Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Psychiatrist Day

I happened on this photo yesterday. I had just finished the
challenge of learning my lines for a play in June 2014. I was
delighted at how easy it was. I had the most lines.
Finally…. sleep. Last night was the first decent sleep I have had since Friday night, the night that my ability to speak took flight. I was exhausted from the lack of sleep of previous nights and sick of the muscle pain in my back from the muscle contractions of stuttering/stammering.

I do both: I stutter and I stammer. Stuttering is the rapid-fire repetition of the initial phoneme of a word. Stammering is the inability to say an initial phoneme. I can say some words normally, others come with difficulty and some there are a huge number of words I just won't say any more because they cause such painful muscle contractions. If you think stuttering/stammering is hard to listen to, its far, far worse to experience. The muscle pain is hideous.

Softly is a word with only two syllables but it has five phonemes: s-aw-f-t-lee. Unless I get better, that is a word I may never speak again. There are a shitload of them; they are my hate words. "Saturday" is another one; so is "eleven." These words cause huge muscle spasms.

One day, I know, I will notice the rest of life and get outside myself and over the loss of my speech. One day, my speech may be back or better. I will not become a bore and obsess on my challenge. Summer is coming and I've a life to lead.

First thing this morning, I see Dr. Shoja. She is the voice clinic psychiatrist. I don't start speech therapy with Dr. Ramage until May 24th. The three of them, Drs. Morrison, Ramage and Shoja, comprise the voice clinic staff. It gives me great comfort to have their help.

Waking up last Saturday unable to speak was such a shock. I'm sure you can imagine that. But now, knowing what is wrong and having such great people helping me, I again epically changed—this time, for the better.

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