Saturday, April 28, 2012

Saturdays News - Caregiving

(SSTattler: first YouTube comes from Christopher Reeve Foundation.  I modified the text below says "stroke" as well.  Good YouTube.)


Caregiving is not a role people usually choose. It seems to choose us, emerging from events and circumstances beyond our control. Stroke, spinal cord injury, debilitation or sudden illness may come without warning.

This is a job that cannot be skirted and cannot always be delegated. It can be difficult, physically and emotionally. It can be time-consuming. While caring for loved ones can be enormously satisfying, there are days, it seems, that offer little reward.

Caregivers, the men and women who care for family members and loved ones, deserve to be recognized and supported for the vital part they play in the lives of people with stroke or paralysis.

Caregivers may work in isolation from others in similar circumstances but they share much in common. It is important that caregivers connect with each other, to gain strength and to know that they are not alone.

It is essential that caregivers know about tools -- the homecare products and services -- that might make their jobs easier. It's also important that caregivers are aware of community and public resources that offer assistance.

Caregivers also need to know that support and respite systems exist to address the well-being and health of caregivers themselves.

See as well:

Caregiver Rick for Stroke Survivor Isabel

(SSTattler: Rick Griffith formally has a job with TV Reporter and now he is a caregiver. See YouTube an example Jack Palance (had a stroke) Meets With Reporter Rick Griffith)

Why do I do it? In addition to I want to do it, I don't want to regret not doing it at the end. In sickness and in health", good line. As a sole caregiver for someone who is not easy to please I am cognizant of the pitfalls of co-dependency. By no means do I do everything for my wife as she struggles to recover from a major stroke at age 44 on September 1, 2007. She's a fighter, that's for sure. 

She made her escape from Cuba in 1991 in a small inflatable life raft; she was one of five adults in that tiny craft. Fives days and nights in rough seas with sharks constantly present, the U.S. Coast Guard picked them up half way between Florida and Cuba. She sought and was granted political asylum and became a Naturalized U.S. Citizen. Miss Leyva started her life in "the land of the free" in Las Vegas. This highly intelligent, well educated 29-year-old woman first made a living cleaning toilets at Caesar's Palace Hotel. When her collge transcripts were finally obtained and verified she became a teacher. Fluent in Russian, she was a perfect fit to teach Russian in the Clark County, Nevada School District. 

A major stroke at age 44 tried to leave her in a wheel chair; she refused: today she can walk. It tried to silence her: now she can speak roughly. Starving one half of her left hemisphere of oxygen, it tried to divorce her from her beloved novels in English, Spanish, and Russian: Her major language center is gone yet, she's cracking the reading code ever so slowly. She has been an out-patient at Scripps Memorial Hospital Stroke Recovery Center in Encinitas, California, since 2007. The stroke hit like a sunami on September 1, 2007; she was only 44. It happened at home following the first week of school at Oceanside High School where she taught Spanish since 1999.

She struggles to speak. Nothing at first, vast improvement to date and always building. Husband Rick Griffith is the sole caregiver. Since Isabel's stroke left her unable to speak, write, or read, communication is very difficult. We are a family with a mom and a dad, four lovable little doggies (three are adopted), two adopted kitties, two birds, and a pond full of goldfish.

Isabel and husband Richard celebrated their second wedding anniversary while Isabel was in the hospital following her stroke. Rick is a former TV news reporter whose new career is that of sole caregiver. He's a Contributing Writer for The Stroke When he can find someone to sit with Isabel he works as a free-lance cameraman and on camera spokesman, as well as writing, editing, and voice-over work from home when possible.

Isabel and Richard live in Oceanside, California, San Diego County, California, U.S.A.

Now living on California State Teachers Disability Retirement life is challenging to say the least. Richard created a Video Blog, hoping to attract a corporate sponsor. At this writing, New York based and are sponsoring Miss Leyva.

Stroke Survivor Leaves Home Alone for Caregiver

Saturday Comics - April 28th / 2012

For Better and For Worse
by Lynn Johnston / 2006-11-09
"...nothing's changed"
by Scott Adams / 2012-04-26
"She can't hear you!"  

by Jim Davis / 2012-04-24
"The computer has a virus!"

by Brian Crane / 2012-04-16
"Everyone's got problems,..."

