One of the big challenges that we face after a stroke is - how we see ourselves. This is a critical issue that is almost always diminished in its importance and placed on the back burner secondary to the outward physical changes that are more obvious. I am now almost 20 years post stroke and deal with thousands of stroke survivors annually and I can honestly say that I think we often get the cart and horse in the wrong position here. I know that the physical to most medical professionals is the most apparent thing to address and the overwhelming thought is that time and immediate treatment are of utmost importance.
However, I have found that great advances in treatment are integrally linked to attitude. If you do not have a good or proper or healthy mindset then you will not get successful results. We would be far better off to support emotionally as our priority before we are obsessed and focus all our energy on physical change.
The challenge here is obvious to those who have survived a stroke... I mean physical treatments are much easier and measurable. One of the most challenging things to develop or re-develop is a positive attitude. This is especially difficult when you fear everything. I know first hand what I’m talking about. Fear... and fear of the unknown is paralyzing. When you suffer a stroke you have lost control. And I mean you’ve lost control of almost, if not all of the things that you once did.
We are devastated, demoralized, discouraged, and disheartened. Many - may not even be able to smile evenly again. I know this may sound like a sick focus but stroke is not a pretty disease. It creates instant deformities in the people affected. We fear we will never be the same again. I distinctly remember being spoon fed like a 6 month old baby. Sure, I was out of the ICU, and yes I had progressed and could now swallow... but as far as I had come, it was still devastating, humbling, and upsetting.
And this doesn’t just effect the stroke survivor. It effects their spouses, family and friends too. The individuals I needed to hear reinforcing comments from, were themselves devastated, demoralized, discouraged, and disheartened. It makes for a vicious circle if someone doesn’t know what to do to get out of it. Let’s face it... the statistics of a stroke can be frightening if you have no direction, focus or path... but that’s why I began this podcast. To help, to offer suggestions, learn from others, provide hope, and yes... direction. We can go far and there is a future.
I know I’m almost 20 years post stroke and you may be thinking easy for her to say... but I struggled, I was there, in suffering mode for years and there were few around to help. Today I want to start by teaching you how to get ahead. How to focus on the good, how to get help and how to be accountable.
We’ll start with attitude - how do you develop a good and positive outlook and attitude...
1. Sign up for my daily quotes
2. Start an attitude of gratitude journal
3. Share something your AOG “entry” with me .... on Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail
Well that’s our time for today. Remember you can change your tomorrow by affecting today! Sign up, start your AOG journal and email me!