is not good for your body.

Bill 1:01:15
Is it too much impact?

Emily 1:01:18
Yes, too much it’s not good in the joints. I explain it to people as Imagine you’re a Jenga tower, and you’re just slamming the Jenga tower over and over again on the table. Jenga tower crumbles. It falls apart.

Bill 1:01:35
Yeah, right. So it’s best avoided. So I think I did the right thing to motivate myself in the opposite direction and not to actually ever run a marathon.

Emily 1:01:44
Yeah, it’s not good, especially if you’re running. I used to in high school. I used to run 12 miles a day for the fun of it. No reason just because I wanted to. I even wrote my college entrance essay about running, and I used to love it but I was diagnosed with this this is going off the track off track a little bit. At 15 years old I was diagnosed with a spinal defect called spondylosis thesis, which ties into actually my carotid dissection.

Emily 1:02:16
I was told that I have a soft tissue disorder and it explains so spondylosis thesis is a moving your spinal column moves. So my spinal column shifted, it was all stacked up and then it moved forward. So my soft tissue just doesn’t work properly. I’ve always been very mobile in my joints. So the carotid dissection makes perfect sense, stays right in line with all the other soft tissue not working properly.

Bill 1:02:50
So now you’re all about trying to heal yourself and get better and recover and not put your body into undue stress and make matters worse.

Emily 1:03:00
Exactly, get strong as the goal get strong and capable.

Bill 1:03:04
Yeah. So it’s interesting because a lot of stroke survivors go the other way and Donna isn’t one of those people who has completely gone the other way and that she’s always going to run marathons. It’s just a challenge that somebody suggested and she took up the challenge. And then she achieved it. And she does amazing things in other parts of her life.

Bill 1:03:25
But I know there’s a lot of stroke survivors who go from being very low effort and low risk-taking and then they go next level, and they start pumping weights in the gym even more, they push themselves even harder. And to me that doesn’t feel right personally because I feel like I don’t want to wear myself thin or, or wear myself out sooner rather than later. You know. I just want to get stronger as well. But then there’s this other extreme level of effort that people put in Because of the way that they’ve comprehended what life’s about what happened to them? Who knows?

Emily 1:04:08
Everybody does it in their own way you have to you get better. And the only way you know to get better your physiatrist can set a goal. But you’re the only one who knows how to get yourself to that goal. They’re like I said, the experts have a plan. And they set the landmarks and the goals for you to reach a particular times. But as a trainer and a blobbies teacher, I’m in a unique position to really understand body mechanics and understand what muscles need to go into which movement patterns.

Emily 1:04:48
So I know my foot turns in like this. I know what muscles I need to work on to straighten it out. And so if and if I want to go out for a jog My foot needs to be straight. So to go off for that jog, I need to get those other muscles strong so my foot doesn’t turn in. It’s simple things like that. And if you want to be able to, if you have a goal you want to get to, if you don’t know how to do it yourself, you talk to the experts.

Emily 1:05:16
Talk to the physical therapist, talk to the resources, the people you have available to you. Everybody who has a stroke has a physical therapist who has an occupational therapist somewhere in their recovery. Asked those people I want to be able to I really want to be able to play the piano again. But my fingers just have not joined the party yet. They’re still hanging off they’re still wallflowers they’re not ready to do anything yet. They will be and the keyword again is yet.

Bill 1:05:48
Yeah, it’s a very powerful word yet. We spoke about it in the last episode, as well, is an amazing episode or interview on YouTube. I think It’s a presentation actually, on YouTube by Carol Dweck. And Carol Dweck is the person who put a book together called. I think it’s called something about The Growth Mindset.

Emily 1:06:15
Carol Dweck, you said?

Bill 1:06:17
Yeah, Carol Dweck, I think. And she talks about the power of “yet” and she’s up on stage. I think it’s a TED talk. And she delivers that presentation. And it’s so fascinating. And it’s so great to hear that they are starting to teach that power of the word yet to children at school so that they understand that if they haven’t achieved something, it’s not fail or a pass. It’s just they haven’t got to that point yet. And it’s a really powerful message for stroke survivors as well.

Emily 1:06:59
Really is It’s one of the first things I said to barbell said something you can’t do today. It’s just a matter of yet. You’ll figure out how to do it. You just haven’t done it yet. One of the first things I said to her.

Bill 1:07:17
Emily is an amazing way to end the podcast. Thank you so much for joining me. I really appreciate it. My pleasure. I really appreciate the role that you play in the community online, in the Instagram world.

Emily 1:07:33
Yep. Glad I can be part of that community. I’d rather not be part of that community. But if I’m going to be part of that community, at least be a positive presence in it.

Bill 1:07:45
I know it’s a community that none of us wanted to join.

Emily 1:07:48
It’s a community I could’ve done without being part of.

Bill 1:07:51
Yeah, definitely didn’t want to join it. But now that we’re here, I’m glad that you’re involved to the extent that you are And, I’m really glad I’ve got to know Matt and I really appreciate receiving the card. Because everything that you guys do has made a difference to me and my recovery as well.

Emily 1:08:11
Excellent. Thank you. I’m glad. I’m really honored. I told you this I’m really honored that you would ask me to be on the show. I’m just some weirdo in Brooklyn who had a stroke.

Bill 1:08:26
I’m a similar weirdo on the other side of the planet.

Emily 1:08:29
Good. weirdos unite. That’s how Emily strikes back started. Cuz a friend of mine was like said, You’re a badass. And I could have thought of a million better ways to show that I’m a badass. You’re a badass the stroke had its chance. Now Emily Strikes Back.

Intro 1:08:58
Discover how to heal your brain. After a stroke go to recoveryafterstroke.com

The post 112. Carotid Artery Dissection Recovery – Emily Hoffman appeared first on Recovery After Stroke.

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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
111. 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 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/8-of-the-best-stroke-recovery-tips/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/8-of-the-best-stroke-recovery-tips/feed/ 0 <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: https://www.instagram.com/o.t.sisters/?hl=en 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/">111. 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: https://www.instagram.com/o.t.sisters/?hl=en

Episode 87. Occupational Therapy and Stroke Lecture – Bill Gasiamis

Highlights:

00.53 Introduction
03:13 Suzy’s background
03:50 Jamie’s background
08:42 Stroke recovery tips from OT Sisters
11:13 Be Intentional
14:44 See The Possibility In Things
16:46 Set Goals
23:39 Repeat Repeat Repeat
32:52 Build Your Team
36:47 Educate Yourself
42:01 Be Your Own Advocate
46:54 Be Well

Transcription:

Jamie 0:00
I heard a quote one time and I thought it really resonated but I may not get this hundred percent on but they had said, would you be friends with somebody who talks to you the same way that you talk to yourself. And I thought that was super powerful. You know, just be nice.

Jamie 0:18
Make friendships with yourself, you know, and it’s easy for anybody to focus on the negative and, and just being kind to yourself. It’s okay if you work really hard one day and the next day, all you want to do is take a nap all day. That’s okay.

Intro 0:40
This is the recovery after stroke podcast with Bill Gasiamis helping you navigate recovery after stroke.

Introduction

Stroke Recovery Tips
Bill 0:53
Bill from recoveryafterstroke.com This is Episode 111 and my guests today are Susie and Jamie The OT Sisters. Between them, they have more than 20 years supporting people with neurological challenges relating to stroke. In our chat, we will discuss their list of 8 tips stroke survivors can use to help during recovery.

Bill 1:14
These 8 tips are not complex at all, and they sure don’t cost any extra, but they can make a profound difference to the way recovery occurs. Now if you’re feeling a little disconnected from your support team during restrictions and COVID-19, shutdowns, and you’re looking for more support, you may want to consider my recovery after stroke coaching program.

Bill 1:36
People that have already signed up for recovery after stroke coaching get 12 months of unlimited access a private one on one coaching thread with myself by a private forum thread inside the coaching area. You have instant access to online training materials that can only be accessed by coaching clients.

Bill 1:56
You get access to courses, monthly training, and challenges made up by stroke survivor, me for stroke survivors. You also get expert interviews that are only available to coaching clients and mp3 you can download for listening on the go, or training are transcribed to PDF.

Bill 2:14
For people that prefer to read and take notes or highlight important bits for reviewing at a later time. You also get two live hour long coaching calls per month where you can ask me questions and get answers. You can access the site 24 hours a day, seven days a week and complete training at your own pace and without needing to leave the comfort of your own home.

Bill 2:36
To find out more about recovery after stroke coaching with me, Bill Gasiamis go to recoveryafterstroke.com/coaching and now it’s on with the show. Okay, the OT Sisters, Susie and Jamie, welcome to the podcast.

The OT Sisters 2:53
Thank you. Hello. Thanks for having us.

Bill 2:56
Thank you so much for being here. I am excited because, you guys are fairly early in this Ot Sisters game I feel. Tell me a little bit about each of you, whoever wants to go first and go first.

Suzy’s background

Stroke Recovery Tips
Suzy 3:13
So I am Susie. I have been an occupational therapist since 2012. I started out in-home health care and in rehabilitation and decided to go on and get actually a PhD in occupational therapy as well. I specialize in stroke and brain injury rehabilitation now. And then I do a lot of research in stroke recovery, specifically looking at cognition and thinking skills and then ways to use mobile technology to improve everyday life.

Jamie’s background

Stroke Recovery Tips
Jamie 3:50
And I’m Jamie I have been OT for about five years, and I work at a neuro clinic. So I purely work with people who have had acquired brain injuries and I specialize in brain injury as well. But I like vision and so I specialize in vision after brain injuries specifically, specifically after brain injury and more recently I have interest in concussion for getting a lot of I think with the most recent like trends and you know, everybody’s seeing new stuff with concussion lately and all the new research we’re starting to see more clients come in with concussion so that’s that’s where I am.

Bill 4:33
Are you guys real sisters?

The OT Sisters 4:35
Yeah.

Bill 4:37
Thank god cuz you look so like. I would have been doing the whole you guys need to have a look into that if you’re not real sisters because there’s something going on there that you’re not aware of. I love that people become so passionate about helping other people and then specializing in these fields of stroke and neuro-rehabilitation and all that kind of thing, what drives somebody to become an OT, or somebody that helps another person overcome a brain injury Suzy tell me?

Suzy 5:13
I think a lot of people who go into occupational therapy have been touched personally. And maybe they know somebody who survived a stroke. My grandfather specifically had several strokes, they were, “mild strokes” that aren’t so mild. And, I think that really influenced me to reach out and try to help people going through similar things like he did. So, but I think a lot of people are drawn by themself, those experiences that they have.

Bill 5:47
Jamie, is that your experience too? Is that what motivated you?

Jamie 5:52
Actually, same man. Same grandpa had gotten in a car accident quite a while ago. Like it was probably 15, 20 years ago, and he had a severe injury to his hands. So they had to surgically reattach his fingers. And I thought I want to be a hand therapist. And so when I was in school, I did one of my internships in the hand therapy clinic. And then I did my second internship at the clinic where I currently work.

Jamie 6:17
And I quickly found interest in stroke and brain injury. I didn’t know I liked vision at the time, I thought it was going to be like hands-on like a hands kind of interest, but it just emerges and I absolutely fell in love with the population and seeing people who worked so incredibly hard and then tying that like, you know, like Suzy was saying to some of my family and their personal experiences, it drew me in really quick and I fell in love with it and I stuck around.

Bill 6:47
Yeah, that’s really interesting. That’s a great way to get involved. Because there’s an underlying emotional reason. And I think if you’re going to be an occupational therapist or any kind of therapist, there needs to be the underlying emotional issue and I’m not just talking about the one where you feel sorry for somebody that has experienced something, and now they’re unwell, I’m not talking about that.

Bill 7:09
I’m talking about that connection to having lived the experience of somebody that you know, or yourself. Now, I hate saying that because obviously I don’t want any of my therapists to have ever gone through a stroke. But if there is one that makes a really good occupational therapist, do you know what I mean? Because they have that next level of understanding and I hate it for them to become a great occupational therapist in that way.

Bill 7:43
But it does help and I find that when I’m talking to people about stroke, on the podcast, they take me more seriously because they know that I have had a stroke and I can relate to them. And I’m not making stories up and I’m not misrepresenting it, and so on. So I love where you guys have come from is your granddad now taking credit for making these two amazing ladies who have studied this field and are doing great things?

Jamie 8:17
Unfortunately, he passed away, um, a few years ago, but we know, he’s proud of us. And we know he’s looking down and, really excited to see where we’re at. We actually talked about it that I wish that I knew before some of the stuff that I knew now. Like he had vision changes, he had changes to his shoulder to motor function, and I wish I could have helped more then I just didn’t have education. I didn’t know.

Stroke recovery tips from OT Sisters

Bill 8:42
Yeah. So today, we want to discuss a little bit about some of the tips that you guys can share that will help stroke survivors. I think stroke survivors need all the help they can get. Do you guys have some tips that you can share that we can talk about?

Jamie 9:01
Yeah, we actually came up with a list of 8 tips to support recovery and recovery means something different to everybody. And we were talking about that before this podcast. So recovery, to one person might be completely different. Someone else you had a good example of that.

Jamie 9:19
I work with a gentleman in the clinic, and he was a janitor, and he lost arm function completely. And he regained a majority of it back however, it wasn’t perfect by any means. It was functional. And there’s a an assessment that I do with some people call them motor activity log and you rate how well you use your hand on a scale of zero to five and how often you use your hand on a scale of zero to five.

Jamie 9:44
And so this man he raised himself a 5 out of 5,, all the way down the list and, you know, just looking at it from an outsider perspective. You would think, you know, there’s some kind of you know, it’s not perfect, so I don’t think he’s going to rate himself 5 out of 5, but he saw that he was able to, you know, sort the bottles he was able to wipe down the board’s like you would at the school.

Jamie 10:03
So, and I think that’s a perfect picture of how recovery so different for everybody and (inaudible) is good. And if he can get done what he need to get done, you know, he’s an example of somebody who’s (inaudible) a little differently.

Bill 10:17
Yeah, I can relate to that because people would ask, me how I’m coming along, and I will always say 95% The first time I said 95%, that was no where near 95%. But in my mind, I was 95% better. But then I realized, reflecting a year later, reflecting back to my original comment of 95% better, I realized then that I was nowhere near 95%.

Bill 10:41
But that thing that I used to tell myself in my mind made it enough for me to feel really good about the fact that I’m back at 95%. Like, that’s pretty good. And I was struggling so much, but I associated my recovery to being really further along than it was. And I think that’s a good thing if I can confuse myself or trick myself into thinking that I’m better than I am, why not? Share with me one, the number one or the first tip that we can share with stroke survivors.

Stroke recovery tip 1. Be Intentional

Suzy 11:13
So the first tip we came up with was, be intentional. One thing I always tell people that maybe everything’s not as automatic as it was before the stroke. And so that can be, I always give the example because of my background of thinking and cognition. And so, many times, we’ll go on autopilot and just go, and we’re not intentional about what we’re doing.

Suzy 11:36
And one example I give is, you know, I’m going to the grocery store, I’m going to go to a different grocery store than I usually go to and then it’s on my way to work, but then I end up going into my regular grocery store that I go to every week, and then it’s 15 minutes out of the way this direction.

Suzy 11:57
Someone gave me that example one time and it was just a perfect example of what autopilot might look like. So being intentional, like taking that extra time to be intentional about what you’re doing in your everyday life.

Jamie 12:09
And I think about it too is you know when you’re using your hand that may not work as well now as it did before you know your affected arm is used to be intentional when you use it, because it’s not automatic. You know, your left arm might be the one that’s now your dominant and taking over it’s quicker and it’s easier and so it’s going to be automatic. And so like Suzy was saying, we just have to be intentional and plan out those times really when you’re going to use it and make it a more effortful but more intentional.

Bill 12:38
Yeah, that things both of those things that you said I can relate to. So when I finally was allowed to drive again after a number of months after my brain surgery, I went and picked up some groceries at a local shopping mall. And I parked in a spot that I normally don’t park the car and then I could not find the car.

Bill 13:00
And it took me about an extra half an hour to 45 minutes to walk around the entire parking area, so I could finally find my car. And I just couldn’t join the dots as to where I parked my car and my memory. I can’t say that my memory was that badly affected from everything that I had been through.

Bill 13:23
But it was such a drama to get back to the car and talking about, you know, which hand you’re going to use for what things I remember early on, one of my therapist said to me, when I wake up in the morning and brush my teeth and do all that stuff, I always use my left hand which was my affected hand always use my left hand to do all of those things with even though I don’t normally use them.

Bill 13:49
So I would try to eat with my left hand. And it was a massive challenge because I don’t normally eat with my left hand. And now I had to use it. I couldn’t actually get it some food was going everywhere. toothpaste would end up on my eye, I would poke myself in the eye so often rubbing my eye instead of getting it to my eyelid or just under here, I would get it like into the eyeball. So it was a bit of a drama.

Suzy 14:13
That’s a good point though like somehow embedding it into the routine too, and being intentional about what that routine might look like. So like you for instance, use your left arm to help you get ready in the morning. So being really intentional about like, well, this time of day, I eat breakfast and I’m going to use my left hand or whatever that might look like to each person is going to be different for everybody. But I love that example.

Bill 14:40
Yeah, tell me about tip number two.

Stroke recovery tip 2. See The Possibility In Things

Jamie 14:44
Seeing the possibility and things and knowing that you just because it’s something you know, taking out the word I can’t. I think and doing things that are still meaningful to you, and identifying what those you know, those roles are that you want to get back to. Those routines or those patterns, whatever it is that you want to get back to and knowing that you can do it, it’s it may be finding the right supports, it might be finding a different way to do it. It might be finding some equipment that helps you achieve it. But it’s possible.

Bill 15:15
Yeah, I came across this author Carol Dweck who writes about a recovery mindset or a growth mindset. And she talks about the power of yet. And that really sort of changed my thinking in that, okay, so I can’t do that yet. which sets us up or sets the brain up for maybe with down the track, we’ll still be able to do that then.

Bill 15:46
And we’ll get to there at some point. So the power of Yet and I found that with coaching people, as a coach as a, somebody who coached people before stroke and now also stroke survivors. I talk about, okay, you can’t do that yet. And what will it look like when you can do that in the future so that there’s an idea there’s a picture in their head about what that might look like, going forward, you know, so I love what you said.

Jamie 16:18
I like fat yet. I think that’s really special because, you know, you see that being such a limiting factor, like a self-limiting factor to saying, well, I’m not going to remember anyway. We’ll try. You know, you’re not gonna remember unless you give it a shot and you find a way to remember, have some things in place to help you.

Bill 16:37
Yeah. And if you tell yourself, you’re not going to remember, you’re more than likely not going to remember but if you tell yourself you might remember you might.

Bill 16:46
All right, next, step number three.

Stroke recovery tip 3. Set Goals


Jamie 16:53
And the next one we wrote down was setting goals. So even if they’re small, many steps It gets challenging sometimes because sometimes after a stroke, it feels like, especially in the beginning phases, you’re taking these huge strides and making these huge, you’re just making so much progress but then some days It feels like you’re taking steps backward too and like I’ve said this so many times already on this podcast but every stroke is different to everybody’s injury is different.

Suzy 17:26
But just making those small goals tracking those goals even as you’re into the chronic phases of stroke recovery is just tracking where you’re at and keep making those goals to keep progressing because you can still progress you still progress so much beyond when therapy when you still have access to therapy.

Jamie 17:29
So in comparing it you know taking where you are today and always look back, like that reflective piece is so important because if you get stuck looking at today and you’re like looking at all the things you can’t do you know, yet, hopefully.

Jamie 18:03
But looking back at where you were yesterday, what do you do differently today or looking back three years ago, you know, what was hard them that’s a breeze now, and I think recognizing too that recovery isn’t linear.

Jamie 18:15
And so setting goals will keep you moving forward. But you know, a lot of people when they think after stroke, that their progress is just going to go in a straight line when really, like Suzy was saying, you know, it’s ups and downs and backs and forward, and it’s all over the place. And sometimes you wake up and you feel like you took a year back, you know, and, but then you’re okay. And so I think just recognizing that there’s good days, bad days, good times, bad times. But overall, there’s a general trend better.

Bill 18:42
Yeah. I love that. You know, one of the issues that stroke survivors I think have in recovery, especially when they’re doing occupational therapy and they’re in the acute phase is that often we’re being helped and supported by occupational therapists, that are very young and early on in their learning. And this is a big drama because of course with age and more hours in the job and more learning and more studying, etc, they’re better overall, occupational therapists.

Bill 19:15
And it takes time for them to get this, I totally get it. And the people who have been around for 10 or 15 or 20 years in the administration office, they are sending, you know, the orders out to the floor, you’re working with that person, you’re working with that person, this person is doing that today, whatever they’re setting the timetable and managing the budgets and all that fun stuff.

Bill 19:36
And I think we miss out on the opportunity to, you know, to recover with those amazing brains with 20 or 30 years experience behind them and setting goals. I was lucky because I had amazing occupational therapists, all the people that helped me were amazing. But setting goals was really a crucial part of my recovery.

Bill 20:04
And one of those little goals that I set was the ability to run across the road. And one of my therapists asked me, What do I want to do in my recovery? How do I want my recovery to proceed? Right? I just said to him, look, I’ve come a fairway. But I do want to be able to run across the road in case there’s a car coming, and I don’t want to get hit by it.

Bill 20:28
Oh, then he goes all right. So not a marathon. None of that stuff. I said, I just want to run 150 meters. I’m not sure what that is in yards or feet. I just want to run 150 meters to get across the road. And that’s it. I’m done. So we walked we worked on that and he did exactly what you just said. He filmed me walking fast and then attempting to run because I had this perception in my mind that I wasn’t running correctly.

Bill 20:58
Therefore I was afraid to fall. injure myself, so I didn’t do it, I needed somebody to show me otherwise. And then he showed me the video and he said, Look, you actually have a very good running technique. Your technique is not issue, it’s just about the proprioception issues, which is your leg is not understanding where it is.

Bill 21:20
And we just got to teach it a little bit about what the difference is between running, what that feels like and what walking feels like. That’s exactly what we did. And then we compared a month, two months later, to the first one. And then I felt really comfortable with even getting on a treadmill and starting to run again. And I never ran for more than just a few minutes on a treadmill. But that was enough to make me feel like I had accomplished this goal, which seem little, but actually was massive.

Intro 21:52
If you’ve had a stroke, and you’re in recovery, you’ll know what a scary and confusing time it can be. You’re likely to Have a lot of questions going through your mind. Like, how long will it take to recover? Will I actually recover? What things should I avoid? In case I make matters worse, doctors will explain things that obviously, you’ve never had a stroke before. You probably don’t know what questions to ask.

Intro 22:17
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.

Intro 22:41
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.

Jamie 22:55
Yeah, it’s interesting seeing those comparisons it I think it raises the insight into it because You know, when it’s it’s just left up to you, you think about like you’re saying, Oh, you know, it wasn’t very good or even now you might have said, like more recently after all of that therapy, oh, it’s still not very good. But then you see it from an outsider perspective. You know, it brings a whole new, perspective to it.

Bill 23:16
So we do need, other people’s eyes reporting back on what’s happening for us, because we don’t know, I’m not sure where the best judge of where we’re at. That’s just the way that it goes. And that’s not a bad thing. But that’s great that we have this support there. So tell me what’s the next step?

Stroke recovery tip 4. Repeat Repeat Repeat


Jamie 23:39
We put, repeat, repeat, repeat. Everybody’s favorite, you know, we think you know, our brains love repetition. And if you think back to all those beautiful principles of neuroplasticity, and how our brains change and grow and how those neurons relearn and fire, repetition.

Jamie 24:03
And the more repetition we can get, the better. So, we’re talking a lot about embedding stuff in the daily routine, like we were talking earlier with, you know, being intentional, but putting things in your daily routine so that you get more repetitions just like it sounds like your ot had you brush your teeth and eat just to get all those repetitions of lifting your hands to your mouth and grasping onto things and you know, what better time than our daily routine when we pinch about 50 things in the morning, that’s 50 repetitions of exercise right there and our brain is just firing.

Jamie 24:36
But you know, and it could be something small, it doesn’t necessarily have to be, you know, brushing your teeth every day, could really just be focusing on bring your arm up to the table everyday. You know, getting those types of repetition or remembering a couple things from your grocery list rather than writing them down every day. Or every week and just getting in those little repetitions as you’re able.

Bill 24:56
Yeah, but Susie, how do you make it fun? Because it’s so boring.

Suzy 25:03
We’re actually talking about a research study that looked at like how many repetitions people get during therapy, and how many that are actually required to improve your function for art use. And it’s such a dramatic difference between the number you actually do when there being versus what these animal studies are showing you need to have done in order to improve motor function.

Suzy 25:26
But to make it fun, do things that you love to do. Do something that you enjoy. Maybe it’s painting, maybe it’s I don’t know, whatever is important to you. Just make sure it’s something that’s important to you. You don’t want to feel like you’re repeating something that’s mundane and just trying to get these exercises and because if it’s embedded in your routine, I mean, that’s the last thing you want to do. I’d cross that off of my routine if it wasn’t fun.

Bill 25:57
I love what you said because again, this is all triggering my time back in rehab, I spent a month and a bit there. So one of the things that my OTs asked me was, what would I like to do again, and it was around me, them potentially picking up that I was bored with the usual stuff. And one of the things I said I didn’t know if they had to pool in the, in the facility was do you guys have a swimming pool?

Bill 26:22
And they said, we do. Can I use that to work in and they said, yes. So that’s it. That’s what I’d love to do that. And why I did that was because A, I love the water. I had never been back in the water. I hadn’t been back in the water. And it was summer. So I was kind of feeling like, man, it would be nice to be able to get back in the water.

