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Thread: Speech

  1. #1
    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    Default Speech

    This problem seems trivial compared to what others are putting up with here but I was wondering what kind of speech problems people have--or maybe you don't have any? And how do you deal with them?

    I hardly ever say anything in a meeting of any kind. I never have been one to say much in meetings but before MS I was far more inclined to speak up now and then.

    I've been zipping my lip for many years just because it's so difficult to say anything. Others find it easy. I should find it easy since I used to teach. Getting up in front of a class filled with 40 or more people who may not have wanted very much to be there was routine for me.

    This building I live in has monthly resident meetings and I almost always turn up at them. I say nothing unless I exchange a few words with a neighbor before or after the meeting. But the other day the issue was so important that I felt I had to speak up because nobody else was.

    For the first time in nearly 10 years I tried to say something at that meeting. I was surprised at how difficult it was to get the words out. I was speaking so slowly that I could almost feel people getting impatient.

    Not only would my mouth not form the words--I had trouble thinking of the words even though they were ordinary words.

    It will be a long time before I speak up in any meeting again. I'm often OK chatting with people informally, particularly if it's one-to-one, but even then I've had problems.

    There seem to be a couple of things going on--the mouth muscles needed to speak are sluggish, and the mental "equipment" needed to find the words fast enough is sluggish...
    i don't trip--I do random gravity checks.

    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
    Member of this MS board since 2001.

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  3. #2
    Distinguished Community Member Howie's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    You know, you and I talked on the phone recently, and you sounded just fine. Maybe it's just being nervous speaking in front of a crowd, even though you were a teacher in the past.
    Evolution spans the Universe.

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  5. #3
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    I think what your describing is nervousness, being out of practice talking, and MS related. I have Cerebral Palsy and when I tried to speak up in college I would stutter or slur because of my spasticity. You seem to be describing something like dysarthria. This is an article on Dysarthria in MS https://www.nationalmssociety.org/Na...Dysarthria.pdf I know a professor that still stutters after 50 years and he said the best thing to do is keep talking.
    Last edited by funnylegs4; 05-10-2019 at 12:00 PM.
    Mild Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy and bad proprioception.
    My website for my original short films! http://cripvideoproductions.com/astrokeofendurance.php

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  7. #4
    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    Thanks! Some of it probably was nervousness because I can recall my first times in front of a class as a teacher and how scared I was.

    There may be no way to overcome stagefright entirely, I now know. Some trained actors never have get over it though there are ways of dealing with it.

    But this experience the other day wasn't stagefright alone. I know it wasn't because of the many times I've tried to sing here at home with nobody to hear me (and therefore no stagefright). I'm no longer able to carry a tune, and my voice sounds terrible.

    It wobbles and goes off, sounding reedy, like someone who doesn't know the first thing about singing--even though I sang in quite a number of fairly good choirs and choruses. We put on performances, even made a record. I wasn't a soloist--not that good and certainly not that strong a voice--but I had to try out just to be in these groups.

    Having had quite a lot of dental work over the years probably doesn't help but my vocal cords or the muscles involved in speaking or singing aren't doing their job right either.

    I'd be a disgrace to the several very excellent conductors I sang under--people who taught about proper breathing and articulation, all about how to produce sound. I learned a lot and I still remember it but can't apply it because my body isn't up to it.

    I hope my speech problems don't get worse in any big hurry but I guess we all hope that with every new MS problem that hits.
    i don't trip--I do random gravity checks.

    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
    Member of this MS board since 2001.

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  9. #5
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    Can you try speech therapy? Would a singing or public speaking class help? I can't carry tunes either. No breath control from CP. My Spanish sounds like nails on a chalk board too.
    Last edited by funnylegs4; 05-10-2019 at 02:08 PM.
    Mild Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy and bad proprioception.
    My website for my original short films! http://cripvideoproductions.com/astrokeofendurance.php

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  11. #6
    Distinguished Community Member Lazarus's Avatar
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    I have had many speech problems with my MS.
    My speech can be so halting, so slow, so interrupted with empty space that this issue more than any other got me instant acceptance of my disability filing. (I too was a teacher). Even now, when I try to speak at my book club, the words bunch up in my brain and I can not order them correctly.
    When I want to talk seriously I often close my eyes. Try this. It helps a lot. My neurologist explained to me what I was doing.

