Recovery After Stroke https://recoveryafterstroke.com A Community And Podcast For Stroke Survivors And Carers Tue, 18 Jan 2022 00:57:01 +0000 en-AU hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.3 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 Raising Awareness About Stroke – Kristi Schiller https://recoveryafterstroke.com/raising-awareness-about-stroke-kristi-schiller/ Mon, 17 Jan 2022 15:04:21 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8548 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/raising-awareness-about-stroke-kristi-schiller/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/raising-awareness-about-stroke-kristi-schiller/feed/ 0 <p>Kristi Schiller kept experiencing symptoms that she didn't recognize as signs of stroke because they were transient. It took more than 6 months to get an accurate diagnosis.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/raising-awareness-about-stroke-kristi-schiller/">Raising Awareness About Stroke – Kristi Schiller</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Kristi Schiller kept experiencing symptoms that she didn’t recognize as signs of stroke because they were transient. It took more than 6 months to get an accurate diagnosis.

Socials:
https://k9s4cops.org/
https://www.instagram.com/kkschiller/

Highlights:

01:09 Introduction
02:49 The Initial Symptoms of Stroke
12:32 The First Incident
18:41 Ignoring The Signs
22:32 Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO)
32:20 Finding A Reason
40:38 Starting A Journal
45:04 Cutting Out Sugar
55:28 Importance Of Stroke Awareness

Transcription:

Kristi Schiller 0:00
I told my husband I dropped my phone walking up the driveway and it kind of got some dirt on it. I said, I’m gonna go in the bathroom, and I said I’m just gonna wipe my phone off and I’ll be out in a minute.

Kristi Schiller 0:11
He said I’ve must have been gone maybe half an hour. And so somebody comes and knocks on the door while the doors locked. I had come into the bathroom, and it’s almost like it was an out-of-body experience.

Kristi Schiller 0:22
I can remember everything happening. My head was throbbing. I could hear a ringing, but it’s not like I was a complete blackout. But it felt like it in my head. I dropped my phone when I walked in and I leaned over to pick it up and the momentum just carried me and as I fell forward, I hit the wall and my bell was pretty rung. But I remember laying there on the floor and I couldn’t move.

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

Introduction

Kristi Schiller
Bill Gasiamis 1:09
Hello, and welcome to another episode of the recovery after stroke podcast. This is episode 177 and my guest today is Kristi Schiller, the founder of the charity canines for cops, which is a charity that raises funds to donate canines to law enforcement agencies and school districts across the United States.

Bill Gasiamis 1:33
Kristi went and diagnosed as having suffered a stroke several months and wanted to join the podcast to raise awareness about stroke and the signs of a stroke so that others could get help quicker. Kristi Schiller, welcome to the podcast.

Kristi Schiller 1:51
Thank you for having me Bill.

Bill Gasiamis 1:53
Thank you for being here. Take two hopefully this time we’ll get through it and actually have a proper recording at the end of it.

Kristi Schiller 2:01
Yes, I know. We tried a few days ago, and I don’t know what it is, something about Texas, or you know, I don’t know what it is. But our connections weren’t loving each other. But I hope they’re better today.

Bill Gasiamis 2:16
The internet connection isn’t bigger in Texas. Everything else is big and good thing, not the internet connection.

Kristi Schiller 2:25
Well, I don’t know if you saw on the news last winter, but you know, Texas, get all their electricity cut off. We had none for some people a few weeks. And so it’s like everything’s bigger in Texas, but the political brains and the electricity.

Bill Gasiamis 2:45
Tell me a little bit about what happened to you.

The Initial Symptoms of Stroke

Kristi Schiller 2:49
Well, let’s see my symptoms started maybe a solid six months before I was diagnosed and maybe a year, I look back on it I had some auditory issues so severe ones, about nine or so months before football games, things like that any type of loud noises, brakes, cheering, anything would just feel like ice picks in my ear.

Kristi Schiller 3:20
And so, I did get the shot in January, and then got my second Moderna shot in February. And I didn’t think I didn’t have any complications didn’t think much about it. And I’m still not convinced that you know, it had anything to do with that because I was having issues before.

Kristi Schiller 3:46
But I started getting some severe headaches. And just the short term memory was just, it was horrible. In March of this year, I had a case of global transient amnesia. And I dropped my little girl off at school, I went to the grocery store, and we live on a ranch in Texas.

Kristi Schiller 4:12
So it’s nothing for me to have two or three carts. And as I’m ambling through the aisles getting what I needed everything, I’m kind of having to go to my phone saying, if I’m going to cook this, what do I need, oh, butter, and then it would just all the lights everything hurts so bad.

Kristi Schiller 4:34
So I went over to the pharmacy, I got some Excedrin and just thought, oh, it’s allergies. Well, by the time I got done, and the checkout boy was helping me out. He said, where did you park? I said I don’t know. And the sun was hitting me as I came out. And he said what do you drive? I said I’m not really sure.

Kristi Schiller 5:03
I just, and I’m trying not to embarrass myself in front of him, and he’s a young college kid. And so we finally figured out what my car is. And he says, I’ve never helped anybody with two carts before. And I said, I live on a ranch. And he said, Oh, you do? Which direction?

Kristi Schiller 5:25
I didn’t know there’d be a quiz. And he goes, do you live towards Austin towards Houston? And said I don’t know. And as the sun was penetrating on me, I had sunglasses on, but it was the pain was just unreal.

Kristi Schiller 5:44
And I couldn’t remember my husband’s name. I couldn’t remember my name. I said please don’t go get a manager or call the police. I’m not on drugs. I don’t think I need to be on drugs. But I’m just having these headaches. And because he looks pretty alarmed.

Kristi Schiller 6:04
And a lady was going by and she stopped me. And she said, I went to a charity event, she didn’t know the episode I was having. She said I went to a charity event at your ranch. And because I have a charity canines for cops in America, and she said, You’ve such a beautiful ranch, and I said, what direction was it?

Kristi Schiller 6:30
And about that time my husband called I couldn’t have told you my husband’s name. And it, you know, on the iPhone, it gives the name and the picture, and then the title of the company, however you have it set up. And I said, I told the boy, I said, look, that’s my husband I think.

Kristi Schiller 6:49
And I’m trying to make jokes as I’m going along. And I just feel like it’s bright, it hurts, but yet, everything’s getting more narrow and darker. And, I said look, it says he’s the CEO of an oil company I did pretty good huh? I’m trying to make the guy laugh. But the minute I hear my husband’s voice, I started crying.

Kristi Schiller 7:13
And I said, I don’t know where we live. And he said, what? He said, where are you? And I told him, I said how do I get home? And he said, did you taste something in the store? It’s when he hands you like a sample of some food? And I said no. And he goes, well, you take a left out of the driveway and go seven miles and you’re in front of our ranch. So okay, I can’t believe I drove myself home.

Kristi Schiller 7:45
Then the headache was just so omnipresent for about 48 hours. I went to the doctor, and I said, Look, I think I have a brain tumor. I mean, it’s that serious. And he said, No, you don’t, I said could I have dementia? He says no. So he pulled blood. He says your blood is fine. You know, it’s probably just allergies.

Kristi Schiller 8:12
Okay. So a month later, we went to a friend’s birthday party. And we drove about an hour and a half, two hours to Austin. I remember getting there, we got there about 5:30 in the evening. And, he lived on a big lake. I don’t remember anything after that.

Kristi Schiller 8:32
And actually, I had given up I only have red wine. But I decided when these headaches started back in January or the Christmas time, I was going to give up red wine because I thought maybe it’s the tannins. It’s something that’s causing these horrific headaches.

Kristi Schiller 8:50
And so I didn’t have anything. And he said I was just not making sense, like one minute and I was so thirsty. So he says, Look, I made us a reservation. And I have a girlfriend, that’s kind of a celebrity and interior designer. She was there and she said I want to tag along. We went to this, this fancy steak house.

Kristi Schiller 9:16
And we see our neighbor. I don’t see him. I mean, apparently I did. And he’s a politician here in Texas. And he said, he sent me a text. And my husband said I just locked in and just kept looking at this text. And he says, oh, Kyle’s here.

Kristi Schiller 9:42
So I don’t remember any of this the next morning. He starts referring to his daughter and says, you know, oh, his, you know, Kyle’s daughter is going to do so great in school and what a pretty girl and I said, who?

Kristi Schiller 9:58
And he says the little girl’s name and I said why do you keep talking about them? I mean, they’re lovely people, but you just keep bringing them up and he said we were with them for three hours last night, they ended up eating with us.

Kristi Schiller 10:15
And he said, so he took me back to the doctor. Doctor never said, let’s get an MRI. Let’s get a CAT scan. I can pull more blood, but I can tell you, she’s fine. Everything comes back fine.

Kristi Schiller 10:29
Pulled more blood. Everything was fine. So about two and a half, three weeks goes by. And I have an appointment back in Austin at the governor’s office for my charity. And right before I sat down, I said, Is there somebody here who can give me an aspirin. Just that morning when I got up it was doing it again the throbbing.

Kristi Schiller 10:56
And so 8 or 10 people sat around this table, and I got ready to speak. I couldn’t remember the name of my charity. I couldn’t remember what we did. I just said I just need a minute. I think this is allergies. Well, again, called the doctor. And he said look, I mean, the only thing I saw was your little own vitamin D.

Kristi Schiller 11:26
Okay, so now, that was May, now we go into all the way to the end of June. The headaches were still kind of there. But I mean, I kind of learned to try to, you know, deal with it.

Kristi Schiller 11:45
So we were at a friend’s house for his birthday party. And I kept dropping, I noticed after that time in May, that I forgot about dinner to the governor’s office. So now it’s about eight weeks have gone by I just dropped everything. And I go to put my hand and to like, open up the car door in would miss the whole handle.

Kristi Schiller 12:13
And then I was like whoa, you know, how did I miss that? And in just everything that I got ready in, you know, I had cut back on added sugar. I’m like, Okay, now you’re going to go gluten free, I guess now’s the time you’re going to get healthy and to do what gave up red wine.

The First Stroke Incident

Kristi Schiller 12:32
And I told my husband I dropped my phone walking up the driveway, and it kind of got some dirt on it. I said I’m gonna go in the bathroom. And I was feeling dizzy, but I didn’t want to alarm him. And I said, just gonna wipe my phone off. And I’ll be out in a minute.

Kristi Schiller 12:49
Everybody 20 people, they start mingling and get ready to sit down. He said I must have been gone maybe a half an hour. And so somebody comes and knocks on the door. Well, the doors locked. I had come into the bathroom. And it’s almost like it was out of body experience.

Kristi Schiller 13:07
I can remember everything happening. My head was throbbing. I could hear a ringing. But it’s not like I was a complete blackout. But it felt like it in my head. Again, everything had gotten really narrow. But I could hear like people talking to the door on the other side, I can remember that.

Kristi Schiller 13:30
I dropped my phone when I walked in and I leaned over to pick it up. And the momentum just carried me and as I fell forward, I hit the wall, Venetian Plaster type wall. And my bell was pretty rung. But I remember laying there on the floor and I couldn’t move and I was like, I bet I jammed my neck.

Kristi Schiller 14:00
Or I’ve got a pinched nerve. That’s what’s wrong with me. But yet I still couldn’t move when I was laying in the floor. A few minutes later. I hear it, tap tap tap. And you know we’re ready to sit down for dinner.

Kristi Schiller 14:15
So I remember kind of sitting up and getting a washcloth and you know, I’m like my neck God It hurts so bad in from my ear to I guess my collarbone just felt like I must have landed on it that way.

Kristi Schiller 14:31
Well, it proceeded to get a lot worse in the next few days. I switched pillows. I you know of course WebMD is the death of all of us. You know we all go on and you know everybody’s dying.

Bill Gasiamis 14:44
Self diagnose.

Kristi Schiller 14:46
Exactly. So I went on and it matched everything to a pinched nerve and I thought that’s what I did I must’ve hit it. So I start putting a heating pad and then I start putting ice on I call a neurosurgeon I know in Houston. And I said, look, I was afraid to kind of get out anywhere that you’re going to catch COVID In wards, you just got to go the emergency room and tell them that you don’t feel good, where you’re gonna wait with 30 really sick people. And this is how you get it. So, it was July 12. So June 29 was the night that I passed out on the floor. So that went all the way up until the night of July 11.

Kristi Schiller 15:39
I was still having a hard time sleeping. So my neurosurgeon in Houston said, I’ll order more when you get here. But you have to come with an MRI as a baseline. I mean, I don’t order that I’m too high up on the totem pole. Basically. I don’t order all that. So let me see a recent MRI and, you know, we’ll go from there.

Kristi Schiller 16:06
Okay, so I had had some disk problems about 10 years ago in my lower back. So I thought, That’s it. It’s just moved up my neck. And this makes perfect sense. I know I talked myself into it. I was very hot that night. And the temperature I’m embarrassed to say, I don’t know what you do what I’d be over there, but it’s 65 degrees fahrenheit inside my house.

Bill Gasiamis 16:30
That was your heating on?

Kristi Schiller 16:36
Oh, no, no, no.

Bill Gasiamis 16:39
The air conditioning.

Kristi Schiller 16:40
Air conditioning

Bill Gasiamis 16:42
65 Fahrenheit to Celsius is 18 degrees Celsius. So you had it on because you were trying to get cooler because your body felt hot okay.

Kristi Schiller 17:00
So I went to bed about and I even called my female doctor, and she’s a girlfriend and I said, Cindy, my neck is jammed. And I’m so hot. And what can I take as if I had anything, what can I do? And she goes, Well, you know, is it I hate to say it, I don’t want to poke she and I are the same age, she said that it could be like menopause okay, well, I guess that’s it.

Kristi Schiller 17:36
And I have a jammed neck and I have to find a different pillow. So I’m walking around with my iPad by key pack. And I tried to get up that morning, when I was laying flat. I was so nauseous after I slept for two or three hours. And I felt like even in the dark, the room was spinning. So I put my foot on the ground to try to go to the bathroom. And I just knew I was going to.

Kristi Schiller 18:18
Did I eat something? Still trying to piece it all together. Well, by 3am I said I can’t stand this the nausea is just too bad. So I got up and went into the frigerator. And I remembered I had a cold pack. Like for sprains or if somebody falls down and wrap it around your, you know, joint or leg or whatever.

Ignoring The Signs Of A Stroke

Kristi Schiller
Kristi Schiller 18:41
So I went to the freezer and when I opened it up, everything was dark in my kitchen. And when that light hit me in the eyes, everything just started to exacerbate and get much more narrow. And that’s the last thing I remember when I went down. And so I had my hands trying to steady myself on the glass shelf in the freezer.

Kristi Schiller 19:04
So when I fell back, I pulled it and it all came out. So it made a loud noise that wakes my husband up. So he comes in and he says I see one foot sticking out behind the island, and I am calling your name. And he said you had two half gallons of ice cream that have fallen out by your end.

Kristi Schiller 19:27
And he’s like, Hey, do you want some ice cream? And he said you just started seeing everything was you know, and he got over me to help me. And I was like you’re sitting on my chest. I can’t breathe he said I’m not touching you. I’m trying to help you and everything just felt like it was getting smaller and tighter.

Kristi Schiller 19:48
And we still didn’t go to the hospital. Because I’m like whatever it is these allergies or maybe I said she says it can be pre menopause. It didn’t seem worthy enough to me. I don’t know. I know it sounds crazy looking back on it. But a friend of my husband’s his orthopedic surgeon for Texas a&m University.

Kristi Schiller 20:13
So he’s telling him about these crazy episodes. And he said, You know what? Just what are y’all doing tomorrow? We open like 8:30 in the morning, but come over an hour before, no one’s gonna be there. Just me and I’ll have it a tech come in. And I’ll run her through the MRI machine in my office and then you can take that to your doctor.

Kristi Schiller 20:38
Wow, gosh, that sound like heaven. Great. Well, as I was trying to get dressed, after about 30 minutes of being in the machine, I noticed I kept missing my buttons I was by myself, and I couldn’t quite get it in the hole.

Kristi Schiller 20:53
When I finally got it in, I was three buttons off, like nothing was lining up. I remember there was a tap on the door. And it was my husband and Dr. Brimhall. And my husband’s like you need to sit down.

Kristi Schiller 21:08
I said okay. And then Doctor said you’ve had massive strokes. He said in what you’re feeling is all in your carotid artery. I said, Wow. Well, I found out that I think there was five of them, but they only count for one stroke.

Kristi Schiller 21:28
Where in there in the same artery. So we’re driving to use them. So it’s about an hour, 10 minutes. So we drive into the medical center, and I wait. And it takes them about 11 and a half hours to get me and to some place a neurological spot there. And so they start running tests, I’m guessing I’m there a week or so.

Kristi Schiller 21:59
They can see the strokes, arteries, there’s no clot there’s no buildup, there’s no nerves, and it’s, they were ischemic strokes and they said that we don’t see a bleed so they ran more tests, more CAT scans, MRIs, spinal taps, I mean, you name it, they ran it.

Kristi Schiller Has Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO)

Kristi Schiller 22:32
So I have the most amazing neurovascular neurologist and her name is Dr. Tenu, Garg. And I was put with her and I was put with a heart doctor, they did find a PFO, which is a hole in the heart that I’ve had since it was born. She said, this has to be what it is, because that’s the only thing that’s left.

Kristi Schiller 23:00
Well, they did some more tests. And they did it a little implant on my chest, that it’s not a pacemaker, it just sends a note somewhere and let them know if there’s any arrhythmia and I don’t know if it’s India or Indiana, I can’t remember.

Kristi Schiller 23:21
And so it lets them know if there’s any, you know, arrhythmia or anything like that. And so she’s like, I just feel like this is there’s something else. I’m not sure what well I went back after I was released from the hospital, I went back for some more meetings. And I met with her and the department head.

Kristi Schiller 23:45
And then they did some tests and I came back 10 days later, I remembered my vascular neurosurgeon that I looked at the department head and I said thank you so much for taking time out of your day. I can only imagine how you know busy you are. I said your office is lovely.

Kristi Schiller 24:06
She kind of looked at me and my husband’s well you remember Dr. Jones? I’m so sorry. I said did I meet you in the hospital? He said you spent two hours with her less than a week and a half ago here in this office. I said I’ve never been in this office.

Kristi Schiller 24:32
And so little the short term has really given me a hard time so she looks at me that day and she said I think you’ve had another stroke. I said how can you tell and she said I just want to go and have another MRI. (inaudible) they order when the medical center. It’s considered speedy if you can get it 10 days, I mean, it’s such a big place.

Kristi Schiller 25:03
And I went, and they lined me up for another one. And I came back a few days later, early in the morning, and the stroke had moved to my brainstem or not moved, but another stroke, a pons. Right on the brainstem.

Kristi Schiller 25:22
And again, they put me back in the hospital, ran more tests another series of everything, and still can’t find anything. So I said, you know, a million and a half dollars worth a test later, it’s a two cent baby aspirin, I feel like that keeps me alive every day.

Intro 25:42
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 make matters worse, and doctors will explain things that obviously, you’ve never had a stroke before, you probably don’t know what questions to ask.

Intro 26:06
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 a seven questions to ask your doctor about your stroke.

Intro 26:25
These seven questions are the ones Bill wished he’d asked when he was recovering from a stroke, they’ll not only help you better understand your condition, they’ll help you take a more active role in your recovery. Head to the website now, recoveryafterstroke.com and download the guide. It’s free.

Bill Gasiamis 26:44
So, you know, this whole time do you think you were going to the doctor and giving them the wrong information? Of course, you weren’t telling them that you’re having a stroke if you didn’t know that much. But were you being kind of were you underplaying what was happening to you, therefore, maybe, unintentionally misleading them and then making it harder for them to know what was going on with you?

Kristi Schiller 27:15
No, no, because I was coming back. You know, I came back three times in four or five months for the same thing. So how much blood can you pull? And of course that didn’t show anything? Except a healthy girl.

Bill Gasiamis 27:34
Yeah, and that’s the problem when you diagnose somebody, by the way, they look on the outside. And I suppose when you’re at the doctor’s appointment, your amnesia is not there. Everything is okay, most of the time is that right?

Kristi Schiller 27:50
Well, the short term was affected. The, what they diagnosed is the amnesia, that’s usually about or a little episode. Usually that affects someone, two to maybe five hours. So it’s an it’s where they say, to have it more than maybe two or three times. So again, I just thought, it’s my short term memory, So I started loading up on vitamins.

Bill Gasiamis 28:28
You do what you can and you make decisions, and you look at the internet, and you try and solve your own problem. And COVID is a real issue because a lot of people are not going to the hospitals, and not getting serious help when they need it because they are afraid of COVID or there’s an over demand for hospital beds or whatever. And people are going well it’s not that important, I haven’t got COVID or probably don’t have COVID.

Kristi Schiller 28:54
Right. And I mean, I live in the middle isolate on our ranch. And so I just thought, well, as long as I’m out here, I’m safe. And I mean, I dreaded just going to see my regular doctor. And, you know, there wasn’t, you know, and I came straight from the parking lot and went straight, like I waited.

Kristi Schiller 29:14
And I just kept thinking I just don’t want to catch COVID. And that was the whole reason when someone said, why don’t you go to the hospital right away? Well, you know, and when, maybe let’s say I test negative for COVID. They’re gonna say we have a lot of really sick people here. We’re gonna have to put you over here and we’ll get to you when we get to, you know, and so I just didn’t want to be put in that position.

Bill Gasiamis 29:41
Yeah, how would you know? You don’t know. So how are you going through life and managing your life? So you got a little daughter, and how are you getting through that? Because I imagine with these episodes that you’re having, you’re involved, your daughter’s around like that’s happening with her around, haw’s she managing it? What is she feeling?

Kristi Schiller 30:04
Well, she is 15 and a half. And so she in America, we get our driver’s license, at least in Texas, when you’re 16. So the doctor they wrote her letter that she can get hers early. She’s like, sorry, you had to take one for the team Mom, I get my driver’s license early.

Kristi Schiller 30:26
There’s that. I’ve had a little, a few bouts with just seizures. I guess maybe, you know, I probably had maybe a half a dozen. And I had never had that before prior to this. And, you know, I it’s just you kind of just don’t know when it’s coming on.

Kristi Schiller 30:50
And they are not like a grandma. But all the free thing you’re hearing sounds like it’s kind of at a distance. And then I know that wherever I am, I need to even when I’m sitting down and need to lay flat. Because it’s about to happen.

Bill Gasiamis 31:13
Do you you talk about it so matter of fact? Is a concerning? Is there any fear there? Like what’s going on for you, though?

Kristi Schiller 31:22
Of course, I mean, I’m petrified. I mean, I feel like, I’m not even middle age yet. So you know that, you know, you have so much life left to live. And, you know, I’m not really supposed (inaudible) drive. Now, my ranch is big enough that I’ll putz around and get in my car and go to different parts of it.

Kristi Schiller 31:54
And every now and then, if I need something that’s close by the grocery store, whatever, I’ll sneak to town. But yet my family has an app. It’s like, you know, it’s kind of like being under house arrest. Ding ding ding she left the ranch. And where are you? And they’ll you know, you need to come back home. Okay.

Bill Gasiamis 32:16
Are you consenting to that or are they doing that under duress?

Kristi Schiller Finding A Reason

Kristi Schiller 32:20
Yes. And we know I’m consenting to it. But it’s just, I would never say why me I was because I was in broadcasting for years. I started a charity that is now global. And so maybe a higher being or something in this world decided, you know, what, if this is going to happen to someone, I’m going to give it to her.

Kristi Schiller 32:50
Because she can be a voice. We just have to find out what it is I’m going to be a voice for. But I just feel that there’s and I’ve been able to reach out to other people like in facebook groups that are kind of, you know, younger, or or just going through similar symptoms.

Kristi Schiller 33:11
You know, I’ll go on to say, Does anybody else? You know, what happens when you experience these seizures? Do you feel nausea afterwards? Do you feel is your head hurting? How long should I go, you know, with my head hurting like this? What’s not normal? Because none of it’s normal.

Kristi Schiller 33:30
But has anybody else experienced that? And it’s really, I’ve really met some really interesting people. And, and for the longest time, I was really embarrassed that I didn’t know it. This is what was happening to me. And they were like, how could you not will? I went to a doctor.

Kristi Schiller 33:55
And they didn’t know. And they sent me back home. And he agreed, you know, maybe it was allergies. And I called my gynecologist. She’s like, Well, you seem fine. But when it would happen, it was severe. And so, you know, I keep trying to find the positive. Maybe this has happened to me, because vocally, I can handle it. I don’t know. I am just trying to find the positive in it every day.

Bill Gasiamis 34:32
Yeah, I think that’s a great thing to do. I think doing that does help to focus the mind because there’s a lot of things that we can worry about after these types of situations. And that doesn’t make it better. That makes it worse, because emotionally mentally, that impacts your physical, your physiological state.

Bill Gasiamis 34:52
So it’s definitely better to look for the silver lining if there is one and it may be hard to find but at least you’re focusing on trying to find it. And if it does pop up, you’ll see it you’ll, you’ll go well, okay, that’s what it’s about for me. And it might take a while and some people that are going through the hard times.

Bill Gasiamis 35:12
They are struggling with that they’re focusing on why me they’re focusing on this shouldn’t be happening to me, or what did I do to deserve this? Or that kind of stuff? You’re born, you’re alive. That’s all you did. And that’s part of being alive, you have to go through shit sometimes.

Bill Gasiamis 35:29
And unfortunately, sometimes the shits not pleasant and, and hangs around for longer than you want it to. So you just have to look for the silver lining. And kind of that was for me, what kept me going. I had three brain hemorrhages over three years, and then brain surgery.

Bill Gasiamis 35:46
And for me, it was the whole exact same thing. It’s like, what can I do? That’s going to make it better? How can I support myself? How can I get through this? What can I learn from this? And and that made it so that I didn’t focus on? I wonder if I’m going to have another one? And when will the next one be? and all that kind of stuff. And I just made I prepared? You know, I love this saying I’m not sure exactly who says it, but it’s like, expect the best and prepare for the worst?

Kristi Schiller 36:18
Yes, absolutely. And no, I say if it’s my time, it’s my time, I don’t want it to be my time. But I’m definitely going to use, and it’s been a wake up call, again, they haven’t figured out what’s causing this. But it’s been definitely been a wake up call that if somebody means something to you call them or go see them.

Kristi Schiller 36:49
And you know, tell people how you feel? Or if there’s something that you want to do, do it. Because this is not a dress rehearsal. I mean, we’re here. And I still keep thinking that, you know, after my second lumbar puncture, I was like, there’s got to be a reason that I mean, I’ve got the best doctors in the world.

Kristi Schiller 37:19
And if you know, all the surgeons standing around half a dozen of them are still scratching their head. When it happens, I don’t know if it’s just gonna be Wow, we didn’t think of that or I had been tested for MS for lupus, jak 2, Lyme disease, Moyamoya. I mean, the list is just so long.

Kristi Schiller 37:51
And you know, for brain cancer for tumors for and I’m having another CAT scan and a few days. And, you know, it’s just that many experts and that many pieces of fine equipment, you know, whatever it is that they use, and all come back scratching their head.

Bill Gasiamis 38:14
At some point, there’ll be an outcome. You seem to take it all in your stride though, like, Is this how you always are? Are you just cool calm and collected? Because this is really… Is it just a facade?

Kristi Schiller 38:30
Well, no, I mean, I’m pragmatic, but at the same time, if we don’t know what it is? I don’t know what it is. I’m going to whine about.

Bill Gasiamis 38:43
Yeah, cool.

Kristi Schiller 38:45
I mean, if it were just said, Look, you have, you know, a tumor in your brain and we didn’t see it and it’s pressing. I’m like, okay. At least now, at this point, we could go somewhere with it and say, Okay, who is the best at what? And we just can’t get that far. And like I said, it’s been almost 9, 10 months. And you know, we don’t know what it is. So I don’t know what I have to worry about. I mean, if if I don’t know what it is, I can’t really bitch about it.

Bill Gasiamis 39:19
Yeah. Is it a little bit of control what you can and let go of what you can’t type of thing?

Kristi Schiller 39:30
Absolutely, absolutely. I mean, look, you know, at the end of the day, all of a sudden you wake up and you say I’m not the center of the universe. Shocker. But I’m not. And you In fairness, as Dr. Gard told me in the beginning, I was really I was panicking. I was having panic attacks.

Kristi Schiller 39:56
And every time I start to stutter, or something like that, that I’m like, Okay, is it coming? Then you start anticipating it. And she’s like, I’m throwing, and I bet I text her more days in a week than I do my husband. And I’m like, Hey, have we thought about this? I just saw this.

Kristi Schiller 40:20
And she’s like, yes, we tested for that. Okay. Well, have we thought about having my water tested? She goes how long have you been drinking that water. And I was like, 15 years of this Ranch, she said, It’s not the water.

Kristi Schiller Starting A Journal


Kristi Schiller 40:25
Okay. I mean, but you can spend your whole life. Yeah, that can be your job. I kind of rather you know, I started journaling on what, really, and I had to, because if not, I’d forget certain things. And so, before I was even diagnosed, I, my short term was so bad. So if you and I were sitting down having dinner, and you proceeded to tell me a story about what happened you.

Kristi Schiller 41:17
And maybe you didn’t know that I was sick, I’d say do you mind, and I take out my little, my little pad. And I start taking shorthand while you’re talking. Because that’s how fast my memory could leave me. And so, you know, I would just start the bullet points of what somebody was saying.

Kristi Schiller 41:43
So I could be sitting at a table with a dining table 10 or 12 people, I’d pull up my little pad and I remember I didn’t one time and didn’t explain it to someone they say are we boring you?

Kristi Schiller 41:54
I said no. So then I explain the whole thing. And they felt bad. You know, I get to wear water. I, you know, I say I’m gonna drink a gallon of water a day I try to everyday when I start out. That’s my goal. I don’t actually ever hit it. Because water is pretty boring.

Bill Gasiamis 42:14
Yeah, and that’s a lot of water.

Kristi Schiller 42:16
That’s a lot of water. But I’m thinking if I can just flush out of my system. I mean, we wear sunscreen as a preventative. Think about it, the things that we do, we brush our teeth with fluoride as a preventative.

Kristi Schiller 42:33
You may or may not take a flu shot or a COVID shot to protect us. And you know, sometimes I feel like I’m swinging without a net. What am I doing wrong? They told me nothing. But what am I doing, that’s not protecting myself?

Bill Gasiamis 42:51
I agree with them, that you aren’t doing anything wrong. And what you’re doing is trying to solve a problem that it may be is not in your hands to solve, but you’re going about it the right way. I think you’re going okay, so what can I control? What What can I do? And if I’m not doing anything?

Bill Gasiamis 43:11
If drinking a gallon of water is okay, unless I’m not drinking a gallon of wine. Do you know what I mean? Like, it’s like, yeah, you’re doing something, and you’re not making it worse. And that is a really good thing. And same with me, I was out to dinner last night with some friends.

Bill Gasiamis 43:35
And we’ve known each other for two and a half, three years. And still, every time we go to dinner, they asked me about we’re going to grab a wine Do you want one and every time I say no, I don’t drink anymore, and I can’t drink. And we go through this whole thing every single time.

Bill Gasiamis 43:53
And basically, what I haven’t said to them is, is I’m doing the things that I can do that doesn’t make my situation worse. I’ve never explained it like that to them. And that’s what I’m doing and drinking wine. I enjoy it. And I love the taste of wine. I love the way it makes you feel during a meal.

Bill Gasiamis 44:12
But I don’t like what it does to me post-stroke and how it makes me feel makes me feel like I’m having another stroke. And if I’m going to have an if I’m going to have a wine, and I’m going to think about the possibility of having another stroke, or it’s going to trauma, bring up a trauma from my previous three episodes. So that takes the fun out of it. Like there’s no point.

Kristi Schiller 44:37
Because now you’re focused on that wine.

Bill Gasiamis 44:38
Yeah, and I’m creating that anxiety which makes everything worse and there’s no need to go down that path. So I love what you’re doing. You’re taking matters into your own hands in the areas that you can control. They’re minor, but they really major in how they make you feel emotionally and how they make you feel some control in the situation. Would you agree with that?

Cutting Out Sugar

Kristi Schiller 45:04
Absolutely. You know, I try to cut out, I don’t know if anybody’s capable of cutting out sugar, because it’s in so much. But you know, it was a wake up call, like the added sugar, I was never a soft drink drinker.

Kristi Schiller 45:24
But just sugar is in everything. And so that gave me anxiety, my doctors like, okay, added sugar, let’s just don’t do this overnight, because you’re going to drive yourself, you know, to a point of anxiety that you can’t come back from.

Kristi Schiller 45:44
She said, but try to watch, don’t add any extra to it, you know, just try to awareness. And I want to say that the reds and then the average American has like an extra 18 pounds of sugar a year in the eye is something that I never would have guessed that. And again, it’s trying to get enough sleep. My sleep, it’s been very, very hard for me to fall asleep.

Kristi Schiller 46:14
And then you kind of feel just so lethargic in the morning. And, you know, I you know, it’s it’s the anxiety, I wouldn’t say it’s so much um, the and I have little bouts of I’ll go ahead and say I have little bouts of anger. Like if somebody so let me do that for you. Okay, I’m not an invalid.

Kristi Schiller 46:40
And then I’m wonder how do other people look at me now? You know that that has to be around me all the time. I don’t think people think twice about it. They don’t know me know, that, you know, I was having these little fits of just pissed off. And I didn’t know what I was mad at.

Kristi Schiller 46:59
And so I went back and I said, look, I don’t want to seem ungrateful. And I told my doctor, I said, I’m just having these I don’t know what I’m mad at. But it’s like, everything irritates me. She said, that’s part of the stroke.

Kristi Schiller 47:15
Like, Oh, okay. Okay, so that part wait, wait, I’m normal? She’s, well, in that sense that you’ve had a stroke, that part of it is normal. And in certain days, like I made sure today that I went to bed early last night. By the time you and I were going to meet today that I had lots of rest.

Kristi Schiller 47:37
Because after a certain time of the day, if you didn’t know me, you think Shinsen of country club day drink, you know, my words will start to come out. And if I say, you know, I need a glass of water, it will be dry. Water are the words. It’s what I’m feeling.

Kristi Schiller 48:09
And maybe the words are jumbled. And I was at a salon after I got to the hospital a few weeks ago. And there was a woman next to me. And underneath my sweater, I had my hospital band. And I had, I don’t know, I didn’t want to take it off on it there and I pulled it down.

Kristi Schiller 48:31
And I have a big clear water jug thing with me. And I’d put some of the flavored sugar free, you know, Berry or whatever is in there. And so it kind of looked pink. And I was having a hard time explaining to the person cutting my hair. And I see this woman looking at me and I could feel her looking and I could see her in the mirror.

Kristi Schiller 49:00
And I would try to drink more. I thought okay, I’m more hydrated, because that’s what’s happening. And then I saw her kind of roll her eyes. I was like, bitch, I had a stroke. She’s slike, and I’m like I don’t know where that came from. And she goes, Oh, I wasn’t judging and I go yeah you were you thought I was drunk?

Bill Gasiamis 49:21
She thought you were drinking Rose.

Kristi Schiller 49:24
She thought I was drinking Rose and she was well that’s what it looked like. And I was like well just goes to show you that looks can be you know it’s not everything you think it is. And then she and I got a good laugh out of it. I saw her looking hard at me for maybe 15 minutes. I was like I just I can’t do this. I’m the internal anxiety is so bad.

Bill Gasiamis 49:46
Yeah. People who haven’t been what we’ve been through judge, and that’s okay. Because they they ignorant they don’t know any better. And that’s me that’s what who I was, that’s what I was like before this. So at the moment, it’s like, oh, okay, you’re just like me before anything bad happened to you.

Bill Gasiamis 50:09
So alright, I get it, no worries, please stay that way stay ignorant that’s better for you and your health long term. And it’s a short way to find out what it’s like to be a stroke survivor is to have one that’s done away. And it’s, you don’t want to know that way. You’d rather not know my thing.

Bill Gasiamis 50:29
My biggest issue is that nobody understands what I’m going through, other than stroke survivors, and my they really don’t. And that was frustrating me at some point, because I couldn’t explain my needs. But then I realized that I would never want them to know what I’m going through. Because there’s only one way for them to really know. It’s like, forget about it.

Bill Gasiamis 50:52
I’ll just educate them when the time arises. And I won’t judge them back for being judgmental to me. I’ll just go, alright, let me explain something to you. And then we’ll bring everybody together on the same page that I can stand. And then maybe next time they see somebody who’s struggling, and they won’t automatically assume that the person is drunk.

Bill Gasiamis 51:14
They might go, Hey, do you need a hand? Because often, we even get judged as stroke survivors going to hospital I have heard so many stories where a stroke survivor will go to a hospital with symptoms of a stroke on a Friday or a Saturday night. And the hospital goes, wow, I mean, here is another drunk guy, another drunk girl. They’ve just come out from being out on the town. Just put them in a corner and make them wait. I was like oh that’s rough, you know.

Kristi Schiller 51:46
I don’t know if you can see this.

Bill Gasiamis 51:49
Yeah, yeah.

Kristi Schiller 51:53
Can you see that?

Bill Gasiamis 51:54
The photo of your brain there? And then there’s a yeah, there’s a white spot?

Kristi Schiller 52:00
Oh, yeah. Okay. So that was one of the larger ones. And I have to tell you, when she first pulled that out, and I saw that it seemed like my whole life froze for those 10 seconds, because I thought maybe it’s brain cancer.

Kristi Schiller 52:22
I mean, I didn’t know. And I felt almost relieved when they said you’ve had strokes. I was like okay. I mean, you know, I hate to be that way, but I’m not taking the strokes, lightly. But I was so relieved. And I can just remember crying thinking, so it’s not brain cancer.

Kristi Schiller 52:51
And she said, you know, because I was having such a hard time processing everything. And she said, No, she said, but she immediately said, we know it’s the hole in your heart. Well, so then they told me did some more tests. And a cardio surgeon came back and said, I can repair the hole in your heart, it will only prevent the strokes, 2% to 4%. Well, then why bother?

Bill Gasiamis 53:19
Yeah, I’ve heard that before for a lot of people that sometimes they avoid surgery. And I’m not a doctor or an expert, but sometimes I understand why it’s okay to if you’re going to do it to live for a little while and manage it with medication because you’re under duress already.

Bill Gasiamis 53:40
You know, there’s a heart surgery, maybe that’s going to happen, you know, maybe the doctors have got a good plan about that. And it’s something that you can settle in the future. This happened to you. It’s very fresh and very early, you immediately wanted to come on and share you said you wanted to raise awareness like who do you hope is listening to this that are going to go oh okay I should pay attention to Kristi?

Kristi Schiller 54:08
Well, between all the avenues on social media. I have about a million followers, and I’m going to make sure everybody that is out there gets a copy of this. I mean, just because if it can happen to somebody, that was my age. I’ve never had a cigarette in my life. I’ve never had a beer in my life.

Kristi Schiller 54:30
I mean, you know, yeah, I like sweets, but I’m not sure cheesecake will kill you. I mean, I guess if you have enough of it. But you know, I’m just trying to think of like vices and things like that. I mean, I couldn’t think of any enough. And then you beat yourself up that am I just that damn dumb that I didn’t see it?

Kristi Schiller 54:53
And when somebody goes and you didn’t go to the hospital? Well, yeah, hindsight. 2020 I wish I would know exactly, but as far as I’m concerned, I thought okay, and then I talked one of my dear friends suffers from migraines, and she has since she was young. And I was like, almost wanna throw up it hurt so bad she goes yep, migraine well in a way it was, but that was a byproduct of what was happening. So I just counted it as migraine.

Importance Of Stroke Awareness

Kristi Schiller
Bill Gasiamis 55:28
And if you had known somebody that had a stroke beforehand, you might have thought, Okay, I wonder if it’s a stroke. But you never knew anybody that had a stroke before. And if you had, you never had a deep conversation with them to find out what it was like.

Kristi Schiller 55:42
I have, like my grandmother died of a stroke when I was like four. I mean, I expected something very elderly, and maybe had other pending issues. I really didn’t think about like I said, I didn’t know anybody or if I did, I wasn’t aware that they had. But you know, I still get a little tongue tied, trying to get it out.

Kristi Schiller 56:11
But you want people to be aware, what if I had caught this earlier? You know, what if I had gone in and said, I’m going to see I’m insistent, because I didn’t know about neuro vascular neurologists, you know, and I probably wouldn’t have gone, you know, to directly to a specialist, but at least would have gone somewhere I would have demanded a cat or an MRI or, and said, You know, I really think that there’s something more.

Kristi Schiller 56:46
And so when they were like, you know, you’re healthy, your blood pressure was very low, I’ve always had very low blood pressure. Um, and as I submitted slow, that’s good, right? And, you know, my neurologist said, you’re on your low life, that it’s just as bad as when you have high because it’s fighting just as hard to try to, you know, keep up.

Kristi Schiller 57:12
So if I would have looked at those signs, and then never having migraines, and then all of a sudden loss of words, the short-term memory is what scared me the most. And the, my rock in my foundation, her name is Kristen, will call and tell me something. And she’s in a few hours there, she said, Are you gonna send me that?

Kristi Schiller 57:40
And I was, like, send you what? She was we just talked about it, and I have to go through my phone. So we had a 45 minute conversation about something. And then I thought, okay, and I was like, maybe I had dementia. And my doctor said it doesn’t happen that way. You know, that kind of that look when they’re you know, when they’re away?

Bill Gasiamis 58:08
Yeah. When they look at you and it’s like, you’ve been on the internet again, Kristi.

Kristi Schiller 58:13
And you don’t catch dementia or you know, whatever it is that you know, it doesn’t happen that fast.

Bill Gasiamis 58:21
Apologies for the abrupt ending to the show. This interview was plagued by technological problems. And the internet connection was sketchy at best. It was our second attempt at recording, so we just called it a day at the end of the second loss of signal.

Bill Gasiamis 58:38
Now regardless of the ending, I do hope you enjoyed the show and I would really appreciate it if you could leave the show a review as it encourages search engines to rank the show higher in the search results making it possible for recent stroke survivors and their caregivers to find other people that have already been through what they are going through right now. And that might make their stroke recovery that little bit better. Thanks again for being here and see you on the next episode.

Intro 59:09
Importantly, we present many podcasts designed to give you an insight and understanding into the experiences of other individuals opinions and treatment protocols disgusting any podcast or the individual’s own experience and we do not necessarily share the same opinion nor do we recommend any treatment protocol discussed.

Intro 59:26
All content on this website at any linked blog, podcast or video material controlled this website or content is created and produced for informational purposes only and is largely based on the personal experience of Bill Gasiamis the content is intended to complement your medical treatment and support healing.

Intro 59:43
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 did 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 1:00:04
Never delay seeking advice or disregard the advice of a medical professional, your doctor or your rehabilitation program based on our content. If you have any questions or concerns about your health or medical condition, please seek guidance from a doctor or other medical professional if you are experiencing a health emergency or think you might be, call triple zero if in Australia or your local emergency number immediately for emergency assistance or go to the nearest hospital emergency department.

Intro 1:00:28
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 Raising Awareness About Stroke – Kristi Schiller appeared first on Recovery After Stroke.

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Kristi Schiller kept experiencing symptoms that she didn't recognize as signs of stroke because they were transient. It took more than 6 months to get an accurate diagnosis. Kristi Schiller kept experiencing symptoms that she didn't recognize as signs of stroke because they were transient. It took more than 6 months to get an accurate diagnosis. Recovery After Stroke 1:00:56
Stroke In Your Forties – LeeAnn Walton https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-in-your-forties-leeann-walton/ Mon, 10 Jan 2022 14:23:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8534 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-in-your-forties-leeann-walton/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-in-your-forties-leeann-walton/feed/ 0 <p>LeaAnn Walton felt and heard the blood vessel pop in her head while teaching a yoga class. These days she is able to see the good that has come from a bad situation.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-in-your-forties-leeann-walton/">Stroke In Your Forties – LeeAnn Walton</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> LeAnn Walton felt and heard the blood vessel pop in her head while teaching a yoga class. These days she is able to see the good that has come from a bad situation.

Socials:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lee_ann_walton/

Highlights:

01:11 Year 2022 Mission
03:47 The Hemorrhagic Stroke
12:01 Perfect Time To Have A Stroke
17:11 Current Stroke Statistics
18:46 Unhealthy Lifestyle
26:49 Stroke Can Happen To Anyone
35:07 Learning Empathy After A Stroke
44:44 Post-Stroke Fatigue
1:05:05 Future Plans
1:14:50 Changes In Anatomy

Transcription:

LeeAnn Walton 0:00
When I was in the ambulance, going to the emergency room, I kept thinking I was having a dream. I think I was in shock for many months because I kept thinking, I’m going to wake up. And I know this is just a bad dream. I think the day that I realized what happened to me, I broke down and cried.

LeeAnn Walton 0:23
Because the severity of the situation, I really got for the first time, it has been a hard and challenging journey. And the first year, I tried to be optimistic. And then after the year, everybody said, Oh, you’ll get everything back. And after a year, I still walk with a limp, and it has affected my right arm and hand, I can’t really use it. I got really angry.

Intro 0:58
This is the recovery after stroke podcast, with Bill Gasiamis, helping you navigate recovery after stroke.

Year 2022 Mission

Bill Gasiamis 1:11
Hello, and welcome to another episode of the recovery after stroke podcast. Recently, Spotify released a new feature which allows people now to rate their favorite shows similarly to how the apple podcast app allows it.

Bill Gasiamis 1:28
And since this is the last episode recorded in 2021, I actually recorded it on December 31. In Australia, I’d love it. If you would do me the honor of leaving the show a five-star review to end the year of in a bang, and to get it off to a good start in 2022.

Bill Gasiamis 1:49
My mission is to reach as many stroke survivors as possible that may need to hear the wisdom from the stroke survivors joining me on every episode. If this show has changed your life in some way, even if it was in a minor way, there could be people that may benefit from the interviews, just like you did, but they just don’t know that it exists yet.

Bill Gasiamis 2:12
So go to your favorite podcast app and share what the podcast means for you. It really will make a huge difference. Thanks in advance. And I look forward to continuing to support you in 2022 with a podcast or with coaching or in any other way that I might be able to help. I hope 2022 is full of growth and ongoing recovery. And I hope that you can set yourself some goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, and memorable. Leanne Walton, welcome to the podcast.

LeeAnn Walton 2:49
Thank you. It’s nice to be here.

Bill Gasiamis 2:53
Thank you for being here. All the way from New York, New York.

LeeAnn Walton 2:59
Yes, The Big Apple.

Bill Gasiamis 3:04
That’s a funny name for a city isn’t it?

LeeAnn Walton 3:07
I know, but you know, believe it or not, I think it’s because we actually have a lot of apple trees. Like in the borough’s I could totally be wrong. But I think that’s originally how we got that name like the Big Apple but I know people are probably going to be writing and go no, she’s totally wrong.

Bill Gasiamis 3:34
Well, until they do I’m going with that.

LeeAnn Walton 3:36
I’m sticking with it.

Bill Gasiamis 3:38
Or is it your stroke brain talking just making up stories?

LeeAnn Walton 3:42
Maybe it’s my stroke brain making up stories? I don’t know.

The Hemorrhagic Stroke

Stroke In Your Forties
Bill Gasiamis 3:47
Tell me a little bit about what happened to you.

LeeAnn Walton 3:51
Well, I about three years ago on February 22, or almost around 5:15 pm I know that’s very specific. I was a yoga instructor and I was teaching my class I was finishing up my warm-up so that’s about 15 minutes cluster five.

LeeAnn Walton 4:19
And then all sudden, I had I felt like pop in my brain. But like one of those like really thick elastic bands I get that I felt like somebody like threw one of those at me because my head went back and I was like What the What happened?

LeeAnn Walton 4:41
And I stumbled over my student and proceeded to puke all over her. Not just once, but like and I was like, oh I’m so sorry.. And I couldn’t get back up. And whoever that student is because I forget I felt so bad but I had no idea what was going on.

LeeAnn Walton 5:14
I was trying to keep it together, because I didn’t want to alarm my students. And but I was in shock, because I had no idea what was going on. I was rushed to the hospital. And I went through, I had brain surgery, like 9-10 hours of brain surgery. For two days, I was really touched and go, they really didn’t think I was going to make it.

LeeAnn Walton 5:49
But I did. And the day that I was fully aware, and I woke up and, I’m in a hospital, like, what’s going on? How come my head like kills, and I have something hanging out of my head will somebody explained that, and it was my sister, she kept saying you had a stroke.

LeeAnn Walton 6:18
And I was like, wait, what? I had no idea what a stroke was. And I didn’t understand what a stroke was. I thought I was gonna go to acute rehab, and everything was gonna be fine.

Bill Gasiamis 6:38
Yeah, common misconception in stroke is that everything’s gonna be fine tomorrow rapidly overnight.

LeeAnn Walton 6:47
Exactly. And I remember where I taught, they told me like, how much time do you think you need off? And I was like, oh, I’m gonna be fine. In a month. I’ll be back teaching. And yeah, that didn’t work. Yeah, eventually I told them. I don’t know when I’m going to be back.

Bill Gasiamis 7:13
Yeah, a bleeding in the brain or a blockage in the brain, something like that, you know, hemorrhagic stroke or an ischemic stroke. It’s just not a broken leg is it? You can’t put a timeline on it. You can’t say it’s going to be done in six weeks.

LeeAnn Walton 7:33
Or even a year. Yeah with my stroke. They don’t know that the reason why I had it. They thought me blood pressure, but my blood pressure wasn’t high enough to burst a blood vessel. So I don’t know. But I am on blood pressure medicine, just, you know, just in case, and I get yearly MRI scans to just make sure that everything is okay with my brain.

LeeAnn Walton 8:09
I mean my brain gets a lot of action. I mean, CAT scans, MRIs cerebral angiogram, so, like, I you know, the cool thing about having a stroke was, I was like, introduced to the hospital scene, and like brain surgery, and I remember my neurosurgeon was like, we’re gonna put a camera in your vein is going to go up your arm and around your heart.

LeeAnn Walton 8:45
And then we’re going to take pictures of your brain at first, I was like, wait, you can do that. And that’s so gross. But the more that I learned about my brain and the things that they can do, I find it really cool now, but at first I was like wait what?

Bill Gasiamis 9:10
Doctors know stuff, they know.

LeeAnn Walton 9:13
And it’s actually really amazing what they can do now, I mean, because like, they just went into my major artery on my wrist. And, you know, the incision was, you know, you could barely see the incision. So, but I still have the dent from the drain. So and I think I told you before, it’s my new party trick.

LeeAnn Walton 9:40
Instead of doing cool yoga, crazy arm balances. I’m like, Hey, does anybody want to touch my ditch in my skull, on my head. And usually everybody’s kind of like, can I? And I’m like, Yeah, and then they go in. And they’re like, oh my gosh to do. I’m like, Yeah, I do. I have a ditch.

Bill Gasiamis 10:11
I’m the same, I tell people to touch the screws on my head do you want to touch the screws, do you want to have a feel of the screws, because when they did the, they removed the bone flat to get in to actually do brain surgery. And then they put the bone flat back, they actually screwed in place, or they tack it in place with something.

Bill Gasiamis 10:29
I don’t know what exactly right. So yeah, you can feel it. And on some days, they hurt like they make my head hurt my skull and my brain hit kind of thing because it gets cold maybe or something like that.

LeeAnn Walton 10:41
Oh my God Bill you are a badass. I mean, anybody who had a stroke is a total badass. But you my friend, you are a badass.

Bill Gasiamis 10:50
Yeah, it’s cool. It’s cool to tell people to touch the screws on your head, like, because then I can say I’ve got a screw loose and there’s a real reason. And then, you know one of the best things about my stroke was I was able to prove to my brother that I had a brain because there’s at least five people that saw it. And my brother didn’t believe until then that I had a brain because he always used to say to me grow a brain.

LeeAnn Walton 11:26
See, it’s kind of like I posted my cerebral angiogram photos. And so anybody could see what my brain looks like what it look like, before the stroke, when I had the stroke, and then after the stroke and then actually pulling to see my spinal cord and like the different blood vessels and like, it’s cool to me before I would be like, now I’m like, Oh my God, there’s my spinal cord.

Perfect Time To Have A Hemorrhagic Stroke

Stroke In Your Forties
Bill Gasiamis 12:01
Yeah, it means something when it’s yours, when you’re looking at your scan, it means something for me. It was pretty strange to see a golf ball sized blood clot, you know, in my head far out, man. Like, that was just nuts. The fact that I could say or explain to me what it was what caused it take out what caused it? I mean, how lucky are we to have a stroke in the best time on the planet ever?

LeeAnn Walton 12:31
Yes. I mean, I tell myself that I am so lucky that I had my stroke three years ago and not during the pandemic. Even though when I did have a stroke nurses when I was in ICU, the nurses are like, you know, we might go on strike. And I’m like, wait, can you wait until I’m out of the ICU? And then you guys can go and strike. Just make sure like this thing is taken out okay? Then you guys can do whatever you want. Just please don’t leave your right now. But yes, I agree.

Bill Gasiamis 13:13
How long did you spend in hospital?

LeeAnn Walton 13:16
I was in the hospital for a month. And I actually feel because I was discharged from acute rehab. And I really wish what I know now, I wish I would have asked to complete the full two weeks of acute rehab. I want him to get out of the hospital. I was like, Yeah, give me out.

LeeAnn Walton 13:46
And I you know, and they said, Oh, you’re fine. You’re gonna you know. Yeah, and good luck. It’s what they told me. Actually, that’s all they told me like, it’s gonna be, it’s gonna be quite a journey for you and good luck. And I’m like that’s it? Don’t I get like a handbook or something? But you don’t get one.

Bill Gasiamis 14:14
Isn’t that interesting? In Australia, the Stroke Foundation has started trying to hand some kind of a guide some kind of a book to stroke survivors and their caregivers. So when they leave, they’ve got somewhere to start. Like they’ve got a little bit of an idea.

LeeAnn Walton 14:32
Well, I wish the states would do that. I mean, literally, the hospital was like, yeah, it’s a really hard, it’s gonna be really hard. Okay, and it was like, I had no idea I was like, until I started reading books and doing research on people who had strokes and the recovery.

LeeAnn Walton 14:57
But I was like, wow, I would have helped ifI knew this when I was coming out of the hospital, I really hope that the state starts doing what you guys do, because that makes complete sense.

Bill Gasiamis 15:11
Yeah, it’s funded by the Stroke Foundation. It’s not funded by the hospitals. But it’s something that they’re trying to raise money for. And every so often, they get some funding, and they go through this process of delivering these hampers, or books or something along those lines.

Bill Gasiamis 15:29
I never experienced that, because my stroke was February 2012, so quite a few years ago, but it’s a more recent thing, and just trying to get people informed about what to expect, who to call on, you know what some of the challenges might be, so that there’s less of a gap between the caregiver and the stroke survivor as to what’s going on.

Bill Gasiamis 15:51
So the caregiver doesn’t feel so overwhelmed. So the stroke survivor doesn’t feel so overwhelmed. And, you know, we can kind of bring people down from the cliff a little bit, you know, which is hard, even with the most information, but it’s, most people get exactly what you describe, that’s what I got, I got told that go home and, you know, kind of you’ll be right type thing.

Bill Gasiamis 16:20
And it’s like the trouble started, when I went home the complications got worse, because every time something happened, I was oh, my god, am I having another stroke? Or why am I feeling strange? Again? What should I do? Should we call the hospital should we do nothing?

Bill Gasiamis 16:39
And this constant not knowing made it really difficult to navigate? And we were over what we were doing, we were over cautious? And that’s a good thing. Don’t get me wrong. If you’re listening to this, and you’re new to stroke recovery and all that, and you’re over cautious, that’s okay. But it would be good to have some definitions, some explanations, something.

Current Stroke Statistics

LeeAnn Walton 17:11
Yes. I mean, my team of doctors that I have right now. What they’re telling me is that more and more younger people are having strokes, especially women. And they don’t know why, which I think is really interesting. And also kind of scary.

Bill Gasiamis 17:35
I have a couple of theories.

Bill Gasiamis 17:38
What are your theories?

Bill Gasiamis 17:39
Lifestyle factors, mostly, it’s that we’re more stressed, more worked to the bone were less likely to look after ourselves, pay attention to all those things, we’re less likely to take care of ourselves, and we put ourselves out there for other people. We probably don’t eat as healthfully as we should there’s a whole bunch of reasons and we’re seeing the stats in Australia all over the world in fact, going up for stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 18:15
They say that the world stroke organization says that 95% of strokes are preventable. Which means that if that’s the case, 95% of them are being caused through lack of self care, in some way, shape or form. I mean, what was the reason that you suspect your stroke happened? I know a blood vessel burst, but tell me about your lifestyle before stroke.

Unhealthy Lifestyle

LeeAnn Walton 18:46
Well, when I asked like what do you think? And you’re like, I think a lot of it is lifestyle like, gosh, yes, like I mean, I live in New York City, okay, I had a full time job. And I started teaching and I was getting a huge following. And my part time job became another full time job.

LeeAnn Walton 19:10
So I had two full time jobs, basically working 80 hours a week, stressed out but I had places to go people to see and I wasn’t paying attention to my body and I thought I was invincible. I can keep good so but I’m I’m a yoga instructor and nothing bad happens to yoga instructors and guess what?

LeeAnn Walton 19:42
Something bad can happen to yoga instructors and but I think the way that I was living and not listening to my body was trying to tell me slow down and slow down. Like take a break.

LeeAnn Walton 20:00
Say No, but I couldn’t at the time, it was so hard for me to say no, like, I can’t take on the class. I can’t do this. I can’t you know, I just, I wanted to please everyone. Now, it’s very easy for me to say no. Because before I couldn’t, but now it’s like, no. And if they like, push me, I’m like, I had a stroke No.

Bill Gasiamis 20:28
Yeah, it is a good excuse because it’s true. But as a yoga instructor, what was the point of being a yoga instructor? What did you hope to achieve from doing it?

LeeAnn Walton 20:45
Well, this is the interesting thing. When you’re a yoga instructor, you are teaching people to calm down, listen to your body connect with your body, you know, I was teaching all this stuff to people. And yet I wasn’t doing that for myself.

Bill Gasiamis 21:13
I’m gonna interrupt you for a second I have this theory about people who become life coaches, psychologists, and that kind of stuff. And I had a similar experience, because probably in 2010, was when I got my qualification to be a life coach, right. And when I got the qualification, I went through the course it took a year or whatever it took, I don’t remember how long it took.

Bill Gasiamis 21:38
And at the end of it, I was asked, What are you going to do now? Now that you’ve done the course you have the qualification who you’re going to go and help, what are you going to do? And I had this weird epiphany. I was around 30 years old. So I’m like that 31, 32, something like that. And the epiphany was, in fact, I thought that I started this coaching course, because I wanted to help other people. But in fact, what I’ve realized is I need coaching more than anybody.

Intro 22:11
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 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 22:35
If this is you, you may be missing out on doing things that could help speed up your recovery. If you’re finding yourself in that situation, stop worrying, and head to recovery after stroke.com where you can download a guide that will help you it’s called a seven questions to ask your doctor about your stroke.

Intro 22:54
These seven questions are the ones Bill wished he’d asked when he was recovering from a stroke, they’ll not only help you better understand your condition, they’ll help you take a more active role in your recovery, head to the website. Now, recoveryafterstroke.com and download the guide. It’s free.

Bill Gasiamis 23:13
And I’m not going to go and coach a single person until I go through a ton of coaching myself because I am struggling with who I want to be when I grow up. You know what, what my frustrations are in my family at work and all that kind of stuff. I want to learn I want to grow, I want to develop.

Bill Gasiamis 23:35
And I thought that I was in a position to help other people do that. And I’m not because I’ve never done that myself. So I think what I’ve discovered in the my course, is that I need coaching and then I actually went on a massive journey of counseling and coaching. And still to this day I go to counseling and get coaching. So would you relate to that? Did you start the journey thinking that what you needed to do was help other people but in fact, what’s going on is you’re looking for some kind of a way to settle stuff.

LeeAnn Walton 24:16
Well, to be completely honest, the reason why I kept taking on all these classes was because I loved teaching yoga, and I was good at teaching yoga and I wanted to leave the corporate world and it was very close to my stroke I was getting ready to resign from my job. And well I’m still at my job.

Bill Gasiamis 24:52
So it was a gateway. I like that. So it was different from what I did. I didn’t do it as a way to get out of my job but you were using it as a way to learn, create a following. And then do a flip, like, leave the corporate job and then just move into yoga, however you were teaching yoga and encouraging people to practice yoga. How much of the practice were you doing?

LeeAnn Walton 25:21
Towards the end, none. I mean, I would force myself if I didn’t, if it was almost six days And I would go to a yoga class, but I can barely keep my eyes open. And like, some of my students, they would go to like, where I because they would always ask where where do you practice?

LeeAnn Walton 25:46
And I would, you know, and they start showing up and they’d be like, Hi, LeeAnn. How are you? I’m like, I am so tired. I don’t even remember your name, I gotta leave. I was a walking zombie. And then now like, I have plenty of time to contemplate.

Bill Gasiamis 26:15
So if you’re working 18 hours a day, that only leaves another eight hours. What are those eight hours consist of? I imagine somewhere in there, there has to be some sleep. How much sleep?

LeeAnn Walton 26:30
Honestly it wasn’t that much sleep. I mean, because I’m a perfectionist, and I would teach a class and.

Bill Gasiamis 26:39
Excuse me let me interrupt, it doesn’t leave eight hours. If you’re working 18 hours, it leaves six hours.

Hemorrhagic Stroke Can Happen To Anyone


LeeAnn Walton 26:46
Okay probably like four hours. Because I would come home and I’d be like, Okay, so this part of the sequence didn’t work. I’d look at the clock and be like, Okay, I’ll just spend like an hour and finish, you know, and like, try to improve it.

LeeAnn Walton 27:06
And then honestly, sometimes I would go to bed and but my mind would be and then I’m looking at the clock. I’m like, like I have to get up tomorrow you know, so four hours, maybe even less, for some days it was definitely a huge wake up call. For my stroke, like I mean, the worst thing that has ever happened to me was I had a wisdom teeth pulled and I thought that was a horrible experience.

LeeAnn Walton 27:47
Oh, I would never got sick. I never broke anything. So when I was in the ambulance, going to the emergency room, I kept thinking, I was having a dream, because I’m like, things like this. They don’t happen to me.

LeeAnn Walton 28:09
And I think I was in shock for many months. Because I kept thinking, I’m going to wake up and I know this is just a bad dream. Because things like this don’t happen to me. And I think the day that I realized what happened to me I broke down and cried because the severity of the situation. Just I really got for the first time. But we talked about this before. You know, it has been a hard and challenging journey.

LeeAnn Walton 29:06
And the first year I tried to be optimistic. And then after the year, everybody said, Oh, you’ll get everything back. And after a year, I still walk with a limp and it has affected my right arm and hand I can’t really use it. I got really angry and then I got really quiet.

LeeAnn Walton 29:40
Meaning I really had time to really think about what my lifestyle was, who I was before my stroke and And in many ways, I mean, I think having a stroke was the best thing for me. Because it has opened my eyes to so many things. I realize now I’m like, not always so healthy. I had green juices every day. I’m like, Okay, three hours sleep. I’m like, that was so not healthy, not healthy.

LeeAnn Walton 30:31
And, I was so unaware of it. You know, I’m like, No, I’m a yoga instructor, green juice and vegetables and fruit. And, you know, I just realize, I laugh at my lifestyle. And there are certain people in my life, you know, they’re complaining about their life, and they’re this and this and this, and I’m like, I would slow down and fire you.

LeeAnn Walton 31:01
They’re like, nah, I’m like, okay. But from what I experienced, you know? You really got to think, are things really healthy? Is your life balanced? You know, how do you treat people? And I think, like, I hate to say this, but it’s the truth. But before my stroke, if I saw somebody like in a wheelchair, or, you know, and it was a packed train, I’d be annoyed.

LeeAnn Walton 31:46
Because I had to go round you know, wheelchair, and you know, and I was like, God, I was a jerk. I really was a jerk. And then, you know, if I was such a yogi, and everybody in my world was a yogi, but if you weren’t part of my Yogi world, I didn’t have time for you.

LeeAnn Walton 32:10
You know, so, there’s a lot of people that I kind of brushed off, whatever you’re not, oh, yeah, I’m gonna quit because I’m gonna teach yoga. But now, I talked to them. And I realized, I’m like, God, man, he was such a jerk before because this is the nicest person on earth. Like, he’s so nice. And you didn’t have the time of day to say, you know, to be just be like, Nope, I got to work on my yoga.

Bill Gasiamis 32:44
Was you a bitch?

LeeAnn Walton 32:49
I wouldn’t know. Well, I wasn’t, no, well.

Bill Gasiamis 32:56
That’s not a denial. Sorry. I’m so sorry. That is not a denial.

LeeAnn Walton 33:04
I was a bitch. But it’s like except I was walking down, like, you know, the New York streets and like somebody like said something to me then I’ll be like, you know, fuck you.

Bill Gasiamis 33:18
Well that’s normal. That’s, that’s okay.

LeeAnn Walton 33:22
That’s normal for New Yorkers.

Bill Gasiamis 33:23
That’s normal. That’s okay. I got no issue with that. And I’m not I’m just being cheeky. I’m not saying that you were a bitch. But you’re just reminded me of me, you’re just describing me. That’s exactly the kind of person that I was. I wasn’t that busy. I didn’t, I never worked 18 hours a day.

Bill Gasiamis 33:41
Although I did give it a good shot a few times. But I was really unaware of other people. I was really selfish. I was creating problems that weren’t really there. I was doing all of the things that you described in my own weird way. And it took me to have to be in a wheelchair for the coin to drop for me to finally go, Ah, shit, like when somebody is sitting in a wheelchair.

Bill Gasiamis 34:18
They’re not actually just sitting down, because they can’t be bothered doing anything else. They can’t use their legs, there’s a reason why they’re there. And then, not only that is there’s other complications that happen from sitting down in a wheelchair because your legs don’t work properly on one side or both of them.

Bill Gasiamis 34:38
So I really became aware of how much of a you guys call it jerk. We describe ourselves as assholes how much of an asshole I was and that’s kind of the equivalent of bitch you know, female. So it’s the male is the asshole so it takes some time to have that awareness.

Learning Empathy After A Stroke

Bill Gasiamis 35:07
And I am glad that of all things, that’s one of the big things that I learned is that empathy doesn’t come from a lack of life experience. So when you’ve had a dream run, you’re more likely to be unable to understand the struggles of somebody else. And the difficulties and for me up until then, you know, 37, I reckon I had the dream run, I’d say, you know, I was never in hospital, I was never seriously ill, I was always able to be up and about and work and use my body and took it for granted, like everybody.

Bill Gasiamis 35:49
And now, I’m not that way inclined. So because I have been there, I can empathize with people. And these days, we will go into the city, and we’ll go for some shopping or whatever with my wife, and most of the time is spent dealing with and chatting to people that are living on the street.

Bill Gasiamis 36:16
And they’ll see me coming a mile away, and then we’ll lock eyes, and I’ll be, Hey, how’s it going? What’s happening? How come you’re here? What can I do to help you and sometimes they just need a few dollars, or give me a feed or something like that. And that is a really interesting thing that I can do now. Because before I couldn’t even see those people at all.

Bill Gasiamis 36:42
And now they’ll say, It’s so lovely that you stopped. And I’m thinking, if that was me, because they could just as easily be me on that street, I could be out on my butt in no time, this could have gone a lot worse. And it could have affected my personality, my memory, my ability to, you know, be normal, whatever that is.

Bill Gasiamis 37:08
And, I could have just as easily have been in a position where I need the amount of help that they need. And I could still end up in that position. So I think I need to make sure that we treat people the way we want to be treated if we were to be in the same situation. That can’t happen without stroke for me, stroke had to teach me that.

LeeAnn Walton 37:38
That’s very interesting that you say that? Because since my stroke, yes, I am I mean, yes, I’ll talk to any stranger who talks to me, you know, and I really thought about who I was, and who I needed to become. And also starting to really, for the first time in my life, create boundaries of not accepting certain behavior from people.

LeeAnn Walton 38:27
And maybe not, this person no longer needs to be in my life. Because they don’t treat people well. You know, and I’m like I understand them, because I thought I was invincible and like, you know, I took everything for granted.

LeeAnn Walton 38:52
I can move my body and, and now it’s like, you have no idea how grateful you should be. I’m like, life is so short. And anything in life can change on a dime. And we know that. And I think that is a lot of wisdom that most people don’t really learn.

Bill Gasiamis 39:21
Yeah, and you have to learn from life experience. That’s the weird thing. And we’ve had life experience. It’s sometimes an experience maybe we wish you didn’t have but the reality is, is that the people who didn’t get the chance to reflect on it like us, the ones that passed away from the stroke, their heart attack their cancer, their whatever. That’s like.

Bill Gasiamis 39:48
That’s the part that kind of plays on my mind is I have friends who died in their 40s at least two of them who were in their 40s that died from heart attacks. happened, and they were gone. They didn’t have a recovery, they didn’t have the anger, the depression, the bargaining, the denial, the acceptance, they didn’t get any of that. They just went, they’re gone.

Bill Gasiamis 40:14
And now we have this other part of which I am grateful for is I’m alive. But I get to do all that reflecting, and all that growth and all that wisdom creating, and now I get to apply that. And that’s going to enhance my life, regardless of how my left side feels, and how immobile I am.

Bill Gasiamis 40:38
And that’s going to make my connections with other people better. I got to apologize to my family and friends and tell them I love them and experience growth in my relationships. These other guys didn’t, they just, they never got the second chance they’re gone.

Bill Gasiamis 40:58
So I feel like if I was gonna have anything happened to me, it’s probably one of the best things that’s happened to me and I talk about that a lot. And so do you. But that’s why it’s one of the best things that’s ever happened to me not because I appreciate the ride in ICU, or I appreciate all the needles and the not being able to walk.

Bill Gasiamis 41:26
And well, I don’t appreciate any of that when it’s happening. But on reflection, I’m going, Man that kicked me in the butt that taught me a lesson, and I’m going to learn from it. And I’m going to take that and I’m going to do something about that. And up until then nobody had kicked me in the butt or I had not allowed them because my ego didn’t let me be taught a lesson nicely. I had to learn the hard way.

LeeAnn Walton 41:59
Me too. Yeah, and but before my stroke, it was really hard for me to ask for help. And this is something again, that I would teach my students, it’s okay to ask for help. I didn’t do that for myself. And when I had my stroke for the very first time, I had to ask for help. I had to ask somebody to help me walk down the hall.

LeeAnn Walton 42:34
Actually, I had like, had a help somebody to walk into the bathroom, because I couldn’t even like, make it to the bathroom. You know, it was a very humbling experience. And also, it has taught me that, you know, LeeAnn, it’s okay to ask for help. You know, I’m like, I taught my students and really too bad. I didn’t listen to any of it. Till now.

Bill Gasiamis 43:06
Yeah. So what’s it like with the family? Have you been able to reach out to them and mend things or just sort of be a little bit different or has changed at all with me, I, I really went out of my way to make sure that I not that things were sketchy or anything, but you know, I could be a bit of an aerosol. So I tried to tone that down. And I tried to ramp up the niceness.

LeeAnn Walton 43:41
Well, I’m adopted. And my family, they really didn’t understand what a stroke was. And they were under the impression after, like, a year that I was back to normal, because but they don’t live in New York, and my sister would start getting angry at me saying, I keep asking you to come down and you don’t do this.

LeeAnn Walton 44:19
And finally, I told them, I can’t I can’t carry a suitcase. You know, and so that was a challenge. And then the whole COVID thing. I don’t really want to get into it. But yeah, I don’t really talk to my family, but it was mainly over COVID.

Fatigue After A Hemorrhagic Stroke

Stroke In Your Forties
Bill Gasiamis 44:44
Ah, okay. The misunderstanding part that’s really common family members don’t understand. I look normal on the outside “normal”. They look at me everything appears as if it did before.

LeeAnn Walton 45:00
Exactly.

Bill Gasiamis 45:01
And they just can’t connect the dots. They can’t. He’s describing fatigue. And it’s what does that even mean? I was tired once maybe is it tired? No, no. Like it’s tired times 10,000.

LeeAnn Walton 45:15
Yeah, it’s like when we like I would fight to try and you just can’t fight it. You’re just like I’m not asleep, one also, I had a lot of sleep to catch up on. But I was like, yeah, no, I mean, the fatigue, what I went back to work.

LeeAnn Walton 45:39
And I mean, I came in later. So I didn’t have to deal with rush hour, like I left early, but like, and I sit at a desk, and I was at the end wiped out. I mean, I would go home, I would feed my cats. And I would eat something and go to bed, like I was in bed by like, seven. Because I just was so so tired.

Bill Gasiamis 46:10
A lot of people listening would relate to that, especially me as well. And the monitors are, when I first sat in front of a monitor again, for a little while, it would really freak my brain out, it was really difficult to look at a monitor for a long period of time. And getting through a full day of work was so hard. So hard.

LeeAnn Walton 46:35
And mine was certainly like the monitor, it was just fatigue. You know, even like walking down the hallway, my leg would get really heavy, I’d have to go back and sit down. It was just, it completely wiped me out.

LeeAnn Walton 46:56
And that was something that to get I had to get used to because before I was like, I gotta go to this, gotta go there. And then now I was like, No, I gotta go home and go to bed. And I lost some friends over that, because they didn’t get that. You know, like, you never want to go out?

LeeAnn Walton 47:18
I’m like, I could barely make it through the day. Like, I’m completely wiped out. Like there’s I’m sorry, I can’t meet with you after work, because I could barely make it without falling asleep on the subway. And no, LeaAnn, you’re just making excuses. No, I’m not.

Bill Gasiamis 47:42
Yeah, you did have some kind of a shift, though, in the way that you dealt with your adopted family and your biological mother. Tell me a little bit about that. How did that shift.

Bill Gasiamis 47:41
And the COVID thing is issue for lots of families type of comes a lot of disagreements and misunderstandings and differences, differences of opinion. And I think if anyone listened to this is doing that instead of just just allow everybody to have a different opinion and love each other.

Bill Gasiamis 47:41
Just relax about it all. And let’s see if we can get through COVID alive, which most of us will so and when we do that, then let’s just calm down.

LeeAnn Walton 47:41
Calm the fuck down.

Bill Gasiamis 47:41
Yeah. But tell me about that other part of your life that changed for you?

LeeAnn Walton 48:45
Well, I am adopted. And I grew up in a white family and lived to white neighborhood and I was always ashamed of being Asian. I so wanted to be white, and have long blonde hair.

LeeAnn Walton 49:09
And then I went through many, many years of anger towards my biological mom. Like, Why did you abandon me? And so I think a part of me also, I rejected her. And so I didn’t want to learn anything about Korea, because I was going to reject her, you know, everything about her.

LeeAnn Walton 49:42
And it wasn’t until after my stroke where I started actually talking to people in the yogi world, and there’s an older Lady in my building, and I’ve become friends with her. And we started talking. And she was telling me she’s like, you know, I adopted two kids.

LeeAnn Walton 50:15
And I was like, really? And I was like, what agency? And she says exact same agency that I was adopted from. And she asked me, have you ever tried to trace back and like, try to maybe find you know, your biological mom. And here’s some books that you can read about the mothers who gave up their children, and you could hear the reasons why. And I started reading those books, and I cried.

LeeAnn Walton 50:56
And I realized I was a jerk because I never once thought what did my mom have to go through. It’s very selfish it’s about me. And for the first time, I was able to forgive my mom, to forgive myself. And I don’t know if she’s alive, or she passed away.

LeeAnn Walton 51:33
But you know, I talked to her the other day, tell her about my day, you know, I asked her, I’m doing this, I think you’d be really proud of me. And I’m learning about where I came from, culture, learning how to, sorry… Cook Korean food, really embracing finally, where I came from. And the amazing woman who had me?

Bill Gasiamis 52:16
Yeah, is it impossible that a mum has to give birth to a child and then give that child away and never think of that childhood again. She’s thinking of that child every single day of her life. And she’s wondering whether she did the right thing or not, and whether her decision was the right thing, she probably has regrets.

Bill Gasiamis 52:42
But she most likely did it for you to have a better life, more opportunities, and all that kind of stuff. And it’s the most selfless act to bring a child into the world and then to say, the child would be better off with somebody else. It’s an amazing thing to do even though it’s of course very difficult for the child to learn to coexist in a world that is very different looks very different from the way that her world would have looked.

LeeAnn Walton 53:19
Yeah, I laugh because I recently received my adoption documents and on, my flight status. It originally said France, and then it was crossed-out and I’m like, darn it I could’ve been French.

Bill Gasiamis 53:45
Your croissant. Would the fashion have been better or worse?

LeeAnn Walton 54:01
Oh, definitely better. Definitely better. And the thing is, I love France. I love. So when I saw it, I was like, it could’ve been so different.

Bill Gasiamis 54:17
I’m not buying it. You would have taken Paris for granted. You would have said I wish I went to New York. The city that never sleeps.

LeeAnn Walton 54:31
I don’t know. I think I really like France. I think but no. New York is my home. But after that sometimes I daydream you know?

Bill Gasiamis 54:46
Yeah, that’s a lovely thing to get to that point where you can forgive your biological mom and that’s a lovely thing. I mean, it should be a load off emotionally for you. It should really help shift and lighten your load right?

LeeAnn Walton 55:01
Yes, it definitely did. definitely did. opened up my heart even more.

Bill Gasiamis 55:10
Yeah. And which part of Korea?

LeeAnn Walton 55:17
Seoul

Bill Gasiamis 55:17
Is that? South Korea, right?

LeeAnn Walton 55:21
Yes.

LeeAnn Walton 55:23
You know, Parasite and Squid Games. That’s Oh, that’s where yeah, that’s where everything’s happening.

Bill Gasiamis 55:33
The weird stuffs happening.

LeeAnn Walton 55:37
That’s one thing I learned about Korean is like we’re fucked up like maybe that explains a little.

Bill Gasiamis 55:50
I saw the end of Squid Game, and it was worth getting through all the horror and gore. So if you’ve been on the fence about watching it, and you’re not sure, because it’s very gorey, and there’s a lot of, you know, crazy stuff happening. It’s worth it at the end.

LeeAnn Walton 56:11
At the end. I agree. I agree to it wasn’t exactly what I expected the end. But yeah, at the end. It’s really I thought was kind of powerful. Yeah, but it is very gory. And I’ll think some of the things you’re like, oh, my gosh, I can’t believe I’m watching this show. But it can’t stop.

