Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Caring for a person next to aphasia

At one time or another, we've all have trouble thinking of a word we wanted to right to be heard. Often it's someone's name--even a name we know well. Sometimes, especially when we most want to, we can't remember the pet name of a common point or concept.

Doctor determined to overcome injury


last updated: December 31, 2007 11:58:06 AM

SACRAMENTO -- It is a shimmering autumn morning, and Cathy Liu is venturing out into the world.

Just outside the door of her apartment, there are two concrete steps between her and the driveway.

A couple of yards ahead, a tree branch stops her in her tracks.

In front of her, a car roars menacingly down the street.

Cathy takes careful, quiet steps in her neighborhood in the shadow of the bustling UC Davis Medical Center complex, where a few months ago she was a newly minted doctor in training. A thick plastic and metal brace cradles her right leg; her right arm hangs limply at her side. Her bright yellow rain jacket threatens to swallow her small frame. Her dark, bottle-brush hair is starting to grow over the scar that curls across the left side of her head.

Her physical therapist, Susan Matthews, walks beside her, keeping watch the way a tigress might eye her cub. Cathy's mother, Pam, walks a few paces behind them.

At her therapist's request, Cathy pauses now and then to identify everyday things.

"Do ... you ... see ... the ... water?" Cathy asks haltingly, pointing to a puddle.

"Do ... you ... see ... the ... pumpkin?"

"Do ... you ... see ... the ... truck?"

"Great job, Cathy!" Matthews says. Cathy smiles.