Aphasia Taking Its Toll
This has been a rough week for Alice McCormick. Progress, although steady, has slowed down, and Alice has become reticent to begin conversations with anyone she doesn’t know.
After taking out some frustration on me last night, while fighting back tears today, she explained her speech difficulty, “It’s like wearing a muzzle.” Trying to soothe some hurt feelings, she continued, “I love you, and I don’t want to hurt you.”
Alice’s Ambitions on Hold
Since initiating her return to work three weeks ago, Alice put in two days part-time at KinderCare’s Cornell Road location in Hillsboro – her home away from home – where infants and co-workers adore her. A 12-week absence due to her stroke, though, required the new director to seek a replacement.
Before one could be found, Alice got her foot back in the door, until the corporate office required Alice’s doctor to certify that she experienced a stroke and recovered enough to fulfill her position’s responsibilities.
A delay ensued, because the doctor’s office required two full weeks to complete the necessary paperwork. Once faxed to management, last week she was told no opening exists any longer at the location she favors.
Cause for Optimism?
One bright spot exists, but it’s tenuous. Another KinderCare location a couple miles away posted an opening for which Alice was recommended, and she is invited to visit the center’s manager. However, prospective new co-workers haven’t seen her in action, and there is no assurance they would welcome Alice with open arms.
My partner is sensitive to fulfilling her job duties responsibly, and Alice will not allow herself to be a burden or be viewed that way.
Our medical bills have come due, and dunning notices are coming in. Both of us are getting nervous, which doesn’t help to ease the difficulties we face daily. Consequently, we are considering a fund-raising appeal through a reputable company we learned about called “GoFundMe.” More about this shall follow.
When I started writing our narrative about Alice’s stroke, we decided to be candid about our situation without infringing upon our private lives. We believe there are many myths and biases toward survivors of stroke.
Therapists we know stress that aphasia is a loss of language, not intellect. We continue to spread the word, and will persevere with our journey and story. Thank you for the good thoughts and wishes.
We shall survive.