In the spirit of Let’s #TalkAboutAphasia, the National Aphasia Association‘s nationwide aphasia awareness campaign, we wanted to do just that — talk about aphasia — but we also wanted to ensure the voices of people with aphasia were part of our conversation. Which is why we launched a video series called In Their Words: Aphasia Experiences.
In part 1 of our series, Al discusses what it was like following his stroke, some of the worries he experienced, what writing his first email with aphasia was like, and what he has done since to fight back through intensive therapy and homework.
(Turn on closed captioning by clicking the CC button on the bottom menu and selecting English or scroll down for a transcript.)
0:10: So my stroke fortunately is starting to drift away into my past. The physical cause is a neurological mystery. The doctors are not sure. But the results of my stroke were real. Initially some physical pain. But really the more painful things were the emotions. Deep anxiety, distress and confusion.
From the hospital, I had some silent choice words with the ancestors, that gave me these ineffective genes. Right after my stroke, there was no clear path out of this, and worse there were worries about who am I. And of course, there’s my new friend aphasia — who doesn’t say much of anything that makes any sense.
1:10: I wrote my first email after my stroke from the hospital to a friend, and remember, I tried to fix this 30 word email for about an hour before I sent it. I wrote:
“I am in healthcare in Dallas. I am not be will able to saying it. My wife will is have what should do. I was better in time. I was right.”
Obviously, I couldn’t write much. And I spoke even less. Ordering food in the hospital was a problem. Remembering my children’s names — were all gone. And exactly the name of the place Julia and I sat in the park outside of the hospital was gone. But the aphasia…
2:10: The lack of obvious communication brings a deeper problem. Although my thoughts are still with me, who I am is now different. The part of me that I communicated to my friends and family and strangers, that me of me is now somehow different. Fortunately, thankfully, I’m almost done with seven weeks of intense education and homework. And another three weeks of homework.
About the In Their Words Series
In the series, we ask our current and former clients and care partners to talk about their experiences with aphasia — the good, the bad, and the sometimes surprising.
The brief videos (3 minutes or less) are shot informally, and we asked our participants to communicate freely about aphasia from their perspective. Some opted to write and then read from their prepared statements. Others preferred more interview style-interactions for the videos.
Please help spread the word about aphasia — share these videos and help get the conversation started.
Click here for all of the videos:
In Their Words Playlist
Are You Dealing with Language Loss After a Stroke?
To learn more about UMAP and what we might be able to do for you or your loved one, call (734) 764-8440 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get the conversation started.