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 Special Thank You

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

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.

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.

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.
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Archive »For Survivors

At-home Exercises for Stroke Survivors

Check out these exercises for stroke survivors to help with everything from balance & walking to fine motor skills, complete with video instructions.

When Stroke Affects the Cerebellum

The cerebellum contains 80 percent of our neurons. Its job seems to be to make things better. We talked with neuroscientist Jeremy Schmahmann about how stroke affects the “little brain.”

Post-stroke Dental Care

Dental care is a conglomeration of fine-motor skills, so stroke can have an impact on a survivors’ teeth and gums, and that in turn can increase stroke risk.

When They Don't Know What They Don't Know

Sometimes stroke survivors appear to be in denial about some effects of their stroke. But what if their refusal to recognize a deficit isn’t denial, or any other psychological response? Anosognosia refers to a person’s lack of awareness of their own deficits. It can happen in people with stroke.

Maintain What You Gain

A year or two out from therapy, survivors may feel progress has stopped or that they’ve lost some of their rehab gains. That would be a good time to get some more therapy. For survivors on Medicare, it is part of their benefits.
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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.

Helping Others Understand

Stroke affects people differently and many of the effects of stroke can be complicated. Helping friends and family understand how a stroke is affecting a survivor can help everyone involved.

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!