The Rotary Club of Grimsby met for dinner at the Casablanca Inn and heard guest speaker Bob Mahoney talk about "What Happened to Me".  He outlined the effects and recovery from a serious stroke from the patients point of view.
 
General
 
Gerry Vandermoulen chaired the club meeting in the absence of President Bob Martin.  Sixteen Rotarians, two guests and our two exchange students were present.
 
The preparations for the Fantasy of Trees were reviewed and it appears that we will have at least as many trees as last year.  Recruiting for the various duties is proceeding well, the advertising signs are up and trees and other materials are being assembled.  Thanks to Jim Howden and his team for the excellent job they have done organizing the event.
 
Happy Bucks
  • Don, acting as Sergeant-at-Arms, spoke briefly about Remembrance Day and recited "In Flanders Fields"
  • Marty was feeling better and enjoyed watching other Rotarians work at putting up the Fantasy of Trees signs.
  • Dick was "just happy".
  • George was moved by the Remembrance Day events at the Cenotaph.
  • Gerry has purchased a new car and is very happy with it.
  • Exchange student Joanne visited Toronto and saw the Aquarium.  It was great!
  • Exchange student Gabo likes Canada very much and will be moving to the Bradley's this weekend.
  • Shirley watched her twin grandsons play hockey this week and one got a "hat trick".
  • Jim M. enjoyed putting up the signs this week, but noticed that when the work was done, Marty had absolutely no dirt on his gloves.
  • Jeanette is sad that Joanne will be moving to a new host family this weekend.
  • Katherine C. outlined new research in treating breast cancer that has been developed by the University of Guelph.
  • Katherine F. enjoyed a holiday in Florida and invited us to the Niagara Falls Christmas lights display opening night.
  • Jim P. said his son Drew will soon be teaching overseas and he will be out of the house by Jan 1.
  • Charles is happy he did not have to do the Grapevine.
  • Grant says he and George are missing a lot of take-outs in curling.
Guest Speaker
  • ‚ÄčGuest Speaker Bob Mahoney was introduced by St. Catharines Rotarian Paul Monaghan.
  • Bob was a very active individual and Rotarian until he had a serious stroke in October 2012.  Bob spoke about what it was like.
  • He was found in his kitchen by his wife who recognized the seriousness of the situation and called for help immediately. Bob then spent a week in the hospital, followed by 7 weeks at the Shaver Hospital and a further 7 weeks as an outpatient.  He is still continuing with speech therapy.
  • Bob's initial feelings were loneliness, frustration and a sense of being misunderstood.  He was determined to be a "survivor", not a "victim" and has worked extremely hard to recover.
  • The changes in his life were in 5 areas:
  1. Memory Loss-both sort and long term.  He could not remember family details or even tell time.
  2. Vision-He cannot drive again.
  3. Music-He no longer has any knowledge or understanding of music.
  4. Sleeping-He has slept poorly or for very short periods only during the last two years.
  5. Aphasia-This is the ability to talk with others or to understand what is going on.  Bob found it very difficult to communicate with others.  He couldn't express himself and when he said something, many times wrong words came out.  He couldn't tell time or could only read 5 words at a time.  This was not an intelligent impairment, but a side effect of the stroke.  He knew what he wanted to say or do, but could not organize his thoughts or actions.  
  • Bob had felt lost because he had no memory and this lead him to question whether he was a good husband or father.  He felt that he had reversed his role with his spouse because she was now looking after him.
  • Strokes are the leading cause of death and disability in Canada.  Someone has a stroke here every 10 minutes.
  • To identify if a person is having a stroke, do the following:
  1. Ask the person a simple question.  They should be able to answer.
  2. Ask the person to raise both arms.  They should be able to do so.
  3. Ask the person to smile.  They should be able to do so.  If the person cannot pass these three tests, call 911 for help immediately.
  • The Club thanked Bob for his excellent presentation and wished him well in his continued recovery.