Expanding Comfort Zones
Over the years, we’ve heard repeatedly from stroke families how friends and family tend to dwindle, and sometimes disappear, after a stroke. It seems to happen even more often when aphasia is involved. Of course, it is no mystery that friends and family drift – they feel awkward because they see how hard it is for the survivor to communicate. They don’t want to aggravate him or her; nor do they know how to help. We talked with Dr. Barry Jacobs, director of behavioral sciences at Crozer-Keystone Family Medicine Residency Program in Springfield, Pa., about what stroke families can do to mitigate this situation. We also got input from the Citywide Stroke Support Group in Oklahoma City and group member Deanne Jacobs, whose husband Jake has struggled with aphasia since a stroke in 2010.
Web Extra: The American Speech Language and Hearing Association developed a great downloadable tip sheet to go along with this article. Be sure to check out Communication After Stroke: Understanding How Stroke Affects Language & Speech and other great resources on that page for helping others understand.
Other articles include:
Survivor Angela Scholten of Milwaukee was locked in for a time following a brain stem stroke. In Blink Once, she recounts a funny story of miscommunication that occurred while using an alphabet board. One letter can make a big difference!
Survivors from the Start
Infants are at the same risk of having a stroke as are the elderly: One infant in every 4,000 live births has a stroke. We talked to pediatric neurologist Kristin Guilliams of Washington University School of Medicine about what causes in utero stroke. We also interviewed three mothers of in utero stroke survivors about their children’s experience of growing up a survivor: Mary Kay (and Michelle) Ballasiotes of Charlotte, N.C.; Sue Nalty (and Ava) of Las Vegas, Nev.; and KC Schramm (and Gabriel) of Shebogan, Wis.
Web Extra: Meet the Travelling Awareness Bears that go all over the world to support kids in their recovery.
Skating Away from a Stroke
Physiatrist Jon Mukand of Connecticut tells the amazing story of Garrett Mendez’s recovery after a hockey injury caused a brain stem stroke at age 19. Garrett was locked in, but Dr. Mukand went to work to help him make a full recovery. He outlines four principles and two strategies he used as well as some cutting-edge technology that he employed.
Comedian John Kawie’s unique perspective on survival. This month in “Tracks of My Tears,” John recalls working with actor Robert DeNiro in preparing for a role as a stroke survivor in the film “Flawless.”
Stroke Notes features ‘newsy’ stroke-related information on stroke research, risk reduction, ASA events, advocacy efforts, etc.
Readers Room features personal stories, letters, poems and artwork from stroke survivors and family caregivers.
Everyday Survival looks at the role of good nutrition and physical activity in reducing the risk of recurrent stroke.