Person holding two legos struggles speaking due to aphasia

Mismatched Lego Pieces of Communication: Aphasia and Migraine

Recently, while we were on a walk, I was talking with my partner about my migraines because I was having a particularly difficult day of getting my words out a few days previous to that day. We discussed my frustrations, his amazing ability to be able to put my garbled words together, even through text, and the patience that it must take to be a partner to someone who struggles with aphasia frequently. I really have anxiety over it because it causes me to completely stop mid-sentence sometimes and having to try to say the phrase again multiple times, and sometimes altogether.

How are symptoms like legos?

I call them mismatched lego pieces, as well as missing puzzle pieces. My partner is particularly great at putting these mismatched and missing pieces together, whether it be in person, on the phone, using video chats, and even through texts. I refer to them as lego pieces too, because the aphasia we struggle with often feels painful, like stepping on a lego out of the blue. You never know when one will sneak up on you and oftentimes, you feel embarrassed, frustrated, and left upset. Lego pieces can also cause great physical pain.

The frustration of migraine and aphasia

I am so thankful for the partner I have and how considerate, patient, and understanding he can be when I struggle with migraine symptoms that leave my brain a bit blank and my mouth a bit “drowsy.” I’m thankful I no longer immediately get frustrated and feel anxious forgetting words and complete phrases backward and incorrect because he doesn’t judge me.

Giving me grace

If I laugh, he does too and if he can tell I’m frustrated, he will give me time to try and re-correct what I’m trying to say. If I’m really struggling, and get a little quiet, he will help me by asking a question that might help me reword things. I’m not even sure he is aware how much this helps me or if he even knows that he does it, but it helps validate my struggle, but also get over the frustration a bit quicker. Sometimes it’s frustrating for us when we are corrected, too. I feel like that’s a point that needs to hit home and be validated within our community. We know what we’re trying to say, you know what we’re trying to say - sometimes it’s best to just leave it at that!

Thankful for a supportive partner

Those darn lego pieces. They get in the way of everything, especially when you think things are going smoothly. They always find a way to get in your path and wreak havoc to those who are in its path.

I'm glad I'm walking through life with someone who doesn't mind picking up the legos when I drop them (figuratively out of my mouth and in a text message). I'm lucky to have a partner who is understanding and can make light of the thorn in my side that is getting sentences right on the first try!

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