I suppose I should be, as you so kindly recommended, grateful that I’m capable of posting to my own blog about my own thoughts and experiences. The dead neurons in my left medial temporal lobe in the place called Wernicke’s Area didn’t take that from me.
Except for how they did.
(Let me count the ways.)
When I am hungry, excited, tired, overwhelmed, in pain, stressed, angry, or under-medicated I can’t speak, I can’t write, I can’t spell, I can’t read.
I can no longer read.
But, you see, that’s an oversimplification of what happens to language. It can no longer be called language.
Someone takes a bucket of pink paint– why not call it a color I like and make-believe this is all something marginally less awful– throws it over a stencil of nonsense symbols on a stippled yellow wall and demands to know why I cannot read th pererffectly clear twlve poit tmes new rman font toubdl spced two paages befor me.
Why I cannot read the letters, words, and sentences that they can make out so clearly.
But there’s hardly breath left in my lungs to answer them for all the screaming I am doing around the singing— the singing you see is good for the healing– but the screaming is better for the soul because I cannot breathe for all the smothering and well-wishes and reminders that I need to be grateful that I am alive.
Grateful I only need help walking occasionally, grateful I only slur when I’m tired, grateful I’m only a permanent seizure risk, grateful I am in constant pain from brain swelling, grateful my life is only altered forever, grateful I am in a quarter-million dollars of medical debt.
Where do you suggest I begin dispensing my gratitude?
I guess I should start with you. Because I let you know about my stroke out of some sense of respect for what we once had (maybe because my brain damage made me think it was sort of a good idea maybe to aim for closure in the wake of nearly dying). Thank you for coming down from your ivory tower to grace me with your majestic presence one last time and bless my home with your healing light— truly because of you I will never again want for a another thing in this life or the next. My aphasia is cured, my brain damage is healed, my debts are paid. I have been blessed by a goddess among women.
You ableist shitstain. You arrogant, self-centered pig. Who do you think you are, telling me to be grateful that I can still read and write? You’ve got a savior complex the size of Trump Tower you manipulative coward. I think what you meant to say was “I wish you were so crippled that you actually needed me in your life”. Well here’s a newsflash, sweetheart: you better not get your hopes up.