Bill 26:43
And then it made it possible for me not to be afraid of falling. And that was a big deal because of course, everything else that I did. I risked falling and I had to have people next to me the whole time. Getting in the pool gave me that first glimpse of independence and I’ve have got nobody around me and I can’t fall and it won’t matter.

Jamie 27:06
Sometimes, you know, it’s those things that you like doing and you get lost in doing and you don’t realize you’re like, oh, I’ve already gotten 50 reps in, and I was spacing out because I was just having so much fun doing the activity, you know, you probably are doing laps and walking around in there, and you’re in there for, you know, good 30 minutes, whereas if you’re on the treadmill, I’m pretty darn bored. You know, it’s finding those little things that people love doing and kind of injecting the therapy in there, you know, injecting the skills in there, to make it fun.

Bill 27:36
Yeah. And then I was looking forward. I was looking forward to going to therapy. And even though I was sitting in my you know, in the ward and in my bed and just, you know, staring at the walls all day and watching terrible TV, and all that kind of thing.

Repetitions for Neuroplasticity

Bill 27:52
I would have preferred to not get out of that little cocoon to go and do a terrible exercise or something that was boring. I would just say no I’m all right over here you know, I’ve picked up a series of shows or whatever, and I don’t need to go anywhere. But I’m fascinated about the work that you looked or you spoke about Suzy with regards to the repetitive, what’s required for neuroplasticity to start to take hold. So, how many repetitions are required? And what do you see like in the animal studies and give us a little bit of info there?

Jamie 28:30
I really wish I wrote this down. I had it in memory. I don’t have it offhand. I want to say that the number of repetitions that happen during a session are less than 100. I even want to say it may be less than 50. Whereas in a lot of these animal studies, they’re showing over 1000 repetitions per day. So, but I can get back to you on that with the exact numbers.

Bill 28:57
Yeah, that’ll be great. I’ve seen video footage of neuroplasticity happening in the brain. So there’s some on YouTube, you can just type in neuroplasticity. And then, there’s micro. I don’t know what the terms are, but you know, really, really powerful microscopes that zoom into neurons and they’re firing and how they’re firing and all that kind of stuff.

Bill 29:20
And I think that’s amazing. And there is this understanding that neuroplasticity is something that happens and it’s easy, and it’s, you know, really good, but it’s the analogy that I like to use is, it’s like an amazing tennis player, you know, the world’s best tennis player. They’ve been playing tennis for the entirety of their lives.

Bill 29:42
You know, they probably picked up the racket when they were first three or whatever. And they’re still training at 35 to be the best tennis player, because they realized that if they don’t use it, they lose it. And it’s a lifelong process. Isn’t it really recovery after an injury from stroke or any other neurological injury is not something that you do for 10 minutes, and then everything’s good.

Jamie 30:08
It is is a long term process. I really like the example you gave when we were just talking about something with the tennis we were just talking about musicians earlier too, and how there’s a lot of research coming out that’s talking about these musicians who are just practicing and practicing and practicing because it’s what they do and playing their instruments and it changes the whole makeup of their brain.

Suzy 30:31
You know, they have a cerebellum that is extremely complex. It’s kind of you know, there’s actually a really interesting is about neuroplasticity, but there is a study out there that was looking at the difference in brains between a taxi driver and a bus driver. I don’t know if you’ve heard about this, but I know it’s interesting, right?

Suzy 30:46
But they were talking about how the parietal lobe which is where like a lot of our spatial relationships, all the information is processed. Well, bus drivers, you know, they go back and forth. They go back and forth. They go back and forth. They don’t really vary where they’re driving, and so their parietal lobe is a lot less complex than a taxi driver, especially probably one in New York. Driving all over the place. And you know, taking different turns taking shortcuts, you have to know the lay of the land, there’s car accident here, let’s take this back road. So their spatial perceptions and all of that parietal lobe is just firing all the time. And so their makeup, their physical makeup of their brain is different, and much more complex in different areas.

Bill 31:27
Wow that’s fascinating stuff. We could talk about this for hours and hours. to five and I’m sensing multiple episodes coming in the future. Because I could talk about this for hours. And there’s not enough talk about this type of thing because I think stroke survivors gloss over the importance of these topics that we discuss.

Bill 31:48
And that’s understandable because they’ve got other things on their plate, right. But if the curiosity is there for stroke survivors that are listening or watching right now then these are really important things to understand. Even though it seems trivial, that a bus driver’s brain looks different from a taxi drivers brain, it’s not trivial.

Bill 32:07
Like it’s a really important thing. And you could potentially adapt that knowledge to support your stroke recovery. Because if I had a stroke survivor, and I was an occupational therapist that I was teaching how to walk again, and now we’re a taxi driver, I would be using that to talk to them in a language that they understand about, alright, so you can’t lift your cup up with that hand in this way. How can’t we go around the roadblock to find another way to lift that cup up, you know, and just let them work it out. And I’m sure that they’ll come up with ways to work it out.

The OT Sisters 32:47
Exactly.

Bill 32:49
Tip number five.

Stroke recovery tip 5. Build Your Team


Jamie 32:52
Tip number five is build your team. So we’re more familiar with healthcare in the United States, but Something that we found really interesting is that in the United States and I know other countries as well, but we really emphasize independence. And you have to be able to do this independently, you have to be able to do this independently.

Suzy 33:13
But there’s a lot of other countries and regions out there where they rely a lot more on families and the families there to support you after you’ve had a stroke. And so, one thing that we would say, especially to the population that we work with here in the United States is it’s okay like use your family, use your friends, use your church community, use these people build that team to help you and support you and your recovery. It doesn’t all have to fall down on you being independent in whatever it is like and maybe it is important to be independent in this task to you but, use your support.

Bill 33:49
I love that, build your team because my parents are amazing people and they helped me so much. But if I had to use them for everything, thing in my recovery, I would become a terrible son. Because I couldn’t deal with it I couldn’t deal with it and I talked about lovingly and with a bit of fun. I talked about my dad, he was my driver for the most part, you know, when I was not allowed to drive, he was my driver. And I just talked about how he couldn’t do anything. So he dropped everything to be my driver. And that was such an amazing thing. But the fact that he was my driver drove me bananas because he’s such a shit driver.

Jamie 34:33
Like you in the passenger seat either go slow down. Stop there. Why aren’t you turning this way?

Bill 34:39
I couldn’t tell him he was a shit driver. I just thanked him every day for everything that he did for me. But you’re right. It’s about building a team of finding other people to bring in to also help with some of those challenges, right?

Jamie 34:53
It’s also a gentle balance, too. We were talking about this too, is that you know, but not to rely too much. You know, there’s things that you can do on your own. Do it Because like you’re saying, if you use it, if you don’t use it, you lose it. And so you want to keep getting better and keep inching toward where you want to be. rely on people, but don’t over-rely on people.

Bill 35:10
Yeah, I have a little course for that I’m gonna make available to some people that it was done as a webinar a little while ago, it was called The Road Back From Stroke. And basically one of those steps in that built your own team.

Bill 35:25
And I found that that has been something that people have related to actually understanding what the team looks like. It’s not just medical people. It could be non-medical people. The church is a really handy one. And that’s just for the emotional stuff, you know, all of that. Why am I alive kind of conversation?

Bill 35:43
So, I think for me building my team was really helpful. I had in my team, obviously my neurosurgeon, who I dealt with on a very professional basis. I had my occupational therapists that were in my team for probably eight or nine months, and then I was able to move away from that part of my team, I had my parents, I had my friends who would come out and take me to places that I wanted to go to that I hadn’t been to for a while, of course, I had my wife and my children, every part of those, every one of those people were my team.

Bill 36:15
And I didn’t burden one person with all the tasks, which is another important thing is that carriers do it so tough and what you don’t want to do is give them the task of being everybody in that team because most carriers will say yep, okay, I’ll do that as well and out of guilt or whatever it is, and then they’ll end up neglecting themselves.

Jamie 36:38
It’s true. You know, there’s there’s a lot of studies and things on burnout too. And so it’s important for caregivers to take care of themselves.

Bill 36:45
Tip number six,

Stroke recovery tip 6. Educate Yourself

Jamie 36:47
Educate and advocate. We put educate because, you know, educate yourself. And that’s the foundation of so much. We know that the more that, do you even know what type of stroke you had? Is half the battle and knowing where it affected your brain? That gives you so much power in just your knowledge and being able to advocate, you know what medications you’re on, because that’s how you can advocate for being on different ones or lowering your doses or advocating for more therapy, or, you know, it really is the foundation of a lot of the recovery is seeking out those resources.

Suzy 37:28
Even myself, and I mean, I haven’t had a stroke, but when I go into a physician’s office, a lot of times I automatically even though I have a healthcare background, and I have a lot of knowledge around it, I still will fall back into that patient mode and listen to what the physician has to say. They’re like that kind of hierarchy. Like all-knowing I’m the patient, I do what you say. And so coming equipped to those visits with maybe taking notes or write those questions out ahead of time, and just bring a teammate with you.

Bill 38:05
Yeah, the teammates things really important. And doctors annoy me so much sometimes. And without him, I wouldn’t be here. So credit where credit’s due no problem. But what is it with doctors and you guys, I would hope you get cranky. Like I get cranky. What is it was doctors who say stuff like, they probably won’t walk again.

Suzy 38:34
That’s hard because I think a lot of times, they’re asked really hard questions too. And, I had so many people who have come to me and I know you have too Jamie that has said, well, I’ve been told that I’m not going to walk again or I’m not going to be able to use my arm again. And then months and years later, they like I find it almost motivating to some people like I’m going to prove them wrong and I’m going to do it.

Suzy 39:02
So, I mean, I hope that people can turn that around. But I know it can be so disheartening to hear that. But I hope it’s also motivating too.

Jamie 39:15
I really don’t like the time stamp. That one is the hardest one for me to hear is when people come to me and they say, hey, it’s been three months since my stroke. That’s it, my windows closed, I might as well not try and I’m like, stop, stop right now. I actually had somebody come to me the other day and say that my student was in the room, and he got partial through his sentence I said no, it’s not real.

Jamie 39:37
And my student looked at me like, how did you know what he was gonna say? I was like, it’s because of the time-stamping it’s, it’s overused and it’s not true. You know, people have the potential for so long to keep getting better. It’s not a three-month six-month year window. You know, there’s, like you said strides in the beginning it may slow down, but you still have great potential. And so that’s one of the hardest things that I hear is the time stamp.

Bill 39:59
Yeah. I am going back to what Suzy said earlier about educate and advocate. Like I’ve got a download people can come to the website, they can get a free download. It’s called seven questions to ask your doctor after your stroke.

Bill 40:12
And it’s about that it’s about taking and I don’t know if those questions even helpful, right? I assume they are. But it’s about just going there and having something that you can do as a stroke survivor, that you couldn’t do before because you don’t know what to ask or where to start and that might jog in their memories, something else they want to ask and create a conversation that wasn’t going to happen before.

Bill 40:35
People can go download that for free right and print it off and just take it in and just ask the doctors those questions. And the thing about the doctors going back to that is the timestamps and the generalized responses to hard question is that they spend so much time, money, effort, and resources to plug our brains back up to get us back on our feet, to get us out of hospital, and then to say, you probably won’t walk again?

Bill 41:12
No, no, no. That’s the last thing you want to say when you’ve spent so much time, money, effort, years studying. The last thing you want to do is give your patient as they’re wheeled out of that hospital you want to do is undo all your good work by saying you probably won’t walk again.

The OT Sisters 41:33
Yeah, crushing someone’s home. Yeah, they’re on their way to rehab.

Suzy 41:40
It’s hard. It’s hard for me to hear stories like that.

Bill 41:43
Yeah. So it’s just like something that I’m gonna keep saying and keep saying in the hope that one day, one of those doctors has tuned into one of our episodes and can just go oh, okay, I won’t do that anymore. What is step seven?

Stroke recovery tip 7. Be Your Own Advocate

Suzy 42:01
Well, our step number seven is to be well, and so be well be healthy, not only thinking about preventing another stroke, especially like if you’ve had a stroke, your at risk for a higher risk for a second stroke. And so different ways to prevent that.

Suzy 42:21
So, nutrition, physical activity, not only do those help with prevention, they also can help with recovery too. So there’s a lot coming out lately on the benefits of like physical activity and cognitive function. And even if you’re starting to think about cardiovascular health and brain health and what that might be So, be well as far as nutrition, physical activity and.

Jamie 42:47
Going back to like sleep That’s something that a lot of people overlook, or, and that’s something that we actually put down as one of our main priorities on our Instagram was a section about sleep, because it’s something that can be overlooked and a lot of times heavily medicated and there can be little things that you can do to help with sleep and your sleep quality.

Jamie 43:07
And then of course mood and knowing that, you know, you might have changes to your mood like depression, you might feel down you might feel blue, you might feel anxious, stressed, and finding some good solid ways healthy ways to cope with that. And you know, speaking with your physician or, or counselor, or something is needed for that as well.

Bill 43:26
That’s brilliant. I love it be well. And by being a well, that means looking at your nutrition, looking at your sleep. Those two I think are probably the two biggest things that made a difference in my life. And in my recovery, because when I was able to get to sleep for longer amounts of time, I was able to feel way better when I woke up the next day which would, as a result, support me in overcoming fatigue, further along in the day, like you know, after a few hours or four hours or whatever it was later on in the day.

Bill 44:07
And then eating well also supported me to help to overcome fatigue. Now, the diet that helped me the most, which is something that I’ve benefited from greatly, are combined with, you know, getting more sleep was a low carb diet, a diet that didn’t include highly processed breads, and sugars and processed cereals and all that type of thing.

Bill 44:29
So that made a massive difference to the way that I was able to feel after that meal. I wasn’t getting those food coma experiences, which as a result helped me get further along in the day as well with decreasing the amount of fatigue.

Suzy 44:45
Yeah, I would absolutely agree with that. And I’ve heard good things. While I’m not a nutritionist, my background is actually in nutrition and dietetics that’s what my bachelor’s degree is in. So I’m very passionate about nutrition and healthy eating and how it can help with recovery too. But yeah, a couple of diets. Of course, like the low carb has been really helpful for a lot of people. I always hear about the DASH diet too.

Bill 45:12
Tell me about that one.

Suzy 45:13
Yeah, that one is a big recommendation, at least here in the US. It’s more about lots of fruits and vegetables. Similar, lots of whole grains, lean meats, dairy, they used a lot to prevent, or to reduce hypertension. That one’s kind of foundation of that one. And then another one that we see a lot of is that like anti-inflammatory type diets, like a Mediterranean type diet is another one that they tend to recommend.

Bill 45:44
Yeah, awesome. Combined, you guys have got in my mind, the ideal combination of things that stroke survivors need to get on a really good path to recovery. Because when I first started going through my stroke journey 2012 there was no information out there about what anyone can do to heal, to recover to overcome. And to get that information if there was some you really had to spend a lot of time researching.

Bill 46:16
I spent tons and tons of hours researching and trying to find people to help me because my doctors couldn’t answer simple questions like this because it’s not their thing, right? That’s not what they do. And I used to get frustrated. So combined. I feel like you guys have got a very good foundation and sort of broad depth of knowledge, that all those things bringing them together make a massive difference to stroke survivors. So well done for that. Also, then, what’s next step are we up to number seven?

Stroke recovery tip 8. Be Well

Jamie 46:54
Eight. We put be kind and be patient with yourself. And we saved that one the best for last because we agreed it was most important because it’s a journey and it’s not a couple steps that will get you better it’s it’s a journey and being kind to yourself along the way is really important and we know that it’s not a smart thing to there’s so many things out there where you can compare yourself to other people or see somebody getting better at a different rate than you are but you know, be patient with yourself and set those mini goals and you know, just continually strive to better yourself and but also be patient with yourself along the way.

Bill 47:33
Yeah, be kind and compassionate to yourself is such an important one I was really hard on myself before the stroke into that, you know, I had all these goals, always compared myself to other people doing better in business or making more money or doing this or doing that and it just made such a difficult life it made for such a stressful life that was caused by me.

Bill 47:56
I thought it was external people or things causing it but it wasn’t, it was me. And when I was able to stop being kind to myself and realize that, that process, the way that I used to go about life wasn’t going to support me going forward because I had to deal with all these other complications. You know, memory issues, fatigue, all that kind of thing.

Bill 48:15
I really started to get comfortable with the fact that if I’m nicer to myself, and I wasn’t my harshest critic, then I’ll be able to flourish in that space and allow myself the ability to screw up and the ability to be wrong and the ability to take the wrong step. And giving yourself a break, I think makes a massive difference. In the way you feel physically, the way you feel emotionally and the way you feel mentally.

Jamie 48:46
I heard a quote one time and I thought it really resonated, but I may not get this hundred percent on but they had said, Would you be friends, with somebody who talks to you the same way that you talk to yourself? I thought that was super powerful. You know, just be nice. Make friendships with yourself, you know?

Bill 49:09
Yeah.

Suzy 49:11
Yeah, focus on on problems and it’s easy for anybody to focus on the negative and, just being kind to yourself. It’s okay. If you work really hard one day and the next day, all you want to do is take a nap all day. That’s okay.

Bill 49:33
And it really is, it really is. And it’s not only is that okay because it’s okay. It’s also okay because it’s probably really necessary in your healing. It’s how we heal, right. And that means if you’re wasted, and for one day, you’ve got to do nothing. That’s well done like you are doing a lot to help yourself recover. I remember about two or three weeks into my rehabilitation after brain surgery.

Bill 50:01
So November 2014, was brain surgery rehab was until about December the 20 something and I’m not sure if it was week one or week five or week four out I can’t remember, but there was a guy in there and he was in his job. And I talked about this in a 10-minute presentation that I did here in Melbourne a few years ago.

Bill 50:22
And I talk about the way we speak about ourselves and the language and this guy I named him Ivan because I can’t remember his name. He had the job of moving an empty toilet roll and picking up with his affected hand and grasping it and then moving it over to the right side of his body. But his affected hand It wouldn’t do that in an ideal way.

Bill 50:47
And what he was doing was he was calling his hand a bastard. And as he was doing that and getting more and more frustrated, he was failing to pick up that empty toilet roll more and more and he was failing to put it down where he needed it to go. And because I had been a coach and I had done coaching for many years before that I couldn’t resist, right?

Bill 51:09
So I just chimed in and I said to him if your hand did what you wanted it to do, what would it be Ivan? He said it’d be my friend. And I got him to talk to his hand in that way and call it his friend. And he goes, okay, friend, let’s do this, something like that. And he picked it up within a moment after calling his hand a friend, he picked it up for the first time, held it on the other side and let it go. It was the most profound change that I’ve seen in a human being ever.

Bill 51:45
And in this most difficult time, he had a massive win just by changing one word to another word, you know, so I’ll share that with you and in the show, notes will be the link back to that episode because it’s an episode of the podcast so you can see it. And I hope that people who listen to our interview, understand that what you’re suggested, are not really that complicated.

Bill 52:13
These things are not things you have to pay extra for, or you have to do anything more for. You said they have to be intentional. They have to see the possibility in things. They’ve got to set little goals. And they’ve got to, repeat, repeat, repeat, or that could be a hard one. But we understand it’s really, really important.

Bill 52:35
They’ve got to build the team around them. And that’s just a couple of phone calls, calling in favors to people that you’ve done favors for before. And they’ve got to educate themselves and be their own advocate. I love that one. That’s awesome. And they’ve got to be well by looking after their diet. Then looking after their sleep.

Bill 53:00
And just doing some things about being kind to themselves. So tell me about what’s in the future. For the OT sisters, I know that recently you guys have come together on Instagram, as this team of amazing OT knowledge. What do you guys have in store for your own practice going forward?

Suzy 53:28
So I think just both of us working so closely with people who’ve had stroke and brain injury, we know that there’s really a lack of information and a lack of resources for people. We’ve had people come up to us and just say, hey, you’re an OT, like, can you answer this question for me? And so, what we hope to do is to help survivors of stroke and brain injury just become more confident and feel empowered, and take an active role in their recovery.

Suzy 54:01
So we just started on this venture with our Instagram account for about a month in is so very new to OT Sisters but, our goal is to create something and we’re working on defining that right now. But create something that really is helpful to people. And they can use this as a resource.

Jamie 54:24
They can access because that’s pretty limiting too. For people who don’t have access to maybe therapy or don’t have access to ongoing services.

Bill 54:32
Well, I’m gonna take credit for discovering you then. That is awesome that you guys are so early on in this combined joint venture type thing. That’s what we need. We need combined knowledge coming together to see patterns and then bring information out to people in a unique and different way because there’s nothing more boring than me sitting here on my own doing that all the time every day.

Bill 54:58
No one wants to listen to me talk about myself and how amazing I am, even though I am. And I see you guys are high energy and that’s really required and important because stroke recovery although it shouldn’t be overwhelming for somebody who’s going through it, it should be something that’s energetically charged in a bit of a positive way you know, that’s full of life, etc.

Bill 55:24
Rather than dull and dreary and your post on Instagram to prepare for this podcast was what excited me about meeting you? Because you guys are doing all the crazy stuff in the background. So I thought I’d met your energy with my technicolor poncho.

The OT Sisters 55:42
I love it.

Bill 55:47
I looked everywhere to find this poncho. When I finally found it. I had to have it. So thank you for doing what you’re doing. Thank you for going on this joint venture and bringing more information to stroke survivors, we really need it, especially in this time of isolation where we can’t go out and be with our OTs as often as we would like, especially when we can’t be with our family as often as we’d like and all those other things. We definitely need more people advocating for us and doing this kind of work. So from me to you and from all the stroke survivors to thank you.

Suzy 56:23
Thank you for inviting us to speak with you on this podcast today to this has been really great.

Bill 56:29
My pleasure. Now before we go, if people wanted to find out more about you guys get in touch with you guys. Or where would they go on Instagram?

Jamie 56:37
@O.T.Sisters

Bill 56:43
Okay. And is there a website?

Suzy 56:46
Not yet but it is something that we’re working on developing.

Bill 56:51
Alright, perfect. When it’s up, let me know. So I can send them a link if they ask but thank you so much for being on the podcast.

The OT Sisters 56:58
Thank you.

Intro 57:05
Discover how to heal your brain after stroke, go to recoveryafterstroke.com

Bill 57:15
Medical disclaimer, podcasts courses, webinars, and website. Importantly, we present many podcasts, courses, and webinars designed to give you an insight and understanding into the experiences of other individuals, opinions and treatment protocols discussed during any podcast course or webinar, are the individual’s own experience and we do not necessarily share the same opinion, nor do we recommend any treatment protocol discussed.

Bill 57:47
All content on this website and any linked blog, podcast or video material controlled by this website is created and produced for informational purposes only and is largely based on the personal experiences of Bill Gasiamis.

Bill 58:02
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.

Bill 58:21
Do not use our content as 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.

Bill 58:42
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 you might be called triple zero if you’re in Australia, or your local emergency number immediately for emergency assistance or go to the nearest hospital emergency department.

Bill 59:04
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 your content, you do so solely at your own risk. We are careful with the links we provide. However, third party links from our website I followed your own risk and we are not responsible for any information you find there.

The post 111. 8 Of The Best Stroke Recovery Tips – OT Sisters appeared first on Recovery After Stroke.

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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: https://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: https://www.instagram.com/o.t.sisters/?hl=en Episode 87. Occupational Therapy and Stroke Lecture – Bill Gasiamis Highlights: 00.53 Introduction 03:13 […] Recovery After Stroke 59:36
110. 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 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/all-the-signs-of-stroke-jason-depetris/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/all-the-signs-of-stroke-jason-depetris/feed/ 0 <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/">110. 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.

Socials: https://www.instagram.com/thebeherenowcollective/

Podcast Episode 108 with Dr. Michael Merzenich: https://recoveryafterstroke.com/rewiring-the-brain-michael-merzenich/

Books
Grain Brain
Eat Fat Get Thin

Highlights:

00:55 Introduction
02:06 The signs of stroke
07:47 Saved by a stroke
12:56 Worried about the deficits
18:10 Dealing with uncertainty
26:19 Taking responsibility for stroke recovery
32:55 Touch base
37:53 Dealing with emotions
43:27 Post-stroke diet
56:34 Be Here Now

Transcription:

Jason 0:00
That there was a period of time where I was afraid to do anything on my own, especially after the craniotomy. So I had a lot of family members sort of rotating babysitting duty. Because I was afraid to you know, I legitimately wasn’t capable of doing certain things, but I also was afraid to be alone too.

Jason 0:19
And what quickly developed was a sense of frustration at I was frustrated at being treated like I was helpless, but I also felt like I was helpless. And so what quickly developed was I would get mad at myself for feeling like I was helpless and feeling like I needed the help. And then when family members would try and step in and help, I would be like, I don’t need that. Leave me alone.

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

Introduction

signs of stroke
Bill 0:55
Bill from recoveryafterstroke.com This is Episode 110. My guest today is Jason DePetris. Jason was preparing for a marathon. And one day before the event he started to feel the classic symptoms of stroke, including speech issues of facial droop, and numbness on his left side.

Bill 1:15
Now when you get to the end of this episode, whether you’re watching on YouTube or listening on your favorite podcast app, please do me a favor and share this episode in other groups you hang out in. This will help someone that is doing a tough at the moment perhaps feel a little better about the journey they are on.

Bill 1:30
Also, if you feel this podcast makes a massive difference to the stroke community, please do me a favor and give the show a five star review on iTunes or wherever you download your podcasts from. Now it’s on with the show.

Bill 1:43
Jason DePetris. Welcome to the podcast.

Jason 1:46
Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Bill 1:47
It’s always lovely to hear from a person who wants to be on the podcast and reaches out to me it really makes a massive difference actually because I don’t have to do all the work to fiind people, so thank you as well. Mate tell me a little bit about what happened to you.