* For Better and For Worse" is a serious topic of stroke but with a very nice cartoons. It is all about Grandpa Jim had a stroke and 88 further cartoon "strips" that happened to Grandpa Jim. (See as well 
 the author Lynn Johnston).

** I tried to get low or free price at the people for the images for the cartoons. It was too high for Stroke Survivors Tattler i.e. we are not a regular newspaper and our budget is very low. Fortunately, you will have to do only 1-click more to see the cartoon image, it is legit and it is free using and

Eclectic Stuff - April 28th / 2012

Definition: Eclectic (noun) a person who derives ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources.

Eclectic: Jackie - The Family ( Dinner Party! )

Eclectic - Jackie
To all of us with kids or grandchildren -
Can't you just see this happening!

A friend hosted a dinner party for family far and wide and everyone was encouraged to bring all their children as well.

All during the sit-down dinner one four-year-old girl stared at the uncle sitting across from her.

The girl could hardly eat her food for staring.

The uncle checked his tie, felt his face for food, patted his hair in place but nothing stopped her from staring at him.

He tried his best to just ignore her but finally it was too much for him.

He finally asked her ..........  "Why are you staring at me?"

Everyone at the table had noticed her behavior and the table went quiet for her response.

The little girl said:
"I just want to see how you drink like a fish."

Eclectic: Monty - Young Maria to Lady Gaga

Eclectic - Monty
A birthday dedication to none other than Lady Gaga, the person who got me here today. A perpetual thanks to you, Ms. Gaga! I love you and happy birthday girrl! Love, Maria :) See Maria Official Site.

(There is many version  of Maria's YouTube video.  
This version has nearly 2 millions viewings).

Eclectic: Rebecca - Shopping Is Supposed to Be Fun

See the original Blog: Home After a Stroke by Rebecca Dutton

About Me
Eclectic - Rebecca
I am an occupational therapist (OT) who specialized in stroke rehab.  I continued my education by having a stroke in 2004 that paralyzed my dominant right side.  Being an OT helped me deal with gaps in traditional treatment, from bed mobility to getting on an airplane.  Problem solving never ends because I walk with a brace and cane, have impaired balance, regained only partial use of my hemiplegic hand, have slurred speech when I'm tired, and have trouble finding the right words when I'm stressed.

Read the full article About Me.

There is a nice article on April 25th, 2021:

Shopping Is Supposed to Be Fun
Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Mercury line up every 50 to 100 years.  This rare celestial event will happen before I go digging through my purse one-handed.  Digging through a purse is aggravating even when you have two hands.  Organizing my purse eliminates lots of frustration when I go shopping.  Every woman organizes her purse differently so this is not a how-to post.  The examples are intended to make stroke survivors aware of how much irritation a purse can create.  Shopping is supposed to be fun.
Having a purse that aggravates me is a buzz kill.

My car key has its own compartment.  It's attached to a wrist coil that makes it easy to retrieve quickly.  My house key is attached to a straight flexible coil that snaps onto my purse.  When I pull on this coil my house key slips out of its assigned pocket.  I don't want to be an easy target because I'm digging through my purse looking for a key.  A big compartment in my purse is a bottomless pit.  A small black bag keeps objects I rarely use out of the way. ......

Read the full article Shopping Is Supposed to Be Fun.

Eclectic: Randy - Six Facts About Guinness

(From VueWeekly)
Something's fishy
As with the production of many types of beer, Guinness brewing involves using isinglass from fish. The substance, which is obtained from dried swim bladders of fish, is a form of collagen used as a fining agent to settle out suspended matter in the vat. The substance is retained in the floor of the vat, but it's possible that small quantities could be carried over into the beer.

No false advertising here
Guinness's marketing slogan, "Guinness is Good for You" may be more than a clever pitch. Studies have shown it can be beneficial for the heart and the antioxidant compounds, which are similar to those in certain fruits and vegetables, are responsible for health benefits. This is due to the fact that they slow down the deposit of harmful cholesterol on the artery walls. As if you needed another excuse to drink up.

