Dating can be frustrating, even downright intimidating, especially for survivors living with the physical and emotional effects of stroke.
But those who've braved the post-stroke dating game say that there's life after stroke when it comes to new relationships.
Several years ago when Marshall was running an aphasia group, a gentleman in his early 60s said he'd like to meet someone.
"I would get into a conversation and wonder if I could keep it going and wonder how I was doing," he recalls.
When the words wouldn't come out right, he'd recall "the old Joe Garrity," a well-spoken lawyer who made his living as a fast-talking attorney, and he would become frustrated.
"And if you forget about how you feel inside, the world will accept you." On dates, he set about finding new ways to communicate.When he struggled to find the perfect word, he found that the women would jump in with suggested words to help him.Ask Joe Garrity, a retired lawyer whose words were his trademark until aphasia robbed him of that important verbal skill after a stroke in 2003.The 56-year-old stroke survivor, from Centennial, CO, initially was afraid to meet women through friends and parties because he was embarrassed about his sometimes halting speech.
Now when I have trouble finding the right word, I say, ' Yeah, if you have the right word, say it.' That gets me through my frustration and moves us forward with our talking." But before starting a conversation, you first have to jump into the dating world.An aphasia support group can offer support and guidance towards that goal, says Dr. Marshall, professor of communication disorders at the University of Kentucky, and a research consultant for the University of Michigan aphasia program.