stammerheadshark * blog about living with an acquired neurogenic stammer

A smile goes a long way…

Posted on: July 21, 2009

That’s what I’ve learnt over the past two days. I’d realised it before, but not so much as having lost my speech -again, second time in a fortnight; so not at all impressed – during the week I’m meant to be childminding my niece and nephew.

It’s infuriating that a 2-year-old is more intelligible than I am, horrible that they can’t even read what I want to communicate to them, and utterly soul destroying that because I can’t interact and reassure them as they want me to that they’re starting to find Auntie Jo boring.

This week was meant to be fun, some quality time with them – but really all I feel is despair. And I’m loathe to admit it. But, honestly – it’s the truth.

I’m so fed up of not being able to control this. That the slightest feeling of insecurity or tension makes my speech disappear for days on end. Really it would be nice if it properly came back at the end of it all, but no – I’m just stuck with this god awful “scutter” as a certain 5-year-old niece calls it.

All I’ve been able to do is smile or nod or try to get the first letter of a word out to try and give them a clue as to what I’m trying to tell them. I can’t even get the repetitious stutter, just a prolonged pained sound that often doesn’t sound anything like the letter it’s meant to be.

Fortunately, the “Yurrrrr” I managed to sometimes get out if trying to say “Yes” sounds a lot like “Yeah” so that’s more easily understood…but in that case I may as well just nod – it’s a lot less distressing for everyone and myself to hear.

I’d like everything to just go back to normal now; for this hideous joke that someone appears to be playing on me to just go away and for the stammer to be gone (and the speech loss for that matter too). Easier said than done.

You know, I was feeling so rational after writing my last post – and now this. It’s like swinging from polar ends on a pendulum; “I can cope”, “No, actually I can’t”, “No really, I can”, “Who’re you kidding? Of course you can’t”. I’m bored of it all – and, anyone else reading this must be too.

I was trying really hard to be positive about it all, but any hope of that evaporated with my speechloss.

My foster mum just suggested this afternoon that there might be something we can do to make the frequent speechloss easier to deal with, and it seems a good idea; to learn sign language so I’m not so reliant on typing out what I want to say on a phone, or desperately scrabbling for scraps of paper to write on.

She suggested that she and my boyfriend also learn and that then it might not be so isolating – but simlutaneously giving me a tangible skill I could use to earn money by signing/typing/interpreting at conferences for people, if I ever found myself jobless; which let’s face it, is a distinct possibility.

So I guess, at least there’s something positive to take from the speechloss this time around.

I’m going to start looking into it because this problem’s not going to go away any time soon and it takes time to become skilled at anything. And, honestly – it’s not something I’d mind doing. At least I wouldn’t have to lug a pen and paper around anymore!

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