Utah 2013 jbm  - 195 - Version 2

Aphasia—difficulty speaking and remembering words or names—is one of the most vexing aftereffects of stroke and other types of brain damage. Aphasia can also affect the ability to listen, read, spell, and work with numbers. After my stroke, I couldn’t remember my husband’s name or how to call 911. Every sentence was a struggle: to […]

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Peek-A-Boo with an orangutan

I want to scare you out of your wits. I want to shake you and make you sit up and listen. Because I don’t what happened in my family to happen to you. One uncle was blinded by stroke. Another died.  I was luckier: I survived my stroke, but not intact. May is Stroke Awareness […]

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Patagonia Jack album   - 083

As  stroke survivor with impaired dexterity in my hand, typing on the computer is one of my greatest frustrations. Emails and web posts are measured in hours, not minutes. So I’m always looking for ways to save time. I think of myself as decently tech-savy, but I learned several new time-saving tricks today from New […]

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Paris at night

Packing for Paris is not just clothes. What about all the electronic “gear” we’ll need for a working trip? Packing is always hard for me. With memory loss and attention deficit from my stroke, it sometimes feels as though I’m running around the house for days trying to determine what I’ll need. Making lists helps. […]

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That Paris Year

My French friend, Antoinette, has been advising me on what it takes to be stylish in Paris, where she and I will be traveling this fall with a group of friends. Jungle Pants are out, out, out! As are waist packs, fanny packs, and­–mon Dieu!–tennis shoes. Instead, we’re to put on bright lipstick, stash all […]

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shutterstock_stickies

My office is awash in yellow stickies this week … Don’t forget! Underlinings, stars and exclamation points decorate every page. It’s clear there’s more  to remember than my brain can handle. Here are just a few of the admonitions swirling in my damaged  brain … I must pause and pull this together into an at […]

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Bali-cover-350-207x300

It’s a pleasure to have four of my stories published over the past few months in three different anthologies. Each story, in its own way, explores the theme of traveling with chronic illness. That’s something I think about often as a stroke survivor and autoimmune patient chained to a steady diet of blood thinners to […]

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Apamea, Syria -

Losing the ability to communicate well is one of the most devastating effects of a stroke. It was to me, when I had a stroke in 2002. One day at the drugstore, shortly after my discharge from the hospital, the pharmacy clerk asked, “Is that Anne with an “e” or without?” I hesitated, confused by […]

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China–Frisky pandas at the Panda Research Center near Chungdu

  Am I Crazy? As an autoimmune patient with APS, as a stroke  survivor on blood thinners, people sometimes ask why I travel to places teeming with opportunities for disaster. “Places where medical care is thin, the water is often unsafe and the food chancy; places with infectious diseases, malarial mosquitoes, venomous snakes and the […]

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Jade Dragon Snow Mountain near Lijiang, China

Of course I’m not having a stroke, I wanted to tell him. Strokes are for the elderly, for smokers, for overweight couch potatoes.  I’m forty-eight years old, fit and perfectly healthy. I was so sure stroke couldn’t happen to me that I didn’t believe the paramedics; I doubted the neurologist in the ER.

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