Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Eclectic Stuff on Wednesday

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

Countdown to Hamburg

Sas Freeman
March 28, 2016

I hope as I type this you are all enjoying your Easter Monday. I am now on countdown until I travel to Hamburg where I am speaking at the DIA conference on April 7th between 2:00PM – 3:30PM (Central European Standard Time).

This DIA 28th Annual EuroMeeting brings healthcare stakeholders together to collaborate on when, where and how innovation leads to advances in health care product development. – See more at:
            ▶ EuroMeeting 2016
The session I am involved in, looks at how digital technology is transforming healthcare. I will begin with the patient perspective and share my story as a stroke survivor and talk about the role of social media/digital in my life.

At the end I will be challenging the panelists and audience to think about how such technology can be harnessed to better support patients. The challenge will be around how healthcare providers could offer stroke survivors a more personal and effective stroke recovery experience, freeing up resources that could be used elsewhere and what that future could look like.

There will be an opportunity for questions at the end and there is also live Twitter feed so please support me and put this date in your diary along with the time and join me and everyone involved. I will let you all have the Twitter feed address as soon as I have it.

Don’t get me wrong, I am enjoying my Easter weekend, but this is also very much on my mind as it is so very eggciting, excuse the pun, but it is Easter after all.

See the original article:

Know someone who is ... Caregiver? Spouse? Stressed? That person is not alone

Jeff Porter
Stroke of Faith
Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Photo from bottled_void
via Flickr
Stress is your enemy.

Stress is especially an enemy for caregivers - and those people are often prime targets for stress.

The needs of caregivers can be woefully ignored, including their own health care, which includes mental care. You should take note from this story on how stressed spouse caregivers race a higher stroke risk:

▶ Spousal caregivers who reported being under moderate or severe strain had a 5.1% rate of incident stroke, compared with 2.6% among propensity-matched people who were not caregivers ... , Sindhu Lakkur, PhD, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues found. ...

▶ The researchers suggested there could be a public health implication for targeting stroke prevention efforts to this higher risk group of struggling spouse caregivers. Exactly how this might be done needs further study, Lakkur told MedPage Today.

See the original article:

Is it too Late for you to get Better - No.

Peter G. Levine
Stronger After Stroke
Thursday, March 10, 2016

Let's say you're a chronic stroke survivor. You know "chronic" – it's the time after your plateau. Typically the chronic phase goes from 3 months to the end of the stroke survivors life. Do you still have a chance to get better during the chronic phase?


There's actually good scientific reason to believe that you can get better after the plateau – once you are chronic.

And here it is…

Typically survivors are forced through rehab as soon as possible. Facilities are expensive and home is cheap, so off you go! The problem is that to get the survivor out the door, compensatory strategies are implemented. Things like AFOs and using the good arm to get everything done. It makes sense, these things do get people out of the system. The problem is those same strategies also hurt the survivors brain.

Astronauts & 1900's Women Get Surviving Stroke

Rebecca Dutton
Home After a Stroke
March 28, 2016

Before I had a stroke I would have found my post "9 Things I Have to Do to Drive Independently" obsessively tedious. I know of only two groups of able-bodied people who can understand what you have to do to thrive after a stroke.

Astronauts. Astronauts understand the conscious attention stroke survivors have to pay to familiar tasks that able-bodied people do without thinking. As I watched astronaut Scott Kelly demonstrate cooking and eating dinner on the International Space Station, I saw that he had a problem. He repeatedly dropped food because his hand forgot you have to attach an object to a surface or it will float away. To be fair, Scott was distracted by having to look towards the camera and explain what he was doing. I am sure he performs better when he does not divide his attention. I think he would understand why stroke survivors do not perform well when they try to multitask. I also think the months of practice Scott did on Earth would help him understand how hard it is for stroke survivors to relearn to do even simple tasks.

Urban Housewives in 1900. If women in 1900 could have read the nine things I do before I drive my car away from the curb, they would have said "welcome to my life." They knew about spending lots of time getting ready to do a task. For instance, before they could start doing laundry they had to do three chores. 1) They had to soak clothes the day before because cleaning agents were not very effective. 2) They had to hand carry 20 to 40 gallons of water from the sink to a large copper vat where the clothes were washed. 3) They had to wait for the coal fire under the copper vat to heat up the water. Only then could they start agitating the clothes by hand with a four foot long pole called a dolly stick.

