What are you reading? (And what are you drinking with it?)
Name: Juliet Gore
Book title: The Twelfth Raven
Author: Doris Brett
What are you drinking with it? Pinot Noir (Well a red’s good for strokes isn’t it?)
Thoughts so far/Quote:
This is the story told by Doris Brett about her husband’s stroke. Narrated in the form of a diary, from the moment Martin’s speech problems began, through the sobering hospital and rehab phases, Brett documents with sensitivity the frustrations, the changes to Martin’s and to her own life, the endless decisions, questions and fears, the daily challenges and breakthroughs that they faced together and alone. As a Psychologist Brett’s therapeutic understanding and wry sense of humour shine through as you read this book, which makes it strangely readable- surprising for a book about suffering a stroke!
I would imagine that the information that Brett shares could be invaluable to someone in this situation, faced with the sometimes gut wrenching decisions that must be made, literally in a heartbeat as their loved one suffers a stroke and everyday routines slip away. The point comes across loud and clear that the sense of loss suffered by all stake holders in the stroke scenario is worsened by the dearth of appropriate rehab- despite sometimes lovely staff, treatments dwell on negative aspects of the situation, poor prognosis, there’s often a lack of staff, old fashioned rehab methods, and all this is heightened by often archaic physical surroundings.
It is a fascinating insight for a lay person as well, to hear the practical and medical explanations- how speech and language is effected, the challenges of retrieving words (are they still there somewhere and just need to be rebooted?) One anecdote Brett tells is of her computer freezing, coinciding with Martin being moved to another rehab facility. Her frustration trying to reboot the computer, trying to make it respond to all her desperate measures somehow seemed to highlight the sense of incredible isolation and impotence that Martin must have been experiencing.
There is also clear evidence to support what we at NOI already know- that patients and sufferers are leading the way in driving their own rehab in this age of computers and Google. Along the journey Brett is constantly supplementing the therapies given at the rehab centre with those from her own bag of therapeutic tools and research. Among these is hypnosis tapes, which she offers from Day 1 as a form of motor imagery to relearn movement and rediscover Martin’s ‘lost’ side, followed by use of the Mirror box- even a NOI mirror box! Great stuff…
NOIjam are collating a reading list for you. Send in yours to firstname.lastname@example.org for publication in this category.
What are you drinking with it?
Thoughts so far/Quote: