My Stroke of Luck

Posted by edwin comer on April 3, 2010 at 3:28 AM

                                                           MY STROKE OF LUCK    


For some reason, I thought I was the only one in the world who had suffered a stroke. It was a huge revelation to me that nearly 795,000 Americans each year have a stroke. As with most stroke survivors, my life has changed dramatically.


Fast food and eating on the road has given way to structured meal times with the pastas and pastries being replaced with fruits, vegetables, chicken and fish. Just by changing my eating habits I have lost 25 pounds in the past 23 months. My body mass index [BMI] is down from 28.8 to 24.5. My goal is to get below 20.0; meaning my body weight will be down to about 160 pounds. (I am currently at 172 pounds.)



African-American adults are twice as likely to have a stroke as their white adult counterparts.

African–American men are 60% percent more likely to die from a stroke than adult Caucasian, Hispanic or Asian men.

African–American stroke survivors are more likely to become disabled and have difficulties with everyday activities.

Stroke is the third leading cause of death (after heart disease and cancer) among all women in the United States.

Controlling blood pressure is extremely important. High blood pressure is a major cause of strokes. This disease usually can be effectively treated. However, many women and men do not receive the screening necessary to catch this silent but potentially deadly condition - better known as the Silent Killer.


If during a person’s stroke they happen to go into a coma, the longer they are in a coma the more than likely it is that they will have brain damage that will be very difficult to recover from. Almost all people will have some brain damage, depending on location of the stroke and the severity. All stroke victims will have a secondary stroke within 5 years. Stroke victims with mild brain damage can relearn to do functions by reprogramming the brain for the same function but from a different location.


Regarding myself: 

My brain damage is very minimal, but there is definitely some residual. My stroke affected the left side of my body.

My peripheral vision was affected in my left eye. If I am sitting in the passenger seat in a car and you were driving, I would have to turn my head to see you.

My left foot has “drop foot.” This means when I walk I have a tendency to drag or not lift my left foot.

My left arm is very weak and has ‘Ataxia”. This is sometimes called Crazy arm. When I start to reach somewhere with my left arm, it goes where it wants to go, like it has a mind of its’ own.


In the very beginning I was ashamed to go out in public with my walker. My xango buddy, Johanna Baker who [has MS and in a power wheel chair] told me that just to consider that my walker is my best friend and we will go every where together. Once I understood that concept I was on my way.


The good thing is that all of this is correctable through hard work and physical therapy. The recovery of my vision is all about learning how to adapt. I have not finished all of my research yet, but from talking with other people that have had brain damage from a stroke, an accident or a concussion, there are some possibilities. To me, it is all about asking enough people and finding a solution; I just have not asked enough people yet. I would strongly recommend to anyone that has a physical disability and is looking for a great resource for physical rehab to check with their local Junior College, Universities, and State programs to see what they have to offer relevant to Adaptive Physical Education programs. More than likely they will have something at almost any school equivalent to an accredited Nursing Program or Massage Therapy Program along with Sports Medicine.


It is important that the people around me allow the “new me” to emerge without holding me back to the personality I had exhibited before my stroke. I realize that this can be very difficult because of how I was changed because of my stroke, but it is important to me that my family and friends not to hold me to the personality that I was before, or to the skill level of the person that I was at one time. I am a stroke survivor and my brain is different and that needs to be OK; for them to love me for who I will become and not whom I once was. I will be better than yesterday but not as good as tomorrow.


When it came to gaining new abilities, I realized that I had to master a certain level of function before I could move on to the next level. I discovered that my rehabilitation was dependent on my willingness to “try” to help myself recover. When I was willing to put forth the effort that it took to pay attention, even when my mind did not want to, then - and only then - did I succeed. I had to make that decision hundreds of times a day to do what I needed to do to recover. I needed those around me to protect me from taking risks that were too far beyond my ability, yet at the same time to not to over-protect me. Finding this balance was very important but hard to find. We learned quickly that when I could have success we all would win. What is so neat is that I get to start all over again; I look at myself like a toddler learning to walk for the first time, learning to talk and just learning new things about life. The fantastic thing is that I can now put only good stuff in my brain and allow winners, not whiners, to come into my life. I am blessed.

A friend of mine has always taught me to figure out “What is the lesson?” The lesson is that I get a second chance in life and NOW is when it begins.


At first, when people found out that I had a stroke, they were very concerned. Then, over time, a few disappeared. After learning that I had mild brain damage, more disappeared from my life. I read a book called Leadership Gold by John C. Maxwell and Chapter 23 was titled “Those Who Start the Journey with You Seldom Finish with You”. At that time everything made sense. My two daughters, Shawnette Comer and Trudy and her husband Marco Gonzalez and my 4 grandson [ Dimitri, Omar, Gabriel and Matthew ] have always keep me laughing and have always been by my side and also some very dear friends, Marlene [ my business partner, friend and mentor ] and Nick Balingit and their family [Brian, Carmen - Ron, Melissa and her 3 grand children [ Little Nick, Mia and Nico.] It is also great that there has been, and will continue to be, an ever-growing circle of friends, especially from my home town of Delano, California. I continue to make friends in my rehab and my home based business.


I have read a few articles from a magazine called “Stroke Smart” put out by National Stroke Assocmiation and one article especially got my attention, it was titled ”Strength Therapy, focus on using the weak limbs.” This article is 100% opposite on what I have been told by the physical therapists in the medical system; so I did my research and was very impressed. They say to use the weakened limbs 90% of the time. The traditional way is to protect the weak limbs. They were going to recommend that I put my left arm in a sling. [This does not make sense to me]. What the article suggests is doing exercises 6 hours per day, 5 days a week, in a controlled environment [such as a medical center]; of which there are only 5 in the United States. The closest one is in Los Angles, California.


I consulted with my coach, Dr. Joe, and my trainer, Mary here at De Anza College in Cupertino, California. We are already doing this, but we just need to increase the hours from what I am currently doing of 2 hours, 3 times a week, to 3 hours, 3 times a week, plus what I am doing at home (which is about 4 hours per day). Our goal is to eventually do 5 days a week, 5 to 6 hours per day. I strongly encourage people to use home videos to help survivors recover. When they see themselves they can mimic what they use to do.


Because talking and public speaking is a big part of my livelihood, I try to read at least 1 to 2 hours per day. I exercise everyday and “I am in better physical shape than I was 10 years ago.” The one great thing that I have going for me is my energy level. I supplement with vitamins [ 3sixty5 ] and a product called Eleviv that give me energy and keep me clear-minded and focused and drink 2 ozs 3 times a day of the mangosteen juice which help with the pain and inflammation in my joints to exercise pain free. It helps a lot with my flexibility in my left shoulder. I also use the Glimpse skin care to look handsome by a company called Xango. I am now able to sleep 7 to 8 hours per might as before I would only sleep 4 to 5 hours.


The ways in which people learn about diseases and how to manage their health through personal knowledge and the expertise of their doctors are changing. About 65% of Americans are regularly searching online for health information. Patients and caregivers are expanding their online research and heading to health portals such as Web MD and social networks such as Facebook to find people that are like them and are also willing to share their experiences.

Browsing the internet presents a challenge for some survivors who either do not have access to computers, or who are unable to use a computer because of a disability. I would encourage you to go to your local library and volunteer to show someone how to use a computer and how to access the most current world wide information source, the internet; it is clearly the most important resource available.


This is what I ask of you to help me to accomplish my dreams and goals.

 Here is my email address (There is an underscore between my first and last name.)

Please email me when you can and remind me to Get my exercises done everyday,” and to push me gently.


                            I can be on the right track, but if I just sit there I will get run over.