The signs of stroke

signs of stroke
Jason 2:06
So I’m relatively new to the recovery journey. In October of last year, so October of 2019, I was traveling in Chicago. I’m from Los Angeles. I was traveling in Chicago and I was actually there to compete in the Chicago Marathon. And the day before the marathon we were sitting in a restaurant having breakfast. And it started with my hand went numb, and I dropped my fork on the ground.

Jason 2:35
And I didn’t immediately think that there was anything super unusual about that because I’ve had issues with a pinched nerve in my neck for years, had seen a chiropractor for years, and I had gotten numb hands before so it was kind of annoying, but I wasn’t alarmed. So then the numbness started to spread up my arm.

Jason 2:55
And shortly after that my speech started to get slurred my face started to droop and when I really started to get scared as I was traveling with my spouse and my mother. My mom looked at me and she said, she goes, your faces drooping, go look in the mirror. And when I got up to go to the bathroom, my leg wasn’t working properly.

Jason 3:15
I was sort of half limping half dragging my leg, that’s when I got scared. And then by the time the paramedics arrived, I was fully paralyzed on the left side and I was actually kind of sliding out of the chair, my head was walling back, I was kind of sliding out of the chair. And I never really completely lost consciousness, but I was definitely not all there.

Jason 3:39
So by kind of dumb luck, the restaurant we happen to be eating at was just a couple blocks from the hospital. Just by chance, so I arrived at the hospital very quickly. I was very fortunate that they were able to administer the TPA right away the part that my family sort of still teases me about it still kind of, it wasn’t funny at the time, but it’s kind of funny now.

Jason 4:05
With the lack of oxygen to my brain and you know, I was, not all there. I was so focused on the marathon and all the training I had done that in the ER when they’re telling me you’re having a stroke. I was actually arguing with my family saying, I gotta get out of here I have to run the race tomorrow. And they were like, Jason, you’re having a stroke, you’re not going anywhere. So yeah, so I just chalked that up to lack of oxygen but and then during the CAT scan, they also discovered a large fusiform aneurysm in my belief it’s called my MCA. My right MCA?

Bill 4:41
So not only did you miss out on breakfast now they we’re going to stop you from going to a marathon?

Jason 4:47
Exactly. I was not happy about that.

Bill 4:51
What were you having for breakfast?

Jason 4:53
I was having pancakes.

Bill 4:58
So you can have some energy for the marathon, I love it.

Bill 5:01
Some interesting thing, the thing that you said about trying to convince people to let you go to the marathon that is so common people having a stroke, oblivious to the seriousness of what is happening to them, and they think it’s just business as usual.

Bill 5:17
And you’re not the only person I did the same thing. I had a bleed in my brain three times. I had it once in February of 2012, once in six weeks later, and then once in November of 2014. And the first time that it happened, I went to work for seven days with the same sensations that you had that you experienced.

Bill 5:41
And walked with a numb foot got on ladders with a numb foot made no difference to me whatsoever. My wife even told me I was walking strange. I ignored her. I went to the chiropractor instead of the doctor, the chiropractor told me to go to the doctor to the hospital. I ignored him I argued with him as well, like it’s so unbelievable how we minimize things that are happening to us just so that we can do work or I don’t know what achieve running in a marathon.

Jason 6:14
This happens to other people not to us, right? I mean, that’s the way we think. This doesn’t happen to me.

Bill 6:21
Yeah, indeed exactly right. I was 37, how old were you?

Jason 6:26
I was 41 when it happened.

Bill 6:28
Other than that incident at the cafe while you were eating, was there any signs before that, that maybe something is going on? In hindsight.

Jason 6:40
In hindsight, possibly, so we think the doctors presumed that it was actually the brain aneurysm that caused the clot to dislodge or lodge or whatever you want to call it and cause the stroke. We think that I probably had the aneurysm for many, many years. Also because it’s a very large brain aneurysm. I had never had any medical incidents before that looking back there were some kind of odd symptoms in the months leading up to it that I didn’t pay attention to at the time that were not severe enough for me to go to the doctor, but I think maybe something was happening.

Bill 7:20
So, you know, the aneurysm that was found later, but your stroke seemed to be because of a clot. Do they know the underlying cause of that?

Jason 7:32
They believe although there’s really no way to know for sure after the fact but they believe that a clot formed in sort of in the base of the aneurysm and something caused it to dislodge and get sort of stuck in the artery.

Bill 7:47
Wow so this clot that almost killed you has also quite possibly saved your life because now they found the aneurysm that maybe caused it right? So what did they do to the aneurysm to treat it?

Jason 8:03
So yeah, you’re absolutely right. That’s pretty much what the surgeons told me is that that’s probably in a strange way, a good thing that this happened because the aneurysm had the aneurysm ruptured, I very likely would not have survived that. When I returned home from Chicago, I saw a team of neurosurgeons here in Southern California, and they ended up doing a craniotomy and an attempted cerebral bypass.

Jason 8:32
So they harvested an artery from my arm and they attempted a bypass around the aneurysm and they were going to clip the aneurysm, but that was unsuccessful. So basically what happened was, during the surgery, the blood vessels began to spasm. And so they were unable to get blood to flow into the bypass and I also had a seizure on the operating table as well.

Jason 8:57
So they were unable to complete the bypassing. Clip, they completed the bypass but nothing was falling into it. And they after many, many tries and about double the amount of time that I was planned for the operation, they finally just closed up all my incisions because it was safer not to proceed any further.

Jason 9:16
So, about for almost exactly four weeks after the craniotomy I underwent a stent and coiling at another hospital for the aneurysm and that ultimately did work. Although that was successful and the stent uncoiling did work. Although, ironically, on July 21, just a couple weeks ago, I did experience a TIA and I was hospitalized again, and they discovered during that hospitalization that the stent is almost entirely blocked with blood clot. So we’re now at the stage where we’re trying to figure out what the next steps are and why that happened.

Bill 9:56
Okay, so treating that blood clot with blood-thinning medication, I imagine at the moment?

Jason 10:05
Yes.

Bill 10:07
So how does it make you feel going through all of that, and then getting to this point and then having a small episode a little while ago, what did that experience make you feel?

Jason 10:20
It’s been quite a ride for a long time, after the original stroke, the sort of elephant in the room for me for a long time was the aneurysm not the stroke. I was much more afraid of the aneurysm than I was having another stroke. And frankly, again, with the whole this happens, other people not to me kind of mentality, frankly, hadn’t even occurred to me that oh, this could happen again.

Jason 10:47
I thought, well, it’s been dealt with, it’s been solved. I was much more afraid of the aneurysm. This was a reality check. A lot of the fear and the anxiety that I thought I had dealt with and that I thought I was sort of past has now come screaming back into the picture. So that’s been fun.

Bill 11:07
That’s interesting, isn’t it? I went in, I was told somebody is so dramatic. There’s a blood vessel in your head that is leaking. There’s blood coming out into your brain. And for me, the initial experience wasn’t dramatic enough to concern me about what the future might hold. It was, Oh, well, it’s just something that happens, you know, they’ll fix it up whatever they said, is unlikely to bleed a second time.

Bill 11:42
So I ran with that part of it. And six weeks later, when it happened again, it became so dramatic. I couldn’t recognize my wife and then when I came out of hospital that time, I had to go through a whole process of learning how to type an email again, memorizing, driving, all those things that just went out the window immediately. That’s how dramatic it had to get for me to start taking notice that this thing was serious, and that I might not be around in a few months time. Those things cross your mind. Did you have the mortal conversation with yourself?

Jason 12:24
Yeah, yeah, this, TIA really scared me because the for a few reasons. The first time this happened in Chicago, I didn’t know what was happening as it was happening. The second time when I had the TIA it looked, felt, sounded, identical to the original stroke. So I knew exactly what was happening. And it was terrifying. Because my first thought was, I really kind of dodged a bullet the first time. I came away with relatively minor deficits compared to a lot of stroke patients.

Worried about the deficits


Jason 12:56
And my thought was, what deficits am I going to have this time? That’s what I was thinking as I was waiting for the ambulance to arrive. And it did actually create some deficits. Luckily, again, I was very, very lucky. But the deficits are more severe than they were before. I’m starting physical therapy, I didn’t have much in the way of physical deficits the first time. Now I’m much weaker on that side, my knee buckles underneath me. It’s you know, so it is definitely more noticeable. It is more scary to me This time for sure.

Bill 13:32
Is that left side or right side?

Jason 13:35
Left side.

Bill 13:36
Yeah. So the knee-buckling, that’s something that I had, and it continues, from time to time when I’m tired. It sort of gives way and you’re so early on in the process, and uncertainty is normal, feelings that you have are quite normal. So what will happen is, as things start to progress, and you start to resolve some of the challenges the underlying challenges that are there, you’ll start to feel better and better about it.

Bill 14:03
And then they’ll become things that you just live with that don’t really get in the way of the majority of the things that you do. But running might be something that you don’t get back to for us for some time right? Your need to run in marathons. What was behind that? What was the reason you decided to start running marathons?

Jason 14:27
That was sort of it was kind of my form of meditation. I’ve always been a very, very active person, I’ve always been a workaholic. I have always had trouble sitting still. And the marathon running was my form of meditation. That’s how I would turn my brain off. And that’s how I would process information and things like that.

Bill 14:55
So the big question is, how do you turn your brain off now?

Jason 15:03
That’s something I’m still working with and learning about. I do a lot of mindfulness meditation. I do a lot of journaling. I enjoy writing. I’m writing a book right now. That’s kind of my form of doing that now. It’s definitely been a learning process. And I’m trying so hard. I mean don’t get me wrong. I wish that none of this had ever happened. But if it was going to happen, I’m sort of glad it happened on the timeline It did.

Jason 15:37
I’m glad that the TIA was nine months after the stroke because I had some time to process and kind of learn how to deal with this stuff. I definitely have the fear and the anxiety and all of those things that I’m sure you know, I have, but I’ve had some time to learn how to manage those. So it is scary, but I’m much more prepared I think this time to accept it as you know what setbacks happen, they’re inevitable. That’s part of recovery. That’s what recovery looks like. And that’s not a reason to just quit.

Bill 16:10
So do you think that your previous process of preparing for marathons is serving you right now?

Jason 16:22
100,000,000% Yes absolutely. It’s a very parallel or analogous kind of process, I think.

Bill 16:33
Yeah. And what kind of work were you doing? Before you had the stroke? What kind of work involved in?

Jason 16:41
I’m in the financial services industry?

Bill 16:45
Is there a lot of problem-solving in that space?

Jason 16:48
Yeah, definitely.

Bill 16:50
Yeah. And it seems to me that you brought problem-solving, you’ve brought, marathon running and all the things that are associated with getting to the finish line, you’ve brought that to your stroke recovery in that I’ve got these skills that I’ve used in the past to overcome challenges, issues, problems at work on the track, running, practicing.

Bill 17:17
And therefore, I can bring those into this stroke space and become curious about how to solve my problems in this space, how to occupy my mind, what else are you doing other than occupying your mind? I went into straightaway into nutrition like, okay, so I’m probably eating terrible food, I’m smoking, I’m drinking, I’ll stop all of that.

Bill 17:38
Let me do what I can do with as little effort as possible to control something. And for me, I could easily control my food, and controlling my food wasn’t about control. It was about doing what I could, with as little effort as possible, which meant that I ate less things that weren’t good for me. And I just increased the things that were good for me. So do you relate to that type of method of solving problems?

Dealing with uncertainty

Jason 18:10
Yeah, I think so I think if I’m understanding what you mean, yeah, I mean, I, one of the things that I’ve tried, I’m trying to be open, I don’t know a clear way to say this I’m trying to be open to what this experience has to teach me. Clearly, it’s not done. Clearly, I don’t know everything. And I can’t control everything. So I’ve really tried to be open to learning to worry about just the stuff that I can control.

Jason 18:38
I’ve always been sort of high strung and a warrior before and this really has been a lesson in there’s a million things on my list now that I could worry about, that are legitimate things to worry about, but it’s all wasted energy. So I like what you said. I try and just now worry about what I have control over. And not one of my best friends she calls it future tripping.

Jason 19:05
And so I tried to stop future tripping stop worrying about what might or might not happen. Stop worrying about what has happened. I mean, I told you I had a pinched nerve and for years I was going to the chiropractor, I can’t tell you how many times I have second-guessed myself and thought, did that contribute to this event? Did all of that net cracking did that cause the stroke?

Jason 19:24
The truth is, I don’t know. There’s no way to know it may have it may not have at this point, it doesn’t matter. I am where I am. I can’t control that what I can control is what I do today. Like you said my diet what I eat, whether or not I follow the doctor’s orders, whether or not I take time for self-care and to reflect and to slow down my life.

Jason 19:48
Another way that I do kind of what you were describing is I prioritize. Strokes are not uncommon and aneurysms are not uncommon but I’ve been told by several doctors my specific combination of facts in my case is very unusual. I have a literally have a team of doctors treating me I have so many doctors, I can’t even remember all of them.

Jason 20:12
One of the things that I’ve done is prioritize. And I even reached out to a doctor today and said, Do I really need to see this other doctor? I already have three different neurologists, they’re treating me already do I need 4 neurologist? You know what I mean? So I’ve tried to pare that down to and say, okay, what’s reasonable? What makes sense? I’m not going to ignore the doctor’s orders. But if I follow everything, the doctor said, my medical file is 500 pages thick at this point. I need to figure out what actually is reasonable and makes sense and is, you know, can I handle?

Bill 20:45
Yeah, it sounds like it’s time for focus. Rather than having everything going on at the same time. It’s just narrow the focus and just go for a couple of things that you can do that are going to support A, your physical well being, B your mental well being. So that’s really, really important for me. I did similar, I had doctors come into my hospital bed, the first hospital that I was taken to, and they would talk about me, and they wouldn’t include me in the conversation.

Bill 21:20
It used to frustrate me. So I left that hospital and basically sacked that team and hired another team, so to speak, went to another hospital, found another group of doctors who worked the way that I needed them to work, which was very small amounts of information, but very focused and narrow communication style in that this is what happened, this is what we’re exploring.

Bill 21:44
This is what we did. This is what didn’t work, this is what we’re going to try. None of the other stuff mattered. I just needed to know the details. I just needed to know the outcome or the goal that they had in mind. So then what I did is prepared myself so that I could support them, in them reaching that goal, which was to learn to remain still, I meditated, I changed my diet, I changed what I drank, I changed my relationships and how I behaved.

Bill 22:14
And what I did with the family and friends that perhaps loved me but I used to piss off all the time and yell and scream at and all of those things all that time that I had enabled me to step into this space that was calmer, therefore, my blood pressure would be lower, therefore, my stress hormone would be lower, therefore my heart rate would be better.

Bill 22:36
Therefore all these other things peripheral things would be impacted by me making this small changes. And that allowed me to be the best patient and I told this to my surgeon, and her team on the bed that are preparing before for surgery. I said to them, I am going to be the best patient you’ve ever had. I’ve done all the preparation work for you so that you can have to just deal with the problem in there, not this whole problem with a guy who’s losing his shit and is, you know, all over the place.

Bill 23:08
And whether they paid attention to that or not doesn’t matter, but it made me actually turn up in a better place. And therefore, I wasn’t getting in the way of any of the process. And it took me three years to get to that point. I had been at all the personal development courses that you could imagine up until that day.

Bill 23:38
But nothing really mattered until I took responsibility for me. And I started to change my life in very small ways that had massive, massive impacts. So it sounds like you’re very similar in the way that you’re approaching this. And I think that’s going to serve you really, really well especially going forward. Because stroke doesn’t go away the damn thing happens. And then for some reason, it never leaves people’s lives.

Bill 24:09
You know, people talk about their stroke their head 30 years ago, and they talk about it like it just happened. Some people talk about it, like it was the best thing that ever happened to them. That’s me I can get. I can say that now, but it wasn’t at the beginning. Some people talk about it like, it’s completely ruined their life still.

Bill 24:30
And it’s 20 or 30 years down the track. So you may as well if you’re going to be talking about your stroke, 20 years from now, you might as well be talking about it. From the space of this is what it taught me. This is how I change. This is how I evolved. This is how I adapted. This is how I became curious about new things I didn’t before and the fact that only it seems what only 11 or so months or 10 months into your process. You’re already on a stroke podcast who would have thought a year ago that you would have been talking about the topic of stroke on a stroke podcast.

Jason 25:06
Yeah, agreed, agreed. And I absolutely relate to what you’re saying. And it doesn’t mean that I’m like there yet. I mean, I have a lot to go through and a lot to learn, I’m sure Still.

Intro 25:16
If you’ve had a stroke, and you’re in recovery, you’ll know what a scary and confusing time it can be, you’re likely to have a lot of questions going through your mind. Like how long will it take to recover? Will I actually recover? What things should I avoid? In case I make matters worse, doctors will explain things but obviously, you’ve never had a stroke before. You probably don’t know what questions to ask.

Intro 25:40
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 the seven questions to ask your doctor about your stroke. These seven questions are the ones Bill wished he’d asked when he was recovering from a stroke. They’ll not only help you better understand your condition, 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.

Taking responsibility for stroke recovery


Jason 26:19
But I relate to what you’re saying. And one of the things that you said that I connect with is the taking responsibility for myself. There was one particular moment and early on in my recovery that was sort of a turning point. Which was when I first came home from the hospital after the craniotomy, I mean I was not in good shape. I was using a walker. I was literally so weak that I could not recline the recliner that we had bought.

Jason 26:46
So my husband and I bought a recliner because in anticipation of we knew I wasn’t going to be able to sleep in the bed. And I was so weak I could not even pull the lever to raise the recliner and I was literally being waited on hand in foot because I physically was that weak, but I also had it in my head that I couldn’t do anything.

Jason 27:11
And one of the early turning points for me was that there was a day where I realized my pill case was empty and it needed to be repopulated, and my spouse was working and was on a call. And I was gonna go get him to do it. And then I was like, no, I can do this. And so I got it. You know, I had visual issues from the stroke and whatever. So it’s hard for me to read the labels and stuff, but I was like, no, I can figure this out.

Jason 27:37
And I sat down, I lined up all the pill bottles and I lined up the pill case and it took me a long time, but I repopulated all the pills. And he came into the room. He’s like, do you need me to fill the pillowcase? And said no I did it. And he was like, oh, you did? And I was like, that was like an aha moment for me that like, Okay, this is what it’s going to take is I need to step up and even if it’s something that’s simple, I need to step up and start taking care of that myself, I need to be the one to call the doctors. I need to be the one to send the emails, it might take me longer to do it. But that’s part of the recovery.

Bill 28:12
It’s the marathon analogy. I mean, you don’t start the marathon thinking about the last step on the marathon that’s gonna get you over the line, click, there’s the time. That’s not the how you start them out. You start it with the first step. And you’ve just got to make each next step. And you’ve just got to get to the end of the marathon. And in Episode 108, which is the one that I released a couple of days ago, I released it because I recorded it I think for Episode 27, which was a number of years ago.

Bill 28:47
I interviewed a gentleman called Dr. Michael Merzenich, who, he’s the one of the founding fathers of the current research that studies that have gone into neuroplasticity. And we speak about neuroplasticity there’s this positive thing that we can use neuroplasticity in our favor, we can use it to benefit us to learn to rewire the brain.

Bill 29:10
But neuroplasticity also works in the opposite way, we can rewire the brain to support negative thoughts and support negative processes and physical actions. So that thing that you did, it could have gone one way or another for you. If it went the other way. It meant that you were learning how not to do things. You were learning how difficult it was, you were learning how not to struggle through your learning how not to take responsibility.

Bill 29:40
So that is one of those things that people don’t understand they are in a vulnerable state, their brain is changing rapidly trying to adjust and it’s gonna take the path of least resistance and if the path of least resistance is the one that you chose to not do anything, it’s going to go fine. We’ll do that one. Then you were not being able to do things and then that stays with people and sometimes that gets in the way of recovery way more than the physical ailments.

Jason 30:12
That’s fascinating. I never thought of neuroplasticity from that angle. I never thought about the fact that it can go both ways. That’s fascinating.

Bill 30:19
Yeah, we can control neuroplasticity one way or another. What we choose determines the experience that we’re going to have, you know, so 108 is the episode Michael Merzenichis an amazing guy. They invented the world’s first cochlear implant, which was back in the 90s. And, and at some point, they had an aha moment where they realized that the cochlear implant is pretty much useless if the brain doesn’t change, to adapt to listening through an electronic device.

Bill 30:52
And that was what made the cochlear implant successful it was that the fact that that it had the brain on its side and the brain used the electronic devices to listen. So it changed the game for what it meant about how to support people overcoming conditions that were so, serious that hearing was gone, for example, and the guy that Michael worked in conjunction with or at a similar time with, that was also studying was a guy called Paul Bach-y-Rita and Paul Bach-y-Rita was trying to support people to overcome vision loss with mechanical devices strapped to the forehead.

Bill 31:31
And they were able to successfully get a blind person, somebody that’s been blind from a few years after their birth to be able to see a garbage bin on the other side of a room and throw a basketball at that garbage bin and actually get it in and the way they did that was this device on the forehead created different responses depending on where the hand was. And where all the certain things were and somehow created a black and white image in that person’s brain to be able to show them that, in fact, in the distance is this garbage bin, and you’re holding the ball here.

Bill 32:23
And if you do that, you’ll be able to get it towards the bin. And then the more they practice, the more that person was able to calibrate distance and the amount of time they needed and the effort they needed and so on to get the ball and push it in through the air into the brain. So neuroplasticity is amazing. But what people don’t realize is they are activating neuroplasticity when they make a decision that’s not serving them as well. And let’s not wire that stuff in.

Jason 32:52
Yeah, there’s already enough of that stuff in the world.

Touch base

Bill 32:55
Especially now we’re going through the craziest time ever. You know, I have never had so much in common with every person on the planet as I do now, lockdowns, you know, the fear around COVID-19, and all that kind of stuff. And we can get ourselves all worked up and have all that stuff to worry about as well as how we’re recovering from a stroke or we can just worry about recovering from a stroke and what the next solution to our problems are. I’m curious about your family, your husband, and the people that were with you at that cafe when this thing happened. Have you had a conversation with them about what they went through?

Jason 33:43
Yes, we’ve had several conversations about that. I think that was not just a terrifying experience for me. I think it was a terrifying experience for them too. I’ll never forget the look on my mom’s face. When you know when Jeremy pulled out the phone and said I’m calling 911 I’ll never forget the look on my mom’s face. And you know, there’s a lot I don’t remember from that day, but I remember that.

Bill 34:13
Yeah. What are some of the things you mom has said about that time? Has she even spoken about it?

Jason 34:19
A little bit. On the humorous side of things, you know, trying to look at the bright side of things. One of the things that we’ve all kind of talked about since that incident, was that my mom has this sort of curious combination of in the actual crisis moment in the emergency. She’s cool as a cucumber. She handles everything, she just gets it done. But she had several emotional breakdowns throughout the week.

Jason 34:47
Just weird odd times that you wouldn’t expect. So like in the moment when we’re calling the ambulance and I’m being loaded and I’m being taken in for surgery and all that. She was very, very on top of things. But then in just bizarre moments in the hospital room when we’re sitting there, you know, eating lunch talking, she would break down and start crying or the nurse would come in and check on me and she would crying.

Jason 35:12
So yeah, I think it’s I think there’s a lot that went into that. And, I think, you know, it’s hard to see anybody that you care about going through something scary like that. And then I think the combination of that and also trying to stay strong for them, I think is difficult. I have a younger brother who is 18 years younger than me. And, you know, we never lived together because by the time he was born, I was out of the house living on my own.

Jason 35:40
So we have sort of an uncle-nephew kind of relationship. And I had never seen him cry. I don’t think he had ever seen me cry. And I was told by several family members that in the waiting room in the hospital when I was having a craniotomy that he broke down and had a pretty big moment because the surgery wasn’t going well. They didn’t know if I was going to make it out of the surgery. It’s been interesting to see everybody’s reaction along the way.

Bill 36:10
Yeah. Did you find yourself going into allaying everyone’s concern mode? I’m from a big Greek family. everyone loses their shit. Yeah, they pretend that they’re okay. They pretend that everything as well, but they can pull it off like they’re terrible. So I spent most of my time because I was so comfortable in my own approach, my nearly three-year preparation for surgery because I was so comfortable. In my approach, I found myself constantly allaying the concerns of everybody else and saying, you know, it’ll be right, I’m fine and all that kind of stuff. But I really believe that I wasn’t just telling them for the sake of telling them. Were you playing that role as well?

Jason 36:59
Maybe a little bit. I think that what I found myself doing more than what you’re describing is it was such a frightening experience for me, especially somebody who had never had I never had any health issues before that I’d never even spent the night in the hospital before this happened. It was so frightening that there was a period of time where I was afraid to do anything on my own, especially after the craniotomy.

Jason 37:29
So I had a lot of family members sort of rotating babysitting duty. Because I was afraid to you know, I legitimately wasn’t capable of doing certain things, but I also was afraid to be alone too. And what quickly developed was a sense of frustration at being I was frustrated at being treated like I was helpless but I also felt like I was helpless.

Dealing with emotions

Jason 37:53
Yeah, and so what quickly develop those I would get mad at myself for feeling like I was helpless and feeling like I needed to help. And then when family members would try and step in and help, I would be like, I don’t need that leave me alone. And it was this weird sort of circle that it took me a while to get out of.

Bill 38:11
So you’re helpless. You’re happy to have the help, but at the same time you were angry for being helpless and having help.

Jason 38:21
Exactly, which of course, is completely fair to my family members that are trying to help.

