After his second covid 19 vaccination Sherif Aboutouk experienced an Ischaemic Stroke that amongst other things has caused vision problems.
02:55 The first signs of ischaemic stroke
08:45 COVID vaccine might have caused the ischaemic stroke
17:18 No one talks about covid-19 anymore
20:54 About stroke recovery being google proof
23:06 Why stroke podcasts are so important
34:03 Stroke is the best thing that ever happened
39:49 Things that matter after the stroke
51:27 Learning how to use the heart after the stroke
57:37 Emotional recovery is the most important recovery
1:05:57 The Power of Apology
1:14:27 Experiencing the deficits differently
1:22:22 The invisible disability
1:31:52 The lessons Sherif Aboutouk learned from stroke
Ischaemic Stroke in Young Adults: Recognizing the Signs and Seeking Prompt Medical Attention
A stroke is a medical emergency that can happen to anyone, at any age. However, when we think of stroke, we often associate it with older adults. But did you know that stroke can also affect young adults? In fact, ischaemic stroke, a type of stroke caused by a blood clot in the brain, is becoming increasingly common in younger people.
This is a worrying trend, as many young adults may not recognize the signs of stroke or seek medical attention promptly, leading to long-term disability or even death. In this article, we will explore the signs and symptoms of ischaemic stroke in young adults and the importance of seeking prompt medical attention.
We will also discuss the risk factors and preventative measures that can help reduce the incidence of stroke in younger individuals. So, if you or someone you know is a young adult, it is crucial to stay informed and aware of the signs of stroke to ensure early detection and intervention.
What is an ischaemic stroke?
An ischaemic stroke occurs when a blood clot blocks a blood vessel in the brain, reducing blood flow and oxygen supply to the brain. This can result in brain damage, disability, or even death. ischaemic stroke is the most common type of stroke, accounting for approximately 87% of all stroke cases, according to the American Stroke Association. As we get older, our risk of having a stroke increases. However, younger adults can also have a stroke, and ischaemic stroke is becoming more prevalent in this group.
Prevalence of ischaemic strokes in young adults
Although stroke is more common in older adults, the incidence of ischaemic stroke in young adults is on the rise. A study published in JAMA Neurology in 2019 found that the incidence of stroke in young adults increased from 12.9% to 18.6% between 2003 and 2015. Ischaemic stroke accounted for 85% of all strokes in this age group. The reasons for the increase in stroke incidence in young adults are not entirely clear. However, some experts suggest that lifestyle factors, such as poor diet, lack of exercise, and high-stress levels, may play a role.
Risk factors for ischaemic strokes in young adults
Several risk factors can increase the likelihood of having an ischaemic stroke in young adults. These include:
- High blood pressure
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a significant risk factor for stroke. It can damage the blood vessels in the brain, making them more likely to rupture or form clots.
Smoking increases the risk of stroke by damaging blood vessels and promoting the formation of blood clots.
Diabetes can contribute to the development of atherosclerosis, a condition in which plaques build up in the arteries, making them more prone to clots.
Obesity increases the risk of stroke by promoting the development of other risk factors, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
- Family History
Having a family history of stroke or certain genetic conditions, such as sickle cell disease, can increase the risk of stroke.
Other risk factors for stroke include high cholesterol, atrial fibrillation (an irregular heartbeat), and drug abuse.
Signs and symptoms of an ischaemic stroke
Recognizing the signs and symptoms of an ischaemic stroke is crucial for prompt medical attention. The faster a stroke is detected and treated, the better the chances of recovery. The most common signs and symptoms of an ischaemic stroke include:
- Sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body. This can affect the face, arm, or leg and may cause difficulty speaking or understanding speech.
- Sudden vision changes. This can include blurred vision, double vision, or loss of vision in one or both eyes.
- Sudden severe headache. This can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, or dizziness.
- Difficulty walking or loss of balance. This can cause a sudden fall or difficulty standing up.
- Confusion or difficulty understanding. This can cause sudden memory loss or difficulty speaking.
It is essential to note that not all symptoms occur in every case of stroke. If you or someone you know experiences any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
Importance of seeking prompt medical attention
Seeking prompt medical attention is crucial for the best possible outcome after an ischaemic stroke. Time is of the essence when it comes to stroke treatment. The longer the brain goes without oxygen, the greater the risk of permanent brain damage. Treatment for an ischaemic stroke may include medication to dissolve the clot, surgery to remove the clot, or rehabilitation to help regain lost function. However, these treatments are most effective when administered within the first few hours after the onset of symptoms. Delaying medical attention can result in long-term disability or even death.
Diagnosis and treatment of ischaemic strokes
Diagnosis of an ischaemic stroke typically involves a physical exam, imaging tests, and blood tests. Imaging tests, such as a CT scan or MRI, can help determine the location and severity of the stroke. Blood tests can help identify risk factors for stroke, such as high cholesterol or diabetes.
Treatment for ischaemic stroke may involve medication, surgery, or rehabilitation, depending on the severity and location of the stroke. Medications, such as tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), can dissolve blood clots and improve blood flow to the brain. Surgery, such as a thrombectomy, can remove the clot from the blood vessel. Rehabilitation can help regain lost function and improve quality of life after a stroke.
Rehabilitation and recovery after an ischaemic stroke
Rehabilitation and recovery after an ischaemic stroke can be a long and challenging process. The goal of rehabilitation is to help individuals regain lost function and improve their quality of life. Rehabilitation may involve physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, or all three. Physical therapy can help improve strength, balance, and coordination. Occupational therapy can help individuals regain the ability to perform daily tasks, such as dressing or eating. Speech therapy can help improve communication skills.
Recovery after an ischaemic stroke can take weeks, months, or even years, depending on the severity of the stroke and the individual’s overall health. Some individuals may experience long-term disability or cognitive impairments after a stroke. However, with proper medical attention and rehabilitation, many individuals can regain lost function and live full and productive lives.
Prevention of future strokes
Preventing future strokes is essential for individuals who have had an ischaemic stroke. Prevention may involve lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, losing weight, or exercising regularly. Medications, such as anticoagulants or antiplatelet drugs, may also be prescribed to reduce the risk of future strokes. Managing underlying medical conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, is also crucial for stroke prevention.
Ischaemic stroke is a medical emergency that can happen to anyone, regardless of age. However, the incidence of stroke in young adults is on the rise, and many individuals may not recognize the signs or seek medical attention promptly. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of an ischaemic stroke and seeking prompt medical attention is crucial for the best possible outcome.
Risk factors for stroke can be managed through lifestyle changes and proper medical attention. Rehabilitation and recovery after a stroke can be challenging but can lead to significant improvements in function and quality of life. Preventing future strokes is crucial for individuals who have had an ischaemic stroke. By staying informed and aware of stroke risks and signs, individuals can take steps to reduce their risk of stroke and improve their overall health and well-being.
Sherif Aboutouk 0:00
I started listening to you three months ago. And I can tell you hand on heart. I only listen now to your podcast and I’ve probably gone through 30 episodes or so. And the amount of knowledge and hope that I have gained from that is honestly a hundred times more than the experience I’ll have in the hospital.
This is the Recovery after stroke podcast. With Bill Gasiamis, helping you navigate recovery after stroke.
Introduction – Sherif Aboutouk
Bill Gasiamis 0:44
Hello, and welcome to episode 253 of the Recovery after Stroke podcast. My guest experienced an ischemic stroke age just 34 Not long after being injected with a second COVID-19 vaccination at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sherif Aboutouk, welcome to the podcast.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:07
Thank you very much.
Bill Gasiamis 1:10
It’s my pleasure, man. Thank you for being here so late in the evening over there in the United Kingdom. Tell me a little bit about what happened to you.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:21
So it started with my second dose of the vaccine. So I had my second dose of my Pfizer vaccine, the end of July 2021. And I experienced afterward, four episodes in four different weeks of numbness in different parts of my body.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:49
The latest one I had was by mid-August, I remember going it was a Friday. I’ll never forget that day and I was speaking to a colleague, I needed to do something and I said look, I’ve had these episodes of numbness and I really need to go to emergency.
Sherif Aboutouk 2:08
And I went to the bathroom. And as I was there all of a sudden I lost power and control in my left leg. And I had to sit on the floor and I was just a little bit scared and didn’t know what to do.
Sherif Aboutouk 2:27
I live by myself and I just thought wow, by then it was fine. I live in the central part of London very close to St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington. It’s literally a five-minute walk. And I went there, I remember chatting to the doctor I used to do a lot of triathlons and cycling.
The first signs of ischaemic stroke
Sherif Aboutouk 2:55
I remember her saying “Oh me too la la la” and we had this conversation had very high blood pressure. I told her about my three episodes. And one of them I have blurry vision.
Sherif Aboutouk 3:09
And I said look, I completely lost power in this leg and she’s like, Oh, no, you’re too young, it’s okay. I learned later that I have a TIA I have 2 TIAs before my stroke. And normally, they could have just scanned my head and found it would have been an aspirin should have been okay, but then was left to go home.
Sherif Aboutouk 3:38
And then I flew out to Majorca on the 25th and 26th of August to meet my mom there because it was locked down, my mom lives in Egypt. And Egypt was on the Red List to come to England.
Sherif Aboutouk 3:58
So she was visiting her sister there. So I thought right, I’m gonna go there and spend a couple of days of cycling. And I just didn’t think too much of it at all. I just thought right, you know, it’s okay and then when I come back, I’m going to see a neurologist.
Sherif Aboutouk 4:17
And on the 25th it was a Monday, absolutely fine, I was swimming every day. And the last day was Wednesday, I went for a long cycle ride. And then I picked up my mom from the airport, went for dinner, then went back.
