Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Know The Signs Of Stroke - CALL 911!

Contributed by Dr. Kathleen MacMillan:

"Dr. Kathleen MacMillan has contributed to clinical practice, education, administration and policy and research and has held policy positions in both the federal and provincial government. Her experience includes serving as the first provincial chief nursing officer in Canada (Ontario) from 1999 to 2001, where she provided nursing leadership, support and policy advice as a member of the senior executive team of the health ministry. Her role involved leading the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the province’s Nursing Strategy and Nursing Task Force recommendations to address critical nursing human resource issues. She led the passage of legislation for nurse practitioners and championed degree entry to practice for Ontario nurses. Most recently, Dr. MacMillan was executive director of the Office of Nursing Services, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Health Canada, where she led strategies to strengthen nursing services to aboriginal communities."

Thank you Dr. MacMillan

July 16, 2012
"The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) has released Pathways of Care for People with Stroke in Ontario, a report based upon an analysis of 62,000 stroke cases.  It found improved care is reducing stroke deaths but that much more improvement is needed."

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A How To Recover My Life After A Stroke Tool

Happiness is being back in a kayak after my stroke

I am excited to share a little more about my upcoming e-book "My Life After Stroke"

By using the M-I-A method, I am turning my book into an effective tool to help stroke survivors (or persons effected by stroke) regain an independent life with joy and happiness, rather than one of anger, anxiety, frustration and depression.

What is the MIA method?  M = motivation, I = Information and A = action steps

Some of the strongest motivating emotions for someone who has experienced stroke are.

1. The ANXIETY of having another stroke.

2. To have the FREEDOM of living independently.

3. To feel the JOY of being loved and having control over emotions.

4. The GLEE of having arm and leg movement again.

5. The HAPPINESS of doing simple tasks every day.

The positive emotions can motivate to recover if they are stronger than the negative emotions that manifest themselves in destructive ways.

Information of course is the key to unlock the door to recovery after stroke. Here are just some of the information points that are shared in my book.

1. How to relax and bring a feeling of calmness to mind that extends throughout your entire body whenever you want..

2. How to regain the ability to live independently and to become your own caregiver.

3. How to manage emotional feelings of frustration and anger.and how to love and be loved by family and friends.

4. How to kick start your brain into turning paralysis into movement within your body again.

5.How to set goals and take steps to do simple every day things like being able to open a can or zip up a zipper.

The real means to success is the "A" in M-I-A. Action steps! Clear simple numbered steps in each chapter to get you actually doing what it takes to get your body and mind back. To begin doing more and more on your own and making a meaningful contribution to your self, family, friends and community again.

I am excited about getting to write such a book. I hope you are getting just as excited and looking forward to making full use of it in your life after stroke.

I am also excited to hear your thoughts and comments. I hope you will share...

Stroke survivor since 2002

Thursday, July 12, 2012

5 Tips for Stroke Prevention

Today we feature a guest post by Philip J. Reed titled "5 Tips for Stroke Prevention". We extend Philip a very warm welcome and we hope you find his post motivating, informative and actionable. - Gary

--Philip J Reed, on behalf of The George Washington University Hospital Cardiovascular Center 

When a stroke occurs, brain cells can begin dying within seconds. Even prompt symptom recognition and quick access to stroke services may not be enough to prevent long-term damage.The best way to maintain full function is to reduce your risk factors, and we will discuss five ways to do that below.

1. Know your numbers. Your blood pressure and cholesterol can both be major risk factors. High blood pressure, which often has few or no symptoms, is one of the leading causes of stroke. It creates stress in blood vessel walls, and left untreated, can lead to blood vessel deterioration, blood clots, brain hemorrhage and stroke. High cholesterol can be just as damaging as it builds up on the walls of the arteries, blocking and damaging them. Positive lifestyle changes, such as exercise and weight loss, may be able to help you gain control over your blood pressure and cholesterol. Your doctor can help you explore other avenues for reducing your numbers if lifestyle changes are ineffective or do not reduce your numbers enough.

2. Make healthy choices. Excessive alcohol consumption and tobacco use both pose stroke risks and can increase your blood pressure. Smoking, which doubles your stroke risk, forces your heart to work harder to pump blood throughout your body and can promote plaque build-up in your arteries. Quitting smoking and drinking alcohol in moderation may be able to help reduce your stroke risk.

3. Maintain a healthy body weight. Overweight and obesity create extra work for your circulatory system and are linked to high blood pressure, high cholesterol and Type 2 diabetes. Losing weight can be difficult, but making healthier food choices that include lean protein, fresh vegetables and fruits, and whole grains can make you feel better physically and mentally and help you lose weight. If you are unsure about how or where you should start, talk to your health care professional or a nutritionist to learn more.

4. Control your diabetes. If you have diabetes, your stroke risk may be four times higher than it is for those who do not have diabetes. Many people with diabetes also tend to have co-morbid health conditions, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, further increasing their risk. If you have diabetes, managing your blood glucose levels, staying active, eating a healthy diet and seeing your health care professional regularly can all help reduce your risk of stroke. Here are some additional great tips for managing diabetes.

5. Stay active. A sedentary lifestyle can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes, weight gain and other health conditions associated with stroke. Health care professionals recommend exercising at least 30 minutes a day five days a week. Even beginners can enjoy a brisk walk or low impact water aerobics class. Talk to your doctor to ensure you are taking any necessary precautions before starting an exercise regimen.

The National Stroke Association estimates that as many as four out of five strokes can be prevented. Controlling risk factors where you can may help reduce your odds of needing stroke services and help you live a healthier life overall.

Philip J Reed is a health and fitness enthusiast who understands the value of knowledge and prevention.  If you have any questions or would like additional information, please leave a comment here, or contact us through the link in the byline.

Monday, July 9, 2012

"My Life After Stroke" e-book to be released soon

After a stroke you realize that you have survived but your very being is broken and your emotional life is in tatters. These are just some of the emotional needs that come swirling out of the mists rising from the black abyss of stroke.... Will they ever be met?

1. the peacefulness of being safe and secure
2. the calmness of being without anxiety
3. the glee to be able to use an arm and leg again
4. the joy of being loved
5. the happiness of being understood
6. the clarity of thinking and remembering
7. the warmth of talking and communicating
8. the freedom of independence
9  the satisfaction of work
10.the happy ability of being able to read
11.the independance of being able to drive.

After that comes the wants and the nagging worries about the days, weeks ahead. You just can't even begin to think in terms of months and years... "What will I ever be able to do?" you ask yourself.

Just some of the wants:

To move, to walkto talk, to readto write to hugto hold to drive to go to the storeto eat outto work

And some of the worries:

I will have another strokeI will be in a wheelchair,I will be a mental veggie, I can't go out any more, I can't communicateI will be in a rest home No one understands,I will always need careI will loose my familyI will loose all my friends.

So where do the answers come from? They come from someone who has been exactly where you are now. They come in the form of a new e-book that I, a ten year stroke survivor who has recovered much of his life is currently writing. My plan is to have it ready for release on August 10, 2012 exactly ten years after I personally had a major stroke leaving me with these very same emotional needs, wants and worries.

Recovery is possible after stroke and and I will share in my writings, my journey and how I have regained a quality of life that includes independent living, satisfying volunteer work. Joy, peace and friendly association in my life.

Enter your email on this page to be notified when my book is released.

Gary Gray
Stroke survivor since 2002