Bill 38:29
So it’s such a bizarre space to be in. I remember my dad, and I’ve said it before in other episodes, being my designated driver for everything. And he’s such a shit driver, and I was just so frustrated to be in the car with him. Because, you know, I’m a typical backseat driver, you know, telling people what to do and where to go and all that type of thing.

Bill 38:50
And now I had my dad driving me around, he was doing me this amazing favor. He was just, he couldn’t do anything else but he could drive so he said, you know what? I’ll be his driver, and I just used to get so annoyed and frustrated with him. And I just think back at how terrible that was. But I get it. It’s just loops. You create these loops and you sometimes can’t get out of them.

Bill 39:12
You’ve just got to ride through them. And I remember even yelling and telling my wife, she did the worst thing in the world because she parked in the wrong car space. I mean, I couldn’t drive, I couldn’t do anything. And she parked in the wrong car space, and I told her off about it. I’m pretty sure I brought her close to tears.

Bill 39:32
It was such a terrible time, but it was part of the learning process and she’s so mild-mannered that she put up with most of my junk and most of my stupidity. And then at least I had the ability to recognize later that I had been an idiot, and that an apology was required and sometimes more than one. Had Jeremy deal with all your crazy you know, behaviors?

Jason 40:06
Yeah, I’ve definitely had some of those apologies required moments to Jeremy to my parents to friends around me. Jeremy’s very mild-mannered, very calm and relaxed personality. His most likely response in those moments is to just quietly get up and leave the room and come back when I’m calm. Which is the signal to me that I’m going off the rails.

Jason 40:37
I had one particular moment with one of my best friends who just being kind and wanting to be supportive, came over to spend some time with me and brought a big huge box with all these cupcakes. And I snapped at her and I said, I said something along the lines of like, what are you thinking like I just had a stroke because of a blood clot In my brain and like you’re bringing me junk food, I can’t eat this junk food. And it was like, you know, and it was just completely unreasonable like all I had to do was say thank you I’ll eat it later and then not eat it. It was a completely unreasonable response so I’ve had those moments with my parents as well.

Bill 41:18
Yeah. They just bring food because food is such an emotional thing, isn’t it. That’s how people connect with people over a plate of food over a coffee. So they just do those things that make them feel emotionally a little better. And they don’t realize, but nor should they realize they’ve never had a stroke. We don’t want them to have a stroke. We don’t want them to know what it’s like.

Bill 41:39
So, it’s kind of good when they are so oblivious to it, because that means they’ve never had our experience and that’s what I got. That was the lesson one of the lessons I learned and how I was able to modulate my advice giving at that moment when they would just try to be nice. Tell me about what else you experienced. Do you have fatigue, cognitive fatigue and those types of things are you finding yourself hitting these little virtual walls during the day that you have to stop and rest for?

Jason 42:22
Yes, definitely more so after the TIA, I had it. I had it in the beginning after the original stroke. It was much, much worse after the craniotomy. A lot of the symptoms that I’ve experienced are actually from the craniotomy not from the stroke. At least as far as I can figure. A lot of the symptoms that I experienced are more from that surgery than from anything else.

Jason 42:45
But I did have the fatigue from the stroke as well. It’s much more pronounced after the TIA and I’m only two weeks post-TIA so it’s very early. But yeah, I’m finding myself sleeping a full eight and a half, nine-hour night, and then still having to take a nap during the day and then still feeling tired. I’m still kind of in that stage. I had some damage to my retina from the stroke from the original stroke. I can see I can read I can work on the computer, but it definitely makes me more tired than it did before, staring at the screen, especially, type on the screen is very difficult.

Post-stroke diet

Bill 43:29
So I imagine you’ve already read up to get an understanding of the things that will stimulate the brain, like screens, like sounds like lighting. So if you minimize that, when you’re feeling the way that you’re feeling, it’ll get better. And one of the things is that you need to look into and you need to research is the right kind of diet for decreasing inflammation.

Bill 43:56
And I’ll give you the very basic version of that. It’s very local carb diet, especially people recovering from a brain injury, the diet needs to be high fat. And what I’m talking about fat, not KFC, McDonald’s type of fat, like just, you know, avocado, those types of amazing fats and fats that come from protein from animal fats, if you’re that way inclined, and low carbs, because what carbs do is that they’ll spike insulin, they’ll spike cortisol, they’ll increase blood pressure, they’ll increase all these things in the body.

Bill 44:33
And those things as they spike and increase, they cause the energy high, you get that boost, and then you have that real quick energy drop off when they get used or sorted out. And then that puts people into a greater space of fatigue while the brain’s already fatiguing. It creates this added level of fatigue. So if you want to minimize that, then that’s a good way to go. You look at a book called Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter.

Bill 45:05
And you look at a book called Eat Fat Get Thin by Dr. Mark Hyman. And I know that the book says Eat Fat Get Thin. And it’s not about weight loss, actually, it’s actually about how we metabolize food and how the body deals with certain foods. And then why fat is a good thing to add to your diet, especially saturated fats that come in a form of vegetable or from animals that have been pasteurized and all that kind of stuff. So I’m not sure. Have you had some time to look into that yet?

Jason 45:38
No, you know what I find interesting, and Jeremy has commented on this a few times as well. All of the doctors that I’ve been treated by and I’ve now been hospitalized at four different hospitals. I’ve seen probably 30 doctors of all different specialties. Not one person has mentioned diet to me and I found that interesting.

Jason 46:00
And I didn’t have tons of concerns about that. Initially, because I was a marathon runner, I was already a very healthy eater. But now after this most recent episode and trying to sort out and figure out why it happened, I’m definitely more curious about that because nobody’s mentioned anything about diet to me.

Bill 46:19
I’ll tell you, I’ll give you the hint, I’ll tell you why. I’ll give you the tip of the reason that doctors don’t have that conversation is they’re more interested in keeping you alive and getting you out of the hospital. And they do that well, so they don’t have time to look at diet. However, in Australia, there was a Doctor who, and I’ve interviewed his wife, Belinda Fettke. And I’ll add these links to the podcast show notes so people can find them easily.

Bill 46:47
And I’ll send you a couple of links as well. Basically, what happened is this particular surgeon, Dr. Gary Fettke, was somebody who experienced a brain tumor I think it was somewhere in the front of his brain somewhere there, pituitary tumor. And as a result of him realizing that his time was potentially limited, he started to research how he can support his brain, while he was going through all the treatments, he found that a low carb diet was going to support his brain.

Bill 47:21
There was no guarantees of solutions or overcoming everything. And he started to feel better while he was recovering, also going through the medical process, and a number of years after he started feeling better, he started to tell his own patients who were diabetic patients, and he used to be amputating their, their limbs because they had diabetes, and it got so bad that he started telling them about diet.

Bill 47:48
And as a result of that, somebody didn’t appreciate him as a doctor who was not a qualified nutritionist doing that and they took him to court. And while he was recovering from a brain tumor, and all the things that were associated with that, and also trying to treat his patients he was being vilified and taken to court and sued, because he was giving nutritional advice.

Jason 48:17
Oh, good, Lord.

Bill 48:18
So now you know why that’s the reason why now over the years, he beat all of those charges. He was not sued, and he’s now giving nutritional advice to his patients, and therefore, he’s not amputating as much as many limbs as he used to. And it’s an amazing thing. But that is one of the issues as to why doctors don’t do that.

Bill 48:41
And what that means is that we miss out on really important information very early on in our recovery. And one of those things is the nutritional part of it. And I remember being almost beyond the almost three years into my stroke journey. While I was recovering from brain surgery, the craniotomy and I was in the hospital and I was learning how to walk again. And they were bringing me you know, white bread with margarine, with sugar infested, custards, and all these types of foods that I knew were doing nothing to support me getting out of the hospital sooner, so I stopped eating their food.

Bill 49:25
And I asked mum and dad to create meals for me and bring them in on a daily basis, and that’s what I ate. And when I was in that space, it was a number of years ago. So it was very early on in the whole low carb nutritional kind of thing. And there wasn’t enough information. So I just spent the majority of my time researching and then I created the podcast so I can share this kind of information and bring those types of people in.

Bill 49:53
That is one of the things that we can control the most, our diet. And we can make a massive difference to how we support our brain in the recovery. And that means that we can have better outcomes, get out of the hospital sooner and get back to work sooner, get back to a productive life sooner. So I love that you’re so curious and you’re willing to look at anything. Because these interventions don’t cost us anything to do. We don’t have to employ anybody to pay anybody, we just have to buy less things or different things and put different things in our shopping basket.

Jason 50:34
No, I definitely agree with that. I mean, it is kind of that taking responsibility for your own recovery kind of idea again, and I think, one of the reasons also why doctors don’t necessarily address that issue is I think a lot of doctors, maybe not all of them, but a lot of doctors don’t have training in that area either. They know their specialty, they’re good at their specialty.

Jason 51:00
But I know, one specific neurosurgeon that sort of my main doctor, absolutely love this guy. He’s a fantastic doctor for so many reasons. And one of the things that I appreciate about him is he knows what he’s an expert in and what he’s not an expert in. And we’ve had conversations where I’ll ask, you know, I’ll ask him X, Y, and Z. And he’ll say, that’s not my expertise, I really would prefer you talk to a specialist about that. And then he provides me with the referral to that person. And I appreciate that because if you don’t know the answer, I don’t want you to give me a bullshit answer you know what I mean?

Bill 51:38
I get really annoyed about it because they spend so much time, money, effort, resources, technology, all the things that go into bringing a stroke survivor back to life and back to the world and then they undermine all of that effort with not having this next crucial part of the puzzle.

Bill 52:04
And it’s a similar thing that some of those doctors do, who go out of their way to keep us alive, open our heads up, you know, take parts of our brain out and do all these things. And then they say something like, you’ll probably never walk again. You know, what’s the point of doing all of that? What’s the point of going to that much effort to get me out of hospital alive and then potentially tell me that I’m never gonna walk again.

Bill 52:36
It might be the case, but don’t tell me that. Tell me that with a lot of work and effort. I might walk again, and I might actually achieve that. And that’s kind of where I go on this tangent and get so passionate about it. And you can hear about that. In all my other podcast episodes. I always have something to say about these small bits of the puzzle that they just missed.

Bill 53:00
That could just dramatically improve the lives of a lot of people. But I know they’re doing their best. And I’m grateful for them because if it wasn’t for them, you and I wouldn’t be here.

Jason 53:11
Absolutely.

Bill 53:13
So I want to as we come to the end of the episode, I want to ask you about why it was important for you to get on the podcast. Why did you reach out?

Jason 53:27
I recently, it was very recently, as a matter of fact created a specific Instagram profile that’s just for stroke and aneurism survivors because when I was first diagnosed with this, and I was first trying to figure it out, I had never I didn’t personally know anybody that was a stroke survivor. I didn’t personally know anybody that was an aneurysm survivor.

Jason 53:48
And I was sort of reaching out trying to find information. I couldn’t find anything positive. Everything that I found was scary and negative and horrible. And doom and gloom. So I created an interview. profile that was specifically for stroke and aneurism survivors. And the intent was to be positive and share what’s working and what you know.

Jason 54:09
And then it’s just in its infancy. I mean, I have very few followers because I just created it right before you and I were sort of introduced. And that’s also why I’m writing the book right now about my journey as well to kind of share, because I recognize I’ve been extraordinarily lucky throughout this journey. A lot of people that have been through what you and I’ve been through, are not as lucky as we have been.

Jason 54:32
But there are a lot of things that don’t have to be as scary that can be more positive that can be, you know, they can give you some hope and some future. So that’s why anything that I can do that can if there’s somebody out there going through this that maybe doesn’t have the level of support that I do, that hasn’t had the positive experience with the doctors that I’ve had, and just need some direction.

Bill 55:00
Yeah, I think that’s a great thing. And it’s so, so common you see it again and again and again stroke survivors that, you know, in the community that we’ve got on Instagram. They, go out of their way to support other people. And they might be doing it tougher than anybody. And that’s just so interesting and amazing to me that that is the first port of call for most stroke survivors is to make it about somebody else.

Bill 55:35
And it’s so fascinating and bizarre at the same time and it’s such a beautiful thing that comes from stroke almost immediately people think about okay, what have I learned that would help somebody else. It’s just, it leaves me speechless, and it happens all the time and I still am not used to that fact. I got to that stage as well.

Bill 56:01
But it took me quite some time to get there. And, it was because I had to solve a lot of problems on my own before I could start helping other people. But then when I realized that I had this information, this is not the kind of guy that I was before. I didn’t keep that information to myself. I thought, No, this could be handy for a lot of other people. Let me get it out there. And let me tell them about it. So I really relate to what you’re saying. I can appreciate why you’re doing it. And I think it’s an amazing thing that you’re doing. Have you got a title for the book yet?

Be Here Now

signs of stroke
Jason 56:34
I do. In fact, the rough draft is finished. I’m in the editing and revising process. Now. The title of the book is Be Here Now. And the thinking behind that the reason I’ve called it that is because, one of the many, many, many lessons that I’ve learned throughout this whole process. Probably the most important lesson is to be present to not worry about the past. not worry about the future, live right here right now. And that’s why I called the book that.

Bill 57:05
Why is that important? In a few words, tell me why is living here right now important and how does that help you in your recovery?

Jason 57:17
Because I don’t have control over what happened. I can’t change the fact that I had a stroke. I can’t change the fact that I had the aneurism that I had the TIA. So worrying about that is not helpful. And I don’t have control over what’s going to happen in the future.

Jason 57:34
Worrying about what may or may not happen is wasted energy and is probably detrimental to my health. I have control over right here and right now I have control both from the standpoint of my recovery, but also from the standpoint of just enjoying the moment and not wasting the chances that I’ve been given in you know, I’ve been really fortunate. I don’t want to waste it.

Bill 58:01
That sounds like a perfect way to end this podcast episode. Thank you so much for being on the podcast for reaching out for doing all the things that you’re doing for writing the book and for taking responsibility for your own healing journey and your own recovery. And I look forward to the book getting finished. I’d love to have you back on the podcast when it’s done, so that we can tell other people about it and we can talk about it. And I just wish you well ongoing.

Jason 58:32
Thank you so much.

Intro 58:38
Discover how to heal your brain after stroke. Go to recovery after stroke.com. 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 experiences.

Intro 59:00
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 control this website or content is created and produced for informational purposes only and is largely based on the personal experience of Bill Gasiamis.

Intro 59:17
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 59:33
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 59:49
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 called triple zero If in Australia or your local emergency number immediately for emergency assistance or go to the nearest hospital emergency department.

Intro 1:00:06
Medical information changes constantly. While we aim to provide current quality information and 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 110. All The Signs Of Stroke – Jason DePetris appeared first on Recovery After Stroke.

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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
109. 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 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-power-of-suffering/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-power-of-suffering/feed/ 0 <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/">109. 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

Socials:
https://www.instagram.com/davidjroland/
https://www.simonandschuster.com.au/books/The-Power-Of-Suffering/David-Roland/9781760850128
https://davidroland.com.au/the-power-of-suffering/

Highlights:

01:02 Introduction
05:50 Life after a stroke
13:34 Dealing with post-stroke fatigue
20:42 The change after surviving a stroke
26:22 The Power of Suffering
36:36 Physical and emotional pain according to David Roland
50:19 Why secrets can cause health issues
1:02:18 David Roland’s professional mindset before the stroke

Transcription:

David 0:00
You know, if we look at the major religions, they’ve all talked about suffering as a means of growing or developing wisdom, or a form of redemption. So this idea is actually as old as the hills. As far as we know, humans have been experiencing this in some way, forever. But certainly, you know, in documented history, there’s plenty of examples of that.

David 0:25
But now we’ve got a title. And we’ve got a research field like scientific papers and so on. So we can actually say it really exists. So but when I was working as a clinical and forensic psychologist, we just saw Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a bad thing. And the idea was that you had to get back or try and get back to the level you’re at before.

Intro 0:51
This is the Recovery After Stroke Podcast, with Bill Gasiamis, helping you navigate recovery after stroke.

Introduction

David Roland
Bill 1:02
Bill from Recoveryafterstroke.com. This is Episode 109 and my guest today is David Roland. David is the author of the book The Power of Suffering. He has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is an honorary associate with the University Center for Rural Health at the University of Sydney. He is a founding member of compassionate mind Australia.

Bill 1:24
And David experienced a stroke and later wrote his first book, an autobiography called how I rescued my brain. Today’s episode is about his experience with post-traumatic growth. Now when you get to the end of this episode, whether you’re watching on YouTube, or listening on your favorite podcast app, please do me a favor and share this episode in other groups you hang out in.

Bill 1:44
This will help someone that is doing a tough at the moment, feel a little better about the journey that they are on. Also, if you feel this podcast makes a massive difference to you, and the stroke community, please do me a favor and give the show a five-star review on iTunes or wherever you download your podcasts from. Now, It’s on with the show. David Roland, welcome back to the podcast.

David 2:06
Thank you, Bill. It’s good to be here. And we’re both still here. How about that?

Bill 2:11
That is an amazing thing that we’re both still here.

David 2:14
We’re doing something right. Yeah, you’re in lockdown, aren’t you?

Bill 2:18
I am in lockdown. We’ve gone into stage four lockdown the last couple of days and we’ve been in lockdown for what seems to be forever but it has gone relatively quickly. This second lockdown has been a little bit more frustrating. A lot of people are going through some difficult times there’s a lot of people that are going to lose their job. And it’s not dissimilar to what we went through as stroke survivors when we had a stroke and couldn’t work, couldn’t earn money and find ourselves in a really difficult position financially.

Bill 2:52
So it’s not unfamiliar to me, but it’s unfamiliar to a lot of other people and I know what’s going to come of it for some people. will be this traumatic experience, we’ll leave some underlying trauma there and, and there’s a lot of talk around about whether or not governments are taking into consideration the long term psychological effects on people who are going through this lockdown and then how they’re going to come out of that. So I think it’s a perfect time for us to have a chat.

David 3:30
Yes. And I think what we want to impart here today Bill and I can certainly impart and you’ve had the experience to of losing everything, being in a very scary situation, and survived and actually grown. And so I think that’s the essential message for today. It’s very scary, very distressful time for many people. But you and I are testament to the fact that you can survive and you can grow from the experience. Even If it doesn’t feel like it when you’re in that survival stage.

Bill 4:04
Yes. And if you’re coming to this podcast and you’re the first person, it’s the first time you’ve listened to one of those podcasts. This is Episode 109. Right? But there’s 108 other episodes of people who have gone through stroke, and overcome great odds and survived and thrived and done a whole bunch of amazing things. So they are all amazing stories, and they’re all at different stages. But I like the way that you organized your story in your latest book.

Bill 4:30
But before we talk about your latest book I want to talk about the last time you were on the podcast was Episode 37. And we spoke about How I Rescued My Brain. The book had just written that I had found in a bookstore in Melbourne that I picked up and as soon as I took it outside, I started reading it was about nine o’clock in the evening. And when I got to the first i don’t know i think it was three pages in I was in tears and crying.

Bill 5:00
And I was with my wife, and she just didn’t understand what was happening and why I was in tears. And it was basically because immediately what I did was, I understood that you were somebody like me, you had been through something similar to me and I related to your story, but at the same time, as I felt some sadness, and sorry for you, in a way, I also really loved my experience.

Bill 5:29
And that reliving of my experience was what I didn’t realize was a little bit of underlying trauma that’s coming to the surface to bubble up and release itself. And then gives me an opportunity to chat to my wife about it and, get beyond it, and it’s an ongoing journey. What are you been doing since then?

Life after a stroke

David 5:50
I guess we’re talking 10 years now since the stroke. And I’ll also add that there was psychological trauma before that which came out of my previous work as a clinical and forensic psychologist. And one of the big losses for me, besides the effect of the brain injury was I lost my former career, I can’t really go back to working how I used to, to work.

David 6:15
And it took me, you know, about 18 months post stroke to realize that I really had to pivot. You know, like you were saying, We’ve done this before, we’ve had to change direction. So I was largely for the first five years after the stroke just getting well, as good as I could be. And that’s when I discovered that writing was autobiographical writing was one of the healing things that you can do.

David 6:41
And in How I Rescued My Brain, I explain a bit of the brain science behind that why that is healing. It helps us to make sense of the experiences that we’ve gone through. But the unexpected thing that happened for me Bill was and it’s not in in How I rescued my brain is that I decided to take up dancing as a new activity for brain health.

David 7:07
Now, I’ve always been a musician, and I used to play in dance bands. But I was always used to being on stage rather than on the dance floor. And I just learned or read that dancing was one of the most effective ways to activate your brain, and particularly, partner dancing. So in the very beginning, a friend told me about five rhythms dancing, which is five different reasons it starts slow, gets faster, and then it slows down again.

David 7:37
And the idea is, with that type of dancing is to take your head out of the dancing, so allow your feet to move first. Or if you like, let your feet or your body do the talking rather than your head. And you know, I had to overcome a lot of self consciousness being in a room for lots of other people that were just very uninhibited and going wild at different points.

David 8:01
But remarkably, what I found as I got used to it and became less self conscious, was that all the grief, the sense of loss, the trauma, despair, you know, all those really strong feelings. I hadn’t realized how lodged in my body they were. And as I would move to the music, so my body’s doing the talking rather than my head saying, I’ll do this move.

David 8:24
It was like a corkscrew of energy just coming out of me. It was so visceral and so real. And I just did not expect it at all. And I would go in a week after week and it was such a healing experience, that after a while, it felt like I’d really emptied out of all that gunky stuff. And I started to experience joy. Joy became the motivation then to keep it up. But I actually wanted at that point, I thought I’d like to start holding a woman again because I’ve been divorced by this stage.

David 9:00
And I wanted touch again, but non sexual touch. And I wanted to do Latin style dancing because I just really love the Latin rhythm. And the first year I went along to the local salsa classes, and it was really, really tough because I could get the rhythm, but I couldn’t remember any of the patterns that we learned. It’s like I would do an hour of class.

David 9:25
And if you told me just name one thing you’ve learned in the class I couldn’t, and I had huge mental fatigue is, you know, stroke survivors we know. So I did that for the first year. The second year, I managed to learn a few paterns. Remember a few paterns. And then the third year, I felt confident enough to go on the social dance floor because I could remember a handful of paterns and very slowly worked my way up.

David 9:52
I mean, you know, the Latin dance, scene they don’t play music super loud, but every now and then I have to go out and give my brain a bit of a relief and come back in again. So now I dance with joy. And last year I went on a trip to Cuba, the dance trip with my local teacher. And we even made a video. I’ve got now a video of me learning some of the Cuban dance styles and then doing a sequence with one of my main teachers at the very end.

Bill 10:25
I saw that video it was a great video. And one of the things that stands out to me, of what you just said is that it took you three years to get to that point. And it’s very similar to a comment that was made on episode 106 by Kelly Studebaker who’s a power lifter and she does powerlifting with one side of her body because the other side of her body doesn’t work so well.

Bill 10:49
She has a deficit on the left side I think it is and therefore her arm can’t grip a barbell, but she talks about how it took her five years years to get to that point where she felt comfortable to compete. And she never thought about competing. She just thought about doing the process of lifting heavier and heavier weights and learning how to do that with half of her body, effectively.

Bill 11:17
And then when she got to a certain point, somebody challenged her, I think it was and it made her go, well, okay, maybe I can compete in some way, shape or form. And she did. And that was a real big moment for her. So I want to emphasize the time that it takes and it took you three years. So what was it like to go to Cuba, and finally, put the cherry on top of this whole experience?

David 11:45
Where you got to understand that Cuba was another challenge in itself. I hadn’t done long haul international travels since the stroke. And it’s a big trip from Australia to Cuba with a stopover in Canada. And I knew that Cuba would be noisy Because they, they love their music, they play music everywhere. And it’s a Latin society, so they stay up really late.

David 12:10
So what would happen is, you know, we would have dance classes for two hours in the morning. Now, there’s no way I could have done two hours of dance classes at all, let alone once a week, you know, in the beginning one hour, it just completely knocked me out. So amazing that I could do two hour dance classes almost every morning, the three weeks that we were there.

David 12:34
But then in the evenings, you know, you’d go out at 10 1030 because that’s when things kick off and go to a show or a dance or dance club or a live concert. And, you know, dance away. Well, I just couldn’t keep that schedule up. But I made sure I did the dance classes in the morning because the teachers were just so superb.

David 12:55
You know, the quality of teaching I knew would be rare to find in australia so I made the most of that. And I would go out in the evenings, you know, every second evening, something like that, you know, others in the group, we’re going out more often. So that was the big challenge for me was the mental fatigue and every now and then particularly towards the end, I get real overload and I would just have to hibernate in my room. And the dance teacher understood that you know, I needed some quiet so she often made sure I had one of the quieter rooms where we were staying in people’s houses.

Dealing with post-stroke fatigue

Bill 13:34
Yeah, that’s amazing. I go through the same kind of experiences with fatigue and the fatigue sometimes interferes with my progress in that I want something to progress quicker, and it doesn’t and then I get frustrated and annoyed. And, and then that creates a little bit of a loop of you getting stuck in feeling sorry for myself again. How do you deal with fatigue? And how do you come to terms with what is your process of dealing with it?

David 14:08
Look, it’s a difficult one, isn’t it Bill? You know, because, you’re the same as me, I think, you know, you’re achievement-oriented, curious, you like getting out in the world and doing things. So it doesn’t come naturally just to pull back. I have to pull back more often than I did pre-stroke. So I recognize my patterns of fatigue.

David 14:32
I know which activities to do, which time of the day, like last year, I was pretty much writing the whole year. And I would start work, you know, sort of around nine in the morning, and I clock off. I have a big lunch break with an afternoon nap. That afternoon nap really, really helps the clock off, you know, around 334 in the afternoon, and I’m totally mentally shattered by that point. So I felt That managing my mental energy cycle is one thing.

