Saturday, March 29, 2014

Saturday News

Contents of This Week:

Def'n: Film Festival

Film Festival
      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A film festival is an organised, extended presentation of films in one or more cinemas or screening venues, usually in a single city or region. Increasingly, film festivals show some films outdoors. Films may be of recent date and, depending upon the festival's focus, can include international and domestic releases. Some festivals focus on a specific film-maker or genre (e.g., film noir) or subject matter (e.g., horror film festivals). A number of film festivals specialise in short films of a defined maximum length. Film festivals are typically annual events.

The most well-known film festivals are the Venice Film Festival, the Cannes Film Festival and the Berlin International Film Festival, the latter being the largest film festival worldwide, based on attendance. Venice's festival is the oldest major festival, and the longest continually running one. A 2013 study found 3,000 active films festivals worldwide—active defined as having held an event in the previous 24 months.


Video: 2014 Neuro Film Festival

We will have the topic of "Aphasia , ..., Stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury",  a sub-set of the 2014 Neuro Film Festival. If you want to see the all the movies look at YouTube - 2014 Neuro Film Festival.

We will use the YouTube Neuro Film index #nn with corresponding Wikipedia:

Neurocritical Care: Epilepsy (#03 - Epileptic Seizure)

Published on Feb 20, 2014

The Massachusetts General Hospital Neuro Critical Care Team's excellence in service and innovation brings a young man back to life after epileptic seizures leave him comatose for five months. This video features Dr. Jonathan Rosand and Dr. Andrew Cole.

This film has been entered into the 2014 Neuro Film Festival from the American Brain Foundation at Help us pave the way to finding a cure for brain disease.

Standard YouTube License @ MassGeneralHospital 

Saturday Comics

For Better and For Worse
Lynn Johnston - 2014/03/23

"Smack! Smack...! Snuffle...!"
Scott Adams - 2014/03/23

"You can't compare apples and oranges!"

Charles Schulz - 2014/03/23

"Good grief! She struck out again!" 

Garry Trudeau - 2014/03/23

"Good antiquated technology!"

** 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
Note: Now SSTattler are running cartoons starting on the previous Sunday.

Eclectic Stuff

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

Coming Soon: "After Words," a Film About Aphasia

Grace Carpenter
My Happy Stroke
January 30, 2013

If you're reading my blog, you probably know what aphasia is, and how devastating it can be. But so many people have never heard the word. Raising awareness of aphasia--what it is, and how it can radically change a person's life--is important. It will help more people to get the support they need to lead a productive life.

So I'm really happy that After Words, a film about living with aphasia, is airing on many PBS stations, including WGBH in Boston. It will air in Boston on February 3 (Super Bowl Sunday) at 3pm. If  your local PBS station isn't on the schedule that the National Aphasia Association has published here, ask your station to air it.

Please watch it, talk about it with friends, and use the word "aphasia." Talk about how Gabby Giffords has it. Or how common it is: more than 1 million Americans are estimated to have it, and countless family members are affected, too.

In addition to the PBS showings, there are two special screenings in Boston (March 3) and New York (April 10). The screenings include conversations with cast members, the directors, producer, and (in New York only), Oliver Sacks.

Full disclosure: I'm in it; my kids are in it; many of my friends from the Aphasia Community Group of Boston are in the film; and one of my former speech pathologists, the amazing Jerry Kaplan, is one of the directors.

Here's a trailer from the film.

Standard YouTube License @  National Aphasia Association

See the original article:

Sometimes Therapists Break My Heart

Rebecca Dutton
Home After a Stroke
March 5, 2013

Therapists don't always act excited when I recover a small skill that doesn't produce a sea change like going back to work.  They can sometimes act like a husband who doesn't understand why his wife is so happy when he puts the toilet seat down.  Here are two examples of what I am talking about.

Melissa never got why I was so happy that my hemiplegic hand helps me scoop up chopped onions.  I brought a pile of chopped onions to therapy and showed her what you see in the photo.  Melissa's analytical response was "You use your hemiplegic hand as an assistive hand."  I should have made Melissa use one hand to pick up a few pieces of slippery onion at a time until the whole pile was back in my container instead of letting her watch me do it.

