This ‘breaking news’ that I have been bringing you in this blog interrupted the story I was trying to tell – the story of my designer stroke and the aphasia that rules my frame, and the resistance movement against it. So, I now continue the story. When last we were on the original track I talked about some of the most memorable conversations I’ve had have been with my grandson Baxter.
I live within my mind. There, everything is just fine – I talk like I used to; mentally and physically react like I was in my 20’s; my right arm moves and closes on things like the kettle without pre-planning; I can get trousers on and off without falling over; I don’t drool from the right side of my mouth. Like I said – in my mind.
But the reality is I cannot marry my mind with real time. So I continue to press on with rehabilitation, the effort to make the real time work the way it was before the stroke.
My speech therapist Catherine says I really should be out more and meet people, and guess what, The Stroke Association has a bi-weekly meeting of people just like me. Call me a curmudgeon but I still have an aversion to people seeing me like this – they might think I’m disabled.
Stock taking: I talk every day to my Amoret and to my daughter. I volunteer for such dangerous missions as negotiating mobile phone upgrades, cable TV service, making appointment at the doctors, all with the invisible cloak of being done by telephone. I explain that I have had a stroke and it has affected my speech so bear with me.
I still haven’t learned or even been introduced to the term aphasia. I carry a little card from The Stroke Association that says:
“I have had a stroke
And find it difficult
To speak, read or write
Please give time to communicate.”
Boldface was added to engage people by The Stroke Association and there still is no mention of aphasia.
In person I engage in short-term conversation with fellow dog walkers; I buy two newspapers at the corner shop every day; I harangue people who post things through my mail slot despite a notice on the door saying we don’t want brochures for greasy fried chicken, pizzas or kebabs (when I catch them at it); interact with the postman delivering parcels; meet friends at the grocery; occasional conversations with Baxter.
I thought it was enough. But, taking Catherine’s advice, I enrol for the next meeting.