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Deb Robson and Tussah

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May 25, 2012


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Oh Deb, I'm sorry to hear this news but it sounds like she's making terrific progress. Getting back her ADL is huge. I experienced some aphasia that (luckily) resolved very quickly. I can tell you that knowing the word you want to say but not being able to say it is SO very hard and frustrating. Mix that with not being able to "find" the word you want and it's all very anxiety making.

You and your family are in my prayers. Wishing your mother a speedy recovery.


I'm so sorry to hear about your Mom's current challenges.
RE: music...have you thought about satellite radio? It's basically on/off and you can tune it to the genre of music that she would enjoy. And on most stations there is little to no advertising.
Sending you all good wishes and healing energy for these times.

Sarah JS

Holding your mom, you, and your family in the light. Big hugs.


Hi Deb,
Thanks for sharing. I have been wondering how things are going. It
is so hard for all of you. Hang in
there. Thinking of you and your mom.

Susan J. Tweit

Ay yi yi! If it's not one thing, It's another. I second Valerie's thought's about satellite radio. You tune it to a station that has music she'd enjoy and just leave it there. She can turn it on when she wants it on, and off when she doesn't. Volume would be a separate control, but it sounds like the noise levels in her room environment are likely to be pretty constant, and thus setting the volume might just well work. Remember to take time to breathe and take care of you....


Wow, so sorry to hear about your Mom. My MIL LOVED the statellite radio we gave her as a gift. They have channels with music in specific decades and she loved the music of her 20's. She surprised us all by still knowing the words and singing and humming along.

You might want to consider audio books too. You can get MP3 players pretty cheap (you propably will want speakers or an input into a sound system), or use a PC/Apple computer. Many libraries are using Overdrive.com so you can check out audio books free. I buy audio books via audible.com too, ironically an account I actually bought and set up for my Mom when she was dealing with illness.

Deborah Robson

Thanks to everyone for your good and helpful comments. I know many of my friends have dealt with problems like this, either personally or at very close quarters!

I love the idea of satellite radio, although I think that will need to wait until after rehab. We've been told not to leave anything of value, and I think the receivers qualify (looks like $150-200 for that part, and $13-15/month for service). It's possible that Mom could manage the on/off switch. The MP3 players (including iPods) are not within reach of her capacities yet.

She does have a roommate, who is very sharp and has been through rehab before and watches TV pretty constantly (from what I can tell, which is a lot, relatively interesting shows {grin}). Fortunately, she's considerate and turns the volume down when Mom's in the room. Still, the TV is about 4 feet away from Mom's bed and there's only a privacy curtain to temper the sound.

I *do* like the satellite radio idea!

I keep looking at Overdrive.com at our library, but it seems to be focused on PC access; I haven't been able to get it to work with my Mac. Although I haven't tried in a year, so it's probably time to check it out again.

Thank you all.

Susan M.

I have found basic audiocassete players (got one for turning some cassettes I have into digital), would she be familiar with that? Finding tapes to play that she would enjoy would be another issue, but possible I think.

I hope she recovers quickly in all aspects! I occasionally have some difficulty with language from a different medical issue, but it's not constant and severe, still it's both scary and frustrating, I can only imagine how much more it would be in your mom's situation. I'll keep your family in my thoughts!


Deb, I'm glad to hear that your visit was well received by your mom.

I think the iPod shuffle might be the easiest iPod? I have an older one I could load up with music when she's ready and you could mail it off to your sister. Being a little bit older it wouldn't be considered "high value." I looked at the Apple buy back program and they'd offer $1. It still holds a decent amount of music though. Just let me know.

Robin F.

I'm sorry to hear about your Mom's stroke. It is a difficult situation at best. I had a stroke in 98-age 47- rehab is slow and even now I have deficits. My dad had a stroke in 2007 and had aphasia and apraxia- those were more difficult for him than the loss of motor skills. One item that helped was a magnetic board with pictures of common ADL items that he could point to when he needed something.


Your mother has such a wonderful smile - I hope all goes well for you and your family.

Kris Redmond

Hi Deb,
I am thinking of you and your family. My family went through some hard times with my Mother at the end of the year. My heart goes out to you.
Take care,

Diana Troldahl

Your relating the frustrations of communication to someone trying to capture floating balloons is very accurate. The feeling of helplessness as someone so very strong fights so hard to be understood is very hard to grok unless you have experienced it. My dad had a stroke a number of years ago and although he has not 100% recovered, he did go far beyond where they predicted, and still is gaining even years later. We were told 99% of gains would be in the first year, but that wasn't true in his case. I think it is because he had and has a habit of learning. Your mom sounds like a similar soul :-}
Soon after he moved from the hospital to rehab I gave him a small book of photographs of time we spent up north as a family. No words, just images of happy memories, and it was small and light enough he could turn the pages himself.
They encouraged music as another way to keep his brain interacting, especially asking if he had a type of music he enjoyed. Since there will likely be visitors with her often, any type of music conveyance will do, she needn't operate it herself to enjoy some music each day. The nurses also will likely be willing to play it for her.
All my best to you and your family. She raised some strong people, she is likely pretty damned strong herself, eh?

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