Episode 040 -- Meet Dr. Kimberly Brown

Dr. Kimberly Brown headshotAs stroke survivors, Emergency Room physicians play an important part in our survival and rapid treatment, but we often don't think about them. We build ongoing clinical relationships with our neurologists, physiatrists, OTs, PTs, Speech Therapists. Rehab nurses, CNAs, and more, but not the ER docs. When they see us, our brains are in full crisis/panic mode, our loved ones are terrified, and the doctors are busy making rapid assessments, decisions, and referrals. By the time we get a chance to calm down and assess our new landscape, they are long gone and have transitioned off our care team.

That's one reason I enjoyed talking with Dr. Kimberly Brown. It was a chance to get some insight into a field I knew little about. 

Among the things I found interesting was how she talk about the impact of technology in medical education -- listening to a heart murmur on the computer during school work and later tying that into the real world in listening on an actual patient.

We also talk about the role of ER Pharmacists, the role Methodist University Hospital has had in treating folks with the clot busting drug tPA, and some of the challenges around public health.

We do have some discussion of the politics of healthcare in this episode. Regardless of how you feel about the Affordable Care Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the future of Medicare and Medicaid, the political decisions around these programs will directly affect the lives of millions of stroke survivors and potential survivors in the US, and it's important to be aware of what's going on and express your views to your elected officials.

We reference the FAST signs for stroke. If you're not familiar with them they are:

Stroke warning signs: Face, Arms, Speech, and Time


We also talk about sepsis or being septic. Sepsis can be the result of the body's attempt to fight an infection. Basically, the infection results in the body dumping an excess of chemicals into the blood stream to fight the infection, but it instead leads to inflammation in other organs. Symptoms of sepsis can sometimes mirror stroke. Sepsis is a life threatening condition.

Fortunately whether you come into the ER with Sepsis or Stroke, folks like Dr. Kimberly Brown are there to take care of you.

Dr, Kimberly Brown working on a laptop at a cafe

Dr. Kimberly Brown is an emergency physician in Memphis, Tennessee. She is a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and earned her undergraduate degree from Fisk University. Loving warmer weather, Dr. Brown earned her Master of Public Health degree from the University of Florida in Public Health Management and Policy. She attended Ross University School of Medicine and recently completed her emergency medicine residency as a member of the inaugural graduating class of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. Brown’s clinical interests include neurologic emergencies, critical care, sepsis, and education. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, volunteering, watching too much reality tv and trying new restaurants.

Improving Care in the Stroke Belt

Dr. Brown serves patients in the Stroke Belt of the US. This is the region of the country that since the early 60s has had a significantly higher about of stroke patients and higher mortality from stroke than the rest of the country. It includes:

  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • Kentucky
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Georgia
  • Alabama
  • Mississippi
  • Louisiana
  • Arkansas
  1. Making sure all patients have access to coverage
  2. Decrease food desserts
  3. Programs to incentive physicians to go to under-served communities in Appalachia and urban centers to ensure access to care
  4. Make sure schools are good so kids can read and understand their health
  5. Medical professionals have to do a better job at educating patients about how their body works and what's going on with it.


Hack of the Week

When you arrive at the ER, especially as a previous stroke survivor or person with disabilities. It's important to provide the team with as much information as possible. The need to know about the medications (legal AND illegal) you are taking, any previous stroke or medical issues, what disabilities you already had, and more.

Any video or recent photos of you prior to this incident can also be extremely helpful to the staff so they can get a better sense of what's changed.

Every Branch and Leaf -- National Caregivers Month

November is National Caregivers Month. These people make a huge difference in our lives, and it's important to recognize and thank them for their support. One way to support caregivers is to read Dr. Kate Lorig's book "Building Better Caregivers." I talked with the author back in episode 19 at http://strokecast.com/kate.

Larry Benitez is one of my colleagues from a professional networking group. He's also a banjo player who volunteers at the Old Friends Club in the Seattle area. The Old Friends Club support folks with Alzheimer's and Dementia.

Larry recently recorded a song dedicated to care givers. You can learn more about it here. Or just watch the video below. Be sure to comment on and like the video over on YouTube, too.



Dr. Kimberly Brown's Website


Dr. Kimberly Brown's Email


Dr. Kimberly Brown's Facebook


Dr. Kimberly Brown's Instagram


Dr. Kimberly Brown's Twitter


Chronicles of Women in White Coats


Methodist University Hospital Emergency Medicine


Stroke belt on Wikipedia


Sepsis on Wikipedia


FAST from the American Heart Association


Strokecast Episode 19: Meet Dr. Kate Lorig


Old Friends Club


Larry's Song on YouTube


Larry's post on LinkedIn



Where do we go from here?

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Episode 087 -- Choose Your Headline and Meet Scott Charlston

2-Minute Tip: Choose Your Headline


As you frame your talk, make sure you choose the headline for it.  Flip through a newspaper or magazine and look at the headlines. Their job is to give you a little bit of information in a way that is compelling enough that you want to read more. They have to be short. They can be funny, But when you define the headlines for your talk, you also need it to get people to come see you and give you their time.


Think about your headline as the kind of thing that might be the subject line of an email or go on a poster advertising your talk. If you already know your goal for the talk and what you want people to take away from your talk, you should be able to develop the headline easily. If you can't, then maybe your talk isn't quite ready yet and you need to review your goals again.


Post Tip Discussion: Meet Scott Charlston


Scott Charlston HeadshotI first met Scott through a professional job hunting workshop where we are both looking for our next adventures. If you're looking for a great PR or media relations expert, reach out to Scott. If you're looking for a corporate trainer, product evangelist, or podcaster, just email bill@2minutetalktips.com.


In this episode, you'll hear about just what it is PR professionals do and the things they work on while doing media training. While there's an obvious surface level overlap between public speaking, ultimately it goes deeper. The core themes of defining and knowing your message, understanding your audience, and telling compelling stories that I talk about all the time on this show are also the core elements that Scott focuses on in his work with executives and media relations teams.


