Get your stroke recovery questions answered. The host of the recovery after stroke podcast answers questions from other stroke survivors about the ongoing challenges after a stroke.
03:53 How Can We Continue To Improve?
10:32 How Do I Stay Motivated?
12:36 Fatigue And Emotional Recovery
22:14 The Burning Sensation In The Head Post-Stroke
27:18 Steps To Improve Your Deficits
31:50 How Long Neuro-Recovery Takes?
Bill Gasiamis 0:00
If you want to improve your emotional recovery after stroke, you have to go to where the pain and suffering is. You have to go to your heart, you have to understand what is causing pain and suffering there. And you have to face it and tackle it. And only when you face it and tackle it, can you take control of it and reduce its effectiveness on keeping you stuck emotionally.
This is the recovery after stroke podcast with Bill Gasiamis, helping you navigate recovery after a stroke.
Bill Gasiamis 0:39
Hello, and welcome to episode 225. And part two of the solo episode I recorded for Episode 224, where I answered stroke survivor’s questions. Now if you haven’t listened to Episode 224, go and check it out and listen to that. Because there’s some really cool questions that I had that I responded to.
Bill Gasiamis 1:01
And they were about things like psychological recovery, the emotional recovery after stroke, the fact that recovery doesn’t stop even though you might be a number of years post-stroke. I briefly spoke about and gave my thoughts on long COVID and fatigue caused by COVID and the similarities to stroke recovery and why it doesn’t really matter whether you’ve had a stroke or you have fatigue for a different reason.
Bill Gasiamis 1:32
That the approach to healing and overcoming that is by repairing the gut and supporting the gut. I also spoke about how to keep the motivation going after stroke. And then after the recovery process, which can be difficult and can be you know, long-winded.
Bill Gasiamis 1:52
I spoke about a politician in America John Fetterman, who had a stroke before his political campaign to run for office during the midterm elections, and I spoke about what my thoughts were on what the Trump’s had to say about the fact that John Fetterman had a stroke, and also spoke about confidence drop.
Bill Gasiamis 2:18
So go check that episode out and then listen to this episode because this is the follow-up episode, where I answer the rest of the questions that I didn’t get a chance to answer last episode. Now to learn more about my guests, including their links to their social media and other pages.
Bill Gasiamis 2:38
And to download a full transcript of the entire interview, please go to recoveryafterstroke.com/episodes. If you’d like to support this podcast, the best way to do it is to leave a five-star review, and a few words about what the show means to you on iTunes and Spotify.
Bill Gasiamis 2:53
If you’re watching on YouTube, comment below the video like the episode, and to get notifications of future episodes, subscribe to the show and hit the notifications bell. Now sharing the show with family and friends on social media will make it possible for people who may need this type of content to find it easier.
Bill Gasiamis 3:13
And that might make a massive difference to someone that is on the road to recovery after their own experience with stroke. So, in today’s episode, I’ll be answering more of your questions. And this is a follow-up from the post that I made on my Instagram page, which is @recoveryafterstroke.
Bill Gasiamis 3:31
Come along there. Have a look at the page follow me there. And I’ll give you my thoughts on the rest of the questions that I was asked that I didn’t get a chance to answer last week. Now my good mate Vinny Valentino asked a question, and Vinny was a musician and still is a musician.
Stroke Recovery Questions Answered – How Can We Continue To Improve?
Bill Gasiamis 3:53
But at the time of his stroke, he was playing live shows with his band. And Vinny had a stroke and that compromised his ability to play. And the question he asked was how can we continue to improve when doctors and therapists say you have progressed enough?
Bill Gasiamis 4:22
So Vinny, what they’re actually saying is that you’re progressive enough for them to not make your recovery, their responsibility anymore. You’ve gone down the path of using the resources they were able to allocate to you. And now you’re on your own is what they’re saying.
Bill Gasiamis 4:46
So, if you’re somebody who has been an athlete or you’ve played guitar for many years, you know that training and coaching and recovery from all the things that you go through during your career doesn’t ever stop, if you want to be able to continue to perform at an optimum level during your career as a musician, or as an athlete.