Bill Gasiamis 56:39
It’s like a train wreck. You have to look.

LeeAnn Walton 56:40
I know, I can’t look away.

Bill Gasiamis 56:45
And Parasite was an interesting Korean film because it won a whole bunch of Oscars. I’m pretty sure it won like a ton of Oscar.

LeeAnn Walton 56:56
Yes, it won an Oscar. It was actually the film where it really I actually learned about how stratified Korea is the classes of the really, the elite and then the poor. I mean, they’re, living in basements for heaven’s sakes, I mean, spoiler I hope no one spoiling this. But like, they open up the window exterminator goes by so they kill you know, they’re insects in their apartment. I mean, that’s how poor they were.

LeeAnn Walton 57:44
And I didn’t know that. And that also helps me understand more what I started reading about these women who had to give up their child, because a lot of them were very poor. And when also it’s kind of a sexist, contrary, it’s definitely you are looked down upon if you are not married, and you have a baby.

Bill Gasiamis 58:19
They’re still living in the 1930s. It’s interesting that shifting a lot, though, that shifting all over the world, and I think that’s a great thing. Perhaps has it moved forward since perhaps your birth? Do you think has it changed? Or is it still in a similar mindset of, you know, single women with children? Is not the right thing.

LeeAnn Walton 58:51
I honestly, I think in the beginning, better over there. But I still think but don’t quote me on this. That there is still a little bit of that stigma still.

Bill Gasiamis 59:07
Yeah. So would have been tough experience for women to go through that have a child perhaps out of wedlock? Who knows what, and then have to make a decision on how they’re going to move forward in their life in their society that they have to live in every single day?

LeeAnn Walton 59:27
Actually, oh, I just realized something. I’m like, I think it’s my mom. That abandoned me. My mom could have had a stroke and died. It was my dad, I’m just thinking because, you know, I have no idea. It runs in the family, you know, having a stroke, but.

Bill Gasiamis 59:49
Yeah, well, it can. And yeah, this is one of the things that unfortunately, you’re not going to know you’re not going to know your history is there a possibility that you’ll be able to continue the mission to find more details of the family history?

LeeAnn Walton 1:00:10
I’m actually waiting for the orphanage in Korea, to see if they can send me copies of my file of how I came to them. So hopefully, in the new year, I’ll get that information.

Bill Gasiamis 1:00:33
And your mom in United States, does she have any additional information on that journey?

LeeAnn Walton 1:00:43
No, she was actually very against me ever looking for my real mom, I think she felt that I’m your mom. And that should be enough. So there wasn’t a lot of also factored into me not really looking.

Bill Gasiamis 1:01:07
Yeah. That would be hard for everybody isn’t it? It’s just that person perhaps has made a decision to do something that’s really good. You know, bring another child away from a situation that’s really difficult, raise that child and then be a mom to that child and then feel perhaps, if they’re emotionally sensitive feel perhaps that they’re being let down or betrayed or some crazy word.

Bill Gasiamis 1:01:40
I don’t know what the word is, by the child that they brought into the world to save to whatever you know, who knows? And it’s really difficult to understand what might be going on in the head of adopted I’m not sure if the words the right word, adoptive parent or the parent.

LeeAnn Walton 1:02:07
Adopted mom. Yeah.

Bill Gasiamis 1:02:10
It would be really difficult. Do you fit in through your life? Did you feel like fit in other than you weren’t blonde and blue eyed? Right? Typical. Did you feel like you fit in in every other way? Were you always feeling comfortable around family siblings?

LeeAnn Walton 1:02:31
I always like, felt like part of the family and I laugh because I remember a friend of mine in college. And she’s like, did you know you were adopted? I think yes, okay I said look at the pictures and I will definitely see that I looked very different from my family. She’s like, I kind of got that, I knew that I was adopted. It was not it was not a surprise. I was like, it was not a surprise. Like I even told her I’m the only one that’s adopted.

Bill Gasiamis 1:03:21
Wow, that’s so funny. She was joking, right?

LeeAnn Walton 1:03:26
No I was like, she went on to be a psychologist.

Bill Gasiamis 1:03:40
Maybe she’s grown. Maybe she’s had new learnings.

LeeAnn Walton 1:03:47
Let’s hope but like, I can’t believe you just asked me that question.

Bill Gasiamis 1:03:56
Yeah, look, people can be thick and that it’s just strange. You know that she could think that but you know, maybe she thought you’re oblivious. Maybe she thought you had no idea that you’d look different?

Bill Gasiamis 1:04:11
Maybe you just she thought that you just felt like you were you just were 100% True Blue. You know, United States person looking at 30 generations before you and all that stuff. Maybe she just thought that it’s legit. It’s impossible.

LeeAnn Walton 1:04:40
I know, you’re very nice. I’m just like what?

Bill Gasiamis 1:04:46
I’m trying to just give her a break.

LeeAnn Walton 1:04:48
I know you are.

Bill Gasiamis 1:04:49
Cuz that’s one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard.

LeeAnn Walton 1:04:56
I’m like was it really were you shocked when they told you were. I was like no I wasn’t shocked.

Future Plans


Bill Gasiamis 1:05:05
Wow, I love it. So you’ve been three years into this recovery journey by now. What’s the future hold? What are your plans? Being that today in Australia, by the way, is the 31st of December 2021. And we’re supposed to be talking about New Year’s goals, resolutions, all that kind of stuff. What’s the future hold for you?

LeeAnn Walton 1:05:37
Well, I’m going to write a book about my stroke. But it’s going to be about all of the lessons that I have learned from my stroke. You hear stroke. We hear all like the bad things. And the stories and the struggles and yes, that is part of the journey. But there is another part of the journey that you can take.

LeeAnn Walton 1:06:13
And there’s so much wisdom that I have learned from my stroke. And it’s not and it’s gonna be a book, not just about first stroke survivors. But for people and also, like, maybe I could change somebody to really slow down and be kind and wise, and that’s my big thing is write that book.

Bill Gasiamis 1:06:48
Can we workshop some titles?

LeeAnn Walton 1:06:52
Yes. Wait a second. I’ve been working on it.

Bill Gasiamis 1:06:55
I wasn’t being serious. I was gonna say like, 101 things I’ll learned from stroke. Or maybe like, seven things that stroke taught me or one of the other quirky things like that people label.

LeeAnn Walton 1:07:25
You know, I thought about, like, what I want to call the book. And stroke is not going to be any part of the of the title.

LeeAnn Walton 1:07:42
I’ve been toying with strong or something. I don’t know yet. But I don’t want it to be too late to new agey, but I don’t know that at first I thought maybe lessons, life lessons or they’ll come to me. So it’s something with meaning, wisdom.

Bill Gasiamis 1:08:23
It’ll start to emerge as you start to write the book, I reckon, you get a feel for the book. And when you structure it, when you know what the chapters are, when you know what you want to share what the message is going to be. It’ll just emerge as it goes. And and I know he’s saying that you don’t want it to be about stroke, but you’ll be sharing your stroke journey.

Bill Gasiamis 1:08:46
So maybe a subtitle might have the word stroke in it or suggest that it’s coming from somebody who’s had a stroke and learned about life in her 40s. Yes, something like that, but I get, I get what you’re saying, you know, the book that I’m writing, I don’t really want it to be about me.

Bill Gasiamis 1:09:08
Which is strange, because it’s about stroke. But there’s a very small amount of it that’s being allocated to me, because I just want people to feel like they can relate to me. But then it’s about the lessons again, that I learned and it’s got nothing to do with. Well, what it’s, it’s because of the stroke that I lent them, but it’s not a book about stroke type thing. It’s about post traumatic growth, you know?

Bill Gasiamis 1:09:41
And that’s kind of where you’re at. Yeah, I know you want to share that story of growth and learning and wisdom and overcoming and that’s why you’re going to feature in my book, that’s why you’re going to have a chapter dedicated to you I’ll share a bit of your story in there.

Bill Gasiamis 1:10:02
That’s the whole purpose for that. Because I am, like you, I feel like there’s a lot of crap to talk about. But there’s also a lot of great things to talk about that come from the crap, they have to only emerge from the hard things. You can’t get wisdom of knowing what it’s like to be in a wheelchair, by never having to be in a wheelchair, and can’t get out of that wheelchair.

Bill Gasiamis 1:10:31
It’s one thing to sit in a wheelchair and push yourself around for a laugh. You know, and I’ve done that once in my life. But it’s another thing to be in there and then go, I can’t get out of that wheelchair. That wisdom of life doesn’t come from the mild version of that. It just doesn’t

LeeAnn Walton 1:10:52
I know it. Exactly. And it’s also those moments, at least like, I couldn’t feel on the right side of my arm. And one day, I was walking down the street, and I felt something straight into the right side of my arm. And I was like, Oh my gosh, I was like, Yo, like, Oh, my God, what’s going on? Should it go to the doctor.

LeeAnn Walton 1:11:26
And then I realized it was the wind. I felt the wind on the right side of my arm. And right then, and there on the street, I burst into tears. Because I forgot what it felt like. And then when it came back, like I was so grateful.

LeeAnn Walton 1:11:58
And it just really just those moments are so humbling. Because I felt very humble because I was like, I took for granted, you know, that feeling in my right hand and I am starting to get feeling back in. Thank you. Like just was humbling and so grateful.

Bill Gasiamis 1:12:35
Yeah, the wind on your skin. I mean. Wow.

LeeAnn Walton 1:12:42
Yeah. well, what is that? Do I have to go the hospital? Like, and then like, wait a second, I think I remember this, then I’m like, it’s wind I’m feeling the wind on my skin. And, I forgot what it felt like.

Bill Gasiamis 1:13:07
Yeah, that’s such a big thing. And it sounds so benign because we normally don’t pay attention to the wind on our skin, we pay attention to it on our body when we’re being pushed by the wind, for example, or when it’s messing up our hair bow don’t really pay attention to what it feels like.

Bill Gasiamis 1:13:25
And I have a similar feeling. I can feel the wind on my left side now. But not because it feels great it because it feels bad. So when I feel the wind, it hurts on my left side on my right side. I don’t notice it. But on my left side, it causes discomfort.

Bill Gasiamis 1:13:48
Not real pain, not debilitating pain, but discomfort where I would rather be wearing a sweatshirt or a jacket or something so that I don’t have to feel it. And I put my left hand in my pocket so I don’t have to feel it.

LeeAnn Walton 1:14:05
I have always numbness and tingling on my right side of my hand and my arm all the way up to the right side of my face. And let me just tell you like my right eyeball is numb. Like and I always feel it. You know, as soon as I wake up, I’m like oh there it is. But that let me just tell you I think we have experienced many sensations, that I don’t think a lot of people have.

Changes In Anatomy

Bill Gasiamis 1:14:50
Well, we’re over sharing. I’m gonna share. So that straight down the middle thing happens to me too, and that’s straight down the middle of every thing on my body. So, I’ll just leave it at that.

LeeAnn Walton 1:15:13
I never. Wow what’s that like?

Bill Gasiamis 1:15:20
That’s like numb on one side and less numb on the other side.

LeeAnn Walton 1:15:27
Interesting. Wow.

Bill Gasiamis 1:15:31
Yeah, yeah. And it’s like, I don’t know how many people can say that? I can. And I know there’ll be a few other guys that are relating to me right now. But yeah, really strange really bizarre. I’ve even perspired on half of my body and not the other half of my body. Have you ever done that?

LeeAnn Walton 1:15:51
No.

Bill Gasiamis 1:15:52
So this is this it is dry. And besides perspiring.

LeeAnn Walton 1:15:59
My gosh, isn’t that that’s like, but then it makes me like our brains are like, it’s so scrambled and jumbled that like, oh my gosh, it just I feel like, I always explain a stroke to people. I always say think of your brain as a computer.

LeeAnn Walton 1:16:23
And then it goes down. And then when it comes up, half the program is not running, it’s running something completely different. And that’s why strokes are different for every single person.

LeeAnn Walton 1:16:40
Because that whatever program was affected, if that’s how it affects and that’s I just have the numbness all the way down, and the numbness in the eye and like in the weird sensation and pain in the fingers.

Bill Gasiamis 1:17:04
Yeah. So I’m in Gemini, I was born in June. So now I know exactly what it feels like to be two people in one body. My body now matches my personality. I never thought I would get there. But I’m living true to my star sign.

LeeAnn Walton 1:17:29
Well, I don’t know when I was born. So I don’t know.

Bill Gasiamis 1:17:35
Did you pick one?

LeeAnn Walton 1:17:40
The adoption agency picked one and my birthday is actually coming up? It’s January 4. So that would make me a Capricorn. I guess you know, I mean, Capricorns love to work. And before my stroke, I was working all the time.

Bill Gasiamis 1:18:07
Thank you so much for being on the podcast, I really appreciate it. I look forward to the book emerging and you’re going through that process. It’s good to hear there’s a lot of stroke survivors that are putting up books. And I just love that fact that sheet goes down. And then everyone’s going through a tough time. And everyone’s thinking about how to help other people. And it’s like, far out.

Bill Gasiamis 1:18:41
That’s such a great thing to come out of stroke as well. And I never really was to help the other people kind of guy like I was never that guy. But I thought this real deep desire to share and help other people. And that’s partly for the pod why the podcast happened.

Bill Gasiamis 1:18:57
That’s now why I stop and speak to people that are asking for money on the street and all that type of thing. I have this deep desire now to support and help people as little or as much as I can. It doesn’t matter. Some of them are very minor gestures, but they mean a lot to the people that are receiving them.

LeeAnn Walton 1:19:18
I just want to say that I really appreciate your podcast because I came across it and it was something really good for me to connect to and connect with you.

Bill Gasiamis 1:19:34
Yeah, absolutely. How long did it take you before? How long did it take you to find something that sort of helped you feel like you’re not alone? Was it something that you thought of at the beginning, or was it just later down the track when you thought I wonder if there’s a podcast about this?

LeeAnn Walton 1:19:51
I tried, you know, there were like Facebook pages were stroke survivor, you know, support groups and stuff like that. And I found a lot of them to be and I totally, I totally get it very angry and depressed.

LeeAnn Walton 1:20:17
But at one point, I was like I get where you guys are. But I’m going down this different journey. So I got rid of I left those groups and was always on the lookout for there’s gotta be something a little bit more positive. And I found you!

Bill Gasiamis 1:20:46
Well that’s it I’m glad that’s how you describe me. Thank you so much. Well, I look forward to keeping in touch with you. And just learning more about you and learning more about your book and talking about that sort of stuff. If you ever want to be on the podcast again, all you got to do is reach out.

LeeAnn Walton 1:21:08
I love to be on the podcast, literally this is fun.

Bill Gasiamis 1:21:16
I ever get back to New York, you know, probably gonna slip in your spare room with my wife there just so you know.

LeeAnn Walton 1:21:24
I don’t have a spare room. Couch.

Bill Gasiamis 1:21:29
Whatever.

LeeAnn Walton 1:21:32
And I hope you like cats, because I have a cat.

Bill Gasiamis 1:21:36
We like cats. And we don’t like spending $20,000 to stay for a week in New York. Yeah.

LeeAnn Walton 1:21:42
Oh, and you should stay with me because I live in Long Island City. And I have a beautiful view of the city and the water. So yeah.

Bill Gasiamis 1:21:55
Sounds like a lovely place. Thank you so much for being on the podcast.

LeeAnn Walton 1:22:00
Thank you for having me.

Intro 1:22:02
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 1:22:19
All content on this website at any linked blog, podcast or video material controlled this website or content is created and produced for informational purposes only and is largely based on the personal experience of Bill Gasiamis the content is intended to complement your medical treatment and support healing.

Intro 1:22:36
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 did not use our content as a standalone resource to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease for therapeutic purposes or is a substitute for the advice of a health professional.

Intro 1:22:56
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 1:23:10
If you are experiencing a health emergency or think you might be, call triple zero in Australia or your local emergency number immediately for emergency assistance or go to the nearest hospital emergency department medical information changes constantly. While we aim to provide current quality information in our content. We did not provide any guarantees and assume no legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, currency or completeness of the content.

Intro 1:23:34
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 Stroke In Your Forties – LeeAnn Walton appeared first on Recovery After Stroke.

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LeaAnn Walton felt and heard the blood vessel pop in her head while teaching a yoga class. These days she is able to see the good that has come from a bad situation. LeaAnn Walton felt and heard the blood vessel pop in her head while teaching a yoga class. These days she is able to see the good that has come from a bad situation. Recovery After Stroke 1:23:48
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu And Stroke – Chris Martin https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brazilian-jiu-jitsu-and-stroke-chris-martin/ Mon, 03 Jan 2022 12:24:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8512 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brazilian-jiu-jitsu-and-stroke-chris-martin/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brazilian-jiu-jitsu-and-stroke-chris-martin/feed/ 0 <p>Chris Martin experienced a stroke because of a carotid artery dissection as a result of repeated traumas to his neck while participating in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu also known as BJJ.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brazilian-jiu-jitsu-and-stroke-chris-martin/">Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu And Stroke – Chris Martin</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Chris Martin experienced a stroke because of a carotid artery dissection as a result of repeated traumas to his neck while participating in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu also known as BJJ.

Socials: 

Instagram: @Bizjitsu 

Recent blog article with signs to watch for
https://bizjitsu.medium.com/recognizing-the-signs-before-it-is-too-late-vascular-neck-injuries-in-brazilian-jiu-jitsu-bc2965d4c463

YouTube
https://youtube.com/c/ChrisMartinbizjitsu

Link to referenced article
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1544316718816133

Highlights:

02:08 Introduction
03:58 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Stroke
09:31 Lack of Awareness lead to ischemic stroke
16:49 BJJ Pros and Cons
21:56 Signs of Carotid Artery Dissection
26:38 Waking Up In The Hospital
31:44 Lack of Precautionary Measures
38:25 Possible Misdiagnosis
44:56 Duplex Ultrasound
55:34 Delayed Strokes
1:08:26 Bonds Forged In BJJ

Transcription:

Chris Martin 0:00
Then the last thing I’m never going to forget, the last thing they said. They said to me, it’s like, can you move any part of your right body? Can you move that leg at all? In my mind, I took everything and I was like.

Chris Martin 0:17
And my leg just twitched. And then I just remember the doctor say, put him out, put him out. Boom, I was out. Next thing you know, I wake up in the hospital, like literally, like, wake up in the hospital bed and my family’s all around me. And I’m looking around and I’m like, oh shit, I survived. And then I started down like well, okay, I got the disability insurance policy.

Intro 0:49
This is the recovery after stroke podcast, with Bill Gasiamis helping you navigate recovery after stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 1:03
Hello, and welcome to recovery after stroke a podcast full of answers, advice and practical tools for stroke survivors to help you take back your life after a stroke and build a stronger future.

Bill Gasiamis 1:14
I’m your host three times stroke survivor Bill Gasiamis. After my own life was turned upside down and I went from being an active father to being stuck in hospital. I knew if I wanted to get back to the life I loved before my recovery was up to me.

Bill Gasiamis 1:27
After years of researching and discovering a learn how to heal my brain and rebuild a healthier and happier life than I ever dreamed possible. And now I’ve made it my mission to empower other stroke survivors like you to recover faster, achieve your goals and take back the freedom you deserve.

Bill Gasiamis 1:43
If you enjoy this episode and want more resources, accessible training and hands on support, check out my recovery after stroke coaching membership created especially for stroke survivors and caregivers.

Bill Gasiamis 1:56
This is your clear pathway to transform your symptoms, reduce your anxiety, and navigate your journey to recovery with confidence, head to recoveryafterstroke.com To find out more after this podcast.

Introduction

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Stroke
Bill Gasiamis 2:08
But for now let’s dive right into today’s show. This is episode 175. And my guest today is Chris Martin, who is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu enthusiast and coach who experienced an ischemic stroke due to repeated traumas to the carotid artery sustained in the sport while he was being choked and strangled by his opponents.

Bill Gasiamis 2:37
Now Chris is on a mission to raise awareness in the BJJ community about the risks of the sport. But more importantly is interested in raising awareness about how to spot the signs of stroke, and how to take action fast if you suspect someone at a Brazilian Jujitsu event, or BJJ event may be showing the signs of stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 3:03
Since this is a stroke prevention interview, please share it far and wide. If you have been meaning to share an episode of the podcast and haven’t got around to it yet. This is the one to share whether you are listening on a podcast app or watching on YouTube. There has never been a better episode to share.

Bill Gasiamis 3:23
It would mean so much to me, and it might just help save a life. Thank you, Chris Martin, welcome to the podcast.

Chris Martin 3:31
Thank you. How are you?

Bill Gasiamis 3:32
Man I’m doing well. I really appreciate you reaching out because this topic that we’re going to talk about today is something that’s really close to my heart and something that I’m worried about since my own stroke and since learning about dissections in arteries, but before we get into that part of it, tell me a little bit about what happened to you?

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Stroke

Chris Martin 3:58
I think the best way to summarize it is a lack of awareness in what I do and first, my hobby is what we’re going to talk about today Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and I’m very passionate about it.

Chris Martin 4:18
I found it in 2008 at a time in my life where I needed it, and it did change my life in many ways and I’m not going to go down that rabbit hole. However for the general listener, I want them to understand what Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is.

Chris Martin 4:41
Is a martial art that is used the best way I can describe it is to use the least energy and exertion to manage your output and put the end goal in a combative situation using Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is to get to the back and finish with a strangle.

Chris Martin 5:14
In the sport, the misconception is you hear the word chokeholds. But in the medical field chokes and strangles are two different things. What we do is we try to strangle our friends as quick as we can.

Chris Martin 5:33
And they tap out when they feel like there’s no way that they can get out of the strangle. And if they feel like they’re going to maybe pass out, go to sleep. And they usually, my friends are pretty crazy.

Chris Martin 5:53
And they will wait as long as they can until they almost go to sleep, or they might go to sleep many of them, we do this to each other about six to seven days a week, sometimes twice a day.

Bill Gasiamis 6:09
And when you say strangling, what you’re actually doing is you’re placing pressure, either with your arms or with your legs onto the neck, and that impacts the vertebral or the carotid arteries and decreases the blood flow to the brain. So they have no choice but to go limp.

Chris Martin 6:35
Yep, and they go and, the more we do this as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners who are very passionate about this, we find even sneakier and sneakier and more efficient ways to apply pressure to the vertebrals and the carotids.

Chris Martin 6:56
Sometimes we wear these fancy outfits that looks like pajamas, they’re called Gis, and they have long straps that we can pull out. It will look like a karate kimono. However, we use it to wrap around each other’s necks that has collars we use to hold the collars, pull, strangle, apply pressure at the same time as we’re putting knees in the back of the vertebrals.

Chris Martin 7:24
We are ripping bow and arrow chokes, we are pulling materials around the person’s neck, I should have worn Gi I could go get one if I need to. But you get the picture. And it’s a relatively fast growing sport, because of how addictive and how healthy it is from the standpoint of mental health and physical health.

Chris Martin 7:53
So who I am is somebody who fell in love with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in a time of my life where I needed something from a mental standpoint, and a physical standpoint, I was not in a good place in my life at 28 years old.

Chris Martin 8:09
And I’m 43 now and I have not stopped doing what I love. However, in 2017 it was during a periodic two months of pretty heavy strangling with my friends working on specific chokes to the back, making our chokes more efficient.

Chris Martin 8:41
And one day in practice, I was caught in a strangle. And again, like I said, we have the opportunity to either tap or go to sleep. Or in my case, just keep fighting out of it. Try to find a way out because in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu the mindset has always been there’s always a way out.

Chris Martin 9:08
And that’s what helps develop your character. Because you learn to overcome adversity through Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu through being strangled and putting yourself in very bad positions that are very uncomfortable. And you do it again and again and again. And it makes you more of a humble human being.

Lack of Awareness lead to ischemic – Chris Martin

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Stroke
Chris Martin 9:31
And that’s the beauty of jujitsu. However, that day in August 2017. I did not tap out. And I was very unaware tha the struggles that I had accumulated over the years could potentially cause a little bit of damage, trauma to my carotid arteries.

Chris Martin 10:04
And over time, I had some a little bit of a tear on my left carotid artery. And I did have some signs I learned after I had the stroke because I missed the signs because of the lack of awareness in the sport, and it’s nobody’s fault. It just is what it is.

Chris Martin 10:36
And I didn’t tap out however, my partner let go of me when he felt my body just limp. And I just remember the the room spinning that was on my back. I couldn’t communicate, no words were coming out of my mouth.

Chris Martin 10:57
Long story short, it was a full ischemic stroke, the clot was on my neck was very large, that had been sitting there for some time, I had not given a time to heal. And that day the torque of the north south choke, applied by my teammate Rob shot the clot to my brain, which immediately caused an ischemic stroke.

Chris Martin 11:24
The medical team it’s Frater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, administered the TPA, they were able to get me to the hospital, within an hour, they had the TPA shot to the brain saved my life.

Chris Martin 11:43
And here I am on stroke to recovery podcast, and you’re still recovering, you know, to this day, however, during that time, what happened to me that day didn’t make sense. And while I was in the hospital, it didn’t make sense. And when I was out the month after it didn’t make sense.

Chris Martin 12:11
And it put me on a path of research and understanding. And through that journey, I did receive a phone call right after this happened. Because I was on an article came out about it on Jiu-jitsu times.

Chris Martin 12:34
And then immediately I got a phone call from somebody who was very interested and he was a former military person. And he was very interested because he had been doing parachuting in the military.

Chris Martin 12:50
And he had like double carotid artery dissection, which caused strokes, both sides. And he was like, trying to get back into martial arts, but he just wasn’t sure if it was a good idea.

Chris Martin 13:01
And he was telling me how rare this whole thing is. And he said, you need to document what you’re doing. And I said, Okay, so I’m like, I started writing. And then just putting up little blogs.

Chris Martin 13:19
And then people started reaching out to me in the martial art community who also had happened to them. And I started interviewing them to learn more about their cases, I would ask, Can I record it? So I can always reference it? Because I’m not going to remember anything in this interview.

Chris Martin 13:41
And they, most of them all agreed, yes. So during my time of healing and recovery, I was able to talk to other survivors. And through that conversation, I learned about what happened to them and how it happened.

Chris Martin 13:59
Did you have signs? Did you this? And then I started documenting on a spreadsheet. And then let’s put it this way over the past four years, and now here we are, the spreadsheet I stopped counting after over 100.

Chris Martin 14:17
And so it’s not as rare as we think, however people are very uneducated, there’s no protocols. There’s some gyms that are just completely brushing it under the rug. There’s some gyms that have had multiple people in the same gym have strokes, and the instructors still are brushing it under the rug.

Chris Martin 14:40
And so the hard part for that is that each person who has their stroke they have their story in their head. They look at themselves as a number this is me. But the difference that I see in what happened and then they go about their daily lives. And it’s just that and but what happens is, I get the call from every single one of them.

Chris Martin 15:11
And then I form a relationship with them. And I talk to them. And then I even get the bad ones too the ones from the widows, the ones that are still in the wheelchair, the ones that are still in the hospital fighting, you know, and these are people who are on these are jiu-jitsu people.

Chris Martin 15:37
They’re different. And no different than, you know, they’re passionate about what they do. It’s just it takes a physical person, it takes somebody who is, it’s okay to get your ass kicked that type of thing and come over and over and over again, like, these aren’t weak-minded people. These are very, very strong-minded people. They do not like to lose.

Bill Gasiamis 16:08
They’ve never messed with stroke, that’s the issue and stroke will get the better of a lot of people that are very strong-willed. I think the beauty of jiu-jitsu is it does create a great foundation for overcoming serious adversity in life.

Bill Gasiamis 16:24
And the skills can be transferred to stroke recovery, right. And what’s interesting is my son who’s 25, now started BJJ, probably about three or four years ago after it gained popularity because of Mixed Martial Arts, and UFC. And he’s given me the whole, “I did it for my mental health” spiel as well.

BJJ Pros and Cons

Bill Gasiamis 16:49
And it’s really interesting that the lessons that he’s able to obtain about calmness, thinking, not overreacting, and not breathing inappropriately, and focusing on the mind and body connection has really shifted this guy who, in our modern world, was quick to becoming a statistic of anxiety, and maybe even depression or something like that.

Bill Gasiamis 17:21
So the camaraderie that he has there, with the people that he trains with, so I see the major upside to a sport like BJJ. And then as somebody who’s experienced three, hemorrhagic strokes, and I’m into my 10th, year of recovery, and I’ve met hundreds of stroke survivors, and widows, and the bad ones, the ones that are still, you know, struggling to get back to some kind of version of life that resembles normality, which they never do.

Bill Gasiamis 17:55
Most of us have a different version of what normal is. I hate to discourage my son about BJJ, I hate to say to him, listen, don’t go down this path because of this issue. And as kids what they used to do, my son and his brothers days to choke each other, and smash each other and belt each other.

Bill Gasiamis 18:21
And for me, it was like, don’t touch each other’s heads and don’t touch each other’s throats do not do that. Because you can damage arteries, and you can cause strokes, and you can cause long lasting effects. So please don’t do that.

Bill Gasiamis 18:34
Now, the other thing I’m concerned about is, is that he might be involved in an incident where he creates a situation for somebody else that ends with them being hospitalized because of a carotid artery of vertebral artery dissection, and then a stroke right?

Bill Gasiamis 18:52
And it’s like, there is definitely more that needs to be done. I’m glad you reached out, I’m not glad that you had a stroke. And I’m not glad that it’s happening. But the fact that you’ve taken this stance, where most people sweep it under the carpet, I think it’s really fabulous, because it’s a problem around the world.

Bill Gasiamis 19:14
And in Australia, there are many people that my son goes to BJJ with his age and older and younger, but, of course, they’re all his mates, there’s probably about 10 of them that I know. And then there’s other people that are my age in the early 40s and 50s that are going to BJJ or just started.

Bill Gasiamis 19:32
And I would imagine that they are completely unaware of this situation as well. Right? So I could reach out right now to at least 15 people that I know personally, that go to BJJ. And I wonder if they know anybody who’s had a stroke or not.

Bill Gasiamis 19:50
Due to a sports injury, and then I wonder if they know how it’s been dealt with and how that person is now and whether They’ve managed to come back to BJJ. Or they gave up completely. I imagine that most people who have an injury because of a sport like that would go enough. I’m not coming back to that sport.

Chris Martin 20:10
I think most would. But just jumping back into, you know, what I said before is that this is what has changed my life. So, I use this comparison, every time I just see it the most. It’s, if a surfer goes into the ocean, and he goes surfing, and he gets bit by a shark.

Chris Martin 20:34
But that’s everything, that was his passion, that’s his lifestyle, he wakes up in the morning there’s coconut juice, you know, skateboards down with his longboard, or he’s got his, everything, the sun is good, like, everything’s great.

Chris Martin 20:49
And then he gets attacked by a shark. And, but he lives, and it was a scariest moment of his life. And, but he recognizes, you know, he recognizes the signs, you know, that was a, you know, a night after the storm, you know what I mean? And that’s when the sharks are out, or it’s a low tide.

Chris Martin 21:10
You know, now he’s aware of it. And instead of ignoring, and just jumping in and pretending like it would never happen to him, or just not even thinking about it, but it’s something that he loves, will he go back, I would think that the surfer is going to go back in the water, but he’s just going to go back in differently. And that’s kind of how I’ve re-entered the waters from my perspective.

Bill Gasiamis 21:33
Yeah. So tell me about what you had to recover from. So you’re in a, you’re rolling with one of your competitors, friends, and you end up going limp, and then you’re out. And then it’s not good. So tell me a little bit about what happened after that. And then we’ll talk about what you had to overcome.

Signs of Carotid Artery Dissection – Chris Martin

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Stroke
Chris Martin 21:56
So I didn’t go out. It was just you’re looking around and you’re trying to sit up, my whole right side of the body was completely like just limp. So I couldn’t move. So I was trying to get up. And the room was kind of spinning around, and it felt like it was just like, slow motion.

Chris Martin 22:23
And it was kind of like (spinning sound) and I was trying to communicate like to my they’re all rolling around me, all my teammates. And they thought I was just kind of you know, lightheaded. And it was just, you know, he was just about to go out. You know, because that happens sometimes you get lightheaded sometimes if you don’t tap right away.

Chris Martin 22:53
And that’s kind of how it felt it kind of felt like I was kind of in that corridor between being put to sleep at not. But I was like living in the middle somehow. It just wasn’t wearing off, if that makes sense. But the hard part was just not knowing what was happening to me, you know, when it happened.

Chris Martin 23:16
You have no control of your right side of your body and you cannot speak you know what you want to say but the words can’t come out. And you’re trying to communicate and you just can’t and the brain is not functioning. And luckily, after about five minutes, they realize something’s not right with this guy.

Chris Martin 23:37
And they called my fortunate situation is that I live in we’re here and this happened in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. And Frater is in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, which is during the middle of the day, like whatever time it was. It was midday sometime it only took, you know, half hour to get there.

Chris Martin 24:03
But some of these other stroke survivors they don’t and the reason I say is some places are going to know how to deal with what’s happening here on a higher level. And they’re going to have the right equipment and they’re going to have the right doctors and they’re going to have the right experience and other places might not have access to that because we don’t have cutting edge.

Chris Martin 24:25
Like Oak Creek is remotely close to Milwaukee, Milwaukee it’s like a big city. Like Chicago is the big city next to us but like every state’s got their like big city, you know, and that’s where the good hospitals and doctors and everything are. That’s basically where it happened to me so I was fortunate.

Chris Martin 24:44
The whole ride in the ambulance, I didn’t know what was going on. I didn’t know what was happening to me. All I was doing was focusing on my breathing. So you know, going back to what you said learning to be calm under pressure. Just I was like basically and like just trying, like I didn’t know.

Chris Martin 25:06
I’m like just telling myself, you know, just relax your body, let them take care of you, relax your body. And then you’re, you’re you’re thinking about your kids, you’re thinking about your life insurance policies. That’s all going through your head, you’re coming to terms with things, you’re just, you know. And then I just remember, once they got me into that emergency room, they’re asking me questions.

Intro 25:35
If you’ve had a stroke, and you’re in recovery, you’ll know what a scary and confusing time it can be, you’re likely to have a lot of questions going through your mind, like, how long will it take to recover? Will I actually recover? What things should I avoid in case I make matters worse?

Intro 25:53
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 26:15
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.

Chris Martin Waking Up In The Hospital

Chris Martin 26:38
And the last thing I’m never going to forget the last thing they said. They said to me, it’s like can you move any part of your right body? Can you move that leg at all? In my mind, I took everything and I was like, and like my leg just twitched. And then I just remember the doctor saying put him out, put him out.

Chris Martin 27:03
Boom, I was out. Next thing you know, I wake up in the hospital, like literally, like, wake up in the hospital bed and my family’s all around me. And I’m looking around and I’m like, oh shit, I survived. And then I started down like, Well, okay, I got the disability insurance policy.

Chris Martin 27:26
I’ve been I’ve been doing insurance for 20 years. So this is all I think about as insurance. So, but that’s what I was thinking about. And then I, I couldn’t speak. You know, they were I was trying to like they were holding up, you know, the things like, chair.

Chris Martin 27:42
You know, like I was trying to say the words. I understood everything they were saying. I could read. You know what I mean? But I couldn’t communicate. And then I just didn’t really have any feeling in my right hand. And then from there, it’s like, basically, just how did this like, laid in the hospital, next couple days, what happened?

Chris Martin 28:06
This does not make any sense. What’s a stroke? Like, I couldn’t even like I didn’t know what was going on the whole time there. I didn’t know what was going on. And then I got home, I still didn’t know what’s going on. I still didn’t know. Like, I was so naive and ignorant about strokes.

Chris Martin 28:23
And I mean, right when I got out of the hospital after a dissection I have a stint to my neck now. After I went back to the doctor, they said the clot was so big, we had to stint it because you need to lay low and blah, blah, blah.

Chris Martin 28:41
See, back in the day when people told me to lay low, you know, doctors, you just go and whatever. I’m not gonna lay low. Two days after I get out of the hospital, I’m trying to go to Planet Fitness to try to lift weights. Yeah, I mean, that’s how uneducated I was. And then I realized that night like I’m like, I was on like, I was trying to lift.

Chris Martin 29:04
This is not happening. Like I’m like, seriously like, looking back. I’m like, You got to be kidding me. Like I could have had another stroke the clot was still there. And I’m in Planet Fitness throwing around weights, I’m trying to get back to jiu-jitsu shape, because I’m pissed off that something like this would set me back.

Chris Martin 29:22
Completely ignorant, completely ignorant. And now after, like I said, I had the conversation with the guy and then he like, told me to start documenting and I started getting serious about it. And I started having all these conversations. I’m like, oh my God, this is some serious stuff.

Bill Gasiamis 29:42
Yeah, man, it’s so serious that you know the reality is the world stroke organization says that one in four people will have a stroke in their lifetime. Man, how they have the stroke varies a lot. There’s so many different ways to have one right most of the strokes are preventable, they say about 90% of them are preventable caused by mostly the way we eat, smoking, drinking drugs.

Bill Gasiamis 30:10
You know, all the vices that people tend to have. And most of them are self-inflicted just like heart disease and cancers and all that kind of stuff, right. And then, there’s these unfortunate situations where somebody’s driving a car, they have a minor collision, and they get a bit of whiplash. And that causes a carotid artery dissection or a vertebral artery dissection.

Bill Gasiamis 30:32
And I’ve interviewed heaps of people that are recovering from that, right. And the situation is, is if one in four people are going to have a stroke in their lifetime, and the United States has, what 300 million people, people, men, that is that 80 million people or more, at some point will have a stroke, right?

Bill Gasiamis 30:55
So the situation is so critical. And I started talking about stroke in 2013, after my first two brain hemorrhages in 2012. And I was going to community events and talking about the prevention of stroke. What is it, how to recognize the signs, or what to do if somebody is having a stroke? Okay, the FAST basically the FAST message, right face arms, speech, time.

Bill Gasiamis 31:24
And then I’m still doing those presentations. And it’s been nearly 10 years since I started doing them. 9 years next year, and not much has changed. Not many people have an awareness of A somebody having had a stroke. And if they do, they don’t pay enough attention to go, what happens to them.

Lack of Precautionary Measures

Bill Gasiamis 31:44
Usually, it’s associated with older people, and it’s not associated from collisions from a car from whiplash. It’s not associated from sports, or any of that stuff. But in Australia, I’m not sure if you’re aware of the sport, cricket. But we had one of our much loved Australian cricket players get hit in the neck by a cricket ball at a pretty rapid pace, which is like a baseball.

Bill Gasiamis 32:09
And he was hit in one of the carotid arteries, he fell and died on the spot that he was hit immediately, because of a massive tear in one of his carotid arteries, and he bled to death in his neck. So even then, there wasn’t much done by the cricket community to raise awareness beyond making a massive headline on TV and throughout the country.

Bill Gasiamis 32:35
And probably the cricket playing world where this person had played which would have been England, maybe Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, all those countries were cricket’s popular New Zealand. But there wasn’t really any more said about the actual cause of the death, which was that the artery was damaged. And that’s not uncommon. And it’s possibly something that can be prevented by neck gear being worn.

Bill Gasiamis 33:10
Now, this guy wore headgear. And his head is protected to about his neck, similar to what baseball players wear when they’re facing the pitcher. But beneath there, there isn’t any protection, could you imagine, in a sport like that, it would be quite, maybe it might get in the way of the way they play the game. And it might be a little bit difficult to handle.

Bill Gasiamis 33:32
And the lack of times if that has happened in a, in such a large event, where it made news all over the place that the amount of times that that’s happened, that are still rare, but there hasn’t been really a move towards making it safer for somebody around the neck, on the on the side of the body that’s facing the ball.

Bill Gasiamis 34:00
So I’m staggered. This is why I started the podcast. I’m staggered by the lack of awareness, the podcast was about me meeting other people so that I could feel better about myself. And here I am 175 or so episodes in. And not much has changed. And I’m not expecting it to change like that overnight. I think we’ve got a long job to do.

Bill Gasiamis 34:27
But then here we go. Here’s some bloke that I normally would have nothing to do with from the other side of the planet reaching out to me and says, man, we need to raise awareness about stroke in BJJ.

Bill Gasiamis 34:37
And automatically what I’m thinking is, you know, at the BJJ conference that happens annually all over the world. I’m thinking, wouldn’t it be great for somebody to get up and go to that event and say, Hey, guys, let me tell you about stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 34:51
What happened to me my story what happened to all the other people who I’ve interviewed and let me tell you about what to do if somebody You think on the map is having a stroke? What are the signs? How do we get them help? How do we take action fast and possibly save their life and minimize the damage?

Chris Martin 35:13
Yeah, so I completely agree with you, the hard part about that is from what I’ve experienced so far is finding, you know, those organizations that do get all the coaches under the one tent, all at the same time. I did hats off to the BJJ, mental podcast, mental coach podcast, Gustavo Dantas.

Chris Martin 35:41
He’s in Scottsdale, Arizona. And two years ago, he did put on, he hosted the coach’s seminar. He tried to get as many coaches in Arizona to come. And it was a number of different speakers. One person spoke about mental health. One person spoke about PTSD.

Chris Martin 36:08
And so it was one of those types of, you know, value add, and how do we make our gyms better? What do we do better as a community for Brazilian jujitsu? And how do we make it safer for our participants? Gustavo Dantas put that on. Now I don’t know how many coaches there are probably X amount of schools.

Chris Martin 36:31
You know, nowadays, there’s, you know, in every city in every state in the United States, there’s a couple of jiu-jitsu gyms. So that means there’s a lot of coaches, I would guess there’s probably a couple 100 coaches in Arizona, Gustavo was able to get probably 25 of them, which is a great step, you know, but that’s still 175 That you haven’t touched.

Chris Martin 36:57
And then, you know, that just leaves it at that day. So, it is a good start, however, what I feel like at where we are, are at a more critical point. What I heard you say is that you are very aware that, you know, traumatic car accidents are what causes a lot of vertebral and the carotid dissections, and that’s the blunt or the excessive force.

Chris Martin 37:28
So I have an article. It was a 2019 case study in the Journal of vascular ultrasound journal, and it was written by five authors. Michelle Stedman is listed first. So Stedman and five others put together this case study. And to summarize it, and I’ll just say the discussion is blunt trauma, and it says, “following major trauma” such as motor vehicle crashes, aggressive screening, using computed CTAs have been recommended.

Possible Misdiagnosis


Chris Martin 38:25
So the reason I’m saying telling you this is because from my case studies, many healthy jiu-jitsu practitioners who have had dissections have been misdiagnosed and sent home. And they have not had the right screenings done to them. And so later on, because they did not recognize the signs later on, through activity or day to day, it caused the stroke later on.

Chris Martin 38:59
So it was a misdiagnosis. The reason I’m telling you that is because this article goes on to talk about the different strokes, or I’m sorry, the different the different chokes, and again, they’re continuing to call these in jujitsu chokes, but these are really strangles because the choke is when you have something going down your passageway and you’re choking, I can’t breathe.

Chris Martin 39:29
We’re not choking each other, we’re not sticking our fingers down each other’s throats. We’re we’re compressing the carotid arteries in the material arteries to constrict blood flow to the brain as quickly and as efficiently as possible. And through that compression is causing what this article is saying is it is the equivalent to motor vehicle crashes.

Chris Martin 40:02
Some of these strangles, the one that they talk about is the guillotine, they call it the guillotine drop type maneuver appears to have the same kinetic force, that being involved in a high speed rear end motor vehicle crash also does. So the guillotine is I grab onto your neck, I wrap under either just my other hand, or I come under your shoulder, and then I press down on your head, throw my legs around your back and pull you to the ground cranking the neck and back and at the same time, restricting the blood flow on both carotid arteries.

Chris Martin 40:44
This article goes on to say that studies was this article is written because what they’re saying is that because of the increase in mixed martial arts, this was a case study they did on a former Marine drill sergeant, and he was in the Marine Corps teaching combatives and he had a carotid artery dissection, following a guillotine choke.

Chris Martin 41:29
So they said that oh, part of the Marine Corps, close combative training involves teaching and demonstrating chokeholds which, for several years, this 46 year old man offered himself up as a practice model. One, of these chokes was the guillotine choke or guillotine drop.

Chris Martin 42:01
And that’s the one that they go on to say in the in the article that it’s about the same amount of pressure as a high speed, rear end. So and the reason I’m saying this is because that blunt force from that motor vehicle crash, that when you go into the ER, and you tell them what happens, then they can figure it out.

Chris Martin 42:31
And then they do the proper scans, which usually CTAs if they try to do a CAT scan, or an MRI, without contrast, they are not gonna find a dissection. And then if they send that person home, they could have a stroke later on. That’s the danger.

Bill Gasiamis 42:49
Okay, so all we need to do is get the message out there. We need to get people to start recognizing what a stroke looks like. And then when they’re taking that person to give them assistance and get help explain that they were being choked.

Bill Gasiamis 43:02
And at the same time, I beg your pardon, they were being strangled. And at the same time, that they may have a dissection in one of the vertebral or carotid arteries therefore treat it as a collision of a vehicle.

Chris Martin 43:21
Right, aggressively treated. And so a success story that I’ve recently had was an email from a gentleman who had a carotid artery dissection, they took him into the ER, they explained it to the doctors what he was doing.

Chris Martin 43:41
The doctors are all gonna be like Oh, yeah jiu-jitsu I know exactly what that is like it’s kind of a new thing. However, he sent me a thank you letter because the doctor went in on Google after listening to what these people said his training partners he googled and you know whatever he found the article that’s ranking right now is going to be if you type in like chokes or strokes from chokes in jiu-jitsu chokes and you know, whatever keywords you want.

Chris Martin 44:17
You know, the BJJ Asia did an article just ripping my article saying Hey, Chris Martin, here’s his research. These are what you got to look for like this or that like what doctors need to look for. These are the screening so I’ve documented everything and I put it out there the best that I can like you type in like strokes and jujitsu.

Chris Martin 44:41
You should be finding some Chris Martin articles. I’ve put out as much stuff as I can. And the good news is, is that you’re right. That’s what they should do and then the doctors need to treat it accordingly.

Duplex Ultrasound

Chris Martin 44:56
This article The reason it’s very interesting to me is that the fact that they go on to say that, you know, this is somebody this Marine Corps combatives instructor had been, you know, doing this for many years has taken trauma? They did when they brought him in. They used a DUS. It’s a, it’s a, what do you call these things?

Chris Martin 45:34
Duplex ultrasound? Have you ever heard of it? No. Yeah, so this duplex all ultrasound is a screening tool that they’re saying, can detect if there’s something funky in the carotid arteries or the vertebral arteries.

Chris Martin 45:50
Instead of going in and doing a CTA, every time they’re saying maybe this is a medical device that we could use. And so what they show here, I’m looking at, you know, a clean, you know looks like, and then what this this guy’s look like.

Chris Martin 46:11
And you can clearly see in ultrasound, the blue the blockage around like, it’s not as clean. There’s, some, it says elevated velocities in the distal common carotid artery consistent with a high-grade lesion.

Chris Martin 46:29
You know what I mean? So what I believe is that most people are not aware this exists. I’m still learning. I mean, I’m learning on a daily basis, it’s been four years. So you know, going back to saying, you know, it’s been 10 years, where are we going with this?

Chris Martin 46:48
Man, time flies. And I’m learning on a daily basis, like even just learning about this new screening tool. And, learn reading this case study. This is new to me. But it just shows and then with my I’ve got over 100 cases that I’ve documented, I’ve worked with a doctor who put together a case study with some of the data that I’ve collected, we’re waiting to get that published.

Chris Martin 47:19
It’s just basically a case study that shows A here are a number of people, this is what they prevented, presented. This is what it was just kind of making the community aware, like there’s a sport that exists. It’s called Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and this is what they’re doing.

Chris Martin 47:37
And really what this article sums it up the best buys, you know, Stedman, she says, You know, it’s, these guys, these guys and girls, were practicing this, that the physician need to be aware that there’s hard trauma on these necks. They’re not thinking about it like that. But because of that, they’re saying these athletes could benefit from some early detection from using a tool like this.

Chris Martin 48:06
And so I’m doing I’m doing more research on these myself. I might buy one for myself, just to have it at my house. Just to check my carotid arteries. Why not? And you know, it’s funny. And it’s here. The reason that it doesn’t exist, that the awareness is not there is because we don’t want to think about this.

Chris Martin 48:35
It’s not something that we want to think about. And nobody wants to take the time to think about something that’s not going to happen to them, I wouldn’t want to take any time to think about something that’s not going to happen to me.

Chris Martin 48:47
So eventually, what’s going to have to happen if you want my personal opinion, is that similar to safety protocols that in the United States, if you have a factory, you have employees, if you have employees, you have rules that you have to follow for the safety of those employees.

Chris Martin 49:06
And then there’s governing organizations such as OSHA, they call it and they have training, manuals and instructions and posters that need to be put up and waivers that need to be filled out to bring awareness to the safety issues inside the workplace. And I don’t see that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu should be any different.

Chris Martin 49:30
I think, then, to get the proper insurance. I think you should have to go through these types of training. Every instructor should not have an option to attend the annual conflict conference. The instructors should be again, if they want this insurance for their gym, they’re going to have to, you know, go through the safety protocols and bring awareness and have the training to understand the signs, not give them an option because none of them are going to take the time to do it.

Bill Gasiamis 50:00
Yeah, you know what? There’s there’s a legal nightmare, waiting to explode on somebody who comes across a client or, you know, somebody who’s attending their gym is not made aware of the risks and then ends up injured and then decides to take legal action and sue that organization I recon it’s a legal nightmare about to happen for somebody.

Bill Gasiamis 50:31
What’s interesting is the International BJJ Federation, you know, on their website and looking at it now covers the European jujitsu Federation, it covers the pain jujitsu Federation, and a whole bunch of other Federation’s organizations have an anti-doping policy, you know, and they have an anti-doping section on their website.

Bill Gasiamis 50:59
The there is a known condition that happens to lumberjacks, okay, which is carotid artery dissections and vertebral artery dissections. Because when they’re cutting down trees, and they’re looking down, and then they want to see where the tree is about to fall, and looking up, it is causing repetitive trauma to those arteries, and it’s causing ischemic strokes.

Bill Gasiamis 51:30
So there’s an awareness in that community. And perhaps they don’t really talk about it to this extent, but maybe there is some version of understanding of recognizing the signs of it, because I imagine over the hundreds of years that people have been cutting trees down, that they would have come across this very many times.

Bill Gasiamis 51:49
So it is early days for BJJ as a serious sport that has evolved or emerged from Brazil, where the two founders are world-renowned and now it’s starting to be it started to take off because of UFC and because of mixed martial arts. So there would have to be some kind of movement, you know, this is kind of the groundswell I’m feeling.

Bill Gasiamis 52:22
But then it’ll have to accelerate at some point. And I think it’ll accelerate by you doing what you’re doing. Us putting out content about it, I want to prevent stroke. But I feel like the least help available for stroke survivors is after they come home. So what happens after I come home, there’s no support there. But of course, I’d rather not have a show, because that meant that there was no stroke survivors.

Chris Martin 52:46
Well, that’s the goal right there. Because here’s a thing in jiu-jitsu see most that one in four stat. I believe if you break that down, and you throw everybody in a bucket, you know, most of those people are on the older end, it’s more of a lifestyle-induced stroke. And the jiu-jitsu community’s more of health, fitness, mental health, as well.

Chris Martin 53:24
They’re a different step. You know what I mean? So going back to you know, making this a priority, you know, to bring awareness to people I don’t think that it’s fair that people are going into it without knowing but again, I’m also going to say this you can’t fault the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu community for not knowing.

Chris Martin 54:05
So it’s you know, we’re really in this and nobody here is I am not here to you know, stop obviously, I’m still training myself you know, I created a lifestyle however there does, you know, there does have to be some some awareness to you know, what we’re doing to each other and what I do know is this.

Chris Martin 54:37
So I’m sorry if you you know, don’t have a show anymore because everybody because we do come you know, you and I come together and we figure out the magic formula. And we’ve healed everybody. But in jiu-jitsu. It really can. The stroke is the worst-case scenario.

Chris Martin 55:00
The dissection is, sadly enough, it’s probably happening more than we know, because it’s not being diagnosed because it’s very hard to diagnose. And again, it’s, nobody’s gonna run a CTA scan on somebody who just has some minor, you know, dizziness or dehydration type or just doesn’t feel right. Unless there’s a reason, you know.

Delayed Strokes

Bill Gasiamis 55:34
Some of the people I’ve spoken to who have had those collisions, and then had a stroke as a result of a dissection. It happened many, many months later, sometimes 6, 12, 24 months later, and the dissection wasn’t maybe that dramatic at the beginning, but over time, and further movements and further trauma, and then it becomes larger and larger.

Bill Gasiamis 55:59
And then eventually, the dissection becomes big enough where it either falls off. And that is what causes the blockage, or because of the blood flow. And what you mentioned earlier in the article, the increased rate of blood flow with a narrowing happens, it changes the way that the blood travels.

Bill Gasiamis 56:22
And it creates a high pressure and a low pressure system behind the dissection. And that is what creates the clot. Sometimes the clot gets stuck there and doesn’t dislodge for a long, long time. And then it moves after another trauma or another movement or something that dislodges it, right?

Bill Gasiamis 56:41
So you’re right. It’s, difficult to link the two because the person who experiences the stroke might not happen when they’ve been to BJJ it might have been two years after they’ve stopped going to BJJ. And they’re wondering, you know, how did this happen to me, but the the major trauma happened when they were at BJJ, perhaps right?

Bill Gasiamis 57:03
So yeah, yeah. And what’s interesting is, you know, with these emerging sports, you know, NFL in the United States and AFL in Australia are really starting to take seriously CTE, you know, chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Bill Gasiamis 57:24
Which is the multiple collisions of the heads against head, and the concussions that happen and what that’s doing to players and sending them into fits of anger, depression, rage, and some of them are causing serious harm to the community, and to their loved ones to themselves before they end up killing themselves, right?

Bill Gasiamis 57:51
So it started to become a serious thing now, but it’s taken so many decades, if you imagine about how long how long, the NFL has been around, and how long AFL has been around in Australia, it’s nearly 100 years or more. And, and, and it’s only now starting to be taken seriously. And that’s because I think there was not enough reach the people like you and I that were doing the kind of work that you’re doing didn’t have these platforms of podcasts, YouTube, social media to share.

Bill Gasiamis 58:29
And they weren’t able to raise awareness that fast, and they weren’t able to be taken seriously because there was a lot of money at stake. Imagine now if the NFL was in a position where they had to alter this sports to avoid collisions of the head, it would be a completely different sport. And this is another underlying issue. Right? So BJJ Yeah, you know, imagine being Brazilian jujitsu spectator and then going to BJJ and not saying people getting strangled.

Chris Martin 59:01
I mean, what’s interesting about that, though, I and you’re right, so, you know, there’s kind of like, you know, you got different ways to submit the person. And a lot of times it’s arm locks, joint locks of like, you know, wrist lock, an arm lock, what’s really popular these days are knee locks, ankle locks and so that’s a lot of that’s a lot of opportunities right there.

Chris Martin 59:41
I so the head’s only one of many. The head, to be honest, is the funnest part. You know, the strangle is the fun part. That’s probably just our primitive nature of you know, that strangle and when you do it in with the key and you really get fancy with wrapping that thing around people’s necks in from different angles and upside down, and you know, you’re basically upside down wrapping gis around people’s necks and arms.

Chris Martin 1:00:07
And that’s what we consider fun. And it really is, it’s a puzzle. However, what I’m trying to say is this. What’s interesting though, if you look at the evolution of the police force, I train a couple, I do some private lessons with some Milwaukee police officers. And we just do combative type situationals.

Chris Martin 1:00:41
And I show them everything that they can do. And basically, they just can’t touch the neck and the head. So they, you know, it’s still fun to grapple with these guys, you know, we’re going at it and doing different, different moves pulls, you know, takedowns, like, you can still control people and have fun.

Chris Martin 1:01:07
I’m not saying that that’s what where we need to go. However, again, even in this paper here, it says that the Marines themselves have their own protocols that the Marine Corps recommends, that training chokeholds and related maneuvers should not be at full force, and never more than five seconds duration during training.

Chris Martin 1:01:42
In this case, what happened to this guy, the patient has subjected themselves to repeated exposures over several years, as part of his task as a trainer, which is what I was doing, you know, a lot of us trainers are allowing, you know, hey, you’re having a problem with that choke, do it on me, let me feel it, oh, that’s not tight enough, you need to adjust a little bit more here, no, more torque, you gotta turn your back here, get underneath, crank it, you know.

Chris Martin 1:02:18
And so that’s, you know, looking back, there was a lot of trauma to my neck. And so you know, and then once you had so much trauma, that the clot started growing and growing and growing. And so I’m just fascinated by this article that there could be something out there called a duplex ultrasound, that could be something that I could just go around with my training partners. And if we do recognize that there is some type of scar, or a lesion is what it is.

Bill Gasiamis 1:03:00
Increased blood flow and lesion, you’ll see the speed of the blood flow and a lesion. So tell me about you then, man is your neck and your head out of bounds these days?

Chris Martin 1:03:14
I mean, out of bounds like no, it’s not I mean, I’ve been playing with fire probably it’s out of bounds from what this guy was doing. Letting people hey, I don’t do that. In practice. We don’t I don’t let people do it on me. So that’s the other thing people understand what the dangers what we have for each other is that in traditional jiu-jitsu practice, we’re choking each other back and forth, in practice, you know, for half an hour before we going to combative training.

Chris Martin 1:03:55
So we’re like working the chokes with each other to tighten up our chokes. And so over time, that creates trauma over into the same spots. So it’s like if you think about the same spot because that’s just how like where your hands go on the gi or where their hands going.

Chris Martin 1:04:17
So you’re working the same spot so I don’t let people do that to me. And if we’re practicing chokes that day. I will go join another two people and I’ll be the third person, unfortunately, I have a stint to my neck and I don’t know the ramifications of that thing breaking I don’t want to find out.

Chris Martin 1:04:39
However, in training they do attack my neck. Some of them do. Some of them maybe don’t go like I have a coach who’s more advanced than me. We roll with each other he doesn’t attack my neck he attacks me in other ways.

Bill Gasiamis 1:04:58
The ramifications are huge man. If the stint gets damaged and and then it causes a clot, then it’s an issue, then it could cause another stroke need to be removed and replaced, etc.

Bill Gasiamis 1:05:10
So I’m not here to tell you what to do. But I’m just, you know, just sort of saying what I understand about it right, which is the ramifications are huge people have already spoken about it at length, what the ramifications are damage to a carotid artery, a stint is in a similar situation.

Bill Gasiamis 1:05:28
Now, the fact that you reached out to me suggests to me that you’re on a bit of a crusade, you want to no, let me let me rephrase, it’s not a crusade you’re on a campaign to raise awareness, because that’s definitely what you’re on. Right? And are you getting traction? Are you struggling to get traction?

Chris Martin 1:05:53
Getting horrible traction, I’m getting wonderful emails from wonderful people, like one, guy every couple of months, you know, telling me this is great and telling me that, you know, keep my head up and keep doing what you’re doing, kid you know, it’s gonna pay off and really encouraging things.

Chris Martin 1:06:18
I had a conversation with, you know, the spouse of somebody who’s died had the conversation of the, you know, sister in law, who her sister’s husband died, you know, doing jiu-jitsu crazy story about that. And she’s telling me, she’s like, you know, we just this one story was really bad.

Chris Martin 1:06:49
And, you know, you hear all the stories, and this one, like, sounded like, there was blood involved, I didn’t have blood involved. This gentleman didn’t make it. And what’s very interesting about this story, is that he didn’t make it. And then, like, the family was kind of like, you know, what happened, you know, they can come to terms.

Chris Martin 1:07:15
And then the crazy thing is, it’s like, a couple of weeks after his death, you know, the family was trying to come to terms with and a book showed up on the doorstep that he must have ordered, you know, before he passed, and the book was called The Art of Strangles.

Bill Gasiamis 1:07:39
Yeah, it is an art and I understand the combative nature of it, and why especially men do it. Now, I’m not a female, and I don’t know any women in the sport. So that’s why I’m not commenting on their behalf, right. But I know why men do because I know why my son does it, I know why my mates participate in BJJ.

Bill Gasiamis 1:07:59
They all talk about the positive impact that it has on their self confidence on their ability to overcome challenges on their ability to transform their personal lives by using the skills and applying them to regular life, it’s definitely kept a lot of the people that I know who do it out of anxiety and depression.

Bonds Forged In BJJ – Chris Martin


Bill Gasiamis 1:08:26
And for the people that are listening to this and thinking, Oh, my God, these guys say that they choke their friends. This is something that people do as comrades, they do it as people who are collaborating to teach each other, how to get better at dealing with adversity in life, and then that is transformational in the rest of their lives. They’re not doing it to hurt each other. Although people do get hurt. It’s about actually in growth, and overcoming and becoming better versions of themselves.

Chris Martin 1:09:05
And that’s just one small little piece of it because I believe that bigger piece is the coming together and getting better as a community. As a Brotherhood as a Sisterhood. It almost feels like a fraternity. This is like these relationships that are built inside where people are going to battle with each other together every single day.

Chris Martin 1:09:35
And then taking that out and going to competitions and fighting others it’s a tribe, it’s more than a fraternity. It’s more than a family. It’s a full on tribe that you don’t get anywhere else. So to have that taken away from you. Do you think most people walk away from this sport?

Chris Martin 1:09:58
No, they don’t these crazy people, they don’t they keep doing it. Because it’s that’s how strong it is. All I’m saying is the crusade that I’m on is a awareness crusade it is, it is this, it’s, you just have to bring this to the table to your people who are stepping on the mats and let them know, this is something that can happen.

Chris Martin 1:10:27
That’s all you have to say. If this happens, then x, y, z, here are the protocols. Listen, you don’t even have to talk about it, just put it on the wall. And so if it does happen, we have the protocols of what like, like you said, make sure when you, you don’t put the guy in the car, he doesn’t drive he or she doesn’t drive by themselves, you drive them or you call an ambulance if XYZ when you get there, this is what you say.

Chris Martin 1:10:57
You tell them you do this, you know, these are the scans that were typically we’ve had success, you know, finding these clots. And you know, so you know, just having that safety protocol it’s gonna save lives 100% because you can’t go on the mat and just not know that this is going to happen.

Chris Martin 1:11:21
So going back to my surfer thing. It’s like a surfer going and surfing in a lake. You know, a freshwater lake. That’s, well, it’s let’s just say there’s some fancy waves or like a waterpark. You know, they got the artificial waves. If there’s any sharks in there. Yeah. So you just get in your surfing, then you find out there’s sharks, you know what I mean?

Chris Martin 1:11:45
So it’s kind of like it catches you by surprise. That’s what I’m saying. It shouldn’t catch us by surprise. Like, if we know the signs. So the good news is that I have a number of case studies of people who have found that they had a dissection, they treated it by staying off the mats and getting better and healing, and then not having a stroke. Well, there you go. So there’s a win for the team.

Chris Martin 1:12:11
So now if everybody can kind of, but this guy was like a logical dude like when he got home, like he did the research. And then he found my articles that oh, maybe I have a dissection. And then he took himself to the doctor, and said, Doc, I think I might have a dissection, here’s why this is what we do.

Chris Martin 1:12:29
Then they did the right tests, and then they found it. And then sure as shit it took six months. But he said that he said it went from whatever size to basically gone in six months. So basically, he just had to stay off the mats.

Chris Martin 1:12:41
But if he would have done what I did, which is just keep going on the mats and training every day, then I had a stroke he didn’t, so he wins. But I’m glad I helped him when I feel good. I’m a coach for doing that. And that’s basically that’s the crusade I’m on. It’s just Hey guys, here, treat it accordingly, that’s it.

Bill Gasiamis 1:13:02
And know the risks. I love it, absolutely love it. So, Chris, where can people find out a little bit more about you and the work that you’re doing?

Chris Martin 1:13:13
Yeah, so I’m kind of all over the place, obviously, if you haven’t figured it out through my interview, but the hashtag that you can kind of find me at is BizJitsu, so that’s like my Instagram, I believe my YouTube channel, I have a medium blog medium.com. And that’s also bizjitsu is going to be the username for that as well.

Chris Martin 1:13:14
So any of those, you know, my youtube I have, you’ll find different interviews, many of the interviews are posted. So if people are looking for like, they want to hear a story about a like-minded, like, what the signs symptoms were for that student, they can hear it there.

Chris Martin 1:14:03
My medium blog is going to have all my protocols and interviews and just kind of stories and you can kind of follow my story over the course of the years through my interviews. And if you just go into Google and you type in you know, Jiu-jitsu strokes from Jiu-jitsu, or strokes of BJJ, from chokes, you’re going to just get bombarded with probably some of my articles. I don’t know what maybe it’s just my SEO, but I believe that’s how people are finding me.

Bill Gasiamis 1:14:33
Okay, what I’ll do is I’ll post all of the links to all of your socials and your website to the show notes. So anybody who wants to get that can basically go to recoveryafterstroke.com/episodes and they’ll be able to pick through all of the episodes at the very top or near the top after you’ve heard this episode will be the Chris Martin interview.

Bill Gasiamis 1:14:59
And then from there To be able to click on that and see all the different links to the website, and his socials and his YouTube. And hopefully, what we can do is share the crap out of this episode, and put it in front of as many people as possible so that we can assist in raising awareness because my podcast is called recovery after stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 1:15:23
But of course, I would rather my podcast didn’t exist and never existed, because that meant I never had a stroke. And nobody else that I know, on this podcast has had a stroke. So let’s see if we can support you in that journey that you’re on. I really appreciate you doing it.

Bill Gasiamis 1:15:40
It’s very rare that you find people who have taken on the preventative side of the stroke journey. And I think that you will 100% save lives, and you will make people get diagnosed sooner which will impact their stroke recovery, and hopefully make it shorter, and then it’ll have families recover sooner, and people have their dads and their mums, for longer and their kids for longer. And that’s all that we want to do, isn’t it, there’s no need for us to just lose people unnecessarily to this situation.

Chris Martin 1:16:17
Especially doing what we love and you know, what we think is healthy, you know, to not know and then they come home and to lose somebody or to lose your loss of daily daily living skills. Is you know, doing what you love.

Bill Gasiamis 1:16:40
Thanks so much for being on the podcast.

Chris Martin 1:16:42
Thank you. I appreciate it. Thank you for what you do. And thank you for all the listeners as well who are helping us and helping you spread the awareness as well. So thank you.

Intro 1:16:54
Importantly, we present many podcasts designed to give you an insight and understanding into the experiences of other individuals their opinions and treatment protocols discussed during any podcast or the individual’s own experience and we do not necessarily share the same opinion nor do we recommend any treatment protocol discussed.

Intro 1:17:11
All content on this website at any linked blog, podcast or video material controlled this website or content is created and produced for informational purposes only and is largely based on the personal experience of Bill Gasiamis. The content is intended to complement your medical treatment and support healing.

Intro 1:17:28
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 did not use our content as a standalone resource to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease for therapeutic purposes or is a substitute for the advice of a health professional.

Intro 1:17:48
Never delay seeking advice or disregard the advice of a medical professional, your doctor or your rehabilitation program based on our content. If you have any questions or concerns about your health or medical condition, please seek guidance from a doctor or other medical professional, if you are experiencing a health emergency or things you might be, call triple zero in Australia or your local emergency number immediately for emergency assistance.

Intro 1:18:10
Or go to the nearest hospital emergency department 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 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu And Stroke – Chris Martin appeared first on Recovery After Stroke.

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Chris Martin experienced a stroke because of a carotid artery dissection as a result of repeated traumas to his neck while participating in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu also known as BJJ. Chris Martin experienced a stroke because of a carotid artery dissection as a result of repeated traumas to his neck while participating in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu also known as BJJ. Recovery After Stroke 1:18:40
TPA Caused A Hemorrhagic Stroke As Well – Bill Hrncir https://recoveryafterstroke.com/tpa-caused-a-hemorrhagic-stroke-as-well-bill-hrncir/ Sun, 26 Dec 2021 03:04:38 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8496 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/tpa-caused-a-hemorrhagic-stroke-as-well-bill-hrncir/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/tpa-caused-a-hemorrhagic-stroke-as-well-bill-hrncir/feed/ 0 <p>Bill Hrncir is the 1 in 6 people that will have adverse reactions to TPA (Tissue Plasminogen Activator) which was used to bust a clot that caused an ischemic stroke but also caused a hemorrhagic stroke</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/tpa-caused-a-hemorrhagic-stroke-as-well-bill-hrncir/">TPA Caused A Hemorrhagic Stroke As Well – Bill Hrncir</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Bill Hrncir is the 1 in 6 people that will have adverse reactions to TPA (Tissue Plasminogen Activator) which was used to bust a clot that caused an ischemic stroke but also caused a hemorrhagic stroke.

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Bill Hrncir
Get the book here.

Highlights:

02:18 Introduction
06:56 A Traumatic Event
09:55 TPA Caused A Hemorrhagic Stroke
17:55 Aphasia And Brain Fog
26:59 Stroke Deficits
34:40 Bike Riding Difficulties
39:41 Think About The Caregivers
47:08 Building A Stroke Group
54:26 Finding Purpose After A Stroke
1:05:05 Monocular Vision
1:10:29 Life Happens

Transcription:

Bill Hrncir 0:00
My world is foggy, but it shows up there or foggy. But it shows up there.

Bill Gasiamis 0:13
Yeah, so you’re in and out of clarity?

Bill Hrncir 0:17
Yeah, yeah.

Bill Gasiamis 0:18
And then when you have clarity, are you concerned? Are you worried?

Deedee Hrncir 0:23
No, he was not and that’s what was kind of, I don’t know if it was scary or if it was sort of a relief it did I mean have its positive side because I mean if he would have looked in the mirror at the time, and seen what you know what all was going on with his body and his head and you know, everything at the time, I think it would have been a little scary for anyone.

Intro 0:58
This is the recovery after stroke podcast, with Bill Gasiamis, helping you navigate recovery after stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 1:10
Hello and welcome to recovery after stroke, a podcast full of answers, advice and practical tools for stroke survivors to help you take back your life after a stroke and build a stronger future.

Bill Gasiamis 1:21
I’m your host three times stroke survivor Bill Gasiamis. After my own life was turned upside down and I went from being an active father to being stuck in hospital. I knew if I wanted to get back to the life I love before, my recovery was up to me.

Bill Gasiamis 1:35
After years of researching and discovering I’ll learned how to heal my brain and rebuild a healthier and happier life than I ever dreamed possible. And now, I’ve made it my mission to empower other stroke survivors like you to recover faster, achieve your goals and take back the freedom you deserve.

Bill Gasiamis 1:52
If you enjoy this episode and want more resources, accessible training and hands-on support, check out my recovery after stroke membership community created especially for stroke survivors and caregivers.

Bill Gasiamis 2:04
This is your clear pathway to transform your symptoms reduce your anxiety and navigate your journey to recovery with confidence. Head to recoveryafterstroke.com to find out more after today’s show.

Introduction

Bill Gasiamis 2:18
But for now let’s dive right into today’s episode. This is episode 174. And my guest today is Bill and Deedee Hrncir, Bill experienced an ischemic stroke. And when the doctors treated the clot with TPA Bill also experienced a hemorrhagic stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 2:37
These days Bill is recovering and is dealing with aphasia, which is worse when he’s tired. Bill is the author of the book, I just can’t read my own mind, which tells his story and gives tips for stroke recovery.

Bill Gasiamis 2:51
Now, just before we get started, there was a little bit of background feedback and background noise from time to time during this episode, I’ve done my best to remove it for you.

Bill Gasiamis 3:01
And hopefully, it’s still a pleasant listen, and you get a lot out of this episode. Thanks so much for listening, Bill and Deedee Hrncir. Welcome to the podcast.

Bill Hrncir 3:12
Hi, how are you?

Deedee Hrncir 3:13
Hi.

Bill Gasiamis 3:14
I’m well thank you guys for being here. Thank you for organizing this. And thank you for sending me a copy of the book. IJust Can’t Read My Own Mind. It’s really interesting when I made stroke survivors, because until I had a stroke, I’ve never met anyone who was a stroke survivor.

Bill Gasiamis 3:35
All stroke survivors have a story to tell they seem to need to tell their story. It’s really important. And then they also seem to want to help other stroke survivors, which is what I want to do.

Bill Gasiamis 3:47
But I didn’t realize that it was something within me. And it seemed bizarre every time I met another stroke survivor, they wanted to help somebody else. Not that stroke survivors aren’t lovely people that they don’t like to help.

Bill Gasiamis 4:03
It’s just interesting that they are going through their own turmoil, and they want to help other people. And this is the feeling I get from you, Bill. I get the feeling that it’s really important to include other people in your recovery.

Bill Gasiamis 4:19
But before we talk about that, tell us a little bit about what happened to you. And then we’ll go into the rest of the conversation.

Bill Hrncir 4:32
In my book I wrote I was a super dad, a loving husband, a businessman and an athlete.

Bill Gasiamis 4:45
Pause, pause let me check with Deedee, Deedee is that all accurate?

Deedee Hrncir 4:53
Well, it depends on the day you’re asking.

Bill Gasiamis 4:57
Okay, sounds like today’s a good day, so Bill, we’re gonna go with that mate. I think you did a good job in describing yourself Deedee agrees today. Go ahead, man.

Bill Hrncir 5:11
Oh, then out of the blue. I had severe knock me down. Take away my voice. Throw me into a wheelchair stroke. Wow.

Deedee Hrncir 5:32
Yeah, yeah, he described it as the perfect storm. He was on the wrong end of genetics.

Bill Hrncir 5:40
My brother and my parents had a stroke.

Deedee Hrncir 5:46
And he would overtrain.

Bill Hrncir 5:53
I guess the bottom line is you hit 40. You have to be more of a moderate by exercises, you know, moderate like any drug, potent drug. Exercise too little? It does nothing. Exercise too much. And it will cause injury.

Deedee Hrncir 6:30
And your work, stress overload.

Bill Hrncir 6:35
I have to work on that.

Bill Gasiamis 6:41
Still? You have to work on that still?

Deedee Hrncir 6:43
Oh, yes, for sure. And he also survived a trauma, which, you know, they thought also might be the cause.

A Traumatic Event

Bill Hrncir 6:56
Experience a traumatic event or cause physical, emotional and psychological harm. The accident that I saw, may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Bill Gasiamis 7:24
Yeah. I read that part in the book. And it was pretty dramatic. It was a collision between two cars, one car lost control ended up on top of another car. There was a little child and granddad in the car.

Bill Gasiamis 7:41
And as a result of that collision, the child is out of the car. But the other person driving the car, imagine the granddad stuck in the car. And then you’re dealing with the whole situation.

Bill Gasiamis 7:54
And I imagine as a dad. And as a person who has a father, you’re putting yourself in the shoes of their child and you’re going wow, what what’s going on? These people have been impacted by this.

Bill Gasiamis 8:11
And then you have to deal with that emotionally. And if you’re going through a difficult financial time or difficult life experiences because your mid 40 all the stresses of the world are coming together to attack you at the same time because that’s just what I did.

Bill Gasiamis 8:27
That’s what normally happens in that part of life that midlife then a traumatic injury like that could be the icing on the cake for this terrible experience to happen around the corner.

Bill Gasiamis 8:41
I completely understand that. So it was about two weeks after the collision that you witnessed that you had the stroke. That was a normal day. You woke up, you went to work?

Bill Hrncir 8:57
Well, no. I took my daughter to this dance class, out of town, I think Deedee will tell it.

Deedee Hrncir 9:22
The night before he had a headache. And that wasn’t normal for him. But we had no idea that a severe headache is one of the signs.

Bill Hrncir 9:36
She had headaches all the time. I didn’t.

Deedee Hrncir 9:39
We still didn’t see that as something that you know we should be oh, you know, why is this going on? So he was out of town.

TPA Caused A Hemorrhagic Stroke

Bill Hrncir
Bill Hrncir 9:55
In Austin, for instance once I hit the hospital, I was given a dose of tissue plasminogen activator TPA, to bust my clot. One in three patients have major improvements. However, six out of 100 patientsm, bleeding can occur, and long term disability or even death. I was one of the one out of six, of course.

Bill Gasiamis 11:02
You went into hospital because of a stroke, they gave you TPA to remove the clot, and then the TPA caused a hemorrhage.

Deedee Hrncir 11:15
Yes, and, little did we know, you know, now that we have the stroke group, a lot of stroke survivors were given TPA. And so now that’s kind of had to become part of our vocabulary, you know, and they, they say it was something with three letters that they gave my mom, and we go, oh, that’s tissue plasminogen activator.

Deedee Hrncir 11:35
But then, you know, even to know what that is, of course, we knew nothing of that before stroke, like you were saying, I didn’t know anybody with a stroke. We didn’t know what a stroke was we and you go day by day learning more.

Bill Hrncir 11:56
One year and three months. My brother had a stroke. I didn’t know what it was.

Bill Gasiamis 12:08
So even though your mum and dad had a stroke, and your brother had a stroke, they still didn’t understand it, because you hadn’t got one that makes sense. And now you understand it in a way you never wanted to understand it.

Deedee Hrncir 12:24
Yeah. That’s right on.

Bill Gasiamis 12:30
And what about the TPA? Did you guys know the risks of the TPA? Or was that just administered before anyone?

Deedee Hrncir 12:39
He didn’t really get to decide about that. But really, I was in Laredo, and they called me and, you know, they’re telling me, you know, we’re going to give him something to try to dissolve the clot.

Deedee Hrncir 12:51
And, you know, luckily, we had just updated our will at that time, and I could speak for him on his behalf. And, you know, we got in the car, but it’s a four hour drive away. And so, you know, the whole time, I’m really not knowing what I’m saying yes to, but I said, you know, if it’s going to help, if it’s something you normally do you do, please do?

Deedee Hrncir 13:19
Well, they told me it was the right thing to do at the time. And I mean, apparently, it was it was whether it caused the bleed, afterwards, it still was really the only choice at the time.

Bill Gasiamis 13:32
You’ve got a stroke and, you got a blood clot in your blood vessel causing you brain damage. And if they don’t get it out, it’s gonna continue to cause brain damage. If they, get it out, and you’re not one in the one in six, then you’re going to have a good outcome because I’ve never heard of anybody who’s had a bad outcome.

Bill Gasiamis 13:54
I’ve heard about the bad outcome. I’ve heard that it does cause this problem for people. But I’ve never met anybody. And I’ve done 170 episodes, and I know a heap of stroke survivors.

