How do we communicate?

It’s interesting.

The disruption in Gordon’s thinking and speaking is for me, the most mysterious.  How is it that one minute, he is speaking in (mostly) full sentences and the next, he is looking at me with his mouth open and no words are coming out?  If this were happening to me, I doubt I would risk speaking much at all.

Not Gordon.  Every day he goes into his office and tries to make phone calls–cold calls to total strangers no less!!  He has a script that helps him direct communication to email rather than the phone, which is good.  However, now and then he still hits a block in speaking on the phone.  This is when he calls me into his office, points to the phone, and expects me to somehow know who he is talking to and what he is trying to say.  He fully expects me to walk in and seamlessly pick up the conversation where he left off.

While I appreciate his faith in my abilities, not once has this experience been seamless in any way.  The awkward silence while I try to figure out what is going on is evident to the poor person on the other end of the line.  We fumble the next few moments but eventually get the conversation back on track.

Does this happen every day?  Nope.  In fact, it is happening less and less.

Is it frustrating?  Yup!

Does it stop Gordon from making phone calls every day?  Not a chance!

All parts of recovery are a team sport, even communicating.  I am so thankful to have a teammate who is willing to keep training.

Jill Viggiano

Was I ok?


Jill spoke to Speech Pathology students and faculty at Pacific University Wednesday night.

Usually, we give the speeches as a service to those who want to further their careers in helping those who have trouble communicating.   We feel this is a good service to let them know that what they do matters.

What made this audience so special?  The questions they asked Jill at the end of this presentation…and all the feedback they gave her.  There was a line of people, who purchased the book, and wanted Jill to sign it.  Some had family members who were struggling, some wanted a better understanding of their patients, and others just wanted to talk to us.   Jill had a great time and said it was one of her favorite audiences.

God Bless Pacific University and all that the students there are working to accomplish.  Seeing this made us happy to keep speaking and spreading the word.