May is American Stroke Month, and we are taking this opportunity to offer some basic information about one of the most common reasons for long-term disability claims. So far, we have reviewed the types of stroke and talked a little about the physical and cognitive damage a stroke can inflict. During recovery, patients can also experience emotional ups and downs, because the stroke has damaged the part of the brain that controls emotions and, at times, behavior.
The actress Patricia Neal is one of the most famous stroke survivors. Having won an Academy Award and a Tony Award, Neal was at the height of her career when she inexplicably suffered a series of strokes. The physical and emotional toll of her illness and recovery prevented her from performing, from making a living for years after.
Stroke is not just a geriatric issue. According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, about 28 percent of the people in this state who have a stroke are under 65. While strokes are often fatal, a good number of people survive a stroke -- a good number of working people, in fact, because stroke is one of the most common causes of long-term disability.
A woman from Oklahoma who suffers from depression has found relief from her condition in the form of a kangaroo. The kangaroo is the woman's therapy pet, and the woman's therapist has even certified the kangaroo as a therapy pet under the Americans with Disabilities Act. However, the city where the woman lives believes the kangaroo presents a public safety risk and the woman is seeking an exemption from the city council to keep her unique therapy pet.