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View Diary: Gabrielle Giffords, and the horror of aphasia (92 comments)

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  •  I've noticed that in the last few years, (17+ / 0-)

    especially in the last year or so, I've had a really hard time trying to talk in a manner that doesn't make me sound like an airhead, for lack of a better term. Some days are great and I sound like an eloquent, articulate badass, but others (like today) I just can't talk. The former are becoming less frequent than the latter. I stumble over my words, it takes me a few seconds to remember the word I wanted to use, and because of the long awkward pauses I take when I try to find the right word and form the sentence, I wind up repeating myself a few times without realizing it. It's frustrating as hell. I've never been diagnosed with anything, nor is it as bad as what you described (or what Gabby Giffords is going through). My mom says it's because I talk too fast, and a few others have asked me if I'm autistic because of it.

    •  If you suspect that something is wrong, now is (16+ / 0-)

      the time to act. It may not be aphasia or any neurological problem but just in case it is, you want to act before it gets too far advanced.

    •  I experienced aphasia twice, once with CFS and (12+ / 0-)

      once as a result of medication that I was taking.  You should probably see a doctor as it might be something simple that can easily be treated, especially if it is getting worse.

      "I cannot live without books" -- Thomas Jefferson, 1815

      by Susan Grigsby on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 03:27:51 PM PST

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    •  It's worth checking out - (7+ / 0-)

      But neurological problems will make you feel like you're a hypochondriac, unfortunately, and neurologists don't help.  What you can do is get a neuro-psych exam, which will help pinpoint cognitive deficiencies.  The test takes about six hours.  Definitely worth it if you suspect cognitive problems.

      I'd rather be called a dirty fucking hippy for reading books then to stand on the side that throws books in the garbage. - MinistryofTruth

      by Jensequitur on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 03:35:56 PM PST

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    •  Go see a neurologist (7+ / 0-)

      If you have symptoms like this, absolutely go see a neurologist. Some neurological diseases (including but not only MS) can cause slow damage with almost no visible symptoms, because there's no telling which area of the brain is being affected and because damage may not be total.

      For example, with MS the nerves lose their myelin sheath, which basically makes them less efficient at transferring signals. They don't stop working, they just don't work as well. It's possible for the disease to progress for some time before there's an exacerbation has a really noticeable effect - falling, speaking issues, numbness/tingling issues, etc. When that happens people see the doctor or end up in the ER, but there's plenty of damage that happens before that point and earlier treatment can have a major effect on long-term prognosis.

    •  weatherdude, you might also get your B12 level (5+ / 0-)

      checked. I found that Methyl B-12, the sublingual kind, helps clear up my cog fog and speak with fewer of the stumbles you describe. My rheumatologist predicted it would help, and whaddaya know, the guy was right.

      Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction. -- Blaise Pascal

      by RJDixon74135 on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 08:38:04 PM PST

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    •  That might be because you're being (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      weatherdude

      exposed to neurotoxic chemicals.  Are you worse off in some places rather than others?  Before you go rushing off to see a specialist try keeping a diary.  Write down the time of day, where you are, how you feel and anything else that seems noteworthy.  Take notes several times a day.

      That, or it may be sick building syndrome.

      Never meddle in the affairs of cats, for they are subtle and will piss on your computer.--Bruce Graham

      by Ice Blue on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 08:53:07 PM PST

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      •  That's dangerous advice, Ice Blue. (0+ / 0-)

        The problem might also be transient ischemic attacks or a brain tumor. Weatherdude should see a doctor about this tomorrow.

        •  I had a TIA. (0+ / 0-)

          It was followed by a stroke.  It was complete with global aphasia, hemiplegia, loss of balance, the whole deal.  I recovered, mostly, but it still took about three years before I could speak passably.  My stroke happened in '85 but I still have a noticable difference in right-left muscle tone.  I'm sure the only reason I recovered as well as I did was because my stroke occured when I was just 21.

          After that, do you know what I got from MDs?  I was labeled a hypochondriac.  That's right.  140 IQ, pilot's license at age 17, ROTC cadet and MIT student yet it was still assumed what I really craved was a husband and a couple dozen babies.  Blown right pupil?  I was told to go get a facial, sweetie, and it would all be better.  They didn't even bother with their stethoscopes.  That's why I have zero confidance in 90% of the GPs out there especially in their knowledge of neurology.  But, hey, at least I have lots of lulz to tell my pets' veterinarians.

          Granted, Weatherdude is a man and therefore counts as a full-fledged human being rather than hysterical breeding stock but he's still young.  He does not want the word hypochondriac to appear on his medical records.  I'm worse off when I pass an herbicided lawn or someone who wears perfume or an area where plastic is being burned.  It won't hurt him to take note of that.  At least a diary will show the doctor he's willing to do his part in his own health care.

          Never meddle in the affairs of cats, for they are subtle and will piss on your computer.--Bruce Graham

          by Ice Blue on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 07:53:30 AM PST

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