I'm speaking to a class of 45 first-year graduate students, and most of them have just seen videos about aphasia. I'm the real-life person to tell them what it's like to be me:
1. If you know me, I am not the type of person who just "gets up in front of people," even before the stroke.
2. I've become brave, as a result of the stroke, or something else entirely. I know God was/is involved.
Where do I begin? Do I tell them all the lies that were told to me, some of them necessary, some not? Do I tell them, "just say NO to kid-themed workbooks or flash cards?" Do I tell them how it drives me crazy when someone (anyone!) mouths the words I'm trying to say?
Or, do I tell them that the most kind-hearted, generous, caring, funny people I've met since the stroke are speech therapists and researchers? (And I've met a lot of them...Jen, Suganya, Megan, Diane, Wesley, Lauren, Liz, JoAnn, Rebecca, Irene, Kesley (and everyone in the UW Hearing Clinic), Carolyn (and her team at the UW)...I'm sure I've left someone off the list, but you are appreciated.)
Or both? It's tomorrow, if you have any thoughts, let me know. Otherwise, I'll just wing it, just how I'm doing the rest of my life...relying on God.