What doesn’t kill me....
The two strokes that I experienced changed everything. The beliefs I had of myself and the world were thrown upside down. For the better, I can say now! After hitting rock bottom, I went on a self-examination tour. I took a good look at myself. I did not like what I saw. Besides the visible aftermath of my strokes, I saw a sleepless workaholic that put too much value on extrinsic values. Following this realization, I decided that things had to change. I started reading and listening to hundreds of books and research papers. I compiled what I learned from reading into a “trial and error” toolbox. This toolbox, created mostly of new habits, allowed me to put theory into practice and helped to recover this far and I became a better person through the process, which I'm most proud of.
Why do I give my audiobook away for free?
I must be, the LEAST commercially oriented person you know...
That might be true...
(But I don’t care).
I have a...
Energy is often a big issue when you are recovering from stroke or brain injury. By the end of this post, you will have the tools to increase energy levels from today on. You will also learn about hormesis, an out-of-the-box way to increase energy levels (that almost no one knows about).
First, your brain is no longer working optimally. Your brain takes a lot of energy. And it takes even more energy when it repairs and recovers (1).
Second, your whole body is in fight-or-flight. Your sympathetic nervous system kicks in after brain injury and stroke, and usually does not settle down. That takes a lot of energy. Your energy factories, the mitochondria, are hugely affected. This affects your energy levels the most.
4 YEARS POST STROKE
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...
After one and a half years of intense work we finally opened the (probably) best online home rehabilitation platform for stroke survivors and those with a brain injury.
Because many of you cannot train at this present moment (COVID 19), and because we are confident that the platform has content that will help you further in your quest for recovery, we want you to try it out for free without obligations.
Find out what our monthly membership includes by clicking the link below:
See you in the portal!
Linda and Arjan
Today’s post is a masterclass on improving foot drop after stroke. In it, we’ll discuss the following:
Many of you (perhaps up to 25%-40%) will deal with foot drop, especially after a middle cerebral artery stroke.
The middle cerebral artery supplies an area of the brain in charge of leg motor control. It also supplies parts of the somatosensory map that deal with information coming back from the body as well as control over the body.
While cerebellar strokes can have an influence on ankle and foot function, it’s usually after a middle cerebral artery stroke that you see a foot drop. And in...
During the last two days of our business trip, we went to see my son Maarten de Vries in Boston, Massachusetts. He is finishing his sophomore year at Harvard University, where he studies Neuroscience.
I’m enormously proud of him, and sometimes I smile and ask myself “how did he come out of my belly?” But it’s not the fact that he got into a prestigious university that I admire most.
I’m most proud of his calmness, kindness and stoic attitude in life. In fact, after my stroke, he took a gap year to take care of me.
Five months post-stroke, I was living at home again but needed to go to the rehab center daily, and Maarten drove me there every day. I am so grateful for that!
Moreover, Maarten introduced me to Stoic philosophy, which helped me a lot during my recovery.
I urge you to watch this short video, in which Maarten offers one piece of advice for caregivers, which are often forgotten but very important in stroke rehabilitation.
Of all the teachers I have had, Stuart is one of the best.
The meeting that we were about to have proofed that again. No matter how much you have learned and thought others about rehabilitation, it is always good to touch base. In stroke and traumatic brain rehab, this is maybe even more important than in other areas of rehabilitation. By now you have probably understood that some principles need to be applied for optimal recovery and purposeful neuroplasticity to take place. For example, the number of repetitions you spend on exercises and the intensity with which you do this. There are other fundamentals as well; you need central stability (read strength and endurance) before you attempt to use or rehabilitate an arm, leg or surprisingly even speech and cognition (the latter go beyond the purpose of this blog which I explain in new blog posts and training of brain .rehab)
We were meeting in his office in Savannah. Of the two of us, Linda was probably the most eager to interview...
Some weeks ago we already met Kyle Daigle and Brandon Crawford in Barcelona while on a course about neurodevelopment. They had sparked our interest with the way they stimulate brain function and recovery using laser and a virtual reality system.
We had already learned that the National Health Services in the UK were very interested in the so-called Neuro sage system for pain control after a pilot study showed a significant pain reduction using the Neuro sage system. Now we were about to learn more about these two systems and how they can be used for stroke and brain injury recovery, in their birthplace.
We were visiting the neuro-rehabilitation clinic of Kyle in Lake Charles Louisiana. Luckily we choose the right date, Good Friday, a day that most people in Louisiana take off. We had the clinic for ourselves and plenty of time to find out more about the two novel ways to enhance plus recover brain function. After a tour around Kyle’s clinic, Kyle and Brandon (his clinic is in...
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