Strokecast

Episode 007 — Meet Gerrit Barrere

This week, I talk with Gerrit Barrere about a huge number of topics, as we sat down in a Starbucks south of downtown Seattle.  You can here the soothing sounds of the espresso machine in the background.

Gerrit survived 2 strokes in 2003. We discuss:

  • Gerrit’s stroke story
  • How stroke affected his work
  • Emotional lability and pseudo bulbar affect
  • Stroke Recovery
  • Support Group benefits
  • Demographic shift in stroke
  • Power of stories
  • Tips for new survivors

Before we go further, I do want to give a little content warning. At about the 17 minute mark, we have some discussion of suicidal thoughts. If you find yourself experiencing such thoughts, please talk with your doctor, counselor or any of your therapists. They can help you get the help you need. Remember, your brain may not be giving you the best input after a stroke.

Depression is particularly common in folks post-stroke, and, as Wil Wheaton of Star Trek fame often says, “Depression Lies.”

But back to Gerrit.

I met Gerrit through the Seattle Young Adult Gerrit Barrere ProfileStroke Survivors group. He’s led it for many years and helped hundreds of people connect with one another in that time.

After 13 years at the helm, Gerrit is turning over the leadership of the YASS group to yours truly. If I can manage it half as well as Gerrit has, The group and stroke and caregiver communities of Seattle will have a great future. Wish me luck.

If you’d like to catch up with Gerrit, you can email him at this link. Or, if you’re in the Seattle area, check out the YASS group. We’re always welcoming new stroke survivors and care givers.

During the course of the interview, We talked about a lot of different resources. Here are those links (and a couple others):

Hack of the week

I finally figured out how to open a beer bottle with one hand.

The smart move would be to get a wall mounted bottle opener and mount that to the wall. Maybe someday…

For now I basically use the kitchen counter. I position the bottle opener in place. Then I hold it there with two fingers while I hold the neck of the bottle with the rest of my hand. I position the bottom of the bottle opener on the top of the counter which means I’m holding the bottle in front of the counter. Then I pull down and use the counter to apply pressure to the bottle opener and pop the lid off.

Where do we go from here?

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