Why is this happening?

Stroke Survivor

“Don’t let others limit you.”

A life-changing stroke left Rebecca unable to perform even the most familiar of tasks, like brushing her teeth.   Every day her body struggled to access knowledge tucked away in her brain. 
Words often became lost on the journey from brain to mouth and some people misinterpreted her struggles as a lack of intelligence. Rebecca’s marriage was also affected, the partnership Rebecca and Steve enjoyed before the stroke was no longer possible. All decisions rested on Steve’s shoulders as he was forced into the role of spokesperson for Rebecca and required to make medical decisions for her.

If you have experienced a stroke, here are some points to consider: 

Be patient
Realize that recovery may take time. Work hard in rehab and trust God for the rest. Don’t allow others to put limits on your recovery.
Keep your faith
Keep your faith and hope resting in God.  He will help and sustain you.
Trust God's plan
God still has a plan for your life. Rebecca has become a mentor for other stroke survivors and serves as a volunteer for the whyisthishappening.org website.
Share your story
People who have survived a stroke may have feelings of depression, isolation, or frustration. If you have experienced a stroke as well, we encourage you to share your story. There is someone who needs to hear it!

If you have a loved one who has experienced a stroke, here are some points to consider: 

Provide encouragement
Encourage your loved one to fight for their recovery with God’s help. Steve reminded Rebecca that God was in control.
Be an advocate for the stroke victim  
Steve spoke for Rebecca when she couldn’t find her own words.
Take care of yourself
Caregivers often neglect their own physical, emotional and spiritual health.
Words to Live By:
"O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you restored my health" Psalm 30:2 (NLT).
"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer" Psalm 19:14 (NLT). 

Dr. Ron's Perspective:

The experience of a stroke is a frightening and traumatic life event.  Experiencing a stroke utterly changes the way your life will be lived on a daily basis. Depending on the type of stroke and what part of the brain it affects, there may be physical pain, a change in your ability to move or think and emotional upset. A fear of the loss of independence is common and post stroke depression is also a typical reaction. Time is needed to grieve the loss of health and worries about that might continue for a while. Even though a stroke may change the way you live, it doesn’t mean you have to stop living.  You can go from being a stroke victim to a stroke survivor.  One way to cope is to find a support group of stroke survivors. Sharing your experience and feeling understood by others will help you.  Another idea that might benefit you is to use your experience to encourage others with a similar problem.  Our own emotional states are often strengthened when we help someone else who needs some support.

Recommended Resources: 
Rebecca's interview at the University of Michigan Aphasia Program, 3.5 months
after the stroke.
Rebecca's interview at the Calvin College Stroke Clinic, 1 year after
the stroke.
American Stroke Association 

National Stroke Association 

Aphasia Recovery Connection (ARC) 
Free magazine 

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