David 15:05
And then the other thing is keeping up intensive exercise. So whether dancing is actually very intensive. But also I would go to the gym or I do a lot of swimming, sometimes swimming squads or swimming in the ocean. And for some reason, I don’t understand the biology of this, but if I do intense physical activity, and it doesn’t have to be for a long time, it seems to clear my head quite a lot and get rid of quite a bit of fatigue. But typically in the evenings, I can’t do anything that requires a lot of concentration. So it’s really just getting to know yourself and finding those handles or leavers, which lift you up, you know, when you come down.

Bill 15:50
I can relate to that being able to get through a certain amount during the day and then almost being completely wiped out at night is very familiar. I’ve got things to do and there’s a to do list. And, the things early on in the day get done on the to do list but then some of them have to creep over to beyond that four or five o’clock mark, they just don’t get done. They have to get done the next day and no matter what.

Bill 16:15
So I never have big to do list but I have noticed myself being in a space of something not getting finished for 2, 3, 4 or five days just because it just can’t get done. And it’s not because for lack of trying or I don’t want to do just absolutely, positively physically cannot get done. So that’s familiar. The exercise thing is interesting because before COVID I went and joined a gym, and I thought that I’m doing it for the social part, but also for the exercise part.

Bill 16:48
But I don’t want to commit to a gym membership or long term thing or three days a week only half an hour. A week on a Saturday morning because That was going to give me, that physical version of exercising. And it was going to give me all of the benefits that I get from that and then the interaction with other like minded gym kind of people.

Bill 17:14
But then it would take me three or four hours to recover from that physically, but my head would be okay, as in my head would be okay for that day and the day after no problem. It was this very different version of experiencing my body one way, half an hour of pretty intense exercise would wipe me out physically, but not mentally. And then other days. sitting in front of a computer would wipe me out mentally and physically.

David 17:44
Yes, So I think you’ve found a pattern that’s working for you. with how things are, I mean, you know, cuba showed me how much I’ve advanced. You know how much I could handle noise And, you know, I’d have sort of mini breakdowns as I say, I just have to withdraw. Which is almost impossible in Cuba because there’s music, or they talk really loud as well.

David 18:14
But I, you know, you asked me, you know, is that the cherry on top it was, it was the cherry on top because I did that challenging thing. I’ve always wanted to go to Cuba. Originally it was to play the music, learn the music, because I played a lot of guitar. But now it’s more the dancing and the social interaction. You know, I learned a bit of Spanish and I was trying to practice my Spanish so that it was achieving that goal. But it was also the joy of dancing and learning from just amazing dance teachers and being around a culture which celebrates music and dance and the arts more generally.

Bill 18:55
Yeah. There’s a lot of work being done. I know people are searching and studying the area of music, in rehabilitation and in therapy, as well as dancing and all that type of thing. So I know there’s a lot of positives to come out of it and it makes sense because dancing releases endorphins and you know other feel good hormones.

Bill 19:23
And I imagined so does music listening to it evokes memories and pleasant times and amazing things. So it just makes sense that these things help and I get a lot from music and sometimes when I can listen to music, I like to listen to the music that I used to listen to when I was a kid that is high in energy, you know, really something that I would have been doing at a nightclub while I was dancing, although I’m not able to specifically dance right now because I don’t often dance alone at home.

Bill 19:53
I might with my wife, but I don’t alone at home is not where I used to do that. But the music still puts me in that place, and allows us to allows me to release some of those feel-good hormones, you know, and I might do some crazy moves like this from time to time. So it makes sense. I’m glad that you did that. And you went on that trip. Because it does remind me of some of my experiences as well, which is that big goal that you create out there in the future, and then you just somehow work towards to get to, and I think stroke survivors should have that big, long, distant goal that they focus their energy to get to, even though it might take them a long time to get there.

The change in David Roland after surviving a stroke

David Roland
David 20:42
Yeah, and I would point out that the Cuban goal wasn’t a goal. In the beginning. It was just about getting Well again, and you know, it’s an exercise to do with brain health and but it led into this new direction, which I hadn’t expected. So I think that moves us on then to the new area that I’ve just written about in my new book, The Power of Suffering, growing through life crises.

David 21:06
Is that we do change. After we survive the intense suffering that we’ve been through, we do change. And we can change in a lot of positive ways. It’s remarkable. The number of people I’ve spoken to who’ve had some sort of loss, whether it’s a physical loss, or it’s a social loss, or it’s a financial loss, or it’s a loss of health.

David 21:30
They’ve lost something that I never expected to lose. And it’s devastating in the beginning. And for some people, they, you know, for many people, it feels like how am I going to survive this. And my, you know, my simple tip there is really just point your nose in the direction that you think you need to go in that day. And put one foot in front of the other and give yourself you know, do it gently.

David 21:55
So give yourself Pat’s on the back and allow the fact that you don’t always have a great day. And you know, that was like that for quite a few years. I’ve started to value relationships a lot more like with my daughters, with my friends with my family, I realized how important they had been, you know, the social connection through my survival period.

David 22:24
And I just valued them a lot more. And I also noticed that I was enjoying just simple pleasures, a lot more than expensive pleasures, like it wasn’t like I needed to go on an expensive holiday. Not that Cuba was cheap, but that was the first expensive thing I’d done. But it was for the experience of connection and the joy of learning and you know, the music and then also that opening to new possibilities, like I was saying, you know, now I’m a full-time writer and speaker and I could not have imagined that 10 years ago.

David 23:03
So we opened up to new possibilities. And we also sometimes grow in spiritual ways. You know, I know that I’m much more value-driven now. I think it’s the greater good, I think of myself in the bigger picture. You know, my sense of spirituality is thinking of growing the way and shrinking the eye. And, you know, for some people, you know, religion and Orthodox religion is really important.

David 23:33
But you can have other forms of spirituality, which help guide you. One of the stories I’ve got in my book is of the senior chaplain of the New South Wales Ambulance Service. And I got to know him and tell his story. He went through major trauma and became a minister of religion and then wanted to help paramedics.

David 23:56
I wanted to interview him because he said, You know when chaplain turns up to the scene of horrific accident or suicide or death of a child or something like that. What can you offer people at that moment? And really, it boils down to human presence, just bringing your human presence. And you don’t have to say anything wise, you don’t have to say anything smart.

David 24:21
And often what we do is we hold back because we’re afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing. But you know, as I show in, when I tell that story, and he gives a few examples of, of incidents that he came across, you just have to turn up and you just sometimes just need to sit with a person and it could be in silence.

David 24:43
And then you know, after time, you know, you can have a bit more input when you’re helping somebody go through a major crisis. So there’s about five or six ways that this is in this area of post-traumatic growth research that I discovered which typically people can grow in might be just one thing, or it might be the whole lot.

David 25:06
And what I’d also like to add is that you can grow in these ways, but there still can be difficulties in your life. It’s not like magically, everything is really hunky-dory. Like you can still have some aspects of trauma, you can still experience periods of distress or despondency. Or, like you said, and like I experience we get frustrations because we’d like to do more than we can.

David 25:31
So it’s like we walk alongside those things, rather than them being like a wall in front of us. We can still grow, and we might still have this difficulty that’s alongside us, you know, like the weightlifter you were describing earlier. She still got one side that’s partially mobile, but she works with what she’s got. Rather than thinking I can’t do anything because of this, you know, physically mobility that I’ve got

Bill 26:00
Yeah, it’s fair if she thought that as well, it would have been fair. Yeah. Except she just decided that she’s not gonna allow that to get in a way. And she also needs amazing things. And she’s worked out a way to create some kind of a process that allows her to still knit even though one of her hands can’t really do the job of holding a knitting needle correctly.

The Power of Suffering

The Power Of Suffering
Bill 26:22
So she finds new unique ways to overcome challenges that a lot of people have and it and she brags about the stuff that she does, which is really cool, because she’s not bragging about it from the point of view of I knitted this with my one arm that works well. She just brags about the fact that she made a hat that’s out of wool, or whatever it was. So it’s pretty amazing now. That’s the book The Power of Suffering.

David 26:57
Growing Through Life Crises.

Bill 26:59
I love your book covers, there’s a lot of thought that goes into them. The last book cover was that one there, which shows the ancient Japanese art of repairing things with gold. Because often, the way the Japanese see it is, is that when something is broken, and you repair it and you make it a pretty repair, it makes it even better than it was before. And that is the experience that I had with my brain. And tell me a little bit about this book cover because it’s got what looks like a maze on it.

David 27:33
Yes. So if you can just take your finger away from the bottom there Bill, you’ll see that that plant has been pulled out of the ground. And so that’s the experience you know, when we get hit by a major crisis or life upheaval, it feels like we’ve been, you know, taken our roots have been taken out of the ground where we were.

David 27:55
And then you know, this is maze of trying to get through life which you know, we’ve never had any training for these things that happen to us. And sometimes people around us or often, They don’t know what to do either. So there’s this maze that we go through. And once we get through the maze, we start to blossom in new ways.

David 28:17
So that’s the idea of the book cover. The cover designer came up with that, once knowing the message with the book, and I think it’s a great illustration of the main theme of the book, which is, there is the survival, which is really, really hard. Then there’s the recovery period where you start to make sense of things. You develop new routines and new ways of supporting yourself and those around you get used to that as well. And then you start to blossom in some new ways that you never expected.

Bill 28:49
You talk about post-traumatic growth, intimately right now, as a psychologist in your working life in the past. Were you aware of that concept? And were you able to have those types of conversations with people that came to see you for support?

David 29:06
No, I wasn’t Bill. And I think this is what’s so exciting about this relatively new field, as a research field, you know, if we look at the major religions have all talked about suffering as a means of growing or developing wisdom, or a form of redemption. So this idea is actually as old as the hills. As far as we know, humans have been experiencing this in some way, forever.

David 29:36
But certainly, you know, in documented history, there’s plenty of examples of that. But now we’ve got a title. And we’ve got a research field like a scientific papers and so on, so we can actually say it really exists. So but when I was working as a clinical and forensic psychologist, we just saw Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a bad thing. And the idea was you had to get back to the try and get back to the level you were at before.

Intro 30:04
If you’ve had a stroke, and you’re in recovery, you’ll know what a scary and confusing time it can be, you’re likely to have a lot of questions going through your mind. Like how long will it take to recover? Will I actually recover? What things should I avoid In case I make matters worse? Doctors will explain things but obviously, you’ve never had a stroke before, you probably don’t know what questions to ask.

Intro 30:29
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.

David 31:07
One of the founders of this research field is Professor Richard Tedeschi is a psychologist in North Carolina, or North Charlotte, in the US. And he uses a really good example. He says, you know, if a city has been hit by an earthquake, and buildings are broken and infrastructure is destroyed, but people still need to live, they need still need to exist.

David 31:35
And if this city is in an area where earthquakes have happened or could happen, it doesn’t make any sense once you know it can happen to rebuild the city exactly the way it was before. Like try and create the buildings the way before the infrastructure the way they were before you actually now know that you have to build it in a new way so It becomes resilient to future shocks.

David 32:03
And this is the idea of growth where growth is transformation. It’s not bouncing back to how things were exactly before, but growing in a new direction. And I think this is going to be the big lesson coming out of the pandemic, is, you know, we use this expression new normal, is we’re not going to go back to how things were, we’re going to transform in some ways, and some of those transformations are going to be really good.

David 32:32
But unfortunately, we have to go through the struggle first. Because the struggle opens us up, you know, creates vulnerability. We realize how uncertain life is. Unfortunately, the way it works is we have to experience the emotional pain to try you know, be motivated to find new ways of being. And one of the things we need to understand is that life is inherently uncertain. There’s an element of fragility to it. We can control everything that happens to us.

Bill 33:03
The Buddha talks about suffering as being as having a large component of ignorance associated to it. So my ignorance of not understanding how I can ride a bike or not seeking out how to learn how to ride a bike again, allows me to suffer the feelings of never being able to ride a bike again. So, putting away becoming curious about what might come, what I might be able to achieve with regards to getting back to riding a bike will allow me to have some successes in that area and therefore I am less ignorant and therefore my suffering will decrease.

Bill 33:50
That’s the way at least that I took that story from the buddha and I brought it into my life so that when I hadn’t ridden my bike for four years after the stroke, because every time I got on, I couldn’t feel my left side, I would fall over and injure myself and hurt myself. I found new ways to try and overcome that. And one of the ways was to get a potentially a bike that had two wheels in the back, so that balance wasn’t an issue.

Bill 34:21
But what I found was that my left leg, when I was pedaling, would get really tense and tight and fatigued. And as a result, it would be very difficult to get home so I might get to my destination, but getting home would be really painful. So that wasn’t working. And then of course, electric bikes were invented. And the battery operated pedaling system allowed my left leg not to get fatigue and also to have a greater amount of support on the way home.

Bill 34:52
And that made me getting back on a bike without two wheels in the back just two wheels possible again, and after about five years I overcome the challenge of how do I get back on the bike. Now, if that didn’t work, I might have got a bike that takes me on shorter trips, or a bike that I have to lie down in. What I’m trying to get at is that initially, I avoided the whole thing for about four years, and I suffered the entire time, little bits of suffering.

Bill 35:22
But every time I saw somebody riding a bike, and I remembered that I couldn’t do it, it caused a little bit of tension, a little bit of anxiety. So then I’ve overcome that ignorance in how I could do something was what was getting in the way. I overcame that by learning and becoming curious about how to move on and continue the passion or continue that thing that I used to do from my childhood.

Bill 35:55
Regardless of what all was experienced on my left side, you know, and that and Kelly, the weightlifter is the epitome of that as well. She reminds me of that kind of way of overcoming. It’s just about getting curious. There is I felt there was more pain before the overcoming of that problem, it’s better after you overcome that problem or find a solution to that problem. How do you talk about that to people, which is that they’re scared that they might not find the answer, therefore, that will be painful. But there’s sort of existing in a world of pain because they’re afraid.

David 36:36
Yeah, it’s great, great question, Bill. And I really wanted to address that in this book, you know how people can stay stuck in their suffering and not move on. But first of all, I just want to touch on the difference between pain and suffering. So we know that physical pain, we’ve got pain receptors in our body is necessary for survival.

Physical and emotional pain according to David Roland


David 36:56
Because we step on something sharp and it cuts us we need that pain sensation go to our brain say you’ve stepped on something, you’ve got a cut, you need to fix it. And it’s the same with emotional pain. You know, we’re designed to have grief. Because we can only have grief when we love somebody or we connected to somebody, or we love our job when we lose our job.

David 37:19
That’s part of how we’re made. So we need to accept that there’s a level of pain which is going to come from loss or hurt, you know, like being heartbroken is a very physical experience as much as an emotional one. So this pain is quite normal and you know, it can take some time for that pain to ease up. If we’ve lost a loved one. It may be that we never completely lose the grief. But we can move on and develop maybe new connections.

David 37:52
So the second thing is acceptance. So when you had the left-sided, paralysis or immobility or loss of strength, you got stuck in your suffering because well, I can’t ride and you stay stuck in your suffering around that. And riding for I think you said four years. So we need to accept, this is how it is now. So if I’ve got left-sided weakness, I’ve got to say, okay, it’s been around for a while.

David 38:23
So this is how it is now, what can I do, given that I’ve got left-sided weakness, and in your case, you really wanted to get back to cycling. So you found ways of doing that and that eased your suffering. It hasn’t necessarily fixed up your left side of weakness, although I mentioned that strengthen, but we ease our suffering through acceptance and then saying, okay, that’s how it is now, what can I do with that?

David 38:51
And it could mean you find a new way of doing the sort of things you did before like you with your bike riding, or Kelly with the weight lifting or in my case, you know, I found something completely new, which was dancing. So, and I was able to get back to ocean swimming after a while as well, because in my case, I had trouble with my balance.

David 39:13
So lifting my head up and down in waves actually made me incredibly dizzy. So we can find new ways, or we can find adaptations. And that’s how we start to release our suffering. So we might have the limitation which is real. We’ve got to accept that and say, okay, this is what it looks like, this is what it feels like. This is what it sounds like. What can I do now?

Bill 39:39
Yeah, that really strikes a chord. That’s amazing. It’s exactly what you said. It’s that adapting that makes sense now, but it’s the first time that somebody has said that to me that it’s about how you adapt. It’s not only about how you evolve and how you grow, but it how you adapt and allow yourself to adapt and also experience joy in doing things that you haven’t potentially done before, that you didn’t think could be joyful.

Bill 40:09
And I found a lot of those things. And I do a lot of those things. And one of them is podcasting. And that’s a classic example of me diverting my energy because I’m a very highly energetic person diverting it into something else. That also creates this, where it’s more about, like you said, it’s about we rather than just me, and it’s about how do I create this podcast that’s going to make a difference to all stroke survivors.

Bill 40:39
And then what came of it was, you can also make a difference to people that release a book about recovery, that I can interview and then that will help other stroke survivors as well as me and then this thing just grew out of nowhere and it came to me in the most bizarre place you know, came to me in the hospital going from surgery to a month-long stint in rehabilitation so I can learn how to walk again. So, I’m not sure how it came to me while I was sitting in that place called the transit lounge. But it did and it never ever went away. And I didn’t know how to do a podcast. What it was how you get it online? I had no idea. I just knew that that’s something that was going to happen.

David 41:25
You’ve said two great things there. Bill. If I could just comment on that. The first one is, you’re a bit crazy for doing Podcast I mean, you got in before everybody started to do podcasts, so good on you. But now you’ve open to new possibilities. And exactly that point. We don’t know what that new possibility is going to be. Why on earth did it come to you this idea of doing podcasts and when you’re in the transit lounge, I don’t know. You don’t need to know either. So that’s the first thing.

David 41:59
The second thing Is that, what was the second thing? I still got some of that memory issue. I forgot what I was gonna say now, I got so excited about you deciding to do podcasts, oh the second thing. The second thing, another way in which people often grow is and it actually helps them move through this suffering. So it’s both a strategy and also an outcome is to offer personal service as some form of personal service.

David 42:35
And you know, all the stories that are in my new book, every one of them and I didn’t know that we’re going to do this now offer personal service because of what they’ve been through. So one of the stories is Steve Gallic, who was in a motor vehicle accident where his wife and one young son died. And his second young son Steve was in about 28 when It happened.

David 43:01
His second young son had a very severe brain injury was in a coma. So Steve became his son, Peter’s carer. And Steve himself got a fractured neck. So he wasn’t well either. But now he rehabilitates native wild animals who are injured. And he’s a professor of economics. And he is working his way up through the federal government service.

David 43:26
And he was like one of the hard men. He had no idea he was gonna go out and rescue animals. and to see him feeding baby Joey’s with a bottle, which I got to do. And I got some video that just really, really moving. And he says animals have given me so much. He said he didn’t have a lot of support after his accident. And he said, I want to support animals in ways that I wasn’t supported and I get more from them caring from them and that feels like a gift to them.

Bill 44:02
Wow, that is just amazing. I said exactly the same thing. That’s partly why the podcast exists because I wanted to bridge those gaps for people who didn’t have the information that I needed. You know, in 2012. In 2012, there was no information about how you can support yourself. It was sort of starting to emerge. And there was new areas of research about neuroplasticity, and all that type of thing was happening. But there wasn’t a lot of information out there about it.

Bill 44:28
And I just struggled with not knowing and not being able to find unique solutions to really challenging problems. And I thought, if I put it together in a podcast, and I bring enough stroke survivors on and they share all their one unique thing, but there’s going to be a massive database of unique ways to overcome really complex problems by the experts, the people who have done it themselves and have been through it themselves. It’s so fascinating to hear, that he experienced that same emotional recovery that I did. And he did it with rehabilitating animals that is just fascinating.

David 45:15
Yeah, yeah. And, you know, he just it just happened that he remarried and they were driving along a country road. They live outside of Cambria in the countryside. And they thought they’d run over an Echidna. Because it seem to be struggling on the side of the road. Turns out they hadn’t. But then they picked up the Echidna and took it along to you know, a place to be rehabilitated.

David 45:41
And it just started from there, that you know, they’re on a country property and his wife is a GP so she’s got those medical skills. And they’ve just developed an amazing rehabilitation facility for native animals mainly kangaroos, wallabies, wombats. And now does research into koalas and stress in koalas. And during the recent, like summer bushfires, they were getting inundated with, you know, burnt animals, and they were featured on the news and all that sort of stuff.

David 46:15
And they got a lot of donations. So you know, there’s remarkable stories like that, where you just don’t know what this new thing is going to be. But often, it’s a sense of mission, or a sense of personal service. And I want to emphasize that, offering your help to others, even when you’re feeling fragile, or uncertain, actually lifts you so it’s altruistic, but at the same time you benefit from it.

Bill 46:46
Yeah, that’s what I’ve found. The podcast has given me way more than I feel like I have given to the podcast and each episode takes about three or four hours to get done, and costs money and does a whole bunch of different things. So even then the investment seems to be just absolutely worth every single time and moment and dollar that it costs to get to that point. After doing it since 2015, I’ve got better at it. And as a result, it’s more efficient. And therefore, the podcasts get out a lot easier, but they still take a little bit of time, and I’m very comfortable with that. It’s all good. Now in your book, you’ve got about what is it about seven or eight stories?

David 47:30
No it’s 10 or 11 stories, 11 if you include myself, yeah, I put some of my anecdotes in them new anecdotes that weren’t in the old book. But each chapter has got a story. You know, a different story. So I take you through these different stories. So you enter these people’s lives. You sit there with them and me, and we hear their story, we hear how they survive, we hear how they’ve grown.

David 47:59
And there’s a huge range of stories. I mean, one of the ones I like was the African refugees that I interviewed and sat with in their living room into lumbering Queensland. And they came out as refugees from Chad in Africa. Another one is in Roberts, the Rugby League Football, who is an amazing individual in so many ways.

David 48:23
I wanted to spend time with him because I wanted to know what it’s like when you hold a secret, a deep secret and you’re afraid to let that secret out. And in his case, if listeners don’t know. He was like one of Australia’s best rugby league football, has represented Australia. And he was homosexual in the days when, you know if you came out as homosexual, especially in sports, you would be vilified.

David 48:55
He got death threats and all sorts of things. So he eventually came out with that secret and you know, suffered some negativity, but actually mostly positivity, that he also had another secret that I wasn’t expecting. And that was illiteracy was illiterate. So it wasn’t until he would go to his 30s that, you know, and his football career was over and he was running a sportswear business.

David 49:23
He happened to be walking past NIDA, which is the National Institute of Dramatic Arts in Sydney. And he always had this idea that he liked acting. And he just went in there and said, you know, like, I know I’m a bit all but you know, do you think I could do some acting classes, and one of the main teachers came out and spoke to him and said, well, let’s see. You come and do a private class with me, you know, one hour a week, and after a six weeks or something, we’ll decide, and he ended up getting into NIDA and then developed an acting career in Hollywood. So there you go.

Bill 50:04
Wow. Isn’t it amazing? So in your mind, what’s the problem with holding a secret that nobody knows about, that’s yours for life? What’s the problem? What does it do?

Why secrets can cause health issues


David 50:19
There are two things we might as well use as an example. He actually always felt, you know, comfortable with being homosexual. He didn’t, himself feel anything wrong with that. So, you know, there’s lots of people that have got something that they see could be wrong with him. And they try and keep it secret or try and keep it hidden. So he’s homosexuality, for him wasn’t a problem, or is a problem for a lot of other people.

David 50:46
You know, like when he would go on tour. You know, he had to share a room with another teammate. And it had to be a teammate that was you know, comfortable with being with Ian and there always was one because he’s a hell of a nice guy. And but the second secret was the one about his illiteracy. Now he experienced shame because of that.

David 51:12
Now, this is where secrets are really bad for our health, our physical health, because it decreases our immunity, our immune system. And it’s also bad for our mental health because shame makes us feel bad. It makes us feel less of a person. It makes us feel like we can’t fully fit in. And it makes us feel like we can’t be our authentic selves.

David 51:36
You know, you and I know, Bill that when we’re with other stroke survivors, it’s really easy just to be ourselves and to laugh about, you know, the challenges that we have and the mishaps and so on. So, what would it be like if you or I had these strokes and we could never actually talk to people about it. We had to hold all those difficulties or uncertainties we had because of our stroke to ourselves.

David 52:04
So that’s, that’s why secrets are bad. Now Ian says now that he should have spoken out, told somebody about his literacy much earlier. But it was when he went to acting school, that he learned how to sound words, because the teacher said, Oh, you’ve got to be able to read to do an acting course. And they showed him about you know, phonemes how, how, you know, words are made up of sounds, he never knew that. And I tell the story, in the book about why that was why he missed out on all of that.

Bill 52:35
Yeah, that is just fascinating. I have started reading the book and it is gripping it really is because you do such an amazing job at setting the scene and then making me want to know more. So for anyone that’s interested, check it out, just google The Power of Suffering by David Roland, and you’ll get a whole bunch of opportunities to go and buy it from somewhere and find it somewhere.

Bill 53:00
Especially from online.

David 53:02
It’s also an audiobook Bill. And it’s read by Lewis Fitzgerald, who’s an actor, so he does all the voices so amazingly well, like these times I listened to it, it feels like it’s somebody else, his story, and it just sends shivers up my spine. Sometimes he does such a lovely job.

Bill 53:22
That’s a relief because David, I can’t read books really well. So that’s a big relief. And I really enjoy listening to audiobooks, especially when I’m in the car driving. So that’s cool. Now, I just wanted to touch on a couple of things before we sort of start to wrap up and tell me if you can give me your insight or your thought into the process of post-traumatic growth and the power of suffering because I have this experience that I’ve voiced a couple of times and it’s that stroke is the best thing that ever happened to me.

