I am Getting Better!!

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In 2007 I had a stroke and aphasia. I almost died but with excellent medical care at North Memorial in Robbinsdale, MN, superb speech therapy through North Memorial, and continuing improvement through MnCAN (www.MnCAN.org) I have continued to get better. I use my iPad to improve my speech and understanding with programs through Lingraphica, Tactus Therapy, Intuary, Dragon Dictation, Words with Friends and QuizUp. I also use the text to speech feature on my Kindle to read books and Rosetta Stone English. With these, I can practice my skills in overcoming aphasia.
Since my stroke and aphasia, I have trouble with:
1) Movies—I like to see movies. I have trouble naming them when I am buying a ticket, so I will bring a printed copy of the name of the movie with me. I don’t recognize words as being swear words. I also have trouble keeping characters straight when just their names are used, rather than seeing their face.
2) Restaurants—it can be difficult with servers. I usually point out the item on the menu I want to order rather than try to say it. If the server asks a question about what type of side dish, they usually ask it too quickly and I have to ask them to repeat it.
3) Medical appointments—the doctors understand, but I have trouble with the desk personnel and nursing personnel in explaining why I am there. Since I have no feeling on my right side, the hygienist at the dentist doesn’t realize why my teeth are different on each side of my mouth.
4) Math—I just can’t do it anymore. I was able to do Calculus in high school. It is gone from my brain. I like to use a tip calculator on my iPhone. I cannot do division and multiplication, but I can still use TurboTax to file my taxes.
Since my stroke and aphasia, these are helpful:
1) My husband.
2) Friends of mine who have aphasia—we try to meet and talk at least 2 times per week. We are still smart, but the words don’t always come out correctly.
3) Any way you can have access to more speech therapists through support groups, other meeting, do it—it really helps.
4) I have many friends that continue to help me to improve my talking skills.
How I know I am getting better:
1) When I am at the bank, I will ask the teller a question. Before I wouldn’t be able to talk to her.
2) I call people more on the phone rather than just emailing. I will call friends and family members such as my nieces.
3) Just recently I had to talk to people while my house was being remodeled. They were able to understand what I was saying, and that made me happy.
4) I go to many Twins baseball games. For a long time I wouldn’t talk with the usher, but now I will ask them questions and talk with them.
Because of my strokes effects on my body:
1) I had some remodeling done in my home to make life easier for me. Comfort height toilets are wonderful and make it much easier to stand up.
2) Grab bars for the shower, bath and toilet are also very helpful.
Once again, I am getting better!!

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5 comments

  1. Posted by Ric Johnson, at Reply

    Hello there. There a Brain Injury Support Group in the Golden Valley Courage Center that meets on the 2nd & 4th Tuesday nights, between 6:30 – 8:00p.m. You are more then welcomed to attend. http://www.couragecenter.org/ContentPages/brain_injury_supportgroup.aspx?FromNavPK=181

  2. Posted by LInda Fierce, at Reply

    What an inspirational story! Keep up the good fight.

  3. Posted by Deb Krause, at Reply

    Rochelle,
    Hooray for you – you are getting better! I’m proud of you for your determination, perseverence, and optimistic attitude. You had a stroke, and you have aphasia. However, through it all, you have remained an amazing person and good friend!

  4. Posted by Annette, at Reply

    Hi Rochelle,

    Excellent summary of all that you have been doing and good tips for others. I continue to be impressed with your determination. Each time we meet for lunch, I see noticeable improvements in your speech and independence. I am so proud of you!

    Annette

  5. Posted by nancy mamis-king, at Reply

    Good going.