losing my place in the conversation

I am no longer able to string words together fast enough for easy comprehension, and people find it difficult to interpret what I’m saying.  Those who don’t know me are completely mystified by my delivery; a few too, wonder at my cognitive ability.

My slothful cadence is also hard on my husband, who has been trying to get me to talk less for over 2 years now.  His hearing is no longer peak, and the soft drone of my voice is not on his radar anymore.  I drive him nuts when I report on the trivial, as it forces him to stop what he’s doing, so he can focus all his attention on what I’m saying.  He gets frustrated when he has to work so hard to hear content that has no importance.

In the early days, when I was told that I might lose the ability to speak, I thought that speech technology was the solution; a tool for saving me from the silence.  I even looked forward to mastering the software.  But now that my voice is fading, I find that I have absolutely no interest in cleverly jamming away on a keyboard, while a speaker spouts robotic syllables at my listener.  Anyway, that technology was developed for expressing needs, wants; not for sharing of self, heart, truth, or grief.

Is silence really “golden?”  I think (or more likely romanticize) about religious orders that vow to a lifetime of silence, trading-in words for illumination.  I have fantasized over re-inventing myself into the-woman-of-few-words, enigmatic and interesting.  Oh . . . and disabled.  Forgot that part.

Would the artful cultivation of body language be enough to satisfy the requirements of social communion?  Could I unfold the conversation with only a look?  Is silence adequate enough to comfort, cajole, or convey dissent?  Can it render further discourse?

Perhaps I’m missing the point entirely, and that this is Real Opportunity – disguised as loss – to unearth that deeper portion of myself, beyond words.  Or do I merely romanticize?




This entry was posted in blog. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to losing my place in the conversation

  1. dave says:


    I identify with much of what you say. I still have not learned a program to “speak” for me, if that is possible? A lot of people defer to my wife while I try to get out my sentence and no doubt think that my mental capacity is diminished, ( I am guessing). I did not “bank” my voice, so now I would be stuck with a computer voice.

    Any ideas on how I should organize and hold SPF connections if I can not effectively speak? I know I can do it for this year but it is holding me back from scheduling/holding the meetings. Well I will try it again and be smarter about it.

    I am finding that unless it is important, I don’t try to speak as much. Talking on the phone is real fun! I don’t think that silence is golden and I don’t know what the answer is. It’s different for everyone I suppose. I am still evaluating the palatal lift prosthesis and while I think it would make talking less tiresome, I can’t see it doing much for slowness of speech or the slur. So, is it worth it? I can’t seem to find out if medicare will cover it. Body language and gestures go a long way, I am finding out.

    I am amazed to hear good speakers. Never before did I discern the difference between a person who spoke well and one who has a command for not only intelligent speaking, but who also delivers the spoken word well. Timing, emphasis and pronunciation are all part of what we have lost. Makes it REALLY frustrating at times. I get mad at not being able to say things clearly, then the person listening thinks that I am mad at them.

    Then I go to see health care people and they say, ” I can understand you fine”, when I know I have lost more of my speaking ability. Maybe they are used to worse. Wait,,,,,,,,,, there are worse off. I am not sure if that is consolation enough. If the decline in speech stopped right here, I suppose it would be. Maybe it will, maybe not.

    Once again, I guess that I get up, shake the dust off and go forward. Oh, trying to speak while laughing sounds really good too! It sounds like I am happy and up beat, when I am simply anxious about sounding like an idiot. But I digress.

    Thank you for your eloquent writing on PLS. I wish I had your ability to write.

  2. Sherry says:

    Dear Dave ~
    I am so glad that you have shared with us in regard to your own voice issues, and my hope is that others visiting the site will read your comment. Your offering has enhanced this post. Thank you.

  3. Candace says:

    Aloha, Sherry.
    I’m with Dave. You Are An Amazing and Beautifully Eloquent Writer!
    And Dave, You Too, Express Yourself Clearly and Wonderfully Well.
    Thank you Both for letting me Listen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>