I had a stroke 20 years ago. I was only 36 years old. I was in a coma for 1 month. One day I heard Patti LaBelle singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and I woke up. My mother was playing it in the hospital. Before the stroke I was very busy. I worked in sales. Then when I had my children, I became a librarian. I talked all the time especially to answer the phone at work. After the stroke I couldn’t talk like I used to. I was told I had aphasia. I had never heard that word before. I was confused and I didn’t know what happened. I wondered “Why did this happen to me?”. I had a lot of inpatient PT and speech therapy to help me get better. My speech therapist was Denise McCall. Years later, Denise asked me to come to SCALE. SCALE is a center for people with aphasia where we get to take classes and talk with each other. At SCALE I work on my speech, reading, and learn new strategies to help me communicate better. I also learn new things like how to use technology such as the ipad. I get to talk with other people with aphasia too.
There are many things I like about SCALE. What I like the most are the people there. They are all the same as me and they know what I’m going through because they had a stroke too. I get to see and talk to my friends at SCALE. I also like the classes there. Music class is my favorite. It feels good to be in Music class and helps me feel better. We are writing and performing our own song about aphasia and it’s emotional for me to be a part of. It’s about taking things “One Day at a Time”. This is true. I think the teachers at SCALE are fantastic! They use signs and gestures to help me understand. I like learning new things at SCALE because it’s challenging. I’m learning about different technology through the ipad and digital camera. I use my ipad for therapy, to keep in touch with friends on Facebook and email, and for fun on websites like Pinterest. At SCALE I get to tell people everywhere about Aphasia. I’m happy I get to go to SCALE to be with friends and learn new things. Without SCALE things would be different. I wouldn’t have many friends and I’d be home alone a lot. At SCALE I get to see friends every week. I would probably be depressed if I couldn’t go there. Life is much better than when I first had my stroke but things are still hard. I would like to go back to work and learn to DRIVE again. These things are important to me but I’m taking it one day at a time.