The problem with numbers and Aphasia

Since my stroke I have not done numbers except by my calculator. If find 10 between 3-4 numbers is dificult, I have a maths degree at university and number this very dificult. My reading is OK and my speech needed help.

Can somone help me to give my number in future? I do sudoke and other pices in the Times daily but then will not help me.

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Hello Frank, I have little experience with aphasia, so can only provide some rudimentary help. There are free exercises at BrainHQ that may be of assistance, TactusTherapy has an NHS approved numbers app, this is for the phone or tablet, and like BrainHQ, it has a free lite version.

Sudoke is meant to be very good. As I was awful at mathematics, not much has changed since my stroke, in fact, I’ve probably become a bit better at it due to an improved retention for associative memory. I think another part of my brain is compensating for my lack of short term recall, and it does a better memory job, albeit, not for my short term recall.

Good morning Frank.

You must be doing something right as you have found your way on the new forum. Well done, I struggle badly with this new layout.

I had aphasia, not severe, and recovery just steadily improved over many months.

I am an FCA so numbers had previously come very easy indeed. But we are not the same as before stroke. We are new people.
I do different things, such as tea making and waiting on tables and gardenning. After about three years friends accepted I would no longer assist with 5heir tax returns. My Institute have given me lifetime free status as an FCA but I do not Practice. Things slowly improve over the years, but I just have to tolerate my loss of numbers. I am six years post stroke and the numbers do not flow. But it doesn’t matter. I can do some voluntary work for the local church .
I have not pushed my brain for numbers. I just do what I can and some level of numeracy edges back. Live your life as best you can and things will improve.
I benefit from advice to stop saying it is my stroke. I didn’t choose it, don’t want it and therefor do not treat it as an ongoing issue, stroking only lasted for a few hours, or even a few minutes, and now it’s all about recovery.
Think about what you can do and not what you can not do.
Smile many times each day. False, forced fake or real all work.
Lots of us are out here for you, even if we aren’t any good at using this new forum.


Thank you Colin. I tried hard but it won’t return as you said. I keep tried keeping and I know it won’t return. I have just been diagnosed with visciular dementia so in time it won’t help. Thank you and other for their help. I will certainly tried the websites.

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Hello Frank.

I am a carer for my Mum and so do not speak from personal experience. The advice I would offer is to never give up and never think it cannot happen. Believe in yourself and maybe try setting small targets that are achievable. I am trying to keep my brain active as well as trying to help Mum and so I try to do Sudoku and crossword puzzles. I am not very good, so I just set small goals and as I achieve them it builds up my confidence and I think helps improve the brain.

So if I struggle with the puzzles I look for “easy” versions or just try to complete one set of numbers in the grid and so on.

I hope this helps.

Main think is to remain positive and think you can do it - you always can, just sometimes it takes a bit longer!

Best wishes with your recovery.

Thank you for your thought.

Of course you can adopt my mantra. I got massive help from the forum way back in 2015 so delighted if my missives trigger any ideas.

I have only just come across your comment. I don’t know how to use this forum.

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It would make things easier for you if you can be positive. Think what you can do and not what you can not do. Smile, smile,smile then smile again. Please try the smiling and then note how much better you feel.
Of course I don’t know anything medical, but I would hazard a guess that you could push dementia into the far distant future. But give in to it and it will run riot.
My church reopened a fortnight ago, and I can return to doing tea and coffee for a couple of groups that use our rather smashing facilities. It is encouraging for me if I can do that task well. Don’t give in Frank. Find your alternative paths.
Best wishes

I will as I connot my life

Hi Frank,
I feel for you in what you’re going through. There has been a great deal of helpful advice already offered.
Much has changed for you, so it is important to concentrate on what you can do and not on what you have lost. It is also important to learn to love the new person you are now! Do a kindness for someone else today and make their day - then you can both smile.

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Hi Frank,

I hope your use of numbers has improved since your last post.

Unlike you I hasn’t very good with numbers even back at school. I’m much better with words as I’m a lawyer. But ever since I started my own firm I had to get better with numbers, worked with my accountant all the time to understand how numbers translated into profit or loss and made sure I used them every day.

After my stroke in 2020 I had to relearn the alphabet and numbers too. In April 2021, I went back to doing admin work such as paying salaries, invoices and taxes. This forced me to use numbers again. At first it was hard but the more I did it the easier it became.

Hope this helps.

Thanks for than. Even though I can’t then enough even 10 I get though even with the caltorator and even the machine tools. To help my spelling.

It was more than a year after my stroke that I started to look at music again. The dots and other sheet music symbols I knew had some sort of value but for the life of me they were unrecognisable. I’d forgotten even how to hold a guitar comfortably and the lack of strength of my fingers was embarrassing.

I’m now in my eight year of recovery and have managed in that time to re-learn how to play keyboards, guitar and read sheet music. None of these things to the level that I’d achieved in the past but at least with some enjoyment.


“If music be the food of love, play on!”


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Hi there
I thought I’d get my penny worth in, I had my first TIA in 2017 and had problems with strength but taught myself to power carving just had another stroke in December. I now have problems with planning my next project its only been about 8 weeks so at the moment I am not able to try and get carving, the tools are hard and sharp so much planning is needed. I did 30yrs as a copper, learnt a lot and changed from using my brain and common sence to precision working, my suggestion is try something completely different. In a few weeks I will be either be power carving or something different, at my age I need to exercise my body and mind but until I sort my body out I shall continue my planning. Keep smiling. Be :blush: :smiley: Allan

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Hi Frank, I can relate to you experience. Like you had trouble with numbers, the realisation came when I got home from my 3 month stay in hospital after my stroke and went to the post office to renew my dog’s licences. I had no idea what £18 was. It just didn’t compute at all. My speech was almost non-existent as well. I was offered a place in a hyperbaric chamber as part of my recovery. One hour a day for 300 consecutive days (excl Sat and Suns).
I spent my time in the chamber doing simple arithmetic in the beginning and playing with children’s maths toys called “Twist and Go”. I progressed very rapidly.
Before my stroke I was a Professor of mathematics and physics, this was a devastating occurrence and coupled with the severe aphasia my teaching and academic days are now over but now my grandsons are getting the best, full time, tutoring available and I have a great hobby…
The lesson in all of this NEVER GIVE UP!

As a profession of maths I heard your points and will control my report. I still look at day by day and looks by day.

Hello everyone. I had a stroke in 2018 and am still recovering. Was a full time administrator who now have problems with memory and speech. Thankfully repeated tasks brought back much of my strength in hands, etc. A lot of good advice is given in this forum which is a god send for those who are lost and don’t know where to start. As said in other posts accept the new person you’ve become and learn new things. I should know I’m now a full time housewife, puttering as I can and it’s a job in itself :grinning:


Great advice and your tight never give up thanks