Missing Words

I seem to be temporarily misplacing some really basic words.

Example: I thought it would be nice to do an inventory of our kitchen items this morning in an effort to get rid of some unnecessary utensils and whatnot. While doing so, I listed nearly everything in our drawers, but found it strangely impossible to remember these extremely complicated words:

  • whisk
  • oven mitt
  • tongs

I spent a few minutes trying to recall each word, but drew a complete blank and eventually had to pull out my America’s Test Kitchen book and go through its “you need these for your kitchen” section to track down the names of each item. Really?!

It’s not just kitchen utensils, either. It’s other things. Uncomplicated, random things whose names are sneakily hiding out somewhere in my cranium, unaccessible. I actually think this is kind of funny when it happens. The word is invariably something so basic I could have easily pulled it up at five years old. For now, I’ll describe the thing and Abe will identify the mystery word. Kind boy.

So what’s causing the word recall issue? The surgery didn’t actually cut into my brain tissue, as far as I can tell from the notes. They did, however, cut off some vessels that feed my brain and used surgical tools to lift my temporal lobe out of the way for 8-10 hours. For the record, temporal lobes are fussy and don’t really appreciate that kind of treatment, even for a good cause, so it’s not unusual for craniotomy patients to have word-recall and other odd information processing side effects.

Will it improve? Probably. If not, it’s not enough of an issue to worry about. Mostly, it’s just a strange little detail.

3 thoughts on “Missing Words”

  1. I believe I have a touch of dysnomia where I can’t recall a word to save my life. It comes and goes. The simplest words are suddenly unavailable to me mid sentence. My mother also had it for years. We could be at the dinner table wanting to say “Pass me the spoon” and all that we could manage was “Pass me the …. that rounded thing.” From time to time I compensate by trying to describe the thing and it turns out to be quite hilarious to people who know you these “circumlocutions” are very awkward when you are mid speech in a business meeting talking “off the top of your head”. In that case it helps to avoid any ad libbing and write it down. Count yourself lucky to not be bi-lingual which would compound the confusion. We have a friend who compensates from her stroke by often playing what seems like a game of charades to express herself. But rather than play the role of the victim, she entertains us with laughter. She worked hard to get that good attitude however. No doubt, there is a lot of frustration before it gets funny. Try singing sometime. I have worked with aphasia people who could barely utter a word but sang fluently. I believe it uses an alternate part of the brain. xoxox Susan

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