Title : The Importance of Writing as a (Cognitive) Therapy Aid To help Determine a Stroke Survivors' Journey of Discovery
Those of us fortunate enough to have survived a (massive) stroke event often embark on the post-stroke “journey of recovery” without the correct tools to properly manage it.
We will hear and retain certain messaging repeatedly, for example, “I cannot tell you how long it will take, everybody’s stroke is different” and, “this is a marathon not a sprint” and along with other phrases which upon reflection are designed to offer hope but disguise the fact that the first and most important opening quote was not true in the first place! It very rarely can be a “journey of recovery” since for many, it is unlikely we get back everything that was taken from us (the true definition of the word) or, loosely in medical terms, “Recovery is, a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength” . Ultimately, the use of the word “recovery” is both subjective and ambiguous, at best.
This paper, first, focuses on how the simple act of writing down our thoughts has made a positive impact on both the healing process and the overall demeanor of the individual. It draws on personal experience and tangible accomplishment(s). It provides first-hand examples of how a (right-brain, ischemic) stroke survivor went from a disgruntled, former Design Engineer to becoming a motivated and much happier, Published Author. It will highlight the relevance and importance of “Acceptance” and “Reinvention” as we strive to discover and make the best of our new selves.
The primary target audience for this paper is with the SLP community and other medical professionals that can be found on the front line and often first to make a connection with the patient. Their input for the type of journey the stroke survivor is about to embark upon, cannot be understated.