Saturday, January 24, 2015

Living With Aphasia: Carrie Lewis' Story

Carrie Lewis
Stroke Survivors Tattler
Sunday, January 01, 2012

"Carrie Lewis is a remarkable woman".

This isn’t because she lives in Edmonton, Alberta, or because she’s 49 years old, or even because she has lived with aphasia in the four years since her stroke; what makes Carrie instantly likeable is her sense of humour and obvious enthusiasm for life.

I am feeling pretty good, now,” Carrie wrote when asked to talk about herself. “I like my independence, being able to walk and drive. Make things, do things like sports, games, talk, see new things, places, people.

Carrie experienced her subarachnoid hemorrhage as “the worst head- ache I ever had”. The stroke left her with aphasia and other changes – “I saw the clock numbers backwards” – as well as a weak left side. She has learned to walk again, but her “left arm is taking longer, with no feeling, but works quite well, anyways.

She is honest about the daily challenges that accompany aphasia. “It is tough some days. I am getting used to my slow answers and bad pronunciations.” However, with typical optimism, this has helped her “appreciate those who have English as a second language.

In addition to working each weekday, Carrie attends group speech classes, goes bicycle riding, and has joined a darts group. “All of us try to get other Stroke survivors to come out and play, and socialize. At Darts, we did a lot of talking, and everyone feels comfortable.

I have a great support from my family and friends. Old friends and new. All of us are a bit smarter, about Stroke and Aphasia.

As for this workbook, Carrie found it to be “a good idea” during her initial stroke recovery, and believes “I will use it” continuously in the future – “I am a work in progress still.

When asked to address other people living with aphasia, Carrie’s message comes through strongly and clearly.

Keep up all your hard work. You can do it!

See Getting on with the Rest of Your Life after Stroke and many more articles by the Canada Stoke Network.

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