This morning, I went out and about. I got myself breakfast. I had difficulty ordering. What I meant to say was “I’ll have the classic breakfast please.”
What came out instead as “I’ll have eggs and eggs please.”
Hmmm, I thought. That’s not quite right. I had to enunciate slowly what I wanted and the waitress still didn’t understand me.
I tried again: “I’ll have the classic breakfast please.”
What came out instead was “I don’t want cheese with my breakfast.”
I blushed as she looked at my with something akin to pity. Finally, I resorted to pointing to the menu. I was able to get the words “Scrambled, bacon, rye” out with no problems however.
Afterwards, I went to the drug store to get some things I needed.
I had $30 of points saved up, so gathered up $30 of purchases happy that I would be getting them for free. When I got to the cash however, she told me I had $25 before taxes.
What I mean to say was “Can’t I use only $20 of them?”
What came out instead was: “The points aren’t used automatically?”
She shook her head not understanding my question. I tried again: “My points, they are used at the same time?”
She looked at me as if I were mentally deficient. She spoke slowly to me asking: “Do you want me to use some of the points?”
I nodded, saving only $5 instead of the $30 I was supposed to save.
I’ve been having a few problems with speech as of late. The words aren’t coming out fast enough leaving pauses in the conversation or they come out all wrong, not at all what I meant them to be. There have been a few conversations with friends, family and co-workers where the words aren’t there when they’re supposed to be.
I’m currently reading The Fault in our Stars and came across a line that hit home for me. Hazel is talking about how she looks sick, whereas Augustus doesn’t appear ill. She says: “The physical evidence of disease separates you from other people.”
I couldn’t agree more. For most of last year, I walked with a cane. I couldn’t get over how nice people were being, how kind they were. I would occasionally catch people looking, though, their eyes full of pity. I can’t express what a relief it was to walk without the cane and be treated rudely like a normal person.
Now, without the cane, some of my symptoms startle people. They look at me, take me in, and I appear to be all right and I am. Then the speech problem start or the balance issues and they’re caught off guard. They aren’t sure what to do or how to respond. The truth is, neither am I some days.
Thankfully, the speech problems will go away eventually, replaced by something else. But here’s the thing: I may be having speech problems, but I haven’t lost my voice. As long as I can type, my words as I mean to say them aren’t lost to me.
And that’s pretty freaking awesome.