When a loved one faces the challenges of a stroke, he or she benefits from community and family support. Having a stroke is an isolating experience, when the usual form of communication and activity becomes impaired. A person may be only stay briefly in an acute hospital setting after an ischemic stroke. Following the hospitalization is often a period of time in rehabilitation. This is where new neural connections begin to be made and residual viable connections are tested. The phrase, “if it fires, it wires,” relates to neuroplasticity, the process by which neural circuitry forms during learning and stroke recovery. The recovery is not immediate; rather, it occurs over the ensuing months.
In timing for National Atrial Fibrillation Awareness month a common cause of ischemic (embolic) stroke, Your Health Forum announces the latest children’s book released on September 3rd, 2020 titled Nanna After the Stroke. After reviewing the limited post-stroke materials available, YHF wanted to provide a book both for children and their family members, as a way to approach this topic from a child’s perspective. The medical information is told in simplified but accurate manner. If you have had a family member who has had a stroke, reading this book together may offer an opportunity for you to discuss this with your children.
Josh really loves having his grandparents nearby. He has a special connection with them: Italian food and ice cream.
When he learns about Nanna’s health condition, diabetes, he begins to understand the importance of eating healthy foods. After Nanna suffers a stroke, he witnesses her journey of healing, from the early period of sudden change to gradual improvements over time. He realizes how much Nanna’s recovery depends on the support of therapists, community groups, and the loving connection of her family.
The book can be purchased as a paperback or e-book on Amazon. (Prices: $7.99 paperback; $4.99 E-book)
I hope you enjoy the writing and the illustrations which were designed by a water colorist. I thought the theme of water color strokes resonates really well with some stroke survivors, who have used art therapy to aid in their recovery. The book also includes some information about the Northwest Brain Network and the “Back strokes”, a music group that meets in Portland Oregon twice weekly (they are now doing online meetings). Anne Tillinghast is the contact person for both groups.
If you are interested in learning more about the Northwest Brain Network and “Back Strokes,” refer to the links above. You need not be from Portland to join the Northwest Brain Network; please sign up for the growing database and calendar of meetings, blog, articles, and online conferences.
Author: Christopher M. Cirino, DO MPH
Illustrator: Eugenia Alvarez