Saturday, December 28, 2013

Saturday News


Def'n: Cerebral Angiography

SSTattler: We will show on Wikipedia Angiography and Cerebral Angiography.  See more information about Computed Tomography Angiography, Magnetic Resonance Angiography, and Digital Subtraction Angiography on Wikipedia.

Angiography From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Angiogram showing a transverse  projection of 
the vertebrobasilar  and posterior cerebral circulation.
Angiography or arteriography is a medical imaging technique used to visualize the inside, or lumen, of blood vessels and organs of the body, with particular interest in the arteries, veins and the heart chambers. This is traditionally done by injecting a radio-opaque contrast agent into the blood vessel and imaging using X-ray based techniques such as fluoroscopy.

The word itself comes from the Greek words angeion, "vessel", and graphein, "to write" or "record". The film or image of the blood vessels is called an angiograph, or more commonly, an angiogram. Though the word itself can describe both an arteriogram and a venogram, in its everyday usage, the terms angiogram and arteriogram are often used synonymously, whereas the term venogram is used more precisely.

The term angiography is strictly defined as based on projectional radiography; however, the term has been applied to newer vascular imaging techniques such as CT angiography and MR angiography. The term isotope angiography has also been used, although this more correctly is referred to as isotope perfusion scanning.

Video: Cerebral Angiography

Diagnostic Cerebral Angiography 

Published on Oct 10, 2012

A comprehensive iPad application developed and shown to our patients before their angiograms. The video describes diagnostic cerebral angiography as performed in Interventional Neuroradiology.

Standard YouTube License @ JohnsHopkinsMedicine 

Saturday Comics

For Better and For Worse
Lynn Johnston - 2013/12/25

"POW! KA-BLAM!! Whaddaya think of the neat gun..."
Scott Adams - 2013/12/27

"I hired an engineer from Google. He is so smart..."

Jim Davis - 2013/12/23

"The hog has bronchitis..."

Delainey & Rasmussen - 2013/12/27

"Good crop of presents..."

** 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
*** Changed from "Pickles" to "Betty" -- "Betty" is a excellent cartoon and Gary Delainey & Gerry Rasmussen are authors/artists/cartoon-strips and they live in Edmonton.

Eclectic Stuff

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

Early CT Angiography Identifies Recurrent Stroke Risk

Dean Reinke
Deans' Stroke Musing
Monday, February 13, 2012

So ask your doctor for this. Diagnostic Imaging - Early CT Angiography Identifies Recurrent Stroke Risk Use of CT/CT angiography (CTA) as soon as possible in patients presenting with transient ischemic attacks (TIA) or minor stroke predicts risk of recurrent stroke and clinical outcome, according to a study published online in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Although MRIs are frequently used for early assessment, CT scanners are usually more readily available to the emergency department, said the study authors. The median waiting time for diffusion-weighted MRI was 17.5 hours, but for CTA imaging, the wait was only 5.5 hours. In addition, CTA does not take much time, adding only five minutes to the standard CT brain scan.

It is estimated that there is a 10 percent risk of recurrent stroke within 90 days of a patient experiencing a TIA or minor stroke, with the majority recurrent strokes occurring within 48 hours of TIA or mild stroke onset. CTA, which uses contrast media to image the vasculature, can identify large artery disease, allowing physicians to determine risk. “A symptomatic intracranial or extracranial severe arterial stenosis or occlusion was predictive of recurrent stroke,” wrote the authors.

In the study, 491 patients with either TIA or minor stroke underwent CT/CTA within 24 hours of onset and most had subsequent MRI. Results showed there were 36 recurrent strokes, with a median time to the event of one day, and a positive CT/CTA scan was a predictor of recurrent stroke.

The authors concluded, “Adoption of CT/CTA into clinical practice for the assessment of patients with TIA and minor stroke identifies a high risk group suitable for aggressive acute stroke prevention treatment.

See the original article:

No Closing Times for Strokes

Jeff Porter
Stroke of Faith
Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ever been in a hospital over a weekend? Hospitals are famous for making people show up before dawn during weekdays for a medical procedure so they can sit and wait for hours - and virtually shutting down on Saturdays and Sundays.

