Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Have You Had A TIA? - 500,000 Available In Canada In 2011

Hi to all of my PEI Stroke Recovery readers,

Have you had a TIA? (Transient Ischemic Attack)

You don't know or you are just not sure what a TIA is. Well a TIA is commonly referred to a mini stroke. Canadian Statistics  tell us that some 50,000 people experience a stroke in Canada every single year. However, new information released in 2010 indicates that that number may very well represent one tenth of the actual number of Canadians that suffer stroke each year. Why?

According to this new information 450,000 Canadians suffer a stroke but they may never know that it happened.
These events are not to be laughed off as being something minor. They more often are a warning that something is wrong and having such an event could mean that if ignored something more serious like a stroke may well happen in the future.

On Prince Edward Island we now have our Secondary Stroke Prevention Clinic open at the Prince County Hospital. We are seeing more Islanders being helped to recognize that they may very well have suffered a TIA, are at risk of a secondary stroke and are in need of secondary stroke education and support. This unit has been set up as a pilot to work out the kinks before the service is rolled out across the Island in 2012.

You don't have to attend the clinic to learn more about what a TIA is, if you are at risk and what to do if you or someone near you begins showing the signs of having one.

Click here to read the Canadian Heart and Stroke brochure " You've Had A TIA"  right here online.

This is important information that could save your live or the life of someone you love.

Whether you have in fact had a TIA or you may be at risk of having one I encourage you to invest a few minutes of your time to read this brochure. Those few minutes that you take RIGHT NOW could be the best investment that you could ever make. Especially if YOU are one of the 500,000 Canadians that will suffer a stroke or a TIA in Canada this year.

Watch this video to learn more:

If you are reading this post and live in a country outside Canada, you can apply like figures to that country.  For Example in the United States the numbers would look something like this.

Population:                 300,000,000
Strokes:                            500,000
unreported TIA's            4,500,000
Total strokes and TIA's  5,000,000

I will post again soon,


Monday, December 13, 2010

New Website For "Canadian Best Practice Recommendations For Stroke Care"

Welcome to all of my PEI Stroke Recovery readers,

As a stroke community in Canada we have been long awaiting the 2010 update to the "Canadian Best Practice Recommendations For Stroke Care"

It was released on December 3rd 2010.

Click here to download your copy or just read it online. There are some pretty nifty additions. One in particular that I like personally is the use of  hyperlinks in the PDF.

O.K, I hear you "What are hyperlinks and what is a PDF?"

1. Hyperlink - A little piece of computer code that allows the reader to click in a blue underlined text link and then be taken directly to what is being talked about. Like the "Click here" up above to take you to the 2010 update.

2. PDF - Public Document File. Documents are able to be published electronically using the public document file format so that anyone with a computer and Internet access can either read to document online, download the document to their personal hard drive/memory stick or print the document using a local printer.

In order to open a PDF the user will need to have Acrobat Reader downloaded and installed on the computer that is being used. (most if not all newer computers usually have it on them)

Oh Yes! For a major announcement: The Canadian Best Practices has launched a new website. Click here to go there now.

This is an awesome website with the very latest information and links to stroke research reports and partners there. I encourage you to spend some time there checking out everything including the new "Transitions Of Care" links.

This amazing document and website is the result of a partnership of The Canadian Stroke Strategy, The Canadian Stroke Network and The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.

I hope that as a reader of "Prince Edward Island Stroke Recovery" you will find the answers to your questions about stroke whether you are a survivor, a caregiver or a health care provider. I encourage you to tell me what it is you need by way of a comment  or contact me directly. All of my contact info is contained on my  web page. Simply click here to go there.

I will post again soon,


Friday, December 10, 2010

Medications And Patient Safety - What You NEED To Know...

To all of my PEI Stroke Recovery readers,

Do you take medications to maintain or improve your health? The majority of people do. What are the dangers of taking meds and what would qualify to be tracked as a medication in your body?

Lets see what health Canada has to say on the matter. Here is a quote from Health Canada's website.

