slurred-speech

Privilege & the daily things we do

I try very hard not to use terms (words, phrases, and clauses) that have been historically used as slurs in everday usage that communities are daily reclaiming from bigots and public discourse. It’s important that I step aside, take a moment, examine my speech acts, and critically consider words I use to make arguments. First, those of us who are not reclaiming should be especially careful about pantomiming transgressive social practices when we have little more stake in them than illustrating a political position. We risk turning an important social struggle into a spectacle of struggle. Second, critical engagement with our thoughts and actions, including speech acts, publicly illustrates our intentions and political perspectives. We privileged people have nothing to claim. I know I receive regular deference for no good reason. People will recognize our solidarity through our actions and we can participate alongside each other. We should resist claiming struggles as our own. We are against the commodity form, utterly opposed to it, just as we oppose the wage system, property, police, and prisons.

Holy crap...

I just realized that if I do have myasthenia gravis, it might explain a lot of things.  Including…

When I was 19, I started having this problem where I’d get really weak sometimes I’d fall, lots of other things.  But the thing I’m remembering that I never connected to it at all.  Was that my speech would get so slurred that it was impossible for even close friends to understand it.  One of my friends said it was like I got “instant cerebral palsy” or something, from the way I sounded.  It was very severe.

And now that I don’t speak at all (for reasons unrelated to MG), I don’t notice whether my speech is going to be slurred or not.  So I totally forgot that was a symptom.  But for a couple years when I was still speaking part-time, I’d sometimes end up with speech so incomprehensible that friends would tell me to use my keyboard even when I could technically talk, because the keyboard voice was more understandable than my voice.  (Which given that it was old-school DECTalk, is saying something.)

I wish I remembered to tell my neurologist this stuff.  There’s other stuff I know I told my case manager to put on the list to tell him, that didn’t make it onto the list.  Like the right-sided drooling.  And the way my head tilts to one side.  And other stuff.

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