Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Yay! Columbia Day

Monday was startlingly bright, sunny and cold. I went to Granville Island to get some beads for my apron and decided to walk home the long way round on the seawall in spite of my reservations about ice. It turned out to be a brilliant decision! I was in a mild state of euphoria the whole way home—partly due to my arctic down coat, partly due to my love of walking and hugely to do with the sunshine.
I burn as brightly as the sun when I can see it. It’s just wonderful and with my incredibly warm coat, winter walking is joyous; it’s actually better than in summer (except for the ice). It’s something I plan to do every sunny day. And when I got home fully exercised, I was ready for more work on the apron.
Today’s BIG EVENT is going to Columbia this afternoon for assessment #1. I have zero expectations, a ton of curiosity and mild optimism. I don’t want to get high hopes and be disappointed. It’s an assessment that is in two parts and ends with a written report. Only when I receive the report will I learn whether or not they feel they can treat me and what treatment will cost.
My speech has been compromised for almost twenty-five years. For almost all of that time the problem was episodic loss of speech due to laryngitis-type symptoms. Over twenty-three years the episodes of compromised speech got longer and more numerous. Then, very suddenly this past April, I awoke to the situation I remain in now. 
Since April I have been going to a psychiatrist. She diagnosed me with C-PTSD and I see her every week. She treats my C-PTSD; how that will affect my voice is a mystery to me.
Also since April, I’ve had three appointments with Dr. Ramage, my psychiatrist’s colleague in the Pacific Voice Clinic (PVC). She has diagnosed my speech problem as Psychogenic Dysfluency and that basically means my speech problem is due to emotional/psychological issues and not somatic in origin. It also means that the PVC won’t treat me. It was Dr. Ramage who recommended I go to Columbia.
I’ve had trouble understanding how speech experts are going to help someone with emotional/psychological problems but it must be part of their concern or Dr. Ramage wouldn’t have recommended I see them.
So today I’m actually excited about seeing Wendy Duke, my assessor.
 I can hardly wait to see Dr. Shoja tomorrow. I’ve learned a lot about why going “out there” to socialize is so risky from two incidents this past week.  I'm anxious to hear how she thinks I should deal with it. My issue is this: People tend to counter your opinions with anger or heavy-handedness. They, who also opine to disfavour, respond in a way that is hard for me to take. My C-PTSD makes me vulnerable to their tone, not their content. People can be quite harsh; perhaps they have thicker skin.
Here’s my theory: People who grew up with several siblings or a combative sibling can be hard to be around because they respond with force/anger. They’ve had to battle their way through their upbringing with their former combative siblings and so that is how they handle others as adults. They are everywhere and I find it really hard to take right now.
They are fighters. I am a flyer. I take flight. I retreat. I go silent and when I need to contradict, a question is my favourite way to investigate an alternative opinion to that which has been expressed. Not because I am better; because I am afraid of conflict. Fighters are not.

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