"Seniors may be more prone to illness due to the weakening of the body's natural defences. It's not surprising, therefore, that many require a greater number of drugs to treat their health problems. Because seniors also tend to have more than one health problem, they may receive multiple prescriptions or they may combine prescription drugs with over-the-counter products or with natural remedies. Given that the aging body is more sensitive to the effects of many medications, the combinations can cancel the benefits of any or all medications and produce adverse reactions, such as memory loss, sleepiness, agitation and confusion. These effects have been associated with falls and other injuries."

Notice that prescription drugs, over the counter and natural remedies all play a part and should be tracked because of the posed dangers.

Although the above quote mentions seniors, others as well can be in similar danger. Those of all ages with an acute illness or chronic condition such as a stroke survivor.

What is being done to mediate these risks?

In Canada we have an organization called  The Canadian Patient Safety Institute. (CPSI)

The CPSI has produced a brochure called "Safe Care... Accepting No Less"  I recommend that all of our readers read this publication. Just click on the above link to access the brochure.

What will this mean to stroke survivors? In P.E.I., we have a patient safety wing under Health P.E.I. and under that wing there are new tools that promote patient safety.

Tool no. one:  Home Medication List 

Tool no. two:   Know Your Medications pamphlet.

These tools are designed to inform and to protect persons that are at risk of miss use and or abuse of medications.

Please print out or pick up your personal copies of these tools and make use of them to protect yourself.

Survivors and caregivers in other provinces and states are encouraged to check with your local health authority for similar tools that are available in your area.

I will post again soon,


p.s. Additional important information from Karen McCaffery of Patient Safety, Health P.E.I.

 "The intent of this medication list is to help ensure patients bring an accurate up-to-date list with them when they visit their healthcare provider.  It is the patient's responsiblity to fill out this form and keep it current.  We want to encourage that they include all prescription, non-prescription and over-the-counter medications, including herbals, vitamins and minerals, eye/ear drops, inhalers, nasal spray, patches, liquids, injections, ointments/creams and any samples obtained from a doctor's office.  It is just one tool and patients can still be encouraged to bring in their medications or another medication list, such as the DIS list or pharmacy list.  However, many of the items listed above are not found on the DIS or pharmacy medication lists."

Friday, November 26, 2010

Secondary Stroke Prevention Clinic Pilot Open At PCH

Welcome to all our stroke recovery and at risk readers,

Here is the long awaited news that one more piece of the Organized Stroke Care Model for P.E.I. is now in place. The details are included in the following government press release dated November 25, 2010.

November 25, 2010
For immediate release
Secondary Stroke Prevention Clinic pilot up and running at Prince County Hospital

Health PEI
The first phase of the Organized Stroke Care Model for Prince Edward Island is now complete with the launch of the Secondary Stroke Prevention Clinic pilot at Prince County Hospital (PCH), says Health and Wellness Minister Carolyn Bertram.
“Government remains committed to implementing a provincial Organized Stroke Care model to help improve the lives of Islanders who are either at risk of suffering a stroke or who have suffered a stroke,” said Minster Bertram. “It is important that we continue work in partnership with Health PEI to promote a timely and coordinated provincial approach to prevention, early assessment and comprehensive care by interdisciplinary health care teams across the continuum of care. The establishment of the Secondary Stroke Prevention Clinic pilot at Prince County Hospital is a key part of that approach and will lay the foundation for future clinics across the Island.”
Secondary stroke prevention is focussed on patients who have already experienced a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA), also known as a non-disabling stroke, and those who are at high risk of stroke.
“The Secondary Stroke Prevention Clinic pilot provides out-patient follow-up care for acute TIA patients and post-acute stroke patients,” said Dr. Doug Carmody, Internist at PCH and medical lead for the Secondary Stroke Prevention Clinic pilot. “This pilot offers a patient-centred approach to specifically address risk factors for stroke including assistance with lifestyle management and assessment by a coordinated clinical staff with specialized training in TIA and stroke management.”
People who suffer a stroke or a TIA are at high risk of recurrent strokes and other vascular events. Quick identification of risk factors and appropriate treatment is critical to prevent further strokes and the possibility of even greater damage and disability. A TIA is an important warning sign that a person is at increased risk of a full-blown stroke.
Major risk factors for stroke include age, high blood pressure, smoking, physical inactivity, obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes. 83 per cent of Islanders have at least one of these major risk factors and 45 per cent have at least two.
The Secondary Stroke Prevention Clinic pilot will initially receive referrals for patients who have been identified as having a known or suspected acute TIA or stroke and who live within the Prince County catchment area. The purpose of the pilot is to evaluate and plan for the appropriate resource requirements prior to expanding the Secondary Stroke Prevention service provincially.
The establishment of the pilot at PCH completes the first phase of the three-phased Organized Stroke Care Model for Prince Edward Island. Government has invested $2.1 million into phase one which includes the Secondary Stroke Prevention Pilot Clinic at PCH, as well as creating and filling a Provincial Stroke Care Coordinator position and instituting an acute in-patient stroke unit and in-patient stroke rehabilitation unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Phase two, includes the establishment of district-level ambulatory stroke rehabilitation services, a provincial roll-out of secondary stroke prevention services, and provincial stroke rehabilitation assessment clinic. Phase three includes the establishment of community re-integration services. Phases two and three will be implemented over the next two years.
Health PEI is responsible for coordinating and delivering Organized Stroke Care services.
Stroke is the third leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability. In PEI, there are approximately 350 strokes annually – this equals about one stroke every day.
Media Contact: Amanda Hamel
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Monday, November 1, 2010

