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Dystextia: A New Take On An Old Stroke Sign

19 Apr

“every where thinging days nighing”

“Some is where!”

 

Texting

 

This gibberish was texted by a 25-year-old, 11-week-pregnant woman to her husband. I know, you’re thinking it’s another case of autocorrect, that often annoying function on all these “not so smart” phones. But, that’s not the case.

She was taken to the Emergency Department where signs of a stroke–right-sided weakness, disorientation, and the inability to speak–were noted. An MRI confirmed the diagnosis. Fortunately, with anticoagulant treatment this young lady is doing fine.

Of the many signs of a stroke (Cerebrovascular Accident or CVA) and a TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack) difficulties with speech are the most variable and interesting. The medical term is aphasia. It can be receptive–the victim is unable to recognize spoken or written language–or expressive–the victim can’t say what he/she wants to say or it comes out as gibberish. Aphasia comes in many flavors and is a very odd symptom complex.

In this case, the aphasia was expressed as difficulty in “writing” a coherent text message. Dystextia seems like the correct moniker for this sign.

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11 responses to “Dystextia: A New Take On An Old Stroke Sign

  1. Richard Mabry

    April 19, 2013 at 8:24 am

    Interesting, and something to be filed away for future reference. A similar situation, but involving the spoken word, occurred with a Texas Rangers baseball announcer last season. His episode lasted only a few sentences, and he recovered. Follow-up tests were negative, but my money’s on a transient ischemic episode.
    As always, thanks for an interesting post.

     
  2. Cheryl B. Dale

    April 19, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Good to know!

     
  3. J.J. Murphy

    April 19, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    I know several people with “dystextia”–not related to stroke, though, just indifference to decent writing!

     
  4. Caroline Clemmons

    April 19, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    A similar thing happened to my cousin when she had a benign brain tumor. Doctors thought it had been there most of her life, but slowly growing. One day she just couldn’t remember how to add, then couldn’t think of words. Her daughter rushed her to the ER where test revealed the tumor. After surgery, all her skills returned and she is fine. Remnants of the tumor could not be removed, but her surgeon said that it had taken sixty years to grow, so she was safe for another sixty. ☺

     
  5. Richard Bush

    April 19, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Sounds reasonable. I afraid if my kids read this than they’ll call 911 after reading most of my texts.

     
  6. Kath Marsh

    April 20, 2013 at 4:42 am

    Thank you!

     
  7. kaye george

    April 20, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Amazing that the symptoms carry over into texting! I never would have guessed that would happen.

     
  8. gothrules

    April 20, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    Interesting that a text saved her life. in Ontario using a cell phone while driving is illegal due to the number of traffic accidents they cause…of course some are terminal. In this case the opposite happened. Cool.

     
  9. gothrules

    April 20, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Reblogged this on 40 years of faulty wiring and commented:
    I subscribe to The Writer’s Forensic Blog. I really liked this blog so I pasted it into mine.

     
  10. Arun

    June 11, 2013 at 4:28 am

    Sounds reasonable. I afraid if my kids read this than they’ll call 911 after reading most of my texts.

     
  11. Arun

    June 11, 2013 at 4:48 am

    Amazing that the symptoms carry over into texting! I never would have guessed that would happen.

     

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