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My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey by Jill Bolte Taylor


Kay

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So after explaining what had happened to me to my reading group on Goodreads, one of the other members who is a nurse recommended this book to me "My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey" by Jill Bolte Taylor. I haven't read it yet, I was wondering if anyone else on here had read it?

 

This is the description for it:

Jill Taylor was a 37-year-old Harvard-trained brain scientist when a blood vessel exploded in her brain. Through the eyes of a curious scientist, she watched her mind deteriorate whereby she could not walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of her life. Because of her understanding of the brain, her respect for the cells in her body, and an amazing mother, Jill completely recovered.

 

In My Stroke of Insight, she shares her recommendations for recovery and the insight she gained into the unique functions of the two halves of her brain. When she lost the skills of her left brain, her consciousness shifted away from normal reality where she felt "at one with the universe." Taylor helps others not only rebuild their brains from trauma, but helps those of us with normal brains better understand how we can consciously influence the neural circuitry underlying what we think, how we feel and how we react to life's circumstances.

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I think shes amazing, how she can describe everything so clearly. She also made me understand possibly why my anxiety disappeared for about a month, during my original SAH, I thought it was weird at the time, I kept thinking this is probably one of the scariest things that's ever happened to me, why am I so calm and fine about all this, it was just so bizarre. I can't wait to read her book, my library has it thankfully, hopefully I'll get round to reading it in the next few weeks (I haven't yet attempted reading a book yet, I thought I'd give my brain a bit of a rest first)

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Win I have exactly the same problem. SAH has destroyed my love of reading. So frustrating to open the book and think 'who the hell is that character and when did they do that?' lol!

 

I've been recommended to read short stories!

 

xx

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3 minutes ago, ClareM said:

Win I have exactly the same problem. SAH has destroyed my love of reading. So frustrating to open the book and think 'who the hell is that character and when did they do that?' lol!

 

I've been recommended to read short stories!

 

xx

Mine too, it takes me weeks to read a book with all the going back to see who is who and what happened earlier.

I tend to read the silly pick up , put down books now. At least I don't have to go back numerous times.

So frustrating as I used to be a real bookworm, get my head stuck in one and time would stand still.

I suspect that book would be far too deep for me to comprehend now.

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Interesting you all had that with reading too, me too and it was my biggest barrier getting back to work.

 

my occupational therapist suggested I start working that memory muscle by having audio books and I did and it really helped me as I could listen in short bursts and I was better hearing than just reading. 

 

I then used to practice making notes whilst listening  and I have since read this book and it is very good. 

 

I find I can read more factual books and biographies now but struggle with anything that has a complex story line, I just can’t remember enough so Jill Boltes book was actually easier read than some. Super Mario it is worth a try and if not see if you can get an audio book. 

 

I love her view and so much resonated with me. A good post bleed read! 

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I can't do without books, it was really hard for me not being able to read at first.  

 

I'm pretty much obsessed with Goodreads and it was my second year doing the reading challenge and just like the year before I had already pledged to read 50 books, and of course after the SAH I thought there is no way I am going to be able to achieve that this year.

 

But as Daffodil has suggested I resorted to a lot of audiobooks at first (I've always liked audiobooks to be honest) I took care to read shorter novels and I even read some graphic novels too.

 

I ended up surpassing my goal and reading 60 books last year, I was very proud of myself.  Fingers crossed I can do the same this year, already pledged my 50, and already 2 books behind schedule (I haven't read anything yet this year) time to find a new audio book to read me thinks.

 

I have actually ordered this book 'My Stroke of Insight' from the library now, just waiting for it to arrive. 

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Run out of likes so cannot agree with you all xx But I do lol.

 

I'll stick to the Beano and Dandy comics instead as I have Alison W's book here cannot remember the last chapter and I just love Jill's humour it does help so much for me xxx 

 

If my English is skew whiff I apologise  xxxx

 

Love ya all  xxxx 

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I tried audio books in the early years and still found it difficult to retain the information plus the noise really got to me. Even now I can't abide noise, struggle when I go out even though I have learnt to blank much of it out.

At home silence is the rule of the day, can't even abide a radio on and believe you me I have tried starting with it on softly. Gave up after a few months and gave the radio away.

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I loved reading before SAH, now I just can't do it simply because I end up with a blinding headache, it's as if my brain just can't absorb that much information, I'm the same with noise, I used to love listening to music and the hustle and bustle when out shopping, now I can't stand listening to music and can't wait to get my shopping done and get home.

 

Sadly I have very little quiet time at home as my partner has the tv on all day, mostly watching cowboy films which as you can imagine are really noisy with all the gunfire.

 

Thankfully he goes to bed at 10pm every night, I switch tv off and have an hours quiet time then. 

 

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I don't want to go too off topic or I may have to delete myself! So please don't reply!

 

When it comes to reading or listening, you really need to practise it .... grab some quiet time, even if it has to be with ear plugs or ear phones!

 

I was like most of you post SAH and couldn't remember anything from a book ... it does take practise and you can't perhaps do it, in the early months or years and it's baby steps, but you need to keep going with it. I started off with magazines.

 

It does help to re-train the brain in my experience and from someone (me) that had to re-read passages/chapters or listen again, I've got to the point where I can read a book a week. It's my guilty pleasure since having the SAH, so please don't give up. x

 

 

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For fear of being deleted too Karen - totally agree with you.  I did the same, started off with magazines and did all of the crossword puzzles etc to train the brain again.  Now, 11 years on, if I have a really good book, I can get through one in a couple of days and I manage to shut out the noise of the tv without ear plugs (though i do wear them at night as some noises are impossible to block i.e. snoring!!).

 

Please, please don't give up trying to read again - it's the one thing I really missed, so I was over the moon when I could read a whole book again.

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I totally agree with Karen and Skippy, I also loved reading before my brain got re-arranged and missed it dreadfully. It took a very long time and a lot of patience but I’ve got back to it, in fact last year I read all the Harry Potter books! I’m very proud of that!!

I am more mindful now though, I have to make sure the print isn’t too small etc. It has to be a good book that grips me from the first page.

 

My Stroke Of Insight looks like it will be a very good read.

 

SL Xx

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I started reading this tonight, just finished chapter 1 Jill's pre-stroke life. Thankfully I'm not struggling to read as much as I thought I would, just trying to take it in small chunks, a little at a time.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I’ve just finished reading this book and it was brilliant! I highly recommend it. 

It made me laugh and it made me cry, I can relate to so much of it.

It’s made me view some things in a very different way now.

 

Thanks for the recommendation Kay.

 

SL Xx

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