Fantasy or reality? Make-believe or hard facts? Sometimes, it appears like both of them are correct are both of them are incorrect all at the same time. In the next several minutes, I am going to describe a visceral emotion, or maybe it’s a feeling, or maybe it’s perceptibility that everyone takes for granted, but it’s so important that sometimes people forget how crucial it is.
Have I got your attention?
The Magic Genie
Now, what would that be? Most people would think that it must be terrible, right? Well, not exactly, but it does change your perspective almost instantaneously. As a matter of fact, several experts describe this issue as an invisible problem, and even more unbelievable, it will never go away, although with practice, can improve the situation immensely.
As an old Saturday Night Live junkie, I ask you this question, “What is this?” You answer, “It’s a floor wax! It’s a dessert topping!””
No, although very good guesses! It is the art of communication and, specifically, aphasia, a language disorder that affects over one million people in the United States.
In particular, if a magic genie came into your life and said to you the following: “I am taking away your most precious gift, your communication, for one day because you have aphasia. Live the experience. Then, tomorrow, I will come back and everything will be back to normal.”
What would you do?
Negatives and Positives
Wow! Tantalizing question, huh?
“Aphasia gets in the way of a person’s ability to use or understand words. Aphasia does not impair the person’s intelligence. People who have aphasia may have difficulty speaking and finding the “right” words to complete their thoughts. They may also have problems understanding conversation, reading and comprehending written words, writing words, and using numbers.”
So, how would you feel with aphasia? A flood of emotions with suddenly appear of dread, isolation, confusion, anger, sadness, helplessness. Oy vey!
But at the same time, you also feel gratified that tomorrow your speech will be better that the day before. You will be envisioned by all the little things you didn’t realize that you took for granted like positive thinking, optimism, resilience, and happiness.
Of course, it’s more difficult with all the nuances of aphasia, but in this realization, I want to make a point: most people don’t even know what aphasia is. They don’t understand how it would change not only the individual who has aphasia, but further, the ripples that impinged of their family, friends, and colleagues regarding dealing with this challenge almost every single day.
Grapple the Complexity
As an advocate for people with disabilities and especially with aphasia, I consult often. I wish that people could appreciate and comprehend the implication and impacts of an individual’s life after acquiring aphasia. But most importantly, it’s what we can do after we find out that we have aphasia to succeed, grow and blossom.
Literally, even in the short amount of time, you now comprehend and or more attuned to what aphasia can impact a person and of the ramifications that occur.
How can we create an environment to have more understanding and appreciation for aphasia? We will be more aware of our surroundings regarding the issue and be more balance in our response.
Ultimately, it is not only for the survivors and caregivers with this matter, but each and every individual to grapple the complexity of aphasia and to forge connections for the betterment of everyone.
Does this make sense?
I will tell you a little secret: I enjoyed my blog immensely, but it’s amazing how long it takes to write a post once a week. Specifically, every week, I have to:
- Formulate and dictate my post which takes me between 5 to 6 hours
- Another 4 to 5 hours to fix the corrections regarding spelling, grammar, and pronunciation
- Make it presentable and nice to the readers, and then
- Proofread everything not once, but twice, to make sure everything is A-OK.
Again, I enjoy what I do enormously, but it just takes a little bit more time because I have aphasia. However, it’s the end result is more gratifying, don’t you think?
Passions and Responsibilities
That is my challenge to you: embrace your passions and responsibilities each day, every day. And probably most importantly, respect and appreciate people who are on the rebound going further to attend even greater heights in the future.
What do you think about aspects of aphasia? I look forward to chatting with you on the subject.
Now, where is that genie again? Genie?