Author Kimberly Davis Basso discusses her "undeniably funny" stroke memoir "I'm a Little Brain Dead." Yes, she had a real stroke. Ask Me Anything! Let's do this!

Kimberly Davis Basso
Jun 12, 2018

Ask me Anything gives us a lot of room to maneuver, so I'm open.  My book focuses on the many hilarious medical adventures to be had as a young stroke and then heart patient. Here are some things that tend to come up:

Did you really have a stroke at 44? Do you know that strokes are serious? Is there a way to  prep your kids for a medical emergency like that?  What's with the cursing? (which I will curb here) And since it published - did you really make a stranger pee laughing? 

I also have a bizarre list of skills that include, but are not limited to writing, editing, direcing, producing, fight direction & stage combat, annoying my children (I am a current contender for the World's Worst Parent title), teaching and laziness. Some people call it efficient or able to delegate, I prefer lazy. 

Ask me anything!

www.KimberlyDavisBasso.com

Ask Me Anything.jpg

What is the Vibe of this AMA? What is AMA Vibe?

This AMA has finished, no more comments and questions can be posted and votes submitted to those. Check other similar AMAs here or host your own AMA!

Conversation (97)

In three easy steps and under a minute you could be hosting your own AMA. Join our passionate community of AMA hosts and schedule your own AMA today.

Let's get started!

Did you get a wide array of input, such as from friends and family, from other writers, or was it solely your own storyline?
Jun 19, 7:18AM EDT1

The events that occurred were happening in my head, well, literally in my brain, so I’m the source. That being said, there are a lot of people in the book, and they all have opinions. Doctors are nothing if not opinionated, something about always being asked for advice… My friends and family are also in the book of course, but it is absolutely a first person account of the events. Short answer, it’s my storyline. Let me know what you think of it – you can get to me by www.KimberlyDavisBasso.comand it’s available on Amazon. Thanks for your question – have a clot free day!

Jun 19, 12:26PM EDT0
How do you think a memoir writer can know the right voice to use for their book and target audience?
Jun 19, 3:26AM EDT0

The right voice is your voice, your honest voice. A memoir is the author’s version of the story, the author’s point of view of events. The definition is a record of events written by a person with intimate knowledge of them. You have to write your version, or there’s no reason to write it.  This book is a specific slice of life, events specific to me, when my brain and point of view were having some very unexpected experiences, and my awareness of it all was quite heightened.  The target audience, well, for me, I imagine very specific people when I write, which is why the text is so immediate. My point of view in ‘I’m a Little Brain Dead’ is both relatable and very unexpected, and I think that’s what people are responding to – the honesty and the fact that laughing out loud just isn’t what you expect from a story that starts with a stroke. If you’ve ever been in a doctor’s waiting room, for any reason, you’ll understand this book. And then of course you get to do all the fun stuff with me, like having the stroke, all from the safety of your own home! Let me know what you think – you can email me via my website www.KimberlyDavisBasso.com.  Thank you very much for your question and I wish you a clot free day!

 

Jun 19, 12:20PM EDT0
Having gotten a stroke when you had no risk factors and was leading a healthy lifestyle, do you fear that you might get another one? Is that something that worries you?
Jun 18, 8:18PM EDT0

Thanks for your question. Truthfully, no. There are much larger, world concerns that frighten me these days.  In the weeks following the stroke, it was on my mind, but that was more reliving what had happened rather than thinking about it happening again. I can see where people would think about it – it is so disruptive and happens so suddenly. And having one does increase your chances of another. But I know that I’ve done everything I can do to prevent it, so there’s really nothing else for me to do. And worrying adds stress to your life without any productivity, and stress increases your risk of stroke, so… not worrying is just better all around. At least about this – I do have to remind myself not to worry in general. It’s ironic because I am in so many ways a worrier – just not about my health.  Thanks again for your question - I’m hoping to get more feedback from readers, so if you decide to read the whole story, please let me know what you thought. The book is available on Amazon and you can reach me via www.KimberlyDavisBasso.comHave a clot free day!

