Monday, July 28, 2008

Voicing A New Concern

One of the biggest differences I've noticed in Keith since his PD diagnosis has been that his voice has changed considerably. More specifically, it's his voice volume that has seen the most change. He speaks much softer now and tries to speak as if you are standing right next to him, even if you are in another room. This is one of two PD related issues (I'll blog about the other one next) that seems to affect us the most. It's gotten really bad lately. It may be that I deal with this more than others because of the noise volume in our house. We've so many kids here all the time that it gets pretty loud. We need to find a way to deal with it more effectively.

The other day I was sitting here on the computer. Keith and I were having a conversation and he turned away from me to leave the room. He was still talking as he was walking away. I couldn't hear him, so I said, "What?" He repeated what he had said, still turned away from me, still walking away. I got a little irritated. "WHAT?!" I said, a bit more loudly. Then he got irritated. He stopped, turned to me, and practically yelled what he wanted to say. I felt bad and apoligized. Then I felt even worse when he said that he "can't help it!" to which I replied, "I know you can't help it. But you KNOW you have PD. You KNOW your voice has changed. You KNOW I can't hear you. If I ask you to repeat yourself or say 'what' that means you need to make a point to make sure I can hear you. If you keep your back turned and keep walking away, how am I supposed to hear anything you say?" "Well, it already feels like I'm yelling everything I say," he said.

Hmm . . . . it feels like he's yelling already. That alone speaks volumes. What does that say about how the disease has progressed in the verbal sense if he feels like almost every time he talks, he's yelling? Especially when I (and most everyone else) can barely hear him?

There are many times when Keith is in the kitchen talking and I am in the other room. I hear him speaking though I can't actually hear well enough to make out what he's saying. Sometimes I have to ask him several times to repeat himself. That really frustrates him. He hates it when I do that, but what else can I do? This is a difficult one for me. I am so busy that at times I know I am a bit harsh. I know I need to slow down and speak more calmly. I think "Good grief! With all these kids here all the time, how can you NOT yell everything anyway??" I have to remind myself that his voice has changed - is changing - because he has PD, which makes me feel even worse, because how can I "forget" that he has PD, when he never can?

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