On Being Heard

First, a confession: Last week Ari and I were both sick.  We spent the whole day in bed while our mothers came in shifts to take care of the baby.  Vomiting, 102 fever… it was awful.  See how I described the illness in just a few words?  Unfortunately for Ari, I am never that succinct in the moment…  “I just feel like my stomach is cramping up, you know?” “Oh my god I’m so so hot. Ugh I’m so sweaty.” “You know when you’re about to throw up and all the saliva falls out of your mouth?” “I’m cold now.”  I’m not sure if it feels better to give the symptoms a name, or if I was just looking to commiserate.  Most likely, I’m ashamed to say, it’s that I just needed some validation.  Yep, validation from my equally sick husband that I was in fact suffering.

Second, an impression: A few weeks ago I decided to give Twitter a try.  I’d dabbled in the Twittersphere before, but never as more than a visitor or onlooker.  But now that I spend a large portion of my day with a baby on my boob and one hand free, it seemed like a good time to explore social media.  Turns out, I really like Twitter!  I know, welcome to 2009.  Top 3 favorite things about Twitter: Moments (quick pulse on hypercurrent events), Interacting with known entities (got help from Optimum and advice from a baby carrier company), and Hashtag games (fun!).  I am still warming up to the idea of posting random musings and opinions.  Are my ideas worthy of immortality?  Do I sound self-important?  But experimenting with self-expression is a good exercise at least.

Third, a discussion: I have a patient who has a progressive neurological disorder that affects his speech.  Every morning that I go to see him I ask how he is and his answer is always the same: “Wonderful”.  Whenever I tell him to use a louder voice, he insists his wife will tell him to stop yelling.  Despite his dysfluencies and difficult to understand speech, he purposefully mispronounces certain words to get a laugh.  All of this behind his masked facies.  Yesterday I asked him why he was having a particularly quiet day.  He reminded me of the degenerative nature of his disease and told me, “what you see is what you get.”

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