“I feel like a functioning member of society again.”

For the first few weeks Amanda recommenced eating food from a plate instead of through her nose, she had severe right – side neglect. Basically her brain had forgotten she even had a right side. The occupational therapist taught her the trick of rotating her plate, so all her food would eventually come into view.

This improved by the time she got back home three months later. But she still has very little use of her right hand. So I make meals which can easily be eaten with just the left one.

In the last couple of weeks her food – consumption speed has sped up to the point where she sometimes finishes before two -handed me.

She does most things slowly. Walking, dressing showering etc. I asked her the other day if she felt ‘slow’ or if she felt as if she was going at ‘normal’ speed? She said it felt normal.

So, after a brain reboot and being away from work and society in general for over 7 months, I wonder if she has actually reverted to the speed we should all be going at?

We often hear about the speed at which modern society operates. There are pressures everywhere to meet deadlines. New inventions or iterations of existing appliances are always proudly touted as being faster than the previous version. Speed dictates how we live our lives and we all play along… unless our bodies decide otherwise.

I asked for comments on the Facebook groups I’ve discovered which support people recovering from stroke, and aphasia sufferers. It seems people generally take life more slowly, in the first 18 months after a stroke.

On Friday, Amanda spent her first few hours back at work, at the suggestion of her manager. The idea was to just sit at her desk and re-absorb the general office vibe and see what memories came back. A planned hour turned into 2 and she managed some simple filing and a few things came back to her. Hopefully this is a tentative first step of many…

In the evening we went out for dinner to celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary. The restaurant was perfect; small, quiet and no background music so we could talk at a normal level. Nothing to distract or overwhelm a still – healing brain.

After a busy few hours back in the office, a good nap and a French meal, she looked around the room and said;

“I feel like a functioning member of society again.”


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