Sherif Aboutouk 4:35
I was in the house and I slept and I woke up and I have a habit of waking up during the night which is a really bad one and I was scrolling through my phone and I’ll never forget that I was looking at a message I just couldn’t read it properly.
Sherif Aboutouk 4:56
Which is literally what I have now. But then you know, that’s weird and I have this really bad pain on that side of my head, which I understand is not necessarily a symptom of stroke. So that was a Thursday morning. My mom’s like, oh, let’s go out, it’s my first day.
Sherif Aboutouk 5:19
I was like, look, you know, you go see my aunt and I’m just going to, you know, sleep it off because I’m not feeling well. I slept off on Thursday, and Friday came out, and my aunt was in the house. And I remember asking my mom, Oh, can you just give me the phone?
Sherif Aboutouk 5:36
And she gave me the phone. I was like, Oh, that’s my wallet. And I just was very confused. And also the vision part, I wasn’t seeing very well. And then she said, look, I’m gonna take you to the eye hospital.
Sherif Aboutouk 5:51
Because that was the most significant impact I had. And then on the way to the hospital, I said, Look, I think I need to go to a proper hospital, not just an eye one, and went there. They scan my head. They said you had a large ischemic stroke in that part of the brain and you’ll have to stay in and that’s it.
Bill Gasiamis 6:26
Was that the first time you had was scanned? So you went to St. Mary’s Hospital? And they didn’t go down that route?
Sherif Aboutouk 6:37
No, they didn’t which is quite frustrating now knowing that it could have been saved.
Bill Gasiamis 6:45
Then you’ve gone through this whole process, you’re feeling numb, and you had the four incidences of numbness over four weeks? And was it immediately after you had the vaccination or was it a little time later? When did you feel it kind of started to be noticeable this numbness?
Sherif Aboutouk 7:11
So I had the vaccine on the 21st of July and I think there was the London triathlon on the next weekend and I normally would drive to full plate, do a few laps of open water swimming, and the first episode I remember because was after a swim.
Sherif Aboutouk 7:35
I literally finished the swim got in the car and went to clean the car but you know how you kind of collect all the rubbish in your hand so you can put it in the bin and then I got up on I remember just couldn’t feel my hand I just thought I swam too much.
Sherif Aboutouk 7:51
That’s literally what I thought of like calling my friend telling him about it and calling my mom “Oh maybe see the GP” but I didn’t think much about it was literally a five-minute and then it comes back.
Sherif Aboutouk 8:03
That was the first episode. The second episode was the day after the triathlon so that’s a week after and again I just defined it that’s maybe like just me having you know, after the triathlon I’m not feeling too well so I didn’t think much of it.
Sherif Aboutouk 8:25
The third one is when I decided right this is not okay, I need to go to NE which was two days or three days before I go there to NE, and the worst one that happened to me was when I was in the bathroom. That’s Friday right before I go.
COVID vaccine might have caused the ischaemic stroke
Bill Gasiamis 8:45
Yeah. And you mentioned the vaccine, do you feel like a significant here? Has it played a role in this outcome?
Sherif Aboutouk 8:57
Look, I’m not a conspiracist, and you know, I volunteered to take the vaccine because I thought it was the right thing to do. But now with all the research coming out, especially this year about how there are a certain amount of people that can get blood clots as a result, I have no history, medical history of any sort of issues beforehand.
Sherif Aboutouk 9:26
Obviously, you can not be 100% Sure. I just never had these episodes until I had the second dose. I could be obviously mistaken. But that’s the only thing that I can put my hands on and say right this is the only change I had before the stroke.
Bill Gasiamis 9:45
But that’s what they’re hanging their hat on the hanging their hat on or you’ll never really know. It’s such a bullshit situation to find ourselves in many months after. Most of the people were forced to take a vaccine that was unproven, that was very new, etc.
Bill Gasiamis 10:05
And you heard all the benefits for it, and all the reasons for it and all that kind of stuff. And you thought, Okay, well, you know, I’m saving humanity if I take this vaccine, but then who’s saving the people who have been adversely affected by the vaccine? And how are they going to go about explaining it, and all we’re getting is the washing of the hands?
Bill Gasiamis 10:24
And then they’re leaving people like you in a situation where you’ve got to work it out yourself, and it’s so terrible. That’s the part that kind of frustrates me. Clearly, there are some people that are affected by it.
Bill Gasiamis 10:35
And those people should be treated a little better, even if we don’t know, even if it’s not certain, even if we’ll never really know, well, why don’t we just look at the coincidence of the timing of the two incidences? That one being the vaccine and one being the event, the health event? And going well? Why don’t we put some money into helping these people like we put money into helping everyone else from dying from COVID?
Bill Gasiamis 11:04
The one and we put some money into helping the people who have been adversely affected? I’ve had two shots of the vaccine, and I haven’t been adversely affected. And I took it unwillingly. But I took it because they weren’t going to find us $100,000 If we got caught at work without a vaccine.
Bill Gasiamis 11:24
And when you haven’t worked for two years, and somebody’s saying to you, you can risk a $100,000 fine, I haven’t got $100,000 to pay to the government. So I can go and work. I think it’s ridiculous, right? But it’s but what’s interesting is, it’s a very, it’s one of those topics that’s become very, you’re either on one side, or you’re on the other side, there’s no middle ground.
Bill Gasiamis 11:48
And I think that there’s no middle ground, in the way that they avoid supporting people who may have been affected by a vaccination that they’ve taken, it’s a way of washing their hands. So they divide and conquer, you’re either with us or you’re against us. Even if you’ve had the vaccine, and it did affect you, you still should be for the vaccine.
Bill Gasiamis 12:08
And it’s like, okay, individually, I shouldn’t be anything that I don’t want to be. But again, we’re being coerced, to be told how we should be responding to the vaccine, even after it’s harmless. And there’s no one coming forward going. Let’s help you out. Sharif. We don’t know if it was the vaccine. But the coincidence is, you know, we’re going to take that into consideration.
Bill Gasiamis 12:35
And now we’re going to throw as much money as we can at you as we did to the rest of the population. To save them, we’re going to try and save you, I think it’s largely terrible. And I might lose friends and followers for that, and I don’t really care. But we need to take care of everybody, at every level.
Bill Gasiamis 12:57
And when when when you’re in a situation where you’ve had a stroke, and you’re a fit and healthy person, then there’s no real reason why you should have had an ischemic stroke in the back of your head. I think that people have been let down again, a second time, you know, so I get really passionate about it, and I’m on your side, and I want to help you out. I don’t want to also make this a conspiracy thing, because it’s not a conspiracy thing.
Bill Gasiamis 13:27
There’s no such thing as a conspiracy. It’s just a reality. And we’ve had enough time to reflect back now and go Well, we, we made some really big decisions over a short amount of time. And we didn’t contemplate the consequences. And one of them. One of the consequences here in Australia after lockdown is that in Australia, in Melbourne, we were locked down for one of the two years, almost an entire year, we were completely locked down.
Bill Gasiamis 13:58
And now we’re getting the after-effects of that we’re seeing we’re seeing that there’s a mental health epidemic, there is a lack of staff epidemic, so people cannot find staff to fulfill roles in businesses. And businesses are shutting down because all the people that were in Australia, or the immigrant workers left, and they’re not coming back.
Bill Gasiamis 14:23
And you know, in the beginning, the racists would say, we don’t need immigrant workers. They’re taking your bloody jobs, or Yeah, right now that they’re gone. You want them back. But they’re not here because you didn’t support them while they were here to stay here. You told them to get out of this.
Bill Gasiamis 14:44
We don’t want them in your country, in our country because, you know, they don’t have any rights here. But now they’re going well, the borders are open again. We want you back. I mean, come on guys, like it’s one or the other. You either want these people to help us fulfill the roles that we need to fulfill and avoid the disaster that’s going to come down the pipeline.
Bill Gasiamis 15:05
Because now we have the disaster of too much debt, Australia has got more debt than it’s ever had. It’s got fewer people to do the jobs. It’s got a population that became sick after the vaccinations and heart disease is on the rise spiking, like dramatically up. And we’ve got all these pressures on the medical system.
Bill Gasiamis 15:28
And we’ve got all this stuff. And no one’s coming back and going, we were wrong. No one’s going back and going, we’re sorry, no one’s going back and doing any of that stuff. And I think it’s the responsibility of people who make decisions like that to when they reflect back on their decisions, instead of trying to hold your position in power and continue to divide the population and tell everybody what, how we should either be on this side or that side.
Bill Gasiamis 15:54
And that we should Dobb on our friends if they if you see him outside in the cafe when they should be at home or locked in their house. I mean, it’s just the whole thing is bloody ridiculous. And I feel for people like you, Sharif, and it bothers me that they won’t tell that they’ll wash their hands of it and say, Oh, well, you know, we don’t know, we’re not really going to know. It’s terrible.
Sherif Aboutouk 16:20
look, I mean, I think in Australia, you had one of the most draconian lockdowns and I mean, I think they started off by fear was like, you know, it was very taboo not to say if you say you’re not going to take the vaccine. Now, for some reason, people can just publicly say, and until can people go okay, there’s no problem.
Sherif Aboutouk 16:41
And I think having your couple of this by giving you a fine, it just has no other alternative, but to take it. And look, I mean, again, you know, this is, you know, if it comes back with time, I would, you know, maybe I wouldn’t have taken it just for myself.
Sherif Aboutouk 16:57
But then there was always that collective thinking in the news everywhere that you are helping other people. So it’s not about you, you might not get it, or you don’t want to transmit it, which actually, after a while, did improve that was what like that.
