Friday, August 26, 2022

A Lesson to Remember

I can’t help it. I will watch this when it comes out. I love the story and Tom Hanks always does such a great job of his roles.


Thursday was glorious. I felt great as soon as I woke up, and then there was that spectacular sunrise that seemed to echo the warmth and colour I felt inside me. I hope the insight about panicking being the problem, not my speech, will come immediately to mind the next time my speech takes a sudden and inexplicable decline.

Sheba and I met Di for a walk along Brickyard Beach yesterday morning. It was a nice change from our usual forest walking. There’s so much light and such an expansive view when we walk along the beach. It was a lovely way to get the day underway. Then I went into the village to do some shopping.

When I turned onto Wild Cherry on my way home, I saw Neptune eating grass at the entrance to Dianne’s yard. Neptune is Dianne’s horse. So, I stopped and spent half an hour with him and with Gem and Spirit. Gem is the female and Spirit is her baby (a mule). Spirit is now a dear and delightful friend. She is so, so sweet and friendly. I was in heaven. And Buttons, the goat, is a dear as well. I love going to Dianne’s place!

And when I got home, the power went out, but not for long. And when it came on, there was a pleasant surprise awaiting me. I received an email from a board member of the clinic whom I don’t know, asking me to do some writing for her and her committee. This is outside my work with Dyan, so word must be spreading that I’m a decent wordsmith and it can only have come from Dyan. It made me feel very good. So, we’re getting together on Sunday afternoon so that she can explain the brief.

The rest of the day was blissful. I was in terrific spirits, so very, very happy to be free of any concern about my speech. I could feel myself improving. To celebrate, I made a pan fried a pound of prawns and sprinkled them with paprika and then made a delicious alfredo sauce—a sauce I’ve never made before because I thought it too rich and bland. This one is rich and very, very tasty. And there’s more for tonight.

My friend Dona has gone to ‘say goodbye’ to a friend dying of cancer. I was walking yesterday morning with Di, and it was Di who told me. And that got us talking about death and dying. I’ve thought about death many times. My friend Andrea died when we were in grade eleven. They always come to mind when I think about death. 

At one point, when we were both silent, I asked myself: I wonder what it’s like to live every day, knowing you are dying. And what instantly came to mind right after that was that I think about speech obsessively when I’m alone. I carry on, but consciousness of my speech dominates my thinking. I can’t stop because my speech and seizures, and my vulnerability to stimulus—the package—it dominates my life because it’s changed how I relate to my environment.

It's not dying, but it’s living with consciousness of a changed status, a changed relationship with living. 

Writing about my condition here is where my experience and research become words—words that become how I explain my condition to others, particularly to my fellow members of speech disorder support groups. I drive a lot of discussion in the groups by sharing insights that I get in thinking about, and then writing about, my life with FND. 

When my voice crashed on Sunday. I took me a few days to remember that it had happened before, and then I recovered to a different normal. Sunday’s crash made me realize that it’s not the crash, it’s the panic that is the problem. I hope that I remember this lesson when I have the next crash.

Last night I watched Our Ladies on Netflix. I thought it was hilarious. It’s about a raunchy group of rebel and rural Catholic girls on a weekend rampage in Edenborough. It’s raunchy, but it’s about teenagers, all endearing young women. I lust loved a lot about this movie. A fun, fun movie for a warm Summer night. Pure entertainment; nothing deep. 

I was a good boy. A good Catholic boy who never ever touched a drop of alcohol until I reached twenty years old. I had four beers in 1968 and then no liquor again until my forties. It was fun to see a movie about ‘bad’ girls and how the other half behaved.

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