My Stroke of Insight Jill Bolted Taylor found herself interested in neuroscience from a very young ago. Her brother who was only about a year older than her had suffered with schizophrenia, this only made her question the human brain more and more and then she decided to dedicate her life to studying it. She works for the Harvard Brain Bank and is also a successful brain scientist. But one December morning in 1996, Sill’s life had taken an unexpected turn. She was 37, and living in Massachusetts during the height of her career when he had suffered a major stoke.
This stroke had taken her from a neuroscience to as she describes, “an infant in a woman ‘s body”, in a matter of hours. This changed her perception of things and she was able to see what exactly her body was made up of, her view of the world would be distorted. “My perception of physical boundaries was no longer limited to where my skin met air,” says Jill. Stroke is the number one disabler and number three killer of the cerebral cortex of the brain. Jill had experienced a rare form of stroke, which had left her with a clot the size of a golf ball in her head.
Her left hemisphere was very heavily damaged and she was working with solely with the remaining right hemisphere. Between all of her surgeries and personal growth, it had taken her eight years to recover. Dry. Bolted questions herself after the stroke. She questions her identify and who she really is. Since she had lost all her basic abilities, how could she be the same person who she once was? She for sure was no longer a Doctor, she can not remember any of that information, she even worries about her degree being taken from her.
Your left hemisphere is in charge of all your memories. The right side is the “here and now” aspect of the brain and the left is in charge of taking that information and making it into memories for you to remember. Jill no longer had this, during her recovery she was only able to understand things going on around her currently. One very important part of recovery for her is that she fully believes in the power of sleep. The brain needs time to rest and she does not watch television, use the telephone or radio.
She knows she has to have the appropriate setting and support to accomplish regaining strength of her left- brain. Her mom stays with her to take care of her and for awhile will only ask her yes or no question because that is the easiest for Jill to understand. Her mother is always encouraging her and they celebrate even the tiniest of achievements to encourage her growth. “My stroke of insight is that at the core of my right hemisphere consciousness is a character that is directly connected to my feeling of deep inner peace. Because of her very damaged left hemisphere Jill is able to find inner peace within herself. Her bliss makes me her simply at one with the universe, she dismisses verbal abuse and trains her mind to think positively, ND to believe that peace is only a thought away, because she is always running happy circuits and repels all others. I watched Dry. Bolted on Ted talks and seeing her really brings to whole book to life, she is a great public speaker and when you watch her you are able to see how far she has come from that day of the stroke.
She explains everything that happened to her and even brings a real human brain onto the set to describe and show how the brain works. By looking at the brain, it is very clear that both hemispheres are indeed separate from one another. She becomes alive and really animates her book, she goes more into detail bout her “ally land”, as she calls it, which is her land when her consciousness had drifted away. Everything that was connecting her to the outside world was no longer present and she was alone in her body.
Here she had no stress, no worries, no emotion, just pure peace within herself. I also visited the Nair (National Alliance on Mental Illness) website where was a spokesperson. On here learned that Mental illnesses can affect persons of any age, race, religion or income. Mental illnesses are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character or poor upbringing. Mental illnesses are treatable. Most people diagnosed with a serious mental illness can experience relief from their symptoms by actively participating in an individual treatment plan. (Name).
This organization is something that Jill speaks very passionately about, with her brother having schizophrenia, mental illness hit very family very hard. I also researched another cause very important to Jill, The Harvard Brain Bank. This is where Jill was working and the cause speaks very much of her. The Brain bank is an organization that wants to study the body and brain first and so we can achieve as much knowledge about ourselves as possible. The brain bank collects bodies, tissues, and even the brains of those who choose to donate them to scientific advancement.
Though this may seem like a very scary thought at first, it is a huge donation for mankind so we can continue knowledge on ourselves. The brain bank has collected tissue that has already shown that it is absolutely essential to understand more about how our nervous system functions. Most recently, postmortem human brain research has played a significant role in the development of a genetic test for Huntington disease as well as a treatment for Parkinson disease. (Brain Bank). The brain bank is coming a long way but they lack the appropriate donations needed to make more breakthroughs like this possible.
They are in need Of much more donations and Jill spread the word in her books. It is vital to have the tissues at hand to be able to examine and experiment. I believe in this cause and after viewing the website and discussing the idea with others am considering it for myself. Have also brought it to attention for some close friends who are researching it themselves. Originally had chosen to read this book solely for the purpose of extra credit in class, but had no idea the impact it would have on me. I truly see now that peace really is “just a thought away”. Dry.
Taylor speaks of her troubles but also seems calm and collected during her recovery, her book has been such an inspiration to me with her teachings of peace and happiness. Her “90 second rule” is always kept in the back of my mind now, and how I choose to react to certain situations is completely under my control, and at any given moment I am only 90 seconds away from inner peace. Pain is not a choice, but suffering is. ” Also going into the field of nursing, this was an excellent read because it gave me a closer look on who had helped Jill in her recovery processes and those who had not.
Jill is able to sense the emotions of the hospital staff and those who are around her. She discusses how some are kind and patient with her while she can sense the frustration from some of the other staff. This is something will always keep in the back of my mind during my nursing career. Those special staff that help her “give her energy” as she puts it, to keep working harder. People who are suffering need people who are kind and willing to give their attention and help those in need like stroke survivors. Dry.
Bolted often speaks of having a good support group is key to aid in recovery. A big fear of hers after her stroke was that people were not going to be able to accept her for who she had become. Before the incident she was a doctor who was admired by her peers, and who she had become was someone very different. But she is surrounding by people, like her mother and her colleagues who love and accept her through everything. This book has better my future career and myself. M so happy to have discovered such a great mind like Dry. Bolted.
I am very grateful I was able to hear her insight and read her work first hand.