Now, from England, is a story on how an elderly man was turned away from King’s Mill Hospital because stroke unit shut at 6 p.m.:
  • Elderly stroke victim John Mallalieu was turned away by a Nottinghamshire hospital because it was too late on a Friday afternoon.
  • The ambulance carrying the 89-year-old from Caunton to King’s Mill Hospital in Sutton-in-Ashfield was diverted to City Hospital in Nottingham, where he remains in intensive care.
  • The incident was a timely reminder of the additional problems facing patients who need attention at weekends.

Did this patient choose to have a stroke so close to 6 p.m.? Certainly not.

See the original article:

Tick, Tock Time Runs a Marathon

Jo Murphey
The Murphey Saga
Monday, December 23, 2013

Ever notice when you walk away from something for a bit and the time flies by without a second glance? It runs by like some super fast marathon.

What did I actually accomplish this month. I mean tomorrow is Christmas Eve already and I haven't posted since the 4th. Now looking back absolutely nothing! Well almost nothing. No it doesn't seem like Christmas either. The 70+ temperatures do nothing to enhance it. Even with the lights and decorations up, the Grim Reaper is overshadowing all the merriment sucking it dry.

Have I done anything towards my stroke recovery. Nope just trying to do too many things at once. It's become a dull routine now. I haven't recovered a lick. In fact, I've regressed back into diapers and barely able to walk...more on that in a bit.  It's more to do with having so much to do than actual regression. I've had my own version of locked in syndrome with my husband so ill.  I have no desire or money to go or do anything except play games on the computer. Yes that does help build my mind up some but not the rest of me.

At this point I'm not achieving much in a recovery sense, but just am. The things I'm trying, I'm failing miserably spinning all this nice wool from Buddy. I just can't hold the tension right one handed on the wheel. I tried using the hand held spindle and wound up with a tangled mess. I did achieve some measure of success with knitting one handed. It is s-o-o-o slow tucking one needle up under my bum arm but at least I've got that and I am knitting just what...I dunno. I'm still practicing stitches. Casting on is a real headache.

Creative Commons Attribution License @ Stella Lange

The Orthopedic Card

Peter G. Levine
Stronger After Stroke Blog 
Saturday, December 21, 2013

I'm about sick of what I'm starting to call "movement elitism." The idea is that, unless you move perfectly, you shouldn't move. Because… you'll ingrain "pathological movement patterns." I've railed against this before. And here it goes again...

Curious Person (CP)
Clinical Movement Elitist (CME)

CP: Why should a stroke survivor not move when they're alone?
CME: Because they move wrong.
CP: What will moving wrong do?
CME: Make it so they'll never move right.
CP: So what should the survivor do to practice movement?
CME: Wait until there's a clinician around to tell them how to move.
CP: Won't the survivor run out of money eventually?
CME: It’s worth every penny because bad movement is bad. It will make moving right harder.
CP: Don't we all learn to move by correcting mistakes?
CME: Yes but survivors need guidance.
CP: Couldn't they sit in front of a mirror and model the movement of the "good" side?

Hospital Visit

Jackie Poff
Stroke Survivors Tattler
A 54 year old woman had a heart attack and was taken to the hospital. While on the operating table she had a near death experience.
Seeing God she asked "Is my time up?"  
God said, "No, you have another 43 years, 2 months and 8 days to live." 
Upon recovery, the woman decided to stay in the hospital and have a face-lift, liposuction, breast implants and a tummy tuck.  She even had someone come in and change her hair color and brighten her teeth!  Since she had so much more time to live, she figured she might as well make the most of it.

After her last operation, she was released from the hospital.  While crossing the street on her way home, she was killed by an ambulance.
Arriving in front of God, she demanded, "I thought you said I had another 43 years?  Why didn't you pull me from out of the path of the ambulance?"
(You'll love this)
God replied: "I didn't recognize you!" 
Moral of the story: God loves you the way you are!

The End of an Era

The Pink House On The Corner
Sunday, December 22, 2013

Those of you who know me well, might want to read this post sitting down. Then take care not to fall off your chair.

