The Media Zone

How the media make sense and nonsense of the world.

Cerebral Strokes, Media Games and the Kindle

Inside/Out was about a compulsive gambler (Jimmy Morgan, played by Eliott Gould), who, while being agoraphobic, (powerful fear of going outdoors) nonetheless managed to live a rather diversely occupied life with the aid of high technology in the Internet's Paleolithic period.

I was reminded of this movie after my second hemorrhagic stroke last October, when, in my left hand, I lost ... much of my sense of touch as well as fine motor coordination. It left me feeling like there is a quarter-inch callous on my fingers. Read More

Stroke is a harsh task master

Yes use or loose is the stroke war cry. I'm one of the luckier ones, I had an Ischemic left side stroke in 2006 which affected my complete right side. I can't believe it's been four years, because it seems like just yesterday.

A week in hospital, twelve weeks in the rehab hospital where my wife was told I'll never walk again, oh how wrong that doctor was. After the rehab hospital nine months out patient rehab. The rehab never ends, you stop the rehab and you stop.

Luckily I had no speech problems, swallowing problems or memory problems, many do and are still struggling with the effects of thier stroke.

Technology is doing wonders for stroke survivors, allowing them to lead a better life, but I don't believe that there is enough being done to battle stroke because:

It is estimated that nearly 1/4 of men and 1/5 women will suffer a
stroke between the ages of 45 and 85. Nearly 5.3 million people will
die from a stroke this year, and over 9 million people will suffer a
stroke and survive; and based on current growth, there will be a 30%
increase in the number of stroke victims worldwide (per capita)
between 1983 and 2023.

Not thrilling stats are they? Remember to eat healthy, exercise, have regular checkups, and avoid fast food as if your life depended on it...because it does.

harsh strokes and keepin' the faith

Everything you wrote is on the money. It’s also true that rehab and on-your-own pushing of the plasticity of the brain can be glacial in their effects, even frustrating, and depressing. But then, one day, weeks, months, even years later, change, real change pops up or out.

In that sense, we’re sometimes dealing with faith-based rehab, self- or other-monitored exercise. A supportive spouse or friend also helps the can-do spirit tremendously.

The key is to ‘keep on truckin’ and keep on working those brain cells, speech and cognitive muscles, limbs, digits, and whatever else has lapsed. The mantra is: Keep the faith. Do the work. Reap the benefits.

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Stuart Fischoff, Ph.D., is Senior Editor of the Journal of Media Psychology and Emeritus Professor of Media Psychology at Cal State, Los Angeles.

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