Hello, Goodbye



A Unique Perspective on His Survival by Stroke Survivor and Comedian John Kawie

Exciting news for all you “helpful” Looney Tunes out there. You don’t have to worry about me anymore. Seriously, I’m fine. This taking-care-of-Kawie craze is over. You guys have been glomming on to me like ants on a Cheez Doodle at a picnic.

I’m sure there are more constructive things you could be doing with your time. In fact, here are a few employment opportunities that are right up your alley. Better hurry because in New York City these positions go fast:

NEWS ANNOUNCER: No experience necessary. Just show up at Washington Square Park and scream today’s headlines at the top of your lungs.

SALES POSITION: Nathan’s Famous hot dog stands. Frankfurter costume required.

COMMUNICATIONS: Ability to hold animated sidewalk conversation with beings from another dimension.

COLLECTIONS SUPERVISOR: Conduct custom campaigns such as “Can you spare some change?”, “Gotta dollar?” or “Please help me pay for my summer house in Montauk.”

And now I’d like to say goodbye to the few that really made a lasting impression.

Goodbye “Intrusive Impatient Lady”: Remember that time in my neighborhood Starbuck’s when I was putting a glove on my affected hand? You swooped in dive-bomber style, grabbed it and started jamming it on like a deranged person. Here’s what you said:

“I’m sure you can do this yourself, but you were taking for-ever!” Like it was my fault, when we both know it was my slowness that drove you crazy.

image of cartoon John Kawie saying buh-bye

So long “Mangy Bus Guy with Meathooks the Size of Bench Grinders”: I’ll never forget that time yours truly was getting off the 2nd Avenue bus. As you were waiting to get on you snagged my arm and proceeded to forcefully drag me down the steps. It was like a controlled bellyflop toward the pavement. You said, and I quote, “Just tryin’ to help.” But I suspect you were rushing to get the only empty seat on the bus.

Adios’ “Beefy Guy That Gave Me a Coat Wedgie”: I was in the process of slipping my arm in the jacket sleeve when you snuck up behind me and thrust it up to my shoulders with such force that it boosted me off the ground. “There ya go buddy!” There I go? It was more like “We have liftoff.”

However, let’s not limit this to NYC. Here’s a special sayonara for the wackos that live in that remote wilderness I occasionally visit — Massachusetts.

A big wet au revoir to “Cane Packin’ Mama in the ’78 Chrysler El Humungo”: As I meandered down the sidewalk, you pulled up and announced, “Hey mister, looks like you could use a cane. I got a spare in the back seat.” “That’s okay,” I responded, “I’m more than able. Get it? Cane and Able!” Message received, because you floored it and got the hell out of there.

Dasvidaniya to “I-Feel-Your-Pain Crossing Guard”: When I arrived at the intersection you said you personally wanted to escort me across. Why? Because you banged your kneecap on the kitchen table and understood what I was going through. Hmm, brain injury from a bruised knee? I doubt it. Buttocks maybe, because sometimes brains show up there.

So thanks to all you well-meaning oddballs for driving me crazy. You’ve given me the greatest gift a stand-up comedian could hope for… material. Seriously.

This information is provided as a resource to our readers. The tips, products or resources listed or linked to have not been reviewed or endorsed by the American Stroke Association.

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Stroke Rehabilitation

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.

What to Expect from Outpatient Rehab

After stroke, about two-thirds of survivors receive some type of rehabilitation. Outpatient therapy may consist of Several types of therapy. Whether a patient is referred to inpatient or outpatient therapy depends on the level of medical care required.

What to Expect in Stroke Rehab

Following a stroke, about two-thirds of survivors receive some type rehabilitation. In this second of our two-part 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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AHA-ASA Resources

The Support Network

When faced with challenges recovering from heart disease or stroke, it’s important to have emotional support. That is why we created a network to connect patients and loved ones with others during their journey.

Caregiver Guide to Stroke

The Caregiver Guide to Stroke is meant to help caregivers better navigate the recovery process and the financial and social implications of a stroke.

Stroke Support Group Finder

To find a group near you, simply enter your ZIP code and a mile radius. If your initial search does not pull up any groups, try

Tips for Daily Living Library

This volunteer-powered library gathers tips and ideas from stroke survivors, caregivers and healthcare professionals all over the country who’ve created or discovered adaptive and often innovative ways to get things done!

Stroke Family Warmline

The Warmline connects stroke survivors and their families with an ASA team member who can provide support, helpful information or just a listening ear.

Let's Talk About Stroke Patient Information Sheets

Let's Talk About Stroke is a series of downloadable patient information sheets, created by the American Stroke Association, that presents information in a question-and-answer format that's brief, easy to follow and easy to read.

Request Free Stroke Information Packets

Fill out this online form to request free information about a variety of post-stroke topics.
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Stroke & Parts of the Brain

When Stroke Affects the Occipital Lobe

Our occipital lobe, the smallest of the four lobes of the cerebral cortex, controls how we visually interpret our world.

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.”

When Stroke Affects the Parietal Lobe

The parietal lobe helps us make sense of sensory information, like where our bodies and body parts are in space, our sense of touch, and the part of our vision that deals with the location of objects.

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.

When Stroke Affects the Temporal Lobe

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

When Stroke Affects the Brain Stem

The brain stem serves as a bridge in the nervous system. It sits at the top of the spinal column in the center of the brain. When a stroke happens there, it can cause a few different deficits and, in the most severe cases, can lead to locked-in syndrome.

When Stroke Affects the Thalamus

The thalamus can be thought of as a "relay station," receiving signals from the brain’s outer regions (cerebral cortex), interpreting them, then sending them to other areas of the brain to complete their job.
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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!