Recently, I’ve started to visit this organization that provides intensive speech and cognitive therapy for stroke survivors.
The speech and cognitive therapy that this organization provides pushes back against the traditional belief that stroke survivors only have a small window of time to recover after their stroke.
I’ve been blessed with an opportunity to work with this astounding non-profit organization in Austin. I’m able to take the material I’m learning in “Language and the Brain” and connect it with intellectuals who have survived a stroke.
There a many good days during therapy…and sometimes the good days are followed by the not-so-good days. You know, the kinda days where you question everything in life.
Take Mr. John (name change), for example. Two masters degree. Never missed a day of work. Loves to fish, dance, and to read to his grandkids. Today, he struggled saying his daughter’s name and then his grandson’s age. We spent 20 minutes on this. The rest of the session? Numbers. Counting to 10. We got to 4.
Mr. John–he’s a champ. His receptive skills are intact. He smiles and tries again. Therapy has transitioned his frustration to laughter.
But today, his laughter faded and for the first time I felt sadness through his eyes as he struggled to name his only daughter.
He smiled and said “I named her, you know? I should know this. She’s my baby girl.”
Stroke. It sucks.
I never end on a bad note. Mr. John’s daughter picked him up after therapy. As soon as he laid eyes on her, he looked at me and shouted her name four times in excitement. Yay, Mr. John!
It’s the little things, right?