Here is a re-enactment of doing laundry in 1900 from the PBS TV series, The 1900 House.

See the original article:


Beth Sinfield
Beth's Story
Sunday, 27 March 2016

Freedom by definition is: the power or right to think, speak or act as one wants. The state of not being imprisoned or enslaved. To sum up it's bloody fantastic!

I love being able to get up, get ready and go out on my own. I walk along the pathway to my car, get in and then I'm off. Gone are the days when I would have to wait for my mum to finish work and come shopping with me. I am free to do what I want, WHEN I want.

My little car Penny, (I'm probably the biggest Big Bang Theory fan so it's named after Penny in the programme and it's a girl car because it's all pretty and blue) plays a huge part, since learning to drive my independence has expanded. I love just getting up in the morning and driving to college like it's nothing major. It's just what I do.

On friday I kinda got a little emotional driving on my way to physiotherapy. I just felt so in control saying bye to both my parents, getting in my car and driving all the way to Markyate (a journey quite long and one I never thought my parents would let me do on my own!!). I was 'driving' on cloud nine- I felt extremely lucky to have recovered well from a brainstem stroke, firstly. But also the fact that I stuck with learning to drive, passed first time and managed to get a car of my own. Yes, 'normal' people do it all the time but for a stroke survivor who was told she'd never walk or talk again, is pretty big!

Rick Mercer Report: Robotics & Seasonal Brew

Rick at the Robotics Competition

Published on Mar 23, 2016

Rick competes at the FIRST Robotics regional championship in Oshawa, ON.

Standard YouTube License @ Rick Mercer Report

New Seasonal Brew

Published on Mar 23, 2016

Turn Budget Day into an all-nighter.

Standard YouTube License @ Rick Mercer Report

XKCD: Estimating Time

Webcomic Of RomanceSarcasmMath, And Language

Estimating Time

Estimating Time
Corollary to Hofstadter's Law: Every minute you spend thinking about Hofstadter's Law is a minute you're NOT WORKING AND WILL NEVER FINISH! PAAAAAANIIIIIIC!

Warning: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).


Saturday, March 26, 2016

Saturday News

Environmental enrichment is the stimulation of the brain by its physical and social surroundings. Brains in richer, more stimulating environments have higher rates of synaptogenesis and more complex dendrite arbors, leading to increased brain activity. This effect takes place primarily during neurodevelopment, but also during adulthood to a lesser degree. With extra synapses there is also increased synapse activity, leading to an increased size and number of glial energy-support cells. Environmental enrichment also enhances capillary vasculation, providing the neurons and glial cells with extra energy. The neuropil (neurons, glial cells, capillaries, combined together) expands, thickening the cortex. Research on rodent brains suggests that environmental enrichment may also lead to an increased rate of neurogenesis. A longer definition comes from Wikipedia
    • Video: Environmental Enrichment (Neural)
      • How Does an Enriched Environment Affect the Brain?
      • Melbourne Conversations: Your Brain - How it can Change, Develop and Improve
      • Environmental Design at ArtCenter College of Design
      • Environmental Enrichment Rescues Precocious Critical Period
      • DIY: Easy Environmental Enrichment for Dogs
      • Chimpanzees - Environmental Enrichment
      • Environmental Enrichment
         Saturday News | Future Topic

         Apr/09/2016   | Weekly Index from Jan/01/2011 to Apr/2016/02
         Apr/02/2016   | Mixed Transcortical Aphasia

    Definition: Environmental Enrichment (Neural)

    Environmental Enrichment (Neural)
                From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    SSTattler: See as well Jan/30/2016 Neuroregeneration.