Gary Gray Speaks To Southern Kings Arts Council

By Tom Rath
Writing is more than an art form, it's a way to exercise one’s creativity, guest speaker Gary Gray of Montague said at this month’s meeting of the Southern Kings Arts Council.
"For me, as a stroke survivor, it is both a form of escape, and a way to help me discover and develop what I call my new normal," Mr Gray said.
"The stories of my childhood that you read in Prince Edward Island Tales are not just my latest writings. They are my first writings, too. I joined the Montague Library Writers Group because I found writing was good therapy for me."
Always an active participant in community affairs, Mr Gray suffered a major stroke eight years ago while stopping for coffee. After a blurred three weeks of CAT scans and semi-consciousness, he awoke to the realization that his entire world had changed.
Mr Gray faced major challenges in learning once again how to walk, talk and dress under conditions of fatigue, depression and anxiety. Even sitting up to eat took effort. A left-handed man with a paralyzed left side has much to learn.
"It’s more than just regaining physical strength," Mr Gray said. "After all, much of what we do doesn’t happen in the hands, but in the brain itself. I had to battle memory loss and fuzzy thinking, and somehow teach my brain how to survive and succeed under these new conditions."
Part of his progress stemmed from involvement in a new writing group formed at the Montague Library.
"By putting words down on paper, I helped clear my thoughts and my thinking patterns. That, plus my involvement with the Heart and Stroke Foundation, gave me new accomplishments – skills, strengths and reassurance that while I’m not necessarily the old Gary Gray, I am the new Gary Gray. I am surviving and succeeding in my new normal."
The Southern Kings Arts Council exists to support the arts community, and to enhance public awareness and appreciation of the arts in this region of Prince Edward Island. Guest speaker meetings are held in the boardroom of Active Communities, Main Street, Montague, at 7:30pm on the third Tuesday of most months, and are open to the public. Admission is free

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Do You Know How Much Salt You Ate Today?

Welcome to all of our readers who are interested in stroke prevention, label reading and salt intake

We have posted this great video all about the healthy use of salt from the Sodium 101 website.

The video is self explanatory so go ahead and learn while you view.

To learn more just click here to go directly to the Sodium 101 website.

Enjoy and stay healthy.

We will post again soon.


p.s. who knew... :)

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Friday, October 8, 2010

The 8 Modifiable Risk Factors Of Stroke

The information posted here and the links connect to the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Prince Edward Island.

We would like to express our sincere thanks to the folks there for making this important information available for us to share.

Do YOU know the 8 modifiable risk factors of stroke?

 Stroke prevention

You can't control your family history, age, gender or ethnicity. But fortunately, you can do something about other factors that could increase your risk of having a stroke such as obesity, diet, diabetes, smoking, over drinking, inactivity, high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol.

Stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. Without oxygen-rich blood, brain cells begin to die. If the blood supply is not restored, the affected part of the brain dies, causing disability and death.
Help prevent a stroke by learning more about the risk factors you can do something about and those you can't control.
Risk issues you can do something about
and two bonus issues
Risk factors you can't control
What is your risk?
Are you at risk? Take the Heart&Stroke Risk AssessmentTM and get a personalized risk profile and a customized action plan for healthy living that includes tips, tools, recipes and much more to help you reduce your risk.
For more information on stroke prevention, please read our brochure Taking control: Lowering your risk of heart disease and stroke.

