Stroke before 50
Whenever stroke happens, the results can be devastating, but younger survivors aged 20 to 50 have challenges that older survivors may not face. As we have talked with younger survivors about their experiences, we notice four major issues that seem to consistently bubble up: raising children after stroke; the types of reactions of other people; loss of friends; loss of a career. We talked with seven under-50 survivors about their experience in these areas. In addition to talking with survivors and caregivers, we also discussed these issues with Dr. Sara Palmer, a rehabilitation psychologist and assistant professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
Victim or Survivor? An Important Distinction
At first, survivor Mike Little of Mandan, North Dakota was angry when his therapist challenged him when he called himself a victim. However, as he worked through his recovery he came to understand, and embrace, that perspective: “What I didn’t understand at the time was this – if we think of ourselves as victims, we have psychologically surrendered and given up. We find solace in feeling sorry for ourselves. This impedes our recovery! Conversely, if we think of ourselves as survivors, we have the mindset of a fighter, determined to keep moving forward until we win. The difference in a victim’s mindset and a survivor’s is night and day.”
Working Out Your Speech Muscles
It seems logical that non-speech mouth exercises would benefit speech production, but the evidence suggests otherwise. Speech therapist Dr. Linda Shuster explains why what is logical is not true. It turns out that speaking is much more than tongue calisthenics.
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: Getting Behind the Wheel Again
For most Americans, driving is a sacred right, so losing it feels like a serious affliction. Many survivors measure recovery by whether and when they can pilot a car again. In reality, their deficits are sometimes too great for that to be possible, but in other cases, vehicles can be modified to accommodate those deficits. We talked to Elin Schold Davis, coordinator of the Older Driver Initiative at the American Occupational Therapy Association, about vehicle modification.
Life at the Curb: I Just Saw a Face-book
This month comedian and survivor John Kawie ventures into the world of Facebook.