No one talks about covid-19 anymore – Sherif Aboutouk
Sherif Aboutouk 17:18
And I think, you know, what I would appreciate now at least, is that someone, as you said, is to kind of just have a conversation about it, and be open about it, but no one talks about COVID anymore.
Sherif Aboutouk 17:32
They only talk about the, you know, the economic instability, no one talks about the vaccine anymore. And I think there’s a rest responsibility, not just from politicians, you don’t really expect much of them.
Sherif Aboutouk 17:44
But I think the responsibility of people that are popular that talk about it and bring it on. And I think, you know, I remember when I had the stroke, I was just Googling every single thing. And it was really hard because I have amblyopia so I don’t see my right side.
Sherif Aboutouk 18:04
So reading is really hard. And I was trying to see what’s linked to and then you hardly got any results linking to the vaccine, and had a bit about AstraZeneca, then, but when I do it today, there’s so much research that says, right, no one’s gonna say it’s 100%.
Sherif Aboutouk 18:22
But then when they do the study, some people do get blood clots. So I think it’s unfortunate. And it’s, you know, I try not to think about it too much in terms of, I’ve been failed by the because, you know, I already have a lot to deal with on my plate.
Sherif Aboutouk 18:39
And I think what I don’t want to do is to find another excuse to be like, right, it’s not going to help me, so I’m going to help anyone. So I’m trying to think about it more. You know, I was one of the unlucky people in a way, you know what I mean?
Bill Gasiamis 18:54
Yeah, I love that man. It is your right. It definitely needs to be something that we’re aware of. It needs to be something that we know how we got here. And as you said about the politicians, no one’s saying that it was our decisions during COVID lockdowns that ended in the economic disaster that we’re finding now.
Bill Gasiamis 19:12
Now, they’re just talking about the economic disaster. It’s a separate thing as if it wasn’t us that put you in this position. Right. And I agree with you. So what we’re doing now is we’re addressing supposedly, the issues without actually revealing the cause of the issues.
Bill Gasiamis 19:29
And like yourself, is no point going down that path and I’ve avoided getting engaging in those types of conversations as well for the most part because it’s not helpful. It doesn’t help my mental health. It doesn’t help anything other than getting me angry with somebody or getting them angry with me.
Bill Gasiamis 19:48
And what we should be doing is during economic difficulties coming together, finding ways to support each other, going to your neighbor, that one that probably rang the cops to say that you’re outside and going can I help you out with something, you know, can I get you a meal or whatever, because we have people that are in that situation right now.
Bill Gasiamis 20:06
There’s never been more homeless, there’s never been more people living under the poverty line who can’t pay their energy bills. You know, there are so many issues. And we haven’t united. After all the stuff that we went through in the last two or three years, we haven’t yet reunited, so everyone’s still divided.
Bill Gasiamis 20:26
So now when we need each other more than anything, we haven’t got each other because we can’t put our differences aside. And we need to put our differences aside doesn’t matter to me what your political affiliation is, or, or what your vaccination status is, or any of that stuff. My podcast is a classic example of what we need to do find people from all around the globe that are completely different and bring them on the podcast.
About stroke recovery being google proof
Bill Gasiamis 20:54
And let’s talk about stroke, recovery from stroke, overcoming a stroke, so that we can bring all these different people from different religious backgrounds and all that together, where we have something in common.
Bill Gasiamis 21:07
And we celebrate that and we support each other. That’s what it’s about. And you know, what you’re saying about the censorship on search engines, and all that kind of stuff that does happen. That’s a reality because Google doesn’t prioritize my podcast as content that is necessary for stroke survivors.
Bill Gasiamis 21:32
So I cannot advertise my content the same way as somebody who was talking about say, a paparazzo, who was talking about the photos that he took of, you know, famous people, if you had a podcast, his podcast might be number one because he can advertise that simultaneously on all these platforms.
Bill Gasiamis 21:58
Whereas Google restricts the way I can promote my podcast because it’s not considered the authority in stroke rehabilitation, and all that kind of stuff. And I kind of get it. But there is no nuance there. It’s either we’re promoting the big fish, or nobody, we’re not promoting the other people who are actually doing the work that supports stroke survivors.
Bill Gasiamis 22:25
So I’m really passionate about this. And I really don’t want to take it into that zone where it becomes unproductive. But I say it to give people things to think about. And that’s it, and then they can make their own decision, right? And then we are all going to move on as best as we can from everything that we’ve been through, as well as the stroke.
Sherif Aboutouk 22:52
I hate to disagree with you on this, but I disagree that the saying I agree that they shouldn’t really pop up your podcasts on Google search, you know, I started listening to you three months ago.
Why stroke podcasts are so important
Sherif Aboutouk 23:06
And I can tell you hand on heart. I only listen now to your podcast and have probably gone through 30 episodes or so. And the amount of knowledge and hope that I have gained from that is honestly, a hundred times more than the experience I’ve had in the hospital.
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. How long will it take to recover? Will I actually recover? What things should I avoid in case I make matters worse?
And doctors will explain things that obviously, you’ve never had a stroke before, you probably don’t know what questions to ask. If this is you, you may be missing out on doing things that could help speed up your recovery. If you’re finding yourself in that situation. Stop worrying, and head to recoveryafterstroke.com where you can download a guide that will help you.
It’s called seven questions to ask your doctor about your stroke. These seven questions are the ones Bill wished he’d asked when he was recovering from a stroke. They’ll not only help you better understand your condition. They’ll help you take a more active role in your recovery. Head to the website now recoveryafterstroke.com and download the guide. It’s free.
Sherif Aboutouk 24:33
I was in Majorca for 4 days had a bunch of stuff done went 10 days back home in Majorca and then flew to London on a Monday. Tuesday I went to Charing Cross Hospital which is meant to be the stroke pinnacle.
Sherif Aboutouk 24:50
And long story short when they discharge you from the clinic. I think the one and the most important thing is that you know what, listen to this guy’s podcast. You know, there might be a disclaimer, like it’s not medical, but these are other people that have been through this thing, and they can talk about it.
Sherif Aboutouk 25:08
The thing is with neurology, it’s a black box, no one really opens you know, it’s not like if you have a sort of, you’re operating on a leg, you had brain surgery, of course, but I think for someone who did not and only had a stroke, all they can do is that take blood thinners, steak, statins, and I’ll see you in three months.
Sherif Aboutouk 25:34
And this is the charity for stroke that you get in touch with that, you know, they’re trying to do their best, but it’s also very limited. No one can really relate to a stroke survivor, and the stuff they go through emotionally, mentally physically, like some of that has been that.
Sherif Aboutouk 25:52
And I think, you know, I hope one day we become in, you know, hospitals and doctors just listen to this, because, you know, you know, what the neurologist kind of technique is, they all look here, there’s Can You Feel this? Can you feel that, and that’s it, oh, you have a stroke, can’t really do anything about it.
Sherif Aboutouk 26:15
But we do a bit of investigation, see, if you have a hole in the heart, MRI and the brain MRI on the heart. Some people do a lumbar puncture, lalala, and then sometimes in my case, it all came back negative, and then they go, right? We don’t know.
Sherif Aboutouk 26:32
And that doesn’t give me hope. Well, it does give me hope for me to listen to someone who might have much more of a disability than I do. And see that they have, you know, conquered the become stronger, and IE someone like yourself. And I think this is really valuable. And I think search engines should be looking at this differently.
Bill Gasiamis 26:53
I agree. The interesting thing is the Stroke Foundation in Australia is the first organization that I went to to get beyond stroke support. Because of the hospital, my experience was the same right. And they were great. They helped me out and I made a pate, and I’ve been a face of a few of their advertising campaigns. And I’ve done a TV commercial for them. And I’ve done a whole bunch of things for them. B
Bill Gasiamis 27:19
ut as far as uniting the people who are doing really good work in Australia to promote stroke recovery, they do a good job of that they’ve got that they get government-funded and, and funded by other people, I imagine them privately to run their programs, and they do a good job, but they can’t allocate enough funds to a podcast that is stroke related from their organization, they don’t really do a good job in having their own organizations podcast.
Bill Gasiamis 27:56
So you would think that they would reach out to the people who are doing that kind of work and promote it at their end. But they don’t. They don’t, they’ve never approached me. And they know what I do, they’ve never approached me to say, how can we collaborate, I don’t get paid for this bloody podcast, I do it for free, it costs me money, every episode that goes out takes a minimum of about 10 hours work to get it ready, including the interview.
Bill Gasiamis 28:30
And I’m trying to make some money out of it by promoting my coaching and selling a few courses and all that kind of stuff. But it’s never made any money. And I’ve been doing it too, since 2017. So it’s not money that I need. But it would be great if I had the opportunity to get it in front of the right people without doing all the legwork myself.
Bill Gasiamis 28:55
But their mandate is that they are funded by the government or whoever is funding them to raise awareness about stroke and to prevent a stroke from happening in the future. And they are told how to do that they need to do it in this certain manner. And you can’t allocate funds to this like that. This is what you get funded for. And this is how you have to show us that you’ve done it.
Bill Gasiamis 29:22
So at the very top of the spectrum where the government again is getting involved. Those guys, the government is missing out on an opportunity to decrease the amount of mental health issues the emotional issues all the challenges that stroke survivors face that’s costing the government money because when stroke survivors can’t get back to work.
Bill Gasiamis 29:45
They rely on government handouts unfortunately a lot of people to get through their bills and to overcome you know, their living situation and the rest of it so my my call how has always been to unite people but but people are very easily divided just because of our little differences, whatever they are, and our core beliefs, you know, and that we suppose that they should all think the same thing or not.