Bill Gasiamis 14:07
And Bill’s the first person that I’ve heard, who said that he had an adverse effect from TPA. So did you Where were you when you got the call? That Bill’s not well.

Deedee Hrncir 14:23
I was at home because I was sick, actually. And so we were debating the night before he had a headache and I was sick with a cough. And, we were saying, okay, who’s going to take Ally our daughter to who’s going to take her to her dance performance?

Deedee Hrncir 14:40
And he said, Well, you know what, I’ll go and I’ll go for a run and it’ll be you know, kind of a little release for me from the stress and whatever. And so, you know, I was home and then of course, I had to hurry up and get over there and, you know, mine was minimal thing compared to what he was going through.

Deedee Hrncir 15:00
And you know, you just do what you got to do. But yeah, it was just a weird thing. I’m usually the one who goes to the dance stuff, he would go to the sport stuff with my son. And so yeah, that’s where I was things.

Bill Gasiamis 15:16
Things were a bit different that day. And, you’re a regular wife, you know, he’s a regular husband. You guys have kids, you do the normal stuff, you know, it sounds like a pretty typical relationship situation then you know, a lot of people experience right. And then you get the phone call that he’s unwell, but also, that he’s had a stroke, and they’re gonna do those things.

Deedee Hrncir 15:47
Well actually when they called, What was weird is he runs and bikes competitively at the time, that’s what he did. So he took his bike with him. And all they told me is he’s had an accident.

Deedee Hrncir 16:05
And I in my head envisioned a car, getting his bike, he flying off, you know, no clue what it was. And they told me until you get here, we can’t tell you anything else. So that’s what made it harder, because then we had this four hour drive, where we’re just, you know, things are going through our mind of what it might be.

Bill Hrncir 16:29
And another Bill, my.

Deedee Hrncir 16:32
Brother in law, drove me to the hospital. Yes. I mean, drove me to Austin and to the hospital. So yeah. And on the way, we got the call that, you know, they wanted to use the TPA, and all that.

Deedee Hrncir 16:51
And so they’re giving us a little bit more information. But like you say, and like we mentioned earlier, is that still them telling me a stroke, and telling me TPA, and they could have been talking Chinese, I mean, any language, and I’m, you know, other than my own, because I understood none of it, but I just had to go with what they were telling me was the best situation at the time, you know? So yeah, that was what happened that day.

Bill Gasiamis 17:23
Must have been tough. I get it, I was out of my mind. You know, I had three bleeds. But the second one, particularly, I was completely gone. I don’t recall it. And I just remember my wife coming to the hospital that I recognized her, but later on, I don’t know how many days later, but much later are recognized her. But at the beginning, I couldn’t recognize her . So I was in my own world. Bill, do you relate to that? Being kind of out of it?

Aphasia And Brain Fog

Bill Hrncir 17:55
My world is foggy, but it comes and shows up there foggy, But it shows up there.

Bill Gasiamis 18:08
Yeah. So you’re in and out of clarity? And then when you have clarity. Are you concerned? Are you worried?

Bill Gasiamis 18:19
No.

Deedee Hrncir 18:21
No, he was not. And that’s what was kind of, I don’t know if it was scary, or if it was sort of a relief that he didn’t know how bad it was.

Bill Hrncir 18:34
The doctors drugged me up.

Deedee Hrncir 18:36
Well, yeah, I mean, they did the self induced coma so that they can really know the brain swelling. But, it did. I mean, have it’s positive side. Because I mean, if he would have looked in the mirror at the time, and seen what, you know, what else was going on with his body and his head and you know, everything at the time? I think it would have been a little scary for anyone.

Bill Gasiamis 19:06
Yeah. How long did you spend in hospital Bill?

Bill Hrncir 19:10
I think well, two weeks, but I was shipped over to like to rehab to Texas neurorehab center.

Deedee Hrncir 19:29
For three months.

Deedee Hrncir 19:40
You wanna talk a little bit about your craniotomy?

Bill Gasiamis 19:45
Let me ask you this question. So you’re in hospital for a couple of weeks. You get to rehab and in rehab, it must hit you that all these things that you used to be able to do before, you can’t do now?

Intro 19:59
If you’ve had us 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 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 20:23
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 a seven questions to ask your doctor about your stroke.

Intro 20:43
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.

Deedee Hrncir 21:02
Yeah, well, I thought it’ll be two or three months now. And I’ll be okay. But it didn’t.

Deedee Hrncir 21:19
Yeah, I think that was based on what he thought, his brother stroke was on the other side of the brain. And so physically, he wasn’t affected in the same way, he lost a little bit of his strength in his hand, but he could walk, he could talk, it was a completely different thing.

Deedee Hrncir 21:38
So, you know, like Bill says, I thought, oh, you know, I’m going to be like Eddie, and, you know, a couple of weeks will pass by, and I’ll be able to go to the gym again. And I’ll be back on my bike.

Deedee Hrncir 21:49
And, you know, it’s all good. And a couple of times, we’ve been trying to just pull everything out that the hospital had attached to him and just hop out of the bed and realize right away that he couldn’t, and, you know, then they actually just strapped him in, like an animal. What it was necessary at the time, he really did try to get out several times.

Bill Gasiamis 22:12
Right, right. So when his brother had the stroke, how quickly did he get back to being himself? Was it a minor incident as far as the recovery?

Bill Gasiamis 22:27
Six or eight months?

Deedee Hrncir 22:30
Yeah, like, it was like six months maybe? Or, you know, eight months? He had a couple of memory issues sometimes and, you know, smaller things that, I guess at that time, you know, when I think back we really didn’t realize how severe a stroke was.

Deedee Hrncir 22:56
He had several, he had another one. And then he had a couple of heart attacks since then.

Bill Hrncir 23:02
But he’s all good.

Deedee Hrncir 23:04
He can still, you know, thank goodness, he can still, do for himself and drive. And you know, all of that, but he was lucky.

Bill Gasiamis 23:15
Did he write a book as well? Does he feel the need to talk about it all the time?

Deedee Hrncir 23:21
No, no, he always jokes about you know, the difference in the two strokes and you now, jokes about how Bill has the lot of friends come visit and whatever. And he says, you know, yeah, he’s the one that wrote the book not me.

Deedee Hrncir 23:40
Yeah, because one time. He said he was somewhere somebody said, Oh, are you the one that wrote the book? And he said, No, I’m not the one that wrote the book. Yeah, sometimes it’s hard.

Bill Gasiamis 23:55
Competing against each other.

Deedee Hrncir 23:58
Oh, yeah. Cuz they’ve always been competitive their whole lives in athleticism, and even in they used to fly ultralight airplanes, both of them and, you know, they would say, Oh, I flew, you know, so many yards or whatever.

Deedee Hrncir 24:15
Well, I landed on water and well, I you know, whatever. So, they were always trying to one up each other. Yeah. So Bill did one up him in the stroke, though, because his was pretty bad compared to his brother.

Bill Gasiamis 24:29
Congratulations Bill. In rehabilitation, what are some of the things that you had to learn to get back? I know you have aphasia, and that was a very big part of your recovery. But physically, what else did you have to recover from?

Deedee Hrncir 24:48
Five days a week, I would go down to the gym and I would work out for about one hour. And…

Bill Gasiamis 25:17
Just keep trying if you like. I’m just gonna wait. This is really important part of the interview, right? Because we want to make people understand what it’s like to have aphasia and to try and get through a sentence. So like, it’s really okay. If it takes a while I don’t really mind at all.

Bill Hrncir 25:49
I can’t think, you know, say, hop on, and we would go to the gym on a wheelchair. And he would let me stay, and the therapist would work me over.

Bill Gasiamis 26:29
Which side was affected left or right side?

Bill Hrncir 26:32
The left.

Bill Gasiamis 26:36
And did you have a problem with your right hand as well?

Bill Hrncir 26:41
Yes.

Bill Gasiamis 26:43
How far along have they come now?

Deedee Hrncir 26:50
Well, I will tell you 85%. But it’s a little bit lower than that.

BIll Hrncir Stroke Deficits

Deedee Hrncir 26:59
Well, you can show him. Lift your arm, he can lift it, but to open and close his hand is still not there yet. So that was a lot of the therapy still is yeah, still works with that, has not given up, never has been the type.

Deedee Hrncir 27:23
Giving up is never an option, as he says in his book is never an option. And, the walking, I think being that he was a runner. And being that he was a cyclist competitively. The leg was more important to him because he did not want to be in that wheelchair.

Deedee Hrncir 27:46
You know, meanwhile, he’s in rehab. And they’re asking me, you know, what accommodations are you making in your home? And I said, well, I don’t want to do anything, because I don’t think he’s gonna want to be in a wheelchair.

Deedee Hrncir 28:03
And they say, Well, I’m sorry. You can’t take him home. If there’s not ramps and ADA accessible bathrooms and what have you. So we’re in Austin, and meanwhile, back home. My brother’s trying to he was an engineer, and he was trying to make accommodations on the house and you don’t realize all the accommodations necessary.

Deedee Hrncir 28:31
You know, doorways had to be expanded to fit a wheelchair. And the one for this very office that we’re in right now, which is Bill’s office, and the bathroom door. And we had to take out it a lot of tub and put a roll-in shower, and front door side door, back door ramps because Bill’s an outdoors person.

Deedee Hrncir 29:00
And I wasn’t going to cage him in and just going around only to the front, which is the street side. I mean, I knew he would want to be in his backyard. And you know, he’d be able to have access to the garage where his bike and truck were.

Deedee Hrncir 29:16
So those were huge accommodations for us. Because when he got home, as much as he was happy to see that we had made accommodations for him. It was hard for him. And as soon as he could he wanted to like can we knock off these ramps? So those were, you know, those are huge for independence.

Deedee Hrncir 29:42
And as you’re aware, too, I’m sure you know that most stroke survivors. That’s the first question they ask Bill. You know, when they meet him and they just had a stroke, as you know, well, how long did it take you to walk? And how long did it take you to drive? And how long did it take you? You know, did your vision is your vision fix? Can you read yet?

Bill Gasiamis 30:10
It’s a really hard question to answer because people want to know my story, but you’re completely different person. And I don’t know if my story is going to help you. But if I have to give you a timeline, if that’s what you’re really after, and that’s going to give you some hope, then fair enough, you know, my timeline, I had three strokes over three years and brain surgery.

Bill Gasiamis 30:32
So it was a really long timeline. And I only got really bad after the surgery, I only couldn’t walk after the surgery. So I’m not sure how it relates to everybody else. But it’s a completely different version of what happened. So sometimes it’s not accurate for us to give our story, but I know how it helps other stroke survivors.

Bill Gasiamis 30:58
What’s interesting is I never met any stroke survivors. Soon after, we didn’t speak about that there wasn’t a question that I asked, How long did it take you to get this back or that back? Because I had been three years in when I couldn’t walk, like it started nearly a three year mark.

Bill Gasiamis 31:17
So then it’s like, by then I had met people who were five and 10 years beyond stroke. And then it’s like, okay, it’s not a question I need to enter or come into rehab. And I’ll just do what I can. And I’ll get out of there as quickly as I can. And we got out of there in a month, but they thought that it was going to take at least two months to get me home.

Bill Gasiamis 31:41
And then there was possibility of how is it going to get up the front steps to his door, the front three steps. And they never talked about ramps or anything like that, which was great. Because the progress was a lot quicker than we expected. And I’m not sure why it just was.

Bill Gasiamis 32:03
And the result was that even though I couldn’t feel my left leg, I could walk holding on I could walk to the post on the porch, I could hold on and get up. And I didn’t need a ramp. But it was scary. We have a two storey home. I didn’t go upstairs for quite a while. Because that was scary to go up and come down because my knee used to give way. And then I would fall forward and I would do that. Just standing.

Deedee Hrncir 32:36
Yeah, Bill’s laughing because he had several falls because he insisted on doing things that you know.

Bill Hrncir 32:44
Two story house also.

Bill Gasiamis 32:47
Scary, right? Ankle was rolling the knee wasn’t working properly. And it’s the last thing I want to do is go for a tumble down the stairs. I mean, nobody wants to do that under normal circumstances. But after a stroke, can I my head had the fresh plate put in there.

Bill Gasiamis 33:02
And didn’t like people touching my head at all. I don’t like seeing combat sports like boxing or anything like that. It just makes my head hurt. So I was really sensitive about falling. But then of course at home, I fell a couple of times once I fell onto my couch and hit my ribs on the arm of the couch.

Bill Gasiamis 33:26
That was terrible. That was hurting for days. And then I fell on the floor once as well. On the concrete floor, and that was painful. You can do way more damage to yourself. By falling than sometimes the stroke has caused.

Deedee Hrncir 33:48
The stroke. Right. Yeah, Bill insisted on. Yeah, I think I’m ready to climb onto my two wheeled bike. And I said please don’t do this. When there’s not somebody to stand on the other side of the bike. I said, I’m on this side. But what if you fall the other way? I don’t think I can pull you up.

Deedee Hrncir 34:04
And sure enough, that’s exactly what happened. And then he was joking with me because I was asking him how many fingers whatever and he was like just laughing and I said, you know, I started crying of course because I was like, you know, don’t make me go through that.

Deedee Hrncir 34:17
You know, it’s hard I know. And that there’s tough stroke survivors and then there’s some that you know will try at all and I’m glad I have one that likes to try. But at the same time it’s scary for me pretty often because he really wants it bad and he’ll fight for it. You know.

Bike Riding Difficulties

Bill Hrncir
Bill Gasiamis 34:40
I went for a bike ride I think it was about two years after I got out of surgery. Because I used to bike ride before I still love going for a bike ride and I got on and my left foot which is the effected one would slip off the plane little one was just a regular bike, you know, it wasn’t a sports bike for any particular events or anything.

Bill Gasiamis 34:55
And then the pedal would come up and scrape my shin. Then I’m gonna be like oh my God, I remember that one kid, you know. And now it’s happening again. So I tried and tried. And then I couldn’t do it, and then I went and got one stirrup, you know, so one stirrup to hold my effected foot in the right position.

Bill Gasiamis 35:31
So when I’m pedaling, it doesn’t do that it doesn’t fall off, and then the pedal doesn’t scrape my shin. So that was a great solution. Except what I didn’t realize was that when I stop my bike, the foot that I lean down with is my left foot. And because I can’t feel it, and it’s in the stirrup, I don’t know that it’s in the stirrup. So the bike stops, I go to put my foot out, my foot doesn’t go anywhere, and I fall.

Deedee Hrncir 35:58
Oh, so you had to retrain huh?

Bill Gasiamis 36:02
I had to retrain. But of course, retraining is not easy. I fell about three times before I said, I’m not riding the bike anymore. And the last time I fell in our central business district in Melbourne, I was riding through, and there was a road closure, because they were doing construction work.

Bill Gasiamis 36:19
And I come around the corner. And I didn’t realize that there was roadworks, because you couldn’t see around that corner what was happening. And when I got there, there was a man holding a stop sign and said, You can’t come here.

Bill Gasiamis 36:32
And just as soon as he said that, I tried to stop really quickly, I put my foot down at the same time. And all I did was fall flat on my face right in front of him. It was terrible. And then I had to ride home. You know, feeling all bruised and battered. And that was the last day that I rode a bike until I discovered an electric bike.

Bill Gasiamis 36:54
So the electric bike helps assist in the pedaling, and therefore my left foot doesn’t get tired and doesn’t slip off the pedal. And therefore, when I put it down, I don’t have to have a syrup on my pedal.

Bill Gasiamis 37:10
And I can put it down and I can ride under normal circumstances, it really makes a big difference in assisting me, not not fatigue the leg. So I’m very familiar with the experience of trying to ride a bike and falling over. I almost before I bought the electric bike.

Bill Gasiamis 37:33
I almost bought a three wheeler and this just made it possible for me not to buy one. Not that Not that I mind which bike I got, I would have got one that suited me eventually because bike riding is really important to me.

Bill Gasiamis 37:48
And so is exercise, right and you guys know, how important exercise Bill, wrote about it in the book, that exercise is a really important part of recovery. So you’ve already spoken about exercise being a part of potentially creating the perfect storm.

Bill Gasiamis 38:06
Because you overtrained but it also is important for your recovery. So, how much exercise do you do these days?

Deedee Hrncir 38:20
Not near three quarters of.

Deedee Hrncir 38:33
Of what you would like?

Bill Hrncir 38:34
Yeah.

Deedee Hrncir 38:34
Yeah, I was gonna say he has to really watch those words, because he still does overtrain when he rides bikes, he goes about 26 miles once a week. And, you know, I feel like that’s a lie. I feel like he doesn’t need to do that much.

Deedee Hrncir 38:49
But he likes to so it’s once a week, you know, and luckily he rides with his neurologist, so I can feel okay, if something happens that he’s going to be able to tell what to do. And, and so and I think too, he’ll see if Bill’s getting fatigued. And he’ll say, you know, let’s call it a day or whatever.

Deedee Hrncir 39:11
But you are talking about the three wheeled bikes and we do have some for our stroke group, the recumbent bikes. Bill had one initially because I had gotten it for him. But you know, for him, that was a baby bike.

Deedee Hrncir 39:24
And you know, he had to move to the two wheeled, but he did ride with it. And it did help and a lot of the stroke survivors do use them because then we don’t have to worry about them falling and they’re still getting exercise. You know, I mean, they’re great bikes.

Think About The Caregivers

Bill Gasiamis 39:41
It’s not all about you, Bill. I mean, you have to give the caregivers a little bit of relief, you know, so that they can feel comfortable and at ease with you and that you’re not going to go and do something silly again. You know, they need you to just relax a little bit and do things at a slower pace. I know it’s hard.

Deedee Hrncir 40:04
Oh I like this Bill, this idea of worrying about the caregivers, because I try to tell him, you know, sometimes you have to think about what I’m getting out of it, you know, like, because it is very hard for the caregivers.

Deedee Hrncir 40:20
So, I can see both ways, when you have a stroke survivor, that scared to do anything. And then when you have one that wants to do everything, because we have several in our group that, you know, the caregivers say, you know, he wants to go outside and his wheelchair and go through the grass and go through, you know, and, you know that that’s an accident waiting to happen.

Deedee Hrncir 40:45
You go through the grass, and it just like breaks, and then they fall forward and, then you have some of that don’t want to get out of the bed, you know, and both need a little talking to sometimes and both have their pluses by being motivated to do more. And that’s good, but not extreme, you know.

Bill Gasiamis 41:14
I know Bill thinks about you. But what he’s doing is he’s going, I’ve got to find my limit, I’ve got to push, push, push, find my limit. So I know where it is, so that I can stop, right. And I don’t know why. But I became acutely aware of my wife’s role and what she was going through, because I think I became more aware of it because just before my brain surgery, her mom passed away.

Bill Gasiamis 41:41
So within a month, we had her mom’s passing the funeral, and my surgery. So at some point, I became really aware that she, as a caregiver, is going through regular parts of life, which are hard and difficult, then she’s dealing with a husband, who’s a stroke survivor, which is complicated and difficult all at the same time.

Bill Gasiamis 42:09
And there’s not a lot of time left for her. She’s a mum, by the way, and looking after the kids. And then she’s looking after her dad now who’s on his own. And she’s doing all these things, and at some point.

Bill Gasiamis 42:25
I wonder, was she thinking and she never admitted that maybe she was at some point, she was thinking, you know, I’ve had enough like, what about me, you know, like, I need some time for myself or something like that.

Bill Gasiamis 42:38
Now, what about you Deedee? Did you experience that whole I wish this didn’t happen? Of course, you wish your husband didn’t become unwell, but did you have moments when you felt like, you know, what about Deedee, like, we need time out, I need to rest and recuperate?

Deedee Hrncir 43:00
Yeah, we were fortunate and that our kids were old enough. My son was senior in high school, and my daughter was in college already. And both of them well, my son that was in high school, of course, he knew he still had to finish.

Deedee Hrncir 43:15
But my daughter, you know, said I can pause my college, you know, classes and I can, you know, come and help you I know that this is hard and new and different for all of us.

Deedee Hrncir 43:28
But I knew that, you know, it was best for her to stay in school. And I said, you know, I am from a big family. And we live actually like on a compound kind of like a ranch and have a sister next door and my brother and sister in law lived on the other side.

Deedee Hrncir 43:47
And so I had relief, which a lot of people don’t. And so that helped. But the part that was the most difficult was just the not knowing what to do. And so that’s when we started looking for a stroke group and didn’t find one and then decided well I’m going to study up and research and see if we can start it.

Deedee Hrncir 44:11
And I’m glad we were able to because it helps so much if I can recommend one thing to anybody who has a stroke is to get in a group with others that have been through the same because it helps so much to say okay, what did you do for you know, falling?

Deedee Hrncir 44:30
What did you do for the foot drop? What did you do for you know, the headaches? Or whatever it was that was going on? aphasia, you know, how did you because at the beginning, I’m a kindergarten teacher for 33 years and I’ve retired but I tried methods that I did in the classroom and oh let sound the word out.

Deedee Hrncir 44:55
Well, stroke doesn’t work that way. We we learned that right away and and then I learned also that I’m not supposed to be helping him say everything for him because he can talk for himself. I just have to be patient.

Deedee Hrncir 45:09
And so we learned a lot trial and error. But to say that it was not difficult is crazy. Everybody just needs to know that that’s normal to be a little overwhelmed. And it’s normal to need other people and to say, Okay, if they offered to bring food or if they offered to take your kids somewhere, you know, say yes. Because, you know, you do need a break, you do, you really do.

Bill Gasiamis 45:42
Cooking can be really tiring, that’s my biggest role in the household because my wife comes home after me. So when she’s still at work, I’m preparing a meal. But that can take an hour and a half, two hours, that I find that really exhausting, but I try to minimize the amount of food that I cook so that, you know, there’s a little bit of this and a little bit of that, and that’s it.

Bill Gasiamis 46:08
You know, not too much of everything going on. So, yeah, when people say to me, can I bring you some food? I’m like, yeah, for how many days can you bring me food? Bring as much as you want I’ll freeze it, you know, whatever, you just bring it.

Bill Gasiamis 46:26
The book. I’m surprised actually, before I speak about this next thing that I wanted to mention was I’m surprised how long ago was the stroke, and there was no stroke group in your community? I don’t get that.

Bill Hrncir 46:40
I have no idea.

Deedee Hrncir 46:43
We have two hospitals. And we have one big rehab. And then, you know, there’s there’s therapy at the hospitals, but they try to get you out as soon as possible, of course, because insurance and all, but our town is small, but it’s not tiny, what we have.

Bill Hrncir 47:05
270,000 people?

Building A Stroke Group – BIll Hrncir


Deedee Hrncir 47:08
Yeah, so it’s a decent sized town, not to have a stroke support group. But we also heard that, like our Alzheimer’s group is just they meet at the hospital, they talk a little bit, they go home, and we just didn’t want that kind of situation.

Deedee Hrncir 47:25
First of all, we didn’t want it in a hospital, because a lot of people don’t want to go back to the hospital, that leaves a bad taste in the mouth. So you know, we worked around, let’s make it something different.

Deedee Hrncir 47:38
And all of our activities are non clinical, just like, you know, they play tennis or, you know, they go bike riding, they, you know, do art class, and we try to take them, other places and whatever.

Deedee Hrncir 47:51
But that was the thing, building this stroke group, from just having a meeting once a month, has become like, huge for us. Because I mean, we had to get become a nonprofit. And yeah, really go beyond. And I’m not a business person, I told you, I’m a kindergarten teacher.

Deedee Hrncir 48:11
Bill’s a businessman always has been my daughter’s business major, you know, so they both wanted it to be, you know, let’s do more with this. There’s so much potential, you know, there’s just, you get the community involved.

Deedee Hrncir 48:25
And, you know, there’s so much potential, but even very minimum, if you have meetings, and you allow them to talk, that’s sometimes all they need. Some people only come to the meetings and don’t come to any activities.

Deedee Hrncir 48:42
And still really get a lot out of just saying what they’re needing, saying what they’re feeling, asking questions, you know, there’s just, there’s their relations released from the hospital, and then they just go now what? I know we were we were like, Okay, we’re home. What’s, next for us?

Bill Gasiamis 49:04
That’s very common. Now, what do I do now? thing that happens is, is basically the doctors, they, you know, they they’ve set you up, they fix you up, they send you home, and then make it your responsibility to take the next step. And hopefully, you have the physical capability to take the responsibility on.

Bill Gasiamis 49:25
And if you don’t, hopefully, you have a caregiver or family or friends to support you to take that next part of the responsibility. That’s the real interesting thing. It’s like, we’ve done our job off you go into the world, and that’s kind of the that’s how I was released into the world, you know, back into the world was like, Okay, we’re done.

Bill Gasiamis 49:48
It we’re just starting. We’re not done we are nowhere near done. We’re just starting the book. Felt like that to me. To me, it felt like it was a conversation and somebody was asking Bill, what do I do about this?

Bill Gasiamis 50:10
And Bill was going for this. I did this and that’s kind of what it felt like, you know, every part of the book had a solution, I suppose for a challenge that Bill faced, it was really easy to understand really easy to read, the words are quite large, which is really good. Like the writing is quite large.

Deedee Hrncir 50:35
Yeah.

Deedee Hrncir 50:38
So you don’t needing glasses to read it. Yeah,

Bill Gasiamis 50:41
Yes, that makes it really easy, which means it’s quite a short book, even though it seems like it’s a lot of pages. It’s not a lot of pages. It’s a short book. And I think that when you’re recovering from something as complicated as a stroke, I think it needs to be short and sweet.

Bill Gasiamis 50:57
Too much information can then overwhelm, and create too many possibilities. And I just love the fact that there’s not a lot of information in there. It’s just important information for this. I did this, this is how I did it.

Bill Gasiamis 51:11
There’s even you’re running schedule, your gym, set your gym schedule, and all that type of thing. And it’s like, they’re really great tools that I can look at, and adjust or run with or do similar things or do something different. Like it’s great. What made you feel like it was important to write the book Bill?

Bill Hrncir 51:33
Well, I started off by trying basketball book, writing basketball book. I had a stroke, and went from basketball book to book about stroke.

Deedee Hrncir 52:13
And to give people a little taste of that, you know, pre-stroke, reading and writing are not hard, but whole stroke. He thought well, you know, the book take maybe five years, went on.

Deedee Hrncir 52:27
Yeah, 10 years was the final number that he kept telling people, because he would do a lot of public speaking, he had his videos and he would go to the university and to even elementary schools and kind of talk to them about what a stroke is, and how to recognize the signs.

Deedee Hrncir 52:52
And that was really cool for the community and very well received. I mean, if you’ve not done that, I mean, I’m sure you probably have with your podcast, but it’s so important to educate your community on what to do when someone’s having a stroke.

Deedee Hrncir 53:08
Because, you know, people don’t know, we didn’t know the headache was and we, you know, all the different signs. But anyway, when he would go speak, you know, he had his videos and everything, and it looked like, oh, you know, he doesn’t have too much trouble with his speech.

Deedee Hrncir 53:25
But then at the end, he would open it up for questions. And he would go, okay, you don’t have any questions? And well, that wasn’t planned or scripted for him. So he was like, he would look at me, and I would go, still can’t read your mind.

Deedee Hrncir 53:41
But you know, it’s really important for them to know, like that. There’s a whole community out there. And the answers are out there. You just have to go find them. But you have to, you know, ask and know what to ask.

Deedee Hrncir 53:54
So hopefully the book, Bill used to coach basketball, he coached our son from Kinder all through high school. And so it was he was passionate about it. And now he had to be passionate about stroke. So he had to just, you know, figure out what, you know, what all could he do to make other people learn about aspects of stroke that maybe they didn’t know.

BIll Hrncir Finding Purpose After A Stroke


Bill Gasiamis 54:26
That’s really important. I, for many years, I think from the first year after my first stroke, I went to the Stroke Foundation in Australia. And I became involved as a stroke safe ambassador and we’d go out and we talked to people about stroke, what it is how to prevent it and what to do if somebody is having a stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 54:50
And that was back in 2013. That program is still happening today. And stroke survivors usually end up going into a workplace or community gathering or something and speak to people there.

Bill Gasiamis 55:06
So that was quite good. And it was my first attempt at public speaking. And it was real fun to do, I got to meet a lot of lovely people. And they gave me encouraging words and all that kind of thing. And the Stroke Foundation made me have something to do some kind of purpose behind why the stroke happened to me.

Bill Gasiamis 55:31
And then that’s ultimately what led to the podcast, it was this talking about it, which I didn’t realize that I needed to talk about it all the time. And I still do, and I don’t know why I think it’s definitely part of my recovery and part of my healing, I get a lot more out of it.

Bill Gasiamis 55:53
Now, it’s not more, it’s not just that I talk about it. The connection with people, I’m also I also need people, I’m the kind of guy who needs people everywhere, all the time, if I can get them, you know, ringing me up, let’s go out for a drink a talk or walk or whatever, let’s just go somewhere.

Bill Gasiamis 56:12
That’s the kind of guy I am. So the stroke has actually made me able to find more people that are like me, that understand me that I’ve never had before. Because before I didn’t know how to connect, I didn’t have some one thing in common with people. Like I didn’t have that.

Bill Gasiamis 56:38
And even though I’ve met more than 200 stroke survivors easily in the podcast as 170. So I’ve met way more than 200 stroke survivors. But we are so different. We have different political views, we have different backgrounds, we have different ideas, different thoughts, but we really understand each other when it comes to stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 56:59
So we don’t really care about the other stuff. We just care about the fact that I understand you like I get it, and I needed that I needed people to understand me, I felt like the black sheep in the family.

Bill Gasiamis 57:09
So I can appreciate why Bill does all the things that he does and why he over commits to helping people and writing a book and all that type of thing, because he’s describing me like that’s exactly what I do.

Bill Gasiamis 57:25
And I’m just pretending to ask questions that I don’t know the answers to I know the answers to them. I just want to hear if he’s like me, I totally get it. What has been the feedback, like about the book, so it’s been out for a while now?

Bill Hrncir 57:48
We’ve sold 2000 copies.

Deedee Hrncir 57:53
And we live right on the border of Mexico, just the river separates us. So we now have the Spanish version. So we had to translate it because a lot of people around and even you know, I have family members and stuff that you know, speak a lot more Spanish than English.

Deedee Hrncir 58:15
And so it was requested. And we got a couple of copies that we’ve already distributed and we’ve ordered more. So yeah, we’re hoping to, you know, do that and we’ve done we’ve done several book tours around in cities around us. Between the valley, Houston Yep.

Deedee Hrncir 58:39
He’s done seven book tours and got to work lamp. I told him to wait till after the holiday. Yeah, that’s the part that you think he forgets about too is to like sit down and close his eyes for a bit. Take a little break in the day. It’s gotten better about it, though he’d come home for lunch.

Deedee Hrncir 59:02
And I eat and just a little bit of shut eye and I’ll go back.

Bill Gasiamis 59:14
it really does help to reset and recharge the batteries and focus the brain again. It’s really good to sneak in a couple of, you know, daily rests or relaxations, even if it’s not sleep meditation, even for five minutes, has similar effects on sleeping so you can do it.

Bill Gasiamis 59:35
So I’m really impressed by you guys. You’ve come a long way. You’ve been through a heck of a journey. And you’ve written a book about it, to tell the story to share with other people to create a community to make it easier for other people to navigate stroke when I had the stroke in the first one in 2012.

Bill Gasiamis 59:59
There was no But it was just The Stroke Foundation, which was still amazing that it existed. But I didn’t know of anybody anywhere that had had a stroke that I could connect to. And that was the hardest part. And I feel like it’s really important, because we’re the only people that can really support stroke survivors.

Bill Gasiamis 1:00:21
Yeah, your neurologist can get you out of the hospital and your surgeon to get you out of the hospital. And the odd occasion, a neurologist will come for a bike ride with you. That’s, yeah. Yeah. Usually that don’t get involved afterwards.

Bill Gasiamis 1:00:39
And the really important thing about that is that they’ve never had a stroke, thank God. And that, therefore, they don’t really deeply understand that, like you guys didn’t understand when bills brother had the stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 1:00:55
You understand that now, what he went through, and unfortunately had to go through this. So I suppose what I’m saying is, you’re doing a great thing. And it’s really, really important.

Bill Hrncir 1:01:08
Thank you.

Deedee Hrncir 1:01:09
Thanks.

Bill Gasiamis 1:01:09
I’m glad that I came across you guys and had the opportunity to chat to you and get to meet you. And you know what, I don’t know what the word is. But it’s great that people with aphasia, get out and speak on my podcast, or at least try and speak or speak the way that can speak because speaking doesn’t have to always be like this, right?

Bill Gasiamis 1:01:39
It’s different. This is the thing you know, we talk about, lately, we’ve been talking about diversity, and all these different things to include in communities like, there’s people talking about having different body types and abilities at the gym, of course, stroke survivors can’t lift weights the same way that they used to.

Bill Gasiamis 1:02:01
So there needs to be an opportunity for that as well. And there also needs to be an understanding that not only do we speak different languages, but because of things like aphasia, we speak in different ways. It’s still communication.

Bill Gasiamis 1:02:16
And a lot of people who experience aphasia won’t come on the podcast because they’re embarrassed by it or it makes them feel uneasy, or they’re upset, or it frustrates them. I don’t know what it is.

Bill Gasiamis 1:02:29
But I’ve had about three or four people with Aphasia come on. And it’s like, it’s really, really important to hear from them, in their own words, the way that they can communicate now, because it’s still communication, and they need to communicate, and we need to hear from them.

Deedee Hrncir 1:02:48
Yeah, yes. And they need to know, you know, I tell people for a whole year, Bill didn’t talk. He didn’t say anything. It was a good thing. He was a real good drawer. And then he would draw a little picture.

Deedee Hrncir 1:03:03
So when he was in the hospital, he drew a little picture, and it was the lawn mower. And I said, Oh, are you worried that the grass is not getting cut while we’re over here? You know, because he was thinking about it. Hey, I’ve kind of been here a while who’s cutting the grass at home, you know, and I said, don’t worry about the grass.

Deedee Hrncir 1:03:20
And then he tried to write his dad’s name. And it was just jibberish. And there was a D in there, but none of the other letters were correct. And, then, you know, his dad was older. And then it was that he was worried about his dad too like, does my dad, know? I had a stroke.

Deedee Hrncir 1:03:38
And just, you know, and so people don’t realize that, you know, you meet other stroke survivors, and you’re going, Oh, that happened to you, too. And oh, for a year, we found this guy that didn’t talk for 20 years down the street. Yeah. And Bill just saw one day and followed him and said, Oh, he walks kind of like me, hey, his arm is kind of like mine and followed him.

Bill Hrncir 1:04:06
He was in the store buying cookies.

Deedee Hrncir 1:04:10
Yeah and Bill goes why is he eating cookies. You’re not supposed to eat cookies, you know, Bills all worried about his diet, you know, and he said, hey, you know, I ate cookies.

Deedee Hrncir 1:04:21
But anyway, yeah, I mean, and he says that he he didn’t talk for about 20 years because he didn’t know there was anybody else that was going through what he was going through. And I mean 20 years.

Bill Hrncir 1:04:41
Laughter in the book.

Deedee Hrncir 1:04:48
It mentions him so yeah, you know that and there’s just so many aspects of stroke that are relatable to other stroke survivors only, it’s a little community of, you know, understanding.

Monocular Vision Caused By TPA

Bill Hrncir 1:05:05
I would like to say this I can’t see on this side, two birds with one stone the stroke of my brain stroke and my eye stroke. And it’s in the book too.

Bill Gasiamis 1:05:41
There was a stroke. And then.

Deedee Hrncir 1:05:47
Yes, immediately, after he had an eye stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 1:05:51
I’ve never heard of that before.

Deedee Hrncir 1:05:53
Yeah, look up monocular vision, and you’ll find all kinds of people that have experience. And then we found out that there’s, I mean, of course, all the same ones that are asking when they can drive and all that are the ones that have the vision, you know, that all kinds of issues.

Deedee Hrncir 1:06:13
And it’s so much more popular than you think that a vision deficit will happen with a stroke. And we didn’t know and he had perfect vision before the stroke. We had a bulletin board up up in his rehab room, put pictures of the kids and all his award for running.

Deedee Hrncir 1:06:36
And little did I know he could not see it at all. He told me way later, you know about these. And by the way I didn’t even know what was up there.

Bill Gasiamis 1:06:49
Just trying to make you feel better. Yeah. Yeah, I did read that in the book. Actually the monocular. What was it called?

Bill Hrncir 1:06:59
Monocular. Vision.

Bill Gasiamis 1:07:01
Yeah. monocular vision. Yeah. Okay, so that’s an eye stroke. Okay, that is interesting. I just learned something again today. So it is jam packed full of great ideas, great information, great solutions to problems. And it’s definitely an amazing book. It’s written from a stroke survivor. It’s definitely for a stroke survivor.

Bill Gasiamis 1:07:23
And it’s for caregivers as well. Because it’s gonna enhance the knowledge of the caregiver really quickly, so that hopefully it doesn’t take a long time for them to find out answers, that they need questions and answers whatever.

Bill Hrncir 1:07:41
Yeah. And the doctors and the.

Deedee Hrncir 1:07:46
Therapists, you know, kind of kind of seeing it from the stroke survivors point of view. Yeah, you know, and just people that caregivers in general not only a stroke, you know, just overcoming adversity.

Deedee Hrncir 1:07:58
I wanted to say you and I will take basketball for instance. I’m with you in it, talking to you about it. But you say out the beaten path.

Bill Gasiamis 1:08:48
You’re a type A personality by my small time I’ve got to know you. Right. So as somebody who is highly motivated, highly competitive, you know, intrapreneurial physical next level amounts of, you know, physicality. This has completely challenged you in every way. Did it get dark? Did you have some days where it was really dark?

Bill Hrncir 1:09:23
No. I don’t think so.

Deedee Hrncir 1:09:26
No, no, I mean, I mean in the hospital. And then the rehab. He got frustrated, really bad sometimes. But I’ve never seen him say or hurt and say, you know, why me? I just, you know, I’ve done everything right. You know, why is this happening?

Deedee Hrncir 1:09:50
Never, and I mean, I said, why me? As a caregiver, but he’s never, I mean, he’s never voiced it and he’s never acted like he felt that way. And that’s been what’s like, you know, my whole family, they go, you know, how can we be mad about this?

Deedee Hrncir 1:10:07
Look at Bill, he wrote a book and he had a stroke, and you know, whatever, whatever. So he’s the family motivator. But yeah, it’s weird that, you brought that question up because really, we’ve not seen it. I hope it stays in.

Life Happens


Bill Gasiamis 1:10:29
I got a sense he hadn’t. That’s why I asked it because I got a feeling that is the eternal optimist, and he’s an internal problem solver and solutions focused. And anyway, what good does it do to say, why me and to get shitty, I mean, we have done it a little bit, it doesn’t really help.

Bill Gasiamis 1:10:47
And it’s good to do it if you need to do it and get it out of your system. But the reality is, is that, actually, it’s not useful at all, to do that, it just puts you into a spiral for some people, potentially of a space where recovery is not happening, it’s not supporting recovery, it’s actually supporting the opposite of recovery.

Bill Gasiamis 1:11:05
So if you catch yourself being there, and snap out of it, then it’s okay to do it every once in a while for a little bit. But if you’re staying in there too long, it’s actually impacting your recovery.

Bill Gasiamis 1:11:17
And it’s sounds like what you need is more psychological support, or more emotional support, or more counseling or something, to get to the bottom of it, you know, you’re alive, you’re a miracle. And you’re not immune from life, life is happening to you.

Bill Gasiamis 1:11:37
And for some people, life happens, like it happened to us, or it happens completely differently, somebody can have a heart attack, they didn’t get the opportunity to say why me because they might be dead immediately.

Bill Gasiamis 1:11:48
This they’re not going to know. So we have to take the approach that this is just part of life, and we’re not immune to it. And who are we to think that life shouldn’t happen to us, and that everything should be perfect all the time.

Bill Gasiamis 1:12:08
I mean, that’s not how it is, every single person that came before us who’s passed away, was alive, and now they’re not life happens. And every single person that is born after us is also going to pass away at some point in time, and it’s not always pleasant, but it is the reality.

Bill Gasiamis 1:12:29
And I like that concept of not saying why me if if you have the the the training, to learn why it’s not not a good thing to say. But also, if you have the instinct to not say it. That’s a great thing. And for those people that have said it, don’t feel bad that you’ve said it’s okay.

Bill Gasiamis 1:12:55
But just know that you don’t need to stay there. Because it’s not helping you in any way. And lots of people with disabilities, with the inability to speak because of aphasia with the inability to do all the things still achieve massive accomplishments in life.

Bill Gasiamis 1:13:11
Just look at Stephen Hawking. If there was ever an example of what’s possible. Just look up Stephen Hawking, if you’ve never heard of him, you know, for the majority of his life. He couldn’t move or speak.

Deedee Hrncir 1:13:29
Yeah.

Bill Gasiamis 1:13:31
And everyone thought that he was some kind of a, the most amazing scientist of our time. It’s like, come on, guys. Like we’re very capable. And we have technology on our side, which generations before us did not have.

Bill Gasiamis 1:13:51
So, anyway, that’s my little motivational speech for everybody. If you’re sick of hearing me motivate you, well, I appreciate that too. You can throw something at, you can switch off or you can throw the book at the monitor or whatever.

Bill Gasiamis 1:14:10
I don’t mean to piss people off. I mean, to just make people think about things that they haven’t thought about before. And this thing that Bill has done to not do the why me that’s instinctive for some reason is not doing it. And it’s actually working in his favor.

Bill Gasiamis 1:14:27
And isn’t it amazing that some people are born with that instinct. Everyone else can learn it is basically what I’m trying to say. I know that took a lot of words, but that’s all I was trying to say.

Bill Gasiamis 1:14:40
So, yeah, I love you reaching out. I love the fact that you guys have come together to be on the podcast. I mean, thank you so much for doing it. I wish you all the best. And I look forward to just following your journey on Instagram, etc.

Bill Hrncir 1:14:58
One thing we’re going to do a book signing in your neck of the woods.

Deedee Hrncir 1:15:04
Yeah. Well, you gave us an excuse to go. Well, we’ve always wanted to go to Australia. So now that we know somebody we’re gonna go knock on your door and say, Hey, Bill, we’re here. It’s the other Bill.

Bill Gasiamis 1:15:19
Are you really?

Deedee Hrncir 1:15:20
We will. It might not be soon. But it’ll happen.

Bill Hrncir 1:15:25
I think in two years.

Deedee Hrncir 1:15:26
No no don’t give a date. Bill loves to give dates. He loves to give them some deadlines.

Bill Gasiamis 1:15:32
Two years I’m holding you to that. So tell me, where can people find the book? Where’s the best place to go? Is there a website that they can visit?

Deedee Hrncir 1:15:41
Yes Book Baby is his publisher. And you can go to book baby and look it up. It’s also on Amazon. And it’s really wherever books are sold. I know it’s at bookstores also. But the best place is Book Baby.

Bill Gasiamis 1:15:58
Thank you so much for being on the podcast.

Deedee Hrncir 1:16:00
You’re welcome. Thanks for having us.

Bill Hrncir 1:16:03
Thank you.

Intro 1:16:03
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 1:16:20
All content on this website at any linked blog, podcast or video material controlled this website or content is created and produced for informational purposes only and is largely based on the personal experience of Bill Gasiamis, the content is intended to complement your medical treatment and support healing.

Intro 1:16:37
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 did not use our content as a standalone resource to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease for therapeutic purposes or is a substitute for the advice of a health professional.

Intro 1:16:58
Never delay seeking advice or disregard the advice of a medical professional, your doctor, or your rehabilitation program based on our content. If you have any questions or concerns about your health or medical condition, please seek guidance from a doctor or other medical professional if you are experiencing a health emergency or think you might be, call triple zero in Australia or your local emergency number immediately for emergency assistance or go to the nearest hospital emergency department.

Intro 1:17:22
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 TPA Caused A Hemorrhagic Stroke As Well – Bill Hrncir appeared first on Recovery After Stroke.

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Bill Hrncir is the 1 in 6 people that will have adverse reactions to TPA (Tissue Plasminogen Activator) which was used to bust a clot that caused an ischemic stroke but also caused a hemorrhagic stroke Bill Hrncir is the 1 in 6 people that will have adverse reactions to TPA (Tissue Plasminogen Activator) which was used to bust a clot that caused an ischemic stroke but also caused a hemorrhagic stroke Recovery After Stroke 1:17:49
Pontine Stroke Recovery – Corey Getz https://recoveryafterstroke.com/pontine-stroke-recovery-corey-getz/ Mon, 20 Dec 2021 14:00:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8482 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/pontine-stroke-recovery-corey-getz/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/pontine-stroke-recovery-corey-getz/feed/ 0 <p>After experiencing a pontine stroke, Cory Getz did a ton of physical rehabilitation and also recognized the importance of taking care of his emotional recovery</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/pontine-stroke-recovery-corey-getz/">Pontine Stroke Recovery – Corey Getz</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> After experiencing a pontine stroke, Cory Getz did a ton of physical rehabilitation and also recognized the importance of taking care of his emotional recovery.

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

Highlights:

02:04 Introduction
04:22 Early Stage of Recovery
06:13 Pontine Stroke
10:29 Dealing With Emotions
20:13 CBD in Stroke Recovery
28:56 Don’t Give Up
37:11 Nutrition for Stroke Recovery
45:43 Cannabis Care Network
48:55 Caring For Stroke Survivors
55:27 Heart Intelligence
1:03:21 What’s Next for Corey Getz

Transcription:

After experiencing a pontine stroke, Cory Getz did a ton of physical rehabilitation and also recognized the importance of taking care of his emotional recovery.

Cory Getz 0:00
And then, but that being said, I want to use my experience to help other people. And what I’ve been gifted is the opportunity to the people that I know to create this cannabis care network and where I can take brain-injured adults that have medical cards and bring them in.

Cory Getz 0:24
It’s going to start early next year, but up to 50 In Orange County, it’s going to be the pilot program for the US. So it should be fairly important. So I’m in the early stages of writing out you know what I want it to look like.

Intro 0:45
This is the recovery after stroke podcast, with Bill Gasiamis, helping you navigate recovery after stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 0:58
Hello, and welcome to recovery after stroke a podcast full of answers, advice, and practical tools for stroke survivors to help you take back your life after a stroke and build a stronger future.

Bill Gasiamis 1:09
I’m your host three times stroke survivor Bill Gasiamis. After my own, life was turned upside down and I went from being an active father to being stuck in the hospital. I knew if I wanted to get back to the life I loved before my recovery was up to me.

Bill Gasiamis 1:23
After years of researching and discovering I learned how to heal my brain and rebuild a healthier and happier life than I ever dreamed possible. And now I’ve made it my mission to empower other stroke survivors like you to recover faster achieve your goals and take back the freedom you deserve.

Bill Gasiamis 1:39
If you enjoy this episode and want more accessible training and hands-on support, check out my recovery after stroke membership community created especially for stroke survivors and caregivers.

Bill Gasiamis 1:51
This is your clear pathway to transform your symptoms, reduce your anxiety, and navigate your journey to recovery with confidence head to recoveryafterstroke.com To find out more after this episode.

Introduction

Cory Getz

Bill Gasiamis 2:04
But for now, let’s dive right into today’s show. This is episode 173. And my guest today is Cory Getz who experienced a pontine stroke that left him with deficits on his right side. These days, Cory is back to surfing and is involved in a CBD trial in an attempt to uncover how CBD may be useful in stroke recovery.

Bill Gasiamis 2:28
Now, just before we get started, if you are enjoying these episodes, and you believe they are useful, please leave the show a review on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts from.

Bill Gasiamis 2:39
And if you’re watching on YouTube, please give the show a thumbs up and subscribe and share and tell me your thoughts by leaving a comment. I love reading them interacting with the show actively rather than just listening passively.

Bill Gasiamis 2:53
Will make a tremendous difference to how many other stroke survivors can find the show and that might help support someone that is doing a tough at the moment to feel like they are not alone on their own recovery journey. And now it’s on with the show. Cory Getz welcome to the podcast.

Cory Getz 3:10
Hey Bill, how you doing?

Bill Gasiamis 3:12
Doing good. How are you? Man?

Cory Getz 3:14
I’m doing excellent. What part of the world are you in?

Bill Gasiamis 3:19
Melbourne, Australia.

Cory Getz 3:21
Alright. I have a lot of friends in Australia. I’m in a surfing group. And yeah, a lot of the guys are down under so yeah, how’s it going? I haven’t had a chance to really dive into your podcast.

Cory Getz 3:38
But the stroke community is very close. And I find that a lot of us all glom on to the same, you know, we all get around and support each other. It’s really a welcoming thing.

Cory Getz 3:55
I was really surprised on how much support I got and when I was going through the process. And that has helped me be my best person to help the next set of people that are coming along because it’s unfortunate but as strokes happen way too often in this world and and they’re not coming to an end anytime soon.

Cory Getz Early Stage of Recovery

Cory Getz 4:22
So our focus is going to be on recovery. And that being said, for those of you who had or are in the early stages of your stroke recovery, the mental aspect of this is really tough.

Cory Getz 4:40
You have to keep a positive attitude going into it and you have to remain in that positive mindset throughout the whole process that it’ll better your chances of a better recovery if you’re always telling yourself what you don’t have what you wish you had, the negativity piling up, you know, your body responds to what you say.

Cory Getz 5:09
And if you’re talking to it in a negative way, and then it’s gonna respond in negative way, I truly believe that part of my recovery is the positive attitude that I brought to the table.

Cory Getz 5:25
That and just a ton of rehab. I mean, I was a water polo swim team in high school, from a really elite swim team. And so maybe my level of work ethic and, and level of exercise is maybe a little bit more than what you would normally come across.

Cory Getz 5:51
So that being said, I still had every single problem that all of us face when your limbs don’t work. And when you’re in your mind and you’re telling it you know, walk, and you get, like, maybe a jolt. And you kind of fall forward and hope that you’re leaning in the right way.

Pontine Stroke

Cory Getz 6:13
I mean, I remember it all too well. Everything from the hand. I had speech, I didn’t have too much speech problem. I’m sorry, let me just tell your audience that I had a pontine stroke. So I had a stroke in the pons section of the brain.

Cory Getz 6:35
And out of those of us that have strokes, only 6% of us have pontine strokes and of that 6%, 60 or 70% of us die unfortunately, because parts of the pons help run your your breathing your heart rate your blood pressure.

Cory Getz 7:03
There’s certain parts of the pons that want once they’re damaged, it’s really unfortunately, but they they’re not able to save them as they are. Other types of strokes.

Bill Gasiamis 7:20
Yeah. How old were you at the time, Cory?

Cory Getz 7:23
Oh, I was 50. Yes. 50 years old. Yeah, two years ago, two and a half years ago.

Bill Gasiamis 7:30
Would you call yourself somebody who was healthy fit and well, or were there some issues that you weren’t taking care of?

Cory Getz 7:41
Well, I was a bit of a party animal when I was young. And you know, I was drinking heavily at the time. And I never quit smoking cigarettes. So I mean, yes, I was active and I was fit and I was in fairly good shape at the time, because I always surf.

Cory Getz 8:07
But they really do blame it on the cigarettes now. I wasn’t a heavy smoker. It was just that I never quit. And, that’s about the only thing that could really chop it up to.

Bill Gasiamis 8:20
So was it a clot in your blood or what was it?

Cory Getz 8:24
Yeah, it was a clot of blood. And I had a real slow stroke. So the onset of the symptoms were very slow. At first, the very first I lost my balance and immediately I wanted to go to bed which was very strange because it was really early in the evening.

Cory Getz 8:54
That was really right there we missed it, we missed our sign, you know, I fell into the wall walking down the hallway. I kind of like just brushed it off. Like it was nothing. And my wife even I remember her even asking me, you know, to raise my hand and smile.

Cory Getz 9:16
I know that she noticed that it was something wrong. But we both just I don’t know we just both walked away from the situation. I really really wish I had that time back to get medical help.

Cory Getz 9:34
As you know, six o’clock with guests at our house that just arrived and and all of a sudden I’m going I have to go to sleep. Yeah, it was really weird. And then the following morning I woke up with I had an unusual temper tantrum like immediately upon waking up.

Cory Getz 10:00
And then the symptoms came along further till the afternoon I remember talking to my wife on the phone and she said that she couldn’t understand me anymore that I was slurring too bad and that I needed to go get help.

Cory Getz 10:15
And then I made another mistake and driving myself to the doctor at that point. And that was when I started noticing I was having trouble with the braking, and the acceleration.

Cory Getz Dealing With Emotions

Cory Getz 10:29
And then by the time I got, I went to my own physician, I did not go to the hospital, I still was going to the doctor, which I was just wasting time precious time. I’m sorry I’m holding it back, but I’m doing pretty good.

Bill Gasiamis 10:50
So it seems like a really emotional time for you is it? Still pretty fresh it happened in 2019, so is it still raw and emotional?

Cory Getz 10:58
Oh, yeah. Yeah in fact, yeah, the emotions are probably my biggest nemesis at this point. Yeah, it kind of took away my middle zone, you know, I used to be able to have like, it wasn’t so zero to 100. Now, I either get all the emotion, or I get none of it. So I find that really difficult.

Bill Gasiamis 11:29
So you know, that that’s called a pseudobulbar affect? So it’s a condition, it’s a common condition after stroke, that people get highly emotional, where they can’t control it, and it just breaks out. And it happens, you know, at times where you would prefer it didn’t happen. Often when people are recalling their story and talking about what’s going on.

Cory Getz 11:54
Right I use a lot of emotional intelligence coaching to help overcome some of those situations, because I put myself in a position to speak on behalf of plant medicine and stroke recovery.

Cory Getz 12:13
So I’m forced myself to repeat my story numerous times. And yes, it is getting easier. But But the day of it’s excruciating I mean, I know it’s coming. And yeah, I have all the same thoughts.

Bill Gasiamis 12:40
But what is it with anniversaries? Like, why is it so excruciating? I mean, the anniversary actually doesn’t really mean anything, because any day you wake up could actually be an anniversary. So it doesn’t really actually mean anything, but we make it mean a lot do you sort of have a sense as to why that is why it means a lot to you?

Cory Getz 13:02
Yeah, I don’t know that it means a lot to me. That day, mine was May 1, so it was Mayday. I mean, that’s kind of the only joke that we I don’t know if you’d call it a joke. But, this incident has blessed my life more than it’s taken away.

Cory Getz 13:28
Through all of this, I have a whole new second chance in life that was brought upon me at after the stroke that would never have appeared, I can’t explain that I do believe that it was presented to me in divinity that these doors were opened for me and that this was the course that I was supposed to take.

Cory Getz 13:54
And now, I don’t know that anybody else would believe that but me but I mean, we’re talking about you know, your own interpretation of the attack on your soul, and how do you deal with the you know, for me, I want to give back and for me, I don’t get this blessing without giving back.

Cory Getz 14:23
So for me, I’m in the early stages of starting a brain injury group in Orange County, California. And it just so happens to be a compassion care group. So at the end of our would you call it meeting, you know, and then they’ll get a compassion donation of cannabis at the end.

Cory Getz 14:47
So I’m in the early stages of developing that right now with the Orange County normal and L.A normal, which is an organization in normalized plant medicine. And I did use CBD in my recovery. And there’s plenty of evidence for CBD in recovery for stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 15:10
And so how did you use it? What did you find it helped with?

Cory Getz 15:16
Well, I started out with the type of the cannabis, I used cannabis CBD, there’s both cannabis CBD and hemp CBD. The actual molecule CBD is the same in both plants. So the only difference as I took full spectrum cannabis CBD, which means it includes all the chemicals in the plant, along with the CBD.

Cory Getz 15:42
So that’s what the term full spectrum means. And what did it mean on my impact of I did not take CBD before the stroke. So I only took it after we’d gone to some classes to learn about CBD and autism because my son has autism.

Cory Getz 16:06
So that’s actually where we got the information about how CBD was useful in all sorts of banks, because we had taken a couple of classes. And next thing you know, yeah, the stroke happened about a month after those classes. And then she went straight back to the dispensary and got the CBD we get CBD from a dispensary.

Cory Getz 16:32
So it’s highly tested. It’s tested for heavy metals and mold and all the bad things that would be accumulated by these plants, because these plants will clean soil, meaning they’ll take up all the heavy metals and bad things unless it’s grown organically.

Bill Gasiamis 16:57
So what were the conditions that you were left with after the stroke? What happened that you felt like the CBD would help?

Cory Getz 17:08
Well, I use it during the recovery. So like, every time that I would do the rehab. So let’s say a typical day would be I wake up and then in the morning, I would do my leg workout.

Cory Getz 17:24
And I would take some CBD, and that would give all I got like in early days it was maybe 10 minutes, you know, or five minutes eventually got to an hour but that took some doing.

Cory Getz 17:41
My leg would only work as a lego. You could only impulse your leg like to make a jolt you couldn’t really like direct it. You couldn’t set it down. I could only send one thing of electricity to it and just kind of just fling it out.

Cory Getz 18:01
So I did just just, I had no expensive rehab center. I had an outpatient therapy, and I just took the therapies that they gave me and I just repeated them 1000 times at home. Like until I was out of energy.

Cory Getz 18:26
I used every bit of my energy every single day in my rehab. And for that three months I made it back to surfing in 180 days. Which is pretty remarkable. I had a lifeguard out there in the water watching after me because I know my wife was paranoid about me getting back.

Cory Getz 18:54
But at that point I was already swimming like 60 laps in a pool three or four times a week, as soon as I could get back in the pool and swim. Then I was swimming my whole rehab was swimming.

Cory Getz 19:09
Other than that the fine art skills which I took up later, I didn’t want to lose my ability to paint and color. So I continued with my rehab after you would think that your normal function had come back to regain the fine motor skills and that was actually harder, the fine motor skills that rehab was quite a bit longer, more drawn out than than the other.

Cory Getz 19:42
And to this day, I’m still getting function back. The most the most of the problems that I have is with heat, not being able to regulate my temperature. I had trouble with my urinary tract. It’s mostly the problem of the heat, being able to keep heat in my body most of the time.

CBD in Stroke Recovery


Bill Gasiamis 20:13
You know, when you started taking CBD, did you notice a difference in your symptoms in the way that the stroke was impacting you? Did you have like, wow, this is actually worked. And it’s done this for me or it’s done that for me.

Cory Getz 20:31
It’s really hard to explain the CBD. It’s, more of a lack of feeling. I know it sounds weird to say it that way. But it would be like, I can’t really attribute it directly. It’s a good question. I’m just trying to answer this correctly. Yes, I wholeheartedly felt that it was a great addition to my rehab. But that being said, it’s an addition.

Intro 21:04
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?

Intro 21:22
Doctors will explain things that obviously, you’ve never had a stroke before, you probably don’t know what questions to ask. If this is you, you may be missing out on doing things that could help speed up your recovery.

Intro 21:34
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 a seven questions to ask your doctor about your stroke.

Intro 21:48
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.

Cory Getz 22:07
I do believe that the positive mindset and the number of reps is equally important, if not more important, but I do believe that the CBD had a part in in playing a rewiring part of you know when it came to because we had to rewire right?

Cory Getz 22:32
We have to run that side of your body. Now you have to run the reps. So you gain the the neurons so that it can run everything. And then you need to do the reps until it solidifies, instead of jumping from one to the other in it’s in the continuous chain.

Cory Getz 22:59
I don’t know how I’m really not a neuroscientists, but early on my leg was delayed by a split second or two. But now, just in the last month I’ve regained my right hand is become dominant again.

Cory Getz 23:20
Which I really was not expecting. I didn’t think that I would regain right hand dominance. But yeah, it just happened. And by the way, I continue to work out every day, I only do a half an hour. But I do a half an hour every day.

Bill Gasiamis 23:40
Did you take the CBD in conjunction with your other meds with the doctor’s knowledge? Or was there a discussion with your medical team about CBD?

Cory Getz 23:51
No. They gave me blood thinners, the neurologist did. And then my wife and I were really plant forward and so we’re not so Western medicine. And so other than the blood thinners you know, I’m on Lipitor for like cholesterol, which I’m okay with, you know, I understand that there’s some aspects of meds that you have to deal with and there’s some that you don’t.

Cory Getz 24:27
But, they did not recommend it. Yes, I told them that we’re taking it but no, there was no that I shouldn’t or there was definitely no recommendation to try it. But the imaging people they were all for it. Because I went back to go get the images later the CT scans.

Cory Getz 24:56
And I made sure that they knew that I had fully recovered, and I’m now surfing. And so I had the whole staff signed my surfboard. And they were also backing plenty of stories of CBD being helpful in different circumstances. Guys, it’s not the end all to everything. But it does have its place in the medicine gap.

Bill Gasiamis 25:24
Yeah. How long were you in hospital in total?

Cory Getz 25:30
I was in for three days initially. And then I came back out for two. And then I went back in. We thought it was a second stroke, but it was just a continuation of the first one. It was a really slow stroke. So I continued to lose things over the course of days. So finally it ended like five days later. So yeah, it was in for three came out for one, and then back in for a day and a half and back out.

Bill Gasiamis 26:07
So in that time, were you able to continue caring for your son who I imagined requires a fair amount of support?

Cory Getz 26:15
No. We had her brother out of town. So I presume that they were of help. You know, honestly, I have no idea what went on. I really don’t. Chaos I mean, it just must have been just horrible. I really can’t imagine. Because I know how it would affect me. And yeah. It really breaks me up right there.

Bill Gasiamis 26:54
Sounds like it was rough. And how’s your wife now? Is she able to sort of relax a little bit now that there’s some time that has elapsed? Or is she still concerned that something might be going down?

Cory Getz 27:10
Well, no, I’m more concerned about something that may go down. Like, every once in a while. I’ll go on like stroke watch, you know, the whole thing I started like with a pain in my leg.

Cory Getz 27:22
So whenever I get like, shooting pain or anything like that in my legs, and all of the sudden I’m like, I’m on guard. Like, it’s like I wake up it’s a couple hours I start taking my blood pressure thing and take the temperature or sorry.

Bill Gasiamis 27:47
Blood pressure

Cory Getz 27:49
Yeah, thank you very much. So occasionally It’s always in the back of my head. It’s always in the back of my head that a it could have been again. It’s just one of those things you live with. But you know, I’m not letting that stop me from living my life.

Cory Getz 28:11
That that was so that was the whole thing. Yeah. Are you gonna sit there and be worried about the next stroke for the rest of your liife? Or are you going to actually get out there and live? And I chose that I was an athlete and I was gonna do this.

Cory Getz 28:30
Guys, I’m extra lucky I got my physicality back. For those of those that don’t, I mean, I have the most sympathy, the most empathy. I had to learn how to walk. I know exactly what it feels like. Man, do I know what it feels like.

Don’t Give Up – Cory Getz

Cory Getz
Cory Getz 28:56
I remember the day that okay, he had me in one of those walking. I don’t know where they hold you up from behind. And he had asked me if I was ready to step off the cement. And you know, just like oh, I’m really positive.

Cory Getz 29:13
I was like, oh, yeah, of course. I just one step on the grass and that man I just lost mean I did I fell. I mean, he held me up with the belt and because my brain couldn’t comprehend all the angles that the foot was feeling

Cory Getz 29:13
So it didn’t it didn’t know which way was flat. And, and then all of a sudden, there was no flat like I couldn’t comprehend level and then I just went whoa, and just, I just felt like it was crazy. But that’s the thought, I remember that thought because that was the day that I started to learn how to walk again.

Cory Getz 30:04
And man, it’s tough. I read on all my buddies, all my buddies on Instagram. I’ve got a lot of, I’ll call them, I reached out to them, just to encourage them. And just tell them to not give up. The main thing is don’t give up. Right?

Bill Gasiamis 30:26
Yeah, absolutely, man. I mean, what’s the point of giving up? Giving up is hard, because then you’re not recovering and you’re getting better. And recovery is hard, because you have to do the work to get better. So if you’re going to do something, you may as well do the hard thing that’s going to get you a good result.

Cory Getz 30:46
That’s what we’re talking about. Yes. Perfect. Exactly.

Bill Gasiamis 30:51
So you’re being been through serious health issue up until that issue? Had you had any setbacks in life? Did you have anything that you could draw on? With regards to recovery that you could say, Okay, I’ve been through something like this before, I’m going to apply what I learned then, to this, this stage of my life.

Cory Getz 31:19
I did have shoulder surgery, and knee surgery. But even those recoveries, they don’t really compare, I guess there were some physicality to them, but not the hours that I was putting in for the stroke recovery.

Cory Getz 31:42
And that, really, like I was getting up like before everybody, so I could do an hour and go back to sleep, and then get up again to do another hour like, so I mean, it was, I remember the day after I had a stroke, I had told my wife that I would serve again in six months now I knew that was crazy.

Cory Getz 32:12
I knew I was probably lying to her and I was lying to myself, but I was gonna convince myself that this is a goal that we’re gonna do. And I said it out loud. And I did it in three months, which looking back at it, it just seems impossible.

Cory Getz 32:34
Guys, get your reps in. Listen, the what is it, the PT and the other? They only give you like, maybe 10% 20% of the reps that you need to get your movement back. You guys have to put in like five to a thousand reps a day.

Cory Getz 32:57
That’s daily. So please it mean, if you’re not getting close to those numbers and you know, I mean sometimes early on, I didn’t have the energy. I get that. Yeah, I get that. But I wouldn’t spend energy on anything but rehab.

Cory Getz 33:16
So during those first three months, any energy that I spent was only on rehab. And then because I had nothing else to do, I was not gonna be in a bed. I was I was not. I was not gonna. I was gonna listen. I didn’t know I would get it all back. I did not know I’d get it all back.

Cory Getz 33:40
And I was gonna accept whatever level that I was gonna get back. But I wasn’t gonna accept not trying. Right? I Yeah. I mean, I’m, I’m gonna go all out, try to get whatever I can. And then we’ll come to a realization after that. But I never so during that first year, I never looked at myself and said, Oh, gosh, I can’t lift that cup.

Cory Getz 34:10
That means I’m going to be left handed. You know. I mean, you go down this train, like I won’t ever do this, and I won’t do that. And listen, I still had a year to get it all back. It was only month three yes I couldn’t lift that cup just yet. But it was only month three. I still have 9-10 more months to pull this together. So I think that early on. That mentality is probably the toughest thing early on.

Bill Gasiamis 34:44
Did you have fatigue days where you were kind of out of it? And you couldn’t really focus on anything or do anything was that something happened?

Cory Getz 34:53
Yeah, cuz like I said, I was. I was very active swim team surfer. So, every once in a while, I would double my rehabs. So like, one week, I would be okay, I had that that week was good. So I’m just gonna double my numbers. And that was just never a good idea. I do not recommend that to anybody.

Cory Getz 35:20
Please don’t. Because I sat myself right back into the chair for like, a couple days after those. Yes, I needed to work out, but at a certain cost cost to my overall like, you know it because listen when you’re still recovering from a huge brain incident.

Cory Getz 35:43
So, I mean, so there was a sweet spot in between working out and not causing yourself like to exhaustion to where you have to spend a couple days to recover just to get the energy to work out again.

Bill Gasiamis 36:04
But did you also benefit from that? Because what you’re doing is you’re finding where your limit is, and then you’re minimizing, like you know where it is now. So if I’ve put in an hour and a half, and that’s too much, then you know that you can stop it an hour and 20. And maybe that’s better. Did that support that?

Cory Getz 36:26
Yeah, that’s exactly what I was doing. Yeah. In fact, yeah, that’s what I was doing. And that’s what I told myself every time that I said, Okay, well, and then I would just adjust accordingly. And I thought that was important because I was always striving for more.

Cory Getz 36:44
And I was never satisfied, guys by the end, I was in better shape than I was to begin with. That’s where I ended up. And to this day I continue with that, because I don’t know I watched what is it? Forks Over Knives on Netflix? And then I switched my whole diet to a plant based diet.

Nutrition for Stroke Recovery

Cory Getz 37:11
So I’m about 70% plant based. I don’t eat meat, but I do eat fish. And I do have some dairy only cheese but not really that much. And gosh, I’ve just felt I’ve never felt better than my whole life. Tell you the truth last year that with the CBD and the whole plan and the exercise. The combination of the three got me really excited for some longevity. I’m gonna speed around for a while.

Bill Gasiamis 37:48
Did you stop smoking?

Cory Getz 37:51
Yeah, I stopped everything, stopped smoking, stopped drinking, stopped caffeine. There’s one thing I didn’t stop I vaporized cannabis. I don’t light it anymore. I do not light it with an ignition.

Cory Getz 38:09
I just heat it and vaporize it but and then I do some tinctures. So I take CBD CBG CBN. Those are like cannabinoids. And I do that with the oral tension. Yeah. So but yeah, as far as alcohol all that I once do, the tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine in the same day.

Bill Gasiamis 38:41
I mean, yeah, I get it. It’s important. Right. And did you have withdrawals? Any any caffeine kind of cravings? Any cigarette cravings?

Cory Getz 38:54
It was alcohol. Yes. So I craved fresh fruit. Yeah. So I replaced all the alcohol sugar with fresh fruit. So for the first few weeks of the recovery, yeah, I had them cutting up so much fruit. It was really kind of that’s kind of where I started wanting to get better faster.

Cory Getz 39:19
Because I had all these people waiting on me that guys, I was too young. I don’t want people waiting on me. I want to help other people. I don’t want them helping me so so I was always trying to I was always trying to do something I just would not sit still.

Cory Getz 39:40
I just I don’t know if it’s my ADHD I just wouldn’t sit still. I don’t like it. I I wasn’t going to be a part of my life. I was gonna walk no matter what. Whether it was limping or whatever it was. I was definitely yeah. I’m not sitting down.

Bill Gasiamis 40:02
Has ADHD been an issue for you in life in that? At the beginning it was causing you challenges and problems. And then you’ve kind of learned to use it and harness it. And did that support you in recovery? Or did the H ADHD make recovery a little bit more challenging?

Cory Getz 40:24
Well, Mom, my ADHD in particular, I like repetitiveness. So, for me, it works for me in that sense. My dad’s more of work on perfectionist where he is, like, has that extra motor, that extra speed? So I have a little bit of that in me also. But yeah, I did I, yeah, I channeled that into recovery, right, I just said, channeled all that energy into recovery. And it definitely helped me.

Bill Gasiamis 41:04
Okay. So there you go. There’s ADHD, which has actually come out to be more than useful at some point in life where people normally talk about ADHD as being a an issue. Were you ever medicated for that? Because I know a lot of people are medicated for it so that they can, yeah, focus on tasks on one task. For our time, early on.

Cory Getz 41:29
When I was younger, yeah, I was medicated with the Adderall. And then later in life, led me to the abuse of drugs. And so now I do not use either. Yeah, yeah, that was a bad chapter in my life.

Bill Gasiamis 41:53
What’s the one of the drugs attempt to do what’s the, the thinking process? Or maybe there’s not a big thinking process, but why did the drugs become involved? What were they supposed to support or help do?

Cory Getz 42:06
Oh, no. I mean, I just got to dig into the Adderall. And I like the feeling of the, you know, the feeling that it was giving me. Actually, because with ADHD when you take it up it calms you down, so it didn’t necessarily bring me up, but just the fact it just wasn’t good for me. Both of those weren’t beneficial for my life. Yeah, I didn’t realize it at the time. But neither one was beneficial for my life. I’m much better without them.

Bill Gasiamis 42:50
So the Adderall was that right?

Cory Getz 42:56
Yeah, it was Adderall.

Bill Gasiamis 42:58
So the Adderall is an upper. And when they give that to somebody who has ADHD it brings them down?

Cory Getz 43:04
Correct? Yes.

Bill Gasiamis 43:06
Wow man, that’s nuts. So what they do is they give people the Adderall so that it can bring them down. And what does that supposed to help them with?

Cory Getz 43:18
That focus. Yeah. So you don’t have the scatterbrain, you’ll be able to focus on one task, see it through and not be distracted, very typically, we’ll start a project here, starting a project there, and bouncing between the two or three of them without ever sticking to the task, getting this one thing done, moving to the next, getting that done, move into the next.

Cory Getz 43:47
We have a hard time with stick to itiveness and distractibility. And yes, it absolutely helped me with that. It’s no doubt but my addictiveness and where I’d save some during the week, so I can have extra on the week. I mean, it got to a point where it was pure abuse like I would save them to go party and stay up, it was no good.

Cory Getz 44:22
It was, like I said back to it was a bad part of my life. But I learned a lot and I don’t regret it, but I see it for what it was. And it was just a young kid. I was just a young kid.

Bill Gasiamis 44:39
Has stroke changed the way you experience ADHD now?

Cory Getz 44:45
No I would say it’s about the same. Yeah, I would say it’s about the same I just use cannabis instead which is you know, less up and downs, and there’s no addiction and sleep is no problem. And so anyhow, that’s where I’m at right now.

Bill Gasiamis 45:04
Yeah. So it sounds like after the stroke, you’ve made a few massive changes, you’ve improved a few things, your diet, you stopped smoking, you stopped drinking alcohol. It seems like you’ve taken these steps so that you can be better healthier, so that you can support other people.

Bill Gasiamis 45:26
Why was it important now? Was this the big aha moment for you? Was this like, Hey, dude, you got to do something serious to change the way you’re going about life? Do you feel like you got away with dodging a bullet? Like, why the massive shift?

Cannabis Care Network – Cory Getz


Cory Getz 45:43
Yeah, It’s more of that. I think I got away with dodging a bullet. Yeah, I would say that rings a bell much more than, like, all of a sudden, I’m just on the high road. Yeah, it was, it was like a serious wake up call was like, dude I mean, yeah. It’s unbelievable that I made it through this.

Cory Getz 46:06
And I’m sitting here and talking to you today. But that being said, I want to use my experience to help other people. And what I’ve been gifted is the opportunity to the people that I know to create this Cannabis Care Network, and where I can take brain injured adults that that have medical cards, and bring them in, it’s going to start really next year, but up to 50 in Orange County, it’s going to be the pilot program for the US.

Cory Getz 46:42
So it should be fairly important. So I’m in the early stages of writing out the, you know, what I want it to look like, and, you know, I’ve been to a couple of brain injured groups. And usually it starts at one table, and it goes from one bad story to worse to another and to where it’s just, it’s very difficult.

Cory Getz 47:10
Some of those are really difficult to be in to sit through. And, so I want to create another group that has similar things, but it doesn’t have such the downer feel to it. And then I want to give them tools on how to reword the world.

Cory Getz 47:37
And so it makes sense why this person’s angry, because, you know, they, in a separate in their own life, have a whole bunch of things going on, they’re lashing out on you, because you’re the scapegoat for their anger.

Cory Getz 47:54
And then as you get more emotionally intelligent, you’re able to write off these hateful opinions so much easier and actually feel sorry for him. It’s incredible when you’re able to really grasp what’s going on and you’re not in that primal brain lashing out with the fight or flight, you know, and you can take it and listen.

Cory Getz 48:28
Like you are an extremely good listener Bill. You sat there almost this whole time, listen to me ramble, I go off. And so let me commend you for an exceptional ability to listen, I really do appreciate, feel it feel like I’ve been totally heard on your program. And I really appreciate you contacting me and having me on today for sure.

Caring For Stroke Survivors

Bill Gasiamis 48:55
We need all sorts of voices in this community talking about what’s going on for them. You know, we need different neurological states, we need different emotional states need at all. You said some really wise things there you said, you know, emotional intelligence is really important.

Bill Gasiamis 49:09
That’s the only thing you and me have spoken about, which is interesting, because on most other episodes, we only speak about the physical recovery or the mental recovery. So we very rarely talk about the emotional recovery. And a lot of people don’t understand the difference between emotional recovery and psychological recovery.

Bill Gasiamis 49:28
They don’t realize that the emotional intelligence starts at the heart. You know, we talk about feelings. And we talk about all those things that are related to how we interact with people and our relationships and the psychological recovery. You know, talks about you know, how we make meaning of our world what it means to us, when that person who had a bad day, reacted angrily and caused us harm.

Bill Gasiamis 49:56
You know, we made meaning with our head. You hurt emotionally in our heart. But we made meaning in our head, if we make a different meaning, then it will hurt us emotionally less. And the example is that, if we just ask ourselves, what is that person going through in their own life that makes them respond in a negative way to me, because if I do that, then I come up with a different answer.

Bill Gasiamis 50:21
And then hopefully, I’m not taking a personally, and then my feelings are being hurt, and then my heart is not being hurt. And my emotional intelligence increases, and then we become sympathetic to that person. And instead of arguing back and being angry at them, they come down, they interact differently with us, because they’ve felt like, you didn’t have a fight with them, or they felt heard.

Bill Gasiamis 50:48
And then they have a better acceptance of the kind of person you are, because most of the other people in their lives, they go nuts at them, they get angry at them, they yell back at them, they abuse them, and they make it more personal. But realistically, most of the attacks that we experienced, they’re not personal.

Bill Gasiamis 51:06
They’re just the other person not having the right way to communicate what they’re in trouble about right now in their own life, what’s causing them pain and suffering. And they express it in a way that because we’re not emotionally intelligent enough, we miss the opportunity to have a real connection, heart to heart with the person and we’re doing gut to gut reactions. Does that make sense?

Cory Getz 51:34
Yes. Well said, yes. It makes perfect sense. We’re, busy reacting to what’s being said, and not analyzing the complete situation that brought it all about? Yeah, it’s very quick to react in the primal brain, and, and lash out, and it takes a much more intelligent person to hold on to those feelings and then expressing them intelligently.

Cory Getz 52:08
And, like you said, the difference is the response that you get from the other side, where they actually felt like they’ve been heard. And, they have they have been heard. And, and, that makes just a world of difference. It’s just amazing. Yeah, I’ve only been doing that since the stroke. Yeah. And I use a coach. And, it’s just been the greatest gift. I tell you, It’s really wonderful to not live in the primal brain all the time.

Bill Gasiamis 52:49
Yeah. If you had these skills, when you were growing up, experiencing interactions with people when you’re highly affected by ADHD, and the other people don’t get it. If you had these skills, would that have made your life a little easier?

Cory Getz 53:04
Yes. Oh, yes. Yeah, that would have made a lot easier. Yeah. One it makes you. Well, you’re able to reframe the conversation, to explain yourself in a better manner. When you’re not yelling at each other, then the conversation becomes about solutions instead of arguing about problems.

Bill Gasiamis 53:41
And most people do focus on problems, don’t they? I mean, if you focus and put your energy on problems, you get more problems, and then trying to solve them is impossible, you just go around the loop of more and more problems, you know. And if you’re focusing on solutions, you get more solutions and less problems.

