Monday, February 28, 2011

Little goals

I set goals, with my therapists and by myself. For example, by April I want to walk to my son's school at least two days a week. By the end of summer I want to type with both hands, all the time.

Other goals are smaller. This week I've been working on licking my lips on the right side. I hate realizing that I've been walking around all day with a crust of toothpaste right below my mouth. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Theatre of the absurd

Last week I didn't sleep very well. In addition to my usual sleep issues, I couldn't stop thinking about Serena Branson, the TV reporter who had a "neurological event" on the air.

Thankfully, she seems fine. Her doctors say she had a complex migraine, not something more serious.

But last week, as I watched the clip, it looked a lot like a stroke, or maybe a TIA. As her speech descended into gibberish, Neal and I had flashbacks about our own nightmarish event. I was pretty certain that Branson's eyes were telegraphing bewilderment and terror.

So I was even more horrified that I couldn't help myself from laughing about the phrase she uttered, "a very, very heavy burtation."

I didn't really understand the word "absurd" until I had aphasia. 

(The New York Times "Well"  blog and the Serena Branson clip is here)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sore Loser

One evening this week Neal suggested a game of Candy Land for the whole family. With aphasia, there's twice the fun. For some of the players.

On my turn, I pick a card.

"Red," I announce. I start to move my piece to the next yellow square. My boy starts to laugh.

"Mama, it's yellow!"  I know. I start to blush.

We go around the board. It's my turn. It's just a game.

"Purple red!" I say. Shrieks of laughter.

"You said 'purple red.' It's 'double red'!"

It's my turn again. Who wants to play checkers?

"Green," as I put my piece on the next yellow square. Howls of mirth.

I've always hated Candy Land.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Snow day

These snow days are wearing us out.

On Wednesday, L. was tired after a long day of playing in the snow. I was tired of being cooped up inside. Neal had shoveled for four hours. As dusk fell, he was about to collect our son at a neighbor's house.

"You have to stay with Mama," Neal said to L. As Neal walked down the street, she started to erupt.

The full wrath of a five-year-old can be terrifying. My right side is weak, and I was worried that her kicks would knock me over. I told her she needed a time-out, and I left the room.

But her yelling and kicking escalated into a feverish pitch.

"Don't leave me! Don't leave me!" she screamed.

I sat down on the couch again, next to my flailing daughter, trying to catch my breath.

I won't leave you, I told her. I won't leave you.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Whole-Year Day

A. came down in the morning and told us, "it's Ground Hog Day!" He also told us that it's Half-Way Day, where the kids at his school celebrate the mid-point of the school year.

It's also the first anniversary of my stroke. Should my family and I celebrate? Mourn? Meditate? Pray?

Maybe all of the above.