Archive for June, 2008

I just finished reading My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor. She is a neuroanatomist who is a spokesperson for the ‘Brain Bank’ at Harvard University (www.drjilltaylor.com).

There are a couple of things that I liked about this book – 1) she really slowed down and seemed to record everything as the stroke occurred to her. While I have a good memory of what happened during my stroke, hers has detail that is interesting to read about. 2) She provides detail that, while scientific in nature, is related well to the reader in the book. 3) She has a great way of advocating for the stroker in her hints at the end of the book.

There are just as many things that I didn’t like about this book – 1) she gets really touch-feely and new-agey that was weird and distracting (e.g., ‘we are all energy in the universe and are at one with the flow of life’ kind of stuff). I just don’t have much patience for this nonsense. 2) All of the ridiculous ‘we are the world’ topics took away from the message in her book. 3) Finally, she really romanticized stroke. This bothered me like nothing else. Maybe since she is so far removed (it was 12 years ago and she considered herself fully recovered at the 8 year mark) and fully recovered that she thinks it appropriate to ‘wish everyone had this experience’ (I am paraphrasing in all of my quotes). She has forgotten what it was like to recover and really be in the thick of it.

I can’t possibly stress how dangerous romanticizing stroke can be. It’s not like someone can then say ‘cool, I want a stroke’ and have one by wishing for it, but it will influence people negatively “oh, you had a stroke? you are so lucky” or not treat stroke as the medical emergency that it is.

I originally heard about her from a coworker. I emailed her as a way to connect and say ‘hey, we were both young when we stroked, do you have any suggestions for recovery?’ and her reply was a very curt ‘buy my book – it has suggestions in it’. I should have known then not to buy the book. The recovery suggestions were worthless to me, in every way, shape, and form.

Overall – I didn’t like the book but it made me aware that I can donate my brain to the Brain Bank at Harvard University which I will look into.

So, take that review for what it is worth ($.02 seems about right to me) – I won’t be buying anything else from her as I consider her to be unrealistic and a bit of a stroker fraud.


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I’m Home!!

I’m back in Orlando & living with Bob again. I left Bloomington, IL on Wed, June 11 at 6:30 pm and drove straight through for 16 hours, arriving home at 10:30 am on Thurs, June 12th. As you can guess, I drove into the garage, walked into the bedroom and fell onto the bed. I’m certain that I was asleep before my body hit the bed. It was, thankfully, an uneventful drive. I started to feel the sleep deprivation effects around 3:00 am but stopped for gas and sugar and held out. Around 8:30 or 9:00 am, I had interesting conversations going on in my head. It went something like this:

“My eyes are open, no problem.”

“Yeah, just keep the eyes open.”

“But I think I just fell asleep with my eyes open.”

“Hey, as long as your eyes are open, it doesn’t matter.”

The effects of sleep deprivation are amusing but dangerous. Thankfully, I got Bob on the phone when I started convincing myself that falling asleep with my eyes open wasn’t a bad thing. He helped me stay awake and alert.

I am still unpacking and can’t wait to get a job. I have one possibility and another phone interview this week. The phone interview one sounds exciting but I don’t want to give any details in a pathetic attempt at being superstitious.

Since I am home all day long, I have noticed that there is a squatter in our house – an outdoor lizard. He lives in one of our plants. I knew that he lived here but had forgotten. He isn’t all that happy that I am here all day since he previously had full run of the house during the day, at night, and on weekends thanks to Bob’s crazy schedule. I wanted to have a sit-down with the lizard just to let him know that I won’t be here permanently (crossing my fingers in hope of getting a job soon) but he is ignoring me. He thinks that shunning me is going to work. He is diabolical, that one. We will have peaceful harmony soon enough.

I am happy to be home & re-entry (living again with Bob) has actually been a breeze.

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