Thursday, April 27, 2006

Lunch break

Jan was resting after lunch. She thought outside was warm, because the day looked sunny and bright from her window. She asked me why I was wearing my jacket. She had trouble finding the word but then pointed to it. I brought some clean clothes for her. She remembered clearly my comment from last night; I told her that I was going out of town and I would not be attending our everyday date for dinner today. She also remembered the weekend pass, but was confused about what day was today. She liked the chocolates I brought for her. She ate two bars in a row. When I told her that she needed to get fat, she laughed really hard. She said she liked the way she looks now, because she can wear any clothes she wants.

We went for a walk around the building and then to the office of Sol, her speech therapist. I asked her about her name: Soledad Silencieux, a combination of Spanish and French: Loneliness Silent. Jan thought that it was very appropriate because Sol is a reserved person who listens more than talk. While we were waiting, one of Sol colleagues came out and greeted Jan, Jan wanted to go the washroom and tried to ask where was the washroom, but could not find the word. She tried several times, until I helped and she confirmed. I realized that I can understand a lot of what she says because I look at the context more than hearing her words. I anticipate her meaning by looking at her gestures. Sometimes it works, some other times it doesn't. I wondered if I was being of help or whether I was hindering her progress.

I found a paper sol left for me that I feel would be useful for everyone who visits Jan. It is a series of suggestions and definitions of what is Jan struggling with. I will copy the contents in the next few blogs. This may be more useful than my ranting about what I see happening with Jan. By the way, Sharon left a couple of pages with a journal of her visits with Jan. Thanks! I think everyone should write a couple of lines in Jan's binder which she keeps in her bag. If visiting, ask her for her binder.

Here is the first instalment of the info package:


UNDERSTANDING APHASIA (I have applied the text to Jan)

-Aphasia is a language disorder in which Jan's capacity to read, write, speak or understand the speech of others is impaired.

-Aphasia occurred when the language centre of Jan's brain was damaged as a result of her acquired brain injury (her surgery).

-Jan still have her intelligence and creativity intact. She knows what she wants to say but has trouble getting the words out and making sense of the words she hears or sees.

-Not two individuals with Aphasia are alike and therefore, recovery patterns are unique and unpredictable.

-Aphasia can occur on its own, but in Jan’s case, it occurred also with mild Apraxia of speech (her speaking process is jumbled), and possibly some Dysarthria (weakness of the speech muscles) and difficulty with memory and word finding.

-Communication problems as a result of Aphasia can affect Jan’s well-being and self-confidence. Sometimes, she may feel depressed, upset, frustrated, bored, confused, and angry. When she is rested she seems to be in good spirit, but becomes tired quickly.

-Jan’s Aphasia affects the whole family.

There are more that 40 thousand people in Ontario affected by Aphasia.

Till the next,


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