09:32:54:Presenter: Welcome to the stroke cast a generation ex stroke Survivor explores rehab recovery the frontiers of neuroscience and how to peel a banana.
09:33:12:Presenter: With one hand, I’m going monroe and *** an episode 18 of the stroke past a few days ago i was working on the exercise bike. I have.
09:33:19:Presenter: In the middle of my living room because well recent studies have shown that working out on an exercise.
09:33:28:Presenter: It has been shown to have significant improvements for balance and gate for stroke survivors dealing with hemiparesis and.
09:33:36:Presenter: Sure. It’s there. I may as well use it and I had the difficulty of this exercise bike set for.
09:33:45:Presenter: I’ve been there’s I’m riding along or sitting there and just sort of paddling and not going anywhere my affected leg knee and.
09:33:51:Presenter: Hip started bothering me a little bit. I figured I was probably going to have to cut this workout short.
09:33:57:Presenter: Because you know, the point is to go ahead and do the exercise without actually damage in the joints.
09:34:04:Presenter: But before I did that I turned up the difficulty a little bit just to see if I could even do it.
09:34:12:Presenter: And what I found when I turned up the difficulty from a five to 7 was that the pain went away.
09:34:18:Presenter: It actually got a lot easier to do the exercise.
09:34:26:Presenter: You know, I’m not entirely sure what the mechanism there was maybe at the easier level, I had too much slack.
09:34:35:Presenter: Or maybe I had too much speed or there wasn’t enough resistance to provide feedback to my left leg.
09:34:44:Presenter: As I was cycling on there, but listen I took away from them was that keeping things easy and making things.
09:34:53:Presenter: Easy isn’t necessarily easy it can cause more pain, and it can be less effective in the long term.
09:35:02:Presenter: Because the things that we’re dealing with our hard, they are difficult, and it requires us to go out and put.
09:35:11:Presenter: In a lot more effort than we would like, but putting in that effort and reaching beyond.
09:35:15:Presenter: What we think might be easy or what we think we might be able to do today.
09:35:20:Presenter: That’s how we will to grow and improve.
09:35:26:Presenter: And so today. I want to talk about doing the hard things to get better. And it’s not just.
09:35:36:Presenter: Physically hard stuff like using more strength to pedal but a lot of times it’s the emotionally art stuff because that’s the stuff that is.
09:35:38:Presenter: Often the toughest to deal with.
09:35:46:Presenter: I maybe speaking a bit in platitudes here, but they are platitudes that I find helpful that keep me working in.
09:36:01:Presenter: Hopefully growing and doubling. Yeah, recovering seek growth and recovery do not happen in our comfort dome. That’s not where we acquire new skills or abilities.
09:36:11:Presenter: Sitting still and hoping and doing it the easy way is not what’s going to get my limbs back it’s not what’s going to rewire my brain.
09:36:15:Presenter: In the positive way that I want to rewire my brain.
09:36:22:Presenter: My very first day in the Inpatient Ward at the hospital they gave me a wheelchair and then they promptly had me.
09:36:29:Presenter: Get out of the wheelchair my very first PT session to stand up between the parallel bars when there was no way, I could.
09:36:37:Presenter: Actually physically accomplish that yet my legs were just not responding but they had me doing that anyway and supporting me and.
09:36:42:Presenter: And later in the day they had me up against the wall using or rail on the side of the hallway.
09:36:46:Presenter: To again try just walking a few more steps.
09:36:55:Presenter: Right from the very beginning, it was my job to do the hard work to try and get better to push beyond what I was.
09:36:57:Presenter: Initially capable love.
09:37:08:Presenter: Because it’s reaching beyond that comfort zone reaching beyond the relative safety of that wheelchair not necessarily mean physical safety the emotional safety.
09:37:18:Presenter: I’m not having to risk failure, but it’s reaching beyond that safety that was where I could start begin to learn how to walk again.
09:37:27:Presenter: There is a common motivational poster out there, but you’ll see in malls and office is an Internet means across the country and around the world.
09:37:34:Presenter: And it’s a picture of a ship out on the ocean and it says that ships are safest in the harbor.
