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On February 1st 2017 my wife came home from work, sat on a chair in the kitchen and said;

“I think I’m having a stroke.”

Ten minutes later she collapsed with a massive brain bleed.

This personal blog details the immediate aftermath and her ongoing recovery from that stroke.

Start reading here

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Videos and other useful links.

This video has gone from YouTube but the background media release is here.

This documentary appeared on the BBC just a few weeks after Amanda’s stroke. I watched it as she was still in the ICU at Wellington Hospital and realised 2 things. The enormity of her situation and the normality of recovering from a stroke for thousands of people each year. We watched it together on  6th May, 3 months on. She was fascinated to see people in a similar predicament and recognised so many of the same features as they struggled to overcome their situation.

I realised, watching it again, how bad her stroke had actually been compared to the other survivors on screen, and how, only 3 months on, she was already ahead in so many ways, of those people.

Jill Bolte Taylor

Amanda’s occupational therapist put me on to this lady; a brain scientist who has recovered from a stroke. As well as reading her book, this video gave me a good insight in to the capacity to recover from such a devastating brain injury.

Other Stuff

Amanda has been taking a natural health product to see if it would have any effect on her cognitive function.  It’s the only ‘pill’ (pharmaceutical, naturopathic or otherwise) she has taken on a regular basis since being discharged from hospital in May 2017.

 In the 6 months she has been taking Voluntastrols which contain key extracts to support energy levels and healthy mood, cognitive & mental function, focus & clarity and support brain health (to name a few of their benefits,   I have noted and charted in the blog, a noticeable improvement in her cognitive ability, and bear in mind this is beyond the 12 month anniversary of her stroke. This improvement is also borne out by the steady rise in her scores using the Constant Therapy app in the same period of time. An added plus for us is that this is a New Zealand-made product.

Constant Therapy is a subscription-based , award –winning science-based speech, language and cognitive exercise program which can be tailored to the user and slowly adapts and  evolves in response to the scores of the user as they become familiar and confident in re-establishing previously hidden and weakened everyday abilities. Amanda has found this program challenging and at times tough going. But she has gone from managing just 5 questions in 30 minutes (followed by a nap), to more than 50 tasks and questions over a three hour period. Her cognitive ability continues to improve and her mental stamina has increased hugely, aided no doubt by the reward response and positive mood which can be generated by the Volantastrols

There is more information about Voluntastrols on their website:

https://www.voluntastrols.co.nz/

www.voluntastrols.com.au

https://www.voluntastrols.com/

Constant Therapy has detailed information on their products on their website:

https://www.constanttherapy.com/

Why Blue Banana?

Surviving a stroke means usually you’re left with some lifelong challenges.

Remembering the correct name for that long curved  piece of fruit is banana is one.

Understanding the concept of colours is another.

So, when you eventually remember it’s called a banana, and it’s never blue and always yellow it’s time to leave the hospital and finally go home…