26 times 66 feet

By 7 a.m. it is 75+ degrees F with 90% humidity so now it is too hot to exercise by walking around my neighborhood.  This is a problem because I have not been walking much inside since covid-19 curtailed my trips in the community.  Now I walk laps from one end of my 66 foot long trailer to the other.  It takes 26 laps x 66 feet to walk .32 of a mile (1,716 / 5,280 feet). 

Fatigue ruins everything so I have to be serious about not letting disuse atrophy creep up on me.
Every time I do 2 laps I make 2 hash marks on a sticky note on my kitchen counter.  Then I record the total for each day on a monthly calendar I keep on my kitchen table.  Then I enter the daily totals in a Excel file on my computer.  Finally I compute my monthly totals. 

To stop looking down at my feet as I walk I look for sunlight in each room.

I could not afford to buy a ranch style house after my stroke.  However, I love my 2 bedroom/2 bath trailer that has a full-sized laundry room all one floor.  The central air conditioning and dishwasher are a bonus.  homeafterstroke.blogspot.com


National Stroke Helpline (NSH)

The National Stroke Helpline(NSH) is aim to provide information and support on treatment & care (Rehabilitation and Integration) on stroke for persons living in Ghana. If you know someone who  has been affected by a stroke or their carer, or you want to know more information on how to reduce your risk of a stroke, please get in touch with the National Stroke Helpline Ghana (NSH)

There are a few ways to access the National Stroke Helpline
  1. Call 0594989495
  2. Or visit the Stroke Helpline ( https://care.sasnetghana.org/helpline-2)
  3. Or email helpline@sasnetghana.org
We’re open:
Monday-Sunday: 8:30 am-6pm
The National Stroke Helpline (NSH) provides information about stroke and its effects, what happens after a stroke, or what help and support is available. You may have many questions, be looking for some information and  guidance, or simply want someone to talk to. That’s where we can help.
Contact our team
If your email requires follow-up, our Helpline team will respond within 24 hours.
You can contact us by:
Phone: 0594989495
Email: helpline@sasnetghana.org
Stroke Association Supportnetwork-Ghana (SASNET-GHANA)
WhatsApp: 0262463986
Social Media: Facebook (FightStroke SasnetGhana) and Twitter (@ghbeatstroke /@adadams10)

Healthy Recipe: Black Bean Soup

This simple meal is vegetarian, filling and nutritious with a star ingredient: black beans! Black beans are some of the most nutritious foods in the legume family. They are packed with protein & fiber (15 […]

Another Thing I Did Not Know About Stroke

When I was an OT who specialized in stroke rehab I did not know the temperature of my hemiplegic foot could vary widely.  Two studies found a stroke survivor’s hemiplegic leg may have atrophy of the superficial femoral artery which reduces blood flow (1, 2).  This may explain why my hemiplegic foot feels ice cold by bedtime in the winter.  However, poor leg circulation does not explain why my hemiplegic foot is hot and red by bedtime in the summer, even though I have air conditioning.  My brain often interprets this high heat as pain so I walk barefoot with my quad cane which has four feet.  The quad cane forces me to walk slowly which is irritating!  A stroke taught me things I did not learn from an advanced certification course or experience treating stroke survivors.  homeafterstroke.blogspot.com

1. Durant MJ, et al. Superficial femoral artery atrophy and reduced lower limb blood flow in
    subacute stroke survivors. Stroke. 2020(Feb);51:ATP484.
2. Ivey FM, et al.  Impaired leg vasodilatory function after stroke.  Stroke. 2010(Oct);41:2913-2917.

Visual Deficit of Any Kind or Just Fatigue from Stroke or Other Brain Injury? OrCam Read to the Rescue!

I was tired after 9 hours from multiple projects when, pre-coronavirus pandemic, I went to a famous vegetarian restaurant with a person I was going to interview, which also served vegans (of which I am one). I was told they had excellent food (first-rate grub is not at all uncommon for Portland) and we were seated when the server handed us the menus. 