    A rodent is not stimulated by the environment in a wire cage,
    and this affects its brain negatively,
    particularly the complexity of its synaptic connections.
    Environmental enrichment is the stimulation of the brain by its physical and social surroundings. Brains in richer, more stimulating environments have higher rates of synaptogenesis and more complex dendrite arbors, leading to increased brain activity. This effect takes place primarily during neurodevelopment, but also during adulthood to a lesser degree. With extra synapses there is also increased synapse activity, leading to an increased size and number of glial energy-support cells. Environmental enrichment also enhances capillary vasculation, providing the neurons and glial cells with extra energy. The neuropil (neurons, glial cells, capillaries, combined together) expands, thickening the cortex. Research on rodent brains suggests that environmental enrichment may also lead to an increased rate of neurogenesis.

    Research on animals finds that environmental enrichment could aid the treatment and recovery of numerous brain-related dysfunctions, including Alzheimer's disease and those connected to aging, whereas a lack of stimulation might impair cognitive development. Moreover, this research also suggests that environmental enrichment leads to a greater level of cognitive reserve, the brain's resilience to the effects of conditions such as aging and dementia.

    Video: Environmental Enrichment (Neural)

    SSTattler: Environmental Enrichment for people - I found a few (exactly 3 YouTube so far) but human are difficult test in the laboratory...!?! Lots of Environmental Enrichment for mice, rats, chimpanzee, dogs, cats,... on YouTube.

    How Does an Enriched Environment Affect the Brain?

    Published on Jul 24, 2015

    By Wendy Suzuki - Wendy received her undergraduate degree from U.C. Berkeley in the Department of Physiology/Anatomy and her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from U.C. San Diego. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health before starting her faculty position in the Center for Neural Science at New York University in 1998.

    Her research focuses on two main questions. First, she is interested in understanding how our brains allow us to learn and retain new long-term memories for facts and events, called “declarative” memory. Second, she is interested in understanding whether exercise can actually make you smarter. To address this latter question she examines how increased aerobic activity modulates the brain basis of learning memory and cognition.

    Wendy is a recipient of numerous grants and awards for her research including the Lindsley Prize from the Society for Neuroscience, the prestigious Troland Research award from the National Academy of Sciences and NYU’s Golden Dozen Teaching award. She is also a popular lecturer at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. In addition to research and teaching she is also passionate about supporting women in science.She has teamed with Gaby Jordan, President of the Education Division of the Handel Group to found an organization called “Empowering Women in Science” that is currently running leadership training seminars for students and faculty at universities around the country. Wendy has also been featured in Anne Leibovitz’s photographic essay book entitled “Women”


    Wendy Suzuki provides examples of how new brain cells form as the result of an enriched environment. She tells the story of her student year abroad in France and talks about how immersion in a different culture, or even new cuisine can affect the brain in a positive way.

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    Standard YouTube License @ Russell Sarder

    Headline Blog: Environmental Enrichment (Neural)

    Definition: Blog (noun). Add new material to or regularly update to a blog. (≃1990s: blog shortening of weblog)


    Amy Shissler
    My Cerebellar Stroke Recovery
    May 15, 2013

    I had never heard of this and didn’t know what the hell it was until I took a course taught by Peter G. Levine. BDNF stands for brain-derived neurotrophic factor. That’s a really long name for a protein. BDNF is a protein that is produced by the brain. It helps neurogenesis – it makes new brain cells. New brain cells = neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the rewiring of the brain. BDNF has been referred to as Miracle-Gro for the brain. So we want it. Stroke survivors want a lot of it. Exercise stimulates its secretion. So the moral of the story is…..workout……a lot. Here, read this.

    See the original article:

    How to Change Your Own Mind, Literally

    Sep 15, 2013

    SSTattler: Re-published February 13, 2016 How to Change Your Own Mind, Literally.

    "You can't be too skinny or too rich," said my old college buddy back in the 60s. But now you know the truth. Skinniness sometimes is related to anorexia or bulimia. And you've heard stories about the deaths of lottery winners who blew their money on drugs or died from being poisoned. My friend got it wrong. She should have said, "You can't be too brainy."

    The brain controls everything, like our emotional outbursts to pain, our nervous eating, our ability to pee regularly, our resistance to confront people, our neurotic tastes. But what was thought prior to the 1970s--that the brain was fixed and couldn't be changed after early childhood--was wrong. The brain can process new experiences, like having a stroke, by creating neural pathways to accommodate them. Welcome to neuroplasticity, the game changer.