Scott spent 6 years as a reporter and anchor at Spokane's KREM TV before moving into PR for nearly 20 years with Weber Shandwick and Verizon Wireless. He's done media training, media relations, executive coaching and even more -- all with a focus on putting people at the center of the story, distilling complex ideas into clear benefits.




Call To Action:

  • What are your thoughts on this chat and PR? Let us know in the comments below.
  • Share this episode with a friend, colleague, relative, reporter, or PR Specialist. Just give them this link: http://2minutetalktips.com/scott
  • Subscribe to 2-Minute Talk Tips for free in your favorite podcast app.
  • Don't get best...get better.

Check out this episode!


Episode 039 -- The FLAME Study: How Anti-depressants (SSRI) help Stroke Recovery

This week, Dr. Nirav Shah and I talk about antidepressants -- SSRIs specifically -- in Stroke Recovery. The FLAME study demonstrated the benefits to motor recovery.

SSRI stands for Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitor. Basically, the way data gets sent from one nerve cell to another is through the use of chemicals, like serotonin. The body produce serotonin and the collects it when done, taking it out of the system. An SSRI slows down the collection process -- it inhibits the re-uptake. That leaves more serotonin floating around the brain.

Having more serotonin floating around the brain can help reduce, manage, or eliminate depression and other conditions. That's why SSRIs are some of the most common anti-depressants on the market.

The FLAME study looked at how Fluoxetine (AKA Prozac) behaves in folks who recently had a stroke. Fluoxetine is an old school antidepressant and SSRI. The study appeared to show that the extra serotonin in the brain may help promote neuroplasticity and recovery of motor skills after stroke, and that's why we're talking about it today.

My Experience

When I was inpatient, the doctor put me on an SSRI due to the FLAME study. She tried Prozac (AKA Fluoxetine) first. Unfortunately, it gave me an anxiety attack. On the other hand, I now know what an anxiety attack feels like. Not pleasant.

A Xanax took care of that.

We tried again the next day, this time with another SSRI called Lexapro (AKA Escitalopram). Someone explained to me that the molecule that makes up Lexapro is the mirror image of the Prozac molecule. I'd had Lexapro in the past, with no ill effects so it was worth a shot. Success! No anxiety attack this time. And that's how an SSRI earned a spot in my daily collection of medication.

But did it help my recovery? Maybe. There's no way to tell for sure. The data indicates that it should and there is no reason to think it didn't help. As a side effect, I did not go into the deep depression so common among other stroke survivors.

This is a new use for SSRIs, Fluoxetine, and Escitalopram. It's borderline off-label. Not all doctors are familiar with the idea that SSRIs promote the neuroplasticity that supports recovery of motor functions. And that's how I ended up explaining the research to my primary care physician as he reviewed my meds with me post-hospital.

The FLAME study covered 6 months. I'm still taking the Lexapro today. When I talked to my rehab doctor about whether I should continue we concluded that since I don't have any negative results from it, we may as well keep it up. If there's a chance it can help, and it's not hurting, then that sounds good to me.

Dr. Nirav H. Shah

Dr. Nirav H Shah Headshot

Dr. Nirav H. Shah is a fellowship trained neurologist and sub-specialist in cerebrovascular and stroke medicine with board certifications in t: neurology, stroke medicine, carotid neurosonology, transcranial doppler ultrasound, and neuroimaging.

He is a practicing neurohospitalist and served as the stroke medical director at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle. Academically, he is interested in emergent and critical care neurology research and is an associate editor for The Neurohospitalist, a peer-reviewed journal. He enjoys mentoring trainees and collaborating on publications and conference presentations.

Outside of clinical care Dr Shah is collaborating with experts to develop scalable technologies capable of ameliorating healthcare’s challenges. He consults with startups and investors to develop technologies and devices so that one day they are available to his patients. He has worked with companies to meet FDA regulations for approval as well as to help them understand the provider perspective of product-market fit.

Dr. Shah is also the CEO and Founder of Sentinel Healthcare. He is also a passionate traveler and photographer.

So let's fan the FLAME of stroke recovery with Nirav.

Hack of the Week

Daily pill organizer with one door openMany stroke survivors use a day of the week pill organizer to keep track of meds. And, sometimes, the day of the week. The organizer can also make it easy to keep track of whether or not we've taken pills for the day.

After taking your pills, leave the door for that day open exposing the now empty chamber. That gives you and your caregiver an easy to see visual queue the deed is done.



FLAME study Presentation


Efficacy of Fluoxetine - a Trial in Stroke (EFFECTS)


Predicting recovery in acute poststroke aphasia


Nirav’s previous appearance


Nirav on Stem Cells and Stroke Recovery


Nirav  on LinkedIn


Nirav at Swedish


Nirav on Twitter


The Neurohospitalist


Nirav’s Photography


Sentinel Healthcare


Where do we go from here?

  • Check out the links to the FLAME study and the other SSRI stroke studies above.
  • Subscribe to Strokecast for free in your favorite podcast app.
  • Use your pill box door as a reminder/calendar.
  • Don't get best…get better.

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Episode 086 -- Incorporate Excellence and Brevity

2-Minute Tip: Incorporate, Don't Emulate


A movie that's inspired by a true story takes elements of that story and creates its own thing from it to move the audience. It doesn't attempt to duplicate the original story itself because that would be a documentary and not a theatrical tale. Both the original story and the entertaining film can be excellent things, but they are different things.


When we try to be more effective speakers, one thing we do is watch excellent speakers. That's a good thing. Watch as many excellent speakers as you can. Just don't try to be them.


They got where they are with their own unique combination of practice, training, and life experience.


You got where you are with your own unique combination of practice, training, and life experience. 


Watch those excellent speakers and think about what they do well and why. What specific behaviors or techniques to they use to get their message across. Is that a technique you can use in your talks? Give it a try.


