Affects and Analogies of a Brain Injury and Aphasia–My Story

November 10, 2016

Hi! I'm Nicole

Fearless DIY. Sharing building project tutorials and interior design tips. Let’s build something beautiful together. For more projects, design tips and behind the scenes, follow me @designtobuild.nicole

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An interesting thing happened before Corey’s accident. My dad and Corey were in an appointment with a client who was telling them all about a family member who had just had a stroke and now has Aphasia. She described it as: the lady might ask for a “fork”, but actually say “plate.” She knows she wants the fork, but can’t find the word for it. So another word, close to fork, comes out instead. My dad told me about this, in the hospital, days after Corey’s accident. He said, he and Corey talked about this for a little while after the client left, because it perplexed them so much. They both said, it seemed so crazy and couldn’t understand how that happens. It still gives me chills, so ironic. Who would have known that just a week or two later, Corey would be facing exactly the same diagnosis.

July 27, 2011:

A lot has happened…Today you had to sign some papers for your disability insurance policy. Since you are unable to read and write now, you had to sign it with an X. Things like that just hit me hard. A couple weeks ago, you were doing high levels of math at your job and now to do something so simple as signing your name is a huge challenge. Wow! We have a long road ahead.

I received your discharge date today. Not that you get to come home then. You’ll actually be transported to another facility to continue getting in-patient therapy. They compared it to…Parkview Rehab is like high school; the next place you go is like college; pushing you up to new levels. It’s kind of like college, in the way of, they come and try to woo us to their facility. Kinda crazy! I wish it was college. :(

I heard a great analogy today on brain injuries. They compared it to…if Michigan lost all of its power, it would take a while for it all to be restored. But with all of the surrounding states stepping in to help, with time, they would get their power back. We should know, in a few months as the swelling goes down, which areas of your brain were damaged the most. The areas around that mostly damaged area will step up and help out the damaged area. This is encouraging. I’ve learned so much about the brain. It really is fascinating…if only it wasn’t under these circumstances.

Another fascinating area is, sometimes I wonder if you can read. You’re therapist will put out 3 objects and ask you to point to a certain one. Often times, you’re not able to…until she puts words next to those objects. If you see the word, you comprehend what is being said. But just hearing the word without it written out, gets lost in translation. Your brain tries to pull out a picture of what that word is but is unable to, unless it sees the word in writing. So profound!! I’m learning more and more about a word I’d never even heard of before–Aphasia…difficulties expressing and comprehending language. I think it’s becoming more and more evident you fall under both of these spectrums. Encouraging to actually know what we’re dealing with, but so disappointing and overwhelming at the same time.

Lord, help me to accept where we are, but to put my hope in where you are going to take us.

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