    There are four key truths about neuroplasticity:
    1. Neuroplasticity is ongoing throughout life and involves brain cells and neurons.
    2. Neuroplasticity can happen for two distinct reasons--as a result of learning, experience, and memory or as a result of brain damage.
    3. Neuroplasticity can vary by age, and while plasticity occurs throughout life, certain types of changes are more predominant.
    4. Neuroplasticity and environment, both together, play an essential role in the process.

    Neurogenesis (#2)

    Richard (Dick) L. Burns
    Live or Die: A Stroke of Good Luck
    Wednesday, January 26, 2011

    It was long thought that we were born with as many brain cells as we'll ever have.  The brain never regenerates itself, regrows and replaces dead ones after injury or stroke.

    My book, "Live or Die - A Stroke of Good Luck" tells why this is not true, that brain cells regenerate, new cells actually grow and replace dead ones.  And, if this were not true, I wouldn't be alive, functioning, learning  to play a new sport, writng a book.

    Read all about this in the new Winter Edition of "StrokeSmart," Magazine published andf distributed nationally by the National Stroke Association.

    More on the medical studies, doctors, scientists, countries to come.

    See the original article:

    Brain Plasticity Will Blow Your Mind

    Rebecca Dutton
    Home After a Stroke
    February 6, 2013

    SSTattler: Re-published January 30, 2016 Brain Plasticity Will Blow Your Mind.

    New research on brain plasticity will blow your mind.  One amazing finding is that new stem cells are produced in the lateral ventricles of the adult brain (1).  What is even more amazing is how these stem cells migrate from the back of the brain to the olfactory bulb in the front of the brain (2).  Using time lapse imaging scientists have been able to watch stem cells latch onto a blood vessel highway and drag themselves to their destination.  First, brain chemicals push stem cells away from their birth place.  Additional chemicals stop the stem cells from getting off track along the way.  As the cells approach their destination more chemicals pull them in the right direction.

    Equally amazing is the fact that new stem cells are produced in the hippocampus that controls memory (2).  Since learning is life-long, it is hard to believe that neuroscientists used to believe that remembering everything we learn can be crammed into the memory cells we were born with.  The adult brain grows thousands of new stem cells in the hippocampus every day (3).  Diffusion tensor imaging allowed scientists to see significant microstructure changes in the hippocampus after two hours of training (4).

    Enriched Environments Help Recovery After Stroke

    Peter G. Levine
    Stronger After Stroke
    Friday, February 12, 2016

    SSTattler: Re-published February 24, 2016 Enriched Environments Help Recovery After Stroke.

    Remember: SHE
    Social interaction

    What is an enriched environment (EE)?

    An EE is something that forces you to learn. Forced to learn. You have to be forced to learn. Learning can be forced by everything from curiosity to circumstance.

    In fact, the brain will not learn (change) unless its forced. Why would your brain change if it is comfortable? What if the brain changes while you're comfortable? It may change to the point where you are no longer comfortable.

    And a lack of comfort is icky.

    I Did WHAT?

    Barb Polan
    Barb's Recovery
    Posted 11th March 2013

    Let’s do the math: In the stroke community, one topic is about how many repetitions are required to result in rewiring our brain to communicate with a distant muscle no longer connected to its original boss in our brain. We exercise aerobically to optimize neurogenesis, and we try repeatedly to perform the feat we want to accomplish. How many times do we have to repeat it? Two weeks ago, I had the thrilling success of using my left biceps femoris, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus muscles (a.k.a. hamstring) for the first time post-stroke. Out of curiosity, I decided to answer the “how many repetitions does it take?” question: In addition to all the muscle-specific exercises demanded of me by my therapists over the years and many uses of the hamstring Nautilus equipment at the Y, along with attempting to raise my knee (and use my hamstring) every step up on stairs, plus electrical stimulation, and taking nearly-daily walks – all performed over a span of the 3.5 years since having a stroke – I have also WALKED. By that I mean daily incidental walking (incidental to life, with at least a short walk). When I got my new Bioness, I turned in my “trial” unit and it turned out to have saved all my daily walking data, which ranged from a low of 2,500 to a high of 5,000 or 6,000; that’s at the very least an average of 2,000. Although a person with a proper gait is advised to walk at least 10,000 steps/day, I don’t think 2,000 for me is shoddy. I have done that every day for 3.5 years. 365 x 3.5 x 2,000 = 2,555,000. That is two-and-a-half MILLION attempts to use my hamstring. A daunting number, but it works out to about 170 attempts per hour for a 12-hour day ( 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.) or 3 times/minute during everyday life, which doesn’t seem too hard to do. Got to focus on these fingers.

