Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I actually had a patient today that I saw who had a stroke less than a month ago and is now receiving outpatient speech therapy. She has aphasia but is able to get some words out, just enough for the listener to get the idea of what she is trying to say (most of the time). As many people affected with aphasia, she was completely independent before this stroke. She is still independent for the most part, but just can't communicate. It is obvious to me as her therapist that there is some depression present. Of course, who can blame her? I told her about the Stroke Support Group that meets at our facility once a month, thinking it would be a wonderful outlet for her, to meet other people who are in her shoes. After telling her about it, it was apparent to me she was not interested. What I gathered from our limited conversation was that she would be uncomfortable in a setting like that. Unable to communicate and around a bunch of strangers, I do understand her point. However, I want to emphasize how wonderfully these groups are put together. She may not think it would be something she would benefit from, but I feel confident that if she would try, she would think differently. I write this to encourage everyone who has suffered from a stroke or head injury OR who has a loved one who has (these groups are for caregivers too!), give your local support group a try. You might be surprised what you will find.