Tony W.

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My name is Tony W. I’m 66 years old. My sister is writing down these thoughts as I express them to her mostly by gesture, since I lost the ability to use words to speak or write due to the stroke I had in 2011.

My long-term and professional interests include: education, social studies, climate change, languages, East Asian studies, literacy, and law. I have a blog I was quite active with until my stroke, exploring and sharing these areas and the link between them ( I’ve written several books and articles that have also been published on varied topics.

I was at home when I had my stroke and I lay unconscious on the floor for 4 days until my apartment manager came in and called the ambulance. My whole right side was completely paralyzed; hands, feet, arms and legs, mouth and face and eye. I lost all ability to speak or even to find the words to write my thoughts. I even at first could not make a sound; only after several weeks, my first sound was to laugh out loud at one of my brothers.

Ever since, I’ve been slowly gaining back my lost abilities. Now I can walk and use both hands, though still with some problems on the right side, and a crooked smile.

I swim laps and work out in the gym. The hardest thing is how much I still miss the use of words. I never lost the ability to read, but just can’t find the words to say or write.

So many people have helped me work to get back my abilities and health: Speech therapist s, OTs, PTs, nurses, doctors, nurse aides and caregivers, hospital cleaning staff and food workers, family and friends ad especially my dog Xotchi.

I moved to Portland from the University of Delaware just after my stroke, leaving my friends, colleagues and professional community I had worked with there for 20 years, to join a new family and begin my new life here. I live with my sister and her partner, and our four dogs and one kitty.

My personal interests include: reading books, newspapers, and on the internet; swimming, Tai Chi and film. I am also interested I getting involved again in blogging.