Bill Gasiamis 30:11
And, that’s where I get disappointed. And that’s why I just, I never talked about it, you’ve raised that you’ve raised some things that have made me talk about. So what we’re going to do here is, we’re just going to bring it to the air. And then if somebody hears this and goes, Hey, I know how I can help or I know how we can get in front of more people, I know how we can bring on a strike organization or wherever met, I am up for it.
Bill Gasiamis 30:39
But what I’m noticing is I’m getting contacted by a lot of people who are doing it on their own. A lot of podcasters are doing their own version of a stroke recovery podcast, but they’re doing it on their own. And then there’s a lot of amazing people who come on my podcast, who I share their information, you know, therapists have every kind of background.
Bill Gasiamis 31:01
But again, they seem to be doing a little pocket on their own in their part of the world. And it’s all fragmented, you know. And the only thing that’s not fragmented about my podcast is that it goes out on every podcast app. And that makes it easier than it used to be for people like you to find it.
Bill Gasiamis 31:21
And so there’s hope there. And I am thankful that it helps people like you, and it would have helped me when I was doing it. And that’s enough about me, man, I think this episode is supposed to be about you.
Sherif Aboutouk 31:37
I’m glad you bring this topic up. Because, you know, honestly, I think the only way you can help stroke survivors is by speaking to other stroke survivors and sharing your story, whether it’s worse or better, and see how they cope with things, at least that works for me. And I think how I Found You was searching for stroke on Spotify, I found this organically and there is a big part of your audience would be people seeking information.
Sherif Aboutouk 32:15
And your episodes are an hour an hour, 15 minutes long. And no one it’s not like a song or a reel or a show that are 10 seconds and then you can have a million people looking at it. But you think about it, someone is spending an hour and 15 minutes every day, at least for me to listen to other people voluntarily without being having any marketing or advertising.
Sherif Aboutouk 32:40
It just shows the credibility and the impact that you and other survivors doing by coming on to the podcast. So I think they 100% agree that we have more people like you united all together is going to make a huge difference to people that might have a stroke in the future.
Sherif Aboutouk 33:00
People that are having a stroke and don’t know they have a stroke or people that trying to recover from a stroke. And still struggling. I mean, I can definitely say I’m one of them. So, you know, I sometimes listen to your podcast, and I see, you know, I always said that to a couple of friends as well.
Sherif Aboutouk 33:17
It’s like, a lot of the people that you know, a big chunk of them are very optimistic, and they might have an even worse disability than what I have. And I’ve heard that quite a lot. And I agree with it. But I see where it’s coming from that I’m kind of secretly glad I have a stroke or something like that because it’s changed me change to where I am.
Sherif Aboutouk 33:44
And so what I think about this, is I don’t want a stroke. I don’t want it. I don’t want to have it. I wish I have my vision back. But I can see where that’s coming from. And that in itself gives me hope. And I think this is a very strong message that a lot of your audience brings to that podcast and you as well.
Stroke is the best thing that ever happened
Bill Gasiamis 34:02
What about me, man, I went through four years of shit, right? And then one day I said on the podcast, I think it’s the best thing that ever happened to me. And then it’s like, oh my God, what are you talking about? How do you come to say that? And then and you I believe that?
Bill Gasiamis 34:19
That is a very common thing in not only stroke but in lots of different health conditions that people suffer and go through and they say what you said Sherif, which is it changed me somehow for the better. Even though I’m going through all this stuff, it somehow made me think of things differently.
Bill Gasiamis 34:38
It was the reset that I needed. It was this it was that and it’s like well, okay, I get it, because that’s the race that I had and I was talking about it yesterday. And for me. What it did is it showed me how short time is time doesn’t mean anything. And today could be it. And if today is it what have I left behind?
Bill Gasiamis 35:00
And I’m not talking about my legacy, my 45-storey building in the middle of the central business district, you know, that says that’s got my name on it. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about my kids. What are they going to think about their old man who was cranky, yelling, screaming, and thought that I was doing the right thing? And I’m being tough with them and rough with them and all this kind of stuff.
Bill Gasiamis 35:22
One of them thrived. The other one wasn’t enjoying it. But I thought now, one approach applies to everybody. What stroke showed me clearly, at least one of my kids was going to think I was an idiot when I died. And I was like, Oh, I don’t want that anymore. Okay, but now that I’ve made the decision to fix that, so to speak.
Bill Gasiamis 35:45
If the right word is fixed, but to make that better, it somehow opened the door for other things to be fixed. It wasn’t intended. But oh, that got sorted. Or it’s getting sorted, or it’s getting better things are improving. What else can I improve? Oh, okay, I’ll, I’ll try that. Oh, my God, that gave me pleasure, enjoyment. That made me feel good about myself. And then it’s like, now I’m looking for things to improve and make better.
Bill Gasiamis 36:20
Where before I was looking for things that were wrong, where the problem was, who was at fault, and why they aren’t doing what they were meant to be doing. And that just happened organically out of a fear that my kids might think that I’m a cranky guy when I died. And that’s the legacy that I left behind. So tell me about your version of how it kind of helped you to become better. Tell me about in what ways?
Sherif Aboutouk 36:53
I mean, probably, I’m still on the journey. So maybe I’m hoping in a couple of years, I’ll be able to say that. You know, I think there’s a number of things that I think you mentioned something about how time is so short, and I think I just became a lot closer to the people that I care about.
Sherif Aboutouk 37:22
And you know, having my mom with me than spending five weeks with me you know, I see my mom twice you know, two years a week a year, spending a lot of time with my mom didn’t want her to leave where you know, before be like, oh, when are you going to go home, that sort of thing.
Sherif Aboutouk 37:39
Just made me value relationships and made me think that I’m not necessarily a very religious person, but I know my religion if that makes sense. So, you know, Muslim, you know, I practice like, you know, definitely inside of me, I’m a true believer, but maybe not necessarily following it as much as I should. But I think made me also become a lot closer to God.
Sherif Aboutouk 38:12
And God is whatever God you want them to be God, right? Like, for me, it’s Allah, it’s God, it’s who I think of whenever I’m in a bad situation for someone else, it could be something else. But you start to think about things that you might not thought about it before.
Sherif Aboutouk 38:28
You start thinking about what really matters building memories and building relationships with people that you really care about. And your skills become a little bit more selective about who you want to hang out with. Who do you want to talk to? Who do you want to open your books to?
Bill Gasiamis 38:48
Why is that important?
Sherif Aboutouk 38:52
Its social life is a big part of your life, having people in your life sharing people that you can talk to them that whenever you want to be you know, your wife, your kids, your, your parents, your very close friends, living by yourself and isolating yourself from other people or just doing the things that activities that you like, but not really trying to invest in others is not in my opinion doesn’t necessarily help you.
Sherif Aboutouk 39:23
Because at the end of the day, if I’m walking down the street, and I help some stranger, I feel great. You know, it’s how to do you kind of its relationships is given taken you to invest in people, if you Yeah if you don’t invest in them, you’re never gonna get it back. And it’s the same thing you know, you can always take the kind of family relationship.
Things that matter after the ischaemic stroke
Sherif Aboutouk 39:49
If you kind of like just feeding your kids and when they’re 17, 18, they’re moving out you’re making the party because you can go out, ferry or whatever you’re gonna do it I’m not going to give you that the same way.
Sherif Aboutouk 40:03
And you probably have heard this. In Eastern cultures, and specifically in Middle Eastern cultures, family is a big thing you’re always going to find a family member living with you, the kids are never going to take you to the care home. And it’s not, it’s just how it is they invested so much in the person in their children, that children will never be like, Oh, I think you should go to.
Sherif Aboutouk 40:31
And sometimes it might be better for the mind, I totally agree with this, I’m not against it, but I’m just talking about how when you invest in something, you’re always going to get it back. And I think that the stroke, it made me realize who are the people that are actually valuable to me, the ones I want to invest time with, and who are the ones that can be acquaintances.
Bill Gasiamis 40:55
I think your story, is a very interesting one. So one of my really good friends, she’s been through a traumatic couple of years where she lives lost her mom and her brother and then lost her dad a year later, and they’re not religious at all. And what she said is that she was with her dad when he was, you know, his last few breaths and was like, What are we doing, and he was so much into sports.
Sherif Aboutouk 46:57
And she was reading to him, sports news. What, once in the story is that God is whatever you want to make God if, for him, it was sports, if that’s what condom if I was in that situation, they would read the Quran, you know, it’s, you know, if I listen to the Quran, I get very emotional, if you listen to it, nothing’s gonna happen to you.
Sherif Aboutouk 47:22
It’s, you know, it’s, it’s how you. So it’s how, if you eat carrots every day, for the last 20 years, you will love the character, you’re always gonna eat cat, it’s how it is if you kind of living in an environment that is influenced by religion, and then you are somehow going to be influenced by that.
Sherif Aboutouk 47:43
Now, it’s not a question of if it’s right or wrong, that’s I’m not going to get into this. Because you the three things that I really don’t care about what you eat, what you do in bed, and what you believe in, had none of my business, you know, you can do whatever you want to do.
Sherif Aboutouk 47:59
As long as you are a decent man with me, this is all a cares, you know, decent person. So, yeah, I totally understand what you say God is within me. It’s whatever you make it some people worship different things. But if that makes you feel that rocks your boat, that’s all it matters, right?
Bill Gasiamis 48:18
Yeah, I think you summed it up beautifully. I think that’s it. And that’s how it worked for me. And it works. Because it just seemed to be the first time that I’ve been able to really get results from myself. Where I was, I was always in my own way. I was in my own way in life, with my children with work with everything with stroke recovery, until I wasn’t in my own way anymore.
Bill Gasiamis 48:45
Now, that doesn’t mean that I don’t have doubts. And second thoughts and concerns about whether what I’m doing is right or wrong, it just means that I am at least able to see when I am in my own way. And I can catch myself and go alright, stop doing that and move on.
