Patricia was originally less aware of Paul’s issues, and his family thought he would hurry up and get back to work after his stroke. With dysarthria and Broca’s aphasia, his family eventually understood that progress is not instantaneous. Paul’s speech and reading improved greatly, and his family then had a road map to keep guiding them towards further goals.
I didn’t really know all the impairments there were. And when you’re talking to your husband or my kids are talking to their dad, we fill in a lot. So when we came here we were thinking “Wow, he’s gonna come home and he’s gonna be back to normal”. We were in “La La Land” actually. It is a slow process. Speech, OT, your arm your leg, it is a slow process. When we got here and he had his evaluation, and I saw the goals that they had set and I saw the day to day progress, I was surprised in two ways. I was really happy to see his writing, his speech and his reading all coming together, and I could see where he was really deficient.
Before here, he would talk but we could fill in the verbs. We knew what he was talking about. Now he’s filling them in and we can see where his impairment is. And this one on one, classroom session, whatever you want to call it, is proving to be invaluable because my husband is a student at heart, he can learn fast. And he’s gonna take this learning and go out into the public and socialize and it’s not gonna be perfect but he is 90% better than he was before he came here.
When we got here and we adjusted to our apartment and coming to the center, we started asking each other, Paul and I, “listen, we’re living, we’re in Florida, what do we like to do? We love the beach!”. The beach was unbelievably therapeutic, because when you have a weak left side your feet getting in that sand, touching the water, smelling the fresh air, the breeze, the sun, it proved to be really ideal. More than what we probably had hoped for or even thought about in the beginning.