Improving the lives of people with aphasia and their families


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  • I had a stroke on the 25th July 2001. I was 47 years of age at the time.
  • I didn't feel well when I got out of bed.
  • I ended up on the floor and I had to crawl to get to the phone.
  • I rang my mother. I didn't realise I couldn't talk and the right arm and leg were numb.

  • Mum got in touch with my brother, who phoned for the ambulance.

  • I stayed at the hospital for a month. I live alone, and it was a daunting experience coming home.
  • My speech and right hand are affected.
  • Unfortunately I had had a few years of ill health. Then the stroke happened with the speech and the right hand problems; I got very tired, more depressed, and very irritable.
  • I had rehabilitation for a couple of years.  I manage by myself at home.  I do my cooking, washing, ironing and gardening, but have some help with cleaning.
  • My family - sisters and brother - help with heavy tasks and odd jobs that I have problems with.
  • My boyfriend plays cards with me, goes for walks, helps with odd jobs and some gardening.

  • We usually feed the ducks on Sundays when we go walking to the river.
  • I regained my driving license so I can go to the shops and to rehab, but I'm not driving very much at this stage .
  • Shopping is quite stressful with the crowds and noise, so I try to shop in quiet times. The fruit and vegetables are not easy to put in the bags, with a hand not quite co-operating.

  • I used to take my camera out when I went out. I can't press the shutter with my fingers.
  • I have problems with bandaids, cutting my nails, and cleaning my glasses.

  • I used to read a lot, but now, I have problems with the words. The words are going around my head, but, when I write or speak, they come out wrong.

  • I use scripts for phoning taxis or appointments.
  • I have to re-learn numbers and adding up money is difficult when I am shopping. Telling others the time is hard to do, also.

  • Before the stroke, I used to make gem trees, and fantasy dolls as a hobby. I miss doing craft work, and hopefully I can get back to it eventually.

Marilyn with some of her dolls

  • I write poetry now and draw.  I have had a drawing and painting in an exhibition.
  • I did tapestry at rehab. I want to get back to this.  I am fortunate because my writing hand is my left hand, so I can still do drawing.
  • I would like to travel overseas and visit England - King Arthur country - France, New Zealand, South America, and the Flinders Ranges. I would like to fossick for gem stones and learn to how to polish them.
  • I do volunteer work in a public library twice a week.  It is good to be back in a library and to use my skills.
  • I go to a computer group once a week with other people with aphasia. 

  • It hasn't been easy for the last few years, but I find pleasure in my garden, and hobbies.

  • I like to listen to music or go out to gardens, galleries or movies, or just relax with the family and my boyfriend.
  • I try to cope but some things get on top of me, but I just persevere.
  Telephoning: 08 8443 5555 The Talkback Association for Aphasia Inc.
302 South Road, Hilton.
South Australia, 5033