I am Jolly

The personal website for Robert Jolly

WordCamp US 2015: Accessibility: Proven, easy integration into design and development workflows

Here is a link to my slide deck on Slideshare from my talk at WordCamp US 2015.  And, a link to the official session description for the talk, titled “Accessibility: Proven, easy integration into design and development workflows.”

My WordCamp slide deck on SlideShare

As always, let me know if there are any questions I can help with or feedback for me.

WordCamp Tampa 2015 – Accessibility Talk

Hello WordCampers! And, everyone interested in viewing the slide deck for my presentation at WordCamp Tampa…

Here is a PDF (~18 MB file size) which I just exported from Keynote.

Any questions? Feel free to drop me a note in the comments or over Twitter @iamjolly.


Stroke recovery and long-term outlook

It’s now just over two years since my stroke. It’s time for an update. Too much time has passed since I’ve posted an update on this blog. Fortunately, the comments on my “Recovery progress after stroke…” thread have been active enough to keep me happy. That activity shows that sharing my story is likely helping others in some small way.

How I’m doing now

I feel very well, physically. My physicians have long-since removed all activity restrictions and have even encouraged me to return to pushing my limits. My stroke recovery is about as complete as it can be at this point. I still shy away from things like roller coasters and anything with potential impacts to the head or neck.  And I will never, ever consider a chiropractic adjustment after learning about the risks of artery dissection and stroke from those “therapies.”

I still have some maintenance meds to take, but the Warfarin (blood thinner) therapy is now a distant memory. Aspirin and the lowest dose of blood pressure medicine is all I routinely take. I don’t ever feel any physical symptoms of the dissection and stroke, but occasionally I feel worried it will happen again. I can’t imagine that not being normal for those who have experienced what I have.

Looking forward

I can truly say I’m lucky. The stroke didn’t do any serious or permanent damage. Perhaps it was a warning sign or wake-up call to care for my health in other ways, which I’ve tried my best to do. Hopefully, I’ll be around for many years to enjoy the love of my family, to provide for them, give them joy, and do some good for others in this world.

There is life after stroke.

Little Swami at Swami's Beach



Recovery progress after stroke and vertebral artery dissection

I have been meaning to provide an update on my recovery progress after suffering the vertebral artery dissection and stroke. I had another MRA (magnetic resonance angiogram) scan of my head and neck vasculature on January 30th, about eight weeks after the stroke and six weeks after beginning the anticoagulant therapy.

MRA results

The report I received from the radiologist who read/interpreted the MRA images stated that my vertebral artery had an “essentially normal appearing lumen” with no signs of the dissection from before. This is simply amazing to me that the dissected vertebral artery has healed completely.

While I’m overjoyed, I do need to await the consult with my neurologist to discuss the MRA report and determine what happens next in my treatment plan. That appointment is in about 10 days from today. My expectation is that I’ll still need one or more follow-up MRAs to watch for any potential issues with my vertebral arteries or cranial vasculature—just in case—and hopefully I can scale back or discontinue the anticoagulation therapy immediately.

Vertebral artery images: then and now

Below are images of my vertebral artery showing the dissection and narrowing of the lumen (left) as compared to the same after six weeks of anticoagulant therapy (right) showing a return to normal size and function.

Comparison MRAs showing vertebral artery dissection (left) and recovery (right)


And, below is the larger image of the latest MRA of the carotid and vertebral arteries with the right side showing signs of recovery.

My follow-up MRA showing recovery of right vertebral artery 8 weeks after dissection.

What now?

My primary doctor has cleared me for any activity I want to do including running, cycling, and other sports with the exception of anything at high altitudes (> 10,000 ft.) or at extreme pressure (scuba diving). I’m slowly getting back into my fitness/training regimen with an eye toward some ultra running goals later this year. With the recurrence possibility of this type of artery dissection and stroke slim to none, I intend to live life fully and demonstrate that exercise truly is the best medicine.

Stroke photos

I wanted to follow-up my last post that detailed my stroke with a few images from the MRI and MRA studies. I intend to build catalogue of these images for comparing these initial images with future ones as my recovery progresses. There are nearly 700 photos of my brain and neck region from just the initial MRI and MRA studies alone!

MRI showing ischemic insult, 09 DEC 2011

MRI showing a stroke

The bright yellow area shows the damaged area that was caused by a loss of blood flow.

MRA showing right vertebral artery dissection, 16 DEC 2011

MRA - right vertebral artery dissection

This MRA image shows the severity of the reduction in blood flow through the right vertebral artery. The larger blood vessels on the right and left are the carotid arteries. There are no signs of trouble anywhere else other than the right vertebral artery.

MRI showing no problems at all, just a wild pattern in my nasal area. 09 DEC 2011

MRI showing a weird/cool pattern

It's funny how these interesting patterns show up in scans. Looks trippy, eh?

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