Monday, March 5, 2012

My Stroke Of Insight Book Review

My Stroke Of Insight
Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor

I've just found a favorite new book! This book is My Stroke Of Insight by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor. I had not heard about Dr. Taylor until I saw her being interviewed by Oprah on OWN. When I heard what she had to say, I just had to get the book and I am sure glad that I did. It is an outstanding book in so many ways.

While My Stroke Of Insight is written by a stroke survivor, the application of this book fits into so many other places. I didn't go through a stroke, but I suffered paralysis from a conversion disorder. Much of what Dr. Taylor writes about, resonates highly with what I experienced. In fact, as I was reading through the book, there were some of those ah ha moments that made me take notice.

I'm amazed at just how resilient our brain is and how the different parts of the brain work together to give us life and the experiences we have. All too often we don't appreciate our brain enough for all that it does. We only get one of these biological organs and we need to take care of it.

I like the fact that Dr. Taylor shares not only how she came through the stroke and the difficulties she faced, but what she learns. She enthusiastically shares the insights that carry her through her present day. These insights are something that touches each one of us on a daily basis whether we are conscious of it or not. There is a great deal everyone can learn from this book.

Here are some of my favorite places in the book.

On page 13, she writes about how different our brains are from that of our ancestors from 2000 years ago. The development of language has dramatically changed our brain. It is important to note that our nervous system is made up of 1 trillion cells. That's a lot of cells!

On page 15, this quote was one that I heard in the interview with Oprah on OWN but it is worth repeating as well. "As members of the same human species, you and I share all but .01% of identical genetic sequences. So biologically, as a species, you and I are virtually identical to one another at a level of our genes" So if we are so unique, how come it is that we look at each other as being so different? How come we focus more on our differences than our similarities?

On page 30, Dr. Taylor talks about how our moments are so full and rich with sensations, thoughts, emotions and physiological responses. It is all too easy to miss these moments for all that they are because we choose to be too busy in life. All of these things make up who we are and all that we are in this very moment. It is amazing to think about when you stop to consider it.

On page 78, she talks about how she was judged as less than a person because she could not process information like most people can during the stroke. You would think that the medical community would understand how to care for and communicate with someone who had been through a stroke since it is the number one event that disables people. I hope through the insight of her book, that many in the medical community are learning how to do this. I remember when I was paralyzed and the lack of true compassion with my situation. I so empathize and identify with Dr. Taylor on this part of the book.

There is so much I could continue to share and notate from the book. It is an easy read that merges the science in with her experience. Throughout the book she shares what she has learned and at the end of the book, she really tries to help every reader see the bigger picture of life.

If learning about your own brain and body interests you or understanding how to care for someone that's been through a stroke, I would urge you to get this book. You can order it on Amazon through this link.

I'll always cherish My Stroke Of Insight because it helped me understand more about my brain through my own paralysis. I'm hopeful that it has helped to teach me things I can do to fully bring 100% of my brain back online. I now recognize I operate more out of my right brain, but I need to work more with my left brain to get some other functionality to operate more efficiently. Until I read her book, I was not sure if that would ever happen.

To buy My Stroke Of Insight By Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, click this link.

For other book reviews, click on this link.

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