What Does it Feel Like to Have a Stroke?
How Do You Move Forward in a Body that Will Never be the Same?
Having a stroke is one of most people’s worst fears. But the truth is a stroke is a common medical issue.
Most of us have no real idea what a stroke feels like or what it takes to recover from one. Our fear often has us pull away from people who most need our help and support. Even medical professionals often fail to fully grasp what it takes to recover from a stroke or how much energy and grit that journey takes.
In his first book, A Cry in the Dark, author Terence Ang shared his moving story of stroke recovery with us.
In this new book, Emerging from the Dark, Ang has assembled a collection of moving stories from people in all stages of stroke recovery. In these pages, you will find tales of unimaginable courage and determination.
Most of all, these are stories of fighters. These are people who reject the idea of being a victim. Instead, they are fighting with everything they have to return to a normal daily life, even if the new normal is different from their old normal.
This book will change the way you see people recovering from strokes. These are positive people with positive stories. They don’t want or need pity—they just want their stories to be heard.
Because the odds are that one day you or someone close to you will experience a stroke, this could be the most important book you will ever read.
Laid out in a raw yet readable style suggesting disorder, this mixed-media offering is a moving, quick read that gives readers an insight into the aftermath of strokes, sharing hard truths—“The truth is recovery from a stroke is a long and winding road. And it's one that you'll have to travel alone, for the most part”—along with heartening encouragement, for caretakers too, to keep moving forward and stay positive even in the face of adversity.
While much of the collection centers the stories of survivors or the suggestions of experts, Ang also shares his own hard-won advice, personal thoughts, and struggles through reflective diary entries and poetic declarations, some showcased in edgy black-and-white layouts that have the feel of hand-chalked graffiti. This approach imbues frank statements like “It takes a lot of effort to smile every day” with urgency, presenting a positive message–never give up on yourself–in a format that suggests dark, unwanted thoughts. The result is a collection that shines rare light on the complex emotions of survivors, while offering caretakers and loved ones welcome insight.
Takeaway: An inspiring, often rawly emotional collection of reflections from stroke survivors.
Great for fans of: Debra Meyerson’s Identity Theft, Letisha Living’s Finding Yourself After Stroke.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A
Emerging From The Dark by Bridget Ball
#stroke #survivor - Jan 10
Emerging from the Dark is the story of many stroke survivors. Told through the narratives and perspectives of the patients and those surrounding them it is a raw and beautifully illustrated account of the impact and struggle of stroke recovery.
This book rang close to my heart as my own mother had a stroke some years ago. This book brought me back to those days and also made me wish I had this book at that time to help me understand and help us all to see that there can be a light at the end of the tunnel.
This book would be wonderful for victims of stroke as well as their friends, family, and care givers. I honestly think it should be given out upon diagnosis. It is a great message of strength to be enjoyed by all.
Reading stroke recovery books is not just about gaining knowledge, it's about regaining control and empowering oneself to take an active role in the healing process.
A stroke can be a devastating experience in one’s life. It can cause permanent damage if not spotted straight away, but at the same time, even a quick recovery may leave long term effects.
Getting over a stroke is a challenging experience. But then, there are people going through such issues on a daily basis.
Some people need to learn to talk again. Some others may have permanent motion damage. What truly matters is you’re not alone.
And unless you stick around people who have been through the same experience, no one can truly understand what you go through.
With these thoughts in mind, here are a few books on stroke to help you overcome the problem. Learn from others, find out what others have been through and how they’ve managed to get back on their feet.
Of course, surrounding yourself with family and friends is critical, but at the same time, here’s some valuable advice and tips from others who have recovered from stroke.
What Are The Top Books on Stroke Recovery?
Emerging From the Dark, by Terence Ang (2023)
What does a stroke feel like? How do you know you’re going through one? How do you get over a problem that will affect your body forever?
I’ll be honest with you, this isn’t really a book for those who have been through strokes. I think it’s just as handy if you’re exposed to such potential problems.
Anyway, another thing that drew my attention was the fact that all illustrations in the book are made by the author. And not just that, but with the hand that was affected by the stroke. It’s emotional and will make a statement.
This is the author's second book. Emerging From the Dark features stroke survivors sharing the individual story of their own journey. This is a book full of stories from fighters. You’ll find incredible courage from all of them, especially since no one finds it easy to discuss a stroke. But then, you’ll also be surprised by their determination to get back on their feet.
If you think a stroke will affect your life, you’re right. But if you think you’ll never recover, you’re wrong.
Learn from others’ past experiences, what they’ve done to overcome these problems and how to solve problems associated with stroke.
This isn’t a sad book. In fact, I think it’s incredibly positive and will have a massive impact on your life.
My Stroke of Insight, by Jill Bolte Taylor (2009)
In the winter of 1996, Jill Bolte Taylor was only 37 years old. She was a brain scientist with a degree from Harvard.
Life was good, but one day changed everything when she experienced a very aggressive stroke on the left side of her brain.
That experience changed her life forever.
Her stroke was shocking. The right part of her brain was asking her to relax and enjoy the peace. But the left side of her brain told her that she was going through a stroke.
