• entries
  • comments
  • views

Bob's First Real Book



As many of you know, after Bob's massive stroke Feb 2012, he suffered from several things that caused him to not be able to read.


1. not being able to follow a line across and his eye kept picking up words from all over the page

2. latching onto one word in a sentence and repeating it every 3 words (an aphasia thing)

3. cognition issues of trying to think how to force his brain into working and following directions

4. visual cut which causes you to miss what's on the right side

5. nearly forgot this one! - would start reading a sentence and his brain would try to fill in logical endings that made sense, but it wasn't what was written there!


In the beginning he could not even read 2 words together. He stumbled over the words like the poorest reader in 1st grade. What he did manage to read, he hopelessly said that he couldn't remember any of it anyway. I told him, there are many steps to the reading process that the brain has to sort out. You just keep doing the PROCESS of reading, and you will learn it, then your brain will have TIME to listen to what the words are saying and remember it. He started out reading just the headlines on a sports page and looking at the pictures. Then after months of that, he found he could read the first sentence in a column. The columns are very narrow, and that helped him not to lose his place so much. After about 6 more months, he noticed that he could read a little deeper into the article, before getting lost or the words becoming 'too many words'. Next I got him some great super hero books at Walmart like "5 Minute Stories" and another, just a little harder that was along the same lines but something about Super Heroes. They are rather large books, with pics on every page. But unlike many young books, there is not dark colors with print you are trying to read, and over befangled words. He began to put his nose to the grind on those, when we had the Feb 6 house flood.


Enter the Ipod Touch. I thought this would be good for him because the print could be made large enough and the width would keep it more like a newspaper article. He could hold it with one hand and tap it with his thumb. I was worried it would be too small to read, but it was not. It is a little hard to see outdoors, not quite as bad as the viewer on a dig camera, though.


Well, it's been a long 2 years and there has been so very many different things we have worked on that has finally brought him to this wonderful moment, that happened yesterday! He was on the porch reading and called to me and when I went to the porch he held the ipod out to me and said, "done!" He got this on Apr 19 and finished 258 pages on Apr 26. We went out to eat at Kroger Deli/Salad Bar to celebrate :) I told him if he keeps up with his reading, I wouldn't be surprised if in a year, he could read any of his books he wanted to! Oh, and that is a biggie! We have hundreds of books that we planned on reading 'one day' or 'when we retire'.


This was a free download to the kindle ap on amazon and you can open it there and read a preview ($0 to download) at:



Or you can see it at gutenburg site:



Recommended Comments

that is so awesome !!! Dan is not able to read much at all.. one or two easy words at most.. and never consistent… strokes so individualized, Bob was more of a intellect i think so i think that is what is predominate with him - kinda like Bruce ( debbies bruce) - Dan was a number guy so he can still ( relearn) play blackjack - he could never say that is 14 but he knows inside it is a 14.. so he can "wager" appropriately.. and dan loved i mean loved physical hard work ( crazy but true) so he is happiest if he can sweep the garage and make it almost perfect..the brain what a marvelous and strange thing… Sandy you are doing a excellent job -- reach around and pat yourself on the back !!

Link to comment

Sandy: that is wonderful news. And an example of hard work and "wanting" it. It is so individual, as Nancy advises.


I am also amazed and admiring of Bob's ability to use the Ipod. Bruce won't even look at the NOOK.


Bob Rocks! and good for you for taking him out to celebrate! Debbie

Link to comment

I think having something as small as the ipod was key. When he read the specialty books from Walmart (super heroes / 5 min stories) there were only 1 or 2 sentences on each page - that was very important. He would not be able to read this book in a real book - the words would be like a whirlpool around him. Having just a little on each page, means less problems with getting lost on the page, making it too frustrating to keep going. Look:



Link to comment

Sandy :


congratulations to you and Bob. both of your hard work paid off. every stroke is so different. for me reading books & library saved me from dark misery I felt after stroke. I bet for Both of you his reading is important.



Link to comment

that is a most incredible story sandy and is clear evidence that we can learn when so much is destroyed. good job to both bob and you!


Link to comment

Wonderful news Sandy! Bob and you work so hard! I used to love reading before my stroke. Not so much now, have a hard time staying focus on what I am reading. My daughter got me "fifty shades of grey", finished it, can not remember too much about it!



Link to comment

Yvonne, it's like I told Bob, you get better at remembering and reading, the more you keep doing it - same way as when you first learned to read. It's really worth it, and re-opens a whole other world, that was lost to the stroke. He did have start REALLY simple - not where he read before. He actually is not to where he read yet, maybe another year of really pushing the reading.

Link to comment

Wish i could work a computer like you can but i don't and can not but that is good news about Bob doing so good in reading and functions in just two years... Here i am almost ten years of recovery still getting therapy for my body but progress now is slow to none at best. i think and feel some of it now is my age... ten years ago i was 62 when the stroke came calling my name...

Link to comment

Wonderful news - congratulations to you both. There's been much hard work done by both of you. John can read to himself, thankfully, but read out aloud and we could get anything !! so I know just how hard it's been for you both. Worthy of a great celebration.

Link to comment

Fred, he can work the kindles but really gets lost on a computer. And this is the man that used to make huge power point programs for teaching others on his global trips. He also has lots of trouble with our remote control that we've had the same one since about 10 years!

Link to comment

Sandy, it is great that he has regained something that he loved so much pre stroke. So happy for him! Tell him great job from me!!!!

Link to comment

It is great to know Sandy. I know you and Bob worked hard to get to this stage. Perseverance certainly pays off. Good for both of you as his reading time cuts down your caregiver time.

Link to comment
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.