SCM September/October 2007

Updated:Mar 6,2015

Stroke Connection Magazine - Sep Oct 2007
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Let Me Die Laughing!
When Megan Timothy of Hemet, Calif. had a stroke as the result of aneurysm, she became a ward of the state and was sent to a state mental hospital. She was 62 years old, and her only words were “chicken” and some obscenities. How she got out of that place; had brain surgery to remove an arteriovenous malformation; learned to speak, read and write again; wrote Let Me Die Laughing, a hilarious book about the experience; and then bicycled 12,000 miles around the United States to promote it is an amazing story. Rest assured, you have never met anyone like Megan.

Supplemental Information: To view additional information that was not included in the printed issue.
Additional information on "The Bathroom: Modify the Room to Match Your Abilities"
The Costs of Not Modifying by Carol Siebert, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA
PDF of Donna Isaac's Eight Simple Rules
PDF of corrected Tour of the Brain Article

Life Is Good!
Today survivor Santino Magnano of Middletown, Conn. can say that life is good. It was not always so. Twenty years ago after a stroke on his 45th birthday, life was definitely not good. He shares some of his ups and downs in his timeline of recovery.

Navigating the Memory Maze
About a third of stroke survivors experience memory loss. This article investigates how that happens as well as strategies for coping with it. We interviewed rehab psychologist Janet Spradlin of Saint Anthony Hospital Rehabilitation Center in Oklahoma City to find how stroke-caused memory loss works and how to cope with it. Survivor Gary Bulmer also of Oklahoma City shared his experience with memory loss. Barbara Talbot of Jackson, Mich. used specially made puzzles to help her husband Terry regain some of his memory.

The “Right” Side of Communication
Most communication problems, like aphasia, are associated with left-hemisphere strokes, but right-hemisphere strokes can produce their own challenges. Missing the big picture, the inability to express or comprehend emotion in the voice, difficulty concentrating are all challenges that affect survivors of right-hemisphere strokes. Another challenge, left-side neglect, makes it hard to read or write. The article also includes tips for treating or compensating for these problems.

Writing as Therapy
Survivor Bob Gun of Mooresville, N.C. joined a writing group for the purpose of recording some “senior memories.” He got much more than that from the process of writing something every week. It was a priceless exercise in self-discovery. In this article he shares seven benefits he got, from clarifying his thinking and building discipline to making new friends. It also helped him identify who he is, where he’s been and how he got here.


Letters to the Editor features correspondence from readers about the magazine’s editorial content. In this issue:

Stroke Notes features "newsy" stroke-related information on stroke research, risk reduction, ASA events, advocacy efforts, etc. This issue we focus on news from the International Stroke Conference in San Francisco.  

Readers Room features personal stories, letters, poems and artwork from stroke survivors and family caregivers.

Life at the Curb: Shop Around
This month comedian and survivor John Kawie shares his experience of shopping with his 11- and 13-year-old nieces and their friends. “Their shopping technique modulated between panic/mayhem and hypnotic/trance … a kind of shock and awe style.”

Everyday Survival features helpful tips for activities of daily living and resources. In this issue occupational therapist Carol Siebert of North Carolina thoroughly examines the many options for making bathrooms safer and more user-friendly for survivors with disabilities.