The picture below is of my stroke client called Katsuko Mineyo. Her stroke resulted to damage her brain the responsibility of which is awareness, memory and learning, hence resulting in a condition of memory loss and thinking problems.
Her attention span drastically shortened, and she experiences short memory loss or, worst, no memory at all. This led to lack of ability to do complex mental activities, taking on new roles, planning or having meaningful conversations among others. She was unable to acknowledge her real physical impairments due to stroke. This condition is called “anosognosia.” Secondly, she developed a condition called “neglect”;she lost the ability of responding to sensory stimuli from one side of the body, the one that had been affected and impaired by. Another condition observed was apaxia; she had a problem in planning step of involvement in tasks that are complex and perform the steps in a proper manner and arrangement. Also, she had a problem with following simple set of instruction. For instance, when we asked for a pose for a photo she could not even remember we told her to smile. Furthermore, she was mad at us for taking her the picture unawares. Her disruption that was in existence between actions and thoughts were the main cause ofapraxia as per my examination.
Due to the inability she possessed, I had to utilize my experience to reflect upon her situation and help her. First, I had to get her full attention as I know she can look squarely in my eyes, but was inattentive and unfocused on our conversation. I turned out all the sounds and sights in my office and also avoided talking to other people and their sounds from reaching my office. I really concentrated on touching her forehead and hands to ease her and make it easy to examine. I was in the room with her husband that I instructed to make her focus on me and make her lively and attentive as it is easy for him not to offend Mineyo by telling her to look at my face. My voice was clear and normal and with no fluctuations.
The questions I used from my notebook were very precise to convey her more complex thinking. For instance, I asked her whether she was in Nagasaki during the bombing and also simple ones like whether she can prepare a cake. My clarity was really expressed in my hand gestures and I understood her through the same as I asked her to point at what she needs. This helped her in the development of a routine for daily items like headache, radio, television remote and many others. On complex routines, I had to instruct her to conduct planning, and encouraging her to acknowledge her physical disorder due to stroke and many others.
Most of the time my communication with her works, but as you know sometimes it fails work. Whenever, she fails to respond we give her a rest; we take time out and do it again later on as even her husband gets tired, exhausted and build up frustration. So, the best thing is to give the situatiom a rest and resume later.
Comparing Mineyo’s photo and the above I found out while researching on someone affected by stroke, I observed that one way or another the same as both had a problem with body parts co-ordination and they needed same care. Both of them had very dramatic conditions that are serious and needed serious examination, attention and treatment.