Saturday, May 30, 2015

Left vs. Right

Barb Polan
Barb’s Recovery
Posted 18th March 2010 

I was speaking to a sales rep on the phone today, negotiating a price for something I wanted to buy, and she must have remembered something I said yesterday about being on medical leave because she said that she had recently had a health problem and was finding it very hard to get back into the swing of things at work, but it didn't seem as though I was having that problem. I decided to lay my cards out and I told her that I'd had a stroke in November and was still recovering, but that I found work to be very helpful, so it was easy to get back into it. She seemed very surprised and told me that I sounded wonderful for having had a stroke so recently - her father had had a stroke when he was in his 50's and, she said, it took him several years to be able to speak normally again. I resisted explaining to her the difference between having a stroke on the left vs. right side of the brain - if I had been so unfortunate as to have had mine in my left brain, not only would I have lost the function of my right, dominant side, but my speech and language skills would have been disrupted. Some people with left-brain strokes need to learn to read all over again, starting with which squiggle is what letter (and what is a letter, anyway?). Instead of my right hand doing double duty on the keyboard, it would be the recalcitrant one, and I'd be brushing my teeth, typing and buttoning my clothes with my very uncoordinated left hand. There's no way I would be able to even remotely do my job without being able to read and type - so I feel very fortunate to have had a right-brain stroke, as crazy as that sounds.

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