Sunday, November 2, 2008


This summer I began to completely renovate my home. Guessing that with this economy I'm going to have to stay put for a while, I decided to repair everything that needed fixing. I'm still in the middle of painting walls and ceilings and refinishing old oak hardwood floors. Under shabby carpeting, I found the most beautiful floors imaginable! They just needed a lot of care to bring them to their former beauty.
My home was built approximately the year I was born and I suppose it's another reason why I feel a kindred spirit to this old place. The plaster walls show signs of settling cracks and the windows broken seals allow drafts of frosty winter air. Maintenance to my home and body will keep us both in good shape longer.
I've had two strokes and two open heart surgeries. But Father Time has not taken away the will to live endowed to me by Mother Nature, so I dusted myself off and built a new life.
This new life, like remodeling my home, was built from the ground up. Relearning to walk, talk, comprehend, read, see, and dress myself was not an easy task. I had to renovate everything that makes me the person I am today.
Besides remodeling my life, several years ago I began an organization to assist other stroke survivors (heroes of stroke). Using my skills as a nurse and a recent college degree in English, Communications and Professional Writing, I authored books, published by major medical publishers, relating to stroke.
If you have a moment, go to and tell your relatives, neighbors, and friends about Stroke Awareness and Recovery. Take a moment to continue to read my bi-monthly blogs at and ask questions regarding family members whom have had a stroke at
Please keep stroke survivors in your thoughts and prayers as we continue to rebuild our lives. Help us restore ourselves to our former beauty, from the inside out.

Cleo Hutton
Stroke Hero/LPN/Author/Freelance Writer/Advocate

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Brain and Body Connection: Striking Back at Stroke

Cleo Hutton

Author/Speaker/Stroke Hero/Licensed Practical Nurse/Advocate
Cleo Hutton, from Minnesota, is a well-respected author, speaker, nurse, stroke survivor, and advocate for stroke awareness and recovery.
Hutton lectures around the world using her heart, humor, and experience to deliver a message of hope and healing.

Stroke Facts
Leading cause of adult disability
150,000 deaths per year
750,000 new strokes per year
4.7 million Stroke survivors

What is the impact of Stroke?
• On average, someone suffers a stroke every 45 seconds
• Every 3.3 minutes, someone dies of a stroke

What Causes a Stroke?
• Blockage from hardening of the arteries
• Floating blood clot
• Ruptured vessel

Types of Strokes:

Ischemic or Occlusive-occurs when a blood vessel bringing oxygen and nutrients to part of the brain becomes clogged
Hemorrhagic- blood vessel bursts or bleed in brain

A STROKE occurs when a blood vessel bringing oxygen and nutrients to part of the BRAIN becomes clogged or bursts.

Stroke Warning Signs
• Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
• Sudden confusion, trouble speaking
or understanding
• Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
• Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
• Sudden, severe headaches with no known cause (for hemorrhagic stroke)

Brain Attack (Stroke) is an emergency!

Read about Stroke’s impact, care, and recovery in:
Striking Back at Stroke: A Doctor-Patient Journal by Cleo Hutton & Louis R. Caplan, MD (Dana Press, Washington, DC, May 2003)

After a Stroke: 300 Tips for Making Life Easier by Cleo Hutton
(Demos Medical Publishing, New York, NY, June 2005)

“...Hutton discusses adaptive equipment, emotional liability, and the impact on family. Most of all, however, she talks about getting through the day and night—pillow arrangement, television, naps, and how to play cards and slice vegetables safely. Her book should reside on the shelves of public libraries, consumer health libraries, and private collections of physicians, nurses, and counselors; highly recommended.”-Library Journal

“…Hutton's useful advice will find many a hopeful reader …Hutton wants stroke survivors to get back into the daily routine, take on an acceptable level of independence, keep and good sense of humor and never to forget entertainment …And most importantly, Hutton inspires hope, a vital soothing force in the road to recovery.”- Kirkus Reports

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Say hello to Miss Cellaneous. She's here to assist stroke survivors and their families. Just ask her a question and post it on this blog spot or e-mail her directly at (Regarding question for Miss Cellaneous). She will get back to you right away.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Help us help each other, visit

or e-mail Cleo at

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hints for an Enjoyable Holiday Season

The holiday season is here. This busy time of year can inflict stress on everyone, especially if you've had a stroke or are caring for a stroke survivor family member.
Here are some ideas to take the stress off and enjoy family times during the season.

Shop on Line - avoid the crowds and jostling through inclement weather. The hustle and bustle of holiday in-store shopping can produce a strain on family, especially stroke survivors that are in their first or second year post-stroke, and finances. Let stroke survivors choose what they would like, and can afford, to give during the holidays. Giving is as pleasurable as receiving so with a few clicks of a mouse the shopping can be accomplished, gift wrapped, and sent to your loved ones.

Join a Cookie Exchange - make a few dozen of your favorite sweets and trade for other home-made goodies. There are many organizations that provide this service including church groups, clubs, community organizations, and/or neighborhoods. If you have trouble finding a group call your family, neighbors, or church to begin one yourself. Get six people, let everyone know what you're bringing to avoid duplications, and you'll have a variety of fresh baked goodies to serve during the holidays.

Holiday Baking - starts with an easy recipe! Gather everything you will need to accomplish the task: ingredients, mixing bowls, etc. Make sure you have a specific time set aside so you won't feel rushed! Have a friend or family member assist you if you have had a stroke. (After a stroke we may think that we can accomplish more than our bodies allow! - Be careful!) Talk through your steps before accomplishing them. This may mean a slower pace, but the final result will be the same. Do as much as you possibly can by yourself and ask for help when necessary. Taking cookie sheets in and out of the oven can be dangerous post-stroke so practice the technique, with the oven turned off and cooled down, before proceeding. Have fun! This should be a pleasurable learning experience, not a marathon!

Holiday Cards - If you are planning to send holiday greetings to friends and family this year, order pre-printed message and name cards from an on-line source or perhaps your neighborhood photo-shop. If you haven't already done so, it may take a little time for someone to organize and computerize your mailing list. But once this is accomplished, you can print your mailing labels too! Ah, don't have the time! Instead, send cards to the people you receive cards from. As soon as you receive a card, mail one out to them by using their return address. Save the envelopes to make your list after the holidays.

Deck the Halls... - "Where did I put those holiday decorations from last year?" If you haven't used one in the past, perhaps this is the year for a small artificial tree. They're much safer, don't need constant watering, and the small ones are already assembled. Maybe it's time for new and creative ideas versus traditional themes. Whatever you decide, keep it simple! Family first!

Let me know if any of these ideas where helpful or perhaps you can think of more!
At Stroke Awareness and Recovery we are always looking for "tried and true" helpful hints. Visit for more information about the organization.

Happy Holidays,
Cleo Hutton