Are you anxiously awaiting our commercial? You don’t have to wait any longer!


If you get a magnifying glass…and look closely… you will see Jill and I in 30 second TriMet commercial shot by the American Heart & Stroke Association.  Click on the following to watch.

Don’t worry; I am signing autographs at the event.  You know what?  This is our SECOND commercial!!!  Perhaps we shot get Jill some head shots?

BTW: Not many people know this, but Jill is the one zipping up her sweat shirt!!!


“I appreciate Jill telling you to stay in your chair”

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.


Hyperbaric therapy providing hope for stroke survivor

 

Doctors in the Philadelphia area are studying it and our Joyce Evans spoke to the first patient in the new clinical trials.  To see video, press Here

49-year-old Mike Dooley suffered a stroke during heart surgery a little more than a year ago. He was placed into an induced coma for weeks.

“It is a shocking thing to wake up and be paralyzed,” Mike explained, “I lost 100 pounds of weight and was very sick – near death.”

The athletic 8th grade science teacher, football and wrestling coach kept fighting. His family, friends, and neighbors continued to cheer him on.

Like so many others, Mike needed rehabilitation beyond what his health insurance covered. He maxed out on physical therapy and his homecare and transportation to and from doctors and sessions were out of pocket.

His sister Noreen set up a GoFundMe page and found an unusual study about to startup nearby, at the Wound Healing Center of Abington Jefferson Health.

Mike became patient number one in trials that combined hyperbaric therapy with physical rehab.

“Oh I would do anything, I would light my head on fire if I thought it would help me get better,” Mike said.

Mike underwent 30 90-minute treatments in six weeks inside a pressurized chamber filled with 100% oxygen at twice our atmospheric pressure.

“And it sits at the tissue delivering almost 1,000 times more oxygen for up to 18 hours after the treatment,” said Dr. Rob Jubelirer, “We do see improvement — for weeks and months after the treatment.”

Dr. Jubelirer says it’s still a slow process but the hope is to one day make hyperbaric therapy standard treatment along with physical rehab to heal damage caused by a stroke faster and maybe even better.

“I’m looking down a tunnel and there’s light there now at the end of it,” Mike said.


10 Years?

Holy cow; it has been 10 years since I had my stroke.

Thinking back, my future looked bright:

I was finally earning good money, starting to save for college, saving for retirement, putting savings into my HSA. Things were starting to click. Then BAM…the stroke hit me.  My goals…gone. My life…changed. My future…unknown. I really didn’t think of the effect the stroke would have.

In the beginning, I lost my ability to use my right side.  My wife was able to stay home with me and work on my recovery.  My thinking was that I would be working is 6 months.  How wrong I was!

With help from my wife, we worked through a few different options.

First, I wanted to get back into my business of consulting telemarketing reps.  This was tough for me because I couldn’t talk.  We both realized this in a few months.  I still can’t believe Jill stayed with me though the terrible six months when I was feeling that I could talk; I couldn’t get out more than a sentence.  Not good for a sales consultant!

Then I decided to work with Scott Olsen. Scott was a trainer and we both had similar clients.  I would help him build his pipeline and offering the telesales training as a supplement to his training.  We got off to a great start.  Soon, I realized, that they were actually buying Jill…not me.  I still couldn’t talk!

In the meantime, Jill prepared a speech for me that I wanted to deliver to my friends who got me thought these tough years.  After 6 months of writing (for Jill) …and another 8 months of daily practice (for me), I was able to deliver my speech…1 time…to my audience.

You know how that turned out; you can look at my video clops over the past few years to look at the progress I have made:   https://mybrainllc.com/check-out-this-5-minute-video-clip/

Not being able to talk was my biggest challenge.  Even now, after feeling confident that I had a great conversation,  I cringe with how terrible I sound when I play back the recording.  How could I sound so great…in my head…and turn into sounding so bad.

It is what it is. Thank god for my disability income. I don’t know where I be without the little steam of money coming in each month.

There is ONE thing that DOES bother me:  the loss of my car and the ability to drive:

Image result for 2005 bmw 323i

That BMW was a fantastic car.

Now…I understand the problems I had!

New treatment offers hope for better stroke recovery. Spatial neglect often occurs after damage to the right side of the brain, making it difficult for stroke survivors to see things on their left.

Eating food from only the right side of the plate, shaving or applying make-up to only one side of the face, and running into objects on the left are common traits post stroke and for some survivors current therapies aren’t working.

University of Queensland researchers are leading a world-first project that might help overcome disability that can affect many everyday activities for stroke survivors.

UQ School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences researcher Associate Professor Timothy Carroll said the research would investigate a new therapy in which robots would guide the hand to retrain the stroke survivor’s brain.

“The neuropsychological condition – called spatial neglect – often occurs after damage to the right hemisphere of the brain, making it difficult for stroke survivors to pay attention to the left side of space,” Associate Professor Carroll said.

“Up to 85 per cent of right hemisphere stroke survivors have reduced ability to attend to the left side of space, which can affect many activities.

“A person might fail to eat the food on the left half of their plate, and they might only shave or apply make-up to the left side of their face.