In less than four hours, she could no longer read, write, talk or walk. She couldn’t remember anything either.
The stroke was massive and had a serious impact on her life. But believe it or not, she recovered. It took her eight years to do it, but she did everything by the book.
Although the stroke could seriously change her life, she saw it as a revelation, and that's what motivated me to go through this stroke recovery book.
She learned that you could focus on each side of the brain in order to feel the right things, and I think that's one of the most important things in the recovery process.
She describes everything in small details, and I believe her positivity can help everyone recover, at least to a certain point. Plus, the learning stage is clearly explained to help everyone tap into the right part of their brains.
Stronger After Stroke, by Peter G. Levine (2018)
This is one of the most detailed books on stroke. In fact, it’s so well detailed that it’s been through a few editions. Of course, I recommend the latest edition because it’s well updated with the latest discoveries in this field.
Anyway, the author puts the recovery process in your hands.
This book is a guide, a manual with simple and straightforward instructions to ensure you reach the highest level of recovery.
It teaches you how to set goals in the recovery process, measure progress to make sure you're getting somewhere, and practice basic activities.
Retraining the brain has never been easier, and all the tools in the book are backed by evidence. After all, the author is well known for his research studies.
The process is simplified and includes step by step instructions to maximize recovery, new research studies to push the recovery process, steps to take in order to deal with challenges, DIY solutions to improve results, and different medical solutions that can help in the process.
Whether you or a loved one suffered from a stroke, this stroke recovery book is one of the most detailed guides on the market and should be a priority in the recovery process.
Healing and Happiness After Stroke, by Kari Dahlgren (2016)
The recovery process starts on day one, no doubt about it. That’s when you need to start retraining the brain, yet it usually depends on how severe the stroke is.
But just like any other workout, there will be a time when you might stagnate. Results slow down a bit, and sooner or later, you'll see no progress.
According to the author, that's because you're missing something very important in the recovery process. Your happiness.
And this aspect hit me straight away. Everyone is worried about the medical part, but no one pays attention to how they really feel.
This is one of those books on stroke that redefine the power of positivity. Positive psychology is a must in the process. It will help the patient overcome depression, work on self esteem and boost motivation.
In the long run, that’s what can push you through a plateau.
This self help guide is explained in small details, and I believe every stroke survivor should give it a shot. It’s not based on a personal experience only, but on actual science and years of consistent research.
Happiness and the healing process go hand in hand, and this is often the path to a successful recovery.
The Brain That Changes Itself, by Norman Doidge (2007)
The Brain That Changes Itself brings some light to one of the oldest concepts in the medical industry, a concept that was proven to be wrong, yet it's widely embraced by people from all over the world.
Some would refer to it as a new type of science. Anyway, known as neuroplasticity, this type of science cancels the myth that the human brain is unchangeable.
Written by a psychiatrist with years of experience, the book looks at the brain, its power to change itself, and what it takes to retrain it. After all, that’s what happens during a stroke. The brain no longer works like you’ve trained it and can change your life within minutes only.
The Brain That Changes Itself also recalls some important cases in the medical industry.
Whether you or someone you know is learning to speak again or trying to recover some memories, this stroke recovery book will change the way you look at your brain. It will change the way you see human nature, but more importantly, it will unleash your human potential.
I find this book to be motivational, but I also see it as a guide on how to recover after a stroke, definitely a must read.
Whole Brain Living, by Jill Bolte Taylor (2021)
The medical world has always thought the right side of the brain is responsible for emotions and feelings. On the other hand, the left hemisphere has always been thought to be more rational.
Now, a recent discovery in neuroscience proves that it’s much more complicated. Each side of the brain has both emotions and a practical approach.
This book redefines the brain and explains these new discoveries.
I know, it sounds like a technical book, but it’s not. It’s a very well explained book with no technical terms or jargon. Knowing how the brain works means you can retrain it in a more effective manner.
Everything we think or feel depends on the cells in the brain and the way they do their work. Each of these four main cells is unique and brings in particular thoughts or feelings.
Retraining them will retrain the brain, simple as that.
Bottom line, these books on stroke go in more directions.
Some of these titles explain how the brain works and help you retrain it with science in mind. Basically, forget about instincts, but follow some scientifically proven principles.
Some others go in a more emotional direction. Everyone who recovers after a stroke must follow some clear principles, but there’s also room for an individual approach.
Learning from others in the same situation can make the recovery process faster and more efficient.
Do you feel that you need more motivation? Check out my favorite spiritual books to empower your soul.
Chelsea B - 5.0 out of 5 stars
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on January 17, 2023
A Must Read!
The author of Emerging from the Dark, Terence Ang, survived a stroke in 2020. He detailed his own recovery in his first book but in this new book, he uses his art and writing to share the stories of other stroke survivors all in various states of recovery. The illustrations and quotes from survivors were absolutely incredible. I have never experienced a stroke but the artwork included within the book depicts what I imagine recovery from a stroke to be like. I found it both interesting and inspiring to read the stories of so many that have found themselves in this situation. It is clear that while strokes are never expected, their impact is profound and many survivors have common experiences and feelings as they traverse their healing journey.