Don't try this in Canada

Saturday News Articles - April 28th / 2012

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Enabling More Patient-Initiated, Active Movement

Dr. Avi Nativ:

    While doing his doctoral and post-doctoral research work in Kinesiology (the science of human movement) at the University of Waterloo, Dr. Nativ's focus was on brain organization, plasticity and rehabilitation. He was intrigued with scientific research findings that indicated the remarkable capacity of the brain to adapt after injury, and envisioned how such plastic changes could be encouraged through inventive ways of enabling more patient-initiated, active movement rather than the more conventional passive therapy approaches.

Research confirms that to regain function after stroke, rehabilitation therapy needs to be functional, intensive, and that the person needs to be mentally engaged in the activity. Range of motion  exercises or passive exercises, where the therapist moves the body part for you may keep your range of motion, but most likely it won’t  help you to regain functional use.

Dr. Nativ has focused on providing evidence based therapy — making therapy:
  • fun so people are mentally engaged,
  • functional – doing real activities like walking, playing soccer, ...,
  • intensive – doing a lot of the planned therapeutic activity.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

“I Need Information”

When stroke survivors and their families are asked what they need immediately after a stroke,  a few months after they are discharged from hospital, and even many years post stroke, the majority will answer — “I need more information.”  In Thora Hafsteinsdottir’s recently published (2011) review of studies asking stroke survivors and their families what  information  they needed — they found:

  • Stroke patients and caregivers reported many and diverse educational needs, 
  • Stroke patients and caregivers information needs often were not met. 

Stroke survivors and families want information that is pertinent to their situation and about :

  1. all aspects of stroke , causes, prevention, clinical knowledge about stroke,
  2. stroke treatment and rehabilitation,
  3. living with stroke at home  and in the community — moving and lifting, nutrition, psychological changes, exercises. 

Why should information be so important to stroke survivors and their families? 

Constraint Therapy for Aphasia

Recently the same constraint therapy principles (Taub) have been applied to aphasia rehabilitation.  In speech therapy:
  1. Constraint means talking and avoiding compensatory strategies like writing, drawing, or gesturing,
  2. Forced use is talking, and,
  3. Massed practice is 2–6 hours per day of individual and group intensive therapy.  

The aphasia treatment and activities don’t differ much from traditional treatment approaches but they are intensive.  There are several places that offer this intensive therapy:


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Saturdays News - One Handed Typing

One Handed Typing Options.
There are a lot of options out there for typing with one hand. I suggest trying them all and seeing what works best for you.   Here are my recommendations in order of usefulness:

1.  Try out the Dvorak with one-handed layout either "regular" or "mini".
2.  Teach yourself to type on a standard keyboard with one hand.
3.   Get a good voice recognition program like "Dragon Naturally Speaking".
4.   Buy a specific one handed keyboard (expensive - not covered in this article).

Specialized Keyboard Using the Mini Left-hand Dvorak

  • I love the Frogpad-Dvorak when I used the desktop.
  • When I use a laptop I will re-configured to regular keyboard to Left-hand Dvorak.
    • Ask SSTattler to re-configured your regular keyboard - it is very simple.

Demonstrate to the US Navy the benefits speed and accuracy of the DVORAK keyboard layout. Today the layout is in every computer which uses Microsoft Windows, Apple, and Linux, It is standardized as ANSI X3.207 and endorsed in the standard by US defense departments and many other Government Organizations. Tips using the Dvorak keyboard.

One Hand Typing and Keyboard, Type With One Hand, One Handed Keyboards
A demo of how to type and use a computer with one hand. I use the normal keyboard, and as you see, I do very well. I do not feel one handed keyboards are a good option for the one hand typist.

Dragon Naturally Speaking
We rely on our computers more and more every day, whether we’re creating documents and reports, surfing the Web or catching up on email. But it’s not always easy to complete everything you need to do on your PC. Now there’s a faster and easier way to interact with your PC. Just say words and watch them appear on your computer screen. Tell Dragon what you want your computer to do, and Dragon will execute the task: "Open Microsoft Word," "Set font size to 18," or "Minimize all windows." You can even use voice commands to edit and format your text, search the web or send email.

