A stroke is an emergency—it can happen to anyone at any time and at any age. What happens when someone experiences a stroke and what occurs on the way to the hospital and in the hospital is the focus of this year’s National Stroke Awareness Month video. Help save a life by knowing what signs and symptoms to look for.
Did you ever think that you would meet someone who has to go by to different rules? That is the way I am…and anybody who has comeback after a life changing event.
I received an email from someone I met while my wife was speaking to a small group at ClubSport. The person who wrote this note, was just a ClubSport member who came to listen to my wife speak about all that SHE has been through as a result from my stroke. Who knew that this person would go thru a similar situation as me! When I received the email, I was impressed with what she wrote:
Congratulations on throwing a frisbee and releasing it. I heard your presentation several years ago at Club Sport. I have an autographed copy of your book and I have received your blog. In November of 2016. I had a massive brain bleed and my left side was paralyzed. I spent time at a nursing home experienced c-diff, blood clots, then made it to Rio, finally when I got home my balance wasn’t good and fell and broke the neck of my femur. I appreciate Jill telling you to stay in your chair?. Through it all your fighting spirit has been an encouragement. Where would we be without our friends and family of faith?!
I have come along way on this road and rereading your book last month I could understand and be even more impressed by your journey.
Thank you for sharing. All the best to both of you!
It is emails like this one that keeps me going. In times of despair, or moments that I don’t see myself as getting any better, a note like this one comes along and it makes me feel I am doing the right thing. Nothing happens unless you try!
And you know what? She was a delight to deal with! She still had some struggles, but she was determined to get better. Meeting someone like that is so invigorating to me.
After an acute stroke it is sometimes hard to rehabilitate, but you can use technology to help you overcome some of your disabilities. Many iPad apps are out there that are games to waste time with, but some of them can help stroke victims in particular. If you have an iPad, it may just be in your best interest to download some of these apps to see if they can help you in your everyday life after a stroke. Some are informational, some are rehabilitative, and some are can make a strong impact in your ability to communicate with others.
This iPad app actually gives you a screen of words to choose from, and then speaks whatever you select. If you are suffering from aphasia after an acute stroke, you likely have trouble saying what you want. With this handy app, the ability to communicate is just a few taps away. Instead of struggling to make yourself understood, you can easily enter your ideas into the computer, and it will speak your thoughts in a male or female voice. It’s an expensive app at just under $100, but it is worth it if you can speak clearly. You can get the free version, but it does not have the same features as the full version.
In keeping with the communication idea, MyTalkTools is for the stroke victim who suffers from aphasia and is not able to recognize words. This app displays a picture of the words, and you simply tap the picture to speak the idea. The screen includes a large green checkmark for yes and a large red x for no. It also has categories for items such as food, drink, and greetings. If the stroke victim’s aphasia does not allow them to say or recognize words, they may be able to communicate through the pictures in this app.
The MyVoice Communication Aid app is expensive at $189, but it is the most fully functioning communications app on the iTunes store. In addition to providing type in capabilities and pictographs for items, it will also scan the location you are at and suggest words and phrases that are appropriate to the situation. For instance, if you are standing in front of a theater, it will display the theater’s name and suggest appropriate sentences. For those who cannot communicate but are mobile, this app would be a big help.
ComprehensionTherAppy is a fun game for anyone who has had a stroke. The app presents users with pictures of an item. It clearly announces an item, and the stroke victim has to select the correct picture for it. Alternatively, it will present you with a word, and you select the picture it indicates. It has large, clear pictures and keeps a running total of the number of right and wrong answers. It will even produce a report to give to your therapist to demonstrate your progress with the tool. This app will definitely help you with improving your communication and language skills after an acute stroke.
This app is a great tool for anyone who has had an acute stroke or is concerned about their stroke risk. You can input your recent blood pressure readings and keep track of them with this handy app. It also has an area where you can enter all the medications you are on. This is very helpful when visiting the doctor or upon admission into the hospital. You can keep the drug names, doses and frequencies at your fingertips. It also gives you a place to record doctor’s appointments and has a list of low sodium foods to keep your blood pressure under control.
If you are interested in the medical side of your condition, this is a book that is aimed at the layman. It has quite a bit of information about the nerve system of the body, but it has a stroke section to explain the ins and outs of your current condition. Sometimes medical education can be a bit overwhelming, but this book app takes the time to explain things in easy to understand language. It can help you understand the pathological side of your condition and help you understand your doctor a bit better.
My stroke was 7 years ago this month. We have worked on recovery every day since I woke up, unable to move the right side of my body. This video of me at therapy shows how far I have come! Yeah, my movement is not perfect but I can lift my arm over my head, open and close my hand, and roughly engage my fine-motor skills. WOW!
My physical trainer, Ryan Rockwood, filmed me. My thanks go out to Ryan and the great people at the OHSU Center for Health and Healing for their consistent support and encouragement throughout my recovery.