Thursday, January 27, 2011

Vending machine therapy

I bought a snack from a vending machine today for the first time since the stroke. Since January 2010, to be exact.

I didn't realize how complicated this process is: reading a random combination of letters and numbers; putting things in the right sequence (put in money first or push the button first?); math; some physical work (bending to retrieve the snack); and finally, opening the package.

Sometimes I feel triumphant when I can do things again. Other times I feel like an alien who's just landed on earth.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


When I'm alone, sometimes I make a sunbutter and jam sandwich. (My son is allergic to nuts).

I'm used to the mess. But sometimes my brain doesn't recognize my right hand. So when I lick my right hand to get the sunbutter off, it feels like I'm licking someone else's hand.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Date night

Neal and I had a date on Sunday. We talked about the usual stuff. The kids. Work. Schedules. Brain injuries.

Although the circumstances are very different, the shooting of Congresswoman Giffords in Arizona brought back our memories about my stroke. Mostly Neal's memories, since it was too early for me to realize what had happened, or that I was traumatized. That came later.

But Neal knew that our lives had been upended. Brain injury survivors and their partners can share some of the burdens, but we have such different journeys to make. Now almost a year has gone by, and Neal and I are still adjusting to our new shared reality.

Our hearts go out to the shooting victims and their families.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Pudding for dessert

We have two great helpers/babysitters. One of them is fairly new to the job.

Usually, I type my shopping list, then one of them does the shopping. Yesterday I typed a list, but was too tired to write some specifics. So I told her what I wanted. I thought.

She came home with three gallons of milk. When she saw my puzzled face, she told me that she thought we usually bought two gallons, but I did say three.

Welcome to Aphasia-Land.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year

My mom forwarded something to me from a family friend with quotes about the New Year, including this one:

“An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.”

The stroke happened in February 2010. Call me a pessimist, but I'm really glad that 2010 is over.