ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Book Review: My Stroke of Insight

Updated on November 26, 2014

The Book by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor


How I Learned About This Book

My first exposure to Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor was through her interview on the Oprah show about five years ago. Not only was her story of stroke and recovery compelling to listen to, her description of what the stroke was like from the inside was astounding. Dr. Taylor was a Harvard brain scientist! She had all the anatomical knowledge available to her to become a detailed observer of her stroke process. She was conscious through much of her first few hours of stroke and while recovering was able to remember and document her observations.

Her book A Stroke of Insight takes you on her journey. It's clearly written and balanced. It's balanced in that it shows what she was doing in her life before the stroke, during the stroke (fascinating), the beginning of recovery and where she is now.

Some things she learned about stroke recovery:

  • She responded better to therapy when people would address her directly, include her in discussions about her condition and when they left their own stress outside the room. Even though she could not understand words, she was still able to detect feeling and intention. A flustered nurse slamming through the care-taking motions in her room sapped energy from her. Calm talking, a touch and personal interaction (even though the interaction was mainly one sided) made a huge difference in her will to get better.
  • A stroke victim needs a primary caretaker (friend, family member) that can devote their life to the recovery. That person for her was her mother. If Taylor had to rely on just institutional therapy (no matter how good) she believes she would not have made it as far.
  • Another important thing was sleep and time to repair. In a hospital setting, you are periodically woken at times to have vitals taken. There are constantly things that can interrupt your rest. When Taylor was at home with her Mom, she enjoyed long uninterrupted reparative rest. As things slowly got better, she noticed that being able to 'shut down' when she needed to gave her the energy to try harder when working on her physical and mental therapy activities.

You can tell she is definitely one of my modern time heroes. She equates her temporary loss of the analytical side of her as a gift. She is now a more balanced person and feels the joy of the connectedness of the universe. This view would have otherwise have slipped from her life if she had continued on her single minded academic research path.

Dr. Taylor's TED talk.

Dr. Taylor on Oprah's Lifeclass.

Dr. Taylor's works in conjunction with the Harvard Brain Bank.

"Please take responsibility for the energy you bring into this space." - Jill Bolte Taylor, My Stroke of Insight


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Kim Milai profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Milai 

      4 years ago

      @TerriCarr: It was an easy read, I especially liked how descriptive she was while writing about the actual stroke. I thought she did a great job putting into words how it feels floating in and out of comprehension. I would look forward to another review if you do it. Let me know! :)

    • TerriCarr profile image


      4 years ago

      I heard about Jill-Bolte Taylor from a TED Talk. Quite an amazing experience. I am so glad she is able and eager to share her story with the world. Love the quote you chose above. I have a copy of this book. It's on my reading list ;-) Maybe I will add a review too!

    • Kim Milai profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Milai 

      4 years ago

      @Babu Mohan: I agree, she is a role model for me.

    • Babu Mohan profile image

      Mohan Babu 

      4 years ago from Chennai, India

      It is always inspirational to know someone who has fought successfully against all odds.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)