Bill Gasiamis 53:58
And you get better at solving problems, because you’re really good at coming up with lots of solutions. And we just don’t realize when sometimes when we’re stuck in a cycle of problems, where stroke is shit, right, it can create a ton of extra problems for us.

Bill Gasiamis 54:16
We’ve already got enough in our lives. But for every problem, there’s definitely a solution. And it might not be what you had in your mind. It might not be the ideal solution, but there is a solution that’s better than the situation that you find yourself in right now.

Cory Getz 54:31
Right, exactly. Yeah, I don’t really want to step on what you said, I mean, listen, Bill, how long has it been since you had a stroke?

Bill Gasiamis 54:51
First stroke was in February 2012. So next year’s coming up on 10 years, and then I had surgery about three years later, in November of 2014, almost three years later, to remove the faulty blood vessel that was in my head that was bleeding. And then I had to learn how to walk again. And then I had to learn how to use my left side again and get back to work and get back to driving and all those things that people miss out on after stroke, you know, had to go through that.

Cory Getz 55:23
So that was after the surgery to repair it, right?

Heart Intelligence

Bill Gasiamis 55:27
Yeah, that was after the surgery. So they’ve done something during surgery that’s impacted my body, which is, you know, I accepted quite early on because it removed the possibility of that thing killing me. So it was kind of like, you know, something’s gonna have to give a little bit.

Bill Gasiamis 55:44
And this is what I had to go through. And, look, I use the emotional intelligence as well, that’s when I learned about it. I learned about it at 37. When I had the first bleed, about nine months later, after that, is the first time I actually discovered the term, I first time I found about heart intelligence.

Bill Gasiamis 56:06
And I found out that I have a heart, like, I knew I had a heart, but I didn’t know what it was there for other than to send blood around the body. Honestly, I thought it was just a pump, you know, but it’s not. It’s where our emotions are. And I learned that that’s where they are, you know, and it was a real big eye opener for me.

Bill Gasiamis 56:24
It was a real aha moment, that meant I started to connect with my family better to my children. With my wife, I started listening more, I started being empathetic. And instead of, you know, having solutions to everything for everybody else’s problems, I just, you know, was trying to learn how to lend an ear and try and focus on solving my own problems.

Bill Gasiamis 56:26
I went to counseling, I did a lot of counseling as well, because I needed to learn how to interact with people better, so that I wouldn’t get upset and annoyed with them. I never had a real understanding of why they were acting out and giving me a hard time when, in fact, they were just again, like me struggling to communicate effectively.

Bill Gasiamis 57:09
And they were struggling to go to their heart, you know, to where their emotions are. And to access that in appropriate ways. And I started to fix relationships and start to make things better, which was really important to me, because I didn’t want to die being an asshole. I wanted to, if I died, I want it to be the guy that remembered as a nice guy, you know, who really tried and really succeeded in, in changing his communication skills from being angry, to being calm and understanding and listening.

Cory Getz 57:42
And you know, that’s really hard in the moment. You know, I mean, it’s easy for us to talk about doing but when you’re faced with the moment, and you’re able to choose the calmness. It really is an eye opener to a whole new world, that you don’t have to ruin your day over such little things anymore, and you won’t carry anger into the next thing you know, the next moment, it really changed my life to tell you the truth it really has.

Bill Gasiamis 58:27
Yeah. Anger and frustration is not really supportive of stroke recovery is it? I mean, it doesn’t do anything for it. It just makes it harder and worse. And I know when I’m angry, and frustrated, it just makes my deficits feel worse. My left side goes numb. I can’t walk properly. I get really fatigued, so it’s not worth it.

Cory Getz 58:45
Yeah, that fatigue cuz, because yeah, you’re spending energy. Yeah, yeah. And if you’re gonna spend that energy, you Why not focus on healing. If you can do that to your body and send it in a tailspin with negativity, then you can also uplift it and repair it. If you send that energy in a positive manner to your limbs and you can tell yourself that we are going to heal.

Cory Getz 59:15
And you can tell yourself that we are going to walk, they listen to your body responds to what your mind tells it guys, listen, you can tell it what you want. Don’t tell it negative stuff. Don’t tell your body negative stuff. That’s my main thing is to please just regardless of your recovery, and where you’re at in your recovery, because everybody needs to recover at some point. Even without my stroke, I mean, this would be invaluable information.

Bill Gasiamis 59:56
Yeah. And everybody needs support, right. That’s why I offer coaching, so that people can get support in their recovery so that they can find somebody who can guide them. And that’s why you went and got support. And that’s where I went and got support, because you can’t do it alone.

Bill Gasiamis 1:00:12
We’ve never been through this before, we don’t know how to do it properly. It takes a long time, the longer it takes, the less likely we are to get back to a life where we are feeling fulfilled again, you know, so I really wanted to get there quick. So I threw a ton of time and energy into coaching, counseling, you name it, learning about stuff like emotional intelligence, and how that was going to support my recovery.

Bill Gasiamis 1:00:39
So I came across this book, have you heard of this book? It’s called Emotional Intelligence, by Daniel Goleman.

Cory Getz 1:00:50
I have to check it out.

Bill Gasiamis 1:00:52
Yeah, right. It’s a real scientific Lee kind of backed up and proven book. And it talks about how emotional intelligence can be used for benefit in the corporate world, but also in the regular world, where it’s not about corporations, but how much of a difference, and a positive result you can have when CEOs and general managers and vice presidents are emotionally intelligent.

Bill Gasiamis 1:01:19
And how that will help them grow their business and their companies. So that they’re doing good for everybody, you know, the people that they’re supporting with the service they’re offering, but also the people that are working for them.

Cory Getz 1:01:33
Right. I mean, I know that people listening might think that we’re using like a catchphrase or something. But it’s really important, because what we’re talking about is active listening, and problem solving, but where you’re actually hearing the person’s needs, and you’re not overrunning them with your own ideas and thoughts, and, and it’s more of a two way conversation, I don’t know how to explain.

Bill Gasiamis 1:02:04
Yeah it’s heart to heart, it’s a more deeper connection.

Cory Getz 1:02:09
Yes. And then people respond to that connection, like you said, in a completely different manner. So I can only imagine if you were a business partner, or somebody, I’m using it in business, where you would probably get so much more productivity out of your workforce if you used “It’s not what you say, It’s how you say it”.

Cory Getz 1:02:42
And then you would be able to get so much more productivity out of, let’s say, your workforce with a different approach that it takes in consideration their feelings, and you know you can go on and on from there, but I’ll definitely check out that book. Based on your recommendation, I would be excited to check that out.

Bill Gasiamis 1:03:06
Yeah, it’s a great book now. Just as we go to wrap this up, I’m wondering, so what’s next for you? Are you still in the process of trying to get some additional wins on the board? Where are you at?

What’s Next for Corey Getz

Cory Getz
Cory Getz 1:03:21
Currently, I currently surf so I’m learning to surf bigger waves at the moment. Really big waves, like five or seven foot? Like they’re 10 foot on the face, yes. So now I didn’t really take on those kind of big waves. But I’ve been training and doing some surf specific training, and I have a surfing coach.

Cory Getz 1:03:49
And therefore I feel like I can start to take that on. But it’s, again, a learning process, but it’s something I’m excited about. But what I’m more excited about is this brain injury group that I’m in, this is really where I’m at. I want to give back I want to give back with my knowledge of emotional intelligence and help people also with CBD, and then help them in their overall recovery.

Cory Getz 1:04:21
Be a positive light and change in their life. And encourage their growth. And, and then just see where that goes. I’m in charge of the pilot program, they’ve done some cannabis, veteran groups, but this would be the first outside of the veterans. So I would like to set up something that can be repeated. And I want it to be really well written and really structured so that it’s really a strong program that can be copied and that would really make me happy.

Bill Gasiamis 1:05:04
And it sounds like it’s gonna be scientifically based, and you’re gonna have some data and you’re gonna be able to report on that data, and then you’re going to be able to improve on the program.

Cory Getz 1:05:14
Yes, yes, absolutely. Coming in, you know, coming in, we’ll give them some questionnaires and probably, you know, score sheets. And then, you know, eight months down the line, we’ll give the same thing you know, see where they’re at. Once you start using the tools of emotional intelligence, serious things start happening and it improves your life, guys, it improves your life so much.

Cory Getz 1:05:47
Because you’re not taking on somebody else’s grief and you’re not taking on that. It just enlightens you so much not to carry these burdens. Look, if you’re not into it, please look into it. Bill will tell you himself that I mean he’s got the book straight in front. And these tools are highly useful to all humans, not just stroke rehab people to any adult that’s looking to grow into the next level. If you need, you’re looking for some spiritual growth, and you really want to look into your soul, then this is the direction you need to head.

Bill Gasiamis 1:06:35
Cory gets thank you for being on the podcast.

Cory Getz 1:06:38
All right. Thank you, Bill. Yeah, this is great. I really appreciate you having me on.

Intro 1:06:44
Importantly, we present many podcasts designed to give you an insight and understanding into the experiences of other individuals opinions and treatment protocols, disgusting any podcast or the individual’s own experience, and we did not necessarily share the same opinion nor do we recommend any treatment protocol discussed.

Intro 1:07:01
All content on this website at any linked blog, podcast or video material controlled this website or content is created and produced for informational purposes only and is largely based on the personal experience of Bill Gasiamis, the content is intended to complement your medical treatment and support healing.

Intro 1:07:18
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Intro 1:07:38
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Intro 1:08:03
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After experiencing a pontine stroke, Cory Getz did a ton of physical rehabilitation and also recognized the importance of taking care of his emotional recovery After experiencing a pontine stroke, Cory Getz did a ton of physical rehabilitation and also recognized the importance of taking care of his emotional recovery Recovery After Stroke 1:08:31
Applying The Concept Of Corporate Leadership To Stroke Recovery – Mike Cameron https://recoveryafterstroke.com/applying-the-concept-of-corporate-leadership-to-stroke-recovery-mike-cameron/ Mon, 13 Dec 2021 14:08:54 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8472 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/applying-the-concept-of-corporate-leadership-to-stroke-recovery-mike-cameron/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/applying-the-concept-of-corporate-leadership-to-stroke-recovery-mike-cameron/feed/ 0 <p>Mike Cameron is a leadership coach and the author of the books, Effective Leader and The Emerging Leader. </p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/applying-the-concept-of-corporate-leadership-to-stroke-recovery-mike-cameron/">Applying The Concept Of Corporate Leadership To Stroke Recovery – Mike Cameron</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Mike Cameron is a leadership coach and the author of the books, Effective Leader and The Emerging Leader.

Website:
https://www.strategically.com.au/

Highlights:

02:21 Introduction
05:51 Leadership
13:22 D.I.S.C
20:13 Delegating tasks
27:25 Goal planning
32:01 It’s okay to fail
39:42 Behavior and how it impacts others
47:23 Empathy vs sympathy
56:04 Leadership in recovery
1:01:57 The four attributes
1:11:24 Cultural diversity
1:21:36 Losing trust

Transcription:

Mike 0:00
The first thing I would say is you need to understand what triggers negative thoughts. Somebody says something and immediately it takes you back in time to when you were a little kiddie, and somebody criticized you or didn’t choose you for the football team.

Mike 0:16
So in my book I talk about the very first thing you need to do is to have a check process. As an example there is one that’s known to a lot of people called DISC Dominance, Influence, Stability and Compliance and where do you fit in that.

Mike 0:35
So if you’ve been a person who’s been a very dominant leader or a very dominant manager, and suddenly here you are lying helpless after a stroke, and people are taking control, part of you may be fighting anything that is they’re trying to help you.

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

Bill Gasiamis 1:09
Hello, and welcome to recovery after stroke a podcast full of answers, advice, and practical tools for stroke survivors to help you take back your life after a stroke and build a stronger future.

Bill Gasiamis 1:21
I’m your host three-time stroke survivor Bill Gasiamis. After my own life was turned upside down, and I went from being an active father to being stuck in hospital I knew if I wanted to get my life back after stroke, and back to the one I loved before my recovery was up to me.

Bill Gasiamis 1:37
After years of researching and discovering, learn how to heal my own brain and rebuild a healthier and happier life than I ever dreamed possible. And now I’ve made it my mission to empower others stroke survivors like you to recover faster achieve your goals and take back the freedom you deserve.

Bill Gasiamis 1:54
If you enjoyed this episode and want more resources, accessible training, and hands on support, check out my recovery after stroke membership community created especially for stroke survivors and caregivers.

Bill Gasiamis 2:05
This is your clear pathway to transform your symptoms, reduce your anxiety and navigate your journey to recovery with confidence, head to recoveryafterstroke.com To find out more after this episode. But for now let’s dive right into today’s show.

Introduction

Mike Cameron Mike Cameron

Bill Gasiamis 2:21
This is episode 172. And my guest today is Mike Cameron, who is the author of the book Effective Leaders. In this episode, we apply the concept of corporate leadership to stroke recovery, for some useful insights that may help you in your recovery.

Bill Gasiamis 2:37
Now, just before we get started, if you’re enjoying these episodes, and this podcast and you believe that it is useful, please leave the show a review on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts from.

Bill Gasiamis 2:49
And if you’re watching on YouTube, please give the show a thumbs up and share and tell me your thoughts by leaving a comment. I love reading them and interacting with the show actively rather than just listening passively will make a tremendous difference to how many other stroke survivors can find the show. Thanks so much. And please enjoy this episode. Mike Cameron, welcome to the podcast.

Mike 3:15
Well, thanks very much indeed Bill.

Bill Gasiamis 3:17
Thanks for being here. You’re the author of a couple of books that piqued my curiosity. And I figured there’s definitely a way to merge your area of expertise into stroke recovery. And your first book is The Emerging Leader. And your second book is effective leaders.

Bill Gasiamis 3:43
And I see leaders and leadership really merging with recovery because one of the things that I think a stroke survivor needs to do is do self leadership. If that’s such a thing, I don’t even know if it’s a term that’s commonly used, but it’s part of the task of taking responsibility for your own recovery.

Bill Gasiamis 4:05
And a lot of the responsibility in recovery from stroke or any serious ailment is outsourcing the responsibility for me getting better to somebody else. And that usually involves a doctor. And fair enough because they put themselves at the top of the pyramid of recovery, when you have something serious like stroke happen.

Bill Gasiamis 4:32
And for good reason because they are scientifically trained and proven to be able to improve outcomes for people who have a stroke. But then there’s this situation that occurs that we outsource all of that on them in some cases, and don’t take responsibility for our own recovery and then miss the opportunity to lead ourselves out of this really challenging and serious situation that we find ourselves in.

Bill Gasiamis 5:05
And it often creates a feeling for some stroke survivors, or for me, at least of not being in control of anything, and not being in a position to guide my own life and kind of feeling in somebody else’s hands, and they don’t really know how I want to structure my life going forward, or what I want to achieve, or what my challenges are coming into this and what I have to overcome. So can we talk a little bit about your definition of a leader? First, what you think a leader is? So that we can kind of frame the conversation going forward?

Leadership

Mike 5:51
Yes, I’d like to do that. I think firstly, the most important thing to understand and I think why you’re asking me to talk about ultimately leadership of self, you can’t actually lead other people until you know how to lead yourself.

Mike 6:11
So the importance, first of all, is to understand one, who you are, what you are, what you want to achieve, what your vision is, regardless of where you are in life, whether you’re a supervisory level, or whether you’re an executive level, whether you’ve come from university or so on.

Mike 6:32
At some stage, you will interact with other people. And how you interact with other people, ultimately, is, from a point of view of yourself first, how you think about yourself, how you’ve managed your development.

Mike 6:49
And what are the things that trigger the negative thoughts that go into your brain when other people communicate with you. So you asked me what is leadership? Leadership is the privilege that you are given to be able to guide people to an outcome, a group a team, it may be a very, very large organization that you have accountability for.

Mike 7:18
And one of my recent posts, there was a comment from Simon Sinek, that talked about being a leader was understanding that the team, other people create what your vision is, your job, therefore, is to allow them the space to do the job you want them to do. One because they want to do it for themselves. And two, they want to do for you and the company or the business, whatever.

Mike 7:51
So leadership is about giving up the doing of the job, finding the people who can do the job nurturing and supporting them, and allowing them to have the responsibility at the delivery of what you’ve communicated to them.

Mike 8:11
Now you’re accountable for choosing the right people. And you’re accountable to your manager for your selection of the outcome being achieved. So if you think about it, and you are allowing somebody else to do the job, sometimes you’re going to be a coach, sometimes you’re going to be a mentor.

Mike 8:32
Sometimes you’re going to be the subject matter expert, listen, John, I’ll show you how to do the job. But you’re not there to jump in and micromanage. And you’re not there to do more than support coach and monitor. That’s what I think a good manager is a good leader is and then we can start talking about self management. And what do I mean by all of the things that allow you to empower other people.

Bill Gasiamis 9:07
I love what you said there because I can automatically superimpose that on to recovery from stroke. So I in my 10 steps to recovery from stroke. I have one of the steps is creating a community of people that are going to help you in your recovery and move forward.

Bill Gasiamis 9:30
And part of that community includes the doctors. Part of that community includes family and friends. It includes allied health professionals. It includes masseurs, it includes coaches, counselors. It includes spiritual leaders, if that’s something that appeals to you.

Bill Gasiamis 9:52
It includes anybody that’s going to guide you whether they are involved in a way where you have specifically recruited them or pay them to bring you further along in your understanding of this situation that you find yourself in, or they just happen to be there. It’s this community that I put together that I chose, that I’m leading towards my vision of recovery.

Bill Gasiamis 10:26
But one of the things that I think I’ve missed is, what my vision of recovery was, I don’t think I ever actually reiterated that or even spoke about that once to any of the people in my group, or in my team, my recovery team. And I especially didn’t have a conversation with my doctors about what my vision for the future was, and therefore help inform them about how I wanted them to support me in my recovery.

Bill Gasiamis 10:59
And then from there helped me overcome the brain injury, and all the different things. So there was a key element that I think was missed there that, I think now looking back that if I had had that conversation, I think it would have decreased the amount of time that I was searching for purpose, and meaning and all those other things.

Bill Gasiamis 11:23
Because I hadn’t ever developed a vision for my life after stroke, because stroke was this thing that caught up with me suddenly. And I never really came to have the space to work out what was going on, I had to go into reaction mode to make myself not die, and then to get myself back into some kind of existence that I felt was meaningful.

Mike 11:56
Yeah. Let me ask you one other thing, just when you first realize that you’d had the stroke, and you’re starting to be supported, or you had doctors around you who were taking control of trying to get you back to being stable, and so on.

Mike 12:20
My thought process would be that you would have to really look internally to what you were trying to do. And that did is align with where other people were coming to try and support you. I’ve had two serious motorbike accidents in my life, very serious motorbike accidents.

Mike 12:44
And on both occasions, I have bullied by becoming the executive, I bullied the medical people to allow me to leave hospital before I should have left hospital. Because I was under so many drugs that were pain killing.

Mike 13:02
And yet the reality is my body was so badly damaged, that it wasn’t until I got home, and then started coming out of the pain killers that I realized just how painful life was. And in fact, on the last time, I couldn’t even move.

Leadership – D.I.S.C

Mike 13:22
So one of the things about leadership and knowing yourself is to know what sort of person you are. Because when you suddenly are in a situation where you need the help of somebody else, and support of somebody else are you feeling less yourself? Are you feeling fragile? Are you feeling fearful? Are you feeling lots of things that are negative to you accepting that person’s help?

Mike 14:01
So it will regardless of whether we’re talking about somebody facing a stroke situation or whatever, the first thing I would say is, you need to understand what triggers negative thoughts. Somebody says something and immediately it takes you back in time to when you were a little kiddie and somebody criticized you or didn’t choose you for the football team or whatever it might have been.

Mike 14:31
So in my book I talk about the very first thing you need to do is to have a check process there’s lots of models around I’m not particularly pushing any one model, but as an example there is one that’s known to a lot of people called D.I.S.C Dominance, Influence, Stability and Compliance.

Mike 14:59
And where do you Isn’t that so if you’ve been a person who’s been a very dominant leader or a very dominant manager, and suddenly here you are lying helpless after a stroke, and people are taking control, part of you may be fighting anything that is they’re trying to help you.

Mike 15:21
So yes, there’s certainly things we can talk about, about how do I manage those feelings, and why am I feeling them? And that gets us into emotional resilience, emotional agility, emotional intelligence. What do I mean by that?

Bill Gasiamis 15:41
One of the things that often impacts stroke survivors is obviously they’re in a state, most people who have a stroke are in a state where their mind doesn’t work, it doesn’t think it doesn’t operate the way that it was before the stroke. And that’s usually in the acute phase.

Bill Gasiamis 15:59
And then you kind of come out of that, and you start to get your thinking mind back, and it starts to settle down. And what I find that also gets in the way is the emotional resilience part of the recovery is a big barrier to people in stroke recovery.

Bill Gasiamis 16:19
So often, knowing yourself is something that generally seems to be missed by the people that I’ve interviewed on the podcast, the 170 odd people that I’ve interviewed so far, generally, they miss knowing themselves, because they haven’t had the time and space in their life, to get to know themselves, what they’ve done is they’ve become a parent, they’ve become a full-time employer, full time employee.

Bill Gasiamis 16:49
Whatever they’ve become, and they’ve not really given themselves opportunity to dive deep and know themselves and know where they sit in the world, and how the world needs to be organized around them so that they feel like they’re achieving an amazing experience in life right?

Bill Gasiamis 17:06
So they often then don’t know their visions and their values, because they’re running somebody else’s visions and values, you’re in a work environment, and you’re trying to achieve your company’s visions and values.

Bill Gasiamis 17:19
And then, because you have had these experiences from your life, when you were a kid, and you didn’t really understand what was happening when you weren’t getting picked up for the football team.

Bill Gasiamis 17:33
You developed the opposite of emotional resilience. And some people have gone into their adult life with the same behaviors and habits that they used. And were useful on the football field when you were 10 years old.

Bill Gasiamis 17:51
And haven’t realized that those emotional outbursts or behaviors, aren’t useful anymore in life, they’re not any more relevant when you’re a 30 year old. And you need to upgrade that level of your way of being or the way that you interact with people.

Bill Gasiamis 18:10
But they often don’t know how to, so they get stuck. So what I’m saying when I’m using the term, they I’m really speaking about me Mike, I’m describing myself. So when I found myself in stroke recovery, I had to contend with these three things that I wasn’t doing well.

Bill Gasiamis 18:31
And now I had to have this communication with my doctor’s, which I couldn’t possibly do effectively, because I was experiencing a bleed in the brain, which was impacting my ability to just think cognitively. But I was also lacking these other things that had already not developed enough of by the time I was 37 years old, because I never knew that they were important.

Mike 19:03
Yeah, believe it or not Bill, there are so many people who become leaders become senior managers, who are 37, 40, early 40s, whatever. And they still have not actually ended up knowing enough about themselves. And they fail and they fail because ultimately, they try to do things which they have no understanding of how to do and shouldn’t be doing anyway.

Mike 19:36
Or have difficulty in communication with other people in a way that asks a lot of questions for which they don’t have answers. In other words, how many managers do you know that are prepared to say we need to achieve so and so what are your thoughts?

Mike 19:59
How do you think we shouldn’t do that? Because the people they are asking are the people that actually are going to do the job. Now you might know, you might have even written the guidelines on how to do a particular job.

Delegating tasks – Mike Cameron

Mike 20:13
But the reality is you’re not going to be doing it, it’s going to be a team of people or an individual or whatever. And too many people who have not understood what a leadership role is, stay in command, rather than in fact, making sure that the people that the task is delegated to somebody in a smart way.

Mike 20:40
And by that, I mean, is the task I’m talking to you about specific? Is it measurable in a way that you know, when I want it delivered? At what quality level? At what standard? Is it actually achievable? Do you have the tools, the time the skills and all of the knowledge to be able to do that job in terms of resources and competencies?

Mike 21:12
The next one is it realistic. In other words, a lot of times we dump on people, rather than checking what their to do list is like, and how many tasks they have. And the final part of smart to me is the most important, tangible, and by tangible and what I mean by that is, what’s in it for the person doing the job?

Mike 21:37
Do they feel that in fact, it’s a valuable task they’re doing? Do they feel it’s part of the overall objective of what the company is looking for? Do they feel part of the deal? Or do they just feel they’re a cog in the wheel, and they’re being dumped on. And that’s how you allocate how you delegate a job.

Mike 22:05
And ultimately, empower the person to do it. And I suppose what I’m really trying to say in leadership until you get to the stage where you’re not fearful of delegating, fearful of empowering somebody who might in fact, become smarter than you and move on. You’re not going to become that real key leader.

Bill Gasiamis 22:31
Yeah, I love that analogy. Because the smart method of setting up goals and achieving goals and going into an outcome in goals is so applicable to rehabilitation. And again, these are conversations that I didn’t have with my therapists, but they did kind of skirt around these outcomes in a way that was almost specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound.

Bill Gasiamis 23:13
The one thing that I think shouldn’t apply to stroke recovery is time. Because it seems to be what trips a lot of people up, they put time on to the recovery process. And then when they don’t meet their goal, or their milestone, for some people, that seems to be a reason to get down in the dumps and depressed by that.

Bill Gasiamis 23:42
And it gives them a bit of a setback in their recovery. But I don’t know anyone that I’ve spoken to that specifically set out to create specific goals for recovery, that were measurable, where they were able to look back on those and see how far they’ve come that were also achievable.

Bill Gasiamis 24:08
And that were relevant, because most of the recovery is designed and implemented by people that didn’t have the stroke, that perhaps didn’t have enough time to consult with you about how you wanted to go about your recovery. And what’s missed in stroke recovery is that emotional, and psychological recovery.

Bill Gasiamis 24:35
There’s a massive focus on the physical recovery because that’s what your therapists can see. But there’s a very small amount of that. That’s focused on okay, if we managed to get that person walking again. What else do we need to do to help create a well rounded recovery or a full recovery and there isn’t much focus allocated to the emotional aspect of it and the psychological aspect of it, people seem to stumble their way around that.

Mike 25:11
Let me just throw one other thing into the melting pot before we move away from know yourself and goals.

Intro 25:20
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 25:44
If this is you, you may be missing out on doing things that could help speed up your recovery. If you’re finding yourself in that situation, stop worrying, and head to recovery after stroke.com where you can download a guide that will help you it’s called a seven questions to ask your doctor about your stroke.

Intro 26:04
These seven questions are the ones Bill wished he’d asked when he was recovering from a stroke, they’ll not only help you better understand your condition, they’ll help you take a more active role in your recovery, head to the website. Now, recoveryafterstroke.com and download the guide. It’s free.

Mike 26:22
Sometimes when I’m consulting with somebody that’s been promoted up to an executive position, I will ask them, or if I’m talking to somebody who’s setting up a new business, they’ll leave in corporate life, they’re going to go off in their own way. The same questions fit into both categories.

Mike 26:45
The first thing you say is where am I now? Where am I? What’s happened to me? What have I done? Where am I now? And there’s lots of things around that that you can look at. The second is where do I want to go? And the third is, how do I get there? Now so those three questions, I think are absolutely critical for you as the stroke victim to try and understand and ask enough questions of people around you to support you is how do I get there?

Goal planning

Mike 27:25
Because I know, what I want to achieve is the recovery. Yeah. Now maybe it takes a while if you’re that, you know, in such a state and getting your brain working properly. But what I’m saying is, those are the three stages. Now let me just go back to the goal setting the goal planning.

Mike 27:48
The most important thing with goal planning, is to turn it into focus goals, something that you can achieve within 24 hours. Not what can I achieve in a week, what can I achieve in a month? What can I achieve? What do I need to do today, to move one step forward towards the bigger goal?

Mike 28:13
And to limit the number of those focus goals that you put on yourself, depending upon where you are with resources and your strength and your energy levels and so on. So, yeah, it’s goals are still smart, specific, measurable, achievable, attainable, realistic, I beg your pardon and timeframes. That’s the goal.

Mike 28:45
But what I am asking you to think about is break those down into something that is very achievable by the end of the day. And make certain that you put it onto a priority list, if you’ve got a number of things you’re getting to the stage of being in recovery.

Mike 29:06
And you’ve got lots of tasks, some of those can be missed. Some of them can’t, some of them are top priority, you need to finish that. So you need to prioritize you need to know at times what you can leave behind and what you can’t leave behind.

Bill Gasiamis 29:25
Yeah, I like that those small goals, those daily goals, those really easily achievable goals will make you feel like you’ve achieved something in reflecting back you’ll have a few quick wins on the scoreboard, and therefore you’ll be able to stack those wins up and you’ll be able to get some momentum towards achieving things.

Bill Gasiamis 29:50
And then when you have a setback, it won’t be such a bad thing that I had one setback, but I’ve actually had 10 wins already. So let’s just keep going for the next one. and focus on how to get that outcome the one where, what do I want? Where am I now? Where would I prefer to be? And then how do I get there?

Mike 30:12
Yeah. And that’s part of that emotional intelligence bill. And you’re absolutely right. Most of us if we’ve got a goal that we fail on, because we’ve made it so far away, or it’s so big, that it is very difficult to get there, we start making our mind think that we are failing when we have a setback.

Mike 30:39
Whereas if you have a focus goal, at the end of the day, I feel really good. If you end up at the end of a day, and you’ve missed one focus goal out of five or out of six focus goals, you miss one, what do you start thinking about now is what could I have done better?

Mike 30:57
What could I have done to have established was that goal, a little bit of a challenge a little bit beyond me? Had I communicated correctly with my doctor or my massage therapist, whatever it might have been, you aren’t blaming yourself, you actually are in a stage where you are now working, and you’re in a positive moving forward.

Mike 31:23
Now, I’m not a person that believes that life is all full of positivity. I’m not, that’s not where I come from. So there is a reality at times, life’s going to be tough. But if you break things down, and you know that you are going to come up, what’s my plan B?

Mike 31:45
How do I handle something? If I don’t achieve or I’m not achieving what I want to? Is it okay to go back to the drawing board? And redesign? How do I get to? And of course, it’s absolutely right.

It’s okay to fail

Bill Gasiamis 32:01
Yeah, it’s definitely okay to fail. It’s definitely okay for things not always be going good. Stroke really creates a lot of things that are not good. And they can be overwhelming the same time, I think it’s really important to focus on what is good. And if people that are going through some tough things, can stop themselves for a moment, it’s okay, what’s good about this situation?

Bill Gasiamis 32:27
Even if what’s good about it is I’m learning something new. Well, then that’s good enough to take you to that next level of curiosity for example, what else can I learn about this situation? What else can I learn about myself? What else can I learn about the thing that I didn’t achieve? Or what can I learn from applying what I’ve already achieved?

Bill Gasiamis 32:47
And how much further can I go? So I agree with you that there’s no such thing as just, you know, the positive mindset and the focused mindset on recovery all the time, there’s got to be that time for reassessing everything. And I think what helps you reassess and readjust your trajectory and work out your your path forward is those setbacks, I think that’s those setbacks are the ones that help you actually get more focused and better targeted, better aimed at the ultimate goal.

Bill Gasiamis 33:23
Which, for example, for me might have been, you know, just to get back to, you know, nice and big, broad goal at the beginning, just to get back to being a good father, and then everything else can come after that. But if I can be a good father, that’s pretty easy to achieve, even though I’m recovering from stroke, and everything is really difficult.

Bill Gasiamis 33:44
And perhaps I can’t go to the football field and play with my children and take them on that trip that I was planning to take them on and spend some time with them in this specific location or during this specific event.

Bill Gasiamis 33:58
Well, maybe I can just be a good father by telling them I love them or more and apologizing for the things that I’ve done in the past that, you know, maybe as a Dad, I miss treated them or, or didn’t give them the correct amount of encouragement or whatever. So I love that idea that actually part of the moving forward. Are those steps back.

Mike 34:25
Well, let’s just take because what you’ve talked through there is three forms of the emotional intelligence, family if you like. Emotional intelligence is understanding first of all, what is triggering things inside you? What are you hearing? What are you reacting to?

Mike 34:51
And the second part of that is, what is my strategy to manage what the impact of somebody doing something or my reaction to something? How do I manage that to stay comfortable within myself? Okay, so those are intrapersonal skills that you need to learn.

Mike 35:18
On top of that, to be an emotionally intelligent person, you have to have empathy for other people, you have to understand where you sit in a group of people, it can’t be all about you all the time. And you need to have effective communication, and understand your role in that team, environment, and so on.

Mike 35:43
That’s emotional intelligence. Now, emotional intelligence and what we’ve talked about so far, life isn’t just beautiful, even if you’ve got all these skills, every now and again, somebody is going to do something from left field that is going to annoy you, and you lose the plot for a moment, or you react in a way that actually wasn’t beneficial to you, the group or whatever.

Mike 36:11
And the or the other person may do that to you for no reason at all. Now, emotional resilience is being able to manage the situation of disappointment, of not getting what you expected of dealing with that, whilst you’re also dealing with those inter intrapersonal things of how, what’s my reaction to it? And what’s my strategy, so I don’t create a problem.

Mike 36:42
Now, in today’s world, we’ve moved one further step. And it’s a vital step. And I would say a vital step, probably when you are needing other people. And that is moving to what’s called Emotional agility. And that is realizing your place in a group of people. What’s the atmosphere you choose? What’s the environment you create?

Mike 37:12
You’re talking about sometimes you might feel that I need to talk to the kids in a way because I haven’t done particular things. Now in emotional agility, what you are actually also going to analyze is, am I doing it for the kids? Or am I doing it for myself? In other words, Am I doing it because I think I ought to do it. And I’m feeling a bit guilty.

Mike 37:39
So I’m going to have this emotional, loving, or say things. Now that’s all about you. It is not about the relationship or how you want the children to feel emotional agility has come from the space of am I seeing that the kids actually would love me to give them a cuddle, or would actually love me to ask them more about what they’ve been doing.

Mike 38:06
Because I haven’t been able to go out with them or whatever it might be. So those sorts of things bill are, in my view, and quite a lot of it’s in that first walk of emerging leaders is moving into that space, of understanding the basics of emotional intelligence, there’s really two keys, then move up to emotional resilience, and then move to the stage of emotional agility.

Mike 38:36
You know, I’ll give you a lovely little story. Can you imagine a boss who walks in talks to everyone one day, how are you going Bill and asked you a few things, eventually gets to his office and for the rest of the day, you don’t see him. Next day, he walks in, head down, he goes into his office, the door slams.

Mike 39:00
And then he comes out about three hours later. And he shouts at somebody to come into his office. Oh, how are you feeling about that particular boss? What’s gonna happen the next day? So you are in a situation where you are wondering about how that person lives if you like in the environment?

Mike 39:23
Is he consistent? Is he predictable? Or is he in an emotional imbalance for the group that he’s in? In other words, he really doesn’t understand the impact he’s having in the space in which he’s working.

Behavior and how it impacts others

Bill Gasiamis 39:41
Not only I can I imagine a boss like that? I’ve experienced a boss like that. But now that you mentioned that, and now that we’re kind of merging, leadership with stroke recovery and my desire to recover well and be better version of myself after the stroke. I can imagine I can remember times when I behaved like that at home, not only at work, but also at home.

Bill Gasiamis 40:11
And came home one day, all happy, cheerful and all that kind of stuff from work, and then came back home the next day, being completely shitty head down, angry, annoyed. And for all intents and purposes, everybody else around me is thinking that pretty much everything is the same.

Bill Gasiamis 40:35
And they don’t know what it was that caused me to, let’s call it misbehave or behave inappropriately, and then not communicate what my problems were. And therefore, create this barrier around me where people were walking on eggshells. And I suppose I became more aware that I was acting out or misbehaving after the stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 41:03
Because it became important to me to actually be aware of how my conversations were impacting my kids. And I didn’t want them to be impacting my kids in a negative way. And it was definitely about me, because I wanted to make sure that if I dropped off the planet, that they were going to at least have a decent experience with their Dad and remember me fondly more than the other.

Bill Gasiamis 41:03
But at the same time, I wanted to make it about them, so that they wouldn’t have to deal with stuff, for no reason that was actually not their fault. And then they and that would then hopefully minimize the scarring that I would create in their life, and therefore hopefully minimize the possibility that they would be dysfunctional in society at work with their relationships later on in life.

Mike 41:58
Yeah. Bill what good coaching is all about is for that awareness that you’ve just talked about isn’t unusual by the way. It happens lots and lots of times to lots of people. And ultimately, until you actually understand the impact it’s having on other people on your team, or whatever, it will also be having a huge impact on yourself.

Mike 42:31
Because until you understand it, and until you come up with a strategy. Now, when I’m talking to either a group, or I’m talking one on one will do it now. I ended up being very successful with ici in the explosives division of ici and running a group that looked after quarries and construction, and coming up with some new ideas and building teams. And sometimes I was really frustrated.

Mike 43:05
And sometimes I would go home at night. And I would want to and I would tell my wife all about the negative things and I would dump on her. Now, can you imagine what her view of life and what her view of the company and what her view of the team. And this is the early days of that whole development was, she had a view that there was some pretty nasty people in the company.

Mike 43:34
And the company wasn’t really looking after me. And I was dumping on hair with all the negativity whilst I was at work, being this open manager that was you know, all light and open and come up. I’ve got an open door policy. But I wasn’t living the truth. At the time, I was carrying a lot of stuff. And I had a heart attack at 54.

Mike 44:05
Because my body eventually said like inside you I was all tensed up. And the point I’m making that in leadership from emerging up to through those is to understand how many things you’ve done through your 20s your 30s your 40s that you’ve managed, but the reality is, they’re not doing you any good.

Mike 44:34
And you’re not actually becoming that effective leader. And you won’t until one you know it. And you’re honest about it and you say I really don’t handle it very well. There are times that my strategy isn’t working, dumping it on your wife, dumping it on your partner dumping it on your right hand man woman in the office is not the way to be a good team leader.

Mike 45:00
It’s actually have strategies that work and support you and move forward. And ultimately allow you to talk up in the right way. And ask for the support you need or the resources you need. And give enough empowerment for things to be done in little in the way that they should be.

Bill Gasiamis 45:23
Yeah, you know, the empathetic relationships part of your model is a really interesting one, because it’s one thing, being empathetic to others. But also having self empathy is really important, isn’t it? Because if you’re constantly beating on yourself and saying, you know, I’m shit at this, or I’m terrible at that or, look at how you can’t do anything, well, this is not going to support an active recovery.

Bill Gasiamis 45:51
And it’s not going to support an active recovery mindset, it’s not going to align the person with the goals that they set that were measurable, and so on at the beginning of this whole process, you know, and I think that others, a lot of people have experienced a stroke and are so hard on themselves, simply because they experienced a stroke, they kind of allowed themselves to have a stroke, or they created the environment to have a stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 46:24
Now, I created the environment to make the stroke that happened to me more possible because I was born with a blood vessel that was faulty in my head, but then I created the perfect storm around it to give it the best opportunity to bleed. But if I was going to stay in that space, then this could have potentially been even more catastrophic.

Bill Gasiamis 46:54
Whereas it was important for me to let go of what I had done and take some responsibility for my actions, but then also change something so that I don’t continue to feel bad about what I’d previously done. And, and stop doing those things in the future, so that the shift could be moving me towards recovery, rather than staying in that space.

Empathy vs sympathy – Mike Cameron

Mike 47:24
Let me just go back to your word about empathy, because people quite often misunderstand the difference between empathy and sympathy. And there’s a huge difference. Empathy is I understand the pain. Now you might understand it, because you’ve actually dealt with, it might be adopted, seeing lots of people who are going through the stroke situation that you’ve experienced.

Mike 47:56
They can be empathetic about the pain, and the struggle, and the challenges you’re going through that it’s empathy. They haven’t experienced it, but they’ve experienced other people doing it, and how they manage it. Sympathy is where you’ve been a stroke victim, and here’s another stroke victim.

Mike 48:19
And you get into the mire of the feeling, and all of a sudden, you’re adding to the pain, because you’re starting to talk about your experience and all the things that didn’t quite go right for you in your recovery. And this person is only on the start of the journey. And there’s a lovely little cartoon that I saw many, many years ago about this person that had gone down into a big pit.

Mike 48:49
And there was a manhole at the top. And he was crying because he couldn’t find his way out and somebody was walking past. And he shouted down and say You okay, I can’t see my way out. I’m all lost, and he started crying out for help. Now the person who is sympathetic, immediately goes down the manhole because he can see the ladder at the top and off he goes.

Mike 49:18
And he goes to the voice, and he’s now as lost as the voice was because they’re in the darkness. Whereas the person who’s empathetic, looks up and says hang on a minute. He gets his mobile phone out. And he puts the camera light on, and he shines it down the walkway and says to the person down below, can you see the bottom of the ladder?

Mike 49:45
Yes, we’ll walk over to it. I’m up here to talk to you when you get up top. That’s empathy. I understand your problem. I’ll help you get out of it. But I’m not gonna climb in and wallow in the pain that you’re feeling.

Bill Gasiamis 50:06
Empathy sounds like it’s actually encouraging the person to, it’s actually teaching the person to fish, whereas sympathy is giving the person the fish.

Mike 50:18
Absolutely right spot on, spot on.

Bill Gasiamis 50:21
Right? It is a massive distinction, I love that I kind of understood the difference between the two. But that really paints a clear picture as to the difference between the two, and how one should behave. When you come across somebody who’s doing a tough or gone going through difficult times, it’s definitely better to teach them how to manage the difficult time on their own, rather than putting your hand on their shoulder and showing to them just come with me, I’ll get you out of this mess.

Mike 50:54
As quick questions like, next time this happens, how do you think you’ll manage it? What could you do different next time?

Bill Gasiamis 51:09
So how does motivation and teamwork come into your model of leadership? What is that about?

Mike 51:16
Okay there’s a very good example. First of all, you can have a carrot or a stick approach to creating motivation. Both of those are short term, if I give you lots of carrots, in other words, money to go and do a task. Ultimately, that task has no value other than the increased money I’ve given you. And you want more. Okay. I can get a big stick out saying if you don’t do it, well look for another job. Okay, so there’s the one or the other.

Mike 51:54
And the reason that they can’t work for me, as the boss me as the person trying to get that motivation with the group, in the long term, is it’s not personal. Personal comes from how do I give you? How do I create an environment where what you’ve wanted to achieve in your life, you’re being given the opportunity to do?

Mike 52:22
In other words, if I say to you, Bill, would you like to run this section of the of the office? Or would you like to be responsible for doing a particular thing? And give you the ability, the tools, the training, whatever it is, to do the job? Have I created an environment that becomes motivational for you to develop your own skills, your own way of doing something?

Mike 52:55
Do I need to tell you exactly how to do it? There will be sometimes I do from a safety and occupational health and safety viewpoint, yes. There might be in some processes a particular need to carry it out in a particular way. But apart from that, what I’m really saying is create the environment for motivation. Because it then becomes external, it becomes you doing it, it’s not me, forcing the issue.

Bill Gasiamis 53:28
Yeah, I like that. It’s about finding ways that are going to motivate people to move towards something that they want to achieve experience. And then layering all those things in and actually more importantly, realizing what’s missing from the group of things that are going to help motivation.

Bill Gasiamis 53:51
So for example, in my recovery, what would have been missing the most was the right surgeon. So initially, I began the process with having enough of an understanding of what I wanted in my recovery, what I wanted to know that the initial surgeon wasn’t the right surgeon, for me, the way that they were communicating the way that they were understanding my vision, the way that they were being empathetic to my situation didn’t suit me one bit, and I couldn’t have a conversation with them.

Bill Gasiamis 54:35
They were having conversations about me at the bed with other people and I wasn’t being involved in the conversation. So I felt out of the loop. So what I had to do was I had to find the right surgeon so that I could tick off another one of those things in my checklist for how I was going to go about my recovery and it had to start with the surgeon that was going to open my head.

Bill Gasiamis 54:58
Once I found that person then I was able to move forward to the next part of the decision, which was to actually decide to have the surgery. And it took me three years to decide to have the brain surgery. And that was three years of risk, where I had to risk the possibility of another bleed, and a more catastrophic version of a bleed, and therefore, more debilitating illnesses and all the stuff that goes along with a catastrophic bleed in the head.

Bill Gasiamis 55:26
So that part was how I motivated myself to actually get the surgery. constant communication, lots of empathy from that person really enabled me to become emotionally resilient, helped me achieve my vision and my values, and then kind of supported me to get to know myself in this situation in this recovery, so that I can trust in myself when I was leading myself out of this deep hole that I had suddenly found myself in.

Leadership in recovery

Bill Gasiamis 56:04
And that brings me to the last part in your model is the trust in your leadership. And that is really interesting, because a lot of people will second guess, what they’re doing and how they’re going about their recovery, they’ll second guess, some aspects, some people will second guessed all aspects. And when they’re doing that, that really doesn’t support a really great outcome. So how do you build trust? Or does that actually emerge from putting all those other things in place?

Mike 56:38
Absolutely. And you gave a perfect example of trust in your leadership by you taking that three years. I’m not saying everyone should take three years. What I am saying is, if you go back to that first thing, where are we now? Where do I want to be? How do I get there?

Mike 56:59
Then the how do I get there is all of the stuff that we’ve been talking about know yourself, have enough understanding of your emotional capacity to deal with the challenges and the way that you can go through the fear and through what the walls that are coming up, the next thing is better and improve communication, so that you’re actually starting to work with people who you’re trusting.

Mike 57:35
Now, that’s actually leadership, because ultimately, the outcome you want is yours. In this particular case, it’s your own life and your own particular recovery from from stroke. But sometimes, I don’t want my bigger boss telling me how to then tell a whole pile of other people.

Mike 57:56
I have built an environment where my boss knows he can trust me to deliver what I’m going to do. So trust in my leadership is, Who am I going to delegate tasks to? How am I going to check that somebody has the skill, the tools, the understanding, the ability of what I wanted, you know, in your case, the things that you knew were a risk for you, of not having boxes ticked.

Mike 58:30
That was important. Now that ultimately in leadership terms is what’s called transformational leadership. The transactional stuff, how do you actually do a particular task can be easily done, somebody got a certificate tech, they should be able to ask some questions.

Mike 58:50
Yes, that doctor knew exactly what the next doctor or surgeon knew, tick tick. But what they didn’t have was an ability to communicate with you, that got you feeling that you were part of the equation, and were being understood and that that person was talking to you in a way that you felt, hey, it is all about a team thing. And I happen to be the, you know, very much a key of this whole thing.

Mike 59:22
So trust in your leadership is all of the other six things. Yeah, all of the other six characteristics. It’s knowing yourself, it’s having a vision for what you want to achieve, what’s the outcome I’m trying to achieve? It’s on the other side, it’s being able to communicate effectively.

Mike 59:46
It’s having the emotional intelligence to be able to have people sometimes come to you like like you were with a surgeon initially, and saying Hey, I’ve got some questions, and he doesn’t even understand why you should you’re just, you know, you’re not a surgeon, I really don’t have to explain it to you. Well, Whoa, hang on, I need to understand the process. I’ve got a brain and I need to let it be, you know, sorted out?

Bill Gasiamis 1:00:19
Yeah. Yep. I love that. I love that emerging trust that occurs when you put those other things in place. And that’s where I found myself, I did find myself really trusting my decision making, even though my head wasn’t really working properly, even I had cognitive issues, my decision making seemed to be working really well.

Bill Gasiamis 1:00:41
And I made the right decisions moving forward. And I never regretted any my decisions. They, it meant that I had to experience two more brain blades between the first one and then brain surgery. But it wasn’t the end of the world, the fact that I experienced those, and then had a lot of setbacks and a lot of fear and a lot of concern, and, obviously, the risk of dying from that, right.

Bill Gasiamis 1:01:07
But overall, we worked it out. Now, that model that we spoke about, has at the top of the model results and performance. And then in the middle of the model has another triangle that has trust, purpose, alignment, conversations and engagement. That model was the one that basically allowed you to write the book, The Emerging Leader.

Bill Gasiamis 1:01:35
And then you’ve added some stuff to the model that’s taken that model to the next level, which we’ll talk about now, which led to the book Effective Leaders. Let’s talk about now what takes the model to the next level? What are those four additional things that enhance that?

The four attributes

Mike 1:01:57
Okay, the four things is, well, first of all, one of the things, I put it into workplace engagement that you just mentioned in that triangle of the first model. And trust is absolutely a key. But it got lost if you like in the model, it’s fine when you’re just talking about the seven characteristics.

Mike 1:02:22
But if you look at it for effective leadership as a total goal, then it has to be the foundation. So first of all, we have to have trust, and trustworthiness between what I do and how, you know, I walk my talk, what I say I’m going to do I mean, if you think about what do I mean by trustworthiness, dependability, reliability, lack of self interest, consistency, they’re the things that are fundamental to trustworthiness.

Mike 1:03:05
I’m not manipulative, I don’t work in my communication, to get you to do something that really isn’t in your best interest. Okay, so there’s the foundation. Now on top of that, mainly because of I ended up with a lot of people coming back to me and saying, I really liked that first book, Mike, I really liked the book.

Mike 1:03:33
But you didn’t tell enough stories. Now, I told quite a few stories in the first book. But writing a book when you’ve never done one. One is quite a challenge. And two, I had a lot of things I wanted to get out as a guide. There’s four guidelines in the book, the first one.

Mike 1:03:55
And so there were things that I could have talked about, but it probably wasn’t the right time. Whereas people coming back to me and saying, oh, you know, have you ever experienced, you know, such and such? And I’d say yes, well, it really took courage to be able to do that.

Mike 1:04:17
And so I started thinking about to be able to actually do the seven things that are characteristics of good leaders actually took respect. By respect, what do I mean about respect? I’ve analyzed it in the second book The Effective Leaders by saying it covers diversity. It covers gender equality, gender equity, gender inclusion.

Mike 1:04:54
Why should a man get paid more than a woman to do exactly the same job with the same qualifications, there’s no reason other than equality. Why are some jobs which are virtually considered female jobs paid at a lower rate than really their value is. The other thing with respect is culture.

Mike 1:05:27
There’s lots of cultures in in Australia. And a lot of us don’t understand the culture. In fact, we get frightened about the fact that somebody wants to pray in the middle of the day, and somebody else wants to not work on a Saturday or whatever it might be. Everyone has the right in Australia, or should have the right to look at their culture.

Mike 1:05:56
The one thing that I can’t understand as a migrant from Scotland, to Australia, and I came out here in the late 70s was, I saw the places basically, a fair go until I’d been here for about a year and started realizing that there was some deep down division.

Mike 1:06:21
It was okay, if you had been an Irishman, it wasn’t quite the same if you were an Italian, it wasn’t quite the same. If you’re a slob or whatever. You play soccer rather than football, there must be something slightly wrong without understanding the different cultures.

Mike 1:06:42
Now, my brother’s actually married to an Aboriginal lady, who when I first came out here, I really didn’t understand what she was so passionate about. She’s now an elder in Tasmania. And so I decided in the book, to go to an Aboriginal elder and say, What would you if I gave you the space to put an article together.

Mike 1:07:12
What would you want politicians to actually understand about Aboriginal needs? Aboriginal culture, Aboriginal empowerment, rather than what is happening in Australia regarding that now, without becoming political, all I’m really flagging is there are questions that good leaders effective leaders need to understand that their vision of let’s say, an Anglo Saxon way of doing things is not necessarily the right way for other people in Australia, the color of your skin shouldn’t determine it.

Mike 1:07:53
The next real key takeaway of these four attributes, as I call them, is courage. It takes courage sometimes to say to a boss above you, I’m not happy with that, that does not align with what the company’s values are. I can’t ask the team to do that, because we haven’t got the right resources.

Mike 1:08:18
And I’d be putting the people at risk. I’m happy to ask the team to work for a certain length of time doing overtime, if they’ll do that. But to do it long term, is detrimental to their health, their well being and their safety overall. So I stand up for what I believe is right, what I’m responsible for, it takes courage.

Mike 1:08:45
It takes courage sometimes to bring somebody and empower them to do something and step away and give them the opportunity and not micromanage them. That takes courage. The next key attribute is integrity. Being transparent, being trustworthy, being aligned with what you say you will do.

Mike 1:09:16
And the final one is agility. Now, agility is a buzzword in today’s world, but what I mean by that is the ability to talk up and talk down and talk across in the language that people can understand. And it’s called style flexing so that you can communicate in a way that lets people understand what you want, where you’re coming from and so on. In leadership terms, that’s absolutely critical.

Mike 1:09:54
In emotional terms, emotional agility is having that ability. We talked about it earlier. On that ability to understand where you are in a bigger group of people. And finally, in terms of the agility in terms of the overall effective leadership, what parts of what we’re doing relative to the characteristics and so on?

Mike 1:10:22
Do I need to be agile in at times? So what I’m saying is, life is going to ball you up from time to time the difficult challenge of having to lay somebody off having a difficult conversation when things aren’t working? Do you throw that to somebody else, throw it to the HR department, or whatever?

Mike 1:10:48
Or do you have the courage and the leadership agility to be able to have those difficult conversations, and either rectify what the problem is, or communicate in a way that doesn’t go and throw the blame upwards or sideways, that actually the person moves on but realize is, you’ve done your best to make sure that they understand you’ve got their back, you’ve got put in place some support, as they move on to a different job, or whatever it might be.

Cultural diversity

Bill Gasiamis 1:11:24
Yeah, I feel like this second aspect of our conversation has shifted quite a lot from where I tried to merge your model of the Emerging Leader into self leadership and my recovery to now I think, I feel like this really fits really well with people who are supporting others to recover, especially the aspect of the diverse nature of the Australian community.

Bill Gasiamis 1:11:49
And when you’re trying to apply rehabilitation tools and services to, you know, this such diverse society, that if you have a model that’s not flexible, that’s not agile, that is unable to respect everybody’s differences, and is unable to be used by the entire community that it’s really going to fall over, it’s not really going to support the majority of stroke survivors to overcome the deficits and the challenges that they’ve experienced because of the stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 1:12:26
And I feel like it’s a beautiful model for people who are leading in those roles of supporting occupational therapists and personal therapists to understand the role that they play in having an open mind, and having a methodology that actually takes all these things into consideration.

Bill Gasiamis 1:12:56
And then when it doesn’t, and when you’ve spent some time implementing something that doesn’t work, or isn’t as inclusive, having the courage to recognize that, and then make changes where it’s appropriate. And even if that means it’s gonna take a lot of work and a lot of effort, what I can do is, we can still start that process by just acknowledging the fact that, hey, maybe the model is awesome for supporting the majority of the Christian population.

Bill Gasiamis 1:13:31
But there’s a portion of the Muslim population, who wouldn’t be comfortable with male personal therapists, for example, rehabilitating female stroke survivors. And maybe we need to allow for that and find a way to make that possible, by giving them a space within the facility that allows them a two be rehabilitated in privacy that serves their religious views.

Bill Gasiamis 1:14:02
Or their cultural views, and also allows them to not have to worry about this additional layer of I’m not going to go down this path of recovery because I can’t do it under your current model, and therefore that minimizes the possibility for them to have the most resources thrown at them for recovery.

Mike 1:14:37
Yeah, absolutely right. And in my view, there are going to be times when the courage side of that is absolutely critical. The person who is coming up with the plan has the courage to be able to say to the hospital, or to the group that they’re in, these are issues that need to be taken into account.

Mike 1:15:07
And when you know if you think about, I’m thinking of it from a leadership viewpoint, but minority groups, at times feel almost privileged that they’ve got a role job. And, and are almost at times prepared to give up what what another person would see as a given, it’s their right, the other person is I’m not going to go and rock the boat, because what might happen is, I might lose my job in the next round of looking at things or when it’s appropriate for the boss to get rid of some people.

Mike 1:15:51
I might be the first to go, because I challenged something, so what you’re looking at is in my view, the model for the second book, the end of the first part of the whole of the second book, is a lot of effective leaders who were moved by my first book, or were people who I knew from managing directors, right down to guys that are supervisors on inquiries.

Mike 1:16:27
So I’ve got somebody like Paul Constantino, who is now the chairman of or was the chairman of the quest service department group. But he founded that company, way back in the late 70s. And wrote as written a terrific article for my book on vision and values, and spells it out really well. So the first part of the book was lots of stories that reinforce the value of those seven core characteristics.

Mike 1:17:03
And then what I’ve done for the four attributes that underpin that model, is I got somebody to write somebody who was a real subject matter expert, on agility, somebody that would write on integrity, I got two people to write on integrity, I got people to write on courage.

Mike 1:17:31
And I got people that would write from an Aboriginal viewpoint on diversity, relative to culture. It’s so important Bill, in my view, and I think in this last 12 months, we’ve seen politicians struggling with open communication to Australians, about what’s important to us, what’s important to us as a community, and they’re still playing the politics, party wise, or whatever, of what they want to achieve, for reasons that aren’t necessarily what’s important to the community. And we’ve really got to get back to that.

Intro 1:18:18
I think the leadership has let us down a lot in every level of government, and regardless of which side of politics you vote for, and or don’t vote for. And it’s happened globally. And we seem to be following a similar path to what the United States is following by the amount of division that’s occurring.

Bill Gasiamis 1:18:40
And I think that everyone that I speak to, will be and again, regardless of which side of politics they’re on, feel really comfortable with agreeing the fact that division has never been more so than it is now. And what we need is less division, we need to find where our similarities are, and come together.

Bill Gasiamis 1:19:04
And some of the challenges that I think I’ve overcome by interviewing now 170 odd people around this podcast about stroke recovery is that each and every one of them wants the exact same outcome for their life, they want to live comfortably, safely, you know, fed with a roof over their head dry, with as little ill health as possible.

Bill Gasiamis 1:19:38
And they all had a stroke. But the reason for it was all different. And each and every one of those people comes from a different background, a different part of the world, a different upbringing. But really, it’s not a lot that we want that’s different. Everyone wants exactly the same things.

Bill Gasiamis 1:20:01
So knowing where were the same should be the focus. And yet what we’re doing is focusing on where, where we’re different. And I think that leadership is lacking for self, because our leaders leading us at state or country level, are really not true leaders, they seem to me to be pseudo leaders, they’re in a role that should be occupied by a leader.

Bill Gasiamis 1:20:38
But they don’t actually have all the attributes necessary to make, in my opinion, a true leader, a real leader, and therefore, they are the unfortunate example of how we need to lead people, but then also how we lead ourselves. And we’re getting caught up in this whole situation, that seems to be solving problems on the short term basis, but isn’t solving problems on a long term basis.

Bill Gasiamis 1:21:11
And what we’re doing is putting out fires, and not realizing that every fire we’re putting out we’re lighting two more, and we’re doing that to our personal lives, we’re doing that to our work lives, we’re doing that to our business lives. And we’re doing that, whilst trying to recover from the complexity of a stroke.

Losing trust

Mike 1:21:36
If you think about the other, take the model, the whole effective leaders model, the foundation being trust, and what you’ve just talked about, is we’ve lost trust. We actually don’t trust politicians, we don’t trust a lot of people that write stuff on all the papers, newspapers, and so on. That’s the real big challenge we’ve got, once we’ve actually done that the politics of how we have communication comes from leaders that are able to accept there can be several views about a particular subject.

Mike 1:22:19
But it’s worthy of having open discussion about it. And in the case that you were talking about you taking three years to decide what you wanted to sign off on, because it was your life. And you felt that you needed to feel aligned with the person that was going to put your life at risk, really understand that they had your not just your best interest.

Mike 1:22:49
Because probably the first guy had your best interest, but he didn’t know how to end up creating that bond with you. I think that’s what I challenge. That’s why I’m writing these three books as a trilogy, and then I will peacefully retire and just be me and ride my motorbike.

Bill Gasiamis 1:23:10
That’s perfect man, I am definitely comes down to trust at the end. That’s what I think. I’ve realized just now when we spoke about that is I did not trust that previous surgeon with that approach. I did trust the actual surgeon who did open my head, you know, Professor, Kate Drummond.

Bill Gasiamis 1:23:31
And she just made it all about me. She was the expertise in the process. And she had the team that was going to deliver the outcome for me, which was to remove this faulty blood vessel so that it doesn’t bleed again. And they were going to take all measures to minimize risk to my outcome.

Bill Gasiamis 1:23:56
And therefore, I just felt like, I could completely trust her and I literally put my life in her hands. And I didn’t feel like I can do that. With too many people when you’re going through this. And to be able to do that means that I go into that surgery feeling a lot calmer, a lot more relaxed.

Bill Gasiamis 1:24:20
And I create a better version of myself so that they are dealing with a patient that’s more likely to have a good outcome. And then we we get a better result overall. So I love how we’ve merged your business books of in on the topic of leadership into recovery and stroke recovery, and then also into the rehabilitation side of it with the second book.

Bill Gasiamis 1:24:47
Because I thought it was going to be a challenge but in fact, it’s quite easy to merge. The two topics the people that are listening to this have been led by people are leading themselves have been In misled by people and have misled themselves. So hopefully they get a lot out of that they’ve worked in corporations, they’ve worked for bosses.

Bill Gasiamis 1:25:08
And they’ve been bosses. So hopefully, they see that these things that they’ve learned in the past are applicable to their recovery. And that they can continue investigating how they can apply corporate leadership, effective corporate leadership, into an effective recovery after something as serious as a stroke.

Mike 1:25:32
Now, can I say one other thing, I’m in the sales mode at the moment, but I’ve got a special on up to as a launch for the book. But it’s going to run until the 19th of December. So if you like a Christmas special, you can buy both the books. And if you’re in the Melbourne area, I will have them delivered for you, it gives me an opportunity to jump on the back of the motorbike and take them out around Melbourne.

Mike 1:26:06
I will deliver totally the two book deal free of charge for delivery. And I’ve got the two books going out for $61. And it was then $9 to deliver them but $60. And I will deliver them free. Or you can go on to Amazon and buy the Kindle version if you want to read it. And I think that’s $10

Bill Gasiamis 1:26:40
Yep, fabulous. And if you’re listening from overseas, people can go to strategically.com.au. And they can head to the page where the books are located. And they can click the Buy Now button. And they can get a bit of an intro into Mike and his work. And they can pick up both books there and have them delivered as well. Is that right, Mike?

Mike 1:27:06
That’s exactly right. Now the other thing is, well, Bill, for anyone that’s listening to this and they go into that website, you’ve just given them strategically.com.au and go into my books. There’s lots of downloadable, free downloadables there are videos, there are people who’ve written articles and allowed me to use them. And all of the references that are made in the first book are there for you to have, there’s no cost to any of that. They’re totally free. downloadables.

Bill Gasiamis 1:27:46
Fantastic Mike. Thanks so much for being on the podcast.

Mike 1:27:49
No, I loved it. Thanks very much indeed, Bill. And good luck to you and your continuing health recovery.

Bill Gasiamis 1:27:57
Well, thanks for listening. Do you ever wish there was just one place to go for resources, advice and support in your stroke recovery? Whether you’ve been navigating your journey for weeks, months or years, I know firsthand how difficult it can be to get the answers you need.

Bill Gasiamis 1:28:12
This road is both physically and mentally challenging. From reclaiming your independence to getting back to work to rebuilding your confidence in more. You symptoms don’t follow a rulebook and as soon as you leave the hospital you no longer have medical professionals on tap. I know for me it felt as if I was teaching myself a new language from scratch with no native speaker inside.

Bill Gasiamis 1:28:32
If this sounds like you, I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone and there is a better way to navigate your recovery and build a fulfilling life that you love. I’ve created an inclusive, supportive and accessible membership community called recovery after stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 1:28:46
This all in one support and Resource Program is designed to help you take your health into your own hands. This is your guidebook through every step in your journey from reducing fatigue, to strengthening your brain health to overcoming anxiety and more. To find out more and to join the community just head to recoveryafterstroke.com Thanks for listening and see you on the next episode.

Intro 1:29:07
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 1:29:24
All content on this website at any linked blog, podcast or video material controlled this website or content is created and produced for informational purposes only and is largely based on the personal experience of Bill Gasiamis the content is intended to complement your medical treatment and support healing.

Intro 1:29:41
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 did not use our content as a standalone resource to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease for therapeutic purposes or is this substitute for the advice of a health professional.

Intro 1:30:02
Never delay seeking advice or disregard the advice of a medical professional, your doctor or your rehabilitation program based on our content. If you have any questions or concerns about your health or medical condition please seek guidance from a doctor or other medical professional if you are experiencing a health emergency or think you might, be call triple zero if in Australia or your local emergency number immediately for emergency assistance.

Intro 1:30:24
Or go to the nearest hospital emergency department medical information changes constantly. While we aim to provide current quality information in our content. We do not provide any guarantees and assume no legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, currency or completeness of the content. If you choose to rely on any information within our content, you do so solely at your own risk. We are careful with links we provide however third party links from our website are followed at your own risk and we are not responsible for any information you find there.

The post Applying The Concept Of Corporate Leadership To Stroke Recovery – Mike Cameron appeared first on Recovery After Stroke.

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Mike Cameron is a leadership coach and the author of the books, Effective Leader and The Emerging Leader. Mike Cameron is a leadership coach and the author of the books, Effective Leader and The Emerging Leader. Recovery After Stroke 1:30:54
Spontaneous Vertebral Artery Dissection – Steve Molter https://recoveryafterstroke.com/spontaneous-vertebral-artery-dissection-steve-molter/ Mon, 06 Dec 2021 14:23:13 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8453 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/spontaneous-vertebral-artery-dissection-steve-molter/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/spontaneous-vertebral-artery-dissection-steve-molter/feed/ 0 <p>Steve Molter was 33 when he experienced a stroke as a result of a spontaneous vertebral artery dissection. Since then he have overcome much and considers the stroke one of the best things that has ever happened.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/spontaneous-vertebral-artery-dissection-steve-molter/">Spontaneous Vertebral Artery Dissection – Steve Molter</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Steve Molter was 33 when he experienced a stroke as a result of a spontaneous vertebral artery dissection. Since then he have overcome much and considers the stroke one of the best things that has ever happened.

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

02:13 Introduction
03:24 Thanksgiving
13:47 Stroke At 33
18:32 Spontaneous Vertebral Artery Dissection
24:19 Bill’s Recovery
35:39 Facing Mortality
42:35 Competitive Mindset In Stroke Recovery
50:51 Preparing Yourself
1:00:41 Team Management
1:11:19 Dealing With The Deficits
1:25:23 Seeking Out Support
1:35:37 Finding Joy In Passion

Steve 0:00
We have to say, Hey, it’s okay to fail. It’s okay to make mistakes. It’s okay if I don’t have all the answers. And it’s okay to rely on people who feel like they might be unreliable. But maybe they’re not because we have to give them a chance.

Steve 0:12
And I can sense for you that there was a lot of pressure on you at the time. And it sounds like there’s a lot of growth happening for everyone as well. But, you know, I didn’t have that experience.

Steve 0:25
But I did have the pressure on myself to be well, and I had no control of that, really, you know, I did of course, I do eat well, and not overexert myself on these types of things. But at the end of the day, I still hold myself to a very high standard, and I still have to cut yourself some slack. You know, a lot of the time and I don’t do that. And that’s not fair.

Intro 0:54
This is the recovery after stroke podcast, with Bill Gasiamis, helping you navigate recovery after stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 1:07
Hello, and welcome to recovery after stroke a podcast full of answers, advice and practical tools for stroke survivors to help you take back your life after a stroke and build a stronger future.

Bill Gasiamis 1:18
I’m your host three-time stroke survivor Bill Gasiamis. After my own life was turned upside down and I went from being an active father to be stuck in hospital. I knew if I wanted to get back to the life I loved the for my recovery was up to me.

Bill Gasiamis 1:31
After years of researching and discovering I learned how to heal my brain and rebuild a healthier and happier life than I ever dreamed possible. And now I’ve made it my mission to empower other stroke survivors like you to recover faster, achieve your goals and take back the freedom you deserve.

Bill Gasiamis 1:48
If you enjoy this episode and want more resources, accessible training and hands on support, check out my recovery after stroke membership community created especially for stroke survivors and caregivers.

Bill Gasiamis 1:59
This is your clear pathway to transform your symptoms, reduce your anxiety and navigate your journey to recovery with confidence, head to recoveryafterstroke.com To find out more after this episode.

Introduction – Steve Molter

Steve Molter
Bill Gasiamis 2:13
But for now, let’s dive right into today’s show. This is episode 171. And my guest today is Steve Molter, who experienced a spontaneous vertebral artery dissection, aged 33 which caused a stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 2:30
This episode was recorded the day after Thanksgiving. And it begins with giving thanks for some of the things important to us. Steve Molter, welcome to the podcast.

Steve 2:41
Thank you, Bill. It’s awesome to be here. I’m grateful for the time, It’s been a few months since I think we started corresponding. And finally, I felt like oh my gosh, I have time. And here we go. So it’s the day after Thanksgiving here. But it’s a very chill day. So I’m glad we got to chat.

Bill Gasiamis 2:59
Happy Thanksgiving for you. And all the American, Canadian people who have Thanksgiving. Tell me about that. Actually, what’s Thanksgiving about because people in Australia don’t have that. Because it had something to do with a specific event in America. And as a result, we don’t know what that is.

Thanksgiving


Steve 3:24
Yeah. I mean, you know, if I can go back to my grade school days, remembering what I was told, it was about the Native Americans, spending time with the settlers, the early settlers and sharing a meal and spending time together in community.

Steve 3:44
So I treat Thanksgiving a little differently than I think the typical family would maybe I’m not a big fan of holidays, I don’t know why I just like don’t really get the spirit, you know what I mean?

Steve 3:56
But for Thanksgiving, when I was single I would just write music by myself, I would just like, shut myself away, write music all day. And just do that. That was like my way to celebrate.

Steve 4:07
And now I’m married and we kind of just chill. We actually just got back from a trip yesterday. So on Thanksgiving, we flew back and just hung out played with our cats just relaxed, had some food, a couple drinks, you know, chill out.

Steve 4:19
So for me, it’s like providing that gratitude space to my wife especially, but to the people that I care about, you know, just want to show thanks. So I guess it does come full circle. You know.

Bill Gasiamis 4:31
I love that idea of just doing nothing and just chilling out for once. You know, one time a year. I mean, it’s such a great thing. And I think I share your sentiments about the holidays is because people make such a fuss about one day and it takes so long to get there. And I go over and over and over and it’s like, by the end of it. It’s I think everyone is missing actually what the day is about.

Steve 4:59
It becomes so stressful, right?

Bill Gasiamis 5:00
Yeah.

Steve 5:01
You know planning and coordinating and cooking and the whole thing. And it’s like so much work.

Bill Gasiamis 5:07
And I’m happy to have people over. But for me, in my mind, it’s like, on this day, come over for lunch, and stay as long as you want. And that’s it. And if you can make it, come. And if you can’t don’t, if you can bring something, bring it, if you can’t don’t.

Bill Gasiamis 5:27
That’s what I’d like to do. But that, of course, that doesn’t go down well, in my world, we have to fuss about it and make a whole song and dance about it, and then becomes about all the other things.

Bill Gasiamis 5:41
And it’s not about having other people over, that you want to have over or you want to see. And then it’s like, what time can we come over, because we’ve got to go over there. And then we’re gonna go there. And it’s like, oh, my gosh, guys, I’m just gonna be here. And I’m telling you, if you can just come over. That’s it.

Steve 6:01
That’s the way to go. So I live in Los Angeles, California, right now, I grew up outside of Boston, Massachusetts. So it’s like the other side of the country. And when I was living in LA for a very long time, and I go back to visit, and it was so challenging to see everyone because of scheduling.

Steve 6:18
And so I would just be like, Alright, I’m going to be at this place, from this period of time to this period of time, come hang out, if you can’t, I would love to see you. And if you can’t, that’s okay. We’ll see you next time I will talk or whatever. And I feel you deeply with that.

Bill Gasiamis 6:32
A friend of mine is moving from Melbourne, Australia, to Queensland, Australia. And she’s somebody that we just interact with on Facebook, because we grew up together, we went to school together, but we haven’t really hung out for 25 years or so.

Bill Gasiamis 6:46
And there’s a group of people on these Facebook groups, you know, similar from a similar place in our world, in our mutual world. And she basically said, Look, we’re going to be moving to Queensland, and I’d love to catch up with everybody.

Bill Gasiamis 7:01
But she made the one fatal mistake. She didn’t say, on this day, I’m going to be in this bar for this many hours. If you’re in Melbourne, and you can come I’d love to see you. So what should this she put it out there to about 10 people? What are you guy’s availability?

Bill Gasiamis 7:17
How about this bar? And how about that bar? And I just switched off all the notifications. I’m going to go back in, I’m going to check the date. If it works I’m going to go if I can’t, I’m just going to send her a message and say all the best and leave it at that. See you on Facebook.

Steve 7:36
Exactly. It’s the way to go. Absolutely.

Bill Gasiamis 7:39
Before we get stuck right into the episode, I want to actually talk about Thanksgiving, it falls on the anniversary of the day that I had brain surgery.

Steve 7:50
Oh, wow.

Bill Gasiamis 7:51
So I didn’t realize that until just this year. How about that. That’s an awesome way for me to remember, the anniversary of my brain surgery was also the day of the Patron Saint Catherine.

Bill Gasiamis 8:05
So in Greece, it’s a big deal this St. Catherine’s Day or any patron saint day. So you know, everybody who is a Catherine celebrates that name day, I suppose. And I’m thankful for a really good outcome after surgery. I’m thankful for the stroke. I’m thankful for all the roadblocks.

Bill Gasiamis 8:29
I’m thankful for the podcast and I’m thankful for the people I’ve met through that thankful for the people that have asked for help. Who have come forward to say, you know, can we get coaching I’m thankful for that entire nine-year journey since February 2012, which is when my journey started.

Bill Gasiamis 8:49
And I’m thankful for the shitty shit that goes with it. Because it just reminds me that I’m alive, you know, and I’m ready to solve more problems, all I got to do is continue to solve problems. And some of those solutions aren’t the best, but they’re solutions you know, and I get, I get to move forward and I get to kind of put them behind me.

Bill Gasiamis 9:15
So that’s what I’m thankful for. And then today, finally, I’m thankful for you being here right now in California and I’m here in Australia in Melbourne and we’re sharing this amazing technology that brings us together from so far away I mean that’s next level.

Steve 9:34
it’s It’s unreal. I really appreciate you calling out the gratitude for the strokes themselves, you know, we’ll get into the whole thing but when I meet people and I tell them I’m a stroke survivor and I go, Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry.

Steve 9:47
I’m like no it was like, probably one of the best things that’s ever happened to me outside of like meeting my wife, you know, one of the best things that’s ever happened because it showed me who I was, you know, and I was able to learn what I was made of when I was in the point when I was like, oh, like, This doesn’t look good.

Steve 10:06
But I didn’t know. And you know, there’s like a sense of I don’t want to use the word humor. But there was definitely a sense, I brought a sense of humor into the hospital when I was in there, you know what I mean? And I was grateful that the nurses and the doctors were able to share that space with me that they weren’t so serious, but it felt serious, right.

Steve 10:31
But we were able to kind of go into a space of joy, even though it was scary times. So I’m grateful that you bring that up, you know, we shared our initial strokes in the same year. So mine was September 11, 2012. That’s when I had my first stroke. Yeah, exactly.

Steve 10:51
And it’s funny because that day will always be shared, right. And that’s fine. But I celebrate on mine, I have like a party, you know, generally just have some friends over and we just celebrate my survival. And it’s great. We just do nothing special. But it’s a special day.

Steve 11:15
But I’ve I share that with such a, like you said infamous day, it’s kind of tough to say go out and celebrate loudly. So I just kind of do it on the subtle. But I’m grateful that I have the opportunity to celebrate do that I have the opportunity to do something positive on that day, which is so brutal, you know, for so many.

Bill Gasiamis 11:35
Yeah, it’s your day too right? So you’re entitled to celebrate it however you want. And you’re not being insensitive. Actually, what, what I love about a lot of non-greek people is that they celebrate life on the day of somebody’s funeral, or death or whatever they actually celebrate the life of the person.

Bill Gasiamis 11:57
And in Greek culture where my parents come from, there isn’t that you actually mourn. And you don’t really celebrate the life you don’t speak about where their person came from, what they achieved what they did, you just get together and you’re being miserable about it.

Bill Gasiamis 12:12
And it’s kind of there’s a use for that as well. But I can see the other side of celebrating life, right. And just because this historical event happened, doesn’t mean that you can’t celebrate your recovery. I mean, if I was involved in something like September 11, and I survived that, I would be celebrating the heck out of that going, Man, I made it out of there, you know?

Steve 12:39
Absolutely. Yeah, that’s the morning. There’s a there’s a grief period, right? There’s absolutely a period that you have to explore your grief, allow your grief to come in. But you can’t live there, you can’t stay there, you have to move on, you have to grow, you have to change, you have to flourish, right? That’s what life is.

Steve 13:02
It’s for people to flourish for people to shine. And you know, I was alone at the period when mine kind of took place. And so like, I didn’t have a wife, I didn’t have a girlfriend, I had just one family member in LA.

Steve 13:19
But I still felt protected. And I still felt safe. Even though I was like, Well, I’m not sure if this is gonna, you know, I don’t know what’s gonna happen. But I still felt safe. And that’s the thing I celebrate, right, that response, that connection that I have with people that I’ve made since then and had made prior right. So yeah, it’s an interesting process of grieving. And then celebrating when you are no longer grieving, right?

Stroke At 33

Steve Molter
Bill Gasiamis 13:47
How old were you?

Steve 13:50
My gosh, now I’m gonna tape myself 33. I was 33 at the time. So I was like young ish. And what I learned at the time was that it’s actually not that young, like, statistically, it’s not terribly unlikely for someone in their 30s to have a stroke. It’s not the majority.

Steve 14:12
But I was 33. And I had just gotten back from a wedding. One of my best friends got married, and I was his best man. And I was on the boat. It was in Catalina, which is an island off the coast of California. And we were on a boat the two nights before the wedding.

Steve 14:29
And we were just, chill, just chill. Like having a couple of drinks. Having a couple laughs listening to music hanging out. And all of a sudden I just got like a really bad headache. I felt like nauseous. I was like I’m just gonna stop drinking. I’m gonna chill out sit on the side of the you know, just sit down.

Steve 14:48
And I got back to the hotel not the hotel we were saying in a friend’s house, got back and I just took ibuprofen to like, maybe it was a headache or migraine, I don’t know. Took ibuprofen and it doubled the pain a little bit.

Steve 15:00
But it was this deep, sort of like ache in my neck in the back of my neck just below the base of my skull on the right side. And that just began the whole process of like, you know, that was the beginning.

