In this episode, we get to meet stroke survivor Peter Evans and his wife Ria. Peter survived massive hemorrhagic stroke in 2017 that left him with cognitive challenges and partial vision loss. It turned his and Ria's lives upside down. Their attitudes are really amazing though. They've taken this horrible event and are determined to extract every piece of value from it that they can. Peter, with Ria's support, is using his writing skills to drive increased support for stroke survivors. He's becoming a regular guest contributor to the Strokecast blog. He's become a supporter and advocate for support groups, and Ria is speaking out about the importance of advanced directives and other documentation so spouses and partners can most effectively support one another in times of crisis. Craniectomy In this episode, we do talk a little bit about finding Peter's skull. For those who may not be familiar with removing part of the skull as treatment, it's not uncommon in the treatment of stroke -- especially hemorrhagic stroke. In the case of a serious brain bleed, the blood can create additional pressure on the brain. Additionally, the trauma of the stroke can cause brain swelling. This results in too much pressure on the brain tissue as it gets pressed against the skull. One way to relieve that pressure is to remove part of the person's skull. When the swelling subsides, surgeons can put that part of the skull back in place. Often survivors who have temporarily had part of their skull removed will need to wear a custom helmet to prevent other injuries. Long time listeners may remember my conversation with Whitney Morean at strokecast.com/Whitney
about her own experience with craniectomy and cranioplasty. Bio 54-year-old Peter Evans
, originally from Long Island, New York, currently resides in the Marina del Rey section of Los Angeles where he lives with his Wife Ria and an incredibly headstrong Yorkshire Terrier, they call Geronimo. Peter had a massive hemorrhagic stroke in 2017 an event he says nearly killed him but which, strangely, he acknowledges has helped bring Ria and him even closer together as a couple, reinvigorating their marriage and leaving Peter a kinder, more grateful and overall happier person. Like many others, Peter first came to LA hoping to break into acting in film and television, and it was that which brought Peter and Ria together when they worked together on her cable public access TV show and a feature film they both produced on the set of which he says they fell in love. “She may have stolen my heart,” he says, “but what she gave me back in love and support over these past 20 years, on balance I feel like I’m a millionaire—Definitely feel like I came out a huge winner on that deal, the day I met Ria!” Growing tired of endless auditions and poverty wages as an actor, Peter decided to move into the corporate world when an old college friend of his said, “Hey, I know you’re still into that acting thing, but there’s a job here at my company I think you’d be perfect for and really love.” And boy did he! He got to use his French Language skills and travel internationally quite extensively as he worked as the project manager of a small international team where he helped launch the company’s many international Web sites across Europe, Australia and Japan. Peter continues to this day contributing on-line content for Stroke resources and putting his years of Project Management to good use, paying it forward to all his fellow stroke survivors. Advanced Directives and Power of Attorney An Advanced Directive is typically a document you complete describing the kind of healthcare or resuscitation that you want (or don't want) should you become incapacitated. A Power of Attorney is typically a document that you sign authorizing another person to make medical, financial, or other decisions for you if you are not able to in a particular context. These are important documents to think about and execute before you need them. You can find some resources in the links below so you can explore them further. Many hospitals are happy to supply some of these documents as well. Or consult an attorney or lawyer practicing in your community. Regulations can vary state-by-state and can impact spousal rights, domestic partner rights, and other family configurations. There are lots of templates available so make sure you pursue the right path for yourself and your family. Program Note You may have noticed that this episode is coming out earlier in the week than normal. Over the next few months, I plan to increase my posting frequency as I work with some additional content contributors. I think we'll be hearing from Peter again. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the additional content. You can post in the comments below or email Bill@Strokecast.com
. Hack of the Half Week Peter's hack is to be kind to yourself. A brain injury changes things. It turns life upside down. You may not be able to do everything you used to do. You may not be able to think as clearly or quickly as you used to. You may not be able to pursue the same intense pace of life you did before. That's OK. Cut yourself some slack. You're going to need more sleep. Get it, and don't feel guilty about it. You have permission to be kind to yourself. Links Peter Evans on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/petermevans/
Peter's Strokecast Articles http://strokecast.com/Peter
NeuroNerds on Impostor Syndrome https://theneuronerds.simplecast.com/episodes/imp…
Wil Wheaton on Depression http://Strokecast.com/DepressionLies Emily Clarke (Game of Thrones star) on her strokes https://www.newyorker.com/culture/personal-histor…
Strokecast on Luke Perry http://strokecast.com/LukePerry
Strokecast with Whitney Morean http://strokecast.com/Whitney
Strokecast with Maggie Whittum http://strokecast.com/Maggie
State Advanced Directive Resources http://www.caringinfo.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?page…
Power of Attorney by NoLo Press https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/durable-p…
Where do we go from here?
- What do you think about Peter and Ria's story? Let us know in the comments below.
- Check out Peter's Strokecast article by visiting http://Strokecast.com/Peter
- Subscribe to Strokecast in your favorite podcast app so you never miss an episode.
- Don't get best…get better.