    When I am talking I often trip over the air I am breathing. To me it seems as if I am exhaling a small puff of air. It interrupts sentences and thoughts.

    There is probably more but I can not remember at the moment.
    Linda~~~~

    Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says:"Oh Crap, She's up!"

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  13. #7
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    It is one of the main reasons I gave up the book club. Other than that I sometime can do good and other times I cannot remember the words - at least fast enough.
    Virginia

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  15. #8
    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    Guess some of us have "processing speed" problems. It takes a while for me to understand what a person has actually said sometimes. I think I've understood and then it occurs to me that maybe that's what I think was said or meant, and not what was really said or meant. By the time I put this together in a way where I can think of an answer, it's usually much too late, and the conversation has moved on--or the person has moved on.

    That's one kind of speech problem, and another seems to be the dysarthria situation. Funnylegs posted a link to some very helpful information about dysarthria.

    Linda, I'll try closing my eyes. That might be fairly close to what I'm already doing. I find it hard to look right at someone when I'm talking to that person. It's almost as if my eyes are already closed (but they aren't). Actually closing them might help. It would cut out distracting influences and make me focus on what I'm trying to say. It would be worth the effort just to have the satisfaction of not goofing up in yet another interaction with someone.
    i don't trip--I do random gravity checks.

    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
    Member of this MS board since 2001.

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  17. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by agate View Post
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    Guess some of us have "processing speed" problems. It takes a while for me to understand what a person has actually said sometimes. I think I've understood and then it occurs to me that maybe that's what I think was said or meant, and not what was really said or meant. By the time I put this together in a way where I can think of an answer, it's usually much too late, and the conversation has moved on--or the person has moved on.

    That's one kind of speech problem, and another seems to be the dysarthria situation. Funnylegs posted a link to some very helpful information about dysarthria.

    Linda, I'll try closing my eyes. That might be fairly close to what I'm already doing. I find it hard to look right at someone when I'm talking to that person. It's almost as if my eyes are already closed (but they aren't). Actually closing them might help. It would cut out distracting influences and make me focus on what I'm trying to say. It would be worth the effort just to have the satisfaction of not goofing up in yet another interaction with someone.
    What your describing about not being sure if people said a particular thing sounds like what happens to me when I try to understand other languages and answer back in languages other than English because I'm always second guessing my translations. It might be a psychological for both of us to some degree. There's neurologic reasons for "speed processing" problems too. I think this podcast https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcas...r/id1208357373 and this youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwY...3qsNZmhvV4waiQ mention it if I remember correctly. I can't look people in the eye either. I have involuntary eye movements and get nervous anyway.
    Mild Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy and bad proprioception.
    My website for my original short films! http://cripvideoproductions.com/astrokeofendurance.php

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  19. #10
    Distinguished Community Member Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
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    ((((((Hugs to All)))))) ~

    I agree with funnylegs4 that consultation with a Speech Therapist might be beneficial to you, agate, Virginia, and Lazarus, and to anyone, with similar concerns. Perhaps your PCP could refer to you for Speech Therapy, and hopefully it would be covered by Medicare.

    Meanwhile, I just searched YouTube for speech therapy exercises, and here's the beginning of what I found:

    https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...for+dysarthria

    I haven't watched any of the videos, so I can't critique them. But, there may be some useful information there for exercises, which might be helpful. We exercise our arms and legs. We probably need to exercise our vocal chords and the part of our brain, which sends messages to speak.

    Sending healing energy to all ~

    Love & Light,



    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 49, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. Now, they watch over Jim and me.

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