Tammy, A Caregiver's Story of Severe Broca's Aphasia and Apraxia

This is the story of a 56-year-old retired Marine with aphasia and apraxia. Robert’s communication was restricted to “two” and “ah-ah-ah” after his stroke. He didn’t want to socialize anymore and
was his toughest critic.

Robert is a 56 year old retired Marine. He was very active, a hard-ass. He had a brain tumor removed and when he had his stroke, it was definitely a life changing experience for us, and our family, and for him. It’s something that affected his speech as well as his comprehension. It was very difficult for him to understand why this happened and for us to adjust to try to figure out how to get him better. It was a dramatic situation for our family.

How long ago was his stroke?

2 and a half years ago.

We were very active and outgoing, and we worked obviously way too much, but we played just as hard as we worked. It definitely affected our extra activities that we used to enjoy. He definitely is a person now that wants to sit around and not do too much. It has affected us in that regard, that we have to try to figure out how to try to get him back.

Robert is a very laid-back guy, he’s a retired Marine, the job he was in he was very low-key. He was a quiet guy–I’m the talkative one in the family. So he definitely was a person who did not say much. He was very observant, but I think this has taken him a little lower. He’s a little less wanting to participate in conversation. Just less interaction with people, even before. A lot of times we would blame him not wanting to hang out or be around family “oh, that’s just Robert, that’s his personality” but I think this has definitely taken it a little lower than that.

He’s his toughest critic–I think he stands in his way more than anyone. And I do think that he feels that even the littlest things, I try to explain to him, just celebrate the little achievements that you make, but to him, if it’s not 100%, then he feels like he hasn’t accomplished anything.

I would say do your research for sure. I do believe that it has been very beneficial. If it’s an opportunity that you have that you’re able to do, then I would recommend it to anyone. Marriage is for better or for worse. As you’re enduring the “worse”, you have to remember the best. You have to go back and relate to those times, that’s what’s going to get you through. They didn’t do anything for this to happen to them, it just happened. Bad things happen to good people all the time. And now I’m gonna start getting emotional and I don’t know why!