Jun 19, 12:27PM EDT0
How did you explain to your kids why you were suddenly unable to move or function properly as you used to before? What kind of questions did they have for you?
Jun 16, 10:54PM EDT0

My children were with me when my stroke happened; in fact I was home alone with them. My two year old, of course, didn’t actually notice anything. But my second grader saved my life, which of course is part of the book. She did ask, later, if I could have another one, and of course the answer is yes, because no one is at zero risk for a stroke. The only other question she asked was in later weeks was ‘did they fix it?’ and she was referring to my heart, as we found out I needed to have a heart procedure. It’s important for everyone to be able to spot a stroke and to call 911 immediately (this is not the type of thing you want to self diagnose, get medical attention from experts quickly). Areas usually affected can include Balance, Eyesight, Face, Arm, Speech- Time to call. Which is the acronym B.E.-F.A.S.T.   I say usually because strokes don’t present in perfect ways. The National Stroke Association and the American Stroke Association both keep up to date symptoms, procedures, etc. Thank you for your question.

If you decide to check out the whole story, I’m a Little Brain Dead is available on Amazon. If you do, I’d love to hear what you think – or if you have other questions, please reach me via my website www.KimberlyDavisBasso.com

Jun 18, 1:52PM EDT0
From your answers to this AMA, you seem to be a very upbeat and optimistic person, were there ever moments during your recovery when you felt anger and resentment as to why this happened to you?
Jun 16, 11:00AM EDT1

There is a chapter on anger, which I felt in copious amounts towards my hospital roommate. I was angry about a lot of things during my hospital stay, but not the stroke itself.  Asking “why” wasn’t part of it for me. At least not in that way. It was what it was. Don’t get me wrong; it was an absolutely sucky way to spend a Tuesday morning. Would not recommend it. At all. Figuring out “why” medically? Absolutely useful.  “Why” in the larger sense? Who knows. I’ll probably need a lot longer view than the four years it’s been. I know there were some members of my family who were definitely in the ‘why did this have to happen’ camp. Truly, if there’s such a thing as a “great” way to have a stroke, I was lucky enough to have it. I did feel anxiety, particularly during the wait time between my stroke and my heart procedure. That was a very long wait.  I was in great health, so I know I was already doing everything I could. And truthfully, at no point would anger and resentment have helped me. My focus was always, entirely, on getting a clean bill of health.  Read it; let me know what you think – I’m curious to know if I came across as angry… You can reach me via www.KimberlyDavisBasso.comand it’s on Amazon. Apologies for the delay in answering, I was actually at a book store. Have a clot fee day! And thanks for your question. 

Jun 16, 7:31PM EDT0
Did you expect the kind of overwhelming success and support your book got? Does it put pressure on you as a writer for your next books?
Jun 16, 7:09AM EDT0

Sorry for the delay on this reply - I thought it posted but it looks like it didn't.  As for the response to "I'm a Little Brain Dead" I didn’t expect anything at all, I am still surprised when someone gets in touch and says, I got your book, I read it. And I think - you bought it, your read it, and you laughed? Boggles me every time. It’s still just a lovely surprise that someone would take the time to do all those things and then take further time to let me know. The truth is, feedback can be crazy positive and the next person, not thrilled at all. That’s just the job. I genuinely appreciate the contact. Any pressure I feel about the next book is self-induced, so I just tell myself to get over it. And I sincerely hope I don’t have another medical crisis to inspire one in the future. I only have so many major organs to spare.  The second book was in the works as the first one was going out in the world, and I’ve got about 80 pages of a rough draft.  I’m also working on a YA adventure series, which is a different animal altogether, whole new territory. If you decide to check it out I hope you’ll let me know what you think – it’s on Amazon and you can reach me via my website www.KimberlyDavisBasso.com.  That's where you can request to be on the early list for sneak peeks at the next one! Have a clot free day, and thanks for your question!

