Monday, July 25, 2011


When I was young, my family lived in Tokyo for a year. I didn't speak Japanese. But I had a good sense of direction, I loved maps, and I loved independence. After school, I often rode the trains to other parts of the city to explore. Alone. I was 11 years old.

Last week, I made my first outing without any help at all since the stroke. I made an appointment with a doctor, myself; the next day, I called the cab to go see the doctor, myself; I spoke to the doctor, myself; I called the cab for the way home, myself. The trip was two miles, round trip.

I know that I could have done it a few months earlier, if I had to. But I'm still scared that I won't be able to get home. I can't walk very far. What will happen if my words fail me, as they sometimes do when I'm stressed out? What if I can't spit out my address? My husband's phone number? My name?

Aphasia is much more scary than being a 11-year-old girl alone in a foreign city.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Subject: Aphasia

Neal and I went to the library last week.

It was exciting for me to have enough language skills and energy to make a trip to the library worthwhile. I even remembered to prepare a list of books ahead of time.

The only problem was, I forgot the list. When I got to the library, I couldn't remember the titles in the list. I wracked my brains. I couldn't remember the authors.

But I did know one of the general subjects I wanted to read about: aphasia. So I sat down at a library computer with a catalog. Under the subject heading, I typed "aphasia."

Here was my answer:

Aphaniptera -- See Fleas
        Your entry aphasia would be here
Aphganistan -- See Afghanistan

Over a million Americans are suffering with aphasia. Doesn't aphasia merit even a line?