stammerheadshark * blog about living with an acquired neurogenic stammer

Neurology appointment – Take 1

Posted on: September 10, 2009

So it’s not exactly been a fun few days, I’m not going to lie.

The robot voice deteriorated into speechlessness again, and I’ve spent the last three days having to write on scraps of paper to be able to communicate.

Which, you know, on the face of it doesn’t sound so bad, but it’s that kind of isolation like being lost at sea with no one there, so you write letters – except everyone still is there, it’s just they can’t take on board what you’re trying to say.

Events always seem to magnify the patheticness of having to resort to write when you can’t speak. Take, for example, the fact that my bike tyre got punctured.

I needed to have it fixed so I could attend my neurology appointment today – without it, I would have had to try to speak to a taxi or bus driver. Neither, I imagine, would have been particularly successful attempts.

So anyway, I managed to fix it (in spite of the wheel nuts having been last tightened by a ham-fisted gorilla who must have been determined to never have them unscrewed again) and got to the neuro appointment that I’d waited months for (albeit arriving utterly knackered after taking on an almighty hill that leads to the hospital on my bike – some mean town planner probably thought that one up, presumably to keep the NHS in enough cardio cases…).

Sitting and waiting for what felt like forever (it was only actually an hour and a half, but still a good reflection of the p*** poor timekeeping skills in the NHS), I was eventually seen by the neurologist; only to be told that there had been an “administrative error” and I didn’t actually have an appointment.

Excellent. So the three reminder letters for the appointment that I’d received in advance were in relation to what exactly?

He quizzed me quickly and told me to “speak” to the clinic administrator about having an appointment first thing tomorrow instead. Choice words.

Easier said than done when all that comes out of your mouth are vague grunts you desperately hope sound enough like the start of a word someone might recognise and guess what you’re trying to say.

He then flippantly informed me that he was “certain” I’d make a full recovery.

You know what, I would LOVE to believe him. It would be incredible. But I’ve just had my hopes raised and dashed repeatedly over the past 8 months, with various professionals promising miracles they couldn’t deliver, that I’m loathe to believe him. I honestly don’t think I can cope with being disappointed so much again.

Now if he’d said “we might be able to impact the brain damage”, “we might have some success”, or even just spent more than 60 seconds asking me something more probing than if I could follow his finger with my eyes or waggle my tongue from side to side, then I might be more inclined to have more faith.

I’m sorry, I must seem completely ungrateful. He must know something about it all given his job, but it all seems a bit “finger in the air”. He does deserve a go, and I’m glad he’s trying to make a difference.

I just really don’t want him to be promising the earth without just cause, and then fall short on delivering it.  Until tomorrow I guess (which feels like an eternity away – like Christmas does for a child on Christmas Eve) and we’ll have a stab at actually getting a neuro appointment this time.

So here goes, neurology appointment – take 2.

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