Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Neal has always done his fair share of housework. But I usually did put his clean laundry away, just because it seems like a nice thing to do for your partner.

After the stroke, for many months the only thing I could do by myself was to put my underwear in the bureau, one-handed, while sitting down. Now I've progressed to sorting a whole of basket of my laundry, including hanging up my tops with my both hands (although with several breaks because of my fatigue).

Yesterday I put my own clean clothes away, and then even hung up some of Neal's shirts. Two of them.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Scrambled Mantras

A lot of people have urged me to meditate, especially to help with my insomnia. Sometimes I try, but it's hard. Often I just concentrate on my breathing. Usually that helps.

One person suggested to me meditating on the mantra, "I am at peace." But let's be realistic:  I'm not at peace. I'm a skeptic who doesn't like wishful thinking.

I was talking to a friend about meditation, who empathized. She told me she sometimes meditates on the simple phrase, "I am here." As the friend said, there's isn't much to argue about there. I thought maybe I should try it myself. I sat on the floor and closed my eyes.

"Here I am," I said in my head.

Every so often I forget I have aphasia. Until I actually try to say something, even in my head. I tried it again:

"Here am I."

Did I tell you that short phrases are the most difficult ones for many people who have aphasia, including me?

"Am I here."

Maybe I'll just go back to breathing.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Funny Feelings

The other day I was writing at the computer. After a while, I got up and starting to walk into the kitchen. But I kept stumbling--which I don't do usually--as if my right leg wasn't working. I was scared. What was happening to me?

Then it hit me: my right leg had fallen asleep. If I really concentrated, I could feel a muted pin-and-needles feeling in my leg.

The warning signs of a stroke often include trouble walking, speaking or thinking. But what if you have all these problems already?