The Releas splint helped my hemiplegic hand hold an envelope while my other hand stuffed a return slip from a bill and a check in the envelope.  I was so happy I said "Look Cathy" and grinned while I waved the envelope in the air.  Cathy gave me a small smile that seemed to say, "That's nice."  Nice?  I want the local TV station to come film me for the evening news.  First of all, holding an envelope while putting a check in it is something I haven't done for eight years.  More importantly, it is something I thought I would never do again for as long as I live.  Finally, I live alone and pay the bills so this new skill is useful.

Why don't therapists always act excited?  Fatigue may be one reason.  Rushing from client to client when a therapist treats three people at once doesn't leave much time or energy for celebrating.  Therapists also don't get to see how far I've come. They were not there when I wept because flopping my limp hand in the air made it look like a dead fish strapped on the end of a stick.  Having a floppy hand that can now hold a thin envelope feels like a small miracle instead of one small step forward.  The next time I'm thrilled and don't get much of a reaction I'll remind myself to have faith.  I'll say "Some day in a quiet moment you will see my grinning face and feel good about what you helped me achieve today."

See the original article:

3D Technology from Film Industry Improves Rehab for Stroke Patients

Dean Reinke
Deans' Stroke Musing
Thursday, December 19, 2013

Everything before this was all just subjective guesswork by our therapists. It may be able to tell externally what is wrong but what is going to tell which muscles are firing wrong due to spasticity?

I still can't drink water out of a glass, hell I can't even get an empty glass into my hand.

With this and this iPad app your therapist may actually be able to do something for you.

Researchers in Gothenburg have been using 3D technology from the film industry to analyze the everyday movements of stroke patients. The results, which are reported in a doctoral thesis at the Sahlgrenska Academy, indicate that computerized motion analysis increases our knowledge of how stroke patients can improve their ability to move through rehabilitation.

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Papa, Paparazzi

Pamela Hsieh
Rehab Revolution
24 December 2012

All right, so, what’s all this about photography practice?

I’ve always had an artistic eye and mind. The reason I didn’t truly embrace an interest in photography for so long in my life is because I never had the camera -- and yes, you can take great photos with a crappy camera (and believe me, I did), or terrible photos with a great one (. . . believe me, I do!), but I always felt like I didn’t even have the option of professional-quality equipment. My father has an old machine from Japan in the seventies, but it uses old-school film, and I was not going to learn pro skills on that.

Photography has vaguely been on my mind as a future career option, whether it be full time or just a source of side income, for a while. But I don’t want it simply to be a hobby anymore, so the moment back in September when I suddenly came into owning my first DSLR -- the big, bulky type of camera whose lenses swap out to various sizes (it’s the one pictured in my previous post on Shuffles) -- of course I immediately contacted my French friend Bertrand, who is starting his own “photography lessons on the streets” company in Paris. Coincidentally, he was about to make a brief trip to Chicago shortly thereafter, so he very graciously offered to practice his teaching skills on me while he was here.

Bertrand in action -- camera war!
It was awesome. We wandered the city all day Saturday, exploring its colors like  blind men just getting their sight back. I managed to see the lesser-explored, and very colorful, area of Pilsen in the city, with a photographer’s eye as Bertrand taught me some basic (but much needed) techniques on aperture and shutter speed. The next day was the morning we participated in the Diabetes Walk with my trainer Debbie, where the famed photo from this post came from. He was exceedingly patient, encouraging, and informative. (Very, very important traits from any teacher in any subject, in my opinion.) I really got a crash course over that weekend!

Life. Support. Music.

Barb PolanBarb's Recovery
28th February 2010

Tom and I watched a DVD recently and it continues to haunt me. It was called "Life. Support. Music." and was about a 35-year-old guitarist who had a hemmorhagic stroke during a gig. He was in New York City at the time and he got excellent care from the beginning, including rehab at Spaulding in Boston, where I was. His stroke was absolutely incapacitating (he was unable to sit by himself, to speak, hear or even close his mouth) and - get this - his wife was a few months pregnant when it happened. Now when Tom's a bit overwhelmed about the care he has to provide me, I say, "It could be worse - you could be pregnant." The amazing thing about the film is the guitarist's family - his parents, sister and wife all took constant care of him and worked full-time to stimulate Jason so that he would come back. And he did come back - he returned as the talented sought-after (the film included Norah Jones and other musicians talking about the void left in the NYC music scene with Jason gone) guitarist he was before the stroke. It makes my desire to touch-type again seem like a lowly goal. He ended up having a daughter while he was in recovery and, although he missed her birth ( a Caesarian), his wife makes a joke about the first time the three of them were together, she was hoping it was the last and only time all three of them would be in diapers at the same time.