    See the original article:

    Mentors can be Friends to Man and his Best Friend

    Mark A. Ittleman
    The Teaching of Talking
    March 4, 2015

    My Friend and Mentor
    Armando Cruz
    (My dog Jackie’s friend also!)
    A few months ago I wrote an article about clients and patients of speech language pathologists, and how I considered most of those I work with as “friends.” There was some flack from other speech language pathologists in the field, but it was soon quelled as I defined what a friend to me, was. As stated then, Webster defines a friend as a person whom you like and enjoy being with; a person who helps or supports someone or something; one attached to another by affection or esteem.

    This article is different. Mentors are those who communicate with you. They share information, they teach, advise, and express events of their lives that may help those with whom they speak. The Mentor I wish to write about today is a man of varied talents, and one who manages people. He is a physicist, salesman, corporate sales manager, husband, father, RVer, patron of the cinema, and just a friendly guy! He is very likable; even canines like him. He always has a pocket full of dog treats, even when he is wearing formal work attire!

    [Guest Article] You are What you Choose to Be

    Pamela Hsieh
    24 May, 2012

    Debbie is Pamela’s personal trainer.

    Ever since I was a young girl I always did my absolute best at everything I did.  Some may say I was a “perfectionist,” but I simply call it “driven.”  Whenever I committed to doing anything, whether it was winning the social studies fair, getting the solo in the high school dance show, graduating college with honors, or getting promoted to a management position, I never let any environmental or life circumstance hinder my ability to succeed.  Don’t get me wrong, I certainly had obstacles and worked hard to achieve all of these things, but I never made an excuse as to why I couldn’t do any of these things.  I chose who I wanted to be and continue to make these choices every day. Some of you may think this is not that easy and we all don’t have control over life but the bottom line is — we do.

    As a certified personal trainer, one of my favorite things I tell all my clients is, “It’s not easy, but it is simple.” This could not be truer. So many times I hear clients say they “can’t work out” or “can’t find time” to work out or make healthy food choices and all I hear in my head is “I choose not to work out or eat healthy.” This is the truth.  Time is not found, it is made.  I mentioned before that I had obstacles that attempted to get in my way when working towards certain goals in life.  For example, I was diagnosed with type I diabetes when I was six years old.  I could have easily used this as an excuse as to why I couldn’t handle a four-hour dance rehearsal or ever have a profession as a personal trainer.  I figured a personal trainer had to be in “perfect health,” rather than plagued by a chronic disease usually characterized by obesity and poor health habits.  Instead, I chose to use this as a tool for my success.  What better way to help prevent others from becoming diabetic due to obesity than to help change others’ lives for the better with a detailed understanding of eating healthy and exercising to manage their health?  As a result, I chose to make personal training my career.  This was one of the best decisions I ever made.


    Steven H. Cornelius
    Music and Stroke
    Posted on March 19, 2012

    Music psychologist Eric Clarke takes an “ecological approach to perception.” He writes that, “Perception is a self-tuning process” in search of resonance, and that resonance is a “perceiving organism’s active, exploratory engagement with its environment” (Ways of Listening: An Ecological Approach to the Perception of Musical Meaning 2005:17-19). For him, strategies for achieving resonance are necessarily adaptive, influenced by both our physical and cultural environments.

    I am sympathetic with Clarke’s ecological framework and the idea of achieving emotional/social resonance (or proper “fit”) through environmental engagement. But I would have been much more comfortable with his ideas had he put thinking at the front of his argument, although he perhaps includes thinking as a part of perception. (We do perceive our thinking, after all.)