For others, let me fill you in on some background material.

I, personally, have not owned a television set for nearly 30 years. TV-less by choice, I called it. And I was hard core, a proud member of the 1% of Americans who ban television from their homes--often lending my dog-eared copy of Jerry Mander's book, Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television out to would-be converts. That book delves deeply into the psycho-social effects of television on individuals and society as a whole. The author describes the conscious state a person enters into while watching television as a state of "wakeful dreaming" that is close to hypnotism.  My own personal belief was that TV was not only a big time waster, but a brain numbing addiction, a social isolator and a way to miss out on "real life".

When Bob moved in with me in 1994, he owned a television set. I told him, in no uncertain terms, would I allow it in my apartment. We argued. I think that was our first argument. Then, we compromised. He could be bring the TV if he put it in the closet.

Temporary and Elective Mutism

December 20, 2013

This is an interesting speech disturbance that is seen as a result of many different types of events.  I saw a gentleman this week who had a Stroke that weakened the extremities, but no paralysis.

Upon evaluation I noticed that it would often take him what seemed to be a long time (30-60 seconds) to answer a question.  He did not respond to any kind of questions from a formal screening or evaluative instrument.

I found that to be strange, since there are few if any people I have evaluated who were so mute, so silent!  I then asked him questions about himself.  His name, age, marital status, and he started answering some of them in single words.  I then asked him about his interests.  He then conveyed "travel."  I then ascertained he had a 36' travel trailer and a Ford 250 towing vehicle.  His 5th wheel travel trailer has been at his brothers residence in Louisiana.

Interestingly, getting more sociable or conversational with a client or patient, esp. about topics of interest may get verbal responses, when impersonal, formal measurements may leave a person who is being evaluated or screened, rather cold and non-responsive.  It's always good to break the ice with small talk.  Think about what you like to talk about.  Think about what others are interested in and ask away! You'll be surprised at the  potential for more speaking!  Find out more about helping others speak with clarity, whether you are a therapist, parent, or caregiver and please visit and like us at teachingoftalking (facebook) and our website at

E-mail from Mark A. Ittleman

What a Pain

December 16, 2013

Once again,
Amy e-mail has set me off on a riff … about empathy this time. See this for details: My Cerebellar Stroke Recovery - Empathy-vs-Sympathy.

You know the pain scale in some doctors’ offices - the ones that have a ruler with zero to 10?  Zero means “no pain,” and 10 means “the worst pain possible.” Zero shows a smiling face, while 10 is writhing in pain. My guess is that the goal of having the scale is to quantify pain, as though that’s possible. Give it a number and it’s scientific, right? Or is it to minimize the patient’s pain really – to communicate that it’s bearable? For example, a woman with appendicitis looks at the scale and thinks, “this really isn’t so bad – not like childbirth.”

What does quantification do? Even if it’s quantified, the number is still subjective, an evaluation by the patient. But is my 10 the same as your 10? There’s no way of telling.

Changing Landscapes—My New Normal

Dec 22, 2013

A friend of mine wrote a book that you can buy here.  Her name is Sarah Krenk and she’s a young stroke survivor like me.  She had her stroke a year after I did and she wrote a book, that’s impressive.  So what, you may ask, is different about this story from every other stroke survivor book out there.  Every single book that I’ve read written by a stroke survivor was written years and years after having a stroke.  This book was written in the middle of all the crap.  She never wanted to forget what it was like then and what she felt like so she wrote a book about it!  That’s pretty ambitious of you, Sarah.  :)  She wrote about the care that she received in the hospital and quite frankly it horrified me to my very core.   Unfortunately, I think almost everyone reading this can tell me a story like that.  And cognition was 100% intact the entire time even though of course everyone around her treated her like she was mentally screwed up because of the way she was on the outside.  Sigh.  Another thing about this book that I like is that Sarah is pretty well off and she knows it.  Then this happened.  She was living on easy street and now her life is anything but easy.  She’s surely not taking anything for granted anymore.  A stroke can attack ANYONE, ANY AGE, ANYTIME, ANYWHERE, ANY…..  Strokes don’t discriminate.

