Attitude Adjustment

Gary Larson Far Side

From Gary Larson’s The Complete Far Side Collection, $67.22 on Amazon:


I have a good friend who is relentlessly optimistic. No matter how bad the situation, he always sees the positive side of things. I swear that he could trip and fall headfirst into a septic tank, only to climb out and cheerfully explain how the contents are good for the complexion. He’s damned near bulletproof when it comes to attitude. Sometimes he is so optimistic that I just want to slap him. (more…)

Spasticity Relieving Hand Splints


Adjustable Fingerboard/Splint, $32.99 on Amazon:

The first splint is just for the hand. It provides welcome relief if your hands tend to clench into a fist. The fingers are held down with Velcro straps onto a rigid plastic board with a comfy foam layer that absorbs perspiration and provides padding as well. It is very comfortable. I wear them both all day long. Both are washable with soap and water. (more…)

Iron Crush Hand Grippers

Iron Crush Hand Grippers

Iron Crush Hand Grippers, $14.99 on Amazon:

My occupational therapist doesn’t like these. She said that there was a danger that they would make my grip even stronger, which is not what I need right now because I have a problem with spasticity. However, I have found just the opposite to be true. When I can’t get my hand to relax due to spasticity, (more…)

Rolyan Forearm-Based Skateboard

Roylan Forearm Skateboard

Rolyan Forearm-Based Skateboard, $193.99 on Amazon:

Roylan Forearm Skateboard- Underside

Underside of skateboard showing casters

Let’s go skateboarding! I bought this on Amazon after my second stroke and before I depleted my savings account. It’s a bit pricey, at $194 but it’s really built well. Impact-resistant molded plastic, heavy-duty casters, wide Velcro straps and a removable/adjustable handpiece. One-size-fits-all. (more…)

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke


NINDS Stroke Information Page

The mission of NINDS is to seek fundamental knowledge about the brain and nervous system and to use that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease.

  • Supports and performs basic, translational, and clinical neuroscience research through grants-in-aid, contracts, scientific meetings, and through research in its own laboratories, and clinics.
  • Funds and conducts research training and career development programs to increase basic, translational and clinical neuroscience expertise and ensure a vibrant, talented, and diverse workforce.
  • Promotes the timely dissemination of scientific discoveries and their implications for neurological health to the public, health professionals, researchers, and policy-makers.

There are thousands of clinical trials worldwide focused on strokes, including over 1,700 that are still recruiting patients. Here’s the index page, sort by condition, study status, etc.:

Find A Clinical Trial


American Physical Therapy Association

American Physical Therapy Association

All 50 states and the District of Columbia allow you to contact a physical therapist without a physician’s referral. (Your insurance policy may require a visit to the primary care physician first or limit your access to preferred providers only.) If your physician refers you for physical therapy to be provided in the physician’s office, or to a facility in which the physician has a financial interest, know that you are not obligated to receive physical therapy in any specific facility.

You have the right to choose your own physical therapist.

Find a PT by City or ZIP Code

This free website contains over 1,000 exercises for rehabilitation from a number of conditions, including stroke. Includes photographs, sketches and instructions for performing each exercise. Includes the ability to save exercises into discrete workouts and export them to a number of document types. Email each workout to a mobile phone or standard email account. Site was authored by a group of physiotherapists employed by government funded organizations in Sydney, Australia.

Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic Stroke Page

More than 3,300 physicians, scientists and researchers from Mayo Clinic share their expertise. This site contains many educational resources for stroke victims, caregivers, and healthcare professionals.

American Heart Association/American Stroke Association

American Heart Association/American Stroke Association

The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. Founded by six cardiologists in 1924, the organization now includes more than 22.5 million volunteers and supporters. The AHA funds innovative research, fights for stronger public health policies, and provides critical tools and information to save and improve lives. Their nationwide organization includes 156 local offices and more than 3,000 employees.

National Stroke Association the National Stroke Association

The National Stroke Association offers largely free education, resources, services, and legislative advocacy focused on the needs of stroke survivors, caregivers and healthcare professionals in the stroke community nationwide. Actively provides services to about 90,000 stroke survivors, 30,000 caregivers, and more than 110,000 healthcare professionals in the U.S. and Canada; and the number is growing every day

Sympathy Dept.

Closed sign

Hey, You!!! Don’t bleed on the rug!!!

I was ten years old. My hero at the time was daredevil Evel Knievel. His death-defying motorcycle stunts were legendary, and I wanted to be just like him. So, I built a ramp out of plywood and old milk crates in my driveway, began my approach at the top of the street and launched myself and my Schwinn into the air. My bicycle and I landed in a heap on the asphalt surface, the rough aggregate turning my skin into something resembling ground meat.

There were no cheering crowds, only tears. I ran inside the house seeking comfort and sympathy, only to find my dad; a United States Marine Lt. Colonel, sitting stone-faced on the couch. After a quick visual assessment, he realized my injuries were superficial, and I was not going to die. He barked at my tears with: “Hey, You!!! Don’t bleed on the rug!!!

It wasn’t what I was looking for – I was looking for sympathy – but it was just what I needed at the time. I needed to man-up, and that’s what my dad instructed me to do. Then he told me to get a washcloth, clean up my wounds and put some antiseptic and some Band-Aids on the cuts and scrapes. It was my most memorable lesson in manliness, Marine Corps-style. The only permissible time for tears is when your dog or a family member dies, and that’s about it.

My dad is gone now, but I still chuckle when I recount the “Don’t bleed on the rug” story. The lesson stuck with me and has been very helpful when dealing with adversity throughout my life, especially now with this stroke thing. Sympathy doesn’t help you at all. The Marines feel that seeking it out is a sign of weakness. Seeking it out on a regular basis becomes a habit, making you weaker every time you do so. So don’t do it.

Having a stroke sucks big time, there’s no doubt about it. It’s no fun at all. However, I believe the best philosophy that you can adopt is this lyric from a John Mellencamp song: “Suck it up and tough it out and be the best you can.”


Stroke Captured On Video

While driving home from work, Stacey Yepes, 49, could sense she was beginning to have a stroke. To ensure others could see what was happening to her, she pulled over, took out her smartphone and began recording. Watch to see what a minor stroke looks like as it happens. June 20, 2014. (1:22)

Source: UHNToronto.