09:37:42:Presenter: But that’s not what ships are built for the point is you can be in that comfort zone in that comfortable space.
09:37:48:Presenter: And minimize any risks that you’re going to encounter because that ship leaving the harbor and going out on the open seeds.
09:37:56:Presenter: Is going to face more risks. It is going to face more challenges. But that’s what it is. Therefore, that’s why it exists.
09:38:04:Presenter: And that sort of the theme behind that poster is that we stay just in our comfort zone jesting our harbors.
09:38:12:Presenter: You know we made safe but that’s not ultimately what we were built for or made for and i would actually take it.
09:38:18:Presenter: Further here. And this is one of those things that becomes really evident when we look at what we might consider to be our comfort zone.
09:38:26:Presenter: Following the stroke and that’s information that actually comes from the Usa Navy Usa Navy. Of course has some of the toughest?
09:38:34:Presenter: Ships in the world ones best able to with stand a storm and withstand everything things can throw at it.
09:38:43:Presenter: You would think that harbor they would be practically impenetrable. But the Navy’s Fleet Weather Center says it’s safer for a ship to be.
09:38:51:Presenter: Out at sea than in port during a hurricane they do a lot of research because sending a ship out to see is costly.
09:38:57:Presenter: And so that’s why they monitor the weather constantly and train and practice in order to make the right decision.
09:39:05:Presenter: About when to kick those ships out of the harbor because when things really go wrong when there’s storm really does head?
09:39:13:Presenter: Being in that comfort zone can be the worst place it can be getting better following stroke requires taking risks.
09:39:15:Presenter: Going beyond what’s easy.
09:39:24:Presenter: It’s so easy and simple to skip the exercises or not to go out and try walking further.
09:39:32:Presenter: Or not the constantly work to flip a light switch with an affected hand and fail again.
09:39:36:Presenter: And fail some more it is. So easy to skip that stuff.
09:39:45:Presenter: But it doesn’t help and it doesn’t force those brain cells to rewire and rear out they will do what.
09:39:55:Presenter: We let them do an what we repeatedly do if we lock into unhelpful patterns those brain cells will lock into those patterns to.
09:40:03:Presenter: And the brain will gradually lose more and more contact with an affected limb or in affected skill.
09:40:12:Presenter: The brain in rewiring will always take the easiest and most common way out and will reinforce that it’s one of.
09:40:23:Presenter: It’s one more reason why comfort zone can be so insidious you see neuroplasticity doesn’t kick in as soon as we have a stroke neuroplasticity isn’t.
09:40:32:Presenter: On going thing in the human brain is always rewiring itself and reinforcing new connections in letting older connections.
09:40:39:Presenter: Passed by the wayside sure the brain has to really step up the neuroplasticity following a stroke when has to.
09:40:44:Presenter: Route around a big damaged segment, but it’s always doing that in the data we continue to feed our brain.
09:40:55:Presenter: Informs those connections that it’s building learning and growing requires putting ourselves out there when I talk about going beyond.
09:41:03:Presenter: My comfort, Sony it reminds me of a common experience on the Joko cruise that I talked about in one of my earlier episodes.
09:41:08:Presenter: Think about a lot of the attendees of this annual event is that we have a very high mix.
09:41:18:Presenter: Of introverts and shy folks those are not necessarily the same thing in this group. And in many cases, I’ve approached as well.
09:41:25:Presenter: I am more than happy to engage with folks in talks folks I want to talk to folks but I really don’t want to go up to folks in.
09:41:32:Presenter: And bother them or interrupt them in some way because that would seem awkward.
09:41:37:Presenter: But anybody who wants to talk to me absolutely we are set to go here’s the thing though.
09:41:45:Presenter: When you’ve got hundreds of people who are approaching it. Exactly the same way.
09:41:49:Presenter: What ends up happening is you end up with a lot of people.
09:41:52:Presenter: Who knows to talk to because?
09:42:00:Presenter: There waiting for somebody else to talk first and to introduce themselves first and, of course online we are.
