Welcome back to the Healthy Life Podcast.... today we will continue with our talk about aphasia. I’ll start out with this... How many of you have watched the movie, “The Kings Speech”...? If you haven’t I highly suggest it. It is a true story about King Edwards abdication and was written more about his brother “Bertie” who became “King George the VI” ...it talks about a man “Lionel.” (Not a Doctor - I might mention). Who takes an entirely different track in the treating of his speech problem - “stutter” and how he saw it as more of an emotional underpinning... sure there were tips and tricks... but they were more to deal with the mind and mind set,
Aphasia is similar, of the “stutter” that Bertie had, in that most professionals see it as a physical manifestation that can be helped with techniques and learning “methods” that “help you deal with a permanent problem you will always have. But you didn’t always have it... an event brought it about. We need to understand that the body was built and designed to heal! If you suffer a cut - the body walls off the injury and begins the repair and healing! So when we suffer a stroke what happens in the US...
Keep in mind too that the first two issues are dealt with by physicians and the third is a separate issue.... physiologists oversee it in hospitals and rehab clinics and entire industries have been developed to placate the rest.
I must admit, as a nurse, paramedic, and then clinic manager I bought into the system. But after enduring it and struggling in it for years I was willing to do anything to get better. I looked outside the box and have found answers.... different than I originally thought but answers!
I was intrigued when I got to China for treatment how few aphasia issues existed. I was also extremely surprised to have several doctors in China share with me that they deal with and solve almost all “aphasia” issues within the first 2 months of treatment. That was unbelievable but I saw it... it wasn’t just anecdotal.
My goal over the last 16 years has been to help others seek those solutions for themselves. I have dedicated my life, post stroke, to assisting others. Donated my time and knowledge and experience to helping others. I remember one individual who was two plus years post stroke and it was discovered after 1 day here that he had been dealing with a “physical” problem in his tongue and we cleared that up within days of his arrival.
The hard part and what consumed us for the remainder of his treatment regime was retraining him in speaking. You see, for years he had been taught “habits” or “methods” that kept him locked in a system that did not fix the issue but “dealt” with it in an ineffective manner.
I have placed pictures up on my website at stroke.global on the “podcast/blog page” that shows a 24 hour result in treatment of this stasis. These are the actual pictures! I understand the frustration and yes even anger that we feel when we can’t communicate... but I want to slow us down right there...
After I had children and left nursing I became a speaker and worked with companies to teach leadership and personal development for executives. One of the things I taught was about the need to develop a strength in the area of communication and I found and taught that only 7% of communication was words and 93% was in other things....
Inflection, hand gestures, body language, timing, acceptance, facial language... in other words so much more. According to WebMD aphasia is
‘injury with damage to one or more parts of the brain that deal with language. According to the National Aphasia Association, about 25% to 40% of people who survive a stroke get aphasia.”
There are several identified types:
‘Expressive aphasia (non-fluent): With expressive aphasia, the person knows what he or she wants to say, yet has difficulty communicating it to others. It doesn't matter whether the person is trying to say or write what he or she is trying to communicate.
Receptive aphasia (fluent): With receptive aphasia, the person can hear a voice or read the print, but may not understand the meaning of the message. Oftentimes, someone with receptive aphasia takes language literally. Their own speech may be disturbed because they do not understand their own language.
Anomic aphasia. With anomic aphasia, the person has word-finding difficulties. This is called anomia. Because of the difficulties, the person struggles to find the right words for speaking and writing.
Global aphasia. This is the most severe type of aphasia. It is often seen right after someone has a stroke. With global aphasia, the person has difficulty speaking and understanding words. In addition, the person is unable to read or write.” WebMD
I think it’s important to understand that the body and brain can heal and although someone may have given you a diagnosis, it’s not a life sentence.
Aphasia takes work but it need to be focused appropriately. Just as I began today’s discussion with a reference to the movie “The Kings Speech” and the emotional problems with speech you need to understand the importance of building up a healthy body, getting the proper treatment, and advancing in our abilities to overcome. Just like a plane wants to fly... the body wants to heal and seeks the mechanism and materials to do that.
Well that’s all our time today... thanks for joining me today and I look forward to sharing with you more about exercise tomorrow...please feel free to leave me a message at stroke.global or on Facebook @stroke.global.
It really is an honor and it’s been a pleasure sharing today and I hope you’ve enjoyed this podcast... we keep it brief so it’s easy to add to your day... we want to thank our sponsor TCM Restoration for helping us provide this venue. Feel free to share this podcast with others, offer your feedback and questions and follow us online on our website stroke.global or on our Facebook page. Well... I look forward to learning more with you tomorrow