Was I super fantastic???


I finished speaking at a meeting in Eugene…and I will have to wait for an answer next week.

All this energy;  all this enthusiasm; everyone doing there exercises…  I couldn’t believe it!

The were a two NEW things I tried. For the FIRST time…ok the real FIRST time was in Seattle and my presentation didn’t work…I tried giving them the exercises so they could vote with their smart phones.  It was a little shaky, but it worked.  I didn’t pause enough between questions and I should had something clever to say about the winner…  A book would have been nice.  Next time!

Then, right before I finished, I mentioned how to get my FREE BOOK and the SECRETS part of my website.  I THINK it went well, but I have to ask Laura, who hired me  to speak at her event.  I call her next week….after she has a weekend of much needed rest.

But my key measure: I asked my wife and she said it was GREAT.  For me, this was a thumbs WAY up!

How did I do?

How did I do?

Each time I give a speech, I ask my wife “How did I do? Was I OK?”

For the most part, she pretty much says  “I did OK.”   But this time she said “I was really great!”

Did I hear that correctly? Could she be describing somebody else????  No….she was describing me!  I guess that month of preparing was the right thing to do.

This Tuesday, I will ask the clients’ opinion. If the client liked it, it can open up new doors for me. Wish me luck!

OK, I know what you are thinking….you don’t believe in wishing somebody “good luck”. Either do I; it is just a nice thing to say when you are stuck for something to say.  We all make our own luck…. with consistent effort….each day.  Luck doesn’t  just happen.

My IMPROVED speech…

shutterstock_353502749I am REALLY excited about my updated speech.

I gave my presentation earlier in the year and the client gave me GREAT feedback.  Combine this with additional changes I have done …and this will give the audience an uplifting presentation.

This Thursday, I will give my Putting Failure In Its Place presentation to the entire company (300 people).    One of the things I have done  differently is the way I ask for feedback.  I am excited to try it.  If this works, it will provide me with a LOT of feedback.

After I do the speech, I will show you the slides the audience sees. I can’t do it earlier because I am still changing them.  Wish me luck!

I will let you know how it goes…good or bad…because that’s the way I roll.


How are we doing in Canada?


It can begin as a terrible headache, one worse than the usual grind. It could progress to your limbs feeling weak on one side of your body, or trouble walking, garbled speech, or a loss of vision.

Experiencing these symptoms may mean you are having a stroke. With June being Stroke Awareness Month in Canada, doctors are advising that the key to reducing the risk of stroke lies in prevention.

“Heart disease and stroke is the leading cause of death and hospitalization in Canadians,” said Diane Shanks, director of Emergency, Critical Care Medicine and Cardiorespirartory at Chinook Regional Hospital.

“People that develop those diseases early on, about 80 per cent of them are probably preventable. If we can focus on any aspect of this, it’s probably the prevention opportunities that people hear about all the time, but we still have a long way to go for people really acting upon those.”

Reducing risk begins with eating a healthy diet, watching your intake of salt and sugar, maintaining an active lifestyle and quitting smoking.

“Those are all things completely within our control, and those are things that have a really, really big impact on your risk for heart disease and stroke,” said Shanks.

It’s estimated there are 1.6 million Canadians living with heart disease or the effects of a stroke, according to The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.

A stroke is a sudden loss of brain function caused by the interruption of blood flow to the brain (ischemic stroke) or the rupture of blood vessels in the brain (hemorrhagic stroke). Both cause brain cells in the affected area to die.

If the stroke is caused by a blood clot, there are certain medications for qualified patients that can break up the clot to try to return blood circulation to the brain, said Shanks. Sometimes patients must be sent to Calgary hospital for further intervention.

The hospital is a busy place, with high volumes of people using the emergency department and challenges having enough beds for patients, said Shanks. By making healthy lifestyle decisions, the public can ease the burden on health system resources.

“We admitted approximately 200 patients in this past year as a result of stroke and stroke-like symptoms, and almost double that for emergency department care. We certainly have a high incidence of it,” said Shanks.


To determine if you or a loved one is experiencing a stroke, use the acronym FAST, which stands for Face, Arms, Speech, and Time, explained Corinna Hartley, stroke co-ordinator.

“Face – if you see any facial drooping or asymmetry in the face; Arms – if you ask somebody to raise their arms and they cannot do it or have difficulty; Speech – any speech problem, garbled speech, or cannot get words out. Those are the three key warning signs that will enact someone to call immediately. T stands for Time.”

