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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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’.”

A Special Thank You

A tribute from survivors to any medical personnel who have ever worked with a stroke patient.

Lilian Tsi Stielstra's Why

Walking up the stairs, she felt “pins and needles” in her left leg. A few minutes later, her left arm had the same sensation. Then the left side of her face felt numb. “I realized it was a stroke because it was all on one side,” Lilian said.

Helpfulness & Kindness on a Steep Path

Sometimes we find ourselves in sticky situations. A stranger’s kindness can make a big difference. It did for Richard Lambert, “I told the man that I thought God might have sent him to help me. He was wondering about that, too.”

Wandering Back

One of my passions is travel; you could say I’m a wanderer. Ever since I was a young girl, I’ve been drawn to adventure. I had been planning to visit California for the first time, but now it seemed impossible and daunting.

The Letter

Comedian and stroke survivor, John Kawie, writes a fan letter to his stroke as the 20-year anniversary of its arrival grows near.

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.”
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Archive »For Survivors

Helping Others Understand: Post-Stroke Depression

We know that it can sometimes be hard for family and friends to understand how profoundly post-stroke depression may be impacting a survivor. We encourage you to share this article with the people in your life to help them understand.

Understanding How Post-Stroke Depression Affects Your Loved One

The Stroke Connection team knows that it can sometimes be hard for family and friends to understand how profoundly post-stroke depression may be impacting a survivor. We encourage you to share this quick-reference sheet with the people in your life to help them understand.

Plan Ahead for Emergencies

For stroke survivors with aphasia, physical or cognitive disabilities, emergencies like those our country experienced last year and in recent months — hurricanes, floods, wildfires, frigid fronts, earthquakes and mud floods — can pose life-threatening challenges. The only way to meet any of those challenges is to prepare ahead of time for these events.

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.
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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.