After A Stroke

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The Book of the Week is “After A Stroke, 300 Tips for Making Life Easier” by Cleo Hutton, published in 2005. The author of this short paperback had a stroke in 1992, but gives many tips that are still relevant to recovery from an event that adversely affects the brain, and therefore, specific body functions– that commonly impair one side of the body.

In recent decades, a huge amount of attention has been paid, and money spent on research for: raising awareness of stroke prevention and symptoms, treatment, and the introduction of products to make activities of daily living easier for stroke patients.

The author briefly discussed the neurological effects of a stroke, which are on a continuum; every patient is different. She explained that “constraint-induced therapy” helps a patient’s brain transmit messages through alternate neurological routes through the unaffected side of the body.

The author listed the common frustrations and situations recoverers might encounter:

  • feeling overwhelmed by everyday decisions, such as product-selections while shopping (in the United States, especially!);
  • loquaciousness upon regaining the ability to speak;
  • linguistic impairments such as usage of expletives in speech due to groping for the correct word– even for patients who wouldn’t normally utter them, or inability to understand idioms;
  • personality change;
  • seeing specific items in certain situations that prompts crying or laughing at inappropriate times due to damage to the visual association cortex.

The author recommended keeping aspirin in the freezer to help keep it fresh, if one is taking it.

Read the book to learn a slew of other useful tips for facilitating dealing with: the emotional problems arising from bodily impairments, getting around, communicating, cooking, eating, taking care of the home and one’s body, etc., etc, etc.