Over the course of my stroke, I have learned quite a few things. They mainly boil down the following topics: ignorance, therapy, and people.
Most people don’t care about the struggles that stroke victims face. Honestly, I’ve lost some faith in the human spirit. People don’t care that you fought to regain some vital human functions: speech, audiological processing, walking, etc. People block out your struggles and go about their lives. You are no longer human to them.
I’ve learned a few things about speech therapists. Over the course of my stroke, I’ve attended three rehabs. I’ve worked with many speech therapists. I estimate 10 to 15 therapists. Speech therapists come to work every day with the goal of helping patients. I’ve learned that therapists have different personalities and specialties. Some are more positive than others. One therapist may be gifted in treating aphasia while another might be gifted in treating auditory processing issues. Ask your speech therapist about their specialties. Positivity is very important when treating patients with speech issues. Some patients with speech problems may have self-esteem issues. My current speech therapist is very positive. In my case, I’ve found it very helpful to attend a hearing-speech clinic that deals with auditory processing issues. They understand my issues and struggles in depth. My speech therapist has a guideline of the goals she wants me to accomplish. I believe that communication of these goals is very important.
Don’t get attached to a speech therapist. Eventually, that therapy relationship is going to end. I was guilty of this at my original rehab; I got comfortable. Although they want to help you, your therapist is not your friend. If you’ve been in therapy as long as I have, you learn to adapt to change. Hopefully, after a stroke, you go back to your old life. I didn’t get that chance. I’ve had to adapt to multiple changes. You learn to never get comfortable.
I’ve learned that you can only count on family. Nobody else cares about your struggles. Employers will fade away. They don’t care. If you have friends that genuinely care, you are very lucky.
For those stroke patients that have audiological processing issues, I thought I would share my self-therapy exercises.
1. Webber HearBuilder Auditory Memory – iPad Application – This is a free application you can download on your iPad. This is a supplement to my speech therapy exercises. Right now, I can remember 5 words 75% or 80% of the time. I perform this activity daily using both headphones.
2. School of Multi-Step Directions – iPad Application – I paid for this application. I’m progressing at remembering complex directions. This application allows you to adjust background noise. I turn it up to the highest level. I’m working on my left-ear processing. At times, I perform this task using only my left-ear headphone.
3. HearCoach – iPad Application – Says words with background noise.
4. Listening to audiobooks.
5. LACE – Listening and Communication Enhancement – PC – This as an aural rehab application that trains you to understand rapid speech.
6. BrainBuilder – This was an application that was recommended by my current rehab. This application focuses on visual and auditory exercises. I’m getting where I can remember 8 numbers.
7. Classical Music – I enjoy listening to Disney’s Classical Collection on youtube. This is supposed to be helpful for those with audiological processing issues. When I get time, I play a few simple songs on the keyboard.
I started learning about GitHub. GitHub is a distributed source control system. I’ve used many source control systems in my past career: VSS, Subversion, CVS, and mercurial. So far, Subversion has been my favorite. GitHub was originally developed for Linux project requirements. GitHub is free and is the most popular source control system. Your project files reside on your local machine. There are 4 levels of GitHub.
1. Working directory – This contains your code on your local machine.
2. Staging Area – This includes files that haven’t been committed.
3. Commit – Git Repository – This contains your file history.
4. Remote Area – This repository contains files that other people can view remotely.
I downloaded Git Bash on my Windows PC. I was a Windows programmer for 6 years before switching to a Linux environment. I’m pretty comfortable using the command line to make changes to my repository. My goal is to squeeze in time to upload code to my remote repository soon.