Thursday, December 10, 2009

Jill Bolte Taylor's Stroke of Insight

Most people don't even know what a stroke is.

In case you're not sure, I'll tell you. When the blood supply is cut off to a part of the brain, which can happen if a blood vessel bursts, brain function in that area can be disrupted, which can cause parts of the brain to stop functioning, permanent brain damage, and even death. If you don't die from it, the damage can change the way your brain makes sense of reality, which of course changes who you are.

I urge you to listen to Dr. Taylor's personal account of what it feels like to have a stroke,. Because she's a brain scientist, you'll probably never again hear a story quite like hers. Her presentation was for TED, which shares videos of enlightening speakers online, so the talk lasts about 20 minutes. If you take the time to watch it all the way through, you'll be glad you did.

Now I'm going to encourage you to do two things.

First, read Dr. Taylor's book. If you think her presentation is remarkable, you should hear the whole story. You'll never think of stroke in the same way again. But it's not just a memoir. In plain English, she describes how the brain works. More important she shares the wisdom that her seven-year journey to recovery brought her.

Second, go to the TED website, watch a couple videos, and then bookmark it. It's one of the most valuable online resources I've found.


Meredith Bell said...

Jill's book is a favorite. Her writing style is engaging and personal. She's done a tremendous service for families of patients who experience any type of brain injury, not just a stroke, by giving specific tips on what to do and not do. I was glad I watched the TED video before reading the book because I could hear Jill speaking as I read her words. A profound piece of work.

Beth said...

I discovered this video and the book thanks to you and Kathleen. I have recommended to so many folks. It's remarkable and so is Jill Bolte Taylor.

Matthew said...

I found this through your tweet, and you couldn't have been more right. It affected, impacted me in a deep way. And obviously, fascinating from a strictly scientific approach, too. Thank you for sharing.