Recovery After Stroke https://recoveryafterstroke.com A Community And Podcast For Stroke Survivors And Carers Mon, 01 Mar 2021 15:06:50 +0000 en-AU hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.6.2 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 135. 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 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stronger-after-stroke-peter-g-levine/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stronger-after-stroke-peter-g-levine/feed/ 0 <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/">135. 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

Socials:
https://www.amazon.com/Peter-G.-Levine/
https://recoverfromstroke.blogspot.com/

Highlights:

01:14 Introduction
03:09 Stronger After Stroke
11:11 Mental Practices
19:24 Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging
21:57 Constraint-Induced Therapy
29:27 Repetitive practice
39:45 Safe in negativity
50:48 Clinical Education Talks
1:00:07 Keeping track of progress

Transcription:

Peter 0:00
Discharge from therapy is not the beginning of the end, it’s the end of the beginning. After a stroke, you have this area that’s dead. And then there’s this area that surrounds it, it’s called the Penumbra and it heals.

Peter 0:14
And as it heals, there’s originally some swelling around it. And that makes the neurons not work very well. They’re still alive, but they’re not working. They’re said to be stunned. It’s called cortical shock, there’s a technical term for it.

Peter 0:30
But as that all the swelling goes down over the first three months, usually, those neurons start to come back. And as they come back, the person makes quite the incline in ability gets very intense, they get really good, but at some point, all that Penumbra is back online, and they naturally and it’s an occurrence, it happens to everybody they plateau.

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

Introduction – Peter G. Levine

Peter G. Levine
Bill 1:14
Bill from recoveryafterstroke.com This is Episode 135. And my guest today is Peter G. Levine. Peter is the author of the book Stronger After Stroke, which is in its third edition. And he’s also a researcher, clinician, professor and science communicator.

Bill 1:32
He has spent his career reporting on the best systems for driving post-stroke brain plasticity. Today, we’ll discuss what you must do when you’ve reached the plateau in your recovery, and you have been discharged from rehabilitation.

Bill 1:49
If you enjoyed this podcast, and one of the episodes has impacted you in a positive way, please leave us a five-star review on iTunes or your favorite podcast app. If you’re watching on YouTube, click the thumbs up and subscribe to get notifications of new episodes.

Bill 2:06
Also, please share your favorite podcast episode on your social media. This will help other people that might be going through a tough time right now feel a little bit better about what the future may hold. And it may offer them hope that there are better days ahead. Thanks for tuning in and listening. And now it’s on with the show. Peter Levine, welcome to the podcast.

Bill 2:31
Thanks, Bill. I appreciate it. Thanks for having me.

Bill 2:34
My pleasure. Thanks for reaching out your handle and your blog and everything you do is called Stronger After Stroke. And I love the sound of that. It potentially can be controversial for somebody who’s had a stroke to read that and I’ll tell you why.

Bill 2:51
Because some people don’t feel stronger after stroke, and they’re going, What do you know about it, Peter? So with that, in mind me playing devil’s advocate, tell me about how you came-up with the name stronger after stroke?

Stronger After Stroke


Peter 3:10
First of all, I love the devil’s advocacy going on. And it’s a good thing. It’s been pointed out before that it’s probably not the best name. Some people think, because you’re at your worst right after your stroke.

Peter 3:26
But I think that was my point was that if the bottom of it is the stroke itself, then you’re hoping to increase after that. So you would be technically stronger after a stroke unless the stroke kills you, which, unfortunately, it does a lot of people or it leaves them in a vegetative state, or they’re completely dependent in a nursing home.

Peter 3:52
But for most people, the bottom of it is something that they can jump off of and become stronger after that. How I came up with the name I have no idea. I don’t even remember that far back. The first edition was 2008 probably started writing it in 2005. I don’t know.

Peter 4:14
Here’s what I will say it’s been plagiarized so much I should have probably bought the copyright or whatever you call it on that. Because there’s all kinds of groups major universities here have groups that are major neurological journals have named articles stronger after stroke.

Peter 4:35
So it’s been plagiarized a lot but I think it does have a catchiness I’m hoping that people can get stronger after stroke. I will say that you’re right. The blog is called Stronger After Stroke. The book is called Stronger After Stroke. And my email is strongerafterstroke@yahoo.com. So it’s like a one size fits all catchphrase.

Bill 5:02
It’s a good one. I like what it potentially could inspire in somebody. And I don’t necessarily feel stronger every day after the stroke that I had, but I do feel like I am better for it. And that stroke is one of the best things that ever happened to me, and that’s something that I am working on.

Bill 5:24
And I’m finding, there’s a lot of stroke survivors that can say that, and there is a lot of similarities in the, how they get there, I’m doing my own little research project on how was that people managed to get there, and I feel like, soon we’ll be able to take people through a process to teach them how, what the steps are, to be able to say, stroke’s the best thing that ever happened to me, regardless of the deficits that they live with, or experience.

Bill 5:49
So your heading does inspire me to be stronger after stroke, as well, as potentially seeing myself in those early days as somebody who would say, you know, what, do you know, Peter? As if you can be stronger after stroke. So I love how it plays, at least in my mind, it plays games of context, and where I place it and how I talk about it.

Bill 6:16
Now, you’re a clinical researcher. So I’m going to make the assumption that in 2008, or whatever it was that you came-up with the name or wrote the book, I’m going to make the assumption that you saw that some people are experiencing a stroke and then coming back stronger. So tell me a little bit about your background and the kind of work that you do and how you ended up in stroke work?

Bill 6:42
Yes, so I started out. I got a bachelor’s degree when I was supposed to after high school. And it was in communication, something completely unrelated. My real area of interest when I was getting that degree was I was a drummer in rock bands. And so I was very interested in bands, the bands I was in.

Peter 7:07
But when I graduated, I moved to a town here in the United States called Austin, Texas, which is very well known for its music. And I was living in Washington, DC at the time, and the music career just wasn’t going anywhere. So I graduated from college, I made that commitment.

Peter 7:25
I moved to Austin, Texas, got into a band very quickly after that, then very quickly got signed to a major label. So MTV, I don’t know if you guys have that. But MTV touring major label albums, the whole thing. And in a lot of ways, that ability to understand what it takes to be a good, maybe better than good musician is the same thing that stroke survivors have to do, in order to get stronger after stroke to get better after their stroke.

Peter 8:02
It’s the same, absolutely the same process. And I’ve gone back and watched a few of your videos about your sort of obsession with neuroplasticity. That’s what it’s all about. That’s what athletes know well, that’s what musicians know well.

Peter 8:17
In any case, you know, I was on the road for quite some time with this band, and then we parted ways because it wasn’t a great lifestyle for me, really had nothing to do with sex and drugs and rock and roll as much as it had to do with dietary things and not getting enough sleep and all that stuff.

Peter 8:37
So I went back to school, got a degree in physical therapy, and worked clinically for a few years, worked with stroke survivors, and then got an offer for a job in clinical research at the Kessler Institute, which is a big hospital here and in the states that has a very big research arm.

Peter 8:55
And I had three bosses at the time, something I would definitely suggest to anybody to not have more than one boss. Maybe one boss and one wife, and that’ll do it, anything more than that is too much. I had three bosses at the time. One was the chief vascular surgeon in New Jersey, one was a PT, PhD Sue Ann Sisto, who’s still in clinical research.

Peter 9:21
And then my boss and then a colleague and now a friend of mine, a friend the whole time. Stephen Page, who is an occupational therapist now, but was somebody that was working on his PhD anyway, it’s a long story, but what I’m trying to spit out here was my friend Steve, who was getting a lot of the money for our research into stroke was a very high-level swimmer in college.

Peter 9:50
So when we got we started in 1999, and we started in this small portion of this very large lab, and we had an athlete and a musician looking at stroke recovery. And Kessler was funding some studies, the NIH was funding some studies, we got some other funding.

Peter 10:10
And the question became, what the heck do we look at? So for a long time, therapists have thought that if they put their hands on you in a certain way, and they handled you in a certain way, they’re called handling techniques, that was the zenith that was the best that you could do for stroke survivors.

Peter 10:32
You would handle them, and then somehow, that would transfer into great movement. To an athlete, that makes absolutely no sense. Because you never have a coach handling you, you know, that coach would get punched in the face after a while. That’s what I’m saying, coach don’t touch me.

Peter 10:51
Musicians are the same way, you don’t have a piano teacher with their hands over the hand of the student. So we didn’t think there was a lot there. But what we did find some traction on was what athletes did, to get better at their sport.

Mental Practices

Peter 11:11
And my colleague, Steve had been a very high-level swimmer. And the first thing he wanted to look at was mental practice. Mental practices like mental imagery. So if you’re going to be a swimmer, or you’re going to be a gymnast, or you’re going to be a musician, you would mentally practice the song, or the swimming, the stroke, the routine, whatever it is. And that would do something in your brain and make you better at whatever that skill was.

Peter 11:41
And he came to me in 1999, and said, Look, I want to do mental practice and stroke survivors. And I said, you shouldn’t do it, Steve, because you’re going to end up wrecking your career. Because if you do it, you’re going to take this very soft thing, mental practice, whatever the heck that is and you’re going to put it up against dense hemiparesis.

Peter 12:03
And it’s going to get its butt kicked, and your career is going to end before it ever starts. So about a couple months later, he came up to me and he said, look, I really want to do mental practice in stroke survivors. And I said, Steve, we talked about this, you’re going to wreck your career don’t do it.

Peter 12:19
And he said, well, we got funding. And I said, let’s do it, it came down to funding. So we looked at mental practice. And here’s something that I’m sure people that have stroke would be very interested in. If you mentally practice something, some movement that you know, well, the portion of the brain that lights up is exactly the same portion as if you actually do it.

Peter 12:43
Not only that, but the muscles involved in that movement will fire their fire, very minutely, but in the same order and for the same duration as if you actually do it. So let’s review, you don’t even have to do the movement, all you got to do is think about the movement, the muscles fire, and that portion of the brain dedicated to that movement lights up.

Peter 13:04
The new research now says that you don’t even have to go that far. If you observe somebody doing a movement, and they’re doing it well. The portion of the brain, if you’re watching them, that portion of the brain that’s dedicated to that movement in you will light up and those muscles will fire in the same duration in the same order as if you were to do it.

Peter 13:30
So let’s review. If you imagine doing a movement, if you see somebody else doing a movement, or if you do the movement, yourself, all three of those drive brain changes, and help recovery. So that was our launching off point athletes and musicians. Thanks for listening Bill that was long.

Bill 13:53
It was good. There’s a lot of information in there. Basically, the long and short of it is is that. And this is the challenge I have with the sciences is that they take something that we know to be true in nature, and then they take 20 years to explain it and then prove it before it can be applied.

Bill 14:14
And one of the issues is that think about every child that has ever been born, that has walked. It has done that by seeing every other person around them walking and it’s going, I can do that. Or I want to do that or how do I do that. And it drags itself and it uses its arms and it uses legs and it does all these things and eventually, from its knees or from its belly or from its butt wherever.

Bill 14:41
It gets to its knees and then from its knees. It has this next transition which is to walking and somehow it knows to get to the knees before it gets to walking but somehow it knows when it gets on its feet, what has to happen? If you fall over what you have to do is you have to get up again and you have to just find a new way to do it, strengthen the muscles do all those things.

Bill 15:03
So I dislike that about science. But also I like that about science because for the majority of us we’re a massive head on shoulders, and we need to be convinced at the head level that something is possible before we can take it and embody it and actually take steps and do it.

Bill 15:22
What I love about what you said is that it’s the lazy man’s way to get better at stuff, it’s you don’t even have to do anything you don’t even have to put any effort in. All you got to do is imagine yourself. And if you can’t imagine yourself, get somebody else to help you imagine yourself by talking you through, you know, the process of for example, I do this with people that I coached, close your eyes, imagine yourself doing this thing, pay attention to your leg, pay attention to your arm, pay attention to your gait, your body, your position, where you are, how it’s feeling.

Bill 15:56
Breathe, and then from there, take them out of that. And I know that what I’ve done is lit up or created new neural pathways that they can then access when I’m not around to achieve the same task. And I put a lot of time and effort into that myself when I actually couldn’t walk after my stroke.

Bill 16:17
And what happened to me was, I had a AVM that started to bleed in February of 2012. Then bled again in March of 2012. And then it bled again in November of 2014. And then my surgeon said, we have to have surgery, you’re at risk of this thing bleeding out and causing a lot of damage or death, it’s safer to have, the risks are lower if you have the surgery and then we’ll deal with whatever it is that you have to overcome after surgery.

Bill 16:50
So when I woke up from surgery, I couldn’t feel my entire left side, my proprioception was out and I had altered sensation on my left side, which I still live with, I still have. And I was waiting for at least a week before I could actually get into the physical rehabilitation room where two therapists would hold me up or they would attach me with the crane to the ceiling to make sure I didn’t fall over.

Bill 17:17
And in the rest of the time, while I was waiting, I was using guided meditation to imagine myself walking, I was in the bed, in my ward, lying down with my eyes closed, going through this process of imagining myself grabbing the the rail with my left arm, and my foot going in the position that I needed it to go.

Bill 17:41
And it taking over and walking and supporting me and holding me up, I imagined how my knee would not buckle under my weight, and it would support me, imagine how my muscles would interact with my knee and my ankle and my foot. And I just started playing this over and over and over in my head.

Bill 18:01
So that when I got to the first opportunity to actually be supported and guided through this with a physical therapist, I had a baseline I had somewhere to start from and it wasn’t all brand new. And I had a week’s worth of I’ll call it self therapy before I get into actual therapy. So I really love that somehow your athletics and music background.

Bill 18:34
The people that were involved in your, in your team, who had those types of backgrounds, transferred their skills and their knowledge from their other career that seems totally irrelevant when it comes to stroke and applied it in stroke. And that’s one of those beautiful things that people who have come from different backgrounds and have had a stroke, already have the skills, they don’t realize that they can transform and adjust and apply to stroke recovery.

Bill 19:06
And it’s just about getting a little bit creative and perhaps having some guidance into how to do that. So what did you guys learn after the study began and after it was funded and allowed you guys to gather some data?

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Bill 19:24
Right, so our data really had to do with functional magnetic resonance imaging. It’s a way of scanning the brain and seeing if a portion of the brain lit up that didn’t light up right after the stroke. One of the interesting things that we found was, as you know, your left side is is the weaker side. So the AVM the malformation, the surgery was on the right side of your head. You have a scar there now is that true?

Bill 20:00
Do it’s not visible today because my hair is longer than I

Bill 20:03
see it, I think I see it, it runs from about the crest of your ear to the crest of your head.

Bill 20:08
That’s it. Yeah.

Bill 20:12
So, that was on the right side of your brain, and it affected the left side of your body. Now typically, if you have neuroplastic change, it will happen, what they call it in a Peri infarct area right around the area of infarct. So you have the area that’s dead, and around that area is the part that comes back and where the neuroplasticity happens.

Peter 20:41
And we certainly saw that with mental imagery, mental practice. But the weird thing that we saw was that the ipsilateral side, so usually it’s the contralateral side that controls so the left side of my brain controls the right side of my body, and vice versa. But what we saw was, if it was a left hemiparetic person, often, the left side of the brain would control the left side of the body completely backwards.

Peter 21:09
And yeah, and if you think about it, it kind of makes sense. Look, the brain, we always talk about the mind and the brain, the mind is you, your ambitions, who you love, what you’re trying to accomplish, the brain is just the machine that carries it out. We don’t have to care about what the machine, how the machine does it and where the machine does it let it worry about that it’s good at that.

Peter 21:32
All we got to do is present a situation where we’re so over-stressing the affected side that something takes over if it happens to be the ipsilateral side, my right hand is has a problem. It’s the right side of the brain. Why not? It’s all good neurology there. We know that neuroplasticity is not about the number of neurons, it’s about the number of synaptic connections between neurons.

Constraint-Induced Therapy


Peter 21:57
So let the brain do it on the wrong side of the brain, what do we care? Typically, what happens is it may initiate in the ipsilateral side, but then it migrates to where it’s supposed to be. But that happens further down the line. The other treatment option I should talk about that our lab was sort of well known for was I’m sure you’ve heard of constraint-induced therapy.

Peter 22:25
Have you heard of that Bill? Yeah, so it’s exactly what it sounds like, if you had left hemiparesis. So your left side, it was weak. The clinician or really the stroke survivor themselves would wear a mitt on the good side, and then have to live their entire life with their bad side, whatever that they were trying to do, they would have to do with their bad side.

Peter 22:54
Now, obviously, you have to have some movement to jump off because otherwise you’re tying up the good arm and they can’t do anything with a bad arm and that’s just mean. But if you get the right kind of person, you drive huge amounts of brain changes. Because they’re forced to do it.

Peter 23:11
It’s literally called forced use. We call it constraint induced therapy because we constrain the good side force use of the affected side. And that is well is very much like an athlete would handle things. So I played basketball for a long time, I was never really great, but I love playing it, how I broke my nose and broke fingers and all kinds of.

Bill 23:33
Sounds like you were terrible.

Peter 23:35
It was terrible, it was a disaster. But no, I was good in some ways. One thing I was really bad at. I don’t know how it is in Australia. But here in the United States, if you can’t do something with a pickup game of basketball, there’s people on the sidelines that will say he can’t do this, he can’t do that he has no hops, they’ll yell at you, and it’s just like, it’s a great fun.

Peter 24:00
Anyway. So one thing that was very clear about my game is I couldn’t go left, I could use my right hand and back in the 70s, you could get away with just dribbling right handed. But then every you know, all these great basketball players now everything is bilateral. So I spent about a month doing nothing but constraint induced therapy on myself and only dribbling with my left hand.

Peter 24:24
And I gotta say I got better with my left hand. It still wasn’t as good as the right hand, but we’re not trying to make stroke survivors perfect. We’re just trying to get them better. I think this very high bar that a lot of clinicians set up or that stroke survivors set up on themselves.

Peter 24:41
Every day is a challenge for everybody. We’re all getting older, you’re just trying to chip away at your present abilities, just like a high level athlete would just like a high level musician would. So those two things started our path, mental practice and then this other forced use constraint induced therapy, both steeped in athletic training in a lot of ways.

Bill 25:05
Absolutely, and again, it makes sense as athletic training is being used to support recovery of a body part, a leg, an arm, whatever it’s part of the body like that’s what athletics does is it trains and works the whole body. And if you’re applying that type of training to stroke recovery, I think it’s a very simple inroad into giving people an insight into remember when you used to play football, or when you used to play basketball, how you trained, and you did a certain thing and you went through a certain process?

Bill 25:40
Well, stroke recovery is just the same. There’s a couple of differences in the way that your arm works now. But the idea of coaching and therapy, it’s basically the same idea, they name it something different. And that’s one of the interesting things about the mindset and getting people switched on to taking recovery down a different path.

Bill 26:04
Is that they think that recovery begins and stops, there’s a start, and then there’s a stop. When you get to the stop, you’re done, you’re recovered, and things are better. I’ve got a coaching client, a stroke survivor, who’s a person that I coached through his, you know, troubles and tribulations that stroke has caused, and we’re moving towards a better outcome for him and helping him get better.

Bill 26:33
And he has a deadline of seven months out why aren’t I better yet? And just yesterday, I asked him, How did you get seven months as being the dates or the timeline by when recovery would be done and complete? Where did you even come up with that? And he doesn’t have an idea as to where he came up with that. But many stroke survivors do that they don’t understand that coaching in basketball, you could be Michael Jordan, and the best in the world.

Bill 27:04
And when you’re playing for the Chicago Bulls, and you’re going for that next championship, and the next one, and the next one, the next one, coaching hasn’t stopped, because you won the first one, coaching continues. And it continues to get refined and pick up things that you forgot about, for example, from when you were first starting basketball when you were just a child.

Bill 27:29
And we keep reintroducing ideas and refining and refining, so that when you’re 20 or 30 years into your basketball career, you’re still getting supported and coached and talk through things. And people are paying attention to what you’re doing. In case you’ve missed that you’ve slackened off on your approach to the ring, or the way that you’re defending, you know, your zone.

Bill 27:57
And, and that’s the thing, like it’s really bizarre that stroke survivors have a deadline, a timeline, and anything that’s got to be done by that date. And then I can just go back to life as normal and not have to worry about anything. Roger Federer is in his 40s. He’s one of the best tennis players in the world, and he still as a coach sitting in the stand with him every single game.

Bill 28:17
And the coach doesn’t not go to one of those games, because Roger will be right from now on, you know, it’s really fascinating, the whole mindset around how when I go to recovery, I’m going to get discharged from the hospital, and I expect to be okay, and if I’m not, they’ve let me down.

Bill 28:38
But no, that’s when strike recovery becomes your responsibility. And you need to be the person who says, Thanks for getting me to this point. Now, what do I have to do? Who do I have to recruit? How am I going to go about getting to the next milestone and then the one after that?

Bill 28:57
And it’s just a really lovely way for you guys, your team and clinical researchers to get to this point of helping people get stronger after stroke by focusing on things that we all do as humans is we just have these things that we’ve always done, and now we’re just applying it in a new way to recovery from an ailment.

Repetitive practice – Peter G. Levine

Peter G. Levine
Bill 29:27
Yeah, I think what you’re headed towards, and it’s where you should head is simplicity. Why do we have to make it so complicated? If we know that repetitive practice makes you better at something, of course, it’s going to happen in basketball, and of course, it’s going to happen with stroke recovery.

Peter 29:54
And I think that that’s like been a great asset that I’ve had that I’ve worked with really smart people. And really smart people have helped me come to the conclusion that it’s the simple stuff, the stuff that we’ve been doing for 250,000 years as human beings to be really highly skilled at different things.

Peter 30:14
So the other thing is, the other point that you made is that discharge from therapy is not the beginning of the end, it’s the end of the beginning. What they do is kind of a little sneaky, though clinicians. So here’s what happens. After a stroke, you have this area that’s dead. And then there’s this area that surrounds it, it’s called the Penumbra.

Peter 30:38
And it heals, and as it heals, there’s originally some swelling around it. And that makes the neurons not work very well. They’re still alive, but they’re not working. They’re said to be stunned. It’s called cortical shock, there’s a technical term for it. But as that all the swelling goes down over the first three months, usually, those neurons start to come back.

Peter 31:04
And as they come back, the person makes quite, the incline in ability gets very intense, they get really good. But at some point, that all that Penumbra is back online, and they naturally and it’s a it’s an occurrence, it happens to everybody, they plateau.

Intro 31:24
If you’ve had a stroke, and you’re in recovery, you’ll know what a scary and confusing time it can be, you’re likely to have a lot of questions going through your mind. Like how long will it take to recover? Will I actually recover? What things should I avoid in case I make matters worse, doctors will explain things, but obviously, you’ve never had a stroke before, you probably don’t know what questions to ask.

Intro 31:48
If this is you, you may be missing out on doing things that could help speed up your recovery. If you’re finding yourself in that situation, stop worrying, and head to recoveryafterstroke.com where you can download a guide that will help you it’s called the seven questions to ask your doctor about your stroke.

Intro 32:07
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 32:26
That plateau. I don’t know how it is in Australia, but in the United States. What they do is they discharge you when you plateau. The thinking is, if you’re not getting any better, why are we spending money on you? Why are we spending time on you?

Peter 32:41
The thing is, though, that they discharge them. And then the person usually goes home and gets worse. Why? Because they’re sitting around not doing their exercises the way they should. They’re kind of stunned by the whole process. Oh, no, I’ve been discharged. I guess that’s all I’ll get. She told me that I’m done recovering, I’ve plateaued.

Peter 33:03
And she’s the expert. So now what am I supposed to do? So they go home, they relax, and they actually get worse, there’s a declination. So at that point, yes, it’s not the beginning of the end, it’s the end of the beginning, the gains get very much harder to get. There’s no doubt about it. You don’t have this easy ride of the brain coming back online. Now you got to start to work the same way. As you pointed out, Michael Jordan worked. Did you see the series about the Bulls that was on Netflix?

Bill 33:40
I haven’t seen it yet. But yeah, I do know the one.

Bill 33:42
Yeah. So I mean, like, he went through this process of okay, now he couldn’t jump through the roof anymore. So he had to lean on this jump shot. And then he realized that he had to be more of a team player, there was all these things he had to go through to grow.

Peter 33:58
Yes, he was a brilliant basketball player that’s discharged. Okay he was already brilliant when he got out of college. Now, was he going to do the hard work that takes him just a little bit more, and then stroke that just a little bit more of the difference between, you know, holding on to relationships, getting back to work, getting back to school, getting back to a sport, it’s those little things at the end that they do themselves that are super important.

Peter 34:27
I happen to be lucky in that a lot of our research had to do with people that were chronic, that was after their plateau. See, if you do a study, during the part in which the brain is coming back online. How do you know if it’s something you did? Or if it’s just the brain coming back online?

Peter 34:45
The way we typically do that is we have a control group. And then we have an experimental group, and we see who gets better. Now if it was something we did, then the experimental group will get a little bit better than the control group. But a lot of our studies were in chronic people. So they It already plateaued, they were not supposed to get better.

Peter 35:03
Clinicians were convinced they wouldn’t get better. And I’m not just talking about therapists, I’m talking about physiatrists, I’m talking about neurologists, they all kind of believe for a very long time, you couldn’t get better after that three months or six months, or as your friend says, seven months.

Peter 35:20
Now, we know that that’s not true, the brain is incredibly plastic, we don’t even know what the parameters are. So now you got to chip away. And just like a really high level athlete, or really high level musicians, you’re not having these great, I wasn’t walking, now I am walking, my arm wasn’t working, now what is working, it’s not going to be these big fancy things, it’s going to be these little things.

Peter 35:41
And often stroke survivors are not really good at measurement. Because they’re not good at measurement. They can’t tell they’re getting better. One thing I would suggest that any stroke survivor does is videotape yourself, if it’s going to come down to a nuanced change, then videotape yourself over months and see if you’re honest with yourself, because you may be getting better, but you don’t see it.

Peter 36:05
Maybe other people do, who haven’t seen you for three months. But if you have a videotape, if it’s a speech deficit, record your voice, whatever it takes to show that yes, you are getting better, or you’re not. Because if you’re not getting better, you got to change something up, you got to get got to do something else.

Bill 36:23
Yeah, I completely agree with that a lot of the people that I speak to will tell me, they’re not doing better, or things are worse or not as good or whatever. And one might be having a conversation with them. And three months earlier, I wasn’t able to have a full on conversation with them or I wasn’t able to talk with him for beyond 20 minutes and now I’m talking to them for 30 or 40 minutes.

Bill 36:48
And there’s all these little bits and pieces that they missed, because they’re focusing on what they can’t do, rather than what they can do. And if they simply shift their focus on what I can do, and do more of that, they will be able to get a better outcome. And they’ll be able to feel better about themselves, because they’re constantly reinforcing oh, my gosh, I did that, and wow, I did that, and now I’ve done that, and now I’ve done this.

Bill 37:17
And if you go back and reflect on all the things that you’ve done, those things that will far outweigh all the things that you haven’t done, because if you can’t walk, because you have a particular problem with one of your legs, and three months down the track, you still can walk, nothing’s really changed. It’s just I’m not walking, and I haven’t walked.

Bill 37:36
But if your leg, also, at the beginning of that three months, didn’t have feeling and now it does. And if you like also at that three months, at the beginning of that three months, couldn’t move your toes. And now you can it kind of is irrelevant, that you can’t walk it, what’s relevant is that you have feeling back on your toes are working.

Bill 37:58
And now you’re closer to being able to use that leg when you were three months ago. And we need to focus on those things, we need to focus on the things that are going to give us the boost.

Bill 38:10
And if you have somebody that’s trusted, that loves you, that’s caring for you, that’s helping you a friend, that’s telling you those things pay attention, they’re not just saying it because they want to make you feel better, they’re saying it to you because maybe you’re not paying attention, and they want you to have an awareness of it.

Bill 38:30
And they want you to focus on what you have been able to achieve rather than what you can’t. And I think that we’re also as humans, even before stroke, our own biggest critic and our own worst enemy. And stroke just makes things a little bit more detailed or complicated or difficult when it comes to exacerbating or highlighting our weaknesses or our problems or our challenges.

Bill 39:00
And if we let it, it could really take that conversation of I’m not good enough or I’m not able and it could really spiral out of control. It’s really important that what we’re doing is using our way of being and thinking in the opposite way and using it against the negative side, then trying to turn it and convert it into the positive side. It’s the same amount of energy that we use to have negative thoughts.

Bill 39:29
We could just switch it and have positive thoughts. It’s the same amount of time and effort and in fact, it’s less emotionally draining so therefore it’s going to take less energy to have a conversation that’s positive and going to make you feel better.

Safe in negativity

Bill 39:45
So why do you think we feel safe in the negative because I find this in my own life. It’s just easy to go I can’t accomplish that, It’s too hard, I can’t see the force through the woods kind of deal. What do you think? I wonder if it’s, it’s a safety thing, it’s a safety valve, I’ll just go to where I’m safe, but negative, rather than this uncharted territory that has potential.

Bill 40:12
I think because, and I’ll speak personally, I can’t speak for everybody. But for me, I think it was growing up when I was probably starting to first interact with children in a big way, which was at a school, you know, perhaps I listened to children highlighting my differences or highlighting the things that they weren’t aware of.

Bill 40:35
And I picked up a little bit of information from them once and then it happened three weeks later, and I took that on board. And that became the theme of what I continue to hear. And then sometimes, my older brother who wanted to exert his authority, as three years older than me, you know he said, you can’t do that, or you’re not going to do that, I’m not going to let you do that, or whatever, you know, just being a child.

Bill 40:59
And that grew and grew, and became this thing that I didn’t realize was happening to me, because it was happening every day. It’s like, it just creeps up on you, it just happens slowly, but surely. And we don’t have enough self awareness or somebody hasn’t jolted us into showing you how those incremental steps have shaped your life.

Bill 41:24
And now you’re an adult, and you haven’t reflected on that ever. And you’ve never had somebody coach you or guide you or support you. And reverse some of that, I’ll call it a spell, reverse some of that spell that was placed on you over those years. And that’s what I feel like coaching does, people eventually get to the point where they get fed up with feeling like they can’t, or they won’t or they shouldn’t or they’re not up for it.

Bill 41:54
And then a coach will say, yeah, you can, yes, we could. And yes, we will overcome it and watch on the other side of that fear is relief and growth, and a new experience and new emotions and all these amazing new things. And I know it’s unfamiliar, so because you’re not certain or sure about what’s on that other side, you’d rather stay with the devil, you know, than the devil you don’t.

Bill 42:20
And why don’t we put that devil that we do know, why don’t we put them on the back foot for once and send them elsewhere and go to somewhere else where there might be an angel on that other side, not a devil. And then life changes and switches. And I’ve noticed that for myself that I was also going to the wrong people Peter, for advice.

Bill 42:45
And as a 25, 26 year old, I would go to people that were not business inclined, and ask them for business advice. Now, it was because they were older than me or the people that I lived with, or that were around more often than others. So of course, when I didn’t know who to seek out, I would seek out people that were unqualified to answer.

Bill 43:06
And I would get their advice. And then I wouldn’t get the advice I wanted, I’d be frustrated and upset with them, I would blame them for telling me that I wasn’t capable of doing something because they were projecting their experience onto me. And I had no conscious awareness of how that interaction was my fault, I was the one that was creating that by just going to the wrong place.

Bill 43:31
And when I finally got sick and tired of getting the wrong feedback, I started to seek out people who had done what I wanted to do. And asked them to tell me what I needed to do to get there. And that changed my world. And that’s why as my podcast suggests, recovery after stroke, I’ve taken this position nine years after my experience first started to say I am where you want to be.

Bill 44:05
And if you ask me, I will tell you how to get there. And if you’re afraid I will hold your hand. And if nobody has ever told you that it’s okay to be afraid, but do what you have to do anyway, I’ll be the guy. And if you want to ask a million questions, just ask. So I’m now offering this part of me in a way that I was hoping that I would find in another stroke survivor.

Bill 44:35
And I must say there wasn’t anyone specifically that I could reach out to when I was in my acute phase to give me hope and to give me support and guidance and I sought out other people in other parts of the world like you who are researchers like Dr. Michael Merzenich. You know, who’s considered the godfather of neuroplasticity, you know?

Bill 44:55
Yes, he is. Have you interviewed him?

Bill 44:59
I interviewed him years ago and I re-released the interview for Episode 108. And we spoke about rewiring the brain and we spoke about all those things because I didn’t know who else to turn to. And I figured who best than the Peter Levines of the world and the Michael Merzenichs, of the world to hold my hand and tell me that we’ll be okay I’m going forward.

Bill 45:22
Don’t put me in the same league as him. You know what he created? He created the cochlear implant. So, it was through that research that he was one of the first to measure neuroplastic change the guy’s a Nobel Prize winner just waiting to happen.

Bill 45:38
We spoke about the cochlear implant on that episode. And in fact, this year in Australia was the anniversary of the invention of the cochlear implant because the team that actually took it to market was an Australian team of scientists who was also working in conjunction with, and collaborating with Dr. Michael Merzenich and his team in the States.

Bill 46:02
I’m pretty sure there was another team in the UK, who all collaborated to come up with the data the proof that neuroplasticity actually occurs. And Dr. Michael says in the interview, he says that they created a device. And they had no idea that it was the brain that made the device able to work.

Bill 46:26
Because if the brain wasn’t plastic and wasn’t able to adjust and learn to take information in from this electronic device to create a new path towards hearing, then the device would be completely useless. So it’s a fascinating conversation. fascinating topic.

Bill 46:45
Anyone who hasn’t had the opportunity to go back and listen to the episode with Dr. Michael Merzenich needs to do that, it’s episode 108. He’s an amazingly generous man. And his work is changing the lives of people that have neurological deficits in all aspects of life.

Bill 47:08
That’s right, posit science. I mean, it’s dyslexia. He thinks that dyslexia is actually an auditory issue. And then if you throw quick, you know, the whole system, but posit science, definitely, I think, first of all, I should point out to you, Bill, that, I think would be a good idea and I don’t know if you have this, but we should stick an ad on my blog for your coaching.

Peter 47:35
Because I think, you know, people may not know that that exists. They may know life coaches exist. But stroke recovery life coaches, that’s a whole different thing. So let’s talk about that. Then the other thing is, isn’t it interesting how the resilience that you develop, because something that happened at school, and your brother and all the things that led up to the stroke are the same things that you brought to bear?

Peter 48:01
Isn’t it interesting that, you know, when we talk about what works seems to work in clinical research is the simple stuff that we’ve been doing for hundreds of thousands of years as human beings anyway, we end up in the same place, it’s all the same thing that works for any kind of challenge in your life certainly works word, this monumental challenge of recovering from stroke.

Bill 48:25
It does. And you know, what’s interesting is that, you know, stroke creates anxiety, and it creates depression. But if you get a stroke survivor, and you ask them about their anxiety and the depression after the stroke, they’re likely to be people who experience stroke and who experience anxiety and depression before stroke.

Bill 48:42
So there’s never been a bigger reason to get to the bottom of what is causing your anxiety of depression. Now that stroke has occurred and forget about stroke recovery, if you’re experiencing anxiety, and depression, and you can get to the bottom of that your stroke recovery is going to take a turn for the better on its own.

Bill 49:03
And we’ve got to overcome all these little things that we’ve never overcome in life, and we’ve never dealt with in life. Because if we get those out of the way, then we can really put all our resources and energy into stroke recovery.

Bill 49:20
And we can harness the information that you and your team and the thousands of other researchers in the world provide, which is proof that we can positively impact our own recovery. And I think clinical researchers, people that haven’t had a stroke that are working in that field, are the most amazing people on the planet.

Bill 49:46
And I love them more than anybody. Because if you were a stroke survivor and you thought you’re alone, you are completely wrong, because there’s thousands of people like Peter working for a lifetime. To help people they’ve never met before and don’t know, what do you say to that Peter?

Bill 50:07
You know, I do a lot of clinical education talks. So I go around the country when I’m lucky, I go overseas. And I’ve done hundreds of these talks. These are boring six-hour talks to occupational therapists. And do you guys call them physical therapists or physiotherapists?

Bill 50:25
Physiotherapists? And also Yeah, we have occupational therapists as well.

Bill 50:29
Right, so a physiotherapist. So that’s who I do most of my talks to. My wife is actually what we call a physical therapist, a physiotherapist. And it was interesting. She came to one of my talks, and it was probably the scariest experience I ever had. She was also a clinical instructor of mine in school.

Clinical Education Talks

Peter G. Levine
Peter 50:49
So it was interesting. But here’s what happens. You know, during a six-hour talk, you have a couple breaks, and somebody will come up to me a therapist. And they’ll say, Can I ask you a question? I go, sure, and they say, I got this guy, they always had it start out with that. I’m working with this guy. I call them I got this guy questions.

Peter 51:15
Okay, tell me about the guy. Well, he has so much spasticity. I don’t know how to get the hand open. And then when he goes to walk, he lurches, and he has terrible balance, and he’s falling over. And he’s very impulsive, and I don’t know what to do. And I look at this person, this therapist, and there’s tears in their eyes.

Peter 51:37
I’m like, is this your dad? Are we talking about your dad here? Is this well, family members? Is somebody is this a good friend, because this is insane that you are this emotionally invested in this, my daughter is going into this pre-speech therapy, she’s 20 years old.

Peter 51:55
You know, my son’s going into athletic training, which is related. My wife’s a PT. I’m on the PT side of things. It’s, it’s an occupational hazard. Look, here’s what I’ll say, you will not do well, in the business of rehab. If you don’t give a crap, you will get eaten up, you’ll get chewed out by the patients themselves, who will sense that you don’t give a crap.

Peter 52:22
And they won’t give a crap about you and I’ve seen people try to do it. But they all end up very unhappy. They just got in the wrong business. But most of them, I agree with you there. They do pretty monumental things. There have been mistakes that clinicians and rehab have made, I think, discharging people on upon plateau.

Peter 52:45
I think in the United States. The average length of stay in the hospital is 5.5 days after a stroke. In most of Europe, it’s about 20 days in the Netherlands, it’s like a month. That’s a mistake to discharge somebody from the hospital to go back home or to go into a nursing facility or work or a rehab hospital. It’s a it’s cruel behavior, to discharge them to a totally new environment that early after the stroke.

Peter 53:19
Other mistakes that clinicians have made, but I agree with you their heart is in the right place. And I think it’s up to people like me to just harness it in a way that allows them to leverage the great neuroscience that we have. Michael Merzenich’s work. I’m sure I’m pronouncing his name wrong. Alvaro Pascall Leoni, Edward Tabb, all these guys that have done the great neuroscience on this stuff, and help therapists leverage it. If they can just get that in there. I think they’ll do even better than they already have. And they’re already doing a good job. You’re right.

Bill 53:54
They’re doing a great job I feel so supported and so grateful for the fact that in Australia, we have the National Stroke Foundation, who supports research and funds, some programs to support stroke survivors. And associated with them in a big way is the Florey Institute, which is a brain research institute.

Bill 54:21
You know, the Florey Institute has offices, I’m sure it’s all over Australia. I’ve been to their lectures in Melbourne where Michael Merzenich first spoke and I first heard about him and learned about him. And then stroke survivors, perhaps aren’t that curious about what’s out there and what they can learn themselves with regards to the cutting-edge research that’s being done in the new findings that we’re discovering and the breakthroughs that are happening in brain health and recovery.

Bill 54:57
And previously, it was this strange world that non-academic people like me wouldn’t go to I wouldn’t go there. Because I wasn’t an academic. I didn’t know anything about academics, I didn’t know how to behave, or act in those scenes. Not that I needed to actually all I needed to do was turn up. But I had this idea in my head that I shouldn’t be hanging around there.

Bill 55:20
And when I finally went there, I just realized, Oh, really passionate, cool, amazing people helping other people. And now what the beauty of it is, is now I get to take people like yourself, out of the lab, into my podcast into the ears of around 4000 people a month who download my podcast.

Bill 55:38
And there you go, we’ve bridged one of those challenges that we had, which was taking new information and new ideas to people. And I really appreciate the fact that you’re so keen to, not only because isn’t that the most important because not only do you need to learn these things, about how to help, you need to tell people that you’ve learned them and that they exist, and how they can apply them to their daily life.

Bill 56:09
That’s the flip side. And we struggle a lot with that in our lab, we would have long discussions, big, long arc discussions, what we’re doing this great work, but we’re publishing in a peer-reviewed journal article that probably clinicians won’t even read, let alone people who have had a stroke.

Peter 56:28
How do we get to these people have had a stroke? And my answer was, let’s do a lot more talks. Let’s write a book, I wrote a lot of articles, I got a blog, I do what I can. And I’m actually going to follow your lead. And me and an occupational therapist here in the states are going to start a podcast specifically about brain injury and what therapists can do to sort of stay up to date was some of this stuff.

Peter 56:54
But I agree with you, I mean, there’s nothing, a really good researcher should be able to explain their work in a way that makes sense to everyone. Same with therapists, same with life coaches, if you can’t make it simple, it’s it doesn’t help anybody.

Bill 57:11
Let’s talk a little bit about as we come to the end, before we wrap up, let’s talk a little bit about the book Stronger After Stroke. It’s the third edition. And its subtitle is your roadmap to recovery. Tell me a little bit about the book.

Bill 57:27
So I was writing articles in a trade magazine, physical therapy trade magazine, and I had a monthly article, it’s called from the lab. I didn’t name it, somebody else named it don’t blame me, well I worked in a lab, so it made sense to them. So one of the articles I wrote was 10 things that stroke survivors can do to drive their own brain towards recovery.

Peter 57:53
And, then I thought, well, you know, I’m doing these talks to clinicians, I wonder if I can come up with 101 things, you know, how they write, like, 101 things you can do to fix your home or 101 things you can do to make your self happier, whatever it is, so but I got, and I started writing this book, and this was in 2004, or so.

Peter 58:14
And I got to about 40. And it was hard like, I don’t have anything else. There’s like, I’m looking at all the research, not just from our lab, but from other labs, and I just couldn’t find more than 40 things. So that’s about the time I changed the name to stronger after stroke.

Peter 58:32
I originally wrote it for clinicians to sell in my talks, you know, I would go to these hospitals and do talks. And they were like, what do you have a book, you know, you’re supposed to be selling a book, right? Yeah. So I self published it. I went to Kinko’s, which is our local, you know, the place that will, you know, bind a bunch of papers into a book.

Peter 58:32
And, I sold it, and it did well, and then wrote a couple of emails to some publishers and, and one of them was interested, they said, We’d like your book, we’d like the idea. Here’s what we want you to do. rewrite the whole book, because right now, you’ve written it for clinicians.

Peter 58:32
And it’s a little technical for us, we need to sell to stroke survivors. In the United States alone, there’s about 800,000 strokes per year. That’s the market we want to hit. And so I spent about three months, just shortening the sentences, making everything simple. And bringing it down into a simple format, which is, how do you do it? How do you set it up?

Peter 58:32
And then what are the precautions and then just going through mirror therapy, constraint news therapy, imagery, mental practice, all these other paradigms that we had used in that we had done research on and others had done as well. And so it was really just an outcropping of trying to make things simple and try to bring the research to the people. And a lot of clinicians read it as well, because they want simple to everybody wants simplicity.

Keeping track of progress

Bill 1:00:07
Yeah, it’s complicated is too hard for most people, let alone stroke survivors who challenging the body to start to relearn how to do things that used to do without any thought whatsoever. And I found that too much information or too much-complicated information was just, it would just, you know, glaze my eyes over and that was it.

Bill 1:00:31
No more, information about that was going to go in my ear didn’t matter how long was spent looking at the page or listening to somebody talk about it. So it’s definitely going back to the basics, it’s definitely going back to those first things that we did when we were just learning how to get up on our feet, learning how to walk again, learning how to do all those things from babies, it’s just really going back to the bare bones, bare basics, and then just improving on the things that you’re already good at.

Bill 1:01:07
And doing those even better, and I suppose being aware of what you’re not go that. And then just focusing and then just noticing how that changes through that advice that you gave, which was record yourself talking, record yourself walking, and just look back on it regularly to make sure that you’re noticing the improvements.

Bill 1:01:37
Yeah, yeah, I think you made a good point in there. It was like in the third sentence, work on stuff that you’re bad at. Because the stuff that you’re good at, you can do. And you know, any musician, a guitar player will pick up a guitar and they always first thing they play is their favorite riff.

Peter 1:01:56
But it’s the challenge outside of that stuff that you’re already do well, that’s where the real pot of gold is. And that’s where measuring videotaping, audio recording all that stuff can be really helpful to give you a sense that you’re getting better, you may not see it day to day, but month to month, there may be some big changes in there.

Bill 1:02:19
But I really appreciate you reaching out and asking me to be a guest. I really love it. When people do that. It excites me that actually people are interested in being on my podcast. But more importantly, I’m glad that you did that. Because the work that you’re doing is really important.

Bill 1:02:38
And people need to hear about it, and people need to know about it. So if anyone wanted to find out a little bit more about you, I will have all the links in the show notes so people can find you easily. But just remind us where can people find more about you and your book? Where would they go online?

Bill 1:02:57
So probably the best portal to everything is the blog and you get on Google at google.com incase can’t find it. And you put in Google you put in Stronger After Stroke blog, you get those four words in there. I promise it’ll be the first hit. The book is called Stronger After Stroke. There’s a link to the book there. Although I guess it’s a link to amazon.com not your guys or wherever you guys buy stuff. You know, it’s the middle of the summer for you, isn’t it?

Bill 1:03:32
Well, it should be but we haven’t really had much of summer we’re experiencing the the La Nina, which is supposed to be a colder version of summer. So I can’t say that we’ve been to the beach more than about three or four times this year. We’re normally we might go 15 or 20 times so it’s been a very mild and not summery summer.

Bill 1:04:02
Well, we’ll look forward to that going into summer because we’re having the polar vortex right now we’re very cold air from the Antarctic from Canada is just sweeping down. We’ve had crazy weather events. Actually, I forgot what my point was. Anyway, so the book is easy to find it just goes stronger after stroke you’re gonna find me no problem. And my my email address is strongerafterstroke@yahoo.com and feel free to ask me any questions that you have and I’d be glad to do my best to answer them.

Bill 1:04:33
Thanks for being on the podcast.

Bill 1:04:35
My pleasure.

Intro 1:04:41
Discover how to heal your brain after stroke go to recoveryafterstroke.com importantly, we present many podcasts designed to give you an insight and understanding into the experiences of other individuals opinions and treatments, protocols discussed during any podcasts are the individuals own experience and we do not necessarily share the same opinion nor do we recommend any treatment protocol discussed.

Intro 1:05:07
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 1:05:24
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 1:05:45
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Intro 1:05:58
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Intro 1:06:15
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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
134. 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 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/from-anxiety-to-calm-in-just-a-few-sessions-case-bill-gasiamis-scott-stevens/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/from-anxiety-to-calm-in-just-a-few-sessions-case-bill-gasiamis-scott-stevens/feed/ 0 <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/">134. 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

Socials:
https://recoveryafterstroke.com/coaching/

Highlights:

00:40 Introduction
01:19 Cryptogenic stroke
07:54 Positive impact on Scott Stevens
12:08 Post-stroke challenges
13:45 Help from Bill Gasiamis
17:25 Tough love
21:55 Steps that Scott Stevens take
29:42 Scott Steven’s advice
36:08 Time management

Transcription:

Scott 0:00
Yeah, what choice have you got? I mean, you’re the guy who knows what he’s talking about. And if you’re saying, like a bit of tough love is good for you, then, of course, you know, I’ve got no choice but to take it on the chin and, in retrospect, take it on the chin and listening to what you had to say to me, was a really important part of me turning this journey around to a more positive approach.

Intro 0:27
This is the Recovery After Stroke Podcast, with Bill Gasiamis, helping you navigate recovery after stroke.

Introduction

Bill Gasiamis
Bill 0:40
Bill from recoveryafterstroke.com This is Episode 134. And in this episode, we will be talking about overcoming anxiety, how stroke affects your identity, nutrition that supports the brain, the benefits of sleep, and plenty more. And my guest today is Scott Stevens who was a fit and active 44-year-old who experienced a cryptogenic stroke about six months ago before this recording. Scott, welcome to the podcast, mate.

Scott 1:11
Thanks, Bill.

Bill 1:12
Scott, tell us a little bit about what happened to you how you became a stroke survivor.

Cryptogenic stroke

Scott 1:19
Well, my stroke happened in August 2020, just to cap off a wonderful year for everybody. But I returned from a bike ride early one morning and I was sitting down having coffee, and then all of a sudden became confused and all those classic stroke symptoms.

Scott 1:37
Weakness down my left side, and I pretty quickly realized that I certainly was not right. And I suffered from an ischemic stroke. So I had a clot, which I still don’t know what it was caused by.

Scott 1:49
So I guess I was very unlucky, I guess you can call that a cryptogenic stroke. But yeah, I was just really unlucky. And so after hospital, I spent three weeks in hospital, and slowly during that time I regained my movement. And had been working on eversince. So that’s basically the story.

Bill 2:11
So it’s February 2021. Now. So you’re about six months beyond stroke, what were some of the things that you had to deal with, and still are dealing with, beyond stroke, what they leave you with what kind of deficits and challenges?

Scott 2:29
Well, I think I mean, you and I had this sort of we messaged about this during the week, but I guess I wouldn’t really call them a deficit at the moment. But I do have some odd feeling on my left side, which doesn’t leave me at all.

Scott 2:41
And certainly fatigue is an issue, as I noticed with a lot of people. But that’s what it basically was like let’s be very careful of managing my fatigue. But I’m back at work and operating in that regard.

Bill 2:58
And sometimes you say that you have these kinds of zoned-out days can you describe those a little bit?

Scott 3:05
Well, I think they’re sort of they pass now. But the period of three or four months after the stroke was perhaps the time when I had that feeling of being zoned out, I guess you’d call it really bad brain fog, where I would feel like I was in a room with everybody.

Scott 3:20
And I was like watching a movie, but not a particularly good one. really odd feeling in retrospect, I guess I can put that down to anxiety related to the stroke. And not being particularly well, in a mental health space, which is certainly become a lot better now. I sought help and yeah.

Bill 3:45
So you were pretty healthy guy, you’re active. And all of a sudden, you’re recovering from an ischemic stroke. What’s at stake for you, in the time after your diagnosis and when you’ve come home from hospital?

Scott 4:01
Well, I guess yeah I was a healthy guy, I was right into my cycling. And I play a lot of sport. I’m a PE teacher. So I really that’s what was at stake was my livelihood, my identity as a PE teacher and as a guy who was pretty fit and active.

Scott 4:17
And all of a sudden that’s been taken away. And I’m sure that will come back because I’m headed. I think I’m tracking the right direction. But there certainly is a period of time where there’s a lot of uncertainty, and you don’t know what the future brings.

Scott 4:30
And that in itself creates anxiety and the anxiety really feeds on itself. And that was my period of time when I got home. I was always very uncertain about what the future would bring for me.

Bill 4:43
You did a lot of work with the doctors you had a lot of support. You had people that you’re seeing regularly about the mental health challenges in that time because it’s pretty common for people to struggle through stroke in the physical but also emotional and mental way.

Bill 5:03
At some point, but you kind of noticed that it was necessary to make some kind of a change in the way that you were approaching things. Why was it important for you to make a change in the way you’re approaching things?

Scott 5:17
Well, my family is really important to me, because my mental health was spiraling, really, I wasn’t engaging with my children in the way I would like and I really think if I’m honest, it was impairing my ability to recover.

Scott 5:30
Because I wasn’t sleeping, and I wasn’t resting effectively. And, I just wasn’t thinking clearly and I knew that if I wanted to recover, or make some recovery, I needed to look after my mental health.

Scott 5:30
So I spoke to my wife, and we sought help. And I think actually, Bill, what you were a capital, say, because you remember getting in touch with you via my occupational therapist. And he, I remember you suggesting that perhaps I would benefit from seeking some help around the mental health space. Yeah. And that was the real catalyst for me. So as soon as I saw that, things turned around. Yeah,

Bill 6:12
I know, you’d started to turn around what? What I’m curious about was, you know, in that moment, in the moment, or the days or months before you made a change, was there something preventing you from making that change to start thinking about this as a holistic kind of recovery, rather than I’ve just got to get my ischemic stroke sorted?

