Thursday, May 12, 2022

Speech Anxiety

I’m convinced that onions are not my problem. It’s a huge relief. And next I test garlic, and I pray that I can tolerate it as well, given that I’ve got fifty plus garlic plants growing in my edible garden.

As yesterday progressed, it got windy and considerably darker and then, just as I decided that we’d better go for our afternoon walk, the rain started. As soon as it stopped, we were in the forest together, and then I was happy to be comfortably at home with a book (and a rare treat of potato chips).

Late in the afternoon, the orientation package arrived from the clinic. There’s a shitload of stuff for me to read. Plus, I wrote to the foundation coordinator to tell her about my speech and asking her to tell the chairperson of the meeting. I invented a sign to use if I’m asked a question. I hold up one, two or three fingers to ask the chair to come back for my answer in one, two or three minutes. And then I’ll type my answer into my speech generator.

Or I may speak. I won’t know how it’s going to go until I try to talk. I was fluent in my interview, but I was here at home with Sheba beside me and there were only two nice women on the screen. Sunday is going to be a big meeting, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I won’t be able to speak—perhaps with some stammering. Who knows?

I’ve loaded up an introduction of myself and two important questions that I wish to ask into my speech generator. Just in case. But deep down, I think I’ll do okay. I want to go and I believe I can be effective in guiding decisions on fundraising, communications and community liaison. I believe I am more fluent in a professional environment than I am in personal conversation.

If I do function satisfactorily, it will be a significant milestone in my recovery story. April 16th, was my six year ‘anniversary’ of the onset of FND. This is like taking a job and Sunday is my first day of work. My first ‘job’ as a person with a disability. I’m very excited. However, as a prelude to my questions I do question the relevance of my experience to my work with our a very small community.

The best thing about today is that I remain alive. Outside my windows, my lovely island looks like it’s experiencing a day of apocalypse. It’s dark, it’s pouring and it’s the middle of May! This just ain’t right. And there’s naught but more of the same in the forecast. Shizah!

I’ll bake a desert today to take to Ali’s and Peter’s tonight. I’m going to their place for games and dinner tonight.

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