Sunday, June 14, 2009


So much going on in life right now. As a coworker said aptly, I never do anything halfway.
That includes life changes.

I remember, it seems like just months ago now, but it was actually 2 years, when I was trying to survive comprehensive exams and move at the same time. Torture, it was horrible, crazy, etc. Think I would have learned...

But I did not. Or, more specifically, the situation prevented me from applying my new knowledge.

In December, I landed this amazing job at the University of South Carolina, to begin in August. Ever since then, I've been in high gear, finishing up my dissertation. Meanwhile, Brent looked for and successfully landed an amazing job in Columbia, to begin...well, this Monday.

So, once again, we had to move while I am trying to survive dissertation. Brent took the bulk of the responsibility. But, last night, it came down to the wire - the movers were coming in the morning, there was MUCH left to pack, I had a migraine and didn't get home until ~ 9 anyway....not a good situation.

I called my family, just trying to force a little labor out of the little brother...and before I know it, all of my brothers, and an extra soul, show up at my house, and begin a packing frenzy. It was is amazing...sometimes (well, maybe most of the time) we drive each other crazy...but when it comes down to it, we are here for each other. Thank you Greg, Josh, Jonathan, and Ashley for helping Brent and I survive the madness.

I packed up my belongings for the next month or so into my car. Brent heads to Columbia to unpack tomorrow. His new job and new life begins on Monday. My dissertation wheels keep on turning...please keep me in your prayers...I'm so sleep deprived, sunlight deprived...I have a permanent eye twitch - stress or strain, I'm not sure...I'm isolated, out of necessity...and am in desperate need of the strength to keep going ... there is no time for slowing down, no room for error.

I am looking ahead, am believing that I will finish, that I will successfully defend, that I will, in fact, graduate...and then transition again... a new city, a new career, a new body of research to learn, new people to meet (that is the hardest part for me)....

The new stuff is exciting, scary, nerve-wracking. Transitioning away from the "old" is hard, sad, burdensome...especially when I can't spend my last few weeks hanging with my favorite people...

oh, change....I've never been a huge fan. But like most things in life, you come along, whether we are ready or not.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Aphasia Awareness Month

June is Aphasia Awareness Month. Just hearing that, seeing that, brings about different thoughts.
Wonderful that someone, somewhere is trying to educate the world about aphasia, trying to raise awareness.
But, I haven't seen an ad, commercial, anything about aphasia. Is there value in assigning a "purpose" to a month if no one, no organization, is going to try and fulfill that purpose?

My heart is heavy about this because I know so many individuals with aphasia who I care for deeply - both the individuals with aphasia and their families - and I so wish that the world would be more aware of their struggle. Fighting tooth and nail with insurance companies for speech-language services, searching for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th opinions when the doctor says "oh, this is as good as he is gonna get", traveling across the country just to try and find an intensive aphasia therapy program that is worth the thousands of thousands of dollars they require... it goes on and on.

If I could capture the spirit of these individuals, the drive, and bottle it, the world would be a different place, a better place.

Learn about aphasia today. Learn about the definition, the causes, the types, etc. Develop awareness. Seek out individuals with aphasia, if you know of any in your sphere, communicate with them. I doubt you will walk away from that experience the same person you were before. Check out for some insight into this communication impairment.