Scott 6:33
Yeah, well, I think because, I mean obviously, I’ve never had a stroke. And this is really uncharted territory for me. I mean, I thought I would just sort of spontaneously and naturally recover.

Scott 6:47
And then I became aware of your approach. And that was a more holistic approach. And then they to really get everything in line, and then the recovery can get some momentum, and that was the turning point.

Bill 7:04
Did you have a time in your head about when that’ll needed to happen by?

Scott 7:12
Well, the trap I fell into is because I thought I wanted a definitive answer around when I would be better. And that was the mistake I fell into because every stroke is different. And I would ask people who I knew had strokes, I would ask them, how long does it take you to recover? When did you get this back? When did you get that back?

Scott 7:32
And of course, They can’t give me an answer that relates to me, because every stroke is different. And all I knew that was that I needed to start looking after those things that would contribute to recovery and talking to people as the only way you can develop that knowledge. And I guess in many ways, I’ve developed that knowledge by talking to, you.

Positive impact on Scott Stevens

How to manage setbacks after stroke
Bill 7:54
What does it mean to your life, when you make that kind of a change? When you shift your perspective from going I’m just going to get my head sorted to I am going to look at the whole me and work on the entire me. How does that impact your life in a positive way?

Scott 8:16
Well, I think it starts to embed behaviors. I mean, forget about the stroke where you start to embed behaviors into your life that you can carry on beyond recovery, I guess, I mean, I guess the recovery doesn’t stop it continues, It’s a bit of a journey, isn’t it? You’ve indicated this you’re nine years out is that right?

Bill 8:35
Yeah, I’m 9 years out this month. Yeah.

Scott 8:38
Yeah. So as you well know, it continues I just get to 12 months ago right on fixed and I think I’ve got behaviors in place now where already I’m seeing a difference in like the way I relate to my family the way I approach things and certainly de stressing and relaxing and and building in meditation and effective sleep habits and sleep hygiene and good dietary practices. And they’re things that have already made a difference. Stroke aside.

Bill 9:10
Well done, how old were you had the stroke?

Scott 9:14
44.

Bill 9:15
Too young. There’s never a right age for stroke is there? 44 is too young man.

Scott 9:22
Yeah.

Bill 9:23
What was your typical day filled with?

Scott 9:27
Pre-stroke or post-stroke?

Bill 9:29
Yeah, pre-stroke.

Scott 9:30
Pre-stroke well pre-stroke I would. typical day would be getting out very early in the morning, heading out for a bike for some exercise, and then I would return breakfast with a family and my wife and I both teachers and our kids go to the same school that we teach at so we would all head off together.

Scott 9:50
So it was a busy, busy schedule. So that was a typical day for me. So it hasn’t changed a whole lot. Like I’m not teaching it the moment I’m in another role at the school, which has been great for my recovery, but my great hope is to get back to teaching, but not to get back to a sort of life where it’s just so high paced that you can’t keep up. And you don’t know what’s going on.

Bill 10:14
So how long were you in China before the stroke happened?

Scott 10:19
Bout two years.

Bill 10:21
You’re coming to us from China. So it’s a little different. Do you feel like it’s a little different in China than it would have been if you’re at home in Australia? Do you have a different kind of process towards the way you’re looking after yourself? Because you’re not home, around family, friends, all that kind of stuff?

Scott 10:45
Yeah, well, I think isolated is actually not far from the truth. I mean, I went to hospital they did a great job of saving my life. I mean, it was a serious stroke was a massive stroke. But what’s really interesting is that you don’t have that ability to relate to the doctors in a way that you would in Australia.

Scott 11:03
And ask to get answers to the questions that you want answers to. I mean, their approach was certainly I made a pretty good recovery in the first month or so. And I went back for my follow up, and my neurologist, I must admit, I will give him credit, he did a great job in saving my life, the day of the stroke, get all the right things. But he certainly didn’t fill me with encouragement when it came to my recovery. He was particularly pessimistic. And that seems to be the way that things happen here.

Bill 11:40
Yeah. And that’s the one thing you need when you’re recovering from a stroke. You want a little bit of hope at the end of the tunnel, is that not right?

Scott 11:48
Oh, yeah, absolutely. And I think you have to provide that hope yourself. And I guess that’s what my recovery looked like, or still looks like it’s I’m doing it myself. Because you don’t have access to the allied health that you would in Australia.

Post-stroke challenges

Bill Gasiamis
Bill 12:08
So you know, post-stroke. And this is probably a bit of a difficult question in that there’s maybe a lot of challenges. But what was the single biggest challenges you faced post-stroke, do you feel and bearing in mind now that you’re six months out now, but it wasn’t that long ago that you only one month out and two months out? So I’m probably keen to hear about what it was like at those first couple of months.

Scott 12:36
Well, I guess my biggest challenge was having been used to having complete control of my body, I was having to rebuild from almost scratch, from the ground up. And I’m not a particularly patient person. And I think that has been my biggest challenge is being patient forcing myself to be patient, and know that this was like a long time trying to find positives along the way and not get mired down in the doom and gloom.

Bill 13:07
There was there’s a lot of talk around, you know, delaying gratification, and the benefits that people experience when they delay gratification, are you somebody that perhaps previously didn’t really delay gratification?

Scott 13:25
Well, I guess I could, because it certainly wasn’t at stake what’s at stake now? Because I ration now and I’m too full on there, I’m just going to fatigue and it impairs my recovery. So I’ve certainly learned that there’s nothing wrong with delaying gratification and just being patient.

Help from Bill Gasiamis

Bill Gasiamis
Bill 13:45
Yeah. What would you say? I help you with the most?

Scott 13:51
Well, certainly, I mean, Bill, you probably got sick of me sending you messages in that third and fourth month, because I mean, I was terrified. I’m not afraid to admit that I was scared.

Scott 14:02
And knowing and talking to you, and being able to say to you, listen, I’m feeling like this, and this is what I’m really tackling at the moment. And for you to say, don’t worry, mate, that’s quite normal, you’ll work your way through it, there’s better days ahead, was really reassuring.

Scott 14:20
And that actually got me through a fairly dark period. And that enabled me to sort of sort through the mess. Now, I don’t know whether you recall there’s a period over Christmas just where I got in contact with you quite a bit because I was really struggling.

Scott 14:34
And I think that’s so important, being able to talk to people about what’s going on and connect with people who know, I mean, I know, I’m realistic enough to know that you can’t give me an answer in terms of my recovery. But just for you to be able to say listen, it sounds familiar, and you will get through it. That hope. I mean, I guess you offered me hope that things would improve.

Bill 15:02
Why was it important for you to have somebody there that can answer your questions, if not immediately? Because I never answered them immediately, always but.

Scott 15:12
You were pretty close.

Bill 15:13
Yeah. As close as I can possibly be to? Why was it important to have that there? How does that change things for you?

Scott 15:23
Yeah. Well, I think I’ll preface that a little bit, it’s important to have somebody who’s slightly removed from the immediate situation, which I guess you are in a way. Because I was just saying, a colleague yesterday, I’m almost at that point where I feel like I’m talking about the strike too much.

Scott 15:38
And, you don’t want to be bombarding people with stroke chat. And it’s not really good for me either. Because all it means is that I’m dwelling in the stroke, and I’m not moving forward. Whereas when I’m speaking to you, I can tell you how I’m feeling you give me an answer.

Scott 15:56
And to be really honest, it’s been a couple of times where you’ve fired back at me and said, listen, things could be absolutely worse mate, you need to be a bit more grateful. And now you’re smiling but I think there’s value in that as well.

Scott 16:12
Because I mean, this could be a lot worse. And I think having that gratitude, whether it be developed via something like you telling me really mate, you need to have a look at yourself, you’re being a little bit negative.

Scott 16:29
And if I developed like, just having that gratitude, it helps you understand that there is hope. And but you need to work for it. You can’t woe is me and speaking about how unfair this is, just does not work in this situation. And that’s what you’ve taught me?

Bill 16:48
I was doing the soft love, soft love, soft love, tough love.

Scott 16:52
Yeah, that’s right.

Bill 16:53
Every once in a while, you need a bit of tough love. And that’s only because what needs to happen is we need to get you thinking about all the good things that have come, all the positives that have happened, all the things that you have overcome and stop focusing on the things that haven’t.

Bill 17:09
Because focusing on those tend to get you’re stuck there. And what I liked about you was that you’re really comfortable in me giving you that tough love, and that you didn’t take it personally. And you knew that it was about me just trying to jolt you out of one of your states.

Tough love by Bill Gasiamis

Bill Gasiamis
Bill 17:25
And, and I think it worked well. And I’m glad that you didn’t take it personally and didn’t feel he’s another person who’s not listening to me or annoyed by me or whatever. So it was really good that you also took it on the chin so to speak.

Scott 17:42
Yeah, what choice have you got? I mean, you’re the guy who knows what he’s talking about. And if you’re saying, like a bit of tough love is good for you, then, of course, you know, I’ve got no choice but to take it on the chin and, in retrospect, take it on the chin and listening to what you had to say to me, was a really important part of me turning this journey around to a more positive approach.

Bill 18:08
That’s what I love about it. It’s that opportunity for you to get your curiosity sorted you, and then in the really difficult times actually get some really good answers. Because that’s how I become curious about what I can do to support myself and then curiosity evades me, and then I get stuck in in a really difficult time.

Bill 18:32
And if I don’t seek out help, then I can’t get that answer, or I can’t get that puzzle, the piece of the puzzle to move forward and I get stuck there. And then when I do get the piece of the puzzle to move forward, then curiosity kicks in again.

Bill 18:47
And then when I’m curious, then I’m in control of the recovery rather than me and sort of relying on somebody else. Who else did you go to before you got to me that kind of helped, but not really, with what you specifically needed from me?

Scott 19:05
Yeah, well, I had a good friend who I went to school within Australia who had a stroke around the time that you did, I think year 2012. So it was around the same time. And I guess there was a bit of a disconnect between what I needed him to tell me and where he was coming from.

Scott 19:27
I mean, he was well removed from the stroke like you are, but he certainly gave me tough love, but probably at the wrong times when I was really in an emotive state. Whereas Bill, you just need to have that timing the tough love was when I needed it, and when I was in a frame of mind to be able to handle it. And I think I may have relayed that to you that I really felt like the people I was talking to back home did not understand what I was going through.

Bill 20:00
It did sound to me like your friend kind of had a very different experience to stroke than we did and kind of got away with it a lot easier than we did. I know that stroke is serious either way, but it seems like he made a different recovery and therefore, was not able to relate to the type of recovery that you’re making.

Scott 20:20
Yeah, but his recovery was quite quick, really, compared to yours and mine. And I think maybe if I’m really honest, it was a little bit of not jealousy, but a little bit of, why can’t my recovery be quicker? And yeah, I got to hospital quickly and I’m just you know, I got my problem is, I got what fixated on you know, I got to hospital quickly, and I got treated quickly. So why am I not making a really quick recovery? And that’s not how it rolls.

Bill 20:55
That’s alright, remember early on when we were connecting after we got introduced by David. And we were chatting a little bit, and then I kind of put the hard word on you. And I said, maybe you should take up one of the coaching packages. What do you think about that? What made you feel comfortable to connect with me?

Scott 21:15
Well, I think certainly the fact that when I reached out to you this is prior to me taking on a coaching package that you were quick to get back to me. So let’s have a chat. And I think just the similarity between our stories and the fact that you understood where I was coming from.

Scott 21:32
And the fact that you knew that perhaps I needed some one on one help was, and you had that insight that sort of resonated with me quite a bit. And I thought, well, there’s nothing to lose here. And nothing to lose, and is plenty to gain by, you know, using your experience and your approach to recovery.

Steps that Scott Stevens take

Bill 21:55
What were the three things that you are taking action on to achieve your milestones?

Scott 22:03
Well, I guess I’m making sure I look after myself physically. And my approach is, if I look after myself, physically and get my fitness back and my love of movement, I mean, I’ve just actually come back from a run. But so that’s one thing. So making sure I continually moving and rewiring those pathways and trying my brain to move again.

Scott 22:27
And so that’s one thing. The second thing is certainly and I’ve got this from you is nutrition. And just avoiding all those things, which that brain doesn’t need, like grains and gluten products and alcohol. Well, we’ve had this conversation.

Scott 22:47
Well, yeah, certainly alcohol and sugar. I’ve avoided sugar, based on the conversations I’ve had with you. And attending to my need for sleep has been really important. And I find that if I don’t get enough sleep, and I don’t attend to my fatigue, then I really noticed a flare up of the symptoms. And I don’t feel well. And when I don’t feel well, I start to get negative again.

Bill 23:16
So you become aware of the cycle that gets you into that bit of a negative zone?

Scott 23:20
Oh yeah, absolutely.

Bill 23:21
Yeah, that’s brilliant. Getting sleep, if I could make anyone do anything, if I could make them do anything, it would be to get them to go to bed and sleep more. That would be the one thing that I would make them do. Because that does do that. It breaks that circle of the negative spiral. It starts the circle off for the positive spiral.

Scott 23:40
Yeah.

Bill 23:42
I love the sound of the things that you’ve done. What was the big aha moment? Have you had one?

Scott 23:47
Well, I don’t know whether they explain one moment because I don’t think there is one there’s not singular moments in recovery like this. I don’t think I’ve found that out already. But what I did notice, during the Christmas break, we’ve just had a Christmas break like a month ago, I went away with my family and we spent time together.

Scott 24:08
And the aha moment, I guess, if there was one was, I can still do the things that I really love. And I did them like running and cycling and spending time with friends and family. Yeah, it feels different but I can still do it. And at that point, during that time, there was a three-week period where I just started to feel a lot better.

Scott 24:31
And I went back to work after Christmas and people were saying to me, Listen, you look a lot better, you sound a lot better. And I recon this is a real confidence thing. So I gained confidence and then you start to keep doing those things that have contributed to that better feeling.

Scott 24:49
Since I’ve gone back to work, I’ve really started to make sure that I’m sleeping well, eating well, hydration is huge as well. I know you asked for three there’s a fourth, hydration is huge.

Bill 25:06
What were some of the fast wins that you got when we first started chatting, you know, those little things that got the momentum going, what were some of those little easy ones to tick off.

Scott 25:20
Well I think keeping a diary of what the good things that was a really positive thing that I did. So I started listing things I couldn’t do yesterday, and things that I can do today. And very quickly, it starts to build up to a bigger picture. And I think very early on when we spoke you talked about maybe keeping a journal or a diary of where the recoveries tracking.

Scott 25:46
And I still do that. Yeah. And my colleagues at work have started helping me out. So I’ll go into work. This is really quite good, actually. And they’ll get post-it notes, and they’ll ask me, okay so this week, what have you achieved, and I’ll tell them, and then I’ll go in on the Monday, and then my computer screen will be full of post-it notes. It’s like my wall of positivity. And it sounds really corny, but it works. Because I can’t help but see the things that I’m achieving.

Bill 26:20
Often stroke survivors don’t start noticing the positives, they notice all the things that they can’t do. And Fair enough, there’s probably a lot of things that stroke survivors can’t do so you can understand that.

Bill 26:31
But that takes away from the wins that people have had. And it’s really good to get reminders wherever those reminders come from and if you can make a habit of reminding yourself, it’s even better, but the fact that your colleagues are getting involved. Thank them for me.

Scott 26:48
It’s great. It’s really good.

Bill 26:50
So before stroke, you had a reality, you had a kind of a life reality and the things that you did, then you had a stroke. And then you had a new sort of substituted reality, of uncertainty of challenges. Since coaching started, what’s your reality, like now?

Scott 27:09
Well certainly a lot more positive. And I feel like, I mean, nobody can take me back to pre-stroke, I now understand that that can’t happen. I mean, and to battle that to create friction there, keep wanting to go back to pre-stroke, I was talking to a guy last night from England, actually, who’s a running coach and his back running, and he had a strike two years ago, very similar to mine.

Scott 27:36
And he was saying that he feels like if he keeps going back to wanting to be like he was before stroke, and battling that, marry that up against his new reality, it’s almost insanity, it would drive you nuts.

Scott 27:53
So I’m trying to be comfortable with my new approach to life. And, I mean, who knows BIll I might get back to a point where this recovery takes me to a point where I’m really comfortable with my new normal, and I think that’s okay to be comfortable with the new normal.

Bill 28:14
Yeah. And going back to what life was like before stroke is the time that stroke was about to happen, it was just before stroke. So it’s probably not a good place to go back to go to, we need to go somewhere else, right?

Scott 28:28
Yes, right. Absolutely.

Bill 28:30
So now that you’ve achieved these things, what are you looking to do now? What else is on the horizon?

Scott 28:40
Well, I’m just really looking forward to continuing to feel good. Because I mean, let’s face it, I mean, post-stroke a couple of months, you you feel pretty miserable, you’re tired, you’re worried about the future. And then when you make a turn, and you start seeing momentum and recovery, it feels really good.

Scott 28:59
And you feel like you can build on something. That’s not to say that I don’t have moments now where I still feel overwhelmed. I mean, I’m only six months out, but I’m sure in the next six months, I’ll feel overwhelmed at stages too.

Scott 29:11
But I think what I want to achieve really is to be able to help people who were in their early phases of their recovery, whether it be talking to them and offering I guess what little advice I can give, given that I’m so early on in my journey. But as you well know, and as I found out, talking to people is so cathartic and so important in the journey. Because it’s a lonely place post-stroke is a lonely place.

Scott Stevens’s advice

Bill 29:42
Yeah it can be man it can be, people don’t understand you and family doesn’t know what it’s like and fair enough. We wouldn’t want them to know what it’s like. So, that makes sense. What advice would you give to somebody who’s in the same position you were in back then?

Scott 29:59
Well, I mean, Now without sounding like an advertisement for your services Bill, I would say they need to make contact with you and try and get that one on one chat going and try and gain an understanding of what they can do to take control because as soon as I felt like I was in control, I mean, it’s really hard to articulate what that feeling was to feel like you’re in control, again of your recovery.

Scott 30:24
And I mean, to tell a little bit of a story, I remember sitting at my desk at work, and just being and my colleagues in the office will tell you, there was a period of time where I was just petrified. Because I was so scared about what was ahead of me.

Scott 30:39
And, even though I had lots of people around me, who understood that I had a stroke, they certainly didn’t understand what I was going through. And it was a very lonely place, so my advice would be to reach out and talk to people, certainly talk to people who are might be just a little bit removed from your immediate situation because then you can really speak your mind and feel comfortable.

Bill 31:06
Yeah, good advice man. Is there anything that looking back now you would have done differently early on?

Scott 31:17
It’s a long time ago, and my head was a bit cloudy to be honest, I think I would have taken like I read early on, even when I was in hospital, I did a lot of reading about what stroke recovery was like a maybe what I could expect. And I guess what I would have done differently is being far more proactive in addressing the mental health side of things.

Scott 31:43
Getting help very early, I mean, matter of fact, with everybody, and I’m happy to share this with friends as well now, I was depressed, and I was so anxious that it was impeding my recovery. I’m sure I probably could have let go of that a lot earlier, my recovery, my turning point would have been a lot earlier as well.

Scott 32:05
But in hindsight, I would have taken that seriously. Because it was I read about it. And because at that immediate moment, I didn’t feel like I was in a bad place. I didn’t take it seriously. And it needs to be taken seriously because it can hamper your recovery.

Bill 32:23
Yeah, it is one of those things that people don’t realize they’re in that state at that time, they don’t realize they might be experiencing a little bit of depression. So if somebody happens to be kind enough to tell you, and risk your wrath, then maybe pay attention and listen to them is basically what you’re saying.

Bill 32:43
And then seek help get curious about why they said that, and then maybe seek help a little bit earlier, rather than later. Because if anything is going to come out of seeking help, it’s just support, that’s all that’s going to come of it nothing else.

Scott 33:00
And reassurance in many ways.

Bill 33:03
Yeah, reassurance is something I can relate to, to it’s what I offer people is what I needed, nine, you know, nine years ago when I was going through it, and I didn’t have it. So I figured there’s definitely an opportunity for people to experience more of the things that you got, and and if they know where to go to get that, then they made a better turning point a quicker turning point in the way they approach their recovery.

Scott 33:32
Well, I mean, there’s I mean, I’ve gained a lot out of, you know, signing up to do one on one coaching with you, because there’s so much more like I think I emailed yesterday about the guest you’ve had on your show. I mean, you really do get exposed to courageous, I mean really brave people.

Scott 33:53
And there’s been moments where I’ve watched your podcasts, and your interviews where I felt like that is perhaps the best approach to recovery that I’ve ever seen, you know, with a range of your guests, because they’ve lived it. And I think the number one thing that I’ve built, we’ve spoken about a lot of stuff, the number one thing that I’ve got from you is reassurance during a very scary time, and I’m really grateful for that.

Bill 34:23
Yeah, my pleasure. We spoke you’re referring to Duncan Campling from Episode 133, who is overcoming locked-in syndrome. And on the interview, I had to speak to him with a recorded voice that he answered my questions and it was all pre-recorded.

Bill 34:43
I asked him the questions and then he pre-recorded them and then sent me the answers because he can’t speak it. He has dysarthria and his vocal cords don’t operate properly. So he has a adapted iPad that has a British accent that talks the way that he would have talked to he said previously.

Scott 35:06
So despite what he’s been through the fact that he was smiling and laughing with you, I found just unbelievable. And that really will stay with me, I think.

Bill 35:17
Yeah he’s a good guy, we had a laugh, so let’s do a little bit of a recap, you went from feeling quite anxious, and quite concerned about what the future holds, you know, you didn’t go through a dark times there experiencing, you know, depressive symptoms, and all those types of things.

Bill 35:34
And you’ve kind of moved from that, to feeling in control of your recovery. You’ve certainly taken your mental health seriously. And you’re continuing to do so you’ve taken care of things like your nutrition, and you’re getting active and moving as much as possible. And you’re sleeping and you’re paying attention to your fatigue and how you’re feeling about your energy levels during the day.

Time management

Scott 36:08
Yeah, absolutely. Well, I certainly know that if I do too much, and I haven’t, well, the weekend is really the time where I bank that sleep. And that sets me up for the week. If I don’t get enough rest, have late nights and I mean, I mean you’ve indicated to me that during your recovery, and this is great advice that you have to be very, you have to prioritize where you can put your time.

Scott 36:33
And that’s what I’m becoming better and better at doing that. Like, you can’t go out every night and have dinner with friends. And you can’t, the risk of losing sleep, you can’t do that. And it might not be forever.

Bill 36:47
That’s right it’s definitely not it does change so early on, we would leave parties and events early. And now we can stay a bit longer, it doesn’t really matter anymore. I just know that that next day, I’m not going to have too much planned or too much to do.

Bill 37:05
Because if I wake up at my regular wakeup time, which is 6:30 to seven o’clock, no matter what time I go to bed, that’s what time I wake up. I know that if I’ve had a late night, that next day better be a light day, it better be a day where I don’t have much to do. So I just plan for that late night. And and it works out well. And the following day, I just chill out and go to bed a bit earlier.

Scott 37:30
Yeah, I think it’s really important there to think about. One thing I’ve learned and certainly my wife has been fantastic with this, she knows that that fatigue is so such a big thing with this recovery that she has helped develop routines, or she has developed routines in our house to enable me I’m really grateful for this enable me to get enough rest.

Scott 37:54
So it means that I’m in bed really early and far earlier than I would have been in the past. And I’m not around to help all the time. But if I can get the recovery, right, I will be in the future. I’ll be as good as I can be. And I think she understands that she’s learning patience as well. That’s huge mate.

Bill 38:22
A test to everybody tests everybody in the families, and mate look, I really appreciate you coming on and sharing your story and your journey with me. It has been and it will continue to be a pleasure to support you and work with you. So thank you so much.

Scott 38:37
No worries thanks, Bill. I hope more people have the chance to engage with you in the way that I have.

Bill 38:44
Thanks, mate.

Bill 38:45
Well I hope you enjoyed this episode. If Scott’s story has resonated with you. And you’d like to know more about recovery after stroke coaching simply go to recoveryafterstroke.com/coaching, where you can find out how you can also get recovery after stroke coaching. And who knows, maybe take your recovery to the next level.

Intro 39:11
Discover how to heal your brain after stroke go to recoveryafterstroke.com importantly, we present many podcasts designed to give you an insight and understanding into the experiences of other individuals.

Intro 39:28
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 39:38
All content on this website at any linked blog, podcast or video material controlled this website or content is created and produced for informational purposes only and is largely based on the personal experience of Bill Gasiamis.

Intro 39:50
The content is intended to complement your medical treatment and support healing. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as a health advice the information is general and may not be suitable for your personal injuries, circumstances or health objectives.

Intro 40:06
Do not use our content as a standalone resource to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for the advice of a health professional.

Intro 40:15
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 40:29
If you are experiencing a health emergency or think you might be call 000 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 and our content we did not provide any guarantees and assume no legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, currency or completeness of the content.

Intro 40:52
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 I follow that your own risk and we are not responsible for any information you find there.

The post 134. From Anxiety To Calm In Just A Few Sessions – Bill Gasiamis with Scott Stevens appeared first on Recovery After Stroke.

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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
133. 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 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/overcoming-locked-in-syndrome-duncan-campling/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/overcoming-locked-in-syndrome-duncan-campling/feed/ 0 <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/">133. 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

Socials: https://www.instagram.com/duncan.campling/

Highlights:

00:44 Introduction
01:02 Locked-in syndrome
01:37 Living with Dysarthria
04:08 Two brainstem strokes
10:44 Sharing the stroke journey
15:37 Mindset during hard times
18:33 Flatlined in the ambulance
21:31 Lesson from a stroke
26:10 Assistance required

Transcription:

Duncan 0:00
When the first ambulance came to pick me up. I had completely flatlined. So I had no pulse. Also, I was totally motionless and paralyzed. The Medical Technician thought I had died and called my time of death in front of me, I wanted to stay I’m alive, but nothing came out. Shortly afterward, I was worried about being buried alive.

Intro 0:31
This is The Recovery After Stroke Podcast, with Bill Gasiamis, helping you navigate recovery after stroke.

Introduction

Duncan Campling
Bill 0:44
Bill from recoveryafterstroke.com This is Episode 133. My guest today is Duncan Campling. Duncan experienced two brainstem strokes in March 2018, and when he regained consciousness, he was locked in fearing he would be buried alive.

Overcoming Locked In Syndrome

Bill 1:02
According to the website, rarediseases.info. Locked-in syndrome is a rare neurological disorder characterized by complete paralysis of the voluntary muscles except for those that control the eyes.

Bill 1:16
People with locked-in syndrome are conscious and can think and reason but are unable to speak or move. Vertical eye movement and blinking can be used to communicate. Locked-in syndrome may be caused by a brainstem stroke, a traumatic brain injury, tumors, diseases of the circulatory system like bleeding.

Duncan Campling is Living with Dysarthria


Bill 1:37
Diseases that destroy the myelin sheath surrounding nerve cells like multiple sclerosis, infection, or medication overdose. Duncan is also living with Dysarthria, which is a motor speech disorder in which the muscles that are used to produce speech are damaged, paralyzed or weakened.

Bill 1:56
The person with dysarthria cannot control their tongue or voicebox and Duncan will be speaking with me via an adapted iPad, which uses text to voice software to allow him to communicate. His answers were pre recorded to make the interview process much smoother.

Bill 2:13
Now, if you have ever wondered what else I can do to help you with your stroke recovery, you should know that you can now get recovery after stroke coaching right from the comfort of your own home.

Bill 2:23
I too am a three-time stroke survivor and I’ve built for you what I was missing when I was sent home from hospital in the hope that you don’t have to do stroke recovery as tough as I did.

Bill 2:33
Support packages give you access to a variety of tools 24 hours a day seven days a week so that you can also work on other areas of stroke recovery, like adjusting to your new normal, and even managing the grief you may be feeling for your former self.

Bill 2:47
With tailored support available and designed for you. You can now try our recovery after stroke catching free for the first seven days and get a full refund if you aren’t satisfied after 30 days.

Bill 2:57
For more information, just send an email to bill@recoveryafterstroke.com. I answer all my emails personally. And now it’s on with the show. Duncan Campling welcome to the podcast.

Bill 3:12
Thank you for being here, man. I really appreciate it.

Bill 3:21
You have been the most keen person to get on the podcast now. I’ve had a lot of keen people to get on the podcast. You have just skyrocketed right through you are the keenest person.

Duncan 3:39
Yeah.

Bill 3:40
I really get excited when somebody goes out of their way to be on the podcast and organizes everything because it means that the podcast is valuable to them, and that I’m doing a good job. I’m gonna get stuck into it. First question that we prepared earlier was tell me a little bit about what happened to you?

Duncan Campling had Two brainstem strokes

Duncan Campling
Duncan 4:08
I had two brainstem strokes in March 2018. I’m 50 now, but I was 47 when they happened, I had a terrible headache. I called my manager at work to let him know I’m going to try and sleep it off as I often worked from home.

Duncan 4:30
I next remember having an out of body experience. from the ceiling. I saw my wife giving me CPR on my bed. My condition was eventually diagnosed as locked-in syndrome.

Duncan 4:46
Mine is from strokes but you can acquire locked-in syndrome from other things like ALS I’m partially recovered, but I still have a lot of progress to be made, locked-in syndrome is where you are completely paralyzed, but 100% cognitive.

Duncan 5:08
I can now move all four limbs, but they are very weak, especially my legs. That’s why I moved around in a powered wheelchair. Locked-in syndrome is so rare, there’s very little research done on it because it would only aid a small population.

Duncan 5:26
I’m often one of the few people with locked in syndrome a medical professional may encounter in their career. As you know, strokes are often caused by blood clots, or blocked arteries.

Duncan 5:40
But according to multiple CT and MRI scans, my strokes were caused by a thin artery in my brainstem. I also have the condition dysarthria. My vocal cords were unscathed from my strokes, but the muscles used for speech in my face and throat are very weak.

Duncan 6:01
People sometimes wrongly assume I’m mentally challenged, because I have issues forming words. Sorry, if my electronic speech is disjointed, and lacks enthusiasm. I drink liquids thickened with cornstarch as I still currently have swallowing issues.

Duncan 6:22
Shortly after my strokes, I took liquid food directly pumped into a tube inserted into my stomach. Now I can orally eat most foods, including my favorite Indian food. I’m currently using an adapted Apple iPad with a speech synthesizer to communicate with you. I also use it to surf the web and post daily on Instagram.

Bill 6:52
Yeah, you do post daily, you’re all over my Instagram feed. I can’t get you off. And that’s a good thing. That I’m not telling you to get off. It’s interesting how I hear this voice and I see you, and even though I’d never heard you speak before, and I don’t know you. I still say that voice and I’m thinking that’s too English for you. Would you agree? That’s a good English for you?

Duncan 7:29
Yeah.

Duncan 7:32
Awesome. How bizarre would it have been for you to have to experience seeing your wife floating above you? When you are having CPR to try and save your life and they were trying to resuscitate you? Very bizarre and strange. And did she come to you like an angel? Or was she just your wife going snap out of it?

Duncan 8:11
Wife.

Bill 8:12
Just your wife sitting there yelling at you telling you off?

Duncan 8:18
Yeah.

Bill 8:21
All right, Question two. How has brain injury affected others in your life?

Duncan 8:31
I lived in a nursing home about 10 miles from my two sons. Obviously, I’m unable to work and provide for my family. However, the biggest effect to other people is not being able to provide life advice in person to my preteen kids, and not being there to shape their future.

Bill 8:56
Yeah, man, that really touches me because when I was going through my own stroke recovery, one of the first things I realized was that my boys as teenagers, they might lose their dad because you’ve got that serious, you know.

Bill 9:09
And because I had time in between bleed one and bleed two and then bleed three, which for me happened over about three years. I spent a lot of time making up for those things that I feel like I hadn’t done properly or hadn’t done enough of.

Bill 9:30
And that most of that stuff was me apologizing and saying sorry for being an idiot dad, or for not understanding you or for yelling and screaming at you when I had you know, not enough resources to express my myself properly. And I just resorted to being a caveman you know? Does the iPad support you in at least beginning some of those conversations and having some of those conversations?

Duncan 10:05
Yeah.

Bill 10:06
Yeah, that’s good. Is that a sense of relief for you? Is it something that you want to continue doing I imagine?

Duncan 10:19
Yeah.

Bill 10:21
Yeah. Good, man. Awesome. I’m so glad. Isn’t it fabulous that iPads exist? Isn’t it fabulous that you and I can connect on the other side of the planet with this machine. And even though your vocal cords are not working properly in your muscles are not working properly. We’re still having a proper conversation.

Duncan 10:42
Yeah.

Duncan Campling sharing his stroke journey

Bill 10:44
That’s brilliant, man. All right. Question three. Why is it important for you to share your stroke journey?

Duncan 10:57
To give some motivation to other stroke survivors, and hopefully give them some energy when necessary. I’m not competing who’s had the worst stroke journey, but daily life is often bleak for me. Telling my story also serves as a great workout motivation exercise, and is a huge mental release for me.

Bill 11:22
Yeah, so you explained that your life is bleak? Is that something that you feel it’s bleak all the time or just sometimes?

Duncan 11:38
Sometimes.

Bill 11:38
So there are days and moments in the day which are not bleak or the opposite of bleak?

Bill 11:46
Yeah.

Bill 11:47
Is talking to me the opposite of bleak?

Duncan 11:53
Yeah.

Bill 11:55
Come on man, I hope so.

Bill 12:01
Brilliant man. Next question. What did you miss the most about the old you?

Duncan 12:09
It saddens me to know my old life is not waiting for me. I was understandably terminated a week after my first stroke as I was by choice, an independent contractor. Also, I’m a 35-year electric guitarist, but only as a hobby.

Duncan 12:30
Playing the guitar post-strokes has not been possible for me as my fine motor skills are still weak and my hands feel very tight. To my horror, my house was sold 10 months ago. My retirement savings were liquidated early and spent however, I miss most not living under the same roof as my wife and boys. That and having an ice-cold coke on a hot day.

Bill 13:03
An ice-cold coke. Are you not allowed to have an Ice-cold coke anymore?

Bill 13:20
Sometimes?

Duncan 13:22
Yeah.

Bill 13:23
Yeah awesome okay. So your home was sold without your consent while you were out of action completely gone in that time? Or was it sold at a time where you were not involved in the conversation?

Duncan 13:37
My consent.

Bill 13:39
You did give consent. Okay, but still difficult and horrible situation. Have you had any other medical complications following your stroke?

Duncan 13:58
Online I’m perfectly normal, but in real life, I am quite disabled. To answer your question. I was hospitalized about two years ago for pneumonia and separately for a gallbladder infection which lead to sepsis, but nothing directly related to my strokes. Also, not that there are serious complications, but post-strokes I’m super sensitive to sharp sounds and low temperatures.

Bill 14:32
Yeah, I can relate to sharp sounds and low temperatures. Sounds are one of those things that kind of makes my brain hurt. And temperatures are annoying because my left side is colder than my right side.

Bill 14:45
And it’s always really challenging. Before I knew about stroke before, it happened to me. When I saw somebody in a wheelchair, I just assumed that they couldn’t walk or move their hands.

Bill 14:57
I never assumed that there was additional issues that I had to deal with that I couldn’t say. I never, for one moment thought there are people who are sitting in a wheelchair are just not able to walk.

Bill 15:11
I never understood that not being able to walk is a serious complication. And it causes its own complications as well. And hopefully what this interview will do for people is create the opportunity for people to have more awareness that people that are in need of being in a wheelchair or an electric motorized wheelchair have other complicated needs as well.

Duncan Campling Mindset during hard times

Duncan Campling
Bill 15:36
And we might not be able to see them. But we need to know that it’s not just what you’re saying. It’s not just somebody sitting down in the chair. How are you managing your mindset to keep positive during the hard times?

Duncan 15:50
I tried to focus myself on making small gains, hoping that one day these minor gains will accumulate to more significant advancements, like walking and effectively talking. I also deliberately distract myself with music and Netflix.

Duncan 16:12
Like everybody.

Duncan 16:15
Yeah.

Bill 16:16
What’s your favorite band?

Duncan 16:26
AC/DC

Bill 16:26
AC/DC Haha, that’s my favorite band. Okay, what’s your favorite album?

Intro 16:40
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 16:57
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.

Intro 17:09
If you’re finding yourself in that situation, stop worrying, and head to recovery after stroke.com where you can download a guide that will help you it’s called the seven questions to ask your doctor about your stroke?

Intro 17:23
These seven questions other 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.

Duncan 17:42
Powerage

Bill 17:44
Powerage, nice, old school somebody that appreciates the back catalogue. I love it well done man I love powerage too. They were one of my favorite bands growing up and I’ve been to the Melbourne concerts probably five times or something like that amazing show. What was the hardest part of your journey so far?

Duncan 18:15
One of my biggest shocks was when I realized my multiple medications wouldn’t repair me and we’re designed to manage pain and anxiety. However, the hardest part of my journey was when the first ambulance came to pick me up.

Duncan Campling Flatlined in the ambulance

Duncan 18:33
I had completely flatlined. So I had no pulse. Also, I was totally motionless and paralyzed. The Medical Technician thought I had died and called my time of death in front of me.

Duncan 18:50
I wanted to stay on alive but nothing came out. Shortly afterwards, I was worried about being buried alive. Also, for the first three months, I was totally detached from reality and partially detached for 18 months.

Duncan 19:08
Pointing to letters on a piece of paper. I told my wife I created U2’s sound and I co-wrote Sweet Home Alabama, even though I was four when it was written. I remember telling her all my royalties were directed to an untraceable Swiss bank account and not to worry as we’ll go out for anything.

Duncan 19:35
I’m still amazed. I actually believe that. Also, I thought one of my therapists was shaggy from Scooby Doo. My biggest accomplishment was about one year ago when I could lean forward in my wheelchair. It allowed me to lean over a sink and brush my teeth. My old dentist would be proud of me.

Bill 20:04
That is hilarious. You thought you were the person who co-wrote Sweet Home Alabama a band called Lynyrd Skynyrd. And shaggy from Scooby-Doo was involved with your life? They must have been some serious drugs you were on man.

Bill 20:34
I love it. That’s hilarious. I had a friend of mine who also had a serious stroke many, many years ago. And when he was recovering in hospital, his friends and his wife would read him the front page of the newspaper.

Bill 20:53
And at that time, unfortunately, in Melbourne, there was a big mob war happening. And there was a lot of people getting killed on a daily basis. And he thought that he was one of the people that was involved, the main mobster, and that their job, you know, was to run this war or be a part of this war.

Bill 21:16
And he would tell his friends like he was telling your family, he will tell them that. Yeah, he was with this particular mob boss. And they were, you know, running these scams, and they were doing things.

Lesson from a stroke


Bill 21:31
And he had been in the hospital for six months. (inaudible) It’s so funny that side of stroke and that side of what the brain does, to, I’m not sure to amuse itself, or what does it do? Who knows? What has stroke taught you that you didn’t expect?

Duncan 22:01
I assumed I was invincible before my strokes. I now appreciate being really healthy. Not that I was unhealthy before. I also limit my screen time and try to keep my mind healthy with word games, etc. I’m now on level 1890 of wordscapes.

Bill 22:26
Okay, so you’re trying to limit your screen time? Are you having any success?

Bill 22:41
Sometimes. Yeah, I know what that’s like. So do you still feel that you are healthy? Even though you got all these challenges that are related to the struggle, all these extra little bits and pieces that are there?

Duncan 23:03
Yeah.

Bill 23:07
How has the stroke impacted your feelings and emotions?

Duncan 23:13
I have all my thoughts and memories, pre and post-strokes. But my emotions are much more erratic now. For example, I sometimes laugh and cry at the same time. I assumed I’m losing it. But apparently it’s a common side effect of strokes.

Bill 23:37
Yeah, me too. It’s funny, the emotions, they come on really dramatically. And then they go. So in the beginning my wife couldn’t really deal with it because I would watch a movie and cry at something cute, like a cat or something, you know?

Bill 23:56
And I didn’t know how to tell her that I’m not sure why I’m crying. I’m just crying, you know. So a lot of stroke survivors struggle with that. Especially. It seems to me men seem to struggle with that more because we’ve always been told not to cry, and we’ve always been told to be tough and to get over it.

Bill 24:16
So it’s interesting that it’s a difficult thing for people to handle. But it does get better. I found that it does get better. But sometimes it’s still there kind of just pops up out of nowhere. You have a similar experience. It’s slowly getting better?

Duncan 24:38
Yeah.

Bill 24:39
Awesome. How does intimacy play a role in your life these days?

Duncan 24:46
For me, relationships have obviously been restricted to online contact during the pandemic. Also, I have strained a few friendships post-strokes but I always reach-out to remind them, I’m still here. However, I remain positive about the future.

Bill 25:09
Yeah. COVID complicated stroke recovery for so many people, it completely changed their ability to continue to see people and get out and about and grow their networks or still continue to hold on to their networks. And that’s a big issue. So your friendships with your friends have become a little distant, would you say?

Duncan 25:44
Yeah.

Bill 25:45
It’s a common thing. And it’s something that I went through as well. And I went through the stroke in times when there was no COVID. And still people became distant because they didn’t know how to be around me and how to catch up with me and what to talk about and what to say and what to do.

Assistance required

Bill 26:10
So it’s more about them than it was about me. So it’s about maybe I’m not sure, Duncan, if the right word is their lack of frames or references for how to act around people who are unwell. Yeah, it’s very common. Next question. What help do you receive at home for things like showering and toileting?

Duncan 26:45
I currently require considerable assistance for both. Although I tried to be as independent as possible and brush my teeth with an electric toothbrush and partially shave with a Benjamin, similar to hair clippers. My father, who lives in England also had a stroke last year, but he’s currently able to move from his bed to a wheelchair unassisted. So I assume he’s able to transfer from his wheelchair to a toilet seat on a system too I hope to be that mobile one day.

Bill 27:26
Yeah, that’s a good thing to aim for Man. That is an awesome thing to aim for. Your dad had a stroke as well. Same kind of stroke?

Duncan 27:40
Yeah.

Bill 27:45
That’s interesting. All right next question. What is the best thing that has come from your stroke experience?

Duncan 27:57
The best thing is probably having more time to connect with friends. Although COVID-19 has limited that to Instagram, and email, I like sharing with my friends, my mildly entertaining posts and messages.

Bill 28:17
Mildly entertaining, that’s a good description. No I do enjoy our interaction on Instagram. Obviously, when this conversation goes live, what I’m going to do is put all the links to your Instagram so that people can jump on board and connect with you as well.

Bill 28:45
Because we do have, we ask some serious questions on Instagram, and people do interact. And we have really big insightful conversations. And I think they’re a great place for stroke survivors who are listening to come to to get a little bit of extra motivation perhaps or a little bit of extra understanding and feeling a little bit more normal. All right. Next question. How has COVID interfered with your recovery? I know we briefly touched on it in our conversation about that

Duncan 29:28
As I live in a US nursing home under strict quarantine conditions. All external therapy has been unfortunately halted for me until the scare over the virus has subsided. Internal therapy is also on pause, but that is for medical insurance reasons.

Duncan 29:51
In my experience, therapy dramatically diminishes after one year and next month will be my three year stroke anniversary. I’m my own therapist, obviously, I have no training. But I had an idea of good form.

Duncan 30:10
Apart from video communication, I’ve only seen my wife and kids twice since COVID-19 began. And I haven’t left this building since March of last year. I know the pandemic has impacted everyone, but I’ve only been allowed to leave my room about 10 times.

Bill 30:33
So you’ve only been allowed to leave the room 10 times to go outside and experience fresh air?

Duncan 30:43
Inside the building.

Bill 30:47
Yeah. That would be tough. But obviously, it makes sense to try and keep you guys safe. Yes, we want to make sure that we keep you safe. I get it. Thank you for going to all the trouble and being here. I really appreciate it.

Duncan 31:07
Thanks so much for your excellent interview technique. And of course, your time. I really appreciate it. I’ll say

Duncan 31:21
Goodbye

Bill 31:26
You’re welcome. You know what? How did you know I was gonna be an excellent interviewer? You’re so polite man. Hey, goodbye to you enjoy the rest of your day.

Intro 31:51
Discover how to heal your brain after stroke go to recoveryafterstroke.com. Importantly, we present many podcasts designed to give you an insight and understanding into the experiences of other individuals.

Intro 32:08
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 32:18
All content on this website at any linked blog, podcast or video material controlled this website or content is created and produced for informational purposes only and is largely based on the personal experience of Bill Gasiamis.

Intro 32:30
The content is intended to complement your medical treatment and support healing. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health advice. The information is general and may not be suitable for your personal injuries, circumstances or health objectives.

Intro 32:46
Do not use our content as a standalone resource to diagnose treat, cure or prevent any disease for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for the advice of a health professional.

Intro 32:55
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Intro 33:09
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Intro 33:25
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The post 133. Overcoming Locked In Syndrome – Duncan Campling appeared first on Recovery After Stroke.

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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
132. 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 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/how-to-manage-setbacks-after-stroke/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/how-to-manage-setbacks-after-stroke/feed/ 0 <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/">132. 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

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Highlights:

00:53 Introduction
01:29 Stroke recovery setbacks
04:09 Tip 1. Rest
07:11 Tip 2. Reassess
09:46 Planning ahead
10:27 Tip 3. Change something
15:30 Changing your diet
17:20 Tip 4. Get out of your head
20:33 Tip 5. Ask for help
26:47 Tip 6. Wait it out
30:17 Tip 7. Practice gratitude

Transcription:

Bill 0:00
My week. So for example, if I’ve got somewhere to go on a Saturday night, and then I make sure that I’m not going to go out on Friday night, and I make sure I don’t do anything too massive on Thursday night because if I do go out both those nights that by the time I get to Saturday, I will have overexerted myself in my brain.

Bill 0:19
And if I go out on Saturday, it might be a really terrible Sunday. So I want to avoid doing that. So I try to reassess often about what I need to do to get through my week to get to the event that I want to be at and be feeling the best and feeling great about being there and enjoying myself while I’m there.

Intro 0:40
This is The Recovery After Stroke Podcast, with Bill Gasiamis, helping you navigate recovery after stroke.

Introduction

How to manage setbacks after stroke
Bill 0:53
Bill Gasiamis here again for recoveryafterstroke.com This is Episode 132. And today’s episode is a solo episode. Today, I wanted to bring to you my seven tips to navigate setbacks while on the road to recovery after a stroke.

Bill 1:10
So like me, if you’ve probably had setbacks during your stroke recovery and, I believe that you’ll find these tips helpful. It’s taken me three days to get to the point where I can actually record this podcast episode because for the last three days, I’ve had a massive headache.

Stroke recovery setbacks

Bill 1:29
And I haven’t been able to sit in front of the computer properly, especially in front of bright blue computer lights. And that is one of the things that I consider to be a setback. And I think it’s really important to have this discussion because people can take setbacks in a bad way.

Bill 1:49
And I used to, but I want to talk about how I started to change the way that I looked at setbacks and change the way that I went about doing things so that I could recover and overcome them sooner.

Bill 2:02
Because I’m nine years post-stroke, and still the setbacks come that don’t come as dramatic as they used to, but they still come. Now just before we get started, if you have enjoyed the recovery after stroke podcast, I wonder if you would do me a favor and go ahead and give the show a five-star review on the podcast platform that you listen to your favorite shows on.

Bill 2:28
Now, this will make a huge difference to the ranking of the show. And we’ll make it easier for other stroke survivors to find and hopefully, it will help them feel better about their stroke as well.

Bill 2:39
Now if you have a favorite episode of the show, go ahead and share it on your social medias. And like it on YouTube, leave a comment and let me know which episode it was and how it helped you and why it resonated with you.

Bill 2:54
Now also, if you have ever wondered what else I can do to help you with your stroke recovery, you should know that you can now get recovery after stroke coaching right from the comfort of your own computer.

Bill 3:06
I too am a three-time stroke survivor I’ve built for you what I was missing when I was sent home from the hospital in the hope that you don’t have to do stroke recovery as tough as I did.

Bill 3:16
Support packages give you access to a variety of tools 24-hours a day, seven days a week so that you can also work on other areas of stroke recovery, like adjusting to your new normal, even managing the grief that you may be feeling from your former self.

Bill 3:30
With tailored support available from $8.50 per week, all recovery after stroke support packages, bring stroke recovery to you in the comfort of your own home. To try out recovery after stroke support and see if it is right for you, you will get the first seven days free as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee no questions asked.

Bill 3:49
As a bonus, you will get to face to face zoom support calls with myself to take your recovery to the next level. So go to recoveryafterstroke.com/support to sign up, it won’t cost you anything for the first seven days. And you will get a full refund if you are not happy after 30 days.

How To Manage Setbacks After Stroke Tip 1. Rest

How to manage setbacks after stroke
Bill 4:09
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. And now it’s on with the show. All right. So here is tip number one. And this is the only tip that it’s my go-to tip. It’s the one that I do the most. And it’s the one that I’ve been doing the last three days trying to overcome this setback called a headache, a constant headache, and that is rest.

Bill 4:30
And the way I go about resting is to actually do less and to sleep more and try and go to bed a little bit earlier. Now, doing less for me is a really important thing because I’m a high achiever and I can’t normally sit still. So my idea of I’ve got nothing to do today is a to-do list of about 10 or 15 steps.

Bill 4:57
So in order for me to get to do less, I’ve got to really put the to-do list aside and not worry about what has to be done today and do that tomorrow. I mean, there’s nothing urgent that’s on those lists. And as a result of that, I don’t really need to worry about doing any of those things urgently.

Bill 5:22
I can put them off until tomorrow. And what’s most important about that is that I’ve stopped feeling guilty about putting things off and not doing the things that I had in my mind, to do on a particular day, and feeling bad about the fact that I haven’t done it and feeling like I’m not being productive.

Bill 5:44
It’s really okay. If something is urgent like you need to cook, and you’re so tired that you can’t even get up to cook. But because you’re feeling guilty about other things not being done, for example, around the house, you might get to that point where you do all those other things that you feel guilty about. And by the time you get to the end of the day where you need to cook, you haven’t got enough energy to do it.

Bill 6:07
So what I say is, the most important thing to me, for example, is I would prefer to cook a lovely meal at the end of the day. Which means if I have to do nothing all day, to get to the point where I am comfortable to be able to go buy a few ingredients and bring them back and make a nice meal for me and the family, I prefer to do that.

Bill 6:25
So that’s my to do list, it’s definitely different than what it used to be I do a lot less. And I spend as much time on the couch as I need to or I sleep longer and I stay in bed for later, when I wake up in the morning, now I might be awake, and I might not be doing much, and it might feel for some of you like that’s boring.

Bill 6:50
But for me, I just put on a little meditation track and allow myself to stay in bed a little longer, it’s a great way to start the day, it really eases you into starting your day. And it does go about reducing stress, and then also just feeling a little bit better about getting out of bed. And it’s just a tip that works for me.

How To Manage Setbacks After Stroke Tip 2. Reassess

Bill 7:11
So the other thing that I do so tip number two is to reassess to take some time, and reassess the things that are working for me and the things that are not working for me. And what I do is then work out what those things are and do less of what’s not working for me and do more of what is working for me.

Bill 7:33
So in the last three days, what was working for me was spending more time in bed. And having a conversation though with the people that needed to know that I was doing this. So that they wouldn’t think that there was something else wrong, more dramatic, also that they wouldn’t think that I’m just being lazy or feeling down or depressed or something.

Bill 7:56
So first to have a conversation about it and then spend a little more time in bed. That means you wake up a little bit later, you go to bed a little bit earlier. And even in the middle of the day, if you need to do something like go to sleep for a little bit longer, in the middle of the day, then do that as well.

Bill 8:14
So I reassessed that what was going to be important for me to help my headache go away will sleep more, what was going to be less important for me was to spend more time on the computer.

Bill 8:24
So I put off not doing this work for three days. The other thing that’s really important for me during my reassessment process was that I worked out that going out and about and being in places that were full of noise and a lot of overwhelming things that are going to overwhelm my brain is not important.

Bill 8:44
And I made the assessment that it was going to be okay if I did hardly nothing over the last few days over the weekend and yesterday, which was Monday. And one of the habits that I’ve been able to find myself in lately is to reassess before I get to this point and hit a wall for three days.

Bill 9:07
Now, sometimes these fatigue situations or these headaches situations, they just come and I don’t notice that they’re around the corner, and therefore I don’t change my behavior and I don’t reassess. And as a result of that they catch me a little bit unaware. But I found myself to be able to get out of a lot of these long term setbacks by reassessing often and making decisions about what’s going to happen in three days from earlier on.

