Adapt & Conquer
Survivor Gary Wilmart of Farmington, N.M., had a stroke in 2001 at age 57. Since then he has made a personal mission of adapting the world so that he can navigate it. Despite left-side paralysis, he returned to fly-fishing and elk hunting, his twin pre-stroke passions. But that was just the beginning. He is back at wood-working and gardening. He has rafted through the Grand Canyon, as well as ridden a mule from the rim to the river and back to the rim. “At first, when I suggested something I wanted to do, the response was often ‘you can’t do that.’ To which I responded, ‘Don’t tell me that; help me figure out how I can.’ My motto became ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way.’ I’m like Larry the Cable Guy, ‘I git ‘er done.’”
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Treat It to Beat It
Post-stroke depression vexes the recovery of many survivors, adding insult to injury. But it doesn’t have to, because it responds well to treatment. Studies indicate 40 to 60 percent of survivors experience depression during their first year post-stroke. In some cases, it is a direct result of the injury. We talked to rehab psychologist Loran Vocaturo of the Kessler Institute of Rehabilitation in New Jersey about three types of depression common after stroke and how they are treated.
Stranger than Fiction
A brainstem stroke 17 years ago left survivor Angela Scholten of Milwaukee, Wis., with a host of challenges -- muscle problems, medications, energy limitations, a jaw-closing disorder, a voice she still doesn’t recognize, vertigo, left-side weakness. Despite these many problems, she has worked full-time at a university. She also writes movingly about her struggle with pseudobulbar affect, uncontrollable laughing and crying also known as emotional lability.
Life at the Curb
Comedian John Kawie’s unique perspective on survival. This month in “You Can’t Judge a Book by Its Cover,” John recalls growing up looking different than his peers and relates that to how his appearance changed after his stroke.
Stroke Notes features "newsy" stroke-related information on stroke research, risk reduction, ASA events, advocacy efforts, etc.
Readers Room features personal stories, letters, poems and artwork from stroke survivors and family caregivers.
Everyday Survival discusses the delicate subject of post-stroke incontinence with rehabilitation nurses Denise Howell of St. Charles Hospital and Rehab in Port Jefferson, N.Y., and Deborah Stockdale of Genesis Regional Rehabilitation Center in Davenport, Iowa, about how to handle incontinence when it is an ongoing problem.