I am a eight year stroke survivor.

Till next post.

Smiles :o)


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Living A Life After Stroke

Hi to all of my readers being challenged with having to live with a chronic condition as well as living a life after stroke

photo credit Jonathan Charlton

Optimism enables stroke victim to help others along the way

Since his stroke in 2002, Gary Gray of Montague has become a local leader in helping other stroke victims recover.
His road hasn’t been easy. "I knew I wouldn’t get my life before the stroke back, but I would get back as much as I could."
Mr Gray's first challenge was to accept what had happened, that things would be different.
"The first reaction is to be angry, to think 'I want my life back.'"
The left side of his body was affected and since he was left handed he had to relearn many basic skills such as how to write.
He had to work through what is called brain fog, where blood in his brain damaged cells and affected his ability to think clearly. There was also the physical fatigue.
But slowly, he began to recover.
"I would walk the length of the bedroom, living room and porch. I would do that every two hours."
Eventually he had built up enough stamina to go for walks outside.
Mr Gray sharpened his mental faculties by working on his computer.
"The first thing I had to do was answer about 800 emails that I’d collected," he laughs.
He then turned his attention to researching strokes online. He found, a stroke support group run by an American stroke victim which had about 3,000 members worldwide.
"We understood what the other ones were going through. So we could develop a better recovery because of that."
As Mr Gray recovered he outgrew the support group and turned his attention to his neighbourhood. Even as recently as a few years ago he says it was rare to see people walking down the street with a cane or ordering food at a restaurant with a speech impediment.
"Stroke survivors in that time were reclusive. Self-conscious about their condition."
So Mr Gray kept his ear to the ground and when he learned about other stroke victims he invited them to contact him and he offered support and encouragement.
"They began recognizing that I had a positive attitude and had recovered from my stroke."
It was that positive attitude that led to him to being asked three times to be a leader for a Living a Healthy Life, a peer support program invented at Stanford University and implemented by the provincial government. (People can register for Living a Healthy Life at 1-888-854-7244).
It teaches people with chronic health problems such as asthma or diabetes or are stroke or heart attack survivors how to work through their recoveries and maintain healthier lifestyles.
"Most of it I knew," Mr Gray says. "But this reinforced it, it was like an 'aha' moment."
"All of us living with chronic conditions, we have to deal with them now. They’re part of our lives."
Mr Gray found that people with different conditions went through some of the same symptoms, such as fatigue or anxiety, and could teach each other. While he had had success with his exercises, for example, others had tried to do too much too soon, didn’t achieve their goals and got discouraged.
He also liked the teamwork aspect - each person got a buddy that checked up on them, making sure they remembered meetings and asking how they were doing.
"If you have someone to remind you, that helps. You’re not alone anymore."
Still, he feels taking on a leadership role with that group isn’t his niche. He enjoys working as a midpoint between survivors and organizations and government. One thing he wants to check out is Bungalow Software, a series of computer programs developed by an American couple that help stroke victims overcome speech impediments. He knows at least two people in the area that could benefit.
It’s one way he’ll help other survivors, but he’s not worrying too much about the future.
"It’s hard to say. I don’t know. I’ll let it continue as it unfolds."

As a stroke survivor and after being directly involved  in this training as a participant, I believe that this program deserves being adopted as one piece in the puzzle of life after stroke. - Gary Gray

The reposting of this article is meant to promote education and awareness of living with chronic conditions as well as living life after stroke.

Click here to read the original article by Jonathan Charlton.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Life After A Stroke - Living A Healthy Life With Chronic Conditions

Hi to all of our readers with chronic conditions

To day, I would like to introduce you to a program that I believe will help you develop  your coping skills to manage your chronic condition.

I am a stroke survivor: I struggle with fatigue and limited ability to do just the routine tasks of daily living.

You may be working through the challenges of  any number of chronic conditions.

I found this six week course a great help in dealing with the challenges of  Stroke.