See the original article:

Thomas Suarez: A 12-Year-Old App Developer

Published on Oct 24, 2012

Most 12-year-olds love playing videogames -- Thomas Suarez taught himself how to create them. After developing iPhone apps like "Bustin Jeiber," a whack-a-mole game, he is now using his skills to help other kids become developers. (Filmed at TEDxManhattanBeach.)

SSTattler: I want to hire him (younger is better and he is soon to be a CEO!)

Standard YouTube License @ TED

RMR: Rick and Ice Sailing

Uploaded on Jan 13, 2010

Rick braves the frozen Bay of Quinte in Trenton, ON.

SSTattler: Great ice sailing in Ghost Lake near Calgary and it is free!

Standard YouTube License @ The Rick Mercer Report


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Saturday News


The Best of 2013 Stroke Survivors Tattler

Merry Christmas
for the 
Great Guest Bloggers on SSTattler:

      The Best of 2013 Stroke Survivors Tattler 
              - Introduction
              - Best Saturday News with YouTube & Vimeo
              - Best Comics
              - Best Eclectic with Guest Bloggers


Today is near to Christmas and most people like Christmas -- it is a very beautiful holiday.   Christians have Christmas, Jews have Hanukkah, people of African descent have Kwanzaa, others celebrate the Solstice, Buddhists remember the five precepts... but all people giving gifts, kindness, love, peace to all mankind.

It is time to reflect what happened to the this year especially what happened to Stroke Survivors Tattler site.

Saturday Comics

For Better and For Worse
Lynn Johnston - 2013/12/20

"I just love these Christmas plays!!"
Scott Adams - 2013/12/20

"The noncommittal committee...."

Jim Davis - 2013/12/20

"Why don't you hide Garfield's present on..."

Delainey & Rasmussen - 2013/12/19

"You might feel a slight pinch..."

** 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
*** Changed from "Pickles" to "Betty" -- "Betty" is a excellent cartoon and Gary Delainey & Gerry Rasmussen are authors/artists/cartoon-strips and they live in Edmonton.

Eclectic Stuff

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

Twelve Days of Recovery

Marcelle Greene
Up Stroke
Tuesday, December 17, 2013

HMMM … Everybody now, SING!

In three years post-stroke,
I've acquired for recovery:
24 balls for gripping,
18 shower strips non-slipping,
14 finger flexors,
10 toe relaxers,
7 braces a-bracing,
6 shoes no lacing,
5 p i l l  b o x  s o r t e r s . . . 
4 grab bars,
3 cooking aids,
2 walking canes,
And balance games to play with Wii!

And like the "Twelve Days of Christmas" song, the list could go on and on . . . just look at all this stuff!

"Exercise? I thought you said 'ACCESSORIZE!' "

I hate clutter. I hate being reminded of stroke everywhere I look around my house; so as soon as I think I've outgrown some piece of equipment, I put it aside for storage or throw it away.

MISTAKE. As I've progressed from one stage to the next, I've discovered how some of my old "excessories" could have been re-purposed for exercises at a higher skill level. I keep sending my poor husband into the loft to look in the "therapy bag" for some old brace it turns out I threw away months ago.

And that's just the truth of my life: Stroke is always in season.

See the original article:


Barb PolanBarb's Recovery
19th December 2012

We - my husband, daughter and I - are going to California (Santa Monica) to visit our son and his fiancee for Christmas. Another trip through security holding my left hand as far as my right hand can raise it in the Xray machine; having my entire body (all my clothing, really) and electronic gear swabbed and tested for explosives; giving up my cane to walk through the metal detector; standing on a two-foot square for a search. On our last flight,a security person chided me for leaving a tissue in my back pocket that was revealed by the search even though she had TOLD me to empty my pockets; I pulled it out and handed it to her, and she went to get a trash can, watching me the whole time. Seriously? What was I going to do with a used tissue if she turned her back to me? I can understand why she didn't want to touch it, but watching me while she walked sideways to get the can and carry it to me? What happened to profiling? I am doing something a little differently this time, compared to our last flight (to Boulder): I am going to cooperate with my husband and use a WHEELCHAIR. He always frets because I walk so slowly, but I hate taking the easy way out. My recovery is all about challenging myself, so why wouldn't I walk? To please Tom. He puts up with enough annoyance caused by me; it's the least I can do, I think. And in February, I'm going BY MYSELF to visit a friend who spends the winter in Florida. Tom will accompany me to the airport and ensure I get through security okay, and Lisa will pick me up at the other end. Wheelchairs at both ends; one good thing about wheelchairs at the airport is that they come with a driver, someone to push and steer, and knows what line to go to. In fact, when Tom once took over for a driver at Logan, he had to go through a 50-point check before I was handed over. I am afraid to travel by air all alone. I know I'll be well taken care of, but I'm still nervous about it.