Here you are trying to incorporate specific behaviors. You are not trying to be someone else. Incorporate; don't emulate.


Post Tip Discussion: Brevity


The proper length for a talk is to be exactly as long as it needs to be and not a second longer.


Sometimes that takes work. It's easy to craft a long talk. The work comes in trimming away the unessential parts.


Make your point. Support your point. Get off the stage.


How often have you heard the audience say, "I wish that presentation was longer."


Call To Action


  • Subscribe to 2-Minute Talk Tips in your favorite Podcast app.
  • Share this episode with a friend, colleague, or relative by giving them the link http://2minutetalktips.com/brevity
  • Incorporate techniques from other excellent speakers
  • Don't get best...get better




In the spirit of getting the heck off the stage, this week's episode includes "Opening Band" by the legendary musical comedy duo Paul and Storm (released under Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-alike). You can check out more of their work here.

Check out this episode!


Episode 038 -- Meet Maggie Whittum

I first met Maggie Whittum a couple months ago, thanks to the episode I did with the folks at The Slow Road to Better. We connected to record this episode and I enjoyed the chat.

Maggie has a nice deliberate way of speaking. You can hear the emotion in her voice as she talks.

Like Whitney last week, Maggie's story is a frightening reminder that even if you do everything right, stroke can happen to anyone at any age. That doesn't mean you should ignore risk factors. Just keep in mind that a healthy lifestyle only reduces risk of stroke. It doesn't eliminate it entirely, On the other hand, a healthy pre-stroke life helps make rehab easier.

Maggie Whittum headshotMaggie was 33 years old when a cavernous angioma failed and she had a hemorrhagic stroke in her brain stem.

At the time, stroke was the furthest thing from her mind. She was a healthy, athletic, driven non-smoking actor in the best physical condition of her life. After spending several years acting, producing, and directing [projects around the world she moved to the Washington, DC area to pursue a Master of Fine Arts program at George Washington University. That all changed when her stroke hit her at the end of her first semester.

Now, Maggie lives in Denver where she continues to work on her recovery, creates art projects to illustrate just what chronic pain is like, and acts on stage with the Phamaly Theater, a company focused on providing opportunities for actors with disabilities.

Now, Maggie is taking everything she's learned from her time as an actor, director, producer, writer, teacher, and stroke survivor to assemble a team and create The Great Now What, documentary exploring stroke, recovery, the healing power of art, and her journey to claim a powerful new identity.


Hack of the Week

The great thing about carrying a purse, messenger bag, backpack or other carrying device is that it's easier to carry stuff. You can just throw all your stuff in there and go. 

With a little thought, however, the process can be much more efficient. Arrange items in the bag specifically for single-handed use instead of just tossing stuff in. Consider flaps that allow easy access to a bus pass, a caribiner for keys, or a designated pocket for a disabled parking placard. A little planning can make the day a little less stressful.


The Great Now What


Crowd Funding


The Great Now What on Facebook


Maggie Whittum on Instagram


Maggie Whittum on Twitter


Maggie Whittum on IMDB


Maggie Whittum RAISE Award Nomination


Fates and Furies on Amazon


The Crash Reel with Kevin Pearce


The Crash Reel on Amazon Video


Phamaly Theater Company


Cavernous Angioma


Slow Road to Better on Strokecast


Where do we go from here?

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Bonus 001-037: Stroke Survivor Radio Story

For World Stroke Day on October 29, 2018, the American Heart Association asked me to share my story with the WA News Service, an organization that distributes content to radio stations all over WA state.

This bonus episode is the story they produced. You can also read the article here: https://www.publicnewsservice.org/2018-10-29/health-issues/a-washington-survivor-ways-to-recover-after-a-stroke/a64451-1

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Episode 085 -- Take a Beat and Tips on Apologies


2-Minute Tip: Take a Beat


Have you ever noticed that a speaker will step up to their speaking spot (fancy technical term there), look down, then up, scan the room silently, and then start speaking? They're taking a moment to prep themselves for the talk they are about to deliver. While that whole ritual may be a little much, there is value in taking a moment to take a breath and plant your feet before speaking.


It gives you the opportunity to shift from prep mode into speaking mode. When you are prepping for a talk, you are reviewing what you want to say, making last minute adjustments based on the audience, double-checking your gear, reviewing site lines, going through sound check, turning off your phone, emptying your pockets and more. When it's time to speak, prep time is over. You have to put aside all the to do items of prep and now let their value come through. It's time to focus on delivering your message.


Taking a moment at the very start to clear your head and change your thinking allows you to do that.


You don't have to do it literally on the stage. You can take your beat in the wings just before you go on stage. Make your walk to your speaking spot part of your presentation. Be in speaking mode the moment you come out.


Regardless of exactly where you do it, take that deep breath and take that moment because now it's showtime.


Post Tip Discussion: Tips on Apologies


Sometimes an apology is all it takes to fix a problem. Many times, someone who has been wronged simply wants the transgressor to acknowledge they were wrong and validate the reality of a situation.


Too often, though, we apologize ineffectively or inappropriately and we do so from the stage. To be a more effective speaker, consider these 5 tips to apologize from stage:


  1. Don't say, "I'm sorry." Say, "I apologize."
  2. Be sure you actually need to apologize.
  3. If the audience doesn't know something went wrong and they got a less than perfect experience, don't break their illusion by apologizing.
  4. An apology-nerves spiral can be painful. Avoid apologizing frequently from stage.
  5. Substitute the word "and" for the word "but" whenever possible.





Call To Action


  1. I recorded this on World Stroke Day. Get your blood pressure checked and manage it appropriately. Issues with blood pressure are a leading cause of stroke and long term disability. Learn more about stroke at http://strokecast.com.
  2. Visit other articles at 2-Minute Talk Tips for more tips to be a more effective speaker.
  3. Take a beat before your next talk.
  4. Don't get best...get better.




