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Aphasia is contagious!

By Thomas M. Phillips Did I say that? Yes, I did. Remember I have aphasia, so that means I dont know what Im doin anyway ri ht? !ell, lets "ind o#t$ Yes, o" %o#rse, I do know its not %onta io#s$e&a%tly. !ill yo# a%%ept 'temporary %onta io#s(? Im oin to tell yo# why. !e know and the do%tors and therapists know aphasia is an impairment o" the ability to #se, or %omprehend words, and many o" #s also have problems #sin a telephone, writin %he)#es, listenin on the phone or #nderstandin thin s when there are too many people talkin . There are other problems o" %o#rse, b#t lets talk abo#t the 'temporary %onta io#s( "or those who do not have aphasia. !hat happens when "riends, "amily or anyone else aro#nd with someone that has aphasia?

It seems others lose the ability to see, listen, hear or even talk. They %annot sit very lon , m#st 'simply have to o( somewhere else *anywhere else o" %o#rse+. I" they do stay with #s "or a while most o" them stand #p, sit down, et ba%k #p and walk aro#nd$ waitin #ntil they %an leave so they %an o ba%k to 'normal( and talk to other 'normal people. Did they et the temporary %onta io#s? ,s "ar as I know the answer is yes. !hen 'normal( people "ind we have aphasia they "or et how to see *'-h, Im sorry, I didnt see yo# there(+ or %ant %omm#ni%ate anymore *'Im too b#sy, have to o, I %ant talk ri ht now$(+ and o"ten times it "eels like 'normal( people have more problems with %omm#ni%ation than those with aphasia. /or those "ew years, when I was tryin to brin ba%k my %omm#ni%ation systems, I knew I had to talk to people0 I knew it, and I "elt it was %riti%al that I %o#ld listen and talk to other people so that I %o#ld be in to speak a ain. I tried, b#t o" %o#rse it never happened. !alk aro#nd in a park d#rin the warm months and talk to people that I have known "or

many years, or stop to a resta#rant or even a bar, have a drink and hope someone wo#ld talk to me. I did$I tried. ,lways the same thin 01 talk to someone I have known "or a lon time and it wo#ld take a "ew min#tes to "ind that they 'had to o$( somewhere. ,nywhere o" %o#rse, and they had to o "ast. Many o" my "riends or relatives "or ot to #se the telephone. Be"ore I had aphasia, they wo#ld %all 2#st to talk. ,s soon as I had aphasia I %o#ld have ot rid o" my phone be%a#se it simply didnt rin . It took a lon time "or me to stop %he%kin the phone to see i" it worked. It took a lon time to a%%ept the "a%t that I have a %omm#ni%ation problem and now others have the same thin $so I m#st have iven it "rom me. It m#st be %onta io#s. I "elt terrible, knowin that I have a %omm#ni%ate problem and now everyone else has it also. I m#st have done it and I didnt even know it. /ort#nately "or them, it is temporary. They all "eel normal a ain, as lon as we are not aro#nd. I know that be%a#se the "amily still have 3#nday dinners to ether and they talk on the phone all the time, and my "riends still et to ether, havin a "ew drinks at the

bar or 2#st sit aro#nd$talkin o" %o#rse. 3o I know$they have a %omm#ni%ation problem when Im aro#nd so I did it. 3o please dont tell me its not %onta io#s$I %an prove it, and 2#st talk to anyone that has aphasia and they will tell yo# the same thin .