Bill Gasiamis 5:12
You still have to go after the improvements to your form, after the improvements to your understanding and your knowledge about how to get the right tune out if you’re a musician, or if you’re a sports person is how to be a little bit better than your opposition players so that you can be successful.
Bill Gasiamis 5:38
And there is a certain point where your coach says, you know, come to training and do your coaching. And we’ll give you a rough idea of what we expect from you and what to do. But then you have to be self motivated, you can’t rely on somebody else being the center of your ongoing improvement and your ongoing achievements.
Bill Gasiamis 6:03
And you’ve kind of have to be your own advocate for continuing recovery. Now, what I would suggest is that you go out of your way to find a way to not be the person who gets in the way of your own recovery, whether it’s your mindset that you have to work on whether you have to have psychological counseling, because you’ve never really spoken about or discussed the things that come after stroke.
Bill Gasiamis 6:34
Like your mortality, or your the fact that you’ve been incapacitated, whatever it is that you have to do to get out of your own way so that the recovery can continue, you have to start doing and you have to become your own advocate.
Bill Gasiamis 6:49
So the best way for me to encourage people to get on with stroke recovery, without looking like they’re trying is to really nail down the nutrition and to make sure that their gut, and their brain is not being further inflamed by the stuff that we’re putting in.
Bill Gasiamis 7:10
So if you can find a way to decrease inflammation in your brain, you’re going to create the right environment for healing. And when you’re creating the right environment for healing for the longest period of time, or for as long as you possibly can, you’re just creating the right opportunity for any changes any recovery to continue to happen.
Bill Gasiamis 7:36
And I also want to remind you that it’s in, in athletics in high level athletics or sports or playing at a high level, in the music scene, whether you’re an instrumentalist or a vocalist, people work a lifetime to get to the point where they’ve achieved a 1% gain somewhere down the line, because they’ve always put in the effort that’s required to get those 1% gains.
Bill Gasiamis 8:08
And we know that most of us can get to playing guitar reasonably well by doing 80% or 90% of the work. But just like a Formula One car to get that extra one second around the truck, there’s a ton of money that needs to be spent to get that car over the line and make it one second faster.
Bill Gasiamis 8:25
The basic car as it is with the motor, and the aerodynamics, and all the things that go along, to just put that car on the track will make a car reasonably competitive, and it will take it around the track. But the big teams that actually continue to win championships spend a lot of additional time and money, the majority of their resources to get the minimal amount of return like to get that 1%.
Bill Gasiamis 8:51
And that’s what recovery from stroke is like you have to put in a lot of resources, a lot of time and energy to get those incremental improvements. As time goes by now, I have been on my journey for about 10 years. So I’m noticing incremental improvements all the time.
Bill Gasiamis 9:08
And most of the time, I’m doing the right thing, and I’m keeping out of my own way. I’m eating well. I’m not contributing to inflammation. And as a result of that, I’m noticing that I have more good days if you like, then I do bad days. But the bad days are still there.
Bill Gasiamis 9:25
It doesn’t mean that I have had a setback and my recovery isn’t on track. It just means that I’ve had a bad day I have to reassess what I did, how I went about it, whether I got enough sleep or not whether I ate correctly, whether my emotional state was being supported.
Bill Gasiamis 9:42
And from there. I have to just continue looking forward and continue going after the wind. Regardless of whether or not I have a destination that I’m actually going to ever arrive at. I don’t think you’ll ever arrive fully healed after stroke. But I think you can always work towards making those 1% incremental improvements.
Bill Gasiamis 10:05
So that’s my thought, I hope that goes some way to explain how to continue to progress after, you know, your therapists and doctors said that they’ve done enough for you, and then they can’t do anymore. Become your own self-advocate, and get curious about what else you can do to support your stroke, recovery and the healing of your brain.
Stroke Recovery Questions Answered – How Do I Stay Motivated?