Living A Healthy Life With Chronic Conditions is provided in many Prince Edward Island Communities with a small reregistration charge of only $10.00

Each training session is led by a trained health care professional along with a trained volunteer. They work as a team to provide the needed skills for participants to manage chronic conditions on a daily basis.

"Living a Healthy Life is a fun and practical program that helps people with ongoing health conditions overcome daily challenges and maintain active, fulfilling lives.  Throughout the program, people develop the skills they need to help themselves. They gain confidence and motivation to manage their health, and feel more positive about their lives."

To learn the skills to manage your chronic condition  click here

This same program is offered in many other provinces and states throughout North America. Try typing "living a healthy life" into a search engine such as Google to find one near you.

I will post again soon and in the meantime why not learn the skills to live healthy one day at a time.


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Nancy Mayo and Getting On With The Rest Of Your Life After A Stroke

Charlotte Comrie - Nancy Mayo - Gary Gray photo credit The Guardian

Hi to all of my stroke survivor readers

This post is for all of you as well as your caregivers and your families.

Being able to accept the abrupt change in your life that having a stroke can bring can be very difficult to come to grips with let alone manage your life after a stroke..

The health care system in North America and the world deals mainly with stroke from a clinical viewpoint So where does that leave you when you are discharged  from rehab and left to get on with your life after a stroke?

Dr. Nancy Mayo of McGill University in Montreal Canada is a true pioneer in this field of research.

I first met Dr. Mayo in Charlottetown Prince Edward Island in November of  2007 at 5 years post stroke. ( that was when the picture above was taken)

We were both in Charlottetown to attend the "Strategies for Stroke Recovery" conference that was being held there.

I gave an address on Friday Night that was titled "The New Normal" and Dr. Mayo gave the keynote address the next morning titled "Getting On With The Rest Of Your Life After Stroke". As I had been invited to attend Dr. Mayo's presentation I took along a recorder and recorded it. The recording is in audio only so you don't get to see the visual side. {the slide presentation)

There are many great points that Dr. Mayo highlighted in her presentation. As she was addressing a group of  health care professionals that day the first half hour is a bit dry with clinical background information. In the last half hour she begins to draw out the needs that are faced by a stroke survivor and family that is being discharged from rehab and facing life after stroke back in the community.

Since November 2007 Dr. Mayo  has developed a 36 page booklet called "Getting On With The Rest Of Your Life After Stroke" that is designed to assist stroke survivors and families to cope with life after a stroke.

In April of 2009 the Prince Edward Island government included in their annual budget announcement that Prince Edward Island over the next four years would be adopting an "Organized Stroke Care Model" to deal with the challenge of stroke within our province. (see my 4 page background report prepared and distributed to all of our provincial elected reps prior to the budget being announced)

In April 2010 the opening of both the Acute Stroke Care (Unit 8) and the Rehab Stroke Care (Unit 7) were announced for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown. At the same time the announcement for the Secondary Stroke Prevention Unit for the Prince County Hospital in Summerside was postponed to October 2010.

I am going to stop there for today. There is more to this story and I will get into that another day as we continue to explore this journey of getting on with the rest of your life after stroke together.

In the meantime I welcome any stories and/or comments that you would care to share with me and all of our readers about your life after a stroke.



Monday, September 20, 2010

Where Can I Get My Blood Pressure Checked On PEI?

Welcome to all my readers with high blood pressure,

My question is: Where can I have my blood pressure checked on Prince Edward Island? If you are thinking I could use any of the machines at the pharmacies, then that seems like a simple answer. Let me share with you what my pharmacist said about those machines. He told me that he was not having one installed in his store because in his opinion the readings on those machines were not very accurate. He said that if you really thought that your pressure should be checked then have it checked by going to a hospital emergency department.

Of course the nurse at my doctors office always checks my BP on every visit. How often is that? Every six months or once a year? Longer?

As a stroke survivor with a chronic fatigue condition as well as paralysis, and balance issues I have a routine of having a visit to my doctor every three months. As I am on blood pressure meds I like to have my BP taken on a regular basis. It is also a comfort for me to go eyeball to eyeball with the doc so that if I have any concerns or something is beginning to trend in the wrong direction then he can pick up on it sooner.

If I feel that I need to be checked sooner than the three month cycle than I can call to make a n appointment or check in at the local emergency desk.

