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In the book “Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah” author Richard Bach wrote “Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they’re yours.”   Yesterday during a Zoom meeting, I turned down the opportunity to chair a worthwhile statewide organization. It was a huge and humbling honor to be asked. Unfortunately, because of ongoing health issues related to my stroke and aphasia, I turned down the opportunity to serve. It’s the right decision. Yet I am simply sad about “what could’ve been.”  Are my limitations real or just a perception? I talk a good game.
Recent posts

Why don’t you blog anymore?

Last week, a close friend of mine ask me why I haven’t blogged for a long time.  I was startled for several reasons.   First of all, I didn’t think that anyone would notice. I started my blog a long time ago to keep track of memories of my son. The focus of my blog turned 180 degrees when my strokes happened. I struggle to retain some semblance of “me”” My blog was a way to express myself. As I struggled to write missing words, prepositions, and thoughts, my blog was homework because my therapists mandated that I start to blog again.   It helped me to express my innermost demons and fears. I was embarrassed later when a reporter did a feature about me using my blog as a source. As I emerged from my brain fog which took several years, I realized that I needed to be more careful choosing my words. People were reading my blog.  Later, using my blog, I announced my reelection campaign for a seat on the board of the College of Western Idaho. It was a useful tool for me to

Cat on a hot tin roof

One of my favorite plays is “A Cat On a Hot Tin Roof.”  I’ve always enjoyed Tennessee Williams writings. Often there is an anti-hero who speaks bitter truth. In the tortured souls of his characters, he often exposes the dark side of life. In 1958, Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman filmed the screen adaption of the play. It’s a great movie even though in the 50s era they had to sanitize the realities Williams words. I have often blogs about my headaches. My last post was in anticipation of my third Botox treatment.  As I write this blog post, I’m sitting in the dark in the middle of the night with a headache.  If I should take the Norco or just tough it out. Newman’s character “Brick” had a confrontation with his father about secrets and “mendacity.” Brick stressed alcohol is the only way to deal with the stress of living. As I contemplate this pain, this line in the play/movie resonates to me “Like a switch clicking off in my head. Turns the hot light off and th

Dark Places

For several months my sleep pattern has been disrupted. I often wake up between 2:00 to 4:00 in morning. It is because of the constant headaches. Plus our dog Lucy expects me to sit in the dark living room and she expects a treat.  It’s like a dystopian Pavlov’s dog situation. Frankly, she gets a rawhide and I take a Norco to relieve the pain. She eats her treat and my pill kicks in to relieve my pain. She then sits by the window in search of the elusive cats. And I think about the peaceful dark space in my head. Of course, people are worried about my sleep pattern. And I am conscious of this situation as well. On the other hand, I do enjoy this time. Often I have bogged about my stroke recovery. There are no visible issues. I do not limp. My communication is much better then several years ago when my aphasia was so obvious.  Nevertheless, after nine years of strokes and aphasia, I am on the brink of my 60th birthday. I have noticed my struggle with the aphasia is more

Descending into silence

Because of my strokes nine years ago, I have a condition called “Aphasia.” Does Aphasia affect a person’s intelligence?   NOPE.  A person with aphasia may have difficulty retrieving words and names, but the person’s intelligence is basically intact. Aphasia is not like Alzheimer’s disease; for people with aphasia it is the ability to access ideas and thoughts through language – not the ideas and thoughts themselves- that is disrupted. Nevertheless, my words - or the lack of them - seems to have gotten worse. The repercussions have damaged my self-confidence.  As a result, I am withdrawing from social media for the time being. This includes my blog. My blog was a place I felt safe to express my thoughts. But for now I am doing a self imposed silence. I don’t feel safe anymore. I will lurk in the shadows but not post or comment.

Aphasia and Gas

 Today I went to the convenient store to get some gas for my car.   I told the clerk that I needed “$10 bucks on number 5.” The clerk seemed perplexed and I said, “Is something wrong?”  At that store there are six spots for gas. I was at the store at 4:30 AM at the parking lot was empty other than my vehicle. She said, “You want $10 bucks on number five but you are parked beneath number four.”  I sighed and explained not because of my Aphasia sometimes numbers are difficult for me to distinguish. But I’m a good tipper restaurants!

Garage and Aphasia

Recently I was having trouble opening my garage door. We have had the same code for years to open the garage door. After several frustrating tries garage door opened. Instantly I was worried that my brain fog manifested to the point where I could not remember numbers.  Aphasia is different for different people. For me, handwriting, numbers, and reading are difficult.    After my strokes, I was supposed to walk for exercise. However, my wife would let me walk until I could understand the numbers for our address. Even now punching in a garage code and looking at the numbers for our street address is difficult. When I am exhausted or stressed it’s even worse.  The good news is the issue with the garage door code was a dead battery.