If anyone experiences any of those symptoms, they should call Emergency Medical Services, or 9-1-1, as soon as possible.

Going to a clinic can delay treatment, said Hartley, whereas EMS staff are trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of stroke and will bring the patient to the hospital.

“Time really is brain,” she said. “Call EMS, 9-1-1, get the patient seen so that they can be diagnosed and get quick treatment.”

Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability, with approximately 400,000 Canadians living with the effects of stroke. It can take many months or years of therapy to recover or partly recover from a stroke.

Through an Alberta Health Services program launched just over one year ago, some patients can recover in the comfort of their own homes with the assistance of an expert team comprised of rehab therapists, physiotherapists, speech pathologists, and recreational therapists.

“They will actually go to their home and work with them in their home to help with their recovery in an environment that is more familiar to them and more conducive to their recovery. It allows them to walk their own stairs at home and those sorts of things,” said Shanks.

For more information on stroke and heart disease, visit heartandstroke.ab.ca.

Melissa Villeneuve
Lethbridge Herald
Follow @MelissaVHerald on Twitter

Did I get a THUMPS UP??


We just held the event Monday.  I will call this week and let you know how it went and if I got a thumps up. BUT, the feedback I got so far has been positive!

I felt really POSITIVE about the event.  We had some problems in the set up, but fortunately my contact there gave us plenty of time to work things out.  I ended up working for almost an hour to get the program to work properly.   Again, God bless my contact for taking the time to make sure that everything work out.  He was amazing!

And what did the people leaving say?

You will have to wait to here!  I know; how mean is that.

Jill had her books on the table, all signed, ready to give to the people attending.  I took the photo below.  I don’t want to brag, but isn’t she just wonderful!!!


Good time in SF…(that’s San Francisco for those who don’t know)


I think the talk went GREAT!

OK, the first one didn’t go so well, but that one was with my friends.  I feel a little bad because I wanted to give them a good experience. My friends are so fantastic; I messed up MULTIPLE times, but nobody complained. That is true friendship! I feel blessed to have them.

I was ready to give my talk.Then, the next day, I gave my speech at Garre Vineyard and Winery.  I THINK I was awesome…but I will know once my contact does my evaluation. In the process, I always want to get better, so I ask the appropriate questions.  Wish me good luck!

Afterwards, we just hung out…seeing the sites.





Posted by Lisa O’Neill Hill

“I could barely make a whole sentence,” she said.

Thueson went to speech therapy and found other ways to tell people what she was thinking or what she needed. She practiced using an app on her iPad.

Speech challenges after stroke are common, and there are different types:

Aphasia: A survivor with aphasia may have trouble understanding language, talking or may have a hard time coming up with the words he wants to say. Sometimes people with aphasia use the wrong words; it can also affect reading and writing. It does not affect intelligence.

Dysphagia: A stroke can cause swallowing problems, which can cause challenges with speech and with eating. Dysphagia can happen because of weakness and a lack of coordination between the muscles in the mouth and throat.

Dysarthria: This happens when muscles in your lips, tongue vocal folds or diaphragm don’t work the way they need to for clear speech.  A survivor’s speech might be slurred, mumbled, slow or choppy and can be difficult to understand.

Regardless of what kind of speech issue you’re having, there are things you can do.

“One of the things that seems to be overlooked is that there are ways that people can still communicate,” says Kathy Newkirk, a speech language pathologist in California. “Even if a person can’t talk, they might be able to write a message so you can understand or they can point to something on a chart.”

Apps for your phone or iPad can be particularly helpful, she says.

Newkirk recommends getting into speech therapy as soon as possible. If it’s not offered, ask for it. Speech therapy should begin as soon as a doctor clears a patient for therapy.

Every survivor is different, she says. For some, getting back to pre-stroke speech can take years; others come back much quicker. It’s important for caregivers to be involved and be supportive.

“Motivation is a huge issue as is family support. It kind of does come down to the extent they are willing and able to practice and work for it,” Newkirk says. “The brain is sometimes forming new connections. It does take a lot of effort.”

Thueson’s advice to stroke survivors struggling with speech challenges?

“Do therapy. Don’t give up. Plan to stick with it and go to a support group. Mainly, don’t give up.”

Boy, can I relate to this!!!!

How was I?


Was I nervous?  No…I was looking forward to addressing this team.

