How about this….

What if I become a blogger?

I can write about what others are doing…relating to stroke recovery…and how OTHERS can benefit.

I THINK I had this idea before, but I am not sure; you know the reasons!  If I just blogged about it…and silenced my voice, I would hit all the items on my list.

Regarding the list: when the pandemic hit around Covid-19, I had sometime to think about what is next. I looked at new sites, and thought I could add value. I found this one lifeafterthestroke.com where I could add what I learned.  I have it parked on my website (www.mybrainllc.com) until I figured out what to do next.

I will share with you what I wrote down and how I reached the conclusion of what I want to do next.

What CAN I do?

  • Ask questions (I am really good at asking other about their problems)
  • Get people to talk
  • Get people to open up
  • Positive outlook
  • I always smiling

What CAN’T I do?

  • Talk ( I CAN’T talk about myself…even if I have prepared)
  • Talk to people who have communication issues
  • Talk to people who want ME to talk
  • Think clearly

What do I want to do NEXT?

  • What if I could stay in my home and work?
  • What if I could write; it may TAKE a little longer (and the grammar would be simple text), but I could do it.
  • Who would want to talk to me?
  • How can I get them to reach out?
  • Think about the people who have reached out.  How did I handle that?
  • What if I became a blogger about stroke recovery??
  • Could I think of new ideas?
  • What if I added items from other sites?
  • Could I start collecting them?
  • What if I just stayed on my site and did this. Would anyone follow?
  • How do I build followers? 
  • Offer program to stroke survivors through hospitals??

That’s it: I could be a blogger!

  • Work from home EVERYDAY
  • I can write about what interests me
  • No more travel…it  was great for a while, but now it is time to do something else
  • I can now travel for fun…and to see my family

Stay tuned for my life as I branch out into the future; I am excited about what the future holds and how I can transition my site.  I hope you will continue to follow me on my journey.

 

Do you have a problem thinking, problem solving, or memory issues?

I do!  Read the article that Mary Burns wrote.

Did you know studies have shown up to 72% of patients have some form of cognitive impairment after stroke? Even as a medical speech-language pathologist (SLP), I found this statistic shocking. It’s a common misconception that an SLP only helps people regain their ability to speak. One of the most meaningful ways an SLP can help someone after stroke is by helping them improve and regain cognitive abilities.

Because of damage to the brain, a stroke survivor may experience changes in thinking, problem solving, memory, or attention. Factors such as the location and type of the stroke will impact the presence and severity of these side effects. Changes in cognition can make it hard for people to communicate, control emotions, perform daily tasks, or return to work or hobbies.

Stroke survivors are often reluctant to seek out services for cognitive rehabilitation because they struggle with embarrassment, fear, or denial. In order to help break down these barriers I want to provide a window into what cognitive therapy after stroke may look like.

Step 1: Your medical team will send a referral to an SLP. Depending on your abilities, this may be for in-home or outpatient therapy. The clinic will likely check your insurance benefits and call you with details. Remember, just because your team sent a referral to one clinic, does not mean you have to go there.

Step 2: You will schedule an evaluation appointment with an SLP. This appointment will typically be 60-90 minutes long. Sometimes it is helpful for a caregiver to be present, so please ask about this when you schedule your appointment. During this appointment your therapist will ask you questions about your medical history, hobbies, and goals. After a short interview, your SLP will administer a cognitive test. This test may feel discouraging and exhausting at first, but the purpose of the test is to identify your strengths, weaknesses, and how to improve. You may feel very tired after this appointment so you may want to schedule time to rest after.

Step 3: After your evaluation, you will work with your SLP to form a therapy plan. This means deciding how many times to attend therapy weekly, how long therapy may last, and goals to address. It’s important to be honest with your therapist about what schedule is reasonable for you and what you want to accomplish.

Step 4: Therapy sessions may last anywhere from 30-60 minutes. During these sessions you and your therapist will work on different activities to help your brain heal and you achieve your goals. Ask your therapist questions such as “why are we working on this?”, give feedback about what doesn’t work for you. Let your therapist know if you left an appointment feeling exhausted. This will help make your therapy more effective. You will likely leave each session with exercises or strategies to practice throughout the week. You and your SLP should work as a team to help you recover.

Recognizing that cognition has changed and asking for help can be scary. But the services that speech-language pathologists can offer can help support your return to a full life after stroke. Please talk to your doctor and let them help connect you with the right provider.

Visit us on Facebook or Instagram to share your goals. Let’s work together to make 2020 a great year for all of us.  Check back each month as we help break down an overwhelming process piece by piece in our newsletter.

Special requests or questions? Email me today.

Mary Burns, MS, CCC-SLP has been working as a medical Speech-Language Pathologist since 2014. She specializes in working with adults with swallowing or communication disorders, especially after a stroke.

Working across the continuum of care gave Mary a unique perspective on strengths and needs in the rehabilitation system. This developed her passion for advocacy of person-centered care and the inclusion of patient and community education as a part of the recovery process.

Mary was drawn to Stroke Awareness Oregon because of their dedication to breaking down barriers that allow stroke survivors and their loved ones to access the services they need.  She can be reached at contact@overlandslp.com

You are kidding me, right?

It is me...again!

Don’t worry...I NOT sick.  See the camera to the left of my head?  OHSU just want to take a few more shots of me with the nurses.  I know what your thinking. ” For now on, I am going to ignore everything.”  I understand you thinking… but what about those pearls of wisdom that come from my blog!  Won’t you miss that?

I am getting closer…

….but no cigar;  I haven’t actually used my new process yet.  The prospects are still nibbling, but I haven’t tried it out completely.

I had 2 scheduled.  One prospect didn’t use paid speakers and the other on got postponed.

Should I practice the next step (the questions leading to the 3 recommendations)…or let Jill do it and see if it works.  I am leaning toward Jill to try it first, but I curious to know what you think.

____Yes   Learn it

____No   Wait for Jill to iron out the bugs

Why is talking so hard?

Sometimes I forget what it was like when Gordon could speak freely.  At home, we have mostly normal conversations–he says a sentence, I say a sentence, and so on.  He needs a few prompts now and then but we mostly understand each other.  But when we go to a meeting or have a phone appointment, I watch his language disappear.  It is clear from the look on his face that he is trying SO HARD to get coherent, orderly words to come out of his mouth.  Instead, choppy, disorganized words start coming, then all words stop and he looks at me to express his thoughts for him.

For a long time, I thought if he could relax, the words would come.  Not so.  Regaining language and cognition is much more complicated than that.  Even now, 6 years post-stroke, we have at least one conversation every day where Gordon starts in the middle of a thought and I have to ask him to start over from the beginning of his thought.  It doesn’t occur to him that I don’t know what he is thinking.

Jill Viggiano