I’m a really weird, ridiculous person and I say a lot of weird things.  I was like this before the stroke.  However, after the stroke – man did I say some weird shit.  Not just the normal very weird things that I say and I’m not talking about inappropriateness.  Irrational, inappropriate responses will be rampant and severe after a brain injury.  No, I’m talking about saying weird, weird things that have absolutely no relevance and make absolutely no sense to the conversation at hand.  It rarely, rarely happens anymore but I was at a wedding yesterday and it happened.  The person I was with did not notice anything at all but I sure did.  I said “thank you” to someone and I had absolutely no reason to thank this person for anything.  Ok, writing that out it seems like nothing but for the first year to year and a half after the stroke – oh my God.  I remember this once, it was probably about a year post-stroke and someone came to the front door selling something.  I decided to be all independent and answer the door.  This person obviously had no clue anything was wrong with me and gave his spiel about whatever he was selling.  I couldn’t respond.  I’m not saying that I couldn’t speak, I could, I mean I could not respond.  I couldn’t figure out in my head what to say so I said “I’m not cut out for this” and he looked at me very confused and I closed the door.  What I said to that poor guy made ABSOLUTELY no sense.  I can laugh about this now but back then oh man.  That stuff used to devastate me.  If you say really weird things or your loved one says really weird things, chill out.  It’s ok, it’s normal, it happens, it stops.

Categories: Brain stuff, Recovery, Stroke stuff

Tags: , ,

44 replies

  1. What was weird about that? Poor salesman.

  2. Actually Amy what you said to the salesman makes perfect sense. You were trying to be independent, but dealing with the salesman pushed you outside of your comfort zone and that’s what you said to him. There is nothing weird about that. It’s his problem that he didn’t get it. People are generally unimaginative and dense, and can’t read meaning into anything that isn’t immediately obvious. What you said to him was poetic in it’s truthfulness and precision. At that time, you literally weren’t cut out for dealing with a salesman and you told him so.

  3. But that’s why we love you. Maybe the initial weirdness was ICU psychosis. Let me google that for you;

    • Now that’s interesting. Hmmm. Although I don’t remember much from my time in the ICU. I was kinda out of it. I was very, very strokey then, if you will.

    • I’m not nearly as strokey now.

    • This was brought up a lot with Zack, when he was in ICU. He remembers quite a bit of his experience. He used to say things that weren’t true, even though he knew it wasn’t true, he hallucinated, never slept, pulled out his stomach and feeding tubes, had a man right next to him die and he had to listen to the whole thing- while he was alone because it was during the middle of the night and no visitors could be there. They would have kicked me out anyway. ICU is a scary place. Even for those of is who hasn’t had to live there. I can’t imagine having to be there 24/7, not be able to get up to use the restroom, eat, speak very well, or sit up. Hell, pretty much hell.

      • H-E-double hockey sticks. Yep, that’s what it was. Actually, it was hell that smelled like shit, tasted like ass, sounded like constant screeching, looked like death, and felt like imprisonment. And sometimes ‘Y.’

    • Dean, that’s one of my favorite tools.

  4. Oh my gosh! This makes me laugh! I am sorry. :-/ but I totally get it!! Zack used to do this A LOT but it has gotten way, way better now. He still does it sometimes and we generally laugh. You’re right, the things he days usually have some meaning but aren’t exactly what he needs to say. For instance- this is one he and I still joke and laugh about. Maybe a month ago, we were on our way to target or something and he goes to try and day something but u could tell he couldn’t get it out, so I wait for him and he says, puzzled, “all I could think if to say right now is ‘it’s a nice day for a white wedding’ but what I really wanted to say is that it’s nice outside.” He knew that wasn’t the right thing to say but he brain wanted to say it. We laughed pretty hard. There is some irony there, too. He is a musician and I love music so we used to speak in song lyrics all the time. We would make up our own or use songs already made up, but it was our little quirk. We could make anything into a song.

    Thanks for sharing this, it is helpful to know that he isn’t the only one. I am gonna share this with him.

  5. I take ppride in my ability of being Abby Normal both before and after my stroke. It’s a step up from being rude, crude, and socially unacceptable. LOL

  6. My weirdest behavior was that when a conversation was over, it was over. I would call someone to ask/ tell something; finished, I would say, “bye,” and hang up.

    Finally both Tom and my boss explained about social niceties; I actually remembered that I used to do that and that it was important to be polite, even though it sometimes was a waste of time. And I used to remind myself to do that in every phone call.