I started giving my speech almost 4 years ago. I can not believe it!

In looking back, about 50% of the speech has changed.  That is a good thing!  Others in the speaking industry say you should continuously update your speech.  I change my speech ALMOST every time I deliver it.

Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t write new items all the time…but I will adjust as things change.  And guess what? Since a small part of my speech is different (maybe one line), I still have to practice it to get it right!  So I do!

Good News

Last week, I delivered my speech to Thrivent Financial.  They are a wonderful group and I have been blessed to know them.  I was looking at the agenda: I had to fly up to Spokane Washington and then take the shuttle to the C’ouer d’Alene Resort in Idaho.   I assumed, the coordinator would book me for the shuttle.  When my wife asked about this, I told her we were all set up for it.  When she asked me what was my reservation number, I suddenly get concerned!  I realized that  I didn’t tell the person what time my flight was arriving and she had not book me yet. My wife called the night before and got the last 2 seats on the bus!

I felt REALLY stupid!  Did I ever tell you how much I love my wife?  She is a ROCKSTAR!

Aphasia, post-stroke loss of speech, can be compensated by right side of the brain

By: Bel Marra Health | Brain Function

Aphasia is a condition that occurs post-stroke and results in a loss of speech. Research suggests that it can be compensated for by the right side of the brain. Previous research suggested that the right side of the brain actually interfered with recovery post-stroke, but the new findings suggest that the back, right side of the brain can actually aid in speech recovery.The study examined grey matter volume and its role in speech and how speech can be recovered. The researchers found that patients who regained their voice post-stroke also had more grey matter volume in the back right hemisphere of the brain.

Senior author, Peter Turkeltaub, M.D., Ph.D., said, “Over the past decade, researchers have increasingly suggested that the right hemisphere interferes with good recovery of language after left hemisphere strokes. Our results suggest the opposite – that right hemisphere compensation improves recovery.”

Speech and language loss, known as aphasia, occurs in one-third of stroke patients and they never fully regain it back.

In a group of 32 stroke survivors whose left hemisphere was affected, grey matter volume in the back right hemisphere led to greater success of recovering speech and language. The stroke survivors were compared to 30 other individuals as a control group.

Furthermore, those with recovered speech areas had a larger right hemisphere. Dr. Turkeltaub added, “This indicates growth in these brain areas that relates to better speech production after a stroke.”

Aphasia causes

Aphasia causesAphasia is caused by brain damage, most commonly a result of stroke. There are four different aphasia types: expressive, receptive, global and nominal. Expressive aphasia is when a person knows what they want to say but are unable to find the words to express themselves. Receptive aphasia is when a person hears someone or reads words but cannot understand what they just heard or read. Global aphasia is when there is widespread damage to language and the person cannot speak or understand language. Lastly, nominal aphasia is when a person cannot use the right terms for objects, people, places or events – this is the least severe form.

Aphasia symptoms

The type of aphasia a person has can determine the symptoms they experience. Common symptoms of aphasia include:

  • Speaking in short or incomplete sentences
  • Speaking in sentences that don’t make sense
  • Substituting one word/sound for another
  • Using unrecognizable words
  • Not being able to understand other people’s conversation
  • Writing sentences that don’t make sense

Aphasia treatment

Aphasia treatmentIf brain damage caused by stroke is mild, language recovery may be possible through speech and language therapy. Therapy is most effective when administered early on – research has supported the idea that speech therapy should occur soon after the brain injury has occurred.

Therapy may also be effective in group settings, where communication skills can be practiced in a safe environment free of judgment.  Also, speech therapy may involve the use of computers to assist in the re-learning of verbs and word sounds.

Lastly, although there are no proven medications that can restore language in aphasia, they continue to be studied.

Wait…you were gone?


Yup- I just got back from speaking in Idaho.

Last night we gave our speech to a group that one of our clients put together. I delivered My Brain Has a Hole In It while  Jill followed up with why disability is so important.  I think the message hit home because I could see a lot of the poeple talking afterward.  Then we gave each attendee a Painful Blessing book write by Jill.

My host showed me the responses: all 5’s…followed up by one 4. If a 4 was the worst I could do, I am quite happy!

Jill and I went for a walk  before we left this morning. It was 38 degrees in Boise.   I absolutely loved the weather; it was so brisk and refreshing!  I hope to go back there again. Everybody was fantastic and so welcoming!