Thursday, April 25, 2013

Post-stroke communication issues

My stroke happened on my left side, affecting speech and the right side of my body - couldn't talk, couldn't walk, couldn't use my right hand.

The physical effects went away relatively quickly. Speech - spoken, written and read - took a little longer and in my way of thinking, still not quite as good as it used to be. But that's just an opinion.

But those early days included some serious frustration as I tried re-learn coherent speech and re-learn how to write (critical skill for a reporter). So recent news about why some stroke survivors struggle with communication really hit home with me. About a third of stroke patients will be affected by aphasia:
A shift of language function to the right side of the brain hampers some stroke survivors from recovering their ability to read, write and to say what they mean, a new study indicates.
The inability to do these things is called aphasia, and is caused by damage to the parts of the brain that control language. ...
"Overall, approximately 30 percent of patients with stroke suffer from various types of aphasia, with this deficit most common in stroke with left middle cerebral artery territory damage," lead investigator Dr. Jerzy Szaflarski, of the departments of neurology at the University of Alabama and University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center, said in a journal news release.
As a previous post noted, aphasia does not mean intelligence is affected. It does not mean that the person is confused. Important - for the patient and those around him or her - to remember.

1 comment:

J.L. Murphey said...

Jeff, I know what you mean. I had a left side stroke also. My professions up until the stroke was an author and minister. Both very verbal and writing intensive. My aphasia put a stop to most of what I could do for the time being. I still haven't fully recovered my right leg or anything with my right arm but I've learned to type one handed.

Of all the things I lost with my stroke I miss my mind the most.