Saddled With Disabilities

The following are the disabilities and conditions I over came.

Loss of Memory – This included long-term (I could not recall childhood but recognized places and people in photos but didn’t have the names), short-term (could not recall what day it was and marked off each day on a calendar to keep track) and working memory (inability to think, construct a To Do List, couldn’t remember what was spoken to me, no recall of what I’d just done hence repeating of activities)

In ability to read – loss of working memory combined with aphasia’s I couldn’t read. I was not able to retain more than 4 or 5 words in working memory hence I couldn’t remember the first half of the sentence when I read the second half of the sentence thus no understanding of what I read.

Nominal Aphasia was hard enough (not remembering words) but it was made worse by my existing dyslexia as well I couldn’t recall the phonetic thus searching for a word in the dictionary was impossible…I could not get into the vicinity of the word to pick it out of the list.

Minimal speech – due to the aphasia I had little to say and when I did attempt to speak I was stuttering. Typically I didn’t speak for 2 or 3 weeks at a time. Once I didn’t speak for 2 months.

Loss of mathematics except basic addition and subtraction only by counting on fingers or in written form. I had completed Pre-Calculus math in High School and used to make engineering calculations for structural steel trusses for theatrical scenery.

Slight muscle weakness of the left side in both arm and leg. Loss of hand coordination – inability to button shirts and tie shoe laces.

Tremors

Severe exhaustion and would sleep 12-16 hours each day.

Severe headaches – at times I wanted a hammer to break open my skull to relieve the pain.

Depression & Shame – I was a shadow of my former self: the best I could do was bath and feed myself and not start a fire in the kitchen. Once a week I went to the grocery on the off-hours otherwise I was so overwhelmed by the stimulation of sound, light, movement & people that I’d have emotional breakdowns.

Deep and lengthy crying spells – sometimes just the thought of who I’d become or the isolation of being in this alone was overwhelming.

Fear – how will I support myself? What happens when my money runs out?

Loss of Hope – There were long periods of time when I’d wished a major stroke or heart attack would end the misery. It was 4 years before I had confidence that I was not going to have a fatal stroke or heart attack.