I am proud….


I will tell you why I am proud…in a minute!

But first, I just did a speaking engagement for the Stroke Victims Survivors in Beaverton on Saturday. Jill and I were touched by the wonderful people we meet.  This is one of the few meetings where EVERYONE had experienced what I am experiencing.  There was not “you can imaging xxxx” or “imagine what you would do if xxxx happened”? They all got it…and they didn’t have to imagine.

I was proud and blessed to be in front of that special group.  As we are told, “every stroke is different” and that was true here.  Carrie thanked me, but I actually thank YOU. By seeing what each of you is dealing with,  MAKES ME want to tell others and share OUR experience.

And special birthday wish to Charlie Brown, who is celebrating his 80th birthday in September!  God bless you and all of the wonderful things in your life. Keep up your activity of meeting with stroke victims and letting them know that you are one of them.

And here is why I am proud:


Quick…get a flu shot!


Posted by Lucy Lazarony

A new study from the University of Lincoln in England shows the risk of suffering a stroke is greatly reduced for up two months after receiving a flu shot.

The study published in the journal Vaccine shows the risk of a first stroke is reduced by one-fifth in the first 59 days after taking the flu vaccine.

Flu Shots Reduce Stroke

Following a flu shot, there were:
• 36 percent fewer stroke cases in the first week
• 30 percent fewer stroke cases in the second week
• 24 percent fewer stroke cases in the third and fourth week

The study also found a 17 percent drop in stroke cases in days 29 to 59 after patients received a flu vaccine.

The biggest drop in stroke risk came in the first three days, when there was a 55 percent drop in stroke cases after patients received a flu shot.

The study looked at how the flu vaccine affected stroke risk in almost 18,000 patients, aged 18 and older.

Each patient in the study had suffered a first stroke between 2001 and 2009. And just over half of the patients in the study were women.  All the patients received flu vaccines.

Researchers looked at how many strokes occurred within 180 days for patients receiving flu shots.

According to researchers, the earlier the vaccine was administered during flu season, the greater the protection for the patient against a first stroke. And patients that received the flu vaccine between Sept. 1 and Nov. 15, at the start of flu season, saw the greatest reduction in risk for strokes.
The findings support flu shots for people with high risk of stroke and encourage early vaccinations during flu season.

The specific study method used by researchers, a self-controlled case study, reduced the chances that the lowered stroke risk findings were caused by any other reason than the flu vaccinations that each patient received.

Researchers are looking to confirm the research findings in clinical studies.

Future studies may also determine how much a flu vaccine would lower stroke risk in younger adults.

Earlier studies have already linked flu vaccinations with a reduced risk of a heart attack as well as a first stroke.

Each year flu vaccinations are given to protect against the influenza virus and prevent respiratory complications such as pneumonia.  Flu vaccines have a maximum effectiveness of six months.

Jill is helping out; OHSU takes a different approach to designing new South Waterfront building…

A warehouse along Macadam Avenue in Portland houses a maze of cardboard, almost like an adult version of children’s forts.

The cardboard has aided Oregon Health & Science University in designing the rooms inside its planned $340 million patient building, parking structure and guest house that will break ground early next year.

In an unusual move, OHSU and ZGF Architects are engaging all the various groups who will use the building in the planning process. Doctors, nurses, patients, engineers and housekeepers all have given input over the past five months.

“It’s given everyone a new perspective on how we can craft everything,” said Dr. Reid Mueller, associate professor in the Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. “Everything from the way the hallway flows to the positioning of the chair when you’re sitting with your family member and the importance of privacy in the recovery area.”

One patient who has participated is Jill Viggiano, whose husband had a stroke seven years ago.

“I have no medical background at all, it’s like stepping into Oz,” Viggiano said. She suggested the waiting room in the new building contain more distractions for family members, including kids — “something to play with and look at and be a kid and not feel like they’re annoying everyone else.”

The Center for Health and Healing South, as the new building will be called, will sit just south of the existing Center for Health and Healing, which contains doctors’ offices and outpatient space. It will also be a little shorter, at 15 as opposed to 16 floors.

The entire project will encompass 750,000 square feet. It will include 48 “extended stay” rooms and 76 guest rooms above the adjacent five-story garage. A small park will remain next to the patient building.

CHH-South will also contain space for surgery, interventional procedures, outpatient clinics for cancer, cardiovascular disease and gastroenterology, a pharmacy and imaging and lab space, conference center, parking garage and space for Knight Cancer Institute clinical trials.

An oval-shaped “mission control design” will allow gastroenterology, cardiology and pulmonary procedures to share a central core and some nursing staff.

“One of the great things about the space is that we’re integrating with other specialties,” said Dr. Gene Bakis, assistant professor of medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. “Patients are best served by multiple specialties. Here we’re going to be feet away from each other to promote cooperation and collaborative thinking.”

Jill continues to be my hero!

We spoke at a Professional Development Day at a local hospital.  Here are some of the comments:

It helped me remember why I became a nurse.

Thank you for bringing the speakers Jill and Gordon—Painful Blessings.

Please tell the Viggiano’s thank you for sharing their story.  Really puts everything in perspective.  I so admire both Jill and Gordon.  I honestly would not be able to do what they have done.  I’m on a redeye flight tonight, so their book will be a good read! So inspiring!

The Painful Blessing was an amazingly inspirational motivating share.

I liked the slides that were presented with the talk.

I like the patient perspective.


Great Q & A.


Why is he still speaking at hospitals?


Yes…I get such a thrill speaking to doctors, nurses, administrators, and therapists…probably, because I have exceeded what they projected what I would get back.  And I LIKE that.

I LIKE being back infront of the people who really don’t know what happens after a patient leaves the hospital.  I gets a sense of satisfaction of knowing what they say could have a real outcome for a patient.  But, so few patients actually come back to the hospital!  Some that don’t come back are just glad to be out of the hospital.  Some are probably just scraping by to make ends meet. Then there are the ones like me: 7 years….  they still have disabilities and they don’t want to come back because they are different.  NONE (well they say none) of these patients come back.  I would like to do something about that!  Stay tuned while I think about what that something is.

My 7 year anniversary is this month. I must say, I feel great.  You will get a different answer from my wife!  You see, her left brain works just fine!