Recently I've had a round of patient's who for various reasons have difficulty communicating. They seem to be understanding just fine, but either the words they speak come out slurred and mostly uninteligble, or their voice is so soft that it makes it very difficult to hear, or they seem to understand, but are always answering the question asked 5 questions ago. In the past I have also had patient's who could speak just fine, but did not seem to understand anything that was being said to them.
I always feel so bad for these patients, whichever predicament. How disheartening to know exactly what is going on around you, but not be able to voice your needs or wants, or even just carry on a simple conversation with someone you love. I remember a patient I had in San Antonio several years ago who could only get out maybe 5 words, and those only sporadically. She had the kindest eyes, and when I would talk to her, I could tell by her gaze that she was an amazing listener. Yet, often her eyes would well up with tears as she would try unsuccessfully to communicate in some way. Her family let me know that she loved to talk. She was the friend and family member that everyone would call when they wanted a listening ear. How heart breaking for her to have lost her speech.
That feeling that I am not being understood is probably one of the most frustrating, even worse, if I feel like I am not being heard at all. Maybe that is part of why I feel so bad for the patient's with communication issues. I remember one time in my life, a few weeks after having my 2nd son, I was at home and feeling very alone. Everyone I tried to call was not answering or not home. I so desperately wanted to talk to someone and be heard. In tears I said a prayer and told Heavenly Father how I just wanted someone to talk to, and immediately heard the response "Why not me?" What a great message. No matter how unheard, alone, or misunderstood we feel, there is always someone out there who hears us, listens to us, and ever walks with us, whether we ackowledge him or not.