Sherif Aboutouk 49:06
Yeah, and look, there’s also like, there’s something really interesting now about me that I would think what was I upset about before the stroke, you know, what was actually you know, that it’s all bullshit. You know, what I mean? I think at some point, the more life kind of throws things at you, the more you start actually becoming a lot more receptive to getting up.
Sherif Aboutouk 49:35
I mean, 50 Cent is not normally someone I’ll quote but he once quoted and said that you know, you very hard going to find someone who’s struggling with life, who’s going to tell you, I’m depressed and I’m stressed out, they’re too busy. They’re running around doing this and doing this and doing that and, you know, I see a lot of people that might have very successful at work, they might have children that, you know, autistic, they need to look after them, they’re also looking after their dad.
Sherif Aboutouk 50:08
And you see that they’re successful, almost everything and you see all the people that might have, you know, born with a gold spoon in their mouth. And then they always talk about stress and depression and stuff like that. I’m not I’m saying it’s not there. Obviously, it is there as a medical condition.
Sherif Aboutouk 50:25
What I’m saying is that when life throws at you stones, and then you have gummy bears thrown after you afterwards, you go all right that’s just a gummy bear man. But if you only have gummy bears, it’s always gonna be a gummy bear. Do you know?
Bill Gasiamis 50:42
If you only had gummy bears, you always feel that they’re stones because you’ve never had these stones. Yeah, it gives you a contrast, doesn’t it? And that’s the thing, you said a great thing. It’s like, you didn’t know what you were angry about before. But before you were angry, and that’s describing me, man, and it’s like, Oh, what, what was it again?
Bill Gasiamis 51:05
Why was I and it’s just something that I had somehow worked up to 37 years of it, right, I had worked slowly to be at that point. And then, the bleeding, my brain happened, the brain switched off, and the head stopped telling me stories because it wasn’t actually working. And then my art came online.
Learning how to use the heart after the ischaemic stroke
Bill Gasiamis 51:27
And then it’s like, wow, okay, I can see life through my heart, I can actually observe the world through my heart. And my head is not telling me a story about that. And that was more joyful and more connection was happening and, you know, things were being put to rest.
Bill Gasiamis 51:50
And I wasn’t angry, and I was less, whatever. And is that how you experienced it as well? Is that does the stroke kind of then goes? What happens in the head and then something else comes to life? Did it come to life? How did it emerge?
Sherif Aboutouk 52:12
So I think there’s part of it, where when I was in hospital in Charing Cross Hospital, I was in the ward and seeing people around me and how they were affected. I mean, I look fine, I still work out every day. And, you know, I still play tennis, which is really hard with a heartbeat, half blind, I don’t cycle outdoors as much as I used to do.
Sherif Aboutouk 52:36
But then a lot of the things that I used to love doing, I can’t do anymore now. And, but I also kind of when I was in the ward and seeing people can’t move, can’t talk, getting seizures, and looking at them and thinking, right? I could have been one of them. It kind of feels like or ungrateful for what I have.
Sherif Aboutouk 53:03
But then I always kind of I can’t still get over the thought that haunts me every day, why me? Why did I have to go through this? What do you know, I would love to sit here and say, Look, you know, you know, a past the three stages that you always talk about building emotional, the mental, and the physical.
Sherif Aboutouk 53:24
I don’t think I’ve passed any of them yet. I’m still on the journey. And I’m hoping that one day I will. But it just gives you a very different perspective and lens, when you see what other people have been. And this is what, again, what your podcast has helped me because, you know, I’m talking about a bunch of people that were in the ward next to me, and you know, hearing about their stories.
Sherif Aboutouk 53:50
And hearing about other people going through the same thing younger than me. 21-year-old has a bleed in the brain and people that can’t see on the right side, like some of your viewers just so you know, you’re not alone in this, you’re not just cherry-picked. And you just need to, you know, being sad is not going to help me.
Sherif Aboutouk 54:12
So I’m gonna help anyone, right, being upset, not going to help anyone. So trying to do the most you can do with what you’ve got now is what I tried to do. But I can’t help the fact that every day I look in the mirror, I can’t see my right eye. It’s just so it’s very spooky as well, like you, you know, be walking in the street and someone walks on the right side.
Sherif Aboutouk 54:39
I wouldn’t see them until the vet or I would. It’s quite interesting. This story is actually really interesting. I remember and this is how shows you how human interactions are really important. So when I came out of the hospital, I remember going to Marks and Spencer’s supermarket around here and wanting to buy to react system.
Sherif Aboutouk 55:00
The worst thing for someone with hemianopia is supermarket shopping or any crowded places because they just get confused, they can’t see. And normally when you go look at the aisle and you just look there, you can see all the brands, you know, that’s fine. That’s the reality.
Sherif Aboutouk 55:15
And then now I have to focus. And I asked the guy that was on the first day of the hospital, was it Iraqi source, and gave it to me. Oh, somebody because I just had a stroke. And the guy was all I had a stroke, imagine law.
Sherif Aboutouk 55:30
And then now, I don’t even mentioned it to people. Because back then I needed that emotional connection with people. I needed someone to go, Oh, what happened? Which I didn’t get from the guy there. But anyway, it’s yeah, it’s really interesting how it makes you think differently about certain things throughout your recovery.
Bill Gasiamis 55:52
Yeah, I would say to you, I’ll tell you a bit of my insight on why I am where I am. And it’s got a lot to do with what I was doing before the stroke. And because I was angry, and an ill-guided I was ill-guided by myself, I was that at least I was at least getting counseling. So I had been in counseling since the age of about 25.
Bill Gasiamis 56:17
We lost a very loved one, a dear brother-in-law of mine, who was in his 30s when he passed away, and I was, yeah, thanks, man. It’s good. Now, I mean, it was five years. I was five years younger than him. And it was the first person that I had known and truly loved that passed away.
Bill Gasiamis 56:38
And it was so hard, devastating. And I went through this process of going, I need to get some help for this because I don’t know what it means. It’s, I’m going to how to deal with it. So what I was doing was going to counseling, and by the time I got to the age of 37, I’d been in counseling for eight years.
Bill Gasiamis 56:58
And I’d go sometimes monthly, sometimes I wouldn’t go for six months, and but every time I went, I think what it enabled me to do was overcome some of those things that had been haunting me from my early years to my say, the 25th year of my life. And then it was like, I was then just dealing with life events as they were occurring.
Bill Gasiamis 57:21
And I wasn’t dealing with a compilation of things that I’ve never dealt with. So as I got to stroke 37 I was kind of like, ready, I was ready to Alright, what’s next? What is this thing? How am I going to overcome it.
Emotional recovery is the most important recovery
Bill Gasiamis 57:37
And I think the emotional recovery for me was the one that was the most important, I see it now I didn’t see it, then it was the one that was the most important because that allowed me to at least have some relief in my head, which said, if you do die, at least you make good with the family.
Bill Gasiamis 57:56
And that takes a burden off my shoulders, and then I feel lighter. And then I can focus because I’m not in it. My energy is not getting drained by my emotional state and my emotional challenges, then I can focus on physical and mental recovery. And the mental one is the talking one. So so I’ll separate the mental recovery from the emotional recovery.
Bill Gasiamis 58:20
So the emotional recovery was I go there, and I speak about what feels painful, what feels in my heart painful. What I’m doing when I’m doing mental recovery, I’m talking through my thinking process to see if my thinking is supporting me, or if it’s not supporting me. And then I’m replacing thinking patterns that don’t support me with new thinking patterns that do support me.
Bill Gasiamis 58:52
Okay, so I would always ask I’ll tell you what the question that I would ask, the question would be does this serve me? And that was it. That question changed my life because I would get to the point of being in the car, for example, and the guy in front of me cut me off, but we didn’t have a collision because he saw me I remember I saw we stopped no one had a collision.
Bill Gasiamis 59:28
And then I would oh, what getting angry that’s not going to achieve anything that’s not going to serve me what will serve me acknowledging the guy made a mistake. He acknowledged that I know that he made a mistake and he said so. And then all we did was move on. So does it serve me really made me think deeply about my behavior and am I getting myself wound up for no reason?
Bill Gasiamis 59:53
And then can I move on and let it go? So that changed my thinking. That emotional one was The family one, that relationships, when it’s about relationships, emotional stuff, it’s about forgiving the past, people who have harmed you, people who have done the wrong thing inadvertently, I forgave my parents were just being themselves, I forgave them in a way, which was like they did the best they could with the resources that they had available to them.
Bill Gasiamis 1:00:23
I mean, they were hard, the educated, they left Greece with nothing, they came to Australia with nothing. They made a career, they made a life, they made a family, they made all these things. And it’s like, with nothing, they achieved all of that. And I’m in Australia, and I’ve got everything.
Bill Gasiamis 1:00:41
And I reckon that it’s too hard to have a life. And I’m complaining about that. So I forgave my, my parents, for, for what I used to, it’s not true, but I used to sort of make it like, I got the wrong parents, you know, what a terrible thing to say about your parents that you got the wrong parents, they taught me in the best way they could.
Bill Gasiamis 1:01:06
And as a result of that, I happen to be living in born in Australia, one of the best countries in the world to live in. I mean, you know, so there’s that. So I separated the emotional part. And the mental part, understood that they are different, but they both serve me. And I’ve, if I ever come them both, if I deal with them both, they’re both served me really well to move forward with our baggage.
Bill Gasiamis 1:01:30
So that I can really focus on my physical recovery because that’s where the biggest challenge for me lies. Now, my biggest challenge is my physical recovery. And it’s kind of got to the point where now it’s maintaining what I’ve recovered, and not losing it. And not going backward as I age.