Planning ahead

Bill 9:46
So I start planning my week so for example, if I’ve got somewhere to go on a Saturday night, and then I make sure that I’m not going to go out on Friday night and I make sure I don’t do anything too massive on Thursday night, because if I do go out both those nights that by the time I get to Saturday, I will have overexerted myself in my brain.

Bill 10:07
And if I go out on Saturday, it might be a really terrible Sunday. So I want to avoid doing that. So I try to reassess often about what I need to do to get through my week to get to the event that I want to be at and be feeling the best and feeling great about being there and enjoying myself while I’m there.

How To Manage Setbacks After Stroke Tip 3. Change something

Bill 10:27
So tip number three is to change something. Henry Ford once said, If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got. And this was very difficult for me to grasp that concept nine years ago before stroke, I used to have the definition of insanity, which is doing the same thing and expect different results.

Bill 10:51
And it used to make my life really, really difficult. And I didn’t know how to fix the problem, because I just had only one way of attacking a problem or solving a problem. And I didn’t look for other opportunities to solve problems and overcome problems because I had no experience I didn’t know who to turn to or where to go.

Bill 11:16
So it’s really important to get to that point where you realize that if something is not working for you, you need to change something. If you’re constantly getting into the same setback over and over again, he needs to stop doing what you’re doing, and you need to make a change.

Bill 11:38
And one of the main things that I did to make a change was I change the people that I used to hang around the people that were not good for me energetically. So going back to the fatigue that I was feeling. If I was feeling fatigued, and really rundown, and I had a terrible couple of days, the last thing I wanted to do was hang around with those people who I would call the drainers.

Intro 12:00
If you’ve had a stroke, and you’re in recovery, you’ll know what a scary and confusing time it can be, you’re likely to have a lot of questions going through your mind. Like how long will it take to recover? Will I actually recover? What things should I avoid in case I’ll make matters worse?

Intro 12:18
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 12:40
It’s called seven questions to ask your doctor about your stroke. These seven questions are the ones Bill wished he’d asked when he was recovering from a stroke, they’ll not only help you better understand your condition, they’ll help you take a more active role in your recovery, head to the website. Now, recoveryafterstroke.com and download the guide. It’s free.

Bill 13:03
And as a result of that I saved the energy for me rather than other people who weren’t really serving me well by being with me. So I changed the people I hang around with I didn’t make them my enemies and I didn’t make them feel bad about the situation.

Bill 13:21
I just chose the times when I would hang out with those people. And I really made a point to say, Look, I’m not feeling quite well right now. So would it be okay if we just take a pass. And these are generally good people, they just have different needs when you’re around them.

Bill 13:38
And I’m not always up being able to serve the needs of those people. Sometimes I need to serve my own needs. The other thing I would do is change my routine. So sometimes I’m really good in the mornings. And sometimes I’m really good in the evenings.

Bill 13:58
And it’s really hard to tell, but the majority of the time, I’m good in the morning. So I’m recording this podcast episode in the morning. And I’m feeling very productive. And I’ve done a lot today. And I’ll probably be finished doing my work at about one o’clock in the afternoon and that’s it. I’m done for the rest of the day.

Bill 14:17
But last week, I woke up really badly a few times. And as a result of that, I couldn’t get through the morning routine. I couldn’t do the things that I was doing in the morning and I needed to get through lunchtime in the afternoon to start feeling a little bit better.

Bill 14:34
So I’m not sure call it I took a long time to wake up. But it took quite a while for me to get to that point on this particular few days. So I changed my routine around. I did nothing in the morning. I eased into my day and then after dinner when we had some lovely food to eat.

Bill 14:53
I excused myself and I went into my room and I did the work that I needed to do for about two or three hours productively. And then I settled into the end of my day and went to bed.

Bill 15:05
So it was really helpful for me to change my routine and change the type of work that I was doing. And when I was doing it, so that I was getting really good results, or I was being adaptive so that I could get results, where perhaps previously, I would do work and push through those hard hours.

Changing your diet

How to manage setbacks after stroke
Bill 15:30
And the quality of work wouldn’t be that good, and it will take a lot longer, so it’d be a little bit more energy draining. I also changed what I eat. Now, this is a really important one, if you change what you eat, you’ll notice a massive difference. You know, sometimes you eat some foods, and those foods will give you a food coma.

Bill 15:52
Usually the high carb foods. And usually, if I eat foods at the wrong time, or the right wrong kind of food. But I’ve got some really important work to do on a podcast episode, for example, and I’m going to need to sit in front of the computer, if I have a really high carb meal.

Bill 16:11
But the time I get to sit down on my computer and do that work, I’ll be falling asleep during the recording of the podcast episode, and it will make it really difficult for me to focus and concentrate on what I need to do. Now, I would recommend doing a lower carb diet most days when you’re recovering from a brain injury.

Bill 16:33
But that being said, it’s okay from time to time to have carbs, I really still enjoy pasta. And from time to time, very rarely, I do have a bowl of pasta, but I know what’s going to happen after I eat it. So I make sure that I’m going to have it at a time where I don’t have to worry about getting any work done or doing something that’s important.

Bill 16:54
So there’s some of those things that I would change to get me through those times when I’m feeling a setback. Now, I’m talking about my setback of not feeling well for the last few days from a headache, but your setback might be more dramatic. So hopefully you can take some of these tips and change them and evolve them to suit you and apply them in the way that you need them to be applied.

How To Manage Setbacks After Stroke Tip 4. Get out of your head

The second brain in your gut
Bill 17:20
Now, tip number four. One of the things that really helps me to overcome setbacks is to stop having that head conversation with myself about all the things that are going wrong with their setbacks and all the things that they’re stopping me to do and all the problems and dramas that they are causing me.

Bill 17:41
And getting out of my head really helps for me to stop having those cyclical conversations that get you nowhere other than into a crappy loop of feeling annoyed and upset and sorry for yourself. So the first thing that helps me get out of my head is to take a few deep breaths.

Bill 18:02
And it’s well researched. And it’s well reported on that breathing differently can really change your mood and your mindset. And it can help you navigate those moments where you’re feeling overwhelmed by a setback that you’ve had. Breathing deeply helps you to connect to your heart and your heart is where what’s really important lies.

Bill 18:33
It’s where you go to to actually get answers about what’s really important to you. And if you haven’t had the pleasure to connect with your heart recently, I ask you simply to just put your hand on your heart. Take a few deep breaths.

Bill 19:01
And as you breathe, just connect to your heart and ask your heart. What’s most important to it right now. And perhaps you’re sitting somewhere. And you can do this and contemplate and if you’re not sitting somewhere where you can do this and contemplate right now.

Bill 19:18
If you happen to be listening to this while you’re driving, do not do this right now. But when you get to a place where you can sit comfortably and you can be safe and you can contemplate on what’s important to your heart. Close your eyes. Take those deep breaths, put your hand on your heart and ask your heart what’s important to it right now.

Bill 19:37
And if you sit quietly, you’ll start to notice that something will pop up and it will tell you what the most important thing to you is right now. And if you take action on that and do what your heart desires, you’ll start to feel like this setback is not such a big deal and it will help you reduce stress, and it will help you restore your balance, and it will help you navigate the speed hump or navigate the wave if you’re in the bottom part of a wave, it will help you navigate it.

Bill 20:13
And just be patient so that you can wait for your trajectory to change. So that’s a really important thing. Give yourself the opportunity to connect to your heart and ask it what’s really important to it right now.

How To Manage Setbacks After Stroke Tip 5. Ask for help

My Stroke Recovery Bill Gasiamis
Bill 20:33
Tip number five is ask for help. In my times of setbacks, I really did go out of my way to do this, I did ask for help. And at the height of my challenges with stroke, I connected with a counselor, I connected with multiple coaches, I went out of my way to see other doctors and get second opinions.

Bill 20:59
And most importantly, I didn’t seek help from people that are qualified to help me. So what does that mean? That means that in the past, I used to find myself getting frustrated by going to people that didn’t know how to help me or how to answer my questions.

Bill 21:16
And that would really annoy me, it would really make me feel even worse about my situation. And it felt like my situation was even more hopeless. And the reason being is because I was just going to the wrong person to ask for help, and they don’t know how to help me.

Bill 21:32
For example, if I’m going to somebody who’s never had a stroke and ask them about my stroke, and what I can do to help myself get out of a setback, they’re not going to know how to answer the question. And it’s unfair for me to expect them to have an answer, or make me feel better.

Bill 21:47
And just because we’re out for a tea or a coffee, and we happen to do a catch up, it doesn’t mean that I want to be putting that person in a position where they’re feeling like they don’t know how to support me, or how to help me and they’re feeling sorry for me or finding it difficult for me.

Bill 22:05
What I would rather do is go out with my friends and family and just do friends and family type of stuff. That can be slightly related to stroke, but I’m not about seeking help from them.

Bill 22:18
And you might seek help differently for me, but what I used to do was just ask them for advice on a situation. And it might have been something silly, like, you know, what would you do if you had a headache after your stroke, and they wouldn’t know how to help me they wouldn’t know what to answer, they’ll say go to the hospital, go to the doctor that would get really concerned.

Bill 22:36
And then I would transfer my stress and my anxiety onto that person. And then that interaction wasn’t a really good interaction. So when I was hanging out with mum and dad, and my brother and family and friends, I tried to really minimize my conversations about the stroke, to some very basic answers.

Bill 22:55
And when people asked me, how you coming along, I’d say really good, thank you, or I’ve had a bit of a rough week, but I’m getting better. And I would just generalized so that I wouldn’t get into a conversation that turned into a discussion about how I was needing help, and I was needing help from them, and I was holding out for this help from them, and I wasn’t getting that help.

Bill 23:22
So I outsourced the help that I needed to a coach and a counselor now a coach helped me overcome things that I had never done before and learn how to do things that I’d never done before. For example, if I wanted to go back to the gym and learn how to lift weights with an arm, that wasn’t able to really hold the barbells properly, or the dumbbells properly.

Bill 23:47
I would get a coach to have them help me, guide me through that process. So that I could once again feel comfortable with using my arm. And I wouldn’t be afraid that I was going to drop the weight. I also remember being coached to run again. And I got somebody to stand with a recording device with a phone and record me running so that I could see what it was like when I was running.

Bill 24:14
And then I asked him to run with me or to observe me and tell me what I was doing differently with my foot because my foot wasn’t working properly. And then tell me how to slightly adjust it on my run so that I can get a really good result from running and feel better about running.

Bill 24:35
Not that I ever ran again and did a marathon or anything like that. But just so that I could get across the road if a car was coming in, I needed to get to a safe part of the footpath or the sidewalk as my friends in the United States would say. So I would get a coach and a coach who would guide me through the steps to achieve a certain goal or an outcome that I would see a counselor for things that were around emotional challenges and issues.

Bill 25:03
And they would help me overcome what I was feeling, my anxiety and my feelings of feeling down. And we would have therapy sessions that were based around cognitive behavioral therapy. And we would use techniques, I would be advised of techniques that I could use to help get me for example, as I said before, out of my head and connected to my heart, and decrease the cycle of anxiety, and take it away so that I could get clarity and then approach life in a different way.

Bill 25:38
Because clarity is a hard thing to get when you’re recovering after stroke, because you could be suffering from your neuro fatigue. And you could be suffering from other cognitive issues. So I didn’t want to also be working and making my clarity less clear, I didn’t want to be in the way of clarity, I wanted to try and minimize my negative impact on clarity.

Bill 26:05
So asking for help also came from doctors by getting a second opinion. If I didn’t like what a doctor had to say to me about their approach to my care and my well being, I would get a second opinion. And I would continue getting a second opinion until I found somebody that was going to work with me in the way that I wanted them to work with me.

Bill 26:25
Now, it’s not that I argued with people, it’s that sometimes I didn’t feel comfortable seeking help medical help from certain medical professionals. So I found medical professionals, that I preferred to get medical help from and I continued seeing them rather than the other people.

How To Manage Setbacks After Stroke Tip 6. Wait it out

Bill 26:47
So hopefully, those few little bits of wisdom, I suppose from me regarding asking for help will help you as well. Now, tip number six is wait it out. Now often waiting, just waiting, and doing nothing will bring positive change, because things go in cycles, they’re going in waves.

Bill 27:11
So when you’re at the bottom of the wave, if you just wait it out, you’ll eventually catch the wave, and you’ll get to the top of the wave. And waiting it out, kind of coincides with do less, and also coincides with rest. So it’s a good way to do less than rest. And you can have this conversation with your family and friend, if they’re asking you what’s going on? How are you feeling? or Why aren’t you up and about? or Why aren’t you doing the things that you were supposed to do?

Bill 27:42
You can say look, I’m not feeling well at the moment. And I’m just going to wait it out. And I’m going to get to that point where I’m going to feel better, because the cycle will move from a low part of the cycle to a higher part of the cycle. I’ll ride the wave out. And eventually I’ll be on top of the cycle. And I’ll be able to get those things done.

Bill 28:02
So you have to be patient with me apologize and say, you know, just give me some time. And I’ll be alright, I’ll get there. Now, what’s really important when you’re waiting it out is that you’re remembering the cycle, you’re remembering that recovery is a cycle, it is a wave, and you will get to the bottom of the wave and you will get to the other side of the cycle, you just need to wait it out.

Bill 28:28
And why you need to remember that is because as you’re going into the cycle, you need to prepare for the next one, you need to get yourself to that point where I’m at the top of my game right now I’m feeling the best I’ve felt in a little while. And I’m going to enjoy this time and I’m going to make the most of it.

Bill 28:46
But I’m not going to overdo things and stop paying attention to how my body is responding and what feedback it’s giving me. I’m going to wait to notice when the cycle is starting to dip again from a high to a low. And when I’m starting to find that I’m riding the wave from the crest to the trough again.

Bill 29:08
And then that way I’ll be prepared for the next one and I’ll be able to put more things in place to give people a lot of notice that I’m coming to that point where I’m going to be experiencing perhaps some low days or some down days and that they should be aware of that and then it’s okay that I’ll be there. But if they know about it, then they can also be comfortable with me being there and not be too concerned.

Bill 29:36
And especially that was a good one for family and friends especially partners that are in the home around you or with you all the time and children as well because children will get negatively affected by mum or dad’s mood and energy levels. So it’d be really good if we could educate them at that time.

Bill 29:59
And then what that does That brings everyone into an awareness and an understanding. And then that reduces stress and anxiety. And it helps people to just feel better about some of the low times that are coming. And it’s a good lesson in life anyway, for those children and for other people in your family.

How To Manage Setbacks After Stroke Tip 7. Practice gratitude


Bill 30:17
Tip number seven, and one of my favorite tips is to practice gratitude. Practicing gratitude is such an easy thing to do, and it gives back so much. So when I’m getting to that point where I’m in a setback or experiencing a setback, or trying to get out of a setback, I just practice gratitude.

Bill 30:42
And I’ll take note of the things that I am grateful for, at the beginning of the day, three things that I’m grateful for, I might do it while I’m in bed, sometimes without a notepad without actually writing it down.

Bill 30:57
So as I wake up in the morning, it helps me to just feel grateful and have this different kind of vibe when I’m getting out of bed. And also, at the end of the day, I am practicing gratitude, because again, it helps me to take this really cool and children really comfortable and happy vibe to bed.

Bill 31:16
And I think it sets me up for sleeping well at night. So, practice gratitude, write three things down at the beginning of the day, and three things down at the end of the day. And do it for as many days in a row as you can. Now, technically, you can do it for 365 days a year, because it’s not a big thing to ask, or it’s not a big thing to do in your head, it’s a very easy thing to do so.

Bill 31:43
But if you get bored of it, I’m going to do this, I’m going to set you a little challenge and do it for at least seven days straight. And at the end of those seven days, read your list. Make a note of all the things that you’ve written there, at least six things every day, for seven days.

Bill 32:03
And then you’ll be amazed at what it is that you’ve noticed, and that you’re paying attention to now that you weren’t paying attention to at the beginning of the seven day challenge. And that’s a really easy challenge. If you do it, you won’t get any reward from me, but you will get a reward from yourself, if you don’t do it there’s no such thing as failing this challenge, do it once and you’re a winner to twice and you’re a winner, it makes no difference.

Bill 32:31
So if you start it and stop it, don’t feel bad about it. Just get back to it when you can, it’s really, really important. Now, if you do complete the seven days, and you really appreciated the or you’re grateful for the experience of going through practicing gratitude, then just give yourself another seven day challenge and start again from the beginning.

Bill 32:56
And just keep adding to that list. And it’s okay if you add the same things on multiple days, it’s really perfectly fine. But you’ll find that you’re adding a lot of different things that you’re not grateful for.

Bill 33:09
So to wrap up this episode, one of the things that I’m grateful for at least one of those things that I’m grateful today is that I can actually sit here and do this podcast episode, it’s taking me three days to get to this point. But now that I’m here, I’m really pleased to be able to get back to this space where I can concentrate, give you my undivided attention for more than half an hour.

Bill 33:35
And hopefully give you some tips that are going to make your setbacks a little smoother, and less concerning and worrying. Now, if you’re having a setback that’s related to your health and well being and you think that it’s got something to do with your stroke or your condition, do not hesitate to go back and see your doctor.

Bill 33:56
And absolutely straightaway tell them that you are worried if your setback is serious enough, and if you’re concerned enough, and if you’re worried enough, go and see a doctor do not hesitate. And this guide or these seven steps or seven little tips to how to navigate through setbacks is for those general setbacks, those life setbacks that stroke interferes with that makes us feel a little bit down and makes us feel a little bit concerned about how our recovery is going and how long it’s going to take.

Bill 34:36
So just to wrap up, let me say this. So just to wrap up, let’s do a quick recap. So tip number one is rest. Do less sleep more. Tip number two was reassess. Reassess what’s working, do more of that and what’s not working and do less of that.

Bill 35:01
Tip number three was changed something, changed the people you hang around with or the type of work that you do or what you eat and when you eat it. Tip number four, get out of your head. Take a deep breath connect to your heart.

Bill 35:16
Tip number five was ask for help see a counselor or a coach, get a second opinion. And don’t necessarily hang out with people and then make them feel like you need them to answer all your questions, especially when they’re not qualified to do so.

Bill 35:36
Tip number six is waited out, wait for the cycle to end. And then tip number seven was practice gratitude. Now. I really hope that you enjoyed this podcast episode if you did, I would really appreciate it if you give it a thumbs up on YouTube if that’s where you’re watching.

Bill 35:54
If you give it a five star review on your favorite podcast app, if you would like to share it, please do share it with somebody on your social media. And if there’s anything that I can do for you just reach out, you can send me an email at bill@recoveryafterstroke.com I enter all my emails personally. And thanks for being a frequent listener to my podcast. I really hope that this episode is going to help you in your recovery after stroke.

Intro 36:31
Discover how to heal your brain after stroke go to recoveryafterstroke.com importantly, we present many podcasts designed to give you an insight and understanding into the experiences of other individuals opinions and treatment protocols discussed during any podcast are the individual’s own experience and we do not necessarily share the same opinion nor do we recommend any treatment protocol discussed.

Intro 36:58
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 37:14
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 37:35
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 37:49
If you are experiencing a health emergency or think you might be called 000 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 and our content we did not provide any guarantees and assume no legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, currency or completeness of the content.

Intro 38:12
If you choose to rely on any information within our content, you do so solely at your own risk. We are careful with links we provide. However third-party links from our website are followed at your own risk and we are not responsible for any information you find there.

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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
131. 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 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/losing-your-independence-after-stroke-ruth-carroll/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/losing-your-independence-after-stroke-ruth-carroll/feed/ 0 <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/">131. 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.

Social:
https://www.instagram.com/ruthie_carroll84/

Highlights:

01:08 Introduction
01:46 Ischemic stroke caused by a meningioma
07:18 Doctor’s predictions
13:45 Losing Your Independence After Stroke
19:07 Grade 1 meningioma
28:58 During the early stage of recovery
34:43 Neuro fatigue
45:18 Motherhood during stroke recovery
56:06 The hardest part of the journey
1:00:19 Supporting stroke survivors

Transcription:

Ruth 0:00
You know, for example, my husband, we were newlyweds really, when this happened, we weren’t married quite a year at that stage coming up to a year. But for him, for example, you know, he married a very independent woman, and you know, within the space of a few hours, I was completely dependent on him, for everything to stand up to use the bathroom to move an inch, I mean, he had to do everything.

Ruth 0:31
The stuff that a newlywed husband shouldn’t have to do. So, all the little mechanics of standing up from the wheelchair, Dave had to physically lift me up and, you know, taking down my trousers, for example, I couldn’t do it. I didn’t have the stability in my body to even bend down.

Intro 0:54
This is The Recovery After Stroke Podcast, with Bill Gasiamis, helping you navigate recovery after stroke.

Introduction

Ruth Carroll
Bill 1:08
It’s bill from recoveryafterstroke.com. This is Episode 131. And my guest today is Ruth Carroll. Ruth had to give up her independence as a result of an ischemic stroke caused by a brain tumor just one day after the birth of her son in 2017. Ruth Carroll, welcome to the podcast.

Ruth 1:29
Thank you Bill.

Bill 1:30
So is it Ruth or Ruthie?

Ruth 1:34
It’s Ruth.

Bill 1:35
Okay. Instagram has Ruthie. And sometimes I don’t know whether the Instagram name is the real name or not the real name.

Ruth 1:43
Yeah, course. No it’s Ruth.

Ruth Carroll had an Ischemic stroke

Ruth Carroll
Bill 1:46
Tell me a little bit about what happened to you?

Ruth 1:50
So yeah, in 2017 April 1st actually April Fool’s Day. In 2017, I suffered a stroke. I was nine months pregnant initially with my first baby. And in my ninth month, I just started to get some swelling in my right eye, and my pupil became quite dilated. So I went to Specsavers to get that checked out.

Ruth 2:16
And I was advised to go into a&e to get an MRI scan. So of course, I did that. And I was diagnosed with a brain tumor called a meningioma. So we very quickly had to have a C section to get my baby out. So my little baby boy, Bobby was born on the 31st of March 2017.

Ruth 2:36
So he was perfectly healthy thank God the very next day, then it was less than 24 hours, it wasn’t quite a full 24 hours, I was back in his ward visiting him. And that’s where I suffered an ischemic stroke, essentially, because of the pregnancy hormones. It grew my tumor very quickly. And tumor growth blocks the flow of the blood flow to the brain. And that’s what caused the stroke. So I was left side paralyzed.

Bill 3:09
That’s too much for a new mom, a new baby, that’s just too much. That’s not supposed to happen, is it?

Ruth 3:17
No, not at all. It was a crazy time.

Bill 3:22
How do you manage the emotions that are related to that? Because there’s this amazing, beautiful reason to be happy and joyful. And then there’s this other stuff that’s happening. What do you do that? How do you manage?

Ruth 3:39
Yeah, you know what I don’t think my mind allowed me to take in the seriousness of it. You know, I just went obviously, I was very emotional, very upset, my family were distraught.

Ruth 3:54
But I just went day by day. My world was in the hospital beds that I was in, the nurses who were taking care of me, the doctors coming and going. And that’s all that I was able to focus on.

Ruth 4:08
You know, I couldn’t really stand back and think, Oh, my God, I’ve just had a newborn baby, I’m paralyzed, I can’t move. I wasn’t able to take in all of the trauma that was happening. And I just kind of let it go over my head really, and just survived day by day.

Ruth 4:26
That seems a common thing. When I’ve interviewed people who have had multiple life events happen at the same time as their stroke. It really is just let it pass through to the keeper and don’t worry about everything at once because it’s impossible.

Bill 4:46
Also, stroke survivors are not sometimes capable of creating those types of worries and connections because the brain has been switched off or is partially not working or there’s other stuff going on. Who took care of the baby?

Ruth 5:02
My, my husband poor Dave, my husband. I mean, he never held a newborn baby, you know, never change in nappies. So it was very traumatic for him as well as me and everyone else.

Ruth 5:17
Well, we live next door to my in laws. So Dave’s parents live next door. And they were a great support they took in Bobby, for a couple of months, I think, maybe two or three months. So Dave was able to go back and forth and be with Bobby. So that was a huge help and a huge relief for me as well, obviously, knowing that he has been taken care of so well.

Ruth 5:40
Did you have any challenges connecting with your baby? Because, you know, they talk about those first. few moments are really important. And then the next few months are extremely important for mom and baby to connect. Did you find later on any of those issues reflecting back on your connection with your baby?

Ruth 6:03
Yeah, you know, I was lucky, it didn’t impact our relationship. When I kind of stand back and look at everything that happened, it was the hardest part to deal with. Because Bobby was seven months old when I came home from hospital.

Ruth 6:19
So I essentially had missed the first seven months of his life, which, you know, is obviously very upsetting. But a lot of consultants in hospital, I saw a few neuro psychologists, I think, you know, had said to me, look, it’s probably likely that you will suffer from postnatal depression, after such a trauma the day after birth.

Ruth 6:43
So I think everyone’s expecting that to hit. But luckily, thank God that never happened. I think it was the support that I had, from family and friends, everyone, I was just surrounded with love, and support.

Ruth 6:59
My Bobby was brought into me every single day in hospital. So I did get to hold him in my head and on my chest. And that helped. Even though to be honest, I was out about half the time, and I was very fatigued. So it was you know, it wasn’t a lot of engagement with him.

Doctor’s predictions

Ruth 7:18
I get I get cranky when people tell me what’s going to happen to me. When doctors are trying to predict the future and all that kind of thing. They never normally try to predict the future in a positive light, they always try to predict the future in a negative light. What’s it like for you to hear that at that point in time? And did you pay attention to it? And then reflecting on it now, what are your thoughts on these predictions that doctors make?

Ruth 7:46
I can see why they made that prediction. You know, now that I’m so much stronger, I often find myself looking back going, Oh my god, I can’t believe that happened to me. And I can see how someone would slip into that postnatal depression.

Ruth 8:01
But I can see why. But I completely agree with you, in terms of doctors, focusing more on the negatives and the positives. One experience I had Bill when I was in our rehab hospital here, my left arm is still non functioning. The hand is completely paralyzed, but I am getting some movement back and the arm.

Ruth 8:23
But I did have a physiotherapist actually sit me down and say, Ruth, you’ll never ever get movement back in this upper limb, you need to just go away and learn to live life one-handed for the rest of your life, you need to understand that.

Ruth 8:39
It was heartbreaking at the time when I was told that and looking back now I’m like, you know, a positive slant would have been so much better. You know, for example, Ruth, there’s hope work hard and you’ll get this arm back. I can’t understand why they focus on the negative so much.

Ruth 9:02
In hospital, I put a lot of doctors in their place, especially when they spoke to me in this kind of way. If a physiotherapist told me to do that, I would have reported that person to their superior. And I would have told their superior that this person is not worth the salt, not worth their salt.

Bill 9:22
They’re not worth having, in an organization that’s supposed to encourage people to be rehabilitated and set an expectation of a long road forward fine set an expectation of very small gains, and maybe no gains for a few months and maybe no gains for few set all those expectations but never create the expectation that something is not going to get better.

Bill 9:45
I just think that’s the most terrible thing that somebody who’s helping is supposed to do and if any one of those types of people are listening whether there’s a doctor or nurse or a physiotherapist listening now, it is not your job to try and predict the future for your patient. It’s your job to help them right now.

Ruth 10:05
Absolutely, we should know, but nobody can predict the brain is so complex. And so plastic as well the whole neuroplasticity side of the brain. I mean, nobody no matter how amazing or educated they are, they can’t predict what each person’s individual brain is going how they’re going to react to the paralysis, whatever the trauma was.

Ruth 10:29
Another thing about It is what do they base their response on or that answer on? I know that they’re in their job, and they say lots of things. But they don’t have the data for every single person’s version of their stroke and outcomes.

Bill 10:47
So instead of knowing instead of just going based on I don’t know their version of the world, I think they just need to take a breath and just stop before they speak and just smile and encourage rather than the opposite, but I don’t blame them. But it really frustrates me and I don’t take it to heart anymore. But I could see how people would and then also set themselves up for failure.

Ruth 11:18
Absolutely. Because it demotivated me for quite a long time I found myself before she said those words to me, I was like, right, let’s go. Let’s work hard and physio every single day.

Ruth 11:30
And then she, you know, those words were said to me, and I found myself going off, why bother getting up early in the morning? You know, and work trying to work hard if there’s no hope. So really, it’s a really awful thing to do to someone.

Bill 11:44
Yeah. I going through the stroke journey that I’ve been through, at some point, I stop and reflect on what my experience is doing to the people around me. And it’s fair to say that the people around me, were losing their shit. While I was going through my stroke experience, how’s your stroke affected the people around you?

Ruth 12:11
You know, I think it’s actually worse for friends and family a lot of the time than it was for me, because as I said, just there earlier, you know, a lot of time, especially in the acute stage of stroke recovery, I had no awareness of what was going on or when I was in ICU and I was just out of it.

Ruth 12:34
You know it’s fine for me to just lie there while medics take care of me, but I mean my family where there watching all of that, they were completely distraught. So it impacts so many people. You know, for example, my husband, we were newlyweds really, when this happened, we weren’t married quite a year at that stage coming up to a year.

Ruth 13:00
But for him, for example, you know, he married a very independent woman, and you know, within the space of a few hours, I was completely dependent on him, for everything to stand up to use the bathroom to move an inch, I mean, he had to do everything.

Ruth 12:16
The stuff that a newlywed husband shouldn’t have to do. So I mean that’s had a hugh impact on his life, my parents had to give me alot more support now than they would’ve had to. So it impacts alot of people.

Bill 13:38
With regards to using the bathroom, forgive me for asking, but for the lung, or just to get you there.

Losing Your Independence After Stroke

Ruth Carroll
Ruth 13:45
For everything, I mean, I was so bad I couldn’t hold my upper body up, I was just bent over to the left, absolutely zero movement. You know, so we have to get a commode into the sitting room in the house because there was no physical way that I could get out of the wheelchair and sidestep into our downstairs toilet, which is quite small.

Ruth 14:09
So all the little mechanics of standing up from the wheelchair, Dave had to physically lift me up and, you know, taking down my trousers, for example, I couldn’t do it. I didn’t have the stability in my body to even bend them.

Intro 14:26
If you’ve had a stroke, and you’re in recovery, you’ll know what a scary and confusing time it can be. You’re likely to have a lot of questions going through your mind. Like how long will it take to recover? Will I actually recover? What things should I avoid in case I make matters worse?

Intro 14:43
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 hit recoveryafterstroke.com, where you can download a guide that will help you.

Intro 15:05
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.

Ruth 15:29
So nothing, absolutely nothing was possible to do on my own. So he did have to step up and do everything.

Ruth 15:36
That’s dramatic. And I remember being out of I think it was out of surgery and being in hospital and needing to go to the toilet, but the nurses weren’t answering my buzzer. And I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t use my left side at that point in time. I hadn’t been to rehabilitation yet I was waiting to get to rehab.

Bill 16:02
And I was using a wheelchair and they weren’t coming. And I needed to go because they’d given me laxatives after surgery to get the bowels moving and working and everything running again. And the laxatives kicked in, and there was nobody there. So I dragged myself with my right side of my body into the wheelchair to start pushing myself towards the toilet, which was maybe five meters away.

Bill 16:32
And by the time I got to the toilet, the nurse came and said, What are you doing? And I said, well, I just want to get to the toilet because these laxatives have kicked in and I need to get there. Let’s not talk about it. Let’s just get me there.

Ruth 16:47
Exactly.

Ruth 16:48
They finally got me there. And when they got me there, they wanted to stand inside the room while I did my business. And I said to him, No, you can’t please, you can’t do that you need to get out. And they wouldn’t get up for safety reasons. And I was having argument with these people, amazing nurses at the toilet.

Bill 17:08
And eventually I convinced them to go I told them I promise I won’t move. I won’t get up. I won’t try and do anything. I just need you to get out. Because I couldn’t imagine what it would be like for me to have them in there while I was doing my business not to mention, what do you talk to somebody when they’re watching you in the toilet?

Ruth 17:26
I know. It’s awful. I’ve been through all of that. It really, I just found I had to switch off. You know, and really not focus on the fact that, you know, there was it could be a male nurse standing next to me while I was on the loo chatting about the weather. I mean, embarrassing stuff.

Ruth 17:44
But it was just it was reality. You know, there was no other way I wouldn’t have been able to be left alone. You know, I would just flip over to the left hand side and be on the floor.

Bill 17:57
Well, you understand, have you spoken to your husband about those times? Have you guys reflected on that time?

Ruth 18:05
Yeah, he mocks me. You know, he’d always say you owe me big time. We can look back and laugh about it now. But at the time it was upsetting. Which has it’s funny now.

Bill 18:19
How old were you both at the time when this all happened?

Ruth 18:23
I was 33. Dave was maybe 38, 39?

Bill 18:34
Did you both take vows that said something like in sickness and in health and all that?

Ruth 18:39
Yeah, we did. So yeah, we really stuck to that.

Bill 18:43
Poor guy. He never knew what he was getting himself into when he said those vows.

Ruth 18:48
Exactly. Yeah. I’m very lucky to have him. No, he’s great. very supportive.

Bill 18:55
Sounds like you guys are gonna get through this difficult time. Where are you at with the diagnosis and with what was discovered in your brain?

Grade 1 meningioma

Ruth 19:07
Yeah, so they basically discovered it was called a grade 1 meningioma tumor, which is actually my neurosurgeon said to me, if he had to pick a tumor to get that would be the one he would pick. It’s not a very dangerous tumor itself. Not that anyone would be picking that but the problem for me it was the location of tumor.

Ruth 19:32
It was wrapped around my optic nerve behind the right eye. And it was going right through the carotid, the internal carotid artery, which is a very dangerous and very important artery to supply blood to the brain. So the location of it was a big problem.

Ruth 19:49
So there was a lot of conversation between my family myself and our neurosurgeon, and he kind of bounced ideas and procedures with us. They’re neurosurgeons not just in Ireland, but in Europe and America. I think he said he went as far as. So it was a lot of a lot of discussion about that before the surgery took place.

Ruth 20:11
So I had a craniotomy, then, in April 2017, and that removed the tumor pretty much removed about 98 point something percent of the tumor. I still do have little crumbs left, but there are luckily fine. They just have to be monitored every six months. Yeah, to make sure they don’t grow.

Ruth 20:36
How’s your emotional state leading up to that next appointment? Do you find yourself being cool, calm and collected about it? Or do you have a different experience?

Ruth 20:49
When those MRI scans are coming up every six months? I’m nervous. You know, my neurosurgeon is great guy, Dr. McNally. As in, he’s really relaxed and casual. Like the last time I went in, you know, you’re waiting there. And he comes in Hi. And I’m, like, no, no chitchat just say yes, how is everything?

Ruth 21:10
You know, and he’s like, it’s fine. Everything’s fine. There’s no problems. He’s really relaxed about it. And, you know, he said to me, the last time Ruth if those crumbs were going to grow, you’re looking at 10, 15 years for those crumbs to grow.

Ruth 21:25
So, you know, he was like, I wouldn’t worry about it. We just keep an eye on it. So he’s a very relaxed kind of person, which helps to relax me. But yeah, quite nervous, though. Coming up to it, just in case. You know.

Bill 21:40
How do you enjoy being in the tube of the MRI scanner?

Ruth 21:45
You know what, initially, I hated it, the noise and I was quite panicked. But now I have had so many, it doesn’t faze me at all. The last two scans that I had, I actually fell asleep. I was coming out. And you know, I was woken up to Ruth tap, tap tap.

Ruth 22:04
I was like, Oh, that was quick. I mean, they were laughing at me going. It’s not often people fall asleep. I actually found the noise quite relaxing. I’m a pro now. I’ve done so many of them.

Bill 22:16
Interesting how many do you reckon you’ve done?

Ruth 22:20
Like, I don’t know, I was in about four different hospitals here in Dublin, and Ireland. I mean, I don’t know 50, maybe. I mean, I honestly spent my time being transferred from my wards or my room, to the MRI, or a CT scanner, back and forth, back and forth. I felt I was doing that every every few days.

Ruth 22:45
Now, that’s quite the record, I reckon that’ll be up there. I think I’ve done maybe over the five or six years that I was getting scanned, I think I’d probably done at least, I’d say maybe 15, something like that. And by the end of it, I was doing the same thing. And because you can choose your own music, I was choosing meditation, kind of music.

Bill 23:08
So I’d go in there and meditate. And that would get me through very quickly and make it feel like it went fast. And also, that was really it was almost putting me to sleep. But I’ve got to say that’s awesome. What you’ve been able to achieve. I’ve never felt asleep.

Ruth 23:26
I did have one scan, and I came out and there was two guys and a girl and they were giggling when I came out. And they were like that was some good singing Ruth. I was like what? They were like obviously they can hear everything through the speakers. I didn’t realize I was singing away that was embarrassing.

Ruth 23:46
Yeah, I found you on Instagram. Where is the most amazing place where I’ll find all my guests and other people who would discuss things that are stroke related. It’s become kind of a community of a lot of familiar faces and new faces coming in and out. How long? How long have you been on Instagram? And why did you choose to get on there and do what you’re doing?

Ruth 24:16
I joined Instagram, I think it was last summer sometime. And before that I was absolutely clueless when it came to social media. I did have a Facebook page. And when I was traveling, I threw up pictures, more for my family and friends to see. But I just wasn’t glued into the world of social media and I had no interest in it really.

Ruth 24:38
Until all my friends and everyone I knew started going on it. So someone said it to me a friend of mine said you know you should talk about your stroke experience. And you know, there could be someone out there who you might help. So then I was like that I like that idea instead of just posting you know, when I go out for dinner, what I eat and all that kind of stuff.

Ruth 24:59
I though, there was a reason why I should do it. So I just set it off last summer. And it is amazing. There’s a whole community of people out there who have had strokes, like young people. I’m, really enjoying Instagram, I must say, the amount of messages I get from people if I post a video positive, and then no, no, no negative comments, really.

Ruth 25:24
But people looking for further information. And it’s great. It’s a good feeling to be able to help someone, a lot of people, you know, would come on to me going, Oh, I never knew that you could do that exercise for your arm, for example. You know, so it’s nice to share what knowledge I have. So I’m really enjoying it.

Ruth 25:46
Yeah, it was selfish. When I started this whole journey. It was selfish, it was about me. And I quickly realized it wasn’t really about me, it was about other people. And what I say it was about me was, I found that as a way of expressing myself made me, you know, ease the burden and get things off my chest.

Bill 26:08
And then it started helping other people. And then that completely changed the the type of satisfaction that I was getting from posting. It was a twofold It was a two way path. It wasn’t just me getting things off my chest and making it about me. And the other part of it is the more addictive part of it.

Bill 26:33
It’s when somebody says thank you, or I needed to hear that or asks another question. That is something I can’t stop doing. Because I never knew that what I had to share was important enough for other people to, to hear.

Ruth 26:51
To connect with. Yeah, and the exact same. I remember a moment I was in a hospital called St. James’s hospital here in Dublin. And I was in the stroke Ward, it was quite early days. And I just remember I was turned on my right hand side, you know, probably in my queue, I needed three nurses, or healthcare assistants to actually turn me on the right hand side while protecting my left shoulder.

Ruth 27:16
But I just remember lying there, and I have my phone up to my face. And I was thinking, I thought I was the only person in the world at 33 years of age who has had a stroke. And I typed into YouTube, I just said, you know, young stroke survivor girl, and a video came up of this girl, she was 33 as well, when she had her stroke, really a beautiful girl with long brown hair.

Ruth 27:45
And she came onto the camera, you know, and she started talking, she was kind of she was normal, she was happy. And she was like, Look, you know, this is awful what happened, but it’s not the end of the world. And then the next video from her was her walking in the park with her mom.

Ruth 28:04
And I can’t explain to you the hope that that gave me. I was just so happy to see that. And so hopeful. So I often think you know, if there’s some girl or guy out there in the hospital bed, if they could see me on Instagram, you know, doing well. And just, you know, to be able to help them the thought of that is amazing.

Ruth 28:27
That’s the point of this podcast. It’s the point of it is, you’re gonna be 131 episode. And that’s the point of it. The point is it to have, I’m not sure if it gets to 1000 but 1000 ways that people can find other stroke survivors who are post stroke at some point. And they can just say, this is how far I’ve come even though I’ve got all these dramas and problems and things that haven’t been resolved yet.

Ruth 28:55
There’s still life after stroke.

Ruth Carroll during the early stage of recovery

Ruth 28:58
Yeah, I’m still doing stuff. I’m still on an interview. I’m still meeting people. I’m still getting back to work. I’m still recovering all those things. I mean, it’s so important your mindset in hospital, was it doom and gloom? And if it was, that’s fair enough, is how would you have described your mindset when you’re in that really early stage of recovery?

Ruth 29:24
It was it was doom and gloom and it was fear was my main feeling. I was just so afraid. Like I couldn’t foresee I couldn’t get my head around the fact that I was paralyzed. It was just such a crazy thing to me, looking at my body and trying to move it and not being able to so it was a lot of tears, a lot of crying. I was completely in shock as well as my family.

Ruth 29:52
But my mindset is stronger than I thought. You know, I still luckily have a lot of motivation and drive. You know, I was the type of patient who, you know, was saying, I want more physio, come on, can I have another ot session and bring it on, you know, I don’t want to just lay here in the bed. So I was driven. I was like that before the stroke as you know, in terms of work and in my personal life.

Bill 30:24
What kind of work did you do?

Ruth 30:27
I worked in marketing as a brand manager. For McDonald’s. I was there for 10 years. So it was a busy, stressful, fast paced job. In a way, this brain injury was one of the best things that happened because I’m no longer working, I’ve been advised not to work for for a good few years.

Ruth 30:49
So I’m enjoying this new way of living, you know, stress free. And, you know, I’m getting great quality family time in that I know I wouldn’t have got if I was still stuck in that crazy world of stress and work. So there is a positive in every negative situation. I’ve learned that it’s just about making yourself focus more on the positive and the negative.

Ruth 31:16
Yeah, and give yourself enough time to see the positive as well, because sometimes it’s hard to see when you’re in that acute stage. It’s interesting that lockdown has been similar for me in that again, when we were in COVID lockdown here in Australia in Victoria, we were locked down for six months solid, we had nightly curfews we weren’t allowed to work almost under any circumstances.

Bill 31:46
We had nowhere to go, nothing to do. We weren’t allowed to meet with people anywhere. And Australia being an island has been able to really maintain, maintain its ability to decrease the number of cases of COVID through these really severe lockdowns, which people hated and I hated.

Bill 32:08
But as a result of that, we’ve come to that point where there are very few daily cases and almost no cases from community transmission. And I was going through that lockdown at one stage thinking this reminds me of my stroke. Recovery when I came home from hospital and my wife went back to work and my kids went back to school. I was alone at home doing not much most of the day.

Bill 32:37
And that was a really good time for me. Because when I came home, the noise was too much for me to handle. The business was too much for me to handle. My brain really needed recharge time, I needed to not be overwhelmed so that I could manage for the three or four hours before bed, and before dinner and all that type of thing.

Ruth 33:03
Yeah, absolutely.

Bill 33:04
What kind of things do you have to deal with now that are related to the stroke that you have to pay attention to and be careful of?

Ruth 33:14
Yeah, so for me, it’s mainly physical, you know, the, I can walk independently now. But for a long time, I needed a cane and I was in a wheelchair for a long time. It’s my left arm and hand that is my main physical disability really, cognitively, I was quite lucky that I wasn’t too impaired.

Ruth 33:36
I suppose in the early days, like you mentioned there Bill, my brain was very sensitive to noise or to distraction. You know, I remember I was being wheeled down to the patient’s canteen in one hospital. And there was definitely over 100 people in the canteen eating, you know, the noise of the cutlery people walking past.

Ruth 33:59
And I mean, I had to scream to say get me out. It was so overwhelming. My brain just couldn’t, couldn’t deal with it. Even you know, if I was sitting in my wheelchair and someone walked past I was like, Wow, it made me dizzy and made me feel sick. Everything was just so overwhelming in those early days.

Ruth 34:20
But naturally, that just seemed to improve over time, thankfully, but I had problems initially, with concentrating. I found it hard to concentrate for a long period of time. You know, I could be having a conversation and I might just kind of switch off because that’s improved as well.

Neuro fatigue

Ruth 34:42
But my main issue from this whole brain injury is fatigue. This neuro fatigue I find really, really difficult. From day one. It’s been my biggest struggle, and now four years on, it’s my biggest struggle. It’s, crippling is the word I would use. I mean, it impacts every minute of every day.

Ruth 35:09
But, I’m learning to, to tackle it better. You know, I’ve come up with a few strategies to make life a bit easier. Like, you know, I have to plan out my day now, even before you and I spoke today, as the most recent example, you know, I went out for a walk with my husband and son in the park.

Ruth 35:30
And we went to the playground and a lot of people there, you know, talking and catching up with a lot of people. But I knew that I had to do that early on. So I could come home and relax, and go up and get my 40 minute nap. And then I’d have the energy to sit here and talk with you.

Ruth 35:47
But, you know, if, for example, I had done that a couple of hours ago, I would find it very hard to to sit here and engage with you. So I just have to be smart. And I have to plan out the day, I have to plan in my naps. So I do get at least 140 minute nap in. And once I can lay down and switch off the brain, I’m energized then. You know, which is great.

Ruth 36:11
Yeah, that would be very familiar to a lot of people listening. And the fatigue to me, although was debilitating was one of the hardest things I had to put up with as well, was a really good way. It was something that taught me to pay attention to my body for the first time and to listen and to respond not only just know that I’m about to get tired, but also respond and do something about it.

Bill 36:41
I did all the same things that you say that you do, which is plan my day. And I would often we have some plans for the weekend with my wife. And I’d say, Listen, don’t make any plans for tomorrow. Because I don’t know if I’m going to be up to all the things that you want to do. And that was about me, don’t make plans for me. And then I would wake up that Saturday morning. And I said to remember that thing that I said yesterday about Mike my plans. I’m feeling great. Let’s go for it.

Ruth 37:13
Yeah, you just never know. I mean, the days that I should be exhausted, and say I went out for dinner with friends for four or five hours talking. And when you think the next day, next morning, I’d be exhausted, I could be bursting with energy. And vice versa when I should be alert. I mean, I could read on the floor with exhaustion, it’s really hard to figure out fatigue, I find you just never know when it’s going to hit.

Ruth 37:42
And I can just hit like that, you know, I could be absolutely fine one minute, and the next minute, I would struggle to hold my head up myself, it would just take so much energy to do that. And people don’t see how difficult fatigue is.

Bill 38:04
One of the things that I found that was making my fatigue worse was my thyroid function. The neurological fatigue that occurs from the thyroid gland that is not working optimally, is exactly the same as neurological fatigue after they had been my head.

Bill 38:21
And I developed a thyroid condition a few years before my brain issue. And it was an ongoing issue after the brain surgery. And we hadn’t done anything about the thyroid, because I was still fresh from a brain injury. And I got to the point where I didn’t know that my thyroid was causing the neurological fatigue, I thought it was related to my head until I went to a chronologist.

Bill 38:50
Who said by now the fatigue that you’re experiencing is more likely related to your thyroid challenges rather than your head challenges. So one little tip that may or may not have anything to do with what you’re going through is for people listening is to get their thyroid checked out just as a general thing that gets them some blood tests get a urine test.

Bill 39:15
That’s the best way to get the thyroid checked out. Because sometimes if the thyroid is underactive, and it’s under duress, or you’re not consuming enough iodine, sometimes what happens is the brain needs more resources than it used to, to get us through the day. And going everywhere, it’s going everywhere to try and get resources and if the thyroids not working optimally, it might struggle a little bit.

Ruth 39:49
Yeah, I never heard of that. That could really be another problem. That definitely contributes to my fatigue is anti-seizure medication that I’ve had to started taking, I developed focal epilepsy after my craniotomy just due to a tiny scar that was left on my brain while with the surgery.

Ruth 40:10
So as a result of that I have to be on and I will have to be on for the rest of my life anti-seizure medication. The first medication that I was on was called Keppra. And that the main side effect of that, and supposedly every anti-seizure medication is fatigue, I had to come off Keppra.

Ruth 40:30
I mean, it was I couldn’t function. I couldn’t get through the day fatigue wise on that. So I did switch over to another one that I’m currently on called Lamictal. And I did see a slight improvement initially, but then it got bad again and back and forth. But my neurosurgeon said to me, you know, what, one time I was talking about the different strategy strategies I was putting in place for fatigue.

Ruth 40:56
And he said to me, Ruth, at the end of the day, your brain is damaged as a result of the stroke and the tumor. You know, no matter how many good strategies you have in place, you are going to have neuro fatigue, until the brain fully recovers.

Ruth 41:13
Yeah great advice. And I feel like my fatigue is mostly gone. But then it still comes I’m nine years post my first stroke and brain surgery was in 2014. So I’m nearly on beyond six years after brain surgery. And I have those days where I’m having a great day, and then the wall just turns up out of nowhere, I hit that wall.

Bill 41:40
And then it’s just tools down and has nowhere to go or do anything and it’s just relax and rest and go to bed early. And then I fully wake up the next day feeling better. But some days, if I don’t get a good night’s sleep, then then the struggle lasts two or three days.

Bill 41:58
And I’m supposed to be online every two or three days doing things. And if I go quiet, I go quiet. There’s nothing I can do about it. I’m not worried about it. I’m not concerned about it. I just go quiet and gather myself and then I get back to doing what I have to do.

Ruth 42:16
Yeah. And so people handle fatigue better. What I mean by that is, you know, my family, for example. They are well educated on neuro fatigue. And you know, they’ll know, you know, if I go home down to South of Ireland, where I’m from County Cork, you know, my parents and my sisters will say to me, okay, we’ll do this, we go shopping, we go see the nieces and nephews do everything that I love to do.

Ruth 42:44
But you go you sleep, and then we’ll do this. So they get it and they encourage it but I find other people don’t understand this and kind of like why aren’t you coming here? Why aren’t you doing that? Why do you need to go home and rest? What’s it’s other people’s understanding of it is different I find my experiences are.

Ruth 43:06
It’s just ignorance and not in a negative, bad way. Like they’re ignorant about fatigue and stroke. And why would they know about fatigue and stroke? You know, fair enough, better they don’t ever know what that’s like. But if they want to be less ignorant, they can just read a little bit about it. Someone just do a Google search and you’ll find enough information to explain what neurological fatigue is.

Bill 43:31
Lights used to make my fatigue terrible if I’m sitting on the couch, you know, watching some TV, I cannot have the lights over my head. Because it just makes me suffer. I can’t do it. It hurts my brain. And people don’t understand when you explain to them that my brain is hurting. How? How is it hurting me? How is that even possible? But it does hurt I don’t know how.

Ruth 43:58
Yeah, it’s like a physical pain almost. With me I find people with different energy affects my fatigue, you know, you might come across a bit like you and I barely seen, you know, we don’t know each other very well. But a relaxed kind of person. But there’s some people out there who are hyper and want a lot of energy from you.

Ruth 44:22
How are you tell me what you did yesterday. Give me all the details and the information. You know that happy, loud, bubbly people. But I find that exceptionally draining, so I’m more comfortable hanging out with chilled out kind of not quieter people but people who don’t demand as much energy. Does that make sense?

Bill 44:43
Yeah, completely. I know exactly what you mean. And those people are the I call them the woo woo people, you know, the ones that just go nuts and they go off all the time. And they’re lovely but.

Ruth 44:57
Yeah, exactly. You have to learn to walk away and switch the brain off. You know, and come back refreshed then.

Bill 45:08
Yeah. How is your, how you manage now coping with running around after a toddler?

Motherhood during stroke recovery


Ruth 45:18
Yeah, I’m it comes back to support. Again, I’m lucky we have a childminder, who helps to drop Bobby and my little boy to school. And she collects them afterward and brings them home to me a bit later in the afternoon. So that allows me time to get to my physiotherapy and my hydrotherapy.

Ruth 45:37
And I do my home exercises here, and I get my nap in. So I’m ready for him when he comes in. And that makes such a difference. If I didn’t have those few hours to prepare, and to get my work done, and to get out and get a walk in fresh air helps with fatigue as well. And so it can be difficult at times.

