I stuttered as a child because of a high fever I had from what we would call now “serum sickness”. My parents did not have me vaccinated as my sister had a reaction to one vaccine and not even sure what effected her. So when I fell when I was four and had to have some stiches on my chin, they gave me Horse Serum Anti-Toxin for Tetanus. During the day, I generally felt fine, but had raging fevers at night time. Our thermometers went to the top, is all my mother told me which meant to 106+ degrees. So I had brain damage from it which is likely why the stuttering began. The doctors had no idea what was wrong with me until my mother met another mother whose son was sick like me and learned that it was Serum Sickness. The doctors did have a shot for an antidote to stop the fevers. But this did not repair the damage to my brain which the high fevers had caused.
I am not retarded, but my body had damage to the hypothalamus which controls body temperature. My body thought I was always overheated and I’d be sweaty at 40 degrees Fahrenheit. So I stuttered and was made fun of not only for the stuttering but for the sweating which I could not help. Fortunately I met a wonderful man and have been married to him since I was 22. He found there was someone to love in me, when others could not see it. Being with him, I’ve calmed down a lot as the sweating was provoked by anxiety and after having children, the sweats were not as frequent due to hormone changes after pregnancy. Occasionally I still get them. I think from the fevers, it is possible that my brain has mild seizures and it provokes breaking out in sweat, I’ve also passed out sometimes from bad sweats but due to serious dehydration, which I recognize, I keep water with me and often something salty to eat. As the worst of menopause is over, (I hope), I am safe to drive again, though I prefer no to.
The emotional comfort I gain from knitting is an advantage to calm and center myself also. Post menopause means now I sweat at night so it isn’t as humiliating. I am not agoraphobic, but may as well be. I’ve had more reason to avoid the public than many people. I just consider every one I meet now, as they are my friend and don’t get nervous anymore over about anything. I have found how to live in the peace that passes understanding. And take my knitting with me wherever I go, okay, my crocheting on occasion.
Stuttering is hard to fix as if you hear yourself stuttering, it makes you nervous and the more nervous it makes you, the more you stutter. I did not stutter at home as I could knit. I did stutter in school. I found singing especially Christian hymns and finding God’s peace helped me recover. I have not stuttered since I was 18. But from 4 to 18 I stuttered. It took about a year to be fully in remission. So I know this is off-topic, but you may tell those you help in your work, about my story and that they should not give up hope.
So I admire what you do. I also have a slight lisp, from the way my teeth are formed so I am very clear to use good pronunciation and few find that I am hard to understand. This I learned from speech therapy and singing but speech therapy did not cure my stuttering. I found peace which no one can describe and know that I am loved now.
Whatever bolters the feeling of wellness, is good for people as a whole person. And that is rare to be treated like that, we are not a disease but a person who wants to be whole. I tell Kaiser, I am not a number, my name is “Sally”, what’s yours? No one finds that offensive and they do get what I mean.
No matter if a person lisps or stutters or has English as a second language, communication is important. Finding acceptance by others is a form of love.
I have found that when I recovered myself enough to speak fluently, I have told some people who are verbally cruel, that I suffered from stuttering, but never suffered from getting pleasure out of being cruel to others. That divides and harms people far more than if I get stuck on one word. I don’t tell anyone that anymore, as who am I to judge others? That I should have leftover frustrations, is human. I can’t help to make a difference when I have a chip on my shoulder.
At my age, sometimes I have to think twice to find a word which just escapes me for a moment, so I have mild aphasia, often due more to lack of sleep. My dad also stuttered but his case and mine were so different, his father was incredibly abusive. My parents were very loving people. I always took the time to listen to my dad and because of his knowing that I would be patient, his stuttering mostly disappeared in my company. I took care of my father in late life when he developed Alzheimer’s Disease. I was very attached to him. He was a very loving and kind person.
He loved Jesus and didn’t mind telling anyone. But he loved others just as much. I hope with the things I’ve learned about diet, to avoid Alzheimer’s but also by being as much of a human being as I can every day.
This may be off topic, but job one for each one of us, is to be a better human being and to be of help to others. Whatever motivates this positive behavior helps us all.
The human brain has tremendous capacity to rewire itself, if we find what works for us and don’t forget to participate in what activities help us so we stay well, then we will be well. So I knit daily and play the piano daily and try to help others also, daily.