Jun 18, 1:56PM EDT0
What were your biggest fear when you were dealing with your health issues?
Jun 13, 9:54PM EDT0

With your permission, I’m going to paraphrase the first part of my answer from a similar question. OK, that’s a lie, I’m actually copying this first paragraph outright:

First, I think it’s important to note that I was never actually scared. I realize that sounds odd, but what this experience has clarified for me is: “Panicking never helps.” I discuss it in the book – while everything was happening, I didn’t have time to be scared, I was home alone with my kids. So it was just – I need to solve this.

After all the main action, the next concern was that we would figure out why I had it. Technically, we still haven’t, it was officially classified as “cryptogenic” which is doctor speak for ‘damned if I know.’ They do have some pretty good guesses though, and my treatment was based on those, and I’m confident enough in my care that I’ve followed along. Not having another one was a recurring concern, and we took some pretty big steps to try and insure that.

But here’s the thing -  everyone is susceptible – no one has a zero risk of a stroke. If you have a brain, it can break. 1 in 4 stroke patients are under the age of 50.  www.Stroke.orghas updated info all the time on risk factors (healthy heart, healthy brain by the way), and if you have other questions – you can reach me at www.KimberlyDavisBasso.org. The book is on Amazon if you want the whole story! Thanks again for your question, have a clot free day!

Jun 14, 12:22AM EDT0
Who has been the biggest support during all the ups and downs of your life?
Jun 13, 2:27PM EDT0

This is difficult. The thank you page in the book is jam-packed. And thrillingly written of course. During the stroke, everyone rallied. We’ve never lived near family, so my friends, neighbors, strangers, all helped and then my folks flew in for my surgery.  I’m part of an online group for stroke survivors under 50, and dang if there aren’t a lot of us. Amazing people. Every day, rock stars, getting things done hitting milestones.  It’s a private group, but I almost wish it wasn’t because I just want to brag about them all day long.

But you asked about my life… so. My Lovely Hubby and I have been together for, uh… 22? 23? years. A long time. So he’s really gotten the brunt of my idiocy over the years. He’s an excellent human being, the best I know. I’m fortunate in that my family, my folks and my brother and sister are very close, and they have always supported my writing, really all my endeavors. I actually started my theater company with my parents (it was an excellent way to get to see them in the summer when I lived cross country. My mom should have been a CEO, and my dad’s a really good singer/actor and I actually got to direct him, which was fantastic. My mom’s about to turn 80 and dad’s 85 and they are still doing more than most people, well, more than me, certainly).  My kids support me, but as you’ll see elsewhere, they’ve got me on a tough love program. Sometimes I feel like I’m living with lawyers.

The National Stroke Association supports patients after stroke, and there are a lot of online groups available, which is good, because many times stroke patients live a distance and transportation can be tricky. Hope you have support in your life, and you have a clot free day!

Jun 13, 4:56PM EDT0
How do you keep from becoming overwhelmed by the positive response that you have been receiving about the book?
Jun 13, 1:51PM EDT0

I have children, and they couldn’t care less. That’s not true, they care, just so long as it doesn’t interfere with, say, making lunch. That’s where they draw the line. My family is actually quite adept at keeping me grounded. There’s a section in the book where my daughter gas lights me. I’m not going to reveal it all, but she (still) regularly refers to me as Stroke Woman. I capitalize that because it makes me sound like a super hero. Point of fact, I am overwhelmed, every single time someone contacts me and says they got it, they read it, they laughed. The fact that they would do any one of those things is remarkable. Or that they had a stroke, they know someone, they learned something, they shared the book with a stranger. They’ve decided to prep their kids just in case. There’s stuff on my website about that if you’re interested. And I allow myself to be overwhelmed, to enjoy it, because this has been a very lucky experience for me, from the first moment of my stroke on, very very, very lucky.

