Aphasia Experiences

Hi, my wife and I were recently celebrating having our second child, a Christmas Eve baby (Jonathan) - the best Christmas present ever! Unfortunately about 2 weeks later my wife had a stroke while feeding Jonathan.  She was initially paralysed on her right side and completely mute, however we we got to hospital quickly and she had the clot buster treatment which worked well. She was able to come home 3 days later with almost no movement issues, however she has now has aphasia.

The aphasia is getting much better, albeit her speech isn't quite a fluent as it once was.  However she is particularly struggling a little with a couple of areas 'working memory', the bit you use when trying to work out a sum in your head and you need to remember a number you just worked out to do the next bit (if that makes sense).  She is also struggling with being able to think of words by the letter they begin with.  

Does anyone have any tips, or any stories of personal experience with Aphasia recovery that may help me to envourage her (she is really down at the moment). 

Thanks all!



Richard, Welcome to our forum. I am sorry to hear about your wife, especially coming after the arrival of your second child. My friends on here will advise you on aphasia. I just wanted you to say to her that it will get better and that age is on her side. I had a different type of stroke and am much older. Stroke is not an illness, but a brain injury, so recovery is not quick, but it will come. Tell her to stay positive and encourage her all you can. Wish her the best from me and tell her, above all, to stay positive.

Dear Richard 

Sorry to learn of the stroke biting your wife.

I had aphasia and struggled to talk at first. I also struggled to process others speaking to me.

Speech was just a noise and my brain had to sort out the noise in to words. Then it had to sort the words into order and work out what they meant. I then needed to work out my reply and sort the words again. Then convince my mouth to speak those words. By this time most people have said something extra/different and only the medical staff seemed to grasp that they had to be precise in what they asked and then wait for my reply.

Now the good news. After three months I was speaking and hearing to a mderate level. After six months i could hear and speak quite well.

I needed rest and time. Stroke recovery is slow. Very slow. But it does happen.

I find it totally unhelpfull to be told the name I am seeking begins with X. If I knew the word I wouldnt need to be told how it starts.

I was 68 at that time. So age related issues were just starting to be a possibility. After perhaps a year, I could tell which absent info was just me being old and which was stroke. If it is old then hovering and maybe even being told X would get the answer, I eventually recall whatever I was failing with. However if it is stroke then the info will not recall no matter how hard I try. Its  absent and thats that.

Part of my brain is dead, so certain functions and memories will not return. During the first two years , some recovery is possible in respect of brain area that is damaged as opposed to dead. In addition the brain will learn ways of working around the dead bits. Neuro plasticity in medic speak. Recovery will go on as long as is needed. I am 4 years + and recovery is still happening.

I have lost all memories for the months prior to stroke. I have diaries so reading them can replace a lot of the missing memories.

It is early days for your wife. Rest, peacefulness, no stress are essentials for a good recovery.

The stroke association do excellent leaflets explaing aphasia, emotionality, loss of temper etc. And they will mention depression. A stroke often brings waves of depression for several weeks. Do try to allow your wife to push the depression away (smiling is an amazing weapon). 

She appears to be recovering very well indeed, but please accept it is still a massive journey of recovery for her. And please not she will never return to her previous self. She will however recover to a new person.

Be positive

Smile (wife not you!)

Lots of us are here for you both






Hi, I've posted this before on a separate forum but as you might not read that one I've re-posted it here. As you're probably aware, aphasia is a communications issue, normally associated with an acquired brain injury (ABI), and this, in turn, is normally caused by a stroke but could be an accident or infection. Aphasia can affect people in up to four ways and to varying degrees of severity. Receptive Aphasia is a term given to the inability to read and the inability to process incoming speech. Expressive Aphasia is a term given to the inability to write and the inability to speak, or at least, find the right word. Global Aphasia encompasses the entire list. The SayAphasia charity, recently setup has monthly walk-in meetings around the UK should you wish to meet like-minded souls for a chat and find out more information. To find out if there is a meeting near you, their website is sayaphasia.org. My wife had a stroke in 2011 and has Global Aphasia. If I were to mark on a scale of one to ten the severity (ten being most severe), to which she is afflicted I'd probably go for; Reading - 9, Processing - 9, Writing - 10, Speaking - 9. Speech and language therapy can help but, sadly, not in my wife's case. Not yet anyway. At various meetings, we've met many stroke survivors who have had Aphasia and many of these have made a full recovery. As has been said on here, your wife has age on her side. Hope all goes well.