Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hard Work = Recovery.

The shift in rehabilitation has been 180° in about 15 years. Prior to the prospective payment system (~1998), therapists were able to treat stroke survivors for as long as the therapist liked. There was some question about whether this therapist-dictated system was cost-effective. So it was scuttled.

Other countries have therapist treat stroke survivors for longer time periods. In many European countries these longer treatment times result in more recovery.

So if more treatment is better, but cost savings dictate shorter treatment periods, what's a stroke survivor to do?

One easy answer is to go home and work hard. This is where my book, and other books, can help. The idea is to do "massed practice". Many hours a day of practice.

Hard, sweaty, ugly practice.

If this sounds uninviting, it should. But in order to rewire the brain after stroke hard, sweaty, ugly work needs to be done. Remember Michael Jordan didn't start out as Michael Jordan. He started out as awkward kid who was a crappy basketball player.

Be Like Mike.

Hard Work = Recovery.


Friday, May 15, 2009

So My Scurrying May Help Mankind

I have worked with a lot of PhD's and MDs over my 10 years in stroke-specific rehabilitation research. One thing I'll say about these groups is that they are brighter than average bears. (Little-known fact: Many have ginormous heads, where the bone and skin barely covers their pulsing arteries.)

In labs like ours and in previous labs in which I've worked, spontaneous conversations break out. I usually sit there dumbfounded and overwhelmed. Then I scurry back to my office, do some research, and then try to figure out what was actually said.

Let me digress (a lot). I was adopted. All of the people that were in my family, my parents and sisters, were smarter than me. Hey, it's the luck of the draw. But because I was used to scurrying back to my bedroom to figure things out, it felt natural as I interacted with these ginormous brained scientists. The key is making complicated junk simple.

Here is an article I wrote describing how we learn to move. It does, I hope, satisfy the two most important aspects of explaining stuff about stroke recovery:

Scientifically accurate. Easy to understand.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Stroke Recovery: How to make sense of “it all”

I did an interview with Tom Haynes of the mighty Stroke Central. You have to scroll past the Jill Bolt Taylor/My stroke of insight stuff.

Tom culled questions from his members. Interesting questions. Tough questions.

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