Bill Gasiamis 1:01:51
And as my brain goes through the normal aging process, whereas, as it ages, you know, people lose some function, and they lose whatever they lose as their brain ages. So my aim now is to just keep my brain in the most optimum condition, I can possibly keep it right. So if people have never, some people don’t grasp the concept of emotional recovery, they can’t sort of separate it or isolated it and see it as a thing.
Bill Gasiamis 1:02:19
Because they have barriers built up around their heart. And if somebody who’s listened to this past podcast, or watching it has ever said, I am never going to let another person treat me like that again, or harm me again, there’s a good chance that they’ve created a wall and a barrier, they did it at a time, which was really difficult.
Bill Gasiamis 1:02:42
And they’ll protect their heart and themselves from future pain and suffering. But then, when they have grown up and continued with life, they’ve forgotten that they’ve said that and to pull the barrier down, and to open their heart again, and to let people in. And I was creating kind of little barriers.
Bill Gasiamis 1:02:59
And I was really the kind of guy who wore my heart on my sleeve, really emotional, really getting upset at the drop of a hat. And everybody thought that everyone had it in for me, thought that everybody was, you know, laughing about me and teasing me and doing all this kind of stuff.
Bill Gasiamis 1:03:16
And it was just not true. It maybe did happen in the schoolyard when I was seven or eight or nine in one particular lunchtime. And I realized that I was still behaving like a school kid at the age of bloody 37. And the people who I was behaving like that to was the school children that I had in my house. You know, and it’s does that serve me? No. Put it aside.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:03:49
Yeah, I think I think you mentioned a very interesting point there. It’s very brave of you to admit, no, I think the first thing to kind of change is to admit that you were wrong. And I think many people don’t do that. And the first thing that you said someone something else got defensive nowhere or trying to do this. And, you know, I think I used to work for Amazon for nine years.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:04:19
And we live day in and day out with leadership principles, and one of them was vocally self-critical. And I think we get ranked on a number of leadership principles. And I think, something we need, we might need more of is people to go you know what, I’m wrong.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:04:37
I was wrong, and I’m going to change it. But the easiest thing and I think you articulated it really well here, the easiest thing is to say it’s not my fault, it’s my parents, it’s not my fault, it’s this, it’s not my fault it’s my stroke, it’s not my fault it’s this.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:04:56
And the more you do with this, the more it becomes a habit And it’s really hard to change habits. So for you at the age of 37, for whatever reason, this was the stroke of something else, and you’ve managed to change the mindset was like, that was bullshit, I need to change things.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:05:14
And now talking about it four, five years later. I think he’s a great example of how you should change. I don’t necessarily, I cannot say I’m on that stage yet. I still cannot decouple the physical part from my mental and emotional parts.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:05:35
And I need to get over that. Because every day I think about it, and I just get really sad about it. And I think I need to become more of what you are saying is nothing’s going to change the oil and gas division back, it’s never going to happen. You can adapt. So just live it and stick up. Do you know?
The power of apology
Bill Gasiamis 1:05:57
Yeah, I’m going to inspire you now. Right. So this guy, before I inspire, I’m going to tell you one of the best results that I ever had was with my brother, my brother and I, he’s older than me, cat and dog, completely different personality we fight all the time before, right?
Bill Gasiamis 1:06:14
And were having an argument, my parent’s house had dinner, he was completely wrong. And we never discussed it again since that day and the day after, but I’ll tell you that day, I left the house and for the first time ever, he never said goodbye to me. And my mom was going your brother’s leaving.
Bill Gasiamis 1:06:37
For God’s sake, say goodbye to him he never said goodbye to me. I won’t tell you what he said. The next day, I rang him up and apologized. I have no idea what I apologized for now he probably won’t listen to this episode. So I’m not going to tell him he’s not going to know the trick that I use to make things better.
Bill Gasiamis 1:06:57
I just rang up and apologized for no reason. And I just said I’m sorry. That’s it. And I said it, I don’t know how many times I said it. And I said sorry, I think I haven’t told him. I think I might have told him I was wrong, but not in those words. That brought down his barriers, that made him feel listened to, that made him feel like I acknowledged his state of mind at the time or his emotional state at the time.
Bill Gasiamis 1:07:27
And it just brought us together, that one conversation brought us together from then on. And he’s not a different guy. He’s the same guy. But we have a different way that we deal with each other now. And I think he got a lot out of what you said. Me, investing the time to acknowledge him at that hard stage that he was going through whatever it was, and he never told me.
Bill Gasiamis 1:07:53
So I had the best result ever just by apologizing to somebody for no reason that I didn’t need to apologize. But I felt like it was the best course of action. Right? And it was, it was a great result. And my brother is an awesome guy. He’s just my brother and we’re always gonna disagree on stuff.
Bill Gasiamis 1:08:13
And then to inspire you. So there’s a guy called Paul Bach-y-Rita he’s a scientist. And he’s passed away now. And he was born in the probably 1950s or earlier 19. I actually probably earlier probably in the 1930s. And he was a scientist and he was researching Neuroplasticity. And he was trying to understand how Neuroplasticity works because his father had a stroke.
Bill Gasiamis 1:08:39
And they wanted to help him recover. Now, the science of Neuroplasticity goes back to the early 1700s. Like, it’s really old. But of course, back then they didn’t have the technology to actually show neuroplastic change happening in the brain. So what they would do is they would put out these theories, and they were all based on theories.
Bill Gasiamis 1:09:01
And they’re all based on rat models. So showing changes in the brain of a rat, who was trained to do certain tasks and a rat who wasn’t trained. But it was inconclusive because nobody could definitively say that. We saw that as a result of those exercises. And we observed that happening on an MRI scanner or whatever.
Bill Gasiamis 1:09:22
And all that neuro Neuroplasticity sort of work. It wasn’t called that it was called something different. But it all kinda kept a bit pushed aside, getting pushed aside, pushed aside pushed aside in the early 1900s. In the early 1800s.
Bill Gasiamis 1:09:38
There were a whole bunch of studies done in Neuroplasticity, and again, it was pushed aside until about the 50s and 60s, it started to get taken more seriously because there was more evidence to prove Neuroplasticity and the people who were saying it, were able to create better a better case for the fact that it actually existed.
Bill Gasiamis 1:09:59
And it was hard Putting in the brain changes. And it was the adult brain that they were arguing about, they felt that once the adult brain got it got to a certain stage, it became fixed, and then it never. And then it never went, was able to change. And that’s why doctors used to say, after somebody had a stroke, well, they’ll, they’ll never walk again. And then people would never walk again, improve the doctors, right?
Bill Gasiamis 1:10:25
And then this guy pulled back. Paul Bach Y Rita comes along, and he’s a scientist. And he, he says, I know, we’re going to take care of dad, because dad has had a stroke, and we’re going to help him recover. And his dad made an amazing recovery. And the work that Paul did with his dad then evolved into this device that made blind people see.
Bill Gasiamis 1:10:47
But not with new apps, not with new eyes, and new retinas and all that kind of stuff with the skin. Right? Yeah, you’re looking at me strangely. And it’s like, if he’s, he had this device, and it was like a cap. But in front of the cap, there was a big band. And on that band, there was a whole bunch of pins.
Bill Gasiamis 1:11:08
And they weren’t sharp pins, the little pins, and they were blunt, and as the senses picked up an object, say it was a basketball in the front of this person, the senses would respond to the skin and press the circle of the basketball in a very, in a very rough form back then it would press the basketball onto his forehead. And he would then be able to get that signal converted in his head, and he would be able to say that’s a basketball.
Bill Gasiamis 1:11:47
And this person who was completely blind, just no vision at all black, both eyes, he was like, got him to the point where with training, he was able to pick up that basketball and shoot it into a bin, a rubbish bin that was further ahead in the room, and he would get it in there. And then he would be able to see playing cards that had, you know, the ace of spades on there, and the hearts and all that kind of stuff.
Bill Gasiamis 1:12:13
And he’d be able to recognize them. That technology has led to the next device that pulls back your reader created, which is with a lady I’ve interviewed Cheryl Schultz, who was the first person that was able to replace her last center of balance. So in her head, all the crystals and all the stuff that caused balance, she lost it all. And she was able to replace that with her tongue.
Bill Gasiamis 1:12:45
And what they did is they put a device that when she moved forward, zapped her tongue forward when she moved back, except the back when she moved left, except that left, and when she moved, right, except that right. So the tongue started to recognize that when the movements happen back forward, right center.
Bill Gasiamis 1:13:02
The tongue started to recognize that she was moving and leaning and therefore to correct. So perhaps this inspirational story is for people who go through this and Paul Bach-y-Rita never experienced the deficit like you experience other stroke survivors experience. He just did it out of curiosity.
Bill Gasiamis 1:13:28
He just wanted to see if it was possible. But maybe this is to inspire people to feel hopeful about the fact that technology and thinking in a different way and having this new way of experiencing your body opens up doors that you’ve never possibly imagined, could be open for you.
Bill Gasiamis 1:13:52
And imagine being the first person to be the model for how to help people regain their balance. And now this was done in the 80s. And in the early 90s, Cheryl’s story starts in the early 90s. These products are now available, you can buy them online, and people are buying them through an organization that was funding and supporting Paul Bach-y-Rita’s work, and that’s a proper product now it’s taken 30 or 40 years, and now they sell it every day to people.
Experiencing the deficits differently
Bill Gasiamis 1:14:27
So my experience with my body feels different because my left side feels completely numb when I’m tired. You know, I lean over a little bit and it feels weird and all that. My experience with that has, I see it as a this is an amazing way for me to notice, another way for my body to exist another state for it to exist. And if both sides felt the same way, I wouldn’t notice the difference.
