Language skills are often affected after a brain injury, and mine was hugely affected. When I was in the hospital and wanted some water for my dry throat, all I could think to say was “Glug Glug Glug!” Luckily my partner James understood what that was supposed to mean. So the fact that I am able to write a blog shows how far I have come. But I am still not 100%. I regularly muddle up my words as my brain makes a scramble for the word I’m looking for.
It can be difficult for others to know what I mean when I mix my words up. I do it with names and activities. Quickly the statement I’m trying to make can become something entirely different from what I intended. It’s certainly one way to keep the listener on their toes! Even when they say “I’m not sure that’s what you meant”, I can’t recognise which word is wrong or why.
Machines don’t cope well with my word scramble.
I went to a high street retailer to buy a wall mounted kitchen roll holder recently as I had a paper gift voucher to use. It didn’t have a code you can use online, so I had to go into a store. (Those who are regular readers will know how much I dislike this.) So I went to Argos, who sell lots of things in a catalogue. You pay and queue up whilst someone finds the exact item for you. To make sure you’re not wasting your time you can check that they have the item in stock at a terminal. But the technology is getting pretty old. It doesn’t always bring back as many items to choose from as it could. It doesn’t fully recognise similar words, so unless you type the one word it’s programmed to recognise, it won’t show you that item.
Knowing the brand of the item I wanted, I typed in “Superhuman” and was frustrated that it said there were no matches found. Stupid thing, I hate this rubbish system! Instead it suggested alternatives like Superman. It’s for holding paper towels not saving the world!
I carried on searching and found it, collected it and went home. And that’s when the penny dropped. It’s called “Simplehuman”, which I knew, but I hadn’t realised why the machine had made the link to Superman. I was so quick to blame the machine, but actually this time it was me. But why did it take me so long to realise my mistake?
I might spot your muddle but I can’t correct it.
James had a wisdom tooth out the other day, so the Dentist recommended he use Corsodyl mouthwash as a precaution. He’d never heard of it before, but I was familiar with it so we got some straight away. The next morning he asked me “Where’s the Cortisol?” I know Cortisol is a stress hormone so the question didn’t make sense. But I couldn’t think around it to work out what he meant. Once he told me he was referring to the mouthwash I couldn’t think of the right name either. Hearing the word Cortisol, and knowing it was similar to the name had over written my brain. I had to go get it just to remind myself how to say it’s name, as well as pass it to James. By the way it was in an obvious place in the bathroom. But James does the “Man look” most of the time, so often needs me to get things.
I’m impressed when people can unscramble my word scramble.
Yesterday we went for lunch and I ordered a cocktail. I know, not very healthy but an occasional treat is allowed in my book. I knew what I wanted from a section called “Home grown” as they have been designed by their own staff. So as I went to say the name I also pointed to it on the menu, in case I pronounced it wrong. But what I actually did was say the name of the one beneath it. But the waiter asked if the meant the first name, and so thanks to him I got the right drink. He pretty much made my day, as I felt he did so well to cope with my jumbled brain.
Other related articles:
- Aphasia from brain injury
- Words rebel & become unresponsive after brain injury
- Heat exhaustion compounds symptoms of brain injury
- Multitask plan doomed to fail after brain injury
Do you scramble your words? What tips do to you have for when in a muddle?