See the original article:

Armed & Dangerous

The Pink House On The Corner
March 19, 2014

And that was me. When we headed back to the urologist.

You might remember, the last time I took Bob to the urologist, he had a bladder scan which indicated he was retaining urine. At that time, his PVR (postvoid residual urine volume) had measured 370 ml. The doctor flipped out at that number, said it was supposed to be 250 ml or less and gave me three options for Bob, which were an indwelling catheter, or a surgically implanted bladder stimulator or 3 times intermittent catheterizing daily. None of which sounded appetizing, to say the least.

Since then, I've done my research and have learned a lot about PVR (including the term PVR!), so I printed off some literature, got out my highlighter and, thus, armed, I was ready for battle.

Among my weapons were these highlighted tidbits:

The Neuroplastic Model of Hypersensativity Reduction After Stroke for Fun!!

Peter G. Levine
Stronger After Stroke
Thursday, March 20, 2014

Hypersensativity after stroke can come in two basic flavors:
  1. A touch (or some other stimulus that normally does not hurt) hurts. A lot. This is called allodynia.
  2. Something that usually does hurt hurts a lot more that it should. In other words, it hurts a lot more than it might on the unaffetced side. This is called hyperalgesia.
 So how might you treat this. Lets go to the never-ending neuoplastic well, shall we? We know that stroke damages the brain which may cause the altering and amplifiying of sensation. So what if we used the same process to reverse it? These are hypothetical (although some have been tested) so keep that in mind. So what are the neuroplastic model to treat? Possibilities include...
  1. TENS (mild electrical stimulation). Dosage here.
  2. A placebo. An example would be suggesting a manual therapy (like message or manipulation of the extremity) will help reduce it. Discussion here.
  3. Comparison. Put the gel on the unaffected side and say, "See, its just a bit cold. We'll take exactly the same gel (it can even be done at the same time)and put it on the 'bad' side and they'll-hopefully-feel the same.
  4. Mirror therapy. Set it up like this: Have him look only at the unaffected side as either the survivor or someone else gives the "good" limb the stimulus which is painful to the "bad" limb. It will look like its getting put on the affected side, but with no pain.

Further reading here.  Discussion of the difference between hyperalgesia and allodynia here.

See the original article:

Sunday Stroke Survival ~ Lessons Learned

Jo Murphey
The Murphey Saga
Sunday, March 23, 2014

Here lately I've been thinking of a mini vacation. The fact that Dean just got back from Italy really started the thought. Darn you Dean!

But then I remember two years ago I blogged about needing a vacation to get away from it all. I was actually planning a writer's retreat of sorts. The gist was to tie up all the loose ends of various books I'd planned to publish shortly. Eat food someone else prepared, no having to worry about housekeeping, to be waited on hand and foot, giving no thought to time, or my husband's care, you know getting away from my regular routine. The kind of pampering everyone needs or wants to recharge their batteries.


Amy Shissler
My Cerebellar Stroke Recovery
Mar 21, 2014

The doctors REALLY screwed up with me and were incredibly negligent. Then I was treated for the first 6 months after my stroke by an incredibly negligent speech therapist. The negligence was ongoing and rampant with me. And nobody fought for me. When the dumbass neurologists told me that I was not going to recover anymore and when the lawyer said there is nothing I can do to help you, nobody fought for me. Nobody said “no this isn’t right and we’re gonna fight until something right happens.” Well, there are people fighting for me now and I have a lot of proof of all the negligence. So doctors and therapists that “treated” me, you might wanna get ready.

See the original article:

Senior on a Moped

Jackie Poff
Stroke Survivors Tattler
An elderly man on a Moped, looking about 100 years old, pulls up next to a doctor at a street light.

The old man looks over at the sleek shiny car and asks,  'What kind of car ya got there, sonny?'

The doctor replies, 'A Ferrari GTO. It cost half a million dollars!'

'That's a lot of money,' says the old man. 'Why does it cost so much?'

'Because this car can do up to 320 miles an hour!' states the doctor proudly.

The Moped driver asks, 'Mind if I take a look inside?'

'No problem,' replies the doctor.

