For the September 13, 2021 KGUA radio Morning Writer’s Hour hosted by Mark Gross and Peggy Berryhill in Gualala, California, we are asked to freewrite on Resilience: What’s Your Definition or Example of?”
What if your voice was silenced?
Imagine that you couldn’t be heard in a group.
Imagine that you couldn’t read to your grandchildren for more than five minutes.
Imagine being tired of not being heard so that you just choose to listen.
Imagine needing your spouse to finish your stories when speaking with others.
Imagine having to repeat everything.
Imagine playing pickleball or any sport and not being able to communicate with your partner or teammates.
Imagine people routinely saying to you when you speak, “What? Say that again.“
Imagine when talking on the phone your voice sounds crackly to others.
Imagine you can’t speak up enough to talk to a friend across a room?
Imagine your humorous quip at just the right moment can’t be heard.
It’s not hard to imagine that you might just want to stay home and hide.
But Hannah hasn’t.
Twenty years ago Hannah found herself unable to project her voice and had trouble speaking words that started with an H or an S. Diagnosed with spasmodic dysphonia, of which there is no cure, she has chosen to stay engaged with her world.
This voice disorder causes involuntary spasms in the muscles of her voice box or larynx, which in turn causes her voice to break and have a tight, strained or strangled sound.
She works through reading with her grandsons. She finishes more and more of her stories, albeit the shortened version. She makes the phone calls when she must, though she prefers texting and emailing.
Still she can’t be heard in a group and appreciates her friends and family who give her the time to tell what’s on her mind.
As her husband, I have been witness to twenty years of her resilience personified.
Words – 293