Horrible logo. HE-DEE-OUS. And brought to you by the National Aphasia Association – who should know better? Be more sensitive? And the man looks like he’s grabbed his wife, just in case she can’t remember a word she needs. Danger. Or as the kids in my old neighborhood wrote on their lemonade stand – “Daner.”

Aphasia is technically defined as “Loss of ability to communicate verbally, whether by speech or reading-writing, due to organic brain dysfunction.” Now, a lot of websites will claim aphasia is due to brain damage, and I really hate when they say that because aphasia can stem from a myraid of sources, brain damage just being one of them, migraines being another, and even some prescription drugs claim an unwanted side effect of aphasia. Frankly, everyone has a bit of aphasia because we are all human and the brain is 3 pounds of organic matter, which doesn’t function the same all the time, or what is considered normally for that person. It farts every once in a while when chemicals don’t blend right or it cramps, which you can’t feel in the location that’s cramping because there are no pain receptors in the actual brain. The brain’s pain receptors lie in the meninges, which is a multi-layered system of membranes covering the brain. To make matters even more complex, unlike the rest of the body, which sends out pain signals normally at the malfunctioning location, the brain either depends on the meninges to tell us something is wrong, but the poor meninges don’t exactly know where the pain is originating, or the brain will screw the meninges pain communication system and use a trick of its own called refracted pain. The brain will make the inside of your nose hurt, when in fact, something is severely wrong with your occipital region, like there’s a brain tumor compressing it.

This is one of my favorite brain sites – not condescending or brain damagey. Scroll to the bottom of the page where you will find the parts of the brain. Click on a part to discover what that portion of your brain does. If you are having spats of aphasia, you are probably having some brain farts in your temporal lobe, and though your brain is farting in that location, you probably don’t even know it because 1) there’s no stench and 2) there’s no pain. Your temporal lobe is just having a little stumble, bumping into the night stand and moving on.

Perhaps now you suspect your temporal lobe is farting around without your permission. How can you be sure? Deja vu. Yep. The temporal lobe is very fond of convincing you that you are the queen of previous scene with deja vu. Sadly, not all deja vu is really deja vu. It is the temporal lobe messing with your mind. Probably just for the hell of it. Also, your memory might be a tad off. And if you have some serious ass temporal lobe problems, you can have what I call the God complex. You are convinced you have a special relationship with God, and most of us like to think we have some sort of special relationship with Dog, but these God complex people really believe that they might be the second coming. They’re not crazy. It’s simply temporal lobe epilepsy. The temporal lobe is seizing them into sanctity.

Me? My brain tumor was technically in the meninges, but embedded so deeply into the occipital region, that the neurosurgeon was unsure if the bad boy was inside the brain or just pushing. As it turns out, my tumor was a pusher with a tail into the sagittal sinus, where my tumor was drinking blood, like some lush at the corner bar. The mess the neurosurgeon made hauling my lushy tumor out of my brain left me with some severe deja vu, and visual anomalies, the deja vu being from the damaged temporal lobe and the visual anomalies being from the damaged occipital lobe.

And I have seen a lot of crap because of my damaged occipital region, and by crap, I mean stuff that doesn’t actually exist, and it leaves me wondering why? How? What the hell is my brain doing? Stop it. One of the most oddball things I’ve “seen” is what I call purple fire fingers. I see purple fire wrapped around the fingers of some random person’s hand. And you know what? It really looks like fire. It laps and flames and moves when the person gestures. Then, I want to think THAT person is the second coming. Then, I remember. Brain fart, and I admit – probably brain damage.

And my aphasia. That is uber annoying. It can be something as simple as the words “steering wheel,” but I can’t for the life of me recall the words. I can see the image in my mind. I’ve gotten to where it’s just easier to go with the flow and say something bizarre for the aphasiatic encounter. Someone will correct me and save me from my brain. For example, I couldn’t think of El Cerrito del Norte BART station, so I just called it the Bonaire station. My friend helped me out with the name immediately, but honestly we both like the name Bonaire better now, so that’s what we use. HA! Temporal lobe. Showed you. Now deal with malfunction made fact.



Filed under aphasia, brain, brain tumor, medical, temporal lobe

11 responses to “Aphasia

  1. As in the case of Bonaire station (which I have taken to spelling “Bonnaire” for some reason!), brain malfunctions can be quite creative and interesting. I have a friend who became a talented and imaginative writer after having two lobotomies. Previously, he was just another lawyer.

  2. AZ

    Oh Jeebus! After reading that post I’m really worried because I don’t have any of the maladies, but I have all the symptoms. The instant recall that I enjoyed in my youth is gone; I struggle for the right word constantly; I can’t remember place names; I can read, but my retention is crap; I see things that aren’t there; I walk into doorways, a lot; bladder control is history; I shart myself; I can’t see worth crap; everything upsets my stomach; my feet and hands swell when it gets hot; I have constant hot flashes; I put stuff away never to be found again; I have to type out words phonetically because my spelling gene left town (Vista knows about “pro-shoe-toe”); and from what I hear it’s gonna get worse. LORDY! LORDY! What am I gonna do?

  3. Nada

    Sorry, but I did laugh about the sharting part. I pee my pants at the least provocation – sneeze, laugh, phone call – anything. Can’t wait until I’m really old. Where are the depends?

  4. You sure know a lot about the brain. Hurts my head reading about it. That means it probably affects one of the lobes, I think.

  5. Ha! You said shart! I love that one. Not doing it though…And you’re right that they weren’t lobotomies so much as brain surgery where they removed pieces of his brain. Left him a better writer though.

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