Richard, Audrey, Sebastian

Aphasia Threads: Richard, Audrey, and Sebastian

Welcome to the Aphasia Threads Project, which usually weaves together three points-of-view: people with aphasia, caregivers, and the professionals who help each family navigate aphasia. Each week, we bring together three unrelated stories, one from each member of this triad, to learn from their experience. Yet this week, all three stories come from people with aphasia.

This week, we’ll hear from Richard, Audrey, and Sebastian, three people with aphasia.

Aphasia Threads

Person with Aphasia

I had a heart attack and stroke on 9/19/13. I knew I was having a heart attack, but the stroke was a special bonus I didn’t need. I didn’t know where I was and speaking was very difficult. After 7 years, I still have days I can’t say the right word. I was so positive the first year, hoping I could talk normally again and have confidence in what I was saying. It is a journey.

Aphasia Changes Your Life

Aphasia is something I fear. Since I was single, dating was always an issue after the stroke. I did find someone in 2017, but it is not the easiest relationship.

But There Are Things That Help

My speech therapist was amazing! She worked with me and made me work. The best therapy ever!

And Things You Learn Along the Way

Get in an aphasia group or find as much as you can about aphasia online. There is a lot more available now than there was 7 years ago.

What Caregivers and Professionals Can Learn From Me

I am still an intelligent human being. I make a lot more mistakes than I ever grew up with, but I do want to be part of society.
Tell everyone you know about aphasia. The world does not know about us. “Oh, you had a stroke, I am sorry.” They never say, “do you have aphasia?” It should be I had a stroke, and I still have aphasia!

Aphasia Threads

Person with Aphasia

Massive stroke on 8/12/18, and I have aphasia because of it.

Aphasia Changes Your Life

I have good days and bad days, but most of the time, it’s in between.

But There Are Things That Help

My two daughters (10 and 6).

And Things You Learn Along the Way

Never give up! On the really bad days, remember that it’s going to get better.

What Caregivers and Professionals Can Learn From Me

Always remember that we are still the same person—it just takes longer.

Aphasia Threads

Person with Aphasia

I’m living with aphasia. In the beginning stages, I was very depressed. I knew what I wanted to say, but it wouldn’t come out. To take control of my life and live a peaceful life, it was all about acceptance.

I literally was writing in my journal, and I wrote… Aphasia didn’t take away my intelligence. I said I accept that I’m living with aphasia, and it’s okay. Due to the fact I know my purpose in life. You have a platform now to inspire and encourage others. You will keep a positive mindset and move forward. Now ready to connect with other like-minded individuals.

Sebastian

Aphasia Changes Your Life

It affects my life daily. However, to be in control of it. My life is different now. Now work with it. Good and bad. Some people don’t have patience or empathy.

But There Are Things That Help

I have a therapist. My best friend is my support. I exercise and workout. Affirmations. Apps (exercise my brain). Feed knowledge in my brain. Meditate.

Sebastian

And Things You Learn Along the Way

It will get better. Look at it like this: Yes, your life is different now, but you’re still alive. You can create the new life you want. The fact, it didn’t affect your intelligence. Allow yourself to cry, however, don’t allow it to control yourself. Remove everyone, your thoughts, etc out of your life. Allow people that accept you just how you are … so they can support you. Get a therapist if you can.

Sebastian

What Caregivers and Professionals Can Learn From Me

To the caregiver: Don’t feel sorry for us but encourage us. Don’t look at it as a job, even though it is. Show empathy, have patience, etc. If you see signs of depression, get us help or resources.

What I want people to know. YOU MATTER! I MATTER! To the doctors, therapists, caregivers, supporters, and even the ones who accept who we are: THANK YOU. I choose to keep going because I want to inspire, encourage, and be there for someone dealing with it.

Aphasia Threads

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