The Dept of Health on P.E.I. is also making available a new program to help people enjoy living a healthy life with chronic conditions. This six week program is well worth the time spent as it teaches skills to manage our chronic conditions on a day to day basis.

The benefits of such skills bring us peace of mind and the knowledge that we are taking good care of ourselves in our day to day lives.

I would really like to hear from you as to how you manage your condition. Where and how often you get your BP checked along with  any other checkups that you require.

Has your doctor or other health care professional recommended that you attend the Healthy Living program?

Click here to learn more about the program.

Do you think that there should be blood pressure clinics in public places like malls, stores and public events on Prince Edward Island?  How important is knowing your blood pressure to you?

Thanks for reading my post and I hope that you will share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Eat Atlantic Challenge Sept 2nd

Eat Atlantic Challenge Sept 2nd: "
This post has been re posted from Rachelle Wood

Do you know where your food comes from? On September 2nd Maritimers are asked to only eat Atlantic produced products that day and beyond. With the rising awareness of ethical eating, consumers are choosing to shop closer to home. Locally grown produce is often more nutritious while producing a smaller carbon footprint.

Co-op Atlantic is organizing local events to help celebrate this special dietary day. Members of the public can enjoy samples of Atlantic produced products at the Charlottetown location on Walker Drive. Follow the Eat Atlantic Challenge on facebook wall to find out more details and to make your dietary pledge.

I signed the pledge, and here’s my PEI produced meal plan for today:

Breakfast: 2 PEI free range eggs + 1 local bakery whole wheat bread, PEI roasted coffee with honey drop

Snack: handpicked PEI apple + slice of Cows creamery cheddar cheese

Lunch: garden veggie stir fry with oishi sauce and uncle’s homegrown chicken

Snack: fresh fruit smoothie with Island berries and Purity dairy skim milk

Supper: PEI lobster, corn on the cob, garden fresh yellow beans, new PEI potatoes

Local eating just makes sense. It’s easy to do and often more affordable. Planning your meals a day in advance can help you stay on track. To find out more about local eating or where to buy food, read the 100 mile diet.

The Eat Atlantic website hosts a kids club, which includes healthy inspired projects for kids and parents. Learn more about nutrition and how your food is grown on this interactive website. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to be a healthy food role model for your children. Openly discuss nutrition with them and take family outings to local farms.

How do you plan on enjoying Eat Atlantic day? Hopefully with lots of food Kiss


Friday, August 20, 2010

Stroke Recovery And A Healthy Lifestyle

A Special Hi to Stroke Survivors and Caregivers

As you may or may not know one of the keys to stroke recovery is healthy living while watching our weight and maintaining a healthy diet. I would like to share with you a tool that I have been asked to test for our Stroke Education and Awareness committee. It is found on the Canadian Heart and Stroke site and is called the Healthy Weight Action Plan.

Click here to access the Healthy Weight Action Plan

Heart & Stroke Healthy Weight Action Plan 

The Heart&Stroke Healthy Weight Action Plan™ is a 12-week,
step-by-step program that will support you in achieving healthy habits
 and a healthy weight—for life. The Healthy Weight Action Plan will:
  • Identify your risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Provide tips, advice and support to help you lose weight.
  • Help you create a personalized action plan for healthy living. 

I have also been asked to test another diet tool by another well known 
organization but you will have to wait till after I try it. I will put up a
 future blog post on it then.

I hope you enjoy using the Healthy Weight Action Tool as much as I am.

Smiles :o)


FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2008

Meet Kyle Jay a Brain Stem Stroke Survivor...

Hi Everyone

In March of this year (2008) I was introduced by Cathy Sinclair of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of PEI to a young man from our community by the name of Kyle Jay.

Cathy introduced me by way of telling me that Kyle had suffered a Brain Stem Stroke and was "locked in". He and his family were in a hospital in Halifax (200 miles away) and could I be available to be contacted by them and help them with access to getting support from the stroke community.

So after an email introduction to Kyle's mom Darlene I began to get the word out to the stroke community and stroke survivors and caregivers started to respond to my request to contact Kyle through his FaceBook group, email or a personal visit.

Thank you every body for your support. Kyle has been moved back to te Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown where he continues to make good progress with his recovery.

