4 out of 4 stars
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“Stroke is a serious, overwhelming, and life-changing event” that can dramatically alter your personal and professional life. In her book, Veronica Woods gives the readers a personal account of how this disease made her life painful and stressful. Her career as a general practitioner (GP) at the National Health Service for the past 22 years was about to change, and there was nothing much she could do to alter the situation. The stroke came without warning and mercilessly shifted her status from doctor to patient. The Invisible Stroke highlights how this medical condition can have a major impact on every aspect of a person’s being.
Four months after experiencing a brain hemorrhage, the MRI scans reveal yet another shocking finding about Veronica’s neurological health. The frontal and parietal regions of her brain were slowly shutting down due to the ischemic changes caused by the stroke. And since the frontal lobe is the center of cognition, damage to this area can lead to impulsive traits that may manifest as criminal behavior. She is forced to go through the excruciating pain of brain surgery and the risks that come with it. A long recovery process and changes in her personality await her. Moreover, she is troubled by thoughts about the loss of her career and marriage.
Reading about the author’s struggles, I could better understand how difficult it is for stroke survivors to cope with social norms after the tormenting ordeal. Woods’s writing skillfully expresses the behavior changes and the life modifications required that are psychologically draining for both patient and family. This non-fiction book gave me the chance to vicariously experience her personal story and also to learn some basic information about strokes. Post-stroke patients often suffer from several limitations, so the home has to be redesigned to suit the victim’s recovery process. For instance, smart devices may be installed in certain sections of the house to monitor personal safety. The author has emphasized various treatment solutions, such as regular exercise, cognitive behavioral therapy, and other psychological treatments that can help stroke patients recover faster.
I would recommend this read to stroke survivors, caregivers, and general health practitioners. Friends and family members of stroke victims can gain a better understanding of their loved one’s experience, thus enabling them to be in a better position to help.
There were only two minor aspects that I liked least. The “Racism in Psychiatry” chapter seemed underdeveloped and somewhat out of place. Secondly, due to the lack of a signature and the mixed point of view from third to the first person, I couldn’t quite discern who wrote the foreword. However, I consider that these slight hiccups were not substantial enough issues to affect the book’s perfect score.
The editing seemed flawless as I did not notice any errors. Plus, co-author Stephen Waititu Kamau’s deft organizational skills made this book extremely easy to read. As such, I am giving The Invisible Stroke 4 out of 4-stars for its informative material and inspiring story.
The Invisible Stroke
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