My anxiety kicked in when I saw the printed menu. Though the lighting wasn’t dim, the items were too small to read and my double vision went off from fatigue, both of which made for impossible reading. 

It was a small place, and I could have asked him to read the menu to me, but it was embarrassing and awkward. I closed the menu as if I read it, and so did my interviewee, motioned the waiter that we were ready to order, and asked the server instead, “I’ll have that dish with tofu,” upon which, being confused about which dish I meant, he rattled off several dishes with tofu, and I chose one.

Almost the actual size 

Enter OrCam Read (albeit six months later), the magnificent marvel which is five inched long, less than an inch wide, who reads anything to you from the printed page. It is totally portable, and you could zero in to only part of the document, like for a newspaper or read the whole page of a book. I got one on a loan to write this blog post because my heart is with stroke and other brain injury survivors whose after-effects, except for the lucky ones, include visual deficits. 

The two founders are: Prof. Amnon Shashua holds the Sachs chair in computer science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and his field of expertise is computer vision and machine learning, and Ziv Aviram who holds a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering and Management from Ben-Gurion University. They both have a healthy history in safer ways to observe the environment, and that led to OrCam Read

Impressive indeed. But I wanted more. I sometimes, to this day, have double vision. 

The instructions say, “OrCam Read is a personal AI [Artificial Intelligence] -driven device for people who have mild or low vision, reading difficulties, including dyslexia and reading fatigue, and anyone who is consistently exposed to large amounts of text – at work or school, or for leisure.”

Aside from the restaurant where I would have used OrCam Read, it doesn’t need WiFi so no disruptions for pilots on airplanes or captains on ships. One could even use it to read books for enjoyment or serious stuff like final exams. The battery in constant use lasts about four hours.

Not only does OrCam Read have screen selection, but there’s a laser pointer, too, if you want people to read a chart or bullet points during a presentation. 

OrCam Read features:
• 13-megapixel camera in front
• Built-in speaker
• Only 4 buttons
Plus – increases volume or rate of speech
Minus – decreases volume or rate of speech
• Bluetooth connectivity

2 reading options
Capture a block of text with a box-shaped laser beam
Choose where to start reading with an arrow-shaped laser beam
• No need to scan text or follow a line, all you have to do is hold the device in front of the text, push a button, and the text is read aloud instantly
• No internet connectivity is required and there is no connectivity to the cloud

1 year warranty

Oded Tsin, the Business Development Manager for OrCam, said, “Once you press the trigger button, the first button next to the +, the laser guidance will appear. You can keep holding the trigger button and aim toward the script. Once you will release it, the device will capture the image and read to you. 

“If you want to switch between the two laser options, you will double click the trigger button same way you double click a computer mouse.” 

So OrCam Read couldn’t be easier. I tried it a bunch of times with the loaner. I used it to read a book for an hour and it took the stress of double vision out of the mix. I used OrCam Read to read a printed newsletter from Stroke Awareness Oregon and it did a perfect job. I even used OrCam Read to read an invitation to a baby shower! It’s a sure bet that it will work every time. 

Now for the cost for which you can pay it out according to your needs: $1990 and it’s not covered by any type of insurance (though it ought to be). Perhaps your organization can buy OrCam Read to share among those with visual deficits.

I want to thank Oded Tsin and also Chris Braswell, Area Sales Manager with OrCam, for letting me try the OrCam Read device.

For more information about OrCam Read, please click here and enter your contact information:  https://orcam.co/30bEOvV  

Post-note: In case you were wondering, I received no compensation for promoting OrCam Read. So why OrCam Read? I’ve dedicated the rest of my life to helping stroke and other brain injury survivors and, with many having visual deficits, they’re among the ones that will benefit the most from this extraordinary device. Now you have the answer…in case you were wondering.  




