The Defiant Mind: Living Inside a Stroke

  • ISBN 9781553804642

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"What is a stroke?" This is the question that plagues Ron Smith as he emerges from the carpet bombing of his brain. The Defiant Mind: Living Inside a Stroke is a first-person account of a massive Ischemic stroke to the brain stem. Smith takes the reader inside the experience and shows how recuperation happens -- the challenges of communication, the barriers to treatment, the frustrations of being misunderstood and written-off, the role of memory in recovering identity, the power of continuing therapy, and the passionate will to live. Full of arresting anecdotes, enlivened by a vivid and vigorous style, the book tells of successes and failures and draws on the newest research in stroke treatment. This is a necessary book for stroke survivors still dealing with the effects of their trauma and for care-givers, vital to the process of recuperation, who feel hampered and harried by concern and confusion. The book is a caring companion, offering support to people navigating the fear and bewilderment that accompanies a stroke. For medical professionals, the book offers insights into the workings of the brain, the power of the brain to heal, critiques of conventional limits imposed on therapy, and suggestions for ways to improve care. More than an evocative memoir, more than an incomplete history, more than a breathtaking journey out of stroke and back to a literary life, The Defiant Mind is a beautifully written love story; it is a glimpse inside the tender and fulfilling relationship between the author and his wife. Smith makes clear that defiance (with unconditional support) is the first step to making hope a reality. This is a story about time which affirms life in the face of terror and death. A book for everyone.
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