Man with Two Brains

Hello, my name is Dave and thought that I would share my story. I suffered a left cerebellar stroke in September 2021 while watching television. Just one month after being discharged by my oncologist 5 years after a throat cancer diagnosis and treatment and a couple of weeks after a friend died from a stroke. So it was a big shock and the trauma was made worse by the 6.5 hour wait for an ambulance and 11.5 hour wait in A&E for diagnosis and treatment. It has been a strange journey; I had aphasia and ataxia in the beginning but I mostly felt that my mind was still intact even though I could not communicate too well in the beginning. It took me a few days to get over the initial shock and I knew about neuroplasticity and worked hard to try and regain control of my balance and leg coordination. I was discharged from the Stroke Unit after a couple of weeks and returned home, for several weeks I had a regular visit from a physiotherapist before she was happy with my progress. I still suffer with vision problems and the occasional balance challenge. So far, I have faceplanted a brick wall smashing my nose and top lip, damaged my foot when I became overconfident with my progress and fell from a ladder. What I find really strange is that I feel that I have two brains; one is damaged and one is the same as it has always been. Brain fog descends occasionally and I cannot remember a word or name but I can reel off my credit card number, bank account number, my NHS number etc., from memory (which most people apparently cannot do). Even though I have what my GP calls ‘complex medical conditions’ I try to work with my limitations, push my boundaries and stay positive on the basis that a positive mental attitude helps expand my physical limitations. Despite all that happened, I feel lucky that I have survived and progressed and retain much of what I had before and I appreciate that many people are not so fortunate. By the way I am 74 years old, kind of retired but still computing and running a small business. I am interested to hear if other people have experienced the same kind of duality. Thanks for reading.


Interesting read, Dave

There’s nothing right with my left brain, and nothing left in my right brain.
I call my 2 halves Roland & Ronald. They coexist. In a few days time Roland is going to teach Ronald how to swim. If they both drown, I won’t be letting you know how it went & if 1 survives, so will the other.

Ciao, and good luck, Roland (and Ronald)


Welcome to the forum - sorry you’ve had caused


Shwmae Dave, I am a fellow cerebellar stroke rewirer, you are in fact a man with three brains, the cerebrum, the cerebellum, and the gut. Although, all work together. I share your balance and vision issues, cognitive visual-spatial problems … have an uncanny memory for numbers too, which was absent before stroke, but am quite good with words and names. I substituted my working memory problems with associative memory skills very early on after stroke, so trimmed an overgrown pathway, that my brain now uses to its satisfaction and sometimes detriment.


Hello Roland, your story was also an interesting read. I was lucky enough to know about neuroplasticity before my stroke and once the initial shock was over I was determined to work my limbs hard. My limb problems were really only balance and coordination so I never lost sensory or motor functions just control.
I still have vision and hearing problems but I get around OK.
I saw my scan and I am still amazed at how big the infarct is and wonder how I can function with a large part of my cerebellum mortified. I guess the old myth about humans only using 10% of their brains could be true!
Could Roland swim before your stroke?
Best Wishes


Yes, Dave, a certain amount is working with limbs, stimulating feeling, and a certain amount is dealing with neurological pain… what am I saying? It’s all brain work that goes on ! Yes, Roland is a good swimmer ; and a demanding teacher !

Your acuity with numbers is akin to my insight I gained understanding the emotional mood in a musical phrase. My profession was concert violinist, but luckily I have many interests. Also, I hated soup before my stroke, now I love it !!

ciao, Roland


Aye, I wouldn’t go near soup before stroke, now adore it, even crave it sometimes.


Hi @Dave_Bee and thank you for sharing your story. An interesting concept of 2 brains. I’d never thought of it like that.

Like you i get brain fog & can forget the simplest of things but I too can reel off all those numbers. I put it down to having to quote them so many times but I also had a good memory for numbers pre stroke.

Good to hear you are doing ok.

Best wishes