after stroke recovery Apr 08, 2020


Watching the world go into a coronavirus-lockdown is so interesting to me - as a stroke survivor - and to those that had a brain injury. There are so many similarities between living with a brain injury and what most of the world is experiencing now. Not being able to work and isolation (aphasia).

Maybe it’s just me but, after surviving a stroke, quarantine is easy to survive.
I’ve had a jump-start on isolating!

I remember the first 3 weeks after my stroke, I couldn’t make a sound (not even cough) and it took me several weeks to say my first word (mama). I couldn’t write either.
It took me at least one year to be able to make myself understood when I talked. But even still, when I am tired...nobody can understand me...(-:
But it had to be like that.
It is what it is.

It was one heck of a year, this year.
I have been working for Brain.rehab continuously, making training videos and other content.
My book “Stroke Rebel”, came out in December last year and was very well received. You can see the book release party on YouTube here https://youtu.be/oEZ7PMUiEAo
Then, a lot of interviews in magazines about my book… and all of that. I am an introvert remember, that was a little bit scary for me… but I prefer to call it “exciting” (-:
Besides that, I am recovering still!
For the first time in the 4 years after my stroke: biking and skiing!
My first time skiing was a nightmare, I got pushed up the mountains a little bit (I didn’t dare to take the anchor lift yet) but I was exhausted after 10 minutes.
But after a few weeks of skiing every day, it now looks like what you see in this video on Instagram under @lindaradestad .
What does it tell you? Neuroplasticity works! That is at least what it tells me.
I experienced the same thing with biking.
However, please don’t do this without a lot of help, I don’t want to be responsible for any accidents!

I have something more to tell you: I walk and use my arm way better now that I have learned to ski and bike.
How can that be?
I reckon it has to do with balance. Think about it, your balance is vital to your survival (if a caveman falls he might break something and die).
When I challenge my balance (biking, skiing), it is considered a “new thing” after your stroke (neuroplasticity is very much engaged in new things). And don’t forget your balance (vestibular system) is vital to your survival.
I my opinion: you get more out of your neuroplasticity if it is vital for your survival and when it’s considered “a new thing”.

However please please please, don’t do this without a lot of help (there were 3 people that helped me riding a bike again). Like I said, I don’t want to be responsible for accidents!

You can go cross-country skiing as well, that’s how I started. Incremental steps, that’s all it takes.

I started doing research on my second book as well this year. It going to be called “shoulder and arm after stroke” (I got a feeling that it won’t be a bestseller 😉 hahaha)
But I swear, it will be useful.
As you know, my hand and arm are not working fully properly yet.
I am digging into it thoroughly. I am going to know everything about the shoulder, because that is where using your hand starts, I believe.
I am pretty good at “out of the box thinking”, so I am pretty sure that I will come up with something. In fact I already did come up with something, it has to do with Virtual Reality. Of course it will take time and a considerable investment to develop...🙁 So we are open to anyone interested willing to invest in this very promising Stroke Rehab VR project!
Just let me know...😉

Something totally different. People see me as a “role model” for stroke survivors. I can accept that now, but first I used to think that they had the wrong person! I am not all that!
But eventually I got somewhat use to it. I now think: someone has to be the role model so why can’t it be me?☺

Now I am “famous” from my book, not really though! 😉
But I DO get a lot of questions and statements from people.
Some of them are quite blunt and not really nice. Others are so kind they make my heart tumble.

Now I will show you some of the answers to questions that I get.

“You seem to talk pretty easy when I see you on video. Was you stroke really that bad?”
Yes it was. You can see a picture of my brain on brain.rehab. It was really a severe stroke. Doctors were telling me, “don’t expect to walk or talk ever again”.
I constantly heard “major stroke”, “severe stroke” from the doctors.
What you see in my videos when I talk, is the end result of 10+ hours of practicing those exact words. It took me a year to walk without any assisting-equipment, keep that in mind.

“You are a super human able to come back from a stroke.
I can never do that, can I?”

No, I am definitely not superhuman. I’m just a disciplined, “out of the box” thinker. I dedicate myself to digging into rehab methods to help you and me so we can come further.

“Is everything true in your book?”

Yes it is. I decided to write a book that is as authentic as possible. However, it is written from my observations.
I have 800 medical references to back it up.

“How can you remember everything you describe in your book so clearly ?”

I began to realize that, I have a pretty good memory.
But why can I remember the events in such detail?

In my opinion, and I have found research to support it, it appears to lie in the way our memories are stored.
Threatening situations, like the stroke and the aftermath: when I couldn’t communicate with people, make amygdala kick into high gear.
It forces everything to attend to the situation at hand.
When the amygdala is in play, our memories are laid down in far more detail and richness then under normal circumstances.
The brain thus has more information available to survive next time in a similar situation.

“Now that you are an Amazon bestseller, are you rich?”

No definitely not! First of all, I was a bestseller for just a few days. But only if my book goes on being a bestseller for more than a few days, I might “break even” in a few years, after all the costs of publishing it.

“Starting brain.rehab for 49 dollars membership-fee a month, aren’t you trying to make money off of sick people?”

No way! I work for free for Brain.rehab right now. I live out of what is left of my savings (I sold my former company this summer). The 49 dollar a month goes to editors of videos, lighting, transcribers, the making of subtitles, taxes and to the many other costs of running a company.

Then I got a lot of comments about my book along these lines:
“It changed my life” and or “I was at the point of giving up, until this book came along”.
I am humbled that I have reached so many stroke survivors.

I would like to offer all brain-injured people a week of free training on the portal brain.rehab! (-:

Brain rehab is an awesome tribe of brain injured people.
Arjan Kuipers, our functional neurologist and co-starter (who has been in practice for 28 years and has a similar experience with his mother’s brain damage) :
We were sick of health care professionals and therapists, saying the same thing: “no more recovery after 6 months.” This is based on old knowledge. The knowledge that the brain is static and cannot be changed. We know now, that this is not true .
We are bending the rules of rehab based on recent science.

We made hundreds of hours worth of video masterclasses on all aspects of brain injury and stroke recovery, brain rehab news, interviews with doctors and neuroscientists, and training sequences.
I hope you love it.

As you may understand now, I have found my purpose in life, finally. I am going to do this for the rest of my life and I won’t retire from this!


Amazon allows me to put my Ebook out for free 4 times a year for 5 days only. I didn’t write this post to promote it. The next time is out for free is sometime in 2 months. I will announce it!

Get your one week free membership here: https://www.brain.rehab/

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