    Clarke writes, “We detect a sound and turn to it.”

    Could Your Brain Repair Itself? - Ralitsa Petrova

    Published on Apr 27, 2015

    Imagine the brain could reboot, updating its damaged cells with new, improved units. That may sound like science fiction — but it’s a potential reality scientists are investigating right now. Ralitsa Petrova details the science behind neurogenesis and explains how we might harness it to reverse diseases like Stroke, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

    Lesson by Ralitsa Petrova, animation by Artrake Studio.

    Standard YouTube License @ TED-Ed

    Weekly Columnists

    Definition: Columnist |ˈkäləmnist| (noun). A blogger or a journalist contributing regularly to a blog or newspaper

    Musing: Neurogenesis and Inflammation After Ischemic Stroke: What is Known and Where we go from Here

    Dean Reinke
    Dean's Stroke Musing
    Tuesday, August 5, 2014

    What the hell is your doctor doing for their future stroke patients based upon this article?

    Neurogenesis and Inflammation After Ischemic Stroke: What is Known and Where we go from Here

    Matthew K Tobin, Jacqueline A Bonds, Richard D Minshall, Dale A Pelligrino, Fernando D Testai and Orly Lazarov


    This review covers the pathogenesis of ischemic stroke and future directions regarding therapeutic options after injury. Ischemic stroke is a devastating disease process affecting millions of people worldwide every year. The mechanisms underlying the pathophysiology of stroke are not fully understood but there is increasing evidence demonstrating the contribution of inflammation to the drastic changes after cerebral ischemia. This inflammation not only immediately affects the infarcted tissue but also causes long-term damage in the ischemic penumbra. Furthermore, the interaction between inflammation and subsequent neurogenesis is not well understood but the close relationship between these two processes has garnered significant interest in the last decade or so. Current approved therapy for stroke involving pharmacological thrombolysis is limited in its efficacy and new treatment strategies need to be investigated. Research aimed at new therapies is largely about transplantation of neural stem cells and using endogenous progenitor cells to promote brain repair. By understanding the interaction between inflammation and neurogenesis, new potential therapies could be developed to further establish brain repair mechanisms.

    To read this article in full you may need to log in, make a payment or gain access through a site license.

    See the original article:

    Sunday Stroke Survival: What You See...

    Jo Murphey
    The Murphey Saga
    Sunday, March 20, 2016

    Ever hear, you are a product of your environment? When learning how to write, you are told show don't tell. It's basically the same thing. When you involve the senses everything in a person is touched along the neural network to the brain.

    The setting of the surroundings have a positive or negative impact on the results you want to achieve. The same is true for stroke or brain injury survivors. Are you surprised?

    With my youngest daughter, TBI survivor, too much stimulus would cause her to have a multifocal seizure, but if she could get to her "quiet room," a sensory deprivation closet, she could definitely reduce the effects of the seizure activity into a less violent one. We built one in our home in a walk in closet. It was padded with a sound barrier foam on the walls and ceiling, and painted black. Yes, it sounds extreme, but if you ever witnessed how bad her seizures were on her and those around her, you'd understand. She once threw off three grown men during one such attack who were trying to restrain her. She's awoken in the morning black and blue from seizures in her sleep. She actually fractured her wrist one night.

    I'd read where this could happen, so we were prepared. I didn't fully understand it until I had my stroke. I would go into sensory overload if more than two people were talking to me or around me at once. My brain just couldn't hack it. I would close my eyes and fend sleep just so they would all go away. Thankfully, these effects have diminished now that the initial damage to my brain has been reached.

    Caregiver: Q & A

    The Pink House On The Corner
    Sunday, March 20, 2016

    I recently received an e-mail from a family friend & blog reader asking me some questions that were on his mind and I thought, instead of a personal reply, I would answer them here...

    Q: How do you think you're doing with grief, loss and loneliness?

    A: I really don't know -- I mean some days I think I do fine, others: not so good. Mostly, I miss Bob so much that it is hard to even get up in the morning. But I do. I drag myself up. The dog is a good motivator with this.