I have to say thank you to 2 of my friends Janet Shaffer and Belinda-Estrada-Young and my xango buddy Shawn Woldt who helpped me to edit this article.



My biggest asset is my Disability.


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12:39 PM on November 30, 2010 
An Excerpt from
The 100/0 Principle
by Al Ritter
What is the most effective way to create and sustain great relationships with others? It's The 100/0 Principle: You take full responsibility (the 100) for the relationship, expecting nothing (the 0) in return.

Implementing The 100/0 Principle is not natural for most of us. It takes real commitment to the relationship and a good dose of self-discipline to think, act and give 100 percent.

The 100/0 Principle applies to those people in your life where the relationships are too important to react automatically or judgmentally. Each of us must determine the relationships to which this principle should apply. For most of us, it applies to work associates, customers, suppliers, family and friends.

STEP 1 - Determine what you can do to make the relationship work...then do it. Demonstrate respect and kindness to the other person, whether he/she deserves it or not.
STEP 2 - Do not expect anything in return. Zero, zip, nada.
STEP 3 - Do not allow anything the other person says or does (no matter how annoying!) to affect you. In other words, don't take the bait.
STEP 4 - Be persistent with your graciousness and kindness. Often we give up too soon, especially when others don't respond in kind. Remember to expect nothing in return.
At times (usually few), the relationship can remain challenging, even toxic, despite your 100 percent commitment and self-discipline. When this occurs, you need to avoid being the "Knower" and shift to being the "Learner." Avoid Knower statements/ thoughts like "that won't work," "I'm right, you are wrong," "I know it and you don't," "I'll teach you," "that's just the way it is," "I need to tell you what I know," etc.

Instead use Learner statements/thoughts like "Let me find out what is going on and try to understand the situation," "I could be wrong," "I wonder if there is anything of value here," "I wonder if..." etc. In other words, as a Learner, be curious!

Principle Paradox

This may strike you as strange, but here's the paradox: When you take authentic responsibility for a relationship, more often than not the other person quickly chooses to take responsibility as well. Consequently, the 100/0 relationship quickly transforms into something approaching 100/100. When that occurs, true breakthroughs happen for the individuals involved, their teams, their organizations and their families.
12:09 AM on November 30, 2010 
"Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders."
~ Henry David Thoreau
9:40 PM on November 27, 2010 
One Milimeter Philosophy Anthony Robbins
by Bill on June 27th, 2010
What will it take for us to realize our potential? Could we be so close that the next step could be the one that opens the door? I love the 1 millimeter philosophy. We are all closer than we might imagine. Dr Terry Paulsen even goes so far as to say that we might be winning and not have realized it. Whether we have already won and haven?t realized it yet or are 1 millimeter away focus on what you want to accomplish and why you want to accomplish it. Know that you can make a difference by persevering. Having met and worked with a lot of very successful people I know that they are not much different from everyone else. They have had doubts, fears and frustrations along their paths but they believed in themselves, knew why they were making the necessary sacrifices and went the extra millimeter. One Millimeter is the difference from average to great. Take the next step and change the world.

MOVIE --------

This sent to me by Sandy Cohen
9:38 PM on November 27, 2010 
I had a great Thansgiving with the family - My daughter [Trudy]put on a great dinner and my favorite was her stuffing
Like always I are to much and forgot about dessert til later - about 3 hours later.
I have been exercising to burn off all the calories ........
Working a lot on my skills for my left arm and hand to be able to have more control and be able to drink with my left hand ....
I am able to eat a sandwich with boith hands now
I can walk up and down stairs as long as I hold onto the hand rail.
Getting better step by step.
I am very excited about my future -- I get to design my future.
The power of belief is the most powerful thing every....
Create a dream and add belief along with action and you can create your future..........
6:36 AM on November 27, 2010 

Personal growth is the process of responding positively to change. It involves risk as you step from the known to the unknown.

All your growth will depend on your activity. Your strength and growth will come only through continuous effort and struggle. There will be no development without effort.

