Friday, December 24, 2021

Bumming Out Again

Thursday dawned bright and clear. It was wonderful to sit at my desk and see the golden light of sunrise illuminating the tree tops. But as is always the case when the skies clear in Winter, it got cold.

David called on FaceTime in the morning, but he ended the call quickly as I was not able to speak at all. He’s going to download Skype so that we can use it to communicate—he to speak and me to chat.

On a whim, I decided to weigh myself. It was three months ago when I decided to change my diet. I stopped baking (and eating it all) and ended my excessive consumption of carbohydrates. As of yesterday morning, I’ve lost 24 pounds, and I am super happy about that because I know I am not going to put it all back on like I did last time I lost weight.

Sheba and I went for a nice invigorating morning walk under inspiring skies, but not long into our walk, the clouds rolled in and then it started snowing like mad! However, by the time I got home, the sun was out again as I got to baking the cake I’m taking to Di’s tonight.

Just past noon, Paula arrived with an incredible tray of goodies; baked goods, and the woman can cook! Yum! Then I got to baking first two layers for my cake—two ‘white” (yellowish) layers. As they were cooling, Shelly arrived with a tray of charcuterie. Yum! And after she left, I baked two green layers.

Next, I ate the charcuterie. Then I made my first batch of icing—a big frothy broth of bright green buttercream (heavy on the vanilla), and I used it to stack the cake. There are three layers of green buttercream holding four layers of alternating colours.

Today I’m making the white icing and icing the tower of cake that I’ve made. My circular cake pans are rather small. Hence for layers and the slices can be thinner. On top of that, will go trees made of adapted sugar cones covered in green buttercream. And the whole thing will be frosted with icing sugar, just before I serve it. There’ll be snow in the piping on the conical trees.

Until yesterday, I’ve been thinking of the people I try to talk with. I’m always concerned about how my speech affects them. I worry I frustrate them, making them wait so, so long for me to say a simple sentence. Well, yesterday I started thinking about myself. I started pondering what my future is going to be like.

I really don’t want to socialize. My spirit animal, Bruce, says I should not go to the party because of Covid. After my experience with Paula and Shelly, I’m disinclined to go due to my speech. So, I think I’ll take the cake and bail on the party.

It is so shitty being me right now, I wrote to my friend, Jay, and asked him about helping me. I’ve asked him to ask, on the Gabriola Community Page on Facebook, if anyone on the island signs. If there is someone, particularly someone hirable, I am going to learn basic signing via an online course and hire a signer as a coach. Not tomorrow.

This idea bears more thinking. I’m going to discuss the rationality of this idea with Dr. S. But several online sites say that serious students can become decently fluent in ASL in a year. I’ve got to do something practical; concerns about my voice, my future and my relationships with my friends is like a fire in my brain right now.

I thought seizures were bad, but my friends got used to them, I got better at managing them and now I don’t have them. The migraines have stopped as well. I thought both were absolutely horrid symptoms of having FND. My speech was a nuisance, but it didn’t impede my leading a regular life.

I’m totally fucked now. I can’t believe I’m even thinking about learning how to sign. Who is this person I’ve become? 

My brain is full of questions: Will I get my speech back? How long do I go on hoping it will? What if it gets worse? How do I not feel like a fart in an elevator when I’m with people?

I’m in adjustment and cannot talk anymore. This blog has never been more practical. I can spew here. And ponder. FND is overwhelming me. People talk about wanting to be heard. How am I going to participate, and with whom?

People scream and throw things, or they go on rampage or the breakdown and cry when a crisis comes along. I don’t. I’m not feeling despair or sadness either. I feel trapped inside myself. My ideas cannot get out. Yes, I can point at myself and say baf rmmm, syllables wide apart, and they point to the bathroom. I can say words but getting out a whole sentence kills me. The reward for the effort is dispiriting.

ASL. I know I could be more fluent with signing than I am with words. I remember learning French; I remember how rewarding it was to realize, as my fluency improved, that I could make friends and get around. If there’s a signer on the island with whom I could communicate, it would, I think, make me feel less of an outsider.

I wrote the above last night. I feel great in the mornings after a good night sleep, but come evening, especially if I’ve had to try to talk with someone, I feel really shitty about my condition. But this morning, in spite of the rain, I feel good.

I’ve to finish the cake. I’ll post a photo on tomorrow’s post. (If it works out.) 

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