    I often feel lost. I mostly feel lonely. It seems the world has become an alien place where I no longer fit in. I often ask myself, who am I? why am I still here? and what on earth do I do without Bob? I feel as if a whole half of me is missing. My identity is shattered. And I have lost my purpose in life.

    This is the hardest thing I've ever been through: harder than the stroke, the lawsuit, the daily grind of caregiving. Harder I think because I no longer have hope, and before there was always hope, and something to look forward to and work toward. Now, the only thing I look forward to is the day that I may leave this earth and be with Bob again. I no longer fear death, but will welcome it with open arms when my time comes.

    Jester: The Old Rancher

    Jackie Poff
    Stroke Survivors Tattler
    Mr. Peabody, the local banker, saw his old friend Tom, an 80-year-old rancher, in town.

    Tom had lost his wife the year before. Rumour had it he was marrying a 'mail order' bride.

    Mr. Peabody asked Tom if the rumour was true.

    Tom replied, "Yes, it is true."

    Mr. Peabody asked, "May I ask the age of your new bride to be?"

    Tom replied, "She'll be 21 in November."

    Mr. Peabody, being a wise man, knew the sexual appetite of a young woman could not be satisfied by an 80-year-old man.

    Mr. Peabody wanted Tom's remaining years to be happy. So he tactfully suggested that Tom should consider getting a hired hand to help him out on the ranch, knowing nature would take its own course.

    Tom thought this was a good idea and said he would look for a hired hand that very afternoon.

    Four months later, Mr. Peabody saw Tom in town again.

    Mr. Peabody asked, "How is your new wife?"

    Tom replied, "Good. She's pregnant."

    Mr. Peabody was pleased his sage advice had worked out so well. He asked, "And how's the hired hand?"

    Without hesitating, Tom said, "She's pregnant too!"

    Never underestimate old men.

    TED Talks - Meron Gribetz:
    A Glimpse of the Future Through an Augmented Reality Headset
    Filmed February 2016

    What if technology could connect us more deeply with our surroundings instead of distracting us from the real world? With the Meta 2, an augmented reality headset that makes it possible for users to see, grab and move holograms just like physical objects, Meron Gribetz hopes to extend our senses through a more natural machine. Join Gribetz as he takes the TED stage to demonstrate the reality-shifting Meta 2 for the first time. (Featuring Q&A with TED Curator Chris Anderson).

    Filmed February 2016 at TED2016

    Laid-Back Admin: Stop SSTattler, Why?, and a Bit History

    Dr. Beagle C. Cranium
    Stroke Survivors Tattler

    This next week will present:
    1. Stop SSTattler - Stop publish Apr/09/2016 Stroke Survivors Tattler and in the future. The Guest Bloggers told a week before on e-mail Wednesday March 9th.
    2. Why? - I can explain it in a very positive way.
    3. History - We have a handful readers of friends in Edmonton at the start but now we have readers approx.  500+/- Users around the world every week, great Guest Bloggers, why have various Wikipedia & Video, Headline Blog, Eclectic Stuff, and Weekly ColumnistsComics, and so on...
    For this week I have to scratch-my-head so that I'll to tell you the important details but lots of unimportant details I'll put them my garbage bin. Starting to scratch-my-head right now...


    Dr. Beagle C. Cranium and John C. Anderson

    Wednesday, March 23, 2016

    Eclectic Stuff on Wednesday

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

    Strokversary Six

    Tim Seefeldt
    Brain Food Cafe for the Mind
    Posted March 14, 2016

    Six years ago today started with a sizzle.

    Sadly, it was my brain that was frying. It’s the day I stroked out.

    Few days go by without some reminder of my March Madness. It began months of craziness, confusion and fear. It really, really sucked.

    But on this first Monday of Day Light Savings, I drink a solo toast, say thanks to whoever will listen and vow not to waste the time I now have with a well functioning brain. Well functioning by my standards, at least.

    I’m often haunted by terrible memories when I think of stroking out. The confusion and fear of the first days was actually a pleasure compared to the fright that followed my earliest recovery. That’s when I was together enough to realize just how messed up I really was.