Steve 15:15
And then five days later, there’s so much detail and I’m not going to go into every detail. But you know, the wedding went off of that hits, I gave my speech, it was awesome. We danced, we laughed, we had fun, everybody had a great time. And then we got back to California to LA.

Steve 15:30
And it was like, five days later, it was September 11. And I went to work, and I just started getting like blurry splotches in my vision, just like, I was like, what was that? So I went to my eye doctor, he’s like, I don’t see anything.

Steve 15:44
You know, I can’t tell. He’s like, I just don’t see anything. And then I went to lunch, and I was working on a speech, I was actually another best man. Like the following month, I was gonna be another best man for another one of my best friends.

Steve 15:58
And I was working on the speech at lunch. And I worked in Santa Monica at the time, and just like overlooking the ocean of beautiful, and I was walking back to my office. And I remember seeing a tree like a palm tree.

Steve 16:12
And the palm tree was really tall, and they were cutting it down. And so the way you cut a palm tree down, is you take off the head first. So there’s like so they go up and they like be headed. And so I thought that was funny. And I was like, Oh, that’s funny. They’re like be heading the tree. And so I took a picture.

Steve 16:28
And the second I took that picture, my vision went to like a pinhole, and I got nauseous and headache and you know, the pain hit. And I didn’t lose consciousness, but I was able to find myself to a bench and ultimately get help and get to the hospital.

Steve 16:46
It was scary. You know, I mean, you know, it’s scary to be like, I thought it was a migraine. You know, I had no idea. And I’m like, trained, I was trained at the time to recognize stroke. But good luck on doing it on yourself, you know, because I was just like, there’s no way it can be anything that bad. You just don’t believe it. I didn’t believe it at the time. You know?

Bill Gasiamis 17:07
What kind of training did you have?

Steve 17:10
So it was like, you know, I honestly don’t remember what it’s called. But it’s like emergency training. So recognizing stroke, how to deal with like people who have heart attacks, strokes, CPR, that type of training, first aid. That’s the word I should know by now.

Steve 17:28
So basically just kind of standard first aid training that a few people at the office got trained on every year, and I was one of those folks at the time. So, but I was completely subjective. You know, I was like, I don’t know it must be a migraine, because this is what migraines feel like as what people told me.

Bill Gasiamis 17:47
You know, so that five days prior to that, did you have other signs and symptoms as well? Or was that initial thing that you experienced and then you decided to put the drink down? Was that it? Did it go away? Or did it kind of resonate?

Steve 18:04
It kind of stayed? And so it’s a good question, because at first it was just like a dull ache. And so the ibuprofen kinda helped, but not really, I recognize now that it wasn’t helping at all. But you know, the clot basically, I’ll tell you exactly what happened in a moment, but, the symptoms that I were feeling was just like ache pain, and like I wanted to crack my neck, I wanted to like stretch it, you know, I just, felt like tight, and I just wanted to stretch it.

Steve Molter Had A Spontaneous Vertebral Artery Dissection

Steve 18:32
And when I got home and it was the morning of the night before the 11th. So the night of September 10. I went to sleep and I again took ibuprofen I tried to like sleep on my head so that it was stretched because I thought it was like a muscle thing. It was not.

Steve 18:39
And then I woke up the next day and you know, ultimately got to the hospital. When I got to the hospital, they didn’t know what it was they gave me meds for migraine because I was like, I think it’s migraine. They didn’t know they couldn’t see anything wrong.

Steve 19:02
I looked fine. I didn’t have the, you know, loss of muscle. You know, it was just I looked normal. I can do all the things I could see when they did the visual test. I could see through my pinhole perfectly. So like my, you know, it was just like, they didn’t know what was going on. And it took until the next day when I had another stroke.

Steve 19:23
So it was the same injury but another, you know, stroke took place. And then they were able to pinpoint that was brutal by the way because they couldn’t give me meds either because they were like you have to tell us how it feels and I was like, okay, it hurts really bad.

Steve 19:39
But, ultimately, the neurologist who helped me found the blood had already started to like reroute itself around the injury. So my brain was already like, oh, like fix fix. And it was this like tiny tear that happened called spontaneous vertebral artery dissection.

Steve 20:01
And so the dissection is when there’s the tear in the artery, no idea how it happened and the artery, like tore and clotted, and then that clot prevented the blood going to my brain. And then, you know, two parts of my brain were like, see ya.

Steve 20:17
And it was challenging. So the the symptoms were strange, from my experience, from my understanding of what symptoms were for stroke. And that was challenging for me.

Bill Gasiamis 20:29
Yeah, it’s challenging because oh, man, like everything about it is challenge, because you’ve never experienced it, you know, you’re 33, you’ve probably been very healthy until then. And you don’t have a reference point, sort of where to begin from, how do I tackle this? How do I manage it? And then you’re hoping that somebody else is going to tell you these things and solve those problems for you.

Bill Gasiamis 20:54
And then they just say to you, look, there’s this thing, we found that we fixed it, and go home, and you should be right. And there’s still not that after sale service, you know, there’s no after sale service, you know, we fixed that. And now what do I do with this thing?

Steve 21:17
You know, and I understand from what I know of your story, that was extremely challenging, and I’m curious to learn more about that from you. Because for me, it was like, I had my first stroke on the 11th.

Steve 21:28
The second one I had on a 12. And it was literally like that kind of showed them okay, like, now we kind of know, we thought we’re gonna have to do brain surgery, but we’re not going to. That was a big that was nice to have that because that was scary. But like, after I had that second stroke, I was very much like, am I gonna die?

Intro 21:48
If you’ve had a stroke, and you’re in recovery, you’ll know what a scary and confusing time it can be, you’re likely to have a lot of questions going through your mind, like, how long will it take to recover? Will I actually recover? What things should I avoid? In case I make matters worse, and doctors will explain things that obviously, you’ve never had a stroke before, you probably don’t know what questions to ask.

Intro 22:13
If this is you, you may be missing out on doing things that could help speed up your recovery. If you’re finding yourself in that situation, stop worrying, and head to recovery after stroke.com where you can download a guide that will help you it’s called a seven questions to ask your doctor about your stroke.

Intro 22:32
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.

Steve 22:51
Like I don’t know, I really don’t know. And the doctor couldn’t guarantee that I wouldn’t. Because he was still figuring it out. And so there’s that like, brief moment. And thankfully, my moment was brief, when I was faced with this mortality of like, okay, this is it.

Steve 23:07
And I legitimately thought this is it. It’s, I might die tonight. And that’s a scary thought. And I went through the whole process of like, you know, my brother is married, he had two kids, his his daughter, my niece who had just been born like two months prior, and like, I would never have met her, my nephew would probably never remember me.

Steve 23:32
You know, except for pictures and stories. And, you know, it’s a challenging phase to be alone in that and I was just in the hospital bed by myself thinking this is it. So I like wrote notes to my family. And it was like, you know, it was a it was it was tough. But it was brief.

Steve 23:50
And when the doctor came in and told me, here’s the deal, here’s what we’re doing, we’re gonna fix it, and we’re not gonna have to do surgery. I think everything’s gonna be okay. Man, what a relief. You know, but I’m curious. Like, so for me. After that I got sent home.

Steve 24:03
And it was scary. And honestly, the scariest part of this whole process was the first night I was alone and not in the ICU. Because I was like, trying to sleep but I’m like, if anything goes wrong, I’m dead. 100% But in the ICU, they’re like on you, you know?

Bill’s Recovery Story

Steve 24:19
And so I’m curious for you like what happened when you got out? You know, like you had the setback, which was pretty severe. I would love to hear about what your thought process was during that. You know okay, good luck, you know, send you off.

Bill Gasiamis 24:36
I’m gonna use the word oblivious because I wasn’t oblivious. I acted oblivious, and it’s sort of kind of helped. So the first time wasn’t actually the first time I think now right so I reckon back in September of 2010. I had a massive migraine, three days out of action. Couldn’t do anything for three days.

Bill Gasiamis 25:01
And you know how you guys have the NFL Super Bowl, what we have here the AFL Grand Final, it was the week of the grand final. And I went to the grand final and my team was in the grand final. So I spent the entire time you know yelling and screaming and urging them on and hoping that all the rest of the team broke their legs so that we would win right? of the other team right?

Steve 25:27
Classic sports, man.

Bill Gasiamis 25:31
But that was a Saturday and then by the Wednesday of the following week are still really bad. And we drew that game actually ended in a no result. And back then what they used to do was they would replay it the following week.

Bill Gasiamis 25:47
Now 100,000 People get to go there. And I had tickets to that event because of my brother, he got me tickets to that event. And then he also said to me, I’ve got a ticket for next week. And I’m like, oh my god, like, I can’t believe it.

Bill Gasiamis 26:06
But I’m not gonna go Harry, I’m not gonna go. He said why not? I said because of this headache man, and I’m afraid that it’s gonna get worse, I’m gonna make it worse. I don’t know why it happened. But like, it’s really bothering me.

Bill Gasiamis 26:18
And what I had done is I went to a hospital on that Wednesday, and they did a scan, they did a lumbar puncture. And they did a CT. And because there hadn’t been a bleed yet, what the AVM I reckon had done is it had just kind of swollen or enlarged or something.

Bill Gasiamis 26:40
And it started to interfere with my brain. And because it hadn’t bled yet, they missed it on the scan, they did a lumbar puncture, there was no blood in my cerebral spinal fluid. And they said, just you know, go home, you’ll be right. And sure enough, a week later, I was fine. And then I was fine for the entire time until February 2012.

Bill Gasiamis 27:03
I woke up with a numb sensation on my toe that spread over seven days, I ignored it, you know, like you I made up a couple of different reasons as to why it was happening. I went to hospital, they said we found a bleed on your brain.

Bill Gasiamis 27:16
And I’m like, okay, and then they said, we found a shadow in your brain. And we don’t know what it is. It might be caused by a bleed, it might be a tumor, the tumor might be benign, it might be cancerous. And I’m like, did you need to give me all the options. Could you just like, leave it at we found something that and we’re gonna work it out, you know?

Bill Gasiamis 27:48
And that was the scariest moment for me. Because then he left. He gave me that and he just left it goes it was 11pm on a Friday night. He says is there any question? Do you have any questions? I’m like, no, I don’t have any questions. But whatever, you know. So I had to sleep through the rest of the night, woke up in the morning, and had to tell my family and that was difficult because I know that they’re not mild mannered, they’re not calm and collected.

Bill Gasiamis 28:25
And my biggest issue in this whole process was managing the emotions of the rest of my family. My God. And that was so annoying, but it was the biggest job if I could keep them calm, then that would help me remain calm and take control of my emotional state right?

Bill Gasiamis 28:44
So at that time, what I did was I just went through life thinking no matter what happens, we’re going to solve these problems. We’re going to overcome it. I was kind of always a problem solver. I was always this kind of guy who glass half full always never had any of those types of issues where I was leaning towards the negative or the doom and gloom never ever, I was just always super positive.

Bill Gasiamis 29:15
And I would always do this. Okay, what’s good about this situation, or what’s something that’s funny about this situation and I would find things to distract me from the potential downfall of, you know, the spiral into the abyss, you know, so I wasn’t scared.

Bill Gasiamis 29:36
And I realized I was mortal. But that didn’t scare me. What bothered me was that I knew I had done some wrong things. In the past I had done some wrongs and my ego finally let go and I was able to notice through my heart that what I need to do is rectify those situations.

Bill Gasiamis 29:59
So I did describe it as my head completely switched off. It allowed my heart to come online. And then I was able to rectify a lot of those issues that I had created with the loved ones, especially my wife and my kids. And my parents and my brother and everybody who I felt that I played a part in some of our difficult interactions, which of course I did, but for the first time, I was able to admit it and go, okay, I’ve got to make this good.

Bill Gasiamis 30:29
So I just started being the person who I actually wanted to be. I started apologizing, telling them that I loved them. And I started doing all these things that I should have done years and years before that, that I couldn’t do because they were wrong. And they had to apologize first. It’s like the kids that just freakin 12 and 15, or something, and 16.

Bill Gasiamis 30:58
And it’s like, they don’t know how to interact with their father like that yet, because I haven’t led the way. In that example, I’ve been the opposite. So they’re doing what I’m doing. And I’ve got to make it right. So what I did is I did a lot of retracing my steps apologizing for these things. And then when I got to the point of the second bleed, then it was just a lot of what am I experiencing? And how can I overcome it? What do I need to do right now?

Bill Gasiamis 31:03
Like, what’s the most important thing to do right now what’s the next first step? And that was just okay. So if that meant do nothing all day, that meant do nothing. If that meant do a little bit extra tomorrow them into a little bit extra, I still try to run my property maintenance business, my dad would pick me up and take me for quotes.

Bill Gasiamis 31:58
I didn’t win any work. And I imagine it was because I was actually turning up. And I must have sounded like I was drugged. Yeah, but in my mind, it was normal. But of course, I wasn’t interacting normally with anybody. Everybody knew that I wasn’t normal. But I thought I was. So I just went about business.

Bill Gasiamis 32:22
Now I couldn’t actually physically work, I couldn’t drive, I couldn’t do any of those things. But the whole time, I didn’t think about I wasn’t afraid of dying or death or any of that stuff. I just wanted to make amends and put things right. And then when I did that, I was fine. So I set up my in 2013, we traveled to the states. And for the first time I did my will and testament and all that kind of stuff.

Bill Gasiamis 32:55
So that if we didn’t make it back for whatever reason, then everything was gonna be okay, the kids were all sorted, all that was organized. And that was a real big relief to me that I had also done that and tick that off. So that people aren’t wondering what my intentions were what I was thinking, and I’m not leaving it up to others to make difficult decisions in a difficult time.

Bill Gasiamis 33:21
So I wanted to lead, I wanted to start to lead by example. And the previous example was work like an idiot, as many hours a day as you can do everything yourself, never delegate anything, and then struggle and suffer and complain that you never have any time for yourself and blame everybody else for it.

Bill Gasiamis 33:43
So it was time to not do that anymore. But I only got caught into that zone. I was only in that zone for it’s still a long time. By the time I was 37 I was in that zone for about 10 years. And that was my trying to discover like what happens when you don’t work for somebody else who gives you everything on a platter and tells you just turn up this is your task for the day do that task.

Bill Gasiamis 34:14
All I had to learn how to be a business person but a successful one I didn’t realize meant that you don’t actually have to do everything and work 18 hours a day. You have to find ways to solve problems. And when I was in hospital the second time after the second bleed I had done it by the time I got there which was six weeks after the first bleed I had delegated all my quoting all my work everything to a whole bunch of other people they were doing it for me I was just turning up and meeting with the client.

Bill Gasiamis 34:52
I had notified the clients that I was unwell. So they were happy to see me and just chat about things and the business was turning over more money than ever. We had more work than ever. And I was doing way less than I had ever, ever done. And it’s like, what the hell like everything got flipped over.

Bill Gasiamis 35:19
And I was sicker than I’d ever been. I had less energy, I had fatigue, I had all these things. And everything else was just skyrocketing. I was like, how did I end up in this situation? And why did I have to wait till a couple of bleeds in the brain to get to this point.

Facing Mortality – Steve Molter


Steve 35:36
There’s so many things that you shared there that resonate deeply with me. The first thing is that you weren’t afraid. And that was something that I had experienced as well. I was like, I might die tonight. I’m not afraid to die.

Steve 35:54
But I’m sad that I will not have these experiences. Right, but my niece and nephew, for example, seeing them again, for the first time for my niece. But as you told that there’s sort of a roller coaster, right? Because it’s like progress isn’t linear, right, you don’t just get better, you don’t have a problem and then get better.

Steve 36:17
It’s like, up and down and over here and back. And that’s the hardest thing. The thing that I feel like helped me the most was letting go of all of it. And saying, you know, I can’t do these things. I couldn’t like you, I couldn’t do any physical labor, I couldn’t walk down the street without being fatigued winded, you know.

Steve 36:42
And so I couldn’t go grocery shopping, I couldn’t drive for 90 days or something like that. Months, a couple of months. I couldn’t go grocery shopping, I had to rely on people, I had to ask for help a lot. And like you, I was extremely self sufficient. I had been single for a long time, I did it all myself, I was happy to do it.

Steve 37:02
And then when this happened, I couldn’t. And asking for help is very vulnerable, you know. And I had to dig more deeply into the vulnerability, something I was cultivating prior to the strokes. But it was still something that was challenging. I love the way you talk about delegation, because I’m a manager in my life, I’m a design manager.

Steve 37:26
And the best thing I can do is to delegate to the people who know best and get out of their way. Right. And in situations when we are unwell. And like I was and like you were, we can’t do it, we are the worst person for the job in a lot of sense. So we have to give it to the people who are the best.

Steve 37:46
I felt like that in the hospital, I was like, I’m not a neurologist. So I’m just going to keep my mouth shut and try to have a good attitude as best I can. Because I don’t know what I’m talking about. The nurses, I don’t know, anything that they’re doing, I’m just gonna do the same thing. The challenge that I hear you had was, or the way you described it, it sounds like you had to kind of be the one to maintain the stress level.

Steve 38:08
Right, you had to keep your family distressed. I was lucky enough that the folks directly in my circle, my cousin, my best friend and his wife, or his fiancee, they were the ones about to get married. They really kept like a, they kept me insulated from that stress. They never told me what they went through until I was long passed into recovery.

Steve 38:39
And it you know, it’s challenging, because when you’re the one, the only thing you have control of is your response. And so you have to say, You know what, I need to be cool. And I told my parents like you cannot come out here because they live in Massachusetts at the time, you know, 3000 miles away.

Steve 38:59
So they were like we’re gonna come out I was like, Absolutely not, because that’s stressful, just like, you know. And so I was lucky to that I could get the space. It was challenging because I had the space too at the same time on the flip side of the coin.

Steve 39:15
But I was able to navigate, and I was able to maintain and I was able to be calm, and to face and cope with the challenges that I had to, you know, without adding any extra on. So it was just the recovery. That was the thing that mattered to me. I was very lucky for that. very appreciative for that.

Bill Gasiamis 39:37
So, I love that. Just the recovery.

Steve 39:41
It’s just the recovery. I have to ask. I’ve spent some time in Melbourne and two of my friends one isn’t Essendon supporter and one’s a Bulldog supporter. And so I have like merch from both of them somewhere like koozies and scarves and things somewhere around here but I’m curious who you support not that I know a lot.

Bill Gasiamis 40:00
I support Collingwood. It’s one of the most famous clubs in the world. It’s one of the most supported clubs in Australia. And we have a the luck when we get to the grand final, we have the same luck that the Buffalo Bills have in the NFL right. And I’m a Buffalo Bills fan, just simply because they have the name Bill right?

Bill Gasiamis 40:26
So I picked up the bills in the 90s. And, and I felt like I had done the worst thing for them, because as soon as I discovered them, they just kept attending and losing, attending and losing.

Bill Gasiamis 40:42
My team has made the most grand finals, and it has lost the most grand finals. Right, and we have not won the most. We’re very close to having won the most. But we have lost the most grand finals. I was like I don’t want to, you know, I don’t wanna be associated with teams like that. But they’re my teams you know what can I do?

Steve 41:07
Yeah, totally. Oh, that’s awesome. I bring it up just because Melbourne has a space in my heart, for sure. I spent like a month there back in 2016. And had the best time I have good friends who live there. And are raising families there. And it’s a beautiful place, I love it, I can’t wait to get back.

Bill Gasiamis 41:29
It’s a beautiful place, it’s a chill place, there’s a lot of resources, it’s a very great place to have a stroke, because facilities are amazing, the best hospitals in the world.

Steve 41:39
I’d love to have a stroke there. I know the feeling.

Bill Gasiamis 41:44
But what’s interesting about you know, your journey, and the whole football thing is that that whole mentality is, you know, is all about. And football teams are starting to now be a little bit smarter in the way they approach things, you know, they analyze a little that they understand, you know, how it’s important to control emotions, you know, we’re in the old days, all in brawls, and spontaneous.

Bill Gasiamis 42:14
Just crazy non football events would be happening on the football field. And you kind of started to see how all of society’s moving away from just emotionally responding to learning that it’s really important to get a grip and hold your emotions at bay when it’s important at the right time at the right place.

Competitive Mindset In Stroke Recovery

Bill Gasiamis 42:35
And what’s also interesting about my team is is that they may have the most losses in a grand final, but they also have the most wins. And that is because they have the most attendances in the grand final. So, what it becomes later becomes a numbers game. So, for us why that’s relevant to us in recovery is that the more attempts you make at recovery, the more chances are that you’re going to have setbacks, but then the more chances are, you’re going to have wins as well.

Bill Gasiamis 43:14
Right. So it’s what you said it’s about right now, if you don’t have the distractions of everyone’s emotional state, and you just have the mindset of a recovery and nothing else, you’re going to get a better version of recovery than you would have if you had to deal with all the rest of the junk that’s going on in the periphery that’s not important or relevant to recovery, right? It becomes a really selfish time.

Bill Gasiamis 43:42
And it’s okay to be selfish then and make it about you. And those people turning up that used to come and used to make it about them. Oh man I sprained my foot the other day, like, I know what you’re going through. It’s like, no, you know, no shit. Like, you sprained your foot, you know, there’s nothing inside your brain.

Bill Gasiamis 44:02
And there’s something in my brain that’s hurting, that doesn’t work and I might die tomorrow and you’re gonna sprain for and you reckon that now’s the time to compare that to me, it’s not, be quiet, leave go away. I listened to the Jordan Peterson podcast every once in a while, and he has this saying that it brings up from time to time and I’m pretty sure it’s in his books.

Bill Gasiamis 44:27
He talks about if you’re going to turn up to a funeral, be the best person at that funeral for people to come to who need solutions to what the hell to do at a funeral or how to behave or how to deal with the tragedy and all that kind of stuff. So it’s about taking responsibility and discovering how you need to behave appropriately at the correct time for the circumstances that people are experiencing.

Bill Gasiamis 44:58
And it’s like you yeah, like, I want to be that guy. I want to be the best guy at the funeral. But I want to be the best guy when it comes to me dealing with my own stroke recovery. And I think one of the challenges that I always have with religion, and it’s not that belief in God or not, it’s that religion outsources most of the time responsibility on some thing happening in your life to some being out there that we can’t really see.

Bill Gasiamis 45:26
Like, if you want something good to happen, ask God, if it didn’t happen, it wasn’t God’s will. Well, you know, maybe you didn’t get off your ass and try for it enough. Or maybe you didn’t go back when you got the setbacks, maybe, you know, that was issues. So I said, this underlying tone in my family and in the families that we hang out with, is this whole, you know, I’m gonna go and pray for you.

Bill Gasiamis 45:57
That’s great. Don’t pray for me. Pray for you. Pray for you to be the best person that you can be. So that when I need you, I can call on you. Because when I was in hospital, the first time my dad got the news, got ready to come see me didn’t take his medication, or took his medication on an empty stomach or did something wrong with his medication. Is this guy is six foot one or two and is like 100 and something kilos.

Bill Gasiamis 46:34
Which is? I’m not sure how many pounds couple 100 pounds. He’s a big guy, right? And he collapses at home. My mom is half his size. And now my mom has got my dad on the ground in the courtyard, and her son in hospital, and it’s like, what the hell’s going on? And now she’s got to get the ambulance there to pick him up. And come and visit me right? And she comes to visit me and I said to her where’s Dad? He’s downstairs. What do you mean? He’s downstairs?

Steve 47:11
He’s down the hall.

Bill Gasiamis 47:13
Tell him to comeup. No he’s downstairs in emergency he fell over, collapsed. I said, What do you mean? Well, he collapsed because he didn’t do some of his medications and dadada.

Bill Gasiamis 47:24
So my dad lost his shit emotionally. couldn’t think straight, couldn’t do anything. Didn’t do the right thing, collapsed. And now my mum’s now managing that whole process with me, and my dad both in the same hospital. So I’ve said to the nurses, right, wheel me down to my dad, I want to go see my dad, you know, get me out of here.

Bill Gasiamis 47:46
And I went down and had to see my Dad while this thing is in my brain bleeding, doing whatever the hell it’s doing. So that was that right? Now, my wife’s real stoic, she’s real amazing lady. She’s great. She’s not the best at managing her emotional state, but neither is her entire family. Right?

Bill Gasiamis 48:03
They really struggle with that. And she went through a lot. And when I had my third bleed. I think within two weeks after that her mom passed away. So she was going through a very stressful time. And a week before my surgery, my brain surgery, we had to bury her.

Bill Gasiamis 48:27
So it’s horrific circumstances. So we’ve done that. And she’s not looking after herself. Properly. As you can imagine, people might not do that. And then when I go into brain surgery, come out of that. And then I’m in recovery. She collapses, and now I’m in hospital. And I’m calling nurses over, and I’m saying my wife is collapsing.

Bill Gasiamis 48:56
And she’s in the bedroom, in my ward next to me. And some weird reason is they won’t take her and care for her. They said you have to go to emergency so she had to walk down to emergency admit herself and say I’m not feeling well, I’ve collapsed or something like that.

Bill Gasiamis 49:17
So she then does that, right? She goes there. And they admit her. And I don’t know where my wife is, and I’m in recovery with a wound on my head, I can’t walk. I can’t do any of these things because my left side is gone. And then I want to find out where my wife is in she is in a bed, connected to the heart monitors and all these other monitors and all that sort of stuff.

Bill Gasiamis 49:45
And I’m in there in my wheelchair, two days after brain surgery. And my wife, I said to her look, do they know what happened? What’s going on? She goes I don’t know they’re doing tests etc. And My brain surgeon, my neurosurgeon walks past us. And looks just as he, as it does in all, you know, boards probably.

Bill Gasiamis 49:51
And then he does a double take. And he goes, what the hell’s going on? What are you two doing down here? I said to him well, I’m here because my wife’s unwell. We don’t know what’s wrong with her she collapsed.

Bill Gasiamis 50:29
And he’s going well, let me find out what’s going on. Let me get you guys some answers, etc. So my challenge is, you can see it’s like really was about trying to manage the other people around me because they were dropping like flies.

Preparing Yourself

Steve 50:48
I don’t mean to laugh you know, it’s been so long and like, we go through those things. And I can see you have a smile as you’re telling the story. And I definitely don’t mean to laugh. Because what an awful time for everyone but like, that people just like literally I mean, it’s like Unreal, like a farce. It’s like a joke. You know what I mean? It’s like, How is this even happening right now? It’s unreal.

Bill Gasiamis 51:13
Yeah. And, that’s the point is like, you need to prepare in your life, you need to prepare for the shitty moments, because they will happen. So when they happen, you need to have done a little bit of homework to prepare, so that if you can’t do anything else, at least you can feed yourself and hydrate yourself appropriately just so that you can be well enough.

Bill Gasiamis 51:38
Now. I don’t want to give my wife a hard time. Because I wouldn’t want to go through what she went through three years of the shit that I put her through, at least until brain surgery, then her mom passing. Like, she deserves a break, right? Let’s give her a break.

Bill Gasiamis 51:55
But at the same time, it’s like, okay, everyone needs to do what they need to do to get through as well as possible. Because if she’s gone, and I’m gone, what are my kids gonna do? And then we had to tell my parents, obviously, we had to tell my parents about all of this stuff, they’re losing their shit.

Bill Gasiamis 52:20
And my brother is a great guy, but he’s a bit of an emotional, you know, never gonna be kind of guy like, he can’t do those really emotional things, right. So I feel like I can’t rely on them. And I’ve got to step up again. And I’ve got to rise above it again. And I’ve got to bring everybody calm and show Hey, guys, I’m alright, I’m good.

Bill Gasiamis 52:44
So I prepared for three years for brain surgery. I told my team of doctors while I was getting an eighth antis for them to open my head up. I told them I’ve prepared for this for three years, I am the best patient you’re ever going to have. My body is a vessel that gets ready for this surgery.

Bill Gasiamis 53:12
I’m going to be the best patient you experience and we’re going to have the best outcome. So I’ve done my job for you. I’ve done the preparation, what you guys need to do now is your job. And I know you guys are prepared. So we’re gonna have a great outcome. I’m telling them this. They’re injecting me with an anaesthetic. And then I’m gone.

Steve 53:33
Totally Yeah, that’s amazing. That to me is exactly, sorry, go ahead.

Bill Gasiamis 53:39
And I was gonna finish by saying the feedback after the surgery was the surgery went for way shorter than we expected. And you bled way less than we expected. I haven’t had somebody hypnotize me to tell my body to bleed only the appropriate amount that was necessary to purge bad blood and do all those things and not a bleed unnecessarily. Because it wasn’t going to be helpful for surgery.

Steve 54:11
See, that’s the stuff that you have to bring into any traumatic situation you go through, right. And my stroke. That whole thing was the most traumatic thing I’ve ever gone through by my as a firm myself. I’ve had other experiences that were extremely challenging.

Steve 54:36
One that shook me to the core, and it’s still the scariest moment of my life that I won’t talk about here, but I’ve had a lot of issues, a lot of situations where shit hits the fan, and you have to be prepared. You have no idea what’s going to happen. So you can’t be prepared for the exact thing. You can just be prepared to know that when something goes on. I won’t know what to do, my instincts will take over my intuition will take over.

Steve 55:05
And I will allow those things to drive me at that point. And, and I look at that when, you know, I don’t know, like I think about it’s such a weird analogy but like I think about performing as a musician. And I remember performing, there was a show in Seattle that we played.

Steve 55:22
And we drove in, and we set up. And then we had to go park the van somewhere. And I went out to park the van with like, our merch guy or photographer, I don’t know. And we were driving around, couldn’t find a spot anywhere and time was ticking. And I had to get back to the show. And I remember like parking that like parallel parking a van with a hitch in downtown Seattle.

Steve 55:43
And like, you know, running to the venue coming in the back door and getting on stage. And I had to now perform, I had to go into the space, I was super stressed. And I got on stage and I turned and I looked at my bass player who’s all warmed up and he was like, are you ready? I was like, Yes, I am.

Steve 56:01
Because this is what I have to do now, this is my job right now, not parking the van, not worrying about if we’re going to get a ticket, all I have to do is turn on and perform. And so it was like if I hadn’t been if I hadn’t prepared myself in so many different ways for that specific scenario being ready to perform, I would have just, I mean, I would have had a bad show.

Steve 56:22
And that’s not a fun time. So it’s like, you know, that’s a very low stakes analogy. But the high stakes stuff rings true. And I’ve been in those situations where it’s just, you get in it and you just do the thing you have to do. And I say the words that need to be said, and that’s it. You know.

Steve 56:39
And remember, when we, you know another analogy, my wife and I went out to do some errands came home and our cat broke her elbow. And we had no idea. And we were like, like she would we had just gotten her it was like a month after we got her. And we had to go to the hospital. I just like when I allow myself to focus on the task at hand. I don’t get emotional.

Steve 57:05
Because there’s no time for it. I’ll be emotional after. You know, when we’re at the hospital, when she’s in surgery, when she’s doing the thing, and the doctor says this thing will be good. Or when I get on stage, I’ll be fine. And then after the show, I can be like, guys, let me tell you this story about trying to park the van. But it’s like the emotion can come later. Right. There’s no time for it in the moment. And it seems like we both have that experience, which is important.

Bill Gasiamis 57:30
It’s so important. And you know, how you said those low-stakes events are low-steak but they’re the training for that big event that’s coming that we don’t know that’s coming. And that’s what’s really great about these low stakes stuff. So the cat broke its elbow man, that’s pretty high stakes to me anyway.

Steve 57:53
It’s really high stakes. Yes, it was very much.

Bill Gasiamis 57:58
Yeah, right. And animals in distress. And what you need to do is you need to become so that you can keep it calm and decrease the pain and suffering and whatever right and get the solution and solve it right. So it all add up to training you to expect to deal with a thing that’s coming that we don’t know.

Bill Gasiamis 58:21
And I have this other thing that I live by is like expect the best prepare for the worst. Right. So I’m forever expecting a great outcome. But if it doesn’t come, I’ve got 25 solutions waiting in the wings some way to solve that problem. And it’s a bit frustrating because what happens is then people come to me for the solution instinctively because they know that I’ve got and it’s like, freakin hell.

Bill Gasiamis 58:51
I wish you guys had the solution one time, you know, just so that if I did, croak it if I wasn’t here anymore. I feel comfortable that you guys all right, that I’m gonna let you know that you guys are going to overcome your life, you know, whatever. And it’s been really interesting because with my son, my oldest just moved out.

Bill Gasiamis 59:12
He’s 25. And even up until the day before he moved out, he’d be asking me, I say lovingly to him now, right? Like the stupidest questions. You know, where should I park the car outside the house? Like dude, wherever there’s a spot, just park the frickin car. You know, why do you have to ask me that.

Bill Gasiamis 59:36
But what I realized was while he was living under this roof, this guy’s a successful guy at work. Like, he doesn’t need his dad giving these answers. But while we were under the same roof, we’re playing the role of father, you know, at the top of the hierarchy for example, son beneath him, you know, needs permission for everything and all that kind of stuff.

Bill Gasiamis 59:59
And I’m like going crazy, I would try to let him run free and trying to let him grow up and become an adult, you know. And it couldn’t happen, he needed to move out for that to occur, you know, there needed to be this metaphorical death of his father so that he doesn’t come to me to solve problems, like, where should I park the car like, seriously man.

Steve 1:00:26
There’s like, you know, I don’t have children. So I can’t speak to parenthood, but I manage teams. And so I can speak to management, people management.

Bill Gasiamis 1:00:36
They’re the same man they’re like your children.

Team Management

Steve 1:00:40
Yeah, and like, there’s a, you know, I manage a team of designers right now. And I want them to succeed, my goal is for them to do good work, to be able to do the work they want to do, to provide them with work streams to do so and to be able to provide them tools to evaluate themselves, so that we can talk about their future and how they can grow.

Steve 1:01:05
And I have to get out of their way. And I have to let them do their thing. And sometimes that’s, going to be making mistakes, it’s natural, and it’s okay, and I’m willing to take that risk in certain situations. But I want to train them provide them space to do the things they need to do.

Steve 1:01:21
And that’s that training, that’s the low-stakes stuff, I can measure what’s low-stakes enough that if it goes wrong, it’s all good, it’s not a big deal. And I’ll take credit for going wrong, right. But when they’re successes, that’s all them, they do when they when I’m there to help and go, yay.

Steve 1:01:41
But when we lose that’s on me because that means I didn’t have the foresight to figure out, you know, what was needed, or how the how the team should be configured. And that’s fine. That’s what I signed up for, it’s what I do, it’s my job. But when I have, when they come to me with those types of questions where I’m like, It’s okay, you can make a decision, you’re allowed, I’m going to give you space to make the decision you’re going to do, it’s going to be all good.

Steve 1:02:05
Because we can always pivot, you know, we’re not brain surgeons here, right? To be relative relevant. We’re just, you know, we’re designers like designing stuff for aviation, like, it’s pretty low stakes, like, we’re not gonna, you know, anyway, all that to say, we have to provide that space for ourselves, as well, going through that space, we have to say, Hey, it’s okay to fail.

Steve 1:02:31
It’s okay to make mistakes. It’s okay, if I don’t have all the answers. And it’s okay to rely on people who feel like they might be unreliable. But maybe they’re not. Because we have to give them a chance. And I can sense for you, that there’s there was a lot of pressure on you at the time. And it sounds like there’s a lot of growth happening for everyone as well.

Steve 1:02:51
But, you know, I didn’t have that experience. But I did have the pressure on myself to be well, and I had no control of that, really, you know, I did, of course, I do eat well, and not overexert myself on these types of things. But at the end of the day, I still hold myself to a very high standard, and I still have to cut yourself some slack, you know, a lot of the time and I don’t do that.

Steve 1:03:19
And that’s not fair, because I treat my employees and like my team members, like, they can do no wrong, you know, because they’re trying, they’re doing their best, and they’re really good at what they do. But I don’t give myself that same amount of respect. And it’s terrible, you know, it’s not going to be beneficial for anyone.

Steve 1:03:38
And I kind of sense that you have a little bit of that too where you feel like you need to do it. And then when you can’t, or you don’t, maybe you feel like you let yourself down. I don’t know, I don’t want to put words in your mouth.

Bill Gasiamis 1:03:51
Yeah, that’s pretty close. What I realized is that I’m the biggest obstacle to my own recovery. And sure, the other people are too. But the story I tell myself about the other people is just a bullshit story that I’m telling. So that I am the biggest person who gets in the way of my recovery the most I either don’t sleep well eat well enough.

Bill Gasiamis 1:04:15
I work too much. I stress too much. I don’t meditate enough. I don’t take time out for myself to do the things that I love that are my passion. So I am the biggest person that gets in the way the most of my life, lifestyle, recovery, whatever you want to call it.

Bill Gasiamis 1:04:32
So yeah, I’ve got a go meta I’ve got to observe myself and how I’m impacting myself in my world, and I’ve got to go. Okay, enough, enough of doing things that you dislike you don’t get pleasure out of enough of saying yes to people that you should be saying no to enough of doing all that kind of stuff.

Bill Gasiamis 1:04:54
And it’s hard because I did that yesterday, right? So in these lockdowns in Australia, what In Melbourne, we’ve had the most lockdowns than any other, any other city in the world, right? And it’s been, oh God, man, it’s the hardest two years of my life almost, it’s harder than then stroke almost this whole thing, right? Because other people were impacting my ability to move.

Bill Gasiamis 1:05:21
And regardless of what the underlying reason was, which was, theoretically a great reason, because we don’t want to spread the virus and all that kind of stuff yet, you’re still dealing with being told you can’t go anywhere by somebody else. Right? So in that time, we struggling with work, we’re struggling with all these things.

Bill Gasiamis 1:05:42
And somebody says to me, Look, I need this handrail installed on some stairs. And I’m like, Yeah, no worries, I’m happy to come and do it. I haven’t got any work. So you know, come and do it. So but there’s no directions placed on whether you can enter somebody’s home and who can work and under what conditions you can work. And unlike the restrictions are now that I can’t come in here can’t do this.

Bill Gasiamis 1:06:08
This was about three months ago. And we had a snap seven day lockdown that lasted for two and a half months, you know? So I never went back to this guy. And I said, and then he calls me a couple of days ago, and he says, can you come and do this? Quiet for this handrail, listen, I can’t because what’s happened in Australia, I know, it’s like the rest of the world.

Bill Gasiamis 1:06:37
But in Australia right now is we rely a lot of international guests to come and work here. And fill positions that normally can’t be like normal can be filled by the locals, because there’s not enough of us. And there’s this labor shortage. So it doesn’t matter how much work you have, you cannot find people to do the work, we have ad out, and you can’t get people to do the work.

Bill Gasiamis 1:07:03
So we’ve got more work than we can handle for months and months and months in advance. And it’s like, I can’t come? Because I can’t get through the work that I’ve got. And I’m stuck. That was a difficult conversation to have. So I don’t want to let him down. I want to go and do that.

Bill Gasiamis 1:07:22
But I actually can’t. It is important to me. But so are all the other people who have paid and are waiting for me to deliver an outcome. And I had to tell him that and he got really mad. And it’s like, that really mad part that people do? Is the part that makes it hard for me to say no.

Bill Gasiamis 1:07:47
Because I don’t like making people mad. Not that I did. He made himself mad. But I don’t like to be involved in that interaction. And the old me would normally go. You know what? Let me come. Let me come and sort it out.

Bill Gasiamis 1:08:06
I’d hate the whole time I was going there. I’d get annoyed when I had to order the parts and then go and install them. I’d get annoyed when he hadn’t paid like the initial deposit on the time.

Bill Gasiamis 1:08:17
And then I’d get annoyed when you hadn’t paid the follow up money on the time. And like, I’d be doing that work all day every day. And I’d never would say no, this one. And then it’s like, Well, I hate my life. And I blame them. I blame all of them.

Steve 1:08:34
Exactly. Blame everybody else. And that acknowledgement of like creating those stories of bullshit stories, as you refer to them is so real. We create the stories, our ego creates the stories to allow us to be perfect, we’re perfect. I’m perfect. That guy got mad. Forget that guy.

Steve 1:09:00
You know, like, what’s my responsibility, it comes back to your didn’t talk that you had the thing that you said earlier about, like going to a funeral and how to act at a funeral. Nobody’s there for you, you know, nobody cares that you’re there. In reality, if you didn’t go, no one’s gonna miss you.

Steve 1:09:17
So when you’re there, be quiet, be respectful, and move on. Right? These are like the things that oftentimes it’s all you have to do. Just be quiet, be respectful and do your thing. And it’s like, but we have to allow ourselves that space to acknowledge the bullshit that we create. I create so much and for me it was always in relationship.

Steve 1:09:38
And so I’ve been married. Just over a year actually. We got married like, for us it was the peak pre vaccine of the pandemic. Just us and two friends because we don’t want to be unsafe. But, my bullshit stories came in relationship. And now my wife is unreal, she’s amazing. And she provides me space to see the bullshit that I’m creating. Do you know what I mean?

Steve 1:10:08
I’m always like, you know, I don’t always not always. But the moments of my ego comes in. And it’s like she said something mean, she’s the worst, right? That’s my ego talking. And I’m like, wait a second. Was that really mean? Did she really mean that? What did she say? How did she say it? Would she do that? If she gave me any evidence for me to believe that she would say or do anything to hurt me?

Steve 1:10:33
No. Okay, so shut the fuck up. But, and I have to tell myself that when those things happen, and that I think is like, it ties into the recovery, you know, I’m saying, I need to focus. And all the fears that I have are unfounded. Because I have a good team of doctors, I was lucky to have a good team of doctors, I had support from friends.

Steve 1:11:01
And it wasn’t like my experience was my experience. But it was not at the severity of so many other experiences like mine, and I had to recognize that. And I remember one of my neurologists, who was like on call one day came in and was checking in on me in the hospital.

Steve Molter Dealing With The Deficits

Steve 1:11:18
How you doing ? And my vision, because I said on my vision went down to a pinhole, it actually came back mostly now it’s reverse. So I have a blind spot. But it’s pretty nominal. I can play tricks with it. Like if I look at the ground, and there’s a penny on the ground, I don’t see the penny, if I look at a certain angle, you know what I mean?

Steve 1:11:36
So it’s weird. But ultimately, my vision mostly came back and I have a small blind spot. And I was like complaining about it to him in the hospital’s like, is just weird. And he was like, Have you ever seen the Diving Bell and the Butterfly? And I was like, Yeah, I have. He’s like, you were like, you could have been like centimetres away from that happening.

Steve 1:11:56
So is this really that bad? He was like, trying to bust my chops, rightfully so. And I was like, You’re right. Thank you, you know, thanks. And I think about that all the time. Because, you know, I’m so lucky. And I’m so grateful from what I experienced. And that that was the severity. That was the, as far as I got. But I need to give myself space to feel those things to not live in those feelings, you know?

Bill Gasiamis 1:12:24
And you’re allowed to feel those feelings and move on from them. Experience it. Go, oh, that was an interesting feeling. Alright, let’s just move on from it. And let’s find another one that’s more serving to us, more serving to our relationship, better serving the recovery, better serving us in life and other people around us.

Bill Gasiamis 1:12:43
And it’s like, okay, I’m entitled to feel those feelings. Well, let’s just do it for as little time as possible, and then move on to something else. Yeah, I agree with that. And I love what your doctor says, because some of the things that I get feedback from people who are recovering from deficits on one side is that they’ve got this comparison that they do.

Bill Gasiamis 1:13:04
So the fact that they’ve got the comparison is like, that side that doesn’t feel correct. Should be feeling like this side. Well, no, it should be feeling like the shitty side that it feels, because that’s what a stroke does to it. If you didn’t have a stroke, then that’s fine. And if there was no reason for it to feel different than that’s fine, what you’re saying.

Bill Gasiamis 1:13:26
But the fact that you have had a stroke, like, it should feel shitty. And I’m not saying that you’re going to love that on it’s going to be amazing, or it won’t be painful or won’t be annoying. Unfortunately, that’s what it’s supposed to feel like. I don’t know what to do about that.

Bill Gasiamis 1:13:43
But right now, because we might not have the answers for that. But if you can accept that, that’s what happens when you have a stroke. And now you have to deal with it. That’s fine. Every single day, my left side, if I had to compare the two, I’m a perfect Gemini.

Bill Gasiamis 1:13:57
Now like, I’m born in June, my star sign is Gemini. I am completely two different people on one side of my body and then the other side of my body, I feel it. I experience it. They walk differently. They move differently, they feel differently. Everything about it is different. And one side experiences pain more dramatically and cold more dramatically in the heat more dramatically. I even perspire sometimes on one side of my body and not on the other side of my body.

Steve 1:14:25
That is insane. And it is what it is.

Bill Gasiamis 1:14:31
And it’s not pleasant. But what the hell am I gonna do about it? I can’t change it. Yeah, and by overthinking it, I can’t change it. It doesn’t change. It doesn’t get better. So yeah. You had a spontaneous vertebral artery dissection. So where’s it at now? How did they manage that? How have they resolved it?

Steve 1:14:57
Yeah, so there was a the fear for me that they were going to have to do surgery. They didn’t. Basically what they did is they put me on Coumadin. And what’s the other one? Oh my gosh, I forgot. That’s good. I forgot, it’s so long. There’s another blood thinner. That’s like you can only use in hospitals, I forgot what it’s called.

Steve 1:15:19
But I was on Coumadin and this other thing, I’m really happy that I don’t remember it. To be honest, that means the story is going so far away that it’s not defining me. But anyway, I was on Heparin, that’s what it is, of course, anyway, I was on these two drugs during my stay at the hospital, which basically just like, you know, thinned my blood out, so that they, the blood would just cruise right through, bust the clot.

Steve 1:15:42
And the blood would just go right through to my brain, and then the artery healed on its own. So it was able to, to to do its thing, you know, as arteries do. And then I went in for MRIs every couple months, just to make sure everything is good. And I was on Coumadin for like, I think four months, which is pretty brief, you know, given what I went through.

Steve 1:16:03
And then I remember taking my last dose of Clomid, and it was basically good. Now I just take baby aspirin every day. And I haven’t had many, the first like year or two, there was stuff, you know, it was a roller coaster. And then since then I’ve only had one point of fear. Well, two, one was an experience at home that I had. And this is like right after I had met my wife, she was my girlfriend at the time, and I had an episode.

Steve 1:16:33
And it wasn’t related. But I didn’t know. And she freaked out, understandably, she knew that I had the strokes. And it’s a scary thing to introduce a partner to oh, by the way, you know, I’ve had strokes. And that means I’m more likely to have one in the future. Cool. And then another time I was traveling, and I was in Rome, and two weeks of just terrible headaches.

Steve 1:16:56
And my friend, amazingly, who I was staying with her, unfortunately, her mother passed from a stroke many years prior, but she still had contact with those doctors. And so she was like, if you need a doctor, like I got a guy for sure. And so I was under her care and kind of her and her boyfriend helped me and just made me feel safe.

Steve 1:17:17
That if anything did happen, they had the right thing. But that was just headaches for two weeks. And that was it. And subsequently, it’s standard stuff. I get super lightheaded when I stand up. If I sleep wrong, it’s just always exacerbates right here. You know, it’s pretty minor, given everything, though. So I’m very lucky to be where I am today.

Bill Gasiamis 1:17:39
I remember traveling as well to Greece. Maybe I think it was a few years after the I’m pretty sure it was before brain surgery. And I was in Greece and feeling like maybe I’m having another one you know, and it’s so scary. And traveling to the states and buying the most expensive insurance you could get so that in the event, you know, anything went wrong.

Bill Gasiamis 1:18:09
And then I had the fear that had to ever come of being in an aeroplane for 30 hours before we got to California. And it’s like, if it happens, I’ve got 30 hours. Like if it doesn’t happen in the plane, you know, whatever, after that. If it happens anywhere else we’re okay.

Bill Gasiamis 1:18:28
But and that whole idea of trying to be excited about the flight and not give away that I was afraid of it, you know too much. But then I wasn’t involved in the organizing of the of the trip, my wife was doing it all and she was trying to work out why isn’t this guy keen? You know? Like, why doesn’t he want to go down that path?

Bill Gasiamis 1:18:52
I’m crapping my pants and I don’t want to get to this situation again. And I don’t know if the situation is resolved. Now I did have the blessing of my doctors but I wasn’t taking any medication. There was nothing to do for this bleed. It was just hope to God that it didn’t bleed again for three years.

Bill Gasiamis 1:19:15
And, anyway, we got away with it. But yeah, it’s a little bit terrifying. And I can understand why people would be reluctant to have an experience. Because they’re thinking what if it happens again, and I want to say that that’s normal, and people who are listening and watching, I want to make sure that they’re comfortable going.

Bill Gasiamis 1:19:37
There’s this thing I’m noticing that strange, and I’m not sure what it is. So I don’t feel good about it. So you know what, let’s go and get that checked out. Go to the doctor, go to the emergency room, go wherever you need to go. To actually ease your concern and allow you to start to understand the difference between the stroke and this thing that you’re experiencing that’s not a stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 1:20:00
I was in the hospital every second week if I had to be because something happened and I wasn’t feeling quite right. And even though I haven’t had any real dramas since 2014, when I had surgery, I still went back in the last couple of years, before all the lockdowns before COVID, I remember going back and going for a checkup because I had this massive headache or something was going wrong.

Bill Gasiamis 1:20:32
And I went to the ER, and I said to them, listen, I’m a former brain surgery survivor, I’ve had, you know, three bleeds and I had an AVM and this stuff’s going on. And I don’t know what it is. And because of my history, I thought I’d come and get a checked out.

Bill Gasiamis 1:20:50
And they’re like, Okay, fair enough. So, we went through the process. We ruled all of that stuff out. But it was the smart thing to do. Because previously, when I had those weird, strange feelings, I said, It’s nothing. I’ll be right, off to work.

Steve 1:21:04
Exactly. Yeah, exactly. I had the same experience when I got out of the hospital. And for the first stretch, the doctor was like, you feel anything, just come back, just go to the ER, it’s all good. Like, no worries. And thankfully, I had really good insurance. So any Americans watching or listening, like, they know, the challenge of insurance.

Steve 1:21:24
And I was very grateful to have amazing insurance. That was huge for me at that time. But I went back to the ER, like, the week, within a week after I got out, because something was funny. And they checked me out, and they did the whole thing. And like, you’re okay, it’s just your healing, and you can feel it.

Steve 1:21:41
You know, I was like, Okay, and so I learned that, okay, my vision is gonna act funky, until it’s settled, right, my vision would still like, move a little weird. And then I would get pains in my neck. And I had to recognize that Oh, I was, I was healing and you can feel healing. And that’s good. That’s a good pain.

Steve 1:22:00
And then your vision is finding its space to settle. Right. And these were the things that I had to learn how to an ophthalmologist, optometrist, brain doctors, you know, I went to did MRIs, like I said before, a few times with contrast the whole mind. And at a certain point, it was like, you’re good, you know, and like, go do your thing. And you’re gonna be okay.

Steve 1:22:24
If anything comes up, you feel anything weird? Here are the tests you can do at home. Right? And it’s like, the squeezing the hands and like the, you know, pushing, pushing the knees and all these different things. And then, if you need it beyond that, go to the ER, and it’s totally okay. It’s, perfectly acceptable to be afraid. No, I still get afraid. And it’s okay. When I wake up in the morning, and I have pain I go, there’s the split second of not again, and then No, no, it’s not that. And I move on.

Bill Gasiamis 1:22:58
Yeah. And it’s been a long time. And this is the thing, like, people need to understand that stroke recovery is ongoing, it kind of never ends, and you’re always going back to that moment, or some space in time. And you’re always thinking about, and it’s okay, if it’s fleeting, then it’s all right, you know, it comes into your mind and spends a little time there, and then it goes away.

Bill Gasiamis 1:23:18
You know, if it’s not, then you need to work out why it’s still in your mind and how you can ease that, what you need to learn to overcome that, you know, how you need to upgrade your skills, or your emotional state or your mental state, you know, who needs to get support from?

Bill Gasiamis 1:23:35
Well, I’ve been in counseling, since I was 25. And I go still. And in lockdown, we weren’t able to go to counseling, and that was a real drama. But I’m in counseling, and I go there. And that’s where I go to get somebody to give me a third perspective, give me another perspective of my behavior, how I act, what I’m feeling, is it legitimate, you know, so that we can just hash it out and see if we can, you know, see if I can evolve further continue to evolve my way of approaching response.

Bill Gasiamis 1:24:14
And my way of responding to, to the world and to my situation and to the situation around us and to COVID at the beginning, I was terrible. I was like, so bad, with the political aspect of how COVID has been dealt with in Melbourne. And then towards the end, it’s like, I’m still dissatisfied with a lot of things, but I’m not interacting with that stuff now,.

Bill Gasiamis 1:24:41
And I’m not letting it occupy my mind as much because it’s out of my control. I’ve control the controllables I can control my response and how I behave. And what an example I’m setting, but I can’t control what the politicians are doing. Let’s be honest, they’re going to do what they want to do.

Steve 1:25:00
That’s a great quote, control the controllables.

Bill Gasiamis 1:25:03
Yeah, right. It’s not my quote, I think it came from, you know, one of the ancient philosophers or something, but I hear about it. I hear about it a lot from a guy called Ryan Holiday, who wrote a book called, which I have right here, which is called the obstacle is the way.

Seeking Out Support

Bill Gasiamis 1:25:24
And check that out. Yeah, it’s a great book, actually amazing book. And we’re at that point, I’m at that point where, you know, you seek help out to ease your mind about that thing that you felt, I do that as well. And then I also seek out help to go and get another perspective of this part of me that I haven’t mastered yet.

Bill Gasiamis 1:25:50
You know, this, this need to go into the rabbit hole of, you know, nuttiness or craziness or anger, or, you know, whatever it is. So that’s what we’re encouraging here. We’re encouraging seek out support or help from wherever you can.

Steve 1:26:08
Yeah, I’ve been going to my therapist since I was, Oh, my God, probably 27, 28 years old and 42. So however long that is. And he’s been amazing to me. And during this time, I remember, oh, man, it was so funny. I had to call and cancel an appointment. Because we had our standing appointment, and I missed it because I was in the hospital.

Steve 1:26:29
So I had to call him and he was like, yeah, like, where are you? You’re okay. And I was like, Oh, I’m in the hospital, I had a stroke. And he was like, Oh, my God. And this is in September, right. And so towards the end of the year, I still met with him during that period. But he ended up waiving all my fees, because he was like, you went through something terrible, don’t worry about it.

Steve 1:26:52
I mean, like, that’s like a serious. I mean, we were like, best friends at that point, you know. And I still talked to him, I talked to him just a week and a half ago, I talked to him regularly. And I need him. You know, I need that space. He’s, a person. He’s a great person.

Steve 1:27:12
But he’s going to retire at some point, you know, but I need that space, a third party, that unbiased opinion, who, who cares? Just enough, right? And who will tell you how it is from a psychological perspective, because I’m not a psychologist, just like, I’m not a neurologist. I’m not a psychologist. That’s not my job. Here’s what’s going on in me. Help. Tell me what you think, you know. And so it’s that delegation again, right?

Bill Gasiamis 1:27:42
It’s so valuable. And it’s non judgmental. That’s why I sought it out initially is because I always felt like a little bit of a black duck in my family, you know, I had these ideas and these thoughts and this method of approaching life and it didn’t always work at home, like it didn’t fit in.

Bill Gasiamis 1:27:59
And it was weird. And I always used to feel like, they don’t get me and they don’t because they go about life differently. Right. And I used to go there nonjudgmental. And I had a relationship with this lady for 20 something years, and I thought she was never going to retire or always be around. And she passed away about a year and a half ago.

Steve 1:28:23
I’m sorry to hear that.

Bill Gasiamis 1:28:24
Yeah, thank you, man. She was 83. And she passed away, in practice, like helping somebody. And it was like, it was nutty. I had spoken to a few weeks before that. And we were at that stage where the family had been there, my wife had been through my kids had been through all together or separately, you know, all over the place over the years.

Bill Gasiamis 1:28:46
And that one relationship was kind of the one solid guiding, always had my back kind of relationship that I could always go back to to reroute and to readjust and to re sort of revisit all the stuff that was bothering me or that I thought I was annoyed about that was somebody else’s fault or whatever, you know.

Bill Gasiamis 1:29:15
And when she passed away, in this last sort of 18 months, or whatever it’s been, I can’t remember I think it’s been nearly a year or more that’s when the I missed that opportunity to go and see her therefore I struggled through those early phases of COVID lock downs and all that type of thing and then recently picked up another amazing counselor and things are starting to settle down a bit as the restrictions have lifted everything sort of come together again, you know.

Bill Gasiamis 1:29:46
So it’s, I think one of my most valuable relationships. I’ll miss her forever. And she was just an amazing, staunch lady. She had my back all the time and And I never once did it feel like even though I was paying her for a time, never wants to feel like this whole thing that some people do is like, you know, why would I go and pay somebody to sit there and really give a shit, right?

Bill Gasiamis 1:30:16
Well, they do give a shit. That’s, why they have this career. That’s why they spent 12 years at university or wherever to become somebody that you can go to, and get support from unbiased without judgment all the time. I mean, no matter what.

Steve 1:30:39
The response to therapy that I run into, in the past from certain people is, why would I exactly what he said, Why would I pay someone to tell me what’s wrong with me? And I’m like, no, he’s never told me what’s wrong with me. He doesn’t tell me anything. He allows me the space to make the connections myself. He allows me the space to see myself through his unbiased eyes.

Steve 1:31:43
And you can’t have a relationship of a psychologist without a psychologist, like he has to be that person. If you hate exactly, if you hang out with him outside of the practice, then he’s a friend. And the relationship has changed. And it’s evolved.

Bill Gasiamis 1:32:25
And it’s no longer this non judgmental. non bias, you know, always got your back kind of space, it’s a different space, things are different because you’re interacting together iin a more usual way or common way, you know? So where are you at with the whole recovery now? How’s the band going? How have things changed over the last nine years as you’re coming into your 10th year?

Steve 1:32:57
I mean, things are amazing. My life is fantastic. Like I said, I got married just over a year ago. Our life has been fantastic. We have two awesome little kitties. And I know you have at least one cat, right?

Bill Gasiamis 1:33:11
Yeah.

Steve 1:33:12
Yeah. And so we have two cats who keep us occupied. And we love them. I have like, 1000s of pictures, and I just take pictures of them all day, you know. And then as far as music goes, I’ve been working. It’s been a challenging to time during COVID for music, because I’ve always been writing and COVID kind of hit and I just kind of struggled a little bit in that space.

Steve 1:33:37
And it was like, hard for me to find any inspiration, which is natural. And as I talk to people who have creative spaces, they would say the same thing. Well, it’s been difficult, right? Some people were able to turn it on and just go nuts and put stuff out. And that’s awesome.

Steve 1:33:49
I wasn’t, but my wife and I play in a band together. And we’re working on music, slowly but surely. And it’s a hopefully going to be ready for the light of day, next year, mid next year, hopefully. And you know, just kind of always seeing what kind of projects are out there. But for me, one of the biggest accomplishments that I’ve had in the last few years is finding my role in that design manager space.

Steve 1:34:12
And that’s been really grateful. This is the first time in my life it’s been a grateful opportunity. But It’s the first time in my life that I love my job. And I’ve always just worked to get paid and that was it. Because I don’t make a living on music or photographer or These are these other things I do.

Steve 1:34:33
But finding design and becoming finding my value in that space has been wonderful. It’s also one of these things that like, you know, I consider myself a very social person. I love people I love getting to know people. I love these types of situations where it gets into learn people stories, and in a role of people management and design.

Steve 1:34:55
There’s this great crossover where I’m always meeting people and helping people and provide A space for them to be seen and heard. And also learning a whole ton myself, because I only know this much. And these other people have access in depth of knowledge that I have no idea.

Steve 1:35:12
So it’s fun to learn from everyone. And that’s been great. I’m really lucky in that space. Yeah, I mean, overall, it’s like when that when the anniversaries come, we celebrate, like I said, we hang out with friends and kick it have a couple drinks, you know. And next year, we’ll be 10. And it’s gonna be, it’ll be interesting to see where we are at that point. You know, I’m looking forward.

Finding Joy In Passion

Steve Molter
Bill Gasiamis 1:35:37
Yeah, that’s awesome. How important is to have this passion project on the side that you guys are working on. It’s a long distant project, and there’s always something that it’s gonna happen in the future. But you’re not getting paid for it. So what’s the point of it?

Steve 1:35:53
Yeah, that’s a great question. That’s the question. I always asked myself, Why do I do this? Right? For a long time, the answer was because I have to, you know, I felt the need, I had to make music. And now, it’s coming back to because I want to, and that’s, I’d rather be there.

Steve 1:36:15
There was, you know, when I first started playing guitar didn’t know what I was doing. It was the child’s mind. And it was beautiful. And I just made stuff up. And it was something was good. Something wasn’t good. It didn’t matter. I didn’t care if it was good or not. I just wanted it to come out of me and have my colleagues and my bands, think it was good.

Steve 1:36:33
And then I got really focused on trying to make music that maybe other people are really gonna like. And then I started thinking about why am I doing it? Because, you know, I don’t get paid a lot. I mean, I get paid streaming royalties, which are, like, insignificant, and that’s a whole other conversation.

Steve 1:36:51
But now, I feel like, you know, I have to write music again, because I want to, you know, and finding that joy in that space is really valuable to me. And I want to find that joy again, because it’s been gone for a few years, you know, not that it’s been not joyful. It’s just harder to tap into regularly.

Bill Gasiamis 1:37:12
Yeah, when there’s a lot of emotional turmoil happening around us, because of all the stuff that’s going on in the world. It’s hard to be creative. I mean, that’s, I think, where creativity really lives is in the heart, right?

Bill Gasiamis 1:37:24
And if you can’t connect to your heart, well, then you’re going to be struggling to be creative. You can’t think a song into existence, you have to feel it as well. You know, you can’t just write down the notes and then get somebody to sing it without any heart. Like this just doesn’t work.

Steve 1:37:44
Agreed. Agreed. And that’s part of the challenge. Where is my heart? What do I want to say? What do I have to say? Is is valuable? Do I even want to put this out there to be heard. And I have to figure that out? You know, so it’s part of the process.

Bill Gasiamis 1:38:01
Steve, it’s been amazing getting to know you and chat with you. And I really want to thank you for being on the podcast and for sharing your journey and your story. I think this is a really valuable episode for people listening. If you’re kind of listening, and you haven’t really paid attention to many things, that’s fine as well.

Bill Gasiamis 1:38:21
But go back and listen a couple of times, because some of the stuff that we’ve shared here, is really important to your recovery is really important to your life going forward. But not only your life like everybody’s life that you’re interacting with, and that you impact.

Bill Gasiamis 1:38:34
So hopefully you get as much out of this episode, as I got out of it. I’ve just absolutely thoroughly loved this. And, yeah, I wish you well, man, and with the 10th year of with the anniversary coming up in the next 12 months. So hope is a smashing year now that things are sort of starting to settle down.

Steve 1:38:56
Thank you, Bill, it’s been such a pleasure to talk to you. I’m so grateful that you’ve made the time and we finally got to connect. And I agree, this has been very helpful for me to get your story and to talk to you and to share with someone who knows, you know, I don’t meet stroke survivors that often. So when I do, I’m always like, you know, and I’m glad you took the time to share your story, too. So thank you so much for having me.

Bill Gasiamis 1:39:18
Thanks for listening to the show. I hope you got a lot out of it and learn something new. And I hope that it’s giving you a bit of an insight into some of the things that go on in the mind of somebody who’s had a stroke, reflecting back after eight or nine years, so that you can get an understanding of how far you can come especially if you’re early on in your recovery phase.

Bill Gasiamis 1:39:47
Now, whether you’ve been navigating your journey for weeks, months or years, I know firsthand how difficult it can be to get the answers you need. The road is both physically and mentally challenging from reclaiming your independence to Getting back to work and rebuilding your confidence and more.

Bill Gasiamis 1:40:03
The symptoms don’t follow rulebook and as soon as you leave hospital, you no longer have medical professionals on tap. I know for me it felt as if I was teaching myself a new language from scratch with no native speaker in sight. If this sounds like you, I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone and there is a better way to navigate your recovery and rebuild a fulfilling life that you love.

Bill Gasiamis 1:40:24
I’ve created an inclusive, supportive and accessible membership community called recovery after stroke. This only one support and Resource Program is designed to help you take back your health into your own hands.

Bill Gasiamis 1:40:37
This is your guided book through every step in your journey, from reducing fatigue to strengthening your brain health, to overcoming anxiety and more, to find out more and to join the community for just $1 Head to recoveryafterstroke.com thanks for listening and see you on the next episode.

Intro 1:40:52
Importantly, we present many podcasts designed to give you an insight and understanding into the experiences of other individuals opinions and treatment protocols disgusting any podcast or the individual’s own experience and we do not necessarily share the same opinion nor do we recommend any treatment protocol discussed.

Intro 1:41:10
All content on this website at any linked blog, podcast or video material controlled this website or content is created and produced for informational purposes only and is largely based on the personal experience of Bill Gasiamis, the content is intended to complement your medical treatment and support healing.

Intro 1:41:26
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 did not use our content as a standalone resource to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease for therapeutic purposes or is a substitute for the advice of a health professional.

Intro 1:41:47
Never delay seeking advice or disregard the advice of a medical professional your doctor or your rehabilitation program based on our content. If you have any questions or concerns about your health or medical condition, please seek guidance from a doctor or other medical professional if you are experiencing a health emergency or think you might be call triple zero in Australia or your local emergency number immediately for emergency assistance or go to the nearest hospital emergency department

Intro 1:42:12
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The post Spontaneous Vertebral Artery Dissection – Steve Molter appeared first on Recovery After Stroke.

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Steve Molter was 33 when he experienced a stroke as a result of a spontaneous vertebral artery dissection. Since then he have overcome much and considers the stroke one of the best things that has ever happened. Steve Molter was 33 when he experienced a stroke as a result of a spontaneous vertebral artery dissection. Since then he have overcome much and considers the stroke one of the best things that has ever happened. Recovery After Stroke 1:42:38
Cerebellum Stroke Recovery – Mark Sanchez https://recoveryafterstroke.com/cerebellum-stroke-recovery-mark-sanchez/ Mon, 29 Nov 2021 14:55:15 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8435 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/cerebellum-stroke-recovery-mark-sanchez/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/cerebellum-stroke-recovery-mark-sanchez/feed/ 0 <p>Mark Sanchez experienced a cerebellum stroke which may have been as a result from a dissection in one of his arteries that was most likely caused by a car collision while on a business trip in Las Vegas two years prior to the stroke event.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/cerebellum-stroke-recovery-mark-sanchez/">Cerebellum Stroke Recovery – Mark Sanchez</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Mark Sanchez experienced a cerebellum stroke which may have been as a result of a dissection in one of his arteries that was most likely caused by a car collision while on a business trip in Las Vegas two years prior to the stroke event.

Socials:
https://www.instagram.com/msanch85

Highlights:

02:22 Introduction
05:52 Cerebellum stroke
13:39 The Accident
19:27 “It’s All Good”
29:10 The Backpack
37:59 Dealing With Identity Shift
40:00 Living With Gratitude
47:47 A Three-pronged Approach
53:50 Going Through Depression
1:03:15 Physical Activity
1:14:00 Recovery Team
1:24:37 Educating People
1:34:59 Emotional Difficulties

Transcription:

Mark 0:00
I’m so much more thankful for those things because you, as you know, or business owners as they know like we’re on a constant move or we used to put 12-16 hours a day, there was a time I didn’t have a day off for seven years. You know, people don’t see that aspect of what I do.

Mark 0:17
But you know, those times and you know, you’re still there doing these things with your kids or band or whatever it is. But now when this happens to you, I really appreciate for instance with my new relationship with Margarita I love taking Gavin to school, the youngest to school.

Mark 0:37
Because those are things like when I see him walk, I just love that situation. Because, you know, there was a time where that wasn’t gonna probably happen or it may not happen. It just makes you smell the roses because when you’re always thinking of something else, you’re not present.

Intro 0:58
This is the recovery after stroke podcast, with Bill Gasiamis, helping you navigate recovery after stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 1:11
Hello, and welcome to recovery after stroke a podcast full of answers, advice and practical tools for stroke survivors to help you take back your life after a stroke and build a stronger future. I’m your host three times stroke survivor Bill Gasiamis.

Bill Gasiamis 1:26
After my life was turned upside down, and I went from being an active Father, to being stuck in hospital, I knew if I wanted to get my life back. The recovery was up to me. After years of researching and discovering and learning how to heal my brain and rebuild a healthier and happier life than I ever dreamed possible.

Bill Gasiamis 1:45
And now I’ve made it my mission to empower other stroke survivors like you to recover faster, achieve your goals and take back the freedom you deserve. If you enjoy this episode and want more resources, accessible training and hands on support, check out my recovery after stroke membership community created especially for stroke survivors and caregivers.

Bill Gasiamis 2:06
This is your clear pathway to transform your symptoms, reduce your anxiety, and navigate your journey to recovery with confidence, head to recoveryafterstroke.com to find out more after this podcast. But for now, let’s dive right into today’s show.

Introduction – Mark Sanchez

Cerebellum Stroke
Bill Gasiamis 2:22
This is episode 170. And my guest today is Mark Sanchez, Mark experienced a major car collision that led to a dissection in one of his arteries that eventually led to a cerebellum stroke. Mark Sanchez, welcome to the podcast.

Mark 2:41
Thank you, Bill, how are you doing today?

Bill Gasiamis 2:43
Doing good man, thank you for being here. For somebody who’s very private, you’re about to be very vulnerable. And you’re about to put it all out there for everyone on the planet to hear if they wish. Tell me a little bit about your motivation first to get on the podcast?

Mark 3:03
Well, you had a friend of mine, Christina Deville, on earlier on their podcast. And when she had her stroke, a friend of mine reached out to me and said that she had a stroke. I didn’t know that happened.

Mark 3:18
So, you know, I was corresponding back and forth helping her because I had it happened to me prior to her. And so I just wanted to be there as you know, a source of backing because this is such a difficult, you know, journey that you go through when you have these things happen to you.

Mark 3:39
So when I saw her I said, you know, I’m pretty private person. And like, I don’t tell people, you know, what’s going on too much. So when I saw her on here, and I said, you know, I think it means will help me in my recovery to talk about it and not, you know, put it somewhere else and or just, be the tough guy of the situation, right?

Mark 4:02
Like, oh, yeah, I can handle anything. So I saw it and you know, it was really endearing to me. So in turn me helping her she helped me. That’s the beautiful thing about it. You know, me trying to help her help me.

Bill Gasiamis 4:21
Fantastic. So that’s the interesting thing about the podcast as well. I thought I was doing it for everybody else, which I am. But I get a lot out of it as well. And that’s kind of unexpected.

Bill Gasiamis 4:36
So I really appreciate that you did take the leap to put yourself out there and go down this path you’ve never been before, which is you’re not revealing anything that most people don’t know about life or about human beings.

Bill Gasiamis 4:54
You’re revealing some of your innermost feelings I’m imagining which is maybe something that you don’t get to do that often. And a lot of I’ll speak for men, a lot of men don’t do that very well, they don’t share very well. And it is a bit of a burden for some men to think that they can share.

Bill Gasiamis 5:15
And for the men who want to share, to not be able to know how to do that, and not know what happens afterwards, not much happens afterwards, after you’re vulnerable and share not much happens, except you feel a little bit lighter.

Bill Gasiamis 5:30
And most people respond positively. The negative comments don’t usually come. And when they do come, if they come, they’re coming from people who are even more affected, or even more suffering or struggling than you are. So tell me a little bit about what happened to you.

Cerebellum stroke

Mark 5:52
So it was a very unique situation. Ultimately, I’ll start from the car, I had a car accident, my business partner and I were in Las Vegas a car hit us, we had some damage. And you know, being tough guys again, oh, yeah, we’re good, figured it out. And then I started developing neck pain.

Mark 6:18
And so I was getting adjusted. And, then not putting blame on anybody. But I was getting my neck adjusted. And so what happened was, is I’m just going to fast forward to when it all occurred to me, but that’s the prior story, we can go in detail to that forever, but was, so what happened, I was having neck pains, and I was getting adjusted.

Mark 6:46
And I was you know, I own a business, I was working quite a bit long now always long hours. And I said, I’m going to go get adjusted. And next thing, you know, I felt like my ear was to the right side of my foot, I couldn’t lift my body up-straight.

Mark 7:05
You know, I was getting ready to go see the chiropractor for my neck. And it hit me in my bedroom, where it was like such a powerful force pushing my ear down to the right side of my body. And I said, and I’m in healthcare, senior health care. So I understand about strokes and things.

Mark 7:27
And I knew what was happening to me, but I couldn’t articulate because of what was happening. And at the time. I had a girlfriend named Danielle. And she said, look, you’re having a stroke. And I told her I was having a stroke. And she said, you know, you need to get to the hospital right away.

Mark 7:47
Well, my brother and I worked together. We’re business partners. It’s a family business at the time. And I called him and I said, look, you need to come get me, I was able to put some words together. I need to go to the hospital, which is very close to where we live.

Mark 8:04
And he says no, call the ambulance. And I knew not to call the ambulance because being in the business, you know, a young man that can’t articulate, my arm to the ground. Like I knew those are all critical moments in getting to the hospital.

Mark 8:20
And so I’m like, no, you need to come get me because they’re going to sit there, they’re going to set up an IV that, you know, I know the system like they’re going to try and do their due diligence, of course. So they have some information by the time you get to the hospital.

Mark 8:34
So and then that gets generally transferred from first the fire department then the ambulance then the hospital. So my brother got me in got to the hospital right away. And since I deal with this hospital quite a bit, Dr. Volpi, who I’ve known for quite a long time, happened to be the neurologist there.

Mark 8:56
And, you know, we got to the hospital, my brother said he’s having a stroke, I get into the room, from when I felt the effects into getting a CT scan 40 minutes. So it was very critical for me. And so by the time I got back to the room, Dr. Volpi says, you know, I’m having what’s called a cerebellum stroke, because it’s equilibrium it has nothing to do with the atrophy of muscles or paralysis on one side or another.

Mark 9:29
It’s all left and right. So then they get me right to the ICU, and I’m in the ICU within 52 minutes. And speaking to my brother, of course, I don’t really know what’s happening at this point.

Mark 9:47
I’m just feeling like someone’s got a knife in my brain, you know that I felt a direct pain inside not sure. But, you know, Dr. Volpi, and my brother said lucky we’re able to get the clot buster. because it was a blood clot that went to my brain started in my artery went 80% of my artery then directly to my right side cerebellum.

Bill Gasiamis 10:08
So it sounds like you also had a tear in your artery.

Mark 10:14
That’s correct, that’s how this all…

Bill Gasiamis 10:16
Dissection.

Mark 10:18
Yeah, this is the dissection. Absolutely correct. And so, I’m in ICU, and you know, being the man I am, I said, look, I’m all right, you guys, but literally, I had a computer and a nurse there. And I guess what they were telling my family is, we’re lucky to get that out, but you know, he’s got 30% chance, he still could bleed to death, you know, we were able to get the clot buster in there and bust up the clot.

Mark 10:48
And, then you know, then in ICU, and then going down to the step down unit, and then go into therapy, I was in the hospital 28 days. And, you know, by day, 20th, I was trying to learn how to walk.

Mark 11:05
So basically, it just went from that to, you know, I’m worried about walking, and I just ran 12 miles the weekend before, and it’s kind of my thing and worked out at the gym, and like, you know, don’t do drugs, I don’t know, alcohol, too often. Just socially, of course, I smoke pot once in a while with, you know, here and there.

Mark 11:30
But I don’t do drugs, you know, and I don’t drink alcohol and consume it on a daily basis, I consume a lot of water. So it’s very shocking for me to be in that, you know, hospital bed and thinking, Oh, my god, is this my next existence, you know, where I just feel like, I just can’t straighten up my body.

Mark 11:50
And I felt so weak. Because I’ve always been able to kind of get myself out of whatever physical situation it is. But it just brings you to your knees when you can’t straighten yourself up to just take a step or two.

Bill Gasiamis 12:11
You’re similar to a lady who I interviewed Clodah Dunlop way back in episode 37, you’re going to be episode 170 or something. And actually, Episode 38 was Clodah. And she’s a police officer and she had a mild collision during the course of her work, it wasn’t a police incident or anything like that.

Bill Gasiamis 12:36
I think it was just a regular collision. And she, as a result, had a whiplash incident or she moved ahead very quickly forward and backwards. And she had a strange headache and neck pain for I’m pretty certain it was a few months afterwards. And what it turned out being was a dissection, and therefore it threw off a blood clot that blood clot caused her stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 13:08
And then she was locked in. She had locked in syndrome. And then she’s been on a really huge recovery from then. And she’s doing great. It’s about five or six years since that, and she’s back to work. And she has some deficits, and she has some challenges with spasticity in one of her arms, but she’s really getting better. Now, the collision for her was really minor was yours. Also a minor collision? What happened?

The Accident That Caused The Cerebellum stroke

Mark 13:39
It was a major car accident. A bread truck ran a red light going into the MGM and hit my business partner, Joe and I in a taxi cab and spun us all the way through Flamingo to the other side of the sidewalk. So I mean, it was major in that aspect.

Mark 14:02
But you know, looking at it, I wish I would have gone through of you know, yeah, get money for this situation because I’m always Oh no, I don’t want to sue or anything like that. I do recommend if you’re in a car accident, you make sure that it’s not for just that moment.

Mark 14:18
It’s later it could be you know, a year later because this happened it took a couple of years before this occurred, you know, so it wasn’t where this was something that happened right away after the car accident. This happened years later. Because finally the last adjustment or whatever I had is what they think they still don’t know sparked that to happen.

Bill Gasiamis 14:47
Okay, so had you had headaches in those years?

Mark 14:51
Oh, yeah. I’ve never had headaches in my life. I would have headaches and then neck pain constantly. And then now since this has happened, I’ve never had headaches or migraines now since this has happened, I get migraines.

Bill Gasiamis 15:08
Is it standard practice to be taken to a hospital after a collision like that for you to be checked out for the people that were involved to be looked at?

Mark 15:18
And we did and we went to the hospital. But what happened was, which is a very unique situation is they left us there for hours. Like, on these neck braces on a hard table, they never moved us. And by the time they got to us, I’m like, Hey, we’re okay, let’s go, you know what I mean?

Mark 15:37
And, you know, they left it there really a long time, so long that I was in more pain from the apparatus that was in than the accident. And, so yeah, it was quite quick, really. In retrospect, I handled that completely wrong. You know, I really did. I should have really stayed there, got checked out, you know, follow through through everything.