Check out this episode!


Episode 037 -- Meet Whitney Morean


World Stroke Day

World Stroke day is October 29th. Are you planning to do something for it? Make sure everyone talk with knows how important it is to BE FAST.

Stroke symptom graphic


Meet Whitney Morean

Whitney Morean was a healthy, athletic 28 year-old in the summer of 2016. She voluntarily ran 5 miles a day. A bright student, she was excited to start graduate school that fall in clinical psychology.

Then on August 23, 2016, she had a mysterious, hemorrhagic stroke in her right, parietal lobe that would stump neurologists. Grad school would have to wait.

I met Whitney through the Seattle Young Adult Stroke Survivors group.

Now, Whitney is back in grad school, pursuing a Masters in Rehab Psychology, to help other survivors get even more comprehensive care. We met up a few week's ago in Seattle's Wayward Coffeehouse.

You can reach Whitney here.

We covered quite a bit in this episode including some new-ish vocabulary.

Whitney spent time in both acute and sub-acute facilities. Acute is an inpatient hospital setting. A sub-acute facility is somewhere in between a skilled nursing facility and a hospital. 

She also talks about getting to point of being "community ambulatory." That basically means being able to walk around the neighborhood.

I learned that the brain has ventricles. 

We also touch on something not often talked about. The insurance system and medical care system are focused on getting you back to a minimum standard -- not to where you were before the stroke. If you were well above the average or age appropriate criteria before stroke, you have to get back there on your own.

Whitney also discusses experiencing disability accommodations for education for the first time in her life later in life. Many folks who need accommodations in grad school have already had to go through the process much earlier in their schooling.

I could go on about the topics, but why spoil the fun of the episode? 

Hack of the Week

Practice patience.

It's a muscle and it takes work to get good at it. After a stroke, it's more important than ever to be more patient with yourself, especially if your previous life was a fast-paced, intense one. 

Doing "ordinary" things will simply take more time and getting annoyed at that won't make it any better. So be kind to yourself.

And practice patience.

Like most thing with stroke and life, it gets easier with time and practice.

Where do we go from here?

  • What aspect of this discussion did you find most interesting? Let us know in the comments below.
  • Share this episode with a friend caregiver or grad student, by sending them to http://strokecast.com/whitney.
  • If you're feeling depressed, or having challenges dealing with grief and emotions, after a stroke, let your caregiver or medical team know. There is help available.
  • Be patient with yourself.
  • Don't get best...get better.

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Episode 084 -- Control the Lights and 9 Ways to Get More Speaking Time

2-Minute Tip: Control the Lights


An important part of room setup is the lighting. You want folks to see you and any visual aids you are using without straining them selves so lighting matters. What does good lighting look like? Well, it depends. 


If you are using a data projector, you likely need to minimize sunlight and dim the lights near the screen while keeping the rest of the room well lit.


In an auditorium, you may get better results dimming the lights above the audience to focus on the stage.


If you ask your audience to do something during your presentation, you may need to bring the lights up for that activity and dim them again when it's time for you to be the focus again.


While the details will vary, the important thing is for you to make deliberate decisions about the lights during your talk to make sure they support your goals.



Post Tip Discussion: 9 Ways to Get more Speaking Time


The best way to become a better speaker is to speak more. But you don't have to just wait for opportunities to come along. You can take proactive steps to make more opportunities. Here are 9 Ways to Get More Speaking Time


Class Projects

If you are in a training program or a class that has group projects, volunteer to be the group spokesperson. Others may be relieved to not have to do it.



If you attend a house or space of worship, consider volunteering to do readings, run discussion groups, or participate in other speaking related tasks. Ask the appropriate leader what opportunities there might be.


Ask Your Boss

If you'd like to speak more at work, let your boss know. There may be opportunities they would be happy to give you, but they can't accommodate your desire to speak more if they don't know about your desire to speak more.



Toastmasters clubs are popular around the world as a forum where professionals can go to improve their public speaking skills. 


Volunteer Groups

Look for groups in your community that you can support. There may be chances to volunteer there, support a mission you care about, and get some speaking time in the process.


Community Theater

Joining a local theater program will help you grow your acting skills and get you on the stage in front of an audience. The skills aren't exactly the same as those in public speaking, but they can certainly add more depth and flavor to your speaking skills. Plus, stage time is still stage time.


Facebook Live

This is a great tool to easily start speaking to the world about things you care about. You can use your PC or phone. You are probably listening to this episode on a live, international, broadcasting tool. It's easy to start and the videos are easy to share and review so you can continue to get better. You'll find the Facebook Live videos that I've done here.



Start a podcast and you have another speaking channel under your control. If you don't want to do the work of running your own show, look for opportunities to be a guest on shows you enjoy and reach out to the producers.


Build Your Own Stage

You don't have to wait for someone to give you a stage. Go ahead and build your own. Start your own event. The technology and reach of social media makes it possible in ways unimaginable 20 years ago. Back in Episode 077, I talked with Patricia Missakian who wanted to speak in Brazil, so she created her own event there from the US and flew down when it was time.



Call To Action


  • Share this episode with a friend, colleague, or relative by giving them this link: http://2minutetalktips.com/stage
  • Control the lighting at your next event
  • Seek out more opportunities to speak
  • Don't get best...get better






Check out this episode!


Episode 036 -- Meet Dan Oosterhous


This week, I got to chat with stroke survivor Dan Oosterhous, former pilot, current US Air Force Academy Tennis Coach, and 2-time stroke survivor.

Dan's story is one of seeing a problem and trying to fix it. During his rehab, he worked closely with the therapists, always pushing for more. He asked questions, asked for additional resources to learn more about anatomy and physiology, and generally focused on what was going on with his body and how he could get better.

