Mary C.


I had my first stroke on September 29, 1999. The day before the stroke I was a teacher of Language Arts for sixth graders. The day after, I couldn't say a word, nor move my right arm, my right hand, or right leg. In the next few days I said "Tony". That's my husband's name, but that's the only word I could say so I repeated it over and over again.

Then came "wow" and my world was filled with "Tony" and "wow"!      

From the beginning I was frustrated.  Something was missing in my brain. After three months, my therapy ended due to my insurance. During these years, I got slowly better. I spoke so slowly, and the worst part was that I spoke words that didn't fit my thoughts. I would say, "I love you", when what I meant to say was, "Thank you" or "have a nice day" or even "good-bye".  I would say "you have a prominent face" when I really meant to say "you have a familiar face". I really thought I could get in on a conversation, but by the time I would think of it, the conversation changed and I was left holding the "bag" of yesteryear's conversation.

I became so embarrassed, so foolish, that I preferred not to speak at all.     

Today, I think a new life has been given to me; one that includes aphasia and how I deal with communicating my thoughts, my words, and my actions in a world that advances so much every day.  I had a stroke 11 years ago. For nearly three years, I have found a warmth and understanding at the Stroke Comeback Center. I can't speak freely, but I have come a long way.


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