As I have stated in previous posts, one of the reasons that I started this blog was requests from professionals working with persons with aphasia and their care givers to describe what aphasia looked and felt like from the inside. This post addresses one specific question that I was asked. The question was: “How do I proceed when I face the dilemma of not being able to think of the right word or not being able to put together my thoughts on a particular topic?”
Let me try to explain the process I use by giving you two examples. The first example occurred last week and I will describe it in this post. The second example happened several weeks ago and I will describe it in another post.
Now to the first example: I woke from an afternoon nap with a melody running through my mind. I knew it was a song from the 60’s because I remember playing it as a teenager on my piano in my parents’ basement. Although I could remember playing it and hearing it on folksy radio stations of the era, I just could not remember the title or really any words from the song.
After humming the tune repeatedly, one phrase from the song finally came to me. The phrase was “jigger of gin.” I don’t know why this bit or piece of the song was the first to come back to me because I have never been a drinker. I have no idea what gin tastes like.
My wife and I had been invited out that particular night for dinner with a group of friends, so on the way to and from the restaurant I kept humming the tune silently putting the phrase “jigger of gin” in whether it made sense in the tune. When we got home that night it was too late to get on my computer to check out the phrase that was stuck in my head. I went to sleep humming the tune.
The next week morning I was still humming the tune and before I got on my computer, a second phrase and the name of the group that sang the song came to me. The second phrase was “Scotch and soda” and the group that sang it was The Kingston Trio.
I went to my computer at this point and was able to find a You-Tube video of The Kingston Trio and all the lyrics to the song, that was variously named “Scotch and Soda” or “High as a Kite Can Fly” on different websites.
So in this case I struggled trying to find an answer, until bits and pieces started coming together. When I thought I had enough bits, I enlisted the aid of the internet to fill in the pieces until I had a complete picture.