Ruth 45:59
And it makes me feel guilty a lot of the time, because if I didn’t have this, nauro fatigue to be battling every day, I would be engaging with my son a lot more doing more things with him. A lot of the time, I have to almost not ignore him but not engage with him as much as I’d like to do you know, so that I can survive until the evening until my my husband is home. You know, so there’s that battle to deal with as well.

Ruth 46:28
Most normal people try not to engage with their kids as well, for various reasons. So you’re just using your health reasons as the reason to not engage at the moment. And it’s pretty legitimate. It’s not, it’s not terrible. I mean, you’re not doing it because you’re a terrible person. It’s legitimate.

Ruth 46:51
Exactly. And he’s at the stage now he’s three and a half. He’ll be four in March, that he understands it. Now, you know, he might say to me, are you going to go up for a nap mommy? And you know, he gets it and he knows when I’m, you know, getting a bit tired, Or, you know, he knows Mommy’s going up for a nap now, he knows that. It’s not strange to him.

Bill 47:18
Children are very smart. Does he ever asked you about your hand? Have you had a conversation with him about what’s going on there?

Ruth 47:25
He does it actually, initially, it definitely has affected him. You know, I’d say about a year, maybe a year and a half ago, he started to get almost obsessed with my arm, you know, and he’d get a bit angry with it. You know, he’d come over and be like, slapping us pinching advising us.

Ruth 47:48
You know, I’d be like, stop and he’d be like, your sore hands Mommy, and it would just became a thing to him. So that was something my husband and I were a bit concerned about. You know, he’s clued in he knows little things like, I’m not able to zip off his clothes before we go outside and he gets pissed off.

Ruth 48:07
He’s like, come on, zip up my clothes. I know you have a sore handy but come on, you know, there’s things that I can’t do that, you know, all other moms can do. You know, I’ve never been able to pick him up with two hands, for example.

Ruth 48:22
And he did go through a phase where I he’d pick me up mommy. So he’s very clued in. He knows that there’s something not right there. So he just gets annoyed and peed off with my hands. And my arm but he’s coming around that now.

Bill 48:38
Yeah. When he’s pinching and biting your hand, can you feel it?

Ruth 48:43
I can yeah, sensation is wrong. When I say that, you know, like, someone could be hurting my shoulder. But to me, I feel like the pain is on my wrist. So like the pain receptors to the brain are all wrong. I’ll give you an example. Early on in my recovery when I was in my wheelchair.

Ruth 49:05
I remember going outside the front door of the hospital and it was raining. And the raindrops hitting my left arm. It was as if every droplet was stabbing me, the pain I was like get me inside quick cover me up. So this sensation, is I can feel but it’s all wrong. If you know what I mean. I’m screaming when he’s pinching and biting me.

Ruth 49:31
Shower, me sometimes causes irritation on my left side. And when my wife is gentle, say if I’m driving the car and I have my left hand on the gearstick and she leans over, reaches over to put her hand on my hand, just gently.

Bill 49:51
I can’t do that that’s really painful and it does it instinctively and I rip my hand away and appears to be the meanest thing you could possibly do, but she started to understand that it’s not me being mean, it’s seriously painful. But if you grab my hand with force, it doesn’t hurt. It hurts when you do it gently.

Ruth 50:17
With me sometimes. And I mean, it sounds crazy. But I have sometimes found myself going, where’s my left arm? I, like I’ve said to Dave, I’m like, Can you see my left arm? I can’t find it. I mean, how crazy is that? But perception of where the limb is has always been a problem.

Ruth 50:37
You know, like, I might wake up in the morning, and my arm is under my bum or under my legs. And I wake up going, Oh, God, something is wrong. There’s pain somewhere. But I don’t know. My arm could be up there. It could be down here. Trying to figure out where the arm is in space. It’s quite difficult for me. So people laugh at me when I say Did you see my arm? I can’t find it that’s weird.

Ruth 51:06
We went to the beach yesterday in Melbourne, it’s summer at the moment, we had a quite a hot day it was you know, 35 or something. And I sit under a beach umbrella and make sure that I don’t get too much sun because I don’t really enjoy getting sunburned or any of that junk had a swim.

Bill 51:24
So I had my shoes off we’re sitting on the sand under the shade it was fine. And then a friend of mine came to the beach, to let me know that he was there. So I went to find him. And I waited without shoes. And because it’s the sand, I can normally walk on the sand fine without shoes.

Bill 51:41
Little pebbles of rocks on concrete. Feels like I just stepped on the most jagged rock. And it was the size of the moon. And it just destroys my foot is what it feels like. So I very much avoid it however, I was walking on the sand and it was all fine. And I realized that my feet were getting hot, too hot for me to continue walking on. So I was trying to find a cooler place to step on.

Bill 52:09
And when I came home about two hours later, I realized that on my left side, I actually had burnt my foot and had blisters underneath it. Which I didn’t notice at the time, I didn’t feel the pain. Didn’t know that that was burning to the extent that it was causing blisters. So I have that thing as well. Where hot doesn’t register quickly enough. But cold is more painful than hot for me.

Ruth 52:41
Yeah, I’m similar enough I’d often have the sink on upstairs and you know I’d get a nice and hot for my good hand. But without realizing it. I might have my left baby finger in the water. And the pain is incredible. And it might just be maybe lukewarm. To me it registers like I’ve just dipped my hand and lava you know, it’s it’s just all the sensations are wrong.

Bill 53:11
How do you manage the shower?

Ruth 53:14
Yeah, we had to get a walk in shower when I came out of hospital because the previous one we had had the most humongous step. You know, which is very difficult, which was very difficult to would be stepping in and out of that without my footstool.

Ruth 53:29
So we basically got a walk-in shower, and we did get a rail put onto the wall. So that’s been a lifesaver. So I depended on that alot in the early days, but it’s there now just for a bit of security. But I don’t need to hold on to it for dear life anymore.

Bill 53:47
Yeah, that’s a relief when you don’t have to do that anymore in the shower. I remember that as well. That phase of thinking I’m gonna slip and hit my head, especially with a craniotomy was that was a real concern of mine.

Ruth 54:01
Yeah, oh, yeah. We had to get that gripped tile everywhere as well for safety. But then I remember when I was in the rehab hospital, praying for the day to come when I could stand in a shower. You know, I have to sit down like I’m sure you did at some stage as well.

Ruth 54:21
You know, to have a shower in one of those horrible shower chairs that are in every hospital. But I just I never thought the day would come that I would be able to stand up and shower at the same time. So I often think that in the shower, that I’m just grateful that I can do this. I genuinely never thought that day would come.

Bill 54:42
Adjusting the water and getting in and I know that one of your sides is thinking this feels amazing. This is the perfect temperature. The other side.

Ruth 54:50
Yeah, exactly. Yeah, it’s it’s weird because I would say right down the middle of the body. This sensation on the left is just complete dulled compared to the right. So yeah, I do find myself having to adjust, it’s perfect on the right and oww turn it down and turn it off on the left. So it’s a bit of a longer process, having a shower, really trying to balance out the temperature and all of that. But you get used to it.

Bill 55:20
Have you ever found yourself sweating on one side of the body and not the other? So I’ve done that where one side of my body is perspiring, usually, I think it was my left side was perspiring and my right side wasn’t. interesting.

Ruth 55:35
No, I never, I wasn’t aware of that. But I look out for that now. Like with my, feet, for example, my left foot, which is the affected side, like, I mean, it can be like a block of ice, compared to my right foot. And that could be roasting hot. So there’s temperature can be very different. And same with my arms, like at the minute, it’s quite cool to do in the room. And my left arm is freezing, whereas my right arm is normal, you know, but it’s different.

The hardest part of the journey for Ruth Carroll

Bill 56:06
That’s so strange. I’m just aware of coming up the time. And I want to ask you what the hardest part of your journey has been so far.

Ruth 56:18
I would say, Bobby, and missing those seven months and coming home to a seven-month-old baby. And just knowing when I was in hospital, that my newborn baby is at home and that I wasn’t at home with him. Even though like, you know, he was bought into me in my hospital bed for a few minutes. It wasn’t things so that was definitely the hardest. out of everything. I had to take paralysis and brain surgery over that.

Ruth 56:45
Wow, and did you seek out counseling and support for coming to terms with the types of issues that you had? Because that’s not what you expected? until, you know, you’re nine months into your pregnancy? Everything, you know, this is what’s going to happen when I give birth. And that’s what’s gonna happen when we come home. And this is how it’s all gonna go. And then that was all gone. Did you find you needed to get help to come to terms with that?

Ruth 57:17
In the I didn’t find I needed help. But I was advised to get help. When I was in the rehab hospital. They referred me to a company called headway. And it’s basically they I don’t know, what do you have them in Australia? I don’t know. Yeah, so they’re great. They basically offer all the different services for anyone with a brain injury in Ireland. So I was referred to them.

Ruth 57:42
And I did see and I still am seeing fabulous lady there. She’s a psychologist. So she’s great initially, three Irish thing. I was like, No, I’m grand, I don’t need to go talk to anyone. But I totally see the benefits of therapy now of sitting down and just talking about how I’m feeling.

Ruth 58:05
And as you said, there, you know, what I expected life would be like after having a baby versus the reality of what it is. So it’s beneficial. So I know, initially, I was kind of in there going, Oh, talk about how I’m feeling I hate this. But now I actually look forward to going in and just talking, you know, you come out feeling much lighter.

Ruth 58:27
And there’s also kind of a group session that we go to, in their cognitive behavioral therapy, I think it’s called. And that’s great. You’re sitting in a room with people, everyone in there has been through the exact same, you know, experiences as myself. So we literally just bounce ideas off each other. And that’s, I find that a lot more helpful and impactful, really than one on one. But it’s great to have that service here in Ireland.

Ruth 58:59
I was in counseling, I think, at day 10 or something like that. But I had a good, track record of being in counseling, I’m the kind of guy who I don’t do well with not resolving things in my mind. So not that everything needs to be resolved. But I need to at least turn the cogs of the discussion on and get another perspective and express my perspective in a way that it doesn’t get judged, etc.

Bill 59:32
And I would recommend to everybody who has thought about it to just do it and it’s not about going and solving a particular issue or problem. It’s just about going there. And then whatever it comes from it because you don’t ever really know what you’re going to get from it. Something just comes up and you realize, Oh, I didn’t think I was gonna talk about that or I didn’t understand that or to learn that.

Ruth 1:00:00
It helps with your awareness. I often find myself going Oh, yeah, I wasn’t aware of that. No, I didn’t see that. I didn’t understand that, but I do now. It’s great. It’s very therapeutic to me. But yeah, it’s something I would really recommend anyone to do as well.

Supporting stroke survivors


Ruth 1:00:19
Yeah, I also support stroke survivors through coaching. And some people, all they want to do is have their questions answered. So they, they’ll send me, you know, three, four or five questions. And all I’ll do is answer those questions, whether it’s me in a video chat scenario, whether it’s one on one or via zoom like we are now, or whether it’s just via a message through an app or whatever.

Bill 1:00:48
That ability for a stroke survivor to answer their questions rather than going and asking that question of a doctor really changes the game because they’re not asking me medical questions. I’m not responding to medical questions. I’m responding to personal experience questions related to exactly what their experience is.

Ruth 1:01:14
That’s what I was just thinking, I have two good friends who have had strokes as well, who I met during the stroke journey. And, you know, they’re the best I often was just sent a message God has this happened to you? And we kind of bitch with each other.

Ruth 1:01:29
That happened to me, how did you handle it? And that’s actually the best way to get advice I find. And you can be knowing that someone has experienced what you have experienced. And I find that very comforting. So I talk and I engage with those, those two friends of mine. Alas,

Bill 1:01:52
that sounds short talk. But it sounds like why you jumped at the chance to be on the podcast when I sent you a request?

Ruth 1:02:02
Absolutely, yeah. As I said earlier, it’s if you can help one person I often think of someone being in hospital upset, feeling afraid and alone. Like how amazing would it be for someone out to listen to you and I talking here? You know, it would have to give hope to the person. So I think it can’t be that.

Ruth 1:02:25
And it does. Ruth, I get messages every day. And it gets downloaded at least 3000 times a month, this podcast now. So it reaches a lot of people, a lot of people listen. And you would think that after 130 episodes that they will starting to sound the same. They’re not every episode is different, even though we’re talking about stroke all the time, because every human is different.

Bill 1:02:50
Every lesson that I’ve learned, has been learned in a different way, for different reasons. So I think, this is really an ideal way. And we’re blessed to have a technology that wasn’t available even 10 years ago, and five years ago, nobody really paid attention to it. And that’s when I started my podcast.

Bill 1:03:13
It’s been about five years. At the beginning of the episodes were few and far between because I was unwell. But in the last five years, there’s at least another three or four podcasts related to stroke that I’m aware of. And, some people have told me that they were like you are very early stages of stroke lying down on a hospital bed or even at home and googling stroke podcast, and then bang, they come up. And their prayers have been answered because all of a sudden, they start to feel like you and I feel which is okay, I’m not alone. And people understand me.

Ruth 1:03:54
Yeah, I wish I had found you in this podcast in the early days, I could totally see the benefit that would have been so it’s brilliant. fairplay to you for doing these podcasts. It’s great.

Ruth 1:04:05
Thank you for being a guest on the recovery after stroke podcast. I really appreciate it. I know you want to connect with people on Instagram so what is your Instagram handle? I’m gonna of course put it in the show notes for people to find easily but where would people find you?

Ruth 1:04:23
Yeah, so my Instagram account is Ruthie_Carroll84

Bill 1:04:31
Ruthie_Carroll84.

Ruth 1:04:35
Yeah, that’s exactly it.

Bill 1:04:38
All the best on an amazing ongoing recovery. Enjoy your family and give yourself heaps of time to get better. Thanks so much for being on the podcast.

Ruth 1:04:50
Thank you Bill.

Intro 1:04:54
Discover how to heal your brain after stroke go to recoveryafterstroke.com.

Intro 1:05:04
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 1:05:21
All content on this website at any linked blog, podcast or video material controlled this website or content is created and produced for informational purposes only and is largely based on the personal experience of Bill Gasiamis, the content is intended to complement your medical treatment and support healing. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health advice.

Intro 1:05:44
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 1:05:59
Never delay seeking advice or disregard the advice of a medical professional your doctor or your rehabilitation program based on our content if you have any questions or concerns about your health or medical condition, please seek guidance from a doctor or other medical professional if you are experiencing a health emergency or think you might be called triple zero if in Australia or your local emergency number immediately for emergency assistance.

Intro 1:06:20
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Intro 1:06:36
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The post 131. Losing Your Independence After Stroke – Ruth Carroll appeared first on Recovery After Stroke.

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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
130. Cryptogenic Stroke – Andy Dobinson https://recoveryafterstroke.com/cryptogenic-stroke-andy-dobinson/ Tue, 26 Jan 2021 05:25:45 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5712 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/cryptogenic-stroke-andy-dobinson/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/cryptogenic-stroke-andy-dobinson/feed/ 0 <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/">130. 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

Socials:
https://www.instagram.com/andyd2574/
https://www.instagram.com/andy_stroke_of_luck/

Highlights:

00:55 Introduction
03:17 The stroke symptoms
09:38 Andy Dobinson was fit but not healthy
17:29 The first few weeks after stroke
21:39 Underlying cause of depression
31:02 Fear of demonstrating failure
40:09 What a stroke can give
44::08 The brain, the heart, and the gut.
53:28 The mountain analogy
1:01:48 You’re not alone

Transcription:

Andy 0:00
Yes, I did. And I was kind of wracked with guilt. Although the stroke wasn’t quite well, I thought, have I caused the stroke? It was a cryptogenic stroke. So we have no idea why it happened. It was a massive clot at the back of my head and affected both sides of my body.

Andy 0:14
So the conversations we had were will I ever be the same? And how can I work again? Can we work as a team? And you know, I remember thinking to myself, I’m not the guy she married will she want to split, which she was mortified that like oh my God no!

Intro 0:42
This is the recovery after stroke podcast, with Bill Gasiamis, helping you navigate recovery after stroke.

Introduction

Andy Dobinson

Bill 0:55
Bill from recoveryafterstroke.com. This is Episode 130. And my guest today is Andy Dobinson, and he is an ultra-marathon runner and an endurance cyclist who experienced a cryptogenic stroke in 2017.

Bill 1:10
Now before we get started, you may notice that the audio of this episode is not that amazing, and this is due to technical difficulties we had with the zoom connection between Australia and the United Kingdom.

Bill 1:22
I’ve done my best to remove the background noise and tried hard to level out the volume. But the sound quality is far from perfect. I ask you though to persevere as this interview will give you an insight into how important mindset is during stroke recovery.

Bill 1:39
Also, if you ever wondered what else I can do to help you with your stroke recovery, you should know that you can now get recovery after stroke coaching right from the comfort of your own home.

Bill 1:49
I too am a three times stroke survivor and I’ve built for you what I was missing when I was sent home from hospital in the hope that you don’t have to do stroke recovery as tough as I did.

Bill 2:00
Support packages give you access to a variety of tools 24 hours a day, seven days a week so that you can also work on other areas of show recovery, like adjusting to your new normal, even managing the grief that you may be feeling for your former self.

Bill 2:15
With tailored support available from $8.50 per week, all recovery after stroke support packages, bring stroke recovery to you in the comfort of your own home. To try out recovery after stroke support and see if it is right for you, you will get the first seven days free as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee no questions asked.

Bill 2:35
As a bonus, you will also get to face to face zoom support calls with myself to take your recovery to the next level. Go to recoveryafterstroke.com/support to sign up. You won’t cost you anything for the first seven days. And you will get a full refund. If you’re not happy after 30 days. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Now it’s on with the show.

Bill 3:10
Andy Dobinson, welcome to the podcast.

Andy 3:13
Thank you very much Bill. Good to meet you.

The Cryptogenic Stroke symptoms

Andy Dobinson
Bill 3:17
Yeah my pleasure. Good to meet you too. Tell me a little bit about what happened to you?

Bill 3:23
Oh my goodness. It was quarter to five in the afternoon. I remember it well on the 9th of February 2017. I was sitting right here because I work from home. And I was on a conference call. And literally out of the blue with no warning nor precursor, no symptoms, nothing at all.

Andy 3:51
That was if somebody had them lit a blowtorch at the back of my head and pressed every single pin into the back of my head and instantly the beads of sweat appeared and started dripping onto the desk. And then you see what happened to me at that time I didn’t have a clue, I didn’t know.

Andy 4:14
So I was on a conference call. So I put myself on mute because I thought it would be very tricky to dial off the conference call. Then I started feeling a bit oh my goodness, I don’t feel very good.

Andy 4:26
So you know you do the usual, you start with Google dizziness and leaning to the left. And then it came up with this thing called peripheral vertigo. So I thought right, that’s it. I have peripheral vertigo.

Andy 4:42
I’m wearing an earpiece I must have an ear infection of some sort. What to do? What to do? Now I’ve started feeling quite confused and cloudy and just this pain is intense pain paracetamol, nurofen, so I stood up, and I just thought I was holding on to my desk swaying about thinking, what is going on?

Andy 5:08
And someone is still on the call, went downstairs and by the time I’ve taken the paracetamol and dropped to the bottom of the stairs, I couldn’t walk. So I kind of climed up the stairs. And by this time I started thinking, a bit concerned here.

Andy 5:26
So luckily the call have finished and I’ve plucked my earpiece and throw them in the office then I was leaning against the wall. I thought I’m going to go in lie down, because I was starting to feel a bit scared. I was by myself at the time.

Andy 5:39
Then I was leaning against the wall because I was on my own two feet, but I was really unsteady and I laid down not knowing that apparently lying down flat can help recovery, I didn’t know that at the time.

Andy 5:52
And then I rang my wife and I said, Nikki, I don’t feel too good. She said what’s wrong? I think I’ve got a migraine, she went you never get migraines. You’ve been working too hard, I just lie there. I’m going off my fitness class, I’ll see you at six o’clock.

Andy 6:09
And I’ve drifted off to sleep luckily but feeling a bit funky is the best way I can describe it. Confused, scared, clouded. Next thing I know, I hear this voice Andy it’s me where are you? I said lying on the bed.

Andy 6:26
And as my wife opened the doors, her words were, oh my god, when she said I look gray. And we still don’t know what the hell was going on. And she flipped the lights on and I didn’t react to it.

Andy 6:42
So she thought that’s not a migraine he’s not reactive to the light. So she says, right. And she’d actually seen the FAST acronym on Facebook. So she went look, I don’t know if this is a stroke but let’s just double check so I swung my legs off the desk.

Andy 7:02
And she said say chicken soup. And I had a sticky mouth and I couldn’t talk properly. And I was internally thinking, What’s happening here? She said raise your arms, and I was a bit lopsided and she said I think we need to get an ambulance.

Andy 7:18
And I was like, No, no, no, it’s fine, I’ll be fine. And I don’t wanna be a burden on anybody. So I wouldn’t allow a 999, so that was a number in the UK 111, which is advice. And based on what my wife said, he said I think we need to get you an ambulance.

Andy 7:38
So these two big paramedics arrived and came in and hooked me up to all sorts and the words were “not the best but it’s not the worst”, but I think we need to get to the hospital. So maybe I may have tried to get up, but I couldn’t walk that was it, I couldn’t walk. So I was like this across two guys and dragging my feet along the ground and in the ambulance.

Bill 8:03
And that was it was getting late to the hospital screaming. And next thing you see these faces looking down on you. And that was the start of them trying to work out what happened and it took them over a day two establish it was a stroke they thought it was chronic fatigue.

Andy 8:23
And you know, they go through morphine, which was just crazy, and horrendous sickness and they just didn’t know what was going on. And so they put me to the critical illness unit, and I was writhing about, and being sick, just beyond scared.

Andy 8:46
Then they give you a lumbar puncture, which is the most unpleasant thing in the world. And then they said okay you got a lumbar puncture, just lay there and get comfy and I felt like, I can’t walk where the hell am I gonna go?

Andy 9:02
And then an MRI. And that was still we don’t know what’s happened. And it wasn’t until five o’clock the next day to give me a CT scan. And I remember being in a wheelchair, just being stick. There’s a junior doctor walking up to me and like Mr. Dobinson. I was like yeah? Okay, so you had a stroke. I’m like, what? And it was just like my world ended.

Andy Dobinson was fit but not healthy


Bill 9:38
What kind of lifestyle were you leading before this episode in your life? What type of bloke were you? How did you live your life?

Bill 9:51
I was fit. But I don’t think I was healthy, which I’ve now learned because I was a fanatical cyclist where I would do, my speciality was 24-hour bike races. And I would do 250 to 400 mile.

Bill 10:12
Hang on a sec 24-hours straight?

Bill 10:17
Yeah, yeah. So, example, I did a mountain bike race from 10 o’clock on Saturday morning, you finish at 10 o’clock on Sunday morning, and you just go round and round. So I did quite a lot of the 24 hour races, and I used to do big endurance race, like 2, 3, 400 miles.

Andy 10:42
And I did a lot of team trailers. So I love cycling and I just started trail running which has kind of become a passion. But yeah, I was hugely active, hugely active, but was I healthy? I don’t know.

Bill 11:00
How did you get to the point where you, I’ve got a bike, and I’ve always had a bike. And one day, I wake up in the morning, and I go for a ride, it takes about an hour, and then I come home and I’ll put the bike back. How do you go from riding the bike like that to eventually getting to the point where you’re riding it for 24 hours?

Bill 11:20
Like did that just happen in your head? One day, I’m gonna do this 24 hour thing? Or is it a slow burn? And then eventually, you look back one day and you go, Oh, my God, I just ride my bike for 24 hours.

Bill 11:33
I think it’s kind of in you. I’ve always loved the challenge, love the challenge. And I’ve always, if somebody said to me, that can’t be done, I’ve always thought okay, I’ll give it a try.

Andy 11:48
But I’ve always been kind of, I like the really challenging stuff. And you know, a 50, 60 mile bike ride was the norm on a Sunday 24 hours. And I think I just thought you know what, I’m going to give this a try. And I went and tried one is because it’s a team, and I thought I think I might try this myself.

Andy 12:09
And it’s actually a hugely lonely thing to do. You’re on a bike by yourself for 24 hours. But then once you’ve done one, you immediately say to yourself, I am never doing that again in my life. And then the next day you think, when is the next one becomes quite addictive.

Bill 12:28
Tell me about that day. Tell me about that entire day. Now, for stroke survivors. The reason why I want to go into this is because it’s gonna give us an insight into your mindset.

Bill 12:40
And I’m really intrigued about that. But tell me about that day you wake up in the morning, you jump on the bike at 10 o’clock? And how many times do you stop? How do you go to the loo? How do you eat, what happens?

Bill 12:55
Usually, it’s a lap event. So I’ll give you an example of a one that I’ve won a couple of times, it was actually a race circuit. So you can just ride around the race circuit, it makes it even more boring, and mind numbing actually, you come through every single lap.

Andy 13:15
So I would say I’m going to lay for two hours, then I’m going to come in for 20 minute, 10 minutes, stop, hit stop change of clothes, toilet, food, out which becomes a challenge in itself, because you’ve got a pit crew the stall, food, comfort chair, and you could be in the depths of the night in Scotland, that’s where I live.

Andy 13:39
And wonder where I could get enough water It was freezing. You’re coming in at three, four o’clock in the morning, we’ve got the sleeping bag, comfy bed, tent with all the pit crew sleeping and the challenges coming in and then getting yourself back in the saddle.

Andy 13:59
And I always have this goal of I want to achieve so many miles I want to achieve so much elevation and by sitting in a chair in the pit crew, you’re not going to do that. So it’s more mental than physical. And I think anybody’s got it in them physically, mentally. And definitely mentally.

Bill 14:23
I imagined myself on a bike. And I’ve never had the idea to ride for 24-hours but I imagined myself on a bike and at some point your legs start to hurt. And for you, how long does it take before your legs start to hurt and for how many hours are you riding with your legs hurting?

Bill 14:48
About 18 hours that you’re hurting. But I think this is why I enjoy Ultra Trail Marathon running which I’ve become since my store. So now I run 50 mile trail marathon and that’s since my stroke so I can be running for 13 hours.

Andy 15:09
So I’m lucky that I’m able to do this kind of stuff post stroke. But it’s still in me something I’m wired a certain way, I think that I loved. I don’t love the pain, because that sounds really odd, but I love challenging my mind and my body to say at the end of it I did it. It’s even more special now that I had a stroke.

Bill 15:43
Is it egotistical?

Bill 15:45
Absolutely. Totally. Because at the end of it, you put a post on facebook I did a 24 hour race, and you’re on this place, and you go, Oh, I’m fantastic. Which is what I’ve searched for pre-stroke but post-stroke is completely different. Totally different.

Bill 16:05
Tell me.

Bill 16:05
There’s not one bit of ego, it is so personal to me now. So give you an example. Pre-stroke, I would choose times, speeds, power numbers, elevation, mileage, were in September, I struggled to start laying 50 mile ultra trail marathon a couldn’t walk in February 2017.

Andy 16:32
And I don’t care how many people beat me, I don’t care. I stopped for photographs and stop when I got tired. I stopped to rest, stop for feed stations. And it was the adventure and the journey. I believe that so much I’ve got a memorial tattoo on my ribs about the journey and adventure with a stroke survivor symbol I’m passionate about that now.

Andy 16:58
But you know, you think I’ll do it in 12 hours, or 12 hours comes into make it 13 they might do it in 14, I don’t care. What I care about is getting to the end. And that is so much different to try and cheers, please and cheese there. I don’t care about that anymore. I’ve got nothing to prove.

The first few weeks for Andy Dobinson after stroke

Andy Dobinson
Bill 17:30
The way you look to me is that most people wouldn’t know that you’ve had a stroke, but what was it like in those first few weeks of stroke? How bad did it get?

Bill 17:45
I’ve never, ever experienced, and I hope I never experienced again. And I hope nobody experiences the darkness of a stroke, it was horrendous, horrendous. And I called my stroke phase one, phase two. So you know from being a 24 hour cyclist to sitting on a hospital bed and getting knife, a fork, and a hairbrush put infront of me and say, show me that you can feed yourself.

Intro 18:17
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 18:34
Doctors will explain things that obviously you’ve never had a strike before, you probably don’t know what questions to ask. If this is you, you may be missing out on doing things that could help speed up your recovery. If you’re finding yourself in that situation? Stop worrying, and head to recoveryafterstroke.com where you can download a guide that will help you.

Intro 18:57
It’s called seven questions to ask your doctor about your stroke. These seven questions are the ones Bill wished he’d asked when he was recovering from a stroke. They’ll not only help you better understand your condition. They’ll help you take a more active role in your recovery. head to the website now, recoveryafterstroke.com and download the guide. It’s free.

Bill 19:26
Oh my God it’s horrendous. So a week after I got back from hospital, I was told my dad had acute myeloid leukemia and he was gonna die. So I just had a stroke, I’m recovering, I’m learning to walke, and learning to be independent.

Andy 19:46
And I thought my dad’s gonna die and all I could think about is when I’m gonna carry his coffin. I don’t know what happened but by May. I could walk I was lucky enough to carry his coffin but the day after his funeral, it was like my body and mindset, like enough is enough. And I went, I couldn’t walk again.

Andy 20:02
And I was back in hospital back in hydrotherapy back in physiotherapy, and I started 18 months of counseling, depression tablets, which I labeled as anxiety tablets, because I wouldn’t take depression tablets, I haven’t got depressed it was horrible. And that was the hardest two years of my life, the darkness you experience when I ride and in marathon is nothing compared to darkness in stroke. And nobody sees that because physically I look okay.

Bill 20:45
For sure stroke makes it possible for you to relate to people who, quote unquote, have mental health issues. The question though is, you were depressed? I know, the stroke had a role to play there.

The underlying cause of depression of Andy Dobinson

Bill 21:01
But what’s the underlying cause of the depression at the time? Have you been able to reflect on that? I know it happened, sort of during the process of stroke and all that kind of stuff. But it’s not the stroke that did it. There’s an underlying, cause it’s something else that’s making you depressed. What was it? Do you feel that was creating emotions that you described as depression?

Andy 21:29
Yeah, I think there’s an element of dealing with my dad’s death, because I had a very complicated relationship with him really complicated, which I think fed the pre-stroke craving for (inaudible). But that’s a whole different conversation.

Andy 21:45
But what probably fed it, was that in my mind, and I was weak, I wasn’t good enough, I was disabled, I was brain damaged, I wasn’t the guy, my wife had married. And I struggled with, confidence, and cognitive thought.

Andy 22:10
And I just thought that I’m a poorer version of what I was and it really locked me. And I didn’t like, I didn’t like who I was right now who I was, who I am. And now I can see the stroke the best thing that ever happened to me, but it’s taken a long time to say that.

Bill 22:31
Interesting. Okay, so I say that, and I’ve interviewed many, many people that say that, and they’re all in different various levels of recovery. They have different physical symptoms that have deficits, but they can say that.

Bill 22:54
How do you get to the point where you know that you didn’t like who you were, or you didn’t like parts of yourself? What happens where one day you go, I don’t like that anymore about me, or who I was or how I behaved, what’s the aha moment? How does that happen?

Bill 23:11
I don’t think there’s been like an epiphany or an aha moment, I think my counselor, Luise took the lid off the box and help me verbalize everything that I kept inside, everything needs to be in boxes for me mostly in boxes. Still has to be but I’m learning to leave those boxes open.

Andy 23:42
And if something falls out the box, I throw away but but she made me question what I used to do and what my wife’s been through without my wife (inaudible) but she questions, the whys, how, would you think, what about, and I’m still going through that process.

Andy 24:07
So you know, I’m not saying that look how I am and I’m fine. You never recover from the stroke, you adapt and you live with it. And you have reminders every day some tablets morning and night, I still got physical things I live with, I’ve got mental challenges, my thought process gets really mumbled at times but, what made me realize is that maybe the way that I’ve rewired myself and I’ve always had this visual picture that I need to feel right to get the wiring right in my head.

Andy 24:44
And I try to live by this place “Be kind to yourself”. If I’m kind to me, I want to be kind to other people and I’ve developed a more thoughtful process where I could be really selfish before, quite short.

Andy 25:02
And it’s really hard to explain because there hasn’t been an aha moment, it’s kind of a developing this more rounded pebble that used to be quite a jagged rock. And I’m just a bit more yeah I’ll just kind of move on. But I’m still hugely anxious.

Bill 25:25
Let me explain how I feel about what you just said, because I relate to that. Being somebody that’s growing up in Australia, and our culture is very similar to the culture in Glasgow. We blokes don’t talk about problems, feelings, that type of thing. We take the weight of the world on our shoulders, and then we blame the world for it, like we’re the ones being impacted by everybody else.

Bill 25:55
But it’s not really everybody else. It’s our own thoughts and processes. And then I realized after the stroke that what I wanted to do was, if I did die, I wanted to just make it so that my kids didn’t think I was a complete idiot afterwards, and that, you know, dad was a good guy.

Bill 26:15
And he taught us a lot, and we respect him and all that kind of stuff. Because before the stroke, I didn’t feel that, but I never contemplated that, because I never needed to, it never entered my mind that I might die at 37. But then afterwards, I contemplated that and the goal of having my kids look at their dad in a positive light, in remembrance of their dad, not just because he was dead, but because he really was a good guy is what set in motion, all the other changes that needed to happen that I didn’t know they needed to happen.

Bill 26:59
And it’s like that bike ride that you do, or that run that you start, you know, where the goal is, you don’t know, on the track, what are the obstacles are going to be? Yeah, if you have to think about all those obstacles, you’re never going to solve those problems, because the obstacles are potentially endless.

Bill 27:18
But what you actually do get is you get problems that pop up that you were unaware of, and with the help of somebody like a counselor, psychologist, coach, whatever, they give you the permission to open the box. And when they open the box, and something comes out, you address it when it comes out.

Bill 27:42
And once it’s addressed, you close the box, and then it’s kind of done. It’s been addressed. It might not be solved totally. But the fact that it was addressed, kind of enables for that hurdle to just be moved beyond and then working towards the next hurdle, which you’re completely not expecting the next hurdle again.

Bill 28:06
But then it just pops up. Does that resonate with you? That’s how I got to stroke’s, the best thing that ever happened to me, it just happened one day. But when I look at all the things that I addressed, there was 10 specific key things that I addressed that other stroke survivors who say that also addressed, but they didn’t set out to address them, they set out to be a better version of themselves in the future.

Bill 28:37
Yes. I can relate to that, because I think I am a beter version. It’s a really difficult one, because I think I was a nice guy before my stroke. Otherwise, why would my wife had married me? But I just think I’m a much better version of myself, for example I’ve learned to open up and allow people in.

Andy 29:05
So pre-stroke it would be a case of No I’m find I’ll deal with that, I don’t need your help, where now, I’ve got no qualms about you know what I need some help. And hat’s how my counseling started, I broke broke down, and my wife said, we need to get your help.

Andy 29:22
And I rang the counselor up and I said, help me, I need help. I’ve never done that before in my life, ever. But now, I don’t have a problem showing my emotions letting people know you have a fail, ask them for help, letting people in. And I think I’m a lot more considerate in my approach.

Andy 29:43
And yes, I have opinions where instead of giving them and saying this as the correct way I kind of offer just this is what I think. You know, do with it what you want, but this is what I think, and I’ve found now that people oftenly, not ask for my advice, but I’ve probably got quite a conservative approach because my attitude now is, if I can deal with the stroke, and survive a stroke and come out a positive human being.

Andy 30:23
I can deal with anything so if somebody comes to me with a problem always in the back of my mind going it isn’t a stroke. So it’s not as bad as a stroke. So I’ve got a kind of coping mechanism for lots and lots of stuff. So you have a system to go through. And, you know, my box and my visualization, and muddy, murky, water and all these systems in my mind. It’s just made me a more and not sensible but level headed.

Fear of demonstrating failure

Bill 31:02
What were you afraid of in the past, when somebody offered you help? Or when people were trying to get in to your psyche? Or to your emotional side? What were you afraid of? Why was this such a barrier around letting people in?

Bill 31:20
Demonstrating failure, I didn’t want anybody to know that I ever fail or I needed, it was quite a northeastern mindset. My dad asume where you’re only a man, if you’re strong and dependable, and you don’t cry, you don’t show your feelings, and you’re not a failure. You know what? I do all that stuff now. And I’m fine with that. But I think the overriding thing was that I was petrified of anybody thinking I was a failure.

Bill 31:57
And where did you get the definition of failure? You got it from your dad, who was afraid of anyone thinking that he was a failure. In fact, the opposite is true when you cry, when you express your emotions, when you apologize for acting like an idiot. When you can just experience raw emotions, for just a short amount of time.

Bill 32:21
You’re actually the opposite of a failure, you’re a winner. Because that’s what life is supposed to be these ridiculous ideas of what winning, and losing, failing, and succeeding are, come from a stupid place.

Bill 32:43
Some people, well not some people with me, I would put myself under so much pressure to perform, whether that be at work, my bike, or anything, where in the grand scheme of things. There’s far, far more important things and you know, what’s important to me now is time with my wife, time doing things that I like and I love love for the right reasons.

Andy 33:12
And like I said before, I don’t have to prove anything to anybody. Some people say that you’ve won ultramarathons now, will you still do it? No I don’t. I do this stuff for the absolute passion and love that I have for it. I like putting stuff to me but I still can’t get rid of the fact that I had a stroke prove that I can still challenge myself. But if I don’t do it one day, and I’m gonna say, you know what, I’m not gonna finish this race this ride this run. It doesn’t matter at all.

Bill 33:48
Yeah, I got to that point of being able to get to a stage where I know, my body’s saying rest, relax, don’t do this anymore. And that was something that I hadn’t been able to do. In the past, I had to push through and I had to find a way. And I used to also do it begrudgingly, you know, those difficult things that I knew that I didn’t want to do, but I was still doing, I still do begrudgingly.

Bill 34:21
And I used to find myself getting cranky at the world around me for you know, supposedly making me do these things that I didn’t want to do. And what what I realized was that I was focusing on the problem all the time.

Bill 34:36
I was focusing on the problem, the amount of problems, how many problems there were the impossibility of solving the problems. I focused all my time on all that stuff. And then at some point, I had to focus on solutions because I had you know, day, the day before stroke, I had a million problems, the day after stroke, I had 20 million problems.

Bill 34:58
There was no hope in being able to put all my effort into focusing on solutions. And that is kind of what moved me through that whole pushing through barriers that I didn’t want to push through. Because there was no enjoyment out of it. Forget about pushing through a barrier of an ultra marathon.

Bill 35:21
I know at the end for you, there’s some kind of a pleasurable experience from it. But for me, I wasn’t doing things that I loved. I was doing things that I hated for other people. And it was terrible. So where are you at with other parts of your life? Because at some point, I imagine you had to go back to work, you had to do all those things. How did that go? But before you answer that, let me just go and get a tissue for a sec.

Bill 36:31
Yes, so straight after my stroke, I was obviously off work. And my time was spent walking 30 seconds on a treadmill every day and Bosu balls and all that kind of stuff. But I went back to work far too quickly. Because I still had a bit of a pre-stroke mindset where I need to demonstrate I’m okay.

Andy 36:57
When I went back and graduated, then I worked in Vodafone at the time, who were hugely supportive they were really, really good. And I kind of changed roles. And I went back and I graduated the term, but I’ve never experienced higher (inaudble) the mental drain was huge.

Andy 37:16
But then in the May when my dad passed away, and I feel I just crumble beyond belief, it was off work for a month. And, that’s when it hit me where I thought, I probably rushed the first part of my recovery. This time, I’m going to really get it right. But even now, I’ve got to be very, very conscious for tiredness. And I manage my tiredness very, very cleverly, because I recognize it now.

Andy 37:45
And like you said, If I’m tired, I stop, I don’t push through anything, I stop.

Andy 37:51
I still work in Telecom. So it’s hugely demanding on laptops and projects and costings and all that kind of stuff. But I’ve learned now that I have to work in a different way. And if I don’t finish something, that’s fine. And if I do, great, that’s a win. If I needed to take a rest my goodness, I will take a rest.

Andy 38:19
But the rest of my life is, as I want it now. You know, I don’t do anything for the sake of doing it. I don’t do anything because I feel I should. If I want to do it, I’ll do it, if I don’t I don’t. And my life is hugely different now, because it’s not this I must ride my bike, I must do this, I must prove x, y and z. And me and my wife are so much happier for it as well, but I’ve learned how to read the signs because a stroke survivor has signs all the time. And if you ignore them. If I ignore the signs I’m game over for a few days I’m done.

Bill 39:14
Yeah, I’m the same. You can create more suffering during stroke recovery by being as stupid as you were before the stroke. And the stroke causes enough pain and suffering and problems just on its own. You exacerbating that is not helpful in any way, shape or form.

Bill 39:42
And it’s really important that you take responsibility for the part of the suffering that you’re creating. And stop being a martyr and stop being somebody who needs to have the upper hand on stroke. You’re not going to get it. It’s not possible, stoke is going to win every single one of those battles. And I think you can work with stroke.

What a stroke can give


Bill 40:09
And I think that’s one of the gifts that stroke gives is that it gives a lot of information about when it’s time to stop. And when it’s time to rest. Where before mind over matter, we push through the body’s pains. We push through the biting signals and information that it’s telling us and we just get to the point of feeling really crap for a certain amount of days.

Bill 40:35
And we haven’t become aware of how we got to that point. But if we paid attention, there was plenty of information available, that concept that we’re talking about is still bizarre that I’m speaking to you about it, because you still do push through pain barriers, and you still do things that most people don’t do, even though if you decide to stop an ultra marathon race at mile 30 you’ve still run 30 bloody miles to get there.

Bill 41:08
Yeah, I know it’s quite, it’s quite an odd concept. And some people see they do what? I’ll follow you around? But again, it kinda goes back to the mindset I’ve now got, I’ve got no agenda, no agenda whatsoever.

Bill 41:29
It’s like Forrest Gump. Just start running.

Bill 41:32
Yeah, exactly. Do you know why it’s really quite liberating. It’s fantastic. Because you could put your stuff on an oil, and I just kind of roll with it. It’s fun. It’s great I’ve got from last, 1st, 7th, a million, doesn’t really matter. But that’s kind of how I approach everything now.

Andy 41:55
Strokes, kind of give me this helicopter view. Because I’m still quite anxious. I’m hugely anxious, right. And I’ve got loads of these mental processes. And I can be quite obsessive, and useless in making decisions but I’m aware of all this. So, you know, if I obsess about something, it’s like, I can remove myself and go I know I’m doing that.

Andy 42:20
But I’ll be fine in a couple of days. So I allow myself to be obsessive about something. And that will just kind of fall away. I’m like oh, my God, I’m obsessing over something. I kind of go I’m watching myself being obsessive. But yeah it’ll pass in a few days.

Bill 42:35
Nice. That’s so good. Instead of obsessing, that you’re obsessing. And making it more complicated, the obsession, one part of you says, I’m going to allow that obsession to occur. And when it goes away, it’ll be gone. And that is how I describe to people who I’m helping with stroke recovery, in coaching to do about emotions, like, allow, you observe yourself to be an idiot, let yourself, be an idiot, and then apologize for being an idiot when the time comes.

Bill 43:06
And then that way, you’re giving the other person permission in your life to also be an idiot. Because they are normal, and we’re not special, just because we’ve had a stroke, they’re normal, they’re gonna have a bad day. And if you can do the same helicopter view for them, you’re going okay, they’re being an idiot, they’re gonna get over it. And eventually, things will get back to normal. That’s a really good approach.

Bill 43:27
I’ve always had a good guy and a bad guy, and pre-stroke, the bad guy ruled everything. So the bad guy comes knocking quite often. But now the good guy has a real voice, most of the time the good guy, I;ve got a real go with this guy. But I allow the good guy to communicate with the bad guy.

Andy 43:50
And this might sound like I’ve gotten mental. This is just a really good, I don’t let the bad guy rule me anymore. The good guy negotiate for the bad guy. And I listen to the good guy now but they’re always there they’re never going to go away.

The brain, the heart, and the gut.

Bill 44:08
Let me ask you, if you can identify in your body, which organ does the bad guy reside in?

Andy 44:19
Here. (Brain)

Bill 44:20
And which organ does the good guy reside in?

Andy 44:25
Heart.

Bill 44:26
So that is not a coincidence that I said that and that you pointed there the head is a neural network. It has billions of neurons. And it does thinking it does making meaning it does creativity, It does all that sort of stuff.

Bill 44:46
The heart is also a neural network. People don’t realize that it has between 30,000 120,000 neurons. It has memory. That’s why you hear that song and you remember a loved one from 10 years ago, or 20 or 30 years ago. And not only is the heart and neural network, that’s where your emotions are.

Bill 45:09
That’s where you touch when you say I love you to somebody that’s on the other side of the planet, and you’re doing a zoom call. But your gut is also a neural network, it has the same amount of neurons in it that the cat’s brain has. So it’s a full level of intelligence.

Bill 45:29
And when you ask people, if I ask you, where do you take action from? Where do you take action from?

Andy 45:39
Depends on who’s talking to me.

Bill 45:42
But what makes you move forward? What makes you give you the push to go forward? Most people will point to the action center is that gut, I took gutsy action. And that’s a neural network and dopamine. And a lot of the neurotransmitters that the brain uses actually are created in the gut, the immune system is supported in the gut.

Bill 46:09
And if we’ve got a healthy gut, we’ve got a healthy brain, because there’s more ability for the brain to take those neurotransmitters from the gut and use them when they need them.

Bill 46:19
Dopamine, serotonin, all that sort of stuff, right? So it’s very interesting that you have identified these good guy and bad guy kind of concept. And that’s how you describe it, but they reside somewhere in your body. And it’s really easy for you to point to them. So when you listen to your heart, your life expands.

Bill 46:40
When you listen to your head, you become anxious when you overthink. But your head, really Its job is to analyze things like my heart desires a bike ride your head’s responsibility is how am I going to make that happen? And give me the creative solutions to the problems that my gut is telling me it’s not difficult for me to overcome for me to do this, because the gut is telling you, I’m feeling like there’s knots in my stomach.

Bill 47:15
I’m feeling uneasy in my stomach about making this decision, right? And the head’s going, No, don’t worry about that we’ve got solutions, we’ll ride there’ll be a guy at the 30 kilometer mark, or mile mark, who’s gonna give us food he’s going to do this he’s going to do that.

Bill 47:30
If something bad goes wrong, you know, we’ll be able to repair that fix that puncture, fix that chain. Whatever the problems that the gut comes up with to stop movement from happening, the head does the solution. So you make business decisions at the head, and at the gut, but the head does the calculations.

Bill 47:52
If the numbers work. Then we move forward, if the guts happy, and we solve the guts problems, we move forward. But you don’t make business decisions with the heart, you don’t buy a company because I would love to buy that without looking at the numbers.

Andy 48:07
Yeah.

Bill 48:09
So this is resonating with you, right? And we’re doing this every day. But sometimes they get the mix, they get the method incorrect. So they use their head to make heart based decisions. And they use the gut to make head based decisions. And they don’t work.

Bill 48:26
And when you’re using the head to make decisions of the heart and of the gut, you’re over analyzing, and you’re causing anxiety, and you’re causing inability to move forward. So all of that, that I just said, is to ask you, what do you get anxious about? What does your head make you anxious about? And how do you do anxiety?

Bill 48:53
When I get anxious about decision making, that possibly affects other people. And I actually get anxious about general decision making, which stems back to confidence still growing It’s not what it was, which is a different type of confidence I’ve got I’m hugely more confident in some areas than others.

Andy 49:23
I get quite obsessively anxious about things could go wrong. And I get OCD kind of anxious about things that just aren’t right and not in the right place I’m anxious about that. It’s quite trivial things that I get anxious about. And then that anxiety turns sort of obsessive OCD kind of, action.

Bill 49:55
It kind of does so. Do you give yourself the same Helicopter opportunity when you’re anxious to view yourself being anxious and allow yourself to be anxious, knowing that it’ll pass. Do you do that?

Bill 50:10
I try to because I know that if I don’t it will escalate, then it will stick. And it will break the processes I have in my mind. And I need to go through those processes to put things in place for me.

Andy 50:35
And it might not be a place for you or my wife or anyone else. But if it fits in that place in my mind, then, you know what that’s okay, it might be the wrong place. But it can live there for a while. And I’ve learned to allow it to live there for a while. But yes, I do take that view, because if I don’t, I don’t know quite where I’ll end up.

Bill 50:59
So I asked you specifically so that people listening can go, Ah, maybe I’m not taking the third person view, and I am stuck in the problem, rather than observing the problem. And if you’re stuck in the problem, you’re the problem, you’re causing the problem, you’re making the problem worse.

Bill 51:18
If you’re observing yourself being stuck in the problem, you’ve separated yourself at one level, and you’re giving yourself the opportunity to a observe yourself and be being the problem. And as you’re observing yourself, you’re able to pay attention to how stupid it is this problem that you’re potentially creating unnecessarily, but from a good cause, perhaps, but realistically unnecessarily.

Bill 51:47
And then, as a curious person observing yourself being stuck in the problem, you can go, how is that serving me? And why am I even doing it? And can I find a way to alleviate the need to do it? Because all you’ve done is create neural patterns and pathways to support that. What are the opposite neural patterns and pathways that you can create, to replace that?

Andy 52:12
There’s another thing that goes along side that Bill, for me it’s so pre-stroke, I would focus on the end result. So whatever I’m doing whatever decision is the end result. And that’s all I focus on.

Andy 52:27
I’m not able to deal with the gravity of that now, whatever it may be, could be a small journey, big journey, big desicion, whatever. There is an end result. But what I’ll do now is to compliment the potential anxiety and the view I’m taking towards the first little step? Then okay win I’ve done that one, that leads to the second one, it will eventually get me to that big end result that is there but I’m not focusing on that.

Andy 52:57
Because you know what? I might not get there this time and if I don’t, I’ve done A, B, C, D, E, and I might just manage F to do. Where before, if I don’t get to Zed the world’s gonna crumble. But if you tie in that step by step by step by step with okay, I’m aware of that. And I’m going to allow that to happen, oh my God that is so liberating it just kinda smoothes things out.

The mountain analogy

Bill 53:28
It’s the mountain analogy that I like to use, it’s like Everest is there. If we try to get to Everest and think about every possible thing that can go wrong to get to Everest, you might as well not even start, but if you set out on a walk, and when you get to Basecamp you’ve achieved all these things that you never knew you could achieve.

Bill 53:52
And now you’re at Basecamp. And you reflect on all those new experiences, new solutions that you found new barriers that you push through all these things. If you focus on everything that is better and different about you for just getting to Basecamp then there’s no point, getting to Everest is not necessary.

Bill 54:12
Because there’s so many, so much gold and so much beauty in what you’ve already achieved. And now, if you think that Basecamp was really easily doable, take the lessons that you learn that helped you get to Basecamp and just use them on the next journey.

Bill 54:30
And allow you to get a little further beyond base camp and a little further up the mountain. Always without the mountain, the peak being the must do. It’s just wouldn’t it be great if I could get there and reflect on all the lessons and the journey and all the amazing things in the path.

Bill 54:53
But you know what, as well, I’ve learned and it’s taken me years to get where I am it’s a huge journey is I’ve learned not to fight what it does for me, because you know what? You can’t change a damn thing. I had a stroke, the facts are part of my brain has died and it’s never coming back.

Andy 55:18
I can’t change that. So did I accept that at the start? No, do I accept it now? Yes, and things are different. And the minute any one who suffered a stroke can start to may not fully accept that will accept all of that and said, You know what, there’s no point of fighting it because I’ve wasted energy.

Andy 55:42
And this goes back to you just got to kind of roll with it because I can’t do anything about it. That I can’t, it’s happened. So what’s the best path to follow instead of this fight, fight, fight, I’ve had a stroke. That’s just a waste of energy. It’s a long time to get there.

Bill 56:03
It can, it can take a long time. And it can take a short amount of time, it just depends on who you are, and how willing you are to be flexible now. I’m building a course it’s called 10 steps to brain health for stroke survivors. It’s not really about brain health. But one of the modules that I’ve just done recently is mindset.

Bill 56:21
I’ve been planning this course, for four years, I cannot build 10 steps to a course, in 12 months or 18 months or six months, I just don’t have the capacity to do it is going to take as long as it takes. And when it’s ready. Even if it’s in 10 years, it’s going to be valuable because lessons two stroke recovery don’t change. They’re always the same lessons.

