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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This, right now, is the only life I know

When she awoke from six and a half hours of neurosurgery, she had no memory of the prior 34 years of her life. She didn’t recognize her husband, children or parents. “I forgot the first nine years of my marriage,” she said.

Taking the Stage for Aphasia

As John Daggan worked on the life-participation approach to his aphasia, he discovered and dusted off his Actor’s Equity card from his early days, then began turning New York City open auditions into opportunities to educate the public about aphasia.

Venous Strokes: Rare but Real

After an elective surgery, Sharon Wilson had some worrisome symptoms. Problems with her vision, dizziness and eventually, leg pains. Despite the problems, she went to work, where coworkers encouraged her to get to the hospital. Thank goodness she did.

The Truth About Caregiving

I have been a caregiver most of my adult life, both professionally and personally. Not only am I the mother of two adult children, I worked in health care as a nurse for over 20 years. On December 6, 2008, I had a massive hemorrhagic stroke. After that fateful day, I was no longer the caregiver.

Take Baby Steps Toward Your goals

“I don’t want you to worry.” Those were the words that made Danielle Robbins panic when she got an early-morning call from her sister Sara on May 12, 2012. Sara told Danielle that she thought their dad, Stephen Bishop, had suffered a stroke.

Beyond All Expectations

When Virginia McKinnon came home from work on Aug 9, 1988, she found husband Robert on the floor in fetal position. His determination and persistence and the value of support from others have been beyond all expectations.

Accepting Who I Am

After a massive stroke due to four ruptured aneurysms, Beth has never given up and never will.

Grieving the Old Self, Embracing the New

Stroke often changes a survivor’s ability to do things that are important to them, and the loss of what you personally, dearly valued in yourself can be very challenging. Survivor Rachel Scanlon Henry shares how her own process might’ve been better supported if she’d been conscious of the stages of grieving as she experienced them.

One-Handed Heimlich

Recently, survivor David Layton and his wife Charlotte found an alternate meaning for the phrase “single handed living.”

Donna Garlough's Why

Things were off that morning in February 2015. A headache, an inability to greet her baby with morning babble, things slipping out of her hand. Then she lost the feeling in her left hand, “That’s what forced me to say, ‘this is real, this is happening’.”
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Archive »For Survivors

Memory: It’s Complicated

As with so many things involving the human brain, memory is complicated. There’s long-term memory and short-term; there’s skill memory, language-based memory and visuospatial memory. But the overarching issues of memory are storage and retrieval, and each can be affected by stroke.

Is My Memory Loss a Masquerade?

Memory challenges after stroke are not uncommon. But sometimes, what appear to be challenges may be other stroke deficits masquerading as memory problems. Here are some things to consider and ask your healthcare provider about.

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.

Kitchen Tips to Keep You Healthy

Many survivors have special dietary needs, making meal planning essential. And survivors often deal with fatigue, so preparing and freezing meals in advance is a great option. Here are some important “tips of the trade.”

What to Expect in Stroke Rehab

Following a stroke, about two-thirds of survivors receive some type rehabilitation. In this second of our two-art 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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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!