I think I’ve proven by means of this blog that I know a thing or two.  After this happened to me, all the people in my life thought and treated me as if I had lost all my knowledge.  Everyone except the three loves of my life, my best friends Vicki, Mandy, and Alyson.  I guess that’s why they’re my best friends.  They never made me feel even remotely close to anything like that.  Everyone else did.  Everyone else would say now, three years later, that they never thought that but that’s bullshit.  Everyone thought that.  No one thought I knew anything after this happened.  Well I did.  I didn’t lose one iota of my knowledge or memory.  Don’t assume that your loved one has lost anything intellectually.  That will set you up for severe resentment later on.

Categories: Brain stuff, Recovery, Stroke stuff


20 replies

  1. After the stroke I had the same voice in my head (aka thinking) and spirit in my heart as there were before the stroke, but some things that used to be simple (e.g., Excel) were baffling, which I just couldn’t accept, so I kept beating my head against the table. That didn’t help. Calendars are getting easier, but my visual image of them was a mess (calendars are a 2-dimensional strip of time to me, but it was in a knot instead of a Möbius Strip).

  2. With my strokes I lost the ability to momentarily recall data and the way to present it in a linear fashion. Tough breaks for an author. I “forgot” a lot, but it is getting better as I approach the 2 yea anniversary of my first stroke.

  3. OK, back to Doris: Amy, don’t forget “” When I was growing up, much of our learning focussed on how to look something up, but now we have Google, so we don’t have to drag out encyclopedias or go looking through a card catalogue or microfilm to find a reasonably decent answer, which is really all we need to know for a contemporary conversation.

    bTW, while Dean’s answer is accurate, it’s a tad misdirected. You know when you take a piece of construction paper to make a paper chain and you staple it so that it’s a nice ring? well, imagine that you screwed up and twisted it so that one end is flipped before you staple. a little distorted shape like that needs a name, right, especially in science? Yes, because that’s how jargon gets created. and the name of that little shape is a Möbius strip. make one and you’ll see why it’s cool. and then get out a pencil and do Dean’s exercise.

    • I still think I’m right about this, because ‘a little distorted shape’ – that sure sounds like Doris to me. And Dean – Sally Rand? Now that really is an oldie but goodie. Even I barely remember her.

  4. I can verify that Amy lost no knowledge. The day after her surgery when she woke up one of the first things she said was to ask us to call an acquaintance she was supposed to meet for lunch to explain she couldn’t come. She also remembered all her usernames and passwords to all her accounts. Amazing.

    • That is amazing – I coulldn’t remember appointments and passwords before my stroke, much less afterward.

      • I was very worried about missing a row the day after the stroke. Once you sign up, there is NO missing a row – that was stressed throughout orientation. Even if the weather was hurricane conditions, we are supposed stop by the dock no matter what; the the captain calls off the row. I was obsessed with the fact i was skipping one. Tom kept repeating that my friend Esther would take care of it. It wasn’t until he told me that he gave Esther my password, so she would take care of it, that I finally stopped feeling as though I’d let people down.

    • Ok ok, I guess my mom never thought that.

  5. I didn’t so much lose my knowledge, but my cognitive abilities were greatly impacted. I was still able to rattle off and converse with the doctors about all the technical aspects of my angioma and recovery….which was lucky because I am the “medical leasion” in my family, but simple things like telling time, and tying my shoes escaped me. I always thought it was crazy the things I lost and the things I retained. Cognitive rehab was much harder for me than any and the physical rehab. I think it’s because you can’t just repeat the same exercise a million times, but you have to find new ways to challenge your brain for cognitive rehab. I still have work to do in the cognitive area but I am almost fully recovered physically.

    • That’s the most frustrating thing, to be all better physically but not quite all better cognitively so all people see is the outside and think “she’s all better!” No. 😦

    • I haven’t heard of cognitive rehab? Just speech therapy is what my husband has been getting but his speech is so poor. He can not say his name, he struggles with so many basic things, but when I’m driving he is the one who tells me how to get to places not to much by talking but by pointing to me where to turn.
      Which exercises helped you to get better?

      • Yadira, my cognitive deficits were pretty bad even though I “looked” ok. My short term memory, attention, visual and auditory processing, processing speed, left side neglect, and many more things were problems. I could talk fine albeit slurred…my speech problems were “mechanical” in nature… tongue, mouth, and vocal chords didn’t move right so my speech was slurred and my voice was weird. My cognitive deficits impacted my life more than my speech so while I did speech therapy for my speech, she spent a huge amount of time on what they called “cognitive rehab”. It was done by my very amazing, talented speech therapist. My insurance wouldn’t technically pay for cognitive rehab because its considered experimental, but they worked it out….and it was a huge help. I could still use more, but my insurance wouldn’t pay after a year and I am considered too “high level” anyway. I’m just not how I used to be and sometimes its hard to accept/deal with. I did so many different exercises to build on what was exactly wrong. My therapist was great. She came up with all sorts of different challenges which is the key. I did that too. I’m not sure if it helped but I tried everything. We played all sorts of games. I listened to complex pod casts and took notes….really hard for me….but used to be simple. Cooking several things at once..really hard and dangerous. I burned myself and the food several times. I could never remember to use a hot pad and would just pull out hot things from the oven. Grocery shopping was really hard I would circle the store a million times even with a list until I categorized the list so I got all the produce, dairy, etc the first time. I was really messed up but still sharp as ever about my professional background. The brain is a crazy thing.

        • Yes you are right Elizabeth the brain is a crazy thing, and it is so amazing what we do as every day thing with out even thinking about it, but now that my husband has the stroke things don’t respond the way he wants them. I’m glad you had a great speech therapist because that makes a big difference in recovery and also you doing your part. It is so hard to find a good one, hope Amy is still thinking about opening a clinic for people who had a stroke.

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