Bill Gasiamis 10:32
So I’m not sure if I answered this question previously. But I think the question was, how do I stay motivated? Well, I stay motivated, because it won’t work to be anything else other than motivated. And I’m not actually always motivated, I’m sometimes motivated.
Bill Gasiamis 10:51
And the rest of the time I’m pushing through being unmotivated, I’m pushing through the difficulties of not having motivation, if I wait to be motivated to get things done, or hardly ever get anything done. So I just do things because I need to do them, and I need to get them done.
Bill Gasiamis 11:06
And I don’t wait to be motivated to do things, I just do what’s necessary, the hard part is starting once I’m into the task, but I’m not motivated to do once I’ve spent some time moving forward on that task, I have momentum, and then once the momentum kicks in the motivation is not really necessary.
Bill Gasiamis 11:27
But I am trying to take care of other things like my levels of fatigue. Because if I am fatigued, if I am feeling like I’m having a bad head day, well, then I’m not going to be motivated, I’m not going to be able to achieve what I want to achieve. So therefore, I can park the stuff that I want to do, because I’m not feeling well.
Bill Gasiamis 11:48
And I need to take care of my health, my well-being, and I need to take care of my brain, and I need to rest more, for example. So some days, there are tasks that no matter how many there are and how urgent they are to get done, I just simply cannot get them done. And that’s got nothing to do with my motivation, it’s got to do with the fact that I physically can’t get them done because neurological fatigue gets in the way.
Bill Gasiamis 12:09
And once neurological fatigue gets in the way, there’s no point pushing through that. What I benefit from is resting and then attacking my task when I am in a better condition to do so. So I pick my battles. And if I’m losing the battle, well, I just retreat and go into rest mode.
Stroke Recovery Questions Answered –
Fatigue And Emotional Recovery
Bill Gasiamis 12:36
And then when I’m feeling energized enough, I go after whatever it is, that’s outstanding, but I haven’t done yet. So hopefully that gives you a little bit of insight into how I stay motivated. Now, I had a question as well, that was around fatigue and emotional recovery, I find that when I’m emotionally distraught fatigue in the head actually increases and becomes worse.
Bill Gasiamis 13:00
And if I haven’t dealt with my emotions, because I’ve had an argument with somebody or my wife or my kids or whatever, and I’m still stewing on those negative emotions or that negative interaction, then I can actually get nothing done. It makes my fatigue worse, and it makes my neurological symptoms worse, and it makes my deficits worse.
Bill Gasiamis 13:21
So I do a lot of work to try and improve my emotional state by going and seeing a counselor. I’ve been doing that for decades. And I’ve been doing that more so after my stroke experience. And I feel that when I get to the end of an argument, by apologizing or by explaining myself or by having somebody go through that stage with me so by bringing forward the into an argument or an emotional outburst, what that does is that just gets me moving into feeling better, both about myself and then physically, emotionally and mentally quicker.
Bill Gasiamis 14:05
And then therefore I can get on to just going about my normal life as I prefer to rather than being stuck in negative emotional states. So emotional recovery gets overlooked by physical therapists and doctors because that’s not their job. They don’t understand how to deliver emotional support other than by perhaps being caring and loving and really good at their job.
Bill Gasiamis 14:34
But they don’t know because they’re not skilled and they’re not part of they’re not educated to deliver emotional support. They’re educated to deliver occupational therapy and to get you out of hospital into plug your leaking brain or to you know, to restore blood flow to an ischemic event.
Bill Gasiamis 14:56
So, emotional recovery is something again that you needs to take responsibility for, you need to make it your job to heal yourself and become emotionally more stable, and increase your level of EQ your emotional intelligence. And you can do that by just simply going on and Googling emotional intelligence support emotional intelligence upgrade, what is emotional intelligence, and you can go and do some heart-based work.
Bill Gasiamis 15:32
Because at the heart is where the emotional recovery comes from. Now, if you’re somebody who has been traumatized, or been through a breakup in the past, and you’ve built barriers around your heart, emotional recovery might be a little harder to begin and a little harder to get some traction on. So what do I talk about creating barriers around your heart?
