Learning to speak again

Learning to speak again

As many of you will know, my online activities were recently  seriously curtailed, when I had a mild  stroke.  This hit me where it hurts most, as an author!  I only knew something was wrong due to aphasia – speech problems most commonly manifesting as slurring.  Now, I’m not unfamiliar with mild aphasia due to having migraines.  This time it has been far more severe, with the slurring joined by difficulty both comprehending words, things said to me and what I’m trying to say.  At the same time, writing reading were badly hit I now struggle to write at all – even brief things like notes or emails- accurate spelling eluding me much of the time. and word selection a major challenge.  As for reading – I can look at text and discover no meaning or logic to it at all – even if I wrote it!

I’m sure you can imagine how Frustrating, and just plain distressing this is. All I can do is to keep trying – to ‘exercise’ that damaged area of my brain.  But it’s not me who has the hardest task with  it!  In truth it’s everybody else.  My wife, Jenny, has had to learn to understand the gibberish I’m talking, especially when I get tired.  More, others are confronted with the essentially unintelligible.  They need to follow some important advice: Ask. Wait. Liaten.  Most important – be patient. Worst of all is mockery of the fool who can’t speak properly! 

Shortly after the stroke, I as with two doctors, being assessed.  One was very good at making herself understood and asking questions in a way that allowed me o answer with least difficulty.  \the other, however, was much worse.  There were frequent times when I simply sat and stared at him, because I didn’t understand him.  His words were meaningless and even when they appeared to make some sense \i didn’t comprehend what he wanted of me.

Jenny has done well coping with this new, aphasic me. 

All I ask of others is some patient understanding.  I can only do my best to communicate properly, but that’s often s very slow process. littered with errors.

I would guess that few of us can remember how we learned to speak   More of us can recall learning to read and write..It was tough then – it’s worse the second time round!

– Steve


19 thoughts on “Learning to speak again

  1. Steve, I worked as a stroke nurse, and seeing how determined you are by coming online and sharing, you will do well. Not giving up is the key! I wish you well for the future, just fight through the frustration. x

  2. I don’t care if you stutter or can’t speak or anything , just seeing you here and back at home is all I want. my thoughts are with you all the time mate


  3. So glad to know that you are back. Your post above shows your determination to NOT let anything keep you down. Hats off to you my friend. You are in my thoughts daily, with utmost love and respect! /|\

  4. Hang in there, Steve. It is a devastating experience you have had, but I’ve seen a lot of aphasia improvement and success when my mother took a terrible fall. It’s amazing how the brain re-routes, if you give it a chance.

  5. Many thanks all for your support! It means a great deal to me, I can assure you 🙂

    And thanks to Damien for posting this for me while my computer continues to refuse all c-operation 😉

  6. Thank you for sharing this as it will help me understand and be more effective when dealing with others who have had a stroke. I admire your tenacity and promise to be patient.

  7. Pingback: BOOK SHELF | featured author this week is Steve-K-Smy, who is now back home from hospital to recover from a bad, bad Illnes.

  8. Steve, I well understand your frustrsation and am glad you have the wonderful Jenny at your side. No doubrt it will be a long, uphill sturggle, but you’ve more than demostrated both the courage and the persistence to get back in communication. I hope it all goes well, but please don’t stop writing as well. We need your words, both to enjoy your creativity and also to record this struggle and your successes. We’ll all cheer you on, I’m sure.

  9. I have only just joined WordPress Steve, but I can tell you are blessed with determination & courage. Together, with the great support of your loving family, close-knit friends & cyber friends you can beat this demon.
    God Bless,

  10. You’re an inspiration to us who can only imagine how annoying a setback with words would be. No more complaining about writers block for me. Your words sound very strong, so I hear you just fine. Well done, for sending such a positive message so soon.

  11. Steve, as your docs have probably told you, you should find that things will get better after a little time: our brains have multiple pathways for getting at all the stuff stored in them. The stroke took out a section of those pathways that your brain was accustomed to using so right now when you try to do some things it ends up driving around on back roads and leaving you lost. BUT… every time that happens, your brain gets a little bit better at finding new roads back to where the information is stored and you’ll get more and more back to “normal” !

    Wishing you the best!


    • Steve – i hope ypur medics have told you that the more intensive your treatment and therapy in the earliest stages, the better the final outcome is likely to be. You clearly have the drive, so don’t let them give up on you. Insist on the best and be persistent. Good luck and we all wish you a very good recovery.

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