Craniotomy/Apasia creating loss of fluency in one language, but not another?

Hector nomail at thanks.net
Thu Sep 9 23:02:32 EST 2004

Sorry John, pressed the "Send Now" button instead of the "Save"
button.  The balance of what I was attempting to say follows below:

On Fri, 10 Sep 2004 03:36:12 GMT, Hector <nomail at thanks.net> wrote:

>Thank you again John.  I very much appreciate all the effort you've
>put into helping me with this.
>The "second language" I was referring to is Visual Basic, and its loss
>brought my once free-lance programming business to a standstill.  When
>I was still in the hospital, I borrowed my son's laptop, which
>contained a number of fairly elaborate (say 1000 to 5000 lines of
>code) application programs I was working on when the abscess sent me
>sprawing onto my then-client's floor.  
>At first, I was only able to remember what  the various "controls" on
>the screen (buttons, drop-down boxes, etc) were intended to do in the
>program (say, "Create an Invoice"),  and after a time was able to
>actually operate the controls to perform a function as a user would;
>i.e., I could create an invoice and fill in the required fields.  Some
>time later, I could more or less understand how all the "modules"
>contained in the program worked together (e.g. - creating an invoice
>produces a record in the "Accounts Receivable" table, for example).  I
>was very encouraged by that, believing that my "second language" would
>be restored as my verbal English was.  
>However, when I looked at the "code behind the forms," written in
>Visual Basic, I was only able to grasp a small section of it, in the
>sense that if I looked into the middle of a block of code, it was
>apparent that I was say, subtracting one date from another, but I had
>no idea *why* I was doing it, or what I was going to do with the
>result.  I could see what amounted to a "window,"  say 15 lines of
>code long, but couldn't connect what I was doing there with the rest
>of the program.  I could move the window to the code in another module
>and grasp yet another segment, but had no idea what *that* piece had
>to do with anything else.  
>Over the next year or so, I attempted to emulate the methods used by
>my speech therapists in the hospital that was so remarkably successful
>in re-connecting my mind to the rest of my English-speech-producing
>apparatus.  That is, I began with my most basic book on Visual Basic
>and attempted to progress through the balance of the many
>thousand-page books that once before built my fluency in that

Unfortunately, these efforts only expanded the "window" I was talking
about to say, 25 lines of code - which is no where near enough to be
of any value.  Writing the type of programs I was involved in requires
not only that one understands the complete purpose of the module one
is observing, but its entire relationship to all the many other
modules, and the program as a whole.  To be creative in enhancing the
program one must be able to do all of the foregoing *and* project it
into what one can imagine to be the future needs of the client.  So,
for all practical purposes, my programming career was over.  

Fortunately I was a reasonably-good cabinetmaker in my earlier years,
and am headed back in that direction (if there are two doors on a
cupboard, I have no trouble remembering what they are for and which
one goes where).  

I posted my original question because I was thoroughly *spooked* by
what had taken place in my head, and was wondering if there were any
precedents for it elsewhere in the experiences of others.  

The fact that something similar to this has happened to others is
somehow comforting.

Thanks again ...

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