He was moved into the Rehab Unit on Monday where I got to visit (and meet him for the first time) him Monday evening and his dad (Garth) snapped this picture of us together.

Here is a link to my Stroke Network Blog where I have been re posting Darlene's FaceBook posts so that Stroke Network Members that don't have a FaceBook account could follow Kyle's progress.

Here is a link to Kyle's FaceBook Group so you can learn more about this amazing young man.

Kyle is an amazing young man through his "can do" attitude, his great smile and laugh, support of his family, friends and community as well as members of the world wide stroke community Kyle is accomplishing the impossible. (recovery from a brain stem stroke and a "locked in" condition)

Yes Kyle is a real life inspiration to all stroke survivors everywhere. "Yes We Can"

Smiles :o)




It was August 9th, 2002. A bright sun shiny day and I spent the entire day with my two daughters visiting from Charlottetown as well as my sister and her family visiting from Vancouver, B.C. and Saskatoon, Sask.

We enjoyed a wonderful family day topped off by going out for an early dinner at a nice local Italian restaurant.

I am very fortunate to have that memory as August 9th, 2002 would prove to be the last day of my life.....Pre Stroke!

After dinner the kids headed back to Charlottetown, my sister settled in for a quiet evening at home and I changed into my security uniform for a night security job that I had been doing on weekends for the past four years.

Everything seemed to be very normal. No one suspected that within twenty four hours I would be fighting for my life in a Moncton hospital bed and the odds were that I might very well not win.

For that part of the story you will have to wait for the next post.

In the meantime here is a picture of me with my two daughters Krista and Karol, my sister Irene and my grand niece Carlie. The picture that you see here was taken about 4:30 p.m. on that same day in August. (it is the last picture taken of me before the Stroke ...just around 18 hours pre stroke)


Recovering Abilities

What are these abilities that need to be recovered? Do you need a list?

Well let's start with a short list for now and we will expand as we go along.

The ability to stay awake longer than ten seconds at a time.

The ability to just use the bathroom without being bedfast with pads, the catheter and flipping (like a fried egg )to have my pad changed.

The ability to eat without someone feeding me.

The ability to talk without the slur.

The ability to bathe myself and brush my own teeth.

The ability to move my Left hand that I write with, shave with and wash my face with.

The ability to sit up in my wheel chair rather than in the recline position.

The ability to transfer from bed to wheel chair without two nursing staff having to attend me. (every time)

The ability to stay in my wheel chair longer than an hour because of the unbearable fatigue that smothers me.

So that will be the first batch of lost abilities that I will work on recovering.

So how did you loose all of those abilities you ask.

Let me tell you my story, A story of abilities that were lost in a moment of time and takes a journey of years and years of time to recover only some of them. So

My name is Gary, I am a stroke survivor and this is my story.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Garlic Salmon Over Spinach....yum!

Hi again

Diet is another very important part of recovering from and prevention of Stroke.

Here is a great web site by Posit Science that promotes Brain Healthy foods... Enjoy!
Brain-healthy foods in this recipe
Salmon is chock-full of DHA, the omega-3 fatty acid with the most evidence for brain benefits. Almost any salmon is a good choice for the brain, not just because of high good-for-you DHA levels but also because of relatively low levels of bad-for-you mercury. Wild salmon is probably a better choice than farmed salmon, due to lower levels of PCBs. Spinach and garlic may add to the brain benefits of this recipe!


Monday, June 21, 2010

Canadian Led Stroke Study Reveals Surprises


Canada is breaking new ground in world stroke research and the study findings are providing surprises.

Seemingly healthy Canadians under 50 are unknowingly walking around with pre-existing brain damage that puts them at increased risk of a full-blown stroke, Canadian researchers are warning.
In a study believed to be a world first, Montreal researchers who investigated 168 stroke patients age 18 to 50 discovered that 29 per cent had old brain lesions — small clusters of dead brain cells.

To learn more and watch the video click here: or copy and paste the link below into your browser.

Smiles :o)


Friday, June 18, 2010

Hypertension tops list of stroke risk factors

Hypertension tops list of stroke risk factors

findings showed that those on the fruit- and vegetable-rich diet 
experienced a significant reduction in blood pressure,” says Barr. 
“Those on the diet with milk products as well showed an even more 
significant reduction.”