From a professional standpoint, I’m relieved when someone is positive. Oh, excellent. It doesn’t suck. “Hey honey!” “Yeah?” “The book doesn’t suck.” “Are you sure?” “So and so says so.” “Well, OK. They probably don’t know what they’re talking about though.” “Probably right. Should we stop selling it?” “No. It’s OK. See what happens.”  And then the dog vomits and I have to go clean that up. Super glamorous.

I have a website, if you’d like more info or you decide to read it (and I hope you tell me what you think). www.KimberlyDavisBasso.comHave a clot free day, and thank you for taking the time to ask.

Jun 13, 4:43PM EDT0
What are the defining factors of Little Brain Dead that contributed to it becoming an Award Winning Finalist for Humor in the 2018 International Book Awards?
Jun 13, 11:04AM EDT0

It’s funny as hell. No, seriously, turns out “laughing out loud” is something people actually do, not just abbreviate and put into texts. Truly, they didn’t tell me why they thought it was funny; unfortunately the congratulations didn’t come with, say, an overview or anything.  But, I have heard from other people and they’ve been very specific, which is kind. Things like, ‘I got as far as the dedication and I peed myself’ which I must say is my favorite so far, so we know the dedication is good stuff. There’s a bunch of reviews on my website, and they are far more adept at dissecting its humor than I am. If you were going to force me to answer, I’d say it’s funny because it’s honest, but that feels a little beauty pageant. The truth is, it’s only funny if you laugh. So have a clot free day, and let me know. www.KimberlyDavisBasso.com

Jun 13, 4:32PM EDT0
Did you encounter any roadblocks during the path to publishing your book? Were there any particular challenges you weren't expecting? If so, how did you resolve them?
Jun 13, 9:51AM EDT0

Several. First, once it was written, I had to actually finish it. Meaning I had to do what every artist has to do – get to a place where it was “done.”

Next, I believed that seeing as I am 1) not a celebrity, also 2) not talking about celebrities, and 3) no one knows who I am – I believed those factors might be a deterrent in publishing what is essentially a memoir about the death of some of my brain cells. I cleverly sidestepped that by publishing it myself. That is not to suggest people shouldn’t use publishers, I plan to. Possibly. If I can actually get someone interested. Suddenly I feel like I’m dating again…

Fortunately, self-publishing has become much more accessible. Unfortunately, self-publishing has become much more accessible.  Meaning my little book about my brain has to compete with all those other books about my brain – or, rather, other people’s brains. Or you know, cats. Or like a 85,000 word treatise on lint. Nothing against lint (I’m hoping the Lint Association of the Americas will order several books. Fingers crossed!!) So the challenge is always the same, as it for any artist, I think. I’ve created something, I’d really like to share it with you, how do I find you?  It is, so far, an easier prospect than when I was doing theater, for the simple fact that my book has a shelf life, whereas a theater production does not. When the run is done, it’s done, and you may have to reinvent that whole wheel all over again somewhere else if you can.

So… I do talks and meet with people and teach people how to prepare their kids for emergencies like mine, and work with book stores and the like. The writing was the joyful part, the hearing from people who read it, also joyful, raising awareness, joyful, some of the other parts, work. But that’s OK, because that’s my job. And I’m frankly quite happy to be alive to do it.

Now that we’ve found each other, please let me know if you decide to check out the book. It’s on Amazon, and you can tell me what you think via www.KimberlyDavisBasso.comHave a clot free day!

