Kristine has aphasia after her stroke, right in the middle of her nursing program. As a student, Kristine improved her writing and speaking to get back to her classes with accommodations after her intensive program.
Kristine had researched 3 or 4 centers, none of which included housing. “Where am I going to go?” Kristine decided to pick up the phone and call. She admitted to calling several times to ask the same questions, because she couldn’t always remember the information. “They never had frustration so I liked that. I did call other centers, it felt like they rushed me. I just didn’t like how the conversation went. Then I said “okay that’s the second check.”
“I wanted to see perspectives. I wanted to see somebody like myself. I wanted to hear what I was going to speak like.” Brian at The Aphasia Center arranged for a FaceTime chat with his partner who had been through the intensive program. “I said “I will come”. When I was able to see a person like me, he still had problems with his speech because he was nervous and I was nervous. But I could relate”
Kristine originally believed that she would be “fixed. She then realized that wasn’t a realistic goal and that recovery is a journey. Dr. Bartels encouraged her to let go of that mindset and just focus on the goals at hand.
“I had my goals for writing, because I could not write good good, they were terrible. Now I can write sentences and I can write a paragraph, and they’re grammatical. Before I could not do that before so that has been amazing, I see my speech, my word searching is more fast because I used to word searching word searching, “where is it”. So i get that more faster, so if i cannot search i have another avenue. I like that because they gave me that strategy.”
Above all else, Kristine is happy with the confidence she has gained. “My boyfriend didn’t want me to be fixed, but he wanted me to be more confident because in my city i don’t have people the same. In my first day here I didn’t talk to people because I was so shy. I cried when I tried to talk to people, even though they maybe couldn’t talk to me and I couldn’t talk back to them.” After my first day, Dr. Lori said “Tomorrow you’re going to talk at lunch”.
Kristine is glad Dr. Lori made her do that, and is so thankful for the bonds she has created with the others!