Sunday, October 3, 2010

Tips and Tricks

Available in the Sammons Preston Catalogue

I have tried to collect tips and tricks over the years both to help me cope with a one-handed life and to share with my peer support group who may express similar frustrations. It's my hope that together we can generate a comprehensive list on this blog. I will post a few tips that I have used and I hope that my readers will add a few of their own (or many!)so that other thriver's have a ready, easy access to help when they need it.


A great help in the kitchen. Usually a sheet of sticky plastic that provides a non-slip function.

Thriver’s Stories

I have been surprised to learn over the past few years how many different kinds of strokes there are, and how many ways a stroke can cause devastation. Surprising too are the brave and ingenious ways in which stroke thriver's have managed to overcome their loss and adjust to their "new norm". I hope you will share with us your story of change.


I recently met Donna Brown when she volunteered to help with peer support at Rumsey Neuro Rehab (TRI). Her story is an amazing one of bravery and determination. She greatly inspires me. She lost her speech 10 years ago and was told she many never speak again. As many stroke patients do with pessimistic 'one person fits all' advice, Donna was determined to prove her doctors wrong, and did she ever! Sometimes her speech falters and she gets frustrated, but her quick brain is ever finding circuitous routes to say what she needs to say. And the courage she displays to attempt conversation in such a verbal format as a peer support group is truly amazing. Donna says that she overcomes awkwardness in new situations, like approaching a sales clerk at a store, by saying: "I've had a stroke", so the clerk can understand that she may need more time or a different way to get her point across. She also gives speeches! Apparently she finds speaking much easier if she reads prepared lines. Donna is a bit worried about introducing herself when she runs her own group, so we are experimenting with index cards and poster boards. What we are not doing is imagining, even for a moment, that she can't do it. Here is her story.

Caregiver’s Forum

Stroke affects everyone in the stroke thriver's life. It's an equal opportunity disease. It only stands to reason that when one member of a family undergoes a major life change, the effects ripple over to those closest to them. In the case of stroke, it's more like a tsunami.Please consider this your say too.You can help others by providing tips for thriving in a post-stroke world,and sharing any insights you may have for creating and living the new norm.

My Story

Six years ago I suffered a left-sided lacunar stroke. I was just 52. At the time I was a busy registered nurse, mother of three, wife and avid gardener, and in the blink of an eye my world changed for ever.