Thursday, November 9, 2017

Airports and Aphasia

In my career I used to travel all over the nation. Navigating airports, freeways and my hectic life was second nature. In October I had to travel three times. I went to the New York City, Denver and Las Vegas.

It’s like my old days. And I do not miss it.
Practically, the condition of Aphasia is difficult to understand. There are many types aphasia.

Right after my strokes, looking at gates in airports stumped to me.

For example, this photo of a random gate “B 18” seems relatively simple. However, aphasia manifests itself in different ways.
“B 18” did not register in my brain first. I could not understand numbers or letters. Just symbols to me with no cognitive correlation.

In addition, “B 18” could be unrecognizable for some aphasia survivors. Instead of seeing a letter and a number you might just see an unrecognizable distortion in your field of vision.

I could not drive after my stroke for several reasons. My brain was in a fog and my reaction times made me too scared to be on the road.
In addition, simple reading of highway signs what’s the problem. When you could not even understand your name, the concept of reading a highway sign such as “Speed Limit 40” is dangerous. My brain didn’t connect to the images on signs.

I am grateful that I can drive again and happy that I can function like I do considering my aphasia.

This is the reason that I am getting better: Neuroplasticity is the change in neural pathways and synapses that occurs due to certain factors, like behavior, environment, or neural processes. During such changes, the brain engages in synaptic pruning, deleting the neural connections that are no longer necessary or useful, and strengthening the necessary ones.

It seems my brain has recovered enough that I can deal with my aphasia, read and drive.

No comments: