Wednesday, 15 June 2011

One LESS thing that the brain has to do...

Dictus Band for Foot Drop
"The orthopedic aid for foot drop
The Dictus Band lifts the foot immediately after toe off. This reduces the risk of tripping over everyday obstacles such as doorsteps and carpets. The Dictus Band takes limited room in the shoe, is discreet and fits easily on any lace-up shoe."

I attended a presentation at our library today. It was a presentation by the local community based OT. (Occupational Therapist-Home Care) and PT ( Physiotherapist-Home CareDuring our discussion about assistive devices Judi Gosbee the PT introduced me to a new assistive device.

One part wrapped around my ankle and fastened with Velcro.A second clear plastic part inserted under the Velcro straps on my shoe. A third elastic band connected the two together. She installed it on my effected foot and asked me to walk to see how it felt. It felt GREAT! It was a little awkward at first because my brain was still in "remember to lift your toe" mode with every step I took. The OT suggested that I try it for a day to see if it would be of assistance to me. The more I walk with this device the more my brain is relaxing because it doesn't  have to think "lift your toe " every time I take a step.

This simple  "Foot-Up" type device really seems to be working for me. I actually walked far enough today to make my legs tired tonight. How long has it been since that happened?  A long time!

I think she said that he cost of the device would be around $60.00 and if that is the case then I imagine I will try to find a way to buy it and keep using it.

Has anyone else used this type of device and how did it work for you? It would be great if you have experience with this type of device that you could share your experience either as a comment, on our Facebook Page or on our Twitter feed.


BTW I did 400 forward revolutions on the stationary bike today and 50 reverse. So that is an increase of 200 and 50 as of today. I will try to keep that daily and increase again in a few days time.

Gary Gray
Stroke Survivor since 2002     

Sunday, 12 June 2011


Stroke Recover News

"Claire Argo, previously to her stroke, was running her own consulting business. She was organizing software training sessions for various groups.  One day in 2003, she was unable to get out of bed, unable to get ready for a meeting with an important client, the National Defense.  She had just suffered a Stroke. 

 In 2008, I took over a teaching course describing Occupational Therapy Interventions with impaired adults. I then realized that occupational therapy students had difficulty understanding the consequences of a stroke. They either minimized the efforts required to overcome the impairments, or they couldn't envision opportunities for the person to continue an active life despite the impairments.  I immediately recalled my encounter with Claire Argo in 2006 at the University of Ottawa Interprofessional University Clinic. I thought of her as a very inspiring example showing how one could resume an active life after a stroke." 

 Jacinthe Savard, Ph. D., OT. Reg. (Ont.) 
Occupational Therapy Program, University of Ottawa

Click Here to read the entire article about Claire and also see the pictures. The newsletter will open in a PDF format file. When it does, simply scroll down to page 5 to read Claire's story.

Thank you Claire, for sharing your truly inspiring story with us and we hope that by Claire sharing her story, it will inspire our friends and followers here at "My Life After Stroke" to share theirs as well. If you would like to share, simply email me at and I can help you from there.

Remember, the more that WE SHARE means the more that WE CARE.

This post comes from our guest blogger - Claire Argo Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Gary Gray
Stroke Survivor since 2002

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Book Review: “Life After Stroke” by Jeff Kagan

Life After Stroke by Jeff Kagan

I have read many books over the past nine years since my stroke. Among the books that I have read are some personal stories of having experienced a stroke, having survived and the long road to recovery.

I have  just completed another story of stroke by a survivor.. It is titled “Life After Stroke” and it was written by Jeff Kagan who lives in the Eastern United States. Jeff claims to have written his book to help other survivors, family members and care givers find the answers to the questions that come after a stroke. He says that he had the questions but found that in general there was very little by way of satisfying answers that anyone could provide..

Having personally experienced stroke and now seven years of rebuilding his life as a survivor, who better to answer these burning questions.

Jeff takes us through the journey of stroke beginning with a life that is good with career, family and friends to the play by play stroke experience.

He explains what it is like to experience stroke from the inside out. What you know and what you don’t know. Who can help and who may not be even aware that a problem even exists. What medical professionals may know and what they may not know. Even how your life can disappear and your family is left with a stranger in their midst.

He talks about wanting just to get back to normal and how it makes him feel to suddenly not be the caregiver in the family. He talks about the importance of having a positive attitude, being patient with yourself and recognising that you and everyone else are working through the fact that you have had a stroke.

He talks about how strange it is when one part of your brain works as it did but another part has died and along with it went all of it’s associated functions. This strange situation can present a challenge not only for the survivor but for every one who comes into the survivors life like family, friends, caregivers and medical professionals. He says that there is no one size fits all since the effects of a stroke is simply the result of whatever parts of the brain are damaged.

Jeff’s book is also one of encouragement as well as answering the burning questions. Jeff becomes a stroke coach with a “you can do it” attitude.

All in all, this 100 page book is a wonderful look into the world of stroke from the inside out. I highly recommend it to anyone who has been touched by stroke whether as a survivor, a family member, a caregiver or even a health care professional.

Thanks for putting pen to paper this way Jeff and I look forward to learning more from you as well as sharing experiences and stories in the days and months to come.

You can get Jeff's book here

Gary Gray
Stroke Survivor since 2002