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

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.

Taking Care When Treating Atrial Fibrillation

A few years ago, several new anticoagulants were approved by the FDA. Because they are easier to use, with fewer side effects, their popularity has surged — but they aren’t entirely without risk.

Crowdsourcing a Cure

Stroke can be life-altering. While many of the risk factors of stroke are modifiable, scientists are beginning to work with individuals, like you, to look closer at other factors, such as genetics, diet, daily routines, and the environment.

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.

Understanding Common Post-Stroke Medications

Understanding the purpose, potential side effects and risks of not taking your medicines as directed is important, whether they’re prescribed or over the counter. Let’s look at some of the most common medication therapies recommended following an ischemic 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.