I just went blank…

I went Blank!

Did you ever go BLANK during a speech?

I pride myself on getting up to the stage, looking at the audience for a few seconds and beginning my talk.

Last night, I was introduced, went up to the podium, TRIED to tie my tie, and began my speech.  But this time, here is what appeared to me:

(PAUSE) (PAUSE) (PAUSE) (PAUSE) 1.…2.…3 ….

I would like to ask you a question:  when was the last time  ask you a question:  that you met, talked to, or simply noticed someone I’m talking about that stranger who walks a little funny, or doesn’t respond normally to you, or looks a little cock-eyed, or distracted, or avoids conversation,well, you know. (LEAN FORWARD) It’s someone who makes you ask yourself, perhaps unconsciously  who just didn’t seem quite “right” to you…. (with irony) I’m not talking about your boss or your spouse! (PAUSE) You know what I mean; or is confined to a wheelchair, or stutters, or shakes, or…… (PAUSE) “What’s wrong with that guy?” (PAUSE) 

What should you do now?

Are you having trouble reading it?  So was I!  I knew the words were in the right…but I couldn’t seem to get the sequence in order.  I remember looking closely,  but I couldn’t make sense of it.  I have been giving the same speech for 3 years, and now it just didn’t make sense.

What should I do now? I was stuck.  Maybe if I just tried to remember what I was supposed to say, everything would be fine. Maybe I was having another stroke?

Has this ever happened to you?

I finished the first page, and then all the words appeared in order.  For a few minutes, I was scared.

When I was all done, I got another standing ovation.   Maybe they were happy that I was finally done!



Five books you will thank me for….

Books on stroke

Posted by Lynn Bronikowski 

Whether you’re a stroke survivor or caregiver looking to learn more about stroke, these five books focus on personal accounts of stroke recovery and offer practical advice and hope during the journey to recovery.

Brain Attack – My Journey of Recovery from Stroke and Aphasia by David Dow

When David Dow was 10 years old, his life suddenly changed due to a massive stroke. The stroke left him paralyzed on the right side and gave him aphasia, leaving him unable to speak, read, or write. Brain Attack shares David’s story with frankness, humor, and most of all, with hope. David Dow is an award-winning advocate for those suffering from stroke and aphasia. His story has garnered the attention of the national news media, and now he shares it with readers of all ages.


Where’s There? by Michael Wacholder

Where’s There?: The Shared Insights of a Stroke Survivor tells a story and shares insights about the author’s recovery from a devastating stroke. He cleverly weaves his story and his insights into a compelling narrative about a challenging journey toward recovery. It speaks to the stroke patient on a personal level. It speaks to families of stroke survivors in a language that helps them understand the challenges confronted by their loved one. It speaks to caregivers in a way seldom heard.


Mom Had a Stroke by Delanie Stephenson

Katie, a 6-year-old girl had everything she needed: a house in the country with pets, a devoted family, and a fun-loving mom. Katie had no worries. But, unexpectedly near the end of her kindergarten school year, her mother suffered a life-altering stroke. A book for children, Mom Had a Stroke explores how one little girl felt as she learned to accept and adjust to a new mom with physical challenges, and how, over time, they began to experience happiness as a family again.


Essential Puree by Diane Wolff

Essential Puree – The A to Z Guidebook, offers 67 pureed recipes of classic American comfort foods for anyone with dysphagia or other swallowing disorders. Diane Wolff provides a system for setting up and running a purée kitchen that is fast, easy, organized and smart. She offers tips on selecting ingredients that are healing, storing food safely, setting up the pantry, refrigerator and freezer, and organizing a cooking schedule to ensure meals are always on hand.

The Calm Before the Storm, a Stroke Survivor’s Story by Delanie Stephenson

At 33, Delanie Stephenson was enjoying life with her husband, two kids, and a teaching job she loved. A terrible headache struck her on June 6, 2012, and no amount of ibuprofen could take care of it. Delanie had a stroke. In her memoir, Delanie describes that summer in detail, from the first harried days in the ICU to the tedious physical therapy. Filled with intimate details and the resilience of the human spirit, her book tells of one woman’s journey from stroke victim to stroke survivor.