See the original article:

Christmas Friend

Jackie Poff
Stroke Survivors Tattler






Every Day I'm Shufflin'

Pamela Hsieh
Rehab Revolution
23 December 2012

A video a week is definitely overstretching, at least during this saturated holiday season. Not to mention I’m overloading my computer’s hard drive with so much stuff these days, what with my photography practice (more on that later) and all the audio programs I seem to buy every five minutes. (No regrets -- audio programs and books are awesome.)

My friend got me an awesome new neck strap for Christmas!

So, sorry, everyone, I’m going to commit to regular videos at least on a biweekly basis. As I write this, I’m already overwhelmed with all the footage I have to go through in order to stitch together a worthwhile first video montage for you -- but I’m not going to quit!

Anyway, in honor of the upcoming holiday, I wanted to announce my Christmas gift to myself: an iPod Shuffle. They were on sale at Best Buy this week, and I had bought one ages ago to “lend” to my former boyfriend to replace the iPod I’d gotten him for Christmas that was later stolen. I say “lend” in quotes because it was understood that I was really giving it to him with no expectation of getting it back.

Twas the Week Before Christmas

Jo Murphey
The Murphey Saga
Thursday, December 22, 2011

I awoke this morning in a chipper mood, wrote two chapters, had lunch, married a couple from Atlanta, and now I'm once again in front of my computer screen. I've read all sixty emails in my box, answered about half of them...the rest do not require an answer.

Now, I'm thinking of the Christmas Chaos otherwise known as Christmas Eve dinner. I bought a steamship round instead of prime rib. Don't know what a steamship round is? Think the hind haunch of a cow and a huge hunk of beef rarely seen out of fine dining establishments. You got's time for fixing and feeding the family.

While I had thought about buying a couple of Tur-duc-hens, I passed in lieu of a family favorite, roasted beast. The thought of how in Merry Old England the feasting at long banquet tables entered my mind. Then I thought about all those luscious creations out of a wood burning hearth and stand back amazed. We do put the tables together for Christmas and my 14x11 living room and 11x14 dining room become one huge banquet hall. All the older adults sits at the table...all thirty of them.  The children (20) have their own table in what was my office. A nice piece of plywood on the pool table works as a table. Two sideboards hold all the goodies in chafing dishes...there just isn't enough room on the tables after the china, glasses and silverware are set. Of course there is a long, low centerpiece of candles in goblets, evergreens, and poinsettias.

An Early Christmas Present for Me! #Strokeadvocacy

Kate Allatt
A Rocky Stroke Recovery
December 14, 2013

This means the ABSOLUTE world to me as a staunch STROKE PATIENT ADVOCATE!

‘Hi Kate   Thank you very much for coming along to my workshop last Thursday.  Your talk/story was/is truly amazing Kate you had me and some of my clients in tears.  The Power Point presentation was excellent, especially the photographs of you in hospital just after you had suffered your stroke, and the video footage of you walking and then running, as this showed the severity of your stroke, and how you were and how you are now, truly inspirational. I think it is really important for people to see how you were and see snap shots of your journey to appreciate just how far you have come.   Most of my clients are still coming to terms with their own stroke and how it has affected them and their life.  Your talk, I am sure, will have been a huge support/help to them.   The feedback after you left from my clients was very positive; they all said how much they had enjoyed the session.  I could see whilst you were giving your talk that everyone in the room was completely focused on you and what you were saying.  There was no chuffling in chairs, no coughing, just complete silence, everyone listening to what you were saying.  It was certainly, by far, the best workshop I have run and it is definitely what my clients needed to hear, that staying positive and having goals no matter how small, is really important.  One point I really liked about your talk was how you explained that it is no good thinking about how you were before stroke, because you will never be that person again, that is gone, but to focus on how you are now and what you can do and what you can try to work towards, I felt that was a really important message and one which I hope my clients will remember.    If my budget will allow I would definitely like you to come along next year to give the talk again to a new set of clients. ‘