  7. Okay, so this really isn’t directly related to your post, but is indirectly related to your last three. Sort of. I think so anyway. I don’t take any medication beyond what I take for high blood pressure. Not to say, though, that I don’t experience some anxiety and depression. So far, though, I’ve been able to control it with lots of swimming and high doses of Pandora. I listen to it whole I work and while I relax. It keeps me sane to the extent that I actually am. My base channel is Anugama. To that I’ve mixed in Deuter, Rudy Adrian, Aeolia, and Dean Evenson.. Also Robert Tree Cody and another native-American musician by the name of Sims but I can’t recall his first name. So there it is, I hope it helps someone.

  8. This is funny to me too! I didn’t so much say weird stuff….I just said WAY TOO much stuff. Hyperverbal? Yes!!! They would ask me the normal neuro-check questions, what day is it, where are you, who’s the president? Probably wanting one word answers but always getting a long drawn out dissertation on my thoughts about whatever they asked. I talked so much, i think they’d forget the questions or at least hesitate asking another. I would say some funny stuff though. My husband said I was a comedian and kept all the staff fully amused.

    • Well that’s interesting! A hyperverbal stroke patient. Hmmm, I bet that’s a rarity.

    • The funny stuff was especially funny because everyone in the hospital is so drab and serious. I had really bad slurred speech, and a flat affect to go along with my “jokes”. I could either laugh or cry…..I did both often!!

      • I remember being hyper verbal. I stumbled around the hospital, looking for people to talk for as long as I could. Why have one word when a hundred would do seemed to be the order of the day. Everyone and anyone. I’m quite reserved normally. My speech was slurred, my balance was all over the place, quite what they must have thought is beyond me. I also did the emotional liability bit, by writing a gushing email to my boss, telling him how great he was, amongst many other too embarrassing to mention things. Never did get a response to that email 🙂

        I seemed to slur my speech in an attempt to find the words, which I found really difficult at times, slurring them seemed to make it easy to find the time to work out what I was going to say. I still have mishaps though, from telling a guy working on our house that I loved him, asking for shampoo on a sandwich, and making up completely new words sometimes. Never a dull moment.

  9. I think the stroke accentuated my personality traits: normally taciturn, I became even more quiet. Introspective before? I can now spend my whole day inside myself realizing what I never saw before. smart? well, that got all effed up. Kind? I got that back in spades. Pretty, I lost. great mother, I retained. You see.

  10. I accomplished every one of those things. like talking weird, giving thank you’s when they weren’t called for, mixing up words. Brain injury…. I’m glad you are all here to relate your experiences. I’m 5 years post-stroke and at times, I regress.

    • I haven’t had any verbal troubles at all, except I recently started stammering. (I’m 5 years PS too) Not stuttering – I have no trouble making the sound, I just repeat words in a sentence. Maybe I don’t know where the sentence is going, so I’mbuying time?

  11. I like you article “Weirdness”. In the first having a stroke and I had, approximately 3 month +/-, I was in the “Weirdness” about the English language – the speech therapy would ask me, e.g. “Is it snowing in this room??” and my reply always is “Yes!”. My mind/brain was cogent – I was generate the words “Of course not, it never snows inside!” but the tranfer from my brain to my lips it did not happen. Then, about 4 months, I discovered “No!”…

    “Weirdness” is perfect especially speech/grammar/syntax/semantics/…

    John A. /

  12. Amy, I totally get your point. After my stroke, I became fixated on a certain kind of shoes that I was calling Veitliners, there is no such thing, but I thought I will have to wear sturdy comfortable shoes . I have a lot of gay friends and the connection between shoes and women in comfortable shoes which are who my friends and I labelled Veitliners; totally made up. My poor daughter made it her mission to find a pair of Veitliners for me; which of course didn’t exist, but she didn’t know that. imagine the poor shoe salesman at Nodstrom! Too trasgic

    • Haha! That’s hilarious!!!!!

      • yes it is but not as funny as the idea I got that every child should learn to speak Polish, which I do. After the stroke I could still speak polish which suggested to me that my brain was working just fine, which it seemed to except for telling my left side how to behave…All the nurses spoke Polish in the hospital I was at which made me enormously popular…Go figure.

        • After the stroke, obviously I had no idea about anything and I read on the internet somewhere about someone who had a stroke using Rosetta Stone to recover her speech so I told my father he had to buy me the English Rosetta Stone. To this my friend said a few months later “you didn’t forget the English language!”

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