Facial expressions / Wellcome Images

Facial expressions / Wellcome Images

After my stroke my face was a little weaker on one side. I was given pages of pictures, facial expressions to copy. Grimace! Grin! Frown! Pucker! Blow up you cheeks! Look surprised! Worried!

You are supposed to do these exercises a million times, so your facial muscles will strengthen and your brain will rewire itself, re-learning how to use your muscles. This is called plasticity, the brain’s ability to create new pathways when the old ones have been damaged.

Smile like a maniac! Kiss!

7 Responses to “Faces”

  1. Jim writes:

    I have aphasia from the stroke I had 2 years ago. I love your work…

  2. Syris writes:

    I assume you get a disproportionate amount of comments and emails telling you how inspiring you are, etc., and yet from your tone and written demeanor, I imagine that you have no interest in being inspiring, but rather an interest in being better, which is an aspiration that countenances admiration. Beneath the sarcasm and the dark, dry humor, you imply a sense of ferocity and mingled hurt that I can only guess at.

  3. Jerrianne Taylor writes:

    My son suffered a severe stroke two months shy of his 20th birthday in 2004. He has aphasia and his “friends” have nothing to do with him. He doesn’t drive yet (do you?) and finds it hard to communicate via email because he can’t spell much at all, so I was wondering if you could let me know the software you are using and any other information that could be helpful to him. My prayer to God is that He allows me to live long enough so I can help Taylor, my son, finds a good life, good friends and learns to make the best of his situation and become independent. I’ve been reading about the things you write for about a month now. I think what you are doing and how you share the way the cope is beautiful. I’m sorry this happened to you, and I can honestly tell you I understand, the best I can without experiencing a stroke myself, because I was there from day 1 with Taylor when he couldn’t speak, see clearly, know who anyone was and wonder why he couldn’t move anything on the right side of his body. You’re right, a stroke is hell. I’m looking forward to reading more…and I told my son about you yesterday when he was complaining about his new leg brace, I told him you hated yours, too. 🙂

  4. Amanda writes:

    Nina, I had to dash over to your blog b/c I just saw your post on the Awl and got so excited. Stephen doesn’t follow blogs, so he doesn’t quite understand my enthusiasm. Congrats!!

  5. dean r writes:

    Jerriane, another survivor uses Dragon Speaking Naturally and she likes it, but it takes some training.

  6. Nina Mitchell writes:

    Jerriane, I use Dragon too, but you have to speak well. I don’t know about spelling, other than the standard spell-check. For this site I use WordPress. For something even more basic, there is the Facebook Fan Page. http://www.facebook.com/NinaMitchellAuthor

  7. Patsy writes:

    I’ve just discovered you through the National Stroke Foundation(Australia) Facebook page. Thank you so much!My life has been SO different since my brain bleed, and I laugh, brood and keep up with family and friends whenever. My home is in southern Tasmania.

Leave a Reply