Last week I visited the Northeast Rehabilitation Hospital at Pease International Tradeport in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It is a beautiful facility with a welcoming and compassionate speech pathology staff. I was invited to speak to their Stroke and Brain Injury Support Group. They were a wonderful group of people who listened intently and offered a wealth of information.. The question/answer and discussion segment was enlightening, their stories and accomplishments were outstanding. We shared our difficulties concerning aphasia, coping skills, the feeling of isolation, and the awkward feeling of being “different.” We discussed how the stroke/brain injuries gave us a new life which we should enjoy to the fullest. We decided to discard the ‘old baggage’ and eliminate people from our life who make us uncomfortable. I was asked what I missed the most after my stroke; my response was an emotional moment – teaching. As the group was leaving a lovely woman approached me in tears. She also was a teacher who desperately needed to teach again. We brainstormed and arrived at some possibilities for her to return to the world of education. She hugged me as we both cried for our loss of teaching abilities and new ideas to be part of the education system again including writing lesson plans and up dating curriculum. We both departed with a sense of hope and thoughts of beginning her new life. Support groups can change lives – join one to listen and share. You will definitely feel better.
Tag Archives: small successes
A close friend’s brother had a stroke several weeks ago (he is unable to speak and is beyond frustrated), she noticed that I move my hand when I speak and I explained the purpose. Today she wrote me the following: “I tried to get the idea across about speaking a syllable with every stroke of the pen on paper, but we just ended up giggling, but when I flipped the page, he didn’t want me to help him and he wrote his 1st word, clear as can be:
l o v e
We hugged and he went on to write 3 more words that didn’t spell anything, then before I left after my niece and sister returned, they said I think he wants to write again, so I flipped the page and he wrote once again:
l o v e
I was on cloud 9 all the way home ! I believed in him and the power of prayer, and felt that with hard work and
determination he would be able to speak again. This word on paper, spoke loudly to me, that love will get him through.
I thanked God that I met you and heard your story, then bought your book. It has been the most helpful tool for us and worth all of your work in the writing it. I will try to get some time again with him later this week and will put that pen back in his hand. Thanks again for your insight into the effects on the mind and body of a stroke patient.”
The purpose of the book was to hear the success of stroke survivors. My story made the three years of writing my book very moving and special for me.