My aphasia is mild now. I can have a conversation. I can write short emails without too much trouble. And of course, I can write a blog.
But the aphasia is still there. Even the people I'm closest to sometimes don't realize that I'm struggling in certain ways.
For instance, I still have some auditory processing problems, especially with numbers. Last April, my mother and I were watching the Boston Marathon on TV (this was before the bombs went off, when finishing times still mattered). We were enjoying hearing about Joan Benoit Samuelson, a fellow New Englander who had won 30 years ago. In the commercial break, my mother and I had a conversation that went something like this:
Mom: Wow, 2:ΣΨ:ΠΏ. They had said that she wanted to finish the marathon in under 2:ΣΔ:ΓΦ.
Me (looking blankly at my mom): uhhh…
My mom probably decided that I couldn't hear her.
Mom (in a louder voice): I said, she wanted to finish the marathon in under 2:ΣΔ:ΓΦ, and Benoit’s time was 2:ΣΨ:ΠΏ.
Me (still looking confused): uhhh...
Mom(in a loud voice, again): it was two minutes under the other time.
Me (in a loud and agitated voice): Mom, don't you know that I can’t understand numbers?
It was my mother’s turn to look blank. We had a short conversation about how my brain can't handle numbers in certain situations, and then we went back to watching TV.
Sometimes I think that recovering
from a brain injury is like peeling an onion: there's always another layer to peel. Each layer
gets thinner and harder to see, but I know
(Fortunately, I can usually understand written numbers. Samuelson's time was 2:50:37, better than her goal of under 2:52:43. Go Joan!)
13 hours ago