Hey, I’m Pamela Hsieh.
I’m here to lead a community of people affected by stroke — whether they are survivor-thrivers like me, the loved ones of a survivor, or their significant others. In 2003, when I was only 19, I had a stroke caused by an arteriovenous malformation (AVM), which paralyzed the entire left half of my body.
I created this blog for those looking for a safe place to explore what they are going through, yet are totally over the clinical side of stroke recovery. I remind them that they are not simply their bodies, and that they can make peace with the trauma of their strokes without letting the stroke define them.
As of this writing in May 2017, I’ve had 13 years of experience living with the residual effects of stroke. I’ve been writing and sharing about my journey through struggle and empowerment through sharing my experience:
- 2010: The University of Chicago Hospitals featured me (“A Race Against Time”) in one of their ad campaigns around my seven-year strokiversary
- 2013: A monologue based on my story was featured in a play called Falling Petals, created by non-profit organization Erasing the Distance in Chicago
- 2014: I was interviewed for the ADOPT Illinois program at University of Illinois at Chicago to give Asian-Americans with disabilities some insight on work opportunities
When I’m not writing or working on my primary business, I can be found cooking, traveling, playing with my fur-and-feather family, or searching for my next random adventure — like hunting down a pineapple sage plant or a new prettypretty crystal.
If you’re salivating to know more, here are three things you may not know about me:
- It took me seven years to graduate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a double major in Italian and creative writing (“rhetoric”), because I took some time off after the stroke, changed majors a couple times, and studied abroad in Italy twice (first in Florence, then in Bologna).
- I livebreathedream personal development. I believe in 100% personal responsibility — which means that we are entirely responsible for the quality of our experiences and relationships.
- Though I don’t really look like one, I’m really kind of a hippie. I believe in good vibes, environmentalism, and energy work.
In 2015 I migrated my Rehab Revolution blog over to this domain, and I am psyched! I’d love to see you take part in the conversation with hashtag #strokedup.
You can connect with me, right this second, by writing in (revolution [dot] rehab [at] gmail.com). I loooove your comments, too — and I read them all!
Or, you can interact with me live on my occasional Facebook livestreams for my #STROKESCOPE episodes. (First Tuesday of each month at 3pm Eastern — this is subject to change, as I am still learning the ropes.)
Here’s what I’d love to hear from you about:
- Content: What kind of content would best serve you? What are you wondering about? What can I better provide you?
- Featured Writers: Guest post suggestions — who/what is a great resource you think other survivor-thrivers could benefit from hearing from?
- Appreciations: What do you love about Stroked Up? Hearing from other survivor-thrivers and knowing that this blog has helped them somehow nourishes me. Keep it coming! <3
As I continue to transform the new site more completely (please forgive me as it goes through growing pains!), I will also put together a new monthly e-newsletter called The Stroked Up Life. I will be sure to let you know when you can sign up for it!