Episode notes: Today Ruth talks about the challenge that we often have with breath control and aphasia and stroke.
Ruth is a stroke survivor sharing tips and advice for rehab, recovery and healthy living including nutrition, exercises, personal care, healing and maintaining a grateful attitude. She can be found online at http://stroke.global were she offers help to stroke survivors and caregivers.
Welcome back to the Healthy Life Podcast... as someone who suffered a severe stroke, battled with breathing issues, aphasia, and speaking problems I thought I’d give you a little if not a lot of hope. The stroke can cause many issues that can create and/or multiply other health issues. Many times in order to reduce blood pressure issues, physicians can go a little over board and not realize or pay attention to things that they are putting into a state of imbalance.
My doctor was well meaning but had me on a combination of drugs that lowered my BP and made it appear that I was doing great. But in so doing he created a fluid imbalance and dehydrated me to a point I dropped 40 lbs of water weight in 2 weeks and became so severely dehydrated that I required eye drops, needed moisture swabs and salve for my lips, was unable to utter anything but raspy sounds, drank incessantly yet still suffered from severe constipation, bordering on an intestinal compaction and blockage.
As a result I will be the first to state that “Stroke” needs to be evaluated and treated carefully, taking in to account the function of the entire body. It took months to become rehydrated and stabilized from that inappropriate treatment. Had I been more aware of my medical situation and been more mentally capable I would have argued sooner. The fact is that most people take the advice of the physician assigned to them and don’t argue or question treatments or medications. My husband did just that!
It was weeks before I was aware enough and could get my concerns conveyed to the nursing staff that things began to change. As I said earlier in a past podcast I signed myself out and re-assessed my medications with my general practitioner who knew me better.
Please keep in mind that lab tests taken in the hospital or clinic are simply pictures in time and they can change and vary with a variety and numbers of factors and need to be treated cautiously. One other thing that you should be aware of is that the spoken word and singing are managed in different areas of the brain and often one is effected leaving the other area untouched or unaffected.
Now breathing and breath are critical and after suffering a severe stroke it can be greatly affected leaving you short of breath.... Breathing or attempting to speak incorrectly. When I was young I had about 10 years of professional singing instruction and as a result use many of the vocal exercises and techniques to overcome speaking and breathing issues.
Some of the techniques are:
Well it’s time to close for today...Thanks so much for joining me and remember to visit the stroke.global ( “onlinerehabilitation.org” ) web site often and give us your feedback! I also hope you’ll join me tomorrow...
As always it’s an honor and a pleasure sharing with you today.... thank you! I pray that you’ve enjoyed this podcast... we keep it brief so it’s easy to add to your day... we are on iTunes, Spreaker, & Google Play and have links on our stroke.global page... please subscribe it boosts us in the ratings and helps us rise in the ranks so we can continue these stroke survivor podcasts.
As always we want to thank our sponsor TCM Restoration for helping us by making this podcast possible. Check them out online at tcmrestoration.net
And thank you again for listening... Please feel free to share this podcast with others, offer your feedback and questions, and follow us online at our website stroke.global or on our Facebook page. Well...this is Rehab Ruthie...hoping you’ll join us tomorrow as we continue in our adventure.
Welcome back to the Healthy Life Podcast... today we’re going to talk about a challenging subject... Aphasia. Now for those who think I have no right to mention this subject let me share my bonafides...
I suffered a pontine brain bleed and a secondary ischemic stroke caused by the bleed while I was in a comma. One of the challenges that the stroke left me with was expressive aphasia. Words came out intermittently but were totally inappropriate and mixed up. The fact that I now host a podcast... even though I verbally stubble at times, is amazing. I would have never thought it possible.
With that background I hope it gives me some credibility and confidence to those who are listening... there is hope! If you are struggling with aphasia it is not a life sentence... you can improve. Remember again that the stroke we had was in the brain and that is where we need to focus.
I’ll be honest and share that the treatment I underwent was not easy... but simple. We need to stimulate the brain and although Chinese acupuncture is the fastest and best way that I have found... there are other things that can and need to be done. One an earlier podcast entitled, “Hand exercises... movement & control and regaining it... has it been too long?” I talk about relaxation which is a huge issue in healing from our stroke. You need to understand that we can heal from this “event” and even undo a lot of damage that’s been done.
Relaxation is the first key, then hydration.... and a lot of medications can cause dehydration. So drink, drink... drink. Many stroke survivors have bladder issues but they have so many good incontinence products that hydrating needs to be a goal! The next is data and its flow... the stroke tends to screw up our wiring and things get twisted, misdirected or translated incorrectly.
So one of the main things we need to focus on is correcting and speeding up data flow. One way we can do this is through stimulation of the side of the body that’s been affected. I have a video of stimulation on my website at stroke.global. Go to body/tips and click on self care.... scroll down to “Stimulation with a dry luffa”. You need to remind the brain of the connection. This is a simple exercise but needs to be done daily... morning and night.
Try to understand that aphasia can take on several forms but it comes down to this the data or information (words) gets twisted either in the input or output phase and the actual ability to speak is totally screwed up. We had one client that came to China whose family was so concerned that his adult daughter traveled with him because she wasn’t sure we could communicate with him. I laughed and said, “dot worry he’ll be talking in no time... oh only one draw back....” “really?!,” she said. ‘Yup, he’ll speak in Chinese!” I answered. With that we both had a good laugh and during his stay we say remarkable progress.
Not only did he begin speaking again but with 4 and 5 syllable words. The most exciting response happened this last year when as we were practicing singing and breathing techniques he started singing in harmony... he hadn’t done that in years! Since before his stroke.
Another thing that often afflicts aphasia sufferers is something that I refer to as information overload. This exhibits itself in the following ways...
It is something we need to be aware of and make subtle changes to accommodate for as we improve,
Practice thoughts and take talking slow...
Well that’s all our time today... I think we will continue this next week!
... thanks for joining me today and I look forward to sharing with you next week... tune in Monday, ...please feel free to leave me a message at stroke.global or on Facebook @stroke.global.
It really is an honor and it’s been a pleasure sharing today and I hope you’ve enjoyed this podcast... we keep it brief so it’s easy to add to your day... we want to thank our sponsor TCM Restoration for helping us provide this venue. Feel free to share this podcast with others, offer your feedback and questions and follow us online on our website stroke.global or on our Facebook page. Well... I look forward to learning more with you next week.