A Meeting of Minds

Some people know more about the workings of the human mind than others. Unfortunately, some of those knowledgeable peoP1030133ple are stroke survivors. At last Friday’s weekly meeting the members of the Oceanside Stroke Recovery Society were treated to a further exceptional peek into just how our brain and body get us through the day … or sometimes don’t.

Ron Smith of Nanoose Bay suffered a serious stroke in November of 2012. In time, with the help of medical staff and therapists, and with his own determination, hard work, and diligent, repetitive efforts and practice he recovered much of his P1030142former life. He also wrote a book about his experience and about his own curiosity and extensive research and learning on the workings of the human brain. “The Defiant Mind”, the book he wrote over the course of a year by laboriously typing with the index finger of his left hand, is the book he shared with the OSRS members last Friday.

His attentive audience, many of whom had ‘been there, done that’, along with their family members and caregivers were all ears for Ron’s presentation and his casual, often humorous style. There were questions and numerous first person experiences shared with the author. There were explanations of the different kinds of stroke, and some of the treatments that followed.

One point that Ron emphasised was people’s denial that they could actually be having a stroke. Time is of the essence in the successful treating of strokes, just as it is in the event of a heart attack. Many survivors owe their recovery to the nagging and sensible actions of a spouse!

“The Defiant Mind” is a most worthwhile read for anyone interested in the brain/body’s workings; it has its comical aspects too. Even in the midst of angst and despair there is hope and help for a return to the life you once led. That life may have some new quirks and requirements and adjustments, but it’s life, and to be respected and enjoyed in the ways that work for you and your loved ones.

The Defiant Mind” is available in softcover or hardcopy at QB and PV Mulberry Bush Book Stores; on line through Amazon; from the publisher: RONSDALE PRESS: 3350 West 21st. Ave., Vancouver, BC, V6S 1G7.  

Submitted by Caregiver Nancy Whelan

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