Since the care worker came on Sunday morning making me panic, I’ve been unable to speak (I regained it for a little bit during the early hours of Monday morning, but lost it again a few hours later when I struggled to wake Johan up to help me with various things). To make things more complicated, my hands are being silly so I’m not able to type as accurately as normal on my tablet, so it’s taking me a lot longer to say things using it than is normal for me (which is why I’m using the laptop to type this, as my touch typing still seems to be working). I’m also still panicking whenever I’m awake for a care call as I don’t know when or who it’ll be. This is not a good combination.
When I’m talking to Johan I’m using a lot of body language to communicate: nodding, shaking my head, shrugging my shoulders, using fingers for numbers or to select from options when Johan forgets to ask me a closed question. It’s definitely the fastest way to communicate at the moment. I also use a lot of gestures and made up signs to help express what I want, along with exaggerated facial expressions (Johan is more able to read mine than most people, but making them bigger means he’s unlikely to miss them or misinterpret them). We’re able to hold entire conversations this way, which is great when I’m not feeling up to using my tablet (such as when I’m very tired).
It’s less good when I need to communicate with someone else. The district nurse came this morning and Johan had to answer most of the questions for me, as it was taking me a very long time to type responses. That’s fine when he knows the answer (and to be fair he knows most of them) but he’s only human and he sometimes forgets important points or I need to bring up something else. I was often saying something as a response to a topic that ended a couple of minutes before, which made me feel awkward. It wasn’t horrendous, but it would have been a lot easier if I’d been able to speak at the time. The nurse was also using that patronising voice I hate, like I was a young child. I’ve noticed it’s used a lot more often when I can’t speak than when I can.
For the care workers it’s harder. Not only do I have to communicate, but I also have to cope with someone being in my personal space and touching me. Johan finds it very hard to cope with the calls and normally hides in his room, but I need him to interpret for me so he has to stay in here (I don’t get the choice of hiding if I want anything done). Yesterday morning he had his day service and the care worker was running so late we had to cancel the call as he needed to leave and there was no way I’d be able to communicate with them when they got here. I was asleep yesterday evening and this morning the care worker was incredibly loud, so I immediately panicked so wasn’t able to have anything done. You’d think that they’d know not to come into someone’s home yelling, but apparently not.
I don’t really know a solution. I can’t use my laptop all the time as it limits me to being on my back and eventually the weight becomes too much. I’m also yet to find a text to speech communication app that works with Chrome OS. I’ll still use the app on my tablet, but I’m constantly mistapping so I can’t set it to automatically speak when I select a button as I keep hitting the wrong one (or hitting them when I’m wanting to type something new). Yesterday one of the suggestions was dysmenorrhea when I was trying to type doing for an example of how bad my typing on there is right now.
In general I’m not coping very well right now. Very anxious, panicky and getting twisted thoughts that aren’t true but feel like they are. My mood has also plummeted and even penguins aren’t cheering me up. Johan is hoping this is temporary, maybe because I’m due a period, and I’m kinda hoping the same. It might be just down to the care situation though, in which case I’ll hopefully feel better once that’s sorted. I’m also in desperate need of sleep because I can’t manage at night because of the paranoia (if I close my eyes my brain makes me think someone is breaking in) and stuff happens during the day to wake me up. That’s probably also not helping. Physically I’m also doing worse than I have for a while, but that’s probably because of everything else. I hope things get sorted soon.