Life Without Twitter

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It’s easy to forget how blessed we are to be living in the digital era. Technology is now so ubiquitous and an integral part of our lives that it has become, as Clay Shirky says, virtually invisible.

We take for granted our relatively new found ability to quickly and easily communicate with others across the world; the ability to like, poke, tweet, instagram and +1 becoming more trivialised with each passing day. Simply put, we have never been more connected with each other at any pother point in history.

Imagine that suddenly, all that changes: you could still see what was happening but you could no longer reach and connect with your friends and loved ones. How would you feel?

Now imagine, that you’re ability to speak was taken away: you can no longer express an opinion, or tell someone you love them. That’s what happens to some victims of stroke.

Every 10 minutes, someone in Australia suffers a stroke and while they don’t always impair your ability to speak, most lead to some form of physical disability.

Currently there is no cure for stroke, but but the Peter Couche Foundation (and Don’t Speak) and the scientists at the Robinson Institute are pioneering adult stem cell (non-embryonic) research designed to regenerate and repair damage to the brain caused by stroke.

On Friday 16th November from 10-11am, Michelle Prak and I are maintaining an hour of Twitter silence (I’m doing all social media including email, but Twitter is going to be hard enough for Michelle!) to help raise money for them and need your support. Can you help?

Michelle’s fundraising page

My fundraising page


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Ben Teoh

Good on the both of you for supporting the Foundation. Good luck 🙂

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I am 41 years old and last Thanksgiving I woke to find my left arm completely numb and ualbne to move, my first thought was, I have had a stroke. My husband was at work and my kids were asleep and I found myself strangely calm but ualbne to call for help. Slowly over 15 minutes or so I gradually regained feeling and seemed to return back to normal and dismissed it as my arm fell asleep. Since that time I have felt very dizzy, increased headaches, pins and needles on my left side, arms and legs, intermittent heaviness and numbness on my left side of my face as well as episodes of amnesia. I also developed galactorrhea (and I’m not pregnant or nursing). So my primary care doctor ordered an MRI to rule out a pituitary tumor, which showed numerous scattered hyperintensities and referred me to a neurologist. Prior to seeing a neurologist, I woke up at 4 am with crushing chest pain followed by intermittent fluttering in my chest, which my husband heard, (he is an ER doc) so he got me in with a cardiologist ASAP. They performed a stress ECHO which revealed a significant PFO. The cardiologist explained that Trans Global Amnesia is a very common symptom in people with PFO. I felt relieved that there seemed to be an answer .then,I followed up with a neurologist, who went off on me saying that she didn’t get paid much for talking to me and that the cardiologist only spends 5 minutes with me, inserts a device and makes thousands, that 25% of the population have PFO’s and that chronic migraines can cause amnesia, numbness and auras. To me I don’t care if my symptoms were TIA or migraine related, it seems there is substantial evidence that both TIA and migraine can be attributed to PFO. Splitting hairs over what it was seems pointless.I also mentioned to her that I felt better when the barometric pressure was high or when I traveled to sea level, I live at approximately 4800 ft above sea level. She asked in a skeptical voice so you feel better when its sunny? When I tried to describe feeling like I was going to lose consciousness as somewhat out-of-body feeling , she asked me if I had seen a psychiatrist for that.Can anyone relate to my symptoms or experience? I am also a runner with a resting pulse 55-65 bpm, low blood pressure 100/70, 90/60.The PFO relation seems logical to me so despite the grumpy neurologists opinion I am going to close it May 4th.Thanks-AmySLC, UT

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