“Your body is the life force power of some fifty trillion molecular geniuses [cells]. You and you alone choose moment by moment who and how you want to be in the world. I encourage you to pay attention to what is going on in your brain.”

Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD teaches us what to pay attention to by telling the story of her experience having a stroke. She vividly describes sensory losses, and cognitive impairments like losing the ability to read and do math. But with determination and good care she’s recovered so well she’s capable of writing a compelling autobiography. That story is now available.

“I take you on a very unusual journey into the step-by-step deterioration of my cognitive abilities, as viewed through the eyes of a scientist. As the hemorrhage in my brain grew
larger and larger, I relate the cognitive deficits I was experiencing to the underlying biology. As a neuroanatomist, I must say that I learned as much about my brain and how it functions during that stroke, as I had in all my years of academia.”

My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey is an entertaining recount of how she learned to live without the abilities of her left hemisphere, and with peace she found on the right. “Step to the right” became a reminder to tap into those right hemispheric perceptions, to feel “fluid” and temporally still, as she regained cognitive skills like reading. Basic lessons relearned tempered with her academics gave her unusual insight into the brain’s processes. In My Stoke of Insight, she explains “simple science” that makes the book accessible to a wide audience, but without skimping on important details.

Stroke patients and their caregivers may benefit most from this book, with tips on treatment and considerations for the person now in an “infant” state. With detailed depictions of her symptoms as she experienced a stroke, this book will teach all readers the warning signs in an inspiring memoir likely to stay in memory.

She also passes along a catchy phone number to remember: 1-800-BrainBank, and the lyrics to a jingle she wrote and performed as its spokesperson, the Singin’ Scientist. Call to donate yours!

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