See Dragon Naturally Speaking.

Comments by SSTattler:
  • +'ve: I use Dragon to dictate a long article or a long e-mail (approximately 1/2 page or more).  It is much faster than typing i.e. my typing rate about 80wpm (before my stroke) but Dragon today I can dictate about 120wpm to 200wpm  - normal talking-rate is about 220wpm.
  • -'ve: I talk to the computer -- weird at least!  
  • Nice definition Words per minute by Wikipedia.

The award-winning online typing competition, TypeRacer, allows people to race each-other by typing quotes from books, movies, and songs. It is the first multiplayer typing game on the web. Free for the individual person.  It is used by lots of high-schools and it can be used one-hand typing as well.

Saturday Comics - April 21st / 2012

For Better and For Worse
by Lynn Johnston / 2006-11-08
" our little exercise at home"
by Scott Adams / 2012-04-20
"Can you hack into our..."  

by Jim Davis / 2012-04-18
"Watch my horse."

by Brian Crane / 2012-04-15
"That was mine!"

* For Better and For Worse" is a serious topic of stroke but with a very nice cartoons. It is all about Grandpa Jim had a stroke and 88 further cartoon "strips" that happened to Grandpa Jim. (See as well 
 the author Lynn Johnston).

** I tried to get low or free price at the people for the images for the cartoons. It was too high for Stroke Survivors Tattler i.e. we are not a regular newspaper and our budget is very low. Fortunately, you will have to do only 1-click more to see the cartoon image, it is legit and it is free using and

Eclectic Stuff - April 21st / 2012

Definition: Eclectic (noun) a person who derives ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources.

Eclectic: Jackie - Five Riddles

Eclectic - Jackie
These Are Some Of The Best  Riddles I Have Seen...

They sharpen those genes in your brain and stall Alzheimer's for years!!  They get progressively more difficult.

Five Riddles is amazing and the answers are at the bottom.

1. A murderer is condemned to death. He has to choose between three rooms. The first is full of raging fires, the second is full of assassins with loaded guns, and the third is full of lions that haven't eaten in 3 years. Which room is safest for him?

2. A woman shoots her husband. Then she holds him under water for over 5 minutes. Finally, she hangs him. But 5 minutes later they both go out together and enjoy a wonderful dinner together. How can this be?

3. What is black when you buy it, red when you use it, and gray when you throw it away ?

4. Can you name three consecutive days without using the words Wednesday, Friday, or Sunday?

5. This is an unusual paragraph.  I'm curious as to just how quickly you can find out what is so unusual about it.  It looks so ordinary and plain that you would think nothing was wrong with it.  In fact, nothing is wrong with it! It is highly unusual though.  Study it and think about it, but you still may not find anything odd.  But if you work at it a bit, you might find out. Try to do so without any coaching!

The Answers To All Five The Riddles Are Below:

Eclectic: Randy - Abbott and Costello goes Hi-Tech

Eclectic - Randy

You have to be old enough to remember Abbott and Costello,  and not too old to REALLY understand computers, to fully appreciate this.  For those of us who sometimes get flustered by our computers, please read on ...

If Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were alive today, their famous sketch, "Who's on First?" might have turned out  something like this:

Abbott: Super Duper Computer Store.  Can I  help you?
Costello: Thanks, I'm setting up an office in my den and I'm thinking about buying a computer.

Eclectic: Shari Bookstaff - Teaching Again

Eclectic - Shari Bookstaff Blog
This semester, my focus shifted dramatically from marine mammal science to brain science. My Dean had asked me if I thought this topic would be too personal. Too personal? I walked funny, I talked funny and I smiled funny. My abnormalities and weaknesses were already exposed. My most intimate problems were plastered across my face. I liked the notion that I could use my experiences to better prepare my students for their future. Even though I had lived through it, I had to study brain anatomy quite a bit to be able to teach this course. Since I couldn’t even name the four lobes of the brain, I had to study the basics.

Read the full article Teaching Again…

See as well:

Eclectic: The Education of Stephanie Spooner

Early on the evening of her 21st birthday, Stephanie Spooner decided to squeeze in a workout before meeting friends at a pub.

