Monday, April 13, 2015

Aphasia? You can't be just a little bit pregnant!

After my strokes three years ago, I remember one of my many doctors and/or therapists saying something like “If you had to have a stroke, you are much better off than if it happened even a decade ago.”

There have been so many advances in stroke and aphasia rehab. Rather than stroke survivors not getting intense rehab, many stroke survivors did not have a lot of hope. Sit on the couch!

I do remember one doctors telling my family and me that my second stroke was so severe I probably could not do much. “Them are fightin’ words!”

In the 80% of my brain that is left, I continue with my recovery. The biggest problem is aphasia. I have blogged about it probably too much.

For example: When I wrote this word “probably”actually wrote “problely.” I knew it was not correct. In my head, I was trying to type “probably.” Nevertheless, I typed “problely.” The very useful Microsoft Word tool suggested potbelly” instead. 

So, I cheated and used “Siri” on my iPhone to get the exact word I wanted.

This is how I type my blog.  It is very time consuming but cathartic for me to express myself.  

Here is yet another definition from the “Aphasia Hope Foundation: Aphasia is an acquired language disorder that affects a person’s ability to communicate. Aphasia impairs the expression and understanding of language as well as reading and writing. Aphasia can occur suddenly, often the result of stroke, or it can occur over a period of time as a result of a brain tumor.”

I assumed that my aphasia would get better. However, I have read a series of “Tweets” that make me realize that there is no cure for aphasia. 

The “Aphasia Hope Foundation” wrote this: Can aphasia be cured? Thus far, no medicine, drugs, or surgery has been known to cure aphasia. Speech therapy is often provided to aphasic patients, but it does not guarantee a cure. Speech therapy is intended to help the patient utilize the remaining skills and learn complementary means of communication. Research and surgeries in the areas of brain repair and regeneration may provide for a ‘partial cure’ in the near future.”

Another group I follow on Twitter just posted this:  @AphasiaAnswers: There is no cure for aphasia, but with hard work and support, a person can return to a normal life.

I “Tweeted” this in my response: “I am tired of the term ‘my new normal.’ It's simply hard.”

Nevertheless, it seems to me that my aphasia is getting better. Perhaps, my aphasia is mild or maybe the INSENCE THEREAPY I have had for three years has MINIAMZE my CONSCUOUISE of my aphasia.

But, when I just typed this, this came out on my keyboard. What I really tried to type was this: “Perhaps, my aphasia is mild or maybe the INTENSE THERAPY I have had for three years has MINIMIZED my CONSCIOUSNESS of my aphasia.”

Like the old adage, “you can't be just a little bit pregnant.” I have aphasia. It seems that I have been dealing with it and somehow I have been compensating ever since.

The fact that I am doing this blog means I have the ability to “communicate” in various ways.

This short blog post took me over two hour to write/type. In the “old days” I would have written this in a couple of minutes.

I am most grateful that I can work around my aphasia. Or in my aphasia-speak, “gibberish.” Or from the Urban Dictionary:  "Bullshit: I blatant lie, a fragment untruth, an obvious fallacy." Or, my new normal.  

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