Mark 16:07
But you know, if I feel okay, I’m gonna keep going. Like, that’s just been my life’s motto, you know, an ignorant motto. Because men have that bravado. I don’t know why. But men don’t like to go to doctors to see him if they’re sick or whatever. And I think women, you know, there’s so much better at is because they have to go they go see the GYBM, you know what I mean? And, and so, like, there used to go into the doctor’s a man’s like, Ah, I’ll wait till it falls off. You know? Everything before you start seeing a doctor.

Mark 16:11
Yeah. I know what you mean, look, I think it’s just simply because we’re just shaped differently, you know, we’re not designed to be nurturing. So, you know, women are nurturing, therefore, they also do self nurturing better, they also do self care better. They’re meant to be that way.

Bill Gasiamis 16:43
This is my scientific, you know, approach to this whole situation. Men, you know, we’re not supposed to be really that nurturing, although, I enjoy being and I love, you know, supporting my family and my kids and all that kind of stuff. But, even then, it’s a bit kind of tough love, you know, we do the tough love, come on, you’ll be right, get over it, move on.

Bill Gasiamis 17:32
And it’s nothing, it’s just a flesh wound. And then what we do is the same thing to ourselves. So we struggle to get to therapy, to hospital to get somebody to care for us, you know, we just shrug it off. And I find that one of the hardest things with the podcast is getting men on. I can reach out to women all over the place all day, every day.

Bill Gasiamis 17:58
And they’ll all say yes, and they’ll be on in a heartbeat. But getting men on is very difficult. So when I get somebody contacting me and said, they want to be on especially guy, I get really excited. It’s like, well, there’s not enough representation of men in this space where men are standing up and saying, Hey, I’m not okay, I need help. And something hurts, I need to get checked out. It might be serious. And unfortunately, we all end up there being a little bit wiser after the incident has escalated.

Mark 18:32
When I was in the hospital, I think what’s important to, going back to all this is to have such a positive attitude, because I never thought that I was just going to be in that bed. You know, and I think that’s a man’s attitude, too. Like, you know, my legs might be hurt, but let me drag myself forward three inches, you know, that type of thing.

Mark 18:58
And no, you’re right about that is it’s hard for men to say, you know, what, I need to talk to somebody, I need help, or, you know, I need this. Because, we were driven by society and actually our own DNA as hunters and gatherers, to do that, you know, it’s not it’s, it’s more than just us in the modern time. We’ve got our blood roots coming back from, you know, whenever.

“It’s All Good”

Cerebellum Stroke
Bill Gasiamis 19:27
It’s really important. You need to, almost, and I’m speaking for myself, and some of the people that I know, the men that I know is you need to almost trick them into going and get help. You know, I remember my wife, I was ignoring the symptoms of my stroke for seven days.

Bill Gasiamis 19:48
And the first time and by the end of it, I think she was over it and she said, look, let’s go to the hospital. They’ll find there’s nothing wrong with you, and then you’ll go back to your normal life tomorrow. And I thought that was a great idea. That’s why I went to the hospital.

Bill Gasiamis 20:04
The chiropractor before that had told me to go. My wife kept telling me to go, I was walking differently. I was feeling differently, I was acting differently. And I did nothing took no advice, she had to tell me that I was gonna go there, they were gonna tell me it was all good. And then I could just go back to work. Seven days later, I couldn’t feel my entire left side, Mark. And I was just telling everybody, it’s all good.

Mark 20:34
Yeah, and you know, right. I mean, that’s just how it is. I guess I was laboring the last few days before, you know, I went to San Francisco, walked around, I ran the day before that it happened. And, of course, ignoring all these indicators, right? Like, Hey, dummy, sit down, get yourself to the hospital, sit yourself up and see what’s wrong. But no, right? We just keep going.

Intro 21:06
If you’ve had a stroke, and you’re in recovery, you’ll know what a scary and confusing time it can be, you’re likely to have a lot of questions going through your mind. Like, how long will it take to recover? Will I actually recover? What things should I avoid in case I make matters worse?

Intro 21:23
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 21:45
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 Gasiamis 22:08
What did you do about the headache over the two years? Did you take the same approach to that? Or did you actually try and get it look that?

Mark 22:15
You know what I just thought, so I was playing in soccer leagues and different things. And I thought, you know, maybe, it was from a goal from the head or whatever it may be, you know, I played basketball. I just be like, I maybe I’m not drinking enough water, you know, so I go down all these checklists of things, am I taking the right amount of protein in you know, what’s going on, because I really, physically put my body through a lot, you know, I work out I run I I’m a physical person.

Mark 22:53
So I would always think that maybe I’m this, you know, something I don’t have balance correctly. You know, I really didn’t put two and two together, you know, that, Oh, it’s from that or, or, you know, I played American football in high school in college. And, I’m used to head to head collisions, more than the average person.

Mark 23:17
And so, there’s that too. So it was a unique venture of, I’m used to getting these things happening to me, maybe it’s just something I’m taking wrong or eating wrong. That was the indicator. It really was, you know, when I think of those things, I would implore people to please go see the doctor when they start getting headaches, and it’s not normal, or like, you know, their shoulders are so tight, like they can’t move their neck.

Mark 23:52
Like they should get checked out. Because, you know, if I would have caught this before, which Dr. Volpi said is was going to be almost impossible, just because of where the cerebellum is behind the thicker plate of your skull, so I would have to get what’s called the CTA, CAT scan where it goes through the density of the bone. So that’s why it’s a very unique cerebellum is very unique, very special spot.

Bill Gasiamis 24:25
And, not only that, you’re not even aware of what to ask for what to do the complexity of this. It’s so ridiculous. You’re not most of us are not from a medical background. We there’s no way of actually knowing unfortunately, what we’re going to do is just go off our hunch, our gut instinct rather than our head.

Bill Gasiamis 24:46
Instead of trying to work our way through the checklist. It’s like checking with your body. Your body’s telling you, it’s even showing you because your balance is off and your head is hurting. I mean, that’s a classic sign that something’s not right.

Mark 25:00
Bill, it’s even worse for me because I have been studying the brain for quite a long time due to what we do in senior health care we deal with a lot of stroke victims, people that fallen hit their heads, traumatic brain injuries, like you know it, I hate to say it, even being in that field and knowing what’s happening.

Mark 25:20
Sometimes you’re so focused, you have no peripheral vision, you understand what I mean is like you stumble into this like you don’t, that’s why it’s so important to have a partner to have peripheral vision for you.

Mark 25:36
Because we whenever we do even in business and life, and I’ve said it many times with my partner, whatever it is, sometimes when we work on something so hard, we’re so narrow minded, we don’t have the peripheral vision, it’s so important to get someone else’s ideas to bounce off. Because you know, you’re so focused on something, it’s the same thing with being in this field and still not knowing, you know, that’s going to happen to me.

Bill Gasiamis 26:02
How old were you?

Mark 26:05
So this happened in 2017. So I was 44 years old. And like I said, everybody like my close family because I didn’t want anybody really to know. So it was close family and friends that only knew what was happening, they were shocked because they know that what I do with my body and how I eat and how I take care of myself, because that’s I love being outdoors running and working out. That’s, what I love to do. And so they were really shocked.

Bill Gasiamis 26:36
So you’re 44 you’re working in a professional community home placement for senior loved ones. So you’re dealing with seniors all the time. And you’ve never seen a stroke survivor. At your age, you only ever see stroke survivors who are seniors, right? So you’re not doing the connection you’re going. This doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t add up. But if what you know now is that stroke doesn’t discriminate. Everyone can have a stroke at any age.

Mark 27:09
And you know, what’s so crazy is like, I understand, you’re like what people don’t want their kids to play football, even though I love the game or whatever, because you can, you know, not every not all of us are designed properly. And the brain itself, it’s still it’s held together by fluid.

Mark 27:27
Like there’s nothing like you know, any protective measure our skull is the protective measure. And every time you get a contact, and your brain compresses against your skull, you know, now you have some kind of damage and issues. And you know, I come from a family of martial arts.

Mark 27:46
So I’ve always had, you know, hand to hand combat, you know, getting hit in the head and all those things are like, normal, right? But when you really start understanding the brain even more, I thought I knew something about it. I didn’t know a damn thing until this happened to me.

Mark 28:03
Then you understand the severity of listen, you fall in hit your head, it’s an automatic trip to the hospital, don’t tough it out. Like don’t think that you’re okay, because you don’t know how your head or your brain has gone against your skull. And what kind of bruising damage or, you know, one little blood vessel that’s leaking could be your life. So it’s a unique situation.

Bill Gasiamis 28:31
And it’s very unique. And there’s no real way to I suppose this podcast tries to do that educate people. But there’s no real way to get people who are not stroke survivors to be listening to this podcast. They’re not really paying attention, they don’t really care.

Bill Gasiamis 28:50
So hopefully, what we’re doing is by doing this is somebody who knows you will listen to this episode, who’s not a stroke survivor, who wants to hear your story so that they can then maybe trigger themselves later on down the track if they happen to come across somebody who is going through something strange.

Mark Sanchez’s Backpack


Mark 29:10
And you know what, it’s more than, you know, I call it a blessing and a curse. Well, you know, really, it’s a blessing in the aspect that like, I learned, okay, I sold off my business here. And I got bought out and, you know, was on my way to recovery. But it also gave me an attitude. Like, I don’t have time for minimal stuff.

Mark 29:39
You know, it really unleashed a beauty in my life where I don’t really put up with stuff. I don’t I call it a backpack. I don’t put my backpack full of stress. I’m going to do what I’m going to do. And I’m going to take care of my family and the people that I love, and I’m not going to be bothered by little things, little things don’t bother me anymore.

Mark 30:03
They used to bother me. But when you’ve put in a situation where your first your life’s in jeopardy, and then, you know, like I was saying, I had to learn how to walk again. And I was going to therapy, and you know, here’s a, you know, 200 pounds, six foot one guy learning to walk, I couldn’t turn around my, at the time, my girlfriend Danielle, and my best friend, Tony and Andrew, were there.

Mark 30:27
When I was with the walker, learning how to walk. I didn’t know how to go back. I didn’t know how to turn the walker around. You know, I mean, it was mind numbing things like that aspect of not being able to turn so now when someone says, oh, I don’t like you or what? Have a great day.

Mark 30:47
You know what I mean? Because I think back to that moment, you know, how raw and how vulnerable and how, you know, a moment’s time changes your whole life?

Bill Gasiamis 31:00
Yeah. It’s a line in the sand moment, and you realize that you’re not here for long, you’re here for a short amount of time, it could just have easily have been over if we didn’t have the kind of medical help that we have in this day and age in the Western countries. I mean, neither me or you would have been here, like and every other person I’ve had on the podcast, let’s face it, none of them would have been on my podcast, they wouldn’t exist.

Mark 31:27
And you know, it’s so unique that you say that, and I was even more blessed. First of all, being in the business that I am, I live right by three major hospitals that I mean, that doesn’t work. You know, like Dr. Volpi said if I would have waited any much longer, you know, first of all, it’s a very unique cerebellum stroke when they went through all the stroke protocols, I pass them all.

Mark 31:50
The only thing that doctor, first I had a 20 something year relationship with Dr. Volpi and the nurses that were inside there, Mark and Jeremy, who have I’ve spent many years working with them, then the stag miss was the only thing that was showing that I had a stroke, or they would send people home.

Mark 32:11
So a lot of times with the cerebellum stroke, only 3% or cerebellum strokes, they’re very rare. And what happens with that is they exude somebody that has a migraine, and they send them home and they usually pass from the cerebellum stroke more than they do any other stroke, because it doesn’t show any paralysis, you see or weakness or whatever it may be.

Bill Gasiamis 32:37
Yeah, the lack of balance cause dizziness, and nausea, and those types of issues for you while you’re recovering? And even now is it’s still an issue now?

Mark 32:53
So it took me a while to start walking again. And you know, I went to the physical therapist, and then it slowly as it healed, because, you know, obviously, now we have you to have a dark spot on your brain mind just happens to be the cerebellum.

Mark 33:11
And in the cerebellum, there’s only two cerebellum only thing that you have to have of your brain, a left and a right, just so you know of cerebellums. So what happened is once I got to feeling like, Okay, I felt better than the physical therapist that was training because I’ve been training my whole life, I moved on to working out by myself.

Mark 33:37
But yes, I still do have an equilibrium issue once in a while, if something is dark on my right side, and I’m going down, like I have to catch myself. And then from the issue which I didn’t speak about, I have what’s called a fusiform aneurysm still on my brain, and that’s another subject but when they found that I go get tested every six months to make sure that it doesn’t grow.

Mark 34:09
It’s in a very unique situation in my brain, and they can’t just go out and get it out. Because if they make a mistake, it’s in my memory, I’ll have no memory. So it’s limited me to, I can’t play basketball anymore. You know, I don’t play soccer anymore. These things that are going on, because I still have this fusiform aneurysm on my brain.

Mark 34:37
And so with that, what the I get it checked out if it goes any larger than it’s at four millimeters, then I go definitely directly into the hospital and have it done. Or we’re kind of waiting out to see as technology gets better. So that’s kind of what I got going on still.

Mark 34:58
So I’m living with something that, you know, is unique to people too you know, that’s why anytime head damage or anything I gotta go right to the hospital. And uniquely, I only take a baby aspirin, that’s all I take now, you know, I was on a blood thinner before. I’m very fortunate I just take a baby aspirin. And, you know I eat well.

Bill Gasiamis 35:23
Yeah, that’s great. So I was going to ask you about your approach to sport now. My big issue is people touching my head or anything happen in my head so I had surgery and I I used to be able to enjoy watching boxing or MMA or something like that. I can’t even watch it now just seeing those guys get hit in the head makes my head hurt like I can’t deal with it. If it wasn’t for that aneurism, would you have been comfortable going back into physical sports like that and hitting the ball?

Mark 36:07
I would definitely be training my Muay Thai and different things. And, you know, I had to stop because I, I couldn’t spar and you know, when you don’t spar, you just lose all kind of touch, you know what I mean? And then, so I play indoor soccer on Thursdays, my basketball league on Wednesdays indoor soccer on Thursdays and outdoor on Sundays.

Mark 36:35
And so like, those were all cut out also, and you know, what, I would have went right back to them all, you know, going back to your question, yes, I would have went right back to it, I would have went back to all those different things. But you know, what, it would maybe an ignorant thing to do.

Mark 36:53
Because now knowing what could happen to my brain and I already have, I already have a situation where, you know, one we’re more susceptible to strokes now, you know, now that you have one you can have too, you know, so it might be a deeper question. If I had really that option. Now that I know that I can’t do it, I just play the games that you know, like golf and I run a lot and I lift weights and I, you know, sparring with heavy bags, you know, whatever.

Mark 37:33
At the gym, same thing. Those things, but not where it’s, and I really miss. I’m going to tell you, me personally, I missed that combat. I missed that force of two different bodies colliding like it. I’ve been raised on it my whole life. So to take it away was a major thing for me. You know? Because I love those things with a passion.

Mark Sanchez Dealt With Identity Shift


Bill Gasiamis 37:59
Yeah. So how does your identity cops a hit, right? Before you go into hospital, you identify as this kind of guy, you come out of hospital, and now you have to identify as a different guy. How did you handle that transition? How did that make you feel?

Mark 38:16
I’m still dealing with it. And it’s four years later, you know, I miss these things greatly. And so I still you know, what we deal with, like I said, it’s a blessing and a curse. Because what we deal with is something very unique. One, it makes you work on yourself. And if we’re not working on ourselves as human beings, what are we doing? Right?

Mark 38:40
Your mates, your your wife, your girlfriend, your kids, if we don’t constantly work on ourselves, we’re going to lose touch with one of them. Right? And so this is actually, you know, where men don’t want to work on themselves. were tough guys, tough exterior is all these things.

Mark 39:02
This constantly is a focus on working on yourself. Because yeah, I have to do different things. And I don’t want to be different with my family because I don’t have that, you know, collision on on Thursday nights that I need or sparring with somebody you know, because it causes you to think of those things. And I get sad sometimes I wish I could play those things.

Mark 39:25
But then I always say in but I’m really blessed that I’m having a cup of coffee with my beautiful girlfriend Margarita and the kids and whatever it may be that I’m here doing that because it could have been very well, not here doing that at all. I wouldn’t even have any understanding what’s going on because you’re dead. When you’re dead. You’re dead, no matter what.

Bill Gasiamis 39:45
So it’s giving you the ability to be present in the moment at the time when you’re having a cup of coffee in that location with the people that are there. And that’s it. That’s it. It’s just like, well, here I am. I’m here. I’m doing it.

Living With Gratitude

Mark 39:59
So much more thankful for those things because you, as you know, or business owners as they know, like, we’re on a constant move where it’s like, you know, you, we used to put 12, 16 hours a day, there was a time I didn’t have a day off for seven years, you know, people don’t see that aspect of what I do.

Mark 40:19
But you know, those times and you know, you’re still there, doing those things with your kids, or band, or whatever it is. But now, when this happens to you, like, I really appreciate, for instance, with my new relationship with Margarita, I love taking Gavin to school, the youngest to school, because those are things like when I see him walk, I just love that situation.

Mark 40:47
Because, you know, there was a time where that wasn’t gonna probably happen, or what it may not happen, it’s just makes you smell the roses. Because when you’re always thinking of something else, you’re not present, you know, especially when you have a business, you’re always thinking of this client didn’t well, here, the hospital had an issue, your hospice has this.

Mark 41:07
You’re constantly thinking of things, and you don’t really shut it off, you know, and this allows you to want to sober yourself up completely, like, Oh, my God, life is really beautiful, I don’t care, you know, it doesn’t take much money to have a cup of coffee or run through the park.

Mark 41:24
You know, a lot of people put it like I economically can’t do it. But you can, you know, you can really go outside, have a sandwich at the park, run it, sit there, enjoy the moment, just feel the air, feel the rain, feel the snow, whatever it is, you know, it’s it’s living, because when you don’t have those things, or you feel limited, or you’re not able to walk to the park anymore from a stroke, or you know, you’re using a walker, or you know, everything changes.

Mark 41:58
And it’s so important. And when you walk around town, you know who’s had a stroke, I always say, Oh, you’re doing great, you look good, you know, be a positive influence, because you see them when anybody that’s dragging their foot when they’re young or walking in a unique situation.

Mark 42:16
Stroke victims know, stroke victims. It’s a funny thing, but it’s true. And, you know, I always try to be uplifting to those around me, because, you know, they may need it, sometimes we’re down mentally, you know, the psychological factor of what goes on with us, is another, a completely different other issue.

Bill Gasiamis 42:39
Yeah. So you would have been through that you would have had the emotional lows and the psychological lows, did you reach out then for help? Even after the stroke? Had you transitioned from being I don’t need help anymore to? I’m going to go and see somebody about this?

Mark 42:57
You know, I think what really happened is because my body responded so well. Like this is the really the first time I’ve really spoken to anybody besides my doctors, or my family. Even my family don’t know, the intimate details of things. I mean, they know, but they don’t know every aspect.

Mark 43:22
No, like, you know, I still really haven’t spoke to anybody about this is really the first time speaking out loudly to you know, at extended time. People are, you know, this is what happened. I had to learn how to walk. But that’s it, and then you move on, you know what I mean? If they do get to that situation?

Mark 43:43
But going back to it, I haven’t really spoken to anybody about this often. And, you know, really, I think the most important thing is that I did do it today. Because I you know, I try you know, I since I was able to start walking and running and everything again. I feel like I’m okay, you know what I mean? But then, really, it took Christina like I said, and see her on her podcast saying Jesus, She’s so brave.

Mark 44:17
You know what, I’m next, okay, I’m done trying to be the guy that everybody thinks got a shining armor or whatever and shit don’t stink. I like to say or whatever. No, it does. It definitely does, you know? And that’s why I’m really happy that you reached out to me, Bill and I was able to do this because I don’t know, I almost feel better right now.

Bill Gasiamis 44:46
That’s awesome. And that’s what it’s all about.

Mark 44:52
Like, I don’t even understand it. I like just getting these things out. Feel better. You know, I don’t know how to explain it. It just I even feel a little better now.

Bill Gasiamis 45:02
That’s perfect. That’s perfect way to explain it. And you know what? Do you have kids?

Mark 45:09
Yes, I have going to be a 28 year old and then Margarita, you know which she’s my girlfriend. I consider my kids we all live together. 19, 18 and 15.

Bill Gasiamis 45:26
So the example you need to be setting is not one of stiff upper lip is not one of we don’t need to reach out for help. You don’t need to do this, you’re the elder in your family, you’ve got five kids that live with you or look up to you or hang out with you or know you.

Bill Gasiamis 45:47
And what you got to do is you got to lead by example, you got to be a leader, you got to show kids that when shit gets difficult when it gets hard and you don’t have the resources to deal with this issue. Because you’ve never been in a weird situation before this is the first time for example, that they might be experiencing a strange situation in life.

Bill Gasiamis 46:12
Reach out, get help go and see somebody get it sorted, you know, take control of the situation, don’t let it derail your life, one way or the other. That’s really what your role is now, as well as looking after yourself, you’ve got to really be the leader.

Mark 46:29
Yeah, and, you know,100% I think if you speak to the kids, they would think telling you that I say go get checked out, go out. And you know, it’s funny, I was always been that way with the kids, even before that happened to me, but not to myself. And you know, like I said, being in the industry of health, you know, mental health is just as important, and maybe even more important than it is physical health.

Mark 47:03
In a healthy person is mentally and physically and it’s difficult to have those symbiotic working at the same time. When you know, somebody is not feeling good. I like I’m the first to say, hey, go visit somebody, you know, go talk to a counselor or something. And now it’s my turn.

Bill Gasiamis 47:25
Yeah, that’s it. And that’s the thing about giving somebody that advice, and then looking at you going, but you never go like why would I go? It’s really important to practice what you preach.

Mark 47:41
Exactly. It’s a way to lead anybody, humans, kids, animals lead by example.

A Three-pronged Approach

Bill Gasiamis 47:47
Yeah, yeah. So I like to say that stroke is at least a three approached recovery, you know, you got to approach the physical, which is the one that gets the most support, the emotional, which gets the least support, and then the psychological, which gets the, you know, middle of the range support, because we’re starting to talk about mental health issues, and it started to decrease the stigmas.

Bill Gasiamis 48:19
But I feel like the emotional side of it gets left behind. And for me, I think the biggest part of my recovery is, and still is emotional. Because psychological, I’ve had a lot of help with that. And physical, I had a lot of help with that. But the emotional part of it kind of catches me off guard from time to time.

Bill Gasiamis 48:39
And it usually happens when I’m frustrated from being tired or had a bad night’s sleep or overwhelmed because too many things happen in the day. So how are you handling that? Have you seen it catch up to you and cause a little bit of havoc in your life?

Mark 48:59
You know, the emotional side catches up to me. When I think that, you know, poor me actually. Like, I think that’s when it catches up with me like, Oh, poor me, I can’t go spar or play soccer or whatever. And I’m living this beautiful life and I you know, I’m very blessed. I live a very good life that’s not outside of this going on, like, you know, just dealing with life things which I love.

Mark 49:36
You know, that’s, that’s what it is like, right? Just dealing with issues. And that’s when I feel the emotional like, I don’t even know how it comes up. But I feel it. It’s so weird. It comes from like my stomach. And then it almost comes to my brain. I don’t know how to even explain the feeling but it’s like it like this, like a sickness that just comes up.

Mark 50:06
You know what I mean? I that’s the only thing I could say. Like, maybe if I was regurgitating something, you know what I mean, that feeling of that acid reflux and goes to my brain, then, you know, I start thinking about it, and then it clears.

Bill Gasiamis 50:19
Do you notice it in your chest as well?

Mark 50:23
No it’s almost like it just through the digestion track, like up, you know, up to my brain. And then I go, Are you kidding me? Like you’re driving your car, you got everybody? What’s wrong with you? And it’s almost like I talk myself down from it, you know what I mean? And then it’s gone.

Bill Gasiamis 50:42
So it’s kind of like, it sounds like it’s, again, impacting your identity. It’s like, I can’t do this, and I can’t do that, poor me. And that’s kind of impacting the way that your stomach feels, and then the bubble bubbles up and comes out of your mouth and then goes like, it goes away. But it sort of has to happen. And you have to have the experience.

Mark 51:07
I have to go through that whole chain of event for that to get out. And it’s just strange how it is. But I mean, that’s how it goes.

Bill Gasiamis 51:21
It start in your head is a thinking thing? Starts in your head, and then it goes down to your gut.

Mark 51:29
Wednesday night. I know those fools are throwing three pointers. It’s a great game on the court, or it’s Thursday night. And I know that, you know, we had a very good indoor soccer team it was always a battle, battle this big Spaniard on Thursday nights. He was a big man. It was fun. It was like, you know, I think of those things.

Mark 51:47
And so that happens, and then all of a sudden, and then, you know, I’m like, Listen, you can’t be you know, that’s not like just all life is, you know, there’s other things, there’s dinner, we’ve got your mom coming over, you fix your mom’s watch, you know, Gavin’s got wrestling, you know, Jordan, my son, the oldest works for University of Stanford, he’s the manager for the medical department for human resources there.

Mark 52:19
So he’s got a good job and the kids, you know, they’re going through one’s going to community college one’s a senior one’s are fresh. I mean, it’s beautiful, those things, right. All that stuff is so wonderful. So that’s what I get back to thinking of those things like I’m here doing that I’m present. And then those feelings go away.

Bill Gasiamis 52:38
Yeah, sounds like you catch yourself doing this other part of you, which is the not so positive part. It’s the focusing on the past or focusing on the negatives, and then you catch yourself and you go, Okay, enough of that. We’ve done that for long enough. Let’s move on.

Mark 52:57
No, it’s absolutely correct that you say that and because it’s so opposite of who I am as a person. Like, I’ve never been one to hide or whatever, anything. Like it’s like, let’s move forward. Let’s handle it. You know what I mean? It’s here, you have the adverse, you know, it’s just it’s so unique.

Mark 53:21
Right? I let me just get it head on. Like, whatever it is, boom, bring it into my face. But when it’s something that you can’t do that with which is your mind, your brain is the most beautiful thing that we have in our body. And it to when it’s sometimes you know, it’ll give you a bad thought or something happens and then all sudden, you’re catching yourself.

Mark Sanchez Went Through Depression

Mark 53:50
“Oh, poor me Poor me” I’m not poor me. You can’t be poor me, no matter how bad are the circumstances is because it was bad sometimes. You know, for my my mental health, being on the couch couldn’t work out. You know, they didn’t want my blood pressure over a certain amount.

Mark 54:07
Like here’s a man that lives being outside sitting on the couch. This is the honest truth. I’d eat two meals, two ice creams. I thought I was gonna die. Like I didn’t think I was gonna make it. So I was eating excessively everything because I’m like, screw it. Like if I’m not going to be on this planet. I’m going to have all the things I love.

Mark 54:30
And I’m going to have it in abundance, you know? And so that’s why I’m saying the brain is such a unique thing. You have to be so careful with it. You fall and hit your head go see somebody if you don’t feel right. Go see somebody because we don’t know how it works. Go through all these different emotions. You know, no matter what it is.

Bill Gasiamis 54:54
When you’re lying on the couch, eating double the ice cream, are you a little bit depressed?

Mark 55:01
I’m not gonna lie to you. I f****** love ice cream excuse my language.

Bill Gasiamis 55:05
It’s your favorite ice cream for sure right? Are you a little bit depressed?

Mark 55:10
Severe depression, severe depression, I was very depressed. I didn’t, I thought this was what I was going to live, you know, sitting not doing anything. And you know, even though I would be on time to the therapist or whatever, no matter what you’re moving or doing your depression you can’t hide from it.

Mark 55:37
It consumes you like a blanket, right? It’s like, it could wrap you right up. But yeah, I was thinking really bad things. You know, I was thinking about, and also my brain was healing at that point. So like, you still have the nerve endings healing on your brain and the blood vessels connecting to it to get around that dead spot on your brain.

Mark 56:02
So there’s a lot of creepy things I would think about, your brain is almost like, you didn’t have control of your thoughts at that moment, you know, so that would be depressing. It’s like, oh, is this now my existence? I’m thinking all these dirty things. I can’t go exercise, they won’t leave me here.

Mark 56:23
I mean, I don’t like TV much, unless it’s sports. In here, I’m watching television eating as much food as I can and not doing anything, and everybody looks at, oh, poor mark, you know, be careful around him. And that kind of stuff. Because, you know, not only am I sitting on the couch, I have my family worried, you know about my existence, too.

Mark 56:45
And I don’t like to be coddled too much, you know, and that’s hard for me too. And another form of my recovery for this as I need to be coddled a little bit, right. And that’s why I’m doing this. And so all that depression really came in, though, you know, seeing my mom’s face, seeing me looking how fat I was in the mirror, and I was huge, you know, and, all those things set in.

Mark 57:10
And depression, it’s funny now that I never suffered from those things. But now that I understand depression, I have a lot more sympathy for myself and other people. Because you know, what, you can’t stop them thoughts. And you have to do something to get out of it. I would do like, took art class or, you know, do whatever I had to change the way I was thinking.

Bill Gasiamis 57:38
Physical activity often helps people relieve some of the depression symptoms or feelings, you know, going out running. So you are really good at doing that, you know, first, the exercise is creating endorphins and all the good neuro chemicals and all that kind of stuff.

Bill Gasiamis 57:58
And that goes away. When you stop exercising, there’s less of a creation of that plus you’re dealing from a stroke. So the combined attack on all of Mark is huge. It’s like, I’m not getting these dopamine hits anymore, I’m not getting this endorphin rushes in the body.

Bill Gasiamis 58:16
And I’m doing the opposite to what creates well being for Mark, and now I’m lying down, and I’m also healing from the stroke thing. Now it had to happen, like, you couldn’t recover any other way. You know, you couldn’t go back to being the kind of physical person in that moment that you were before that, because that wasn’t going to help you survive.

Bill Gasiamis 58:41
But while you’re in it, it’s strange. You’ve got to have the rock bottom, don’t you? If you don’t get to rock bottom, you can’t climb out of it. I got to rock bottom and I had to get there to climb out of it, to look back and go okay, before rock bottom. Life was really good at rock bottom life was really shit.

Bill Gasiamis 59:03
I know what I was doing at rock bottom for life to be shit. Part of it was healing, you know give myself a break for that. But the other parts I was really responsible for I was able to shift rock bottom and climb out of it so that I’m somewhere near where I was, before I had the stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 59:23
And now I’ve got this real understanding of how much I can influence my body in a positive way. How much I can influence my mental health in a positive way. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t catch up with me every once in a while as well. And I don’t have shitty thoughts and I’m not terrible to be around. And my wife doesn’t think that I’m a bit of an idiot, but I’m always catching myself. So is that relatable? Is that kind of similar to how you felt?

Mark 59:53
Absolutely. I mean, absolutely. Number one. I’m a better mate, lover, friend, businessman, everything if I can exercise, any kind of exercise. So you’re right when you say, the exercise is what I would be able to get rid of the depression or other things that I’m dealing with. Because I work hard working out it just makes me a better person.

Mark 1:00:23
So you’re right when rock bottom, you have to get there. Like you have to say, you know, I like to say, you’re scraping your lip on the concrete. It’s like, you know what I’m saying you have to be that low, to be able to start recovering out of it. You know, you have to feel I don’t even know what the words to describe how low that feels.

Mark 1:00:56
The emptiness, no imagination, which is crazy, no creativity, no understanding of what’s going on or what matters and nothing matters at all. I mean, you have to get to that point. Or else it’s, you’re never going to go up, you’ll never, it’s almost like, you think you’re there too like when I was going through, I’m like, Oh, they can’t get any worse.

Mark 1:01:31
You know what I mean? Because that’s why I say scrape your lip on the cement. You think you’re there, though, you know, you think you’re there and you’re not it goes down. And they say oh, no, you can’t even you can only do therapy three times a week, because we’re worried about the fusiform aneurysm on your brain. Because remember, I still have an aneurysm on my brain.

Mark 1:01:52
So it was like, Oh, so now what you’re saying is I can’t get therapy to start walking. Because my heart rates got to be a certain thing. So I had to keep this monitor on me. Thank goodness, I always have a low blood pressure and low heart rate. But then, when I was doing my therapy, I had to have that off.

Mark 1:02:13
Because now you know, they’re worried. So I’m like, oh, at least I’m going to therapy? No, we’re going to suspend that for a second boom, and you go even lower. So there’s actually levels do you think you’re at it? You may be at it. And then when you’re scraping your lip on the concrete, you know, you’re at it. You know, you know you’re at it.

Bill Gasiamis 1:02:35
Yeah. Jim Carrey, the famous actor said, you know, in one of these things that I saw online, and he says that depression is deep, is a time for the body to do deep rest. And what it’s saying is like, you’re in a situation where, and maybe for him, it’s coming from experience, I don’t know, I don’t know his story.

Bill Gasiamis 1:02:58
And this is you’re coming from a place where your body’s telling you like, I don’t want to be doing this shit anymore. Like I’ve had enough with this version of what’s going on. And the only thing you can do is you have to shift it and change it to get something different.

Physical Activity

Cerebellum Stroke
Bill Gasiamis 1:03:15
And what I like about physical exercise, it doesn’t matter what kind you do, it doesn’t matter if you’re in a wheelchair, it doesn’t matter if you’re hemiplegic, like just any kind of form of physical exercise. I’ve interviewed people who are hemiplegic who are power lifters, who are only lifting with one side of their body.

Bill Gasiamis 1:03:31
And one side of their bodies really jacked and the other side of their bodies completely not existent, atrophy, you know, no muscle, nothing. So, what seems to be the case for me and now for me to understand about some other people who are physically active.

Bill Gasiamis 1:03:55
Is that the physical activity kind of does the opposite of keeping you in depression from the point of view of it does the fight or flight response and it gets you going away from the issue the scary thing, the problem so running is one of our natural instincts, right? something scary happens you go out and you run and you run away from the thing that’s behind you trying to get your or impacting negatively.

Bill Gasiamis 1:04:26
And this exercise or sports seems to mimic this for humans who normally sit dentary We don’t do much we sit in the car, we drive to work we sit at our desk, we sit at our office we sit at our table to eat you know we sit on the couch and watch TV and sports seems to mimic this running away from problems from time to time while increasing the heart rate, while spiking cortisol a little bit, while spiking dopamine and releasing endorphins and doing all that kind of stuff.

Bill Gasiamis 1:05:02
So it seems to be and then circulating the blood and circulating the fluid around the head and then circulating all the stuff around the body. So it seems like that’s what sport is really good at doing. And it’s a real great way to shift those feelings of depression and deep rest, as Jim Carrey likes to talk about it. Do you feel like your golfing is a good replacement for the stuff that you’re doing? Because it’s probably also competitive, and it’s helping you still remain competitive.

Mark 1:05:38
It is, I think running because I can still run pretty good. You know, it’s funny, because I would never really post these things on Facebook or Instagram. But, you know, I ran to the coolest cities in the world, like I would be in Greece and run into towns and like, I did this after the stroke.

Mark 1:05:58
But I’ve ran all over the world, from Korea to Central America. And I started posting these things on Instagram and Facebook, or that I ran like in Italy, in Greece, and it’d be every once a while, or I’m running here, but I don’t think people understood the reason why I was posting those things is like one that I recovered from a stroke, because it was a way for me to like, you know, do it.

Mark 1:06:23
And no one knows that actually, to be honest with you. But, you know, those are the things I was posting it and the other day, my friend at the gym. Fernando says you know what Mark, he should keep posting those things. Those are really cool things that you’re posting, you know, get you motivated to go do something.

Mark 1:06:44
And I didn’t even realize it, but that I was trying to in a way tell people like I’ve, I’m having an issue. I’m posting these not family pictures or vacations, I’m posting the running, you know, saying a few things and running. And that helps me the mark more than golf, I still love it because I need the competition of golf.

Mark 1:07:10
When I run, I try to pass people up on the road, like they don’t even know I’m playing a game. And they don’t even know they’re in my game. You know, I ride a bike, like because I’ll ride bikes for long ways and stuff. They don’t even know that they’re part of my game, you know what I’m saying?

Mark 1:07:25
But my mind is playing the game. Because I have to exactly what you’re saying, like, you know, I have to play these mental games. For me to feel like I’m competing in something. Because I’m you know, always been the competitive person in your eye no matter what golf running in you, there’s a lot of other things I still do.

Mark 1:07:50
But it doesn’t compete with getting punched in the face, or playing basketball, you know, playing with the boys or playing soccer, you know, getting kicked in the stomach and the shin. I know that sounds barbaric, but it’s necessary for people that are in a physical competition type nature.

Mark 1:08:10
And then that’s why people have such a hard time retiring athletes and whatever they understand that that level that they’re at will never be the same. They’ll never be at that level again.

Mark 1:08:22
And recovery is the same thing. Except for now my level is people don’t even know that they’re running against me and I’m running or riding a bike against people. And definitely thank God I belong to a men’s club in golf. And that competition is big for me. I don’t like to lose, you know. But yeah, it’s not physical.

Bill Gasiamis 1:08:41
How good are those strangers helping you beat them? And they didn’t even know that you just beat them and you just ran past them and you’re faster than them and you’re quicker than them.

Mark 1:08:53
And you know, what’s funny is they kind of after a while you kind of know when you’re working somebody you know you’re on the trail and you’re working them and you’re catching up to them, you catching up to him. And then you got them and you know, and then you go by them.

Mark 1:09:07
There’s so necessary. They’re beautiful people, they’re beautiful. You know, they’re to me, it’s just part of life like Suad Divi live life. You know what I mean? That, that and they don’t even know they’re in the game, you know, they don’t even know that. You just beat them, you know? And you keep on going and hopefully they see you on the way back that type of thing.

Bill Gasiamis 1:09:30
I love it. I interviewed Juan Gonzalez on episode 163. And he on Instagram calls himself the Central Park Runner. And he had a stroke 11 years ago when he was 21 or something. And that’s what he does. He found running and he just runs he runs around Central Park and he posts all of his runs and he does half marathons and marathons and he does way to running as far as I’m concerned but he loves it you know.

Mark 1:10:00
I got to meet him in Central Park some time because I run there quite a bit. I go to New York quite a bit, that would be a cool thing to do.

Bill Gasiamis 1:10:08
Yeah. And he’s involved in a running group or something like that, where they have destinations where they run to, or they start from or something like that. So I’ll send you his link for his episode, so you can have a listen to it. But he is a really cool guy. And he gets a lot out of physical exercise and sport, and what you said, like, it is barbaric, the stuff that you did, and you do, it’s barbaric.

Bill Gasiamis 1:10:35
That doesn’t mean you’re not a nice guy, and you don’t have a heart and you’re not, you know, sensitive from time to time. But damn man, it is barbaric. I mean, for somebody to be able to put themselves through so much pain and suffering and enjoy it. I mean, that’s real bizarre, to I often think about what, and you don’t have to explain it, and it’s okay.

Bill Gasiamis 1:10:57
And I’m not saying you need to explain it. But I often picture myself getting into a ring, knowing that I’m actually going to get hit and be okay with getting hit. Man that just, I can’t grasp that concept. My son does a little bit of jujitsu.

Bill Gasiamis 1:11:14
And I know a lot of people that do jujitsu and all that kind of stuff. And I’m like, how do you walk into the ring, knowing that you’re going to get hit, and you’re okay with that? like, I appreciate it a lot.

Mark 1:11:30
It’s a beautiful thing, because really, it’s just like anything else in life is like, once you do it, and you’re done it. So I always besides the ring, or whatever your brain never forgets, right? That’s the most important thing. It’s like, you know, he you do it one time you get used to it, you get in the ring.

Mark 1:11:50
And then it’s like a normal passage, you know, you spar with somebody one time, it’s like normal. You know, when you know that you could run three miles finally your brain, oh, you ran it, it’s like easy to run three miles. It’s like we condition ourselves just like anybody else. It has nothing to do that somebody is tougher than the other person.

Mark 1:12:11
Because it’s not, there’s a lot of fear going inside there. Right? It’s just managing your fears. But it’s the conditioning. It’s like repetition. Like, you know, when you touch this, I’m touching this 1000 times, I’m going to be fluid, you know, doing it, but once I’ve done it once, I know I could do it again.

Mark 1:12:30
And I think that’s kind of what what happens, you know, in it. And you know, I did it more as training more than into the fight game. Like those people are very special people to get in there and have the whole arena see you. And you know, I’m nowhere near anything like that. Mine has always been a lifelong just keeping myself in shape.

Mark 1:12:51
Something that happens to me or my family. You know what I mean? I’m going to do the best in that moment type of situation. My dad was technical advisor of the San Francisco Wing Chun kung fu team for many years. I’ve had many hold pads hit, you know, all those things, but not a true fighter. You know, just somebody that I did it just like running or playing basketball or whatever.

Mark 1:13:17
It’s just something that I do to keep myself healthy. So your son like mine, Gavin, the youngest. He’s in jujitsu and wrestling. And it’s just like any kind of other sport that you play that’s, you know, a pitcher against the batter. You know what I mean? A shooter against the defender, or even in basketball, once you’ve done it a few times, you’re going to get used to doing it, and you’re going to be able to do it.

Bill Gasiamis 1:13:44
Yeah. Does all of the training that you did up until your stroke has it actually been somebody that you drawn on to help you in your recovery?

Recovery Team

Mark 1:14:00
Yeah, everything that I’ve ever done in my life helped me in the recovery. You know, really, I couldn’t be very pinpointed of one thing, one I had Christina when Christina of John Muir hospital, the therapist that took care of me, she saved my life. And she won’t say that, but she did.

Mark 1:14:20
She you know, we I couldn’t even tap my foot on a color. Like they would have like five colors in front of you. And they say, okay, take your right foot and tap it on yellow, I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t do it. Or they say tap your foot. And I would slide it, you know, is those type of things.

Mark 1:14:39
And I think she was the main focus of my recovery in the aspect that she had confidence in me at that moment, even when I was at my weakest point. You know what I mean? And I think that was majorly more than any of the other things because those just became physical things and I’ve always been able to be physical. You know, it was more that somebody was at that moment when I couldn’t touch my toe, and then my business partner, Joe, he was there at my therapy sessions too.

Mark 1:15:12
You know, I love those two people. And I couldn’t tap the color with my foot, knowing that says, No, don’t worry, we’ll get it at least you’re lifting, you’re walking, you’re moving, you’re not tapping, but you’re walking, you’re not tapping, but you’re moving, you’re not tapping, but you lift yourself up, you know, that there, I think, was more critical, because I knew somebody that understood what I was going through, had my back.

Mark 1:15:40
And so I think I focus more of that aspect of for when I like, when I’m down or whatever, for recovery, then all the physical nature’s I’ve just been, you know, I’ve really been working out my whole life. So my body’s in physically good shape. And so I’m used to like training and running and all those things.

Mark 1:16:01
So I think it was more that aspect, that one on one touch that knowing somebody was there for you was more to my recovery than any of my physical nature, you know, the in I in, and that’s hard for me to say, as a man, that it was the kindness of a physical trainer who’s tough, I’m not saying that.

Mark 1:16:23
But she had the right words, was the right person at the right moment, almost, you know, I mean, it’s who I needed at that moment. And I think I attribute more to my recovery to that moment, and her knowing that at my most vulnerable point, someone believed in me, you know, I mean, I’m going to be alright, it’s gonna work out one way or another. I may not tap it, it may be a year before I tap that orange, but I will do it. You know, I think that aspect of it.

Bill Gasiamis 1:16:52
Yeah, we need other people in recovery. You can’t do it alone. You need people for sure. How did you meet Christina Deville, what’s the connection there?

Mark 1:17:02
We were friends, my wife and her are friends. All of us were friends way back. We didn’t spend very much time together. But I’ve known her I’ve always known her. And she, by the way, a wonderful person. And so Lisa, a friend of hers, that’s very close, you know, I was on my couch, getting ready to go to the gym.

Mark 1:17:28
And she said, you know, Christina had a major stroke, and she’s in the hospital, do you think you could reach out and I said, Of course I could. You know, and so I just started texting her, you know, one, we known each other, but we haven’t seen each other, which is interesting.

Mark 1:17:45
When I go to Vegas, next time, I got to meet up with her because, you know, I’ve been texting with her since she’s been in the hospital until the other day and let her know that I was doing your show and that I was thankful and that she helped me to do this, because I saw how brave she was to get on here, and do you know, this pod cast that you have, and I think it’s the most amazing, you know, that you have going on here because helping people is major in this.

Mark 1:18:14
And so we just would text back and forth and we have there’s a lot of things that you need somebody else that’s kind of been through it help, because no one understands no one’s the psychological. The physical nature, you know, is your family just wants the best for you. So they say certain things, but they don’t really understand what’s happening.

Mark 1:18:42
There’s times where, you know, I’m like, I don’t know if I could do this and, I have to admit at the time my girlfriend Danielle, she was very pivotal as a different person that I am with now, in my recovery. She helped out quite a bit and how I decided to reach out to one of her friends had a stroke and reached out to me at the time, I didn’t really take advantage as much as that I should have at that time.

Mark 1:19:14
His name was Wyatt. He’s actually does the I forget what foundation he’s with with stroke. But anyways, he reached out to me and so I reached out to Christina. And when I reached out to Christina, you know, we would go back and forth and we are friendly enough to talk about intimate things and not intimate things because it’s it’s difficult, like you know, and I’m so proud of her of what she’s doing because, you know, one, she’s always been in is a beautiful person.

Mark 1:19:48
And you know, seeing her fight the fight with, the difficulties and setbacks that you get from what you’re doing is amazing. And so, you know, we just would be, you know, the last, I guess a little bit over a year now we’ve been texting back and forth and you know what, it’s shame on me because the next time I’m in Vegas, I got to see her.

Mark 1:20:14
But, you know, it’s really nice to see that she’s flourishing in the way that she is, you know, with life and physical and, and don’t want to get too much into her life story, because she could speak it better than I but it’s really amazing to see what she’s gone through where she’s come from.

Bill Gasiamis 1:20:37
Yeah, she’s had a big change in her life as well, you know, obviously, the stroke was a big part of that. But then, in her mindset, and what, you know, she said, what you’ve said, and what most stroke survivors who I interview says, you know, don’t take life for granted now, she is grateful and she’s looking for solutions.

Bill Gasiamis 1:20:59
And she’s fighting the fight and doing all these things. And, you know, she’s just going for it. And it’s a very common theme, this line in the moment line in the sand moment that happens to us all, and then we’re looking for a way to make meaning of our life, and we’re looking for a way to you know, write the wrongs, at least for me, I’m speaking for myself, that’s a lot of what I did was try to find a way to right the wrongs.

Bill Gasiamis 1:21:30
So that if I did have another one, or whatever, and it wasn’t around, that, at least the people who really needed to know that I love them, or really needed to know, you know, that, you know, they’re okay. I’m also okay, and maybe they needed an apology from me for stuff that I’d done. Whatever, all that stuff was done and ticked off before I got into brain surgery, you know, three years, almost three years after the first brain bleed.

Bill Gasiamis 1:22:01
So that if I didn’t wake up, you know, most of the important things were done, and then at least that part of it didn’t have to be on their mind, you know, that things weren’t good, or we never sorted things out, or he was angry at me or I was angry at him, you know?

Bill Gasiamis 1:22:24
So I think Christina has really pushed herself to evolve. And she came on to the podcast, she made it happen, she pushed herself to do it. Because she felt like it was a really important thing for her to do for her recovery. And it’s strange how my podcast is the first place you came to, to talk about it to this extent, and now your family’s gonna hear it. Like, what are they gonna think when they hear about it?

Mark 1:22:56
Yeah, I don’t know what they’re gonna think. I think my mom will be a little sad. Like mom’s will be, you know, she always unfortunately, she’s always so worried. You know, because, the fusiform aneurism. It’s a mother’s thing, but I think it’ll be interesting for them to see, I like to see I’m gonna see the reaction for sure. I don’t know.

Mark 1:23:23
But, you know, coming on to here is really important. I know that I’ve been holding back on a few things like, in my life, in the aspect of recovery, cuz I don’t talk about it, because I don’t want to worry the people around me about what happened, you know, it’s like, I don’t want them to think, oh, it’s gonna happen again.

Mark 1:23:46
And, you know, with the aneurysm he could go, which is true, but, you know, I think it’s so important now that I’ve done this, like, I feel it’s weird. I feel better. Yeah. And, I know, it sounds strange, but I think only people that understand that as stroke victims, we sometimes get locked in our own brain.

Mark 1:24:09
And being able to just be as free about what’s happened to me or what’s going on. Just makes you feel better. You know, it’s the thing about, you know, having a counselor or somebody that’s, you know, a therapist or whatever, you’re able to say these things that most times that you’re locked up on your brain, you can’t say it to anybody else. It’s just your own thought.

Bill Gasiamis 1:24:37
Yeah. I think the thing about parents worrying and people around us worrying, they’re gonna worry anyway, even if you’re not telling them the truth, even if you’re hiding it, because they know that something’s going on regardless. I feel like it’s better to educate people on what’s going on and risk worrying them.

Educating People About Stroke

Bill Gasiamis 1:24:57
And what that does is that empowers them if they want to find They have more information about what’s going on with your aneurism, and they can Google it, they can understand that majority of the time it’s benign, it’s just sitting there, and it’s not going to do anything.

Bill Gasiamis 1:25:10
And that you’re on top of it, because you’re getting checked out. And you’re noticing that it’s not shifting, changing, moving. So if it’s a problem, it’s a problem in the future, it’s not a problem now. What you can do right now is, right now as you can live life, and pay attention to your symptoms, your science, do the follow up checks, and be proactive about your health and well being.

Bill Gasiamis 1:25:32
And then that is an empowering place to be, it’s not this thing that’s just in there, that you’re doing nothing about, you didn’t start smoking, you didn’t start drinking excessively, you know, you didn’t do any of that stuff, what you’re doing is, you’re just aware of an issue. It’s like, you know, it’s like, lots of issues that people have, it’s life.

Mark 1:25:52
It is, I figure I just had a ankle reconstruction surgery it’s just like that, you know, it’s just an issue. It’s just, it’s there. Now, it’s fixed, it’s good, you know, or it’s better than it was. So, I do agree with you on that. And, you know, I’ve always been pretty upfront with my family of like, what’s going on, because they always asked me what you know, what’s going on, I say, Oh, I went to the doctor six months, everything’s good, looks good.

Mark 1:26:21
You know, they all know that aspect of it. And I think, you know, with time a little bit it’s a lot easier for them too, you know, because once you start forgetting about and they start seeing you as just a normal, you know, Uncle Mark, or mark, you know, they see yours and they see geez, the guys doing good. And they start forgetting about it.

Mark 1:26:43
Which is even better. But you know, it’s important. One thing for sure that nothing is guaranteed. And this, like I said, a blessing and a curse. Going through this whole aspect has made me a better person. In some in some regards, and better to myself, not just better to others, because I’ve always thought I was a very good person to others, but better to myself.

Mark 1:27:15
And slowing yourself down, just like you said, you know, talking to your family, being proactive, you know, and living a beautiful life that I get to live. You know, I know the world right now is, you know, seems like it’s chaotic. And there’s a lot going on, and economic and COVID and things like that.

Mark 1:27:36
But you know, it’s funny with people like us, I feel like we don’t worry about those things as much. Because we’re just so happy that we had the possibility of being taken away. We’ve been on the couch, we said we’re not going to recover. We’ve said all these things. So when we do see these things that are happening, I promise you it hasn’t affected me.

Mark 1:27:59
And I know it’s bad, hasn’t affected me as much as it affects everybody else. Because one not life isn’t guaranteed. And two if you’re here and you’re breathing, you better enjoy as much time as possible, or work or do whatever that you plan to do. Because you may pass anyways, besides the COVID.

Bill Gasiamis 1:28:20
That’s it, I feel like you’re done. What you’re doing is you’re narrowing the focus, you know, we could all have a global view, but who needs a global view? 150 years ago, you didn’t know what happened beyond your suburb, or, or your town or whatever it was called, you know.

Bill Gasiamis 1:28:39
And if you did find out what happened in the other town, it was two weeks later, or it was 10 days later, and it didn’t really matter because it was already past and gone. Whereas now we have news feeds my news feed if I sit and watch it, it’s a little bit about what happened in my town.

Bill Gasiamis 1:28:56
And then it’s a lot about what happened in the town 1000 kilometres away, or 2000 kilometres away on the other side of the Atlantic. And I didn’t need to know really what happened in New York, I don’t care what happened in New York. Now I’m empathetic, you know, I don’t want people to suffer anywhere but people are going to be suffering somewhere and shits going to be going down somewhere.

Bill Gasiamis 1:29:18
But if I narrow my view, then I didn’t have to take on all of that stress and anxiety from everything else that’s going on in the planet because the news system is designed to keep us stressed and anxious so that we can keep watching and they’ve got endless supply of stressful and anxious things that they can make us watch.

Bill Gasiamis 1:29:38
All they got to do is get onto somebody’s you know, iPhone camera and ask them for the video of that thing that they captured on the video. So I feel like what’s happening for you is you’re narrowing your focus. You’ve come back the four walls that you live in, the ones that are outside of your direct home which is your family and friends, and your children.

Bill Gasiamis 1:30:01
And your experience that you’re having at the cafe right now, or on the podcast right now. And it’s not about what’s going to happen in the future. And it’s not about what happened in the past. And that is a really great way to experience a really rich life and also not be affected by what’s what’s being blasted, then our phones, our TV cameras, our monitors, and the rest of it.

Mark 1:30:26
And going back to that, you said, really a major point, you know, when you have depression, like we’ve gone through depression, and then you add this news media and things to depression, it really locks you into a world that you shouldn’t be in.

Mark 1:30:46
Because you have all those multiple, I don’t watch the news anymore. Really, I just watched the Japanese news station, they have great sumo wrestling on there. But anyways, they just say the news, you know, there’s no story behind it. But you know, when you’re getting fed all these things, and you know, and like I said, I’ve scraped my lip on the cement, I understand that feeling.

Mark 1:31:13
When they’re trying to feed me these things, I don’t recognize them. You know, I know that it’s happening. And I’m understanding and I’ll be, you know, respectful for whatever way you want me to go. Mask unmask or whatever it is, I’ll take care of it. But no, that’s not my main focus in not being physical limit, my main focus is just to enjoy, you know, the last minute that just went by or 20 minutes.

Mark 1:31:42
And not to have foresight, you have to have foresight, and you have to see your history too, you know, but living in the moment is the most important part, when you live too far into the future. You’re not anything but a dreamer. If you live too far in the past, you’re not just anything but history, you know, it doesn’t work that way.

Mark 1:32:01
You have have hindsight for the future, but yet live in that moment. It’s the only moment that counts. Because all that’s already in the past, and this hasn’t even happened yet. So if you’re not in that stage in that area of yourself, then you know, you have problems. And let me tell you I was with depression, it puts you magically in the back of your history, and you’re not that same person in history, you know, you’re a different person, hopefully, you’ve evolved a little bit.

Mark 1:32:34
And then you know, the depression also puts you so far forward, and you’re worried about what’s going to happen. I don’t know if that’s going to happen. If it does, what are we going to do it. So now I hear you’re worried about so many things that make no sense to where you are at right now, which is present.

Mark 1:32:52
And I really think that’s why I say this, what happened to me is a gift and a curse. Because now I understand that, you know, I understand you have to know what the history is. So you don’t make the same mistakes. And you have to have foresight, you know, the the future. But living here is the most important thing.

Bill Gasiamis 1:33:16
Great. On that note, thank you for reaching out, thank you for doing what you did to put yourself out there and talk about this thing for the first time in depth. And I think what it’s going to do is encourage other people who have had a stroke to do the same thing who might be listening now.

Bill Gasiamis 1:33:35
And you know, it felt a little bit maybe like, I’d love to be on the podcast, but maybe it’s not my time yet. Maybe they’re thinking now is their time. So if you are one of those people reach out, and let me know, the only thing you have to do to get on the podcast is have had a stroke. That’s it.

Mark 1:33:56
Pretty simple, right?

Bill Gasiamis 1:33:58
That’s the only thing that you have to have done. So if you’re listening to this, you’d probably have done that. And even if you’re a caregiver of somebody who’s had a stroke, and you want to share your story, and you want to get that off your chest, then you’re so qualified to be on the podcast, so please feel free to reach out. Mark, thanks so much for being on the podcast. I really appreciate it.

Mark 1:34:18
Thank you for having me. Thank you very much.

Bill Gasiamis 1:34:23
Well, thanks for joining me on today’s episode. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Just after the interview ended with Mark, I had some additional time to chat with him. And he shared something that was really important to him and I feel like it was worth sharing with you because it may make a difference in your recovery. So I was glad to still be recording to capture the comments that Mark made. So listen on for a little longer as Mark shares one of his very deep desires.

Emotional Difficulties of Mark Sanchez

Mark 1:34:59
I forgot I mentioned this but you know, I haven’t cried in a long time. I don’t know what it is that I can’t cry. I was in the military. And so, you know, there’s a lot of things that you don’t just compartmentalize stuff.

Mark 1:35:14
But I felt like this would be I forgot to say this, but this would be helpful for me to walk, like, I want to cry sometimes, like when my son got his job at Stanford just recently, I wanted to cry and be so happy.

Mark 1:35:31
But I couldn’t get it out, you know, and I felt like, you know what, this is something that might help me to get forward. And I really appreciate you I thank you very much.

Bill Gasiamis 1:35:43
You can come on, let me know when you’ve cried man, you can let me know what that was like. Because I imagine it is going to happen at some point.

Mark 1:35:50
I hope so. I’m not kidding you. I hope so. And I would love to come on and tell you about it. You know, I tell my poor Margarita all the time. I say I can’t cry, I want to cry. Really cry not just tear. Like just, you know. Let it out. You know what I mean?

Bill Gasiamis 1:36:10
Sounds like it’s gonna be a big relief to you feels like you’re talking about it going to help you cleanse and be relieved in some way?

Mark 1:36:18
Yeah, definitely.

Bill Gasiamis 1:36:22
Do you ever wish there was just one place to go for resources, advice and support in your stroke recovery? Whether you’ve been navigating your journey for weeks, months or years, I know firsthand how difficult it can be to get the answers you need. This road is both physically and mentally challenging from reclaiming your independence to getting back to work, to rebuilding your confidence and more.

Bill Gasiamis 1:36:44
The symptoms don’t follow rulebook, and as soon as you leave hospital, you no longer have medical professionals on top. And for me, it felt as if I was teaching myself a new language from scratch with no native speaker inside. This sounds like you I’m here to tell you you’re not alone.

Bill Gasiamis 1:37:01
And there is a better way to navigate your recovery and build a fulfilling life that you love. I’ve created an inclusive, supportive and accessible membership community called recovery after stroke. It’s all in one support and resource program is designed to help you take your health into your own hands.

Bill Gasiamis 1:37:22
This is your guide book through every step in your journey from reducing fatigue to strengthening your brain health, to overcoming anxiety and more. To find out more and to join the community just head to recoveryafterstroke.com Thanks for listening and see you on the next episode.

Intro 1:37:39
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 did not necessarily share the same opinion nor do we recommend any treatment protocol discussed.

Intro 1:37:56
All content on this website at any linked blog, podcast or video material controlled this website or content is created and produced for informational purposes only and is largely based on the personal experience of Bill Gasiamis, the content is intended to complement your medical treatment and support healing.

Intro 1:38:13
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 did not use our content as a standalone resource to diagnose treat, cure or prevent any disease for therapeutic purposes or is a substitute for the advice of a health professional.

Intro 1:38:34
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 if you are experiencing a health emergency or think you might be call triple zero in Australia or your local emergency number immediately for emergency assistance or go to the nearest hospital emergency department.

Intro 1:38:58
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The post Cerebellum Stroke Recovery – Mark Sanchez appeared first on Recovery After Stroke.

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Mark Sanchez experienced a cerebellum stroke which may have been as a result from a dissection in one of his arteries that was most likely caused by a car collision while on a business trip in Las Vegas two years prior to the stroke event. Mark Sanchez experienced a cerebellum stroke which may have been as a result from a dissection in one of his arteries that was most likely caused by a car collision while on a business trip in Las Vegas two years prior to the stroke event. Recovery After Stroke 1:39:25
Spinal Cord Stroke Recovery – Jeffrey A. Morse https://recoveryafterstroke.com/spinal-cord-stroke-recovery-jeffrey-a-morse/ Mon, 22 Nov 2021 14:07:54 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8417 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/spinal-cord-stroke-recovery-jeffrey-a-morse/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/spinal-cord-stroke-recovery-jeffrey-a-morse/feed/ 0 <p>At age 49 Jeffrey Morse experienced a spinal cord stroke due to complications from brain surgery an intervention which left him paralyzed from the neck down.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/spinal-cord-stroke-recovery-jeffrey-a-morse/">Spinal Cord Stroke Recovery – Jeffrey A. Morse</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> At age 49 Jeffrey Morse experienced a spinal cord stroke due to complications from brain surgery an intervention which left him paralyzed from the neck down.

Socials: 

https://www.jeffreyamorse.com
https://www.facebook.com/jeffrey.a.morse.1
https://www.instagram.com/finding_forward/

02:13 Introduction
02:44 Spinal Cord Stroke
09:26 Stroke Even With A Healthy Lifestyle
14:12 Day Of The Surgery
21:02 Just Make It Happen
26:10 It’s Gonna Get Ugly
34:23 Pilates Helped Improve Balance
39:46 Stopping The Medications
47:24 The Book Finding Forward
54:43 Waking Up Paralyzed
1:10:50 Not All About You
1:17:01 Learning How To Live Life

Jeffrey 0:00
One of the hard things for me after waking up paralyzed was closing my eyes. I found when I closed my eyes, my body no longer existed. So I couldn’t sleep. Anytime the sheets would get pulled up over my body, my body disappeared. Those things were very alarming.

Jeffrey 0:19
So I couldn’t ever sleep with the sheets over my legs. That was very alarming. So once I got home, one of the things I would find is I would wake up from a couple hours of just pure exhaustion. I haven’t slept in 20 Something hours. And finally I’m going off to sleep and suddenly, I realize oh my god, I’m waking up, and I’m realizing I don’t know where my body is.

Intro 0:51
This is the recovery after stroke podcast, with Bill Gasiamis, helping you navigate recovery after stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 1:04
Hello, and welcome to recovery after stroke a podcast full of answers, advice and practical tools for stroke survivors to help you take back your life after stroke and build a stronger future.

Bill Gasiamis 1:15
I’m your host three-time stroke survivor Bill Gasiamis. After my own life was turned upside down and I went from being an active father to being stuck in hospital. I knew if I wanted to get my life back to the one I loved before my recovery it was up to me.

Bill Gasiamis 1:30
After years of researching and discovering I learned how to heal my brain and rebuild a healthier and happier life than I ever dreamed possible. And now I’ve made it my mission to empower other stroke survivors like you to recover faster, achieve your goals and take back the freedom you deserve.

Bill Gasiamis 1:45
If you enjoy this episode, and want more resources, accessible training, and hands on support, check out my recovery after show membership community, credit especially for stroke survivors and caregivers.

Bill Gasiamis 1:57
This is your clear pathway to transform your symptoms reduce your anxiety and navigate your journey to recovery with confidence. Head to recoveryafterstroke.com to find out more after this episode. But for now let’s dive right into today’s show.

Introduction

Jeffrey A. Morse
Bill Gasiamis 2:13
This is episode 169. And my guest today is Jeffrey A. Morse, who experienced a spinal cord stroke due to complications from brain surgery that was meant to deal with a brain aneurysm. When he woke from surgery, Jeffrey was paralyzed from the neck down. Jeffrey Morse, welcome to the podcast.

Jeffrey 2:35
It’s a pleasure to be here. Bill. Thank you for inviting me to your show.

Bill Gasiamis 2:38
Yeah, my pleasure. Thanks for being here. Tell me a little bit about what happened to you.

Spinal Cord Stroke


Jeffrey 2:44
Well back in June of 2012, everything started with a headache, which turned into a migraine, which turned into the worst migraine of my life. And I went to see an ear nose and throat specialist for a scuba diving incident that I had and when I told him about the headache, he said I don’t deal with migraines, our meeting is over with go see your family doctor.

Jeffrey 3:18
Next morning I see the family doctor and he is very concerned because he can tell I’ve more than likely have an issue with an aneurism. So I wind up at the hospital. And this began a series of events of fate either turning left or right, depending on which direction you either lived or you didn’t.

Jeffrey 3:48
And next thing I know I’m down in Charlotte, North Carolina in the neurosurgical ICU wing for the next 10 days. With the doctor trying to use medicine to reduce my aneurysm. And when it wasn’t working, he finally told me, all we have left is surgery and you’ve got less than a 25% chance of surviving.

Jeffrey 4:16
When I woke up after the surgery. On July 9, I was paralyzed from the neck down. So while they were operating on me, they caused a spinal cord stroke and paralyzed me from the neck down. The aneurysm was fixed. But my journey was only beginning.

Bill Gasiamis 4:39
In Feb 2012 is when I experienced the first bleed in my head caused by an arteriovenous malformation so different from an aneurism. Aneurism is a bubble I suppose that grows on the blood vessel and then as it gets larger because of the blood pressure It tends to thin out the wall of the blood vessel.

Bill Gasiamis 5:04
And then eventually what happens is it might burst. But until then sometimes it can create symptoms by pressing on different parts of the brain depending on where it is, and kind of showing itself before it bleeds. But for a lot of people, it doesn’t, it just actually ruptures.

Bill Gasiamis 5:23
And they’re aneurism bursts, and then it just bleeds out. And usually aneurysms are on blood vessels, or on veins, or arteries that are quite large. And usually the bleed is catastrophic. So did you know that you had this aneurysm in your head? Or was that something new that was discovered after this supposedly, headache or migraine?

Jeffrey 5:49
Well, when I went to the emergency room, the emergency room doctor ordered a CAT scan on my brain. And when they took me down, the lady performing the procedure, knelt down to me, I had a blanket over my head, I couldn’t handle light anymore.

Jeffrey 6:10
She knelt down and whispered in my ear, I was told just to do one picture of your brain, but I decided to do one of your neck as well. And thank God she did that. Because what did they find? They found the aneurysm on my right vertebral artery.

Jeffrey 6:30
And just above the aneurysm, I had a dissection. So the blood was getting into the walls of the artery above the aneurysm itself. And the aneurysm was quite large. So I was very fortunate that she elected to do that to me, otherwise, I wouldn’t be sitting here today.

Bill Gasiamis 6:51
Okay. First angel in your life, is this lady who has she done the wrong thing, according to following orders or whatever? Or is she allowed to take liberty and scan more than just your head?

Jeffrey 7:12
It appeared she had the liberty to do that. And thank goodness, she did do it. Because the doctor was already a bit high strung with everything going on. He kept calling down to the Charlotte Medical Center to talk to the chief of the neurosurgery department.

Jeffrey 7:32
And he was getting directions from that gentleman. And when he came in to initially tell me, I had an aneurysm, it was oh my god, you have to aneurisms. And it wasn’t until I got to Charlotte, that they told me no it’s only one aneurysm and you have the dissection above that, which are both extremely serious, you’re in critical condition.

Bill Gasiamis 7:59
Yeah, dissection is maybe not imminent of causing a stroke, because it causes blood clots, mostly to create behind the flap of the dissection, but also sometimes the blood vessel can break off and then that causes the blockage. So you had that going as you also had this aneurysm, all in the same location. And the ticking time bomb, kind of saying is really apt here, definitely apt?

Jeffrey 8:36
Yes, I was, without a doubt a ticking time bomb. I was in a room for 10 days, with a nurse looking through a window 24-hours a day at me. Every time they would come in every four hours to give me medication. I had to go through the series of questions of what day of the week is it? What year is it? Who’s the president of the United States?

Jeffrey 9:02
Those types of questions before they would give me my medication. And they were also lowering my blood pressure from 120 over 80 down to if I recall, 70 over 50 to try to reduce the aneurysm in that manner. However, it wasn’t working.

Bill Gasiamis 9:24
And how old were you?

Stroke Even With A Healthy Lifestyle

Jeffrey 9:25
49 and in the best shape of my life. Worked out every week. Lots of cardio scuba diving, very active, very healthy, ate well, nothing wrong. And when I asked the doctor about that, while all this was going on, he just said sometimes it just happens. You were doing everything right. Had you not been doing everything right. You probably wouldn’t be here right now.

Bill Gasiamis 9:58
Yeah, absolutely. That’s the one thing that I find with a lot of stroke survivors who I interview is this whole idea that just because you’re fit and healthy and you do all these things, it doesn’t mean life’s not going to happen to you.

Bill Gasiamis 10:11
It doesn’t mean that you’re immune from life and from wear and tear in other parts of your body that are not related to your lungs and your fitness and your muscles and all that kind of stuff. And especially when you have an aneurysm, it tends to be something that you’re born with this weakness in this one spot that just happens to get weaker and weaker over time, which is similar to an arteriovenous malformation, or a cavernoma.

Bill Gasiamis 10:41
So there’s a whole bunch of reasons why this outward appearance of health isn’t necessarily accurate to what’s going on. And it’s not to say that just because you have an aneurysm, or an AVM, you’re not healthy. It’s just to say that it doesn’t mean that you’re immune from life.

Jeffrey 11:00
Very true. One of the things I kept thinking about was, I was so glad I wasn’t someone with high blood pressure. If I went into this with high blood pressure, what would the outcome have been? With this? I was so fortunate that I did have good blood pressure. And yes, I had health going for me. But this was out of my hands. Fate was totally in control and at the wheel here, and all I could do was just let things unfold, and hope for the best.

Bill Gasiamis 11:38
Are you in hospital actually doing that hoping for the best praying for the best outcome, I didn’t go down that path at all. I just accepted my fate. I’m not sure whether I was going to be happy with the outcome if it ended, in me passing. But I definitely just accepted it. I accepted my whole situation.

Bill Gasiamis 12:02
And I don’t know why or how I got there. So people asked me, I haven’t really contemplated how or why I got there. But over the three years and three black brain blades, and then brain surgery, I just accepted every single aspect of it. I never fought it. I never said Why me? What were you like?

Jeffrey 12:21
I didn’t fight it. Thankfully, at that point in time in my life, I lived a good life, I traveled the world, I spent time in the military, traveling the world with the Air Force, spent time with a few different cargo airlines flying worldwide. So I really lived a very good life with no regret at all.

Jeffrey 12:46
And yes, I accepted. If this happens, it happens. I wasn’t living a life full of regret. I wished I had done this or I wished I had done that. I was fully accepting of if it happens, it happens. But if it doesn’t happen, I’m not going to let this define me.

Jeffrey 13:06
I hope it doesn’t happen. I want to continue on with my life. But if it does happen, I’m going to find another way around and I’m not going to live my life by I can’t. I’m going to continue on and live this life of mine.

Bill Gasiamis 13:21
Yeah. So you’re in hospital 10 days, they’re trying to settle things down. And then what happens? Do they decide that? Now we’ve got to operate? How does the next part of the phase go?

Jeffrey 13:35
So they finally figured out as the 10 days was going on, the aneurysm was not decreasing in size and the doctor was having to weigh every day do I go in and do the surgery now?

Jeffrey 13:53
Or do I try to give it a little more time each day knowing that the aneurysm could burst or something had happened with the dissection in the artery right above it. So the decision was finally made. Let’s do the surgery.

Day Of The Surgery

Jeffrey 14:12
So I did that on the morning of July 9. And when I woke up, I realized I couldn’t move anything. I could tell my brain or my brain could try to tell some part of my body to move. But it wasn’t moving. And I quickly realized that I was paralyzed. I was having great difficulty breathing because it affected my diaphragm and my ability to inhale and exhale were very difficult.

Jeffrey 14:44
I felt like I had a thick leather strap wrapped around my chest with somebody pulling it as tight as they could, making it more difficult for me to breathe. So the first few hours were extremely difficult. Claustrophobia takes over. You can’t move your body fight or flight is in full gear.

Jeffrey 15:06
And now you’ve got to figure out what’s next. Are you going to let this define you? Or are you going to start figuring out how to move forward? And the next piece of that was, hey, there’s no instruction manual for this. As far as what do you do first? What do you do second?

Jeffrey 15:25
How do you find your way through this? And that was when I started saying to myself, I need to find my way forward through this. And I think what I’ll do is, I’ll write an instruction book about this. So I’ll figure out someday how to journal about everything going on. And maybe I can write something to other people that are just starting this and trying to figure out how do I move forward through this journey now?

Bill Gasiamis 15:55
So you said exactly what one of my previous guests said. So I interviewed Dr. Bradford Burke, who is a spinal injury survivor. And he said that when he was in hospital, the first thing that came into his mind was, how about the book he was going to write about his experience.

Bill Gasiamis 16:25
And it was episode 164. So not that many episodes ago. And I just said to him, how does that become the first thing in your mind, and you’ve got all this other stuff that’s going wrong. But of course, as a spinal cord injury survivor, he was also paralyzed from the neck down. And that’s the first thing that came to his mind. So I find this really bizarre.

Jeffrey 16:55
Yeah, I I told myself with everything that was with the trauma that was coming into my brain, making it difficult to think clearly, and to start formulating a plan, I didn’t need to let that take over. So I needed to put my brain someplace where I could start formulating a plan.

Jeffrey 17:26
And I thought, if I can keep my brain there, then I’m not going to lose it. So start building this mousetrap in your brain. And keep thinking about that. And don’t think about this other thing that is horrific beyond words. So if I could keep doing that, then I could maintain myself and not lose it.

Bill Gasiamis 17:54
So it’s a survival mechanism. But is that your training as well? Because if you have been a pilot, if you’ve flown for the defense forces, and commercial and all that kind of stuff, surely they’re teaching you that, you know, you got to remain calm, and you got to find your way out of a difficult situation. Should you find yourself in one, is that something that you think played a role with this place you found yourself in?

Jeffrey 18:26
Yes, it absolutely played a role. Survival School and the military played a role sere training. That definitely played a role it taught me who the inner me was it that training, let a different Jeff out. And when I was face to face with that person, I knew what I could do if I set my mind to things.

Jeffrey 18:56
And same thing with flying, when you are, in certain situations, flying into mountainous terrain, and South America, or some of the other things you deal with around the world with weather and terrain as an example, you’ve got to keep flying the airplane, no matter what, you’ve got to keep flying, you’ve got to fly that thing all the way down to the ground, and figure your way out of whatever’s going on. So yes, to answer your question that absolutely played a very large role in my recovery,

Bill Gasiamis 19:27
I’ve become familiar with this stoic saying, you know, from the ancient philosophers 2000 years ago, they talk about the obstacle being the way and you know, for bad weather is a perfect example of that you’re in the obstacle, the obstacle is right there.

Bill Gasiamis 19:48
And you’ve actually got to go through it. You can’t do anything. You can’t turn around. You can’t go back to base you got to continue your mission. You got to go through around above I’m not sure how but you got to get through the obstacle.

Bill Gasiamis 20:03
And that stuff that’s laying on the other side of the obstacle is where you’re headed no matter what. And you wouldn’t just stop walking on a, you guys call it a sidewalk, we call it a footpath, you wouldn’t just stop walking on a footpath. Just because there was a big boulder on it.

Bill Gasiamis 20:22
You’d pay attention to the boulder, you’d find a way around it, over it, under it, whatever. And then you’d continue walking on that footpath with no real difference in your mindset as to where you’re heading or going. Does that relate?

Jeffrey 20:42
Oh, yeah, absolutely. It even related. Months later, well, the end of that year, I promised my niece and nephew that I would be with them to go to Paris. And no matter what I was going to figure out how to walk. And if I couldn’t walk, well, then it’s the wheelchair.

Just Make It Happen – Jeffrey A. Morse


Jeffrey 21:02
It was ugly. But I was walking while I was over there. And one day we find ourselves at the top of the Notre Dam Cathedral. And once we’re at the top, it’s time to take the spiral staircase down. And I find the handrails on the wrong side of the spiral staircase. So I needed the handrail on my left, and the handrail is on my right.

Intro 21:30
If you’ve had a stroke, and you’re in recovery, you’ll know what a scary and confusing time it can be, you’re likely to have a lot of questions going through your mind. Like now 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 21:55
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 a seven questions to ask your doctor about your stroke.

Intro 22:14
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.

Jeffrey 22:33
So I knew this wasn’t going to work. So now how do I facilitate getting down to the bottom and getting out of the cathedral? So all I did was turn around and do the spiral staircase backwards.

Jeffrey 22:45
So just make it happen. Don’t sit there and languish over it. Figure out a way to build a better mousetrap and make that thing happen and enjoy it along the way. So yes, it’s totally relatable to everything that you’re saying. Absolutely everything.

Bill Gasiamis 23:03
And the French are going these Americans look at them walking back.

Jeffrey 23:07
That’s right.

Bill Gasiamis 23:09
How could they do that, they would have had a specific hustle or cuss word specifically just for that situation.

Jeffrey 23:19
Well, and it was funny, because my niece along the way said, you know you’re walking too slow. I’m going to go on ahead, I’ll see at the bottom and just left me and my nephew there. So yes, you know, great time, but this is all part of living your life, figure out how to make things happen. So you can continue on and be happy.

Bill Gasiamis 23:41
I’m gonna get back to that fringe trip. But before we get there, I just want to understand so the timeline. So you wake up, you’re, you can’t feel from your head down. Nothing’s working. Are you locked in? Do you have the ability to speak?

Jeffrey 23:55
Yes. Yeah, all my cognitive abilities were still there. Breathing was difficult because of the diaphragm. But I could speak I could think eye movement, all great. No sense of temperature, pain or any of that anymore. All that was gone.

Jeffrey 24:16
I could communicate quite well. One of the other things that was funny about that was a few days later, a cognitive specialist came into the room. While a friend of mine was visiting one of my scuba diving buddies, Charlie Brown, who was.

Bill Gasiamis 24:37
Snoopy’s friend.

Jeffrey 24:38
Yes. So he was at the time a police officer and the hospital was in his patrol area. So he would come visit every day. And on that particular morning, the cognitive specialist comes in and says, Hey, we need to check your cognitive ability, one of the first things we’re going to do is have you count back from 100 by seven.

Jeffrey 25:06
So by the time I finished, my friend Charlie’s still stuck at 86. Trying to figure out what the next number down was. And we just laughed about it. So yes, I couldn’t move. But I could sure do math awful well, so none of that seemed to bother me.

Bill Gasiamis 25:23
Yeah, that’s what a perfectly useful thing to have the ability to do. When you’re paralyzed from the neck-down.

