Eleven Months of Aphasia
The other day was May 8, 2021, and it was the eleventh month since I had a stroke. It happened while I was in Cape Cod with my wife on Monday, June 8. I had a great time in May playing a lot of golf now that I had retired on December 31, 2019. I even had three days in a row on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday on June 5, 6, and 7th. I left after golf on Sunday and drove up to Cape Cod last night. Everything seemed fine.
Last June, Monday started to be a nice day. At lunch, my wife and I went and got hot dogs. Afterward, I laid out the sun on the deck and fell asleep. My wife realized that something was wrong, and she immediately called the EMT. They worked hard on me for the stroke, and later I found that I have aphasia. Aphasia is an impairment of language, affecting the production or comprehension of speech and the ability to read or write. Many of it changes in different ways.
The first week was at the Boston hospital, and later I went to the Rehab in Sandwich, MA, for ten days. After that, I went back to the Chatham for the rest of the month.
The good news was that physically, I was not too bad. The bad news was that my language was a bit challenged. I knew what I wanted to say but could not find the words. My therapy and Becky started on me reading Flash Cards on the alphabet. We started with just ten words. I just took them now and found out that I got fifty out of fifty-four. It progressed.
I use an app on Constant Therapy that takes me about one hour each day to progress therapy on different areas that we focus on.
My focus area for me is about certain things. My word is much better. I see the pictures, and I can find the words for much in the 90% areas. The other day was a word that I had it right – handkerchief. Wrong! It was a bandana. It had a cowboy, I guess. Today I still can’t get it. I must go on google or “Word Hippo” which I use to help me.
Lately, in the exercise, I read a story of five sentences for me. I read them back. Sounds easy, right. It seems that is the issue that I have from aphasia. Getting words to start to make sense, and I can learn those. “Song sang” takes progress.
The area I work discussion on a show, or a movie, or even a conversation. When I take to Becky to tell my story, I can’t explain it. My therapy, Alex, is working on “Attentive Reading & Constrained Summarization (ARCS)
for Discourse in Aphasia (https://tactustherapy.com/arcs-attentive-reading-constrained-summarization-aphasia/). We are just working on this now.
Over the last few months, I have been playing golf a lot, but it still sucks. I have been working on computers. I had to re-read stuff on Excel and Word. Things were easy for me; now I need to redo on google to remembers how to do some things. I started working on a website. I started with WordPress.
I started this website for www.aphasiarocks.com to use a GoDaddy to “Create Your Own Website.” I’m working on a WordPress that covers a new website on my own.
Learning for this on tutorials is like a groundhog. Every day I think about how it works, and the next day I must look over again to remember how it works. Aphasia!
Every day is a great day for me. My friends are easy to reach out to me, and I try to explain what I am working on each day. They are patient as sometimes I am not figuring out what I am trying to say.
Eleven months will turn into one year in June, and I will continue beyond learning this. Learn from your friends. They are awesome.