Bill Gasiamis 15:52
Well, if you’ve ever heard somebody, or if you’ve ever said, I’ll never let anyone break my heart, again, that’s a good chance that you’ve created a barrier around your heart, an emotional barrier so that you can avoid pain and suffering.
Bill Gasiamis 16:10
If you want to improve your emotional recovery after stroke, you have to go to where the pain and suffering is, you have to go to your heart, you have to understand what is causing pain and suffering there. And you have to face it and tackle it. And only when you face it and tackle it, can you take control of it and reduce its effectiveness on keeping you stuck emotionally.
Bill Gasiamis 16:34
Only then you’ve got to go there, you got to do the work, do it in a safe place with a coach or a therapist or with somebody that can do some heart work. And then from there, understand whether these emotional traumas that you’ve had, are worth holding on to because they may have been things that happened decades ago, when you were a teenager, or when you know when you went through a difficult breakup with somebody.
Bill Gasiamis 17:01
But if that was such a long time ago, and it’s still impacting your life today, and it’s stopping you from moving forward, and it’s stopping you from your stroke recovery, you really have to deal with it, you really have to go there. And you have to make sure that you face it head on, because that’s how you’re going to slay the beast.
Bill Gasiamis 17:20
If this thing is causing you pain and suffering, it’s contributing to your lack of stroke recovery, it’s contributing to making you remain unwell, there’s got to be more than just the physical recovery after stroke that’s a really good part of it.
Bill Gasiamis 17:39
But I also see stroke recovery has been three-pronged and under these particular three prongs there’s lots of other things that you can put there that fit in this particular categories. But definitely, the physical recovery is number one, it’s the one that gets focused on the most.
Bill Gasiamis 17:54
Emotional recovery gets overlooked, but I think it should be a quick number two, and psychological recovery, how you go about thinking about your stroke and your stroke recovery, how you think about things in general, how you think about life, how you do your thinking processes, and methods, all those things also need to be taken care of.
Bill Gasiamis 18:18
If you’re only doing the physical recovery, you’re missing out on 66% of recovery after stroke. If you’re doing physical recovery, and psychological recovery, then you’re missing out on 33% of your stroke recovery. You’re missing out on the emotional recovery you must do those in conjunction with each other.
Bill Gasiamis 18:44
You cannot do a psychological recovery. I know and I mentioned this, about what psychology actually means and how you define psychology and the origin of the word psychology from the Greek “psyche” which is soul, “psychologia” logic of the of the psyche of the soul. I mentioned that in the last episode, go check that out if you haven’t heard that yet.
Bill Gasiamis 19:15
Or if you need to refresh. If you’re doing only one recovery, say in your head, and you’re not going to your heart or you’re going to your head and you locate your heart, well, then you’re missing out on a big chunk of recovery. Physical recovery is really important. It involves being able to get people back on their feet somehow, whether they’re walking with devices that are supporting them or they’re walking unaided.
Bill Gasiamis 19:41
That’s really important and that’s where the majority of the resources are placed. That does support our emotional and physical recovery. Because if we are becoming mobile again after stroke, that goes some way to offering hope and making us feel better about ourselves. So they do work hand in hand but specific recovery of of the emotional side of stroke is targeted at the heart. And specific recovery of the way we think about stroke is targeted at the head. And you got to do your head, heart and gut support.
Bill Gasiamis 20:16
Your gut is part of your physical body as well, it is linked to your head. And if you avoid putting the right food in, and you’re putting in junk food and sodas and heaps of carbs, you’re going to be getting in the way of your emotional and psychological and your physical recovery. So all these things have to work hand in hand. That’s how I would describe emotional recovery after stroke to somebody.
Bill Gasiamis 20:49
And look, this is not something that you have to completely understand immediately, you can reach out if you want more information on this, but also let it ruminate for a little while, let it sort of sink in and kind of see what pops up in the next few days or in a week from now, about what the emotional and physical recovery after stroke mean.