Bill 56:46
One of the modules is mindset. And with mindset, I really talk about, I try and talk about whose mindset are you? What do you have? Whose mindset are you running? Is it your parents? Is it your teachers? Is it your doctors? Is it your brothers? Is it somebody else’s mindset that has been combined over these years, and you’ve taken on as your own mindset?

Bill 57:13
And it’s not serving you and you haven’t become aware of that? Because you just haven’t asked, no one’s asked you the right question about like, whose life? Are you really leading? Are you running? Yeah. And for me, that was one of the big revelations in my life was I realized that I was running fears, anxieties, and all that kind of bullshit from other people. And they came from various parts of my life.

Bill 57:38
And now I recognize when I’m running those patterns from other people that they’ve instilled in me. And I stopped a lot sooner than I used to. And I have that awkward conversation with Well, that’s just my dad’s pattern. I don’t need to run that anymore. He ran it because it was useful in the time that he grew up in to get him through a problem that he had.

Bill 58:01
And he didn’t realize that he could stop doing that. He just continued doing that. I’m not going to continue doing that till I’m 80. There’s no point there’s no chance. And that’s how I feel like people who are ultra marathon runners, and all this kind of stuff, even you, you’re running somebody else’s mindset to keep a part of it to keep you running to 60 miles, you’re running somebody else’s mindset.

Bill 58:28
And that could be the guy that did it before you. And that’s okay, because that’s part of a run that is part of a marathon that is part of an ultra marathon. But that is not part of stroke recovery. That mindset is the correct one for running an ultra marathon. It’s got nothing to do with stroke recovery.

Bill 58:46
Because if you keep pushing, and you keep trying to get the 60 mile mark of a stroke, recovery, it’s going to fail, it’s not gonna succeed. The mindset needs to be flexible, and applied to each individual situation of your life. appropriately.

Andy 59:02
Yeah. I agree.

Bill 59:06
Tell me about when it happened. What was some of those conversations real serious ones that you had with your wife? Did you have them?

Bill 59:18
Yes, I did. And I was kind of wracked with guilt. Although the stroke wasn’t my , well I thought, had I caused the stroke? It was a cryptogenic stroke. So we have no idea why happened. It was a massive clot at the back of my head and affected both sides of my body so the conversations we had were, will I ever be the same?

Andy 59:40
And can I walk again? Can we work as a team and you know, I remember thinking to myself, I’m not the guy she married will she went to split? Which she was mortified at, like, Oh, my God, no, whoever, whatever you are your still Andy, I love you, and I’m never going anywhere.

Andy 1:00:03
And that was like Oh my God thank God for that, I’m not going to be stuck in a home somewhere getting fed. But yeah, there were some pretty harsh conversations. And when you’re in the depths of anxiety and depression, you can be a really nasty person to be around unconsciously.

Andy 1:00:30
Because, you know, going on that depression tablets are great, nobody tells you coming off them is the worst thing you’ll ever do in your life. Apart from having a stroke. I was a horrendous person, because it took me about five, six weeks to come off them from that period of time.

Andy 1:00:47
At the time, I was horrible, just horrible. And nobody tells you that part. And that was some really brutal conversations about that period of time the person I’ve become. And when it happened, yeah, there’s some quite a life changing conversations you have because you know, there’s an element of you feeling sorry for yourself.

Andy 1:01:18
How am I the husband that she had. (inaudible) I’m here struggling to verbalize it. Because it’s just so horrible. I sometimes struggle to get the words out that was just horrible.

You’re not alone

Bill 1:01:47
I really appreciate the way that we’ve had this conversation because you verbalize some things that I can’t verbalize. And the reason why I have podcasts is to give people the opportunity to say all those things about stroke that I want to, but I don’t know how to.

Bill 1:02:08
And I find that every person that I interviewed, there’s gold comes out of their mouth, every single episode, this is going to be Episode 130. So if you ever thought you were alone in stroke recovery, if you ever thought that you’re the only one experienced something, just pick up one of those episodes, and listen to it, you’re not going to feel alone anymore, you know, you’re not going to feel weird, strange, different.

Bill 1:02:34
And hopefully what that does is that creates an opportunity for people to question everything they’ve ever done or ever been, and in ever thought so that they can start from scratch, and redefine their life and redefine who they are and how they can go about their life, even after they are completely their identities completely tested, change the whatever you want to call it.

Bill 1:03:05
And they can’t recognize themselves again, like it’s an opportunity for rebirth. And I say, I say that, from my perspective, and you as a stroke survivor might not be there yet. But one day, I hope that stroke survivors get there, I know that you’re well on your way of redefining who you are, and and completing the rebirth. And that makes me really excited. That makes me really happy to have this conversation with you. Because I think it offers hope for other people.

Bill 1:03:40
And you know what Bill, that puts a huge smile on my face. Because you know, I feel hugely privileged to have been able to chat to you and, tell a story. And you know, if one person was gonna listen to this podcast, and it helped one person, that’s a huge tick in the box for me.

Andy 1:04:01
Because nobody can write down on paper, the challenge of a stroke, you can’t define that place. And if it helps one person even find a glimmer of hope or get on a slightly different path, you know what? That would make me so happy. And any help that’s offered to anyone that’s going through this is absolute gorgeous.

Bill 1:04:31
That’s a beautiful way to end the podcast. Andy, thank you so much for being on the podcast. I really enjoyed our chat.

Andy 1:04:38
Thank you very much Bill.

Intro 1:04:43
Discover how to heal your brain after stroke, go to recoveryafterstroke.com

Intro 1:04:53
Importantly, we present many podcasts designed to give you an insight and understanding into the experiences of other animals. visuals, opinions and treatment protocols discussed during any podcast are the individual’s own experience and we do not necessarily share the same opinion nor do we recommend any treatment protocol discussed.

Intro 1:05:10
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.

Intro 1:05:23
The content is intended to complement your medical treatment and support healing. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health advice. The information is general and may not be suitable for your personal injuries, circumstances or health objectives.

Intro 1:05:38
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Intro 1:05:55
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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
129. 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 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/changing-perspective-after-stroke-jennifer-chapman/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/changing-perspective-after-stroke-jennifer-chapman/feed/ 0 <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/">129. Changing Perspective After Stroke – Jennifer Chapman</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Jennifer Chapman is recovering from an ischemic stroke which was caused by blood clots that occurred because of a vertebral artery dissection

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

Highlights:

01:13 Introduction
03:07 Ischemic stroke caused by Vertebral Artery Dissection
09:41 Expressing emotions
13:55 Change of perspective for Jennifer Chapman
26:21 Meant to do something more
34:53 Creating the stress
40:10 Post-stroke deficits
53:53 Intimacy after Vertebral Artery Dissection
1:02:39 Nutrition after stroke

Jennifer 0:00
Having a stroke for me has changed my perspective in the sense like, yeah, I hope and still want all those things, you know, in 10, 15, 20 years. And I’m also much more focused on today.

Jennifer 0:12
You know, the moment we’re in what we’ve got? What’s our goals for tomorrow and this weekend? And so our perspective is different in that regard for sure. I think the scariest thing for me was honestly accepting this new version of me working to find acceptance in this new version of me and because you’re really grieving the old you is what I’ve come to realize.

Jennifer 0:38
Like, this may be a better version of me, but it’s taken me you know, two and a half years to get there and I still continue to do daily work on myself and my mindset, to feel confident enough in knowing that that’s who I am now. This is who I am and I am more than okay with it.

Intro 1:01
This is The Recovery After Stroke Podcast, with Bill Gasiamis, helping you navigate recovery after stroke.

Introduction Jennifer Chapman

Jennifer Chapman
Bill 1:13
Bill from recoveryafterstroke.com. This is Episode 129. And my guest today is Jennifer Chapman. Jennifer didn’t know that she had a vertebral artery dissection that unfortunately created multiple blood clots, which caused an ischemic stroke.

Bill 1:29
In this interview, we discuss how her perspective on life has changed since the stroke. Now before we get started, if you have ever wondered what else I can do to help you with your stroke recovery, you should know that you can now get recovery after stroke coaching right from the comfort of your own home.

Bill 1:44
I too am a three-time stroke survivor and I have built for you what I was missing. When I was sent home from hospital in the hope that you don’t have to do stroke recovery as tough as I did.

Bill 1:55
Support packages give you access to a variety of tools 24-hours a day, 7 days a week so that you can also work on other areas of stroke recovery, like adjusting to your new normal, or even managing the grief that you may be feeling for your former self.

Bill 2:10
With talent support available from $8.50 per week, or recovery after stroke support packages and bring stroke recovery to you in the comfort of your own home. To try out recovery after stroke support and see if it is right for you, you will get the first seven days free, as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee no questions asked.

Bill 2:30
As a bonus, you will also get to face to face zoom support calls with myself to help take your recovery to the next level. Go to recoveryafterstroke.com/support to sign up. It won’t cost you anything for the first seven days. And you will get a full refund. If you are not happy after 30 days. You have nothing to lose, and everything’s again. And now it’s on with the show. Jennifer Chapman, welcome to the podcast.

Jennifer 2:57
Thank you so much for having me.

Bill 3:00
My pleasure. Thank you for being here. Tell me a little bit about what happened to you.

Ischemic stroke caused by Vertebral Artery Dissection

Bill 3:07
Yeah, so I spent my career in corporate sales. And was in this position, you know, hustling and grinding every day and feeling the stress, but I guess I didn’t know how much stress I put myself under. I was switching roles and positions within the company. And literally, the next morning I woke up and was prepared to start my new role and was getting ready to leave for the day and felt overwhelmingly dizzy out of nowhere.

Jennifer 3:46
Who hit you know very fast and was sweating profusely through my clothes and was like this can’t be right. So I lay down for a minute and it didn’t subside. So I called a family member and told her I didn’t feel right. And she said you don’t sound right. And I could tell that I was starting to struggle to swallow.

Jennifer 4:06
And my voice was changing. So I was humble myself. So I called 911. And the ambulance came to get me and I got to the hospital very quickly. I mean, within 15, 20 minutes, but unfortunately, it took them gosh, probably 12 hours for them to determine that I had suffered a stroke at 34.

Jennifer 4:28
And I think it was because maybe of my age that was not the first thing on their list to consider. I think they thought it was vertigo. So I think that time was crucial right? looking back.

Bill 4:39
Yeah, absolutely crucial. So what kind of stroke was it?

Bill 4:42
It was an ischemic stroke. So I had a clot but they didn’t find that right away like I said, so it took quite a few hours and once the second MRI showed a picture. It had happened in three different places in my brain.

Bill 5:03
So three different clots in three different locations?

Jennifer 5:08
Correct.

Bill 5:09
Wow. And do they know what was the underlying cause of the clots?

Bill 5:16
So Bill, it took 18 months for them to figure out how this happened. And in between that time, they ruled out a lot of things. You know, I wore heart monitor to make sure there was nothing, no heart issues.

Jennifer 5:30
I had gone to a hematologist, for any blood disorders, they took quite a bit from me that day, but nothing really stood out to them as far as why would cause a stroke. So I went to several specialists throughout that 18 months, but we finally did another CT scan and an angiogram.

Jennifer 5:49
And that’s where they determined that I had a dissection in the artery in the back of my neck. It was so small, they didn’t see it for clearly quite some time, but and then over time it had scarred over and is healing on its own. So I didn’t have to have surgery or anything. But yeah, talk about anxiety and fear until they found the answer.

Bill 6:13
Yeah, so anxiety that it’s gonna happen again, fear that you might die. What was the what were the emotions around that?

Bill 6:20
Yeah, it was emotional instability, for sure. I mean, I was crying every day, questioning every single move that I make in every pain that I felt. If I even remotely felt dizzy for a split second, right? Or if I stood up too fast and fell off.

Jennifer 6:40
It’s like, is this is this another one? Is this going to happen again? And is it going to be worse this time? Am I going to be able to recover and heal like I did this time? I mean, all those questions run through your head all the time.

Bill 6:53
And who’s living with you or you’re living on your own? Or do you have family around you?

Bill 6:57
I am married to my husband of 11 years. We have no children. We do have a chocolate lab who has our child. So he has really been a tremendous support system for me, you know, he wasn’t home that day. But he was at the hospital before I could even get there. And it’s stayed with me by my side every single day since so.

Jennifer 7:22
So you know how you’re experiencing anxiety and fear around the possibility that there might be another stroke. How’s your husband coping with that? What is he experiencing? Or is he different from you in the way that he handles these types of situations?

Bill 7:39
He’s completely different than me. And I think, I think it’s hard. I can only imagine how hard it is. And maybe it’s different from men to women, you know, as the caregivers as the caretakers, how they handle it, I think that if it were to happen to him, I would be I would still feel anxiety and stress with him and for him.

Jennifer 8:01
But because it was the opposite way. And it happened to me, he came across as an extremely strong person and didn’t show any, you know, fear or weakness or stress or anxiety. If he did, I wouldn’t know it.

Jennifer 8:22
And I know he did within the hospital this first couple of days. You know, my friends and family expressed that to me, but I never saw it. I was never aware of any emotion that said that otherwise, aside from he’s got me he’s gonna take care of me.

Bill 8:38
Yeah, caring, how many years ago was it?

Bill 8:44
I will have my fourth anniversary at the end of March this year. So March 30, of 2017.

Jennifer 8:53
Okay, so have you had a chance to speak to your husband about it since? Have you maybe gone down there and had that conversation with him to actually see what was happening, what the underlying concerns that were even though he was behaving like a duck, call and calm and collected on the water? Probably doing some stuff underneath that you couldn’t see?

Bill 9:19
Yes, we’ve talked about it. But he’s not one to get overly deep on his feelings and emotions. You know, he still comes across it’s pretty surface level. I know he was concerned and worried and I heard that from his parents and his mom was an extreme support system to me as well.

Expressing emotions

Jennifer 9:41
So I’m sure she had those conversations with him pretty early on too to see how he was coping and dealing But since then, he just shows me that he cares and is concerned versus talking about it.

Bill 9:57
Yeah, that’s a typical man thing and I find.

Bill 10:01
Yeah I don’t think I’m saying anything surprising to anybody.

Bill 10:04
No, I keep raising it though, because I think if men do listen to this podcast, I just want to raise it as a point of, we know what you do we know what you’re like, we know what you’re not expressing and not sharing.

Bill 10:16
And they might be the things that you need to share and express at some point in time in your life. And you don’t have to do it now. Just do it when you’re ready. But when the time comes, don’t then.

Bill 10:26
And I say that, as a man who went through stroke, the first episode was nearly nine years ago, in February, it’ll be nine years. And I struggled a lot with the emotional side of it, and expressing myself and being more willing to go to those, you know, deep emotional places that a lot of work needed to be done, there was a lot of work.

Bill 10:55
So then finding myself being a little bit strange in a group of other men who wouldn’t necessarily go there. And that it was odd that I was going in there, and I was the odd one out, but they appreciated when I spoke about it, they just didn’t engage in the conversation.

Jennifer 11:17
I believe that,

Jennifer 11:18
Yeah, and then, and then just seeing how my brother reacted as opposed to how I reacted, and then how my dad reacted. So it’s a very interesting conversation. Most of the people who approached me to being a podcast are not men, it’s women.

Bill 11:34
And most of the people who are prepared to have coaching are not men, they are women and most by my little basic version of the way that I sort of judge a situation or things that are going on, you started to show a pattern of men tend to just sit in the background and process things by themselves and do the stiff upper lip kind of thing.

Bill 11:59
So it’s good that he’s got his way of doing it. And that’s really important, too, that you appreciate that it’s his way. And his way, it doesn’t have to be your way, or it doesn’t have to be the way that somebody else does it.

Bill 12:12
100% That’s right. And it’s taken, you know, like I said, we’ve been together 13 years, it’s taken time for me to understand how he does cope and deal with certain things versus the way I do with with a lot of things in life, right? Serious situations, not so serious, we handle things completely different. And it’s understanding and accepting how each other handles it. And being okay with it.

Bill 12:40
Yeah. So you guys were quite young when you got married? How old were you when you married?

Jennifer 12:47
27.

Bill 12:49
Okay, that’s not that young. It seems like you said you guys were together for 11 years or longer?

Bill 12:58
I got married at 27. So we’ve been married 11 years been together 13.

Jennifer 13:05
Okay, so at 24 you guys got together, was there any idea of planning about the future about how your life was going to pan out and what you guys were going to be doing together and achieve and all that kind of thing?

Bill 13:27
Yes, we definitely had created a vision together. As far as what we wanted our lives to look like. And we knew early on, children was not in our by choice, we decided not to have kids, we were both just on the same page with that and wanted to enjoy our lives and, work until we could, you know, retire and enjoy travel and the things we wanted to do when we wanted to do them.

Change of perspective for Jennifer Chapman


Bill 13:55
Had stroke, interrupt your plan for the future? What does it do at the time when it happens in that first, say, 12 months? And now that some time has passed? How has that changed again?

Bill 14:12
Yeah, great question. I think that first year for both him and I, I know but speaking for me in recovery, like my brain didn’t process any of that. It was much more short term. Like you I’m just focusing on, you know, rehabbing and recovering and getting better every day.

Jennifer 14:34
It was definitely day by day for me for the first year. And I think that’s how he thought of it. But he’s always been much more of a long term goal oriented person, whereas having a stroke for me has changed my perspective, in the sense like, yeah, I hope and still want all those things, you know, in 10 15 20 years, but I’m also much more focused on that today. You know, the moment we’re in, what do we’ve got? What’s our goals for tomorrow and this weekend? And so I our perspective is different in that regard for sure.

Jennifer 15:09
When I had the first episode, the first bleed in the head, I didn’t consider that my life was going to be potentially lost. I didn’t think about that, then. Then six weeks later, I had another bleed. And that was the one that made me feel like, you know, the next one could be the last one.

Bill 15:36
That was one of the scariest things for me is that I wouldn’t have enough time with my family to tell them what I needed to tell them to make things right to be a better version of myself all that stuff. And I considered my mortality for the first time. What was the scariest thing for you?

Bill 15:57
That’s a good question. I think the scariest thing for me was honestly accepting this new version of me. Really, it was working with a life coach that I hired about 18 months after I tried therapy, and that there’s a place for therapy, no doubt about it, it just didn’t work for me.

Jennifer 16:26
So I heal through working with a life coach, and working to find acceptance in this new version of me and because you’re really grieving the old you is what I’ve come to realize, right? Like, this may be a better version of me, but it’s taken me you know, two and a half years to, to get there. And I still continue to do daily work on myself and my mindset, to feel confident enough in knowing that that’s who I am now, this is who I am, and I am more than okay with it.

Intro 17:01
If you’ve had a stroke, and you’re in recovery, you’ll know what a scary and confusing time and 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 17:19
Doctors will explain things. But obviously, because 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 17:41
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.

Jennifer 18:15
That was the scary part.

Jennifer 18:17
Yeah, that’s an interesting scary part. And you know, most people go into very different places when they have a stroke. But they’re scared about so many other things. And that’s okay.

Bill 18:26
For me. I like what you said about the therapy side of it, and what got you through. So I’m a coach. And I’ve been a coach for probably 10 years, and I’ve coached people in a whole bunch of different areas in their life. It seems like regardless of why they are attracted to me, they’ve all got the same problems.

Bill 18:44
But I was going to therapy for 20 odd years, 21, 22 years. And at the beginning, it was useful. And then after a few years, I kind of got this is getting old, I’m getting annoyed with this. It’s not working, I’m not solving my problems.

Bill 19:01
What I didn’t realize was there was a level of responsibility that I needed to take to solve my own problems. Me going to therapy and just talking about it forever, wasn’t going to achieve anything. And my therapist was an amazing lady. And she was encouraging me to do all those things.

Bill 19:18
And the reason I continue to go after that first initial block, and that hurdle in the first few years of therapy was because I had great rapport with her. And I could go to her and just have one of those real amazing conversations that I couldn’t have with anyone else.

Bill 19:39
That wasn’t about fixing me it wasn’t about making me better or any of that stuff. It was just about me going and not being judged and having a conversation and sharing myself. And then she had no reason to question what I was saying. And she made me feel validated that how I was thinking and the things that I was doing.

Bill 20:07
Were okay, and they were on the right track. So then I found a life coach who said, what you need to do is unravel the path towards achieving that particular goal that you want to achieve.

Bill 20:22
What is that path? What does it look like, and what’s stopping you from getting there? So combined with the therapist, me going then, and just expressing myself and finding somebody who wouldn’t judge me and who would appreciate me for me, meant that I could free myself up from not having like minded people around me, and then I could seek them out by going down this other path of coaching and overcoming my lack of skills.

Bill 20:51
And that’s what my biggest concern was, when I was growing up, it was I didn’t have the skills to achieve these goals. And I thought it was too difficult for me to do. So I love how you also got to that point with therapy being useful for one part of your life? And then actually, am I saying it correctly, you needed coaching to get you through the path or the process to wherever it was that you want it to go?

Bill 21:20
Correct, that’s exactly right. I felt like therapy. You’re diving into your past. And like you said talking about it, which can very easily become just mentally and emotionally draining just talking about it every time. But with coaching, it was like, let’s accept the current situation. Let’s understand it. And let’s learn how to move forward. And I’m like, yes, that resonated with me. That’s exactly what I wanted to do.

Jennifer 21:50
That it. And what’s the future about, and how do we get to the future version of you, which is the one that has a new career potentially, or the one that has had some amazing experiences that you never thought you might have like traveling? Or playing, you know, a part in some kind of a theatre production, whatever it is that your heart desires, that gets you moving.

Bill 22:15
That’s exactly right. It was an incredible experience working with her to define what this new version of me is going to look like. And not only that, rebuilding my confidence in myself, I was really struggling with, with the belief in myself that I am capable of whatever it is that I want to do.

Jennifer 22:41
And I felt like she believed in me before I could believe in myself. So I was really struggling to wrap my head around. You know, taking these big leaps that before I knew I could take without a doubt. But now what’s stopping me? No one else but me that was it. Getting out of my own head.

Jennifer 23:03
Yeah, pretty much. And taking action, you know, gutsy action to move forward, and finally connect with that person, finally do something about that thing. And finally, you know, risk of being rejected, finally, overcoming your monkey brain. And the ideas that it’s thrown out there about why it’s so difficult or what’s not possible.

Bill 23:27
What labels had you given yourself before the stroke. So I was a guy who was self employed, who worked 24 hours a day, seven day a week. And even if I wasn’t at work, I was always thinking about work or doing something that was related to work. And I never had enough time for myself.

Bill 23:46
And I always whinged about that and always complained about that. And I thought that it was the world that was at fault. That was the kind of way that I labeled myself. And I quickly realized that that version of me wasn’t going to help me in my recovery. What kind of labels have you given yourself that had to shift?

Bill 24:08
That I was more than just a sales rep. And it was a massive organization, but knowing that I was more than the title of a sales rep. And that was me giving myself that right. No one else did. I mean, anybody did, I didn’t care about that. I had the support before for sure.

Jennifer 24:34
But in wanting to stand on my own two feet, aside from being a wife to my husband, that had a great job, no doubt about it, but I was at that point, establishing myself as a career, you know, sales professional. So that’s been a total shift for me. Now knowing How much more I am giving myself that value and that worth as a person.

Jennifer 25:06
Yeah. When stroke happened did you find that that conversation happened quickly? Or did it take some time before you had to go back and reassess.

Jennifer 25:24
Not a lot of conversations happened too quickly. After, to be honest, it was much more about just the physical action that I had to take to work on myself from a physical recovery standpoint for the first 6, 7, 8 months. And even before that, I rushed back to work, I was asked, you know, I came back, so I wanted to feel normal, and think that I could just jump right into where I left off and continue to meet those high results and expectations.

Jennifer 25:59
And they weren’t asking that of me. That’s what I wanted out of myself. But it, you know, after a few months of thinking, I was back to normal, it wasn’t, you know, is figuring out having this conversation of, okay, you’re no longer fulfilled selling this or that.

Meant to do something more

Jennifer ChapmanJennifer 26:20
What, do you want to do? What is your sole purpose telling you to do here? And that’s when I, had conversations with leadership team, and they were super supportive with me. And we’re willing to make something work if we can make it work as far as being in a role. But I knew I had to step away because I knew I was meant to do something more.

Bill 26:44
Yeah, I like it. I was a bit thick. Like, I didn’t realize that I was meant to do something more. I just realized that I had to stop doing things the way that I was doing them, because obviously, it wasn’t working. And I wasn’t enjoying my life. I didn’t. Isn’t it weird that I didn’t even realize that I wasn’t enjoying my life, I just was really angry about it. And used to take it out on everybody else interesting.

Jennifer 27:13
I had no idea. So my coaching is what helped me understand that there’s some joy to be had, at some point down the road somewhere. And again, it wasn’t an awareness that I had, it was just a path that I was following, because somebody was guiding me beautifully down that down to that path.

Bill 27:35
And I remember getting to about 2000, and, you know, 15, or something like that, which was just a few months after. Maybe it was a year after brain surgery or a few months after brain surgery. And I thought, why don’t I just do a podcast where I interview people and talk about strike because I think what I was lacking was the connecting with people that will like me now.

Bill 28:05
And that I understood and who really understood me. And I had that podcast going for about 20 or so episodes. And I hadn’t interviewed many stroke survivors. And while I was doing the podcast, I was just interviewing people who are recovering from different ailments and different health issues.

Bill 28:28
And I related to them to an extent. And we had some amazing conversations, and I called it the transit lounge podcast. And it took me about a year or more to do those 20 episodes. And then as I continued to understand what podcasting was about, and why I was doing it.

Bill 28:47
It happened I reckon two years later, where the light bulb moment occurred when I realized that what I’m doing is actually helping me in my recovery, and at the same time is helping other people. And I might, could it be possible that that’s part of my purpose in life is to really connect with people who I can help, and then also have those people help me in this really loving two way relationship that just came.

Bill 29:19
And if I had to think about that, and try and find a way to get to that, I don’t think I would have got there. But the fact that I was just doing and being and enjoying this process is what made me reflect four or five years later and go well, that’s one of the best things I ever did was just do something even though I don’t know what it’s going to mean in four or five years.

Bill 29:46
And even though I don’t have to commit to it, just do it and see what comes of it. Do you find yourself being down the road and then turning back and going Well, if I never did that thing or if I never had that experience that never would have led to the next one, and then never would lead to the next one, and then I wouldn’t have had this amazing 12 months of growth or expanse, or whatever, is that familiar?

Bill 30:16
It’s amazing to think that if I, if I hadn’t had the stroke, I would like to think that I was still at that company, you know, thriving and, you know, being a successful leader at that company and have worked my way up, you know, but almost four years ago, my life completely changed.

Jennifer 30:38
And working with my coach to realize this happened for me, not to me, that this happened for a reason and really understanding what the reason is, and why? You know, looking back, I have no other thing to say, but that I’m thankful that it happened because it’s brought me to where I am now.

Jennifer 31:02
And it’s brought me to what I look forward to doing moving forward, which is serving others and being able to coach, others that are still stuck. They don’t necessarily have to be stroke survivors, obviously, although that is who I resonate the most with. But I feel like there’s lots of people out there that are looking to overcome these mental and emotional challenges after a life changing event or trauma.

Jennifer 31:26
And they’re just trying to figure out how do I accept and adapt and embrace the new me? So yeah, it’s crazy that it’s taken time, and that someone can say they’re thankful, but it’s truly a blessing.

Jennifer 31:42
I say the same thing, and many people can’t yet say that. And that’s okay. I also relate to what you’re saying about, you know, helping others and supporting other people. What I realized was that stroke survivors had the same problems before stroke that they have after stroke.

Bill 32:05
But now they might have a few extra ones that are, actually because of the stroke. So when you’re coaching a stroke survivor, it’s not the stroke, that you’re coaching them to overcome or get over, you’re actually coaching them to overcome the shit that came before that, that has now reared its ugly head again, and in a bigger and more urgent way, because now life for me, it could be over, or, oh, my God, I haven’t done all this stuff that I was supposed to have done, because I made all these ridiculous excuses.

Bill 32:39
And now look at me now. Now I can’t walk, I can’t use one of my arms. And here I am, with extra problems. And now I really have problems. Whereas before, it was just in my head, it was just stories. So when I come across somebody who needs help, stroke is my platform.

Bill 33:02
It’s what I use to connect with people. If I didn’t use stroke, I wouldn’t know how to connect with you. We wouldn’t be able to connect. Right? So now I use this weird word I call a stroke. And now all of a sudden, people connect. Now with other people, it might be a hobby, they might be into drone photography.

Bill 33:25
And what they find from drone photography isn’t other people who know how to take photos with a drone. It’s somebody who they can relate to who shares their pain, their passion, their ideas, their creativity. And the drone is just this weird thing that we squeeze in the middle to make a connection.

Jennifer 33:45
Right? Yeah, I totally understand that. And I’m on the same page with you on that. I feel like the problems that I thought I had before that I thought were big deal. aren’t that big a deal anymore. That’s what I’ve come to realize. Like, really I feel like I’m so hyper aware of everything now.

Jennifer 34:10
Good, bad or indifferent. But what problems am I really sweating here? Is it was I really sweating over you know, traffic that day, which used to, you know, I could really have gotten worked up about some thoughts on the road all the time, like, now, it’ll be okay. I’ll get to where I need to get what I need to get there.

Jennifer 34:32
You know, like, really trying to manage the stress level. And making sure I’m in a calm state of mind as much as I possibly can be because the stress isn’t worth it. It’s really trying to how to manage that right? It’s the the mental health piece. That’s so crucial in recovery.

Creating stress


Bill 34:53
Do you feel like the stress is something that you created bad habits around and weren’t aware of it. So the reason I asked that is because I truly feel like my stress when I create stress it’s, again, I just said it like I create it. I know there’s an environment around me. I create it, do you feel like you fell into some bad habits just because of life? Or I don’t know what not paying attention enough.

Jennifer 35:25
So yeah, growing up, always, I’ve been an extremely competitive person. So whether that was playing sports growing up, or any type of competition, you know, at work, you know, since I’m in sales, there’s always competition to hit numbers. And because I was a competitive person and cared so much about winning, that was the stress I put on myself.

Jennifer 35:54
You know, thinking that I was competing with other people, and I would put these ridiculous expectations on myself. Yeah, there was corporate expectations. But ultimately, if I was going to win, I was going to do what I you know what it took, but I put all that on myself.

Jennifer 36:11
Which isn’t worth it at the end, to feel the way you’re gonna feel to try and win what? I mean. So it was just that shift in mindset for me, because the competitive side of me helped in recovery, I will tell you, because I was trying to be what I accomplished the day before, and an athlete and competitor me, that’s where I thrive, no doubt about it. But yeah, from a mindset standpoint, taking that level, you know, knowing how to manage and take that level of stress down because like you said, we put it on ourselves.

Bill 36:50
As an athlete, if you’re preparing for an event, and you’re stressed how well are you going to achieve that? in that event?

Bill 37:03
It depends. It depends on where I grew up, tennis was my sport of choice.

Bill 37:10
So if you’re stressed about what happened in the car park, or what happened on the way to the game, how much is that gonna help you with the game? If you don’t let that go?

Bill 37:24
Yeah, typically not well, I’m going to beat myself before they’re gonna beat me. Like, it’s what I’ve done, right? My preparation, what I’ve put in my head before I stepped out onto the court. You know, if I was in a good headspace, it would go so much better. Looking back, you know, being able to process all this now. It’s like, oh, man, I got myself into all kinds of trouble. And I did a lot of damage to myself, let alone the competition that was out there.

Jennifer 37:56
And isn’t it interesting that as somebody who had been coached for a long time, in tennis, your you knew that when you’re stressed, and you take that onto a game onto a court into a game, that that’s going to impact your performance? There’s so many people who participate in sports that know that yet, we don’t do that. In life, we don’t have that conversation.

Bill 38:23
We don’t know that about our life. So we’ll leave the stress behind when we go on the court and have a great game. And we’ll say yeah, I was in the zone and everything went right for me today. And I was feeling great, etc.

Bill 38:35
And, you know, all the steps that you took to get to that point to be great in the game, you probably meditated or ate well, the day before, you probably did all these amazing things. You had your preparation, and your process. And then you go into regular life and you’ve got no process, no preparation, nothing just just turn up and use or just play out all the crazy habits.

Jennifer 39:01
That’s right. It’s, incredible. You know, what can happen in your life if you just know how to properly take care of yourself in all aspects mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, all the things, if you if you have if you can put a routine in place, you know, every day, every morning, whatever that looks like knowing to get good regular sleep at night.

Jennifer 39:30
Eating great meals, drinking a lot of you know enough water, getting your your 30 minutes of exercise. Maybe practice gratitude journaling, which I didn’t do until after all this had occurred. But what that can do to shift your mindset as well but just to be in a good headspace. How much more productive and successful you’ll be that day versus the self sabotage you can do to yourself.

Bill 39:55
So good. What was the hardest thing you’ve had to overcome? So far, so whether that be cognitive or physical, what are some of the things that you’ve had to overcome, that were caused by the stroke?

Post-stroke deficits

Bill 40:10
Yeah, so I’m blessed physically, that if you saw me on the street, no one would ever know, I’ve had a stroke. So I am well aware of that, and incredibly thankful that I was able to overcome the physical challenges, the biggest deficit that I have, that no one can see is that I lost lost my left peripheral vision.

Jennifer 40:35
So I don’t have about 40% of my vision. So I don’t mean there’s like a straight line looking versus the left side of my, my body over here. So I adapted that every day, I’ve gotten better, right over the over the years of knowing that’s not going to change, there’s nothing we can do about that. I’m blessed that I got my license back a few months later.

Jennifer 40:57
And I’m able to drive where I know, there’s so many people that you know, they, they lose that freedom. But that’s still a challenge. And it can still mess with you mentally, to know that you don’t have 40% of your vision. And then the other deficit that I had to overcome, which was also extremely challenging, that no one can see is my vocal cord was paralyzed.

Jennifer 41:23
So not only did I have the speech therapy to get the strength in my voice back, but it affects my ability to breathe. So it doesn’t affect it on a daily basis, or when I’m sleeping or anything, but as a girl that used to do boot camp style workouts five to six days a week, and push myself to the point of exhaustion and exertion every day, and I couldn’t leave the gym without you know, being completely drenched in sweat and that was a de stressor for me, right?

Jennifer 41:53
I can’t do that now. Because I have to be able to catch my breath. So I can’t really do any cardio or anything. And so I’ll get winded extremely easily. So overcoming that not only physically figuring out another way to work out, but as a de stressor, how am I going to de stress mentally, knowing I have to change such a big part of my life. So that’s been that was challenging. I found a new way and I love it, but it took some time.

Bill 42:23
So what’s the new way?

Bill 42:27
Pilates is my passion. I never would have considered that before not judging anybody that did it. It just didn’t seem like the type of workout for me that was going to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish. But now.

Bill 42:41
Let’s face it, it seems weird Pilates whatever.

Bill 42:46
Yeah, what are we doing? Are we stretching and doing abs? No, it’s hard every single time.

Bill 42:55
But it’s amazing I know. So Pilates. So you do that a few times?

Jennifer 43:03
Oh, yeah. I probably six days a week. I take one day off.

Bill 43:08
I can see you don’t do things by yeah.

Bill 43:14
I love it. It’s continued healing and therapy too to do Pilates. Right. I mean, it’s, I’m consistently working on my balance still, and breathing, and, you know, just stretching. And it really is such a great form of exercise and therapy for me.

Bill 43:36
So have you tried to play tennis again?

Bill 43:42
Not really. I have not stepped on a court in a while. And here’s the thing, I wouldn’t want to get out there and get frustrated. Because I know I’m not even close to where I was before. So that’s the competitive side of me knowing like, if I’m not gonna be able to, you know, do what I used to be able to do on the court. I’m good, I’ll walk away.

Jennifer 44:08
All right, that’s your challenge, your challenge is to put that out of your head and just go on to the court and just be there. And even if you can’t win a game, because you’re not going to actually be there to play a game, you’re just going to have a hit. That’s what my challenge for you is just go back to the tennis court, and just feel it and see what it’s like. And if you don’t like it, that’s fine. But you might be like.

Jennifer 44:31
It would feel good I know.

Bill 44:33
Yeah. Give yourself that let yourself do that. And it doesn’t matter that you aren’t going to be as competitive as you were before because you’re trying to evolve from being that kind of person anyway, you don’t really want to be in that space because that’s not the space that you’re in. Now you’re in a different space.

Jennifer 44:53
I can do that.

Jennifer 44:57
It’s not for me to tell you what to do or give advice unsolicited especially, but it just to me, it sounds like man like that’s what you must do, for me and I say that because there’ll be a lot of other stroke survivors going, ah, I couldn’t possibly go back and try that again or do that again.

Bill 45:15
And for me it was riding a bike. And I got on a bike and my balance is affected. And as a result, you know, I would feel a bit less sturdy on my left side. And then also I can’t feel my left side of my body. It’s very numb, and that meant that my foot wouldn’t.

Jennifer 45:35
That’s how my right side is.

Bill 45:37
Yeah, right. Okay, so my foot on the pedal would fall off the pedal, and the pedal would scrape my shins. And, and it was a real difficult thing for me to ride a bike and I stopped doing it for about four years, I got sick of it, and I couldn’t do it anymore. Because it would be very tiring to turn the pedal, my leg would fatigue.

Bill 46:00
So then I discovered electric bikes. And I realized that when I get on an electric bike, and pedal, my foot doesn’t fatigue as much. And I don’t ride my bike for, you know, heaps and heaps of time or for very long distances, I just do it so that I can get a feel for this freedom and sense of, you know, the wind rushing by your head, and all that kind of stuff that I used to get when I was a kid.

Bill 46:30
So after four years of refusing to get back on a bike, because it was too scary or too dangerous, I found the solution and I got back on it. And now I do it, maybe two or three times a month for a couple of hours. And it just brings me so much joy. And it’s a very gentle form of exercise as well.

Bill 46:50
Because like you, I really am not going to run again, I’m not going to do very strenuous type of exercises like I used to do before. So this is just a lovely way. And it took me four years to overcome it and find a solution to it. But most of the four years was made just overcoming my concern with it and my fear.

Jennifer 47:10
Exactly.

Bill 47:13
So you experience it. You experienced right side numbness. Is that constant? Does it get worse when you’re tired at the end of the day?

Bill 47:23
It does. And that’s right, that’s another thing that people don’t see. Unless you tell them is my right side feels completely different than my left. Not that I have necessarily weakness, but the sensitivity to like hot and cold.

Jennifer 47:39
I don’t really feel that on my right side. Like I do my left. It’s like literally aligned directly down my body. My right leg is overly sensitive. It’s tingley. And depending on the temperature or fatigue, it gets worse. I mean, there’s days that it’s, it’s definitely more tender than others.

Bill 47:57
I try to explain that to people. And there’s only one way that I can it’s like, do I tell them? Have you ever sat on your leg and it’s gone numb, and it feels tingly? And they say yes, I say well, that’s how my entire left side feels. And it starts from the middle of my head to there.

Bill 48:17
And, all the way down. And to bring a bit of humor into it. I tell them that it is halfway between every single part of my body you get what I’m going you get what I mean yeah, guys? So yeah, they find it bizarre because I explained to them it’s you know, every part of my body, just get that in your head. You know?

Bill 48:45
And I gotta ask on your on your left side, your left side is tingly?

Bill 48:52
Yeah.

Jennifer 48:53
Does it affect the right side of your brain. I feel like I’ll feel tingly on my left side of my head. But it’s the right side of my body.

Jennifer 49:03
Yeah, so exactly that so my bleed was on the right side and the surgery was on the right side. And the left side feels strange and bizarre, although it’s the healthy, quote-unquote, the healthy side or the good side of me. It’s the one that is always tight and stiff.

Bill 49:22
And always overcompensating, my muscles are always contracting in weird ways. So the right side feels normal. And sometimes I have the days where I do the comparison. So do you ever do those days where you’re going? Oh, shit, my left side feels weird again.

Bill 49:40
I do that and that frustrates me sometimes. Because sometimes I feel and I wish like I wish it wasn’t doing that right now. I wish I was just feeling one. Did you get that you have that experience?

Bill 49:56
Totally. I definitely do. I think the part I worry about is feeling sensations in my head. On my left side, I’ll feel sensations and I don’t know how else to explain it. Except I don’t feel tingly or sensitive on the inside.

Jennifer 50:15
And it’s being reassured that that’s just the new, you know, it’s your new normal. Like, I met with my neurologist last week, actually, who I enjoy meeting with, and she’s taking good care of me these last almost four years. But it’s like, if you don’t have any concerns, I guess that I need to, you know, be okay with it.

Jennifer 50:40
But it’s, yeah, there’s days where I’m like, what, what is that? Do I need to be worried I need to call somebody, I need to just let it be, you know, meditate, calm down. And know that I’m okay.

Bill 50:52
That’s fair, because I had that conversation around the four or five year mark as well. And my neurologist said, you’re good to go. And whatever you’re feeling or feeling or whatever you’ve got, you’ve got, but you’re good to go. As far as your head is concerned.

Bill 51:11
But I remember even about 18 months ago, I was in the hospital concerned about stroke. So I’ve been I’ve been out of this, you know, risk category for nearly four years now, maybe nearly almost five years. And I had this really strange day where I felt really off.

Bill 51:36
And my head was feeling really terrible. And at the same time, I have, do you see this thing on my forehead on my eye here that a little bump? So that’s a blood vessel that has expanded or swollen or something’s happened to it. And that happened at the same time as this really bizarre, strange headache.

Bill 52:04
So, for me, it wasn’t silly to go to my hospital where I had been treated and had surgery and say I know it’s probably nothing but I’d rather check it out, than go worrying about it and thinking about it. And it turned out of course to be nothing.

Bill 52:24
But when I went there, they took it seriously. They said to me, Look, we’re glad you’re here would rather you come and let’s check it out and let’s get to the bottom of it. And then I went home feeling relieved, and I let the headache just relax. And that was that.

Bill 52:39
Yeah. Peace of mind is everything.

Bill 52:43
Yeah, it really is. And, I don’t think I’m gonna go through the rest of my life ignoring a headache anymore.

Bill 52:56
And I still battle those too, I still get headaches. And that’s what I met with her about recently, I got headaches before the stroke. I mean, I’ve had them since college. I’ve usually been able to manage them if I got a migraine or something with a medicine. But after the stroke, I couldn’t take that medicine anymore.

Jennifer 53:14
They said it affected your blood vessels and things so it was a risk to take it. So these last three and a half years. It’s trying to find a medicine that’s going to work as well as the one that worked every single time before which we’ve yet to find the ideal medication, I take a couple preventatives and everything, but I’m getting ready to start something new here soon to see if we can keep them under control.

Jennifer 53:39
Which I appreciate her so much and never giving up and always willing to try new things with me to kind of make sure I’m in a least amount of pain as possible and to have as much peace of mind as I can every day.

Intimacy after Vertebral Artery Dissection

Jennifer 53:53
Yeah, it’s important with regards to if it’s okay, can we go for a little bit of time, to intimacy, and not on any details or anything like that. But for me, as a male, it was really, really important that I became intimate with my wife again, as quickly as possible.

Bill 54:14
And it was not obviously able to happen for a period of time at least six weeks. My doctor specifically told me because it was one of the first things that I specifically asked, and they said to me for at least six weeks because you’ve had a bleed and you’ve got potentially still a blood vessel that hasn’t healed properly.

Bill 54:43
We don’t want to get your blood pressure up and your heart rate going too crazy in case would cause another bleed so you should refrain from being intimate if you can. And of course, we did the right thing and we refrained. What’s the thinking like for you? And I’m asking you because I’ve never specifically gone out of my way to ask somebody. But I’m kind of trying to get the female perspective on how important intimacies and then how you go about navigating that.

Jennifer 55:20
A great question that I do not get asked all the time, that’s for sure. I’ve been hesitant. You know, these past three and a half years. I don’t know, I don’t have a good reason why just. Yeah, it’s an important aspect in 97% of the marriages, I’m sure. But my husband and I are in such a great place with our relationship.

Jennifer 55:52
And that might not be priority one anymore. But it’s being it’s knowing that we’re more than okay without that being a priority. And he’s respected that and it’s still a work in progress. No doubt.

Bill 56:09
Yeah, that’s fine. One of the issues that I had was the touch on my left side. So because my left side feel so different, tender touch really hurts.

Jennifer 56:22
Yeah.

Jennifer 56:24
And that is a real challenge for me, because I noticed that during those moments, and that might put me off, or that might bother me. And that might take my mind somewhere where it shouldn’t be going at that time.

Jennifer 56:44
Right.

Jennifer 56:45
It’s even an issue. The tender touch is even an issue when I’m just driving the car, and I have my hand on the shift. And my wife reaches over and she just pops her hand on there. And even that bothers me that annoys me, because she’s being tender.

Bill 57:04
And I’m saying to her, don’t do that don’t touch my hand, or don’t be tender. And that’s kind of weird, because (inaudible) to not be something that she’s doing to express, you know, love and connection with.

Bill 57:23
That’s hard to explain to because, yeah, there will be times where he, you know, he’ll want to, you know, show a gesture or, you know, touch or whatever that is, or just be simply kind. And it’s more of like a what am I agitated about? or Why do I not want that or, you know, it’s definitely still working with myself and through myself to figure out, you know, the attitude towards it.

Jennifer 57:53
And it’s interesting to see the things that didn’t drive me crazy before. But due now, and not just when it comes, not just when it comes to him, but just like the littlest things like, like loud noise or bright lights, or we’ll be driving down the road and like hitting speed bumps or something like that, like that. I’m very sensitive to that type of movement. Those things just drive me crazy. I don’t know why. But I just don’t like it.

Jennifer 58:26
Yeah, I can relate to that a little bit. So especially, and a lot of stroke survivors on the podcast, you know, there’s been more than 120 will tell you, that light sensitivity, sound sensitivity and too much stuff going on, for example, in a public place, like a, like a shopping center or a market or something like that is overwhelming.

Bill 58:49
And I avoided going out for many months to not experienced those overwhelming situations. But one of the things that makes me cringe is seeing people get struck in the head or, or Yeah, trying to watch the boxing or you know, he really makes me cringe and it makes me feel really uncomfortable about it.

Bill 59:17
And I am always kind of finding a way to protect my head if I’m in a situation where we’re not being rough or there’s just, I don’t know, if there’s just a potential hit me on the head. I don’t want to have a bar of it. And if you touch my head, you’re gonna know about it. I’m gonna let you know. It’s gonna be pretty tough.

Bill 59:41
I feel that I feel the exact same way about protecting my neck and head but you know, because of this, I don’t know how I got this tear in my artery in the first place. So like even if I go to a salon now with my hair, and you know that you get those sinks where there’s that dip.

Jennifer 59:57
It drives me crazy. I hate it. I don’t like it, we try and protect it and put extra towels back there to make sure I’m as comfortable as I possibly can. But like, we’re doing certain stretches. Even in class, there’s things I won’t do something like, it’s not worth me feeling the way I feel, even if I’m not doing anything wrong.

Jennifer 1:00:20
I reckon you’re not being too overcautious, because I something triggered when you said putting your head back in the salon. That that is a common cause of creating damage to people’s necks in many various ways. And I’ve never put my head in one of those situations.

Bill 1:00:37
But I can imagine that, you know, if you have a sensitivity there, and you put your head in that position that that could cause a problem. Also, chiropractic for some people, has been catastrophic. Yeah, because there’s a sensitivity to a blood vessel that nobody’s aware of not even the chiropractor, and it creates an issue.

Bill 1:01:04
And then they have a stroke. And also, one of the people who I interviewed a lady called Clodah Dunlop, I can’t remember which episode she was on, she was a police officer, and she was involved in a collision in the car at work. It wasn’t a dramatic collision.

Bill 1:01:22
But that force, that’s more force of her making her move her head backwards and forwards, created a tear, which turned into a clot A few months later, and then cause a stroke later. So the whole idea that you’re going to be protective around the sensitive part of your body is pretty fair. And it’s pretty good way to go about protecting your life, especially if you feel like you have a vulnerability there.

Bill 1:01:55
For sure, yeah, I definitely find myself extremely aware of things that maybe I used to be able to do. But now it’s like, it’s not worth it. You know, whether it’s what you know, going skiing, or riding a roller coaster, or some of those more active activities that we used to enjoy doing from time to time, and now it’s like, I’m good. It’s really being okay with that.

Bill 1:02:20
Yeah. You don’t miss it do you? I know what you mean. Because there’s certain things I just do not miss, I just will not go there. And it doesn’t matter that I’m not doing it anymore. I’ve experienced that. And that’s it, I’m done with it.

Jennifer 1:02:35
Yeah, I completely agree with you.

Nutrition after stroke for Jennifer Chapman

Jennifer Chapman
Jennifer 1:02:39
Tell me about you saying like, you’re very proactive in your approach to recovery. As we wrap up, I’d love to ask you about nutrition and what you’ve done different or what you’ve continued to do or what you’ve started doing with regards to your food because I imagine when you’re playing tennis and you’re in the competitive sport like that you are really dialing in on your nutrition. How did that evolve or change or stay the same after stroke?

Bill 1:03:15
It’s interesting, not a whole lot I’ve always cared about my nutrition and you know, kind of everything in moderation you know, method but really, this last year through the quarantine that we’re having, you know, the States since last March. It’s really allowed my husband and I to care a little bit more, right, because we’ve just cooked at home so much more than we ever have.

Jennifer 1:03:46
So finding the joy in I do more than he does as far as like just cooking and you know, finding better recipes, healthier recipes to eat at the house has really helped us both out so great, you know, and still doing my Pilates and still staying active. And luckily we have a we have a dog who we take out multiple times a day. So finding that balance of activity as well as the nutrition piece. It’s always been important to me, not a whole lot has changed per se on that level. How about you?

Jennifer 1:04:19
Yeah, well, at the beginning I did really well and even continued to do quite well. I didn’t drink alcohol for the best part of five years. And I stopped eating gluten and caffeine and sugar.

Bill 1:04:37
And all those things that I realized I started to pay attention to when I was eating them will are making me feel unwell or they’ll make me feel sluggish or slow especially with cognitive fatigue. Caffeine gives you a boost but then you have the drop off and that causes fatigue.

Bill 1:04:57
Sugar does the same thing and bread, like from wheys and gluten and all that had always interfered with my digestive system. And when you have a sluggish digestive system, you really have a sluggish brain.

Bill 1:05:11
So I started to dial in on my nutrition and really took out a lot of the inflammatory foods, and I call them the fun five. And I’ve done a little course around it. And those fun five foods include alcohol, dairy, gluten, sugar, and caffeine. And I just became this most amazing version of myself physically, I had become a far more efficient version of myself.

Bill 1:05:45
And I had less bad days as a result of making those changes. Now those changes didn’t happen overnight. And they didn’t happen very quickly. I dropped one of them off, maybe every, you know, six to 12 months, so that I wasn’t being crazy about it.

Jennifer 1:06:04
Yeah, I think that would set you up for failure if you did, but I’m interested in your fun five and to learn more.

Bill 1:06:13
Yeah. So I interviewed a nutritionist and her partner who was a performance coach. So I got to the bottom of me really understanding from two other people’s perspective, why it’s important to minimize those food items.

Bill 1:06:33
And it really reinforced in me what was important to help my brain be optimum. And then we got to that point of being able to take one off just over time, over time. And after three or four years, I had got to that point. But that didn’t mean that when I went out with my friends, and we wanted to enjoy an amazing dinner, or a night out, it didn’t mean that I didn’t indulge, it meant that I just didn’t do those things for the majority of the time.

Bill 1:07:01
And then when I needed to catch up with people and have fun and just be normal, then I would be normal. And then I would recover well from that and everything would be okay, so that’s what I did. It’s a real big conversation, we could go on forever and ever, and I really appreciate your time and for being persistent with me and reaching out because we did have a little bit of time there where I wasn’t in the zone of doing podcast episodes, or taking emails from people or anything like that.

Bill 1:07:35
And I just want people to know that if you ever get to that point where it’s too much, and you don’t want to take emails and have conversations and you want to step away from life a little bit that you can, and that’s really important for stroke recovery, but your kind way of just reminding me that we still needed to do this podcast is what I needed. So I really appreciate the fact that you did that.

Jennifer 1:08:05
Thank you so much for the kind words. Yeah, I was intrigued the first time we had connected I don’t know when that was maybe three or four months ago. But yeah, you know, I got busy too. And I’m you know, working on my coaching business.