[bctt tweet="'I got on the internet on my tablet and just typed in some of the symptoms I was having and the first thing that came up was stroke. And it took me 6 hours to realize that's what was going on.' -- @DOosterhous #stroke" username="CurrentlyBill"]

Aside from it being an important element of his recovery, I found that when I am more engaged in my recovery and ask a lot of questions, my therapists are more engaged, too.

What I hear when I listen back to this week's episode is how much Dan's problem-solving drive helped him get to where he is today.


Who is Dan Oosterhous?


Dan Oosterhous head shotAfter a day spent coaching the men's tennis team at the United States Air Force Academy in 2013, Dan Oosterhous suffered two brain stem strokes that resulted in a substantial loss of function in his left arm and leg.  Since then, Dan has made significant strides in his recovery, owing much to the support of his three children, Emma, Anna, and Andrew, and the rehabilitative power of competition.  Dan has fueled his recovery through opportunities in adaptive sports as a member of the 2014 Air Force Wounded Warrior team and a member of the 2014 and 2016 USA Invictus Games team.  Dan has earned medals in swimming at the 2014 Warrior Games and in cycling at the 2016 Invictus Games.  In 2014, he received USAFA’s General Mal Wakin Character and Leadership Award for his inspirational work with cadets and resiliency during recovery.

A native of Texarkana, Texas, Dan graduated from USAFA in 1993 and remains one of the best tennis players in the team’s history.  Dan ranks fifth on the all-time list for most wins at #1 singles and second on the career list at #1 doubles.  He was selected to the all-conference team all four years and received the team’s Most Valuable Player award three times.  During his 21-year Air Force career, Dan accumulated over 3,100 hours as an instructor pilot in three aircraft: the C-5, C-21 and T-53.

After retiring early from the Air Force as a pilot due to his stroke he continues to serve as the Men's Tennis coach, doing it all with one good arm and one good leg. He loves sharing his message about the importance of a positive attitude in recovery.


Hack of the Week

Dan's hack is to use your tone. Just because an effected limb doesn't work right, doesn't mean it gets a free pass. Make it work for you.

With some creative thinking you can wrap things around the fist or use it to brace things or help with your shoes.

Too often we assume that since it doesn't work like a hand used to work, that means it can't do anything, but that's not the case. Think about creative non-hand ways you can work with the tone in your hand to accomplish your goals.



Dan Oosterhous on Twitter


Dan Oosterhous Email


US Air Force Academy Athletics


US Air Force Academy Men's Tennis


Invictus Games


US Air Force Wounded Warriors


Dan Oosterhous in Airman Magazine



Where do we go from here?


Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Episode 083 -- Note Something Interesting and The Six Ps of Presenting

2-Minute Tip: Note Something interesting Everyday 


It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking we are not creative. Or that we have nothing to say beyond the basics of our message. Or that writer's block is impenetrable. Or that we are just going to bore our audience.


That can happen because we take our own experiences for granted. We think our lives are just boring or normal. The reality is we all have a unique assortment of experiences -- some big and some small. We just forget about them or write them off as they pass, and then we forget about them when they could be helpful to us as speakers.


Back in Episode 024, I challenged you to take 5 pictures a day to flesh out your personal library of photos to use in future presentations.


This week, I say write down something interesting that you saw, did, or learned. It doesn't have to be a big deal or something anyone else would care about. Just do it daily. at the end of a year, you'll have hundreds of theses observations and tidbits that you can incorporate into a presentation as an aside, to illustrate a point, to build rapport with the audience, or any number of other rhetorical tools.


Best of all, it's a personal list. It's a list of things that you found interesting. That makes it even easier to speak with passion.


Post Tip Discussion: The Six Ps of Presenting


Over the past couple years, I've talked about a lot of strategies and tactics to make you a more effective presenter. Today we take a step back and look at the broader framework of how theses elements fit together.


The Six Ps of Presenting are:


  1. Preparation
  2. Production
  3. Pactice
  4. Preshow Inspection
  5. Present
  6. Post-Mortem


In Preparation, you define your goals, figure out the messages you want to land to get there, reseach your audience, consult with subject matter experts, figure out where and what type the venue is, understand the timing, and more. Basically you get all the knowledge you'll likely need. At the end of this phase, you'll have an out line for your talk and know how you plan to work with the speaking environment.


In Production, you open up PowerPoint and build your slides. You assemble other visual aides. You get the signage and handouts together, if relevant. Basically, you are assembling all the gear and intellectual property you need for the presentation.


In Practice, you practice your presentation. try to make it as real world as possible. Stand up. Use your slides. Execute your demos, Then do it again. Fix problems you encounter with the material and practice some more.


In the Preshow Inspection, you visit the venue before you speak -- preferably the day before. you want to make sure it is setup right. Ensure you understand how to hook up the projector, if needed. Confirm any sound system you need works. Make sure you know how to work the room lights. Basically, figure out if there are any problems with the space so you can fix them before it's time to start presenting.


Then Present at the right time. start and finish on time. wow your audience. Move them to take the action you want them to take. This is what it's all been leading up to.


Finally, do your Post-Mortem. What went well? What didn't go well? What do you want to do differently next time? What action items did you commit to? Do this as soon as possible because otherwise the details will slip away. Take all that you learn and feed it back in to your next presentation.


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Episode 034 -- Meet Author Ted Baxter

Puget Sound Heart and Stroke Walk

I'm participating in the Puget Sound Heart and Stroke Walk on October 13. If you'd like to contribute to the fundraiser, please visit Strokecast.com/Facebook.

Chatting with Ted Baxter

Over the summer, I heard about Ted W Baxter's new book Relentless: How a massive stroke changed my Life for the Better. His team sent me a copy of the book and arranged an interview.

In 20015, Ted had a massive stroke. The hemiparesis was one thing to deal with, but Ted was more concerned with the Global Aphasia he developed. What followed was months and years of intense therapy -- most of it traditional, some of it less so, as Ted worked not to get his life back but to build a new life. This book is Ted's story of that journey.

