Survival Journeys

Though strokes often have common effects, each one is also different. And each stroke survivor's journey is as unique as the individual themselves. Survival Journeys features stories by and about stroke survivors, sharing their experiences and insights.


 

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A Central Pain Syndrome Survivor's Perspective

“Living in constant, intractable pain is not only disabling, frustrating and isolating, it is an invisible disease in itself, affecting the lives of both the patient and their loved ones.”

Running 2020: Looking Forward, Looking Back

Survivor Amelia Habicht enjoyed running and had competed successfully enough to be awarded in her age group. A stroke disrupted - but did not end – her participation in competitions.

Learning to Be a New Person

She was a wife, had a job, one child in daycare, another in kindergarten. All this came to a screeching halt when she had a massive brainstem stroke that left her unable to talk, walk and swallow.

My Approach to Healthy Healing

How I bounced back from a stroke and found humility and clarity in the process.

The Poetry of Survival

Poetry uses words to process emotions, and stroke appears to bring up plenty of emotions. We present to you the poetry of five stroke survivors...and an invitation (and guidance) from a poetry therapist to liberate your own muse.

Stroke, I Hate You!

I write this not for pity, but to give you some insight into what I wrestle with and hopefully so you can get to know me a little better. I was 43, in the prime of life or just the beginning, some would say.

Days With My Dad

Serious events like a daughter’s stroke and father’s heart attack aren’t typically considered blessings, but for Denice DeAntonio, a beautiful blessing emerged from those two frightening experiences.

The Bonus Years

In Feb 2003, Virginia had a stroke. She woke up in May. She had had a hemorrhagic stroke caused by an AVM. She still remembers the first two things her husband said to her.

Lisa Satchfield's Why

After a stroke in 2007 that left her unable to work or be a mother, Lisa began questioning what her purpose in life was.

Caring for a Survivor with Aphasia

Mary and Reed Harris have been partners in Reed’s stroke recovery for nearly ten years. Personal relationships rely on communication so Reed’s global aphasia was met with more than a few challenges. They share their story, tips and advice to others for living with the effects of aphasia day-to-day.
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Archive »For Survivors

Helping Others Understand: Post-Stroke Fatigue

Stroke is unpredictable, but one extremely common effect of stroke is fatigue. Some studies indicate that as many as 70 percent of survivors experience fatigue at some time following their stroke.

Helping Others Understand: Post-Stroke Fatigue Info Sheet

It can sometimes be hard for family and friends to recognize how much post-stroke fatigue may be affecting a survivor. We’ve created a quick-reference sheet that you can share with family and friends to help them better understand.

Am I Losing Ground?

Survivors are sometimes concerned that they are losing function after they leave formal therapy – making gains while working with therapists, but feeling loss of strength and function even when continuing to do exercises at home. Rehabilitation experts weigh in on the topic.

Dr. Glen Gillen Weighs In on 'Am I Losing Ground?'

Occupational therapist, Dr. Glen Gillen, adds his perspectives to those of the physical therapists featured in "Am I Losing Ground?" in this supplemental web-only feature.

Half a World Away: Visual Field Cuts

Strokes can often affect vision and processing of visual information. The most common visual deficit is hemianopia, or visual field cut. Understand different types of field cuts and learn about potential treatments.
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See allReturning to Work

Stroke Survivor Goes Back to Work . . . for Herself

As I approach the eighth anniversary of being in private practice, I think about how it all came about and how if I hadn’t had a massive hemorrhagic stroke, I might not have been so bold as to open my own business.

The ADA Turns 25

Starting in the ’70s, the disability rights movement learned an important lesson from the civil rights movement and got organized. Their goals were the elimination of attitudinal, communication, transportation, policy and physical barriers so as to integrate people with disabilities into society.

Returning to Work After Stroke

For many younger survivors, going back to work is often the measure for recovery. Here's some excellent guidance if you're working toward getting back into the workplace.

Working My Way Back

My journey started on September 8, 1995 at 5:30 p.m. I was 47. I got up from my chair and said I did not feel good and then collapsed onto the floor.
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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.

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!