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Opinion / Women's Corner

Sunday Women Matters with Blondie - A Crashing Bolt of Lightning; Stroke

by Lorraine Blondie Sibanda
10 Aug 2014 at 16:07hrs | Views


Towards the end of this week I visited a childhood peer who suffered a stroke last week. A caring, attentive doctor patiently took time to explain the condition to the patient. I acquired a wealth of knowledge on stroke within that brief interaction. I have decided to share some information which may enable us to better care for and understand those who fall prey to stroke.

A wound can be cleaned, bound up and in time it will usually heal. Chronic disease generally comes on slowly and one learns to cope. On the other hand, a stroke hits like a bolt of lightning and, depending on the location of the strike and its severity, can instantly change everything about you. Your body functions, your energy level, your personality, your speech and your ability to move, to analyse, to plan and to execute actions. In one awful moment one can tumble from the height of functionality and productivity and be rendered maimed, disabled and in some cases paralysed.

Having a stroke is like having your computer hard drive crash. Data is scrambled or inaccessible. Some information may be lost permanently. Certain functions no longer work. Regrettably, unlike a computer, you cant just install a new hard drive. Destroyed brain cells cannot be resurrected but your brain does have the amazing power to reprogram itself, with the help of good nutrition, exercise and a positive attitude.

If a lost function is performed over and over again, new pathways can be formed in the brain. Every time you focus your effort to perform a function that was once automatic, even though part of the brain's nerve system may be destroyed; your brain sprouts new connections to restore the function.

If part of the needed brain center is not destroyed, sometimes the brain instructs the remaining portion to carry the load. If the required parts are completely destroyed, the brain will, if possible, figure out new wiring to perform the function. In any case, the secret to 'reconnection' is perseverance and focused effort. Eventually a new connection can be made.

Have a blessed week all, take time to talk to and care for others. And to all stroke survivors, don't lose heart, fight on.

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