A woman came in and was checking out at the register. Her eye was caught by Dr Suess's The Cat in the Hat that was up at the register.
"Hmm, this is easy to read. My husband just had a stroke and it affected his language. He might be able to read this."
I told her that my mom had had a stroke that affected her language as well. My Mom couldn't find the words she wanted to use for things, and couldn't remember the meanings of some words if I just said them. For instance, when the speech therapist pointed to the clock on the wall and asked her what that was, she couldn't remember the word "clock". However, when the therapist asked her what time it was, Mom said (correctly), "10:51". Different parts of our brains are used for naming things than are used for things like telling time.
Mom wouldn't know who I was talking about if I just said the name of someone, but if I showed her a picture AND said the name, then she knew right away who it was.
It seemed as though this woman's husband had the same kind of stroke that my mom did. She was still sort of in shock and trying to figure things out. When I asked, she told me he'd just had his stroke at the end of August. She's just at the beginning. She said he's still driving, and doesn't have any physical effects.
My mom didn't have physical effects either (drooping, etc.) , but she wasn't driving. She didn't know where she was half the time, nor how to get back to where she should be. I wondered if her husband should be driving.
I felt sadness well up in my chest while we were talking.
She asked how my mom is doing now. "My mom died.", I said, though quickly added that her diabetes really complicated things. The woman nodded. "I'll have to come back and look at the children's books," she said.
"Good luck with everything," I said.
"Thanks for your help," she said.
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