Ep 111 -- Falling in Love with the Process (Part 2)

How do you tell someone’s story in a book without actually writing your story of learning their story? What is qualitative research? We answer those questions and more as I nerd out with Drs. Patricia Geist-Mart and Sarah Parsloe about Communication theory.

In Episode 110, I talked with Bill Torres, the subject of the book, “Falling in Love with the Process.” You can listen to that episode here.

In this episode, I talk with the authors of the book, Dr. Patricia Geist-Martin and Dr. Sarah Parsloe, professors of Communications at San Diego State University and Rollins University respectively.

The result is a wide ranging discussion that let me nerd out a bit about Communication Theory, which is something I haven’t talked a whole lot about since college.

We discuss topics like:

  • What communication is and how it defines relationships
  • The nature of qualitative research
  • The challenges in telling someone else’s story
  • Cyberactivism
  • Ableism and intersectionality
  • Inspiration porn
  • …and much more

And you’ll get to hear more about what it’s like to work with Bill.


Patricia Geist-Martin stands in front of a brick wall and smiles at the camera.

Patricia Geist-Martin (Ph.D. Purdue University) is a Professor Emerita in the School of Communication at San Diego State University. Her research examines the stories people tell in making sense of their lives, particularly in their journeys through health and illness. Falling in Love with the Process: Cultivating Resilience in Health Crises: A Stroke Survivor’s Story (2020), is Dr. Geist-Martin’s fifth book. Website: https://patriciageistmartin.com

Sarah Parsloe stand in front of a pond and looks at the camera 150

Sarah Parsloe (Ph.D. Communication, Ohio University) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at Rollins College, Winter Park, FL.  Her research examines the ways in which people make sense of identity threats that arise from experiences of disability and chronic illness, including uncertainty, stigma, and prejudice against people with disabilities (ableism). She is particularly interested in studying the communication processes of (self-)advocacy.


We talked briefly about a couple movies that came to mind while talking with Bill. Here are the trailers.

Lessons Learned

Patricia spoke about the about the amazing resilience she learned from Bill. The fact that we can go through so much and then still go out and do the work of recovery is amazing. And then to go beyond our own recovery to helping others as Bill has done is a powerful thing.

Sarah talked about two lessons she learned from Bill.

The first is the importance of relationships. Bill has friends he’s known for decades and he continued to feed those relationships throughout his life both before and after his stroke. And when he needed them — they were there. Maintaining relationship later in life goes a long way to not only enriching that live but also in feeding health.

Speaking of feeding one’s health, Sarah also learned from watching Bill feed the ducks. He has something he cares about and takes care of every day. After stroke, it’s easy to think we can’t take care of others because we have to be taken care of, but that’s a dangerous path to go down.

Taking care of others can be an important way to drive our own sense of importance (in a good way) even if it’s in a different context. Maybe we can’t take care of others the same way we could before stroke, but maybe there’s a new way of providing moral or emotional support while still getting support and care from others.

Even if that means finding some hungry ducks.

From my perspective, the worst thing that can happen to a person is to have nothing to do. It’s fine in limited doses, but having nothing to — no reason to start the day — can lead to a nasty spiral of depression. It’s why so many people die within a year of retiring from their jobs.

Or maybe you’re just getting a peek at my own anxieties there.

Cyber Activism

We talked a bit about cyber activism and how social media has given disabled people and people with disabilities a way to raise their concerns and say ableism and Eugenics are not ok. It’s a tool that means this community will not be ignored.

Twitter hashtags are some of the places where these stories come out, including:

We talked about Dr. Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw who developed the theory of Intersectionality when discussing issues of race, disability, gender and more. You can read more about her work here: https://aapf.org/our-team

Talila A. Lewis is a lawyer and activist focusing on deaf wrongful conviction cases Talila founded the HEARD organization. You can read more about Talila’s work here: https://www.talilalewis.com/about.html

Hack of the Week

Singing is sometimes a way to get words out for folks who struggle with aphasia. Because of the way the brain is wired, singing can get based block in the traditional language centers. If you find yourself fighting to speak the words, try to do a little song.


Falling in Love with the Process https://he.kendallhunt.com/product/falling-love-process-cultivating-resilience-health-crisis-stroke-survivors-story
Falling in Love with the Process on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/fallinginlovewiththeprocess
Falling in Love with the Process on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Falling-Love-Process-Cultivating-Resilience/dp/1524989894/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=falling+in+love+with+the+process&qid=1600308306&sr=8-1
Patricia Geist-Martin, Ph.D. on the web https://www.patriciageistmartin.com/
Patricia Geist-Martin, Ph.D. on SDSU https://communication.sdsu.edu/faculty_and_staff/profile/-patricia-geist-martin
Patricia’s email pgeist@sdsu.edu
Sarah Parsloe, Ph.D  at Rollins University https://www.rollins.edu/communication/faculty-staff-listing/
Sarah Parsloe, Ph.D on research Gate https://www.researchgate.net/scientific-contributions/Sarah-Parsloe-2123013686
Sarah’s email sparsloe@rollins.edu
Bill Torres on Strokecast http://Strokecast.com/BillTorres
Patricia and Bill on the Hand In Hand show https://www.handinhandshow.com/2020/07/18/episode-101-enjoy-the-recovery-process-bill-shares-his-journey/?fbclid=IwAR1T8DLyL81bKT0vcA4ax8_UXmIGGV3Cmvmk-3VlJxGMkzreaR3aYKQ5Lrg
Neuro Nerds Podcast http://TheNeuroNerds.com
Joe Borges on Strokecast http://Strokecast.com/NeuroNerds
Pathos, Logos, and Ethos http://2minutetalktips.com/2017/11/07/episode-035-let-the-audience-react-and-ancient-rhetoric-today/
Arrival — Trailer https://youtu.be/tFMo3UJ4B4g
Big Fish — Trailer https://youtu.be/M3YVTgTl-F0
#AbledsAreWeird on Twitter https://twitter.com/search?q=%23AbledsAreWeird&src=typed_query
#CripTheVote on Twitter https://twitter.com/search?q=%23cripthevote&src=typed_query
#NoBodyIsDisposable https://twitter.com/search?q=%23NoBodyIsDisposable&src=typed_query
Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw on Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kimberl%C3%A9_Williams_Crenshaw
TL Lewis website https://www.talilalewis.com/
Heard http://behearddc.org/
Alice Wong on Twitter https://twitter.com/SFdirewolf
Autoethnography on Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autoethnography#:~:text=Autoethnography%20is%20a%20form%20of,and%20social%20meanings%20and%20understandings.
The Hero’s Journey on Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero%27s_journey

Where do we go from here?

  • Order the book from the publisher or Amazon if you want to hear more about Bill Torres and falling in love with the process.
  • Share this episode with academic, professor, or college student in your life by giving them the link http://Strokecast.com/Process.
  • Follow me on Instagram at Bills_Instagram.
  • Don’t get best…get better.

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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