Ted and I talked about the book, of course, but we also covered a lot of other ground as we talked about life as survivors and the broader stroke survivor community

We have an interesting discussion about English as a Second Language. The idea of of treating your native language as a foreign one to reacquire it after stroke is fascinating. There's a lot of interesting stuff to think about in this book and episode.

More about Ted

Ted W Baxter HeadshotAfter spending 22 years in the financial industry, Ted W. Baxter retired as a global finance executive with a large hedge investment firm based in Chicago. Prior to that, Ted was a managing director for a global investment bank and he was a Price Waterhouse partner and a consultant concentrated on banks and securities, risk management, financial products, and strategic planning. Internationally, he spent 6 years working and living in Tokyo and Hong Kong.

Ted now resides in Newport Beach, CA where he volunteers at several health-related institutions and hospitals in Orange County, leading groups in a stroke-related communication recovery program, and is a member of the Board of Directors at the American Heart and Stroke Association. He is the author of Relentless: How A Massive Stroke Changed My Life for the Better. 

Hack of the Week

Today is another chance to get better.

It's seems simple and obvious but this basic mindset shift is critical to recovery.

Recovery doesn't have a deadline. Despite what you may have heard, recovery doesn't stop at 6 months, 12 moths, or 2 years. It's ongoing. Every day is another chance to do more. To pursue better results. We're alive which means we have another chance to get better each and every today.


Where do we go from here

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Episode 082 -- Act as If and Impostor Syndrome

2-Minute Tip: Act as If


When you are nervous, or think you don't see,m confident, don't tell yourself not to be nervous or just be more confident. That rarely works; it usually just makes things worse. Instead, think about other speakers you know who don't appear nervous (they might actually be). How do the act? Can you adopt some of those behaviors? Try to act like you're not nervous. The more you act like you're comfortable, the more likely you'll feel comfortable. 


The brain wants consistency. If your physical mannerisms say you're not nervous, your mind will make you feel less nervous. Act as if you're not nervous to in fact become less nervous.


Post Tip Discussion


Often in my life life, I've felt like a fraud. Like I was about to be found out or caught. That I had no business teaching people or speaking to an audience or managing a million-dollar-plus budget for an organization. But you know what? That was just my own brain messing with me. I learned to accept that. The doubt was always going to be with me even though it was illegitimate.


Most people have this feeling at one time or another. Your friends. Your colleagues. Your boss. Their boss. Your subordinates. Nearly everyone is afraid they're going to be revealed as a sham, even when they are not.


It's called Impostor Syndrome. And it's an insidious source of stress for billions of people. Some respond with fear and nerves. Others with defensiveness and anger. Some embrace it. Others simply accept it and move on.


This affects many speakers when we get on stage. We start thinking, "Who am I to command the attention of dozens or hundreds or thousands of speakers?"


Well, you're the expert. You're the one who does in fact have value to contribute to this event. You were chosen by smart people to talk to the audience. It's an audience that is there because they believe this is the best use of their time at the moment.


Acknowledge the impost syndrome when you feel it creep up on you to take away it's power. Do the things that are within your control. Do the work. Practice. Deliver a great talk. And wow your audience.


Call to Action


  • How do you deal with Impostor Syndrome? Let us know in the comments below.
  • Subscribe to 2-Minute Talk Tips in your favorite podcast app so you never miss an episode.
  • Next time you're nervous, act as if you're not
  • Don't get best...get better.

Check out this episode!


Episode 033 -- Meet OT Lauren Sheehan and the Neofect Rapael Smart Glove

Upcoming Events

This fall, the American Heart Association is running fundraisers around the country in the form of local Heart & Stroke Walks. To learn more or find an event in your area, visit HeartWalk.org. If your local one has already passed, you can start planning for 2019!

Monday, October 29, 2018, is World Stroke Day. What are you doing to recognize the event? I'd love to hear. Post a message on the Strokecast Facebook Page, send me an email,  or reach out to me on Twitter.

Today's Guest

I met Lauren Sheehan through Olivia, the awesome OT who co-starred with me in an ad for Swedish. Swedish had recently acquired a Rapael Smart Glove to work with patients and wanted to get my thoughts. I met Lauren a few weeks later to talk more about her work and the possibilities of Neofect's tool.

Neofect Rapael Smart Glove

Neofect did send me a unit to try out and provide feedback on. So far, it's promising. I'll provide a more thorough review once I really put it through its paces.

This week, I interview Lauren. We talk about why she got into OT, the idea of the "art" of life, and the nature of gamification in therapy.

One of the key takeaways from Lauren's story is how she came to work with Neofect -- building relationships and talking with folks. The more folks you can engage with on a regular basis -- online or in the real world -- the more opportunities that become available to you. Maintaining those relationships doesn't need to be about what they can do for you though; it's about keeping interesting people in your life. Because I maintained a good relationship with my inpatient therapy team, I met and got to work with Lauren, for example. That wasn't a plan. It was the out

growth of life.

Plus, staying engaged in a social life is good for brain health.

So who is Lauren Sheehan?

Lauren Sheehan Headshot

Lauren has been a practicing occupational therapist for over 10 years.  Her dream to join a technology company was realized when dreaming about the possibility of doing something “outside the box” after spending the last decade in outpatient neuro clinical practice and most recently in administration and management roles.  Lauren has served in various roles on her state occupational therapy associations and is a proponent of being an active member, particularly in advocating for occupational therapy through legislation and contact with elected officials.  She has enjoyed planning and organizing Washington state’s “Hike the Hill” event for the last three years.  She has also served as the AOTA Representative Assembly Member for the state of Washington.  Lauren believes that OT professionals are poised to be product designers, user experience experts and consultants as it relates to technology solutions that meet the needs of individuals with disabilities.

Neofect offers a 7-day trial of the Rapael Smart Glove. If you're interested in checking it out, visit Neofect.com. Insurance may or may not cover the device; that will vary by company, policy, and more. They have had good luck with the VA.