  1. Shoulder pain/shoulder and hand pain.
  2. Urinary tract (bladder) infection.
  3. Constipation/diarrhea.
  4. Sliding or falling out of wheelchair.
  5. Behaviors problems.
  6. Aspiration (Choking/coughing after swallowing).
  7. Bedsores.
  8. Depression.
  9. Double vision or – Only seeing on one side.
  10. Reactions from a prescribed medication.
  11. Stroke centers/units/support /Treatment.



  1. Physiotherapist/ Occupational therapist.
  2. Clinic/doctor/nurse.
  3. Clinic/doctor/nurse.
  4. Physiotherapist /occupational therapist.
  5. Occupational therapist/Clinical psychologist /social worker.
  6. Speech and language therapist /nurse.
  7. Doctor/nurse/physiotherapist/ Occupational therapist.
  8. Clinic/doctor/occupational therapist /social worker.
  9. Clinic/optometrist/occupational therapist.
  10. Doctor/pharmacist/Hospital/clinic.
  11. SASNET-GHANA Team/Help line.

IMPORTANT : Person living with stroke and their carers could also receive  answers to the above stated problems by signing up to the Post Discharge Stroke Support(PDSS) Program by the Stroke Association Supportnetwork-Ghana (SASNET-GHANA).

http://:caresasnetghana.org  online or

by signing up to  Ask Dr Charway –Felli Platform for support .

Register for free support online here  care.sasnetghana.org/ask-charway/












The Coronavirus Ain’t Leaving So Fast

In a recent Time article entitled Nearly Half of Coronavirus Spread May Be Traced to People Without Any Symptoms by Alice Park, The Annals of Internal Medicine concluded “at
minimum, 30%, and more likely 40% TO 45%,” were spreading the virus to others without realizing they were also infected at all. There is a name for those people without symptoms (fever, fatigue, shortness of breath, coughing) to the COVID-19: asymptomatic.

Eric Topol and his co-author, Daniel Oran hunted for studies that included asymptomatic people and focused on different groups of people tested for COVID-19 worldwide. Among others, included were:

  • More than 13,000 people in Iceland who volunteered to be tested for COVID-19
  • Residents of Vo, Italy
  • Passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship where an outbreak was witnessed
  • Visitors to homeless shelters in Boston and Los Angeles
  • Prison inmates
  • College students
  • Nursing home residents in King County, WA.


Follow-up testing of those participants showed that only a small fraction who were asymptomatic when they tested positive on the first go-round went on to develop symptoms, permitting the researchers to choose between people who were pre-symptomatic (who went on later to develop symptoms) and those who are accurately asymptomatic and test positive for COVID-19 but never develop obvious symptoms. For example, among the more than 2300 people tested in the Vo population, 41% who had no symptoms when they tested positive and never developed symptoms over a 14 day period.

Topol and Oran concluded that while they may not be showing any signs of illness on the outside, asymptomatic people are still transporting a dangerous and infectious virus that they can spread to others.

“The virus may be damaging the bodies of asymptomatic in other ways,” says Topol. Among the 331 passengers aboard the Diamond Princess ship who tested positive but did not have symptoms, it was revealed that 76 CT scans of their lungs showed signs of lung tissue damage typical of coronavirus infection.

In another study, this one in South Korea, that studied 10 asymptomatic people from a group of 139 COVID-19 patients and warranted similar findings. The lung was affected in all asymptomatic patients, and researchers decided it was necessary to extend the evidence of COVID-19 testing.

“Given that public health officials aren’t testing the entire population, there are still huge gaps in understanding what asymptomatic disease,” Topol says.

Then there is the question of how long asymptomatic people are infectious. No one for sure, but wearing masks in public settings means less infection from those who are asymptomatic. So does social distancing and washing hands frequently given the numbers of asymptomatic people.

“If even a portion of the 100 million Americans who have a smartwatch or fitness band are involved, then we could go in and do studies for information we are missing now—antigen testing, antibody testing and we can look for transmissibility,” says Topol. “The priorities during a pandemic are absolutely to look after the sick. But we also shouldn’t miss how important this area of asymptomatic spread is to understand. For every one person who is sick, there are a whole lot of people who have the virus and don’t know it.”

