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.
16 hours ago