Thursday, January 24, 2008

One more reason I love that man of mine

One of the residual problems Brian has as a result of his surgery in April is difficulty speaking. He knows exactly what he wants to say, his mind says it correctly, but the words simply DO NOT come out his mouth the way he intends. It is called expressive aphasia. For instance, if he is trying to say ‘electricity,’ he might say something like “lecture”, then “sickle”, then “locknew,” until he finally says, “the thing that gives us power.” I usually know what he is trying to say by the second try, but I always urge him to say the intended word. Even when he tries to “Porky Pig” (Brian’s expression, not mine) himself out of it like the above example, I encourage him to say the word, if only repeating after me. This is therapy. It didn’t start like this, though. When we first returned from surgery, I finished his sentences often and spoke the word I knew he was struggling to spit out.

Recently, I found myself saying the word for him again and I apologized.

It’s alright. I am getting pretty used to it.
From me?
No, everyone else.
At work?
Yeah and everywhere.

We discussed his speech and the complexity it brings to his career. It occurred to me that unless you know the background to Brian’s situation, you would think he is not as intelligent and he can’t find the words. That is NOT at all the situation, but I could see men in the workplace unjustly inferring this. Brian NEVER comments whether this may be so nor ever assumes it this way. That was just the way I could see it occurring.

Me: So you find that people finish your sentences for you often at work?
Brian: That and other things.
Me: Like what?
Brian: Well, in the workplace, since I have had to sit back and listen more now instead of speak up, I notice that sometimes people simply talk a lot and will occasionally talk over me before I am finished, or that I can’t get in my points when I want.
Me: That must be frustrating for you, eh, babe? (1/2 empty)
Brian: Well, it could be, but I look at it as a good opportunity.
Me: How’s that?
Brian: Well, as I get better with speaking and when I get my speech back, I have learned a lot by listening about when to speak and not to speak and how to use less words. I also think that as a result of this, I have learned to be a lot more intentional in my phrases. I really think about exactly what I want to say. I write down my thoughts during meetings since I can’t interject, so I listen instead of thinking about what I want to say all the time. When I do have something to add, it is very concise. (1/2 full) I think that will really help me when I am over this. (I paraphrased some of this since Brian tried to Porky Pig his way through a few words.)




  1. Yes, he is amazing. That's no doubt a complete understatement. You are both beautifully blessed.
    Thank you SO MUCH for the words of encouragement at my place. Love ya!

  2. Angie, you will have to remind Brian that he still sounds better than 1/2 of Theta Tau guys after a St. Pats Tea! :-)

    Seriously, I thought he did great while we were visiting, especially considering it was on the back end of his day where he had a ton of meetings. He is a very positive person. I am not sure when he developed that or maybe he just always had it but failed to share during the Euchre sessions in the evenings. :-) Miss you guys!


  3. Also an amazing picture of your man! Angie, I read you daily to check in on a life adventure that is very different and yet very much the same as our own. Love your stories.

    Most meetings could use more Brians.

    Take care,

  4. And ... there is the lesson for the day for all of us!!!! What a great post and what a great lesson - we ALL need to be doing some more listening, don't we - too many of us (me included) just sometimes talk to hear ourselves talking. I'm sorry he has experienced these problems with his speech, but love hearing that he has somehow turned a potentially negative situation into a learning experience and has such a positive outlook - he is pretty darn special! See you soon Angie - Kellan

  5. Talk about finding the silver lining!! What an amazing attitide. I wish I was better at shutting up and listening more. You did find an amazing man!!


  6. WOW, Im on a roll today, I have been desperately searching for a blog that will cheer me up, and I cant! You have a great blog! Your husband's story is so touching, the love you have for him shows in your writing. I found you through Chicken fried therapy another great blog. I really don't know exactly why I am here, there must be a reason. Maybe its to get this message to anyone and everyone who can read it....I hope you can come by my blog and read my recent post of a 4 year old boy that lost his battle with brain cancer. He and his family need our prayers.

  7. Wow, he is a positive guy, huh?

    He has be equipped to handle his situation...that's a blessing!

    Thanks for stopping by today...very funny comment!

  8. HI, Angie
    Thank you for coming by. I found a link to the place that helped me get three columns for free. Just click on the links she provided in her post. Amanda hasnt posted in quite some time, not sure what happened, but I looked into her archive to find the post I used. I hope this helps.
    Good luck.

  9. ooops, it got cut off try this, but it all needs to be on one line.
    Let me know if you need it again.
    good luck

  10. Wow! Can he teach me a few things?!

  11. I so often come across men in meetings who just love to hear themselves speak, and probably less than half of it contains something worth listening to. Brian is the polar opposite of that.

  12. He sounds like he is a "glass half full" kinda guy. I guess we all need to stop talking and listen a little more, don't we?

  13. what a wonderful lesson. I am such a natural talker. but with the wear/tear of age, life, divorce, parenthood I have learned the joys of just shutting the hell up and letting someone else take the stage.

    plus I have a friend who's an interrupter. finishes my sentences constantly and it drives me crazy. so I really try not to do that to people (although I think I'm sometimes guilty)

    WONDERFUL post!!!!!

  14. What a great guy. A seriously great guy.

  15. Porky pig? Is that a medical term?

    Sounds like he's got a real grip on things.

  16. Just found your blog while hopping. You are incredible and so is your husband!

  17. Thank you for sharing that. He is learning a very valuable lesson. One we should all take more to heart. I understand now why it's so easy for you to keep believing. xoxo and TTFN. I'll be back later to read more.