So the old man pokes his head in the window and looks around. Then, sitting back on his Moped, the old man says, 'That's a pretty nice car, all right... But I'll stick with my Moped!'

Just then the light changes, so the doctor decides to show the old man just what his car can do.

He floors it, and within 30 seconds. The speedometer reads 160 mph.

Suddenly, he notices a dot in his rear view mirror. It seems to be getting closer!

He slows down to see what it could be and suddenly WHOOOOSSSHHH ! Something whips by him going much faster!

'What on earth could be going faster than my Ferrari ?' the doctor asks himself.

He presses harder on the accelerator. And takes the Ferrari up to 250 mph.

Then, up ahead of him, he sees that it's the old man on the Moped!

Amazed that the Moped could pass his Ferrari, he gives it more gas and passes the Moped at 275 mph and he's feeling pretty good until he looks in his mirror and sees the old man gaining on him AGAIN!

Astounded by the speed of this old guy, he floors the gas pedal and takes the Ferrari all the way up to 320 mph.

Not ten seconds later, he sees the Moped bearing down on him again! The Ferrari is flat out, and there's nothing he can do!

Suddenly, the Moped plows into the back of his Ferrari, demolishing the rear end.

The doctor stops and jumps out and unbelievably the old man is still alive.

He runs up to the banged-up old guy and says, 'I'm a doctor.... Is there anything I can do for you?'

The old man whispers,

'Unhook my suspenders from your side view mirror!'

App Might Help With Aphasia

Jeff Porter
Stroke of Faith
Thursday, March 20, 2014

My speech stopped then garbled on the day I had my stroke. It took me quite some time to get back close to normal,  thanks to speech therapists, family and friends.

Now, there's something that might help supplement speech therapy - a new app that puts speech therapy in patients' pockets:

    ==> Patients can use the app to practice matching pictures and associated words, according to Dr. Stephen Hughes, who helped build the app.

    ==> “So we’re looking at the kinds of things that they’re doing already with paper and pencil and saying, ‘Can we use the technology to help them manage that experience better?’” Hughes said.

    ==> The Name That! app isn’t meant to take the place of traditional treatment. Rather, the creators hope that it will supplement what speech therapists already do in sessions. Hughes and Burda are currently working on expanding the app’s simplistic design in order to fit more needs of aphasia patients.

    I used some educational "toys" myself - really more suited to children learning English for the first time. But an app specifically tailored to people struggling with aphasia would be better. It's important to note that aphasia does not affect intelligence. The thoughts are there - aphasia causes difficulty in getting thoughts out.

    See the original article:

    Different Cultures, Different Mindsets, aka Are They Behind the Times?

    Joyce Hoffman
    The Tales of a Stroke Patient
    Mar 16, 2014

    I wrote a post on mammograms that started off humorously, I think and still do, with this picture (If You Squeeze Them One More Time, I May Hurt You.), that said, "Men basically have two things to worry about: erectile dysfunction (yes, ED has an awareness platform, too) and the prospect of prostrate cancer. Big deal. But most men don't know what it takes to be a woman because they've never walked our mile." I then went on to elaborate that "our mile" consists of elusive tampons, bipolar-ish pregnancy hormones, and itchy, non-tested make-up. I thought it was funny, sarcastic humor at its best, at least the best I can do.

    I have pissed off two countries. But seriously, the reality is, both sexes have problems, and often the same, like money issues or additional health problems. That post set off a firestorm of direct hits on Facebook and emails that I got to thinking, it must be a cultural thing.

    A Look at Cognitive Therapy from an Adult Rehab Perspective

    Mark A. Ittleman
    The Teaching of Talking
    March 20, 2014

    A colleague asked that I make a comment about “cognitive therapy”  that may be necessary following injury, surgery, advancing age, or medication therapies.

    Personally, the question I would always address would be:  “What are the goals for cognitive therapy which would give the patient the most value in these days of rehabilitation caps?
    What would be the intervention and implementation that would make the most difference for the well being and safety of the patient?

    During the earlier years of practice I would tend to comb through cognitive manuals looking for the exercise that would be appropriate.  Today there are new apps which are providing clinicians and people with cognitive difficulties useful exercises and activities to stimulate thinking, memory, problem solving, etc.  During the early stages of recovery from strokes, aphasia and brain injury our goals and approaches deal predominantly with safety.

