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Aphasia


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Some of you know that I had a stroke a few years ago as a result of injuries sustained in a car accident.

For the most part I try to put it out of my mind, but occasionally it gets me down.

Sometimes strangers will ask, "What happened with your face." It's funny to watch Gremson panic a little when this happens. Family and friends don't notice the scars anymore. It's interesting to watch their eyes dart around my face trying to figure out what this stranger is talking about.

The vast majority of the scars are in a place where I can't see them. I took this picture a few days ago to see what they look like now. They've gotten lighter over the years, but it doesn't seem much has changed.

This is the result of being a passenger in a high speed collision with a wall. Don't drink and drive, kids.

551671_10150935377887381_1801938961_n.jp

 

 

There are a few small things that affect my daily life post accident/stroke. I find the loss of strength in my left hand makes it hard to open my own beer bottles some times and there are a few spots on my body that are still totally numb. One such place is the lower left corner of my mouth. Sometimes if I'm eating or drinking it'll dribble out that side, unbeknownst to me. Gross. I also have a spot on my left foot that I can't feel. I dropped a fork on my bare foot a while back. I picked up the fork and tossed it in the sink. I didn't realize it had bounced off my foot until a few minutes later when I looked down to find a pool of blood. Gross.

Another issue that I have is word finding. In conversation, I struggle to find simple words. I was writing a paper for my business class, and throwing around big fancy words left and right. I was cruising along, typing a million words a minute...then I got stuck. I called out to Gremson, "What's that thing that banks charge?" He answered, "fees." I said, "No. That other thing...like when you take out money." He answered, "A loan." I was frustrated, nearly to the point of tears. I said, "No. You take out money, you have to pay back more than you took out." ...."interest?" That's it!

I generally have tough skin and am not easily offended, but mixing up words and not being able to find a word is hard. I know it happens to everyone sometimes. But not like this, and not this often.

It's been bugging me lately, so I set out on a google hunt to see if there is any sort of self treatment, or exercises that I can do to improve. I was talking to Gremson about it. In mentioning that it's called Aphasia, Gremson laughed, "So what you're saying is that you've found the word for not finding words?"

:facepalm:Yup

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anomic_aphasia

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thanks for sharing.


do you guys remember when tina fey had facial scars? where'd they go?

 

 

I don't know, but I want what she's got. I like it when people ask me if I was shot (it happens more than you'd think.)

I usually respond with, "Yeah, I don't want to talk about it." If I tell the story about getting in a car with a drunk driver the reaction is usually, "Well that's what you get for making a stupid decision."

I've learned to lie. My favorite is telling people I was attacked by a mountain lion.

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2 things:

 

a) being a dentist who has helped reconstruct accident victims, I'd be happy to talk about any physical issues you have in the head/neck area (brain stuff is a little out of my league). Was the scarring in the photo limited to soft tissue damage? Permanent loss of sensation due to local nerve damage? was the Third idvision of the Trigeminal n (CN V) affected? I'm hoping someone tested the nerve of all those lower-right teeth...I'm treating an industrial accident victim who had (unbeknownst to their neurologist and other care providers) three teeth die due to the trauma. ...it seems the teeth oftehn get past up unless there's visible damage to them.

 

b) My Jan was in an auto accident (45 mph/t-Bone) as a passenger in Oct, 2011, and she is still have aphasic issues. Not only word loss, but left/right discrimination...oddly, she can still knit extremely ell (she's been teaching for over 20 years), so it seems some of the deeply ingrained skills can still work, but handling new situations is very difficult some times. ....pls her back got majorly messed up.

 

Anyway, I'm off to work right now, but if you want to talk I'd be happy to chat.

It's good to see that you cope with the scarring/people issues well. Give the gawkers crap.

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I know your pain my friend, when I was 18 I was in a car driven by a drunk driver that went off an embankment on a gravel road and slammed into a tree at 45mph about 4 feet off the ground and then flipped landing on the roof. I suffered a crushed left orbital (eye socket, where it meets with my nose) and a crack in my sinus cavity 3 inches long, as well as a herniated t10 disc in my back. I now have what they call a halo scar from the surgery, it goes over top of my head and required 56 staples to put back together, I also have a 3.75 long titanium plate, and a 2" long scar in my left eyebrow (my head hit the back of the driver seat, i was wearing glasses and they basically got shoved in my sinus cavity...). The resulting blow also resulted in minor brain damage to the front of the left lobe, I too suffer from mild Aphasia, as well as extreme anxiety, and a shifted emotional scale (normal people feel sad to happy at -10 to +10, I now basically go from -20 to +4, it's hard to describe but basically I get more depressed then i ever was as a suicidal teenager, and the happiest i ever get is basically the feeling of minor excitement).

 

Car accidents are rough. But i will tell you what its not what happens to you, or what you have to live with everyday of your life (migraines in my case) but how you handle them, how you push through, and how you become a better person then those that only stare at your scars or can't get past them. I wish you the best with finding a self treatment, as long as you have hope that one day you will find it, then you will. :thu:

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I was in a band called Aphasia. What is really weird is dysphasia. People say all kinds of words and in their head they hear what they are really trying to say but you're hearing all kinds of random words. When i get a pt like that it kinda blows my mind and I don't know how to react to them so it doesn't offend them.

