Redirection After An AVM Burst & Stroke

First off, I’m so glad to have found this site. It will be 5 years on July 28th since my AVM burst and I had a stroke and emergency brain surgery. Before my stroke I was involved a lot in music. One of the hardest things for me after my stroke was the loss of musical ability I sustained. I played trumpet. piano, and sang quite a bit. Due to everything that happened I lost use of my left arm. In addition, the spasisity I have battled my affected my embouchure(lips) in playing trumpet, which means I lost a lot of my range to play high notes. And my voice lost an octave also. I don’t play piano very much now due to having some carpel tunnel type issues in my remaining working right hand. So as you can see it would be very easy to get depressed about this.

One of my care managers suggested that I figure out how to redirect those lost abilities. I had always had a love of music. As a kid I would make little radio shows with my brother, and continued to do that into my early twenties i the privacy of my bedroom, lol. Well, I started doing a lot more listening to music, instead of “performing”. I began to see I had a knack for putting music together. After listening to some people dj online. I thought if that was something that I could could do for fun. Well, one thing led to another. And I eventually started doing an online radio show. And the response has been wonderful. It has accomplished several things for me:

  • Kept me active, and not laying on my already sore neck in bed all day.
  • Gave me an outlet for performance, musicians are very performance based.
  • Helped me interact with people, and not stuck in the cave of my own self pity.
  • Activate my brain daily, you need that after a brain injury.

I would encourage any of you that have lost some of your abilities and are struggling with that, to see how you can redirect it. You are still creative! I can’t promise you can do the same things, but you can do something both productive & worthwhile for yourself…

good on you and so true…i was a teacher before all this happened to me ido miss it greatly…but i was fourtunate to own a cafe as my husband is a chef so i was able to go in and take orders behind the till and use the cash register…the social contact and money handling has been great for my recovery and without it i would have fell into a hole of pity and depression…so although i am not doing what did before …i now have a new career and enjoying it very much

Hey James,

It’s great that you found another outlet for your interest in music. I’ve been seriously considering making some change in my own life because of the surgery, and it’s good to hear that someone out there has had success doing so.

Take care,


That’s a great story and took a ton of courage for you to change your life like that. Good for you James. I am going to check out your website and program. :slight_smile:

I am happy to hear things worked out for you. That’s just what I needed a success story. My son is currently struggling and I am looking for support and wisdom. I encourage him constantly and will not allow any negativity around him. He also love music. He has lost the ability to communicat and has minimal usage of his right side. I have to say it is scary but I would never let him see that. When do you think you went from an AVM (victim for lack of a better word) to an AVM surrvivor?