Friday, November 18, 2011

Aphasia, Five Weeks After My Stroke

When I woke up in the hospital after the stroke, I couldn't speak, spell or read. I could understand a lot. One of the language centers, Broca's region, had been damaged in my brain.

This video clip shows what my speech sounded like, five weeks after the stroke, in March 2010.

(Note: It's hard to follow that I was trying to say, of course! I was trying to say--in a nutshell-- is: "my memories of those first few weeks are already fading. Your brain can't remember everything! But I also I think that I've been listening more intensely, especially the first week at MGH, because listening was all I could do." If you're bored, you could fast-forward it the end, to see my demonstration of my arm movement.)

My love and thanks for my family, especially Neal, are beyond words, especially for being there at that scary time.


  1. This is amazing, Grace! Having had a right-side stroke, I cannot imagine not being able to speak or read. How ironic is it that the camera was running out of memory, so no more could be recorded?

    How long did it take for you to speak fluently again?

  2. I'm still working on it, especially the writing...!

  3. Grace, thanks for sharing this. You are one remarkable woman to have been able to laugh and keep your sense of humor after all you went through!
    I understood you perfectly, but then, we speak "fluent aphasia" here at the Pink House!

  4. I wasn't bored. I was moved by a woman who wouldn't give up.

  5. I very glad you here !! My stroke 2 and half year ago. you doing wonderful !!

  6. Thanks for reading.

    I just had my 6th stroke anniversary. My speech is much better, and I don't get so tired by speaking/writing.

  7. I just read your story, amazing similarity to my wife - same age, time ( 3 months earlier), same outcome except she still has no speech, only a few words, and can't read or write. but she's switched on and expressive and enjoying cooking , painting and singing- and yes happy - more than was, or should be, considering her situation, and for that we are very grateful..

    1. Thanks for reading.

      I'm incredibly grateful that my language has recovered as well as it has. But sometimes I think I was living on a higher/more spiritual plane in the first one or two after my stroke. In many ways, I think it was harder for my husband than me.

      Take care of your self, and say hello to your wife for me.

  8. Grace, I'd love to see an updated video on your speech! My mom is only 3 weeks out from her stroke and your video sounds so much like her! I'd love to hear you now and find hope through it. It's so scary now... but stories such as yours give me hope!

  9. I want to thank you for sharing this video. I have used it for yrs now teaching my pre-healthcare 16-18yos in Plano TX about Broca's vs Wernicke's aphasia. I just discovered this blog, and I want to tell you how happy I am to read that you can communicate. Sharing this painful time is so generous. I also must say that your description of your relationship with your husband is beautiful.