The Swedish Chef

"The Swedish Chef"

In October 2003, I was cleaning the gutters on my house, the ladder slipped, and down I went hitting my head on the driveways concrete slap. Spent the 1st month into a medically induced coma and craniotomy surgery from a traumatic brain injury. In the 2nd month after awaking for my coma, my family tells me that I sounded like the Muppet’s Swedish Chef. To make myself understood I needed to write, talking was nearly impossible. Spent the 2nd and 3rd month undergoing 2 hours a day speech therapy, The next 8 months was still speech therapy but as an out-patient, 5 hours a week. After a full year of speech therapy, I was able to go back my full-time job. I also have a second part-time job as a adult education photography instructor, that took me a second year to regain that job. Being able to speak correctly, and understanding other peoples conversations is the most important part of teaching. Most people have no idea about my aphasia, but when I meeting new people at work or under other circumstances , I let them know that I have aphasia and what that means. I am also a co-facilitator for a brain injury support group, and think that’s helping me improve my aphasia as well. I call Aphasia “the gift of keeps on giving”.