“My Stroke of Insight” Author Jill Bolte Taylor on Stroke, Stroke Recovery, and Stroke Warning Signs

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It all started with a headache — pounding pain behind the left stroke caused by a malformed connection — called an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) — between an stroke symptoms.

But Taylor says “a lot of people aren’t going to call 911. There’s a huge population of people who are just going to sit in denial of the whole thing.”

That denial can be deadly.

“The biggest problem that the medical facilities are having now is that people are not coming soon enough after stroke. They’re delaying it.”

Taylor’s advice: “If you’re not comfortable calling 911, then call a friend and say, ‘I’m having some neurological weirdness; call me back in 10 minutes or better yet, can you come over for a cup of coffee?’

“If that friend comes over and a half hour has passed, then that person’s going to call 911,” Taylor says. “Statistics show that more people will call 911 on someone else than they’ll call on themselves.”

Don’t wait to see if possible stroke symptoms go away by themselves.

“As time passes, so does the ability to actually call 911… and you would never think that,” Taylor says. “You would think, ‘I’m going to pick up a phone and I’m going to dial a number.'”

Stroke Recovery: What Helped, What Didn’t

Taylor’s eyes so I’m not focused on detail. I shift my mind consciously into the present moment and pay attention to the information coming in through my sensory system,” says Taylor, who calls the process “stepping to the right,” or shifting to her brain’s right hemisphere.

It’s a legacy from her stroke that Taylor says can work for anyone.

“It can make all the difference in the world,” she says.