“They may collide with objects or structures such as door frames on their left.

“At present there is no satisfactory treatment for people with spatial neglect.”

One current treatment involves reaching towards visual targets while wearing spectacles containing prisms that shift the entire field of view towards the right.

To reach accurately while wearing the prism spectacles, people with spatial neglect must learn to reach targets on their neglected side.

Dr Carroll said the treatment’s effectiveness varied dramatically for different patients; ranging from long-lasting functional improvement after a single session to no benefit at all.

“We are testing a new approach, in which we use a robot to physically push the person’s hand to one side while they are reaching, instead of using prisms to distort vision,” he said.

“We hope to show that learning to move straight when the robot pushes the hand to one side will help people with neglect to better orient attention to the left side of space.

“This will help us to better understand the links between attention and movement after stroke, and may lead to new rehabilitation approaches for stroke survivors with attention deficits in the future.”

Stroke Foundation figures show that more than 475,000 Australians were living with the effects of stroke in 2017, with this number predicted to rise to one million by 2050.

The UQ researchers are looking for stroke survivors with damage to the right hemisphere to participate in a single two-hour testing session at UQ’s St Lucia campus in Brisbane.

Volunteers must be able to sit in a stable position for an hour, have no significant vision impairments (normal spectacles are fine), and be able to effectively reach to objects with their right arm.

Those interested in participating should email Dr Carroll on timothy.carroll@uq.edu.au, or call UQ’s School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences on +61 7 3365 6240.

Media: Associate Professor Timothy Carroll, timothy.carroll@uq.edu.au, 0431 530 339, Kirsten O’Leary, UQ Communications, k.oleary@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3365 7436.

20-Something Stroke Survivor On Recovery

 

Nina Mitchell was 26 years old when she suffered a massive stroke that robbed her of her speech and mobility. After surgery, months in the hospital and a grueling, yearslong regimen of physical and speech therapy, Mitchell — now 41 — is a successful writer, blogger, wife and mother.

Mitchell (@mindpop) joins Here & Now‘s Robin Young to tell her story.

Interview Highlights

On having a stroke at 26 years old

“There are various kinds of stroke. There’s the older people stroke, which tends to err on people who have high blood pressure and various other things. But then there’s another kind, and that tends to skew younger. It’s called hemorrhagic stroke. People with the more common kind of stroke have a clot in their brain. People with my kind of stroke have a bleed in the brain. So it’s just blood that leaks out into the gray matter itself.”

On having a smaller stroke prior to the massive one

“I had one that was about golf ball-size, which is not tiny, but that was being monitored. And then at this friend’s wedding, I just felt very strange. So I went home and then I called my parents, which was probably a good sign that something was very odd. My parents lived in Los Angeles, and they suggested that I go to a friend’s house for the night, given my history. And all my friends were at this wedding. So the only person who was home was my ex-boyfriend. And the next morning, I was just not making sense.”

“Your mind is so important to you, and it disappeared in my case for a while. And when it came back, it wasn’t the same as it had been.”

Nina Mitchell

On symptoms she noticed prior to the stroke

“I had had problems typing, and I went to see a hand doctor, and she looked at me and said, ‘Oh, you don’t have carpal tunnel. But I’ll refer you to a neurologist, maybe you had a nerve injury.’ A few days later I went to see the neurologist, and he looked at me and said, ‘Go get an MRI immediately,’ because he noticed all kinds of things that I had just not picked up on. He noticed that it was hard for me to balance on my right leg, on my heels. Things like that where, I hadn’t noticed that. I had asked the neurologist, ‘What are we talking about,’ and he said, ‘Well, [multiple sclerosis], a brain tumor or a stroke, and stroke is the best possible option.'”

On talking with her son about how the stroke affected her

“I don’t really talk to him directly about it. But there’s plenty of things that he picks up on, just as a little kid. And I’m sure at times in the future, he’s going to notice. Right now there are little things like, you know, mom has trouble opening those really annoying pouches, like the baby pouches. Daddy does it better and faster if you’re hungry.”

On the phrase “mindpop,” also the name of her blog

“Your mind is so important to you, and it disappeared in my case for a while. And when it came back, it wasn’t the same as it had been. I just think of that as a good catchall for all the things that have changed.”

On experiencing grief over having a stroke at a young age

“Especially early on, when my lot of my friends were on the make: they were off to grad school and starting companies and writing books. That was very hard to watch that happen, because I had to stop and do rehab for years, while my other friends were, you know, discovering planets. But I think I sort of see my life as having ups and downs. I’m definitely in an up period. I have a lovely son, I have a lovely husband, I work. So it’s all very exciting.”

I’m Back! Wait,I fell terrible. I’ll be back the next day.

(This is how I want to be viewed.) But as I began my routine on January 2, I didn’t feel quite right.  So, I decided to go back to bed for 30 minutes.  I woke up at 11:30am and I just couldn’t concentrate on ANYTHING. I went to my computer and I just stared at the emails.  Nothing seemed to connect. Have you had that happen to you?

