Posts Tagged ‘aphasia’

Went to the neurologist this afternoon. She looked over the MRIs and what not. Told me I have an arachnoid cyst on the right hemisphere. It could be the thing responsible for the weakness on the left side, the loss of ability to speak, and the general “things ain’t working right”-ieness I’ve been dealing with the last couple of years.

A cyst.

In my brain.

That none of the other MRIs caught, at all.

Um, what?

Um, what?

I don’t know what else to say, so here is a picture I took of a steel pan, a conga drum and a pineapple. Enjoy it.


words and pictures © Christopher Ward. All rights reserved.


“So,” Dr. Linares began. “What brings you here today?”

I thought about it. An ambulance, was going to be my response, but I figured my customary sarcasm wouldn’t do me any good here. I wanted to, needed to leave, and somehow I reasoned that my normal smart-assery would only make me seem hostile, would prompt them to keep me here even longer.

“They said I had a stroke,” I mumbled. The good doctor made a note on her pad, nodding sagely. They always make notes and nod like that. Makes them look wise, contemplative. One time, I caught one of them writing a shopping list. It was a nice day for contemplation. Cloudless blue sky, seagulls and pelicans diving for their lunch, shells zipping past with their coxswains calling out rhythms. Across the water, the dandies of Harris Island paraded by.

“I see,” Dr. Linares responded. “Do you believe them?”

“An interesting question,” I countered. “Does one have to believe in a stroke in order for it to be real?”

“No, Mr. Jones, a stroke is not like Tinkerbell- it won’t go away if you deny its existance. I ask you this for a more, shall we say, concrete, reason. You say ‘they said’. Do you have an alternate theory, perhaps, behind your being here?”

“Well-” I paused. Here was the crux of the matter. I could either a) deny that I had a stroke, thus leading to a situation in which I would be seen as a paranoid, inventing enemies out of whole cloth, and thus a danger to myself, or b) agree with their diagnosis, hence their treatment and rehabilitation course. Either way, I would be here for a long time. Either answer I could give them would give them ammunition against me. Either answer would be seen as suspect.

“Who am I to argue with the medical professionals who keep watch over me?” I shrugged with a smile.

The good doctor chuckled humourlessly as she tossed a lock of brunette hair from her forehead. “That…that was a cagy answer, Mr. Jones. You could have a career in politics.”

“No doubt,” I replied. Dr. Linares pulled a pamphlet out of her smock and handed it to me.

“What do you make of this?” she asked.

I read it. A few sentences about the latest scandal: some starlet caught in flagrante delicto with some politico and her husband. The sort of lurid crap that the masses feed on.

“Out loud, if you please,” Dr. Linares prodded.

My mouth opened. The words struggled to come out of my mouth. I knew the words. They were simple words, eighth-grade education words usually used by what passes for journalists these days. My mouth utterly could not say them. I stammered and gasped.

“A common symptom, Mr. Jones. Aphasia. There are others. Difficult to produce by any other means than an ischemic attack, transient or otherwise. We can produce the effects, of course, but, should you decide to go to the press, who would believe you?” She reached back into her smock, pulled out another sheet of paper and thrust it at me. “You can read this one to yourself, if you’d like.”

I read. Same starlet, same politicos, but with my name added to the mix. As their murderer.

“This will go out to the media should you decide to go up against us. Although the public has grown tired of the exploits of this particular group, they can be made to care if the method of their demise can be made horrific enough. And it can.” The doctor took the piece of paper back.

“So, I ask you again, Mr. Jones.” The gulls squawked, fish splashed in the water. “What brings you here today?”

words and pictures © Christopher Ward. All rights reserved.