Total Pageviews

Monday, April 9, 2012

Hobnobbing With The Experts

Not long ago, I joined a caregivers' forum through the National Stroke Association called Careliving and imagine my surprise when I saw author Madonna Siles was also a member.

I was just in the middle of reading her book Brain Heal Thyself so I recognized her name right away. I shot her a message through that site and brazenly asked her a couple questions. She has a unique perspective on the use of the subconscious in the brain recovery process, mostly through pre-stroke memories. I had asked her how I might apply her theories to Bob, who is immobile, as so many examples she had in her book required a certain amount of mobility. She messaged me back and asked for my phone number so that we could talk about it. I couldn't believe it. Believe me, I was a nervous ninny (a famous author calling me! aaah!) but sent her our number and she actually called and we had a nicest chat for nearly an hour! She gave me a few clever ideas to mull over and also mentioned Aqua Therapy.

That's the third time someone has mentioned Aqua Therapy for Bob. Is this a sign? I think I will ask his primary care doctor about it when we see him next. I'm not sure if Bob could even go into a swimming pool with his feeding tube... also, knowing him, he'll probably pee in the pool. aargh.

Anyway, Madonna is the author of two books on brain healing/recovery, her website is at and I'd like to thank her for sharing her expertise with me!

The second expert I met on the Careliving site is Mark Ittleman. He is a speech pathologist with over 40 years experience and has recently written a book called The Teaching of Talking which will be released in June. He has his own unique perspective on speech therapy as an ongoing daily therapy best handled by the caregiver (I like this already! ha!). Anyway, I replied to his posting and he replied back and before you know, I ordered his book and he very kindly offered to send me a preview copy so I wouldn't have to wait until June to get started. Since then, we have communicated back and forth through e-mail and he is quite supportive and kind and happy to offer his expert advice.

I have just started reading The Teaching of Talking, and the first part of the book pretty much doesn't apply to Bob as he handles single words, yes and no questions, very well, but we will be jumping in with both feet using his techniques for working on phrases and sentences as soon as I can digest all this material!

Mark's website is at and I'd also like to thank him for sharing his expertise with me.

And thank you, too, to Linda who writes a blog at for sending me the link to the Careliving site for stroke caregivers.

I guess that covers my gratitude base for today!


Anonymous said...

It's fantastic these authors take the time to respond to your questions to the point of picking up the phone and talking with you, or exchanging emails. It appears you hit upon a great support group.
Don't forget to take care of yourself too. Hugs, Dan

Rebecca said...

It's great to see the stroke family supporting each other and striving for more than people think is possible.

Anonymous said...

Hi D.,well now it's my turn to show my gratitude. I want to thank YOU for telling me about Careliving ! This caregivers forum is helping me as well with my situation.

I'm still new and navigating my way around but I am truly happy to be meeting people in my similar situation.

Love ya, Patricia

Anonymous said...

I have a friend with spinal cord damage. Water therapy has helped him a great deal.

By the way, it is several years since the damage occurred, and he continues to improve. The six month to a year and that's that theory is nonsense.