Stroke of insight: Jill Bolte Taylor

Many thanks to my friend Kate Trgovac, who was at TED this year and told me about this unique presentation by neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor.

One morning, she realized she was having a massive stroke. As it happened — as she felt her brain functions slip away one by one, speech, movement, understanding — she studied and remembered every moment. This is a powerful story about how our brains define us and connect us to the world and to one another.

(About 18 minutes, 44 seconds)

2 thoughts on “Stroke of insight: Jill Bolte Taylor

  1. Until medical professionals move beyond
    the perception of a stroke or cva as
    the mother of all disasters, people who have had a stroke will continue to pick up the negative vibes from the very people who are supposedly
    there to help or assist them.

    Survivors and there are millions of such people
    worldwide, in my opinion, are often better equipped
    to offer hope to others recovering from a stroke.

    In my case I survived an infarct of the left occipital pole nearly 30 years ago and at that
    time and for several years into the recovery process experienced panic attacks ( an echo of the initial event as the brain continues to send signals to the damaged area), acute short term memory loss and much later noted a few minor gaps
    in long term memory. The permanent physical damage
    was an hemianopia or loss of half the visual field in each eye.

    Wishing Jill all the very best in finding her voice and being there as a role model for other survivors.

  2. Your comment connects with something I was reading over the weekend about the gradual modernization of health information. One business owner said, “My secretary, my shipping clerk, and even the robots on the factory floor have email–how come I can’t email my doctor?” It was a lead-in (in the New York Times Magazine) to a larger discussion of the profession.

    Many doctors operate in a we-know-best mode, especially in the U.S. They don’t have time, and may not have interest, in involving the patient more directly in care, let alone allowing the patient to have control over records. (Of course, not all patients would do that good a job…)

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