Friday, 23 April 2010

Aphasia

My daughter suffers from Aphasia. The way this condition manifests itself can be different in every sufferer. For my daughter, it has interfered with her ability to express herself in anything but fairly simple language. Sometimes when she is trying to explain something that requires a more complicated language structure she has difficulties. For example, if she is trying to tell me what someone else has told her, about something that may happen in the future, she gets very confused and frustrated and often the correct word does not automatically come to mind and the nearest available word pops in making the whole sentence either nonsense, or actually have a totally different meaning from what she intended. It is made worse by the fact that she knows she has not said what she wanted to.


She understands everything you say to her and she can read the written word just as fluently as she did before having aphasia but she cannot express herself the way she used to. She feels what she wants to say but she cannot retrieve the words... if she gets frustrated or stressed... it simply makes it worse. A telephone conversation with the bank when they are asking her for the 3rd and 5th letter of her secret password can throw her into confusion... if they asked her for the letters one at a time then she wouldn't have so much trouble...



This inability to organise lots of information - multi tasking - spreads into other areas of her life. Over the last few months she has been getting parcels of baby clothes and other baby related paraphenalia sent from all the family. We spent this morning trying to organise these things in a logical fashion in the chest of drawers.



Lots of different types of clothing, vests, sleepsuits, trousers and t shirts, matinee jackets and dresses - all in various sizes were very confusing to her. What to do with them...? Where to put them? What to wear with what? Coupled with not knowing how big the baby will actually be meant that her brain was overwhelmed with potentialities and she was unable to make any decisions at all.


It took us a little while to sort everything into piles by age 0 - 3 months, 3 - 6 months and older... and then within the piles to sub-sections ... underwear and sleep suits with socks and scratch mitts. T shirts, trousers and dresses and then matinee jackets, cardigans and hats and bootees. For most of us this kind of thing would come as second nature and would take a few minutes to organise... we took about an hour over it so that I was sure my daughter understood how or why I had grouped together the different items.



Brain work is very tiring so we are taking it all slowly. One thing at a time.

3 comments:

  1. Such a touching post and thanks for sharing - my love to her xx

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  2. Hi Ya
    Has your daughter tired to sing the words when things get a bit stressed. Sometimes singing allows different parts of the brain to take over.
    Good Luck
    Barb

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  3. Hello Barb... yes we have tried the singing thing and it does help -which is really weird but in moments of frantic trying to get her point across she never slows down enough to think of singing... some days are better than others.. its all going in the right direction though, however slowly. Thanks for posting a comment.

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