Back in 1997, Rick had intense speech therapy sessions. He also had occupational therapy and physical therapy but it was always his speech therapy that fascinated me the most. And that all happened back when Rick was in the hospital during his worst Lupus attack ever.
Four weeks ago Rick suffered some sort of a stroke. Yes, fifteen years later we are still dealing with after effects of that extremely devastating Lupus flare up. This stroke was most likely a residual symptom of what happened so many years ago. And because of this stroke... Rick is once again in speech therapy.
I snuck out of work today to observe Rick's first session. I was, once again, fascinated. Amused, even.
First of all, speech therapy has little to do with your speech. Oh, it can help speech defects, but mostly it helps parts of your body that cause speech defects... or, in Rick's case, it helps his memory, which in turn helps his daily living.
So, the session starts with Tina asking Rick to remember three words... Rose, Sweater, Hamburger. Tina said she knew he'd remember because he was mouthing those three words over and over again trying not to forget them. Yes, Rick was cheating. He recalled those three words beautifully because he couldn't focus on anything else. Rick did not want to get his first question wrong.
And then he did. When asked a second time to recite them, Rick said, "Rose, Sweater, Lobster." My guess is that Rick prefers lobster over hamburger. Rick has more expensive tastes than a plain ol' burger.
I was equally amused when Rick was asked what a freezer did.
"Bring the food to room temperature." Good, Rick. Good. Remind me not to eat at your house...
Next up, Rick had to say the five steps to changing the batteries in a flashlight. Rick wanted to know what kind of flashlight. Then he wanted to know if it was the type of flashlight where you unscrew the back or the front. Tina, the therapist, was not amused. She did manage to get Rick to recite two of the steps.... "Pop off the back, then turn it on." But that was only if it was a back-loading flashlight. Otherwise it was "Pop off the front, then turn it on." Sigh.
Rick was asked how a pie and a cake were similar...
"They both have all of their calories in the crusts."
Say what???? If that were true, I'd be skinny. Cuz I'm not a crust eater. Sadly, it's not.
When asked how a clock and a calendar are similar, Rick answered, "They're not." But when prodded, he finally answered, "One is continuous."
Rick was asked to name the months of the year. His answer? "Twelve."
He was also asked what he would do if he smelled smoke in the house.
"Go towards the source. Then when you find it, later you call 911."
So... now that Rick has just headed into the fire, I guess it won't matter if his flashlight has batteries or not.
Tina then asked Rick when his birthday was. Rick's answer? "Now you're getting personal."
So, do you see why all of this is so fascinating?
Back in 1997, I got kicked out of his speech therapy sessions. I kept trying to answer all the questions. I mean, shoot, I knew all the answers! And today? I had to hold my tongue again. And for me, that's hard. But I behaved myself. Besides, I didn't get all the questions correct, either. I failed the date question. I thought it was the 25th, not just the 23rd. So, it's good I kept my mouth shut. I think I'm just anxious to get out of school.... and that would taint all of my answers anyway.
Rose, Sweater, Hamburger.... or was it Lobster?