So what does all this mean for the public? Remember the numbers: “at minimum, 30%, and more likely 40% to 45%.” Scary though it is, I, for one, won’t be going to the beach where people sit willy-nilly next to each other. No public settings at all for me like concerts or sports events that may open to the public, until much more is known about asymptomatic people. You can’t spot one because they’re like the rest of us, except they’re harboring a death-defying  disease silently.

Isabel Goes Back to Work After Covid-19

As a 74 year old with a brain-stem stroke who lives alone I was terrified about getting covid-19 from my cleaning lady.  A teleconference with my primary doctor helped me let go of my fear that only massive repeated testing would keep me safe until a vaccine is widely available.  After listening to a few suggestions from my doctor I was able to calm down and think.  Below are nine strategies that make me feel safer when my cleaning lady spends two hours in my house.

1.  I insist that both my cleaning lady and I wear masks.
2.  I put away all the knick-knacks that Isabel used to pick up and set down as she cleaned.
3.  After washing the sheets I make my bed so Isabel does not touch bed linen that comes close to
my face.

4.  Before each visit I gather some items I touch every day. Bathroom items go on a tray.
I cover this pile with a towel to let Isabel know not to touch it.  Make-up items on my dresser go in a shoebox in a drawer.

5.  I walked Isabel through my house to show her where I wanted her to use disenfectant wipes to
clean door knobs, light switches, and handles on the toilet, shower, refrigerator, stove, cabinets,
and faucets.
6.  If the weather permits I leave my front door open with the glass panel that covers the screen
in the up position.
7.  When I eat lunch I need to take off my mask.  To keep my droplets from accumulating in the air
in the house I eat outside on my patio.  I bring my ipod to listen to music after lunch.  I have an
awning to protect me from the sun and rain.
8.  After Isabel leaves I turn on exhaust fans in the bathroom and kitchen to clear the air while I
take a short car ride.

9.  After I use a mask I put it on a window sill for a few days with
the hope that sunlight will kill the virus.  I turn it over to expose
all surfaces to sunlight.       homeafterstroke.blogspot.com

Simple Pleasures for This Simple Stroke Survivor

Looking back over my life, I had very complicated pleasures. For example, when I wanted to convince people in the office to maintain their opposition to a particular practice, it all depended on what other people would do. Crowd mentality indeed. Or when I celebrated holidays, the host would make what she liked rather than what the compan liked. Mom mentality. 

But as a stroke survivor, I found that my preferences transformed into simple. Here are the top ten, all of which I didn’t do before my stroke:

Waking up to greet the day

Waking up every day is my top simple pleasure. What do I do to achieve that goal? Well, there are no guarantees in life, but switching over to the plant diet almost a year ago gave me so many chances to stay healthy. In pretending about the pandemic, I maintain that eating high Vitamin C oranges somehow kept me immune from the coronavirus. That theory is not on the proven list, but eating Vitamin C is great for preventing or lessen the severity of so many other diseases anyway. 

Adding the perfect amount of water to my oatmeal

I actually celebrate with an audible “Yes!” multiple times when my oatmeal comes out of the microwave perfectly. Of course, nobody is there to hear it, and I find that reassuring. It’s a game I play with myself, guessing which amount of water is suitable to add to the instant variety. Somebody who lives with one or more people doesn’t get it, but I get it. I am the only one I have to please. 

Watching the washer wash

I like the sound of the washer wash clothes. I like the “Spin” cycle the best. Oftentimes, I find myself watching the washer wash the clothes–my clothes, mesmerized–which I could have worn over again but didn’t because the washer sound is relaxing, which I wouldn’t hear on re-wearing.

Balancing my checkbook

I used to balance my checkbook as drudgery, something I had to do to keep my sanity in check, often getting frustrated when I reversed numbers or got the period in the wrong place. Now, I welcome it every month because I remembered my math functions. And I like the way my handwriting improved in 11 years, keeping the figures inside the lines.