Overall, this book is fantastic and an absolute must-read. It is eye-opening and allows you to step into another’s shoes for just a bit and gain real insight into what it is like to recover and rebuild your life post-stroke. Whether you know someone who has had a stroke, experienced a stroke yourself, or just want to understand more, Emerging from the Dark is the perfect book to read. Grab this one immediately. You won’t regret it!
Emerging From the Dark
by Terence Ang (Goodreads Author)
Dec 31, 2022 - it was amazing
In 2020 author Terence Ang suffered a stroke that altered his eview-bookslife forever. In his first book “A Cry in the Dark” he described his stroke and recovery in a unique and intuitive way, using both words and illustrations to portray his feelings and experiences. His second book, “Emerging From the Dark,” came about after he was invited to speak at the 2022 World Stroke Congress held in Singapore. During this event he met with several individuals undergoing their own stroke recovery as well as caregivers and hospital staff, sparking the idea for his second book.
“Emerging From the Dark” by Terence Ang again uses his now signature illustrations and unique portrayal to tell the stories of other stroke survivors and even some of their caregivers. This book offers insights for medical workers, stroke survivors, caregivers, and even those who have never been, or not yet been, affected by stroke.
One thing was very clear throughout this read, no one ever expected they would be impacted by a stroke. Some had symptoms come on rapidly, others just had a “weird” feeling, some lived healthy and physically fit lives, others were stressed, lacked sleep, drank, and smoked. However, all reported similar feelings post stroke of no longer recognizing their own body, grieving what used to be simple tasks, and feeling the guilt of having to rely so heavily on others. But they also overwhelmingly indicated that each day is a new day, not to give up, understand that there may be limitations to overcome but that life is very much still worth living. Each individual included in this book had a positive outlook, but said it was no easy road to getting there.
The drawings, quotes, and pictures within the pages of “Emerging From the Dark” aid in letting readers see into the minds and thoughts of the individuals within. Ang does such a great job drawing readers in and engaging them through his talented illustrations. He’s done so much for the stroke community as he continues to share the necessary stories on the road to recovery, including two insightful, meaningful, and worthwhile books. This second book, “Emerging From the Dark” is a phenomenal read, continuing on in his extraordinary work of bringing stroke awareness into the light!
EMERGING FROM THE DARK BY TERENCE ANG
“Who was I before this madness began? I had a name but it’s been stripped from me like a piece of skin.” An Excerpt from page 120.
Earlier this year, Terence Ang published his first book, A Cry in the Dark, a novel that chronicles his ordeal as a stroke survivor, how he felt at the beginning stage, the reaction he received from people, and the uneasy realization of having to cope with his new pitiful condition, his acquittance to the use of wheelchairs, having to be bathed, fed, moved around, and many more uneasy experiences associated with living with stroke.
Yet again, his recent book, Emerging from the Dark, much like his debut, chronicles the ordeal of living with stroke, but with slight dimensions as this conveys chats and conversations that described the dreadful, gloomy, disturbing, cathartic, and touching stories of people who are affected with stroke. Every conversation reads dynamically and is distinctive in the way with which each narrator tells their own stories. Some of them are touchingly sad, with stories touching on the narrator’s baffling Hemorrhagic stroke, Ischemic stroke, among many others.
In chapters describing chats with Annie, Kelvin, Wei Ni, JT, Chandhan, Yizhan, Jane, Aini, and Hisham. I could feel the level of gloominess and pain expressed in each paragraph. Some parts got me feeling uncomfortable that I imagine the manner of depression and mental aftermath associated with people living with stroke. Many of which will make you stop, think, ponder, and maybe cry.
Imbibed in this book are also quotes that got me enthralled, and thinking deeply about life circumstances. They are philosophical and not only express the pain of a stroke patient but also the tragedy that befalls humans generally. As someone who enjoys reading memoirs, and works that deal with the human condition, I see that Terence took his time to express and bring together the sad realities of life in this book.
There is much to say about Emerging from the Dark for you to check out for yourself, it will be a good resource for patients living with stroke and similar health challenges. I believe that there are high levels of hope inscribed in this book that patients with stroke will find helpful. Also, the book will help other people to understand what it feels like to live with a stroke and maybe invite us to see into the hidden tragedy of many who are hiding under fake smiles and laughter. I can go on and on and on, this book is an impressive read and I solely recommend it.
5/5 ⭐ | Emerging From the Dark by Terence Ang
This is the second book that I have had the pleasure and honor of reading from Terence Ang. Emerging From the Dark is an eye opening book that any reader can gain insight from.
While the authors first book gave a first hand account of dealing with a stroke this book goes in a different direction. It is multiple accounts of others who have had strokes and different perceptions of their challenges. To me this completely brings different lights out of challenging dark times.
Not only are there different perspectives from patients but from caretakers as well as doctors and professors. This alone gives this book a wonderfully positive outlook through helping the reader understand about a condition that effects so many of us and the ones we love.
I thoroughly enjoyed the simplistic but very meaningful artwork as well. There are many points, thoughts, and a mantra conveyed in this manner. An excellent read in which we can all learn a better understand from.
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