Jeffrey 25:33
At least I can do math. Yeah.

Bill Gasiamis 25:35
Calculate the number of days I’ve been here or the number of days to my release, or I’m not sure what but I know where you’re heading with that. That’s great. So how long did you spend in hospital?

Jeffrey 25:48
I was in the hospital six weeks, when I woke up from the surgery. The surgeon told me, I have good news, you survived the surgery, however, it appears you’re paralyzed from the neck down, you may never walk again. And I looked at him right in the eye. And I said, I’ll walk out of this hospital.

It’s Gonna Get Ugly

Jeffrey 26:10
And he tapped me on the shoulder with his hand and walked away. So I made that promise to myself. And at the end of the six weeks, on August 9, I walked out of that hospital, they wheeled me up to the front door, I grabbed my walker. And yes, it was ugly, but it was still one foot in front of the other. And I made it out to the car and made my way home.

Bill Gasiamis 26:38
I love that. Yes, it was ugly attitude. Because that is the attitude that’s going to get you to France, it’s going to get you to a trip around a lake in a boat, it’s gonna get you to a cafe, having a coffee with family and friends.

Bill Gasiamis 26:54
It’s gonna get you to all the places that you need to get to as human being to experience just the small joys of life like, and I’ve noticed what I’ve missed the most during lockdowns and COVID. And all that kind of stuff is just getting out and connecting with people.

Bill Gasiamis 27:11
And now that we’ve come out of the most lockdown city in the world, I think, you know, something like, couple 100 days or something, some ridiculous amount of time. It’s a bit of a struggle to get back into the routine. Nature of, hey, we’re gonna go somewhere and do something and catch up.

Bill Gasiamis 27:34
And it’s bizarre, that even me, I find it weird that I haven’t been able to bounce back into that thing. But when I was recovering from stroke, no matter what condition I was in, as long as I had the energy to do it. I never said no to anybody, whatever. Somebody wanted me to go somewhere, do something, say something always said yes.

Bill Gasiamis 27:57
The only thing that stopped me was fatigue. Did you have fatigue issues as well, because I imagined that walking in a walker after six weeks of rehabilitation is going to be pretty draining on, on you physically and mentally. And maybe even emotionally. I’m not sure.

Jeffrey 28:16
Fatigue definitely was a factor. So when I got home, one of the things I started noticing was my brain was all in and wanted to go do things. But my body was saying, Hey, I’m fatigued. I can’t do what you’re asking for.

Jeffrey 28:34
And what I found that that was I had a good, honest, four hours a day where I could do movement, and then my body would say I’m done. I need to rest. The other thing that I found that manifested itself during that time was something called phantosmia.

Jeffrey 28:55
So phantosmia, that’s your olfactory system hallucinating, and I would start smelling what smelled like burnt toast. And anytime my brain was fatigued, the phantosmia was there over time that went away. But to this day, I still notice it when I’m getting a little bit more back.

Jeffrey 29:24
And my brain is figuring out how to talk to this new part of my body. A part of a muscle, bringing a couple of muscles together to start working in unison together. I’ll notice the phantosmia kick in a little bit there. And it’s continuing to tell me that, hey, things are still getting better. So it’s a good sign. But yes, in the beginning, I definitely had issues with fatigue.

Bill Gasiamis 29:53
Yeah. So what about now do you have any days where you feel strange and out of it, and kind of woowoo? And all that type of thing? I know, it’s nearly 10 years later. How are you doing today? So just to paint that picture for people that perhaps starting this journey or have a little bit of a way down their own journey, what’s it like nearly 10 years later?

Jeffrey 30:28
It’s a lot better, I still notice the fatigue a little bit here in there. I work for an airline, I’m an instructor at an airline. So I spend eight hours a day in a classroom, standing, walking around talking, at the end of the day, go home, do a little workout, do a little cardio, and then call it a night.

Jeffrey 30:52
If I want to go out and do something, I’m going to do something for yours then to this with all of the work that I was doing my own therapy program, with things like Pilates and neuromuscular massage therapy. I finally got to a point where I was finding for years, then what was holding me back was the medication.

Jeffrey 31:21
It was the side effects of the medication that was holding me back more than anything else. And once I got the medication out of my system, things change drastically. As a matter of fact, when I did that in June of 2016, I finally decided three months later, when I got off the medicine, it’s time to take a trip.

Jeffrey 31:42
And I planned a trip to Nepal, a two week trip to Nepal. So and I lined up all sorts of activities to do. And I told myself, you know, hey, if I can do those activities, great. If I can’t, well, that’s fine, too. At least I tried. But that was four years in now I feel monumentally better.

Jeffrey 32:05
Do I still feel fatigue? Do I still have limitations and restrictions? Sure. But they’re nothing compared to what they were in the beginning. And the the one constant I found of this throughout, is the neuromuscular massage therapy. And what I found of that is when I get that done breaking down the fascia in my system, which appears to go rampid when the sympathetic nervous system is trying to protect you, it’s constantly trying to give you that stability through the fascia.

Jeffrey 32:45
But what’s the other thing that fascia is doing? It’s cutting off the circulation to your nerve endings, or your nervous system. And with having that broken up, it’s giving me the ability to regain those muscles regain the nervous system doing what it’s supposed to do. So I’ve been doing that for over six years. And to this day, I still see a gain out of that.

Bill Gasiamis 33:14
Yeah, I find myself my left side is the affected side. And it’s the nobody would know if they saw me. But it gets tight and a choice to keep me upright all the time. It overcompensate and tries to help stabilize me and keep me balanced, which in fact, causes the opposite effect.

Bill Gasiamis 33:34
And when it gets really bad, it starts to hurt way more than it’s ever hurt. And the only thing that relieves it is some real deep tissue massaging. And it’s pretty interesting to go and have the conversation with a masseur who has never touched my body before and they’re going well, I’ve never had somebody who’s so tight on one side, and so loose on the other side.

Bill Gasiamis 34:01
So I really relate to what you’re saying about how having muscle work done and lengthening the muscles and stretching the muscles and moving them in these different ways support stability and support, core strength and support all those things that help keep us upright.

Pilates Helped Improve Balance – Jeffrey A. Morse

Jeffrey 34:23
Yes, you know, and the other thing I found it over time. I was trying everything from going into a gym, trying tai chi for balance, yoga, pilates. Pilates workout-wise was the absolute best because it was working those smaller stability muscles. I didn’t need to work, the larger muscle groups I needed the smaller muscle groups and I found I was in a very safe environment doing that type of workout.

Jeffrey 35:01
And that in conjunction with the neuromuscular massage work was perfect. The other thing that I found that was really great was dry needling, the dry needling would break down the fascia as well. And those three things, they were the peanut butter, jelly, and bread all together, all three of them work perfectly. And those were the three things overall of everything that I tried. That worked the best.

Bill Gasiamis 35:33
Dry needling, I’ve had the experience. It’s pretty cool, bizarre and weird, but at the same time strangely relaxing and comfortable and definitely felt positive or something positive happen because of that session.

Jeffrey 35:56
Yes, yes. It’s amazing what it releases, what all three of them do the neuromuscular massage work, above all the things that I tried that walking away from one of those sessions, 90 minutes later, or two hours later, what I felt in my body, the reduction in the restrictions, how I felt overall, mindset wise, I felt more positive, I could breathe easier. That made things a lot nicer as well. So I still do that every week. And the results are always spectacular.

Bill Gasiamis 36:44
Yeah. Let’s go back to the medication that you said you started to reconsider. How did you get to that? What made you think that this is something that we need to look at?

Jeffrey 36:57
Well, I couldn’t get over how rigid my body was. I was having so much difficulty moving a leg forward. Forget trying to bend the leg at the knee as you’re attempting to walk. I was extremely rigid, I noticed the depression, and a number of other side effects. So I just decided, while I was trying to learn anatomy, so I could speak the same language as the massage therapist or the person working with me and Pilates.

Jeffrey 37:37
I wanted to find out about the medication as well. One of the other things I found was every time the massage therapist worked on me, she was finding it, it was like trying to massage a walkway as cement walkway, she couldn’t get into my muscle structure. So I started finding the side effects of the medication. With some of the meds were causing muscle rigidity.

Jeffrey 38:06
So one of the next times I went to see the doctor, I asked about it, and the subject was instantly changed. And it was suggested that I consider having Botox injections in the back of my right leg and into my hamstring muscles. It was equally suggested that I consider having my Achilles tendon sliced numerous times to release the rigidity there.

Jeffrey 38:40
So that’s nice that you’re suggesting that but then what do I have to deal with for the rest of my life? After that, now I have dropped foot for the rest of my life. I’m going to be in a boot as a result of that. And what did it really fix? Nothing. So I asked again about the side effects of the medication. And again, the conversation was changed. So I just decided to take it upon myself to stop taking the medication.

Bill Gasiamis 39:11
Let’s stop there for a sec. We do not advocate anyone stopping the medication on their own.

Jeffrey 39:18
No, not at all. Not at all. I just found with me with some of this that. Did I really need some of this and I didn’t. So a week later, all of a sudden, the muscles were pliable again. So yes, that’s just my case. Apologies.

Bill Gasiamis 39:38
No, no, don’t apologize. I understand why and how you got there. We’re not advocating it.

Stopping The Medications

Jeffrey 39:46
No, not at all.

Bill Gasiamis 39:46
Everybody else. Speak to your doctor about it. And I get the issue that you have the frustration that you have with your doctor, because many doctors go down that path. It’s very rare for me to hear from somebody who said, I spoke to my doctor about x, and we had a great deep conversation about it.

Bill Gasiamis 40:08
And then I made an informed decision very rare. So I get why you did that. Now, I’ve also previously before this part of my life, where I had a stroke and became a podcast host and all that kind of stuff I used to coach people, as a life coach. And one of the people who are coached, was telling me that they were on a medication, and this particular medication they were on for 10 years or something.

Bill Gasiamis 40:38
And it was to treat an issue that happened 10 years prior. And I was, okay. And has that issue resolved itself? She said, Well, yeah, I don’t think I have that issue anymore, or something along those lines, have you ever spoken to your doctor about stopping the medication or changing it or decreasing or or something like that?

Bill Gasiamis 41:03
He said, No, no, I said is there a reason why? She goes I just haven’t thought of it. I take it religiously every day, and refill the prescriptions and just go down that path. And I just thought that was so bizarre. And I said to her, well, do you think maybe because some of the issues she was having were physical issues in other places and emotional issues and psychological issues.

Bill Gasiamis 41:30
And I just thought, look, maybe you want to speak to your doctor and reconsider this medication, because you’ve been taking it for so long. And the issue that you had back then is no longer an issue. And it was news to her that she could even do that. And that she even should do that.

Bill Gasiamis 41:52
Nonetheless, she had that conversation. And they both agreed that she didn’t no longer needed to take that medication. So I don’t know how many years of unnecessary prescriptions she was filling and taking. But she was and she just did not give it a second thought.

Jeffrey 42:12
My only point with it was I was trying to get to the root of a problem to try to solve a problem in my body. And every time I tried to broach the subject with a physician, the subject was changed. And all I was trying to figure out was how do I get to the next level of improving myself and, maybe reducing some more of these restrictions?

Jeffrey 42:39
So yes, I took it upon myself to do something. And what I found afterwards was, lo and behold, this particular thing I was concerned about was actually true. So you know, I was able to move on from it. So it worked.

Bill Gasiamis 43:03
Yeah, it’s important that people do read the side effects of prescription medication of any kind, so that they just know that what’s happening isn’t perhaps them, it’s not their lack of being mentally strong or emotionally stable, or all those things is potentially being influenced by something else. And it’s enough to tip some people over the edge and go into depression and go into all these places.

Bill Gasiamis 43:29
So I remember when I was first diagnosed with the blade in my head, I was prescribed dexamethasone. It’s a steroid, to reduce inflammation. But it has a list of about 40 side effects. And let me tell you, I experienced about 20 of those side effects within the first week or two. And before we got curious as to what the hell these drugs do, we just accept it as maybe it’s part of the stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 44:00
Maybe it’s part of this, maybe it’s part of that we didn’t know what it was part of what was causing it. And then we googled it. We found it online and then we discovered that okay, a lot of these things are related to the medication. The decision was made that you stay on the medication for a number of weeks because it was a critical time in my head to try and decrease the swelling and then they wean you off it.

Bill Gasiamis 44:28
But they have to wean you off it they have to cut the dose down by half and then by half and then by half and then by half and then get it to the point where you’re taking none of it because it was that serious, and they’re strong. I was having hallucinations at night.

Bill Gasiamis 44:43
I could feel like stuff’s crawling under my skin. I was eating 24 hours a day, seven days a week I put on I think it was eight kilos in two weeks, which I think is about four or five pounds. I was angry, I had insomnia, and I thought it was all related to the stroke at the beginning to what happened in my head.

Bill Gasiamis 45:17
So I’m glad we spoke about that. And I’m just gonna reiterate one more time before we move on. Please consult your doctor. About any medications that you decide not to take.

Jeffrey 45:31
Be your own advocate and do the right thing. Yes, have the conversation.

Bill Gasiamis 45:35
And if you don’t like what your doctor has to say, get a second opinion for God’s sake. Secondly, your doctor and get a second opinion and find somebody that will work for you, or with you. And the way that you like, I certainly did that at the very beginning as well.

Bill Gasiamis 45:50
I got rid of my doctor and found somebody that was going to work with me the way that I wanted to. That whole issue that I have with doctors is that they that perhaps it’s their training, and I don’t have a real issue with them, I have an issue with some of the things that they do.

Bill Gasiamis 46:10
Especially that you may never walk again thing, because I know that not everybody’s like you, Jeffrey, they’re not all going to go, screw you. I’m going to walk again, it might get ugly, but I’m going to do it. Some people take it to heart. And that really bothers me that they don’t take into consideration the possibility that the next person, they say that we might be the one that’s taking it to heart. Sure, some will get motivated by that. But a lot of people will take it to heart.

Jeffrey 46:40
And that’s my concern is they’re not in your body. They’re making assumptions. Yes, they’re very trained. Yes, we need them for the obvious reasons we need them. But at some point, you’re getting out of that hospital, and you’ve got to take it upon yourself to take control of your life and say, Okay, that’s just one person’s opinion.

Jeffrey 47:06
Great. You’ve got letters in front of your name, but it’s still your opinion, this is my body. And I’m not gonna live with that. I want to continue living my life. So yes, you’ve got to be your own advocate and find your way through.

The Book Finding Forward By Jeffrey A. Morse


Bill Gasiamis 47:22
Yeah, completely agree. So how long after all of this saga? Did you start writing the book Finding Forward?

Jeffrey 47:37
After I returned from Nepal in December of 2016, I met my ghostwriter, I hired a ghostwriter to sit down with me. And I began writing the beginning of March of 2017. And five months later, I finished.

Jeffrey 47:57
So I had everything in my mind about what I wanted to speak to the audience, I was trying to speak to each of us that suffers from what we suffer through with these debilitating effects. And I wanted to speak to everybody about that and say, Hey, your life’s not over. And there are other means of going about living your life.

Bill Gasiamis 48:24
Yeah. Do you have a copy of the book there?

Jeffrey 48:29
I do not. But I do have a copy someplace of the cover if everybody can see that. But there’s the cover the book.

Bill Gasiamis 48:40
Pretty wicked cover photo they tell us about the cover photo.

Jeffrey 48:45
So one of the days in Nepal. I went up to the top of Sarancot mountain to go paragliding with an Egyptian Vulture and 6000 foot mountain. It was myself and another lady who I found out later was also a survivor.

Jeffrey 49:10
So we’re standing at the top of the mountain waiting early that morning waiting for the winds to come up and the two gentlemen that are going to take us out to do this. The owner of this company this para Hawking company was asking me what brought you to Nepal I told him my story.

Jeffrey 49:33
And the lady the other lady going out, overheard me and she came over and introduced herself and lo and behold, I find out she is a National Geographic photographer, who many years earlier had a life threatening event over in Laos.

Jeffrey 49:54
She was going to cover a story and a she was on a switchback mountain in a bus, bus coming in the other direction hit her. And now she’s telling me her story, as we’re sitting there, and the owner of the para hawking company was in total awe.

Jeffrey 50:13
And what I found it was, this was the first time I met another survivor. And one of the things I found very interesting about it was, we were completing each other’s sentences. Right down to the breathing, and how difficult breathing was in the beginning. So it was real special.

Jeffrey 50:35
They rigged me up, and they told me, okay, we’re going to run down the hillside here to go airborne. And I said, Well, I can’t run. And they said, that’s no problem, we can make that work. So the gentleman controlling the paraglider for me asked two of his friends to grab the harness on either side of me, and they ran us down.

Jeffrey 51:04
And next thing we know, we were off the edge there. And I’m feeding this Egyptian vulture that they use to help them find the thermals so we can enjoy the gliding experience. So while we were doing that, the Egyptian vulture was going back and forth between our paraglider and the other paraglider.

Jeffrey 51:27
And we got to feed it in flight, look out to the north towards the Himalayan Mountains, and enjoy a nice 20 minute flight down to the bottom. And when I finished, I went back into town, got on a bus went back up to the top of the mountain, and went zip lining for the first time in my life.

Bill Gasiamis 51:51
Far out, man, I’m looking at the image of you in the paraglider in the harness and the bird is sitting on your arm. And somebody was in the right place at the right time to take a photo of that.

Jeffrey 52:10
Well, he had GoPro cameras positioned around where he could take those pictures while we were flying. So it was numerous pictures that he was taking while we were doing that. So yes, it was very fascinating.

Jeffrey 52:31
And I got to feel adrenaline and living again, all the hard work. Got me there. All the people that helped me get to that point. allowed me to experience that again. And the other part of this book is me saying thank you to each and every one of them for getting me to that point to be able to do that.

Bill Gasiamis 52:57
It’s a hell of a cover photo. It’s just absolutely amazing photo there of, of just somebody experiencing life. And it doesn’t have to be what everybody does. It’s definitely not I, I can appreciate how amazing it would be.

Bill Gasiamis 53:17
But I can’t find myself either jumping out of a perfectly good plane, or falling off jumping off a cliff. I just can’t find myself doing that. And I appreciate the people that do. And I think you guys are amazing, but I just don’t think that I’d be able to do it Jeffrey.

Jeffrey 53:37
Yeah, the the whole trip was one adrenaline rush after another. And it was finding my freedom again, finding life all over again, meeting new people doing things that some would say I would never do again. And I went there to do them and you know, to find enlightenment, and I found all of that.

Bill Gasiamis 54:04
So before that you would have experienced some isolation, just as part of the course of being somebody that’s going through what you’re going through. And then being on the recovery side, say even out of the hospital when you’re still not able to get out into life yet. Did you deal with isolation well? Is that something that you experienced? Because I imagine that you would have had those feelings more intensely at some point, especially when you’re waking up and you’ve got no feeling but beneath your neck?

Waking Up Paralyzed

Jeffrey 54:41
Yeah, it this was something that I dealt with a lot in the beginning I still deal with a little bit of it even to this day, but one of the hard things for me after waking up paralyzed, was closing my eyes. I found when I closed my eyes, my body no longer existed. So I couldn’t sleep.

Jeffrey 55:12
Anytime the sheets would get pulled up over my body, my body disappeared, those things were very alarming. So I couldn’t ever sleep with the sheets over my legs. That was very alarming to me.

Jeffrey 55:30
So, once I got home, one of the things I would find is I would wake up from a couple hours of just pure exhaustion, I haven’t slept in 20 Something hours. And finally, I’m going off to sleep. And suddenly, I realize, Oh, my God, I’m waking up. And I’m realizing I don’t know where my body is, I think I know where my legs are. And they’re nowhere near the position, I think they’re in.

Jeffrey 56:04
I couldn’t sleep with lights off, I had to have the lights on. So if I did fall asleep, and then I was jolted back to consciousness, I could look down immediately and reestablish where everything was at where my arms were, where my legs were, sometimes, I might have an arm underneath me pinned underneath me.

Jeffrey 56:27
And what happens when you do that when you’re not paralyzed, and you lose the circulation in your arm. Now, I can’t sense that. So all I can see is the arms pinned underneath me. And I have to ask for help to get the arm out from underneath me if I can’t.

Jeffrey 56:50
So in the first couple of years, it was very traumatic for me anytime I needed to do that sleep thing. That was always very difficult. But the the alone thing that I was able to navigate. Just because I wanted to, you know, in the beginning, when I got back home, and I was still in a wheelchair, all I could use was my left foot to try to pull me along in the chair.

Jeffrey 57:23
And if I could do that, and managed to get over to the back door and figure out how to open the door, just so I could sit there and look up at the sky with nothing between me in the sky, I was grateful for that. I was grateful for little wins, not big wins. And if I could do that, each day, then I’m taking another step in the right direction. And those were the things that I would allow in those positive things to keep the negative things away.

Bill Gasiamis 57:57
The negative things take over sometimes, absolutely. That’s just part of recovery, right? It is I’m having a terrible day and you’re fatigued and you’re exhausted and the negative thoughts come into your head. And I think if you don’t give them oxygen, they they tend to fizzle away.

Bill Gasiamis 58:20
But what I mean by that is is that you just allow them to be there, you allow them to turn up and exist and let you know what their messages or whatever you acknowledge them for what they are, you don’t make any meaning about them, you don’t try and apply a meaning to this thing, just allow it to exist as something that’s going to be fleeting, it’ll be in, it’ll be out.

Bill Gasiamis 58:44
And then from there, you can move into the next phase, which is a positive experience. And then when that positive experience comes there, then give that oxygen give that hips of meaning, give that heaps of time and effort, and then the positive start to outweigh the negatives.

Bill Gasiamis 59:00
And then every once in a while a negative comes in and then you just allow it to exist for a little bit of time and then it goes away. I remember waking up at night and always having to go to the bathroom and then feeling and then having just really terrible negative thoughts in my head the entire time for years.

Bill Gasiamis 59:23
But I’ve been noticing recently that my thoughts at night when I wake up to go to the bathroom are trivial, if not silly, and they’re not about negative things that just about weird stuff that I would not normally think on the normal waking hours. So it has shifted for me, but I was troubled at the beginning by some of those.

Bill Gasiamis 59:48
I know I suppose the the word is could they have been? Just not sure I can’t even describe it that would just not nice thoughts, and then they were very quickly looping into even worse thoughts and so on. But eventually just gave myself the opportunity to know that they are just thoughts.

Bill Gasiamis 1:00:14
That’s all they are. And they don’t mean anything, they’re not going to come true. Something that’s happening to me at the moment, and I was able to let it go, but I didn’t wake up with the inability to move, you know, my entire body. So I don’t know what that’s like.

Bill Gasiamis 1:00:36
And I don’t know how good I would have been at the beginning to try and understand how to let go of control. And not that I was a real control freak, but you know, you’re controlling most things in your life in some way, shape, or form. And then you wake up and you don’t have control of your body.

Bill Gasiamis 1:01:01
I can relate to your not knowing where your body parts are. I can relate to that briefly, because I kind of didn’t know where my left side was. But at the same time, how do you give up control when you wake up? And the first thing you realize is you don’t have the ability to move your body?

Jeffrey 1:01:25
When you first wake up to that you’re screaming because yes, that control is not there. It’s it’s gone. And you have no control of when or if that’s ever going to come back. So that’s where you’ve now got to make the decision. Are you going to let that ruin your life, or are you going to move on?

Jeffrey 1:01:51
When I was moved from the hospital wing over to a rehab facility, days later, they moved me into a room with a gentleman that had diabetes, went into a diabetic coma while he was driving his pickup truck lost consciousness, wakes up two weeks later, and he’s lost his right leg below the knee.

Jeffrey 1:02:21
And he was extremely depressed. He he was giving up, didn’t want to listen to the doctors or the nurses for rehab. And every evening to three o’clock in the morning, neither one of us could sleep. I would talk to him and try to motivate him and tell him your life’s not over.

Jeffrey 1:02:45
All you need is a prosthetic leg, and you can get on with your life. Little did I know at that time, the nurse’s station was right outside of our door. And the nurses would sit there each evening, listening to me, trying to motivate him. And it started working. I did everything I could to talk to him. And here I am paralyzed from the neck down, trying to tell him look, life’s not over.

Jeffrey 1:03:15
Now, for me, I’ve lived a full life at 49. I was accepting of if my life ends right now I’m okay with that. I don’t have any regrets in my life. And I was very much a question mark every minute of every day during that period of time. But that wasn’t stuff I was going to let in.

Jeffrey 1:03:40
All I was motivated toward was figure out what you’re going to do next. Because there’s no instruction book here. Eventually, they moved me out of that room because they knew time was coming for him. And it looked like he was going to lose his life. And they didn’t want me in the room at that time. And it really depressed him when they moved me out.

Jeffrey 1:04:04
But I told him Look, I’ll just be a few doors down. I’ll come and visit. To go further forward from that. Yes, he did eventually lose his life. But as I was healing over the years, day after day, week, after week, month after month, and year after year, anytime I was having a bad time, I would think about that man.

Jeffrey 1:04:29
And no matter what I was feeling, I was not going to give up or give in to what he was allowing himself to give into I felt very bad for that. And I wished more than ever. I could have said more to help him get beyond what he was thinking. But I was not going to let this paralysis define me. I knew I could find my way through this and find my way back.

Jeffrey 1:04:57
Was it a question mark? Absolutely every day But that was not stuff I was willing to let into my brain, all I wanted to think about was finding my way back, when I would go into the physical therapy gym, when I would get wheeled in there each day, and sit in a sea of wheelchairs.

Jeffrey 1:05:21
And my therapist would come to take me to try to teach me how to walk again, I would tell her, I’m here to work, I’m not here to talk. So, you know, stand my body up, even though I can’t feel it. And help me figure out how to move these things underneath me, so I can make this walking thing happen again. And she asked me at one point, what drives you?

Jeffrey 1:05:43
And I said, Do you see all those people over there with spinal cord injuries, who are never gonna walk again, I’m trying to put one foot in front of the other for each of them. To me, it’s more about them than it is me. But that’s my motivation. And those were the kinds of things that I kept in my head over the years to keep me moving in a positive direction.

Bill Gasiamis 1:06:10
Pretty good man. Pretty fair approach, or there’s something to be said of that real win at all costs almost approach, regardless of how battered and bruised and, you know, unable you are to continue in the exact same way that you came into the whole game. It’s just win at all costs.

Bill Gasiamis 1:06:39
And that attitude was something that perhaps I didn’t appreciate, because I didn’t like that idea of winning at all costs, because there’s some stigma attached to it, which is, you know, basically doesn’t matter who you leave behind, and the damage that you’ve caused, but as long as you win, you know, then that’s great.

Bill Gasiamis 1:07:04
And I can see how that can be construed as negative in a way because especially if winning at all costs means that you’re leaving a lot of people emotionally traumatized or physically traumatized behind you, depending on what you’re trying to win at, right.

Bill Gasiamis 1:07:20
But here’s a really amazing way to take that mentality, that when it all costs mentality, and just make sure that you win this particular game, and you end up getting back to your life in some way, shape, or form, in your own at your own terms. And I don’t remember being so forward to my physical therapists at all, I don’t remember having those types of conversations with them.

Bill Gasiamis 1:07:55
But I was certainly motivated to walk again and walk out of therapy and go home early and do all those things. And I think I did pretty well considering. But you know, I’m just putting myself in your shoes, and I, I can’t see myself with a my emotional and mental state had developed enough by me at the age of 37, when this all happened to me, to, to know whether or not I would have taken a path like you. I’ll never know. And that’s okay.

Bill Gasiamis 1:08:33
But I’m just finding your conversations really interesting because it’s making me reflect. And it’s been a while since I’ve reflected on my own ability to do those things that you said the way that you’re upset them, which is to win at all costs, almost you didn’t say those words, but I love that approach.

Bill Gasiamis 1:08:53
And maybe it’s something for other people to contemplate whether or not they are being too passive in their recovery, whether they are going for it enough, whether they are telling people what they need to do to get to the other side.

Bill Gasiamis 1:09:09
And I’m not here for a conversation, for example, you know, the wrong therapist might have thought Jeffrey’s a bit of an idiot you know, talking to me like that. But hopefully she didn’t take it that way. Because it wasn’t about her really it was about you wasn’t it? It was about we’ve got work to do. We got a job to do and let’s get to it.

Jeffrey 1:09:30
Well, she would cry. She was amazed by my determination to not give up and that always shocked her that I had that motivation within me to do that. The the first day they wanted to put me behind a walker and say, hey, we’re gonna stand you up now.

Jeffrey 1:09:59
And we want you to just see what it feels like to stand and hold the walker. And there’s somebody behind me with a wheelchair just in case I fall backwards. And I said to her, what is it that I have to do to pass whatever I need to get out of the hospital as it relates to this walker?

Jeffrey 1:10:21
And she said, well, you need to be able to walk 50 feet on assisted. And I said, great, well, while I’m standing here, tell me where 50 feet is. And she said, well, from here to the door to the physical therapy gym, and I said, well, okay, then get out of my way. And I couldn’t feel my legs, I could figure out how to put something in front of me one step at a time, but I couldn’t feel either one of them.

Not All About You

Jeffrey A. Morse
Jeffrey 1:10:50
And I set out right there, right then to do the 50 feet. And she cried, the whole time I was doing it. She eventually took the wheelchair from the assistant, bashed it into the back of my legs and made me sit. But that was my motivation. The other thing that motivated me during those periods of time was, don’t make it all about you.

Jeffrey 1:11:13
Everybody that comes to visit you they see your trauma. They sit in fear thinking, what if that had happened to me? What would I do? And for me, it was what can I do to get your mind off of that? Is there something I can say to get you laughing about something?

Jeffrey 1:11:34
Can we have a conversation where suddenly, we’re remembering something? before all this happened to me, that we all laughed about, even if what we were laughing about was me. So if I could do that, that was positive fuel for me to to help me on my quest to get things back. And I had to realize along the way that most of what I was doing was a leap of faith.

Jeffrey 1:12:05
Okay, you can’t feel now fine. It doesn’t mean you can’t try. So do that. Don’t sit there with the mindset of, well, I can’t feel it, therefore I can’t use it. redirect the energy now, build a different mousetrap. And okay, you can’t feel. So you’re standing there. Obviously, there’s some signal starting to make its way through. So work with it, see what you can do with it.

Jeffrey 1:12:37
But don’t let yourself get so locked in and focus to the physical aspects of it, that you forget the psychological aspects of it, which are, you got to live your life to, you’ve got to figure out how to move yourself forward, and move yourself away from the stuff that’s depressing.

Jeffrey 1:12:56
What can you do to help facilitate that, and those were the things on my mind all the time. Try to help relieve some of the stress on everybody else. And if I could do that, and bring smiles to people’s faces, then I know I’m still in the game. I’m still in that game of living. And, yes, it’s gonna take a while to redefine things and figure out where that’s going to go. Because it’s all a question mark. But each day is a gift. So be thankful for the gift, and be thankful you’re still alive. So have that mindset.

Bill Gasiamis 1:13:37
I like your goal. Where’s the goal? 50 feet, where’s 50 feet, it’s over there. I love that visualizing the goal, knowing where the goal is, and then just going for it. And unless you know where it is now, and you know what you’re working towards that was, I think a great question to ask.

Bill Gasiamis 1:13:59
Time to get to the goal doesn’t matter how many times you fall over doesn’t matter how slow or how quick, doesn’t matter as long as you know where it is, so that you can keep moving towards it. I think that’s, that’s brilliant, and what you said about focusing on just the physical part of it, and not paying attention to the emotional part of it, or the psychological part of it.

Bill Gasiamis 1:14:22
But that’s really the two most neglected things in stroke recovery, emotional and psychological. Everybody does what they can see. Okay, Jeffrey can walk let’s get him back to walking again. And I think that’s really important because that does shift the psychology of the recovery to the positive that definitely does do that.

Bill Gasiamis 1:14:47
It doesn’t necessarily impact in the same way, the emotional part of the recovery just like it does the physical and the psychological part of the recovery. So that emotional seems to be The most neglected thing, I asked my followers on Instagram, you know who here has paid attention to the recovery in these areas, you know, emotional, physical and mental.

Bill Gasiamis 1:15:14
And most of them said physical and mental, mental was a distant second, and emotional was like far away, like third. So it’s a recipe, this recovery thing is a recipe, and you got to take absolutely radiant, you know, and you have to access it and add as much of it as is necessary. And you can’t leave one part of the recipe out because you couldn’t get a shit cake at the end of it.

Jeffrey 1:15:49
That’s correct thats spot on.

Bill Gasiamis 1:15:52
We really need to add all the bits and pieces to the exact amount that’s necessary. And you might not know the amount at the beginning of how much emotional recovery you need to make or how much psychological recovery you need to make, because you’ve never done it before you’ve never made the cake before.

Bill Gasiamis 1:16:09
So you’re trial and error, you’re doing trial and error. And you got to get curious about if I’ve still got a shit cake at the end. How do I make this thing tastes sweet again? How do I make it actually rise and look like a proper cake and look like something that’s appetizing.

Bill Gasiamis 1:16:26
And this is the thing, this is what I think we don’t spend enough time doing in life generally. And then we don’t have enough of those skills from life. And now we’re dealing with stroke as well. So we’ve got all this extra crap that we have to deal with.

Bill Gasiamis 1:16:43
And what needs to happen is we need to now we need to draw a line in the sand and go, I’ve got it evolve as a human being I can’t be as dumb as I was before the stroke. I’ve got to be smarter than that now, because I’ve got more challenges to deal with.

Learning How To Live Life After A Spinal Cord Stroke

Jeffrey A. Morse
Jeffrey 1:16:58
Yeah, I found in the beginning, where I thought this was 80% physical and 20% psychological. And as time went on, I kept finding over and over again, it was the exact opposite of that. I’m beating myself to death physically to get things back and little by little things are coming.

Jeffrey 1:17:23
But I’m forgetting that other component of living. And what that means what that means socially with other people to get back into that game again and be social. And how do you do that with your restrictions? And feel like, yes, you’re part of this thing, and you don’t feel uncomfortable.

Jeffrey 1:17:48
Well, even if you feel uncomfortable, go do it. Keep doing it, and grow that muscle memory. So you get away from it being uncomfortable again, I still remember my neuromuscular massage therapist, Jackie telling me one day, after I learned how to drive again, she said, you need to go take a drive up into the mountains, and go take a drive up there and go to this one place with an overlook, and just look across the mountain range.

Jeffrey 1:18:22
Don’t think about anything, just look. And I did that. And suddenly I started realizing more and more. I needed more of that kind of mindfulness, I needed to be aware of what was going on around me that component of living. So it’s not turning into everything you just described there, which is absolutely spot on.

Jeffrey 1:18:44
How do we get away from that thing, and we have to learn those things. It’s again, not something that’s in an instruction book, we’ve got to figure that thing out on our own. And this would be where I’m so glad that you’re doing what you’re doing where people that are in the midst of our restrictions and disabilities and limitations.

Jeffrey 1:19:09
They can come and listen to your show. And they can hear these exact things that they’re going through and realize, hey, I’m not the only one dealing with this. And here’s some great ideas to help me succeed and move myself along into that place where I suddenly realize, oh, I remember now how to smile again and go enjoy my life and laugh. So it’s important that we figure it out. And in the beginning. It’s all chaos and confusion.

Bill Gasiamis 1:19:44
Yeah. to say the least. So the book is called Finding Forward: You Have The Will Within it’s available now Is it is it just out or is being released?

Jeffrey 1:19:59
It’s going to be release next week, Tuesday, November 16.

Bill Gasiamis 1:20:03
Okay, fantastic for people who want to reach out and connect with you where’s the best way, was the best place to do that.

Jeffrey 1:20:11
You can reach out to me at my website, jeffreyamorse.com, you can equally reach out to me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, Facebook, Jeffrey A Morse, or just type in finding_forward for any of the social media and you can reach me there as well. And I’m happy to talk to everybody and anybody that wishes to reach out. Anytime.

Bill Gasiamis 1:20:45
It’s been a pleasure getting to know you for about an hour. I really thank you for your time. Thanks for reaching out to me as well and asked to be on the show telling me about your book. It’s really important to me to connect with people from all over the world.

Bill Gasiamis 1:20:58
Anybody that’s listening that would love to be on the podcast, just reach out. That’s all that Jeffrey did, they just reached out. And here we are. So I love to hear from people from all around the world, I’ve got this strange thing where I need to talk about my stroke, the strokes, other people’s strokes, all the time, I can’t do it with my family and with my wife.

Bill Gasiamis 1:21:23
I’m going to drive them insane. But I can do it with all these strangers all over the planet. So feel free to reach out, I will have all the links to be able to get Jeffrey’s book. in the show notes, I will have all the links to Jeffrey’s social media in the show notes so that you can easily find that feel free to reach out to me or to Jeffrey to get a copy of that book. And at the bottom of the book, at the end of the book in the last few pages is amazing images of that trip on the paraglider in Nepal. And they’re pretty inspiring.

Jeffrey 1:22:10
It was a trip of a lifetime. I enjoyed every minute of it. And I’m so thankful every day for everybody in my life. It’s such a pleasure to meet you. And to talk about these things. It’s so important that we talk about it. That’s what helps us to heal. It’s very, very important. And I cannot thank you enough Bill for having me on your show. This was absolutely spectacular.

Jeffrey 1:22:38
It was a real honor and a privilege to sit and talk with you about all this. And I hope people will reach out and know that they’re not the only ones going through this. And there is a way forward. There is a way into this new life of yours. So live it be grateful for every day that’s given to you now, you survived and you’re okay, that’s the most important thing of all. So, thank you immensely.

Bill Gasiamis 1:23:09
Thanks for being my guest. Thanks so much for joining me on today’s recovery off the stroke podcast. Do you ever wish there was just one place to go for resources, advice and support in your stroke recovery? Whether you’ve been navigating your journey for weeks, months or years, I know firsthand how difficult it can be to get the answers you need.

Bill Gasiamis 1:23:30
And this road is both physically and mentally challenging from reclaiming your independence to getting back to work to rebuilding your confidence and more. Your symptoms don’t follow a rulebook and as soon as you leave the hospital you no longer have medical professionals on tap.

Bill Gasiamis 1:23:46
And I for me it felt as if I was teaching myself new language from scratch with no native speaker inside. If this sounds like you, I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone and there is a better way to navigate your recovery and rebuild a fulfilling life that you love. I’ve created an inclusive, supportive and accessible membership community called recovery after stroke.

Bill Gasiamis 1:24:08
This is an all in one resource program. And it is designed to help you take back your health into your own hands. This is your guidebook through every step in your journey from reducing fatigue, to strengthening your brain health to overcoming anxiety and more. To find out more and to join the community. Just head to recoveryafterstroke.com See you on the next episode.

Intro 1:24:29
Importantly, we present many podcasts designed to give you an insight and understanding into the experiences of other individuals opinions and treatment protocols disgusting any podcast or the individual’s own experience and we do not necessarily share the same opinion nor do we recommend any treatment protocol discussed.

Intro 1:24:46
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 the content It is intended to complement your medical treatment and support healing.

Intro 1:25:03
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 did not use our content as a standalone resource to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease for therapeutic purposes or is a substitute for the advice of a health professional.

Intro 1:25:24
Never delay seeking advice or disregard the advice of a medical professional your doctor or your rehabilitation program based on our content if you have any questions or concerns about your health or medical condition, please seek guidance from a doctor or other medical professional if you are experiencing a health emergency or think you might be call triple zero in Australia or your local emergency number immediately for emergency assistance or go to the nearest hospital emergency department.

Intro 1:25:48
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 Spinal Cord Stroke Recovery – Jeffrey A. Morse appeared first on Recovery After Stroke.

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At age 49 Jeffrey Morse experienced a spinal cord stroke due to complications from brain surgery an intervention which left him paralyzed from the neck down. At age 49 Jeffrey Morse experienced a spinal cord stroke due to complications from brain surgery an intervention which left him paralyzed from the neck down. Recovery After Stroke 1:26:16
Cryptogenic and Ischemic Stroke Recovery – Vinny Valentino https://recoveryafterstroke.com/cryptogenic-and-ischemic-stroke-recovery-vinny-valentino/ Mon, 15 Nov 2021 14:00:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=8400 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/cryptogenic-and-ischemic-stroke-recovery-vinny-valentino/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/cryptogenic-and-ischemic-stroke-recovery-vinny-valentino/feed/ 0 <p>Vinnie Valentino was on tour playing guitar with his band when he experienced an Cryptogenic and Ischemic stroke. A year later he is starting to get back to playing guitar once more.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/cryptogenic-and-ischemic-stroke-recovery-vinny-valentino/">Cryptogenic and Ischemic Stroke Recovery – Vinny Valentino</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Vinny Valentino was on tour playing guitar with his band when he experienced a Cryptogenic and Ischemic stroke. A year later he is starting to get back to playing guitar once more.

Socials: 

https://www.instagram.com/vvguitar/
http://vinny.com

Highlights:

02:15 Introduction
03:57 Vinny Valentino
09:09 Identifying The Stroke Symptoms
14:30 Work vs Hospital
23:42 Coming Home After The Stroke
36:46 Pushing Through Hard Times
45:42 Don’t Take No For An Answer
51:11 Importance Of Sleep In Stroke Recovery
1:01:11 The Best Patient
1:13:47 It Get’s Easier
1:22:45 Functional Neurology
1:36:05 Medicine Lost Its Way

Transcription:

Vinny 0:00
Have you found yourself reflecting on those really tough moments when you thought, man, this is too hard, I can’t do it anymore or I don’t want to do this anymore. And then you’ve pushed through.

Vinny 0:10
Yeah, you know, as a matter of fact, I am fortunate enough to have a lot of documentation from the early years and lots of video and lots of audio. Lots of records that I’ve been on that I’ve done myself that I listened to, and I just at first, it was difficult to listen to those things.

Vinny 0:31
And I still look at video and go, Wow, now I’ve gotten to the point where I am performing again, I’m comfortable with the way I am, and I’ve gotten myself to the point where I feel comfortable in what I can present as a musician still still has value.

Intro 0:57
This is the recovery after stroke podcast, with Bill Gasiamis, helping you navigate recovery after stroke.

Vinny 1:09
Alone Welcome to recovery after stroke a podcast full of answers, advice and practical tools for stroke survivors to help you take back your life after a stroke and build a stronger future.

Bill 1:21
I’m your host three times stroke survivor Bill Gasiamis. After my own life was turned upside down and I went from being an active father to being stuck in hospital. I knew if I wanted to get my life back to the one I loved before my recovery was up to me.

Bill 1:37
After years of researching and discovering I’ll learn how to heal my brain and rebuild a healthier and happier life than I ever dreamed possible. And now I’ve made it my mission to empower other stroke survivors like you to recover faster, achieve your goals and take back the freedom you deserve.

Bill 1:54
If you enjoy this episode and want more resources, accessible training, and hands on support, check out my recovery after stroke membership community, created especially for stroke survivors and caregivers. This is your clear pathway to transform your symptoms, reduce your anxiety, and navigate your journey to recovery with confidence.

Introduction – Vinny Valentino

Vinny Valentino
Bill 2:15
Head to recoveryafterstroke.com to find out more after this podcast but for now, let’s dive right into today’s episode. This is episode 168 And my guest today is the one and only Vinny Valentino. Vinny is a professional musician and plays the guitar for a living and while playing on stage during a 2020 tour. Vinny experienced an ischemic and cryptogenic stroke. Vinnie Valentino welcome to the podcast

Vinny 2:48
Man it’s really an honor to be here and thank you for doing this you know, the whole thing the recovery after stroke podcast has been a godsend for me and I’m sure many other people.

Vinny 3:03
Well thank you for saying so. I really appreciate it. Is Vinny Valentino a stage name?

Vinny 3:12
Actually, no. You know, my name is Vincent. And Italian it’s Vincenzo, in Spanish it’s Vicente. And you know, so I answered any and all those versions of it.

Vinny 3:31
Man, it’s straight out of you know that era of Frankie Valli and the four seasons. You know, Vinny Valentino’s, sounds like you could have been a band member easy.

Vinny 3:41
Yeah, you know, I don’t know if my parents had this in mind when they picked that name, but that’s what came of anyway.

Vinny 3:53
I love it. Tell me a little bit about what happened to you, man?

Vinny Valentino Stroke

Vinny 3:57
Well, you know, I have been a professional musician, really all my life. I’ve been playing and making money at playing the guitar since I was 12 years old. And playing the guitar as early as the age six you know, and so as a result, you develop yourself you do local gigs and then eventually hopefully you’ll go on tour.

Vinny 4:33
And if that’s the kind of thing you know, many people teach there’s all kinds of avenues for professional musicians and you have to be pliable to be able to make a living at this. Anyway, I was the type that occasionally went on tour and I you know, acquired this gig and in two 2004 with Steve Smith and vital information.

Vinny 5:04
And Steve Smith is for those of you who don’t know, he is the drummer for the rock band Journey. Which, you know, everybody knows, you know, don’t stop believing and all those hits, you know, he was a big part of that.

Vinny 5:25
Anyway, but he has a jazz band and I have been lucky enough to be involved in that band since officially since 2006, but I’ve been playing with him since 2004. Fast forward, you know, I’ve played with many people along the way and, fast forward to 2020 We are preparing for a tour of Asia.

Vinny 6:02
And the pandemic starts to strike. We slowly lose all the dates that we had in China, obviously, and we had two weeks in China, we lost all those dates. And then we lost the week in Japan, we were going to be there as well.

Vinny 6:27
And what was left was flying out to the West Coast, I mean, Los Angeles and then flying from there to your hometown of Melbourne, Australia. And, but it wasn’t to be for me, because, you know, three days into the tour, I developed symptoms, you know, the night before I noticed anything happening, but but basically I had a stroke on stage.

Vinny 7:07
And you know, that was the extent of it. I mean, I was in total denial, like a lot of people I’ve seen on your podcast. I kept telling you know, some good friends of mine came to see me play the last night that we were at Catalina’s, we’re at Catalina’s jazz club in Los Angeles.

Vinny 7:40
And Steve noticed something during the soundcheck he said what’s going on? And I said, you know, I have no idea. And luckily, we had a pianist that was good enough to cover me on the musical places where I was, you know, not making it.

Vinny 8:06
Anyway, the set went off. Okay. And after the set, you know, they immediately started saying what’s happening and I had some aphasia. You know, I couldn’t explain what I wanted to, I was incredibly emotional, you know, as matter of fact, I was crying like a little girl, you know, at times and, we know now that that’s a symptom of the stroke, but I was in total denial.

Vinny 8:45
I was telling my, my good friend who is the, the proprietor and promoter for the drum fantasy camp, it’s a world-famous camp that goes on every year, which I’ve been the musical director for 15 years. And it’s one of the most fun things that I do all year long.

Identifying The Stroke Symptoms

Vinny 9:09
Anyway, he was in the audience and recording and doing some other things. And he noticed right away because I missed a meeting that I was supposed to have with him. And he said, Wait a minute, he knew something was wrong, right then in there when I missed the meeting.

Vinny 9:31
So talking to me backstage, he said, I’ll never forget this. He said, I think we should go to UCLA. I went what? You know, I was in denial, I was not thinking stroke. And he just kept pressing me. It took about an hour or two after the performance for those guys to convince me and finally, Steve got his daughter on the phone, who said, you know, here are the four things that you need to think about.

Vinny 10:10
And if one of them, if you’re having trouble speaking, then you need to go get it checked out right away. And she was adamant about it. And then it just I finally said, okay, and went with Steve to the UCLA which he I’m speaking of a different Steve now, but he stayed with me for a long time in the hospital and made sure I was set.

Vinny 10:48
They evaluated me right away, because he told him that he thought I had a stroke. And I said to him no way. I looked at him, I said, No way. And I told the doctor, no, there’s no way I had a stroke. And so I spent a couple hours in the waiting room there at UCLA.

Vinny 11:11
Because of that the doctor evaluated me, and didn’t think that, you know, it was possible that I had a stroke, he did some tests on me. And for whatever reason, I was able to disguise it pretty well. And anyway, finally, when they did the MRI on me, they got serious, and I got serious. And you know, it’s been a hell of a journey ever since.

Vinny 11:44
I Imagine that. Where did you grow up? Where were you raised?

Vinny 11:50
I grew up in the Washington, DC area in Northern Virginia.

Vinny 11:58
And I don’t know what life was like back then, or what kind of upbringing you had. But I’m going to pick up on a couple of things. You said you started crying like a little girl, it’s interesting that you didn’t say you started crying like a little boy. Because maybe, I don’t know.

Bill 12:19
I related to that immediately. We’re not disparaging anybody here, or we’re not giving anyone a hard time. And it’s not a problem to cry like a little girl. But it’s interesting that we say that even because little boys are told not to cry, we’re told not to be emotional, not to you know, tough it out, don’t cry, you know, you’ll be alright.

Bill 12:42
And it’s interesting, we can’t, even in our words, express it as I cried like a little boy, little girls are told to fight like a boy. Stop hitting like a girl, like, girls are told, stop hitting like a girl, you know, be a boy. And we’re talking about crying. And we’re comparing ourselves to girls.

Bill 13:05
It’s a really bizarre part of our vocabulary and our conversation as humans, I just think it’s strange. And of course, during stroke, nobody knows what’s going on when their emotions kick in. But the way I described it was my head switched off. So something else did have to come back online. And it was my heart for the first time in 37 years, you know, came online, and it was bracing itself, you know.

Vinny 13:33
That’s an interesting way to look at it. I can relate.

Bill 13:38
And it’s picking up the slack where the head can’t do much of the work anymore, like the heart’s picking up the slack and going in, let me intervene here and let me support out or I’ll help out. And let me express in a different way what’s really going on for this person. You know, it’s more than just a cognitive thing that we need to make sense of, this is an emotional thing as well.

Bill 14:05
You know, we are afraid, we’re concerned for our family, our friends, ourselves, our future. We’re all about that stuff. And that’s the heart kicking in for me and going, you know, cry a little bit, man, I think you need to get this out and get it off your chest and show people what’s going on inside. Not just because you look good on the outside. Pretend that everything is okay. That’s kind of how I read into it.

Work vs Hospital

Vinny 14:30
Yeah you hit the nail on the head, I think. And, you know, I mean, plus, there was a little bit of fear that I knew that if I went to the hospital and went through the process of getting checked out, I probably wouldn’t make the flight which was 24 hours from then the next day to Australia and I wouldn’t be able to finished the tour.

Vinny 15:01
And I come from the mindset, you get up on stage and you perform at all cost, you know, and you know, my father taught me that and my brother was adamant about that too. And I remember playing when I had the you know, when I was 16 years old and could barely get on stage because, you know, I was sick and but the show must go on, as they say.

Vinny 15:39
You creative types of musicians and people in theater and all that kind of stuff. I mean, under no circumstances do they not want to perform. And that’s interesting and strange, all at the same time. Because there’s got to be an opportunity for people to go, you know, what I’m done, I don’t want to do today, or I can’t do today or I want to have a rest, you know, bring somebody else in.

Bill 16:05
It seems to be this. Under no circumstances do you not put the show on, and I feel that’s such a real tough space to hang around in because mentally if somebody is doing a tough, you can see that might lead to, especially in rock bands, you know, substance abuse of every kind, you know?

Vinny 16:28
Yeah well, that world was definitely swimming all around. And, I knew enough to stay away from that, you know, my parents were really strong influence in that way. My dad was like, hey, you know, don’t get involved in the things that will bring you down. And that is alcohol, drugs, and women, you know.

Vinny 17:01
He’s like, and this was early on, you know, and he said, Look, these things will and I don’t mean to say that women in general, but the idea of playing that field, the way you see rock musicians and rock stars, you know, have a different girl every night. And he’s like, don’t get involved in that. That’s not you, be a stronger person. And that stayed with me.

Vinny 17:36
When you finally convinced that you’ve had a stroke, and you need to spend some time in hospital. What was that like? How long did you spend in hospital?

Vinny 17:47
I spent three days of extensive tests because I had what they call a cryptogenic stroke. Meaning that they don’t know what caused it. They have some theories and, you know, none of them really match up. COVID is even a theory. But the point is that they couldn’t find a direct correlation to the type of stroke I had, and I had a stroke deep in the basal ganglia.

Vinny 18:29
So they ran every test and they were determined to find out what was, you know, going on, they tried this, they tried that. And literally, I have, you know, UCLA was absolutely great, and that they tried every angle they could think possible. And at the end of it, they said, we’re gonna let you go and get get you home.

Vinny 19:00
And when you get home, go see your doctor and proceed with the, you know, rehab therapy which was completely shut down. Because this was March 8, March 9. And you know, I am fortunate enough to have my father in law is a retired physician.

Vinny 19:38
So he was actually the first call that I made in the hospital before calling my wife and, he pretty much told me exactly what had happened and he advised me how to proceed, which is, you know, which was great.

Vinny 20:06
So anyway, I get home. I see my doctor at home, he has some theories they run some tests and they sent me to a neurologist at home. He also looked at everything that UCLA did and says, you know, we don’t really know, we have some theories, we want you to see a cardiologist.

Vinny 20:34
So I saw the cardiologist, he did some additional studies on me, including a transesophageal echo where they look at your heart in detail. And he said he couldn’t see anything there. And so, basically, we still don’t know.

Vinny 21:01
So were you living your family living in DC?

Vinny 21:07
No, I am living in New York, I moved to New York about 23, 22 years ago, I moved just outside of New York City.

Vinny 21:19
That explains you’re accent.

Vinny 21:21
To pursue the musical career, which is, you know, developed accordingly.

Vinny 21:31
Yeah, so the family is in New York City, and you’re in California. So you’re telling the family from California that I’ve fallen ill and I’m in hospital, and this is a situation, how did that go down?

Vinny 21:51
Not too well, because my wife was dealing with our kids. And you know, at the same time, COVID 19 is blowing up all around us. So normally, she would have jumped on a plane. You know, somebody would have been there, but she couldn’t, she couldn’t risk getting on a plane. And, you know, catching this horrific pandemic illness, and not being there for the kids.

Vinny 22:29
So I told her, don’t worry, you know, stay at home and all kinds of things we’re swimming around. And and we just did the most practical thing, which was my brother and my mother, live in Las Vegas. My brother immediately got in a car and drove to UCLA, which is in Los Angeles, he met me there at the hospital.

Vinny 23:02
And within I think it was 13 hours or so he was able to get to me and shortly thereafter, my mother and my sister came to the hospital as well. I went from Los Angeles, UCLA to back to Las Vegas with my brother, and stayed at my mother’s house for a couple of days. And till I was strong enough, and then my sister flew with me home to back to the New York City area.

Coming Home After The Stroke

Vinny 23:42
Wow. That’s a serious effort from everybody to get you from this state that you’re in back to home at some point. And then you’re at home and what happens there? Are you settling back at home? How’s the recovery coming along? What were you impacted by what were you left with?

Vinny 24:08
Well, mainly, it was, you know, I mean, my right side is impacted because I had the stroke on the left side. So there was some strength issues on my right side. But they were relatively minor. The big issues were my speech, which still you know, is not quite fluent.

Vinny 24:38
And mainly it affected my playing. Because for some reason it really set me back. As a matter of fact, I’ve, documented most of it. And this is kind of two months after I had the stroke. I went up on Instagram and started posting my recovery and efforts to recover.

Vinny 25:09
You know, because I heard that COVID was causing strokes. And I thought that, you know, posting this stuff would help somebody else, you know, it was mainly a chronological event. And that’s the way I looked at it, I could help other people by posting this stuff.

Vinny 25:33
And, so as a result, pretty much two months into it, you can see me struggling to play exercises that I’ve played all my life and songs that I wrote, I couldn’t play. And, you know. So then my wife took on the therapy role, because for a month, I couldn’t get therapy, that everything was closed down.

Vinny 26:03
My wife looked up, you know, she tried every angle, got some advice from different people, and I was just doing what I could with her. All the while, playing everyday trying to get it back. And I got to say, after, 50 years with a guitar in my hand. You know, I was just kind of getting to the point where I liked what I was playing.

Vinny 26:36
After 50 years of playing I felt like, you know, I could go into the studio, and play the type of solos that I wanted the way that I wanted to, and I could communicate well on the instrument. And then, you know, the stroke.

Vinny 26:58
Now you’re gonna go one level deeper, my friend.

Vinny 27:02
It was a rude awakening, as they say.

Vinny 27:09
So when you say it’s difficult to play, try and explain what that means. So what I did when I’ve always liked the ukulele, but I never played guitar or any instrument, I don’t know a thing about music. And believe it or not, when I was in Fiji one year in 2005. And then when I was in Hawaii in 2013, both times I bought a ukulele, I don’t know how to play it, or what to do with it, but I just bought one.

Bill 27:42
And I took one of them to, In 2015, I took one of them to a ukulele teacher to teach me how to play. And I figured I would use my effected hand, my left hand I’m not sure is it if I’m using my left hand to play the strings am I left handed or right handed?

Vinny 28:04
You would be right handed.

Bill 28:06
Okay. So I’m right handed using the left hand to strum or to hold the strings in notes. And I thought it would be a good idea to learn how to play and also retrain my hand which I have deficits on my left hand, you know, feeling deficits and movement deficits and coordination deficits.

Bill 28:28
It didn’t last too long, because I think my teacher wasn’t the best for me. And I wasn’t understanding of what I needed to do. And I was really early in my recovery. So there was a lot going on. And maybe it was a good idea, but it wasn’t the right timing.

Bill 28:44
So I don’t understand because I’ve never played before I don’t understand what I was missing or what I wasn’t doing well, or what’s happening for you? Is it clear up here what your fingers need to do? Or is it an issue with your fingers? Or the fingers know what to do? But up here can’t do it like what’s happening?

Vinny 29:09
Well, I would say that it’s a little of both more so on the right hand, than on the left, but I would say over the course of you know, since this happened, I have tried to analyze whether this is a cognitive thing, or whether it’s a physical thing. And I’ve always, you know, run into as a musician, you run into hurdles constantly.

Vinny 29:38
You constantly get to the point where you can’t do certain things, and you practice your way through them. And that’s the way you approach everything, a piece of music, anything, you know, and I would say I had just done a record with a big band, where I played Some of the most difficult music in my career.

Vinny 30:04
And vital information is an intense band where we play really difficult stuff. But that and I just approach it one step at a time to get to the point where I could play that as matter of fact, when I got the call for that gig. I don’t know if you know him or not. But Frank Gambale used to play.

Vinny 30:31
He’s Australian, which is why I asked you and Frank, and Balis is one of the greatest guitar players of all time. And I was asked to step into his shoes and listening to him on these records, to learn the music, I was on tour in Russia at the time, anyway, you just practice enough, you just practice way more than you should, so that when you perform, and things aren’t right, you can still manage to get in, you know, and perform and get to that point.

Vinny 31:11
So I’ve always practiced my way out of situations or into situations. So but this was different, you know, the stroke is different. I would say that my therapists, all of them, including physical, cognitive, and the occupational therapist were absolute rockstars, they tried every angle and didn’t give up to the point, you know, that my insurance would cover it.

Vinny 31:47
Now, I tried everything, I mean, I’ll give you a couple examples. I read one book that was talking about walking to a metronome. And of course, in music, we use a metronome. So I thought, what if I walk to a metronome, keep that tempo, my legs going at that tempo, and try to play a piece of music, or at least keep time rhythmically with my right hand, because that was the most that was, you know, extremely difficult for me.

Vinny 32:35
So I did things like that, you know, and started really, really slowly and worked up to the point where I could do it. And again, that’s, you know, video of this is on Instagram, you can see me going through the process. And then my therapist came up with another idea where I was playing scales on the guitar, and could do them at the tempo that I could do it at.

Vinny 33:10
And then would pay attention to a lightboard and would have to manipulate the lightboard with my feet. So this is what’s happening during improvised solos and jazz, in general, is multiple things are going on in the brain. So she would try to emulate that. And at some point, I had trouble holding a pick in my hand.

Vinny 33:46
And I still do, you know, it’s gotten a lot better, but so we came up with this idea, I put the leather driving glove on. And in the leather glove, I put magnets in different places on my fingers. So that the glove had weights on it. So it was like resistance, and I could move that resistance around to fit my needs.

Vinny 34:18
And I practiced with that for two months at first people saw that on Instagram, they say, Vinny, you’re gonna hurt yourself. Don’t do that. And, you know, but it was just again, trying to practice through it. The concept of practicing through it.

Vinny 34:47
So you’re 50 years of playing would have a lot of examples of when shit got real things got tough, and things intervened in your ability to be on stage plan stage to be good at what you do to enjoy it. And this is very different, you’ve never experienced this before. But it’s a challenge that you’re faced with.

Bill 35:21
And you’re going to have to try, at some point, you know, to push through and overcome, and the only place you can go back to have a reference point for when you did that was some other struggle in your life that you’ve been through it because you’ve been through, you know, 50 years of life or more, and this tough time.

Intro 35:44
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 make matters worse.

Intro 36:01
Doctors will explain things, but obviously, you’ve never had a stroke before, you probably don’t know what questions to ask. If this is you, you may be missing out on doing things that could help speed up your recovery. If you’re finding yourself in that situation, stop worrying, and head to recoveryafterstroke.com where you can download a guide that will help you.

Intro 36:23
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.

Pushing Through Hard Times – Vinny Valentino


Vinny 36:46
Have you’ve found yourself reflecting on those really tough moments when you thought, Man, this is too hard. I can’t do it anymore, or I don’t want to do this anymore. And then you’ve pushed through have you found yourself doing that? Looking back?

Vinny 37:02
Yeah, you know, as a matter of fact, I am fortunate enough to have a lot of documentation from you know, the early years and in lots of video and lots of audio, lots of records that I’ve been on that I’ve done myself, that I listened to. And I just, you know, at first it was kind of difficult to listen to those things. And I still look at video and go, Wow.

Vinny 37:45
And, but now I’ve gotten to the point where I am performing again. And I’m comfortable. I am my as a good friend of mine says I am authentic with the way I am. And, I’ve gotten myself to the point where I feel comfortable. And what I can present as a musician is still has value, it hasn’t gotten back to the way that I was before. But it may never get back there. I’m okay with that. But I don’t want to lose the improvisational aspect of what I spent years to develop.

Vinny 38:42
I love that I love that you’re comfortable playing with the imperfections in your music now that you actually have almost for right now no choice to live with and play with. Because I imagine that musicians are really anal and want to make it perfect every single time.

Bill 39:03
And now you can’t and now it’s either, you know, play the way I can or don’t play at all. And it’s like, why would you not play at all, when it gives so much joy to you and other people. That’s this is the other way you got to let go of certain things really, you know, you got to pick up affection, you got to let play of this beautiful thing that you were doing just before the stroke.

Bill 39:29
And you just got to play within your new parameters. And that’s what people don’t realize about how to live life after stroke. They don’t realize that they’ve got new parameters set by external forces got nothing to do with us. But if we live within those parameters, we can sometimes, you know, skirt around the edges of them, but we can actually still live a pretty full life within the new parameters that we’ve been set right and that’s how music is you know I remember, and I’ve got no idea who this was, and I can’t credit anyone for it.

Bill 40:05
So I don’t know who it is there was this artist who did some really fine detailed work with pencils. And they would draw these sketches and it would be in immaculate looking pencil drawing of a landscape or whatever it was a person. And because there was so much detail, they would spend a lot of time focusing, and practicing to be extremely still and do these really minor micro movements, you know, just take it to the next level, we’re talking about perfection to the next level, like and you couldn’t even imagine it.

Bill 40:42
And then unfortunately, this artist, what happened was they they started to get a tremor in their hand in the drawing hand. So you can imagine now that the whole idea of what their life had evolved to become, to be this person who creates these immaculate images by penciling these micro lines that you can hardly see into a spot to create this perfect image now is not possible.

Bill 41:13
And remember listening to that, and, or reading that and not you know, being in a situation where I could reach out to this person, let them know, but I wondered if at all, they ever considered the possibility that what if now, they just embrace the tremor, livid their work with this new level of I don’t know what you know, like, but from the point of view of an evolution of an artist from this perfection thing to this other version of perfection that includes a tremor.

Bill 41:53
And I reckon it would have made for such a compelling story. And the value of that art would have been just as much valuable or more, because of what it’s saying and what it’s describing, and, you know, how it shows that humans transition from one stage of life to this other stage. That’s kind of my take on it.

Vinny 42:21
Yeah, I would say that, it’s very difficult, because potentially, just like with me, there’s documentation of what you had done and the concept is, you’ve, you can see what you have done. And that represents, it’s almost like two people because now the artist with the tremor, you know, could be as valid as the artist without the the tremor, but it’s a different person, you know, it’s, well, not necessarily a different person, it’s just, uh, you see what I’m saying.

Vinny 43:03
Your identity has shifted, and you need to kind of upgrade and get to that stage and move to that stage, start changing your thinking, your feeling everything around that I get it, right. The thing about about it is, is, you know, for lack of a better way to describe this and don’t take this the wrong way. Like, say somebody or you thought you were a ship musician now.

Bill 43:29
That would be a travesty, all of your ideas for how to be a true musician, like developed over the last 15 years, you have all of that still. And you just have this new method by which you strum the guitar or you pick the string or you hold the neck and that’s like, the information about how to put music together and write that and create that and deliver it doesn’t go away because your hands won’t strum, the way that it used to strum perhaps this is a new identity to shift into and to move into and sort of create this space of what can I do with this new gift that I have and use the old information to enhance this new gift, you know, to take it to the next level?

Vinny 44:28
Yeah, I like that. And, you know, we’re our own worst enemies. Because with me, you know, I’ve got all of course, all kinds of things swirling around in my head, but I would get together I would force myself to get together with some of the greatest guitar players in the world from all over the world on a zoom during the pandemic because we weren’t working.

Vinny 45:00
So we could have a laugh and it’s amazing that every one of them have gone through some type of struggle that is made them what they are. And none of those guys took the approach of, you know, I’m not going to do it anymore. They persevered through it. And they never thought of me, as you know, because there comes a point where you you realize it anyway, it’s, um, I’m beyond that now.

Don’t Take No For An Answer – Vinny Valentino


Vinny 45:42
But at some point, you have so much anger, or at least, I did, and this has been taken away, that you just don’t want to continue, you know, maybe I’ll, I’ll go on and do something else. I’ll be a plumber or whatever. It crossed my mind, you know, but these guys, but the musicians that I’ve been surrounded by, didn’t take no for an answer.

Vinny 46:12
They were like, you know, a bass player that I play with weekly since the beginning. You know, he’s like, look, you know, you’re, I’ve seen the development, I’ve seen you get better. And this pianist and, you know, all these musicians are giving me the feedback. Like, it’s just a bump in the road, you got to get through it. Don’t look at it, like anything beyond that.

Vinny 46:40
Yeah. The, audience is so forgiving. They wouldn’t care if you missed the stream or a note or whatever, would they I mean, they’re just there to see Vinny Valentino play and the rest of the band, and they’re like, man, I’m seeing them play. And if they fail to hit every note, it’s like, Whoa, that’s a relief. You know, like, I don’t have to be that good.

Bill 47:03
You know, I don’t have to worry about me missing a string, or a note. And it’s like, if we could be our greatest fan instead of our greatest critic? Then we’d have a better experience in a shitty time, you know?

Vinny 47:23
Yeah. You’re so right.

Bill 47:30
That’s what I get like, when I’m hard on myself, man. Nothing works. When I just let go and just let everything happen. You know, things work. I’m writing a book, I haven’t written for a month Vinny, it’s on my mind every day. But in the space that I’ve been in for the last month, there’s no way that I can sit and write anything and make it legible, and make it the way that I want it to be.

Bill 47:49
So I’m not going to do it at that time. You know, I have to be in the right. Headspace. And, at one point, I was a bit harsh on myself at the beginning, you know, when I wondered whether I’ll get my brain back when I took it for granted when it was that good. And I took it for granted and did stupid things instead of smart things.

Bill 48:10
And then when I wondered, Am I ever going to get my brain back, I was like, I might not get it back. Like I might, it might not be the way that it always was. And I’m going to have to live with not making the most of it until the age of 37. And now I’m going to do this new version of it.

Bill 48:28
And you know, I’m not sure I’m not sure what’s going to happen. And now my brain is back and I’m healed, but it’s not the same. And it needs me to rest at different stages. And by the mid afternoon, I’m pretty much done if it’s anything to do with cognitive stuff, and you know, computer work and all that type of thing.

Bill 48:52
So I’ve got to make the most of the mornings if I wake up at five o’clock in the morning or 5:30 and I can’t get back to bed, I’m better off getting out of bed, doing two or three hours of stuff that I need to get done before 8 or 9 o’clock and then feeling really accomplished. Like I’ve done a whole heap of things and then is into the rest of my day and go oh, okay, it’s two o’clock, I’m done for the day.

Bill 48:52
I can’t do any more. I’m not doing any more. And then I just ease into my night you know, so that’s the the parameters I was talking about before the parameters have changed. I can’t get those ones back. I’m gonna work within these ones. And that’s served me pretty well, but it’s not easy. I’m not saying that, you know, it’s just going to help.

Vinny 49:43
Yeah. And I’m sure you’re like me. I’ve watched you know, Ted Talks and listened to podcasts and listened to neuro neurologist about this and neuroscientists about this and one thing that I read this actually before the stroke, that we don’t get enough sleep in general, as humans, and especially on the east coast of the United States, we, you know, we just don’t get enough sleep.

Vinny 50:26
And where the industry standard used to be eight hours, we dream about eight hours, this neuroscientist is saying No, we actually do better with something like nine hours of sleep. Well, if you can get nine hours of sleep and have a working life with family, all more power to you. But I have tried to position myself and change around that concept that you know, and sleep is no longer optional.

Importance Of Sleep In Stroke Recovery

Vinny 51:11
And I know that musicians don’t sleep when everyone else sleeps. And that makes sense, right? Sleep is it’s like a, it’s the best thing you could do. Like literally, along with nutrition and sleep, you get those two things, just, if you get an 80%, right, you’re doing so much better.

Bill 51:36
Because at night when you sleep, it’s when the brain actually shrinks in size, to allow Cerebro spinal fluid through all the cells to wash it out and clean it up and detoxify it, get rid of all that stuff. And then what that does is create healing, and that creates new neurons and new memories and new pathways and allows them to solidify and become permanent in your brain, right.

Bill 52:07
And if you’re trying to do problem solving on a couple of bad night’s sleep, you’re going to do less problem solving, and a bad night’s sleep. And when you’re in the middle of stroke recovery, and all you have to do is solve problems. You need to have clarity of mind.

Bill 52:26
And you need to not be impacting on the negative aspects of the stroke that you’re causing, or your you know, interfering with your recovery by not sleeping and not eating appropriately. So if you can pick up sleep anywhere at any time of the day, it’s really, really important.

Bill 52:44
I was doing my little catnaps at midday, and I was doing early night sleeping, even if I go to bed and don’t sleep, I just have a really dim light on. And I might listen to a meditation or a podcast or something in the background. And then that lying down even though it’s not sleeping really starts to sort of help settle me into a decent night’s sleep and meditation before bed. And night meditation before bed really does help to calm you and put you into a good rhythm. And you know about Binaural beats?

Vinny 53:27
Yeah I do know a little bit about that I have tried that too. What I find is, at least for me, that I’m paying too much attention to the beats into the musical aspects of them. And my brain won’t shut off with that what I actually found useful is actually is listening to comedians. Just listen to comedians go on, and that will put me to sleep believe it or not, I mean, you know, I’ll get a chuckle in here there and eventually, I’ll be relaxed enough to fall asleep.

Vinny 54:14
Well, that makes sense that you would be paying attention to the music and to the way that that’s been produced or structure or put together makes complete sense it would be stimulating you instead of putting you to sleep.

Vinny 54:27
Exactly. Yeah, because that was that was you know, recommended to me by by a few people and and I immediately you know, put that to use and I’m like wait I feel more awake now than I did before and and you know after an hour of listening to that stuff I realized that I was analyzing tempos and beats and even when I’m listening to music cuz really what I like to do is go to bed listening to Keith Jarrett or George Benson or somebody that, you know, some inspiration West Montgomery and in those I find myself No, because I’m paying way too much attention to what they’re doing and how am I going to do that the next day? You know?

Vinny 55:26
Yeah, yeah, I get it. It’s not chilling you out, it’s getting you all energized. Yeah, I get it. So if you’re a musician, and you’re away from home a lot, the family is on the other side of the country or you’re on the other side of the planet? How often were you were away? And what sort of amount of time would you spend away from home?

Vinny 55:54
Well, 2020 looked to be a very busy year, in 2019 was too but I usually don’t go away for more than three weeks at a time. But there was a lot of touring that just lined up, you know, when you’re out, you want to try to line up as much as you can, because that’s when you obviously, when promoters can string together dates, you can make the most money that way, they don’t have to bring you out on this flight and that flight and hotels and etc.

Vinny 56:30
So it makes the most sense. But I limit my activity to this one band, actually, to Steve Smith, and a project two projects that that he’s involved in one of them is vital information. And the other one is the Oregon Trio project that we started. And those two bands tour about three weeks a year, sometimes more, you know, there might be some touring in during the festival season.

Vinny 57:14
I’ve done that with the Oregon trio. But usually I’m not I’m not gone that much. It’s not like, it’s I’ve purposely turned down those those types of gigs that would keep me out 150-200 days a year. I’ve, you know, now there’s, monetary things that play into it as well. But I but but I feel strongly that my family comes first.

Vinny 57:48
Yeah. So, how old are the kids?

Vinny 57:56
I’ve got a range from 9 to 19.

Vinny 58:01
And how do they cope seeing Dad not himself?

Vinny 58:07
You know, the young ones seem to be okay with it. Although, you know, and I don’t know if this is true, but I continue to play chess with my 13 year old and I taught him to play at an age where I could pretty much beat them regularly, or at least upper hand, I’d make a mistake every once in a while he’d win every once in a while, but now and since the stroke. It’s convenient to blame it on the stroke.

Vinny 58:46
I haven’t. I can’t hold a candle to him. Unless he makes a you know, unless he blunders. There’s no way I can hold a candle to his capabilities. And you know, in his defense, he’s really studying the game. He studies it like I studied the guitar. He you know, plays it for hours every day.

Vinny 59:13
So you can’t keep up with somebody at that level. Even though he is quite a bit younger. But my other two are older. So I think they’ve you know, come to accept it and seen the progress that I’ve made. And just see it as a bump in the road.

Vinny 59:48
You’ve got to be a good example to kids to show them that when the shit hits the fan for them at some point in their life, hopefully a really, really long way down the journey that I’ve got an example for how you go about recovering and overcoming shit, and persevering and pushing through whatever life throws at you, you know, that’s, I think what I’m learning is, that’s my role more than anything to my kids.

Bill 1:00:15
Now, especially that they’re 25 and 21, you know, it’s not really about anything else, it’s just about showing them being kind of like, a clairvoyant for them, and showing them the future, right, like, Guys, this is where you’re going to get at some point. And there’s one way to go about overcoming that or battling through it, or being better than, than you were before, you know.

Bill 1:00:42
With a 13 year old, I love the Dad move, you know, teach him how to play but not too much so that I could beat him, and just let him know who’s boss, you know, just a, you know, I taught you on the boss. But it’s an interesting how the mentor has been handed over. And now, you know, he’s fascinated by it and studying it to that point where he’s getting better and better at it.

The Best Patient – Vinny Valentino

Bill 1:01:12
And you’re sort of dealing with stroke and other things. But at the same time, you know, it’s time the master has to kind of bow down and you know, except the apprentice is up and coming, you know. But what’s really interesting about what you do, Vinny is, you’re doing a lot of things that a neurologist would love, like you would be the neurologist’s best patient, because everything you do is challenging to the brain in a lot of different ways.

Vinny 1:03:51
Yeah, absolutely. And, my therapist used to joke about this, but, you know, I took a very systematic approach to therapy and recovery, because that’s the way I learned from my father and you know, that that’s the way to deal with things. My teachers, you know, my first real guitar teacher was when I was 16 years old, and he taught me take a systematic approach to it step by step, slowly first, before you speed things up, and you will get there.

Vinny 1:04:42
It’s just a matter of time. And, you know, back then we think, Oh, we’ve got all the time in the world. It’s a little different now but it’s the same practice and same concept. One of the things that I did, as part of getting myself back together was develop an app for guitar players, called the super seven minute guitar workout.

Vinny 1:05:16
And it’s available on, you know, Google and Android devices and Apple devices. But it’s a documentation with beginning with a really simple exercise to more advanced stuff. And doing that, over a period of seven minutes, every day, you will have results, no matter the tempo, it’s not about playing it fast. It’s about playing it accurately.

Vinny 1:05:52
And so I put together this concept, and it went along with my therapy. And my, you know, my therapists were like, wow, you’re actually yeah, and, you know, I was doing the videos, while I was doing therapy, and, you know, it was all part of the therapy, I looked at it as part of the therapy and part of the way it was gonna come back.

Vinny 1:06:24
And now we have a, you know, an app that’s available to the world that doesn’t matter the level, you can, get something out of it. And it’s like the seven minute workout, that concept of interval training for athletes or for anybody that wants to work out that concept on the guitar.

Vinny 1:06:50
So you know, what I love about it is, every time you’ve said something, I’ve done a Google search, I’ve looked at it or looked it up. What I love about it is it’s your way of doing therapy. That’s what I like about it. So often we go into the therapists, rooms, and we do their version of therapy.

Bill 1:07:12
And, you know, that’s kind of not enough for some people, because, you can’t relate to it, or you don’t enjoy it, you’re not going to do it, I’m never going to do guitar therapy, Vinny, you know, there’s no chance. But if I was asked for what I wanted to do in therapy, that would really make a big difference, you know, and one of the things that I did when I was learning to coordinate my left hand and move it properly, was I played on the Wii on the Nintendo Wii, I played tennis, you know, and you hold the Wii controller and you play tennis, and I’ve never played tennis before.

Bill 1:07:49
But, you know, the ball’s that actually coming to you so it doesn’t feel that dangerous, you know, and you don’t have to run far. So I was doing the whole tennis striking this ball, this pretend bowl in VR. And it was really useful. There was working, I was working up a sweat, but I wasn’t at risk of falling and hurting myself and doing anything that was going to be detrimental to me.

Bill 1:08:14
So it was enjoyable. And I didn’t realize that that was going to be part of therapy, but they asked me, you know, what kind of therapy would you like these are options that we have available, and then I chose the ones that I was going to relate to. And I just love how you’ve gone about this.