    Physical and Occupational therapists and Rehab. docs call upon speech language pathologists to help Mr. Jones who keeps falling, or Mrs. Smith who can’t seem to transfer on her own bed or chair due to her diminishing memory, especially to recall the sequence of transferring safely.  The rehab doctor, and colleagues look to the speech language pathologist with one thing in mind:  safety.  Family members are also concerned about their loved ones falling, or forgetting to lock the wheel chair brakes, or remembering to use the walker when getting up in the middle of the night; or forgetting to turn the stove or the space heater off.

    #Telehealth – 7 Reasons Why It Will Improve #Strokerecovery & Reduce Medical Treatment Costs.

    Kate Allatt
    A Rocky Stroke Recovery
    March 11, 2014

    According to Wikipedia:

    Telehealth is the delivery of health-related services and information via telecommunications technologies.

    Telehealth could be as simple as two health professionals discussing a case over the telephone or as sophisticated as doing robotic surgery between facilities at different ends of the globe.’

    1. Could be Preventative – with strokes affect 1 in 6 people every year this is already v important, not least from a well being & economic cost point of view.
    2. Could be Promotive – could promote patient progress improvement otherwise known as stroke recovery
    3. Could be Curative – this is vital from a patient point if view with so many having strokes so young! I was 39, and old by some standards, but I have a career now and an earnings ability ahead of me. That means, I’ll be contributing to the economy!
    4. Is widely accepted, that we have long known that we must take a MDT (multi disciplinary team) approach stroke recovery.
    So in every day speak, we need the Occupational Therapist, Neurophsioterapist therapist, Speech therapist & Neuropsycologist to work better (with the patient and loved-ones) and each other & Telehealth would help them to do just that.

    How? They would all be able to chat more so that they can improve patient functionality, (without the need to physically meet), thereby improve the well-being (or quality of life) of the stroke survivor, including locked in syndrome sufferers.

    Edward Snowden: Here's How We Take Back the Internet

    Published on Mar 18, 2014

    SSTattler: Two YouTubes - Edward Snowden vs. NSA Richard Ledgett. You have to watch both of them!

    Appearing by telepresence robot, Edward Snowden speaks at TED2014 about surveillance and Internet freedom. The right to data privacy, he suggests, is not a partisan issue, but requires a fundamental rethink of the role of the internet in our lives — and the laws that protect it. "Your rights matter," he say, "because you never know when you're going to need them." Chris Anderson interviews, with special guest Tim Berners-Lee.

    Standard YouTube License @ TED

    Richard Ledgett:
    The NSA Responds to Edward Snowden's TED Talk

    Published on Mar 20, 2014

    After a surprise appearance by Edward Snowden at TED2014, Chris Anderson said: "If the NSA wants to respond, please do." And yes, they did. Appearing by video, NSA deputy director Richard Ledgett answers Anderson's questions about the balance between security and protecting privacy.

    Standard YouTube License @ TED

    RMR: Rick at Royal Military College Saint-Jean

    Published on Mar 19, 2014

    Rick trains with RMC Saint-Jean officer cadets on winter manoeuvers in Quebec.

    Standard YouTube License @ Rick Mercer Report


    Saturday, March 22, 2014

    Saturday News

    Contents of This Week:

    Def'n: Social Network - Blog? Twitter? Facebook? ...?

    SSTattler SHORT definition: 
       Blog            = time-related, article,
       Twitter      = time-related, statement(s), maximum 140 characters,
       Facebook = time-related, short article, usually personal & > 140 characters...

    Contents Below:

       1. Social Networking Service

          a. Blog

          b. Twitter

          c. Facebook

          d. lots of other examples on the internet...

    1. Social Networking Service
             From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    See for the theory:  Social Network From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

    The Tetherless World Weblog
    A social networking service is a platform to build social networks or social relations among people who, for example, share interests, activities, backgrounds or real-life connections. A social network service consists of a representation of each user (often a profile), his social links, and a variety of additional services. Social networking is web-based services that allow individuals to create a public profile, to create a list of users with whom to share connection, and view and cross the connections within the system. Most social network services are web-based and provide means for users to interact over the Internet, such as e-mail and instant messaging. Social network sites are varied and they incorporate new information and communication tools such as, mobile connectivity, photo/video/sharing and blogging. Online community services are sometimes considered as a social network service, though in a broader sense, social network service usually means an individual-centered service whereas online community services are group-centered. Social networking sites allow users to share ideas, pictures, posts, activities, events, and interests with people in their network.