Trouble is the common denominator of living. It is the great equalizer of life. Your trials, your sorrows and your grief's will develop you.

When good or bad fortune comes your way, you must give it meaning and transform it into something of value.

What happens to you is not as important as your reaction to what is happening.
10:38 PM on November 26, 2010 
Do you like Johnny Cash Can you imagine a 15 year old singing like this???

Fifteen year-old Vince Mira sings your favorite hemmorhoid song
coppy and past into browswer

This cholito is very good.
5:31 AM on November 26, 2010 

The courage to begin separates dreamers from achievers.

Your difficulty and the difficulty of everyone who ever desires to achieve anything worthwhile comes in the movement.

Don't always be intending to live a new life but never find a time to begin living it.

Most people fail because they never get started. They don't go they don't overcome inertia, they don't begin.

Begin to free yourself at once by doing all that is possible with the means you have.

As you proceed in this spirit, the way will open for you to do more. The worst you can do is not to try.
6:19 PM on November 19, 2010 
Working on my skills to walkup and down thestairs in my rehab class today - I will do this
5:19 AM on November 15, 2010 
~Faith makes things Possible~ ~Hope makes things Work~ ~Love makes things Beautiful~ ~Thank You Lord~ ~ For giving me Faith, Hope and Love to have the Strength and Courage to be where I am today ~
11:35 AM on November 13, 2010 - this is a fabulous lik to look at .......
8:22 PM on November 10, 2010 
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?Actually who are you not to be?You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.And it is not in just some of us.It is in everyone." Mariannne Williamson
12:51 AM on November 5, 2010 

At age 4 success is . . . . Not piddling in your pants.
At age 12 success is . . . Having friends.
At age 17 success is . . Having a driver's license.
At age 35 success is . . . ..having money.
At age 50 success is . . . Having money..
At age 70 success is . .. . Having a drivers license.
At age 75 success is . ... . Having friends.
At age 80 success is . . .. Not piddling in your pants.
1:02 PM on October 31, 2010 
1 of my Goals is to go SKY DIVING.
I am getting a personal trainer at de Anza College to increase my intensity of my routine so that I can develop the muscles to get more control of left aem and hand and more balance in my walking. When you surround myself with the correct people who are the experts at what they do and will not let me hurt myself.

If you surround youself with people that are better than you they will help you to accomplish ALL your breams and goals.
Ask people and they are willing to help you if they have the capability.


Who will sky dive with me? Will you?
OH my golf lesson are fantastic...............I have been able to hit 2 buckets of balls on the driving range.
Reply ed~winner
12:52 PM on October 30, 2010 
Playing cacth with a soccer ball with my 2 grandson .. very challenaging but we laugh a lot ... this is just one of my benefits from my stroke ... to enjoy my family ... will do video sooner than later
-------life is fun ..
Reply ed~winner
1:08 AM on October 29, 2010 

Success or failure? It's always your choice. You alone have the responsibility to shape your life.

Once you understand this, nothing and no one can deny you success. There's really no one to stop you but yourself.

More powerful than all the success slogans ever written is the realization that everyone has but one boss. That boss is you.

Your life will always be to a large extent what you make of it. No one can cheat you out of ultimate success but you.

If you want to be successful, you can be successful.
Reply ed~winner
12:15 PM on October 26, 2010 

There is no easy road to success. You've got to work a great deal harder than most people to get it.

Nothing worthwhile will come easily to you. Hard work will accomplish results that last.

No one has a corner on success. Pay the price for it and it's yours. No matter what you want from life you've got to give up something to get it.

There is no success at bargain basement prices. You'll find that the highway to success is a toll road.

Reply ed~win
1:51 AM on October 8, 2010 

Life is made up of a series of experiences. Each one will make you stronger, even though it may be hard for you to realize it at the time.

Life is your classroom in which you're being tested, tried, and passed. Always try to stay in the midst of life and activity. Don't isolate yourself from the action. Your character develops itself in the stream of life.