Neofect is also launching a Kickstarter for a new product on October 30, the day after World Stroke Day.

Neomano teaser image


Hack of the week: Wear an apron

I've started wearing a kitchen apron around the house because it has big pockets. Carrying stuff is a challenge these days. With hemiparesis, I lost access to the pockets on the left side of my body. Plus, my working hand needs to hold the cane, handrails, phone, or other stuff as I go room to room.

An apron with big front pockets is a great solution for hauling more stuff around with me.

And tying the apron strings is great OT.


Where do we go from here?

  • What do you think of gamification in therapy? Let us know in the comments below.
  • Check out Neofect's website to learn more about the Smart Glove and figure out if it's right for you.
  • To share this episode with your therapist, friend, or relative, tell them to go to http://strokecast.com/smartglove
  • Subscribe to Strokecast for free in your favorite podcast app so you never miss an episode.
  • Don't get best…get better.

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Episode 081 -- Be Alive and Meet 16-Year Old Entrepreneur Bilal Moin

2-Minute Tip: Be Alive


When giving a talk, focus less on scripted words, especially those scripted by someone else. Speak instead from you mind, from your heart, and from your soul. When you do that you can fully engage the ethos, pathos, and logos you need to make a compelling argument.


Post Tips Discussion: Meet Bilal Moin


Bilal Moin PhotoBilal Moin is a 16-year old student and entrepreneur from Mumbai. He is the founder and CEO of 2 companies, one called The MUNkey Business and another called Metamorphospace.


The Munkey Business is a partnership between avid Model UN competitors (MUN’ers), experienced delegates and aspiring students with one simple goal: making MUNs simpler for all. The organization offers one of India's most expansive Model United Nations training and support program for aspiring delegates by providing online training sessions, research documents and oratory training. The MUNkey Business also pioneered conference promotion packages in India, providing advertisements services to reputed conferences at the University and School level, as well as private MUN bodies, both in India and abroad.


MetamorphoSpace is a sustainable, affordable and ever-transforming retail spaces for small businesses in developing cities. A novel solution to expensive real estate in overcrowded urban environments, our sustainable metamorphosing work-spaces for tertiary enterprises help small businesses flourish in developing cities, and aims to transform urban real estate distribution as we know it.


Bilal is a student of economics and history, and is well versed with the financial, political and business fields. He is also a published author, poet and national debater.


One of the things we talk about is the nature of language. It's something I ask about a lot, especially with my guests who are poly-lingual. After all, our words are the core part of our public presentations. One thing that came up in or conversation was the idea of mixing languages while speaking. In this case, we specifically talked about speaking in English and incorporating Hindi words or speaking in Hindi and incorporating English words. Bilal cited the work of Shashi Tharoor. You can see Dr. Tharoor speak here:







Call To Action


  • Share your thoughts on my conversation with Bilal below
  • Connect with Bilal on LinkedIn or check out The MUNKey Business
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Check out this episode!


Episode 032 -- Meet Tom Hannon

I had an interesting chat with Entrepreneur and stroke survivor Tom Hannon. Tom had his stroke about two years ago due to a vertebral artery dissection and has made a remarkable recovery. His background as a triathlete certainly helped from both a physical and a mental perspective. He lives on Cape Cod, outside of Boston in the US.

One of the first things you'll notice is that he has a New England accent. Of course that also brings out my New York accent. It's funny out that comes out when I talk with some else who speak with a similar accent.


Tom Hannon Profile PictureTom Hannon is a serial entrepreneur who has started, bought and sold 12+ businesses during his 30+ career. Most of those businesses focused on magazines, advertising and magazine distribution.  

He also helps entrepreneurs learn to effectively sell their businesses when the time is right. You can visit Win Your Exit for more details on that program.

He is also a sales and marketing educator who with his wife Linda has now launched a financial educate class called, 6 Steps to Mastering Your Money and Creating a Path to Financial Freedom on www.realfamilyfinance.com. Tom is also an avid baseball fan who owned a historical baseball website and once built a replica of the Brooklyn Dodgers former home, Ebbets Field.
He was also an avid triathlete and while training for the epic Ironman triathlon, he suffered a verbal artery dissection, which caused 6 mini strokes. So he can now add stroke survivor onto his resume. He lives on Cape Cod with his wife Linda.   

Tom has taken approaches to his recovery that go beyond traditional medicine. He shifted to a plant-based diet. He's gone for myofascia treatments. He uses biofeedback that reads his brain waves. What I like about Tom's approach to things like this is that he doesn't insist this is a cure-all for stroke conditions. These are things he has used in his own recovery, with which he's gotten good results. And that's how he tells the story.

We also talk about the importance of goal setting and knowing what you are working towards. This is a common theme among many of the survivors and medical professionals I talk with on the show. It's also something I talk about extensively over at 2-Minute Talk Tips.

So…there's a lot of stuff here.

Hack of the Week

Tom's hack is to listen to your body. It's something he didn't do pre-stroke, but is helpful as he continues his recovery. If you focus on what your body is telling you, you'll be in a better position to know when:

  • You're pushing too hard
  • You're not pushing hard enough
  • You need to drink more water
  • You need to get more sleep
  • …and so much more

But you have to listen.


Tom Hanon on LinkedIn


Tom on Twitter


Tom on Facebook


Tom on Email


Tom's Consulting and Training Program


Tom and Linda's Financial Education Program


My Stoke of Insight by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor


Healing Into Possibility by Alison Shapiro


Myofascial Therapy



Where do we go from here?

