Wednesday, January 19, 2011
conversation MS and blarney
Riding and chatting in our wheelchair van can stretch the boundaries of whatever anyone thinks conversation means.
Outside of trying to talk with an infant or traveling to a foreign country I wonder if many of us actually give much thought to language.
Memory loss whether short term, long term or both blended with any stage of degenerative dementia symptoms is a land of words without frontiers.
Our story is Multiple Sclerosis specific so there is an additional layer of standard MS obstacles to speech and voice - slurring, scanning / pausing, volume control, and emotional lability plus pseudobulbar affect. Speech & Voice Multiple Sclerosis
Patti, with challenged short term memory, suddenly sees something out the window and not only may the conversation abruptly change directions but change ‘when’ we are talking about as her memory may shift the conversation from now to then.
MS is all about short circuiting so it is also probable you could find yourself carrying on a seemingly rational lucid conversation with Patti and beginning to believe this entry is my hallucination. Weather is more predictable.
While professionals hopefully are trained for such communication, family and friends face not only obstacles but their own emotions. With a blink of an eye and a change in time, you may not exist. We all ‘look for’ and ‘need’ feedback or response in conversation. When we do not receive it - does it mean it is not there?
I majored in speech communication in college and all the “source => message => channel => receiver” models in the world are little preparation for communication without rules.
45 years ago my Dad held my legs while I leaned down backwards between the battlements of
to kiss the Blarney Stone. Today, I know that the ‘gift of gab’ still means you have to bend over backwards if you care to make it work. Blarney Castle
Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer
web site: caregivinglyyours.com
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