The setbacks and hardships you endure actually help you in your march forward to success. The world was built to develop your character.

Life expects you to make progress in reasonable time. That's why those elementary school chairs are so small.

shared with me by Sandy Cohen
Reply ed~win
10:38 PM on October 6, 2010 
"What you believe has more power than what you dream or wish or hope for. You become what you believe."

? Oprah
Reply ed~win
8:17 PM on October 6, 2010 
Do just one thing different today...see what happens! ?If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten.?~Anthony Robbins
Reply ed~win
7:38 PM on October 6, 2010 
Hey there,

As of today, there are only 86 days left until 2011. It may not
seem like much, but that's still plenty of time to launch new
projects and get your most important goals accomplished.

I want to help you end the year with a BANG. So with that in mind,
here are 10 tips to help you finish the year strong:

* Goal setting is a process that helps you get clear on what you
want, make an action plan to help you get there, launch into
action, and persist until you reach your destination or find a
better one. It all starts with getting really clear on what you
want. One way to help you figure out what you want is to focus on
just one key area of your life, like health, relationships,
finances or work. Then think about what's already working well in
this area and what could be better. This will help you notice
opportunities for improvement.

* Focus on fewer goals - Working on too many goals at once is a
recipe for burnout and overwhelm. Focus on a few goals at a time
and you will find it much less stressful and much more enjoyable.

In fact, if you are just starting out, I recommend trying just one
goal for the next 28 days. What's one thing you can do in the next
28 days that would have a positive impact on your life? Why not
give it a try? Just do it!

* If you are having trouble coming up with good goals or good
action steps, use brainstorming. Give yourself a set amount of time
(like 5 minutes) and write down everything that comes to mind.

Don't worry about whether it's good or not. Just write down
anything that comes to mind. When the time runs out, go through
your list and see which items are worth looking into.

* Recruit friends or family for help. Tell supportive, empowering
people about your goals and ask them to give you friendly reminders
whenever they see you getting off track. They will also help you
notice your progress and cheer you on. It's important to only tell
supportive people about your goals, don't tell negative people
about them even if they are your relatives.

* Give yourself permission to have fun on your journey. When
setting goals, we can sometimes lose sight of why we set goals in
the first place. We all want to accomplish things in life. But if
we focus only on the destination, we run the risk of missing out on
wonderful things along the way, including life itself.

Paradoxically, giving ourselves permission to enjoy the journey
makes it more likely that we'll reach the destination and achieve
our goals.

* Make your goals clear & specific - You want your goals to
generate a clear, specific and consistent mental image of the exact
target you want to achieve. For example, "Get healthier" is not
clear or specific enough. It's not clear what "healthier" means or
how you would achieve it, and there are no specific targets to
reach. Exercising for 10 minutes 4 times a week, or eating 3
servings of fruits per day are clear and specific goals.

* Don't let other people decide what you want. Many people fall
into the trap of allowing other people (parents, teachers, even the
media) to dictate what they SHOULD want, instead of going after
what they really want. If you pursue false, inauthentic goals, you
won't like the results even if you achieve all your goals.

* The questions you ask yourself have a powerful influence on your
focus. Instead of asking "Why can't I get that promotion?" ask
yourself "How can I get the promotion I want?" and see what you
come up with. Another useful question to ask regularly, "What's
great about my life right now?"

* Think about how you can set things up to make achieving your
goals more likely. If you want to get in better shape, get a
fitness buddy to help motivate you to go the gym. If you want to
lose a few pounds, get rid of all the junk food and fattening snacks
in your house. Your environment makes a huge difference in the
results you get. Purposefully set up empowering conditions that
work for you instead of against you.

* Notice ALL the progress you are making, even if it seems small
and insignificant. Progress builds confidence which leads to
positive action and even better results. Remember to look for
progress, not perfection.


Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

--- Mark Twain

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