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My accident was in may '06. Without even realizing it's the 'anniversary,' I get super bummed around this time of year. I spend about a month having terrible dreams, and fixating on the things that have changed for the worse.

As far as my teeth are concerned: 5 of them were shattered/removed. I have dentures. I'm a 20 something with dentures, bad knees, and memory problems. :/ The others were never checked. It's been 6 years, and I assume I'd know if any died?

My jaw was cracked, and not wired together. It aches with the weather, but it's tolerable.

It's nice to know that others have Aphasia too. It's kind of vindicating to have a name for it. People look at me like I'm an idiot when I screw up words. It's nice to know that there is reason it happens. The brain can be such a squirrely little bitch. I don't want to sound like a hypochondriac, but having a diagnosis on it is nice. I was raised by an English professor who would bring his red pen everywhere. My use of language (conversational and written) used to be superb. Now sometimes I feel like it's just ok.

I've got wonderful support family, friends, and you internet strangers...and I'm not Tina Fey. I'll be alright. Just a little bummed, that's all.

Ancient....thanks for sharing that.

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My accident was in may '06. Without even realizing it's the 'anniversary,' I get super bummed around this time of year. I spend about a month having terrible dreams, and fixating on the things that have changed for the worse.

As far as my teeth are concerned: 5 of them were shattered/removed. I have dentures. I'm a 20 something with dentures, bad knees, and memory problems. :/ The others were never checked. It's been 6 years, and I assume I'd know if any died?

My jaw was cracked, and not wired together. It aches with the weather, but it's tolerable.

It's nice to know that others have Aphasia too. It's kind of vindicating to have a name for it. People look at me like I'm an idiot when I screw up words. It's nice to know that there is reason it happens. The brain can be such a squirrely little bitch. I don't want to sound like a hypochondriac, but having a diagnosis on it is nice. I was raised by an English professor who would bring his red pen everywhere. My use of language (conversational and written) used to be superb. Now sometimes I feel like it's just ok.

I've got wonderful support family, friends, and you internet strangers...and I'm not Tina Fey. I'll be alright. Just a little bummed, that's all.

Ancient....thanks for sharing that.

 

Anytime, if there's one thing support groups have shown me its to be honest and open. :thu:

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There used to be an awesome band from pittsburgh called aphasia.

 

Sounds like you've been through and are going through a lot. It sucks for people to say things like you deserve it. We all take risks every day and most of them turn out fine. Sometimes we take dumb risks or make a bad decision. Everyone does it. Imagine if everyone had to go through life altering trauma for every bad decision. Would we deserve them all? It's a {censored}ty thing to happen to a person, no matter what.

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I've always wondered if any of the "that's what you get" folks have ever been arrested for driving drunk. Before, or after they said it to me.

 

The first time I ever lied about the accident was on the bus. I was still in the leg brace from my busted knee. The scars were still scabby and a little old man said, "What happened to yr face?" I said, "cougar."

His eyes got real big and suddenly his gruff attitude faded. "Do you mind if I ask how that happened?"

So I told him this, "I was out camping and we were all getting ready for bed. The fire was fading so I popped behind a tree to take a pee real quick. With my pants around my ankles I heard the throatiest growl ever. Before I had a chance to react, my face was inside the mouth of a cougar. I grabbed a stick and stabbed that sucker in the eye. I forgot that my pants were still down and I tried to get up and run. I fell, busting my knee. The park ranger said it was probably best that I wasn't able to run, or it might have chased me."

 

Stunned, the old man paused for a bit. His eyes lit up and he said, "I think I read about you in the newspaper."

I rolled my eyes and said, "Probably."

 

I've never been much of a liar, but I've gotten good at these. Sometimes I feel bad. I'm sure a therapist would be all over my {censored} and tell me that I'm not dealing with it or whatever....but people are cruel, and I simply got sick of crying in public.

I've also been attacked by a shark while body boarding. One time I was mowing the lawn and a stick stopped the blade. I flipped the lawnmower over to pull it out, but before the motor totally stopped, I tripped and fell on it.

I fell out of a tree once when I was little and knocked my face on every branch on the way down (reference to 'you got hit with an ugly stick')

The list goes on :D

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There used to be an awesome band from pittsburgh called aphasia.


Sounds like you've been through and are going through a lot. It sucks for people to say things like you deserve it. We all take risks every day and most of them turn out fine. Sometimes we take dumb risks or make a bad decision. Everyone does it. Imagine if everyone had to go through life altering trauma for every bad decision. Would we deserve them all? It's a {censored}ty thing to happen to a person, no matter what.

 

 

Truth.

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You should stick to the truth, to help other people learn from your mistakes.

 

 

-1

 

You should say whatever you're comfortable with. You don't owe strangers anything regarding your situation. I think that especially with a scar like that, that isn't disfiguring--that it is also in extremely poor taste to even ask. (What would you owe strangers if their was no scar?) Someone asks the question, they get what they get.

 

I've got some relatively big scars from cancer surgeries in years past. They are covered except in warm weather, swimming,etc. If anyone asks, and I don't feel like explaining it, I just smile and say "fighting".

 

That one word usually ends the inquiry. Anyone perceptive realizes that that is code for 'mind your own business'. The less perceptive are usually thrown enough that there is limited to no follow-up.

 

SB

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