I’m hungry for a vegetarian pizza for dinner. I order online. I am grateful that I don’t have to talk to a person to order my pizza. The printer spits out my order confirmation indicating that my pizza will be ready in 18 minutes.
In the past when I’ve tried to order pizza by phone, the pizza clerk didn't hear or understand me. She repeatedly shouted, “Ma’am, you’ll have to speak up” in a voice that is filled with frustration and annoyance. The pizza clerk hangs up the phone on me. I feel defeated and hungry, and with all that effort. there is still no pizza.
But several months later, when I ordered a pizza by phone, I had a very different experience. I was now able to speak, and my voice was frequently strong enough to be heard. I decide to drive over and pick up the pizza in person. I use my driving time to and from the pizza place to practice the voice and speech exercises from Mary Spremulli’s Voice Aerobics CD. It's a fun way to strengthen my voice and improve my speech skills, and it feels like I’m getting my own individual voice session with Mary. Also, it takes only 22 minutes to complete, and most of the places that I drive to take less than 22 minutes of driving.
I arrive at the pizza place and am greeted by a red-haired, twinkly-eyed man who looks vaguely familiar. He had a name badge that says “Hi, My name is Gary.” He’s the kind of guy who has 1000 friends on Facebook but has met only a few of them in person.
The mostly one-sided exchange went like this:
Pizza Guy: (looking surprised) “I haven’t seen you for a long time.”
Me I wanted to say but didn’t “I am confused that you are keeping track of me when I don’t even know you.”)
Pizza Guy: “Your husband said that you are going through a bit of a rough patch.” and that you have problems with your voice due to Parkinson’s and the surgeries.
Me: I considered saying, but didn’t “How do you know my husband?” but then I remembered that my husband picked up a pizza for our evening meal a couple of weeks ago, and Gary must have introduced himself.
If Gary was a true fiend and if the long line in the pizza place wasn’t filled with hungry customers waiting to be served, I might have expressed myself as follows:
“Rough patch.” That’s an understatement. I’ve had too many rough patches along my Parkinson’s path for the last 18 years and Deep Brain Stimulation for the past 9 years. The major rough patch was the loss of my voice and I am delighted to say, the recent recovery of a new and different voice (which I will write about in more detail in another article).
In the last couple of years, I’ve been bombarded by the illnesses and deaths of many family members and loved ones. I’ve been consumed by the sorrow of losing too many people, too soon and before their time. Too much tragedy for one family to endure.
Yes, I’ve lived through the previous rough patches. I’ve sanded some of the rough patches into smooth patches, and I’m beginning to heal and recover. Life is full of rough patches to conquer.