I looked at Jill and she seemed even worse. Jill said that we should take a sick day.. and I agreed.  We both slept the rest of the day and through to next day…but I did wake up for meals. For example, at lunch, I flank steak and Cranberry juice. She just had a glass of water.

The next day, I figured I was going to be better and I would get started. On January 3, I felt even worse. I couldn’t keep my eyes open and I just wanted to sleep.  Jill, felt a bit better. again, I awoke just for meals.

What about January 4th? I work up, and I felt ok.   I was finally able to get back to my emails and get started on a few things I had on my plate.  Now, at 6:45pm Thursday night, I will start writing my blog…3 days late!

Just for laughs, here’s what my iPhone tracked leading up to the event.  I  started to fell sick late Monday afternoon:

For stroke patients, rating scales predict discharge destination

Note:  I will take off the remainder of the year and begin again in January.  Happy Holidays!!!

WOLTERS KLUWER HEALTH

Stroke survivors with higher scores on widely used outcome measures are more likely to be discharged home from the hospital, while those with lower scores are more likely to go to a rehabilitation or nursing care facility, reports a paper in the January issue of The Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy (JNPT). The journal is published by Wolters Kluwer.

Standardized rating scales can help to support decisions about discharge destination for stroke patients leaving the hospital, according to the analysis by Dr. Emily Thorpe, PT, DPT, and colleagues of Walsh University, North Canton, Ohio, under the mentorship of Dr. Robert S. Phillips, PT, DPT, PhD, NCS. “These results provide a framework with which to start the plan of care and discharge process in acute and sub-acute settings,” the researchers write.

Outcome Measure Scores to Predict Stroke Discharge – Pooled Evidence Analysis

In a systematic research review, Dr. Thorpe and colleagues identified nine previous studies of the relationship between standardized outcome measures and discharge destination in patients with stroke. Five studies–including more than 6,000 patients–provided evidence suitable for analysis of pooled data, called meta-analysis.

Meta-analyses assessed the predictive value of two outcome measures. Four studies evaluated the Functional Independence Measure (FIM), which assesses the level of assistance needed to perform daily tasks. The FIM is commonly used in hospitalized patients with a wide range of conditions. Two studies used the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS), which is specifically designed to assess stroke severity and resulting disability. (One of the studies included both measures.)

Both rating scales were good indicators of the discharge destination for stroke patients, according to the meta-analyses. For each one-point improvement in the FIM score (on a scale from 18 to 126), patients were about eight percent more likely to be sent home from the hospital, rather than to a rehabilitation or nursing facility.

On both the FIM and NIHSS, patients who scored in the “above average” range were 12 times more likely to be discharged to home. In contrast, patients with “average” scores were 1.9 times more likely to be discharged to a care facility.

Patients with “poor” scores on the FIM and NIHSS were 3.4 times more likely to be discharged to an institution. For this group, the discharge destination was more likely to be a skilled nursing facility, rather than to an inpatient rehabilitation center.

Interdisciplinary rehabilitation services are crucial to help stroke patients toward regaining their functional ability and lifestyle. With the aging population and increased spending for stroke management, it’s more important than ever to provide efficient care for patients recovering from a stroke. About 20 percent of stroke survivors require institutionalized care beyond three months; many patients need continued assistance after they return home.

Outcome measures such as the FIM and NIHSS are widely used to assess the functional abilities or clinical condition of stroke patients. However, it has been unclear how scores on these rating scales are related to discharge destination.

The new analysis provides evidence-based data to support critical decision-making about discharge destination in stroke patients. “Findings from these meta-analyses are consistent with common sense practice: the better a patient’s outcome measure score, the greater the likelihood of home discharge,” Dr. Thorpe and coauthors write. The results show the “quantitative impact” of outcome measure scores on discharge decisions.

The researchers emphasize that rating scales such as the FIM and NIHSS are just one factor to consider in determining the best discharge destination for each individual patient after a stroke. Dr. Thorpe and colleagues conclude: “Ultimately, standardized outcome measures should be further used and studied among the post-stroke population to improve healthcare policy and compliment clinical judgment in the task of recommending discharge destinations for patients to receive the necessary care for achieving their optimal function.”

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Click here to read “Outcome Measure Scores Predict Discharge Destination in Patients With Acute and Subacute Stroke: A Systematic Review and Series of Meta-analyses.”

I received this touching note. Are you turning 60? Read This!

I just amazing received this beautiful note.  Maybe I am thinking the right things?

Gordon,

I just read your post.  Sounds like you are asking the same questions many, many people ask when they turn 60.  There are no magic answers.

 

Have you ever thought that one gift your stroke gave you is time? Time to do your blog, time to be a grandfather, time to be a caring father,  time to volunteer, time to have quality time with your wife, time to exercise,  time to do presentations, time to pray, time to help Jill around the house, time to have fun, travel, etc.

 

Perhaps you need to think of yourself as retired……not unemployed.  Is this the life you planned and worked so hard for all those years.  No, but does real happiness come from our jobs or from  our personal relationships.  Only you can find your answer to that question.

 

Perhaps God has some plans for that time………another door to open…….other paths to follow.   If you ask, he will help you open the door.

 

The journey is the secret……..not the destination.

From someone still asking the same questions……..