Jane Hammond
Reablement Service Coordinator – Sheffield THE STROKE ASSOCIATION

And this…

Cheating Safely Saves My Christmas

Rebecca Dutton
Home After a Stroke
December 14, 2013

Last December I talked about volunteers who saved my Christmas. Even with their help, I found that Christmas was stressful because a stroke took away my ability to push through my fatigue.  Unfortunately I've accumulated two large boxes of Christmas decorations over the years.  I was exhausted after putting up all my decorations.  So instead of packing and repacking to get every item back in my crowded boxes,    I set aside nice items I no longer feel an attachment to for my church's spring sale.  I got to raise money for charity and send nice decorations to families that I hope will love them.

I kept items: 1) that are handmade like Santa made from a mop (photo on left), 2) that remind me of a happy memory like sledding with my brothers (photo on right), or 3) can be arranged in a tableau like the reindeer (photo below).

Stroke survivors and caregivers aren't the only people who need to let go.  A December workshop at my church is called "Simplify the Holidays."  The flyer says " Do you find the holidays are filled with shoulds and to-do lists?  Are you struggling with maintaining old traditions that no longer have meaning in your family life?"  The choices I made last Christmas made the current holiday more enjoyable.
See the original article:

Black Friday Madness for a Stroke Survivor,
aka Am I Crazy or What?

Joyce Hoffman
The Tales of a Stroke Patient
Nov 30, 2013

In 2011, The Huffington Post reported this story: "A Black Friday shopper who collapsed while shopping at a Target store in West Virginia went almost unnoticed as customers continued to hunt for bargain deals. Walter Vance, a 61-year-old pharmacist who reportedly suffered from a prior heart condition, later died in the hospital. Witnesses say some shoppers ignored and even walked over the man's body as they continued to shop. Friends and co-workers, saddened to learn of his death, expressed outrage over the way he was treated by shoppers. Lynne Vance [Walter's wife] said six nurses shopping in the store came to her husband's rescue and performed CPR until paramedics arrived."

This wasn't the only incident to put America's biggest shopping day in a bad light. There were more, and these are some of the horrific highlights: In 2006, a man shopping at Best Buy was recorded on video assaulting another shopper. In the same year, raucous Walmart shoppers at a store outside Columbus, Ohio, quickly poured in the doors when the store opened, plastering a few employees against stacks of merchandise. When the crowd rushed to grab gift certificates that had been trickled down from the ceiling, nine shoppers in a California mall were injured, including an old woman who had to be rushed to the hospital.

The Power of Empathy

Dec 17, 2013

Ricky Brown you underestimated how good this is…… this is great…….

Standard YouTube License @ The RSA

See the original article:

Brain Therapy Might Help Stroke Rehab

Jeff Porter
Stroke of Faith
Thursday, December 12, 2013

Stroke is the leading cause of permanent disability in the United States. So many people need physical, occupational and speech therapy to recover. I recently read about research that might lead to better tools to help stroke patients to recover.

This article describes how brain therapy helps rehabilitate stroke patients:

Photo from the University of Wisconsin 
School of Medicine and Public Health
▶ A new interventional therapy that uses a brain–computer interface appears to change brain activity in patients with stroke, new research has shown.

▶ The therapy alters specific areas of the brain that correlate with both the affected and unaffected hands. The activation of these areas of the brain appears to correspond to executed and imagined tasks of the affected hand, and may represent neuroplastic recovery.

 "Brain activity fed back to the patient is key for the therapy," explained Vivek Prabhakaran, MD, director of functional neuroimaging in radiology at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

See the original article: