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Linda Stuart: "Stroke" of Good Luck -- How Music Can Help Stroke Victims

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Little did I know as a child when I was always dancing on my toes and dreaming of being a dancer that one day that my dream would become my reality.

But not without a few bumps in the road first. I initially experiened a nightmare. At the age of 50, upon suffering a stroke in January 2003, speaking articulately, and in complete sentences, applying lipstick, tying my work out shoes, zipping my pants, showering, driving and writing were only a fraction of the challenges I was facing.

My professional career as the president of a management and public relations firm and active personal life came to a screeching halt. I had all the ‘innate and acquired skills’ to move forward. The stroke had left its mark on my speech and physical mobility. I had no time to ask ‘why’? Instead I was asking how can I move beyond what has happened?

The aftermath of the stroke forced me to participate in speech, physical and occupational therapy. None of the therapy was producing the results I was so desperate to achieve – to regain my life once again.

Mentally, emotionally and physically depleted – one night after several weeks of therapies, I sat in my home/office and through my tears, I glanced over at my vast music collection which represented the best original artists and music from the 40’s/Big Band, 50s/60s, disco, current pop rock; Broadway show tunes and Jazz.

The idea crossed my mind - maybe if I was distracted by the music, I could forget the pain in my entire right side and create movements my body liked.

Routinely, I performed the movements many times a day, simultaneously singing to myself with the music, which helped my then incomplete sentences and improved my articulation.

I was ecstatic as I did one movement at a time - sitting, standing, trotting and progressing eventually to jogging.

I promised myself, when I was fully recovered sometime within the year - as my reward – I would fulfill my childhood dream and just ‘once’ I would offer an exercise class for the physically active or physically fit and the physically challenged.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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