Day 330! Today my new thing was to be non-verbal all day long by choice. When I went through having my tonsils out due to cancer and the follow up treatments there were several days I had no choice, but to be non-verbal, so I wanted to see how it was to have the choice.

It’s been a rough day, anyone who knows me, knows that when I get to know people I’m a talker. I told my brother I was going to do this and if asked if I could do it. I told him I left it at just non-verbal so I could still communicate with head shakes, finger snapping and note writing or the ever popular evil eye.

I refused to leave the house, because how would I communicate in the outside world with no one knowing what was going on. I got a shower and put on my pants, but then thought what’s the point? So I’ve been dressed from the waist down and in my robe. I watched an old cheesy movie and it was frustrating not to make my usual dumb comments about the acting or how something didn’t add up.

While I was in the bathroom after my shower I accidently flung the mirror out of my hand and it hit the door and then the floor hard. The Hubster came running, yelling through the door asking me if I was alright. I was snickering and had to open to door so he knew I was alright after he yelled the second time. And although at the moment I snickered it sent my mind back to 2004, I had been home a day from a week stay in the hospital following my first chemo and radiation treatments and I passed out in the bathroom, hitting my head on the tub. The Hubster was the one to run in and find me, when he heard me hit. I was rushed to the hospital by ambulance and spent a week in intensive care, followed by a week in a regular room. I almost died that first night. I couldn’t and wouldn’t ask the Hubster if that memory came back to him when he heard that loud bang this morning.

The Hubster went off to the store and I wrote him a note, that if he could find me something new to do, I could stop being non-verbal, because it was so frustrating for both of us. He came back and had found something, however by the time he finally made it home it was after 2pm and I figured if I lasted that long I could make it the rest of the day.

I’ve done well with both the Hubster and the 14 year old, keeping my mouth shut. I was impressed I could get the dog to do two of his tricks without giving a verbal command and only using hand signals. But I caught myself saying, “Shhhhh” when the dog started barking at a noise, protector that he is. But I realized quickly what I had done and shut my mouth. Later in the day I was patting the chair beside me, without thinking I said to the dog, “come on”. Slapped my hand to my mouth and thought to myself, “again?” Around 4:30pm the dog got me to say “shhh once more when he started barking at something in the field behind the house.

It’s 5:18, the Hubster is snoring in his recliner, the 14 year old is in his room, and the dog is sleeping in the chair with the Hubster. So I think I can make it the rest of the night, there won’t be any more difficulty not speaking. I won’t wish this day away, but it has certainly been one of the hardest new things to do.Go do something new, silence is not always golden. I am grateful my voice came back after treatment. I’m grateful for communication


About jlturtlerunner

12 plus Years Surviving Stage IV Oral Cancer. I have become a "Turtle" runner since that diagnosis, as a way of saying, "Take That Sucker!" After 12 years of being a Turtle Runner, I'm adding a new title, Turtle Rucker!

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