How it feels to have a stroke

Tonight I went to a place that only serves steak (with chips and salad). The only choices to make are which cut and how bloody you want it. It’s my kind of place on many levels.

While we were chatting I mentioned Jill Bolte Taylor (JBT). This is because I often remind people that my stroke was not a bad stroke. JBT had a bad stroke. A really bad stroke. But she makes it sound fascinating. She was actually researching brain injuries when she had a stroke herself.  She says that as it happened she was split between thinking, Oh no, I’m having a stroke this is bad, and How cool, how many neuro researchers get to actually have a stroke themselves (or something like that!) Anyway, see for yourself. The best stuff is in the first few minutes (Pay particular attention to the left v right brain explanation, as I’m coming back to it in a second!!):

 

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyyjU8fzEYU&fs=1&hl=en_US]

 

Obviously most of this doesn’t resonate with me. At all. It took her 8 years to fully recover. 8 years!!! However, another blogger did a review of her book and included some extracts that I did find kind of interesting:

Remember my weird tale of my left and right brain feeling like very separate entities? Well apparently this is “normal” too:

Although I wanted to regain my left hemisphere skills, I must say that there were personality traits that tried to rise from the ashes of my left mind that, quite frankly, were no longer acceptable to my right hemispheric sense of who I now wanted to be. . . . .I didn’t want to give up Nirvana. What price would my right hemisphere consciousness have to pay so I could once again be judged as normal? My left mind is responsible for taking all of that energy, all of that information about the present moment, and all of those magnificent possibilities perceived by the right mind, and shaping them into something manageable.”

And remember I kept saying, when people, (that’s you lot, not POTs) told me not to push so hard on the physical recovery, that I didn’t know what I could and couldn’t do until I tried to do it?  And how I didn’t know if I could make it work unless I kept trying?

The try is everything. The try is me saying to my brain, hey, I value this connection and I want it to happen. I may have to try, try, and try again with no results for a thousand times before I get even an inkling of a result, but if I don’t try, it may never happen.

It took her 8 years.  8 years. I don’t think I could’ve done that.

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