Monitoring the vegan cooking

I was always a participant, from jumping rope as a youngster, to playing my songs as a teen in the talent show, to throwing events as an adult. Now, cooking-wise, I’m still a participant. Clare, my nurse friend, who prepares all my meals, brings the pot over to me to check on the consistency or taste or color. I’d rather cook myself, but having got the handle on do’s and dont’s. this method is the next best thing.

Observing the houses surrounded by nature

Normally, in those normal times before the stroke, I went around the block and that was it, not noticing the fine points. Now, my friend and I find something new every time we go like a new fence, plants and trees in bloom, or a missing shingle or the roof. That’s the game we play, because remembering what we found a few days ago keeps my memory sharp. 

Making a schedule

Every time my friend comes which are on weekdays, I present her with a to-do list of things that should be done. I can move the entries if she doesn’t have time to finish, and she likes to check off completed tasks. Most importantly, this system, too, helps me remember the current and future tasks.

Pronouncing words until I say them perfectly

I have trouble pronouncing some words. Sometimes, if I say it over and over in a day, that will be enough for future times. Sometimes, like with the “scr” words, as in prescription and subscription, having practiced for 8 years, I still get tripped up. I used to be a public speaker so it’s difficult I can’t do that anymore, but just saying words correctly is the next best thing in order to communicate effectively. When somebody says, “I can’t understand you,” my heart just breaks.

Getting a coffee package from Amazon

Not that trillionaire Jeff Bezos need free advertising, but I look forward to this Amazon coffee coming because it wakes me up with a jolt in the morning. A jolt equals instant awareness of my surroundings so that I have an uninterrupted and clutter-free path when I’m going to walk around. At $4.95 for a 12-ounce bag, you can sample all the flavors while staying alert. In a sense, priceless.

Counting the birds that fly by in 10 minutes

Birds, predominantly crows, fly by in groups. I never see one crow without another one to follow. Especially now that it’s mating season, the birds are frequent. And no, I don’t watch the birds “fornicating.” Sheesh! Birds, too, need a little privacy. And don’t think I’m a nerd. People need something to do in this pandemic.

Bathing Can Be Exhausting

As an OT I did not know how tiring a.m. care is because I never watched a stroke survivor do one task after.  Here is why bathing leaves me feeling refreshed instead of exhausted and frustrated.

Washing.  I do not struggle to soap up a washcloth one-handed or chase a bar of soap after I drop it.  I pour shower gel on a nylon poof and knead it a few times to get it soapy.  To wash my sound arm, I use a gross grasp in my affected hand to hold the nylon poof.  I do not struggle to wring out a washcloth one-handed.  I hang the nylon poof on a suction-cup hook, hose it down, and let it air dry.  I use shampoo suds to wash my face.

I press down on the nylon poof that is resting on my thighs to squeeze out suds so my sound hand can soap up my crotch.  Before I could hold the shower hose with my hemiplegic hand,
I used my forearm to press the shower hose against my stomach to rinse my crotch.  Water runs downhill.  This freed my sound hand to deal with the nooks and crannies.  If my husband was alive I would still want to bathe this private part of my body.

Drying.  My towel rack is next to the shower so I can reach it while sitting on my shower chair.  I drape the towel over one shoulder while I dry my arms and trunk.  When I get out of the shower I stand to dry my crotch with the towel draped over my shoulder.  My shoulder carries the weight of the towel so it is easy for my sound hand to manipulate the free end.  I never hold up my affected leg to dry it.  I don a terrycloth bathrobe which dries my buttocks and thighs and I let my calves air dry while I brush my teeth and comb my hair.

Dressing.  For the 1st year after my stroke, dressing was easier if I rested after bathing.  I laid on the bed in my bathrobe with a towel under my wet hair and listened to music on the radio.  homeafterstroke.blogspot.com