09:42:10:Presenter: 8 and incredibly talkative and chatting bunch but that in person thing really challenges our comfort zones. But what I found.
09:42:19:Presenter: Is that when I’m willing to go ahead and take that risk which is really? I’m finding up a more and more mild risk all the time.
09:42:29:Presenter: And actually go up and talk to somebody and say, hello and introduce myself and comment on an early tee shirt or something like that.
09:42:33:Presenter: The response always positive.
09:42:40:Presenter: It has never worked out negatively for me opening up and reaching outgoing beyond my comfort level in that context.
09:42:51:Presenter: As never steered me wrong, and what I’m finding in my recovery is that going out and trying stuff not taking stupid safety risks?
09:42:58:Presenter: But going out in pushing myself and trying harder and failing and then not feeling. So much.
09:43:03:Presenter: Failing a little bit less the task and a little bit less than a little bit less and finally.
09:43:16:Presenter: Is on the path to recovery. It’s not fast, and it’s not easy.
09:43:19:Presenter: But it’s past that’ll get me there.
09:43:27:Presenter: And, of course, I’m talking about all this. I’m not letting the able bodied and able brained folks out there off the hook.
09:43:34:Presenter: Because taking risks is not limited to survivors in some respects taking risks. Maybe easier for us since.
09:43:42:Presenter: We’ve already survived our own blood trying to kill us but everyone still needs to be able to do the work to reach beyond the comfort zone.
09:43:44:Presenter: If they want to grow.
09:43:51:Presenter: And this applies to all growth in life because as I said, neuroplasticity doesn’t start with stroke. It’s a mechanism that works.
09:43:53:Presenter: All the time.
09:44:00:Presenter: And so we want to grow and accomplish things whether that’s to write a book or pursue a promotion or.
09:44:07:Presenter: To get into or out of that relationship with somebody, it’s sometimes necessary to go ahead and do the hard work.
09:44:13:Presenter: And try those things that make us feel uncomfortable to get out of that comfort zone.
09:44:19:Presenter: One of things that I’ve had up on my wall at various points in my life is the number one.
09:44:28:Presenter: Those common internet quote, you’ll see from time to time and that’s if you always do what you always did.
09:44:32:Presenter: You’ll always get what you always got.
09:44:39:Presenter: Making those changes and going beyond the things we’re comfortable with our have Waibel to grow achieve and do more.
09:44:47:Presenter: And try more things and get more things that we want out of life. And that doesn’t mean we have to do.
09:44:54:Presenter: Huge risks of moving across the country or turning our lives completely upside down, you know, in the case.
09:45:04:Presenter: Stroke survivors. Maybe that is as simple as wanting to get rid of and afo or cane and the first thing I say is go ahead and work with your therapists and let them know, that is your goal.
09:45:12:Presenter: Maybe it means during some of those exercises in therapy that try out your skills here you’ve got to go backwards input on that gait belt again.
09:45:18:Presenter: Or maybe that means it maybe trying some of that at home. Maybe if you don’t know if you can walk without your cane.
09:45:26:Presenter: Maybe it’s time to try it while walking around your bed. So that if you do fall you fall into someplace safe and comfy.
09:45:33:Presenter: You know you don’t have to take dangerous risks, but you do sometimes have to go ahead and risk.
09:45:45:Presenter: Because failure is always a possibility it is always an option when trying to grow in trying to go beyond the conference on because sometimes we will fail.
09:45:48:Presenter: And it’s over, okay, to fail.
09:45:57:Presenter: It’s important to make sure that the risks we’re taking our sensible ones and maybe that means trying new exercises in new tasks.
09:46:03:Presenter: Around other folks in case something goes wrong or if you’re alone calling or text in a friend before you try something.
09:46:12:Presenter: And again afterwards they know you’ve completed it safely. And if they don’t hear from you maybe then they go and check up on you.
09:46:17:Presenter: But if you don’t fail sometimes it means you’re not trying hard enough.
09:46:25:Presenter: We have to be willing to push ourselves beyond what is comfortable because of that is where recovery in growth happens.
