Ep 093 -- The Grace of Stroke with Vince Holland

There is beauty in social media. Not in the trolling, harassment, or fake news it too often promotes, but in the connections it facilitates.

My work on the show and Instagram brought me in contact with Vince Holland. This week, he shares his perspective on stroke and recovery.


Vince Holland looks straight at the camera in this headshot.

Vince Holland was a busy many. He worked 2 jobs and was raising a family.  He approached everything with a go go go attitude. He lifted weights, kept his weight under control, watched his blood pressure — basically did everything you’re supposed to do to prevent a stroke.

Unfortunately, for some unknown reason, it wasn’t enough in his case.

On July 4, 2016, he found himself laying on his parents’ kitchen floor while his Navy Corpsman brother worked to assess his condition. He had suffered a cryptogenic, ischemic stroke. That means a blood clot appeared in his brain, and doctors still have no idea how it happened.

And thus began his new life.

Three key lessons


If you suspect someone is having a stroke, call an ambulance. Do not drive yourself or them to the hospital. Even if you think an ambulance might take longer, remember that triage will happen in that ambulance, and treatment can start in that ambulance. And when you get to the ER, you don’t have to start triage there surrounded by other patients.

Also, if you call an ambulance, they can drive you or the person you called about to the right hospital and avoid wasting time going to a hospital that may not be able to treat the stroke properly and promptly.


There is tremendous power in goal setting. Vince talked about how valuable goals were for his recovery and how they can still support it. Goal setting has been a big theme recently on this show. Last week, I talked with Restorative Therapies about how their gear can measure progress towards goals. A few weeks ago, I talked about both e the importance of the Quantified Self, and how to set SMART Goals.


Vince talked about the grace of the stroke. Joe from Neuro Nerds talked about his stroke as a blessing. Jan Douglas named her book, A Wonderful Stroke of luck. In “Tell Me Everything You Don’t Remember,” Christine Lee said about her stroke that she, “learned to accept that bad events do not have to remain bad events.”

It’s not an uncommon refrain, though I know many survivors don’t feel the same way. The point is good can come from this trauma. Hope can come from this trauma. A new life can come from this trauma.

No one is recommending that someone go have a stroke to improve their lives. That would be a terrible idea. But once we’ve been through this maelstrom, we have to stop and ask, “What now?” What do I do with this new life I have ahead of me? What can I learn and grow from this? And how can I live my best life going forward.

Hack of the Week

Use whatever tools you have available to supplement your memory. These days, you don’t need to have a great memory. Calendar and Notes apps on smart phones are great. So are digital assistants like Siri or Google Assistant.

Cameras in phones are also under appreciated. From pictures of your license plate or parking spot, to the door of the appointment your supposed to go to the empty spice bottle you need from the grocery store, taking pictures of things you need to remember can be invaluable.


Vince Holland on Instagram


Vince Holland on Twitter


Vince Holland on Snapchat


Vince Holland On The Stromies’ Blog


Ram Dasss


Stroke Comeback Center


Slow Road to Better on Strokecast


Christine Lee on Strokecast


Joe Borges on Strokecast


Jan Douglas on Strokecast




Quantified Self


Restorative Therapies on Strokecast


The Stromies on Strokecast


Where do we go from here?

Strokecast is the stroke podcast where a Gen X stroke survivor explores rehab, recovery, the frontiers of neuroscience and one-handed banana peeling by helping stroke survivors, caregivers, medical providers and stroke industry affiliates connect and share their stories.

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast

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