Jun 13, 4:21PM EDT0
Being a playwright, have you considered the possibility of turning your book into a play? Would that be something you would be interested in seeing or that is just too much?
Jun 13, 9:46AM EDT0

Interesting question – are you a producer? an actor? Are you offering? Let’s talk…Someone else asked me if being a playwright informed this book. The book is ‘extreme first person’ which is a phrase I made up and have now used three times, online (!), so it’s a real term now.  It could be a play; I’m speaking directly to the reader. It would be one hell of a long monologue… Would I see it? Sure. To be supportive. I mean, I live with myself, so I’m not sure how much time I want to spend with me professionally. I’ve heard I’m hard to work with, but that’s just me being rude, and what if I have an artistic dispute with myself? It would suck if I decided I just couldn’t work with me. Read it and tell me if you’d go see it as a play – or if you wouldn’t. My website iswww.KimberlyDavisBasso.comand twitter and insta@KDBWrites Have a clot free day!

Jun 13, 4:02PM EDT0
How did you decide how much you wanted to share, and explore of your past? Where did you put the full stop?
Jun 13, 7:51AM EDT0

Just to be clear - I was writing it as it was happening, so I’m not really sharing my past from the book’s point of view. I’m sharing things as they happen.  As it was going on, and I realized just how much I had to say, it seemed pretty early that it was going to be a book.  I’m a writer, but this was the first time that a play wasn’t going to be the end result. Full disclosure, I also wrote a lot of poetry as a teen but I don’t think we really need to discuss that here…unless someone else asks…

I was simply writing my experience, and it was all so ridiculous and funny, I never really considered not telling it. It’s literally like being inside my head- the bulk of the book you’re getting exactly what I was thinking for a very tight amount of time. I did cut it off in that sense, time wise, from the moment of my stroke to right after my heart surgery. It was a busy couple of months. But filters? Not so much. I mean, I edited the book. I’m not an idiot. Usually.  But I didn’t edit it for over sharing. So…good luck with that.

Hopefully that answers your question – if you decide to read it, please ask your brain to share its thoughts (on being inside my brain) with my brain. Reach me at www.KimberlyDavisBasso.comor @KDBWrites for the social media stuff. Have a clot free day!

Jun 13, 3:51PM EDT0
What kind of director are you? Is it true that all directors are little dictators at heart? How many plays have you directed?
Jun 13, 7:15AM EDT0

Brilliant, I’m a brilliant director. Kidding. I’m a stage director, meaning live theater. I’ve toyed around with directing some things on film, but it’s a very different animal, so we’ll see. As for being a dictator, I can really only speak for myself.  From the outside, I completely understand that it looks like that. You need confidence, you need to be able to make decisions, everyone is looking to you for, well, direction. From the inside, I don’t know any artists who want to be dictated to.  They aren’t robots. I’m trying to help a whole lot of other artists do their work. And it’s live theater. So the product is never actually finished. Am I trying to get everyone’s work to mesh with my vision, so we have a cohesive show, a work of art? Yup. Can that be dictated? Absolutely not. You can’t demand a performance; you have to figure out how to help that actor get there. Or figure out that they don’t need help and leave them to it. And since actors are human, everybody works in a different way. My job is to figure out how they work, what they need to do great work, what the best way for them to tell their part of the story is (and that’s everybody, not just actors, it’s all the people who work on it and make a show but don’t take a bow) Ultimately, if I do my job right, nobody notices what I’ve done, because all the different teams on the show make something seamless.  If I do my job well, people see the show and don’t think about the direction. If the show doesn’t go well, that’s on me. As for the number of shows I’ve directed, I stopped counting somewhere in the 125? 150? range. Hope that answers your question, thank you for it. If not, you can reach me via www.KimberlyDavisBasso.com or twitter and insta @KDBWrites

Jun 13, 3:35PM EDT0
If you had to pick one other author to write your story, who would it be and why?
Jun 13, 3:56AM EDT0

Davis Sedaris. Because he wouldn’t sugar coat it either. Thank you for your question – if you decide to read it, let me know, I’d like to know if you agree with my answer. It’s on Amazon, and you can reach me via my website www.KimberlyDavisBasso.comor on insta and twitter @KDBWrites  but really, join the email list at my website. None of the cool kids are doing it. So someday it will be retro.

