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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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.

Seeking a Cause

Stroke survivor Robert Cull’s medical team was persistent in trying to identify why he’d had a stroke and made an important discovery about his health in the process.

Revisiting PT After 15 Years

Stroke survivor Connie Stagnaro headed back to physical therapy 15 years after her stroke after surgery to correct a stroke-related condition. But this time was different than the first.

Speechless No More!

For Phyllis Weiss, a 65-year-old survivor from Winthrop Harbor, Illinois, each sound she painstakingly — but patiently — forms is a triumph. In her quiet, halting delivery is an underlying strength and vitality. Qualities that carried her through an entire year of silence.

Gratitude Schmatitude

Survivor, Quenby Schuyler, had never been a particularly grateful type of person. After her stroke, her take on gratitude changed.

Sharing My WOW

Life-altering events force us to look back on our lives. That was especially true for me during the first four months after my hemorrhagic stroke in 2013 at age 44.
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Archive »For Survivors

Something's Different: Personality Changes After Stroke

Stroke can change a survivor’s personality. “If our relationships are like a dance, when personality changes, when someone fundamentally changes their dance steps, that requires other family members to change their dance steps as well.”

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.

When Stroke Affects the Temporal Lobe

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

Working on Fine Motor Skills

Fine motor skills are how we use our hands and coordinate the small muscles that control our fingers. Those skills, along with other arm functions such as reaching and grasping, can be affected by stroke. The stroke’s severity determines the extent of this weakness.

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.
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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.