    Video: Social Network - Blog? Twitter? Facebook? ...?

    Just a sample about -- > Blog, Twitter, and Facebook...
    (You will have to register to see most of Twitter and Facebook).

    Social Network

    a) Blogs

    Blogs in Plain English

    Uploaded on Nov 29, 2007 A video for people who wonder why blogs are such a big deal.

    This video comes in an unbranded "presentation quality" version that can be licensed for use in the workplace.

    Standard YouTube License @ Common Craft

    Saturday Comics

    For Better and For Worse
    Lynn Johnston - 2014/03/16

    "Hmm, my knee gots a hole on it!"
    Scott Adams - 2014/03/16

    "I want you to create a clever video..."

    Charles Schulz - 2014/03/16

    "...when all of a sudden this big pile of string walked by!" 

    Garry Trudeau - 2014/03/16

    " luscious little lozenges!"

    ** 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
    Note: Now SSTattler are running cartoons starting on previous Sunday.

    Eclectic Stuff

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

    Stroke Survivors Are Invisible - Change That - Start Blogging

    Dean Reinke
    Deans' Stroke Musing
    Thursday, November 29, 2012

    I originally wrote this 2 years ago and not one person notified me about starting their blog. With 11 million new survivors a year that's pathetic. Now that I'm getting 1000 hits a day maybe this will take. Start your own stroke blog. Stroke survivors as a whole are invisible, we need to change that.

    Bringing stroke out of the shadows I don't want to find out 20 years from now that survivors still do not have a voice in their stroke associations and a way to direct where the future of stroke rehab leads.

    Even if all we do is document our own case study that can immeasurably help another survivor.

    You can create one here on Google:
    • How to Start a Blog on Google Blogger
    • Its free and I am sure there are other sites that allow free blogging.
    • Create a Blog for Free
    • Start Blogging & Share with Friends
    • Add Photos, Easy Blog Posting Tools
    • Start Your Free Blog
    • Simple, Easy, No Coding Necessary.
    • 100,000+ Use HubPages. Start Today!
    • Start a Free, Fun Blog
    • Pictures, text, privacy controls
    • Free, easy, fun & safe. Start today
    • — Get a Free Blog HereFree blogs managed by the developers of the WordPress software. Includes custom design templates, integrated statistics, automatic spam protection and other
    When you have created one and posted a few entries please send me a link. I want to see thousands/millions out there. If it is not in English please tell me what language it is in. I will add yours to my blog list for others to find. If you want to be found by google read my posting on how to stay informed of stroke rehab.

    Do it now!!!!!!!

    See the original article:

    Sunday Stroke Survival ~ Social Media

    Jo Murphey
    The Murphey Saga
    Sunday, March 16, 2014

    Why as a stroke survivor or caregiver for a stroke survivor should you Tweet, pin, Facebook, or blog? For a few very good reasons:

    • You don't stuff your feelings
    • You find out you are not alone
    • Get and share information
    • At least I don't have it as bad as the other guy
    These are just a couple reasons. Nobody knows the challenges I go through on a daily basis as someone who's walked in my shoes. They might not have had as devastating, or easy of a time with their stroke but they know or can relate to some of them.

    It is so easy to think, as a survivor or caregiver, and stuff all the negative feelings. Be warned, doing this only hurts you and those around you. By saying you are having a bad day acknowledges those feelings to anyone that will listen. I've had my share over the past year and a half. If I had stuffed those feelings, I'd be in sorry shape about now both as a stroke survivor and a caregiver. I'd be ready for the closest mental hospital and consider it a fun vacation!

    If I post "having a bad day" on facebook, or twitter, myspace, or any of the forums, or blogs that I write, I guarantee there will be at least ten emails or telephone calls from "friends" or family  that want to know what's wrong. That doesn't include comments. I put friends in parentheses because these are cyber friends. People I have never met in person who are closer to me than some my local face-to-face friends. You all know who you are.

    Meeting Amy

    Barb Polan
    Barb's Recovery
    March 11 / 2014

    Amy, another stroke survivor with a blog (, visited us recently.

    We – or I at least – did a first-impression analysis of the other’s capabilities. Yes, yes, I know we’re not supposed to compare, but there we were, meeting for the first time after communicating online for months.