Jun 13, 3:18PM EDT0

I've worked as a stroke nurse for the last 13 years, and for 7 of those I was involved in community outreach, creating a program in which I went around talking in schools, YMCAs, hospitals etc to teach about signs/symptoms of stroke. I'm wondering how much you knew about your own personal risk factors prior to the event, and would information have helped you in any way?

I'm also curious if there's anything you wish the doctors or nurses would have done differently while (if) you were in the hospital?

I love your book title! And love that you can see the humor in this difficult situation. We all need to laugh! looking forward to reading your book. 

Jun 13, 3:54AM EDT0

 

 

First of all – thank you for being a nurse. L-O-V-E nurses. And medical techs. Amazing, caring people. I think (hope) your perspective will allow you to enjoy the humor in “I’m a Little Brain Dead” even more. And thank you for teaching about the signs of stroke; I’m a spokesperson for a similar program with the American Heart Association in my county.  Oddly enough, information wouldn’t have helped me, at least in terms of changing any habits. I actually didn’t have any risk factors, and still don’t, except for that pesky little ‘once you have one stroke you’re more likely to have another’ – but I am working to let other people know about risk factors (for reasons you are very familiar with). How to spot a stroke, of course that’s important to everyone, and I was already familiar enough with the basics. And my body was ‘wrong’ enough that morning that I would have sought help regardless.

As for the doctors doing something different, there are a lot of details about that in the book.  As you know, depending on which type of doctor you are working with, they see symptoms, and even the body, in vastly different ways. The one thing I am ‘extra’ grateful for is that my ER doc did actually consider the possibility of a stroke and work to rule it out (or rather rule it in, since I had one) – I’ve spoken with many survivors who feel they were not diagnosed quickly because they were young. It’s just not at the top of the list. If I could change one thing in the medical community – oh, that’s entirely different. I’d start with having a stroke center in every hospital, which is not the case here (in the US).

Thanks for your question – if you do check out the book, please let me know what you think. I can be reached via my website, www.KimberlyDavisBasso.comand on all those pretend communication services like insta and twitter @KDBWrites

Jun 13, 2:58PM EDT0
Did you have genetic factors or bad health habits that may have caused your stroke?
Jun 13, 2:33AM EDT0

I had no known risk factors and no genetic factors. I was in perfect health, doing triathalon training. Never smoked, don’t drink, low blood pressure, low cholesterol, no stress, healthy eating habits, regular doctor checkups. Regular aerobic and weight bearing exercise, not a sedentary lifestyle at all. No personal history of stroke, no family history. And I was young, 44 years old. I had genetic testing done on my blood after the stroke which was also negative. Essentially, I wasn’t supposed to have one. But the truth is, if you have a brain, it can break. So I guess it’s good to know I have a brain.

Thank you for your question, I hope you have a clot free day! If you’d like more details on risk factors, www.Stroke.org is a good place to start. If you want to check out my whole story the book is available on Amazon, and if you do I’d love to hear what you think. I can be reached via my website, www.KimberlyDavisBasso.comand like insta and twitter @KDBWrites

 

Jun 13, 3:04PM EDT0
How has your health scare changed your perspective in life?
Jun 13, 12:14AM EDT0

 

Let’s see. First, I think it’s important to note that I was never actually scared. I realize that sounds odd, but what this experience has clarified for me is: “Panicking never helps.” I discuss it in the book – while everything was happening, I didn’t have time to be scared, I was home alone with my kids.  So it was just – I need to solve this. I’m not going to pretend that I’m living a joy every moment life, I’m far too grouchy for that- but I do remember very distinctly waking up on my birthday a few months after the stroke, and just feeling an overwhelming relief that I could in fact wake up. Take a moment and imagine, right now, that you can no longer speak and you can no longer walk. The human body is remarkable, it’s doing so many things for us every moment that we take for granted. That’s the thing with a stroke, and that’s why I say it was the luckiest day of my life, because you don’t know what a stroke will steal from you. And everyone is susceptible – if you have a  brain, it can break. www.Stroke.orghas updated info all the time, and if you have other questions – you can reach me at www.KimberlyDavisBasso.org. The book is on Amazon if you want the whole story! Thanks again for your question, have a clot free day!

