Asphasia

Hi everyone,
My aunty who is 43 suffered a severe stroke at the end of January and has since been in hospital. She is due to be returning home at the end of this month which we are all very happy about but very nervous too.
We have been pushing her with her physical rehabilitation, i.e walking, which I am pleased to say she can do in short bursts with a stick, but unfortunately the medical team have said she will never have use of her right arm again.
I'm so proud of her as there are a lot of things the doctors said she would never do which she is now doing, and at the beginning it was touch and go, we were told to expect the worst.
The thing she is really struggling with is speech. She can say yes and no and other words when prompted, but other than that there is no speech which is really upsetting for her. Does anybody have any advice, exercises that we can do to help with this? As a family we are really keen to be involved with any rehabilitation and my parents have and continue to take a lot on - so I'd like to be able to help out as much as I can.

Dear aem
So sorry to hear about your Aunt.
I think the doctors are obliged to say "expect the worst". It appears to be a recent thing. Didn't happen in late 2015 when a stroke bit me.

Its good that Aunt has done things that were not expected.
A stroke killed off some of my brain cells and they will not regrow. But clever brain will work alternative routes. I was pretty totally paralysed but on day three I stood and walked. Amazing, possibly a miracle but it happened for me.
My brain cells are dead but my muscles are not, just the messaging to tell them when to move. So I don't understand the idea that Aunt will not use her right hand again. I wonder if the medics could explain things to you and then you might have a better idea whats going on.

I could speak from the outset/ But the effort of hearing a sentence, grappling with the noise of the words, formulating an answer, placing words in to order and then getting my mouth to speak the words was, well, utterly exhausting.

One man on my ward only said "no". He obviously meant something else and only "no" came out. He got very upset. But some of the nurses knew to communicate with him by signs. And the delightful tea lady knew to use signs and not speech. A blink can mean something.

My speech became reasonable at 3 months and often fluent at 6 months. But even now (22 months) my brain will not tell my mouth what to say at certain times. I have to wait. Sometimes during this wait I will forget the nature of the conversation,
But its only me that can effect recovery. Support is wonderful but its down to me to do it.

All I can suggest is that you talk to Aunt and give her all the time she needs to hear you, work out the reply and then say it out loud. Perhaps you could be the one that spends the time doing that. Its harder than it sounds !

We are all different. No two strokes are the same
Smile
Be positive

Best wishes
Colin

Hi,it is 12 months since my Husbands stroke left him with severe Aphasia and right sided paralysis.He is making a slow,positive recovery,but specific to the Aphasia,we use-music therapy,white board and marker pens to draw pics of objects or write words.we made a picture book of familiar objects and best of all,we found an APP called letmetalk which i used to photograph familiar objects that would speak the word for him.Hope these start you off.we are having positive results so far.

hi, my partner got his stroke 2 years ago, affecting his right side and causing aphasia. Slowly he is relearning to speak again, but it is very frustrating and tedious. About 6 months ago his therapist realised that his biggest issue was actually forming the shape needed to make sounds with his mouth and the first letter of each word. It takes time for the therapist to get to know the patient and identify what issues there are. We are hopeful about the future and his speach now.

As for the doctors saying that the arm is not going to come back, never say never. Our brains are very powerful tools that the doctors are only just begining to understand and one thing is certain; if you say you cant, then you wont.

Well said Coleen. Pleased you can see your partner progressing.
Colin

Thank you for your kind words, it gives me hope. I'm now in the process of downloading the "let me talk" apps. Colleen, do you have a private S&L therapist and if so how many sessions a week?
Lots of well wishes coming to all of you if you have/are personally dealing with the effects of a stroke and to those who's loved ones are going through it.

He see his therapist weekly, for 6 months of the year, for one hour. However we have a rehabilitation assistant from 'aquired brain injury ireland' call to the house twice weekly for 1&1/2 sessions (we live in ireland). if you cant get therapy through the NHS, maybe look at charity organisations or find a rehabilitation assistant/healthcare assistant (RA/HA), that can attend therapist and get instructions/excersizes to practice with your aunt. This will keep the costs down as RA's are cheaper, plus the therapy can be done at home, rather than travelling to a therapist's office.

also, hold off using the app for the time being. it could be an obstacle to relearning language and make your aunt (dare i say it) lazy. It is harder in the short term, but if she can regain speech, she will be better off in the long term. it is still early days.

Category

Share

Charity information

Stroke Association is a Company Limited by Guarantee, registered in England and Wales (No 61274). Registered office: Stroke Association House, 240 City Road, London EC1V 2PR.

Registered as a Charity in England and Wales (No 211015) and in Scotland (SC037789). Also registered in Northern Ireland (XT33805), Isle of Man (No 945) Jersey (NPO 369).