Expat stress can make your speech go funny

Did you know that stress can affect your speech? Neither did I, until today.

I’ve been rather poorly recently and the doctors can’t figure it out. My tongue is swollen, my mouth is full of ulcers and I get the shakes now and again. At night time it gets so bad that I wake up to little pools of blood on my pillow.

I can’t talk properly as it’s so painful and even booking appointments has become tricky. ‘Hello, yeth I’d like to thee a doctor. My mouth ith very thore…’ For today’s check up, I wrote a note and handed it to the reception with ‘poorly mouth – can’t talk’  underlined at the top.

On my last visit one doctor called another in to have a look. ‘Ummmm….. ahhh… I don’t know…interesting… Here’s a prescription for stronger pain killers’. After a couple of weeks of this they’re still clueless, so they’re running more tests. Until they’re sure, I can’t have any vaccines.

The only amusement has been for my child who thinks I sound funny.

Now desperate, I went to see my dentist. The answer is more simple and yet more complicated.

It turns out I’m pressing my tongue against my teeth while I sleep and then biting down. It’s a common response to stress, but I’ve been taking it a little too far. Moving to Chile while looking after two preschoolers has taken its toll without me even realising.

My dentist apologised, ‘I’m sorry, but I’m afraid the only way you can get this to stop is to chill out’. 

‘I didn’t think I wath tho threthed’, I replied.

The dentist looked puzzled so I wrote it down: ‘s-t-r-e-s-s-e-d’.

So Expaters, with the buzz of Christmas still to come, do take time out for yourself. Being threthed really ithn’t tho funny.

 

Leave a Reply