  • What do you think of Tome story? Let us know in the comments below.
  • To connect with Tom and explore the resources we talked about, check out the links above.
  • Share this episode with someone else today. Just give them the link strokecast.com/Tom
  • Don't get best…get better

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Episode 080 -- Thread a Story Through your Talk and Meet Diana Wink


2-Minute Tip: Thread a story through your talk


Figure out how to tell a story in your talk. Story telling is a powerful tool and is a great way to engage your audience from the moment you step in front of the crowd. Don't stop at opening with the story, though. Weave that same story through your talk and keep coming back to it, either to reference it or to advance it. It provides a simple, entertaining way for your audience to remain engaged while you speak and to better understand the context of the various points in your talk.


Post Tip Discussion: Meet Diana Wink


Diana Wink HeadshotDiana is an author and a coach who writes dystopian novels set in Scotland from her base in Germany while helping folks around the world learn the crafts of story telling and creativity. She studied film making in school, but ultimately made her initial career in writing due to the economics of the fields. Ultimately those 2 media are just different takes on her core passion -- story telling. 


There are  lots of compelling lessons in this episodes both big and small. Three of them are:



  1. Creativity and story telling are crafts, not talents.
  2. When speaking to another culture, try to connect with the stories they grew up with.
  3. Make your stories personal and detailed.


Diana Wink is a mountain child from the depths of middle Asia, striving to kidnap her readers into make-believe worlds, blend the borders between past and future, and master her own curiosity. In her spare time, she directs movies and rewatches Christopher Nolan films, empowers creatives to tell stories themselves and explores theaters, cities and wilderness with her bearded dancer husband. They have their base in Germany, but who knows where they are currently to be found?


Diana's first novel in the Prometheus Rising Trilogy is available on Amazon and in most other places that you find books.

Prometheus Rising Cover


You can download a free copy of the novella Shanakee's tale -- the prequel to the Prometheus Rising Trilogy from Diana's website here.

Shanakee's Tale Cover





Call To Action


Check out this episode!


Episode 031 -- Meet Physical Therapist Dr. Brandon Smith DPT, MPH

Dr. Brandon Smith and I had an interesting discussion about his experience as a physical therapist.

Though Brandon's background is mostly in orthopedic manual therapy and therapeutic exercise at the elite levels, it also consist of public health, strength and nutrition certifications, time spent in Surgical ICU wound care, Cardiac ICU, Neurological ICU, Critical Care ICU, and has recently led him into geriatrics (all affiliated settings) and home care. He uses his eclectic background to provide a comprehensive and tailored approach to each patient/client. Whether that's in the home, telehealth, or remote performance and nutrition coaching.

Brandon Smith and Yong KimWhat's really interesting is that he got into PT to work with high-performance athletes and then discovered the work wasn't fulfilling enough. He made the switch to neuro patients and found the work much more rewarding.

To help teach more people outside the PT world about things happening within the PT world, he partnered with colleague and former class mate Yong Kim to launch the Physical Therapy Unleashed Podcast.


Strokecast is on Facebook. I use that page for less formal thoughts on stroke and recovery. I also post videos of demos and other topics. Just recently, I created a video talking about my experience with different AFOs.

Head on over to Facebook.com/strokecast to like the page and check out the videos.

Hack of the Week

Being a stroke survivor is complex. We have physical, medical, and daily living needs. There can also be special nutritional, social, or spiritual needs. Regardless of the need, we don't have to do it alone. There are professionals who can help.

If you have needs, or think you might, ask your doctor or other member of your medical team to point you in the direction of the appropriate professional. They're out there.


Physical Therapy Unleashed Podcast


Physical Therapy Unleashed on Facebook


Dr. Brandon Smith on Twitter


Dr. Brandon Smith on LinkedIn


Dr. Brandon Smith on Facebook


Dr. Brandon Smith Consulting


Yong Kim Wellness


Where do we go from here?

  • What do you think of Brandon's story? Let us know in the comments below.
  • Ask you physical therapist what their thoughts on Brandon's perspective are. Give them the link strokecast.com/brandon
  • Strokecast is on Facebook. Visit Facebook.com/strokecast to like the page and check out the videos
  • Seek out the appropriate professionals for your needs
  • Don't get best…get better

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Episode 079 -- Know You Can Do It and Meet Dr. Denise Vaughan


2-Minute Tip -- Know You can do It


The first thing to know about a talk is that this IS something you can do. You can get out on stage. You can move around deliberately to make the points that you want to make. If you're not comfortable with eye contact, that's fine. You can come up with a solution.


But regardless of the challenges, go into it knowing that you can do this.


Post Tip Discussion -- Meet Denise Vaughan


Denise and I were both members of the Carroll College Talking Saints Speech and Debate team back in the early 90s. Being a part of that team was a powerful experience that had a major impact on the person I am today. The things I learned and skills I acquired as part of that experience are the ones that I still use today.


Denise Vaughan headshot

Denise and I recently met up in real life for the first time since college to catch up and talk about public speaking, speech and debate, and the power of rhetoric.


We recorded this episode at one of my favorite interview locations -- the Wayward Coffeehouse in Seattle.


Dr. Denise Vaughan has a BA from Carroll College and an MA and PhD from Washington State University. Today, she teaches courses in Debate, Oral Communication, and Debate and Policy Analysis at the University of Washington -- Bothell.  Denise is a firm believer in the ability of rhetoric to shape the world and empower students.  Through the use of a variety of outside sources and the interests of students themselves, she seeks to create connections between the world they study in the classroom and their interactions outside the classroom.  She sees the classroom as a collaborative experience where students and faculty interact with the material and educate one another.  Her courses focus on experiential learning and problem solving. Denise is also the Director of Forensics, at University of Washington Bothell, and coaches the award-winning, nationally ranked Speech and Debate team.





Call To Action


  • What are your thoughts on this episode? Let us know in the comments below.
  • You can connect with Denise via email or LinkedIn. You can find those links above.
  • Do you know a high school or college student thinking about speech and debate? Encourage them to try it at their school. The value is immense.
  • Share this episode with someone else by giving them the link http://2minutetalktips.com/denise
  • Don't get best…get better


Check out this episode!