09:46:30:Presenter: It’s at the edges. It’s at the margins one of my physical therapist said that when they talked with.
09:46:39:Presenter: New petey’s they advised them that if you don’t have one patient fall year you’re probably not pushing your patients hard enough.
09:46:45:Presenter: No one wants to fall but avoiding all risks is not the way to do it.
09:46:52:Presenter: Keeping those ships in the harbor is not going to help anyone when the things that is so important for growth and.
09:46:58:Presenter: Really for life it seems to be is for us to have something to do anecdotally we hear so many stories.
09:47:05:Presenter: Of people who die or have a stroke or heart attack within the year retirement?
09:47:12:Presenter: Because suddenly after decades they have nothing to do and having nothing to do is poison for the human spirit.
09:47:19:Presenter: We are not human beings we are actually human doings and stroke survivors need to be cautious because many times.
09:47:26:Presenter: If we lose our jobs or are not able to job hunt or have more trouble getting out of the home.
09:47:32:Presenter: Or doing other hobbies and things like that in the home. It’s very easy to find that we have nothing to do.
09:47:40:Presenter: Except sit there and try to recover an just sitting still in not doing anything is not going to help with recovery.
09:47:49:Presenter: Sometimes the main benefit of our home PT ot in speech exercise programs is just that it gives us a reason to get out of bed every day.
09:47:53:Presenter: And go do something and do something that’s on that list.
09:48:02:Presenter: So if this comfort zone is so dangerous. Why do we get stuck in it? There are lots of reasons that pop up from time to time.
09:48:05:Presenter: The first is that hell. It’s so comfortable.
09:48:11:Presenter: It can be so easy to not trying to be satisfied with where we are or to think that.
09:48:17:Presenter: That’s all we would we deserve it can be so tempting to simply stop failing.
09:48:27:Presenter: And it’s not easy to go beyond that because again that comfort zone can be quite comfortable. And there are any number of reasons. Why it is so difficult to break out of that. And to get.
09:48:35:Presenter: At that including things like depression, which is a common condition that stroke survivors often have to deal with?
09:48:45:Presenter: And the thing about depression is that it lies to us it gives us a bad data, and it can be very difficult to try and take the right.
09:48:51:Presenter: Actions for us when action ends up being based on bad data.
09:48:58:Presenter: Our personal identity and how we see ourselves also plays into some of these challenges.
09:49:07:Presenter: Is your personal identity really influences and governs all the different things that we do in our lives.
09:49:15:Presenter: How do I see myself as someone who can learn and grow and change or do i limit myself.
09:49:22:Presenter: See we always drive to act in ways that are consistent with the character of how we see ourselves.
09:49:26:Presenter: Even if we don’t like that character.
09:49:36:Presenter: But here’s the thing characters are fictional did the product of a novelist or a marketing customer segmentation meetings.
09:49:44:Presenter: We write our own characters for ourselves based on the facts we see around us whether or not we perceive those facts.
09:49:50:Presenter: There are two different ways. I could actually go ahead and describe myself.
09:49:57:Presenter: I can describe myself as a gen X Stroke Survivor Freelance Trainer speaker and writer and a content producer working to connect.
09:50:01:Presenter: Others in the stroke community through the power of story telling.
09:50:06:Presenter: Or I can describe myself as a middle aged unemployed brain damaged cripple.
09:50:11:Presenter: Which of those two guys. Do you want to hang out with?
09:50:17:Presenter: Which one do you think will be more successful in life which one is more likely to change their life?
09:50:19:Presenter: The better.
09:50:29:Presenter: Easy there the same guy both definitions come from the same set of facts, and it’s not always easy.
09:50:33:Presenter: Personally I choose to be character one.
09:50:44:Presenter: I choose to act in ways consistent with being character one I choose to try new things or to use my affected hand to open doors.
09:50:52:Presenter: I choose to turn up the difficulty level on that exercise bike, and that brings 3 2 hour hack of the week.
09:51:00:Presenter: This week. It’s kind of a two fer you see I love paper books.
09:51:06:Presenter: I love the feel of them the look of them the comfort they give me when they’re sitting on my shelves.
