Speaking as if in another language...

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Brief and to the point, as I am so tired, as I would suspect the rest of everyone here is...

Mom is 91. Today, on her way to the accupuncturist, she was acting normally when she proceeded to have dialogue with me, that was not dinguishable. By that I mean, she was saying syllables of things that were not making sense; yet she was so confident in what she was attempting to get across, it made me doubt my own cognitive skills. This went on for about 10 minutes. I told her I could not understand what she was trying to say. She understood what I said, but could not improve the dialogue. There was no slurred speach, no sign of physical distress; it was as though she was explaining a situation in another language and alarmed that I was not "getting" her.

What in the world might have been happening here? Has anyone ever come across this?


Yes, just last month. It was a stroke. Just as you described, no slurring of speech and no physical deficits. She would talk and answer everyones' questions in her own "language". Loud and clear, but no one new what she was saying. My advise is to get her to the hospital.
Thanks so much for your response! I hope your loved one is doing okay since that incident!
My mom is actually doing very well, thank you. She had the stroke on the left side, which affects the speech. When she got home, she had physical, occupational and speech therapists coming in three times a week. She no longer needs the occupational or physical therapist. They were amazed at her strength for 79 years old. Her speech therapist said she is within 6 weeks of "recovering" everything she lost with the stroke. She still has some difficulty when she is sick or tired, but that is common for a stroke survivor.

How is your mom doing?
My mom had hit her head twice in the periord of a week. I wonder if this had something to do with it. Did your mom remember the odd speech patterns?
No, not really. She still has short term memory problems, so there is a lot she doesn't recall. There were times when she was in the hospital, that she would become beligerent and that is something totally out of character for her. However, she now knows when she has not said the right word and thinks it is comical. Bless her heart, all of the therapists just love her.

You mention that your mom hit previously hit her head. Has she had any falls where she hit her head? My mom had two falls where she hit her head towards the end of last year. I took her for CT Scans and it did not show anything. Then, when she had the speech problems and I took her to the hospital, they did the CT Scan and it showed the stroke. They followed up with an MRI and it showed that she had had several mini-strokes prior to this larger one.
It sounds like a Transient Ischemic Attack, which is is essentially a small stroke. It might not even show up on a CT scan. However, she should be checked by a physician, as these TIA's often lead to larger strokes (Cerebral Vascular Accidents).
When I was a nursing student I had a patient that spoke just as you described your mother. She had been diagnosed with a stroke and the term the medical personel used was "word salad". I remember I was feeding her pudding and carrying on a "conversation" with her and all of a sudden she said "umm this tastes good!"
This happened to my dad he did recognize however that he was saying words backwards up was down in was out and was very frustrated. I believe your mom had a stroke, there are lots of different ways strokes affect people
Hi Gina, please call and get your mom to her doctor ASAP for evaluation. When anything that is so out of the ordinary happens, never wait--get to healthcare professionals right away.

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