Bill 54:01
And that comment can really upset people. Some people will listen to those who are going through stroke or had a stroke or have deficits because of stroke, whether they’re one year, five years, 10 years, it doesn’t matter. And they will completely push away from that comment, and they’ll want to have nothing to do with it. I put it out there, and found that there was a lot of other people that say that, and I interviewed them.

Bill 54:26
They’re not interviews that are available on the podcast, they’re interviews that were done offline. And there are some similarities and a pattern to how people get to the point of being able to say, stroke was one of the best things that ever happened to them. And of course, it reminds me of the power of suffering. So do you find that telling people that it’s okay to suffer can polarize an audience and why? Why does it do that?

David 54:58
Well, I think

David 55:02
I think you’ve touched on some great things there. Walter Mikac who launched the book for me, at our local bookstore just before COVID shut down, because all my public events got canceled after that, but he said, How brave is David Roland to write about the very thing that most people do not want to experience.

Bill 55:26
Now let’s talk about who Walter Mikac is because coming from him. That’s a big comment.

David 55:33
Yeah, so Walter was a young man with a wife and two girls. And when we had our last major gun massacre in Australia, which was at Port Arthur in Tasmania, both his wife and two children was shot dead. And so Walter wasn’t actually at the site when it happened. He was near by playing golf. So he came to find his loved ones dead.

David 56:02
Now, Walter. The next day, he went back to Melbourne. The next day he wrote to the Prime Minister of Australia. Just thought, I’ve got to write this letter. It’s really bugging me on his flight back to Melbourne. And the Prime Minister of Australia that time was John Howard, and said, we’ve got to do something about guns.

David 56:25
We’ve got to stop this happening again. And the Prime Minister rang him the very next day after receiving a letter and said, I agree with you. So Walter then became one of the faces of increasing changing the gun laws in Australia so that we would be far less likely to have the gun massacre like that. And he now says, you know, hundreds of thousands of lives are probably been saved because of that changing gun laws.

David 56:56
So Walter knows suffering. So I think You know, it seems so counterintuitive. And when people going through intense suffering, I don’t think they want to, or they can’t comprehend the message that there could be good outcomes from this. In that early stage, we just really have to keep them safe. We need to provide their basic needs, you know, like you were saying, we need to provide information, there wasn’t information, you know, do practical things that were going to help the person stay as well as they can be.

David 57:31
And then after, that is when we can start talking about, okay, you might want to open up to new possibilities. Or you might gain some wisdom that you didn’t have before. At that same book launch, where Walter launch the book, there was another man who’s just a few years younger than me, and he had a brain tumor and survived. And he said, David, you’re just telling my story.

David 57:58
He said, I now feel like I’m in new person, I don’t feel like I’m the person I was before is this I am so grateful I had that brain tumor and survive, you know, and his wife has had to adjust to the new him. You know, everybody’s had to adjust to this idea that this man is really pleased he had a brain tumor. He’s actually a painter. He’s a very, very good painter.

Bill 58:25
It’s just fascinating. It’s such a lovely thing. It’s such a great topic. I love the fact that you’re a psychologist. I love the fact that you’ve chosen to bring this type of knowledge from your background, and with your stroke experience into the world so that other stroke survivors can benefit from knowing these things. And it just to me, it’s made a massive difference knowing that you exist in that way. And I reckon you would have been an awesome guide beforehand because it seems like you took your work personally and that affected you personally.

Bill 59:03
And now you’ve found a way to harness your previous skills in this new direction. And you’ve taken your life’s work and you’ve just transformed that into this other place and making a massive difference. So, thanks for that, and well done for doing that. Tell me how has this experience made you less likely to be traumatized in the future because you spoke about in the past, you’ve spoken about being traumatized by all the years of listening to traumatic experiences that other people have gone through. So how have you been able to override this because I imagine that every time somebody buys your book or you sign a copy, somebody shares a traumatic story with you again,

David 1:00:01
I think the thing to say is that I’m much less afraid of suffering, much less afraid of traumatic experiences, other people’s experiences. So if somebody’s been through something terrible, I don’t feel afraid of their distress, like I might have before, you know, before I had a professional ear, but now I think I just bring just a greater sense of humanity to other people’s suffering or their distress.

David 1:00:31
And one of the reasons why it’s easier is that I know I survived. And I can see that they can survive, and that they can even grow from it. Even if they can’t see that there’s the possibility of growth at the time. And I think when we bring that type of presence to other people, they feel it doesn’t have to be spoken. It’s not like we need to say, Are you going to grow from this? Don’t worry.

David 1:00:56
No, we just say, you know what do you need? you know, there’s a certain presence that we bring when we’re a survivor of intense suffering. And we don’t need to fix it for them that’s really important, they can be going through distress, there may be nothing to be fixed there and then, and we don’t need to try and fix it. Sometimes we just got to ease off and say, yep, you’re really distressed. I get that.

Bill 1:01:25
I learned to be a coach. Somebody who helps people achieve stuff basically is what a coach is, and they can help them achieve lots of different things before stroke. It didn’t matter what they came to me with. It was about creating space to allow that person to explore how are they going to achieve the thing that they wanted to achieve, or stop doing something that wasn’t serving them or learn new skills or change their job or whatever it was.

Bill 1:01:52
And I remember early on in my coaching career, I used to try and solve their problem for them by giving people advice, do this or just do that. And maybe if you do this, you’ll fix your problem. But of course, that was my filter on how problems get solved. And at the beginning when they never achieved the outcome, I would get frustrated thinking that I wasn’t doing anything.

David Roland’s professional mindset before the stroke

Bill 1:02:18
And it was really difficult to be a coach of that nature. Because most people won’t achieve an outcome in one session or in three sessions or in five sessions. Sometimes it can take a lot longer, and there’s a lot more things to overcome. Is that something that you used to maybe do knowingly or unknowingly? With regards to when you were early on in your career? were you hoping that you were going to solve people’s problems as a psychologist?

David 1:02:49
Yes. And you know, as a mental health professional, that’s what you’re trying to do is to fix people’s problems. Only we accept that people are not going to change unless they want to change You know, that’s that’s the first step. But you know, given that they come to see you for some difficulty, we think, Okay, I need to sort this out, I need to get them, you know, well get the maintenance done and get their engine fixed up.

David 1:03:14
And you know, they can go back to how they’d like to be. And as he say, it’s not always as easy as that. And in fact, we’re not always the right person for that person either. So yeah, we can create a lot of suffering for ourselves by having this high expectation. And now I don’t have that expectation. And I think, you know, I talked about the book in the book about being an expert companion.

David 1:03:40
So it’s more about being a companion to someone and the expertness is about when not so much offering advice, but asking good questions. You know, like, what do you need or, you know, how’s what’s happening now for you, affecting you? So they need to discover the answers. And there’s a sense of timing in that too, you know, when you ask questions, and sometimes you can make an observation, you know, we always need somebody that we trust, to make observations.

David 1:04:12
There’s a couple of friends when I was going through my stroke recovery, they’d say, gee, you’re looking good today. And I knew they really meant it. And I knew if I said that it was real I thought oh good I’m making some progress. So it’s making observations, asking good questions, and sometimes offering new perspectives. Yeah, so you can’t do what you used to do. Okay. There’s some other things that we might be able to do. Just posing that idea that there could be other things that you could do.

Bill 1:04:46
I remember early on, when I was probably 24, 25. I was seeing a counselor, psychologist, she’s an amazing lady from Melbourne. And one of my things that I used to cause a lot of suffering in my own life, about was how everybody else was an idiot, stupid, rubbed me up the wrong way caused me drama has caused me problems. And after seeing this lady for I imagined a number of years, and I still see her. So it’s been a 20 year relationship. And I don’t go for the same reasons. But of course, it still really helps me to go because she’s amazing. And she asked me this most amazing little question, and it changed my life. And she said to me, is there any chance that it’s not them, and it’s a you?

David 1:05:37
I never thought of that.

Bill 1:05:38
I had never thought of that. And I did not want to accept that at the very first moment when she said it. I swore at her, and I pretty much walked out. And then when I went back a couple of weeks later, I had come to terms with the fact that that was one of the most biggest gift and biggest blessings that I had ever experienced from somebody in that kind of environment. And I asked myself that question many, many times now, and it has saved me a lot of suffering and a lot of heartache. Though it’s been fascinating, catching up with you and talking to you again. It’s always a pleasure. I’m so glad that you’ve got this second book out. If somebody wanted to get in touch with you or find out more about the book, where can they go?

David 1:06:27
Well, if they just search the name of the book, or my name, and Roland spelled R O L A N D they’ll find lots of online sources, I’ve got a website, which has got quite a few things on it as well in a YouTube channel. So, you know, I’m on most of the social channels. And that’s the best way for people to contact me or through, you know, the publicist or the publisher, you know, which is all that detail is on the website. So just my name, DavidRoland.com.au.

Bill 1:06:58
Awesome. I’ll have all the links for everybody who’s listening so that you can find them really easily.

David 1:07:04
Thanks Bill.

Intro 1:07:06
Discover how to heal your brain after stroke go to recoveryafterstroke.com 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 or 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 control this website or content is created and produced for informational purposes only and is largely based on the personal experience of Bill Gasiamis.

Intro 1:07:46
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 1:08:11
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 called triple zero if in Australia or your local emergency number immediately for emergency assistance or go to the nearest hospital emergency department.

Intro 1:08:35
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The post 109. The Power Of Suffering – David Roland appeared first on Recovery After Stroke.