09:51:10:Presenter: In the wall the smell of them how my hands could turn pages.
09:51:17:Presenter: I have over a thousand books in my personal library in my apartment and, of course, there’s been a recent.
09:51:22:Presenter: Influx of books related to neuroplasticity stroke and TV, I.
09:51:30:Presenter: The problem is it’s tough to read a book after stroke pre stroke I was probably going through two books.
09:51:34:Presenter: Afterwards, it’s a lot slower.
09:51:37:Presenter: The problem is.
09:51:44:Presenter: I have one hand that I have to use to hold the book to hold it open and to try and turn the pages.
09:51:47:Presenter: As the left hand doesn’t do that stuff yet?
09:51:54:Presenter: And that’s difficult, especially when have to keep a book wide open if it’s one that wants to close itself or.
09:52:01:Presenter: Have to turn the book 90 degrees to train turn the page without losing my place.
09:52:07:Presenter: So in order to try and solve this I decided I was going to try my girlfriend’s kindle because.
09:52:14:Presenter: I learned I could check out books from the Seattle library you see I’ve avoided easy books in the past because.
09:52:23:Presenter: Despite my natural affinity for nearly all things electronic and really liked the sensory experience of the deadtree additions.
09:52:29:Presenter: And I love to read them, and it was just a great overall experience.
09:52:36:Presenter: But now I need to try something else. So I began playing with the kindle and trying to read on that and found that.
09:52:41:Presenter: Yeah, that experience does physically work a lot better. It’s lightweight. So I can hold him I want hand.
09:52:47:Presenter: And I can simply press a button with my thumb to change pages, and what I want to do books.
09:52:53:Presenter: Views. It’s a lot easier to flag passages and copy sections out for notes.
09:52:59:Presenter: But I still have all of these books on my shelves and I don’t want to go ahead and.
09:53:01:Presenter: Five separate kindle editions.
09:53:08:Presenter: And that’s what the Seattle public library comes in and really most major libraries these days offer this service.
09:53:15:Presenter: And that’s that I can go on to the library’s website. I don’t even need to actually go to the physical library.
09:53:24:Presenter: And I can browse the collection and they have an awful lot of easy books and kindle books in the seattle public library collection.
09:53:30:Presenter: I can browse through them and then I could even find electronic versions of the paper ones that are on my shelves.
09:53:38:Presenter: And just choose to check them out from the electronic library and download them to the kindle. So I don’t have to pay twice.
09:53:46:Presenter: For something I already own I don’t have to make that trip down to the library and now I have that book on the kindle and in three weeks.
09:53:57:Presenter: Or 6 weeks of i renew it it will simply disappear and be returned to the library. So if you like to read and find it difficult post stroke.
09:54:04:Presenter: Go ahead and check out the kindle in addition to being more easy to manage physically the ability to change font size.
09:54:11:Presenter: Text size may make it easier for those who are working with some visual processing challenges as well plus.
09:54:18:Presenter: It can also read the book to you using its own computerized voice. So there’s some really cool things.
09:54:28:Presenter: Happening in there and check out your local library and see if you can check out books online straight to an electronic reader.
09:54:30:Presenter: So that’s it for this week.
09:54:38:Presenter: How do you try to stretch beyond your comfort zone or how do you define yourself in your post stroke world?
09:54:43:Presenter: Tell us in the comments over two minutes octaves dot com slash comfort.
09:54:51:Presenter: Do you have a story of your experience is a stroke Survivor caregiver or professional that you’d like to share in a future episode.
09:54:56:Presenter: Please. Let me know I am Bill At Strokecast dot com.
09:55:02:Presenter: Make sure to share this episode with someone that you think may find it helpful.
09:55:26:Presenter: And as always don’t get best get better. Thanks a lot in until the next strokecast Bill Monroe and bills gas provide general information and entertainment.
09:55:34:Presenter: Not medical advice. Please do not make any changes to your treatment plan or the execution of your treatment plan without first consulting.
09:56:03:Presenter: Or personal doctor or medical team the strokecast is a proud production of the currently speaking podcast network.