Kate Allatt experienced amazing healing from stroke after having had locked-in syndrome.
This article is my book review and response to reading her book, Running Free.
If you are a regular to this website you will know I am someone who lives with the illness Myalgic Encephelomyelitis or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. However, I found Kate Allatt's story interesting and inspiring. We can learn a lot from other people's experience of living with illness and healing from illness.
Kate's story is interesting to me partly because of the similarities - I know what it is to be stuck in bed, unable to move and unable to speak. (At least I could move bits of me.)
Her story is also interesting to me because of the differences.
She found anger to be a useful part of her journey of healing from stroke. Kate is comfortable with the emotion of anger. In contrast, anger is not an easy emotion for me. For me to feel anger is tiring and challenging.
Kate Allatt had a condition which allowed her to push herself hard physically. In fact it was essential to her recovery to do so. In contrast, I experience the frustration of NOT being able to push myself hard physically.
Lastly, I have taken the route of emotional healing, alternative healing and spiritual healing. Kate Allatt's journey is far more within the bounds of conventional medicine. It was good for me to read a book by someone who has had the option of a more conventional healing route.
I first heard the British lady Kate Allatt interviewed on BBC Radio 2’s, Jeremy Vine show.
She had the slow and slurred speech one often hears in someone who has had a stroke.
The prognosis for her had been that she would never talk again so she was doing wonderfully.
A few month's later I was lucky to hear Kate Allatt speak about her inspiring stroke recovery at the Swindon Festival of Literature (Swindon, Wiltshire, UK is my home town).
By then, her speech had returned to normal.
She had experienced phenomenal healing from stroke. Not only from stroke, but from one of the worst kinds of stroke.
The book Running Free is a moving account of how Kate Allatt suffered a severe stroke and found herself with locked-in syndrome.
We find out how she fought to get back to talking and walking again.
Healing involved a huge amount of effort on her part.
For those of you reading this who are living with a stroke or with one of various chronic illnesses, Kate’s journey with disability and dependency may be different or similar to your own.
Here are some features of her experience of healing from stroke - the help she received and the challenges she faced along the way.
The book is a straight forward and beautifully honest account of Kate's survival and improvement.
Kate portrays herself as far from a saint. She recognises that she was demanding at times. She also believes that this bloody-mindedness and anger was a factor in her recovery.
There were times when people told her she couldn’t do something and it only served to motivate her ... She wanted to prove them wrong.
In his book Love, Medicine and Miracles Dr Bernie Siegel speaks about how the cancer patients who take an active role in deciding their treatment and are not 'easy' patients often have the best health outcomes.
As someone who writes about forgiveness, I wanted to highlight the potential value of anger in a difficult time.
can take advice on forgiveness to mean that we avoid conflict and agree
with everyone. This is not necessarily the case. Not at all.
The book lacks a little grammar here and there. It does not matter in the slightest.
This is a story of a woman’s fight to get her life back.
Yes, she is a fighter and is clearly someone who sets herself high goals. But her story is all the more inspirational in that she also comes across as a pretty normal person, who wants to get back to her family, her running, and to being a mother.
I read this book cover to cover. It is privilege to gain an insight into such a dramatic situation from which someone has fought to recover.
When living with chronic illness, we are often isolated from others in the same situation.
Read this book about healing from stroke to compare your situation with that of...
Compare yourself to Kate to get clear on all that you do so well.
See if there is any attitude in Kate that inspires you.
Give yourself permission to get angry and feel fed up.
Give yourself permission to ask for what you need and to trust your instincts.
Kate Allatt went on to bring out another book about her journey of healing from stroke.
She found it harder in some ways once she was back at home adapting to her new life. The book Gonna Fly Now speaks of this period of time.
Do check out one of her healing books to gain perspective on your own journey of healing from stroke or from any other condition.
Wishing you healing both within and beyond illness,
Katherine T Owen
Katherine is author of this website www.HealingCFSME.com
In a time of chronic illness, you need to adapt your behaviour and adjust your expectations of yourself to keep them realistic. Click to read about my recommended health management approaches.