Sunday, November 14, 2021

Conference Day 2

Well … my workshop went over just fine. But talking non-stop to deliver my initial presentation was mighty challenging. After every few sentences, I would do a deep breath in and out before continuing. But I got very welcome and positive feedback, and when it was over, I had a good, and necessary, nap.

The conference has been wonderful. For one thing, I met a remarkably handsome Irish gay guy who stutters and melts souls with his delicious accent. I also learned, from a practitioner, the likely reason I have been refused speech therapy by so many speech language therapists: the medical system sees stuttering as incurable.

Perhaps the best aspect of the conference is being recognized by other attendees and some presenters as part of the stuttering community. I am becoming relatively known because I ask questions and because my self-deduced observations about stuttering provoke thought.

In the evening session, I talked with Gerry Maguire, professor emeritus, Department of Psychiatry at the University of California School of Medicine. He is part of our conference every year and a leader in pharmacological research on stuttering treatment. When he heard me speaking, he questioned the use of the word “stutter” to describe my speech disorder. 

He offered to consult with my GP to help me determine a cause for my speech disorder, which I though was very generous. But I don’t really care about the cause. He was very cautious about commenting on my speech given I’m not his patient, but he said he couldn’t help but wonder about a pharmacological cause, and that made me wonder about the HIV drugs I’ve consumed over the past thirty-five years.

It's now a quarter past eight Sunday morning and it’s dark, dark, dark out there yet again, and very, very wet. I’ve two more workshops to attend today, otherwise the day will be spent reading and chilling, just like just about every other day since mid-September when the monsoons started.

Tomorrow, it’s predicted to clear in the afternoon and Tuesday might be a beauty of a day, so I’m going to go to the big island and do some shopping for pet supplies at Walmart. An adventure to change routine for a day. Hurray!

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