She must learn again to speak
starting with I
starting with We
starting as the infant does
with her own true hunger
and pleasure
and rage.

-- Marge Piercy

My Face?

My Face?

On Tuesday, the "voice of aphasia" was back (me)! Jennifer had a training to do with the therapists in the hospital, and she wanted me along to tell my story (story below, unedited).

The nurse came in. I could tell she was busy by the way she introduced herself to me. Eyes darted, as if she were looking for something. She didn't even look at me. She brought a whole bunch of equipment with her, a wheelchair, a walker. And she dropped something heavy at the foot of the bed. She went out again only to bring more equipment. I don't remember what she used it for...seemed to me that most of it went unused.

She got me a wheelchair and proceeded to help me into it. She pushed me over to the sink and the mirror. I looked at my face. 

My face.

What had happened?

She handed me a washcloth, turned on the water, and she encouraged to wash my face. Hurry...

I think had a stroke? How bad was it? And was the damage permanent? Judging from my face, I feared the worst.  Eye dropping, mouth dropping, but it was only one side. And my right eyebrow looks surprised, almost as if the terror of the last week stuck with me. But, strange, I looked younger--lines had vanished around my nose and my forehead, but felt to me it was...lopsided.

Next she handed me a comb. No, she said. Try it in my other hand...right, the one that doesn't work? I can't. But I complied, as a result that I had mostly uncombed hair. Hurry...

Wait, I wanted to shout, scream, cry out. Let me get used to my face! I searched her face for a trace of understanding, but found nothing.

Finally, she handed my toothbrush. No, she said. Try it in my other hand. I felt awkward and fumbly and infantile.

I have been brushing my teeth, combing my hair, washing my face how long...46 years? Since I was a child, but it felt foreign.

Hurry... Then she pushed me away to get me dressed, but my mind was still on the mirror.

Time slows down, when a stroke hits. And maybe it didn't happen the way I remember it. But, how I feel--it matters

Despite the fact I that couldn't talk.

To be continued...

Top 10 List for this Summer (or whatever...I can’t count)

Top 10 List for this Summer (or whatever...I can’t count)

Catching You Up

Catching You Up