Wednesday, June 30, 2010

inside aphasia

Imagine being so tired that you can barely think enough to put words together.
Imagine being so frustrated with trying to speak that small talk doesn't even seem worth the effort it takes to put a sentence together.
Imagine not being able to remember the names of significant people or things including things like aneurysm and aphasia that have profoundly effected your life.

Since June was aphasia awareness month and I haven't seen anything to make people more aware of it I tried to "interview " Andie about what it's like. Well, that wasn't too brilliant on my part since an interview requires communication and that's... uh... the major problem, so I felt it was another source of frustration for her to think about the details of it and again hard to relay her thoughts so I didn't push it too much. What I've written here are just my observations.
Her description of aphasia included being frustrated by not finding important words and not remembering names at times- It seems to me like her short term memory has been effected the most. Reading is difficult since deciphering the words takes so much effort that the ideas are lost by the time she reads to the end of a paragraph. But we went to Friday's not long ago and she could still remember the usual order of a regular customer we saw that day.

Truthfully, I can't even begin to imagine what things are like for her now since her normal intelligence is still there but the ability to communicate is so limited. Though I think the rest of us might get a glimpse of what it's like at times a word is on the tip of your tongue or a name won't come to you but then most people can just come up with synonyms to describe things, it's much harder for her to just convey the most basic ideas for her so then the thoughts are just stuck inside her head.
There are times when she's rested and relaxed that she can talk like she used to but when she's tired or feeling pressured it gets harder. The healing process of her brain combined with the meds she's still on for things like preventing seizures make her tire easily. I spoke with Andie this morning and she and my mom had been out for a walk plus she had therapy yesterday so she said she felt tired and said she "couldn't even babble" today. She's anxious for some improvement and frustrated by all the changes that have been forced upon her by no fault of her own.
The doctors did say that she'll continue to improve over time and she still has speech therapy that includes homework every day. One of the articles we read did say that sometimes a leap forward can be preceded by a lapse in something so maybe she's about to have a breakthrough of some sort.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Our power's back on!!

We have power but since we've grown accustomed to going without Josh and I are going to be tent - camping in the back yard tonight. This was a last minute idea on my part - maybe not the best idea since it's going to be sweltering out there but he's thrilled.... the stuff memories (and afternoon, inside naps) are made of...