Sunday, October 26, 2008

Lean on me...

Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

You can often find this Scripture passage in relation to Stephen Ministry efforts (for example, click on the illustration or this link).

Like the old song goes...

Lean on me when you're not strong,
and I'll be your friend,
I'll help you carry on;
For it won't be long 'til I'm gonna need
somebody to lean on.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Staying physically active can help in recovery

Be active, stay active.

That's the recent news as reported here. A quote from the article:

Strokes that occurred among the most physically active individuals were 2.54 times more likely to be mild and half as likely to leave victims impaired compared with those in the lowest exercise quartile, reported Lars-Henrik Krarup, M.D., of Copenhagen University Hospital, and colleagues in the Oct. 21 issue of Neurology.

In my own experience, I believe that God gave me an interest in running to keep me fit enough to survive and recover through my stroke.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Good news, but be cautious

Several blogs and other sources have played up news from a study written up in the journal Stroke:

Mice receiving a ginkgo biloba extract after a stroke - induced in a laboratory - suffered abouthalf the damage in mice who did not receive the extract. From one blog, here's a summary:

Extract from the leaves of the ginkgo tree offers promise to minimize brain damage caused by a stroke, scientists said on Thursday.

Mice given daily doses of ginkgo biloba extract before having a stroke induced in the laboratory suffered only about half the damage as animals not given it, researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore wrote in the journal Stroke.

Mice who did not get ginkgo before a stroke but were given it five minutes after a stroke sustained nearly 60 percent less damage in the day after the stroke than those not given ginkgo. And mice given ginkgo 4-1/2 hours after a stroke had about a third less damage than those not given ginkgo.

So this is promising news - something to follow.

One caveat, though - this isn't your over-the-counter gingko biloba. This supplement is widely marketed as a pill to help your memory and concentration. They also could interact - and not in a good way - with prescription medication for stroke prevention. Those would include warfarin, Plavix and Aggrenox.

So if you want try the supplement, talk to your doctor. For your health and safety.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Thirsty? Find your ultimate electrolyte

O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
I've been increasing my miles lately in my running schedule, and have been extremely thirsty from time to time. If you run long distances - say, 90 minutes or more - and drink only water, there's a chance you'll actually harm yourself, with something called hyponatremia.
That's why runners drink Gatorade or similar products. It's about electrolytes, the substances such as sodium and potassium that help your body retain fluids and may prevent muscle cramps. If you run, you sweat. Sweat contains electrolytes, and if you sweat too much without replacing electrolytes, you suffer. In severe cases, people have died.
Struggling with the aftermath of a stroke can lead to a thirsty soul. So consider this: Water is good. But your faith can lead you to your ultimate electrolyte.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

With the wing, comes hope; with hope, comes strength

"[B]ut those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
-Isaiah 40:31
I'm guessing you recognize this from a longer quotation, from Isaiah 40:28-31. I don't have any stats to back it up, but this has to be one of the most quoted verses in the Bible.

It's quoted because it's comforting. And who doesn't need that? It's about hope strengthening faith, and with a renewed strength in faith, so much is possible. Pray today for someone struggling with stroke outcome - pray for a renewal of hope and strength in faith.