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If you, or someone you know, have experienced a stroke and wish to find others with similar experiences, consider stopping into the Stroke Support Group at Veterans Memorial Hospital the first Thursday of every month at 2:00 pm. Pictured are a few members of the group, planting seeds to represent the good things that come from the showers in life; hence, April showers bring May flowers.

American Stroke Month – April Showers Bring May Flowers

By Steven Mazzafield, Speech-Language Pathologist

May is American Stroke Month.  There’s an old saying: April showers bring May flowers. “The showers are the bad things that happen to us in life and the flowers are the good things that come from it,” reflected Danny Schlitter at our most recent stroke support group. Last month we learned about the importance of drinking water to keep our bodies healthy. This month we planted seeds to represent the good things that come from those showers in life; hence, April showers bring May flowers.

No two strokes are the same. They can affect either the left or right side of the body and can range from mild to severe. Someone with a mild stroke may only have trouble remembering words at times, whereas, someone with a severe stroke may have difficulty walking, talking, or swallowing safely. Some strokes may only take a few months to recover while others could take a lifetime.

We now know it is possible to improve after a stroke. With therapy and lots of practice you can re-learn or reorganize the brain connections that were damaged; this process is called neuroplasticity. Actually, working with plants can teach you a lot about how the brain recovers after a stroke. If you’ve spent any time in the garden you may have learned about pruning or cutting your plants to make them grow better. In the same way that cutting a branch or stem causes more growth, the brain will regrow or rewire connections after an injury.

At the stroke support group we are interested in learning how to regrow our brains and make new, lasting, connections. If you, or someone you know, have experienced a stroke and wish to find others with similar experiences, then consider stopping into the Stroke Support Group here at Veterans Memorial Hospital. We meet the first Thursday of every month at 2:00 pm.

The next meeting of the Veterans Memorial Hospital Stroke Support Group will be held on Thursday, June 6, at 2pm.