Friday, 17 May 2013

It's Been Awhile

I will never give up my love - and dream - of writing. Unfortunately my health problems are intent to keep from fulfilling any literary goals.
I have always been more eloquent in the written word than I can hope to be verbally. I could explain anything if given enough time to put in down on paper.

My entire life the one thing I could rely on was my ability to 'get through' anything as long as I can write it down. Work it through. Get it out.

Unfortunately over the past few years my ability to not only verbalise but also put into words my thoughts have become harder and harder. There are many many days were I *know* what I want to say, I know I know it, but there is a serious disconnect between my brain and my mouth. Now with CTS affecting my hands and wrists as well as almost a decade and a half of RA (with my wrists being one of the first joints in my body affected by this odious disease) I find holding a pen and writing more than a few words impossible. Not only for me but for me to produce anything legible on said paper.

It didn't think it was too bad as I could still type faster than I could either talk or hand write anything. If I had one solid talent it was my touch typing! One skill I thought would never leave me, only my joints have forced me to abandon it ...

I feel like crying long and hard when I remember I can't speed type my thoughts as fast as my PC can put them on virtual paper. I feel gypped, ripped off, abandoned .... and more negative words than I can come up with. But even as my ability began to leave me, or more accurately I could no longer keep physically doing it, I figure I can adapt. Voice recognition anyone?

After saving up religiously, and many failed attempts to train and use Windows own voice recognition software, I bought the entry level regular Dragon Naturally Speaking. Everyone said it was the best. I found that Dragon was less likely to misunderstand me despite the fact I tend to talk with no perceivable accent. A by-product of being trained as a receptionist/secretary from the age of 14/15.

Then I was hit by a double whammy to end all double whammy. Apparently those little memory problems which make funny anecdotal stories are just the tip of the iceberg. Over the past couple of years periods, extended periods now, where I can forget my own DOB and age. As well as develop a noticeable stutter when trying to verbally express what my brain is struggling to tell my mouth to say. I was so distressed and concerned that I had a brain tumour or some form of early onset Alzheimer's Disease as it got so severe. I felt so stupid ... to put it as plainly as possible. I couldn't hold a conversation, heck I couldn't get out two adjacent words without stuttering wildly and wishing the ground would open up and swallow me whole when people began to stare and speak slowly to me as if I couldn't understand joined up words without hearing them in slow-mo!!

I was relieved, and more than a little panicked, to discover this is part of the cognitive difficulties which I now have to accept will be part and parcel of my disabilities. It's the natural degeneration process. Fancy words but not so impressive when this is my life being talked about.

I experience my fair share of anxiety now. As if my obvious disabilities don't attract more than enough unwanted attention. Now my ability to vocalise even my own thoughts were in danger of being stolen away. I now find a 'good day' if I don't stutter or forget more than three time what I was about to say mid-word or where I am going once I struggle to my feet and gain my balance.

Life sucks sometime. I just hope that I can keep what I have, please is it really too much to ask. The ability to not vocalise, but just verbalise in written form, not too much to desire is it?

Just help me through tomorrow. Depressed enough without dealing with the overwhelming grief which revisits on my own history of lost loves. Feeling my own mortality at the moment, when someone is in the 70s and succumbs to the big C its easier to accept that someone just less than 3 short years older than myself. Just doesn't seem at all fair, life that is,  I hope for peace for those who have all lost loved one and struggle silently and alone. You have my condolences and your not alone despite what you feel.

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