Bill Gasiamis 1:15:01
But because both sides feel different, I noticed the difference. And then there are some days where I don’t notice the difference at all, even though it is different. And they’re the days that get me interested. It’s like, oh, how come I didn’t notice it today? And then I noticed that and then and then it’s over.
Bill Gasiamis 1:15:18
And then I go back there. Perhaps there is a piece of technology that you or somebody else, whoever, who has this experience with a vision on one side, can develop that deals with peripheral vision loss, and then can support people like you to go into, to feel comfortable about going into a supermarket and walking down the road.
Bill Gasiamis 1:15:41
And doing all the things that you need to do without feeling conscious about I can’t see that side. Michael Merzenich, another guy who was interviewed worked on research projects that were as a result of pullback, the Raiders work and these other pioneers developed, the first cochlear implant part of the team that helped to develop the first cochlear implant, which would not work, he told me, it would not work if it wasn’t for Neuroplasticity.
Bill Gasiamis 1:16:09
He goes, it’s a piece of technology, it doesn’t actually do anything. The brain is what makes the technology successful is what makes it work. And then he’s able with that research and a whole bunch of other guys in Australia and around the world that were able to give hearing back to people who had lost their hearing, by rerouting it and going through the back of the skull.
Bill Gasiamis 1:16:32
And sending the waves to a part of the brain that picks them up and translates them into language into sound. So it’s like right now you’re in the thick of it, you’re coming to terms with it, you’re getting used to your new self, you’re getting you’re overcoming your, your emotional and your mental challenges in your physical challenges.
Bill Gasiamis 1:16:56
And then one day you’re going to arrive, you definitely are going to arrive to that stage, which goes I’m alright with this. Or how can I improve this? Or what can I do better? Or how can I help other people? And it’s like, that’s how all these other people started. And I’m gonna say it again, and I said it a few episodes ago.
Bill Gasiamis 1:17:18
The perfect person for me to put up there as our new kind of idol to idolize. And not that I idolize anybody. But he’s like, is Stephen Hawking, the physicist who couldn’t do anything who had no movement, no nothing. And he was the best physicist in the world-renowned, with every award that you could possibly have. And it’s like, why can’t we be the best in the world at what we choose to do, even though we have these deficits, we’re not?
Sherif Aboutouk 1:17:53
I 100% agree with what you’re saying, as really interested in what you mentioned about technology because it was the new device that I saw on the news a couple of days ago, that literally sticks on your stomach. And if someone has Parkinson’s and it turns it on, he’s always shaking, as soon as they’re not he stops or he can walk, he can have a cup of tea. He’s, it’s amazing how technology works.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:18:19
Nowadays, and I’m hoping one day, I mean, no ideas in my eyes, as you know, a five I see my ICS but that grain that translates the message doesn’t really picture whatever is happening on the right side. And I think the Stephen Hawking example, it’s quite an interesting one. I sometimes Secretly, I don’t know if you’ve ever done that. Think about what sort of disability it was I wanted to have, instead of what you’ve got.
Bill Gasiamis 1:18:56
You’re an interesting guy, you tell me.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:18:58
I’ve definitely done that. I’ve told you that. I mean, like, you know what, I would have much rather be in a wheelchair than not see with my eye. A number of reasons for it. It’s because you can stimulate the muscles. I’ve seen many people that were not able to walk after you know your example of this as well that you know, and I’ve never seen someone or heard that someone got the vision back.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:19:28
Now, there is there’s a neurologist and then there’s a neuro-ophthalmologist. So there are very few of them. And they normally work privately. There’s one person Professor left that works and then he just refuses to do everything. privately. I had a really interesting chat with him a year after the stroke.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:19:50
And he can articulate in a very good way. He said vision is sometimes to be argued as an illusion. What is vision why Do you need your vision, your vision isn’t coming back. But the function, or what you need your vision for is going to improve. And they gave you give me an example is like you play tennis.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:20:12
Compare yourself to when you first-time play tennis after your vision loss from missing every single ball to now, nothing has changed physically but the adaptation of your body, he said that you move your eyes a number of times a second, you don’t realize that. So what you start getting good at is your eye movement.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:20:34
And another reason why I think sometimes this kind of leads to the emotional bit. No one knows I have a stroke. No one can tell I have a stroke. And I think some people are shy in a way of asking how it is and how you are. And I totally understand if you’re born with a disability, you just don’t want to mention it every time.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:20:55
But if someone was born, abled, and that became a disability, it’s actually when people asked me, How is it I find it personally, very comforting to talk about it. Because I’m living in this world. I live and work full-time. And you know, I’m you know, just living my life and don’t talk about it in my head every single day.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:21:17
And I think sometimes having a visible disability, you get this conversation going. But when you don’t you never talk about it, you see what I mean? You just you know, Oh, I’m glad you You’re great. Oh, no, not great. Fucking, I can’t see I have long-term fatigue. Short-term memory, I get numbness every time I sleep.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:21:43
A lot of things happen to people internally. And I think people always focus on the external part. And I think, you know, it’s, you know, how, what you go through. So, you know, I’m hoping that my function gets better.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:22:01
My brother always says, I don’t think Elon Musk has this new neurologist company that is basically going to inject sorts and kind of stem cells, whatever it is, and make you kind of, if you have any disability related to the brain, it’s fixed. And, you know, fingers crossed, let’s see how it turns out to be you know.
Ischemic stroke is an invisible disability
Bill Gasiamis 1:22:22
I like that distinction that you made about, if your disability is not visible, you actually miss out on a lot of the opportunity to talk about it, and therefore help heal. That’s something that I’d missed for a while. And that might explain why I have a podcast because I needed to talk about it.
Bill Gasiamis 1:22:45
But nobody knew that I needed to talk about it, because it didn’t look like I had anything wrong with me. And the podcast is exactly that. Exactly what that is, it’s making up for the fact that in public, or in private life, or wherever, people don’t know what I need to talk about. And they’re not equipped to hear me talk about it anyway. So the opportunity to talk about it was not there. And I needed to find a way and I think that’s what the podcast is.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:23:19
Yeah. And also it can it can fire out that other way because you only want to talk to someone who’s actually interested in talking about it. So you’re not going to bring it up if he hasn’t brought it up.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:23:30
So it’s kind of the, you know, sort of, and you know, people become a bit polite and want to ask about it and stuff. And you know, I think it’s a personal preference, I myself find it. Very therapeutic to talk about it. Because if I don’t talk about it, you just close it in a black box that’s going to explode at some point. And I don’t want that. So I think it’s important to talk about it.
Bill Gasiamis 1:23:54
You know, what’s interesting, some shark survivors have come on the podcast, they’ll say, you know, it’s been 10 years, and I’ve never spoken to anyone about it. And I’m why did you wait to come on my podcast for 10 years to speak about it? And they were like, Oh, I don’t know just got on with life and that type of thing.
Bill Gasiamis 1:24:10
And it was really interesting that some people don’t need to talk about it, like I do. They deal with it differently. And that’s cool. I mean, it’s properly cool and I was so excited that the first person they spoke to about it was me and the rest of the world. It’s like okay, you waited 10 years and you really talked about it you know how your mum and family manage it all? How do they deal with it and cope with it?
Sherif Aboutouk 1:24:40
My mom is my kind of hero really like she’s always been especially after the stroke. I spent 10 days in Majorca with my mom Aunt and my late uncle, and then I spent five, six weeks here in London with my mom. And it brought me very close to, and it just made me realize how, you know, kind and obviously, she’s always been but just kind of getting this, when you need it is very different than getting it when you don’t need it.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:27:08
You know, when mom says you gotta finish your play, eat this, you haven’t eaten Sharif La La live under the training, it’s just a chore for you. But when you’re actually seeking that sort of kindness, it just brought me a lot closer to my mom. My dad is in a slight denial mode. Like he doesn’t get it.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:27:08
He got Oh, you’re fine. Now it’s okay, you moved on. And I see where he’s coming from. But sometimes it could be slightly. You know, I just need the people close to me to know how hard I’m going through it, and how challenging it is. But, you know, it’s I’m very grateful to have them both.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:27:08
And to have that support from them that will support they continue to give me I’m very close to my brother as well. He lives in Dubai, and I speak to them almost every day. And I think it’s, again, bringing back the whole idea of investment. And, you know, one, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen it, so I don’t have tick tock, I have YouTube shorts, which is the same thing. It’s like 10 Seconds, and there’s this guy that goes up to people in the States, and be like, Oh, hey, I’m very sorry. I’m really hungry.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:27:08
And I do have a $1 spare dollar bill here and half $1. And then he blessed them with $1,000 and whatever. And what’s really interesting about this is that most people that give him the dollar are people that are actually in need of the dollar. And then you see other people that oh, sorry, man of God, you know, I’m getting these things to my stepsister’s birthday.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:27:13
So I don’t have $1. So are some of you I worked so hard to read? And I think I’m citing this, this example just shows you. Kindness comes from all over the world. And it comes from different people. But I think for me, the kindest soul I’ve had, after the stroke was my mom, she’s been very comforting for me. And I’m very blessed to have her.
Bill Gasiamis 1:27:32
I love what you said about that example because what that comes from is it comes from people who are in need and know what it’s like when somebody who is in need comes up to them. And then they go, Okay, I know, you need a buck, I’ve got a buck. No worries, I’m happy to hand it over.
Bill Gasiamis 1:27:49
Because it’s not about the money. It’s about just resolving the need for that person, whatever their need is at that moment, right? And your dad’s approach. I feel like people like that it’s more about them than it is about you. So he’s, he cannot imagine his son being unwell. He does not want to contemplate that.
