Aphasia with a big “A” and aphasia with a little “a”

Mark, John, and Andrew, my sons, husband, Marcel, and I watched Die Hard on Christmas Eve year after year. Even if they aren’t here on Christmas Eve, I am sure I watch it, at least for a minute or two.

Bruce Willis has aphasia, just like me… with a little “a”. There are many varieties and causes of aphasia. My aphasia occurred the day I had a stroke.

Day 1 and 2: I couldn’t speak at all.

Day3: I couldn’t speak very well and I couldn’t understand much either. I was not aware that I wasn’t speaking clearly or understanding what was being said to me. Everyone else knew though. I am sure that was a little scary for them, but not for me.

From Day 4: improvements in speaking and understanding, a little at a time. I had to come up of with little tricks to help me adapt to this new, altered language. I think of it as one of the romance languages because that makes me smile.

Family and friends have learned about my aphasia along the way. I have gone and continue to go to therapy: occupational, physical, and speech, year after year.

I am doing well, in part, because I don’t think of aphasia as a flaw. I don’t think of myself as flawed, either.

I am still part of the world.

The aphasia won’t go away and will be with me until I speak no more, until I hear no more. That’s okay.

I don’t know the cause or nature of aphasia that Bruce Willis is dealing with. I am sure his family will be by his side and learn what they need to know. I hope they know the best medicine is kindness and love. All the best to John McClane.

Aphasia (with a big “A”)“medical loss or impairment of the power to use or comprehend words usually resulting from brain damage (as from a stroke, head injury, or infection. Merriam Webster Dictionary.

For more about what I learned about aphasia

read a stroke. one teeny, broken blood vessel

and go to: debramadonna.com


Every year, more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke. About 610,000 of these are first or new strokes. About 185,000 strokes—nearly 1 of 4—are in people who have had a previous stroke. About 87% of all strokes are ischemic strokes, in which blood flow to the brain is blocked.


Causes of aphasia

  • stroke – the most common cause of aphasia.
  • severe head injury.
  • a brain tumour.
  • progressive neurological conditions – conditions that cause the brain and nervous system to become damaged over time, such as dementia.