Most of you know, my job involves psychiatry and legal assessments for mental health commitment...I don't talk much about my work because, for the most part, what I do is shroud in HIPAA (Healthcare Information Act) and privacy laws.
But, one of the pieces of my job is to provide court testimony when needed...sometimes to defend my legal decisions, sometimes as an "expert" witness. This is a part of my job I LOATHE, so most often I try to avoid having to go to hearings whenever possible...and honestly, I fairly rarely ever have to BE in court to provide testimony...something I'm quite proud of (in other words, the majority of my legal decisions are upheld).
Tomorrow...Tuesday...is an unavoidable court day. I am my own witness on a case and will most likely be called in to testify. And, although I LOATHE having to go to hearings, it's really not that big of a deal once I get past the "swear to tell the whole truth so help you God" part. But at least they've finally gotten rid of the Bible on the stand!
The first part of court testimony involves raising the right hand and being sworn in...I wear my MS Band of Hope on my right wrist, which helps avoid confusion over which arm is my left and which is my right (believe me...it's happened before!). The second part of testimony involves answering questions under oath, usually from defense attorneys who are paid to try and make a fool out of me in attempt to set their client free...whether they NEED to be in the hospital or not.
Lately I've noticed when under stress, my word-finding difficulties exacerbate. I become a stuttering Porky Pig...kind of like this:
I don't really have any fancy tricks to avoid the brain drain that occurs in these stressful situations...I try to stay calm...I try to rehearse any specific dynamics or wording I might need to make my point. I try to get enough sleep so I can be as alert as possible. I laugh at myself and hope others laugh along and/or finish my sentences for me. But beyond those basic practices, MS and word-finding problems are my nemesis in my job.
Anybody ELSE have specific word-finding difficulties? What do YOU do to try to lessen the effect in your speech? Any words of wisdom?...