The Ottawa-born Spooner was a dedicated athlete: a competitive ringette player who also enjoyed volleyball, hockey, curling and rugby. Sports were a central part of her life. Her dream was to become a sports medicine doctor and to work with the Ottawa Senators.

By 2005, she was well on her way to that goal, earning top marks as a second-year kinesiology student at the University of Waterloo. She loved the hubbub of university life. Her idea of a problem then was an assignment that didn’t return an ‘A.’

Spooner’s 21st birthday, however, would prove a sharp demarcation point.

Read the full article: The Education of Stephanie Spooner.
(From the Ottawa Citizen)

In June, when Stephanie Spooner accepts her master’s degree from the University of Ottawa, it will mark a major milestone in her recovery from a near-fatal stroke.
Photograph by: photo courtesy of family

Saturday News Articles - April 21st / 2012

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Stroke Survivor’s Story Of Struggle And Success!

Hello, my name is Cathy Jenkins.  I am 59 yrs old and I live near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the U. S.  When I was 50 yrs and 10 months old, I suffered a massive ischemic stroke.  I was a special education teacher and I worked with mostly autistic and developmentally delayed students in grades kindergarten through 4th grade.  It was an extremely stressful job.  On Tuesday afternoon, March 23, 2004, I came home from work.  I was starving and had just scarfed down a donut on my drive home from work.  As I walked in the back door of my house, I grabbed the mail.  I read an invitation to a wedding coming up in June, so I immediately attempted to write the date in our datebook on the kitchen counter.  As I did this, I began to speak to my husband who was in the adjoining family room.  I leaned on the counter and raised my left leg to rest it on a stool.  As I spoke to him, David said he couldn’t understand what I was saying.  So I turned to face him and realized I couldn’t move my left leg back down to the floor.  As I stuttered and stumbled, I remember thinking, “must be a blood sugar fluctuation from that darn donut.”  I crashed to the floor, still talking (gibberish)our family dog, scurried away from me frightened by something about my strange behavior.

Group Support - Cathy’s Story.

Cathy’s story speaks to the value of peer support and gaining knowledge from peers. There are many face-to-face and online support groups.

The group that Cathy belongs to is Yahoo Groups ( Stroke Survivors International. Family members or care partners may want to consider strokecaregiverssupport also at Yahoo Groups.

Is Online Support and Information You Receive Online Credible?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Great Walks, Runs Or Bikes

Randy points out that there are some other great walks, runs or bikes that we can support.

What about supporting (click for more info):

1.  Monty’s cause — Edmonton Spring Sprint 2012 and the distances would work for all
     Date: Saturday, June 2, 2012
     Location: Hawrelak Park, Picnic Shelter
                     9930 Groat Road,
                     Edmonton, AB
     Registration: 9am
     Start: 10:45am Distances: 2.5km or 5km walk / fun run

2. The Moose is Loose - 10k run & walk, Half Marathon
    Sunday July 22nd, 7:00am.
    Location: Emily Murphy Park
                    11094 Emily Murphy Park Road

3.  Team Diabetes —Run or Walk
   5Km, 10 Km, half marathon, full marathon
   August 18th and 19th
   Location: Edmonton EXPO Centre
                   Hall H
                  7515 - 118 Avenue
                  Edmonton, AB

4. Veterans — Run for the Brave
    1, 5, and 10 km,
    Date: Saturday August 25, 2012
    Location: Namao Centre Running Room
                    9610 165 Avenue
                    Edmonton, AB

Monday, April 16, 2012

Dean's (Reinke) Stroke Musings - Statins

(SSTattler: Copying Dean's Reinke comments in  Saturdays News - April 14th / 2012
I added bit of relevant text.  Look at Dean's Stroke Musing - great site).

Dean's Stroke Musing
The risks: All these should be told you by your doctor.

Do Statins Make It Tough to Exercise?
For years, physicians and scientists have been aware that statins, the most widely prescribed drugs in the world, can cause muscle aches and fatigue in some patients. What many people don’t know is that these side effects are especially pronounced in people who exercise.

