I have been driving into Boston once a week and volunteering at the rehab hospital. When I'm done for the day, I have to stop in the lobby and tell the guard my name so that he can validate my parking ticket.
"Carpenter. Just like it sounds," I tell him.
He starts to the write down the name. "C-A-R--?" he says, with a question mark in his voice. He assumes I will rattle off the rest of the the letters in my last name.
I hesitate. "T," I say, "I mean, "P--" My mouth gropes for the next letters. I want to say "T," but I have a feeling that I'm mixing up letters and sounds. After what seems like a long time, I tell the guard,
"I can't say it. I have aphasia," I say.
He looks a little bit embarrassed that he had asked me. "Don't worry," he says, "that's good enough," and stamps my ticket.
I can easily write down my name on paper. And if I had an unusual name, I would probably tried harder to work on spelling out loud. But stroke survivors have to chose their battles, or at least, prioritize. So I read aloud to my daughter; I work on my walking; I usually make dinner--these things (and many others) are really important to me. But for now, being able to spell "carpenter" out loud is still way down the list.
3 days ago
That's ridiculous - he's the wrong guard to be taking people's names.ReplyDelete
That one was all due to him, not to your aphasia.
No, Barb--I wrote about this because this has happened to me many, many times, in different places. The guard was just doing his job. My aphasia is fairly well hidden, so people are taken aback when I can't spell my own name.Delete
Everything in my recovery is way down the list except for social connections. I'll get to it eventually.ReplyDelete
I have never been strong at spelling- not before. not after. That is what spell check is for.ReplyDelete
Yeah.. you have to pick what you want to spend your energy on.
Way to prioritize! For me typing is easier than writing or speaking.
He probably had no idea what aphasia was either.
It's sad to know an able-bodied adult cannot spell carpenter. Maybe adding "just like it sounds" overloads his brain. I'm glad you read to your daughter - quite a contrast to the "I will eat my kids" post of 2010. I agree about prioritizing what makes you happy.ReplyDelete
Before the stroke, I was always surprised when people didn't know how to spell my name. Now I realize how many people struggle with spelling!Delete
I am a "foreign trained Rn preping to do my NCLEx Rn pretty soin. Your blog drew my attention. Aphasia, Ataxia are an unknown body of knowledge, so thanks a billion for sharing! Now my analysiis is, if you can write the spelling of your name you have undiscovered "burried" memories/recall, so as you practice with you fingers, hand, shoulder coordination to play the piano, I see the brain should form new synapse to re remember the sequence of "manuo-visual " ((C) Amrone))queues. Our bodies have been know to make new pathways in emergancies within itself. "Pioneer" then is a more fitting label than "disabled"? .....ReplyDelete