    I tend to assume that each stroke survivor I “meet” online is in the same condition as I am unless their stroke was longer ago than mine (I expect them to do more than I) or they were more profoundly affected (I expect them to do less than I).

    I regularly read Linda Cooper’s blog (, and I remember being shocked a couple of years ago when she blogged about attempting to use a power washer to clean the dock at her summer lake house. At the time (or even now), if I tried the same, I’d be like a slapstick version of a firefighter holding a fire hose with so much water pressure he/she gets whipped around by the hose).

    Where the Heck Is the Blog, "The Tales of a Stroke Patient"?

    Joyce Hoffman
    The Tales of a Stroke Patient
    Oct 1, 2012

    By now, the thought has probably occurred to you: Where the heck is the blog, "The Tales of a Stroke Patient"? I mean, what's going on here? Permit me to tell you about the last 3 weeks.

    I turned the posts into a book. There were so many corrections, book cover design requests, and layout questions, it felt like I was on deadline every day. It felt that way because it was true, and being on deadline took me back to when I was working for the newspaper, to my television news writing job, and everybody who said, "I want it now!" For so long, I wished for work and that wish finally came true.

    Thank you, Xlibris, for doing such a great job on my book. And thanks for the deadlines. I'll resume writing the blog shortly.

    You can buy the paperback Xlibris version.
    You can buy the Kindle (Amazon) version.

    See the original article:

    We Are a Blessed Community

    Rebecca Dutton
    Home After a Stroke
    May 5, 2012

    Rehab is never over but I don't tell family and friends about the never ending challenges I face.  It's tedious to explain my daily struggles to able-bodied people because I have to explain the problem before they can appreciate my solution.  Hearing a blow-by-blow description of the steps I go through to achieve success is not that compelling when experienced second hand.  There is a good reason why movies and TV shows skip over the boring repetitions needed to overcome any real challenge.

    Family and friends don't need to know about stroke to be a great source of emotional support and fun.  I actually prefer to be with able-bodied people rather than therapists.  Family and friends are impressed by how much I can do for myself while therapists are always looking for my deficits.  It's not therapists' fault.  Insurance companies pay them to fix problems not document assets.

    My life would be different if stroke survivors and caregivers couldn't blog.  The blogging community I keep in touch with is a God-sent.  I don't have to describe my problem in great detail because someone always knows what I am talking about.  I don't have to contend with disbelief about intangible deficits, like crushing fatigue or abnormal sensation.  I appreciate the encouragement I get from other stroke survivors.  I'm inspired by their courage.  I steal their solutions and share mine.  I laugh at their funny posts.  I learn more about stroke.  Their insights help me reflect on my own stroke experience.  This community helps me finish what formal rehab began.

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    Three Blogs

    Grace Carpenter
    My Happy Stroke
    Monday, September 3, 2012

    I've never been a prolific writer, but in the summer and early fall -- when my kids' routines are changing constantly -- my output slows to a crawl.

    But I have been reading other people's blogs (and tweets).  Here are three blogs/websites that I've been enjoying for a slightly different angle on stroke recovery:

    Finding Strength To Stand Again : Prosopagnosia (face blindness)
    Blogger Tara Fall started to have seizures in her teens. At age 27, she had brain surgery to try to stop the seizures, but suffered a stroke in surgery. When she woke up, she couldn’t recognize any faces at all, including her own. Tara’s blog is an insightful look at an invisible disorder, prosopagnosia. She also talks about her life as a stroke survivor and a person with epilepsy.

    Girl With The Cane : Disability Advocacy
    Sometimes I’m so involved with my own recovery that I forget how many people are affected by other disabilities. Sarah Levis is a stroke survivor, but she addresses a broad range of disabilities in her writing. Her lively and informative blog is a great way to keep up with the disability community in general.

    Stroke XYZ : Young(-ish) Stroke Survivors
    This new website/blog/e-community is geared towards younger (loosely defined) stroke survivors and their caregivers, families, and friends. Isolation -- physical and emotional -- is a huge problem for stroke survivors and caregivers of any age, so I'm always grateful for any new voices/communities. I'm also grateful for new voices talking about aphasia: Kelsae, the blog author and caregiver to her husband Mike, has blogged about aphasia and the ways that aphasia affects relationships.

    Happy reading!

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