To learn more about the effect statins have on exercising muscles, scientists in Strasbourg, France, recently gave the cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor to a group of rats for two weeks, while a separate control group was not medicated. Some of the rats from both groups ran on little treadmills until they were exhausted.

Read the full article Do Statins Make It Tough to Exercise?

Cholesterol meds raise diabetes risk in women: US study.
Post-menopausal women who take medication to lower their cholesterol face a higher risk of getting diabetes than women who do not take the popular drugs, known as statins, said a US study on Monday.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Saturdays News - Crestor vs. Lipitor: Cholesterol Busters

     Crestor and Lipitor are two medications that have shown tremendous promise in the treatment of excessive cholesterol, and they both belong to the same category of medications. While both essentially perform the same functions and produce similar side effects, they each have their own relative strengths and weaknesses. Have a read through this comparison article and find out what they are.

Crestor and Lipitor both belong to the category of drugs known as statins. Such medications work by blocking the enzyme that controls the rate at which cholesterol is produced, HMG-CoA reductase.  Crestor and Lipitor therefore cause the liver to produce less cholesterol than it normally would. The key difference is that Crestor can generally be taken without any regard to dietary restrictions, while Lipitor has been shown to interact unfavorably with grapefruit juice. Some studies have suggested that Crestor may be more effective than Lipitor in cholesterol reduction, but the results remain inconclusive at the time of this writing.  Read the full article Crestor vs. Lipitor: Cholesterol Busters

Crestor Commercial

Lipitor Commercial

Lipitor (Atorvastatin Calcium)
     A pharmacist explains how Lipitor works, why doctors prescribe this cholesterol medication, and common side effects of the drug.

Questions About Lipitor?
 Atorvastatin, sold by Pfizer under the trade name Lipitor, is a member of the drug class known as statins, used for lowering blood cholesterol. It also stabilizes plaque and prevents strokes through anti-inflammatory and other mechanisms. Like all statins, atorvastatin works by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase, an enzyme found in liver tissue that plays a key role in production of cholesterol in the body.

Atorvastatin was first synthesized in 1985 by Bruce Roth while working at Parke-Davis Warner-Lambert Company (now Pfizer). With 2008 sales of US$12.4 billion, Lipitor was the top-selling branded pharmaceutical in the world. US patent protection is scheduled to expire in June 2011. However, Pfizer made an agreement with Ranbaxy Laboratories to delay the generic launch in the US until November 2011.

Crestor for Normal Cholesterol?
A U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel's recommendation that some adults with no prior heart problems should take the cholesterol-busting statin Crestor appears to have pitted cardiologists against many primary care physicians over the best use of the popular drug.

At stake in the debate is the health of millions of Americans who, if the recommendation is followed by the FDA, could soon find themselves urged by their doctors to take the drug.

"If the FDA accepts this recommendation, it will expand the number of Americans eligible for statin therapy by millions," said Dr. Steven Nissen, chair of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic.

See the full article FDA Panel Recommendation on Crestor Spurs Debate.
As well see Crestor for Normal Cholesterol?

Crestor The Jupiter Study
 JUPITER: Randomized Clinical Trial, double blinded, placebo controlled. 1315 sties in 26 countries. To see if cardiovascular naïve people with high hsCRP will have less CV events on Crestor.

Saturday Comics - April 14th / 2012

For Better and For Worse
by Lynn Johnston / 2006-11-07
"... learn to speak again"
by Scott Adams / 2012-04-13
"... ridiculousness ... I'm out."  

by Jim Davis / 2012-04-10
"Jon is deep in thought"

by Brian Crane / 2012-04-13
"zombie gnawing your foot off"

* For Better and For Worse" is a serious topic of stroke but with a very nice cartoons. It is all about Grandpa Jim had a stroke and 88 further cartoon "strips" that happened to Grandpa Jim. (See as well
 the author Lynn Johnston).

** I tried to get low or free price at the people for the images for the cartoons. It was too high for Stroke Survivors Tattler i.e. we are not a regular newspaper and our budget is very low. Fortunately, you will have to do only 1-click more to see the cartoon image, it is legit and it is free using and

Saturday News Articles - April 14th / 2012

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Walk a Mile in My Shoes

How often have someone said to you—“I understand exactly what you are going through”?

