Thursday, August 28, 2008

Support for the younger stroke group

An article printed the other day talked about a group I can relate to:

Prime-of-life stroke victims find group solace. The stereotype for stroke victims: elderly. But many stroke victims are hit in the 30s or younger. Mine hit at age 39. Some of the people in the article were even younger.

So groups like this can help. As quoted in the article:

"Although stroke is the third leading cause of death and the number one cause of adult disability, people tend to be uninformed about strokes and life after stroke," said David Palestrant, M.D., director of the Stroke Program and director of Neuro-critical Care at Cedars-Sinai. "The support groups offer an opportunity for people to share their experiences and learn from one another about coping with the changes taking place in their lives," he said.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

'John Doe,' stroke and aphasia

A few postings back, I recalled my bout with aphasia - which I believe still affects me, but only slightly.

Recent news broke about a man in Kansas City who was found suffering a stroke and coulddn't say his name. As reported by the Kansas City Kansan shortly thereafter:
The patient has suffered a stroke and suffers from Broca’s Aphasia, a disorder that affects speech. The man has told hospital officials that his first name is Greg or Gregory, but can’t provide any further information.
He was finally identified, according to The Kansas City Star. The Kansas City Fox TV station noted that the man was homeless - by choice, according to family - and faces rehabilitation at the Kansas University Hospital.

What is aphasia? You can find a definition by the National Aphasia Association. It can be a frightening and frustrating experience.

My own experience was, at the end, generally positive - with some speech therapy and some time, my speech skills in the main came back. A prayer goes out to this man in Kansas City for a positive outcome as well.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Setting the right priorities - placing God before

I have set the LORD always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.

A comforting word to remember - for stroke survivors, caregivers, loved ones, friends and colleagues alike.

A key term here: "always before me." The author had the right idea - placing God always in front, always in high priority.

I know some stroke survivors are physically shaken. But spiritually, I've seen some of the same people solid and strong. And in the final analysis, we will all physically fail. But with the Psalm 16 author's attitude, we can stay strong in faith.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Paul's powerful words of death and gain

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

A passage from Philippians 1:21 that says it all - or at least volumes. Paul was profound in his thinking about what's important and what is to gain.

He's not begging to die in his statement in Philippians 1, but to make his priorities clear: despite his imprisonment, even the threat of death doesn't block him from Christ.

So any hurdle or obstacle in your way? Remember, you can still influence your fellow followers of Christ. Affecting one life can be a blessing.

Paul did it from prison. How can you?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Despite flaws, your body is a temple

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

From 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, this should be a welcome message for anyone - after all, no one is without flaws - but especially for stroke survivors. Many of them have some physical difficulties. After all, strokes cause more serious long-term disabilities than any other disease.

A 90-year-old fellow churchgoer, mentioned in a previous posting, walks with a cane, sometimes unsteadily, in the aftermath of a stroke a few years ago. But despite what's happened, God still considers your body as a temple.

It's beyond flaw, beyond flesh. My friend knows this - and so should you.

As I consider entering a marathon scheduled in November, this is a message to consider. By the same token, this is a message for anyone and everyone while considering any physical challenge, despite the level. For as your body is a temple, undertaking a challenge can be an act of worship.

Here's a video of a 2008 Olympic marathoner Ryan Hall, who, according to Runner's World magazine, believes he was chosen by God to run for God.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

'It is he who will save us'

Lately, this blog has posted a lot of stroke-related news, but now, an effort to do more faith-based postings. posts a daily verse, so I'm taking those as inspiration. A recent one, for example, came from Isaiah 33:22:
For the LORD is our judge,
the LORD is our lawgiver,
the LORD is our king;
it is he who will save us.
A Scripture reference to keep in mind when it seems the world is taking us over - our final authority is above all. So struggling with stroke recovery, struggling with caregiving, struggling with decisions, a note to remember: " is he who will save us." Consider all the ways he can save you, including the ultimate prize.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Another stroke-prevention medication in the works?

Blood-thinning medication can be tricky - bruising and other side effects. But they can also prevent strokes and death.

So some news from The New York Times the other day - European Drug Watchdog Supports New Pill by Bayer - indicates that another stroke prevention tool might become available for certain patients.

Outside Europe, regulatory filings for Xarelto have been submitted in more than 10 countries, including Canada and China. It is expected to be submitted for approval soon in the United States, where it will be marketed by Bayer’s partner Johnson & Johnson.
Although the initial use of Xarelto will be in preventing blood clots after hip- and knee-replacement surgery, the big commercial potential lies in using it to prevent strokes in people with atrial fibrillation, a common heart arrhythmia.
The medicine, which is also known by the generic name rivaroxaban, is taken as a single tablet, once daily.
Worth watching for future developments.

(Image from National Library of Medicine)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Not just a stroke of luck

Not that I believe in luck, but an article from - Not Just a Stroke of Luck - talks about an initiative that should happen - or already happening - everywhere:

Nurses from competing hospitals are joining together to improve the care that stroke patients receive at hospitals throughout New Jersey.
As in many circumstances, nurses wind up coordinating stroke centers, the article says, and special training helps to improve that coordination. Thus the effort in New Jersey. Efforts to upgrade stroke care coordination should either be ongoing or about to begin everywhere.