ME can mean – Difficulty speaking.
I can normally find analogies to explain most of my symptoms of ME, but I really struggle to find one to explain what happened to me this morning: losing my ability to speak.
It’s not the same as when you have a sore throat/virus and lose your voice. It goes much deeper than that. I can feel the sensation travel all the way down my neck, into my chest, and down into my diaphragm. I’m trying to find the words to describe the sensation, but I’m at a loss. I’ll try anyway (because let’s face it – I don’t do silence!)
It’s like a sort of tightness in my chest that gets tighter when I try to speak and leaves my diaphragm feeling sort of exhausted. It’s not painful – and I can still breathe. It also feels like my voice box is fatigued, but I don’t know how to explain what a fatigued voice box feels like. It’s just too weird. All I know is that the fatigue deep inside gets worse the harder I try to speak – and unless I put force into my voice box, all that comes out is a whisper.
I can get my voice to sound normal if I use force – but that really doesn’t make my diaphragm, chest and neck feel good. And if I keep forcing it, eventually I reach a point where I exhaust myself and just don’t have the strength to carry on.
This is a symptom that was there all the time when my ME was severe, and I could only speak for 5 minutes twice an hour – and not even every hour at that. I’m happy to say it hasn’t been much of an issue since then.
… Until this morning.
This morning I was having a well-overdue video catch up with a good friend in Canada. We’d only been chatting for about 10 mins when my voice started struggling. I tried pushing past it, but I couldn’t. I had to apologise to my friend and hang up. I spent the rest of the morning only able to speak to Pete and O in whispers.
Now it’s afternoon and I can speak again – but the ‘tight’ feeling is still there, which tells me if I do speak, I need to keep it brief.
… yeah right. If you’ve ever met me, read any of my blogs or watched any of my videos then you know: I don’t do brief! Thank God I don’t need a voice to write!
If you suffer with ME and it affects your speaking ability – how would you describe it?