Roger suffered a stroke in May 2007, which left him with aphasia. Below is Roger’s story, in his own words.

Today is the annual of my head trauma – my stroke. Fortunately I had no physical impairment, but I lost all but all (sic) language – couldn’t speak, write or read and couldn’t remember of even (sic) the simplest of words. In the medical jargon, it has aphasia (sic). I spent 5 weeks in hospital. Initially no one knew what my prognosis was.

But I got, and still am getting, better. Some times amusing. Some times frustrating. But, after those early days, I can feel and see improvements. And best of all, I am still me!!! So, looking over the year, there have been good and bad – but let’s not dwell on the bad. On the plus, I am certainly in excellent physical (sic), and I have had the time to do some things. I have learned to use Photoshop, I have taken a course on New Zealand art, and I have taken a photography course. I took and passed my Real Estate Salesperson examination. I am able to keep the farm under control (but there is still (sic) any money in it!)

My impairment continues to reduce. My ability to speak, read and write is ‘passable’ but some distance way from my ‘old’ self. And as I get tired, my performance declines often dramatically. Even now, as I write, I can feel my ability is declining rapidly. My words are coming more slowly, the sentences are getting worse and my head is hurting. But only 6 months ago it would have taken me several hours over 2 days and many rests. It was a bit like a long lunch – the sort of lunch one could have in the 1980s (and for some well into the 1990s). Couple of hours or so, and some wine. After lunch, one could stagger back to the office, get a cup of coffee and check messages. Anything that wasn’t urgent could wait until tomorrow morning – and even then one could try to delay until the issue (sic). Trouble is that now I have got no tomorrow clear head. I have just had to adjust. But it is getting better.

So, I am certainly not looking backwards (thanks (sic) goodness, they say. I will not bet a round robin newsletter every anniversary or Xmas!) But last week I started as a career as a Business Broker. So let’s see how that goes.

So, again:  it has been a long road. And best of all, I am still me.

Roger is a member of the Rodney Aphasia Group (RAG) which meets in Silverdale, North Auckland. Roger is a former Trustee of AphasiaNZ.