Mindpop: Having a Child After Having a Stroke

Learning to ask for help when you don’t want to.

Image: eltpics

Having to rely on others from time to time has the added benefit making me more patient with my son. (Maybe. I scream too.) In one tiny moment from the hospital before surgery, I recall sitting at a long industrial table at a session with a speech therapist. I remember staring at a word on a piece of paper forever, it seemed. I couldn’t remember what sound the first letter made. The word was “rat.” How did you say “R?” At that point, so messed up, I just gave up, shoulders slumping in defeat. A couple of days ago, my son was absolutely sure that “freem” was a word. “It was a freem,” he said, with feeling. The adults in the room looked confused. “Freem! Freem!” he said again, frustrated. I remember what it was like to not control your language. We never did figure out what he meant — like many of my stroke phrases, it was confusing to both of us. But I told him he could show me later and I think he knew I could relate.

— Hairpin pal Nina Mitchell has a great piece at Cosmo. (See also: her series for this site, and for her own site, Mindpop.)

I Had a Stroke at 26. Then I Had a Baby.