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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
108. 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/">108. 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 55:00 107. 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/">107. 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 1:09:21 106. 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/">106. 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 55:17 105. 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/">105. 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 1:05:23 104. 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/">104. 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 37:21 103. 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/">103. 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 48:10 102. 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/">102. 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 1:13:59 101. 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/">101. 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 56:42 100. 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/">100. 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 99. Ischemic Stroke Recovery At 32 – Kelli Geuting https://recoveryafterstroke.com/ischemic-stroke-recovery-at-32/ Mon, 25 May 2020 15:16:56 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4081 <p>Young Stroke survivor Kelli Geuting experienced an Ischemic Stroke at age 32 to the origin of which remains unknown. Learn what Kelli did to help heal her brain after the stroke and how her stroke recovery is coming along.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/ischemic-stroke-recovery-at-32/">99. Ischemic Stroke Recovery At 32 – Kelli Geuting</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Young Stroke survivor Kelli Geuting experienced an Ischemic Stroke at age 32 to the origin of which remains unknown. Learn what Kelli did to help heal her brain after the stroke and how her stroke recovery is coming along. Young Stroke survivor Kelli Geuting experienced an Ischemic Stroke at age 32 to the origin of which remains unknown. Learn what Kelli did to help heal her brain after the stroke and how her stroke recovery is coming along. Recovery After Stroke 1:19:55 98. High Blood Pressure Caused a Stroke – Joe Borges https://recoveryafterstroke.com/blood-pressure-caused-a-stroke/ Mon, 18 May 2020 12:31:50 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4034 <p>In August 4, 2016 Joe Borges. experienced a hemorrhagic stroke caused by undiagnosed high blood pressure. He ignored the signs prior to that thinking he was just having migraines.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/blood-pressure-caused-a-stroke/">98. High Blood Pressure Caused a Stroke – Joe Borges</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> In August 4, 2016 Joe Borges. experienced a hemorrhagic stroke caused by undiagnosed high blood pressure. He ignored the signs prior to that thinking he was just having migraines. In August 4, 2016 Joe Borges. experienced a hemorrhagic stroke caused by undiagnosed high blood pressure. He ignored the signs prior to that thinking he was just having migraines. Recovery After Stroke 1:18:12 97. Cavernoma – Ginger Burden https://recoveryafterstroke.com/cavernoma-ginger-burden/ Mon, 11 May 2020 15:25:23 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=3994 <p>Ginger Burden had a cavernous malformation in her brainstem three years ago that caused her to have double vision in her right eye that eventually required surgery about a year and a half later.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/cavernoma-ginger-burden/">97. Cavernoma – Ginger Burden</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Ginger Burden had a cavernous malformation in her brainstem three years ago that caused her to have double vision in her right eye that eventually required surgery about a year and a half later. Ginger Burden had a cavernous malformation in her brainstem three years ago that caused her to have double vision in her right eye that eventually required surgery about a year and a half later. Recovery After Stroke 1:02:34 96. AVM Recovery – Jessica Lepper https://recoveryafterstroke.com/avm-recovery/ Tue, 28 Apr 2020 12:00:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=3880 <p>Jessica was a 20-year-old nurse on shift in a hospital when she noticed herself not being able to speak due to a ruptured AVM. Since then Jessica has had to overcome a lot to get back to work and is now being monitored due to seizures.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/avm-recovery/">96. AVM Recovery – Jessica Lepper</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Jessica was a 20-year-old nurse on shift in a hospital when she noticed herself not being able to speak due to a ruptured AVM. Since then Jessica has had to overcome a lot to get back to work and is now being monitored due to seizures. Jessica was a 20-year-old nurse on shift in a hospital when she noticed herself not being able to speak due to a ruptured AVM. Since then Jessica has had to overcome a lot to get back to work and is now being monitored due to seizures. Recovery After Stroke 31:30 95. Time To Talk About Stroke – Derek Van Oss https://recoveryafterstroke.com/derek-van-oss/ Mon, 20 Apr 2020 12:00:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=3694 <p>Derek Van Oss suffered from AVM (Arteriovenous malformation) back in 2002. Since then he has struggled with so many challenges but now 18 years down the track, Derek was able to get back on his feet and turn his life around.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/derek-van-oss/">95. Time To Talk About Stroke – Derek Van Oss</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Derek Van Oss suffered from AVM (Arteriovenous malformation) back in 2002. Since then he has struggled with so many challenges but now 18 years down the track, Derek was able to get back on his feet and turn his life around. Derek Van Oss suffered from AVM (Arteriovenous malformation) back in 2002. Since then he has struggled with so many challenges but now 18 years down the track, Derek was able to get back on his feet and turn his life around. Recovery After Stroke 1:43:45 94. How To Reignite Your Passion – Brigette Sigley https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brigette-sigley-how-to-reignite-your-passion/ Mon, 13 Apr 2020 10:00:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=3670 <p>Brigette Sigley was juggling a successful business and family, and being busy led to her missing the warning signs that eventually led to a brain tumour then breast cancer.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brigette-sigley-how-to-reignite-your-passion/">94. How To Reignite Your Passion – Brigette Sigley</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Brigette Sigley was juggling a successful business and family, and being busy led to her missing the warning signs that eventually led to a brain tumour then breast cancer. Brigette Sigley was juggling a successful business and family, and being busy led to her missing the warning signs that eventually led to a brain tumour then breast cancer. Recovery After Stroke 59:43 93. Caring For A Stroke Survivor – Jim Lanahan https://recoveryafterstroke.com/caring-for-a-stroke-survivor/ Tue, 07 Apr 2020 12:00:58 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=3640 <p>Jim's mom had an ischemic stroke three years ago. Stroke not only impacted his mom's life but Jim's life also. As her carer Jim had to give up a lot, make sacrifices in his own personal life. </p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/caring-for-a-stroke-survivor/">93. Caring For A Stroke Survivor – Jim Lanahan</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Jim's mom had an ischemic stroke three years ago. Stroke not only impacted his mom's life but Jim's life also. As her carer Jim had to give up a lot, make sacrifices in his own personal life. Jim's mom had an ischemic stroke three years ago. Stroke not only impacted his mom's life but Jim's life also. As her carer Jim had to give up a lot, make sacrifices in his own personal life. Recovery After Stroke 56:15 92. Hemorrhagic Stroke Recovery – Clare Coffield https://recoveryafterstroke.com/hemorrhagic-stroke-recovery/ Mon, 30 Mar 2020 16:12:21 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=3626 <p>Clare Coffield had a Hemorrhagic stroke back in 2015, and while she was in recovery, she suffered a massive set back due to a leg injury. Now 5 years later, having faced so many challenges and adversities, Clare has come a long way in her recovery journey.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/hemorrhagic-stroke-recovery/">92. Hemorrhagic Stroke Recovery – Clare Coffield</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Clare Coffield had a Hemorrhagic stroke back in 2015, and while she was in recovery, she suffered a massive set back due to a leg injury. Now 5 years later, having faced so many challenges and adversities, Clare has come a long way in her recovery jour... Clare Coffield had a Hemorrhagic stroke back in 2015, and while she was in recovery, she suffered a massive set back due to a leg injury. Now 5 years later, having faced so many challenges and adversities, Clare has come a long way in her recovery journey. Recovery After Stroke 56:19 91. Navigating Uncertain Times – Dr. Jim Karagiannis https://recoveryafterstroke.com/navigating-uncertain-times-dr-jim-karagiannis/ Mon, 23 Mar 2020 12:00:50 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=3452 <p>In my conversation with Dr Jim Karagiannis, we are reminded that navigating uncertain times is something that stroke survivors have done before. If you are a stroke survivor and find yourself feeling uncertain about what the future holds because of corona virus you will get alot from this episode.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/navigating-uncertain-times-dr-jim-karagiannis/">91. Navigating Uncertain Times – Dr. Jim Karagiannis</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> In my conversation with Dr Jim Karagiannis, we are reminded that navigating uncertain times is something that stroke survivors have done before. If you are a stroke survivor and find yourself feeling uncertain about what the future holds because of cor... In my conversation with Dr Jim Karagiannis, we are reminded that navigating uncertain times is something that stroke survivors have done before. If you are a stroke survivor and find yourself feeling uncertain about what the future holds because of corona virus you will get alot from this episode. Recovery After Stroke 36:38 90. Stroke Fatigue and Thyroid – Dr. Elena Zinkov https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-fatigue-and-thyroid/ Mon, 09 Mar 2020 12:00:52 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=3429 <p>Dr Elena Zinkov is a functional medicine doctor who is an expert in hormones. In this episode of the RecoveryAfterStroke podcast we discuss the link between the brain, the thyroid gland and neurological fatigue as well as what you should know to help recover from fatigue after stroke.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-fatigue-and-thyroid/">90. Stroke Fatigue and Thyroid – Dr. Elena Zinkov</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Dr Elena Zinkov is a functional medicine doctor who is an expert in hormones. In this episode of the RecoveryAfterStroke podcast we discuss the link between the brain, the thyroid gland and neurological fatigue as well as what you should know to help r... Dr Elena Zinkov is a functional medicine doctor who is an expert in hormones. In this episode of the RecoveryAfterStroke podcast we discuss the link between the brain, the thyroid gland and neurological fatigue as well as what you should know to help recover from fatigue after stroke. Recovery After Stroke 1:05:07 89. Teenage Stroke and Recovery – Eric Hinwood https://recoveryafterstroke.com/teenage-stroke-and-recovery/ Mon, 02 Mar 2020 12:00:49 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=3399 <p>These days Eric Hinwood is an actor, director, producer, editor, model, & filmmaker but not that long ago he was a teenage stroke survivor.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/teenage-stroke-and-recovery/">89. Teenage Stroke and Recovery – Eric Hinwood</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> These days Eric Hinwood is an actor, director, producer, editor, model, & filmmaker but not that long ago he was a teenage stroke survivor. These days Eric Hinwood is an actor, director, producer, editor, model, & filmmaker but not that long ago he was a teenage stroke survivor. Recovery After Stroke 1:11:45 88. Healing The Brain After Stroke – David Norris https://recoveryafterstroke.com/healing-the-brain-after-stroke/ Mon, 24 Feb 2020 15:05:03 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=3383 <p>In this episode Bill Gasiamis talk with Occupational Therapist David Norris about the steps he took to heal his brain after 3 brain bleeds and brain surgery. </p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/healing-the-brain-after-stroke/">88. Healing The Brain After Stroke – David Norris</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> In this episode Bill Gasiamis talk with Occupational Therapist David Norris about the steps he took to heal his brain after 3 brain bleeds and brain surgery. In this episode Bill Gasiamis talk with Occupational Therapist David Norris about the steps he took to heal his brain after 3 brain bleeds and brain surgery. Recovery After Stroke 1:03:53 87. Occupational Therapy and Stroke Lecture – Bill Gasiamis https://recoveryafterstroke.com/occupational-therapy-and-stroke/ Mon, 17 Feb 2020 12:00:59 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=3362 <p>Since 2013 Bill Gasiamis has been sharing about the early stages of his stroke journey to the third year occupational therapy students at Australian Catholic University. The students were learning about assessment for stroke patients.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/occupational-therapy-and-stroke/">87. Occupational Therapy and Stroke Lecture – Bill Gasiamis</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Since 2013 Bill Gasiamis has been sharing about the early stages of his stroke journey to the third year occupational therapy students at Australian Catholic University. The students were learning about assessment for stroke patients. Since 2013 Bill Gasiamis has been sharing about the early stages of his stroke journey to the third year occupational therapy students at Australian Catholic University. The students were learning about assessment for stroke patients. Recovery After Stroke 40:39 86. What Is Neuroplasticity – David Norris https://recoveryafterstroke.com/what-is-neuroplasticity/ Mon, 03 Feb 2020 12:00:38 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=3312 <p>David Norris is an Occupational therapist from Brisbane, Australia who specializes in the brain's neuroplasticity to help people recover better from a brain injury. </p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/what-is-neuroplasticity/">86. What Is Neuroplasticity – David Norris</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> David Norris is an Occupational therapist from Brisbane, Australia who specializes in the brain's neuroplasticity to help people recover better from a brain injury. David Norris is an Occupational therapist from Brisbane, Australia who specializes in the brain's neuroplasticity to help people recover better from a brain injury. Recovery After Stroke 55:38 85. Carotid Artery Dissection – Marcia Moran https://recoveryafterstroke.com/carotid-artery-dissection/ Mon, 27 Jan 2020 12:00:11 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=3294 <p>Marcia Moran woke one morning after having experienced a stroke in her sleep due to a carotid artery dissection. Marcia had to drag herself on the floor with one hand to raise the alarm.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/carotid-artery-dissection/">85. Carotid Artery Dissection – Marcia Moran</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Marcia Moran woke one morning after having experienced a stroke in her sleep due to a carotid artery dissection. Marcia had to drag herself on the floor with one hand to raise the alarm. Marcia Moran woke one morning after having experienced a stroke in her sleep due to a carotid artery dissection. Marcia had to drag herself on the floor with one hand to raise the alarm. Recovery After Stroke 56:03 84. Diabetes Can Lead to Stroke – Jessica Tagami https://recoveryafterstroke.com/diabetes-can-lead-to-stroke/ Mon, 20 Jan 2020 12:00:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=3262 <p>Jessica Tagami was not surprised when her husband Phil experienced a stroke. On reflection, they both knew his work and sleep habits were unsustainable. Undiagnosed type 2 diabetes was the last straw.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/diabetes-can-lead-to-stroke/">84. Diabetes Can Lead to Stroke – Jessica Tagami</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Jessica Tagami was not surprised when her husband Phil experienced a stroke. On reflection, they both knew his work and sleep habits were unsustainable. Undiagnosed type 2 diabetes was the last straw. Jessica Tagami was not surprised when her husband Phil experienced a stroke. On reflection, they both knew his work and sleep habits were unsustainable. Undiagnosed type 2 diabetes was the last straw. Recovery After Stroke 1:11:42 83. Cavernous Malformation at age 20 – Kawan Glover https://recoveryafterstroke.com/cavernous-malformation/ Mon, 13 Jan 2020 12:00:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=3210 <p>Kawan Glover was only 20 years old and studying at college when doctors found a cavernous malformation on his brainstem, 3 surgeries in 3 years meant for some serious life lessons at such a young age.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/cavernous-malformation/">83. Cavernous Malformation at age 20 – Kawan Glover</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Kawan Glover was only 20 years old and studying at college when doctors found a cavernous malformation on his brainstem, 3 surgeries in 3 years meant for some serious life lessons at such a young age. Kawan Glover was only 20 years old and studying at college when doctors found a cavernous malformation on his brainstem, 3 surgeries in 3 years meant for some serious life lessons at such a young age. Recovery After Stroke 1:05:44 82. How To Have A Growth Mindset – Marvin Oka https://recoveryafterstroke.com/growth-mindset/ Mon, 06 Jan 2020 12:00:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=3100 <p>Do you have the appropriate attitude, mindset or orientation for what you’re trying to achieve in your stroke recovery? Can you can tell if it’s helping you or not?</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/growth-mindset/">82. How To Have A Growth Mindset – Marvin Oka</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Do you have the appropriate attitude, mindset or orientation for what you’re trying to achieve in your stroke recovery? Can you can tell if it’s helping you or not? Do you have the appropriate attitude, mindset or orientation for what you’re trying to achieve in your stroke recovery? Can you can tell if it’s helping you or not? Recovery After Stroke 1:12:17 81. From Headache To Stroke – Vince Holland https://recoveryafterstroke.com/headache-and-stroke/ Mon, 30 Dec 2019 12:00:39 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=3097 <p>Vince Holland was 28 years old when a headache he had been managing with over the counter painkillers turned out to be much more sinister than he could ever imagine</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/headache-and-stroke/">81. From Headache To Stroke – Vince Holland</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Vince Holland was 28 years old when a headache he had been managing with over the counter painkillers turned out to be much more sinister than he could ever imagine Vince Holland was 28 years old when a headache he had been managing with over the counter painkillers turned out to be much more sinister than he could ever imagine Recovery After Stroke 59:47 80. Stroke Recovery Mindset – Sally Callie https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-recovery-mindset/ Mon, 23 Dec 2019 11:11:42 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=3040 <p>Sally's mindset training during her Olympic career held her in good stead for managing her mindset when dealing with the challenges she had to overcome after stroke</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-recovery-mindset/">80. Stroke Recovery Mindset – Sally Callie</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Sally's mindset training during her Olympic career held her in good stead for managing her mindset when dealing with the challenges she had to overcome after stroke Sally's mindset training during her Olympic career held her in good stead for managing her mindset when dealing with the challenges she had to overcome after stroke Recovery After Stroke 1:02:19 79. Young Stroke Survivor at 37 – Erica Wasser https://recoveryafterstroke.com/young-stroke-survivor/ Mon, 16 Dec 2019 07:19:25 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=3022 <p>Erica Wasser was 37 when she experienced a stroke. Now 18 months after stroke Erica is well on the way to recovery.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/young-stroke-survivor/">79. Young Stroke Survivor at 37 – Erica Wasser</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Erica Wasser was 37 when she experienced a stroke. Now 18 months after stroke Erica is well on the way to recovery. Erica Wasser was 37 when she experienced a stroke. Now 18 months after stroke Erica is well on the way to recovery. Recovery After Stroke 43:16 78. A Stroke Survivor Journey – Bill Gasiamis https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-survivor-journey/ Sun, 08 Dec 2019 18:00:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=2923 <p>In this interview with Mathias Turner from the Chief Life Podcast Bill and Matty discuss the stroke survivor journey from beginning to 8 years and counting.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-survivor-journey/">78. A Stroke Survivor Journey – Bill Gasiamis</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> In this interview with Mathias Turner from the Chief Life Podcast Bill and Matty discuss the stroke survivor journey from beginning to 8 years and counting. In this interview with Mathias Turner from the Chief Life Podcast Bill and Matty discuss the stroke survivor journey from beginning to 8 years and counting. Recovery After Stroke 1:18:49 77. Different Types of Memory – Kimberley Meates and Vanessa Bowie https://recoveryafterstroke.com/different-types-of-memory/ Mon, 02 Dec 2019 10:02:15 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=2878 <p>In this interview with Kimberley Meates and Vanessa Bowie we discuss the different types of memories like, Long Term Memory, Short Term Memory Explicit Memory and Implicit Memory</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/different-types-of-memory/">77. Different Types of Memory – Kimberley Meates and Vanessa Bowie</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> In this interview with Kimberley Meates and Vanessa Bowie we discuss the different types of memories like, Long Term Memory, Short Term Memory Explicit Memory and Implicit Memory In this interview with Kimberley Meates and Vanessa Bowie we discuss the different types of memories like, Long Term Memory, Short Term Memory Explicit Memory and Implicit Memory Recovery After Stroke 1:11:57 76. How to Manage Fatigue After Stroke – David Norris https://recoveryafterstroke.com/how-to-manage-fatigue-after-stroke/ Mon, 25 Nov 2019 08:50:34 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=2705 <p>5Tips to help you manage fatigue after stroke</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/how-to-manage-fatigue-after-stroke/">76. How to Manage Fatigue After Stroke – David Norris</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> 5Tips to help you manage fatigue after stroke 5Tips to help you manage fatigue after stroke Recovery After Stroke 44:04 75. Sugar and Brain Health – Belinda Fettke https://recoveryafterstroke.com/belinda-fettke/ Mon, 18 Nov 2019 09:38:16 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=2572 <p>When Dr Gary Fettke an Orthopaedic Surgeon starting suggesting to his diabetes patients that they would see health benefits from decreasing their sugar consumption, he never expected that it would end in a 2 year court battle.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/belinda-fettke/">75. Sugar and Brain Health – Belinda Fettke</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> When Dr Gary Fettke an Orthopaedic Surgeon starting suggesting to his diabetes patients that they would see health benefits from decreasing their sugar consumption, he never expected that it would end in a 2 year court battle. When Dr Gary Fettke an Orthopaedic Surgeon starting suggesting to his diabetes patients that they would see health benefits from decreasing their sugar consumption, he never expected that it would end in a 2 year court battle. Recovery After Stroke 1:25:43 74. Neofect Hand Rehabilitation – Scott Kim https://recoveryafterstroke.com/neofect-hand-rehabilitation/ Sun, 10 Nov 2019 08:53:34 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=2486 <p>NEOFECT Home takes tedious stroke recovery exercises and infuses them with fun and interactive games, which exercise your brain & muscles exercise simultaneously to expedite the rehab process.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/neofect-hand-rehabilitation/">74. Neofect Hand Rehabilitation – Scott Kim</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> NEOFECT Home takes tedious stroke recovery exercises and infuses them with fun and interactive games, which exercise your brain & muscles exercise simultaneously to expedite the rehab process. NEOFECT Home takes tedious stroke recovery exercises and infuses them with fun and interactive games, which exercise your brain & muscles exercise simultaneously to expedite the rehab process. Recovery After Stroke 25:51 73. The Fun Five Series – Alcohol https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-fun-five-series-alcohol/ Mon, 04 Nov 2019 00:39:37 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=2450 <p>5 Reasons to Quit Alcohol After Stroke is Part 5 and the final interview in a series of 5 interviews recorded with Stacey and Matty Turner from www.TheChiefLife.com about the 5 foods to avoid after stroke</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-fun-five-series-alcohol/">73. The Fun Five Series – Alcohol</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> 5 Reasons to Quit Alcohol After Stroke is Part 5 and the final interview in a series of 5 interviews recorded with Stacey and Matty Turner from www.TheChiefLife.com about the 5 foods to avoid after stroke 5 Reasons to Quit Alcohol After Stroke is Part 5 and the final interview in a series of 5 interviews recorded with Stacey and Matty Turner from www.TheChiefLife.com about the 5 foods to avoid after stroke Recovery After Stroke 59:17 72. The Brave Minds Project – Alyssa Carfi https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-brave-minds-project-alyssa-carfi/ Sun, 27 Oct 2019 03:35:57 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=2372 <p>Alyssa Carfi founded the Brave Minds Project after a bleed in her brain at age 15 and then brain surgery to remove the cavernoma at age 18</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-brave-minds-project-alyssa-carfi/">72. The Brave Minds Project – Alyssa Carfi</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Alyssa Carfi founded the Brave Minds Project after a bleed in her brain at age 15 and then brain surgery to remove the cavernoma at age 18 Alyssa Carfi founded the Brave Minds Project after a bleed in her brain at age 15 and then brain surgery to remove the cavernoma at age 18 Recovery After Stroke 46:17 71. Living with Inoperable Meningioma – Hannah Derwent https://recoveryafterstroke.com/inoperable-meningioma/ Tue, 15 Oct 2019 05:15:10 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=2283 <p>Hannah Derwent is a mum of two young children when she had to undergo brain surgery to manage a benign meningioma that was growing in her brain stem.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/inoperable-meningioma/">71. Living with Inoperable Meningioma – Hannah Derwent</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Hannah Derwent is a mum of two young children when she had to undergo brain surgery to manage a benign meningioma that was growing in her brain stem. Hannah Derwent is a mum of two young children when she had to undergo brain surgery to manage a benign meningioma that was growing in her brain stem. Recovery After Stroke 1:15:48 70. Share Your Stroke Of Genius – Kyle Mengelkamp https://recoveryafterstroke.com/kyle-mengelkamp/ Tue, 01 Oct 2019 00:25:19 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=2130 <p>Kyle Mengelkamp experienced a stroke at 11 years of age and 22 years later is a video producer who enjoy life, loves to enrich others, discover new adventures, and make a difference to other stroke survivors. </p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/kyle-mengelkamp/">70. Share Your Stroke Of Genius – Kyle Mengelkamp</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Kyle Mengelkamp experienced a stroke at 11 years of age and 22 years later is a video producer who enjoy life, loves to enrich others, discover new adventures, and make a difference to other stroke survivors. Kyle Mengelkamp experienced a stroke at 11 years of age and 22 years later is a video producer who enjoy life, loves to enrich others, discover new adventures, and make a difference to other stroke survivors. Recovery After Stroke 1:09:30 69. Sagittal Thrombosis & Stroke – Tricia Alexander https://recoveryafterstroke.com/sagittal-thrombosis/ Tue, 24 Sep 2019 20:25:40 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=2078 <p>Tricia Alexander experienced a Stroke which was as a result of a Sagittal Thrombosis, less than a week after giving birth to her 2nd child</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/sagittal-thrombosis/">69. Sagittal Thrombosis & Stroke – Tricia Alexander</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Tricia Alexander experienced a Stroke which was as a result of a Sagittal Thrombosis, less than a week after giving birth to her 2nd child Tricia Alexander experienced a Stroke which was as a result of a Sagittal Thrombosis, less than a week after giving birth to her 2nd child Recovery After Stroke 52:03 68. Rewellio Virtual Reality Stroke Therapy – Georg Teufl & Andy Gstoll https://recoveryafterstroke.com/rewellio/ Wed, 04 Sep 2019 11:08:36 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=2051 <p>Georg Teufl is an occupation therapist and the founder Rewellio the virtual reality software that assists patients to get more therapy time during recovery from stroke or brain injury.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/rewellio/">68. Rewellio Virtual Reality Stroke Therapy – Georg Teufl & Andy Gstoll</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Georg Teufl is an occupation therapist and the founder Rewellio the virtual reality software that assists patients to get more therapy time during recovery from stroke or brain injury. Georg Teufl is an occupation therapist and the founder Rewellio the virtual reality software that assists patients to get more therapy time during recovery from stroke or brain injury. Recovery After Stroke 55:11 67. The Fun Five Series | Dairy – Stacey & Matty Turner https://recoveryafterstroke.com/5-reason-to-reduce-dairy-after-stroke/ Tue, 27 Aug 2019 06:40:52 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=2038 <p>5 Reasons to Quit Dairy After Stroke is Part 4 in a series of 5 interviews recorded with Stacey and Matty Turner from www.TheChiefLife.com </p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/5-reason-to-reduce-dairy-after-stroke/">67. The Fun Five Series | Dairy – Stacey & Matty Turner</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> 5 Reasons to Quit Dairy After Stroke is Part 4 in a series of 5 interviews recorded with Stacey and Matty Turner from www.TheChiefLife.com 5 Reasons to Quit Dairy After Stroke is Part 4 in a series of 5 interviews recorded with Stacey and Matty Turner from www.TheChiefLife.com Recovery After Stroke 59:16 66. But You Look So Normal – Chris & Kara Russo https://recoveryafterstroke.com/but-you-look-so-normal/ Sun, 18 Aug 2019 03:10:13 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1963 <p>Kara suffered a massive stroke, and Chris was in a coma that left him paralyzed after a bout with meningitis and encephalitis. They met in rehab, fell in love and wrote a book about it.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/but-you-look-so-normal/">66. But You Look So Normal – Chris & Kara Russo</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Kara suffered a massive stroke, and Chris was in a coma that left him paralyzed after a bout with meningitis and encephalitis. They met in rehab, fell in love and wrote a book about it. Kara suffered a massive stroke, and Chris was in a coma that left him paralyzed after a bout with meningitis and encephalitis. They met in rehab, fell in love and wrote a book about it. Recovery After Stroke 51:36 65. Stroke, Pregnancy, And Bad Manners – Emily Sara Gable https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-pregnancy/ Tue, 06 Aug 2019 10:21:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1941 <p>In 2008 Emily Sara Gable experienced an Ischemic Stroke Stroke During Pregnancy due to a blood clot, while she was carrying her second child.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-pregnancy/">65. Stroke, Pregnancy, And Bad Manners – Emily Sara Gable</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> In 2008 Emily Sara Gable experienced an Ischemic Stroke Stroke During Pregnancy due to a blood clot, while she was carrying her second child. In 2008 Emily Sara Gable experienced an Ischemic Stroke Stroke During Pregnancy due to a blood clot, while she was carrying her second child. Recovery After Stroke 1:23:33 64. The Fun Five Series | Gluten – Stacey & Matty Turner https://recoveryafterstroke.com/quit-gluten-after-stroke/ Tue, 23 Jul 2019 03:43:27 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1872 <p>How your health will improve if you Quit Gluten After Stroke, is Part 3 in a series of 5 interviews that I have recorded with Stacey and Matty Turner from the Chief Life.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/quit-gluten-after-stroke/">64. The Fun Five Series | Gluten – Stacey & Matty Turner</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> How your health will improve if you Quit Gluten After Stroke, is Part 3 in a series of 5 interviews that I have recorded with Stacey and Matty Turner from the Chief Life. How your health will improve if you Quit Gluten After Stroke, is Part 3 in a series of 5 interviews that I have recorded with Stacey and Matty Turner from the Chief Life. Recovery After Stroke 1:05:09 63. How To Overcome Trauma – Justin Sunseri https://recoveryafterstroke.com/how-to-overcome-trauma/ Mon, 15 Jul 2019 02:34:29 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1858 <p>Justin Sunseri is licensed marriage & family therapists as well as the host of the Polyvagal podcast. In the interview about Trauma we discuss, How to recognise Trauma, How to acknowledge Trauma, How to deal with Trauma, and How to move on from Trauma</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/how-to-overcome-trauma/">63. How To Overcome Trauma – Justin Sunseri</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Justin Sunseri is licensed marriage & family therapists as well as the host of the Polyvagal podcast. In the interview about Trauma we discuss, How to recognise Trauma, How to acknowledge Trauma, How to deal with Trauma, and How to move on from Trauma Justin Sunseri is licensed marriage & family therapists as well as the host of the Polyvagal podcast. In the interview about Trauma we discuss, How to recognise Trauma, How to acknowledge Trauma, How to deal with Trauma, and How to move on from Trauma Recovery After Stroke 55:41 62. Recovery from PFO – Heather Leigh Whitley https://recoveryafterstroke.com/pfo-patent-foramen-ovale-stroke/ Fri, 05 Jul 2019 03:49:53 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1758 <p>Heather Whitley is a mom of 5, a midwife and a ski coach, who experienced a stroke that was most likely related to a PFO (patent foramen ovale)</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/pfo-patent-foramen-ovale-stroke/">62. Recovery from PFO – Heather Leigh Whitley</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Heather Whitley is a mom of 5, a midwife and a ski coach, who experienced a stroke that was most likely related to a PFO (patent foramen ovale) Heather Whitley is a mom of 5, a midwife and a ski coach, who experienced a stroke that was most likely related to a PFO (patent foramen ovale) Recovery After Stroke 1:02:19 61. The Fun Five Series | Caffeine – Stacey & Matty Turner https://recoveryafterstroke.com/7-reasons-to-quit-caffeine-after-stroke/ Sun, 23 Jun 2019 03:03:43 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1726 <p>7 Reasons to Quit Caffeine After Stroke is Part 2 in a series of 5 that I have recorded with Stacey and Matty Turner from the Chief Life.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/7-reasons-to-quit-caffeine-after-stroke/">61. The Fun Five Series | Caffeine – Stacey & Matty Turner</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> 7 Reasons to Quit Caffeine After Stroke is Part 2 in a series of 5 that I have recorded with Stacey and Matty Turner from the Chief Life. 7 Reasons to Quit Caffeine After Stroke is Part 2 in a series of 5 that I have recorded with Stacey and Matty Turner from the Chief Life. Recovery After Stroke 50:54 60. I’ll Be Ok It’s Just A Hole In My Head – Mimi Hayes https://recoveryafterstroke.com/mimi-hayes/ Tue, 18 Jun 2019 04:39:19 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1698 <p>Mimi Hayes is a New York-based comedian and author of the memoir "I'll Be OK, It's Just a Hole in My Head." and a stroke survivor at the age of twenty-two</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/mimi-hayes/">60. I’ll Be Ok It’s Just A Hole In My Head – Mimi Hayes</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Mimi Hayes is a New York-based comedian and author of the memoir "I'll Be OK, It's Just a Hole in My Head." and a stroke survivor at the age of twenty-two Mimi Hayes is a New York-based comedian and author of the memoir "I'll Be OK, It's Just a Hole in My Head." and a stroke survivor at the age of twenty-two Recovery After Stroke 1:10:48 59. How mBraining Helps In Stroke Recovery – Beth Gray https://recoveryafterstroke.com/mbraining-and-stroke-recovery-beth-gray/ Sat, 15 Jun 2019 07:57:43 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1713 <p>In this interview with life coach Beth Gray we discuss how the mBraining helped me resolve the emotional trauma of stroke.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/mbraining-and-stroke-recovery-beth-gray/">59. How mBraining Helps In Stroke Recovery – Beth Gray</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> In this interview with life coach Beth Gray we discuss how the mBraining helped me resolve the emotional trauma of stroke. In this interview with life coach Beth Gray we discuss how the mBraining helped me resolve the emotional trauma of stroke. Recovery After Stroke 48:23 58. Positive Impact Movement Interview Part 2 – My Stroke Recovery https://recoveryafterstroke.com/positive-impact-movement-interview-part-2-my-stroke-recovery/ Sat, 08 Jun 2019 12:53:45 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1682 <p>Leaving no stone unturned in my stroke recovery.