In the aptly titled I Just Can’t Read My Own Mind, life-long athlete, volunteer coach and south Texas business owner Bill Hrncir recounts his journey to overcome the challenges related to sustaining a stroke at age 46. Writing with a positive attitude that showcases the support of family and friends along with the many healthcare professionals who aided his recovery, the author hopes to motivate other stroke patients and their care providers.
Hrncir notes that in many cases, it’s important to accept the new normal, from vision loss, aphasia and balance issues to mental deficits, foot drop and spasticity. But as he sat in a clinic in his first weeks after the stroke, he decided to be a survivor, not a victim. As a decades-long competitive runner, he continued to push the envelope as he began a range of therapies, from movement restriction on the non-stroke side to enhance the weak side, to using an anti-gravity treadmill. His experiences with these along with more conventional therapies, including nutrition and physical activity, helped him overcome deficits and will be of interest to other stroke survivors.
The book’s larger font may be useful to stroke survivors with vision loss. The many illustrative photos also help make real the author’s journey from pre-stroke athlete to founder of the Laredo Stroke Support Group and still-active bicyclist/runner. As the slim volume focuses on his own decades of personal challenges, it also usefully highlights success stories of other stroke survivors and healthcare professionals.
The book moves back and forward in time, from his active life before the stroke to his therapeutic journey–which can sometimes throw off the narrative timeline, confusing readers.
Still, his positive outlook on the serious challenges he and others face makes the book an engaging resource for stroke survivors and their caregivers.
Also available as an ebook.