“The findings showed that those on the fruit- and vegetable-rich diet experienced a significant reduction in blood pressure,” says Barr. “Those on the diet with milk products as well showed an even more significant reduction.”

High blood pressure is the single biggest driver of stroke risk and potentially lethal damage to the brain, according to a major Canadian-led global study that shows 10 risk factors account for 90 per cent of the risk for stroke worldwide.
Five of them — blood pressure, smoking, diet, abdominal obesity and lack of regular exercise — were singled out for their magnitude of risk.

To learn more and watch the video click here: or either click the link below or copy and paste it in your browser.

Smiles :o)


Monday, June 14, 2010

Save A Life - Watch The video!!!


Stroke awareness is very important! Do you know what a stroke is?

You can save a life simply by watching the video, and posting the web address of this post to your Twitter feed or your Facebook account. Just copy and paste this link address. Thanks!

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in America and the number one cause of long term disability.

Don't forget to pass along the link so that others learn the warning signs of stroke too.

Smiles :o)


Stroke Nursing News - Spring 2010


One way to stay up to date on the latest happenings on stroke in Canada is to become a regular reader of the newsletter publication "Stroke Nursing News"  - Enjoy!!

Go to the "Canadian Stroke Strategy" newsletters to read other issues of the newsletter.

Smiles :o)


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Stroke Recovery Secret Number One...

Hi and welcome back

This post will reveal the First Secret to Stroke Recovery - Attitude!

Why Attitude? Well, there is a saying that goes like this - "Change your attitude and you change your life"...Wayne Gretzky

Attitude is the most important factor to attain our goal of  "being the very best that our body will allow us to be".If we have a positive attitude and really work toward our goal it can be simply amazing as  to how our bodies will respond.

I would like you now to view this ten minute video of a presentation given by Mr. Zig Zigler. Mr Zigler is known world wide as a marketing expert and author  of many books such as "Meet Me At The Top"

This video may be presented from a marketing point of view but the principals contained within it can be applied to the challenge of stroke recovery.

Than you for taking the time to view Mr Zigler's video. I hope you found it to be of value and you are welcome to return to this post as often as you would like to view it again.

I would like to encourage you to tell me your thoughts on the power of this video to influence your life in a positive way by leaving a comment on this post.

So the first tool in the Stroke Recovery is "Having A Positive Attitude". Learn to appreciate what you have in your life. Do not pine after the things that you have lost. Practice this technique over and over until it becomes second nature to you.

If you are a recent stroke survivor I hope that you or your caregiver will become a follower of this blog. For more information on what we are trying to accomplish with this blog please review the post "Welcome To Prince Edward Island Stroke Recovery".

Wishing you well in your journey to recovery,

Smiles :o)


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Welcome to Prince Edward Island Stroke Recovery

Welcome to Prince Edward Island Stroke Recovery.

This blog (web log) has been created to share information with and support the stroke community of Prince Edward Island. It is also my personal hope that the national stroke community of Canada as well as the International stroke community will benefit from the information provided through future posts.

I have been a stroke survivor for the past nearly eight years having suffered a hemoragic stroke in August of 2002. During those eight years my recovery progress has been slow but steady. I continue to recover even though the health care professionals at the time were not optimistic that there would be any recovery beyond that magic cutoff time of six months.

Times are changing in the world of stroke and I will attempt to share the secrets of my recovery through the future posts of this blog.

To give you (the reader) a sense from where I plan to share this vital information I am going to direct you now to a web page that I created a couple of years ago. The page was actually created ahead of it's time but steady progress is being made in the direction of the information on this page.

I have not shared this information on the web before but rather provided any information through a previous blog that I had created several years ago called "The Signs Of A Stroke"

I will be directing future readers of that blog over here and plan to post any future posts about stroke and my personal journey here.

As you are waiting for posts to appear you can find me on the web by searching "Gary Gray pei" in the Google search engine. You can also visit my "home page"

Thank you for visiting my Prince Edward Island Stroke Recovery blog. I hope you become a follower of my posts and we can share our experiences by simply commenting on any of the posts that you wish.

Smiles :o)


p.s. To visit my previous posts on my "Signs Of A Stroke" blog they are still available here