Jennifer 1:08:19
And so you know, I’ve got plenty on my plate, but I just think to be able to share, you know our stories. And maybe because maybe someone out there hears it needs to hear it and wants to hear it and wants to be in a better place than they are right now. With their recovery.

Bill 1:08:36
Thanks so much for being on the podcast.

Jennifer 1:08:40
Thank you I really appreciate it.

Intro 1:08:43
Discover how to heal your brain after stroke go to recoveryafterstroke.com.

Intro 1:08:52
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 1:09:09
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 1:09:26
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. Do not use our content as a standalone resource to diagnose treat, cure or prevent any disease for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for the advice of a health professional.

Intro 1:09:47
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 The medical professional if you are experiencing a health emergency or think you might be called triple zero if in Australia or your local emergency number immediately for emergency assistance or go to the nearest hospital emergency department.

Intro 1:10:11
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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
128. Exercise After Stroke – Lilia Artimenia https://recoveryafterstroke.com/exercise-after-stroke/ Mon, 04 Jan 2021 11:49:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5659 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/exercise-after-stroke/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/exercise-after-stroke/feed/ 0 <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/">128. 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

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

Highlights:

01:01 Introduction
04:43 Ischemic stroke caused by PFO
13:23 Memory and speech issues
20:45 Post-stroke struggles
28:47 Stroke Exercises
33:32 Exercise After Stroke
41:22 Future plans

Transcription:

Bill 0:00
What motivated you to put up your Instagram page? The one where you’re sharing adaptive workouts.

Lilia 0:08
I started to look up workouts for stroke survivors. And basically, it was just a bunch of old people like doing this. And so I said to myself, this has to change because not all stroke survivors are old people. And so made the page.

Intro 0:48
This is the Recovery After Stroke Podcast, with Bill Gasiamis, helping you navigate recovery after stroke.

Introduction

Exercise After Stroke
Bill 1:01
Bill from recoveryafterstroke.com This is Episode 128. And my guest today is Lilia Artimenia. Lilia is recovering from an ischemic stroke, which she experienced at the age of just 17 years and is working to improve her speech, as well as her mobility.

Bill 1:20
Now before we get started, if you have ever wondered what else I can do to help you with your stroke recovery, you should know that you can now get recovery after stroke coaching right from the comfort of your own home. I too am a three-time stroke survivor and a brain surgery survivor.

Bill 1:34
And I have built for you what I was missing when I was sent home from the hospital in the hope that you don’t have to do stroke recovery as tough as I did. Support packages give you access to a variety of tools 24 hours a day, seven days a week so that you can also work on other areas of stroke recovery that you don’t get the chance to at physical therapy.

Bill 1:56
Support packages gives you access to a variety of tools 24 hours a day, seven days a week so that you can also work on other areas of stroke recovery that you don’t get a chance to have physical therapy or rehabilitation. With tailored support available for less than $8.50 a week.

Bill 2:12
All recovery after stroke support packages, bring stroke recovery to you in the comfort of your own home to try out recovery after stroke support and see if it is right for you. You’ll get the first seven days free as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee. No questions asked.

Bill 2:28
As a bonus, you will get to face to face zoom support calls with myself to take your recovery to the next level. Go to recoveryafterstroke.com/support to sign up, you won’t cost you anything for the first seven days, and you’ll get a full refund. If you’re not happy after 30 days, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. And now it’s on with the show. Lilia Artimenia. Welcome to the podcast.

Lilia 2:53
Thank you.

Bill 2:55
Thank you so much for being here. I really appreciate it. I decided to get in touch because Instagram is pretty exciting, or for me to read because you like to share exercises for stroke survivors. And then when I saw that, I became curious about who was behind that Instagram.

Bill 3:20
And I was shocked to find out that somebody so young was behind it. And I needed to understand why. What motivated you to do that? Can you give me a bit of a, can you let us know what actually happened to you?

Lilia 3:37
Well, I had a stroke. And I was thinking I wanted to work out after the stroke, right. But, my body was unable to like my right side was affected. So the majority of the people who were like, who had a stroke are old so they just kind of like given up at that point.

Lilia 4:18
And like saying, I’m not gonna work out at least I think. So I wanted to create an Instagram page where I’m making adaptive workouts for people who had brain injury and so yeah.

Ischemic stroke caused by PFO

Bill 4:39
So what happened to you actually, though, you had a stroke, what kind of stroke was it?

Lilia 4:43
Ischemic.

Bill 4:48
Do they know what caused it?

Lilia 4:51
The PFO in my heart there is multiple causes to this. So I was on birth control. And that causes my blood to form clots. And I had a latent five factor blood clotting mutation, which is the blood runs extra thick and it like clots more easily. And I had a PFO in my heart. And so it’s basically like a whole heart, so to speak. And so I was a ticking timebomb.

Bill 5:41
You had a hole in the heart, which is also called a Patent Foramen Ovale. And you had this genetic condition that enables your blood to clot quicker. And at the same time, you were taking the birth control pill, which sometimes causes blood clots for some people and stroke.

Bill 6:05
Were you aware of any of those things before you were prescribed the pill? And then when you’re prescribed the pill, were you told that there was this underlying low risk of having a stroke from it?

Lilia 6:19
Yes, but I didn’t think that would be me. So, but it turns out, it was me.

Bill 6:27
Yeah. And how old were you at the time?

Lilia 6:30
17?

Bill 6:34
It’s a bit rough, isn’t it?

Lilia 6:35
Yeah.

Bill 6:36
What happened on the day? What did you notice?

Lilia 6:41
The day that I had my stroke, it’s kind of, I woke up really early in the morning to go. I was a ski coach. racer, and I raced for five years. And I decided to coach and it was my second year doing that. And I woke up really early, drove to the mountain, which is like an hour and a half.

Lilia 7:14
And I took my pill, which is like at seven in the morning when I got to the mountain. And went ski racing, I coached, and went back, got home made dinner, my boyfriend and I, were staying over at my dad’s place, because my dad was vacationing and later on like, I found, later when I was about to go to sleep.

Lilia 7:59
I was really tired, like really tired. And, like, an exhaustion I have only felt like, once in my life and that was that and I had a headache. And basically, that was it. Like, I had a stroke right then and there. And I didn’t know what was going on with me. And like, I couldn’t talk, my right side went numb and my face was drooping.

Lilia 8:35
And they told me that, my boyfriend calls an ambulance and the paramedics arrived, the EMTs. Whatever arrived on the scene 10 minutes later, and they said we don’t know what’s going on. They thought it was drugs.

Bill 9:05
Yeah. You’re too young you’re with your boyfriend, you don’t fit any of the common criteria for somebody who’s having a stroke. And it’s very common that people who are younger, who are having a stroke get misdiagnosed for being either drunk or on drugs.

Lilia 9:29
Yeah.

Bill 9:32
So when that was happening, when they were talking to you and telling you they don’t know what’s going on with you. Were you aware of what was happening around you?

Lilia 9:44
I was in a semi dazed state, so I could kind of make out what they’re saying. But I couldn’t understand like, my functioning like capabilities in my brain were not there, so I couldn’t make out what they’re saying. My processing information.

Bill 10:14
How old was your boyfriend at the time?

Lilia 10:16
17.

Bill 10:18
So he was 17 and he’s dealing with his girlfriend who’s having this issue?

Lilia 10:24
Yeah.

Bill 10:26
Have you had a chance to speak to him about it since then, and what that was like for him?

Lilia 10:32
We’ve been together for two years now. So, he was there for me the every step of the way, and I did get a chance to speak with him. And he said, it was really stressful. He said, I didn’t know the address of when I was calling the ambulance.

Lilia 11:09
So luckily, I looked up a mail lying around, and that’s how I got the address. And so he couldn’t sleep for like the past. Like, when I had my stroke, he couldn’t sleep for the past three days. And it was really traumatic for both of us.

Bill 11:39
Yeah. I can imagine. So you went to hospital? How long after you were in hospital did they finally tell you what had happened?

Lilia 11:47
Ten hours?

Bill 11:50
Ten hours?

Lilia 11:51
Yeah.

Bill 11:53
And then by then they had done scans on your brain and found out what it occurred?

Lilia 11:59
Yeah.

Bill 12:01
And then sometime later, did they continue to have you in hospital to discover the PFO? How long did it take before they discovered the PFO?

Lilia 12:10
I was transferred like I was rushed to the hospital in Aurburn Lake. And I stayed there for 24 hours. And then I was transferred over to Harborview inpatient ICU. And that’s when they found the PFO like, two days later, I think. Since the stroke, yeah.

Bill 12:41
Yeah. And in that time, I imagine your dad was around, he had been notified. What was he going through?

Lilia 12:51
Same thing stress, lots of stress. He didn’t know if it was gonna happen again. Or he didn’t know basically.

Bill 13:03
Yeah, that would have been tough. And then you’re in hospital. How long before you realize that there was going to be some rehabilitation that needed to occur and what were the issues while you’re in hospital?

Memory and speech issues

Lilia 13:24
I didn’t really remember anything. That week that I stayed in the ICU Harborview. So I was mostly sleeping. And then they transferred me to Seattle, children’s inpatient rehab. And I just kept on going. I was still silent for about two weeks now.

Lilia 13:57
So my mom was praying for me, and my dad was praying for me that I would talk again. And that was the first step. And I didn’t know what was going on. I thought it will be fine. And I just kept on going and fighting.

Bill 14:26
Yeah wow, that would have been tough. So were there times when you couldn’t speak when you really wanted to say something that was important?

Lilia 14:35
No. I couldn’t really process information. So I didn’t have the words to talk. Plus, I didn’t feel like talking.

Bill 14:51
It wasn’t so bad. So it was probably worse for mom and dad because you’re not talking. Were you able to respond in anyway? Did they help communicate at all with some board or anything? Was there anything?

Lilia 15:07
Thumbs up and thumbs down. But half the time I got thumbs up and thumbs down mixed up.

Bill 15:18
They’re all confused even more. Wow so how long was it before you got to go home? How long did it take for you to actually get home?

Lilia 15:32
Two months.

Bill 15:35
And then the recovery. After that continued there would have been some adjustment period when you’re at home. What was it like to first go back home again?

Lilia 15:45
I was relieved. I didn’t feel like staying in the hospital one more night, even though I should have done I should have given them. So I was so relieved. And I was ready to be get back home. And the funny part was I had to go in a wheelchair.

Lilia 16:32
And then, slowly, I started making my way to the cane. And then to like, no help at all. And getting in and out of the shower was the hardest thing. I had a chair, shower chair, And so yeah, I was afraid I was gonna fall. But I didn’t.

Bill 17:09
Was that a problem? Did somebody have to help you in and out of the shower and help you shower?

Lilia 17:17
Yeah.

Bill 17:18
That was rough.

Lilia 17:20
Yeah.

Bill 17:23
Who got the job?

Lilia 17:24
My mom.

Bill 17:26
Yeah, well, that’s fair enough. Dad was probably relieved that he didn’t have to. Wow, that’s really tough. And what about your boyfriend? What kind of role did he play when you got back from hospital?

Lilia 17:45
He helped me out with stuff like zipping my jacket. And like, when I had a gait belt, he would hold the gait belt. Make sure I was steady. And I don’t really remember much about my boyfriend being there so.

Bill 18:15
Yeah, he probably was in and out as little as possible. Trying not to you know. Hang around like a bad smell.

Lilia 18:25
Yeah.

Bill 18:27
So were you at college? Or were you doing any of that kind of stuff before the stroke did that interfere with how did it interfere with your life?

Lilia 18:36
It stopped completely I was in senior year of high school. And I was doing running for about two years now. And it was the beginning of the semester, like quarter and winter quarter. And three days into it. I had a stroke. And life completely stopped. I was focusing on rehab and I was taking college classes at Bellevue College.

Lilia 19:28
And then once I got released, they were thinking I wasn’t going to graduate because of my stroke. And I needed two more English credits, and I wasn’t talking. But I graduated with a special ed program, and I didn’t want to be in that, but I graduated. And so yeah, and I deferred my admission to Washington State University by one semester. So I’m going to start in January 2021.

Bill 20:36
Awesome. So you’re still going to go to uni. And what do you hope to study when you go there?

Lilia 20:42
Neuroscience?

Post-stroke struggles

Exercise After Stroke
Bill 20:45
What else would you study. Well done that’s awesome. So it does put a pause on life, doesn’t it? And in that time, in the last two years, what have you been experiencing? As far as physical symptoms, I personally went through fatigue, memory problems. I went through the inability to just do normal tasks, like drive, or remember my appointments, that kind of thing. What other little challenges that you struggle with.

Lilia 21:28
I was taking a shower. It only happens in the shower, really. And before my stroke, and I would be in and out of reality, like, I don’t know how to explain it, but it felt like my body and, my eyes were like, in different parts. Like, I was looking at my body in the shower. And I don’t like the couple months leading up to it, my stroke. I will always get that.

Bill 22:13
So you were getting a feeling like there was something wrong, but you didn’t really know. And it was happening while you’re in the shower?

Lilia 22:22
Yeah.

Bill 22:24
Every time you had a shower, or just sometimes?

Lilia 22:27
Every time I had a bath or shower every time?

Bill 22:32
Well, so is it maybe something to do with the amount of heat from the water? Was it like an out of body experience?

Lilia 22:41
Yeah.

Bill 22:44
And that doesn’t happen still?

Lilia 22:47
No, also leading up to my stroke. I had a really fast like irregular heartbeat. And so I was gonna go check that out. And also, leading up to my stroke, I had a wheezing problem. And so they said, it’s probably asthma. Exercise induced asthma, like, go get an inhaler.

Bill 23:22
Right. So looking back, there was a couple of things that were happening that at 17, you really don’t really pay attention too much. You tried to get help. You tried to get some advice. But really, it didn’t go much beyond that.

Lilia 23:37
Yeah.

Bill 23:40
So that wheezing and all those other symptoms that you’re experiencing? Are they things that you experienced still, or are they also not there anymore?

Lilia 23:50
Not they’re anymore.

Bill 23:51
Not there anymore. Wow. So interesting, did they close the hole in your heart? Or is that still there?

Lilia 24:01
And they closed the hole in my heart on January 26.

Bill 24:12
But you’re happy that that’s done?

Lilia 24:13
Yeah.

Bill 24:15
So that decreases the risk of another clot forming because of the PFO.

Lilia 24:24
Significantly.

Bill 24:27
Almost to zero. So that’s really good. So are you now on blood thinners? Are you taking some kind of medication regularly?

Lilia 24:38
Yes, Baclofen, which is a muscle relaxant. Because I have tone in my arm and fingers and the baby aspirin every night.

Bill 24:55
Just to keep the blood a little thinner and circulate a little easier. So have you tried to be active since a stroke what has happened with you as far as you’re 17, so you’re probably pretty active, you’re skiing, you’re doing sports, you’re doing all that kind of stuff. What have you been able to do since your recovery?

Lilia 25:20
I skied four months after my stroke. And I could only hold the pole in my left hand, not my right. And the challenging part was putting on my ski boots. And so I did that. Plus, I have been working out at the gym. I couldn’t walk for the first two weeks after my stroke, and even more so because I was in a wheelchair when I got home.

Lilia 26:10
But I ran a mile in less than 15 minutes last week so yeah.

Bill 26:28
So you’re slowly getting back to the things that you enjoy doing? Is running something that you used to do often? Or is it just something that you started recently?

Lilia 26:39
I’m running is something that I would do often because before my stroke, I could only take certain links for running because of my asthma. And now I don’t have that anymore. So I can run all links every time.

Bill 27:14
Yeah. Wow, isn’t that strange? Now you don’t have asthma. I mean, I’m so glad to hear that. But it’s just so weird that now you don’t. So what was skiing like for the first time since the struggle where you falling over a lot more? How did that go?

Lilia 27:36
I didn’t fall over once, but I had to climb up cuz the chairlifts weren’t working. So hopefully I can do that. Once the ski season comes around, and it was weird. It was definitely weird because of my right side, mostly my right leg wasn’t what I remembered. And I was mostly leaning on my left leg.

Bill 28:40
So a little bit of a challenge. Something you had to adjust to is a bit different.

Lilia 28:46
Yeah.

Exercise After Stroke

Exercise After Stroke
Bill 28:47
Yep. How has it been since you’ve come home? Have you had to experience fatigue and all those types of things? Do you get more tired than you used to? And what do you notice about your body? Is it harder to move it when you’re more tired?

Lilia 29:09
Yes, my tone increases dramatically. When I’m tired, and I can’t lift like my right like legs towards my back. And it’s completely changed my life because I get more tired more easily. And I get headaches a lot. Almost every day, right now I have a headache.

Bill 30:13
Yeah, so it sounds like as your brain gets tired, and you start to notice your deficits a little more, it’s pretty common, I’d say because you’re so young, that your ability to have more stamina will increase your ability to decrease the fatigue will increase, you get better and better.

Bill 30:36
And you start to notice things that you can do that you couldn’t do before. I had to stop driving, I had to stop working, I had to stop doing all sorts of things. Are you back driving yet?

Lilia 30:48
Yes, I am. I just got my car accommodated, to so to speak. Instead the right gas pedal, it’s on the left because I can drive better with my left, and I have a knob for my steering wheel. And I have to before I can drive solo, I have to get logged 10 hours with my parents. Before I can drive.

Bill 31:31
Yeah. Is it tiring to drive now? Do you notice that it’s a lot harder? Because you’re concentrating a lot harder?

Lilia 31:39
Yeah, I keep on getting scared, the break is towards the middle, my gas thing is towards the left. So I keep on getting scared that I’m gonna hit the brake and like gas and instead, like, you know what I mean? Like, somebody is in front of you, and you think you hit a brake, but you’re hitting the gas actually so.

Bill 32:21
I understand. It’s completely different. And you’ve just recently, you know, you’ve only been driving for a few years. So you’ve just learned how to do it properly. You know, you got to really learn how to do it again.

Bill 32:33
I was driving a stick shift beforehand. And because it was my left side, there was effect that I can no longer drive a stick shift, I can feel it. And I can still change gears and all of that. But if I’m tired, then I can’t feel the pedal. And I have been known to instead of press the clutch pedal to press the brake pedal.

Bill 32:59
And that’s dramatic. Because if you’re doing any speed in traffic, and you’re trying to change gears, but instead you’re slamming on the brake, the guy behind you is not happy about it at all.

Lilia 33:13
Yeah, my boyfriend drives stick shift. And he says, it’s really hard.

Bill 33:22
Yeah. And especially that when you can’t feel one of your legs properly it’s even harder. So I gave that away, I got rid of that car, and I changed my car to an automatic transmission.

Stroke Exercises


Bill 33:32
And that makes life a lot easier because my right foot is better than my left foot. And that way, nothing had to change. Nothing had to be different. So it’s a lot easier. So what motivated you to put up your Instagram page? The one where you’re sharing adaptive workouts? How did you come about doing that?

Lilia 34:03
I started to look up workouts for stroke survivors. And, basically, it was just a bunch of old people like doing this. And so I said to myself, this has to change, because not all stroke survivors are old people. And so I made the page.

Intro 34:45
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 thing should I avoid in case I make matters worse?

Intro 35:02
Doctors will explain things. But obviously, because 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 find yourself in that situation, stop worrying, and head to recoveryafterstroke.com, where you can download a guide that will help you.

Intro 35:24
It’s called seven questions to ask your doctor about your stroke. These seven questions are the ones Bill wished he’d asked when he was recovering from a stroke, they’ll not only help you better understand your condition, they’ll help you take a more active role in your recovery. head to the website now, recovery after stroke.com and download the guide. It’s free.

Bill 35:57
So I noticed in some of your posts, you’re doing push ups and sit ups and all that kind of stuff. And it seems like you have to take a little bit of time to set yourself up. Yeah, so you have to put your right hand down in the correct position, etc. Other push ups easy to do, they’re getting easier as you practice more.

Lilia 36:22
I’m not really because I have good days with my toes, and I have bad knees with my toes. And so most of the time, I just do knee push ups. Um, but depending on my toes, it’s not about my core and my toes. You know, when I’m in my coat, your toes curl up, and there’s nothing you can do about it. And so you kind of resort to your knees. So but my arms are getting stronger. So I think that’s because of the push ups and setups and everything else.

Bill 37:16
Yeah. What kind of feedback have you had for the page?

Lilia 37:22
Keep doing it. I love your workouts. You’re so inspiring. A couple of mean comments saying you had a stroke how true is that? And I know.

Bill 37:47
What’s all that about? Like, how does that even happen? What was it from people that were your age? or older than you or?

Lilia 37:58
Older than me?

Bill 38:06
Because you’re doing exercises or because maybe you didn’t have a stroke?

Lilia 38:12
Both I guess mostly because they think I didn’t have a stroke. So why would I lie about that?

Bill 38:22
So many other things that you could lie about. Deciding that the thing you’re gonna lie about is having a stroke. Wow, people are crazy. Some people are very bizarre that they would have a problem with you posting exercise videos and saying that you had a stroke? What a strange world. How do you handle that type of negative feedback? You just ignore it or do you respond?

Lilia 38:54
I respond saying strokes don’t.

Bill 39:06
Don’t discriminate, do they?

Lilia 39:08
Yeah, don’t discriminate against age so and I ignore them and block them.

Bill 39:20
That’s really interesting. I had an interview I interviewed for Episode 118 Priya Sharma. Who was very young, similar story to you in her 20s like officals 24. She was taking the contraceptive pill at the time.

Bill 39:40
And after she took the contraceptive pill and had a stroke, she realized that there may be was a connection and she did go back to the gym and she started exercising and doing powerlifting.

Bill 39:52
And one of the things she also said was that people were really negative to her, going back to the gym and exercizing. And that she really didn’t have too much of a stroke or something like they tried to play it down. Like, how could you be back at the gym within a few after your stroke?

Lilia 40:14
That annoys me so much.

Bill 40:18
And I was so shocked then and I thought, maybe it just happens. You know, in Australia, crazy people say that in Australia, but it sounds like crazy people are everywhere.

Lilia 40:28
Yeah.

Bill 40:28
I can’t believe it. I can’t get over that. Well. It says more about them that it does you. Isn’t it really interesting that of all the comments that they can make they make that comment.

Bill 40:43
And it just goes to show how far we still have to go. To bring awareness to the challenges that people face, you know, whether they are physical challenges, because of stroke or mental health issues that are invisible, then we can’t see.

Bill 40:57
We still have a long way to go to bridge the gap between the rest of the community who seems to be completely oblivious, and completely unaware of what people experienced in life and what they go through.

Lilia 41:10
Yeah.

Bill 41:12
And of all things, why don’t just you be nice instead of mean?

Lilia 41:16
I know.

Bill 41:18
So easy.

Lilia 41:21
Yeah.

Future plans beyond Exercise After Stroke


Bill 41:25
So where do you see yourself? I know, this is a really, you know, weird question. But where do you see yourself in the next five years? Like, what are you trying to overcome and achieve? And what are some of the goals that you’d like to fulfill?

Lilia 41:38
I want to go to med school. I doubted myself, because people told me that you have to have two hands to go to med school, and you actually don’t. So I’ll see about that when I get to med school. And yeah, I hope to continue to keep ski coaching once I get back on my feet, I’m taking a year off for myself to get back in the game. And hopefully next year, I will continue to be coaching. And yeah.

Bill 42:41
That’s beautiful. If you get to med school, there’s so many things that you can do. That don’t need to handsome, it’s such a silly thing to say. Unless you’re planning on being a brain surgeon.

Bill 42:55
Maybe then you really need two hands. But until then, there’s so many things you can do that don’t require two hands in medicine. So it would be awesome to have a stroke survivor, be also a neuroscientist.

Bill 43:11
Because, you know, you’ve got a lived experience of what it’s like to have a stroke. And I think you would offer amazing insight. And you would be much lovelier doctor to be around. Because you get it you know, what’s going on? You know what it’s all about. What has been some of the hardest things what’s been the hardest thing for you to deal with and manage during the stroke?

Lilia 43:44
My speech is hard. I took see here it goes again. I have spent countless hours of intensive speech therapy to get to where I am now and my arm. My fingers have not yet opened up, and I’m hoping that would with botox injections in my arm. That and intense physical occupational therapy, my fingers will open up, but I can’t braid. I can’t cut.

Bill 44:43
It’s not happening yet. I noticed that you’ve used the Saebo glove. Is that something that you use often? Is that part of your kit?

Lilia 44:53
Yeah. I have plenty of things in my kit. But Bioness is one of them. Saebo glove is one of them. It lets your fingers like, take a break once in a while because it opens up your fingers with these rubber bands. And you can do grab things more easily. And, yeah.

Bill 45:37
And is it something that you use during the day? Or is it something that you use at the end of the day? Or do you just use it all the time?

Lilia 45:47
Depends on how my tone is. And also, if I’m working out, if I’m working out at the gym, I don’t use it, because it keeps me from my grip Isn’t that great and so with a Saebo glove, it’s really not that great. So I can’t hold the weights and stuff. But for open exercises like a downward dog, I’ll use it.

Bill 46:23
Yeah. It seems like it’s a pretty, it’s not that complicated. Is it? It just seems like you put it on and you adjust it. Put it into any position. Is it terribly expensive? What do they cost?

Lilia 46:41
$300. But I got a deal on I contacted Saebo, and they said, Here’s 25% off until July. And that’s expired. So you could get, I could contact Saebo to see if they will give me the 25% off for life.

Bill 47:26
You’re saying it’s worth contacting them if anyone’s listening and the thought of getting a Saebo glove worth contacting them and saying, Hey, give me a discount?

Lilia 47:37
Yeah.

Bill 47:38
Yeah, fair enough. Hey Lilia, I’ve had a real good time chatting with you and learning a little bit about you. I really appreciate you coming on the show. Thank you so much for sharing your story and for creating a page on Instagram, that’s about exercises for stroke survivors.

Bill 47:58
There needs to be more about that. All the best with your recovery. I hope everything goes well. And I look forward to interviewing you when you enter into a course to become a neuroscientist.

Lilia 48:15
Thank you so much for having me on the show.

Intro 48:22
Discover how to heal your brain after stroke go to recoveryafterstroke.com.

Intro 48:31
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 48:48
All content on this website and any linked blog, podcast or video material controlled this website or content is created and produced for informational purposes only and is largely based on the personal experience of Bill Gasiamis. The content is intended to complement your medical treatment and support healing. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional

Intro 49:08
medical advice and should not be relied on as health advice. The information is general and may not be suitable for your personal injuries, circumstances or health objectives. Do not use our content as a standalone resource to diagnose treat, cure or prevent any disease for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for the advice of a health professional.

Intro 49:08
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 49:08
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Intro 49:08
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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
127. 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 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/living-with-aphasia-after-stroke-jack-breitenstein/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/living-with-aphasia-after-stroke-jack-breitenstein/feed/ 0 <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/">127. 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.

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

Highlights:

01:12 Introduction
05:27 Arteriovenous malformation
13:01 Speech improvements
20:38 Courage to be on the podcast
28:05 The Pitch
34:04 Fatigue
41:31 Being treated differently

Transcription

Bill 0:00
Some people who I’ve contacted on the podcast who had aphasia were not interested in coming onto the podcast because they couldn’t complete the conversation in the way that they felt comfortable. I sent you a message. Do you want to be on the podcast? And you said yes. straightaway. What makes you say yes.

Jack 0:25
Well, I get an opportunity for you and me and a chance to be on a podcast.

Bill 0:46
So it’s an opportunity for you and me to meet and it’s a good chance to be on a podcast yeah?

Jack 0:51
Yeah. and challenging.

Bill 0:53
And it’s challenging you?

Intro 0:59
This is the recovery after stroke podcast. with Bill Gasiamis, helping you navigate recovery after stroke.

Introduction

Aphasia After Stroke
Bill 1:12
Bill from recoveryafterstroke.com This is Episode 127. And my guest today is Jack Breitenstein. At the age of 15, Jack experienced bleeding in the brain after an AVM he had from birth burst, causing jack to go into a coma and experience seizures after he woke.

Bill 1:33
Now, this episode is a very special one. And it’s probably my favorite episode for the year, coming up to the end of the year. I know, I’m not supposed to have a favorite episode. Because every guest on the podcast is an amazing person who’s made an effort to come on and share their story in the hope that it’ll make a difference to other people.

Bill 1:59
And podcast guests and episodes, they’re like children, you can’t really have a favorite one, and you’re not allowed to choose. But in this particular case, I’m gonna make an exception. And the reason being is because Jack came onto the podcast. And you will notice when the interview commences, that he has aphasia.

Bill 2:21
And it’s quite difficult for Jack to go through the process of having a conversation completing sentences. And it is an amazing thing that he’s on the podcast because I’ve reached out to many stroke survivors that have aphasia who haven’t been able to be guests on the podcast.

Bill 2:41
And I completely understand the reasoning behind that. But as soon as I reached out to Jack and asked him if he would like to be on the show, he straight away said yes. And we made it happen really, really quick. I just love his enthusiasm, his willingness to participate, regardless of the things that he’s experiencing.

Bill 3:02
And during the interview, we’ll get to hear about some other ways that he has continued to participate and go out of his way to challenge himself so that he can prove and encourage others. So as we come to the end of 2020, it’s been a very challenging year.

Bill 3:20
And nonetheless, stroke survivors have turned up to get this podcast to the point of having more than 120 episodes, where you can listen to other stroke survivors talking about what happened to them at the beginning, how the recovery is coming along, and what has happened over the years as recovery has continued.

Bill 3:47
And it’s really important that you understand the way that each podcast is structured. And the reason being is because I want to make the story give importance to the episode that occurred. But then also, I want to paint the picture of how recovery continues to happen over the months and years post-stroke, regardless of people’s deficits and experiences and the things that they struggle with.

Bill 4:14
They’re still able to get back into life, they’re still able to become active members of their community, and they’re still able to achieve their goals and fulfill their passions. So thank you for being with me on this journey in 2020. This crazy Coronavirus a year and I really appreciate all the feedback that I get. And I really appreciate having you as my listener.

Bill 4:41
I really appreciate having you as somebody who has reached out and asked me questions. I really appreciate the people that have come on board as coaching clients. And together I really believe that we can find a way to overcome the deficits and the challenges that Stroke has created for us, and in spite of that, continue to have a really fulfilled life. So thank you once again. And without further ado, it’s on with the show. Jack Breintenstein, welcome to the podcast.

Bill 5:17
Welcome mate thank you for being here. I really appreciate it.

Jack 5:21
You’re welcome.

Bill 5:22
Tell me a little bit about what happened to you.

AVM Recovery

Aphasia After Stroke
Jack 5:27
Well, I had a stroke three years ago, and well, first week after my birthday.

Bill 5:51
You had a strike three years ago after your birthday. How did you turn?

Jack 5:55
Oh 15.

Bill 6:03
Okay do they know what caused the stroke at 15?

Jack 6:07
Oh, yeah I had a brain injury AVM.

Bill 6:28
You had an AVM arteriovenous malformation?

Jack 6:32
Yeah.

Bill 6:34
And the AVM burst? Is that what happened?

Jack 6:38
Yeah.

Bill 6:42
Before burst. Did you have any idea that this thing was in your head? Did you have any symptoms headaches, anything like that?

Jack 6:52
No this happened (inaudible)

Bill 6:59
What do you remember? about the time that it burst? Were you with it? Or did you just wipe you out?

Jack 7:10
Just wiped me out just black.

Bill 7:16
Just black. Did you have headaches? Or did you feel any symptoms, nausea or anything like that?

Jack 7:21
Oh, I play soccer. And late afternoon, I had a bad headache. And I fell down in my mom’s room and I collapsed.

Bill 7:52
You play soccer. You had a bad headache. And you collapsed.

Jack 7:56
Yeah, yeah.

Bill 7:58
And your mom was with you?

Jack 8:07
Yeah. My parent’s room.

Bill 8:16
You’re in your parents room and you fell. You collapsed. And they took you to the hospital?

Bill 8:21
Yeah, yeah.

Bill 8:24
And then do you remember waking up after that? What was that like?

Jack 8:35
I had a seizure and three weeks comma.

Bill 8:51
So you were in a coma for three weeks?

Jack 8:54
Yeah. Yeah.

Bill 8:55
Wow, man. And then you woke up from the coma? And were you aware of your situation where you were? Did you know that you were in hospital or?

Jack 9:11
No.

Bill 9:13
As well as not being able to speak. Did you have challenges not being able to move as well?

Jack 9:20
Yeah, two after the coma after two and a half months at the hospital. (inaudible)

Bill 9:56
So you were in the hospital and then after you woke up from the coma, you had multiple seizures?

Jack 10:02
Yeah. No. No. Two days at the hospital

Bill 10:11
Two and a half days at the hospital.

Jack 10:13
Yeah.

Bill 10:14
That’s all just two and a half days?

Jack 10:16
No months.

Bill 10:18
Wow. Ok so you were at the hospital, in a coma. And then you also experienced seizures. Is that right?

Jack 10:27
Yeah rehab.

Bill 10:31
And then you did rehab to learn how to walk again and use your arm again?

Jack 10:36
Learn how to wheelchair, and then cane and then walk by yourself.

Bill 10:44
Right. Okay.

Bill 10:47
And now I saw you before walk to the back of the room there with out any trouble. Is there any other issues associated to your walking?

Jack 10:57
And no. I walk by myself.

Bill 11:02
How long did it take you before you went back to school?

Jack 11:08
September six months?

Bill 11:15
Was it difficult going back to school?

Jack 11:20
Yes.

Bill 11:24
What were some of the hardest things for you to adjust to when you went back to school?

Jack 11:39
Oh I had my cane and walk and elevator and crowd in the hallways.

Bill 11:55
So going back to school was quite challenging, was it difficult getting back involved with your friends and starting where you left off?

Jack 12:12
Yeah, my friends, I had a friend. Same friends. (inaudible) And stroke is hard.

Bill 12:34
Stroke is hard yeah?

Jack 12:35
Yeah.

Bill 12:37
How long has it beens since you had the stroke? How many years ago? Was that?

Jack 12:44
Three and a half.

Bill 12:46
So now you’re nearly 18 years old?

Jack 12:54
Yeah. But it was awesome.

Speech improvements with Aphasia After Stroke

Bill 13:01
When you went back to school, did you have the ability to communicate like you can now? Or was it less of an ability at that time when you’re still recovering?

Jack 13:11
Well step by step. Like, three days ago, talking was difficult, but in a long way I’ve done speech therapy all the time.

Bill 13:36
Yeah. And is your speech improving all the time and still improving?

Jack 13:41
Yes, yes.

Bill 13:44
Yeah, and you’re happy about that?

Jack 13:48
Yeah.

Bill 13:49
When does speech become difficult? Is there times during the day where your speech becomes more difficult. Say then at the beginning of the day do you get tired and then does that make it harder to get words out?

Jack 14:05
Yeah, sometimes. Speaking sentences and long words (inaudible)

Bill 14:34
What some of the most difficult times I’ve tried to communicate to people do you find some people struggle to understand you? Does that make them impatient and how have you managed those types of scenarios?

Jack 14:47
Um, well, friends, I know before I know it’s hard Before, but friends three, years long was someone talking and talking more now.

Bill 15:17
You’re talking more now?

Jack 15:19
Yeah.

Bill 15:21
And with aphasia, it’s not a problem understanding me. It’s just a problem making the words come out of your mouth. Is that how you would describe it?

Jack 15:31
Yeah, yeah.

Bill 15:36
So it’s just getting the words out is the hardest part is that the words are here, but they don’t come here. How is it for you?

Jack 15:50
Speaking languages is hard. (inaudible)

Bill 16:08
So the information is here. Sometimes getting it out of your mouth is a little bit hard.

Jack 16:14
Yes.

Bill 16:16
Okay. So when you went back to school, were you able to focus and concentrate on your studies? Did you find it easy to go back and learn the things that you were learning? As a 15-year-old and 16-year-old?

Jack 16:36
Well, no because I’m speaking, more speaking now. Because before speaking one word or two words. But now, there’s a speaking now at school.

Bill 17:19
So you went back to school? Did you complete your schooling? Have you finished that now? Or are you still at school?

Jack 17:26
Still at school freshman year.

Bill 17:51
So you missed one year of school because of the illness because you’re in hospital? And then you went back and you’re continuing with your studies? Are you nearly finished? When do they finish?

Jack 18:08
Oh, so another year.

Bill 18:17
Another year or so?

Jack 18:18
Yeah.

Bill 18:20
Do you have any thoughts about what you might do when you finish school? Are you going to continue studying? Or are you looking for opportunities to work?

Jack 18:33
In college speaking sentences is hard to but yeah, I’m thinking college.

Bill 18:49
So you’re looking at college. Awesome. And do you have some tools that help you communicate with people to speak? Is there some kind of a piece of software or an app or a machine that helps you get words out that you can’t get out?

Jack 19:06
Yeah, apps that can read aloud.

Bill 19:17
Like a translation app that speaks the words that you’ve typed in into the app? Is that right?

Jack 19:23
Yeah.

Bill 19:27
So you have some ways to overcome some of the challenges with getting words out of your mouth. That makes it a lot easier because people before you many years ago, they didn’t have all these tools that are available.

Jack 19:44
Yeah. This is how, because speaking is hard but through apps can make a change.

Bill 20:00
Yeah, you got the apps and they help you. So what will you study? When you go to college? What do you hope to study?

Jack 20:13
I don’t know now but, now I’m hoping to math and I don’t know.

Bill 20:34
Are you good at numbers?

Jack 20:36
Yeah.

Courage to be on the podcast


Bill 20:38
That’s awesome, man. So some people who I’ve contacted on the podcast before, I’ve contacted some people who had aphasia, were not interested in coming on to the podcast because they couldn’t complete conversation in the way that they felt comfortable. And I sent you a message. Do you want to be on the podcast? And you said yes, straight away. What makes you say yes?

Intro 21:05
If you’ve had a stroke, and you’re in recovery, you’ll know what a scary and confusing time it can be, you’re likely to have a lot of questions going through your mind. Like now long will it take to recover? Will I actually recover? What things should I avoid in case I’ll make matters worse?

Intro 21:24
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 21:47
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.

Jack 22:10
Well, I get an opportunity for you and me and a chance to be on a podcast.

Bill 22:34
So it’s an opportunity for you and me to meet. And it’s a good chance to be on a podcast yeah?

Jack 22:40
Yeah. It’s challenging.

Bill 22:43
And it’s challenging you. Okay, so you like a challenge you like it when people give you a challenge to make things hard for you so that you can practice and get better?

Jack 22:56
Yes.

Bill 22:58
Okay. So what other things are challenging for you to do that help you get better?

Bill 23:03
Walking is hard, because walking is fine, but running is hard cause running in soccer and baseball me I don’t run as much as I used to. And I climbed the Sears Tower.

Bill 23:34
You climbed the Sears Tower recently?

Jack 23:52
Two years ago.

Bill 23:54
Two years ago, the Sears Tower is massive man.

Jack 23:58
Yeah it is.

Bill 24:01
How tall is it? You know?

Jack 24:10
104 flight of stairs.

Bill 24:15
Wow how long did that take you?

Jack 24:20
One hour and 30 minutes.

Bill 24:23
One hour and 20 minutes?

Jack 24:27
30 minutes.

Bill 24:37
That’s huge man. I wouldn’t be interested in climbing the Sears Tower it’s way too tall for me. Which city is the Sears Tower in?

Jack 24:57
What?

Bill 24:58
Which city is the city tower in?

Jack 25:03
What do you mean?

Bill 25:05
Where is it located? The Sears Tower? The Sears Tower that you climbed where is it?

Jack 25:19
Chicago?

Bill 25:20
In Chicago?

Jack 25:21
Yeah.

Bill 25:22
Wow, man, that’s pretty insane. I wouldn’t be interested in climbing that many flights of stairs. I’m happy to climb two or three. But that’s about it. Now was that a some kind of a charity organized event or how come you’re allowed to even climb the Sears towers? How does that work?

Jack 25:45
Shirley Bryant affiliate of hospital.

Bill 25:51
So it’s organized with the hospital.

Jack 25:53
Yeah.

Bill 25:55
And do they make it a fun event for people to attend if they wish?

Jack 26:00
Yes.

Bill 26:01
And is it a fundraising event? Do you raise money for the hospital?

Jack 26:06
Yes.

Bill 26:07
How much money did you raise?

Jack 26:15
How much?

Bill 26:16
How much money? Did you raise?

Jack 26:20
$1,000.

Bill 26:21
1,000 dollars?

Jack 26:23
Yeah.

Bill 26:23
Man, that’s a good effort. Well done. That’s so good to hear. It’s 110 stories. Oh no it’s not I was trying to find it on the internet here.

Bill 26:44
Sears Towers height. It’s 422 meters high, and it’s 527 meters to the tip. So it’s quite high wow. So when you go to college, and study maths. What do you hope to do with that? Do you hope to begin work in a particular career? Or is there something that you’re aiming for?

Jack 27:35
Yes. Math, this is challenging but I’m still yeah, it’s challenging.

Bill 27:59
Tell me, what are your hobbies? What do you enjoy doing when you’re not studying Or climbing up stairs?

The Pitch

Aphasia After Stroke
Jack 28:05
I like to play soccer, and baseball, and I threw out a pitch at Wrigley Field.

Bill 28:27
You threw out a pitch recently?

Jack 28:30
Yeah Wrigley Field.

Bill 28:33
At Wrigley Field?

Jack 28:37
Cubs yeah.

Jack 28:38
At the Cubs?

Jack 28:40
Yeah.

Bill 28:40
You threw out the pitch at the Cubs.

Jack 28:42
Yeah.

Bill 28:44
Wow, man. That’s pretty cool. So how did you get to do that?

Jack 28:51
Oh, my mom she reached out to the Cubs manager. And yeah.

Bill 29:16
Well, man, that’s so cool. There’s not many people have done that.

Jack 29:20
Yeah.

Bill 29:22
Hey tell me are the cubs any good at baseball?

Jack 29:30
Maybe.

Bill 29:32
They used to be the worst team in the league.

Jack 29:35
Yeah.

Bill 29:38
And then they won the World Series.

Jack 29:40
Yeah.

Bill 29:41
How amazing was that when they won the World Series? How many years did they wait to win the World Series? How long did it take them to get to that point?

Jack 29:56
Well, 100 years?

Bill 30:03
100 years? It’s an amazing story for if you continue focusing on your goal, maybe you’ll eventually get there.

Jack 30:13
Yeah.

Bill 30:14
Never give up.

Jack 30:16
Yes.

Bill 30:18
Who’s your favorite player?

Jack 30:23
Well, actually the cubs and cardinals are against each other.

Bill 31:05
Alright, what? I missed that so say that again? Who’s your favorite player?

Jack 31:10
Well, I like the Cardinals.

Bill 31:16
You like the Cardinals?

Jack 31:18
Yeah.

Bill 31:20
You like the Cardinals but you through the pitch at the Cubs?

Jack 31:23
Yeah.

Bill 31:24
So which is your team? Is it the Cubs or the Cardinals?

Jack 31:29
Cardinals.

Bill 31:33
So the Cardinals who are they?

Jack 31:40
Oh, yeah. St. Louis.

Bill 31:47
Okay. And the cubs, and the Cardinals are rivals, aren’t they?

Jack 31:53
Yeah, yeah.

Bill 31:55
Okay. So when you threw the first pitch at the Cubs, were they playing the Cardinals that day?

Jack 32:02
Yes.

Bill 32:04
Right. Okay. So, you got to be on the ground with your team, the Cardinals at Chicago?

Jack 32:13
Yeah.

Bill 32:14
Okay. That’s brilliant man. And tell me about who won that day. Which team won your team or the Cubs?

Jack 32:23
The Cubs.

Bill 32:26
The Cubs won?

Jack 32:28
Yeah.

Bill 32:31
Well, nevermind, at least you got to throw the first pitch. Who’s your favorite player? Then at the Cardinals?

Jack 32:40
Oh, yeah. Yadier Molina.

Bill 32:44
All right. How do we spell that?

Jack 32:46
Yadier Molina, Y.

Bill 33:06
He looks like he’s a decent player yeah? He has had so far 2001 hits, he has had 160 home runs, he has runs battered 932, and he has a batting average of 281.

Jack 33:34
Yeah.

Bill 33:35
That’s pretty good. Did you get to meet any of your favorite players that day?

Jack 33:42
Oh, Yadier Molina, I gonna toss up and he caught it and yeah.

Bill 34:00
You got to meet Yadier Molina?

Jack 34:02
Yeah, yeah.

Fatigue and AVM Recovery

Bill 34:04
That’s pretty cool, man awesome. Tell me when we have conversations like this that lasts a long time. Does that make you tired?

Bill 34:16
Well, no, no.

Bill 34:28
No it doesn’t make you tired. So you don’t experience fatigue or is fatigue also something that you experience?

Jack 34:37
Like a baseball game. Me I am ready (inaudible)

Bill 34:52
Okay, so you’re ready to play baseball?

Jack 34:58
No I’m tired later than usual.

Bill 35:06
Okay, so at the moment, you’re getting tired later than usual.

Jack 35:09
Yeah.

Bill 35:10
So there’s less tired and less fatigue at the moment.

Jack 35:14
Yeah.

Bill 35:16
Okay. At the beginning, did you used to be very easily fatigued and tired?

Jack 35:24
Yes.

Bill 35:27
And that’s improved over time?

Jack 35:32
Yes. Yeah.

Bill 35:35
That’s good. So that should continue to get better and better. Do you still go to speech therapy?

Jack 35:45
Ah, yeah.

Bill 35:50
How many times? How many times a week?

Jack 36:00
Once a week.

Bill 36:02
Once a week?

Jack 36:04
Four weeks.

Bill 36:07
Four hours a week?

Jack 36:09
No, four a week.

Bill 36:14
Four times every week?

Jack 36:16
Yeah.

Bill 36:17
Okay. And do you practice your therapy at home as well? When you’re in your room on your computer? Is there other tools that you use? Or do you just do that at therapy?

Jack 36:35
Yeah. Physical therapy, We’re not sure but it shows by the stretching and listening. and it helps improve.

Bill 36:54
And so you do stretching and physical therapy as well?

Jack 37:00
Yeah. Yeah.

Bill 37:05
Are there some things that you prefer to do? Instead of other things? Do you enjoy doing the stretching and the physical therapy? Is that good for you?

Jack 37:15
Yeah.

Bill 37:22
How’s your memory? Do you have any dramas with the memory?

Jack 37:28
No. Well, no.

Jack 37:37
Yeah. I had a seizure.

Bill 37:44
Recently, you had a seizure recently?

Jack 37:46
No, back in the day. Two seizures.

Bill 37:53
Two seizures. But your memory is okay these days?

Jack 37:58
Yeah.

Bill 38:01
Awesome, man. What do you love to do when you’re not playing soccer? What do you do? Do you play games on the computer? Do you enjoy online?

Jack 38:14
My hand is hard to control. But I play video games yeah.

Bill 38:27
And which is the affected hand? Is it the left hand or the right hand?

Jack 38:32
Left.

Bill 38:34
Your left hand is affected.

Jack 38:36
Yeah. No, the other one.

Bill 38:39
The right hand is affected. Yep. So your AVM was on the left side of your brain. And did you have surgery to remove it the AVM?

Jack 38:57
Yes. They took it out.

Bill 39:01
They did? Was it a big hole in your head?

Jack 39:11
No. Small.

Bill 39:18
Yeah, I had similar surgery they made a small hole in my head. Do you have siblings, brothers and sisters?

Jack 39:29
Younger brother.

Bill 39:35
So when I had surgery on my head, and they opened up my skull it was proof to my older brother that I had a brain because he used to say grow a brain all the time to me. So I proved to him for the first time that I actually did have a brain because we saw it. Other people saw it. So how old was your brother at the time?

Jack 40:02
Oh 13.

Bill 40:06
He was 33 years younger than you?

Jack 40:09
Yeah. Yeah.

Bill 40:11
Is he a good younger brother? Does he help out?

Jack 40:13
Yeah. He was pretty well. They were me and father play (inaudible)

Bill 40:24
Yeah, is he supportive, or does he still give you a hard time like all younger brothers do?

Jack 40:34
Yeah.

Bill 40:39
That’s good. That’s his job. What would you like to tell people who might be listening to this podcast? About some of the challenges that you have with aphasia? What is the message that you would like them to have about people who have aphasia?

Jack 41:02
Well, still smile.

Bill 41:14
Still smile. Yeah, of course. And it’s just a communication issue. It’s not an issue with the other parts of the brain.

Being treated differently


Bill 41:31
And do people treat you differently? Because of your voice?

Jack 41:37
Oh, yeah.

Bill 41:48
Is that frustrating make it difficult for you sometimes?

Jack 41:51
Yeah. It’s difficult.

Bill 41:53
Are some people mean and nasty?

Jack 42:00
Oh, no.

Bill 42:05
That’s good. Man. I really want to thank you for saying yes to being on the podcast. Man. I really, truly appreciate it. I think it’s an amazing thing that you’ve done by coming onto the podcast.

Jack 42:17
Thank you for being here.

Bill 42:21
You’re welcome. And hopefully, what this does is get the message out to people who are listening about some of the challenges that people with aphasia face. And how brave it is for people with aphasia to get onto a podcast like this and have a conversation with me.

Bill 42:38
I think it’s amazing. I’ve encouraged many people with aphasia to come on to the podcast, but most of them prefer not to and I understand that’s perfectly okay. I think you’re doing a great thing for that community, because they need to feel that it’s okay to be brave. And to come onto a podcast and talk about some of the challenges.

Jack 43:01
Yeah. It’s hard and but it’s difficult.

Bill 43:09
It’s difficult, but it’s getting better?

Jack 43:11
Yeah.

Bill 43:14
Well done, Jack. Man, I really appreciate it. What I’ll do is I’ll edit this. And I’ll put it together. And I’ll send it across to you so you can have a listen to it.

Jack 43:25
Okay.

Bill 43:25
And tell me what you think. And then I’ll also post it on social media and tag you into the post.

Jack 43:32
Right yeah.

Bill 43:34
And you can share it and let people know that you are on the podcast, as well.

Jack 43:38
Yeah. Thank you.

Bill 43:40
If there’s anything you need from me, if I can help you with anything, I’m in Australia, I’m quite far away.

Jack 43:46
Australia.

Bill 43:47
Yeah. There’s lots of things I can’t help you with. But if there’s something that I can help you with, just reach out and let me know.

Jack 43:55
Thank you.

Bill 43:56
Hit me up on Instagram or email.

Jack 43:59
Okay.

Bill 44:02
Enjoy the rest of your, is it nighttime there now?

Jack 44:06
No. It’s still noon.

Bill 44:12
It’s daytime or night time there.

Jack 44:18
Yeah

Bill 44:20
Yeah. Enjoy the rest of your night. My day has just started. It’s 10 o’clock in the morning here. All the best Jack, thank you so much for being on the podcast. I’ll get this back to you. In the next week or two.

Jack 44:35
Oh, yeah. Thank you.

Bill 44:43
You’re welcome, mate. Thank you. See ya.

Intro 44:57
Discover how to heal your brain after Stroke go to recoveryafterstroke.com. Importantly, we present many podcasts designed to give you an insight and understanding into the experiences of other individuals opinions and treatments. 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 45:24
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 45:41
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Intro 46:01
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Intro 46:15
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Intro 46:31
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The post 127. Living With Aphasia After Stroke – Jack Breitenstein appeared first on Recovery After Stroke.

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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
126. 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 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/diabetes-and-progressive-stroke/#respond https://recoveryafterstroke.com/diabetes-and-progressive-stroke/feed/ 0 <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/">126. Diabetes and Progressive stroke – Joe Cassaniti</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Diabetes and progressive 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.

Socials:
https://www.instagram.com/peppes_pasta/
https://www.facebook.com/peppespasta

Highlights:

01:02 Introduction
04:02 No signs of stroke
09:10 What is neuropathy
17:26 Complacency
23:24 Progressive stroke
32:58 Mental Scars
39:02 Emotional Scars
47:33 Healthier than ever

Transcription:

Joe 0:00
This doctor called Dr. Charles. I called him over and I said, I feel like I’m going to pass out again. And he was looking at the machine I was wired to a machine there. And he said to me, Joe, your numbers look fine. And within a matter of seconds, I’ve crashed again.

