An Ischemic Stroke, and Aphasia, brought me closer to being Brave and enjoying Music

The past 14 years have been constant work to overcome my Ischemic Stroke.  I have made great progress; however, the challenges were not small.  For example, I didn’t speak for two years, and was determined to beat my Aphasia.  The big challenge was not only regaining my speech, but overcoming the struggle with auditory processing and writing.  One of my outlets was to create my story in a creative, fun way that engaged my family and helped me heal.  I am so proud of the two videos I created and titled “Beautiful Mystery 1 & 2” which you will find in the YouTube links below.

My stroke was a great teacher.  I learned how to listen, adapt and be curious.  I was also very comfortable asking for help.  This is also important to do things you like to help you heal.  A few of the things you might consider, and many of these I enjoyed is playing cards, games, painting, writing, and dancing.  Think about what makes you happy and how you can keep your mind and body active during your recovery.

I have learned so many things during my stroke and recovery, and here are a few absolutes that have made a big impact on my life.  I am passionate about sharing these with the world:

Know the system-

  • “Know the stroke signs (F.A.S.T.),”
  • “Sleep throughout the night to consolidate learning,”
  • “Stay positive,”
  • “Stretch,”
  • “Say hello with your opposite hand,”
  • “Rehabilitation is not a journey it is a passion in your life,”
  • “Do physical exercise for 20 minutes every day,”
  • “Live life to the bravest!”
JudyAnn Edwards

Technology has a big impact on my recovery, and I would encourage every survivor, family member, caregiver, and colleagues to be aggressive and push to make sure you are exploring everything that exists to help you improve.

Here are a few ideas that I have used and found really helpful in my recovery:

  • “Rosetta Stone English Software,”
  • “Using a wrist tracking fitness device. I use a Fitbit and it helps me tremendously,”
  • “YouTube, iTunes and SoundCloud are great at keeping your brain active,”
  • “Listen to music. I have the advantage of my son, Beauman’s live music-I love it,”
  • “Read or listen to books. I buy and sell them all the time to stay current,”
  • “Be curious and explore all educational forums like Pacific Stroke Association (PSA) and Champion the Challenges for learning sessions, technology reviews, and therapy ideas,”
  • “Participate in post-stroke forums and group sessions to learn and stay active.”

I have reached out to help stroke survivors over the years along with being involved with different organizations and the community.  Part of what motivates me is to give back and I have found that the First Congregational Church and the Palo Alto High School was very supportive and helpful for meals and enabling me to give back.

My family has been such a motivator in helping me recover from my stroke.  My sons, Mason is a Chef and into music, too.  Beauman is a professional game composer, bandleader, and a musician.  His music is such a healing sound that makes me smile and heal.

Laugh hard, love and be happy!

Here are the links to my two videos:

“Beautiful Mystery 1”

“Beautiful Mystery 2”