Be My Baby



 

A Unique Perspective on His Survival by Stroke Survivor and Comedian John Kawie

Welcome to “Ask the Stroke Guy,” the column written by the stroke expert who recently won the World Wrestling Federation rehab smackdown when he kneed his psychotherapist right in the id.

Q: I’m a stroke survivor in the ICU. I noticed on Antiques Road Show that an 18th-century chamber pot was valued at $1,500. I was thinking I’d take my bedpan home as an investment for my children. What do you think?

A: I think I’d like to be at the reading of the will.

Q:: Hi, my name is Sandra. I’m a stroke survivor on the rehab floor of St. Chichi’s Hospital. They won’t accept my health insurance. In fact, the only form of payment they do accept is cash, credit card, or PayPal. Plus, the level of care leaves a lot to be desired. Should I be worried?

A: Sandra, let me answer your question with a question. Have you ever heard of a St. Chichi? You not only should be worried, you should get the heck out of there!

Q: Hey John, Bob here. I’m 80 years old and a stroke survivor in Mercy Hospital. I have a question about physical therapy. Whenever I do my weight-bearing exercises, the whole PT room empties. Therapists, attendants, even stroke survivors who can’t walk are miraculously cured and beat it out of there, leaving me alone. I’m starting to get a complex. I shower in my shower chair every day. Can you shed some light on this?

A: Bob, in comedy we call this “walking the room.” I’m betting you wear your hospital gown to PT. Well, don’t. When you’re down on your hands and knees, the curtain’s open with your Placido Domingo out there on center stage for everyone to see. Consider wearing sweatpants, pajama bottoms, underwear — heck, even a loincloth.

Q: I’m a stroke survivor and I’m getting fed up with normal people using the “your stroke” phrase, as in, “Why did you have your stroke?” To which I answer, “I thought it was a good idea at the time.” How can I let them know it’s a stroke, not my stroke?

A: First, when you say “normal” are you referring to non-stroke survivors? If so, the use of the word normal here is not appropriate because, frankly, there are a lot of non-stroke survivors who are anything but normal. Besides, what is normal anyway? One man’s normal may be another man’s wingnut. Just tell them you had a stroke, not a baby. But if they persist, do what I do, talk to your affected arm like this:

“You’re my little strokie, yes you are. You’re so adorable. But you’re also a naughty little rascal. Do you know why? Because you turned daddy’s brain into cake batter. Just as daddy’s career was taking off you showed up — and that slammed the breaks on daddy’s life, didn’t it? While daddy’s friends moved to LA to work on big time TV shows, daddy had to learn to walk and talk again. I don’t know exactly what the future holds for daddy, but it will probably include a pier and a pair of cement shoes.”

I think they’ll get the message.

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Stroke Rehabilitation

Making the Best Decisions at Discharge After Stroke

The type of rehabilitation and support systems a survivor receives at discharge can strongly influence health outcomes and recovery. In this, the first part of a two-part series on stroke rehab, we offer guidance for the decision-making process required when it’s time to leave the hospital.

What to Expect from Outpatient Rehab

After stroke, about two-thirds of survivors receive some type of rehabilitation. Outpatient therapy may consist of Several types of therapy. Whether a patient is referred to inpatient or outpatient therapy depends on the level of medical care required.

What to Expect in Stroke Rehab

Following a stroke, about two-thirds of survivors receive some type rehabilitation. In this second of our two-part series, we want to alleviate some of the mystery, fear and anxiety around the inpatient rehab part of the stroke recovery journey.
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AHA-ASA Resources

The Support Network

When faced with challenges recovering from heart disease or stroke, it’s important to have emotional support. That is why we created a network to connect patients and loved ones with others during their journey.

Caregiver Guide to Stroke

The Caregiver Guide to Stroke is meant to help caregivers better navigate the recovery process and the financial and social implications of a stroke.

Stroke Support Group Finder

To find a group near you, simply enter your ZIP code and a mile radius. If your initial search does not pull up any groups, try

Tips for Daily Living Library

This volunteer-powered library gathers tips and ideas from stroke survivors, caregivers and healthcare professionals all over the country who’ve created or discovered adaptive and often innovative ways to get things done!

Stroke Family Warmline

The Warmline connects stroke survivors and their families with an ASA team member who can provide support, helpful information or just a listening ear.

Let's Talk About Stroke Patient Information Sheets

Let's Talk About Stroke is a series of downloadable patient information sheets, created by the American Stroke Association, that presents information in a question-and-answer format that's brief, easy to follow and easy to read.

Request Free Stroke Information Packets

Fill out this online form to request free information about a variety of post-stroke topics.
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Stroke & Parts of the Brain

When Stroke Affects the Occipital Lobe

Our occipital lobe, the smallest of the four lobes of the cerebral cortex, controls how we visually interpret our world.

When Stroke Affects the Cerebellum

The cerebellum contains 80 percent of our neurons. Its job seems to be to make things better. We talked with neuroscientist Jeremy Schmahmann about how stroke affects the “little brain.”

When Stroke Affects the Parietal Lobe

The parietal lobe helps us make sense of sensory information, like where our bodies and body parts are in space, our sense of touch, and the part of our vision that deals with the location of objects.

When Stroke Affects the Frontal Lobe

Of the four lobes that make up the cerebral cortex, the frontal lobe is the largest. It plays a huge role in many of the functions that make us human — memory, language, movement, judgment, abstract thinking.

When Stroke Affects the Temporal Lobe

The temporal lobe has several functions, mainly involved with memory, perception and language.

When Stroke Affects the Brain Stem

The brain stem serves as a bridge in the nervous system. It sits at the top of the spinal column in the center of the brain. When a stroke happens there, it can cause a few different deficits and, in the most severe cases, can lead to locked-in syndrome.

When Stroke Affects the Thalamus

The thalamus can be thought of as a "relay station," receiving signals from the brain’s outer regions (cerebral cortex), interpreting them, then sending them to other areas of the brain to complete their job.
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Departments

Stroke Notes

Stroke-related news you can use about new scientific findings, public policy, programs and resources.

Readers Room

Articles, poems and art submitted by stroke survivors and their loved ones.

Life Is Why

Everyone has a reason to live a longer, healthier life. These stroke survivors, caregivers and others share their 'whys'. We'd love for you to share yours, too!

Everyday Survival

Practical tips and advice for day-to day living after stroke.

Life At The Curb

A unique perspective on survival by comedian and stroke survivor John Kawie.

Simple Cooking

Cooking at home can be a daunting task, but a rewarding one for your diet and lifestyle (and your wallet). Making small changes in your diet is important to your heart health. Here are simple, healthy and affordable recipes and cooking tips.

Helping Others Understand

Stroke affects people differently and many of the effects of stroke can be complicated. Helping friends and family understand how a stroke is affecting a survivor can help everyone involved.

Support Showcase

Our new department highlighting the good work being done by stroke support groups from around the nation. If you are part of a successful support group we should consider featuring, let us know!