stammerheadshark * blog about living with an acquired neurogenic stammer

Posts Tagged ‘speech

After spending evenings avoiding the internet thanks to the abundant exposure I receive during the day working for a web development company, the weekend seems as good a time to catch up with life online as any…

An odd thing happened this weekend, and upon reflection it’s something I’ve begun to notice others doing also. It appears, and I could be completely wrong about this, that people find it far easier to understand my stutter when they can see my facial expressions also.

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I’ve been particularly bothered the past few days by a couple of discrete incidents which upon reflection are part and parcel of the same issue.

The issue being a leech; a succinct definition ascribed by a friend when I rather inadequately tried to explain how I’ve been feeling about my stammer becoming part of my identity without my consent. It’s pretty accurate actually.

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I’ve been lax.

Moreover, I’ve been lacking; in motivation primarily, although in unity with a lack of connection to the internet (thanks must go BT broadband for continually disappointing me), without which I would have had to take full responsibility for have not written sooner.

And I feel bad about it. Writing has taken on almost a form of therapy (cue the violins…) in the absence of obtaining physical support from the medical profession.

There’s only so many times you can get discharged from clinics without starting to think that perhaps you might smell a bit. Well, if only that was the reason.

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I’ve had a frenetic few days really, and not the time nor space to really make any sound decisions.

Often it feels as though life carries you along like a tide, while you drift further away from your destination without the control to bring yourself back on course.

After a fabulous family wedding back home and a zippy catchup with my sister and her children this weekend, we were back on the road winging our way back to ordinary life to churn out job applications and amended CVs for imposed deadlines.

It’s so odd that visiting home in Southport feels such worlds apart from our life in Leicester, but a relief in some respects that it’s a world we’re to return to imminently.

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Somehow, yesterday managed to be one of the most truly awful and awesome days imaginable. I’m still not entirely sure how. But I’m relieved, completely relieved that it’s over.

So I had my neurology appointment to get to, which was a mission in itself. I cowardly wimped out of tackling that bloomin’ big hill on my bike up to the hospital again and decided to get the bus instead.

Well, I didn’t realise until I was halfway there to the bus stop that I was going to have to tell the driver where I was going.  You just don’t think about these things, do you? I’m just so used to being able to do it without a second thought.

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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.

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Seriously, my brain’s having a right giggle at the moment.

My speech hasn’t been great today. Much harder to get words out than usual, but really oddly since leaving work to come home it’s slowed right down.

My normally quite speedy stammer (I tend to try to push through all the repetitions quite quickly to get my words out before I forget what I’m trying to say)  has become almost robot sounding over the past couple of hours.

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Yesterday I was at a wedding (in Windsor incidentally and a great excuse for a trip to Legoland today – which was ace by the way!) and as much as anyone dreads the prospect of meeting a ridiculous amount of their boyfriend’s external family members in one fell swoop, I was just hoping they’d be able to understand me.

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I know it must sound quite silly, but it’s really been getting to me of late the fact that I can’t sing anymore.

I adore music and find myself compulsively trying to join in with songs, but I just can’t do it anymore.

I’ve almost stopped trying to open my mouth to sing now when I hear a catchy tune, as subconsciously it’s finally starting to sink in – but to be honest, the alternative just seems a bit lame.

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…the truth flows, so they say.

The point I’m trying to make is that children are more perceptive of what’s going on around them than the realities adults choose to face up to.

The reality in this case is that kids will make it pretty apparent that they’re aware of my stutter, ask forthright questions about stamering that adults would never dream of doing.

They’d rather just pretend it wasn’t there. And keep telling me that it’s all going to go away. That I’ll have normal speech again. Whether they’re just hopeful or delusional, I think they seriously need a chat with my speech therapists to bring them back down to earth and realise that injuries aren’t always so easy to fix. Brain injuries are even harder.

This rambling post mostly stems out of my appreciation that my niece and nephew take me and my stutter at face value with no pretences, and the sad realisation yesterday that given their ages (just 5 and 2 years old) although they currently remember when “Auntie Jo could talk properly”, that when they’re  older they won’t have any memory of it at all.

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I’m absolutely livid.

Whilst cycling home from work, a couple of boys threw a rock at me and hit me in the neck. I yelped, but not much more sound came out than that.

It really hurt, and wasn’t a particularly small rock either. What I’m most upset about is I don’t know who I’m more angry with; these prats for hurting me without cause, or my inability to be able to defend myself verbally.

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At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

I’m beyond cross. Guess whose speech has gone into hiding again? Bingo!  I think someone up there is playing one cruel joke. I really do.

I’ve had a really rough day; the worst night’s sleep on record last night, first day back at work after having swine flu (major shock to the system – I ache all over), rude people ringing up and informing me that “something’s wrong with the telephone connection” when I pick up, and then British Gas…

British Gas and their sodding voice recognition telephone services. Annoying at the best of times, but throw in a severe stammer and that computer’s got no clue what you’re trying to tell it.

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