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/positive-impact-movement-interview-part-2-my-stroke-recovery/">58. Positive Impact Movement Interview Part 2 – My Stroke Recovery</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Leaving no stone unturned in my stroke recovery. Leaving no stone unturned in my stroke recovery. Recovery After Stroke 1:01:24 57. Positive Impact Movement Interview Part 1 – Brain Surgery https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brain-surgery/ Mon, 03 Jun 2019 12:53:28 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1657 <p>Preparation for Brain Surgery</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brain-surgery/">57. Positive Impact Movement Interview Part 1 – Brain Surgery</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Preparation for Brain Surgery Preparation for Brain Surgery Recovery After Stroke 50:00 56. Recovery from AVM (Arteriovenous Malformation) Stroke – Jason Gaudette https://recoveryafterstroke.com/avm-arteriorvenous-malformation/ Sun, 26 May 2019 22:23:48 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1646 <p>When his wife asked him why he was slurring his words Jason Gaudette had no idea that, that was a sign of stroke. </p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/avm-arteriorvenous-malformation/">56. Recovery from AVM (Arteriovenous Malformation) Stroke – Jason Gaudette</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> When his wife asked him why he was slurring his words Jason Gaudette had no idea that, that was a sign of stroke. When his wife asked him why he was slurring his words Jason Gaudette had no idea that, that was a sign of stroke. Recovery After Stroke 59:58 55. Overcoming Depression After Stroke – Lianne Russel https://recoveryafterstroke.com/depression-after-stroke/ Fri, 17 May 2019 01:08:03 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1633 <p>Lianne W. Russel is a mum of two who at 36 bent over to pick up a toy box and when she looked up tore her artery which caused a stroke.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/depression-after-stroke/">55. Overcoming Depression After Stroke – Lianne Russel</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Lianne W. Russel is a mum of two who at 36 bent over to pick up a toy box and when she looked up tore her artery which caused a stroke. Lianne W. Russel is a mum of two who at 36 bent over to pick up a toy box and when she looked up tore her artery which caused a stroke. Recovery After Stroke 1:04:11 54. How I am Dealing with Sadness – Bill Gasiamis https://recoveryafterstroke.com/feeling-sad/ Wed, 15 May 2019 21:26:20 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1612 <p>In the last two months I have lost 2 friends both aged in their 40's. I find myself very sad and and confused</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/feeling-sad/">54. How I am Dealing with Sadness – Bill Gasiamis</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> In the last two months I have lost 2 friends both aged in their 40's. I find myself very sad and and confused In the last two months I have lost 2 friends both aged in their 40's. I find myself very sad and and confused Recovery After Stroke 15:28 53. How Drugs Led to Stroke – Stephen Heaney https://recoveryafterstroke.com/how-drugs-led-to-stroke-stephen-heaney/ Thu, 09 May 2019 10:00:16 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1572 <p>Stephen Heaney is a long time drug addict whose habit led to him collapsing on the floor at his home after an evening of heavy drug use.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/how-drugs-led-to-stroke-stephen-heaney/">53. How Drugs Led to Stroke – Stephen Heaney</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Stephen Heaney is a long time drug addict whose habit led to him collapsing on the floor at his home after an evening of heavy drug use. Stephen Heaney is a long time drug addict whose habit led to him collapsing on the floor at his home after an evening of heavy drug use. Recovery After Stroke 41:13 52. The Fun Five Series – Sugar – Stacey & Matty Turner https://recoveryafterstroke.com/8-reason-you-should-quit-sugar-after-stroke/ Thu, 02 May 2019 07:00:29 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1509 <p>8 Reasons to quit Sugar is episode 1 in a series of 5 that I have recorded with Stacey and Matty Turner from the Chief Life</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/8-reason-you-should-quit-sugar-after-stroke/">52. The Fun Five Series – Sugar – Stacey & Matty Turner</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> 8 Reasons to quit Sugar is episode 1 in a series of 5 that I have recorded with Stacey and Matty Turner from the Chief Life 8 Reasons to quit Sugar is episode 1 in a series of 5 that I have recorded with Stacey and Matty Turner from the Chief Life Recovery After Stroke 49:59 51. 5th Annual Stroke and Occupational Therapy Lecture – Bill Gasiamis https://recoveryafterstroke.com/5th-annual-stroke-and-occupational-therapy-lecture-bill-gasiamis/ Thu, 25 Apr 2019 21:46:11 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1490 <p>3rd Occupational Therapy Lecture at Australian Catholic University</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/5th-annual-stroke-and-occupational-therapy-lecture-bill-gasiamis/">51. 5th Annual Stroke and Occupational Therapy Lecture – Bill Gasiamis</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> 3rd Occupational Therapy Lecture at Australian Catholic University 3rd Occupational Therapy Lecture at Australian Catholic University Recovery After Stroke 48:20 50. Interview On The Emotional Autoimmunity Podcast – Kerry Jeffrey https://recoveryafterstroke.com/interview-on-the-emotional-autoimmunity-podcast/ Tue, 16 Apr 2019 12:04:23 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1409 <p>Recently I was on the Emotional Autoimmunity podcast with Kerry Jeffrey. Listen to my story.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/interview-on-the-emotional-autoimmunity-podcast/">50. Interview On The Emotional Autoimmunity Podcast – Kerry Jeffrey</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Recently I was on the Emotional Autoimmunity podcast with Kerry Jeffrey. Listen to my story. Recently I was on the Emotional Autoimmunity podcast with Kerry Jeffrey. Listen to my story. Recovery After Stroke 1:11:27 49. Stroke and Stress – Darren Walker https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-and-stress-darren-walker/ Fri, 12 Apr 2019 10:03:42 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1450 <p>Darren Walker is a father of two who learned the hard way about stroke and stress.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-and-stress-darren-walker/">49. Stroke and Stress – Darren Walker</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Darren Walker is a father of two who learned the hard way about stroke and stress. Darren Walker is a father of two who learned the hard way about stroke and stress. Recovery After Stroke 57:23 48. Stroke Recovery and Sport – Musa Pam https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-recovery-and-sport-musa-pam/ Sat, 06 Apr 2019 01:46:07 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1440 <p>Musa Pam is a Stroke Survivor who rediscovered his love of golf even though he can only swing with one arm.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-recovery-and-sport-musa-pam/">48. Stroke Recovery and Sport – Musa Pam</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Musa Pam is a Stroke Survivor who rediscovered his love of golf even though he can only swing with one arm. Musa Pam is a Stroke Survivor who rediscovered his love of golf even though he can only swing with one arm. Recovery After Stroke 1:07:17 47. The Great Now What? – Maggie Whittum https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-great-now-what/ Mon, 01 Apr 2019 09:31:51 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1412 <p>Maggie Whittum is a brain stem stroke SURVIVOR, not a stroke victim. Let's find meaning & beauty in what is an otherwise ugly experience.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-great-now-what/">47. The Great Now What? – Maggie Whittum</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Maggie Whittum is a brain stem stroke SURVIVOR, not a stroke victim. Let's find meaning & beauty in what is an otherwise ugly experience. Maggie Whittum is a brain stem stroke SURVIVOR, not a stroke victim. Let's find meaning & beauty in what is an otherwise ugly experience. Recovery After Stroke 1:15:53 46. Young Stroke Survivor – Jenny McAllister https://recoveryafterstroke.com/blink-once-for-yes-and-twice-for-no-jenny-mcallister/ Sat, 23 Mar 2019 22:30:45 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1415 <p>At the age of just 21, Jenny McAllister suffered a massive brain stem haemorrhage and was given less than 1% chance of survival.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/blink-once-for-yes-and-twice-for-no-jenny-mcallister/">46. Young Stroke Survivor – Jenny McAllister</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> At the age of just 21, Jenny McAllister suffered a massive brain stem haemorrhage and was given less than 1% chance of survival. At the age of just 21, Jenny McAllister suffered a massive brain stem haemorrhage and was given less than 1% chance of survival. Recovery After Stroke 1:02:24 45. Post Traumatic Stress and Stroke – Travis Cowsert https://recoveryafterstroke.com/post-traumatic-stress-and-stroke-travis-cowsert/ Sun, 10 Mar 2019 22:16:49 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1333 <p>Travis Cowsert is a former US Marine who experienced a stroke and nearly 10 years later is still overcoming the challenges that stroke can create.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/post-traumatic-stress-and-stroke-travis-cowsert/">45. Post Traumatic Stress and Stroke – Travis Cowsert</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Travis Cowsert is a former US Marine who experienced a stroke and nearly 10 years later is still overcoming the challenges that stroke can create. Travis Cowsert is a former US Marine who experienced a stroke and nearly 10 years later is still overcoming the challenges that stroke can create. Recovery After Stroke 1:13:10 44. My Husband Had A Stroke – Royce Morales https://recoveryafterstroke.com/my-husband-had-a-stroke/ Fri, 08 Mar 2019 21:36:12 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1324 <p>When Royce's husband (Michael) of almost thirty years suddenly had a massive stroke, Royce's world was turned upside down.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/my-husband-had-a-stroke/">44. My Husband Had A Stroke – Royce Morales</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> When Royce's husband (Michael) of almost thirty years suddenly had a massive stroke, Royce's world was turned upside down. When Royce's husband (Michael) of almost thirty years suddenly had a massive stroke, Royce's world was turned upside down. Recovery After Stroke 56:03 43. Aphasia Help After Stroke – Tracey Bode https://recoveryafterstroke.com/aphasia-help-after-stroke-tracey-bode/ Mon, 25 Feb 2019 07:51:38 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1309 <p>Tracy Bode is a clinical Speech Pathologist who found her passion in Alternative and Augmentative Communication to provide Aphasia Help for patients after stroke. YouTube LinkedIn Twitter Highlights: 02:20 What Tracy does 13:40 What is Aphasia 22:30 Alternative Augmentative Communication 35:20 Stroke can affect so many aspects of life 39:07 Benefits of support groups especially […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/aphasia-help-after-stroke-tracey-bode/">43. Aphasia Help After Stroke – Tracey Bode</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Tracy Bode is a clinical Speech Pathologist who found her passion in Alternative and Augmentative Communication to provide Aphasia Help for patients after stroke. YouTube LinkedIn Twitter Highlights: 02:20 What Tracy does 13:40 What is Aphasia 22:30 Al... Tracy Bode is a clinical Speech Pathologist who found her passion in Alternative and Augmentative Communication to provide Aphasia Help for patients after stroke. YouTube LinkedIn Twitter Highlights: 02:20 What Tracy does 13:40 What is Aphasia 22:30 Alternative Augmentative Communication 35:20 Stroke can affect so many aspects of life 39:07 Benefits of support groups especially […] Recovery After Stroke 54:54 41. Stroke Of Luck – Farley Cadena https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-of-luck-farley-cadena/ Sun, 27 Jan 2019 23:55:06 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1282 <p>Farley Cadena is an actor and a stroke survivor who performs a one person show raising awareness about stroke.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-of-luck-farley-cadena/">41. Stroke Of Luck – Farley Cadena</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Farley Cadena is an actor and a stroke survivor who performs a one person show raising awareness about stroke. Farley Cadena is an actor and a stroke survivor who performs a one person show raising awareness about stroke. Recovery After Stroke 1:05:35 40. Predict And Prevent Ischemic Stroke – Luka Fajs https://recoveryafterstroke.com/predict-and-prevent-ischemic-stroke/ Sat, 12 Jan 2019 00:03:39 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1256 <p>Luka Fajs is the CEO and founder of Eclipse Diagnostics and holds a PhD in Medical Microbiology. Currently developing a technology that may help  predict and prevent Ischemic stroke</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/predict-and-prevent-ischemic-stroke/">40. Predict And Prevent Ischemic Stroke – Luka Fajs</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Luka Fajs is the CEO and founder of Eclipse Diagnostics and holds a PhD in Medical Microbiology. Currently developing a technology that may help  predict and prevent Ischemic stroke Luka Fajs is the CEO and founder of Eclipse Diagnostics and holds a PhD in Medical Microbiology. Currently developing a technology that may help  predict and prevent Ischemic stroke Recovery After Stroke 34:32 39. Back On Your Feet After Stroke with LE Sling – Amy E. Lee https://recoveryafterstroke.com/back-on-your-feet-after-stroke-with-le-sling/ Fri, 11 Jan 2019 22:06:04 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1249 <p>In 2018, Amy Lee designed and produced the first ever LE Sling device (Lower Extremity Sling, LLC) which uses a simple bungee system to help support the leg after a procedure, reduce painful walking, and assist in the forward propulsion of gait. The coupon code for a discount is AUS30DU and will expire on March […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/back-on-your-feet-after-stroke-with-le-sling/">39. Back On Your Feet After Stroke with LE Sling – Amy E. Lee</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> In 2018, Amy Lee designed and produced the first ever LE Sling device (Lower Extremity Sling, LLC) which uses a simple bungee system to help support the leg after a procedure, reduce painful walking, and assist in the forward propulsion of gait. In 2018, Amy Lee designed and produced the first ever LE Sling device (Lower Extremity Sling, LLC) which uses a simple bungee system to help support the leg after a procedure, reduce painful walking, and assist in the forward propulsion of gait. The coupon code for a discount is AUS30DU and will expire on March […] Recovery After Stroke 37:40 38. Beating Locked-In Syndrome – Clodah Dunlop https://recoveryafterstroke.com/beating-locked-in-syndrome/ Wed, 02 Jan 2019 10:15:37 +0000 http://thetransitloungepodcast.com/?p=657 <p>Clodah Dunlop is a police officer that experienced a brain stem stroke in 2015 and woke to find herself locked-in an unresponsive body with no means of communication other than the ability to blink.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/beating-locked-in-syndrome/">38. Beating Locked-In Syndrome – Clodah Dunlop</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Clodah Dunlop is a police officer that experienced a brain stem stroke in 2015 and woke to find herself locked-in an unresponsive body with no means of communication other than the ability to blink. Clodah Dunlop is a police officer that experienced a brain stem stroke in 2015 and woke to find herself locked-in an unresponsive body with no means of communication other than the ability to blink. Recovery After Stroke 1:15:15 37. How I Rescued My Brain – David Rowland https://recoveryafterstroke.com/how-i-rescued-my-brain-david-rowland/ Wed, 02 Jan 2019 01:25:17 +0000 http://thetransitloungepodcast.com/?p=646 <p>How I Rescued My Brain is a book by Author and Psychologist David Roland. In this episode of Recovery After Stroke podcast, we talk about the lead up to David's stroke how his profession came in handy while on the path to recovery and how he has changed his life since that fateful day.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/how-i-rescued-my-brain-david-rowland/">37. How I Rescued My Brain – David Rowland</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> How I Rescued My Brain is a book by Author and Psychologist David Roland. In this episode of Recovery After Stroke podcast, we talk about the lead up to David's stroke how his profession came in handy while on the path to recovery and how he has change... How I Rescued My Brain is a book by Author and Psychologist David Roland. In this episode of Recovery After Stroke podcast, we talk about the lead up to David's stroke how his profession came in handy while on the path to recovery and how he has changed his life since that fateful day. Recovery After Stroke 56:06 36. The Stroke Of An Artist – Tracy Markley https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-stroke-of-an-artist/ Tue, 06 Mar 2018 11:36:20 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4715 <p>Due to the gap in care for stroke patients after they leave rehabilitation, many stroke survivors seek out complementary methods to help them overcome their deficits.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-stroke-of-an-artist/">36. The Stroke Of An Artist – Tracy Markley</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Due to the gap in care for stroke patients after they leave rehabilitation, many stroke survivors seek out complementary methods to help them overcome their deficits. Due to the gap in care for stroke patients after they leave rehabilitation, many stroke survivors seek out complementary methods to help them overcome their deficits. Recovery After Stroke 1:00:42 35. How To Change Career After Stroke – Paul Higgins https://recoveryafterstroke.com/change-career-after-stroke/ Mon, 19 Feb 2018 10:36:33 +0000 http://thetransitloungepodcast.com/?p=597 <p>Change Career After Stroke If you are like me you probably needed to change career after stroke. You may have some ideas you have not taken action on you may be part of the way there and not yet turned a profit, what ever the reason you are looking to make a change the journey […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/change-career-after-stroke/">35. How To Change Career After Stroke – Paul Higgins</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Change Career After Stroke If you are like me you probably needed to change career after stroke. You may have some ideas you have not taken action on you may be part of the way there and not yet turned a profit, Change Career After Stroke If you are like me you probably needed to change career after stroke. You may have some ideas you have not taken action on you may be part of the way there and not yet turned a profit, what ever the reason you are looking to make a change the journey […] Recovery After Stroke 58:23 34. Faster Stroke Recovery – Bill Gasiamis https://recoveryafterstroke.com/faster-stroke-recovery/ Mon, 15 Jan 2018 08:43:15 +0000 http://thetransitloungepodcast.com/?p=549 <p>Is faster stroke recovery achievable? Stroke Podcast Episode 34 – Having experienced 3 brain haemorrhages in as many years and brain surgery to repair the AVM (arterial venous malformation) in his head, Bill has had first hand experience in what is required to create environment for a faster stroke recovery. In this special episode of the […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/faster-stroke-recovery/">34. Faster Stroke Recovery – Bill Gasiamis</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Is faster stroke recovery achievable? Stroke Podcast Episode 34 – Having experienced 3 brain haemorrhages in as many years and brain surgery to repair the AVM (arterial venous malformation) in his head, Bill has had first hand experience in what is req... Is faster stroke recovery achievable? Stroke Podcast Episode 34 – Having experienced 3 brain haemorrhages in as many years and brain surgery to repair the AVM (arterial venous malformation) in his head, Bill has had first hand experience in what is required to create environment for a faster stroke recovery. In this special episode of the […] Recovery After Stroke 17:19 33. Childhood Stroke and Recovery from Aphasia – Peter Dempsey https://recoveryafterstroke.com/recovery-aphasia-childhood-stroke/ Sat, 06 Jan 2018 08:30:07 +0000 http://thetransitloungepodcast.com/?p=539 <p>Childhood Stroke Recovery Stroke Podcast Episode 33 – Peter Dempsey is recovering from Aphasia after a Childhood Stroke when he was only four years of age. According to aphasia.org Aphasia is described as “an impairment of language, affecting the production or comprehension of speech and the ability to read or write. Aphasia is always due […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/recovery-aphasia-childhood-stroke/">33. Childhood Stroke and Recovery from Aphasia – Peter Dempsey</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Childhood Stroke Recovery Stroke Podcast Episode 33 – Peter Dempsey is recovering from Aphasia after a Childhood Stroke when he was only four years of age. According to aphasia.org Aphasia is described as “an impairment of language, Childhood Stroke Recovery Stroke Podcast Episode 33 – Peter Dempsey is recovering from Aphasia after a Childhood Stroke when he was only four years of age. According to aphasia.org Aphasia is described as “an impairment of language, affecting the production or comprehension of speech and the ability to read or write. Aphasia is always due […] Recovery After Stroke 56:43 32. Intensive Care At Home – Patrik Hutzel https://recoveryafterstroke.com/intensive-care-at-home/ Wed, 03 Jan 2018 09:24:06 +0000 http://thetransitloungepodcast.com/?p=530 <p>Intensive Care Support Stroke Podcast Episode 32 – Many people who experience a stroke may need to spend some time in the intensive care unit. Is your loved one currently in hospital in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit)? Patrik Hutzel is an Intensive Care nurse who provides support services for families whose loved ones are […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/intensive-care-at-home/">32. Intensive Care At Home – Patrik Hutzel</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Intensive Care Support Stroke Podcast Episode 32 – Many people who experience a stroke may need to spend some time in the intensive care unit. Is your loved one currently in hospital in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit)? Intensive Care Support Stroke Podcast Episode 32 – Many people who experience a stroke may need to spend some time in the intensive care unit. Is your loved one currently in hospital in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit)? Patrik Hutzel is an Intensive Care nurse who provides support services for families whose loved ones are […] Recovery After Stroke 56:14 31. Stroke Recovery Timeline – Bill Gasiamis https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-recovery-timeline/ Sun, 03 Dec 2017 11:45:53 +0000 http://thetransitloungepodcast.com/?p=513 <p>What is an achievable stroke recovery timeline? Stroke Podcast Episode 31 – I get asked a lot of questions about stroke, the most common being, how long will it take for me to recover from stroke? Although there is no stroke recovery timeline for each unique stroke there are some things we can do to […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-recovery-timeline/">31. Stroke Recovery Timeline – Bill Gasiamis</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> What is an achievable stroke recovery timeline? Stroke Podcast Episode 31 – I get asked a lot of questions about stroke, the most common being, how long will it take for me to recover from stroke? Although there is no stroke recovery timeline for each ... What is an achievable stroke recovery timeline? Stroke Podcast Episode 31 – I get asked a lot of questions about stroke, the most common being, how long will it take for me to recover from stroke? Although there is no stroke recovery timeline for each unique stroke there are some things we can do to […] Recovery After Stroke 11:34 30. Blood Clot Stroke – Donna Bouten https://recoveryafterstroke.com/blood-clot-stroke-donna-bouten/ Mon, 27 Nov 2017 12:22:07 +0000 http://thetransitloungepodcast.com/?p=504 <p>Blood clot stroke recovery. Stroke Podcast Episode 30 – Donna Bouten is a carer for her partner and recently experienced a blood clot stroke that she is recovering well from. Blood Clot Stroke is the most common stroke. Some stroke foundations report that up to 87% of strokes are caused by blood clots. It is […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/blood-clot-stroke-donna-bouten/">30. Blood Clot Stroke – Donna Bouten</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Blood clot stroke recovery. Stroke Podcast Episode 30 – Donna Bouten is a carer for her partner and recently experienced a blood clot stroke that she is recovering well from. Blood Clot Stroke is the most common stroke. Blood clot stroke recovery. Stroke Podcast Episode 30 – Donna Bouten is a carer for her partner and recently experienced a blood clot stroke that she is recovering well from. Blood Clot Stroke is the most common stroke. Some stroke foundations report that up to 87% of strokes are caused by blood clots. It is […] Recovery After Stroke 55:41 29. Brain Stem Stroke & Recovery – Antonio Iannella https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brain-stem-stroke-antonio-iannella/ Tue, 21 Nov 2017 19:54:07 +0000 http://thetransitloungepodcast.com/?p=490 <p>Stroke Podcast Episode 29 - Antonio Iannella, is father, musician and a brain stem stroke survivor.<br /> In 2009 at the age of 38 he experienced a haemorrhagic stroke while on the trip of a lifetime with his family in Vietnam.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brain-stem-stroke-antonio-iannella/">29. Brain Stem Stroke & Recovery – Antonio Iannella</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Stroke Podcast Episode 29 - Antonio Iannella, is father, musician and a brain stem stroke survivor. In 2009 at the age of 38 he experienced a haemorrhagic stroke while on the trip of a lifetime with his family in Vietnam. Stroke Podcast Episode 29 - Antonio Iannella, is father, musician and a brain stem stroke survivor.<br /> In 2009 at the age of 38 he experienced a haemorrhagic stroke while on the trip of a lifetime with his family in Vietnam. Recovery After Stroke 1:10:13 28. Running After Stroke – Donna Campisi https://recoveryafterstroke.com/running-after-stroke-donna-campisi/ Fri, 29 Sep 2017 08:08:56 +0000 http://thetransitloungepodcast.com/?p=433 <p>How to get back to running after stroke Stroke Podcast Episode 28 – Getting back to running after stroke with foot drop was not really something on Donna’s mind until her early 40’s. At 8 years old, Donna survived a stroke (and other serious complications) and doctors said she would never walk or talk again. At […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/running-after-stroke-donna-campisi/">28. Running After Stroke – Donna Campisi</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> How to get back to running after stroke Stroke Podcast Episode 28 – Getting back to running after stroke with foot drop was not really something on Donna’s mind until her early 40’s. At 8 years old, Donna survived a stroke (and other serious complicati... How to get back to running after stroke Stroke Podcast Episode 28 – Getting back to running after stroke with foot drop was not really something on Donna’s mind until her early 40’s. At 8 years old, Donna survived a stroke (and other serious complications) and doctors said she would never walk or talk again. At […] Recovery After Stroke 1:20:57 26. Managing Pain After Stroke – Kevin Grisé https://recoveryafterstroke.com/managing-pain-after-stroke/ Tue, 19 Sep 2017 13:08:58 +0000 http://thetransitloungepodcast.com/?p=421 <p>Can hypnotic suggestion help when managing pain after stroke? Stroke Podcast Episode 26 – While there are many pharmaceutical products to help when managing pain after a stroke that are very successful the long term use of pills is not ideal. When I recently met the latest guest on the stroke podcast I couldn’t help […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/managing-pain-after-stroke/">26. Managing Pain After Stroke – Kevin Grisé</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Can hypnotic suggestion help when managing pain after stroke? Stroke Podcast Episode 26 – While there are many pharmaceutical products to help when managing pain after a stroke that are very successful the long term use of pills is not ideal. Can hypnotic suggestion help when managing pain after stroke? Stroke Podcast Episode 26 – While there are many pharmaceutical products to help when managing pain after a stroke that are very successful the long term use of pills is not ideal. When I recently met the latest guest on the stroke podcast I couldn’t help […] Recovery After Stroke 56:40 25. Embodying Grace and Healing the Body – Sally Thurley https://recoveryafterstroke.com/sally-thurley/ Sat, 26 Aug 2017 01:16:50 +0000 http://thetransitloungepodcast.com/?p=324 <p>How to Heal Your Body with Sally Thurley After a life of intense spiritual search, overcoming personal traumatic obstacles, chronic illness, dedication to spiritual practice under a self-realized master and being called to take her spiritual experience and knowledge to the world, Sally Thurley is the ultimate spiritual mentor and teacher on how to live […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/sally-thurley/">25. Embodying Grace and Healing the Body – Sally Thurley</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> How to Heal Your Body with Sally Thurley After a life of intense spiritual search, overcoming personal traumatic obstacles, chronic illness, dedication to spiritual practice under a self-realized master and being called to take her spiritual experience... How to Heal Your Body with Sally Thurley After a life of intense spiritual search, overcoming personal traumatic obstacles, chronic illness, dedication to spiritual practice under a self-realized master and being called to take her spiritual experience and knowledge to the world, Sally Thurley is the ultimate spiritual mentor and teacher on how to live […] Recovery After Stroke 1:13:03 24. Experience More Joy in Life – Joy Fairhall https://recoveryafterstroke.com/experience-joy-life-joy-fairhall/ Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:53:49 +0000 http://new.thetransitloungepodcast.com/?p=302 <p>Experience more joy in life with Joy Fairhall. Joy Fairhall is an in-demand speaker, emotional Intelligence and guidance coach, and a leader specializing in working with those affected by life-changing diagnoses or events and teaching them how to be more joyful. Having been through these challenging experiences herself, Joy has a unique insight into the […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/experience-joy-life-joy-fairhall/">24. Experience More Joy in Life – Joy Fairhall</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Experience more joy in life with Joy Fairhall. Joy Fairhall is an in-demand speaker, emotional Intelligence and guidance coach, and a leader specializing in working with those affected by life-changing diagnoses or events and teaching them how to be mo... Experience more joy in life with Joy Fairhall. Joy Fairhall is an in-demand speaker, emotional Intelligence and guidance coach, and a leader specializing in working with those affected by life-changing diagnoses or events and teaching them how to be more joyful. Having been through these challenging experiences herself, Joy has a unique insight into the […] Recovery After Stroke 1:04:50 23. Creating an Amazing Life – Tina Murray https://recoveryafterstroke.com/creating-amazing-life-tina-murray/ Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:52:34 +0000 http://new.thetransitloungepodcast.com/?p=300 <p>‘Tina Murray has been designing lives for over 30 years.</p> <p>A commercial interior designer, speaker, mentor, and author of the book 'Design You: Create the Life You Want', like you ‘Tina has experienced love and loss.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/creating-amazing-life-tina-murray/">23. Creating an Amazing Life – Tina Murray</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> ‘Tina Murray has been designing lives for over 30 years. A commercial interior designer, speaker, mentor, and author of the book 'Design You: Create the Life You Want', like you ‘Tina has experienced love and loss. ‘Tina Murray has been designing lives for over 30 years.<br /> <br /> A commercial interior designer, speaker, mentor, and author of the book 'Design You: Create the Life You Want', like you ‘Tina has experienced love and loss. Recovery After Stroke 58:48 22. Weight Loss After a Stroke – Dr. Jonathan Colter https://recoveryafterstroke.com/lose-weight-stroke-dr-jonathan-colter/ Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:51:07 +0000 http://new.thetransitloungepodcast.com/?p=298 <p>Dr. Colter was a practicing chiropractic physician in North Carolina for over 20 years.  During that time he was exposed to patients suffering from various health conditions ranging from cancer, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, chronic illness, degenerative arthritis and depression. Amongst other things today we discuss how to keep the weight off.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/lose-weight-stroke-dr-jonathan-colter/">22. Weight Loss After a Stroke – Dr. Jonathan Colter</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Dr. Colter was a practicing chiropractic physician in North Carolina for over 20 years.  During that time he was exposed to patients suffering from various health conditions ranging from cancer, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, Dr. Colter was a practicing chiropractic physician in North Carolina for over 20 years.  During that time he was exposed to patients suffering from various health conditions ranging from cancer, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, chronic illness, degenerative arthritis and depression. Amongst other things today we discuss how to keep the weight off. Recovery After Stroke 1:05:11 20. Healing Emotional Trauma – JJ Flizanes https://recoveryafterstroke.com/healing-emotional-trauma-jj-flizanes/ Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:48:15 +0000 http://new.thetransitloungepodcast.com/?p=294 <p>JJ Flizanes is an Empowerment Strategist teaching the benefits of healing emotional trauma and the Host of The Fit 2 Love Podcast Show.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/healing-emotional-trauma-jj-flizanes/">20. Healing Emotional Trauma – JJ Flizanes</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> JJ Flizanes is an Empowerment Strategist teaching the benefits of healing emotional trauma and the Host of The Fit 2 Love Podcast Show. JJ Flizanes is an Empowerment Strategist teaching the benefits of healing emotional trauma and the Host of The Fit 2 Love Podcast Show. Recovery After Stroke 1:09:09 19. Reverse Sleep Apnea – Patrick McKeown https://recoveryafterstroke.com/reverse-sleep-apnea/ Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:46:49 +0000 http://new.thetransitloungepodcast.com/?p=292 <p>Reverse Sleep Apnea with the Buteyko Method. Reverse Sleep Apnea. Patrick McKeown is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin. In 2002, Patrick completed his clinical training in the Buteyko Breathing Method at the Buteyko Clinic, Moscow, Russia. This training was accredited by Professor Konstantin Buteyko. Having suffered from asthma, rhinitis, and sleep-disordered breathing for over […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/reverse-sleep-apnea/">19. Reverse Sleep Apnea – Patrick McKeown</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Reverse Sleep Apnea with the Buteyko Method. Reverse Sleep Apnea. Patrick McKeown is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin. In 2002, Patrick completed his clinical training in the Buteyko Breathing Method at the Buteyko Clinic, Moscow, Russia. Reverse Sleep Apnea with the Buteyko Method. Reverse Sleep Apnea. Patrick McKeown is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin. In 2002, Patrick completed his clinical training in the Buteyko Breathing Method at the Buteyko Clinic, Moscow, Russia. This training was accredited by Professor Konstantin Buteyko. Having suffered from asthma, rhinitis, and sleep-disordered breathing for over […] Recovery After Stroke 1:10:18 18. Stop Binge Eating – Dr. Glenn Livingston https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stop-binge-eating-dr-glenn-livingston/ Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:45:11 +0000 http://new.thetransitloungepodcast.com/?p=290 <p>Stop Binge Eating Dr. Glenn Livingston became interested in how to stop binge eating to help himself overcome an unhealthy relationship between his emotional challenges and how he used food to manage emotions. Glenn Livingston, Ph.D. is a veteran psychologist and was the long time CEO of a multi-million dollar consulting firm that has serviced […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stop-binge-eating-dr-glenn-livingston/">18. Stop Binge Eating – Dr. Glenn Livingston</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Stop Binge Eating Dr. Glenn Livingston became interested in how to stop binge eating to help himself overcome an unhealthy relationship between his emotional challenges and how he used food to manage emotions. Glenn Livingston, Ph.D. Stop Binge Eating Dr. Glenn Livingston became interested in how to stop binge eating to help himself overcome an unhealthy relationship between his emotional challenges and how he used food to manage emotions. Glenn Livingston, Ph.D. is a veteran psychologist and was the long time CEO of a multi-million dollar consulting firm that has serviced […] Recovery After Stroke 1:03:50 17. Reversing Rheumatoid Arthritis – Clint Paddison https://recoveryafterstroke.com/reversing-rheumatoid-arthritis-clint-paddison/ Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:43:23 +0000 http://new.thetransitloungepodcast.com/?p=288 <p>Reversing Rheumatoid Arthritis Clint Paddison helps people dramatically improve and may be able to help with Reversing Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms so as to have a better quality of life, live with less pain, and require less medication. After recovering from a severe form of Rheumatoid Arthritis, he is now one of the world’s leading authorities in the natural approach for […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/reversing-rheumatoid-arthritis-clint-paddison/">17. Reversing Rheumatoid Arthritis – Clint Paddison</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Reversing Rheumatoid Arthritis Clint Paddison helps people dramatically improve and may be able to help with Reversing Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms so as to have a better quality of life, live with less pain, and require less medication. Reversing Rheumatoid Arthritis Clint Paddison helps people dramatically improve and may be able to help with Reversing Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms so as to have a better quality of life, live with less pain, and require less medication. After recovering from a severe form of Rheumatoid Arthritis, he is now one of the world’s leading authorities in the natural approach for […] Recovery After Stroke 1:12:06 16. Life After Meningococcal Recovery – Mike Rolls https://recoveryafterstroke.com/life-meningococcal-recovery/ Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:42:06 +0000 http://new.thetransitloungepodcast.com/?p=286 <p>In September 2001, at the age of 18, Mike’s life changed forever. He contracted one of the deadliest diseases on the planet, Meningococcal Septicemia while on an end of season Football trip. This lethal, fast-acting and brutal infection left him with horrific internal and external injuries, including multiple amputations. Mike’s chances of survival were as little as 5%.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/life-meningococcal-recovery/">16. Life After Meningococcal Recovery – Mike Rolls</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> In September 2001, at the age of 18, Mike’s life changed forever. He contracted one of the deadliest diseases on the planet, Meningococcal Septicemia while on an end of season Football trip. This lethal, fast-acting and brutal infection left him with h... In September 2001, at the age of 18, Mike’s life changed forever. He contracted one of the deadliest diseases on the planet, Meningococcal Septicemia while on an end of season Football trip. This lethal, fast-acting and brutal infection left him with horrific internal and external injuries, including multiple amputations. Mike’s chances of survival were as little as 5%. Recovery After Stroke 58:38