Joe 0:21
So the doctors knew it was actually quite odd for them to have a conscious patient, telling them that I was going to pass out. So as the doctors did gather around, I remember Dr. Charles saying to all the other nurses and doctors if Joe tells you that he’s gonna pass out, believe him because he’ll tell you before the machines do.

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

Introduction

Diabetes and Stroke
Bill 1:02
Bill from recoveryafterstroke.com This is Episode 126. And my guest today is Joe Cassaniti. At the age of 48, Joe, a father of two and a husband, and a fresh pasta manufacturer experienced a progressive stroke in the pons area of his brainstem.

Bill 1:21
Now before we get started, if you have ever wondered what else I can do to help you with your stroke recovery, you should know that you can now get recovery after stroke coaching right from the comfort of your own home.

Bill 1:32
I too am a three-time stroke survivor and a braiProgressive stroken surgery survivor. And I’ve built for you what I was missing when I was sent home from the hospital in the hope that you don’t have to do stroke recovery as tough as I did.

Bill 1:43
Support packages give you access to a variety of tools 24 hours a day, seven days a week so that you can also work on other areas of stroke recovery, that you don’t get the chance to at physical therapy or rehabilitation.

Bill 1:57
With tailored support available for less than $8.50 per week, all recovery after stroke support packages will bring stroke recovery to you in the comfort of your own home to try out recovery after stroke support and see if it is right for you, you will get the first seven days free, as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee no questions asked.

Bill 2:17
As a bonus, you will also get to face to face zoom support calls with myself to take your recovery to the next level. Go to recoveryafterstroke.com/support to sign up. It won’t cost you anything for the first seven days and you will get a full refund. If you are not happy after 30 days. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. And now it’s on with the show. Joe Cassaniti. Welcome to the podcast.

Joe 2:41
Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Bill 2:43
My pleasure. Tell me a Joe a little bit about what happened to you?

Joe 2:48
And let’s see, April 15 2019, my life changed forever, I was at home on a Sunday and I was with my wife doing some work if you do, and we were just sitting opposite of each other.

Joe 3:06
And she noticed that my speech wasn’t the best. And I was struggling myself. And we kind of got to the point at the same time. But we didn’t make anything of it. And I thought I was just tired because I was making some pasta the day before. So I went ahead and rest on the lounge and woke up again noticed that I lost my balance.

Joe 3:36
And i then said to Antoinette there is a problem, Antoinette is my wife by the way. I said let’s go to the hospital because this is not right. And I’m not feeling at my best so my balance was a problem. My speech was a problem. So we went straight to RPA.

Bill 3:57
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney.

Joe 4:00
Yeah.

Joe Cassaniti had no signs of stroke

Diabetes and Stroke
Bill 4:02
And did you have up until that day that’s Sunday did you have any signs now looking back? Obviously, this is the recovery after stroke podcast. So I know why you’re here. I know that you had a stroke. Was there any signs leading up to that particular day? that something wasn’t right? Did you feel off at all?

Joe 4:21
No. I felt okay. So as I mentioned Saturday I worked, Sunday morning, I’m at home and I was just doing some work on the computer on the dining table. And none, the other thing was that the stroke was incomplete. It was only just the start of the problem. There were several other complications which happened later on when I got in to hospital.

Bill 4:53
Okay, so how old were you?

Joe 4:58
48.

Bill 4:59
48 so you’re in good health mostly. You’re running your own business. It’s a pasta business yeah?

Joe 5:10
Yeah, like fresh pasta.

Bill 5:11
What are your hours like? Before the April day in 2018, what were your hours like?

Joe 5:19
I was working Monday to Friday, I did do occasional Saturdays. And we were busy time. So I had to work Saturday to make some snocky and I went home that afternoon and got around the house. And the next day is yeah, but it’s usually Monday to Friday. 7am to 5pm.

Bill 5:53
Yep. So what’s going on with the rest of your life? Children, family, all that kind of stuff. What’s that? Like?

Joe 5:59
I’m a dad of three boys. Matthew and Alex 22 years old. And little not so little is 18? And I work not far from home. So it’s just a walk up the street for me to head to the pasta factory. And enjoy life.

Bill 6:25
Yeah, nice, man. So life is just a regular standard suburban life, a business kids around the place. Things are generally busy for people like us. Mostly there’s things to do, there’s people to keep happy, and there’s deadlines to meet and all that kind of stuff. Are you the kind of guy that was looking after his health? Would you say that in your 48 years up until then, were you the type of guy that was paying attention to your health and well being?

Joe 6:58
That would be a bit negative. I didn’t because time pressures, being complacent, I was diagnosed as a diabetic when I was 30. And I thought I was invincible. So I wasn’t really proactive in looking after my diabetes. My diabetes is a little awkward. It’s not exactly type two. And it’s not type one, but I’m tablet and insulin dependent.

Joe 7:35
So I was being a cheeky boy and not taking my insulin when I’m supposed to. So I ran ridiculous sugar levels. And so the stroke is brought on by my carelessness with my health. For me, everything else was going on in my life, my family, my business. So I didn’t get much of a chance to look after myself.

Bill 8:03
What is it with that Joe? Because you’ve got time to do all that other stuff. But put a tablet in your mouth and swallow it. You don’t have time to do that. What do you think is going on in your head to say, I’ve got no time for that?

Joe 8:20
Well, I thought I was invincible truly. I thought I was invincible. I never ever thought that I would have a stroke. I didn’t know you could get a stroke from out of control diabetes, we learned a little too late.

Bill 8:41
So that’s interesting. So what did you know that could happen about your diabetes? So if left untreated and you weren’t on top of it? What were the risks of diabetes? Did you have any idea?

Joe 8:52
Sight, neuropathy, obviously drinking a lot of water. I just wasn’t aware that I could put myself at risk of having a stroke.

What is neuropathy – Joe Cassaniti

Bill 9:10
So what’s neuropathy?

Joe 9:13
Neuropathy means you start to lose sensation in your extremities, so your feet, your eyes, and your hands. So it’s just losing sensation.

Bill 9:26
Did you ever find that you experienced any of that stuff while you were not taking your medication?

Joe 9:31
Look, I did. It was mostly my vision. But it fixed itself after I took insulin. So it wasn’t that I wasn’t taking my medication. I just wasn’t taking it regularly.

Bill 9:46
How long would you say was the time when you’re being slack on it? That you weren’t taking it regularly?

Joe 9:53
Well, there was a time that I was really looking after my health. I go to a gym. I love lifting weights. I kind of kept my sugars at bay, I was being active physically, and that helps with lowering sugars.

Joe 10:10
But look, it would get between two and three months that I’ve been on and off, and then I’ll be religious back on. And you can’t have highs and lows, because that’s even more dangerous.

Bill 10:27
Yeah. Did you find that time when you were religious, was it less business going on in your life? Was there less deadlines, less things to achieve? Or did somehow your mindset changed that allowed you to be more on your game?

Joe 10:44
Look, the business was always there. And I was constantly thinking about work. Even at home, I’d be going home wondering what items we need to make next day, customers placing large orders.

Joe 11:04
So you would have busy days, you would have not so busy days, so on not so busy days, or probably pay more attention to my health. You know what, getting up at six o’clock in the morning, sometimes I go down to the gym trying to beat and then hit back into work.

Bill 11:24
Yeah, I know that type two diabetes is very much responsive in a positive way to weight bearing exercises. So even if you’re not trying to make muscle or, you know, become Arnold Schwarzenegger, you will get a really good result by converting that energy from sugar into energy to go into the muscles, so the muscles can actually lift the weight, right.

Bill 11:49
So I know that’s really good for you. And usually with type two diabetics, they say, change your diet now the science around that is shifting because previously, it was just a what you’re eating and just take your insulin shot. But now we know that diet is really important. So if you are on a lower carbohydrate diet, that supports, keeping blood sugar’s low, now you’re making pasta every day.

Bill 11:52
Actually, this is the point Bill, when I was first diagnosed as a diabetic, the doctor said to me, you gotta watch your carb intakes, your bread, your pastas, I think he forgot that A I’m Italian. B I’m a pasta maker. And C, my parents are bread makers.

Bill 12:44
Oh my gosh.

Joe 12:45
For me, it was an impossible task from the start.

Bill 12:49
Now, I know what you’re saying. Like you don’t say that lightly. When you say it was an impossible task. You don’t say it lightly. Because I remember when I was told by an awesome naturopath here in Melbourne, I was taught to go gluten free. It was kind of like you’re testing my history, my lineage, my life for every single day of my life until the age of 37.

Bill 13:18
You’re questioning my identity, like, What do you mean? Go gluten free? Does that mean I don’t get to a bread? What am I going to eat instead? Yeah. And there was this idea in my mind that if I’m not eating bread, that there’s some weird part of my life missing because when I go to my mom’s house, or any relative’s house.

Bill 13:41
There’s a pile of bread on the table all the time, and you’re supposed to slap everything on it, you know, whether it’s whether you’re making a little tomato, beautiful thing, you know, with oregano and olive oil or putting butter on there, or whether you’re putting cheese on there, it doesn’t matter.

Bill 13:59
It goes with everything, whether you’re wiping up the source from the pasta, it doesn’t matter. Bread goes with every single thing, right? And it was a really difficult thing for me to comprehend, not only to actually take action on what she said, but to actually comprehend what that meant. What do you mean I’ve got to stop it? What does that actually mean for my life?

Bill 14:20
And then I would go to my parents house. And Dad would say why aren’t you eating bread here have some bread. The nutritionist taught me not to, what do you mean the nutritionist taught you not? What the hell does that mean? And that was really difficult. So I imagine for you it was at least 300 or 400 or 100 times harder.

Joe 14:44
It was. Being in business, and also the fact that I eat pasta every day. You know, I’ve been making pasta for 26 years, and I am not sick of it. I enjoy eating pasta. Got my favorites, and I’ll stick to those. But we don’t go a day at the table without eating pasta, whether it’s made with a bolognese source, or a ravioli or tortellini.

Joe 15:17
So there’s always pasta on my dinner table. But what I’ve learned is to match the portions. So I’m not a big pasta eater. Like you know, when I was single, I lived at home with my mom, the plates would be so cool that that’d be overflying.

Joe 15:38
And you’d have to be careful with the floor because the pasta on the outside of the plate, but at home I’ll probably have four or five ravioli and Antoinette usually cooks the protein. So some awesome chicken, even some fish. So I balance it out now.

Bill 15:59
Yeah, I know, I remember those. Going home to my mom’s place, and just having a bowl of spaghetti with a beautiful sauce. And then half a loaf of bread to wipe up the sauce. Man, and it was delicious. It was everything that you could ever wish for, you know. And then you associate that deliciousness that love that connection with your mom and your family.

Bill 16:29
All that gets associated to this bowl of food. And it’s more than a conversation about we need to stop eating carbs. We need to find a new way to relate to our family and our friends and our loved ones when we’re told to stop eating bread or stopping pasta, it’s a real complex situation.

Bill 16:53
So you’re the stereotypical Italian guy. When people from a Greek background like me teased an Italian guy in the schoolyard. You know, when we were growing up, I used to say, go eat a bowl of pasta mate. And then the Italian guys would say to me go eat a souvlaki.

Bill 17:13
And we were supposed to be doing that to give people a hard time. But the truth is, eating a souvlaki is amazing. eating a bowl of pasta was amazing. It was hardly a way to give somebody a hard time.

Complacency led to Progressive stroke

Diabetes and Stroke
Joe 17:25
Yeah, it is. I mean, it’s part of our diet. And I mean, going back to diabetes. Look, it is one of the most manageable disease. And you don’t know how many people get it wrong, myself included. I think it has a lot to do with complacency, you know, day to day life.

Joe 17:51
But the great thing about the disease is there are a lot of technological advances these days. So they make measuring sugar a lot easier. So I’ve got a device that is on my arm, that a waveline on phone, and you tell me what my sugar is at any one time. So I can give myself the amount of insulin that I need. \

Joe 18:18
And the great thing is it keeps the history. So if my doctor needs to see what my sugars are like, he or she can log into my account and observe the results. So there are advancements, you know, delivery of insulin these days, especially for type one diabetics.

Joe 18:42
Diabetes, New South Wales keep devices to automatically deliver insulin into your body. When you need it, you just total the amount and you don’t have to check. So management of diabetes has come a long way.

Bill 18:59
Tell me about the device that’s on your hand because I have seen them before. And I know you attach it for a little bit of time. So it’s there for quite a time and then you replace it every so often. Tell me about the whole process to that.

Joe 19:12
Well the device isn’t cheap. For starters, it’s a $99 sensor, and it only lasts for two weeks. There is a fine wire that sits under the skin that’s in contact with blood 24 seven, it only keeps results for two weeks, it expires after two weeks.

Joe 19:36
So you do need to have another one replaced. The great thing about our country is that we have the NDIS now because I have a disability and I can’t use my right hand to measure my sugar properly. I get this device as I thought was cool, but it comes to me in a second. But it’s an aid to assist people that have disability and the NDIS pays for it.

Bill 20:10
Yeah, the National Disability Insurance Scheme. That’s a pretty cool thing. And when you wave your phone over it, it’s connected to an app?

Joe 20:20
It is on my phone, I’ve got the app that comes with the sensor. And it gives me a graph of how my sugars are going, little lights will turn red, if my sugars are too high or too low, and yeah, just keeps the history so that the doctors can see how I’m going.

Bill 20:43
Seeing that data, real time for you, is that really helpful for you to know okay, swallow the pill, take the insulin is that better than what it was way back whenever you’re being slack?

Joe 20:57
It’s funny how things change poststroke. Because you do pay more attention to your health. As I mentioned, there was some complacency there. But after my stroke, I was told that, you know, I could have another stroke, if I continue with the course of action that I’m taking at the moment without looking after my sugar. So I measure my sugar three to four times a day. I take my insulin I take my tablets. So I plan to live for a very long time.

Bill 21:32
Good to hear man. And doing that now doesn’t really interfere into your life, because you can measure your sugar anywhere. You can give yourself insulin anywhere you can, there’s no place where you can’t do it, for example, is there?

Joe 21:48
Anywhere I want, and that was part of the reasoning behind the National Disability Insurance Scheme, giving the device to me because I can’t measure my sugar, say standing up because of balance problems. I’m not able to use my hand properly, so all these reasons was for this device for me to wear it.

Bill 22:17
Yeah, to make it easy. Awesome. Now tell me a little bit about gonna take you into that place a little bit about the day that it happened. And then after that, because I want to get a feeling for what you guys were going through.

Bill 22:29
And whether you were cognitively affected, or whether you were completely aware of what was happening to you. How did the day play out? You started to feel unwell then you went to hospital? And then what happened after that?

Joe 22:48
I didn’t know I was having a stroke. So all the usual stuff like facial droop. It wasn’t happening. So I walked into hospital. It was only when I sat down that everybody was rushing. The nurses knew what was going on. But I wasn’t aware I started to lose movement in my right arm just felt heavy, not that I’ve lost control of it just started to feel real heavy.

Joe Cassaniti had a progressive stroke

Joe 23:24
I have what you call a progressive stroke. So it didn’t happen all at once. It happened between three and four days. The third day was the worst. So after I was taken into emergency, they didn’t make it a stroke or my stroke was in the brainstem. So it wasn’t able to be picked up on a CT scan.

Joe 23:55
So for days, they didn’t know where but they had an idea that it wasn’t on the CT scan and perhaps it might be on the brainstem. So they did a an MRI scan. This was after I became paralyzed. I was totally paralyzed on one side. And they took me down to the MRI machine.

Joe 24:22
I suffered from claustrophobia. So that was question number one that they asked me so I kindly asked them for a blindfold. And they put me into the machine for quite a while. And then they found where there stroke occurred in the pons area of the brain. So paralyzed on one side and then complications with look, I think it’s called bradycardia.

Bill 25:00
Bradycardia. Low heart rate.

Joe 25:08
Yeah. So because I’ve said it quite a few nerves going around my body, my brain wasn’t making contact with my heart. So look, I was quite fortunate because the first time it happened to me, I had a doctor in front of me, I had my wife to one side, I was in bed in a ward.

Joe 25:30
And doctor was in front of me. And I started to explain to the doctor that I was feeling a little queasy, I felt like I was gonna pass out. And he said, it’s not a problem, you’re in a bed, nothing’s going to happen to you. Within a matter of seconds, I close my eyes. I thought I’ve reopened them, but I was out for a little while.

Joe 25:56
The same had changed for me, my wife wasn’t beside me anymore. And I had a bunch of doctors and nurses around me somebody hit the emergency button, I think it was Dr. Collin, that did. And when I did open my eyes, I think he looked more pale than me because he was a training doctor and a lovely, lovely guy, too.

Joe 26:20
I felt so sorry for him. When I did wake up, because I thought I’d just close my eyes and open them up after a while. So they took me down to ICU after that. It did happen several times in in ICU. So they decided to put in a my arm and start delivering adrenalin.

Joe 26:48
And Isoprenaline. And as my heart rate came down, the nurses would pop up the adrenaline for me to keep my heart rate up. The great thing about where I was situated in ICU was there was needy desk, where all the doctors and nurses were at. So if I wanted to grab their attention, I could and I did and one occasion.

Intro 27:24
If you’ve had a stroke, and you’re in recovery, you’ll know what a scary and confusing time it can be, you’re likely to have a lot of questions going through your mind. Like how long will it take to recover? Will I actually recover? What things should I avoid in case I make matters worse?

Intro 27:41
Doctors will explain things that obviously, you’ve never had a stroke before, you probably don’t know what questions to ask. If this is you, you may be missing out on doing things that could help speed up your recovery. If you’re finding yourself in that situation, stop worrying, and head to recovery after stroke.com where you can download a guide that will help you it’s called seven questions to ask your doctor about your stroke.

Intro 28:07
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.

Joe 28:26
starter code Dr. Charles I called him over I said, I feel like I’m gonna pass out again. And he was looking at the machine knows what to a machine there. And he said to me, Joe, your numbers look fine wrist, and within a matter of seconds, I’ve crashed again. So the doctors knew and was actually quite odd thing to have a conscious patient telling me that he was it I was gonna pass out. So as the doctors did gather around, I remember Dr. Charles saying to all the other nurses and doctors, if Joe tells you that he’s gonna pass out believe him because he’ll tell you before the machines.

Bill 29:13
Man that is absolutely nuts. So was that traumatic for you? And what was happening every time you were opening your eyes again? How did that make you feel? What were you thinking about? What were you worried about?

Joe 29:27
To tell you the truth, I thought I was going to die. A lot of people beside me in beds, I was in an area in the neurological section so I had a priest on one side of the bed giving somebody the last rites. Another guy in the other side of the bed had to have his skull opened.

Joe 29:58
So thought I was gonna die. You know, I really thought I was gonna die. But by the grace of God, I’m still me today, and it changed me. I was already a happy go lucky guy before the stroke, but I think my son put it really well, when he said dad after your stroke, you grew a personality.

Joe 30:30
I didn’t know whether to take offense to it. But look, I was even more of a clown after the stroke. In fact, look, he was down in hospital, it was really boring. And people knew who I was. So I’ve spoken to people about my business, and the nurses, they said, we want to come to the bypass, I’d be entertaining them and telling them jokes, when I really should have been resting.

Joe 31:04
So it was great that I had that and the nurses, the doctors were great. I don’t recommend having a stroke to anybody ever, so definitely look after your health. Because you only get one chance.

Bill 31:25
I know what you’re saying about the blessing of having your ability to make a joke and laugh and talk to people in all of that. I know a lot of stroke survivors in the early part of their recovery they don’t have that yet. Because they’re out of it. And I was out of it a couple of times, because I had three bleeds. And then I had surgery. The second bleed was pretty dramatic.

Bill 31:48
It’s the one that took away my ability to remember things and who came to visit me and my wife’s name and my ability to drive and work and all that kind of stuff. The first blade was was just just created numbness on my left side. So I was able to talk exactly as I am now even walk and move, it was all fine. The fourth, the third blade basically created more of the numbness.

Bill 32:15
And then the surgery created the ability for me not to walk again. And then I had to learn how to walk again and use my arm again. But it was only the second blade that took away my personality and my ability to be me. Yeah. Whereas the other ones didn’t.

Bill 32:31
And that contrast later, I think made it easier for my family and friends when they come to visit. Yeah, my you know, he’s still a smarter, so we still had no, all that stuff was still there. And that was good for them. So what what’s your wife going through? Has she given you some information about what the experience was like for her?

Mental Scars caused by Progressive stroke

Joe 32:58
Well, she was fortunate to be able to film some of my time in ICU. So I look at the video clips and the way I spoke because my speech was greatly affected. So I’ve come a long way from sitting in ICU for two weeks, not moving to now where people have to tell me to sit down and shut up.

Joe 33:32
So it’s a big difference. She said, I scared a lot of people, myself included. Scars Yeah, there are a lot of scars, but they’re not physical scars. They’re more mental scars. I had problems with my memory. And I need to be able to have a memory of work. And I know I suffer a lot with my short term memory.

Joe 34:03
Sometimes I don’t get my words out, right. I had to do speech therapy for saying a few words. And I needed to be able to greet somebody on the phone at work. So it was good morning pips faster. Good afternoon. pips faster and getting the two words with a P was a struggle for me.

Joe 34:33
So I did have a rehab center that that is a speech therapy with me. But thank God, you know, I improved so I can speak well. I’m Tia and I do tend to forget words. And I get unstuck day because it becomes frustrating because I don’t remember the word that I want to say definitely is a struggle and the physical struggles, answering your phone and writing down an order.

Joe 34:33
The great thing that the NDISD is keeping an ephah. So it frees my my left hand to be able to speak to customers on the phone and take orders down. I’ve gone a little backwards when it when it comes to what I can and can’t do with that is because of my hands, making passwords a physical thing.

Joe 35:39
So to be able to wherever all your machines will fettuccine off the machine is a struggle for me. But the great thing about my business is that I have trained staff there. So I spent three months in the hospital. And, you know, the guys that work, my head Pastor Mike and Mike, my administration lady, they just took over the business and treated like their own.

Joe 36:08
So I was just concentrating on recovering. And when I went into work, maybe a few days a week, but she spent most of the time with me in hospital. So it’s great that I have those people there that can do those things. And so now I do a lot of nothing upstairs in the office, in an airconditioned office

Bill 36:30
Playing solitaire?

Joe 36:34
Not quite. But, I had some phase I did some batter entry. So I had to change the way I work. But I know one day, I’ll be paying for it. If my hand doesn’t improve, and I am making improvements. In my hand, I attend rehab twice a week. And I do physio therapy once a week.

Joe 37:06
So I’m very active on my rehab. And over the past few months, I’ve been able to do things that I haven’t been able to do in the past simple things like using knife or being able to move my wrists being able to lift my arm.

Joe 36:34
And if I restart, and open and close my fingers. And again, it’s all thanks to technology termination. There’s a little device that I was given in hospital and I was one of the first people in in rehab to use an is called cider glove.

Bill 37:50
I interviewed the guys that make the glove.

Joe 37:52
You did? You have to thank them for me because I believe a lot of my recovery was because of that device. Because the chains attached to my fingers. It helped me to open my hands I was picking up balls and releasing them into a bucket. And that was a part of my therapy day in day out.

Joe 38:15
The great thing about it was that when I was released from the rehab hospital, I went straight into the public system. And there’s a I think it’s called stroke outreach, and they also bought the device. So I continued my therapy at Rockland Safra. So it was great to have that continuation, as well as doing task specific types of things like as a segment using the knife.

Bill 38:51
Britain man, you talked about earlier talked a little bit about the mental scars. Is there emotional scars?

Emotional Scars

Joe 39:02
Very much so. I find it hard sometimes to use the right emotions. So an example I’m at a funeral I’ll be having a smile on my face because I can’t control that smile. And if I’m having an argument with someone, I’m laughing or smiling and it’s the wrong use of emotion, but it’s something that I cannot control.

Joe 39:35
So I annoy people when I argue with them and I’m smiling while I’m arguing with them. So they get mixed signals and that’s frustrating because I managed to piss them off.

Bill 39:51
So is that something Joe? You are able to be angry before in an argument and you were able to be so at a funeral like, that’s new to you. This is like a switcheroo of your emotion.

Joe 40:08
Sad movies, I cry. And I never used to, before the stroke, I’d be a tough one in the family and, you know, my boys and Antoinette would be crying on any sad movie. So now I’m crying.

Bill 40:33
But you laugh at a funeral or you smile at a funeral? What’s that?

Joe 40:36
Yeah. It’s because I can switch off that that facial signal, that smile or the emotion so I’m not sure what it is. But it’s a bag of mixed emotions. I cry at work, and I never cry at work.

Bill 41:01
What do you cry over? because I cried and still do for me it’s nearly been next year will be nine years, February will be nine years since the first bleed. So what do you cry about?

Joe 41:14
I cry that I see people using two hands on the keyboard. And I remember I was mad. I mean, it wasn’t spectacular, but it was 35 words a minute. And I cry that I cry that I see my staff, maning the pasta machine, and I can’t.

Joe 41:38
And when serving customers in the shop, to open a plastic bag. And to put product in it for me was a struggle, and I’m getting better. But that made me sad. I suppose the worst was you’re probably not going to like me after this, but I spent three months in hospital. So I wanted to get out. So I decided with my family and I were going to Italy two weeks after getting out of hospital I already spent three months in the hospital against doctor’s orders.

Joe 42:20
The reason why I had to travel was to buy a new pasta machine. Although in hindsight, it would be better to keep the old one because the old one is slower. And I could manage it a lot better. So this new finishing machine does 50 kilos per hour. So I went to Italy spent a couple of weeks there. I actually got the best rehab in Italy. So warping streets of Rome.

Joe 42:46
There’s cobblestones, and because I have some issues, had some issues with my dorsiflexion having the cobblestones they made me lift my foot, and hyak. So I got better quicker. And I did some steps while I was walking the street subprime. But the reason why I say that is because the machine is now here in Australia, in my past the factory. We’re operating it and it’s a beautiful machine. But I can’t use it. And that makes me sad.

Bill 43:25
Yeah, it was a good reason to go overseas, though. When I was in Rome after my own stroke. But it probably took me about five years to get there about a year after my surgery. We did all those cobblestone streets and we walked for 10 hours a day. Yeah. And like you man, it was really good rehab because it built my stamina and my fitness was up back.

Bill 43:54
And really gently while I was being distracted by these beautiful things in Rome. And I suppose I had the same opportunity in Melbourne in Australia. But I didn’t do that here. I just stayed at home here for some weird reason. But of course, when you’re in Rome, there’s no you’re silly to be in Rome and go nowhere and do nothing.

Joe 44:15
You want to be out and see things.

Bill 44:17
Yeah. So and there’s only one way to see it. And that’s by walking. There’s no point driving anywhere. We did exactly the same thing. So I really appreciate what you said about being in a different place. And then using that different place as a reason to have real subtle therapy. And experience a culture difference and all that type of thing. And I’m not saying that you have to travel like you and I do. I don’t know how many thousands of miles is it to get the one.

Joe 44:52
We were originally supposed to get a Canberra. That was the discussion. I remember we were sitting as a family in a Chinese restaurant fresh at a hospital. And I’m saying to my wife, I’ve been in hospital too long. Let’s go Canberra. And from that discussion, it went straight to Italy. And I kid you, not my wife and I, within two days of deciding, we’re on a plane with my sons. And to me, that’s how knee jerk reaction, it was for us two days, and we’re on the plane.

Bill 45:32
Man, that’s cool. I know that a lot of people can’t do that. But from the point of view of, you know, how can we make this story useful for the people that have had a stroke, just go to another state that takes you an hour to get to or two hours to get to. And use it as an opportunity to learn something new if you can, and find a way to get there.

Bill 45:55
Even if you’re in an electric scooter. Even if you know you’re not totally mobile, do something somewhere else where your brain is preoccupied with amazing things. And you’re not paying attention to the rehabilitation, it’s such a great way to do it. And I wouldn’t recommend traveling 16,000 kilometers, or 9950 miles.

Joe 46:19
And it’s the best distraction, you know, you cannot sit at home. And I put us, you know, especially at a hospital. And I remember the first few days feeling sorry for myself about you know, what had happened to me, I still wasn’t walking properly, I wasn’t confident in leaving the hospital. In fact, I was one of the very few that would have preferred to stay in the arena, a bit more.

Joe 46:23
But I still had the gait belt on and, and wheelchair a onto a plane. But instead of feeling sorry for myself, at home, I was app seeing the world because I was stuck at home sitting watching TV, you know, I was walking and that contributes a lot to me getting better. And I want to make 100% recovery. And now it’s been two years already. And there’s been lots of recovery. But I want to get back to normal. I want to be 100%

Healthier than ever after a Progressive stroke


Bill 47:33
Yeah, why not? Man, that’s a great thing to aim for. I know that some people get frustrated with that term that I’m going to be 100%. But I can’t use my arm or I can’t use my leg. So for me, I can’t feel my left side the same as I used to, it’s never going to change when I get fatigued. It always goes to sleep before my right side, it always means that when it gets fatigued, I bump into the doorway on the left.

Bill 47:58
It means all sorts of things. But I am healthier now than I have ever been. I feel like I am 100% even though I have this ongoing feeling on my side and fatigue. Yeah, like maybe at the end of the day after a really long day, or after a really hot day. And maybe I haven’t hydrated properly.

Bill 48:19
But I’m 100% and people find that strange because that’s what I say to them I am that doesn’t mean that my leg works perfectly or my arm works perfectly. It just means that I’m 100% healthy, and back to normal. And I do what I can do. And my body has a really good way of reminding me, I’ve done too much.

Bill 48:43
It says we can’t do any more your left side is going to go weak now and you need to sit down and you need to rest and that is a tool that I never had before. Do you. You listen to your body now does it give you a lot of signals?

Joe 48:57
I do. I see it I feel it. Unfortunately, others don’t. So by seven o’clock, you know i’d be feeling really tired. I feel fatigued and I’d use my balance. So you know people don’t see fatigue. And that’s the one sad thing because um, fatigue plagues me and it plays with my back my balance and you know I hit a run into walls, and I hurt myself I don’t believe I’ve got a lot of scratches on my on my feet on my arm because I feel tired in the afternoon and all I want to do is sleep.

Joe 49:47
There is medication for it. And although it does help me, I find that when the medication wears off, I get this feeling of anxiety so don’t particularly like to take it. And I really need to So, and that’s the drug called modafinil. So I’ve used that to keep me alert in when I’ve had to be awake for longer than normal. But these days, I’m indeed by nine o’clock at night.

Joe 50:23
And people wonder why is it going so well, and it’s because the fatigue that, you know, obviously, they don’t see. But I feel because I can’t walk properly, I lose my balance, I’ve fallen over a few times, because I’m that tired, that I won’t need my my foot properly. So that is a problem for me.

Bill 50:48
Yeah, it does get better fatigue does get better, one of the things that you’ll find is that it’s similar to a muscle, the more you push it and go over the limit, the more it comes up, you become better at it. Yeah, and I’m not saying that you should push it and crash to the point of no return.

Bill 51:11
Because sometimes I used to push it and fatigue would take me a day or two to ever come back then you know. Whereas now if I just go and have a good sleep, then I’m fine. And I’m in bed, even nine years after stroke, if I wake up at 6:30 or seven o’clock in the morning, some days, I can be in bed by 9:30 10 o’clock, because I just the body’s shutting the brain shutting down and I just need to rest it. Yeah. And it takes a while but people get used to you being in bed a bit earlier. It takes a while.

Joe 51:49
A The other issue I had, I mean living so close to work, I do get tired quite easily. So midday, one o’clock on might come home and call it a day. And I’ll go to bed for an hour. So wake up and feel refreshed and tackle the afternoon.

Bill 52:12
It sounds like the business could run completely without you though. You need to be there for other reasons other than just because it’s there’s an order coming through. Right? It just seems like there’s more to it for you than just selling pasta.

Joe 52:26
It is I mean, I’m attached to my business. It’s, I began the business in 1993. But I’ve also had a major shift in that I wouldn’t mind retirement. And the only thing that’s stopping me from resign is income. But given the opportunity, oh, consider selling my business. I have a hobby at home that I thought I would never ever take up and that garden. I was hopeless gardener, I did not agree.

Joe 53:09
And that would be to my father’s disgust because he grew his veggies in his backyard. Tomato broth, beans. And I don’t grow things. But I’ve taken on succulents. And guess what, it’s good therapy, potting moving plants around watering and taking weeds out. So I’m learning to keep my balance and to use my hands to plant into pots.

Bill 53:48
You’ll probably sell the past a business and then turn your hobby into a succulent business.

Joe 54:01
Yeah, I definitely would do that.

Bill 54:07
It’s written all over your face, man. I could see it.

Joe 54:10
What is it? Is it the commercialist in me? I mean, the entrepreneur in me?

Bill 54:16
It’s just you don’t do anything by half. So I know exactly the type of guy you are. I’m a similar kind of guy, you know, I’m looking at.

Joe 54:23
I can’t be sitting around. My dad, was 83 three before he retired and sold the bakery. So It kept him healthy. And I was having this discussion with a friend of mine yesterday that’s being active and even playing crosswords or reading a book. It keeps the mind active. So I want to keep active.

Bill 55:03
The last few weeks and month or so, so we’re recording this in mid December 2020. The last in Victoria in Australia, you know, we’ve had a really tough time and being at home doing nothing because of the Coronavirus for the best part of six months has been really tough on people.

Bill 55:22
And it really paints a picture of what life would be like for me, if I had nothing to do all day, every day, if I was at home doing nothing, and had no hobbies, and no passions and all that kind of thing. And somebody passed away about a month and a half ago, and she was my counselor that I’d been seeing for 20 years.

Bill 55:45
So we had moved beyond the relationship of counselor, I go there to be fixed by my counselor for my issues, you know, in my head. It was like that person, that wise woman that you go to for lifelong advice that she’s been on the planet for a long time, and she knows things to teach me to pass down to my kids, you know, that was the kind of relationship we had.

Bill 56:11
And one of the things I was never able to find out Joe, in the time that I saw her was her age, because it’s rude to ask some women their age, and I asked her once and she shut me down. Unfortunately, when she passed away, I discovered her age. And that was at the funeral, she was 82 years old and still working as a psychologist in her practice, every day, helping people.

Bill 56:43
And for me, that was so inspiring to hear that, regardless of her, ill health or the issues that she had, she rocked up to work every single day, and it kept her healthier, and living longer than if she had just stayed at home doing nothing waiting for the illnesses to go away or whatever it was, you know.

Bill 57:04
So hearing your dad’s story is similar to me, it’s that perhaps it had moved on for your dad, it had gone beyond being about making money and all that cause it became about a passion and became about meeting people and seeing people and giving them their bread and having conversations.

Bill 57:23
And your succulent business is going to become that for you, you know, the thing that you do that’s not really about money, it’s about passion and a process that you’ve got to get through to get to an end point. And the end point is whatever you want it to be, it’s actually the succulent is just the thing that gets the job done to get you feeling a certain way.

Bill 57:46
And now being cheeky and saying that you’re going to turn it. But you know what I mean, for me, I don’t see myself as ever retiring from anything. If I’m not doing the physical work, I’m like you I’m gonna find a bolt to sell something to somebody just for the sake of selling it not for any other reason.

Joe 58:05
That’s right, I think it’s an hour. But I mean, I’ve been very fortunate that I’ve had staff work with me for so long, that they know how to run a business. And that was one of the first thing I learned in, in business was to be able to put people in position positions where they decide how things go, and then the power to make the decisions. So I can’t pick up and I can walk away.

Joe 58:41
But the thing is, I don’t want to because you know, there’s a 400 meter walk to work. That doesn’t mean it will the good there’s a 20 stairs that I’ve got a walk up to go into my office that has made a world of food. So talking to people having lunch with people communicating, living normal life, I don’t think I could stay at home. You know, I live in a I live in in Western Sydney.

Joe 59:13
There are a lot of cafes, friends stop by at work. They come and say they’ll take me out for a coffee. And I enjoy that. It’s not like it’s it’s pressuring me I am at that point in my life where I don’t need to grow the business I can keep at this pace. So I’m happy to continue at this pace for a little bit longer.

Bill 59:41
Yeah, sounds like a good thing to do, man. Tell me about the pastor. If people wanted to buy your pastor, where would they go?

Joe 59:49
Well if you live in them in Sydney, we’re in a beautiful federation suburb called haberfield. And the business is called Peppe’s pasta. And we’re on Ramsey strip in haberfield. We’ve been there a very long time. And we’ve won a few awards as you can see.

Joe 1:00:13
So we enter the roll agricultural societies fine food show every year. Last year, we were fortunate enough to get a gold medal and also the most successful exhibitor at the show. So we’re really proud of that. So it’s a quality product. I do have to say, okay, it really hasn’t affected us, there was a problem with supermarkets running out of pasta.

Joe 1:00:42
And we do have a couple of supermarkets around us. So a lot of customers filled into our store and began buying fresh pasta, they liked it, and then are continually buying it. So we haven’t and I know a lot of businesses have passed that hasn’t been one of those businesses.

Bill 1:01:08
That have struggled her, you guys selling staples, and people want to eat pasta to feel better during a look down because pasta really makes you feel warm in the heart and all that type of thing.

Joe 1:01:22
It does and, you know, a lot of people did take up pasta making and bread making at home. Breadmaking is not so difficult to try (inaudible). If you get the consistency wrong, you might as well for the (inaudible). And so people do try and they may give up and say, okay.

Bill 1:01:48
And if you’re not a grandmother, you know who’s been making it for 57 years, you probably got no hope of making really. Your shoulder, it’s gonna be a struggle isn’t it?

Joe 1:02:03
Took me a very long time.

Bill 1:02:06
Yeah. So you guys are on Instagram and Facebook and all that kind of stuff where will people be able to find you?

Joe 1:02:14
So if you look at Peppe’s Pasa. And you find us on Facebook. Same for Instagram. You can call us the numbers are on our pages. We, but one of our most popular products is the lasagna. And we can kind of make it happen. And we do a family sized designer that helps people that don’t want to cook so. And it is a very, very nice.

Bill 1:02:48
Yeah. And do you sell online?

Joe 1:02:52
And we’re currently doing our website. So that should be up in the next week. We’re finalizing some photography this week. And hopefully by Friday, we’ll be done. And but you can get in contact with us through Instagram.

Bill 1:03:08
Brilliant, mate Joe. It’s been a real pleasure getting to meet you and getting to know you and learning a little bit about your story. I’m so glad you reached out I really connected with you when you sent me that first Facebook message.

Bill 1:03:20
And I thought this is a guy that we definitely have to have on the podcast. And now that lockdown is over and I love coming to Sydney. I am definitely going to come past and have a plate of pasta with you. Even though I’m gluten free.

Joe 1:03:34
You are more than welcome and I guarantee you will not be leaving empty handed we have a saying and I’ll say this in my dialect, (speaks Italian) which means with me, you’ll never go hungry.

Bill 1:03:53
I look forward to it man thank you so much for being on the podcast.

