Aphasia: Loss of language, not intellect

Leaving happy hour tonight with a couple of 40-somethings, I noticed a bumper sticker I had never seen before. “Aphasia: Loss of language, not intellect.” As I’m pushing 70, this appeals to me. I’ve had three brain glitches in my life, the first one in my early 20s. Gobbledygook came out of my mouth instead of real words, although I knew what I intended to say.

It’s likely to happen again, maybe with a stroke or some other type of brain failure. If so, is there some comfort in knowing that I won’t be a blob, even if no one else can understand me? Sometimes I imagine that Gabby Giffords may feel imprisoned in her own head because she has so much difficulty expressing herself. But maybe it’s not as bad as I think.

Maybe I should be thinking more about this stuff, being a baby boomer and all. The last time I had a brain glitch was at work about a year ago. My colleagues asked me to outstretch my arms, speak a complete sentence, and if I knew what I wanted to say. I could do all three.

Still, I got an MRI. My doctor reported great results. I hadn’t had a stroke, there was no plaque in my brain. I was in good shape. What a surprise!

Recently I’ve been back in touch with a woman I worked with more than 40 years ago.  We celebrated Friday afternoons eating Doritos, m&ms and chocolate bars. No worries. We were young and thin. We had plenty of estrogen and no stomachs.

I’m enjoying her 70-Something Blog. I always admired her. And she’s got it down,  aware that anything could happen to her now that she’s in her mid-70s and her husband is 80. No way will they stop traveling, having goals, engaging fully in day-to-day life.

Go Judy! Go us Baby Boomers!



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2 Responses to Aphasia: Loss of language, not intellect

  1. Sheila Lepley says:

    I try to be thankful for the good health I still have. Those of us in our 70’s with no big diseases or fading mental functions are lucky. However I do wish I could eat with impunity all the junk food that I once upon a time could tolerate, you know….potato chips, chocolate bars, heavy creamy stuff.

  2. sheilawill says:

    I understand! It’s a constant struggle between “My clothes will fit better if I lose 10 lbs.’ and the hell with it. I want a brownie.

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