Saturday, April 9, 2016


I feel restored. It is all due to Grace. And I understand what happened.

When my voice became damaged I hit “hiccups” in my speech that I didn’t understand. These “hiccups” often involved involuntary muscle contractions in my neck and a kind of gasping for air, so I used a raspy, quiet voice that allowed me to speak without the “hiccups.”

Then I discovered I could talk in an accent, in French and that I could read without any problems and in my normal-sounding voice. Grace recognized all these capacities as typical of stutterers, explained the neurological origin of the problem and told me to stop using the raspy voice.

That was it. That changed my life. She said I just had to persevere; I had to go “through” the hiccups and keep talking. Doing so, she said, would stop the damage to my larynx that using the raspy voice was causing.

What I had been calling “hiccups” is actually a stammer.

In one day since seeing Grace, I talk normally. I just have a mild stammer and I think that may one day it may fade away. Last night at a party I spoke virtually normally all night. I’d say my stammer was down to once a minute and that is nothing.

The hard part is starting speech; that’s when I stammer the most. Once I get rolling, I can often talk for 60-90 seconds without a stammer. And I could not care less about so minor a problem. I feel restored. 

I will repay Grace; I am going to buy her a gift certificate for a nice restaurant. But right now, off I go to my last baking class. 

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