If you’ve had a stroke, and you’re in recovery, you’ll know what a scary and confusing time it can be, you’re likely to have a lot of questions going through your mind. Like how long will it take to recover? Will I actually recover? What things should I avoid in case I make matters worse? Doctors will explain things that obviously, you’ve never had a stroke before, you probably don’t know what questions to ask.
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.
Stroke Recovery Questions Answered –
The Burning Sensation In The Head Post-Stroke
Bill Gasiamis 22:14
So to you what it means to you. So that’s my thoughts on that. Hopefully, I’m not rambling too much, and you do understand what I’m on about. Now, there was a comment as well. That was the next thing I want to briefly talk about, which is a burning sensation in the head post-stroke.
Bill Gasiamis 22:31
Now, I’m not sure what that means. But if you’re experiencing a burning sensation in the head post stroke, I would encourage you to go and get it checked out. Just in case, there’s something going on that you’re not aware of. If the burning sensation is something that you had checked out, and it’s kind of like a deficit that you’re left with.
Bill Gasiamis 22:48
Then perhaps what you need to do is some work to kind of try and reconcile what’s going on what might be behind it, and how much the burning sensation is interfering with your daily life. If you’re putting a lot of time effort and thought into the burning sensation, you might be contributing to making it worse by creating neural pathways that are noticing it more often.
Bill Gasiamis 23:11
And you can decrease how it impacts you by decreasing the amount of neural pathways that you’re creating about it and coming up with strategies to not think about it. Now, if that’s a medical question, burning sensation in your head post stroke, well, then I’m not answering the question in a medical way.
Bill Gasiamis 23:29
Because I’ve completely no skills to do that. But also, I can’t speculate specifically on what’s going on for you and your head. So I would go and get some advice from the relevant people about that. But they’re just my few thoughts of that. I’ve had people that I’ve coached after stroke, who have had a problem with say, the way their foot feels, and that got in the way of the way they go about thinking about things.
Bill Gasiamis 23:59
So the difference on the foot, the deficit that was left on the foot after their stroke was so obvious to them that they kept noticing it and kept looking at it and kept paying attention to it and kept thinking about it. Now I have a lot of left side deficits.
Bill Gasiamis 24:15
My left side is numb, it is tingly, it’s colder than my right side, it cramps up more than my right side, it makes me feel unbalanced. If I focused on that stuff all the time. Then you could see how easily you could get your brain overwhelmed with noticing the difference between my “good side” and my “stroke side”.
Bill Gasiamis 24:42
And that would really make life difficult. I tend not to focus on my deficits. I do notice them and it’s important to notice them from time to time, especially when I’m tired because I want to make sure that I don’t get too tired and ignore my deficits and then end up falling over. But I try not to create thought loops about the fact that I have these deficits all the time, every single day, I just go about life living with them.
Bill Gasiamis 25:11
And I try to give them thought, or my time and energy only when it’s important, only when it’s going to potentially interfere with my well-being, whether I trip over or whether we need to sit down and rest something along those lines. And this goes into the next question which I was asked, which was how to cope with deficits after having had a stroke, at a young age like 26.
Bill Gasiamis 25:37
Counseling, counseling, counseling, you have to change your identity from the person you were before the stroke. And you have to develop a new identity, to include your old identity, all the things you love to do, that you were passionate about in your life. And you have to go down the path of evolving your identity so that it includes all the past stuff that you appreciated doing, that you loved, and you have to somehow evolve into your new identity, that includes stroke, and your deficits, etc.
Bill Gasiamis 26:16
And, basically, that is a really difficult thing for people to do sometimes, because one minute, they’re “healthy” their body feels normal. And the next minute, they’ve had a stroke, and now everything’s changed. And there could be a transition time where it takes some time for you to get, well I’m not sure if the word’s comfortable but to get accustomed to or to adjust to whatever it is that you’ve experienced after stroke.
