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(3 Posts)
BurgundyGran Fri 01-Mar-13 22:25:18

Since my strokes last summer I have suffered with acalculia, a problem with adding, subtracting, multiplying and division brought on by the strokes.

I get terrified when using money as I can't add the coins etc together, I see a bank statement as gobbledegook, but can write down numbers if called out to me such as a phone number; but don't ask me to add them together!

When I worked I did balance sheets, I made them balance without a problem so this is so upsetting for me. I go into panic mode when asked maths questions even in passing.

I am looking for help for this, I was told a speech therapist would help me but she wanted to concentrate on my poor speech, someone else said it is part of occupational therapy so I am confused.

I try and sound knowledgeable about things such as 'oh that is a good price' until someone says no it is more than so and so charges. I can admit to this problem but would love to find help without being pushed from pillar to post.

gracesmum Sat 02-Mar-13 13:47:59

Interesting, Burgundy not a side effect I had heard of.
If it can't be "cured" I suppose coping strategies are the way forward plus a helpful DH or whoever to check the bank statement (I keep mine carefully hidden)
I wouldn't worry in shops as most check-out assistants rely entirely on their machines to do adding up etc - can you use a calculator or is that meaningless too? As for money, you could do what I have done when abroad and couldn't understand what was being said - use my eyes of possible, then hand over a large denomination note and extend the hand hopefully for the change! It results in an awful lot of coinage in the purse though. I can see how it could make you feel helpless especially if it is something you used to be good at, but it would be interesting to hear of strategies to avoid letting on.
Lots of people are not particularly good with numbers and they laugh it off with an "Oh I'm rubbish at sums" - would that work?
Good luck and let us know how you get on!

Mishap Sat 02-Mar-13 14:21:47

I used to work for many years for a brain injury service and we worked with people who had had strokes, as well as those who had suffered traumatic and other brain injuries.

The problems you describe are very common after stroke. The focus of our work was to help people find coping strategies for the skills that were lost or impaired, and I am sure that there will be a service nearby who could help you.

Firstly you need a full assessment by a neuropsychologist, who will be able to isolate subtle changes in your brain that are causing the problem - this will form the basis of a plan of help for you to put into practice in everyday life.

We also used to run courses and groups where everyone would work together and encourage each other in their progress.

Some areas have a stroke service that employs the relevant staff - in some areas it is based with the acquired brain injury services. It looks as though there is a stroke rehabilitation team in West Sussex. But it is not clear whether they have neurosphychologist - that is the person that you need to see to start with to get the proper assessment.

You may need to press for the help you want - I shouldn't have to say this, but it is true - as services tend to be concentrated on those who are not of grandparent age! But do give it a go.

See your GP with a "shopping list": item one, assessment by neuropsychologist; item two, referral to someone who can initiate coping strategies. Don't take no for an answer!

Good luck!