Bill 1:08:32
It’s related to the thing that you’re really good at the thing you’ve done your whole life, the thing you’re passionate about. And that’s going to motivate somebody to heal and recover better than me telling you to come and do therapy my way you’re going to say, well, you know, that’s good for you, man, but it’s not for me.

Vinny 1:08:53
Well, you know, one of the things that I learned from listening to your podcast, that is that every stroke is different. It’s like trying to put humans into, you know, into a mold, you can’t do it, everyone is different. Every stroke is different too there might be some similarities in the difficulties that we have to do.

Vinny 1:09:24
But you know, I can recall certain, you know, podcasts and certain people. The guy that was the bartender that ended up on stage and the girl that lives in Las Vegas that was you know, high up in this corporate world, I can recall the things that they said and you know, make that a part of what is good for me what can I take away from it? And that’s that’s the whole whole reason that I posted my progress on Instagram. And I have to say that I’ve been lacking in the past few months. But I’ll start getting back out there and posting again.

Vinny 1:10:24
Yeah, I get really prolific at some point as well, you know, I put a lot of stuff out, and then I can’t, and I just don’t, and you see the downloads, they go down and all that kind of stuff goes down and it changes and it’s like, well, you know, whatever, I can’t push this all day, every day, I run out of energy, and I’m not doing it for the purpose of having it out there for everybody all the time.

Bill 1:10:49
I’m doing it for me partly and for them as well. And if I’ve got to look after my health, I’ve got to look after my health, whether it’s my mental health, or my physical health, or my emotional health. I’m doing their first I’m not looking after you. Before I’m looking after me, you know, I’ve got a lot as well. And that’s important, you know.

Bill 1:11:10
Mike Shutt who was on episode 161. He was a classic, do everything for everybody else kind of guy, you know. And at some point, he said, Well, you know, I can’t do that anymore. I’ve got to look after myself. And he went back to his roots and what he loves, which was theater, and he did a one man show.

Bill 1:11:35
That podcast is just amazing, man. It’s so well produced, you know, the sound effects like everything about I imagine I’m listening to it. And I’m like, I’m actually there. But I didn’t feel the difference between listening to it and being in a crowd. And then Christina DeVille, she’s just a workaholic, she just works all day, every day, Episode 160.

Bill 1:12:00
And she’s really good at what she does. But what that did was that alienated her from other aspects of life, you know. And she started to find balance now in work, and in her personal life. And what’s really cool is her work is pushing her back is pushing her away and saying to her enough, stop, you know, do less, or we’ve got this covered or you don’t need to worry about that.

Bill 1:12:30
Or, you know, they’re really picking up the slack for her and they’re supporting her in that way. And she doesn’t know what to do with that. She’s like what do you mean? You know, I used to be able to do this. And I used to be able to perform at this level similar to you hers, it’s a performance, it’s still work.

Bill 1:12:52
It’s work, but it’s a performance, she’s performing for somebody, whether it’s herself or her boss, or her employees, or the clients. She’s doing what you you’re doing. She’s traveling the state. So she’s traveling the country. And she’s performing for somebody, and now she’s got to perform in these new parameters that have been set for her.

Bill 1:13:17
And everyone’s finding their way, man, no one has done this before, so they don’t know what the hell they’re doing. And they’re just finding their feet again, and they’re re-learning everything. And they’re going to get and they’re going to get there. But it’s it’s just brand new. And you know, you’re early on in the process, and I’m nearly 10 years February, it will be 10 years in my process. Then it gets easier.

Vinny 1:13:45
That’s amazing. 10 years out.

It Get’s Easier

Vinny Valentino
Bill 1:13:47
Yeah, like that. And it just flew. It gets easier. It’s still hard but it gets easier. Do you know what I mean? Like it’s not simple and sometimes I don’t like waking up and not being able to feel my foot and sometimes I don’t enjoy that my balance is affected and sometimes I don’t enjoy that I can stay up late late at night to go and see a show or to do that kind of stuff. But that’s only sometimes a lot of the times I’m alright with most of it even though it’s not always ideal, you know?

Vinny 1:14:27
Yeah. It’s the authentic you.

Vinny 1:14:35
Yeah, I don’t talk shit now. That’s that nobody gets the I’ll push through. Yeah, I’ll be right or yeah all right. Let’s do that. They don’t get that anymore. They just get what has to happen is dude, I’m out. That’s it. Catch you later. Enjoy your night. That’s refreshing in a way. Maybe that would have come to me with time as well and age more age.

Bill 1:15:00
But there was still an amount of what’s the word? Maybe it’s pressure or peer pressure, or whatever it was to do stuff for people, you know. And it comes from my training or the property maintenance business. So, it comes from my training of always making things happen for my clients, whoever said they needed something done or was always yes. You know, but now, I’m at that point where? Yes, for them means no for me somewhere, and I don’t like that. I don’t like that.

Vinny 1:15:35
Yeah. Do you find that in doing these podcasts? I mean, I have to imagine that you learned so much just, you’ve done 164, I think are more 165.

Bill 1:15:54
165 that are live. And I’ve got three in the can. So there’s about 168 or 169. At the moment.

Vinny 1:16:04
Yeah. And I just listened to the cardiologist that you had on. As a matter of fact, I bought his book, he is very interesting, but I can imagine through the process, has the process of this podcast, has helped you in a way that not only interviewing the individual or the people that have had these incidents, but also being able to tell your story and how it’s come, you know, what you’ve done at this point in your journey?

Bill 1:16:54
Yeah, my upbringing was really cool. In the ideal upbringing, no dramas, in life, everything was pretty much perfect. You know, my parents are amazing. You know, they come from a Greek background, and their ideas are a little bit still 1960s Greece, you know, but they had a different role to fulfill in life, which was, you know, to raise their family, they were raising their family after the war.

Bill 1:17:25
So they needed to, and they were born after the war. So they needed to have this mindset that their parents, you know, gave them which was about, you know, keep your family close, you know, work hard, save your money, and that kind of stuff. And that didn’t really fit me. It didn’t really work for me, it was great in ideally, but I always wanted more. I always tried to strive. And I always felt like I had a lot to say, and nobody would listen.

Bill 1:17:56
And I always had the wrong audience, I suppose. And it really frustrated me as a kid, I felt like nobody understood me, I felt like a, you know, like the black sheep in the family. Like, I had no idea where I fit in and what my role was in the world. And I did stuff that my dad made me do not that he forced me. But you know, that they trained me to do, which was work a shitty job and work for a long time and all that kind of stuff.

Bill 1:18:30
And I had a creative outlet. And I had the gift of the gab, you know. And I had nothing to do with it. Because I didn’t feel like I had a compelling story or anything worth sharing that was relevant or important. And then what I got curious about was, how to progress, my recovery and how to take responsibility for certain things, because I always appreciated taking responsibility for my situation, whatever it was, even though if I had caused it, and I didn’t know what I was doing.

Bill 1:19:07
If somebody pointed out to me, I never got offended when somebody said you’re doing a shit job of something. I always thought, oh, okay, why am I doing a shit job? What is he seeing that I’m not? So when I started to learn about how to help myself and recover better, I started sharing it with people and found myself like, I’ve got a lot of good information you should know this.

Bill 1:19:33
You’re a stroke survivor, let me tell you this, you need to hear about it. But it fell on deaf ears at the beginning because I chose the wrong audience. Again, the wrong people weren’t interested to hear. And I made some enemies. People disliked me for sharing stuff that I’ve learned that helped me and my recovery.

Bill 1:19:50
They hated me for that. And I was like, Well, I’ve misjudged this. I didn’t know how but I misjudged it. So then I thought stuff and I’ll just keep learning and I’ll find something to do with it at some point. And I started, I was always doing coaching of people. So in my property maintenance business, I’ve been coaching people beneath, coming up in the ranks to overcome certain things and be a certain way and learn some things about business. Not that I was an expert at it, or you know, mega successful at it financially, but I was always really doing this.

Bill 1:20:29
And then the coaching idea, somebody put that into my head, you could coach stroke survivors to, you know, help them recover from stroke. And I thought, well, that’s a great idea. I wonder if that’s possible.

Bill 1:20:44
And because I didn’t know what to do with any of this new information, I thought, look, I’m just going to create a podcast, I actually thought of that in the hospital being wheeled to therapy, which was a bizarre time I spoke about it with Dr. Bradford Burke, as well, like I spoke to him about it, because he thought of writing his book, day two of his injury.

Bill 1:21:05
And it’s like, what the hell man like, surely there’s other things to focus on not how to write a book about your journey that’s just started in this most dramatic way, you know. So the podcast in 2015 was just me interviewing other people who had overcome adversity so that I could understand how they did it, so that maybe I could learn from them.

Bill 1:21:31
And that was really helpful. But it wasn’t hitting an audience. It wasn’t finding an audience. And I don’t know two years down the track after about 20 episodes, somebody said to me, it should be about stroke. And then it really sunk in it occurred to me that yeah, it should be about stroke.

Bill 1:21:48
And let me re-brand it and change it. And I started interviewing stroke survivors, and they were confirming in me what I thought about stroke, stroke recovery, we spoke about the emotional challenges that the challenges that our relationships face, then our kids and our parents, like, I started to not feel alone, for the first time in my life was like, Well, you guys get me like, here’s a group of people that get me.

Bill 1:22:20
And, of course, the stroke wasn’t really the conversation. This is real life stuff that we’re talking about. And stroke is just the thread that brings us together. And it’s like, Well, okay, what I’m finding is people who are like minded, who happened to have a stroke as well. And now, that’s a really compelling story.

Funcional Neurology


Bill 1:22:45
That’s a really interesting thing for me to do. And what’s really cool, the interview I did just before this, which is out now is with a lady who’s a functional neurologist, or she does functional neurology, I can remember exactly what the words are. But if you’re listening to this episode, it’s the one just before so go and have a look at it. If you haven’t heard that yet.

Bill 1:23:13
And we had a really deep dive into the global aspect of the recovery in that it’s not just a head that you better look at for the recovery. It’s not just, oh, that person isn’t speaking, what else is going on in the system that might be interfering with that speech?

Bill 1:23:35
And that’s why I asked you like, is it the fingers not playing the chord? Or is it the brain not knowing how to tell the fingers to play the chord? Or is it something else? So what I’ve been able to do is really do a real deep dive into the complexity of stroke recovery. And I don’t know much about it yet, because there’s no way that I could ever know everything about it.

Bill 1:24:02
But what I do know informs really great conversations and brings people into a space of thinking that is beyond you had a stroke, go home, do these exercises, and enjoy your life. You know, yeah, I’m way beyond that. And, and one of the things that we picked on it and touched on even in the episode before this is about hand eye coordination and movement after a stroke.

Bill 1:24:32
And I’ll talk about it again is a spoke about a guy called Ivan who was in therapy with me, who I call dive in, it’s not his real name. And he had to pick up a toilet roll that was empty. And he had to hold it like that with his affected hand, get the clench it and then move it to the other side of the table to the other side of his body, put it down and not drop it.

Bill 1:24:57
But while he was doing that, He was calling his hand a bastard, because it wouldn’t do what he wanted, right. And he was losing his shit at his hand, calling it a bastard. And of course, the more he did that, the less he was able to complete the task, pick up the toilet roll, place it down and make sure he didn’t drop it.

Bill 1:25:23
So then, as a coach of other people in other parts of my life, I said to him, well, if your hand did what you wanted it to do, and it moved, what would it be, he said it would be my friend. I said to him cool. Do that, call your hand your friend at the beginning of the exercise and just see what happens if anything changes. I don’t know, maybe nothing will but let’s see, he goes all right.

Bill 1:25:51
So he looks at his hand. He goes come on, friend. It was no longer than 60 seconds, Vinny he picks up the damn toilet roll. He moves it to the other side of his body, he puts it upright, and he lets it go it was like nuts. Like everyone went nuts. That six of us around this table watching him do that. I think the PTs and the OTS missed the significance of what had just happened.

Vinny 1:26:20
Exactly.

Bill 1:26:25
Because they’re on another sort of level, rather than thinking about things. And this guy, I don’t know if that lesson stayed in his brain for the next few months or weeks or years of rehab, because I never got to be with him for much longer than about four weeks. But that is where my understanding of stroke recovery has got to like that level of nuance where, dude, that word, just the word that you chose, made you breathe differently it made your blood flow differently, it made oxygen travel through your body differently.

Bill 1:27:07
It loosened your muscles, it changed your posture, it changed the chemicals in your brain, it changed the chemicals in your butt, your legs, your knees, your arms, your fingers, it did all of that just that one word. And I delivered this presentation I call it words are like weapons, they wound sometimes.

Bill 1:27:31
That lesson has enabled me to also understand that how my words, which often I get wrong in the wrong context, the wrong people, I used the wrong word. And I pissed them off. And I annoyed them and I wound them. So I’m very cognitive on that. I’m very conscious now that words are like weapons, and they weren’t sometimes, you know, it’s what sure says in our amazing song. If I could turn back time, you know?

Vinny 1:28:01
Yeah.

Bill 1:28:01
And it’s like there’s a lesson that can travel across my entire life. One word has a massive impact on both physical, emotional and mental out outputs. And if I use the wrong word in the wrong instance, I wound so for me, I try not to do that to myself. And I try not to do to other people.

Bill 1:28:29
And when I stepped up and do that to other people and said the wrong shit, apologize. I apologize more than I’ve ever apologized. But now I know why I’m apologizing. Now, I’m not just doing the whole sorry, man. I’m actually properly apologizing.

Vinny 1:28:44
Yeah, yeah, I, you know, I have continued well, all of my students, you know, have been gracious enough to continue their lessons with me. You know, I’ve always taught my whole life and I didn’t know at the point that I came back from the West Coast. I didn’t know what I had to offer them.

Vinny 1:29:12
I really didn’t know what I had to offer them. But they were adamant about continuing to work with me and I teach a groove class, a class that is all about learning how to make people have have fun with music. It’s about grooving. It’s not about chops, it’s not about, you know, dexterity technique or whatever. It’s about grooving and that’s it.

Vinny 1:29:44
And that class, wouldn’t let me take a week off. They said no, come on Vinny we’re with you. We’re doing this together. Come on, in and that teaching aspect has in with all my students, it’s it’s just been a big part of my, the therapy, you know, and I think that is the same for you, when you, I mean, just that alone, just that one lesson that you described, with the the roll of toilet paper that can go so far for anybody, it doesn’t matter if you’ve had a stroke or not.

Vinny 1:29:44
And I can, I can picture myself, in my practice room, my studio here, with my guitars all around me, just cursing like you wouldn’t believe, trying to get this passage out, even before the stroke, but now, even more so you know, I’m like, You can’t imagine the curse words that come out of me just, you know, trying to make them.

Vinny 1:29:44
Matter of fact, I’m writing my anthem, it’ll be called stroke of genius. And that’s the concept of it, you know, the concept is that we take the words, they affect us, and they affect the people that we say them to. And when we own that, that’s when it that’s when it gets real. That’s when it that’s when we, we can put it into practice.

Bill 1:31:30
But it’s about owning it. Because look, I come on here, and people put me on a pedestal, they think I’m an expert in something, I don’t know shit from clay about anything, let’s be honest. But all I know is that I’m putting into practice, what I’ve learned and that’s all I’m just trying to practice and get better at my daily existence and my life in every aspect.

Bill 1:31:59
And I’m very aware of when I’m not being better by No, because it doesn’t feel right everywhere. And I can’t convince myself like I used to in the past, that I you know, that’s irrelevant, or that doesn’t matter, I can’t do that anymore. I can’t lie to myself, my body knows. And it gives me feedback, and I cannot not pay attention to it, I have to pay attention to it.

Bill 1:32:23
So I share this wisdom and the wisdom of my guest in the hope that it’s going to trigger something for somebody else down the track, and they’ll remember it when it’s necessary. And together, these conversations, this practice that I’m doing. It’s a practice of conversation. It’s a philosophy.

Bill 1:32:45
And, I’m reading books on philosophy, and I’m just trying to understand what they were about. And all they were about was just a question everything. And that’s all I’m doing. I’m just questioning everything and trying to, you know, not lose my temper. And when I do, I just questioned why I did. I’m not getting giving myself a hard time about it.

Bill 1:33:06
And I apologize to myself as much as I apologize to my kids and my wife and the people who I gave a hard time to. And I try and make arguments last less, not as long as they used to. And you know how they sometimes going to the next day and the next day, I try not to do that anymore. I try to bring them down to that just the one hour of the argument and move on.

Bill 1:33:28
But I’m not an expert at it. I get it wrong a lot. And sometimes, if the other person said something that’s wounded me, well, now I’m learning how to overcome those wounds quicker? If I can, you know, but I’m not perfect that if I had a bad night’s sleep or, you know, had a really tough day or whatever.

Bill 1:33:48
I’m human, I’m the same as I always was. But I’m using what the stroke did to me as an opportunity to learn more about life. Because I can’t be as stupid as I was before the stroke, because that led to stroke that led to disease, and I don’t want to be that stupid anymore. I want to be a bit smarter than that.

Vinny 1:34:14
Yeah. You know, my grandfather used to tell us that doctors are practicing medicine, when you see their business card, it will say practicing medicine in some way, shape, or form, at least it did back in the you know, when he was coming up. And when he was learning so I always thought there was a parallel between musicians and doctors.

Vinny 1:34:45
There was you know, this idea that it’s a constant practice. We’ll never get to the point where we’ve achieved you know, this idea of being a genius. No, we’re it’s a path, it’s a, it’s a journey. And it’s about enjoying that journey. And in that practice, I laugh when I hear musicians tell me that they hate practicing, because there’s a lot of them that are great musicians that have said that.

Vinny 1:35:21
Because, you know, first of all, I point out to them, that’s not really true. Because when I send you a piece of music, and you come to the gig, extremely prepared, and play it better than I ever could have imagined it’d be played, you have practiced it, even though you say you haven’t. And, well, that’s different. They say, you know, but it isn’t different. And, I think that idea of everybody is just practicing in the acceptance of that, you know, is really what we have to learn.

Medicine Lost Its Way

Bill 1:36:05
I feel that medicines lost its way a little bit. And I love what you said because now the business card has all their accomplishments at university. Dude, like, I don’t give a shit about all the university accomplishments, I want to know how you applied what you learned into your daily life. Not just in your office, in every aspect of your daily life, you know?

Bill 1:36:33
If you’re coming to work shitty, because you just had an argument with your wife, and you’re about to open my head up and do surgery on it, I want to know that that argument with your wife is not going to impact that surgery. That’s what I want to know, like, this is a practice and you’re telling me about all the letters at the end of your name, because of the qualifications that you’ve achieved, you know.

Bill 1:36:54
That don’t mean anything, unless you’re able to show that you’ve grown and developed as a human being, while obtaining all of these letters at the end of your name. And seeing all the people that you’ve seen and done all the things that you’ve said, you’ve done.

Bill 1:37:11
Whereas, you know, musicians are still musicians, they roll, they do what they’ve always done, they practice, they get up on stage, they perform, and they give their heart and soul in some way, shape, or form. And their words are always an expression of what’s happening inside of them, whether it’s in their emotions, or their head, or their gut, or wherever it is, that’s what we get to see and hear.

Bill 1:37:35
The visual sounds from Metallica, you know, to a classical piece to whatever that we hear the internal goings on of that musician who wrote that, that lyric and who performed that song, you know, so I think that medicine has lost its way a little bit and Dr. Bradford Burke, he was a great example of medicine, actually starting to re-find, like, what’s important about, the work that they do, he’s writing a book, which I wish he had never had the opportunity to write because that meant that he wouldn’t be in the situation that he’s in.

Bill 1:38:25
But the fact that he’s in it, and decided to write a book about it to help himself and help other people, and now he’s learning from life, and is applying the life learning to his clients and to his patients. That’s a man that’s a doctor that I want to be involved with, you know, the the guy before that year is a really good doctor.

Bill 1:38:47
But if he hasn’t got life experience, and if he hasn’t applied life learning into his practice, he’ll be missing something and I’ll be noticing it but I won’t be able to put my finger on it. Man, as we come to the end of this episode, because we could keep talking forever because you’re really interesting and cool dude.

Vinny 1:39:16
I could keep talking to you forever.

Bill 1:39:18
And we’ll do it again some time. I wonder if I could make a request and have you play a piece of music to end this awesome episode?

Vinny 1:39:34
Well as I am, the way I am right now.

Bill 1:39:42
That’s it man.

Vinny 1:39:44
I never deny a chance to perform. I don’t know what I’ll play but probably something that I wrote because I don’t want you to have to deal with royalty issues.

Bill 1:40:05
Thank you.

Bill 1:41:55
Ladies and gentlemen, Vinny Valentino. Thank you, sir! Thank you so much for being on the podcast.

Vinny 1:42:07
Absolutely. It was a joy. I look forward to talking to you again very soon.

Bill 1:42:15
Thanks so much for joining me on today’s recovery after stroke podcast. You ever wish there was just one place to go for resources, advice and support in your stroke recovery? Whether you’ve been navigating your journey for weeks, months or years, I know firsthand how difficult it can be to get the answers you need.

Bill 1:42:34
This road is both physically and mentally challenging from reclaiming your independence to getting back to work to rebuilding your confidence and more. Your symptoms don’t follow a rulebook and as soon as you leave the hospital, you no longer have medical professionals on tap.

Bill 1:42:48
I know for me, it felt as if I was teaching myself a new language from scratch with no native speaker inside. If this sounds like you, I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone. And there is a better way to navigate your recovery and rebuild a life that you love. I’ve created an inclusive, supportive and accessible community called recoveryafterstroke.

Bill 1:43:11
This all in one support and resource program is designed to help you take your health into your own hands. This is your guidebook through every step in your journey from reducing fatigue, to strengthening your brain health to overcoming anxiety and more. To find out more and to join the community just head to recoveryafterstroke.com See you next time.

Intro 1:43:32
Importantly, we present many podcasts designed to give you an insight and understanding into the experiences of other individuals opinions and treatment protocols disgusting any podcast or the individual’s own experience and we do not necessarily share the same opinion nor do we recommend any treatment protocol discussed.

Intro 1:43:50
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 1:44:06
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 is a substitute for the advice of a health professional.

Intro 1:44:27
Never delay seeking advice or disregard the advice of a medical professional, your doctor or your rehabilitation program based on our content if you have any questions or concerns about your health or medical condition please seek guidance from a doctor or other medical professional if you are experiencing a health emergency or think you might be, call triple zero in Australia or your local emergency number immediately for emergency assistance or go to the nearest hospital emergency department.

Intro 1:44:51
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 to 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 Cryptogenic and Ischemic Stroke Recovery – Vinny Valentino appeared first on Recovery After Stroke.

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Vinnie Valentino was on tour playing guitar with his band when he experienced an Cryptogenic and Ischemic stroke. A year later he is starting to get back to playing guitar once more. Vinnie Valentino was on tour playing guitar with his band when he experienced an Cryptogenic and Ischemic stroke. A year later he is starting to get back to playing guitar once more. Recovery After Stroke 1:45:19
Functional Neurology And Stroke Recovery – Dr. Lauren Brindisi https://recoveryafterstroke.com/functional-neurology-and-stroke-recovery-dr-lauren-brindisi/ Mon, 08 Nov 2021 12:56:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=7625 <p>Lauren Brindisi is a doctor of chiropractic and with her sister Dr. Dana Brindisi they run the Carolina Functional Neurology Centre help people from all walks of life discover the root cause of their symptoms.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/functional-neurology-and-stroke-recovery-dr-lauren-brindisi/">Functional Neurology And Stroke Recovery – Dr. Lauren Brindisi</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Lauren Brindisi is a doctor of chiropractic and with her sister Dr. Dana Brindisi they run the Carolina Functional Neurology Centre help people from all walks of life discover the root cause of their symptoms. Lauren Brindisi is a doctor of chiropractic and with her sister Dr. Dana Brindisi they run the Carolina Functional Neurology Centre help people from all walks of life discover the root cause of their symptoms. Recovery After Stroke 1:18:37 Parenting After Stroke – Dr. Bettina Tornatora https://recoveryafterstroke.com/parenting-after-stroke-dr-bettina-tornatora/ Thu, 04 Nov 2021 10:04:56 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=7410 <p>Parenting is hard enough but parenting after stroke brings with it so many more challenges. Today I am joined by Dr. Bettina Tornatora for a discussion of some of the problems parents face after a stroke</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/parenting-after-stroke-dr-bettina-tornatora/">Parenting After Stroke – Dr. Bettina Tornatora</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Parenting is hard enough but parenting after stroke brings with it so many more challenges. Today I am joined by Dr. Bettina Tornatora for a discussion of some of the problems parents face after a stroke Parenting is hard enough but parenting after stroke brings with it so many more challenges. Today I am joined by Dr. Bettina Tornatora for a discussion of some of the problems parents face after a stroke Recovery After Stroke 1:22:32 Global Broca’s Aphasia – Francisca Wilson https://recoveryafterstroke.com/global-brocas-aphasia-francisca-wilson/ Mon, 25 Oct 2021 14:21:39 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6847 <p>Francisca Wilson had just arrived at the hotel in Nepal for the trip of a lifetime when she experienced an ischemic stroke that left her with Global Broca’s Aphasia</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/global-brocas-aphasia-francisca-wilson/">Global Broca’s Aphasia – Francisca Wilson</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Francisca Wilson had just arrived at the hotel in Nepal for the trip of a lifetime when she experienced an ischemic stroke that left her with Global Broca’s Aphasia Francisca Wilson had just arrived at the hotel in Nepal for the trip of a lifetime when she experienced an ischemic stroke that left her with Global Broca’s Aphasia Recovery After Stroke 1:09:17 Getting Your Brain & Body Back – Dr. Bradford C. Berk https://recoveryafterstroke.com/getting-your-brain-body-back-dr-bradford-c-berk/ Mon, 18 Oct 2021 13:23:35 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6833 <p>Dr. Bradford C. Berk is a spinal cord injury survivor, a former Chief Of Cardiology, CEO and Chairman of the University Of Rochester Medical Centre. He is the author of the book, Getting Your Brain & Body Back.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/getting-your-brain-body-back-dr-bradford-c-berk/">Getting Your Brain & Body Back – Dr. Bradford C. Berk</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Dr. Bradford C. Berk is a spinal cord injury survivor, a former Chief Of Cardiology, CEO and Chairman of the University Of Rochester Medical Centre. He is the author of the book, Getting Your Brain & Body Back. Dr. Bradford C. Berk is a spinal cord injury survivor, a former Chief Of Cardiology, CEO and Chairman of the University Of Rochester Medical Centre. He is the author of the book, Getting Your Brain & Body Back. Recovery After Stroke 1:09:45 AVM Rupture And Recovery 11 Years On https://recoveryafterstroke.com/avm-rupture-and-recovery-11-years-on-juan-gonzales/ Mon, 11 Oct 2021 14:13:03 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6817 <p>Juan Gonzales experienced a hemorrhagic stroke due to a ruptured avm at age 21. At the time of recording this interview he is 11 years post stroke and in training for an ultra marathon.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/avm-rupture-and-recovery-11-years-on-juan-gonzales/">AVM Rupture And Recovery 11 Years On</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Juan Gonzales experienced a hemorrhagic stroke due to a ruptured avm at age 21. At the time of recording this interview he is 11 years post stroke and in training for an ultra marathon. Juan Gonzales experienced a hemorrhagic stroke due to a ruptured avm at age 21. At the time of recording this interview he is 11 years post stroke and in training for an ultra marathon. Recovery After Stroke 1:10:46 Dealing With PTSD After Stroke https://recoveryafterstroke.com/dealing-with-ptsd-after-stroke-dr-john-a-king/ Mon, 04 Oct 2021 16:24:46 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6791 <p>Dr. John A. King is an author, poet, long-time activist and founder of the Give Them a Voice Foundation in Texas, which he launched in 2015 to provide advocacy, support, resources and rescue for those who have been sexually abused or trafficked.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/dealing-with-ptsd-after-stroke-dr-john-a-king/">Dealing With PTSD After Stroke</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Dr. John A. King is an author, poet, long-time activist and founder of the Give Them a Voice Foundation in Texas, which he launched in 2015 to provide advocacy, support, resources and rescue for those who have been sexually abused or trafficked. Dr. John A. King is an author, poet, long-time activist and founder of the Give Them a Voice Foundation in Texas, which he launched in 2015 to provide advocacy, support, resources and rescue for those who have been sexually abused or trafficked. Recovery After Stroke 1:40:15 My Stroke Recovery Story – Michael Shutt https://recoveryafterstroke.com/my-stroke-recovery-story-michael-shutt/ Mon, 27 Sep 2021 14:57:10 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6778 <p>Michael Shutt is recovering from multiple ischemic strokes the aftermath of which left him with vision issues and some paralysis. In that time he wrote and recorded the podcast series a lesson in swimming.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/my-stroke-recovery-story-michael-shutt/">My Stroke Recovery Story – Michael Shutt</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Michael Shutt is recovering from multiple ischemic strokes the aftermath of which left him with vision issues and some paralysis. In that time he wrote and recorded the podcast series a lesson in swimming. Michael Shutt is recovering from multiple ischemic strokes the aftermath of which left him with vision issues and some paralysis. In that time he wrote and recorded the podcast series a lesson in swimming. Recovery After Stroke 1:27:36 Intracranial Brain Hemorrhage – Christina DeVille https://recoveryafterstroke.com/intracranial-brain-hemorrhage-christina-deville/ Mon, 20 Sep 2021 14:35:41 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6767 <p>Christina DeVille was giving her dogs a bath and when she stood up felt disoriented and dizzy, moments later she collapsed in the toilet and crawled on the ground to get to the phone and call for help. Socials: https://www.linkedin.com/in/christinadeville/ https://www.instagram.com/christinadevillefreedom/ https://www.drivenlv.org/ Highlights: 02:09 Introduction 06:58 Symptoms of Intracranial Brain Hemorrhage 16:20 Don’t Pass Out […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/intracranial-brain-hemorrhage-christina-deville/">Intracranial Brain Hemorrhage – Christina DeVille</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Christina DeVille was giving her dogs a bath and when she stood up felt disoriented and dizzy, moments later she collapsed in the toilet and crawled on the ground to get to the phone and call for help. Socials: https://www.linkedin. Christina DeVille was giving her dogs a bath and when she stood up felt disoriented and dizzy, moments later she collapsed in the toilet and crawled on the ground to get to the phone and call for help. Socials: https://www.linkedin.com/in/christinadeville/ https://www.instagram.com/christinadevillefreedom/ https://www.drivenlv.org/ Highlights: 02:09 Introduction 06:58 Symptoms of Intracranial Brain Hemorrhage 16:20 Don’t Pass Out […] Recovery After Stroke 1:35:50 Finding Purpose After Brain Injury – Gary Kearney https://recoveryafterstroke.com/finding-purpose-after-brain-injury-gary-kearney/ Mon, 13 Sep 2021 18:59:47 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6752 <p>After he was hit in the head with a plank of wood Gary Kearney was left with two subdural hematomas and a subarachnoid hemorrhage amongst other injuries. Today he is a disability advocate in Ireland. Socials: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/purplelights19/ https://www.facebook.com/gary.kearney.507 Highlights: 02:21 Introduction 03:22 Drugged And Mugged 12:33 Reconciling With The Present 18:43 Dealing With Anger 26:17 […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/finding-purpose-after-brain-injury-gary-kearney/">Finding Purpose After Brain Injury – Gary Kearney</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> After he was hit in the head with a plank of wood Gary Kearney was left with two subdural hematomas and a subarachnoid hemorrhage amongst other injuries. Today he is a disability advocate in Ireland. Socials: https://www.instagram. After he was hit in the head with a plank of wood Gary Kearney was left with two subdural hematomas and a subarachnoid hemorrhage amongst other injuries. Today he is a disability advocate in Ireland. Socials: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/purplelights19/ https://www.facebook.com/gary.kearney.507 Highlights: 02:21 Introduction 03:22 Drugged And Mugged 12:33 Reconciling With The Present 18:43 Dealing With Anger 26:17 […] Recovery After Stroke 1:12:15 Stroke Recovery And The Gut-Brain – Dr. Michelle Eisenmann https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-recovery-and-the-gut-brain-dr-michelle-eisenmann/ Mon, 06 Sep 2021 16:35:56 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6733 <p>Michelle Eisenmann is a chiropractic doctor and has a masters degree in clinical neurology. In this conversation you will get an insight into why gut health matters in brain health</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-recovery-and-the-gut-brain-dr-michelle-eisenmann/">Stroke Recovery And The Gut-Brain – Dr. Michelle Eisenmann</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Michelle Eisenmann is a chiropractic doctor and has a masters degree in clinical neurology. In this conversation you will get an insight into why gut health matters in brain health Michelle Eisenmann is a chiropractic doctor and has a masters degree in clinical neurology. In this conversation you will get an insight into why gut health matters in brain health Recovery After Stroke 1:18:58 Nerve Pain After Stroke – Luis Diaz https://recoveryafterstroke.com/nerve-pain-after-stroke-luis-diaz/ Mon, 30 Aug 2021 15:46:10 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6672 <p>Luis Diaz says that gang life in LA was worse than experiencing a stroke. His leg is in so much pain because of the neurological deficits that stroke caused, that he is seriously considering having his leg amputated.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/nerve-pain-after-stroke-luis-diaz/">Nerve Pain After Stroke – Luis Diaz</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Luis Diaz says that gang life in LA was worse than experiencing a stroke. His leg is in so much pain because of the neurological deficits that stroke caused, that he is seriously considering having his leg amputated. Luis Diaz says that gang life in LA was worse than experiencing a stroke. His leg is in so much pain because of the neurological deficits that stroke caused, that he is seriously considering having his leg amputated. Recovery After Stroke 1:22:47 Vision Problems After Stroke – Candice Vogel https://recoveryafterstroke.com/vision-problems-after-stroke-candice-vogel/ Mon, 23 Aug 2021 15:48:25 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6662 <p>Candice Vogel is working to overcome vision problems after a stroke. Ironically before the stroke, Candice was employed as a reading and vision therapist helping children do better at school by addressing reading and vision issues.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/vision-problems-after-stroke-candice-vogel/">Vision Problems After Stroke – Candice Vogel</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Candice Vogel is working to overcome vision problems after a stroke. Ironically before the stroke, Candice was employed as a reading and vision therapist helping children do better at school by addressing reading and vision issues. Candice Vogel is working to overcome vision problems after a stroke. Ironically before the stroke, Candice was employed as a reading and vision therapist helping children do better at school by addressing reading and vision issues. Recovery After Stroke 1:24:34 Life-Long Stroke Recovery – Jo Ann Glim https://recoveryafterstroke.com/life-long-stroke-recovery-jo-ann-glim/ Mon, 16 Aug 2021 13:00:12 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6645 <p>Jo Ann Glim experienced a hemorrhagic stroke at age 52. She is the author of the book Trapped Within which was written to help and encourage other stroke survivors no matter where they were in their recovery.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/life-long-stroke-recovery-jo-ann-glim/">Life-Long Stroke Recovery – Jo Ann Glim</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Jo Ann Glim experienced a hemorrhagic stroke at age 52. She is the author of the book Trapped Within which was written to help and encourage other stroke survivors no matter where they were in their recovery. Jo Ann Glim experienced a hemorrhagic stroke at age 52. She is the author of the book Trapped Within which was written to help and encourage other stroke survivors no matter where they were in their recovery. Recovery After Stroke 1:05:22 Emotional Changes After Stroke – Sam Hanes https://recoveryafterstroke.com/emotional-changes-after-stroke-sam-hanes/ Mon, 09 Aug 2021 14:42:41 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6622 <p>Sam Hanes Experienced a bleed in the brain due to an AVM, he is also dealing with 4 aneurysms, has had a craniotomy and gamma knife treatment and 5 years since this saga started he is now raising awareness about stroke</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/emotional-changes-after-stroke-sam-hanes/">Emotional Changes After Stroke – Sam Hanes</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Sam Hanes Experienced a bleed in the brain due to an AVM, he is also dealing with 4 aneurysms, has had a craniotomy and gamma knife treatment and 5 years since this saga started he is now raising awareness about stroke Sam Hanes Experienced a bleed in the brain due to an AVM, he is also dealing with 4 aneurysms, has had a craniotomy and gamma knife treatment and 5 years since this saga started he is now raising awareness about stroke Recovery After Stroke 1:21:53 Developing New Tools For Stroke Survivors – Elizabeth Vasquez https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-recovery-research-elizabeth-vasquez/ Mon, 02 Aug 2021 12:58:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6466 <p>Can you help Elizabeth Vasquez with her stroke recovery research? Follow the links to fill out the online questionnaire</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-recovery-research-elizabeth-vasquez/">Developing New Tools For Stroke Survivors – Elizabeth Vasquez</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Can you help Elizabeth Vasquez with her stroke recovery research? Follow the links to fill out the online questionnaire Can you help Elizabeth Vasquez with her stroke recovery research? Follow the links to fill out the online questionnaire Recovery After Stroke 23:47 Neuropsychology In Stroke Recovery – Dr. Jennifer Sumner https://recoveryafterstroke.com/neuropsychology-in-stroke-recovery-dr-jennifer-sumner/ Mon, 26 Jul 2021 15:21:08 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6444 <p>The importance of neuropsychology in stroke recovery can not be overstated. Having a base line of where your cognitive deficits are helps you to track how far you’ve come and identify areas that need additional resources.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/neuropsychology-in-stroke-recovery-dr-jennifer-sumner/">Neuropsychology In Stroke Recovery – Dr. Jennifer Sumner</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> The importance of neuropsychology in stroke recovery can not be overstated. Having a base line of where your cognitive deficits are helps you to track how far you’ve come and identify areas that need additional resources. The importance of neuropsychology in stroke recovery can not be overstated. Having a base line of where your cognitive deficits are helps you to track how far you’ve come and identify areas that need additional resources. Recovery After Stroke 1:06:27 Anatomy Of The Brain – Hilary Helt https://recoveryafterstroke.com/anatomy-of-the-brain-hilary-helt/ Mon, 19 Jul 2021 14:37:51 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6424 <p>Understanding the anatomy of the brain is something that stroke survivors may benefit from when trying to comprehend how a stroke has impacted their body and personality and their health.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/anatomy-of-the-brain-hilary-helt/">Anatomy Of The Brain – Hilary Helt</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Understanding the anatomy of the brain is something that stroke survivors may benefit from when trying to comprehend how a stroke has impacted their body and personality and their health. Understanding the anatomy of the brain is something that stroke survivors may benefit from when trying to comprehend how a stroke has impacted their body and personality and their health. Recovery After Stroke 1:01:31 A Night For Aphasia – Olivia O’Hare https://recoveryafterstroke.com/a-night-for-aphasia-olivia-ohare/ Mon, 12 Jul 2021 13:52:27 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6404 <p>Held annually, a night for aphasia is the brainchild of speech pathologist Olivia O’Hare. The event is designed to educate Australia about aphasia. </p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/a-night-for-aphasia-olivia-ohare/">A Night For Aphasia – Olivia O’Hare</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Held annually, a night for aphasia is the brainchild of speech pathologist Olivia O’Hare. The event is designed to educate Australia about aphasia. Held annually, a night for aphasia is the brainchild of speech pathologist Olivia O’Hare. The event is designed to educate Australia about aphasia. Recovery After Stroke 58:08 Losing Appetite After Stroke – Tamare Orilus https://recoveryafterstroke.com/losing-appetite-after-stroke-tamare-orilus/ Mon, 05 Jul 2021 14:28:56 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6387 <p>Losing your appetite after a stroke is a very rare condition that only affects very few stroke survivors. Tamare Orilus has had no appetite for 9 months and lost almost 100 pounds but is now ready to eat again.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/losing-appetite-after-stroke-tamare-orilus/">Losing Appetite After Stroke – Tamare Orilus</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Losing your appetite after a stroke is a very rare condition that only affects very few stroke survivors. Tamare Orilus has had no appetite for 9 months and lost almost 100 pounds but is now ready to eat again. Losing your appetite after a stroke is a very rare condition that only affects very few stroke survivors. Tamare Orilus has had no appetite for 9 months and lost almost 100 pounds but is now ready to eat again. Recovery After Stroke 44:36 Young Stroke Survivor – Izzy Hirst https://recoveryafterstroke.com/young-stroke-survivor-izzy-hirst/ Mon, 28 Jun 2021 14:14:52 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6258 <p>Izzy Hurst was at the Manchester Arena in England the day a terrorist detonated a bomb at the completion of the Ariana Grande concert. This began a series of health events that would lead to Izzy Hurst experiencing a stroke aged just 17.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/young-stroke-survivor-izzy-hirst/">Young Stroke Survivor – Izzy Hirst</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Izzy Hurst was at the Manchester Arena in England the day a terrorist detonated a bomb at the completion of the Ariana Grande concert. This began a series of health events that would lead to Izzy Hurst experiencing a stroke aged just 17. Izzy Hurst was at the Manchester Arena in England the day a terrorist detonated a bomb at the completion of the Ariana Grande concert. This began a series of health events that would lead to Izzy Hurst experiencing a stroke aged just 17. Recovery After Stroke 1:13:22 How Neurofeedback Can Take Recovery To The Next Level – Louloua Smadi & Dr Lynette Louise https://recoveryafterstroke.com/how-neurofeedback-can-take-recovery-to-the-next-level/ Mon, 21 Jun 2021 14:00:06 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6239 <p>Louloua Smadi is the author of the book from client to clinician a book about neurofeedback and her experience with how neurofeedback improved the lives of all the members in her family</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/how-neurofeedback-can-take-recovery-to-the-next-level/">How Neurofeedback Can Take Recovery To The Next Level – Louloua Smadi & Dr Lynette Louise</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Louloua Smadi is the author of the book from client to clinician a book about neurofeedback and her experience with how neurofeedback improved the lives of all the members in her family Louloua Smadi is the author of the book from client to clinician a book about neurofeedback and her experience with how neurofeedback improved the lives of all the members in her family Recovery After Stroke 1:09:20 Overcoming Foot Drop – Emily Knosher https://recoveryafterstroke.com/overcoming-foot-drop-emily-knosher/ Mon, 14 Jun 2021 14:20:04 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6199 <p>Overcoming foot drop thanks to some amazing technology has inspired Emily Knosher to join the board of the Freedom To Walk Foundation.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/overcoming-foot-drop-emily-knosher/">Overcoming Foot Drop – Emily Knosher</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Overcoming foot drop thanks to some amazing technology has inspired Emily Knosher to join the board of the Freedom To Walk Foundation. Overcoming foot drop thanks to some amazing technology has inspired Emily Knosher to join the board of the Freedom To Walk Foundation. Recovery After Stroke 1:19:30 Living With One Arm – Kate Ryan https://recoveryafterstroke.com/living-with-one-arm-kate-ryan/ Mon, 07 Jun 2021 12:11:02 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6158 <p>Kate Ryan has been living with one hand since age 10 after a stroke. Her book shares tips to help you be independent with the use of only one hand</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/living-with-one-arm-kate-ryan/">Living With One Arm – Kate Ryan</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Kate Ryan has been living with one hand since age 10 after a stroke. Her book shares tips to help you be independent with the use of only one hand Kate Ryan has been living with one hand since age 10 after a stroke. Her book shares tips to help you be independent with the use of only one hand Recovery After Stroke 1:09:33 Ignoring The Signs Of Stroke – Stacy Quinn https://recoveryafterstroke.com/ignoring-the-signs-of-stroke-stacy-quinn/ Mon, 31 May 2021 14:05:12 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6122 <p>Fit, healthy and full of energy at age 41, Stacy Quinn never associated the signs of stroke to someone of her age so she avoided getting the help she needed.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/ignoring-the-signs-of-stroke-stacy-quinn/">Ignoring The Signs Of Stroke – Stacy Quinn</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Fit, healthy and full of energy at age 41, Stacy Quinn never associated the signs of stroke to someone of her age so she avoided getting the help she needed. Fit, healthy and full of energy at age 41, Stacy Quinn never associated the signs of stroke to someone of her age so she avoided getting the help she needed. Recovery After Stroke 1:11:20 Riding 9000 kilometers for stroke awareness – Tommy Quick https://recoveryafterstroke.com/riding-9000-kilometers-for-stroke-awareness-tommy-quick/ Tue, 18 May 2021 01:06:09 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6090 <p>15 years after the stroke, 27-year-old Tommy Quick decided to ride more than 9000 kilometers or 5592 miles on an epic year-long journey to challenge himself and raise money for stroke research.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/riding-9000-kilometers-for-stroke-awareness-tommy-quick/">Riding 9000 kilometers for stroke awareness – Tommy Quick</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> 15 years after the stroke, 27-year-old Tommy Quick decided to ride more than 9000 kilometers or 5592 miles on an epic year-long journey to challenge himself and raise money for stroke research. 15 years after the stroke, 27-year-old Tommy Quick decided to ride more than 9000 kilometers or 5592 miles on an epic year-long journey to challenge himself and raise money for stroke research. Recovery After Stroke 50:27 Mrs. Ohio International & Stroke Survivor https://recoveryafterstroke.com/mrs-ohio-international-stroke-survivor/ Mon, 10 May 2021 15:56:51 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6066 <p>Jeri Ward is the current Mrs. Ohio International, who in 2018 heard a popping sound in her head and instantly knew something was not right.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/mrs-ohio-international-stroke-survivor/">Mrs. Ohio International & Stroke Survivor</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Jeri Ward is the current Mrs. Ohio International, who in 2018 heard a popping sound in her head and instantly knew something was not right. Jeri Ward is the current Mrs. Ohio International, who in 2018 heard a popping sound in her head and instantly knew something was not right. Recovery After Stroke 1:05:22 Paige Keely Foundation – Gina Keely https://recoveryafterstroke.com/paige-keely-foundation/ Mon, 03 May 2021 13:59:30 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6039 <p>Gina Keely is a mother of 3 children, her youngest daughter Paige passed away in 2018 due to a ruptured AVM aged 6.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/paige-keely-foundation/">Paige Keely Foundation – Gina Keely</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Gina Keely is a mother of 3 children, her youngest daughter Paige passed away in 2018 due to a ruptured AVM aged 6. Gina Keely is a mother of 3 children, her youngest daughter Paige passed away in 2018 due to a ruptured AVM aged 6. Recovery After Stroke 1:26:10 Brain Stem Tumor & Stroke Recovery https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brain-stem-tumor-stroke-recovery/ Mon, 19 Apr 2021 13:38:07 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6023 <p>Neale Mahon experienced an ischemic stroke nearly 30 years after radiation treatment to deal with a brain stem tumor.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brain-stem-tumor-stroke-recovery/">Brain Stem Tumor & Stroke Recovery</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Neale Mahon experienced an ischemic stroke nearly 30 years after radiation treatment to deal with a brain stem tumor. Neale Mahon experienced an ischemic stroke nearly 30 years after radiation treatment to deal with a brain stem tumor. Recovery After Stroke 1:11:17 Cryptogenic Stroke Recovery https://recoveryafterstroke.com/cryptogenic-stroke-recovery/ Mon, 12 Apr 2021 13:26:50 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=6010 <p>The last thing Karen Moorman expected after a Stroke was that the Cryptogenic Stroke Recovery would make her migraine headaches go away for good.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/cryptogenic-stroke-recovery/">Cryptogenic Stroke Recovery</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> The last thing Karen Moorman expected after a Stroke was that the Cryptogenic Stroke Recovery would make her migraine headaches go away for good. The last thing Karen Moorman expected after a Stroke was that the Cryptogenic Stroke Recovery would make her migraine headaches go away for good. Recovery After Stroke 1:05:11 Anxiety After Stroke – Kent Bragg https://recoveryafterstroke.com/anxiety-after-stroke/ Mon, 05 Apr 2021 13:45:58 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5988 <p>Kent Bragg lived a full paced life when a bleed in the brain caused a stroke that shut down his left side and slowed down the pace of his life</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/anxiety-after-stroke/">Anxiety After Stroke – Kent Bragg</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Kent Bragg lived a full paced life when a bleed in the brain caused a stroke that shut down his left side and slowed down the pace of his life Kent Bragg lived a full paced life when a bleed in the brain caused a stroke that shut down his left side and slowed down the pace of his life Recovery After Stroke 1:09:46 How A 12 Inch Blood Clot Caused An Ischemic Stroke https://recoveryafterstroke.com/a-12-inch-blood-clot-caused-an-ischemic-stroke/ Mon, 22 Mar 2021 15:41:39 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5948 <p>Tracey M. Brown was fit healthy and had spent 20 years of her life taking care of her body and working out in a gym, an ischemic stroke is the last thing she expected.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/a-12-inch-blood-clot-caused-an-ischemic-stroke/">How A 12 Inch Blood Clot Caused An Ischemic Stroke</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Tracey M. Brown was fit healthy and had spent 20 years of her life taking care of her body and working out in a gym, an ischemic stroke is the last thing she expected. Tracey M. Brown was fit healthy and had spent 20 years of her life taking care of her body and working out in a gym, an ischemic stroke is the last thing she expected. Recovery After Stroke 1:14:21 A Successful Solution To Leg Spasticity https://recoveryafterstroke.com/a-successful-solution-to-leg-spasticity/ Sun, 07 Mar 2021 14:00:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5923 <p>Sarah Curlee had constant leg spasticity in her leg as a result of an ischemic stroke at age 27 and by age 29 she made the dramatic decision to have her leg amputated to solve the problem.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/a-successful-solution-to-leg-spasticity/">A Successful Solution To Leg Spasticity</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Sarah Curlee had constant leg spasticity in her leg as a result of an ischemic stroke at age 27 and by age 29 she made the dramatic decision to have her leg amputated to solve the problem. Sarah Curlee had constant leg spasticity in her leg as a result of an ischemic stroke at age 27 and by age 29 she made the dramatic decision to have her leg amputated to solve the problem. Recovery After Stroke 1:08:17 Stronger After Stroke – Peter G. Levine https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stronger-after-stroke-peter-g-levine/ Mon, 01 Mar 2021 14:59:18 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5904 <p>As stroke survivors in rehab reach their plateau they are often discharged. Peter G Levine a clinical researcher says that this is when the real work starts</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stronger-after-stroke-peter-g-levine/">Stronger After Stroke – Peter G. Levine</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> As stroke survivors in rehab reach their plateau they are often discharged. Peter G Levine a clinical researcher says that this is when the real work starts As stroke survivors in rehab reach their plateau they are often discharged. Peter G Levine a clinical researcher says that this is when the real work starts Recovery After Stroke 1:06:36 From Anxiety To Calm In Just A Few Sessions – Bill Gasiamis with Scott Stevens https://recoveryafterstroke.com/from-anxiety-to-calm-in-just-a-few-sessions-case-bill-gasiamis-scott-stevens/ Mon, 22 Feb 2021 12:14:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5881 <p>Scott Stevens is a father and husband who had a stroke at 44. Listen to how he went from anxious to calm in just a few coaching sessions</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/from-anxiety-to-calm-in-just-a-few-sessions-case-bill-gasiamis-scott-stevens/">From Anxiety To Calm In Just A Few Sessions – Bill Gasiamis with Scott Stevens</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Scott Stevens is a father and husband who had a stroke at 44. Listen to how he went from anxious to calm in just a few coaching sessions Scott Stevens is a father and husband who had a stroke at 44. Listen to how he went from anxious to calm in just a few coaching sessions Recovery After Stroke 41:07 Overcoming Locked In Syndrome – Duncan Campling https://recoveryafterstroke.com/overcoming-locked-in-syndrome-duncan-campling/ Mon, 15 Feb 2021 11:30:07 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5779 <p>Duncan Campling has been in recovery from locked-in syndrome since 2018. The father of two is living in a nursing home and due to Covid has not been outside in 9 months</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/overcoming-locked-in-syndrome-duncan-campling/">Overcoming Locked In Syndrome – Duncan Campling</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Duncan Campling has been in recovery from locked-in syndrome since 2018. The father of two is living in a nursing home and due to Covid has not been outside in 9 months Duncan Campling has been in recovery from locked-in syndrome since 2018. The father of two is living in a nursing home and due to Covid has not been outside in 9 months Recovery After Stroke 33:47 How To Manage Setbacks After Stroke – Bill Gasiamis https://recoveryafterstroke.com/how-to-manage-setbacks-after-stroke/ Tue, 09 Feb 2021 08:25:08 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5753 <p>7 Tips to help manage setbacks after stroke by Bill Gasiamis will give you some ideas that may help you navigate stroke setbacks</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/how-to-manage-setbacks-after-stroke/">How To Manage Setbacks After Stroke – Bill Gasiamis</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> 7 Tips to help manage setbacks after stroke by Bill Gasiamis will give you some ideas that may help you navigate stroke setbacks 7 Tips to help manage setbacks after stroke by Bill Gasiamis will give you some ideas that may help you navigate stroke setbacks Recovery After Stroke 38:26 Losing Your Independence After Stroke – Ruth Carroll https://recoveryafterstroke.com/losing-your-independence-after-stroke-ruth-carroll/ Mon, 01 Feb 2021 11:30:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5726 <p>Ruth Carroll gave birth to her son on March 31 2017 and the very next day experienced an ischemic stroke which was a result of complications from a brain tumor.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/losing-your-independence-after-stroke-ruth-carroll/">Losing Your Independence After Stroke – Ruth Carroll</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Ruth Carroll gave birth to her son on March 31 2017 and the very next day experienced an ischemic stroke which was a result of complications from a brain tumor. Ruth Carroll gave birth to her son on March 31 2017 and the very next day experienced an ischemic stroke which was a result of complications from a brain tumor. Recovery After Stroke 1:06:51 Cryptogenic Stroke – Andy Dobinson https://recoveryafterstroke.com/cryptogenic-stroke-andy-dobinson/ Tue, 26 Jan 2021 05:25:45 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5712 <p>Andy Dobinson is an ultra marathon runner and an endurance bicycle rider who experienced a cryptogenic stroke</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/cryptogenic-stroke-andy-dobinson/">Cryptogenic Stroke – Andy Dobinson</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Andy Dobinson is an ultra marathon runner and an endurance bicycle rider who experienced a cryptogenic stroke Andy Dobinson is an ultra marathon runner and an endurance bicycle rider who experienced a cryptogenic stroke Recovery After Stroke 1:06:39 Changing Perspective After Stroke – Jennifer Chapman https://recoveryafterstroke.com/changing-perspective-after-stroke-jennifer-chapman/ Tue, 12 Jan 2021 01:07:37 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5673 <p>Have you ever noticed how your Perspective After Stroke has now changed and what is important, is not what it used to be.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/changing-perspective-after-stroke-jennifer-chapman/">Changing Perspective After Stroke – Jennifer Chapman</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Have you ever noticed how your Perspective After Stroke has now changed and what is important, is not what it used to be. Have you ever noticed how your Perspective After Stroke has now changed and what is important, is not what it used to be. Recovery After Stroke 1:10:38 Exercise After Stroke – Lilia Artimenia https://recoveryafterstroke.com/exercise-after-stroke/ Mon, 04 Jan 2021 11:49:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5659 <p>Lilia Artimenia is recovering from an ischemic stroke and recently began sharing her story and adaptive exercises on her Instagram page</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/exercise-after-stroke/">Exercise After Stroke – Lilia Artimenia</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Lilia Artimenia is recovering from an ischemic stroke and recently began sharing her story and adaptive exercises on her Instagram page Lilia Artimenia is recovering from an ischemic stroke and recently began sharing her story and adaptive exercises on her Instagram page Recovery After Stroke 49:08 Living With Aphasia After Stroke – Jack Breitenstein https://recoveryafterstroke.com/living-with-aphasia-after-stroke-jack-breitenstein/ Mon, 28 Dec 2020 14:07:17 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5644 <p>Jack Breitenstein is recovering from a ruptured avm, which placed him in a coma at the age of 15 and now 3 years later joins the recovery after stroke podcast to discuss aphasia after stroke.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/living-with-aphasia-after-stroke-jack-breitenstein/">Living With Aphasia After Stroke – Jack Breitenstein</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Jack Breitenstein is recovering from a ruptured avm, which placed him in a coma at the age of 15 and now 3 years later joins the recovery after stroke podcast to discuss aphasia after stroke. Jack Breitenstein is recovering from a ruptured avm, which placed him in a coma at the age of 15 and now 3 years later joins the recovery after stroke podcast to discuss aphasia after stroke. Recovery After Stroke 46:53 Diabetes and Progressive stroke – Joe Cassaniti https://recoveryafterstroke.com/diabetes-and-progressive-stroke/ Tue, 15 Dec 2020 15:06:34 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5616 <p>Joe Cassanitit sometimes didn't take his diabetes diagnosis seriously. The decision to stop taking his medication resulted in a brain stem, progressive pons stroke.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/diabetes-and-progressive-stroke/">Diabetes and Progressive stroke – Joe Cassaniti</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Joe Cassanitit sometimes didn't take his diabetes diagnosis seriously. The decision to stop taking his medication resulted in a brain stem, progressive pons stroke. Joe Cassanitit sometimes didn't take his diabetes diagnosis seriously. The decision to stop taking his medication resulted in a brain stem, progressive pons stroke. Recovery After Stroke 1:05:56 How Emotional Intelligence Helps With Stroke Recovery – Usha Raman https://recoveryafterstroke.com/how-emotional-intelligence-helps-with-stroke-recovery/ Mon, 07 Dec 2020 12:41:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5602 <p>Emotional Intelligence can help you get unstuck, remove emotional baggage, gain more confidence, and live mindfully and happily after a stroke.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/how-emotional-intelligence-helps-with-stroke-recovery/">How Emotional Intelligence Helps With Stroke Recovery – Usha Raman</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Emotional Intelligence can help you get unstuck, remove emotional baggage, gain more confidence, and live mindfully and happily after a stroke. Emotional Intelligence can help you get unstuck, remove emotional baggage, gain more confidence, and live mindfully and happily after a stroke. Recovery After Stroke 1:00:57 Vertebral Artery Dissection And Stroke Aftermath – Stephanie Flynn https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-aftermath-of-a-vertebral-artery-dissection-and-stroke/ Mon, 30 Nov 2020 15:35:44 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5581 <p>Stephanie Flynn remembers the exact moment when a sudden movement caused a vertebral artery dissection that created a clot which caused a stroke.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-aftermath-of-a-vertebral-artery-dissection-and-stroke/">Vertebral Artery Dissection And Stroke Aftermath – Stephanie Flynn</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Stephanie Flynn remembers the exact moment when a sudden movement caused a vertebral artery dissection that created a clot which caused a stroke. Stephanie Flynn remembers the exact moment when a sudden movement caused a vertebral artery dissection that created a clot which caused a stroke. Recovery After Stroke 1:28:02 Muscular Dystrophy And Stroke – Courtney Gabrus https://recoveryafterstroke.com/muscular-dystrophy-and-stroke/ Tue, 24 Nov 2020 02:01:04 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5560 <p>Muscular dystrophy is a degenerative condition that increases the risk of ischemic stroke. Courtney Gabrus was living with muscular dystrophy when at age 22 she also experienced an ischemic stroke</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/muscular-dystrophy-and-stroke/">Muscular Dystrophy And Stroke – Courtney Gabrus</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Muscular dystrophy is a degenerative condition that increases the risk of ischemic stroke. Courtney Gabrus was living with muscular dystrophy when at age 22 she also experienced an ischemic stroke Muscular dystrophy is a degenerative condition that increases the risk of ischemic stroke. Courtney Gabrus was living with muscular dystrophy when at age 22 she also experienced an ischemic stroke Recovery After Stroke 1:07:10 The Brain Injury Solicitor – Laura Barlow https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-brain-injury-solicitor/ Mon, 16 Nov 2020 14:45:40 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5542 <p>When a brain injury is caused by negligence you may need the help of a brain injury solicitor.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-brain-injury-solicitor/">The Brain Injury Solicitor – Laura Barlow</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> When a brain injury is caused by negligence you may need the help of a brain injury solicitor. When a brain injury is caused by negligence you may need the help of a brain injury solicitor. Recovery After Stroke 49:43 Finding Purpose After Stroke – Nicholas Kemp https://recoveryafterstroke.com/finding-purpose-after-stroke/ Tue, 10 Nov 2020 01:22:11 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5525 <p>Finding purpose after stroke is a key ingredient that helps with the recovery process.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/finding-purpose-after-stroke/">Finding Purpose After Stroke – Nicholas Kemp</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Finding purpose after stroke is a key ingredient that helps with the recovery process. Finding purpose after stroke is a key ingredient that helps with the recovery process. Recovery After Stroke 1:14:00 Art Therapy For Stroke Recovery – Noreen Walsh https://recoveryafterstroke.com/art-therapy-for-stroke-recovery/ Mon, 02 Nov 2020 12:28:32 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5470 <p>Noreen Walsh discovered art therapy, 30 years after experiencing a stroke due to complications from Hemolytic–uremic syndrome (HUS) at 18 months old.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/art-therapy-for-stroke-recovery/">Art Therapy For Stroke Recovery – Noreen Walsh</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Noreen Walsh discovered art therapy, 30 years after experiencing a stroke due to complications from Hemolytic–uremic syndrome (HUS) at 18 months old. Noreen Walsh discovered art therapy, 30 years after experiencing a stroke due to complications from Hemolytic–uremic syndrome (HUS) at 18 months old. Recovery After Stroke 1:27:23 A Brain Aneurysm That Burst At 40 – Claudia Faulkenberry https://recoveryafterstroke.com/a-brain-aneurysm-that-burst-at-40/ Mon, 26 Oct 2020 12:06:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5396 <p>Albert Rand Faulkenberry was watching TV when he experienced a hemorrhagic stroke due to a ruptured brain aneurysm and that's about when Claudia Faulkenberry became the caregiver to a stroke survivor.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/a-brain-aneurysm-that-burst-at-40/">A Brain Aneurysm That Burst At 40 – Claudia Faulkenberry</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Albert Rand Faulkenberry was watching TV when he experienced a hemorrhagic stroke due to a ruptured brain aneurysm and that's about when Claudia Faulkenberry became the caregiver to a stroke survivor. Albert Rand Faulkenberry was watching TV when he experienced a hemorrhagic stroke due to a ruptured brain aneurysm and that's about when Claudia Faulkenberry became the caregiver to a stroke survivor. Recovery After Stroke 1:11:07 A Link Between Contraceptive Pill And Stroke? – Priya Sharma https://recoveryafterstroke.com/a-link-between-contraceptive-pill-and-stroke/ Mon, 19 Oct 2020 14:59:40 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5384 <p>Priya Sharma was 24 years old when multiple blood clots caused an Ischemic Stroke. There is some suspicion that the stroke, may have been caused by the contraceptive pill.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/a-link-between-contraceptive-pill-and-stroke/">A Link Between Contraceptive Pill And Stroke? – Priya Sharma</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Priya Sharma was 24 years old when multiple blood clots caused an Ischemic Stroke. There is some suspicion that the stroke, may have been caused by the contraceptive pill. Priya Sharma was 24 years old when multiple blood clots caused an Ischemic Stroke. There is some suspicion that the stroke, may have been caused by the contraceptive pill. Recovery After Stroke 1:02:25 Brain Stem Pons Stroke – Gloria Morgan https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brain-stem-pons-stroke-gloria-morgan/ Mon, 12 Oct 2020 03:08:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5352 <p>Gloria Morgan just gave birth to her third child when a brain stem pons stroke threatened to turn what was supposed to be a happy time into a tragedy.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brain-stem-pons-stroke-gloria-morgan/">Brain Stem Pons Stroke – Gloria Morgan</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Gloria Morgan just gave birth to her third child when a brain stem pons stroke threatened to turn what was supposed to be a happy time into a tragedy. Gloria Morgan just gave birth to her third child when a brain stem pons stroke threatened to turn what was supposed to be a happy time into a tragedy. Recovery After Stroke 1:02:15 Brainstem Cavernous Angioma – Whitney Spotts https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brainstem-cavernous-angioma/ Mon, 05 Oct 2020 12:29:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5286 <p>Being a mom to a toddler is challenging enough and when you have to deal with a brainstem cavernous angioma causing a bleed in your brain it becomes even harder.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brainstem-cavernous-angioma/">Brainstem Cavernous Angioma – Whitney Spotts</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Being a mom to a toddler is challenging enough and when you have to deal with a brainstem cavernous angioma causing a bleed in your brain it becomes even harder. Being a mom to a toddler is challenging enough and when you have to deal with a brainstem cavernous angioma causing a bleed in your brain it becomes even harder. Recovery After Stroke 1:05:31 Showing Kindness Even If We Disagree https://recoveryafterstroke.com/showing-kindness-even-if-we-disagree/ Mon, 28 Sep 2020 15:50:50 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5245 <p>Disagreements in 2020 have been on the rise, especially with the COVID crisis and world events that polarize communities everywhere. How can we be kind and still disagree?</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/showing-kindness-even-if-we-disagree/">Showing Kindness Even If We Disagree</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Disagreements in 2020 have been on the rise, especially with the COVID crisis and world events that polarize communities everywhere. How can we be kind and still disagree? Disagreements in 2020 have been on the rise, especially with the COVID crisis and world events that polarize communities everywhere. How can we be kind and still disagree? Recovery After Stroke 1:01:11 Vertebral Artery Dissection & recovery – Amy Wells https://recoveryafterstroke.com/vertebral-artery-dissection-recovery/ Mon, 14 Sep 2020 14:28:56 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5042 <p>A vertebral artery dissection is not what you’d expect at 35 years young. In this interview Amy Wells talks candidly about her stroke and how life has change for the better in the last 12 months </p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/vertebral-artery-dissection-recovery/">Vertebral Artery Dissection & recovery – Amy Wells</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> A vertebral artery dissection is not what you’d expect at 35 years young. In this interview Amy Wells talks candidly about her stroke and how life has change for the better in the last 12 months A vertebral artery dissection is not what you’d expect at 35 years young. In this interview Amy Wells talks candidly about her stroke and how life has change for the better in the last 12 months Recovery After Stroke 1:23:12 Arteriovenous Malformation Recovery – Paul Fink https://recoveryafterstroke.com/arteriovenous-malformation-recovery/ Mon, 07 Sep 2020 14:16:28 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4846 <p>While getting ready to go to work, Paul complained of a shocking head, soon after his speech was gone and the next thing he remembers is being cared for by the paramedics.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/arteriovenous-malformation-recovery/">Arteriovenous Malformation Recovery – Paul Fink</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> While getting ready to go to work, Paul complained of a shocking head, soon after his speech was gone and the next thing he remembers is being cared for by the paramedics. While getting ready to go to work, Paul complained of a shocking head, soon after his speech was gone and the next thing he remembers is being cared for by the paramedics. Recovery After Stroke 1:05:09 Carotid Artery Dissection Recovery – Emily Hoffman https://recoveryafterstroke.com/carotid-artery-dissection-recovery/ Mon, 31 Aug 2020 15:31:35 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4721 <p>Emily Hoffman is recovering from a carotid artery dissection which caused a stroke in early 2019. She had now started to set some walking goals and is making great progress every day.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/carotid-artery-dissection-recovery/">Carotid Artery Dissection Recovery – Emily Hoffman</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Emily Hoffman is recovering from a carotid artery dissection which caused a stroke in early 2019. She had now started to set some walking goals and is making great progress every day. Emily Hoffman is recovering from a carotid artery dissection which caused a stroke in early 2019. She had now started to set some walking goals and is making great progress every day. Recovery After Stroke 1:11:17 8 Of The Best Stroke Recovery Tips – OT Sisters https://recoveryafterstroke.com/8-of-the-best-stroke-recovery-tips/ Tue, 25 Aug 2020 12:50:45 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4637 <p>Learn 8 of the best stroke recovery tips as shared by the OT Sisters, Jaimee Perea, and Suzy Burns who between them have more than 20 years of experience helping people recovering from a stroke and other neurological conditions. Socials: www.instagram.com/o.t.sisters/ Episode 87. Occupational Therapy and Stroke Lecture – Bill Gasiamis Highlights: 00.53 Introduction 03:13 […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/8-of-the-best-stroke-recovery-tips/">8 Of The Best Stroke Recovery Tips – OT Sisters</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Learn 8 of the best stroke recovery tips as shared by the OT Sisters, Jaimee Perea, and Suzy Burns who between them have more than 20 years of experience helping people recovering from a stroke and other neurological conditions. Socials: www. Learn 8 of the best stroke recovery tips as shared by the OT Sisters, Jaimee Perea, and Suzy Burns who between them have more than 20 years of experience helping people recovering from a stroke and other neurological conditions. Socials: www.instagram.com/o.t.sisters/ Episode 87. Occupational Therapy and Stroke Lecture – Bill Gasiamis Highlights: 00.53 Introduction 03:13 […] Recovery After Stroke 59:36 All The Signs Of Stroke – Jason DePetris https://recoveryafterstroke.com/all-the-signs-of-stroke-jason-depetris/ Mon, 17 Aug 2020 11:00:29 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4486 <p>The last thing Jason DePetris expected when eating breakfast one morning before running a marathon was that the numbness he was experiencing on his left side was one of the signs of stroke.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/all-the-signs-of-stroke-jason-depetris/">All The Signs Of Stroke – Jason DePetris</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> The last thing Jason DePetris expected when eating breakfast one morning before running a marathon was that the numbness he was experiencing on his left side was one of the signs of stroke. The last thing Jason DePetris expected when eating breakfast one morning before running a marathon was that the numbness he was experiencing on his left side was one of the signs of stroke. Recovery After Stroke 1:00:34 The Power Of Suffering – David Roland https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-power-of-suffering/ Mon, 10 Aug 2020 11:00:12 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4446 <p>David Roland is the Author of The Power Of Suffering, a book written after he experienced a Stroke that lead to his career as a Psychologist coming to an end due to stroke and the effects of previously undiagnosed PTSD </p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-power-of-suffering/">The Power Of Suffering – David Roland</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> David Roland is the Author of The Power Of Suffering, a book written after he experienced a Stroke that lead to his career as a Psychologist coming to an end due to stroke and the effects of previously undiagnosed PTSD David Roland is the Author of The Power Of Suffering, a book written after he experienced a Stroke that lead to his career as a Psychologist coming to an end due to stroke and the effects of previously undiagnosed PTSD Recovery After Stroke 1:09:02 Rewiring The Brain – Michael Merzenich https://recoveryafterstroke.com/rewiring-the-brain-michael-merzenich/ Sun, 02 Aug 2020 00:12:00 +0000 http://thetransitloungepodcast.com/?p=426 <p>Neuroplasticity and rewiring your brain. Stroke Podcast Episode 27 – If you have had a similar experience with stroke as I, Rewiring the brain may be just as important to you as it to me. After I experience 3 brain bleeds between 2012 and 2014.  I have left no stone unturned while on the search to […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/rewiring-the-brain-michael-merzenich/">Rewiring The Brain – Michael Merzenich</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Neuroplasticity and rewiring your brain. Stroke Podcast Episode 27 – If you have had a similar experience with stroke as I, Rewiring the brain may be just as important to you as it to me. After I experience 3 brain bleeds between 2012 and 2014. Neuroplasticity and rewiring your brain. Stroke Podcast Episode 27 – If you have had a similar experience with stroke as I, Rewiring the brain may be just as important to you as it to me. After I experience 3 brain bleeds between 2012 and 2014.  I have left no stone unturned while on the search to […] Recovery After Stroke 55:00 Better After Stroke – Sheri McIntyre https://recoveryafterstroke.com/107-better-after-stroke-sheri-mcintyre/ Mon, 20 Jul 2020 15:21:23 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4392 <p>Sheri McIntyre believes that she is better after stroke. Sheri feels this way even though the bleed in the brain due to an AVM (arteriovenous malformation) that ruptured when she was in her early 50’s has caused deficits including vision issues, balance issues, and speech issues.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/107-better-after-stroke-sheri-mcintyre/">Better After Stroke – Sheri McIntyre</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Sheri McIntyre believes that she is better after stroke. Sheri feels this way even though the bleed in the brain due to an AVM (arteriovenous malformation) that ruptured when she was in her early 50’s has caused deficits including vision issues, Sheri McIntyre believes that she is better after stroke. Sheri feels this way even though the bleed in the brain due to an AVM (arteriovenous malformation) that ruptured when she was in her early 50’s has caused deficits including vision issues, balance issues, and speech issues. Recovery After Stroke 1:09:21 Weight Training After Stroke – Kelly Studebaker https://recoveryafterstroke.com/weight-training-after-stroke/ Mon, 13 Jul 2020 13:20:48 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4368 <p>Kelly Studebaker has been recovering from the challenges of a ruptured AVM from the tender age of 11. In the years that followed she has overcome many of stroke life's challenges and achieved so much.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/weight-training-after-stroke/">Weight Training After Stroke – Kelly Studebaker</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Kelly Studebaker has been recovering from the challenges of a ruptured AVM from the tender age of 11. In the years that followed she has overcome many of stroke life's challenges and achieved so much. Kelly Studebaker has been recovering from the challenges of a ruptured AVM from the tender age of 11. In the years that followed she has overcome many of stroke life's challenges and achieved so much. Recovery After Stroke 55:17 Stroke the greatest thing that happened to me https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-the-greatest-thing-that-happened-to-me/ Mon, 06 Jul 2020 16:20:51 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4348 <p>Lianne Karla Bigornia was a registered nurse who then became a call center agent and was working from 9 pm to 4 am. Living an unhealthy lifestyle lead her to have a stroke due to high blood pressure and AVM.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-the-greatest-thing-that-happened-to-me/">Stroke the greatest thing that happened to me</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Lianne Karla Bigornia was a registered nurse who then became a call center agent and was working from 9 pm to 4 am. Living an unhealthy lifestyle lead her to have a stroke due to high blood pressure and AVM. Lianne Karla Bigornia was a registered nurse who then became a call center agent and was working from 9 pm to 4 am. Living an unhealthy lifestyle lead her to have a stroke due to high blood pressure and AVM. Recovery After Stroke 1:05:23 A New Approach to Occupational Therapy After Stroke https://recoveryafterstroke.com/occupational-therapy-after-stroke/ Mon, 29 Jun 2020 15:32:30 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4297 <p>JJ Flentke is the owner of a physical therapy and Wellness Center called Boomerang therapy works designed for aging patients and people with neuromuscular disorders.  JJ is a physical therapist with a Master's degree in public health, health administration, and a doctorate in physical therapy, with an emphasis on the aging process.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/occupational-therapy-after-stroke/">A New Approach to Occupational Therapy After Stroke</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> JJ Flentke is the owner of a physical therapy and Wellness Center called Boomerang therapy works designed for aging patients and people with neuromuscular disorders.  JJ is a physical therapist with a Master's degree in public health, JJ Flentke is the owner of a physical therapy and Wellness Center called Boomerang therapy works designed for aging patients and people with neuromuscular disorders.  JJ is a physical therapist with a Master's degree in public health, health administration, and a doctorate in physical therapy, with an emphasis on the aging process. Recovery After Stroke 37:21 The Fully Recovered Mindset – Maddi Neibanck https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-fully-recovered-mindset/ Mon, 22 Jun 2020 15:14:42 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4268 <p>When migraine headaches led to a brain scan, the last thing Maddi expected to hear was that she had a ticking time bomb in her head in the form of an AVM. Her decision to remove the AVM at age 20 would change her life forever.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-fully-recovered-mindset/">The Fully Recovered Mindset – Maddi Neibanck</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> When migraine headaches led to a brain scan, the last thing Maddi expected to hear was that she had a ticking time bomb in her head in the form of an AVM. Her decision to remove the AVM at age 20 would change her life forever. When migraine headaches led to a brain scan, the last thing Maddi expected to hear was that she had a ticking time bomb in her head in the form of an AVM. Her decision to remove the AVM at age 20 would change her life forever. Recovery After Stroke 48:10 10 Years of Stroke Recovery – Stephanie Ho https://recoveryafterstroke.com/10-years-of-stroke-recovery/ Mon, 15 Jun 2020 12:57:10 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4249 <p>After experiencing a ruptured AVM in her early 20’s Stephanie Ho has now been on the stroke recovery journey for more than 10 years. In that time she has had to overcome a lot of obstacles including readjusting with her new self and dealing with lost friendships and discovering new ways to be herself.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/10-years-of-stroke-recovery/">10 Years of Stroke Recovery – Stephanie Ho</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> After experiencing a ruptured AVM in her early 20’s Stephanie Ho has now been on the stroke recovery journey for more than 10 years. In that time she has had to overcome a lot of obstacles including readjusting with her new self and dealing with lost f... After experiencing a ruptured AVM in her early 20’s Stephanie Ho has now been on the stroke recovery journey for more than 10 years. In that time she has had to overcome a lot of obstacles including readjusting with her new self and dealing with lost friendships and discovering new ways to be herself. Recovery After Stroke 1:13:59 Beyond Trauma – Deborah Stathis https://recoveryafterstroke.com/beyond-trauma-deborah-stathis/ Tue, 09 Jun 2020 13:51:49 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4216 <p>Deborah is the author of the book Beyond Trauma and although she is not a stroke survivor she knows a thing or two about recovering from a brain injury. Her message is definitely going to resonate with stroke survivors.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/beyond-trauma-deborah-stathis/">Beyond Trauma – Deborah Stathis</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Deborah is the author of the book Beyond Trauma and although she is not a stroke survivor she knows a thing or two about recovering from a brain injury. Her message is definitely going to resonate with stroke survivors. Deborah is the author of the book Beyond Trauma and although she is not a stroke survivor she knows a thing or two about recovering from a brain injury. Her message is definitely going to resonate with stroke survivors. Recovery After Stroke 56:42 What It’s Like Living With A Stroke Survivor – Christine Gasiamis https://recoveryafterstroke.com/living-with-a-stroke-survivor/ Tue, 02 Jun 2020 03:50:19 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4128 <p>In episode 100 Bill is joined by his wife Christine Gasiamis who shares what it was like for her to go through stroke as a wife and mum and then to live through Bill's recovery and experience all the ups and down that stroke survivors go through.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/living-with-a-stroke-survivor/">What It’s Like Living With A Stroke Survivor – Christine Gasiamis</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> In episode 100 Bill is joined by his wife Christine Gasiamis who shares what it was like for her to go through stroke as a wife and mum and then to live through Bill's recovery and experience all the ups and down that stroke survivors go through. In episode 100 Bill is joined by his wife Christine Gasiamis who shares what it was like for her to go through stroke as a wife and mum and then to live through Bill's recovery and experience all the ups and down that stroke survivors go through. Recovery After Stroke 1:39:31 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/">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 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/">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 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/">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 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/">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 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/">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 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/">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 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/">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 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/">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 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/">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 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/">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 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/">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 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/">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 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/">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 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/">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 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/">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 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/">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 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/">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 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/">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 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/">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 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/">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 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/">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 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/">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