Bill Gasiamis 26:48
Specifically, if the majority of your life until now, everything has been “normal”. So if you’ve had a stroke at 26, everything before 26, the majority of your life’s been normal. Now, you’re in this very early stage of things being completely different. And you haven’t had enough time in that stage, to be able to integrate a different way of life, or a different version of life, into your identity.
Steps To Improve Your Deficits
Bill Gasiamis 27:18
And as a result of that, you know, you’re really struggling with deficits. Or perhaps you’re not coping with them emotionally. You see the themes in these questions and conversations always go back to the same thing, you can improve your deficits by taking care of your nutrition, resting more, being well hydrated, you can improve the deficits by doing the emotional work.
Bill Gasiamis 27:46
And you can improve your deficits by doing the psychological work, and they all work hand in hand. They’re all a loop, everything that you put in, impacts your stroke recovery, whether you’re consuming terrible news on the morning show, that shows how many people died around the country. And pretty much nothing else. Whether you’re focusing on politics, or you’re focusing on who won the election or what it means if the party that you didn’t vote for gets in, whether you’re focusing on that stuff.
Bill Gasiamis 28:20
All of these things, what you’re consuming, whether it’s through a visual part of that, like through the TV, through Instagram, through ticktok through all these social medias while you’re consuming in the form of food, what you’re consuming in the form of the people that you hang around with the most, all these things interfere on how well you can cope with the things that stroke has impacted you with.
Bill Gasiamis 28:52
So you need to go back to basics. You need to stop hanging around with people who are not supporting you and your recovery, drama, people that make it about them. You need to find a community of people that will support you in a caring way that’s not about them. You need to change your nutritional intake and get curious about what you should and shouldn’t be consuming after stroke.
Bill Gasiamis 29:24
You need to get emotional support through a counselor or a coach you need to get psychological support again through a counselor or a coach. And you need to perhaps even do some personal development courses, something that’s going to provide you with some new ways to think about things and some new ideas to implement and put in towards your life now that you’ve had this life-altering experience at 26.
Bill Gasiamis 29:52
It is too young. Absolutely and I feel for you. But that being said it’s never good for any Ready to have a stroke at any time. But at 26, you have an opportunity to have some real life-affirming experiences, now that you’ve had this really life-changing experience, so go after it become your own self-advocate, again, go after finding the things that support your coping mechanism.
Bill Gasiamis 30:31
And just get really passionate about being your own urine advocate. Hopefully, again, that gives you an insight. And I’m not babbling on too much. I’m feeling a little bit off myself, I’ve got a little bit of a head cold at the moment. And I’m not in the same headspace that I was in when I recorded the first episode. So you can see that things change, they go up and down.
Bill Gasiamis 31:00
And you’re not always your at best game, and you’re not feeling the best. And even though most people listening might say that, it’s all good. And they’re not noticing me having an off day, I’m feeling it. But it’s not getting in the way of what I’ve got to get done. I’m not waiting to be motivated. I’m not waiting to feel 100% I’m still getting it done.
Bill Gasiamis 31:21
Because this is more important than my head cold at the moment. So yeah, maybe you’ll get a few more apologies for me as the episode continues. But it’s not because I’m feeling terrible about myself or self conscious or anything. It’s just that I’m not feeling my best. But that being said, after this is recorded and uploaded, I will definitely be taking care of myself and resting.
Stroke Recovery Questions Answered –
How Long Neuro-Recovery Takes?
Bill Gasiamis 31:50
So this little next question goes, no one conveyed to me how long neuro recovery will take I had a cerebellar stroke and suffered from ataxia, and balance issues, I still use a wheelchair and maybe I always will. Everyone always talks about making a good functional recovery. But I don’t know what that means. Well, that’s a really interesting thing, you don’t know what that means. Perhaps you need to find what that does mean for you.
Bill Gasiamis 32:22
And then implement some strategies to achieve that good functional recovery for you or to continue to work towards it. Even if you’re not going to achieve it, you must continue to walk to work towards it. And then that person continues to say, I think it’s defined differently by everyone. Absolutely. A good functional recovery is 100% defined differently for everyone.
