My Life with Aphasia after Stroke: My New "Love Language"

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We were going to Mexico, first family vacation. With my husband’s parents on April 8, 2001. I was 31 years old, my son was 4, my daughter was 3, and my baby girl was 18 months old. Everybody was excited, especially me! Houston Airport… Our flight was 2 hours late. No worries. I started feeling woozy, maybe extra caffeine & overwhelming excitement.

Then everything changed….

I blacked out…thinking, “where’s Avery!?” Weird, why?! I can’t speak. Strange, because I am a talker! I’m watching my husband.. He is concerned and fearful. I’m confused and drowsy. Ambulance… ICU
I had to re-learn everything again…walking, talking, reading, driving, and life.
Then, living life with my husband with 3 young children. “I had a Stroke… It Is What It Is!” No “Pity Party” for me!” I truly believe the quote, “Pain is inevitable, Suffering is optional”

Several angels and God said to me “Be Strong, Shea!” My new Mantra! I knew I was not going to sit around and be sad because I am thankful and joyful. I have my toddlers who are silly and happy! Laughter is the best medicine! Children are resilient. They know I can’t speak. We communicated through a “LOVE language”. My little munchkins were the best teachers of all!
I’m “Never giving up”, I’m a mom, I’m a wife, and I’m alive! Enjoying every moment

Wonderful and challenging times. I’m so blessed with God, family and friends! Normal duties. mom jobs, diapers, play groups, planning parties, cooking, bathing babies.And, One Hand-Wonder! Ha!
I learned a lot..and have had many great adventures over the years with my kids! Cool thing because we survived, worked it out even though I could barely speak! So interesting, my stroke and God taught me LISTENING is the key! And finding my special people..kind, patient and loving friends and family. It’s really important for our aphasia world.
Fast forward to today. My speech is not perfect, maybe, 80% recovered, (still have aphasia) and my right hand is really weak.
The thing that always keeps me going is “think Happy Thoughts”! Fearlessness!
I am raising three teenagers with my awesome husband! Their ages now. 17, 16 and 15. They are happy busy bees! They are growing up! There is never a dull moment in my world.
I’m really blessed and happy for my life.”Seize the Day” concept! Carpe Diem! Learning a lot about mindful approach and positive attitude toward life and others.
I’m so grateful and blessed to find a place like Houston Aphasia Recovery Center! They are wonderful people, with amazing energy. They really “Care”! It is a “Happy Place”! I like places where I can Learn, Grow, and Share my “Adventures” with Aphasia. We can all accomplish so much more if we focus on what we “CAN DO” instead of what we cannot do.
I believe that “My Purpose” is helping Stroke and Aphasia Survivors! I love Creativity, Visiting, Sharing, HUGS, Open-Minded people, and Connecting. I am a ready and Passionate Vessel! I offer my HEART.

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4 comments

  1. Posted by Shea Massengale, at Reply

    Please contact me on LinkedIn or by email SStrokeSurvivor@gmail.com if you would like to know more about my journey.
    Shea

  2. Posted by Lacey, at Reply

    You are amazing! Thank you for sharing your story! My dad has had 3 strokes and has aphasia, so I know how frustrating it can be. It makes me feel hopeful that you have such a positive outlook. Best wishes to you and your family!

  3. Posted by stanley riggans, at Reply

    Thank you.

  4. Posted by Extender, at Reply

    Thank you Lindsay. I recall the night although it appears as though along way. Hoping your Mom along with you effectively.
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