    50 Shades of Possible Changes

    Sas Freeman
    March 20, 2016

    Wheel Chair
    The changes to welfare payments over the next four years announced by the Chancellor last week means that over half a million disabled people could sadly lose out. The Government claiming it would be fairer, but charities question this.

    After George Osborne announced this cut to the Personal Independent Payment (PIP) from these already vulnerable people, a significant number of Conservative MP’, recognising the drastic effects on thousands of people’s lives, warned him that they were ready to throw out his plans. They have written a letter to the Chancellor requesting he rethinks his plans.  Iain Duncan Smith resigned as work and pensions secretary, denouncing £4bn of planned cuts to disability benefits as “indefensible”.

    If these changes are forced in, it could in real terms, leave disabled people, who need extra assistance, £3,500 a year worse off whilst the cost of the paid care they need remains the same.

    Swallowing, a Simple Thing You Take for Granted

    Joyce Hoffman
    The Tales of a Stroke Patient
    Mar 20, 2016

    Almost 7 years ago, when I was brand new to the constantly changing, faceless group known as stroke survivors in the rehab facility, I was more absorbed with my lack of right-sided movement than with anything else. And I was on intravenous, plus a feeding tube for 5 weeks that injected "formula" directly into my gastrointestinal tract to keep me alive in name only. I had no appetite anyway because the noxious depression, accompanied by random seizures, kept on going, never stopping, even for mealtime.

    After 5 weeks, I was subject to a swallowing test where, if I passed in the dimly lit room with an accompanying screen with video imaging to see if my throat muscles moved correctly, I could eat what is known as a mechanical soft diet, a collection of foods that disgusted me, just because: soft mashed potatoes smothered in gravy, jello, pudding, overcooked vegetables--those sorts of things, soft things. The first time, I failed the test. I wasn't swallowing correctly and my tongue was going awry, but I didn't even know. But a week later, I passed.

    There was a separate section set up for all those who passed that test, the controlled feast as I called it, and across from each person sat a speech therapist taking notes on the progress while the people ate the mechanical soft stuff. It made me nervous and a little edgy, but I ate, albeit drooling with food occasionally falling out, little bits at a time to avoid choking, to keep the feeding tube removal on schedule.

    9 Things I Must Do to Be Independent in Driving

    Rebecca Dutton
    Home After a Stroke
    March 15, 2016

    Regaining independence in driving took more than being trained to drive one-handed by a certified OT driving instructor. There were nine additional skills I had to master. I begin with two tasks that able-bodied people do before they pull away from the curb.

    Safety. (1) The seatbelt was always twisted when I pulled it across my body. I learned I have to make sure the seat belt is completely straight when I pull it out.

    Starting the Car. (2) My left arm is my sound arm so I have to lean over to see the slot for the key. I can pull the key out thru an opening in the steering wheel because this does not require the precise placement that inserting the key demands.

    Managing Blood Pressure - Lowering Those Numbers

    Jeff Porter
    Stroke of Faith
    Thursday, March 17, 2016

    Pay attention, keep track and act when needed - key elements to control high blood pressure, the leading cause of strokes.

    Photo from
    via Flickr
    Read a recent study illustrating this importance and how intensive blood pressure management is feasible in post-stroke care:

    ▶ "Active management of systolic blood pressure in this population using a 140 mm Hg target led to a clinically important reduction in blood pressure," they wrote, adding, "Active management of blood pressure after stroke/transient ischaemic attack is more important than the target that is set."

    ▶ "The additional resources needed to achieve the additional 3 mm Hg lower blood pressure in the intensive target arm might be better spent in increasing the proportion of people with stroke in primary care who have a systolic blood pressure below 140 mm Hg."

    ▶ Their Prevention After Stroke -- Blood Pressure (PAST-BP) study included 529 patients at 99 general practices in England who were randomized open-label to treatment to an intensive target of under 130 mm Hg (or a 10 mm Hg reduction from baseline if they started below 140 mm Hg) or a standard target of less than 140 mm Hg.

    ▶ "Apart from the different target, patients in both arms were actively managed in the same way with regular reviews by the primary care team," Mant's group noted."

    The reduction of blood pressure readings might have been small, but which level would you rather have?

    See the original article: