I lost my speech in 2016. I felt pains, then it escalated and I went to a doctor who referred me to the hospital, which admitted me. When I was discharged, I realised that I could no longer speak, I tried to talk but no sound came out. I could speak before I got sick, so I couldn’t understand what happened.
I don’t know the name of my condition or what triggered it. I am not classified as a disabled person. The challenge I get is when I apply for jobs and say my disability is speech, I must attach a medical certificate which I don’t have. I didn’t even learn sign language, I had the hope that I would regain my speech.
The people who knew me before I lost my speech ask many questions about my condition and I don’t have answers, because no doctor has ever explained anything.
I am more comfortable meeting new people because I know they won’t ask many questions, I just tell them what I want to say and they never ask more questions. I wasn’t born with this condition so I lie and say I was involved in a car accident and that’s how I lost my speech. I find that statement very short and simple to avoid replying to questions I can’t answer.
I had to deal with losing my speech because it wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon, it is still my current condition today.
I sent an email to the Dean Faculty at my school requesting to come back to register again because I couldn’t write exams due to me being hospitalised.
I received an email telling me come back to school and register. I was overwhelmed that the school gave me another chance. The situation I was and still am in doesn’t mean any rejection for me. I have dealt with challenges I never knew existed. I found confidence in myself, yes, it was hard but with God it was all doable.
Some students and lectures were supportive beyond measure while I was still studying. I couldn’t communicate without typing out what I wanted to say but they were patient with me. Plus, I had to make sure that my phone was charged because that was the easiest way to type to them what I wanted to say.
I can’t begin to imagine the generosity and kindness I used to get from them. I passed all my subjects then I graduated for the Baccalaureus Technologiae: Information Technology (Business Applications). That was my ‘aha’ moment.
I would like to say the situation made me stronger because I didn’t let it break me. The challenge I am dealing with every day is not what most people think. They can guess and assume but I know what is more painful than what I’m dealing with.
This condition has taught me that it is not my challenge alone but other people also have to deal with me. Through it all I learnt not to depend on anyone to avoid disappointments.
I’ve learned to never judge a person because I don’t know the challenges they are going through every day. I had no one to share my story with so I feel like now someone will read and try to understand in their own way. Time heals every pain. I don’t expect anyone to believe that because every individual is different and we all have our own story to tell.
Tell us: what did you learn from this story?