I haven’t written in a long time. Soccer season is in full swing and that has limited my time in getting to Skitts Mountain for visits. Tonight Bill and I went to see Louise, and the news is good. She is doing very well. She has been released from all therapy. She even got a diploma. Her balance is much better and she is no longer falling all the time. Ray is now doing speech therapy exercises with her at home. She is doing well with those and still amazes us with her ability to write anything even though she cannot read it. She says it is like her fingers know what to do even though her mouth and eyes do not. She says when she starts to write her brain does not know what her hands are doing, but that her fingers write and the words are correct. The brain is an amazing thing. Louise said that working on her reading makes her feel like she could get better. She said, “It gives me hope.” That is a HUGE for her. To us it means she has turned a corner in her attitude, which will also help her recovery. She told us that she has so much stuff to do on the list in her head that she never can finish everything. She is working in the yard, and around the house…almost like normal. She is begging to drive, which is looking more like it might be possible at some point, with supervision of course.
Ray was working on creating a card that Louise can carry with her that explains her communication issues, which we found out have a name. It is called Aphasia and it is a disorder that results from damage to portions of the brain that are responsible for language. I had chemo induced aphasia following my treatment, which was much less severe than what Louise is dealing with. It is caused by lack of oxygen to the brain…this can be caused by lack of blood flow, or in my case lack of red blood cells that carry oxygen. There are different types which have different symptoms. The kind Louise has causes her to sometimes speak in sentences that have no meaning, add unnecessary words, and create made-up words. Mostly her trouble is difficulty naming objects and names even though she knows the object or person. The card Ray created for her says that she has difficulty speaking because of aphasia. It gives suggestions on the back of how to best communicate with her. That way if she is somewhere and cannot get her words out, she can give them this card and it explains everything. We got the wording just right to fit on a regular business card.
All in all, she is doing much better and has made great progress with her recovery. She has a scan this month so we will see what it shows. I will update when we have the results.