On the "Today" show this week there was an interview with a lovely, elderly couple. She had aphasia from a brain bleed. He was using flashcards at their normal daily jaunt to the coffee shop and helping her with her relearn the alphabet. Thank you, Rhonda Hand for sending me the link. Today Show click here to watch it.
A stranger thought it was inspirational of a man teaching his beloved. He took a picture and posted it online. It has gone viral with almost half a million hits. Although in the video the word "aphasia" is never said, people with this condition know it by that name.
Aphasia is a loss of words very basically. When your brain knows what it wants to say but forgets the word or even how to form or pronounce it. The person suffering with this condition gets frustrated with those around them when they can't speak, read or write. Just yesterday you could, but then you ended up with a damaged brain and can't.
XXX (description of the word) to be filled in later. Or type a word and put it in colored brackets. Eventually, I'll remember the word or think of a better word and fill it in. Even this blog is written days before it is published so I can go back in it and edit. I'm working towards my goal...getting my words back. This is tougher than learning English for the first time because I know I know what the word is but can't think of it when I want it. It's petite death for a writer.
After I was home for a few days, I realized I'd lost all my foreign language abilities. Trying to pick up where I left off in writing my novels increased the magnitude of the deficit widened like a canyon before me. I couldn't write. The words blurred in front of my eyes making no sense whatsoever, but it was something I could work on. I laughingly dubbed it my "dyslexic/ADD."
I knew I had spelling problems, sequencing issues, memory matching, not to mention anything that involved strategy. I started simply. No time limit because I wasn't used to using my left hand with the mouse. I didn't care if I made mistakes and got an ugly sound. I didn't care whether I won or lost. I was being proactive and trying to fix something that was broken, but I set a loss rate of three attempts before frustration started to set in. That way I knew I had three times to get it right before I quit. When retraining the brain it is important to set limits.
I looked at the turn up card from the deck to decide which number is higher and lower in the sequence. You only have one undo per game so you have to really think. In the beginning, I would have to repeat to myself the number which was higher or lower than the card facing up. After months of playing this game I can now do this without constantly reminding myself.
For color definition and strategy, I play Poppit. I have a rough time distinguishing green from blue. You have to match the colors in two or more balloons. I did something the other day that in my four years of playing the game I've never been able to do before. I popped every single balloon! That's real progress.
Currently I'm working on number recognition with Bingo and have progressed from one card and a slow caller to three cards to medium speed.