In an article on employment for people with disabilities, I came on this vignette that I thought was quite appropriate.
I've Not Changed 
"As a rehabilitation and employment counsellor for people with disabilities, I thought I understood how much pain and suffering my clients with disabilities had to face. That was until I lost my sight. I now understand firsthand how my world as a person with a disability more often than not means that social and professional interactions become an excuse to exclude me. I was once considered an expert and leader in my profession but that went away after losing my sight. Now my personal and professional identity and even my faculties are continually being questioned. I have not changed, but the world around me certainly has by the way it responds and reacts to me. I have simply been reassigned to the margins of society by people who feel more comfortable with keeping people with disabilities out of sight, out of mind, and out of work." 
See more:   Canadian Association of Professionals with Disabilities.

Did you understand what living with stroke disability would be like before you had a stroke?  Do you feel like you have been assigned to the margins of society?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Spring 2012 - Stroke Connection

The Spring 2012 - Stroke Connection (Quarterly)  made by American Stroke Association.  Very nice magazine published every quarter and they have great articles including:
  • Artful Recovery
  • Warning Signs in Survivors
  • The Power of Neuroplasticity
  •  Talking with Kids about Stroke
  • Life at the Curb
Click to open the Magazine -->

Minerva Senior Series at Grant MacEwan University

City Centre Campus (CCC), Room 9-323
Robbins Health Learning Centre, 109 Street & 104 Avenue, Edmonton
Time: 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Fee: $20 plus $1.00 GST each

Current Series Synopsis are:
  • April 25 - Apartment Gardening
  • April 30 - Hoarding
  •   May  7 - Armchair Travel: Jana’s Travels 
  •   May 14 - Titanic
  •   May 28 - Osteoporosis and You
  •  June  4 - Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke
  •  June 11 - Armchair Travel: China
  •  June 18 - Herbs for Seniors
Look at Minerva Senior Studies Institute - Learning for a lifetime! for more details.
Look at as well Minerva Senior Courses and Minerva Senior Walk-About Series.

(Thanks for Randy Bell who supplied the info.)

Lamplighter Program

Lamplighter Program recruits and trains community partners to watch for seniors who are at risk in the community.  Community partners, who are employees or volunteers with various organizations, are taught signs they should watch for to identify when a senior may require help.  One call to Community Care Access links community partners to a 24 hour service that can assess the situation and link the senior to appropriate services or programs.

For training contact - Community Care Access at 780-496-1300.

Contact Alberta Health Services - Lamplighter or at 780-496-8088.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Saturdays News - Cognitive Therapy + Exercise

Cognitive Therapy + Exercise Relieves Stroke Fatigue

       The persistent fatigue that can linger for months and even years following a stroke currently has no treatment.

A new study suggest a combination of talk therapy and exercise might help. Researchers in the Netherlands recruited 83 stroke patients suffering from chronic fatigue and assigned them to one of two groups: one group underwent 12 weeks of cognitive therapy that was conducted in small groups; the other group underwent cognitive therapy plus exercise training.

At the end of the 12 weeks, 58% of the participants in the cognitive therapy plus exercise group experienced a "clinically relevant" improvement in fatigue, compared to only 24% in the group that received just cognitive therapy.

Once again, exercise to the rescue. Frankly it only makes sense that the benefit of exercising in reawakening and invigorating the mind and body can help many people no matter what their condition.

Peter Langhorne: Post Stroke Complications
Keywords: Depression, anxiety, emotionalism, fatigue, pain, musculoskeletal pain, shoulder pain, spasticity, central post stroke pain.

(SSTattler: It takes about 15 minutes by Dr. Langhorne.  It is worth it if you have "fatigue").

Minimally Invasive Maze Procedure Prevents Stroke
       Bruce MacDonald, an avid cyclist, learned after his stroke that his fatigue, shortness of breath and increased heart medication doses were all symptoms of atrial fibrillation. To prevent another stroke, Bruce underwent the minimally invasive Maze procedure at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's Cardiovascular Institute in Boston.