Bill Gasiamis 1:28:11
He only wants to live in a world where his sons are perfectly healthy, and everyone’s well. So if he tells you enough, it’s real. It’s true, and maybe you’ll get well and you’ll be well and therefore his worst fears are not going to come true. You know, and it’s pretty cool. Like, it’s fair enough as well. You know, you totally get that.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:28:35
Yeah, I mean, I love my Dad to bits, it’s just, it’s a very different dynamic to what I have. My mom is also a dentist, she has like some way of understanding the medical profession and understands, been with me to all the doctors and so on. And it was actually quite interesting because when I came to Charing Cross Hospital, they put me in the stroke ward.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:29:00
And I was in room 4B right? So I was spending a couple of nights in this ward with four other people two of them that were just screaming all night because they’re trying to speak and they can’t speak. And one of them was like really, really in a bad state.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:29:16
But what I was doing is that I have these curtains I will do my little cave and I’ll just sit in my cave and kind of thing and then two days later they came and they said kind of I don’t understand. I think it was a bit of bullshit really your COVID test came back negative. So you can go to the other room.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:29:38
All right, cool. So get to the other room. And then I started kind of putting my bag and you know, the curtains and the nurse comes in and said oh, sorry, we have two critical cases here. So you cannot draw the curtains. I said all right, fine. So I sat there, the bed next to me there was a visitor that I heard on the phone.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:30:02
She was like, oh, so and so you know, he’s much better last night, he only had five seizures. And I listen, I heard this. And I just went to the nurse and I said, Hey, can I leave? She was like, Oh, you’re not in prison. You just need to self-discharge yourself. Yeah, sure, I’ll do that.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:30:19
So when I signed the self-discharge paper, my mum came and heard about it. And she started she’s, like, shouted at me, when she’s like, the nurse says, he’s 35 years old. She said I don’t care. For me. He’s a baby, he cannot leave the hospital. And then literally, I left on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, I still have it now I can feel my heart rate palpitations all over my body.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:30:51
So that was so severe. So I talked to my mom, I think I’m getting another stroke. And I took a cab and went to A and E, and they put me again, through the same stroke, and I went back and they go, oh, you should have listened to your mom there. I told you not to leave.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:31:06
So it just shows you how kind of parents no matter how old you are. They’re just gonna treat you as a child. And you know, it was very interesting. So bit of a funny story that because I went back and I felt so like, nurses, like oh, I told you not to leave, I was like, yeah I’m back.
Bill Gasiamis 1:31:24
And then you felt like you used to feel like when you were 5,15, 25, every time that your mum pulled rank on you and put you in line, you felt the same thing. And you should have listened exactly. I get it, I get it, it doesn’t change, you’re always going to be your mom’s baby. And it’s not going to change age is not relevant in that in that equation, in that situation.
The lessons Sherif Aboutouk learned from stroke
Bill Gasiamis 1:31:52
I realize that we’ve been talking for about an hour and a half, and you’re in a time zone, which means that it’s definitely after midnight there. So we should get to wrapping this up. But before we do, I’ve got a couple of questions I want to ask you. And maybe we’ve already alluded to it. But I’m wondering if you could shed some light on what stroke has taught you.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:32:19
Life is short, and builds relationships. Look after your body because it’s the machine. These are the three things that I can now talk about. And we are gifted with many things that you don’t really appreciate it being grateful for until they’re taken away.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:32:46
And then a smaller example if you use a nail clipper and you over your cut your nails, you nail yourself like in so much agony, and like you’re in a bad mood La La La imagined people that don’t even have a leg, you know what I mean? Like, I think it just becomes makes you so grateful for what you’ve got.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:33:09
And because you’re always going to die, you are going to die. And I think, you know, living with a disability sometimes is worse than dying. Because when you die, you die, right? It’s worse for your family and the close ones that you don’t want to go through when you die. Right. That’s it. So I think, you know, people go, Oh, you could have died. I mean, it could have been it would have been here.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:33:31
So I wouldn’t have felt it. But I think it’s it’s, it’s Yeah if I summarize, it builds relationships, be aware of your health and your body. And now I’ve got one, but relationship be aware of yourself, you really be grateful for what you have and be grateful for what you’ve got exactly, whatever, small or big. And we’re all kind of motivated by a lot of things out there.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:34:02
And the media and you know if you know, I can’t remember the statistics, but if you know if you’ve got a roof over your head, and you know you can afford your dinner, you’re one of the top X percentage of the world.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:34:15
I think we live in a world where we think everyone’s you know, need to have Ferraris and have massive cars and bla bla bla and I think you kind of miss the little things that actually matter in life. You know, you get people that are super rich, and they would do anything to get their health back would do anything to kind of get their parents or their children back have lost and so be grateful to what you got.
Bill Gasiamis 1:34:40
I love it. And this is a question that seems similar, but it’s actually very different. What do you want to tell other stroke survivors that might be going through something similar to what you’re going through right now?
Sherif Aboutouk 1:34:58
It’s a journey that never ends. And if you had a stroke, and you don’t have a disability, be very grateful for it and look after your health and, you know, kind of, you know, if you had a disability and you kind of really upset about it like I am, think about what you what did you need that that part of that became disabled for and you will adapt whatever this is.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:35:38
If you need your legs to walk around, you can be on a chair, and walk around like, try and strip it back to the function of the kind of thing that you use. So, you know, if I lost half of my vision, then I need to work on moving my eyes more to adapt for it, don’t chase getting the vision back, especially I’m talking about vision swap got, don’t chase that, get it back, but what you’re gonna get is the function, what you’re going to use your vision for.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:36:14
I think the psychological and the mental part is just, I don’t think I’m in its place now that I can comfortably give five other people because I’m still going through the journey. But I think listening to other people’s stories on your podcast, or whatever kind of another platform they might be interested in, is the best way to get it at least to have been to at least some of the best six or seven best neurologists in the UK.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:36:48
Private on NHS, do the same thing. And they tell you the same thing. There’s a protocol for exactly what they do, but no one has had a stroke. So no one can explain to you what’s going to happen. So be optimistic, don’t give up because it’s not going to help anyone.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:37:06
And I just understand, you know, people, it’s quite interesting when people kind of with cancer survivors of stroke survivors, and people look at them and tell them all you’ve been so strong, is not strong, is there’s nothing else you can do, what is he going to do? Sit at home and cry, he’s actually not strong at all.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:37:25
You know, it’s really kind of you to call me strong. But I mean, I have two options here. Either to dwell on the past and blame la la land, just play the victim part, or to just deal with it, and try and, you know, get over it, adapt, and you’ll get there. Again, I’m still on the journey, I’m hoping one day, I’ll get there.
Bill Gasiamis 1:37:50
I love that. You’re not strong, you’re just getting on with life. And that appears a strength. And that is a strength. It definitely is. But it’s not what you’re going after. It’s you’re not attempting to be strong. You’re just getting on with life. And that is a strength in your character, in your approach to life in how you want to live your life, and they’re very different things, try to be strong, seems like a burden seems like it’s hard.
Bill Gasiamis 1:38:24
You know, I’m going to be strong, I’m going to tough it out. That’s a very different type of approach to going about life and continuing life. And just getting through whatever you’ve been through.
Bill Gasiamis 1:38:41
And being prepared to overcome all the challenges and the barriers and the obstacles that come in your way, you just got to continue moving on with life and that strength. But it’s such a different version of it. It’s not. It’s not the one where you tense up and push through. It’s the one where you flow through. And that’s a really lovely strength mate.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:39:04
And if you want to give an example to this, it’s like if life is a chip that you playing blackjack, you’ve got one chip, and that’s life only got life once and you get served. So bad cards, you’re not going to fall die.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:39:20
You’re going to bluff as much as you can to win or whatever you got to do. Like, you know it’s your life. It’s one so you know, I think it’s evil played bad cars deal with it deal with the cars you’ve got now and not try to ask for the dealer to send you this other set of cars because he’s not.
Bill Gasiamis 1:39:40
I love it. And on that note, mate. Thank you for being on the podcast.
Sherif Aboutouk 1:39:44
Thanks a lot and continue the great work you’re doing Bill it’s definitely helping me and I’m you know I’m sure it’s helping other people as well. Very, very happy to be on your podcast. mate thanks.
Bill Gasiamis 1:39:55
Thanks for joining us on today’s episode to learn more about my guests include Including their links to their social media and other pages, and to download a full transcript of the entire interview, please go to recoveryafterstroke.com/episodes.
Bill Gasiamis 1:40:10
If you’d like to try the course five foods to Avoid after Stroke, go to recoveryafterstroke.com/courses and get on board now. If you would like to support this podcast, the best way to do is to leave a five-star review and a few words about what the show means to you on iTunes and Spotify.
Bill Gasiamis 1:40:28
If you’re watching on YouTube, comment below the video that’s really important because any comments or likes will make a massive difference to the way YouTube puts the video in front of other stroke survivors who may need this content. Like this episode and to get notifications of future episodes, subscribe to the show on the platform of your choice. If you are a stroke survivor with a story to share about your experience.
Bill Gasiamis 1:40:58
Come and join me on the show. The interviews are not scripted, you do not have to plan for them. All you need to do is be a stroke survivor or care for someone who is a stroke survivor. Go to recoveryafterstroke.com/contact fill out the contact form and as soon as I receive your request. I will respond with more details on how you can choose a time over Zoom that works for you and me to meet. Thanks again for being here and listening. I truly appreciate you see you on the next episode.
Importantly, we present many podcasts designed to give you an insight and understanding into the experiences of other individuals. The opinions and treatment protocols discussed during any podcast are the individual’s own experience and we do not necessarily share the same opinion nor do we recommend any treatment protocol discussed.
All content on this website 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.
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