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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Aphasia: In His Own Words

The other day, Bob and I were sitting on the front porch.  I thought I'd share our "conversation," to give you an idea of what he goes through:

Bob: "The words. The words." He taps his finger on his forehead.

Me: "Words?"

Bob: "The words!" Tapping his forehead, again, but more forcefully. "I try to tell you..." His voice trails off. He looks at me.

"I'm listening. Try again."

"My brain..." He rubs his forehead. "Messed. Up." He looks down into his lap, at his limp right arm.

"Go on."

"The words!" He points then to the table on the porch, which contains a small lamp, a box of tissue and a little statue of two frogs hugging each other. I look at the table. "The words?" he says again, his finger shakes as he points.

"This?" I pick up the frogs.


"Frogs," I say.

"Frrr.... Frrrrro... Fur-fur-fur..."

"Frogs," I say again, but more slowly.

"Frogs." He slaps himself on the forehead. "Duh! Frogs." He shakes his head as if this was absurd. As if the whole idea of "frogs" was absurd.  He shrugs his one good shoulder. He says, "Can't. Remember. Words."

"Don't worry, it'll come back to you. It'll get better."

"I know," he hangs his head. Slowly, he says, "Sucks."

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