Paul Broca with some iPad doodles by Filipe

Paul Broca with some iPad doodles by Filipe

Another image of Paul Broca with Filipe’s iPad doodles

Another image of Paul Broca with Filipe’s iPad doodles

From Filipe, who Mind Mending is about:

I was 36 years old and I was doing what I loved, playing live music. I don’t really know if that was the cause (I’ve made an effort with my voice and my right ear popped) but it’s not really important. It’s done… Nothing can turn back the time. I cannot remember the sound that came through my mouth. So unnatural… It was going to pass, the noise was going to pass. But it wasn’t going to pass, it was going to stay with me for a long, long time.

Broca’s Aphasia was my affliction. In its most severe form, the affected person may be unable to produce any meaningful speech. More commonly, speech output may lack fluency with relatively few words used. The speaker will use short, simple sentences, broken up by frequent pauses.“Aphasia is the full or partial loss of the ability to use or understand language; about 350,000 people in the UK have it.

“My voice was weak, halting and a bit robotic – I didn’t recognize it. In some ways, I didn’t recognize myself at all. I had been a journalist and press officer, someone who talked and wrote a lot, quickly. I loved sitting round a table chatting, and now I couldn’t.”

These are the words of Helen Harris, speaking in an article in the Guardian about her slow recovery.

Recovery is painstakingly slow. It takes many years. That’s why I’m doing a documentary about my recovery and, surprise, surprise! It’s pretty darn hard! Basically, I’m going to festivals dressed as a bunny to confront my fears and it’s working! I make myself talk to people! It’s simple, “Oh, a grown up man dressed as a bunny! I’ll take a picture of that!” You will, but you’ll also listen to the story behind the bunny, and after those 15 minutes that I take to tell my story, you deserve the pic! I am convinced that I am going to recover my voice; that I am going to recover my ability to play the bass. It’s almost there, almost. But it’s still not there. Lots of patience.

But (there's always a "but"), epilepsy looms.... That's right kids! Tonic clonic seizures, two of them on Tuesday! I am still confused as hell, but I'm on medication, let's hope that it doesn't kill me ("suicide thoughts"… it's one of the symptoms...)! What did I do to deserve this! Nothing... And I am not complaining. It's life.

How to recognise a stroke

F

Face Dropping

Ask the person to smile, and see if one side is drooping. One side of the face may also be numb, and the smile may appear uneven.


A

Arm Weakness

Ask the person to raise both arms. Is there weakness or numbness on one side? One arm drifting downward is a sign of one-sided arm weakness.


S

Speech Difficulty

People having a stroke may slur their speech or have trouble speaking at all. Speech may be incomprehensible. Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence and look for any speech abnormality.


If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call the emergency services and get them to the hospital immediately.

T

Time to call!