Apr 17, 2016

Thoughtless Person: You Didn't Finish the Book YET? Stroke Survivor: No, Dumbass. Remember? I've Had a Stroke!

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. Joseph Addison
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/search_results.html?q=reading
John Addison (1672 –1719), the essayist, song writer, playwright, and diplomat, is famous for that quote about reading: Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. Truth be told, there wasn't much to do in that time. Sometimes, just for a few seconds, I would have liked to be part of that generation, where reading and writing and speaking were the high points of the day. People were smarter back then. Just look at the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence! But I digress.

Back to the point, I always read slowly, absorbing and silently verbalizing every word, not wanting the book or reports to ever end. About a month before I had a stroke, I wanted to take up speed reading. But work piled up even more and I never got around to it.

Seven years later after my stroke, I read an article in Lifehacker,  written by Thorin Klosowski, who reviewed speed reading methodologies. Klosowski concluded that "speed reading anything you need to truly comprehend is probably a bad idea. However, if you have a few documents you need to get through or you're reading something that isn't that important, these methods can still be worthwhile. Just know that you won't become a super-fast reading comprehension machine."

So I gave up the notion and was satisfied with my 350 words per minute which, as it turns out, falls within the range of normalcy, especially grateful that my double vision post-stroke disappeared within five weeks. But not everybody is so lucky when it comes to the written word, and the trouble comes about mainly from dyslexia or aphasia in stroke survivors. And my point being, both of them affect reading.

Dysarthria is garbled or unintelligible speech.

Source: HealthTap, https://www.healthtap.com/user_questions/22470
Dysarthria is garbled or unintelligible speech.

Source: HealthTap, https://www.healthtap.com/user_questions/2247I might offend the speech and language out there in severely minimizing the descriptions of each, but I'll proceed anywaDysarthria is garbled or unintelligible speech
Dyslexia, also called associated dyslexia or alexia, occurs often in reading when the brain's ability to read is disrupted by the size and location of each individual stroke, even when the writing ability remains intact. The process of paying bills and following written instructions, for example, are often followed by increasing anger and frustration. A dyslexic individual would see letters in different shapes. To compensate, many individuals use audiotape resources, but the process of reading recovery is complex, depending on the severity and location of the stroke.

Aphasia is damage to the language areas of the brain. The three major kinds of aphasia are:

Wernicke's Aphasia where stroke survivors often have difficulty with understanding speech and may not be cognizant of saying the wrong words. Reading and writing are often majorly affected.

Broca's Aphasia where the stroke survivors' speech are limited often to less than five words, but they may be able to understand speech and be able to read but have difficulty with writing.

Global Aphasia where stroke survivors lost the ability to read and write. It is a result of substantial damage to the language areas of the brain. 

Whatever the case, Speech and Language Therapists (SLT) could help. Make sure you go and visit one for diagnosis and remedies. Without reading, you may be lost forever if you don't seek out advice. Call your local hospital to start your journey to find a certified SLT. You have much to gain and nothing to lose.