Bill Gasiamis 32:51
And some people are going to be able to achieve more than others. And it’s got nothing to do with anything other than the fact of where the stroke happened and the particular circumstances of that stroke and the amount of damage that was done to the brain. So you have to define it yourself. And you have to think about it deeply. And you have to redefine it when your definition comes up short, and you have to continue to evolve it so that you know exactly what you’re going after.
Bill Gasiamis 33:19
Now that might take some time and might take years, but come up with some kind of a definition and work towards it. And then when the definition doesn’t fit anymore, adjusted later on down the track. But don’t overthink iit now and overthink that you have to work it out specifically right now. And you have to know exactly what that looks like for you. You don’t you just have to get started, and you have to move towards it.
Bill Gasiamis 33:46
And with a lot of coaching, counseling, talking again, you know, and years and time, and as you grow and evolve and emerge from this, it will mean different things down the track before right now just work out what it means to you and go for it. That person also continues to say at some point, I have brackets or wants to get back into life. It was not communicated to me that recovery would move as fast as tectonic plates.
Bill Gasiamis 34:20
Yeah, it wasn’t communicated to you because these people who deal with us in hospital when they get us home, don’t know that they don’t appreciate that. Because they very rarely have the opportunity to check in with stroke survivors, many years down the track to have a good database of understanding of how long people take to recover. They don’t have that constant communication to their patients down the track.
Bill Gasiamis 34:48
Especially if you’re a physical therapist or an occupational therapist. You see that person until they’re back on their feet and then you get them home and then you’re pretty much done with that person so they wouldn’t know that it takes so long to recover from a stroke. And, anyway, who would they be to say, how would they possibly know because it could be as fast as tectonic plates for you.
Bill Gasiamis 35:14
It could also be for other people faster and quicker. And we can’t give one answer to every stroke survivor, and they won’t be able to all fit into that particular version of recovery. And this is the hard thing about it. And this is why the podcast is so interesting, because every stroke survivor that I’ve interviewed, you know, there’s more than 200 now, I have all had a stroke.
Bill Gasiamis 35:42
But they’ve all had a different version of it, they all have recovered differently, they all have been left with different deficits, they’ve all been able to continue improving their life in different ways. And they’ve all had to accept a lot of things. And some of them have had to accept different things and other people each stroke is like a snowflake, it’s completely different.
Bill Gasiamis 36:07
And we cannot give people accurate information about how stroke recovery will occur. But I do appreciate your frustration with that. Because, yeah, you’re probably looking at five years down the track, and then you’ve gone well, how much longer is this going to take? Well, I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news. And I don’t want you to take this the wrong way. But it’s going to take as long as it takes.
Bill Gasiamis 36:33
And I’ll go back to what I said at the beginning about those athletes, or you know, the Formula One teams, they work forever in try to get an improvement, and it might be decades, it might be years, it might be forever learning and forever trying to grow. And in the space of a lifetime, five years is not that long. And if you’re going to be around, you know, into your 80s, which is the average lifespan of a male and a female in a Western country.
Bill Gasiamis 37:07
If you’re going to be around into the 80s. And you’ve had kind of five years on the sidelines, where things haven’t been right, which is exactly what I went through, I went through at least man, at least about six or seven years, where I was trying to get back to life, I was trying to get back to some kind of regular routine. At the time, it’s hard. And seven years goes by quick and missed out on a lot of life. It’s like a prison sentence, almost, you miss out on a lot of life.
Bill Gasiamis 37:35
But in the space of a lifetime, it’s like and I’ll be a bit crude. And I’ll use this saying that I like to say it’s like pissing in the ocean, it doesn’t really have a major impact in your life overall. So I’m not sure how old you are. I’m not sure how long it’s been.
Bill Gasiamis 37:57
But all I can do is encourage people to no matter what it is that they’re going through, continue the good fight and continue working towards improving their situation and continue to not be the person that gets in the way of your own recovery by doing some personal development by by getting some counseling, some support by surrounding yourself with the right people.