Intro 1:04:00
Discover how to heal your brain after stroke go to recoveryafterstroke.com. Importantly, we present many podcasts designed to give you an insight and understanding into the experiences of other individuals that pinions and treatments 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 1:04:27
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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
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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 1:07:10 122. 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/">122. 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. 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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/">120. 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 1:27:23 119. 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/">119. 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 1:11:07 118. A Link Between Contraceptive Pill And Stroke? – Priya Sharma https://recoveryafterstroke.com/a-link-between-contraceptive-pill-and-stroke/ Mon, 19 Oct 2020 14:59:40 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5384 <p>Priya Sharma was 24 years old when multiple blood clots caused an Ischemic Stroke. There is some suspicion that the stroke, may have been caused by the contraceptive pill.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/a-link-between-contraceptive-pill-and-stroke/">118. A Link Between Contraceptive Pill And Stroke? – Priya Sharma</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Priya Sharma was 24 years old when multiple blood clots caused an Ischemic Stroke. There is some suspicion that the stroke, may have been caused by the contraceptive pill. Priya Sharma was 24 years old when multiple blood clots caused an Ischemic Stroke. There is some suspicion that the stroke, may have been caused by the contraceptive pill. Recovery After Stroke 1:02:25 117. Brain Stem Pons Stroke – Gloria Morgan https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brain-stem-pons-stroke-gloria-morgan/ Mon, 12 Oct 2020 03:08:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5352 <p>Gloria Morgan just gave birth to her third child when a brain stem pons stroke threatened to turn what was supposed to be a happy time into a tragedy.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brain-stem-pons-stroke-gloria-morgan/">117. Brain Stem Pons Stroke – Gloria Morgan</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Gloria Morgan just gave birth to her third child when a brain stem pons stroke threatened to turn what was supposed to be a happy time into a tragedy. Gloria Morgan just gave birth to her third child when a brain stem pons stroke threatened to turn what was supposed to be a happy time into a tragedy. Recovery After Stroke 1:02:15 116. Brainstem Cavernous Angioma – Whitney Spotts https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brainstem-cavernous-angioma/ Mon, 05 Oct 2020 12:29:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5286 <p>Being a mom to a toddler is challenging enough and when you have to deal with a brainstem cavernous angioma causing a bleed in your brain it becomes even harder.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brainstem-cavernous-angioma/">116. Brainstem Cavernous Angioma – Whitney Spotts</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Being a mom to a toddler is challenging enough and when you have to deal with a brainstem cavernous angioma causing a bleed in your brain it becomes even harder. Being a mom to a toddler is challenging enough and when you have to deal with a brainstem cavernous angioma causing a bleed in your brain it becomes even harder. Recovery After Stroke 1:05:31 115. Showing Kindness Even If We Disagree https://recoveryafterstroke.com/showing-kindness-even-if-we-disagree/ Mon, 28 Sep 2020 15:50:50 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5245 <p>Disagreements in 2020 have been on the rise, especially with the COVID crisis and world events that polarize communities everywhere. How can we be kind and still disagree?</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/showing-kindness-even-if-we-disagree/">115. Showing Kindness Even If We Disagree</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Disagreements in 2020 have been on the rise, especially with the COVID crisis and world events that polarize communities everywhere. How can we be kind and still disagree? Disagreements in 2020 have been on the rise, especially with the COVID crisis and world events that polarize communities everywhere. How can we be kind and still disagree? Recovery After Stroke 1:01:11 114. Vertebral Artery Dissection & recovery – Amy Wells https://recoveryafterstroke.com/vertebral-artery-dissection-recovery/ Mon, 14 Sep 2020 14:28:56 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=5042 <p>A vertebral artery dissection is not what you’d expect at 35 years young. In this interview Amy Wells talks candidly about her stroke and how life has change for the better in the last 12 months </p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/vertebral-artery-dissection-recovery/">114. Vertebral Artery Dissection & recovery – Amy Wells</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> A vertebral artery dissection is not what you’d expect at 35 years young. In this interview Amy Wells talks candidly about her stroke and how life has change for the better in the last 12 months A vertebral artery dissection is not what you’d expect at 35 years young. In this interview Amy Wells talks candidly about her stroke and how life has change for the better in the last 12 months Recovery After Stroke 1:23:12 113. Arteriovenous Malformation Recovery – Paul Fink https://recoveryafterstroke.com/arteriovenous-malformation-recovery/ Mon, 07 Sep 2020 14:16:28 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4846 <p>While getting ready to go to work, Paul complained of a shocking head, soon after his speech was gone and the next thing he remembers is being cared for by the paramedics.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/arteriovenous-malformation-recovery/">113. Arteriovenous Malformation Recovery – Paul Fink</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> While getting ready to go to work, Paul complained of a shocking head, soon after his speech was gone and the next thing he remembers is being cared for by the paramedics. While getting ready to go to work, Paul complained of a shocking head, soon after his speech was gone and the next thing he remembers is being cared for by the paramedics. Recovery After Stroke 1:05:09 112. Carotid Artery Dissection Recovery – Emily Hoffman https://recoveryafterstroke.com/carotid-artery-dissection-recovery/ Mon, 31 Aug 2020 15:31:35 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4721 <p>Emily Hoffman is recovering from a carotid artery dissection which caused a stroke in early 2019. She had now started to set some walking goals and is making great progress every day.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/carotid-artery-dissection-recovery/">112. Carotid Artery Dissection Recovery – Emily Hoffman</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Emily Hoffman is recovering from a carotid artery dissection which caused a stroke in early 2019. She had now started to set some walking goals and is making great progress every day. Emily Hoffman is recovering from a carotid artery dissection which caused a stroke in early 2019. She had now started to set some walking goals and is making great progress every day. Recovery After Stroke 1:11:17 111. 8 Of The Best Stroke Recovery Tips – OT Sisters https://recoveryafterstroke.com/8-of-the-best-stroke-recovery-tips/ Tue, 25 Aug 2020 12:50:45 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4637 <p>Learn 8 of the best stroke recovery tips as shared by the OT Sisters, Jaimee Perea, and Suzy Burns who between them have more than 20 years of experience helping people recovering from a stroke and other neurological conditions. Socials: https://www.instagram.com/o.t.sisters/ Episode 87. Occupational Therapy and Stroke Lecture – Bill Gasiamis Highlights: 00.53 Introduction 03:13 […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/8-of-the-best-stroke-recovery-tips/">111. 8 Of The Best Stroke Recovery Tips – OT Sisters</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Learn 8 of the best stroke recovery tips as shared by the OT Sisters, Jaimee Perea, and Suzy Burns who between them have more than 20 years of experience helping people recovering from a stroke and other neurological conditions. Socials: https://www. Learn 8 of the best stroke recovery tips as shared by the OT Sisters, Jaimee Perea, and Suzy Burns who between them have more than 20 years of experience helping people recovering from a stroke and other neurological conditions. Socials: https://www.instagram.com/o.t.sisters/ Episode 87. Occupational Therapy and Stroke Lecture – Bill Gasiamis Highlights: 00.53 Introduction 03:13 […] Recovery After Stroke 59:36 110. All The Signs Of Stroke – Jason DePetris https://recoveryafterstroke.com/all-the-signs-of-stroke-jason-depetris/ Mon, 17 Aug 2020 11:00:29 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4486 <p>The last thing Jason DePetris expected when eating breakfast one morning before running a marathon was that the numbness he was experiencing on his left side was one of the signs of stroke.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/all-the-signs-of-stroke-jason-depetris/">110. All The Signs Of Stroke – Jason DePetris</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> The last thing Jason DePetris expected when eating breakfast one morning before running a marathon was that the numbness he was experiencing on his left side was one of the signs of stroke. The last thing Jason DePetris expected when eating breakfast one morning before running a marathon was that the numbness he was experiencing on his left side was one of the signs of stroke. Recovery After Stroke 1:00:34 109. The Power Of Suffering – David Roland https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-power-of-suffering/ Mon, 10 Aug 2020 11:00:12 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4446 <p>David Roland is the Author of The Power Of Suffering, a book written after he experienced a Stroke that lead to his career as a Psychologist coming to an end due to stroke and the effects of previously undiagnosed PTSD </p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-power-of-suffering/">109. The Power Of Suffering – David Roland</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> David Roland is the Author of The Power Of Suffering, a book written after he experienced a Stroke that lead to his career as a Psychologist coming to an end due to stroke and the effects of previously undiagnosed PTSD David Roland is the Author of The Power Of Suffering, a book written after he experienced a Stroke that lead to his career as a Psychologist coming to an end due to stroke and the effects of previously undiagnosed PTSD Recovery After Stroke 1:09:02 108. Rewiring The Brain – Michael Merzenich https://recoveryafterstroke.com/rewiring-the-brain-michael-merzenich/ Sun, 02 Aug 2020 00:12:00 +0000 http://thetransitloungepodcast.com/?p=426 <p>Neuroplasticity and rewiring your brain. Stroke Podcast Episode 27 – If you have had a similar experience with stroke as I, Rewiring the brain may be just as important to you as it to me. After I experience 3 brain bleeds between 2012 and 2014.  I have left no stone unturned while on the search to […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/rewiring-the-brain-michael-merzenich/">108. Rewiring The Brain – Michael Merzenich</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Neuroplasticity and rewiring your brain. Stroke Podcast Episode 27 – If you have had a similar experience with stroke as I, Rewiring the brain may be just as important to you as it to me. After I experience 3 brain bleeds between 2012 and 2014. Neuroplasticity and rewiring your brain. Stroke Podcast Episode 27 – If you have had a similar experience with stroke as I, Rewiring the brain may be just as important to you as it to me. After I experience 3 brain bleeds between 2012 and 2014.  I have left no stone unturned while on the search to […] Recovery After Stroke 55:00 107. Better After Stroke – Sheri McIntyre https://recoveryafterstroke.com/107-better-after-stroke-sheri-mcintyre/ Mon, 20 Jul 2020 15:21:23 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4392 <p>Sheri McIntyre believes that she is better after stroke. Sheri feels this way even though the bleed in the brain due to an AVM (arteriovenous malformation) that ruptured when she was in her early 50’s has caused deficits including vision issues, balance issues, and speech issues.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/107-better-after-stroke-sheri-mcintyre/">107. Better After Stroke – Sheri McIntyre</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Sheri McIntyre believes that she is better after stroke. Sheri feels this way even though the bleed in the brain due to an AVM (arteriovenous malformation) that ruptured when she was in her early 50’s has caused deficits including vision issues, Sheri McIntyre believes that she is better after stroke. Sheri feels this way even though the bleed in the brain due to an AVM (arteriovenous malformation) that ruptured when she was in her early 50’s has caused deficits including vision issues, balance issues, and speech issues. Recovery After Stroke 1:09:21 106. Weight Training After Stroke – Kelly Studebaker https://recoveryafterstroke.com/weight-training-after-stroke/ Mon, 13 Jul 2020 13:20:48 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4368 <p>Kelly Studebaker has been recovering from the challenges of a ruptured AVM from the tender age of 11. In the years that followed she has overcome many of stroke life's challenges and achieved so much.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/weight-training-after-stroke/">106. Weight Training After Stroke – Kelly Studebaker</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Kelly Studebaker has been recovering from the challenges of a ruptured AVM from the tender age of 11. In the years that followed she has overcome many of stroke life's challenges and achieved so much. Kelly Studebaker has been recovering from the challenges of a ruptured AVM from the tender age of 11. In the years that followed she has overcome many of stroke life's challenges and achieved so much. Recovery After Stroke 55:17 105. Stroke the greatest thing that happened to me https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-the-greatest-thing-that-happened-to-me/ Mon, 06 Jul 2020 16:20:51 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4348 <p>Lianne Karla Bigornia was a registered nurse who then became a call center agent and was working from 9 pm to 4 am. Living an unhealthy lifestyle lead her to have a stroke due to high blood pressure and AVM.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-the-greatest-thing-that-happened-to-me/">105. Stroke the greatest thing that happened to me</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Lianne Karla Bigornia was a registered nurse who then became a call center agent and was working from 9 pm to 4 am. Living an unhealthy lifestyle lead her to have a stroke due to high blood pressure and AVM. Lianne Karla Bigornia was a registered nurse who then became a call center agent and was working from 9 pm to 4 am. Living an unhealthy lifestyle lead her to have a stroke due to high blood pressure and AVM. Recovery After Stroke 1:05:23 104. A New Approach to Occupational Therapy After Stroke https://recoveryafterstroke.com/occupational-therapy-after-stroke/ Mon, 29 Jun 2020 15:32:30 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4297 <p>JJ Flentke is the owner of a physical therapy and Wellness Center called Boomerang therapy works designed for aging patients and people with neuromuscular disorders.  JJ is a physical therapist with a Master's degree in public health, health administration, and a doctorate in physical therapy, with an emphasis on the aging process.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/occupational-therapy-after-stroke/">104. A New Approach to Occupational Therapy After Stroke</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> JJ Flentke is the owner of a physical therapy and Wellness Center called Boomerang therapy works designed for aging patients and people with neuromuscular disorders.  JJ is a physical therapist with a Master's degree in public health, JJ Flentke is the owner of a physical therapy and Wellness Center called Boomerang therapy works designed for aging patients and people with neuromuscular disorders.  JJ is a physical therapist with a Master's degree in public health, health administration, and a doctorate in physical therapy, with an emphasis on the aging process. Recovery After Stroke 37:21 103. The Fully Recovered Mindset – Maddi Neibanck https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-fully-recovered-mindset/ Mon, 22 Jun 2020 15:14:42 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4268 <p>When migraine headaches led to a brain scan, the last thing Maddi expected to hear was that she had a ticking time bomb in her head in the form of an AVM. Her decision to remove the AVM at age 20 would change her life forever.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-fully-recovered-mindset/">103. The Fully Recovered Mindset – Maddi Neibanck</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> When migraine headaches led to a brain scan, the last thing Maddi expected to hear was that she had a ticking time bomb in her head in the form of an AVM. Her decision to remove the AVM at age 20 would change her life forever. When migraine headaches led to a brain scan, the last thing Maddi expected to hear was that she had a ticking time bomb in her head in the form of an AVM. Her decision to remove the AVM at age 20 would change her life forever. Recovery After Stroke 48:10 102. 10 Years of Stroke Recovery – Stephanie Ho https://recoveryafterstroke.com/10-years-of-stroke-recovery/ Mon, 15 Jun 2020 12:57:10 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4249 <p>After experiencing a ruptured AVM in her early 20’s Stephanie Ho has now been on the stroke recovery journey for more than 10 years. In that time she has had to overcome a lot of obstacles including readjusting with her new self and dealing with lost friendships and discovering new ways to be herself.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/10-years-of-stroke-recovery/">102. 10 Years of Stroke Recovery – Stephanie Ho</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> After experiencing a ruptured AVM in her early 20’s Stephanie Ho has now been on the stroke recovery journey for more than 10 years. In that time she has had to overcome a lot of obstacles including readjusting with her new self and dealing with lost f... After experiencing a ruptured AVM in her early 20’s Stephanie Ho has now been on the stroke recovery journey for more than 10 years. In that time she has had to overcome a lot of obstacles including readjusting with her new self and dealing with lost friendships and discovering new ways to be herself. Recovery After Stroke 1:13:59 101. Beyond Trauma – Deborah Stathis https://recoveryafterstroke.com/beyond-trauma-deborah-stathis/ Tue, 09 Jun 2020 13:51:49 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4216 <p>Deborah is the author of the book Beyond Trauma and although she is not a stroke survivor she knows a thing or two about recovering from a brain injury. Her message is definitely going to resonate with stroke survivors.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/beyond-trauma-deborah-stathis/">101. Beyond Trauma – Deborah Stathis</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Deborah is the author of the book Beyond Trauma and although she is not a stroke survivor she knows a thing or two about recovering from a brain injury. Her message is definitely going to resonate with stroke survivors. Deborah is the author of the book Beyond Trauma and although she is not a stroke survivor she knows a thing or two about recovering from a brain injury. Her message is definitely going to resonate with stroke survivors. Recovery After Stroke 56:42 100. What It’s Like Living With A Stroke Survivor – Christine Gasiamis https://recoveryafterstroke.com/living-with-a-stroke-survivor/ Tue, 02 Jun 2020 03:50:19 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4128 <p>In episode 100 Bill is joined by his wife Christine Gasiamis who shares what it was like for her to go through stroke as a wife and mum and then to live through Bill's recovery and experience all the ups and down that stroke survivors go through.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/living-with-a-stroke-survivor/">100. What It’s Like Living With A Stroke Survivor – Christine Gasiamis</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> In episode 100 Bill is joined by his wife Christine Gasiamis who shares what it was like for her to go through stroke as a wife and mum and then to live through Bill's recovery and experience all the ups and down that stroke survivors go through. In episode 100 Bill is joined by his wife Christine Gasiamis who shares what it was like for her to go through stroke as a wife and mum and then to live through Bill's recovery and experience all the ups and down that stroke survivors go through. Recovery After Stroke 1:39:31 99. Ischemic Stroke Recovery At 32 – Kelli Geuting https://recoveryafterstroke.com/ischemic-stroke-recovery-at-32/ Mon, 25 May 2020 15:16:56 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4081 <p>Young Stroke survivor Kelli Geuting experienced an Ischemic Stroke at age 32 to the origin of which remains unknown. Learn what Kelli did to help heal her brain after the stroke and how her stroke recovery is coming along.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/ischemic-stroke-recovery-at-32/">99. Ischemic Stroke Recovery At 32 – Kelli Geuting</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Young Stroke survivor Kelli Geuting experienced an Ischemic Stroke at age 32 to the origin of which remains unknown. Learn what Kelli did to help heal her brain after the stroke and how her stroke recovery is coming along. Young Stroke survivor Kelli Geuting experienced an Ischemic Stroke at age 32 to the origin of which remains unknown. Learn what Kelli did to help heal her brain after the stroke and how her stroke recovery is coming along. Recovery After Stroke 1:19:55 98. High Blood Pressure Caused a Stroke – Joe Borges https://recoveryafterstroke.com/blood-pressure-caused-a-stroke/ Mon, 18 May 2020 12:31:50 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4034 <p>In August 4, 2016 Joe Borges. experienced a hemorrhagic stroke caused by undiagnosed high blood pressure. He ignored the signs prior to that thinking he was just having migraines.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/blood-pressure-caused-a-stroke/">98. High Blood Pressure Caused a Stroke – Joe Borges</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> In August 4, 2016 Joe Borges. experienced a hemorrhagic stroke caused by undiagnosed high blood pressure. He ignored the signs prior to that thinking he was just having migraines. In August 4, 2016 Joe Borges. experienced a hemorrhagic stroke caused by undiagnosed high blood pressure. He ignored the signs prior to that thinking he was just having migraines. Recovery After Stroke 1:18:12 97. Cavernoma – Ginger Burden https://recoveryafterstroke.com/cavernoma-ginger-burden/ Mon, 11 May 2020 15:25:23 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=3994 <p>Ginger Burden had a cavernous malformation in her brainstem three years ago that caused her to have double vision in her right eye that eventually required surgery about a year and a half later.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/cavernoma-ginger-burden/">97. Cavernoma – Ginger Burden</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Ginger Burden had a cavernous malformation in her brainstem three years ago that caused her to have double vision in her right eye that eventually required surgery about a year and a half later. Ginger Burden had a cavernous malformation in her brainstem three years ago that caused her to have double vision in her right eye that eventually required surgery about a year and a half later. Recovery After Stroke 1:02:34 96. AVM Recovery – Jessica Lepper https://recoveryafterstroke.com/avm-recovery/ Tue, 28 Apr 2020 12:00:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=3880 <p>Jessica was a 20-year-old nurse on shift in a hospital when she noticed herself not being able to speak due to a ruptured AVM. Since then Jessica has had to overcome a lot to get back to work and is now being monitored due to seizures.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/avm-recovery/">96. AVM Recovery – Jessica Lepper</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Jessica was a 20-year-old nurse on shift in a hospital when she noticed herself not being able to speak due to a ruptured AVM. Since then Jessica has had to overcome a lot to get back to work and is now being monitored due to seizures. Jessica was a 20-year-old nurse on shift in a hospital when she noticed herself not being able to speak due to a ruptured AVM. Since then Jessica has had to overcome a lot to get back to work and is now being monitored due to seizures. Recovery After Stroke 31:30 95. Time To Talk About Stroke – Derek Van Oss https://recoveryafterstroke.com/derek-van-oss/ Mon, 20 Apr 2020 12:00:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=3694 <p>Derek Van Oss suffered from AVM (Arteriovenous malformation) back in 2002. Since then he has struggled with so many challenges but now 18 years down the track, Derek was able to get back on his feet and turn his life around.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/derek-van-oss/">95. Time To Talk About Stroke – Derek Van Oss</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Derek Van Oss suffered from AVM (Arteriovenous malformation) back in 2002. Since then he has struggled with so many challenges but now 18 years down the track, Derek was able to get back on his feet and turn his life around. Derek Van Oss suffered from AVM (Arteriovenous malformation) back in 2002. Since then he has struggled with so many challenges but now 18 years down the track, Derek was able to get back on his feet and turn his life around. Recovery After Stroke 1:43:45 94. How To Reignite Your Passion – Brigette Sigley https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brigette-sigley-how-to-reignite-your-passion/ Mon, 13 Apr 2020 10:00:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=3670 <p>Brigette Sigley was juggling a successful business and family, and being busy led to her missing the warning signs that eventually led to a brain tumour then breast cancer.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brigette-sigley-how-to-reignite-your-passion/">94. How To Reignite Your Passion – Brigette Sigley</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Brigette Sigley was juggling a successful business and family, and being busy led to her missing the warning signs that eventually led to a brain tumour then breast cancer. Brigette Sigley was juggling a successful business and family, and being busy led to her missing the warning signs that eventually led to a brain tumour then breast cancer. Recovery After Stroke 59:43 93. Caring For A Stroke Survivor – Jim Lanahan https://recoveryafterstroke.com/caring-for-a-stroke-survivor/ Tue, 07 Apr 2020 12:00:58 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=3640 <p>Jim's mom had an ischemic stroke three years ago. Stroke not only impacted his mom's life but Jim's life also. As her carer Jim had to give up a lot, make sacrifices in his own personal life. </p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/caring-for-a-stroke-survivor/">93. Caring For A Stroke Survivor – Jim Lanahan</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Jim's mom had an ischemic stroke three years ago. Stroke not only impacted his mom's life but Jim's life also. As her carer Jim had to give up a lot, make sacrifices in his own personal life. Jim's mom had an ischemic stroke three years ago. Stroke not only impacted his mom's life but Jim's life also. As her carer Jim had to give up a lot, make sacrifices in his own personal life. Recovery After Stroke 56:15 92. Hemorrhagic Stroke Recovery – Clare Coffield https://recoveryafterstroke.com/hemorrhagic-stroke-recovery/ Mon, 30 Mar 2020 16:12:21 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=3626 <p>Clare Coffield had a Hemorrhagic stroke back in 2015, and while she was in recovery, she suffered a massive set back due to a leg injury. Now 5 years later, having faced so many challenges and adversities, Clare has come a long way in her recovery journey.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/hemorrhagic-stroke-recovery/">92. Hemorrhagic Stroke Recovery – Clare Coffield</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Clare Coffield had a Hemorrhagic stroke back in 2015, and while she was in recovery, she suffered a massive set back due to a leg injury. Now 5 years later, having faced so many challenges and adversities, Clare has come a long way in her recovery jour... Clare Coffield had a Hemorrhagic stroke back in 2015, and while she was in recovery, she suffered a massive set back due to a leg injury. Now 5 years later, having faced so many challenges and adversities, Clare has come a long way in her recovery journey. Recovery After Stroke 56:19 91. Navigating Uncertain Times – Dr. Jim Karagiannis https://recoveryafterstroke.com/navigating-uncertain-times-dr-jim-karagiannis/ Mon, 23 Mar 2020 12:00:50 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=3452 <p>In my conversation with Dr Jim Karagiannis, we are reminded that navigating uncertain times is something that stroke survivors have done before. If you are a stroke survivor and find yourself feeling uncertain about what the future holds because of corona virus you will get alot from this episode.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/navigating-uncertain-times-dr-jim-karagiannis/">91. Navigating Uncertain Times – Dr. Jim Karagiannis</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> In my conversation with Dr Jim Karagiannis, we are reminded that navigating uncertain times is something that stroke survivors have done before. If you are a stroke survivor and find yourself feeling uncertain about what the future holds because of cor... In my conversation with Dr Jim Karagiannis, we are reminded that navigating uncertain times is something that stroke survivors have done before. If you are a stroke survivor and find yourself feeling uncertain about what the future holds because of corona virus you will get alot from this episode. Recovery After Stroke 36:38 90. Stroke Fatigue and Thyroid – Dr. Elena Zinkov https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-fatigue-and-thyroid/ Mon, 09 Mar 2020 12:00:52 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=3429 <p>Dr Elena Zinkov is a functional medicine doctor who is an expert in hormones. In this episode of the RecoveryAfterStroke podcast we discuss the link between the brain, the thyroid gland and neurological fatigue as well as what you should know to help recover from fatigue after stroke.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-fatigue-and-thyroid/">90. Stroke Fatigue and Thyroid – Dr. Elena Zinkov</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Dr Elena Zinkov is a functional medicine doctor who is an expert in hormones. In this episode of the RecoveryAfterStroke podcast we discuss the link between the brain, the thyroid gland and neurological fatigue as well as what you should know to help r... Dr Elena Zinkov is a functional medicine doctor who is an expert in hormones. In this episode of the RecoveryAfterStroke podcast we discuss the link between the brain, the thyroid gland and neurological fatigue as well as what you should know to help recover from fatigue after stroke. Recovery After Stroke 1:05:07 89. Teenage Stroke and Recovery – Eric Hinwood https://recoveryafterstroke.com/teenage-stroke-and-recovery/ Mon, 02 Mar 2020 12:00:49 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=3399 <p>These days Eric Hinwood is an actor, director, producer, editor, model, & filmmaker but not that long ago he was a teenage stroke survivor.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/teenage-stroke-and-recovery/">89. Teenage Stroke and Recovery – Eric Hinwood</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> These days Eric Hinwood is an actor, director, producer, editor, model, & filmmaker but not that long ago he was a teenage stroke survivor. These days Eric Hinwood is an actor, director, producer, editor, model, & filmmaker but not that long ago he was a teenage stroke survivor. Recovery After Stroke 1:11:45 88. Healing The Brain After Stroke – David Norris https://recoveryafterstroke.com/healing-the-brain-after-stroke/ Mon, 24 Feb 2020 15:05:03 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=3383 <p>In this episode Bill Gasiamis talk with Occupational Therapist David Norris about the steps he took to heal his brain after 3 brain bleeds and brain surgery. </p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/healing-the-brain-after-stroke/">88. Healing The Brain After Stroke – David Norris</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> In this episode Bill Gasiamis talk with Occupational Therapist David Norris about the steps he took to heal his brain after 3 brain bleeds and brain surgery. In this episode Bill Gasiamis talk with Occupational Therapist David Norris about the steps he took to heal his brain after 3 brain bleeds and brain surgery. Recovery After Stroke 1:03:53 87. Occupational Therapy and Stroke Lecture – Bill Gasiamis https://recoveryafterstroke.com/occupational-therapy-and-stroke/ Mon, 17 Feb 2020 12:00:59 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=3362 <p>Since 2013 Bill Gasiamis has been sharing about the early stages of his stroke journey to the third year occupational therapy students at Australian Catholic University. The students were learning about assessment for stroke patients.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/occupational-therapy-and-stroke/">87. Occupational Therapy and Stroke Lecture – Bill Gasiamis</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Since 2013 Bill Gasiamis has been sharing about the early stages of his stroke journey to the third year occupational therapy students at Australian Catholic University. The students were learning about assessment for stroke patients. Since 2013 Bill Gasiamis has been sharing about the early stages of his stroke journey to the third year occupational therapy students at Australian Catholic University. The students were learning about assessment for stroke patients. Recovery After Stroke 40:39 86. What Is Neuroplasticity – David Norris https://recoveryafterstroke.com/what-is-neuroplasticity/ Mon, 03 Feb 2020 12:00:38 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=3312 <p>David Norris is an Occupational therapist from Brisbane, Australia who specializes in the brain's neuroplasticity to help people recover better from a brain injury. </p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/what-is-neuroplasticity/">86. What Is Neuroplasticity – David Norris</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> David Norris is an Occupational therapist from Brisbane, Australia who specializes in the brain's neuroplasticity to help people recover better from a brain injury. David Norris is an Occupational therapist from Brisbane, Australia who specializes in the brain's neuroplasticity to help people recover better from a brain injury. Recovery After Stroke 55:38 85. Carotid Artery Dissection – Marcia Moran https://recoveryafterstroke.com/carotid-artery-dissection/ Mon, 27 Jan 2020 12:00:11 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=3294 <p>Marcia Moran woke one morning after having experienced a stroke in her sleep due to a carotid artery dissection. Marcia had to drag herself on the floor with one hand to raise the alarm.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/carotid-artery-dissection/">85. Carotid Artery Dissection – Marcia Moran</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Marcia Moran woke one morning after having experienced a stroke in her sleep due to a carotid artery dissection. Marcia had to drag herself on the floor with one hand to raise the alarm. Marcia Moran woke one morning after having experienced a stroke in her sleep due to a carotid artery dissection. Marcia had to drag herself on the floor with one hand to raise the alarm. Recovery After Stroke 56:03 84. Diabetes Can Lead to Stroke – Jessica Tagami https://recoveryafterstroke.com/diabetes-can-lead-to-stroke/ Mon, 20 Jan 2020 12:00:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=3262 <p>Jessica Tagami was not surprised when her husband Phil experienced a stroke. On reflection, they both knew his work and sleep habits were unsustainable. Undiagnosed type 2 diabetes was the last straw.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/diabetes-can-lead-to-stroke/">84. Diabetes Can Lead to Stroke – Jessica Tagami</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Jessica Tagami was not surprised when her husband Phil experienced a stroke. On reflection, they both knew his work and sleep habits were unsustainable. Undiagnosed type 2 diabetes was the last straw. Jessica Tagami was not surprised when her husband Phil experienced a stroke. On reflection, they both knew his work and sleep habits were unsustainable. Undiagnosed type 2 diabetes was the last straw. Recovery After Stroke 1:11:42 83. Cavernous Malformation at age 20 – Kawan Glover https://recoveryafterstroke.com/cavernous-malformation/ Mon, 13 Jan 2020 12:00:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=3210 <p>Kawan Glover was only 20 years old and studying at college when doctors found a cavernous malformation on his brainstem, 3 surgeries in 3 years meant for some serious life lessons at such a young age.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/cavernous-malformation/">83. Cavernous Malformation at age 20 – Kawan Glover</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Kawan Glover was only 20 years old and studying at college when doctors found a cavernous malformation on his brainstem, 3 surgeries in 3 years meant for some serious life lessons at such a young age. Kawan Glover was only 20 years old and studying at college when doctors found a cavernous malformation on his brainstem, 3 surgeries in 3 years meant for some serious life lessons at such a young age. Recovery After Stroke 1:05:44 82. How To Have A Growth Mindset – Marvin Oka https://recoveryafterstroke.com/growth-mindset/ Mon, 06 Jan 2020 12:00:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=3100 <p>Do you have the appropriate attitude, mindset or orientation for what you’re trying to achieve in your stroke recovery? Can you can tell if it’s helping you or not?</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/growth-mindset/">82. How To Have A Growth Mindset – Marvin Oka</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Do you have the appropriate attitude, mindset or orientation for what you’re trying to achieve in your stroke recovery? Can you can tell if it’s helping you or not? Do you have the appropriate attitude, mindset or orientation for what you’re trying to achieve in your stroke recovery? Can you can tell if it’s helping you or not? Recovery After Stroke 1:12:17 81. From Headache To Stroke – Vince Holland https://recoveryafterstroke.com/headache-and-stroke/ Mon, 30 Dec 2019 12:00:39 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=3097 <p>Vince Holland was 28 years old when a headache he had been managing with over the counter painkillers turned out to be much more sinister than he could ever imagine</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/headache-and-stroke/">81. From Headache To Stroke – Vince Holland</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Vince Holland was 28 years old when a headache he had been managing with over the counter painkillers turned out to be much more sinister than he could ever imagine Vince Holland was 28 years old when a headache he had been managing with over the counter painkillers turned out to be much more sinister than he could ever imagine Recovery After Stroke 59:47 80. Stroke Recovery Mindset – Sally Callie https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-recovery-mindset/ Mon, 23 Dec 2019 11:11:42 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=3040 <p>Sally's mindset training during her Olympic career held her in good stead for managing her mindset when dealing with the challenges she had to overcome after stroke</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-recovery-mindset/">80. Stroke Recovery Mindset – Sally Callie</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Sally's mindset training during her Olympic career held her in good stead for managing her mindset when dealing with the challenges she had to overcome after stroke Sally's mindset training during her Olympic career held her in good stead for managing her mindset when dealing with the challenges she had to overcome after stroke Recovery After Stroke 1:02:19 79. Young Stroke Survivor at 37 – Erica Wasser https://recoveryafterstroke.com/young-stroke-survivor/ Mon, 16 Dec 2019 07:19:25 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=3022 <p>Erica Wasser was 37 when she experienced a stroke. Now 18 months after stroke Erica is well on the way to recovery.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/young-stroke-survivor/">79. Young Stroke Survivor at 37 – Erica Wasser</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Erica Wasser was 37 when she experienced a stroke. Now 18 months after stroke Erica is well on the way to recovery. Erica Wasser was 37 when she experienced a stroke. Now 18 months after stroke Erica is well on the way to recovery. Recovery After Stroke 43:16 78. A Stroke Survivor Journey – Bill Gasiamis https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-survivor-journey/ Sun, 08 Dec 2019 18:00:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=2923 <p>In this interview with Mathias Turner from the Chief Life Podcast Bill and Matty discuss the stroke survivor journey from beginning to 8 years and counting.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-survivor-journey/">78. A Stroke Survivor Journey – Bill Gasiamis</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> In this interview with Mathias Turner from the Chief Life Podcast Bill and Matty discuss the stroke survivor journey from beginning to 8 years and counting. In this interview with Mathias Turner from the Chief Life Podcast Bill and Matty discuss the stroke survivor journey from beginning to 8 years and counting. Recovery After Stroke 1:18:49 77. Different Types of Memory – Kimberley Meates and Vanessa Bowie https://recoveryafterstroke.com/different-types-of-memory/ Mon, 02 Dec 2019 10:02:15 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=2878 <p>In this interview with Kimberley Meates and Vanessa Bowie we discuss the different types of memories like, Long Term Memory, Short Term Memory Explicit Memory and Implicit Memory</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/different-types-of-memory/">77. Different Types of Memory – Kimberley Meates and Vanessa Bowie</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> In this interview with Kimberley Meates and Vanessa Bowie we discuss the different types of memories like, Long Term Memory, Short Term Memory Explicit Memory and Implicit Memory In this interview with Kimberley Meates and Vanessa Bowie we discuss the different types of memories like, Long Term Memory, Short Term Memory Explicit Memory and Implicit Memory Recovery After Stroke 1:11:57 76. How to Manage Fatigue After Stroke – David Norris https://recoveryafterstroke.com/how-to-manage-fatigue-after-stroke/ Mon, 25 Nov 2019 08:50:34 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=2705 <p>5Tips to help you manage fatigue after stroke</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/how-to-manage-fatigue-after-stroke/">76. How to Manage Fatigue After Stroke – David Norris</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> 5Tips to help you manage fatigue after stroke 5Tips to help you manage fatigue after stroke Recovery After Stroke 44:04 75. Sugar and Brain Health – Belinda Fettke https://recoveryafterstroke.com/belinda-fettke/ Mon, 18 Nov 2019 09:38:16 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=2572 <p>When Dr Gary Fettke an Orthopaedic Surgeon starting suggesting to his diabetes patients that they would see health benefits from decreasing their sugar consumption, he never expected that it would end in a 2 year court battle.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/belinda-fettke/">75. Sugar and Brain Health – Belinda Fettke</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> When Dr Gary Fettke an Orthopaedic Surgeon starting suggesting to his diabetes patients that they would see health benefits from decreasing their sugar consumption, he never expected that it would end in a 2 year court battle. When Dr Gary Fettke an Orthopaedic Surgeon starting suggesting to his diabetes patients that they would see health benefits from decreasing their sugar consumption, he never expected that it would end in a 2 year court battle. Recovery After Stroke 1:25:43 74. Neofect Hand Rehabilitation – Scott Kim https://recoveryafterstroke.com/neofect-hand-rehabilitation/ Sun, 10 Nov 2019 08:53:34 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=2486 <p>NEOFECT Home takes tedious stroke recovery exercises and infuses them with fun and interactive games, which exercise your brain & muscles exercise simultaneously to expedite the rehab process.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/neofect-hand-rehabilitation/">74. Neofect Hand Rehabilitation – Scott Kim</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> NEOFECT Home takes tedious stroke recovery exercises and infuses them with fun and interactive games, which exercise your brain & muscles exercise simultaneously to expedite the rehab process. NEOFECT Home takes tedious stroke recovery exercises and infuses them with fun and interactive games, which exercise your brain & muscles exercise simultaneously to expedite the rehab process. Recovery After Stroke 25:51 73. The Fun Five Series – Alcohol https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-fun-five-series-alcohol/ Mon, 04 Nov 2019 00:39:37 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=2450 <p>5 Reasons to Quit Alcohol After Stroke is Part 5 and the final interview in a series of 5 interviews recorded with Stacey and Matty Turner from www.TheChiefLife.com about the 5 foods to avoid after stroke</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-fun-five-series-alcohol/">73. The Fun Five Series – Alcohol</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> 5 Reasons to Quit Alcohol After Stroke is Part 5 and the final interview in a series of 5 interviews recorded with Stacey and Matty Turner from www.TheChiefLife.com about the 5 foods to avoid after stroke 5 Reasons to Quit Alcohol After Stroke is Part 5 and the final interview in a series of 5 interviews recorded with Stacey and Matty Turner from www.TheChiefLife.com about the 5 foods to avoid after stroke Recovery After Stroke 59:17 72. The Brave Minds Project – Alyssa Carfi https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-brave-minds-project-alyssa-carfi/ Sun, 27 Oct 2019 03:35:57 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=2372 <p>Alyssa Carfi founded the Brave Minds Project after a bleed in her brain at age 15 and then brain surgery to remove the cavernoma at age 18</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-brave-minds-project-alyssa-carfi/">72. The Brave Minds Project – Alyssa Carfi</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Alyssa Carfi founded the Brave Minds Project after a bleed in her brain at age 15 and then brain surgery to remove the cavernoma at age 18 Alyssa Carfi founded the Brave Minds Project after a bleed in her brain at age 15 and then brain surgery to remove the cavernoma at age 18 Recovery After Stroke 46:17 71. Living with Inoperable Meningioma – Hannah Derwent https://recoveryafterstroke.com/inoperable-meningioma/ Tue, 15 Oct 2019 05:15:10 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=2283 <p>Hannah Derwent is a mum of two young children when she had to undergo brain surgery to manage a benign meningioma that was growing in her brain stem.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/inoperable-meningioma/">71. Living with Inoperable Meningioma – Hannah Derwent</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Hannah Derwent is a mum of two young children when she had to undergo brain surgery to manage a benign meningioma that was growing in her brain stem. Hannah Derwent is a mum of two young children when she had to undergo brain surgery to manage a benign meningioma that was growing in her brain stem. Recovery After Stroke 1:15:48 70. Share Your Stroke Of Genius – Kyle Mengelkamp https://recoveryafterstroke.com/kyle-mengelkamp/ Tue, 01 Oct 2019 00:25:19 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=2130 <p>Kyle Mengelkamp experienced a stroke at 11 years of age and 22 years later is a video producer who enjoy life, loves to enrich others, discover new adventures, and make a difference to other stroke survivors. </p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/kyle-mengelkamp/">70. Share Your Stroke Of Genius – Kyle Mengelkamp</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Kyle Mengelkamp experienced a stroke at 11 years of age and 22 years later is a video producer who enjoy life, loves to enrich others, discover new adventures, and make a difference to other stroke survivors. Kyle Mengelkamp experienced a stroke at 11 years of age and 22 years later is a video producer who enjoy life, loves to enrich others, discover new adventures, and make a difference to other stroke survivors. Recovery After Stroke 1:09:30 69. Sagittal Thrombosis & Stroke – Tricia Alexander https://recoveryafterstroke.com/sagittal-thrombosis/ Tue, 24 Sep 2019 20:25:40 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=2078 <p>Tricia Alexander experienced a Stroke which was as a result of a Sagittal Thrombosis, less than a week after giving birth to her 2nd child</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/sagittal-thrombosis/">69. Sagittal Thrombosis & Stroke – Tricia Alexander</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Tricia Alexander experienced a Stroke which was as a result of a Sagittal Thrombosis, less than a week after giving birth to her 2nd child Tricia Alexander experienced a Stroke which was as a result of a Sagittal Thrombosis, less than a week after giving birth to her 2nd child Recovery After Stroke 52:03 68. Rewellio Virtual Reality Stroke Therapy – Georg Teufl & Andy Gstoll https://recoveryafterstroke.com/rewellio/ Wed, 04 Sep 2019 11:08:36 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=2051 <p>Georg Teufl is an occupation therapist and the founder Rewellio the virtual reality software that assists patients to get more therapy time during recovery from stroke or brain injury.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/rewellio/">68. Rewellio Virtual Reality Stroke Therapy – Georg Teufl & Andy Gstoll</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Georg Teufl is an occupation therapist and the founder Rewellio the virtual reality software that assists patients to get more therapy time during recovery from stroke or brain injury. Georg Teufl is an occupation therapist and the founder Rewellio the virtual reality software that assists patients to get more therapy time during recovery from stroke or brain injury. Recovery After Stroke 55:11 67. The Fun Five Series | Dairy – Stacey & Matty Turner https://recoveryafterstroke.com/5-reason-to-reduce-dairy-after-stroke/ Tue, 27 Aug 2019 06:40:52 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=2038 <p>5 Reasons to Quit Dairy After Stroke is Part 4 in a series of 5 interviews recorded with Stacey and Matty Turner from www.TheChiefLife.com </p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/5-reason-to-reduce-dairy-after-stroke/">67. The Fun Five Series | Dairy – Stacey & Matty Turner</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> 5 Reasons to Quit Dairy After Stroke is Part 4 in a series of 5 interviews recorded with Stacey and Matty Turner from www.TheChiefLife.com 5 Reasons to Quit Dairy After Stroke is Part 4 in a series of 5 interviews recorded with Stacey and Matty Turner from www.TheChiefLife.com Recovery After Stroke 59:16 66. But You Look So Normal – Chris & Kara Russo https://recoveryafterstroke.com/but-you-look-so-normal/ Sun, 18 Aug 2019 03:10:13 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1963 <p>Kara suffered a massive stroke, and Chris was in a coma that left him paralyzed after a bout with meningitis and encephalitis. They met in rehab, fell in love and wrote a book about it.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/but-you-look-so-normal/">66. But You Look So Normal – Chris & Kara Russo</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Kara suffered a massive stroke, and Chris was in a coma that left him paralyzed after a bout with meningitis and encephalitis. They met in rehab, fell in love and wrote a book about it. Kara suffered a massive stroke, and Chris was in a coma that left him paralyzed after a bout with meningitis and encephalitis. They met in rehab, fell in love and wrote a book about it. Recovery After Stroke 51:36 65. Stroke, Pregnancy, And Bad Manners – Emily Sara Gable https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-pregnancy/ Tue, 06 Aug 2019 10:21:00 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1941 <p>In 2008 Emily Sara Gable experienced an Ischemic Stroke Stroke During Pregnancy due to a blood clot, while she was carrying her second child.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-pregnancy/">65. Stroke, Pregnancy, And Bad Manners – Emily Sara Gable</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> In 2008 Emily Sara Gable experienced an Ischemic Stroke Stroke During Pregnancy due to a blood clot, while she was carrying her second child. In 2008 Emily Sara Gable experienced an Ischemic Stroke Stroke During Pregnancy due to a blood clot, while she was carrying her second child. Recovery After Stroke 1:23:33 64. The Fun Five Series | Gluten – Stacey & Matty Turner https://recoveryafterstroke.com/quit-gluten-after-stroke/ Tue, 23 Jul 2019 03:43:27 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1872 <p>How your health will improve if you Quit Gluten After Stroke, is Part 3 in a series of 5 interviews that I have recorded with Stacey and Matty Turner from the Chief Life.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/quit-gluten-after-stroke/">64. The Fun Five Series | Gluten – Stacey & Matty Turner</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> How your health will improve if you Quit Gluten After Stroke, is Part 3 in a series of 5 interviews that I have recorded with Stacey and Matty Turner from the Chief Life. How your health will improve if you Quit Gluten After Stroke, is Part 3 in a series of 5 interviews that I have recorded with Stacey and Matty Turner from the Chief Life. Recovery After Stroke 1:05:09 63. How To Overcome Trauma – Justin Sunseri https://recoveryafterstroke.com/how-to-overcome-trauma/ Mon, 15 Jul 2019 02:34:29 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1858 <p>Justin Sunseri is licensed marriage & family therapists as well as the host of the Polyvagal podcast. In the interview about Trauma we discuss, How to recognise Trauma, How to acknowledge Trauma, How to deal with Trauma, and How to move on from Trauma</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/how-to-overcome-trauma/">63. How To Overcome Trauma – Justin Sunseri</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Justin Sunseri is licensed marriage & family therapists as well as the host of the Polyvagal podcast. In the interview about Trauma we discuss, How to recognise Trauma, How to acknowledge Trauma, How to deal with Trauma, and How to move on from Trauma Justin Sunseri is licensed marriage & family therapists as well as the host of the Polyvagal podcast. In the interview about Trauma we discuss, How to recognise Trauma, How to acknowledge Trauma, How to deal with Trauma, and How to move on from Trauma Recovery After Stroke 55:41 62. Recovery from PFO – Heather Leigh Whitley https://recoveryafterstroke.com/pfo-patent-foramen-ovale-stroke/ Fri, 05 Jul 2019 03:49:53 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1758 <p>Heather Whitley is a mom of 5, a midwife and a ski coach, who experienced a stroke that was most likely related to a PFO (patent foramen ovale)</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/pfo-patent-foramen-ovale-stroke/">62. Recovery from PFO – Heather Leigh Whitley</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Heather Whitley is a mom of 5, a midwife and a ski coach, who experienced a stroke that was most likely related to a PFO (patent foramen ovale) Heather Whitley is a mom of 5, a midwife and a ski coach, who experienced a stroke that was most likely related to a PFO (patent foramen ovale) Recovery After Stroke 1:02:19 61. The Fun Five Series | Caffeine – Stacey & Matty Turner https://recoveryafterstroke.com/7-reasons-to-quit-caffeine-after-stroke/ Sun, 23 Jun 2019 03:03:43 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1726 <p>7 Reasons to Quit Caffeine After Stroke is Part 2 in a series of 5 that I have recorded with Stacey and Matty Turner from the Chief Life.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/7-reasons-to-quit-caffeine-after-stroke/">61. The Fun Five Series | Caffeine – Stacey & Matty Turner</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> 7 Reasons to Quit Caffeine After Stroke is Part 2 in a series of 5 that I have recorded with Stacey and Matty Turner from the Chief Life. 7 Reasons to Quit Caffeine After Stroke is Part 2 in a series of 5 that I have recorded with Stacey and Matty Turner from the Chief Life. Recovery After Stroke 50:54 59. I’ll Be Ok It’s Just A Hole In My Head – Mimi Hayes https://recoveryafterstroke.com/mimi-hayes/ Tue, 18 Jun 2019 04:39:19 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1698 <p>Mimi Hayes is a New York-based comedian and author of the memoir "I'll Be OK, It's Just a Hole in My Head." and a stroke survivor at the age of twenty-two</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/mimi-hayes/">59. I’ll Be Ok It’s Just A Hole In My Head – Mimi Hayes</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Mimi Hayes is a New York-based comedian and author of the memoir "I'll Be OK, It's Just a Hole in My Head." and a stroke survivor at the age of twenty-two Mimi Hayes is a New York-based comedian and author of the memoir "I'll Be OK, It's Just a Hole in My Head." and a stroke survivor at the age of twenty-two Recovery After Stroke 1:10:48 60. How mBraining Helps In Stroke Recovery – Beth Gray https://recoveryafterstroke.com/mbraining-and-stroke-recovery-beth-gray/ Sat, 15 Jun 2019 07:57:43 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1713 <p>In this interview with life coach Beth Gray we discuss how the mBraining helped me resolve the emotional trauma of stroke.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/mbraining-and-stroke-recovery-beth-gray/">60. How mBraining Helps In Stroke Recovery – Beth Gray</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> In this interview with life coach Beth Gray we discuss how the mBraining helped me resolve the emotional trauma of stroke. In this interview with life coach Beth Gray we discuss how the mBraining helped me resolve the emotional trauma of stroke. Recovery After Stroke 48:23 58. Positive Impact Movement Interview Part 2 – My Stroke Recovery https://recoveryafterstroke.com/positive-impact-movement-interview-part-2-my-stroke-recovery/ Sat, 08 Jun 2019 12:53:45 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1682 <p>Leaving no stone unturned in my stroke recovery.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/positive-impact-movement-interview-part-2-my-stroke-recovery/">58. Positive Impact Movement Interview Part 2 – My Stroke Recovery</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Leaving no stone unturned in my stroke recovery. Leaving no stone unturned in my stroke recovery. Recovery After Stroke 1:01:24 57. Positive Impact Movement Interview Part 1 – Brain Surgery https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brain-surgery/ Mon, 03 Jun 2019 12:53:28 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1657 <p>Preparation for Brain Surgery</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/brain-surgery/">57. Positive Impact Movement Interview Part 1 – Brain Surgery</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Preparation for Brain Surgery Preparation for Brain Surgery Recovery After Stroke 50:00 56. Recovery from AVM (Arteriovenous Malformation) Stroke – Jason Gaudette https://recoveryafterstroke.com/avm-arteriorvenous-malformation/ Sun, 26 May 2019 22:23:48 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1646 <p>When his wife asked him why he was slurring his words Jason Gaudette had no idea that, that was a sign of stroke. </p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/avm-arteriorvenous-malformation/">56. Recovery from AVM (Arteriovenous Malformation) Stroke – Jason Gaudette</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> When his wife asked him why he was slurring his words Jason Gaudette had no idea that, that was a sign of stroke. When his wife asked him why he was slurring his words Jason Gaudette had no idea that, that was a sign of stroke. Recovery After Stroke 59:58 55. Overcoming Depression After Stroke – Lianne Russel https://recoveryafterstroke.com/depression-after-stroke/ Fri, 17 May 2019 01:08:03 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1633 <p>Lianne W. Russel is a mum of two who at 36 bent over to pick up a toy box and when she looked up tore her artery which caused a stroke.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/depression-after-stroke/">55. Overcoming Depression After Stroke – Lianne Russel</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Lianne W. Russel is a mum of two who at 36 bent over to pick up a toy box and when she looked up tore her artery which caused a stroke. Lianne W. Russel is a mum of two who at 36 bent over to pick up a toy box and when she looked up tore her artery which caused a stroke. Recovery After Stroke 1:04:11 54. How I am Dealing with Sadness – Bill Gasiamis https://recoveryafterstroke.com/feeling-sad/ Wed, 15 May 2019 21:26:20 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1612 <p>In the last two months I have lost 2 friends both aged in their 40's. I find myself very sad and and confused</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/feeling-sad/">54. How I am Dealing with Sadness – Bill Gasiamis</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> In the last two months I have lost 2 friends both aged in their 40's. I find myself very sad and and confused In the last two months I have lost 2 friends both aged in their 40's. I find myself very sad and and confused Recovery After Stroke 15:28 53. How Drugs Led to Stroke – Stephen Heaney https://recoveryafterstroke.com/how-drugs-led-to-stroke-stephen-heaney/ Thu, 09 May 2019 10:00:16 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1572 <p>Stephen Heaney is a long time drug addict whose habit led to him collapsing on the floor at his home after an evening of heavy drug use.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/how-drugs-led-to-stroke-stephen-heaney/">53. How Drugs Led to Stroke – Stephen Heaney</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Stephen Heaney is a long time drug addict whose habit led to him collapsing on the floor at his home after an evening of heavy drug use. Stephen Heaney is a long time drug addict whose habit led to him collapsing on the floor at his home after an evening of heavy drug use. Recovery After Stroke 41:13 52. The Fun Five Series – Sugar – Stacey & Matty Turner https://recoveryafterstroke.com/8-reason-you-should-quit-sugar-after-stroke/ Thu, 02 May 2019 07:00:29 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1509 <p>8 Reasons to quit Sugar is episode 1 in a series of 5 that I have recorded with Stacey and Matty Turner from the Chief Life</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/8-reason-you-should-quit-sugar-after-stroke/">52. The Fun Five Series – Sugar – Stacey & Matty Turner</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> 8 Reasons to quit Sugar is episode 1 in a series of 5 that I have recorded with Stacey and Matty Turner from the Chief Life 8 Reasons to quit Sugar is episode 1 in a series of 5 that I have recorded with Stacey and Matty Turner from the Chief Life Recovery After Stroke 49:59 51. 5th Annual Stroke and Occupational Therapy Lecture – Bill Gasiamis https://recoveryafterstroke.com/5th-annual-stroke-and-occupational-therapy-lecture-bill-gasiamis/ Thu, 25 Apr 2019 21:46:11 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1490 <p>3rd Occupational Therapy Lecture at Australian Catholic University</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/5th-annual-stroke-and-occupational-therapy-lecture-bill-gasiamis/">51. 5th Annual Stroke and Occupational Therapy Lecture – Bill Gasiamis</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> 3rd Occupational Therapy Lecture at Australian Catholic University 3rd Occupational Therapy Lecture at Australian Catholic University Recovery After Stroke 48:20 50. Interview On The Emotional Autoimmunity Podcast – Kerry Jeffrey https://recoveryafterstroke.com/interview-on-the-emotional-autoimmunity-podcast/ Tue, 16 Apr 2019 12:04:23 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1409 <p>Recently I was on the Emotional Autoimmunity podcast with Kerry Jeffrey. Listen to my story.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/interview-on-the-emotional-autoimmunity-podcast/">50. Interview On The Emotional Autoimmunity Podcast – Kerry Jeffrey</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Recently I was on the Emotional Autoimmunity podcast with Kerry Jeffrey. Listen to my story. Recently I was on the Emotional Autoimmunity podcast with Kerry Jeffrey. Listen to my story. Recovery After Stroke 1:11:27 49. Stroke and Stress – Darren Walker https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-and-stress-darren-walker/ Fri, 12 Apr 2019 10:03:42 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1450 <p>Darren Walker is a father of two who learned the hard way about stroke and stress.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-and-stress-darren-walker/">49. Stroke and Stress – Darren Walker</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Darren Walker is a father of two who learned the hard way about stroke and stress. Darren Walker is a father of two who learned the hard way about stroke and stress. Recovery After Stroke 57:23 48. Stroke Recovery and Sport – Musa Pam https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-recovery-and-sport-musa-pam/ Sat, 06 Apr 2019 01:46:07 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1440 <p>Musa Pam is a Stroke Survivor who rediscovered his love of golf even though he can only swing with one arm.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-recovery-and-sport-musa-pam/">48. Stroke Recovery and Sport – Musa Pam</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Musa Pam is a Stroke Survivor who rediscovered his love of golf even though he can only swing with one arm. Musa Pam is a Stroke Survivor who rediscovered his love of golf even though he can only swing with one arm. Recovery After Stroke 1:07:17 47. The Great Now What? – Maggie Whittum https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-great-now-what/ Mon, 01 Apr 2019 09:31:51 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1412 <p>Maggie Whittum is a brain stem stroke SURVIVOR, not a stroke victim. Let's find meaning & beauty in what is an otherwise ugly experience.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-great-now-what/">47. The Great Now What? – Maggie Whittum</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Maggie Whittum is a brain stem stroke SURVIVOR, not a stroke victim. Let's find meaning & beauty in what is an otherwise ugly experience. Maggie Whittum is a brain stem stroke SURVIVOR, not a stroke victim. Let's find meaning & beauty in what is an otherwise ugly experience. Recovery After Stroke 1:15:53 46. Young Stroke Survivor – Jenny McAllister https://recoveryafterstroke.com/blink-once-for-yes-and-twice-for-no-jenny-mcallister/ Sat, 23 Mar 2019 22:30:45 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1415 <p>At the age of just 21, Jenny McAllister suffered a massive brain stem haemorrhage and was given less than 1% chance of survival.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/blink-once-for-yes-and-twice-for-no-jenny-mcallister/">46. Young Stroke Survivor – Jenny McAllister</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> At the age of just 21, Jenny McAllister suffered a massive brain stem haemorrhage and was given less than 1% chance of survival. At the age of just 21, Jenny McAllister suffered a massive brain stem haemorrhage and was given less than 1% chance of survival. Recovery After Stroke 1:02:24 45. Post Traumatic Stress and Stroke – Travis Cowsert https://recoveryafterstroke.com/post-traumatic-stress-and-stroke-travis-cowsert/ Sun, 10 Mar 2019 22:16:49 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1333 <p>Travis Cowsert is a former US Marine who experienced a stroke and nearly 10 years later is still overcoming the challenges that stroke can create.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/post-traumatic-stress-and-stroke-travis-cowsert/">45. Post Traumatic Stress and Stroke – Travis Cowsert</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Travis Cowsert is a former US Marine who experienced a stroke and nearly 10 years later is still overcoming the challenges that stroke can create. Travis Cowsert is a former US Marine who experienced a stroke and nearly 10 years later is still overcoming the challenges that stroke can create. Recovery After Stroke 1:13:10 44. My Husband Had A Stroke – Royce Morales https://recoveryafterstroke.com/my-husband-had-a-stroke/ Fri, 08 Mar 2019 21:36:12 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1324 <p>When Royce's husband (Michael) of almost thirty years suddenly had a massive stroke, Royce's world was turned upside down.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/my-husband-had-a-stroke/">44. My Husband Had A Stroke – Royce Morales</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> When Royce's husband (Michael) of almost thirty years suddenly had a massive stroke, Royce's world was turned upside down. When Royce's husband (Michael) of almost thirty years suddenly had a massive stroke, Royce's world was turned upside down. Recovery After Stroke 56:03 43. Aphasia Help After Stroke – Tracey Bode https://recoveryafterstroke.com/aphasia-help-after-stroke-tracey-bode/ Mon, 25 Feb 2019 07:51:38 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1309 <p>Tracy Bode is a clinical Speech Pathologist who found her passion in Alternative and Augmentative Communication to provide Aphasia Help for patients after stroke. YouTube LinkedIn Twitter Highlights: 02:20 What Tracy does 13:40 What is Aphasia 22:30 Alternative Augmentative Communication 35:20 Stroke can affect so many aspects of life 39:07 Benefits of support groups especially […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/aphasia-help-after-stroke-tracey-bode/">43. Aphasia Help After Stroke – Tracey Bode</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Tracy Bode is a clinical Speech Pathologist who found her passion in Alternative and Augmentative Communication to provide Aphasia Help for patients after stroke. YouTube LinkedIn Twitter Highlights: 02:20 What Tracy does 13:40 What is Aphasia 22:30 Al... Tracy Bode is a clinical Speech Pathologist who found her passion in Alternative and Augmentative Communication to provide Aphasia Help for patients after stroke. YouTube LinkedIn Twitter Highlights: 02:20 What Tracy does 13:40 What is Aphasia 22:30 Alternative Augmentative Communication 35:20 Stroke can affect so many aspects of life 39:07 Benefits of support groups especially […] Recovery After Stroke 54:54 41. Stroke Of Luck – Farley Cadena https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-of-luck-farley-cadena/ Sun, 27 Jan 2019 23:55:06 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1282 <p>Farley Cadena is an actor and a stroke survivor who performs a one person show raising awareness about stroke.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/stroke-of-luck-farley-cadena/">41. Stroke Of Luck – Farley Cadena</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Farley Cadena is an actor and a stroke survivor who performs a one person show raising awareness about stroke. Farley Cadena is an actor and a stroke survivor who performs a one person show raising awareness about stroke. Recovery After Stroke 1:05:35 40. Predict And Prevent Ischemic Stroke – Luka Fajs https://recoveryafterstroke.com/predict-and-prevent-ischemic-stroke/ Sat, 12 Jan 2019 00:03:39 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1256 <p>Luka Fajs is the CEO and founder of Eclipse Diagnostics and holds a PhD in Medical Microbiology. Currently developing a technology that may help  predict and prevent Ischemic stroke</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/predict-and-prevent-ischemic-stroke/">40. Predict And Prevent Ischemic Stroke – Luka Fajs</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Luka Fajs is the CEO and founder of Eclipse Diagnostics and holds a PhD in Medical Microbiology. Currently developing a technology that may help  predict and prevent Ischemic stroke Luka Fajs is the CEO and founder of Eclipse Diagnostics and holds a PhD in Medical Microbiology. Currently developing a technology that may help  predict and prevent Ischemic stroke Recovery After Stroke 34:32 39. Back On Your Feet After Stroke with LE Sling – Amy E. Lee https://recoveryafterstroke.com/back-on-your-feet-after-stroke-with-le-sling/ Fri, 11 Jan 2019 22:06:04 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=1249 <p>In 2018, Amy Lee designed and produced the first ever LE Sling device (Lower Extremity Sling, LLC) which uses a simple bungee system to help support the leg after a procedure, reduce painful walking, and assist in the forward propulsion of gait. The coupon code for a discount is AUS30DU and will expire on March […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/back-on-your-feet-after-stroke-with-le-sling/">39. Back On Your Feet After Stroke with LE Sling – Amy E. Lee</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> In 2018, Amy Lee designed and produced the first ever LE Sling device (Lower Extremity Sling, LLC) which uses a simple bungee system to help support the leg after a procedure, reduce painful walking, and assist in the forward propulsion of gait. In 2018, Amy Lee designed and produced the first ever LE Sling device (Lower Extremity Sling, LLC) which uses a simple bungee system to help support the leg after a procedure, reduce painful walking, and assist in the forward propulsion of gait. The coupon code for a discount is AUS30DU and will expire on March […] Recovery After Stroke 37:40 38. Beating Locked-In Syndrome – Clodah Dunlop https://recoveryafterstroke.com/beating-locked-in-syndrome/ Wed, 02 Jan 2019 10:15:37 +0000 http://thetransitloungepodcast.com/?p=657 <p>Clodah Dunlop is a police officer that experienced a brain stem stroke in 2015 and woke to find herself locked-in an unresponsive body with no means of communication other than the ability to blink.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/beating-locked-in-syndrome/">38. Beating Locked-In Syndrome – Clodah Dunlop</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Clodah Dunlop is a police officer that experienced a brain stem stroke in 2015 and woke to find herself locked-in an unresponsive body with no means of communication other than the ability to blink. Clodah Dunlop is a police officer that experienced a brain stem stroke in 2015 and woke to find herself locked-in an unresponsive body with no means of communication other than the ability to blink. Recovery After Stroke 1:15:15 37. How I Rescued My Brain – David Rowland https://recoveryafterstroke.com/how-i-rescued-my-brain-david-rowland/ Wed, 02 Jan 2019 01:25:17 +0000 http://thetransitloungepodcast.com/?p=646 <p>How I Rescued My Brain is a book by Author and Psychologist David Roland. In this episode of Recovery After Stroke podcast, we talk about the lead up to David's stroke how his profession came in handy while on the path to recovery and how he has changed his life since that fateful day.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/how-i-rescued-my-brain-david-rowland/">37. How I Rescued My Brain – David Rowland</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> How I Rescued My Brain is a book by Author and Psychologist David Roland. In this episode of Recovery After Stroke podcast, we talk about the lead up to David's stroke how his profession came in handy while on the path to recovery and how he has change... How I Rescued My Brain is a book by Author and Psychologist David Roland. In this episode of Recovery After Stroke podcast, we talk about the lead up to David's stroke how his profession came in handy while on the path to recovery and how he has changed his life since that fateful day. Recovery After Stroke 56:06 36. The Stroke Of An Artist – Tracy Markley https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-stroke-of-an-artist/ Tue, 06 Mar 2018 11:36:20 +0000 https://recoveryafterstroke.com/?p=4715 <p>Due to the gap in care for stroke patients after they leave rehabilitation, many stroke survivors seek out complementary methods to help them overcome their deficits.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/the-stroke-of-an-artist/">36. The Stroke Of An Artist – Tracy Markley</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Due to the gap in care for stroke patients after they leave rehabilitation, many stroke survivors seek out complementary methods to help them overcome their deficits. Due to the gap in care for stroke patients after they leave rehabilitation, many stroke survivors seek out complementary methods to help them overcome their deficits. Recovery After Stroke 1:00:42 35. How To Change Career After Stroke – Paul Higgins https://recoveryafterstroke.com/change-career-after-stroke/ Mon, 19 Feb 2018 10:36:33 +0000 http://thetransitloungepodcast.com/?p=597 <p>Change Career After Stroke If you are like me you probably needed to change career after stroke. You may have some ideas you have not taken action on you may be part of the way there and not yet turned a profit, what ever the reason you are looking to make a change the journey […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com/change-career-after-stroke/">35. How To Change Career After Stroke – Paul Higgins</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://recoveryafterstroke.com">Recovery After Stroke</a>.</p> Change Career After Stroke If you are like me you probably needed to change career after stroke. You may have some ideas you have not taken action on you may be part of the way there and not yet turned a profit, Change Career After Stroke If you are like me you probably needed to change career after stroke. You may have some ideas you have not taken action on you may be part of the way there and not yet turned a profit, what ever the reason you are looking to make a change the journey […] Recovery After Stroke 58:23