Jun 13, 11:55AM EDT1
Have you connected with your readers and other stroke survivors after writing your book? How has been that experience and how has it changed you?
Jun 13, 12:03AM EDT0

I have been able to connect and it’s been amazing. People who’ve read the book have been really kind, and often tell me what they found funny in the book. That’s very gratifying, and interesting, because no one seems to say the same thing. More than that though, readers have told me they’ve learned something about strokes and what to do, so I feel like I’m helping raise awareness. Which is good, because absolutely anyone can have a stroke, and 1 out of 4 stroke patients are under the age of 50, so I feel it’s something everyone should be aware of. When I communicate with other survivors, we don’t talk about the book at all – they have their own stroke stories and I already know what happened to me! I’m part of a few support groups online. After stroke there’s a huge range of results, medications, therapies – no such thing as a standard stroke patient. So it’s not like I have a lot of medical advice, unless someone is having a procedure I’ve had specifically. So what do I do? Mainly I sit there in awe of them – these are people pushing through incredible physical trauma, and every day I see someone hitting a milestone, driving again, lifting a certain weight at therapy, walking a 5k, buttoning a shirt. I have always considered my stroke the luckiest day of my life, and if anything, that awareness just increases over time. Keep in mind as you walk through the world, not all injuries are visible. Thank you for your question – have a clot free day! If you want to continue chatting or have other questions, you can reach me via www.KimberlyDavisBasso.com

 

Jun 13, 11:46AM EDT0
What is the weirdest thing people have done around you after you had your stroke? How did you react? Did you say something to them?
Jun 12, 9:34PM EDT0

I’m assuming by weird that you might mean insensitive, just based on your follow up question of whether I’ve spoken to people about it? No one has ever been what I’d call insensitive or done anything strange to me.  Then again, I’d have to actually care what people think in order to be offended. Being a young stroke patient does get some interesting responses from the various members of the medical team. Every one of them walked in looking at my chart, looked at me, and went right back to the chart for my age.  And then told me, 'You're too young to have a stroke.' The other interesting response is that people simply don’t believe me. “Not a real stroke” and “you’re too young” are very common. The book does dig into this a little further; most people do assume that strokes happen to older people and that the results are always physical. Many stroke patients have “diminishments” (a word I can’t stand but that’s the medical standard) that are invisible. I do now know a lot of young stroke survivors, and people can certainly be insensitive – staring at someone with physical challenges is something that apparently a lot of adults think is OK to do.

I would say, be kind out there in the world. You never know if that person struggling to find her purse in line in front of you is a survivor.  You never know if someone is simply struggling to find a word. Oh, and if you know a stroke survivor, stick with them. They need you. They may be too tired to go out and socialize with you like they used to, but they need your friendship still. I’ve been very fortunate, in my stroke, in my recovery, in my ongoing excellent health, and in the people who love and support me.

If there was anything that even came close to your question, it was questions my daughter received from other kids, but these were young kids, like second grade. They're genuinely curious, and a mom being in the hospital is huge to them, so they ask things like, Is she going to die?  But it's not malicious. It's not polite, but it's not malicious. And thankfully my daughter was mature enough to understand the difference between concern and gossip. 

Jun 12, 10:02PM EDT0
About #AuthorsAMA

Welcome to #AuthorsAMA, an AMA Event channel for authors and their important work sharing their knowledge with others.

The #AuthorsAMA channel is owned and operated by AMAfeed, LLC.

Top Contributor
Marisa Donnelly