Bill Gasiamis 38:24
You know, by doing some amazing things for other people, actually, you’ll find that you get a lot of benefits when you actually go about doing things for other people supporting them in their stroke recovery, I find myself getting a lot of emotional support and emotional benefits from the work that I do with the podcast. And as a result of that, it’s kind of how I don’t need motivation it just kind of loops.
Bill Gasiamis 38:54
This positive loop of doing things for other people gives me a lot of good stuff back. It’s helped me discover my purpose. And it helps me to get curious about all the things that I can continue to do one thing at a time to support myself in my stroke recovery. It sounds like I might do a lot but I haven’t done a lot. What I’ve done is small things over a long period of time, and they all add up.
Bill Gasiamis 39:27
And I haven’t had a lot of energy at the beginning of my journey to do a lot of these things. I’ve had more energy at the later part of my journey to do all the things that I’m doing. So I’m just making the most of it when I can. And I just want you to be calm. It’d be great if you could be compassionate to yourself and feel like not only are you the person who’s responsible for your recovery and not getting in the way of your recovery.
Bill Gasiamis 40:04
That you’re also your best friend, and that you don’t give yourself a hard time for not having achieved, supposedly, all the things that you had to have achieved by now. And to not put deadlines on yourself and to not talk negatively about yourself to yourself, to not call yourself, you know, stupid or useless, or any of those things, because I mean, let’s face it, you wouldn’t do that to one of your best friends, you wouldn’t give them any feedback that makes them feel bad.
Bill Gasiamis 40:45
So I would encourage you to not give yourself feedback that makes you feel bad. And, also to pay attention to your wins to all the little wins and to celebrate them and to make sure that people know that you’ve had a little win. Even if it’s the fact that you know you did an extra step or two steps or 10 steps in your regular walk is to just celebrate the wins and brag about them and let people do because the more you celebrate your wins, the more you’ll be looking for all the positives that have come out of this rather than just the negatives.
Bill Gasiamis 41:17
Because let’s face it, stroke can have an endless supply of negatives. But it is also positive to have possible to have a lot of positives out of this terrible experience that you’ve been through. You know, you could also be setting an amazing example for your family and friends, about how how to go about recovery and how to chase getting better and how to chase getting back to work, and how to chase getting back into life, you know, you can be a great example to other people just by going about your stroke recovery in a different way, in a way that’s more supportive and more positive and more affirming.
Bill Gasiamis 41:56
So I hope that this particular episode has given you something to think about. And I hope that you’ll tune in, if you haven’t already listened to the previous episode 224, you’ll tune in and have a listen to that. And I hope that you’ll get something out of this, that’s going to start to make your brain think in a different way, and go down a path you’ve never been down before and get curious about what might be down that path.
Bill Gasiamis 42:23
And I hope that you can feel comfortable to get the support that you need to overcome your emotional challenges and your emotional problems and to overcome your psychological problems or challenges. And to understand that they all work hand in hand. And you can’t achieve a full stroke recovery without taking care of all those things, and recruiting people to help you take care of the things that you do not yet have the skills to take care of.
Bill Gasiamis 43:07
Because you’ve never been in a situation where you’ve had a stroke before. And this is all new territory. So you’ve got a lot of learning to do. So hopefully, you’ve enjoyed this episode. And I really appreciate you for asking the questions, and helping me create content that’s relevant to you. If you are a stroke survivor with a story to share about your experience, come and join me on the show.
Bill Gasiamis 43:37
Reach out via the website recoveryafterstroke.com/contact. There’s a contact form there that you could fill out and you can request to be on the show. You only have to be a stroke survivor or help somebody who’s a stroke survivor or be a family member of a stroke survivor to qualify.
Bill Gasiamis 43:57
The interviews are not scripted, you do not have to plan for them. All you need to do is turn up. If you reach out to me, I’ll send you some details so we can create a meeting and we can meet over Zoom and I really look forward to your feedback on this episode. Thanks again for being here and listening. I really appreciate you and see you on the next episode.
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