Invest in ME Conference 12: First Class in Every Way
OverTheHills wraps up our series of articles on this year's 12th Invest in ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London with some reflections on her experience as a patient attending the conference for the first time.
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Slurred speech/dysarthria

Discussion in 'Neurological/Neuro-sensory' started by Helencz, Aug 17, 2015.

  1. Helencz

    Helencz

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    Does anyone have a persistent problem (onset as an adult some time after you got really sick) with slurred speech (aka dysarthria)? I have a lot of confirmed immune & autonomic issues, too numerous to list.
     
  2. lansbergen

    lansbergen Senior Member

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    Yes. Much better now but still get it sometimes.
     
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  3. AndyPandy

    AndyPandy Making the most of it

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    Quite bad in the first year or so but much better now.
     
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  4. Hutan

    Hutan Senior Member

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    Yes, same for me
     
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  5. aquariusgirl

    aquariusgirl Senior Member

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    ?what causes it? and did you also suffer from hoarseness?
     
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  6. Helencz

    Helencz

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    Yes, I get hoarseness. I've had Sjögren's syndrome since childhood but I didn't have slurred speech until a few years after my pots dx, which deteriorated beyond pots. Now i learned I have the mold DNA, and all kinds of immune makers.. But there's more. I think this low VEGF is causing a lot of my problems but it's hard to find medical care.
     
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  7. Helencz

    Helencz

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    What made it better?
     
  8. MikeV

    MikeV

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    YES!!! I thought I was the only one. It plagues me toward nightfall on sick days. I wake in the morning: my voice is loud and my diction is sharp. Toward evening, esp. on a bad/fatigue/crash-y day people start asking me to repeat myself; indeed, I feel like I am talking through a mouth full of marbles... It feels like my tongue has grown too big... then in the morning I am back to normal
     
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  9. rosie26

    rosie26 Senior Member

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    I have had this for about 25 years and it got worse as the illness progressed. I have to put a lot of effort sometimes in to speaking as clearly as I can. Before I got really sick with ME I wondered whether I had some kind of lazy tongue or something. Also, it reminds me of the feeling I get in my hands, lack of dexterity. I often have thought that I wouldn't be good at playing the piano because of that.
     
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  10. Helencz

    Helencz

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    My speech is almost always slurred. The more horse I am, the clearer it is. I can sing actually, but many cant understand me on the phone. I think it used to be a bit worse. But speech therapy has not been helpful. I mean it's really embarrassing & ppl treat me like I'm stupid but I'm far from stupid, without disclosing more personal stuff abt me, I'm quite sure. It seems my extreme np fluctuations affect the articulation. I used to have perfect diction. I know the speech itself won't kill me but I'm concerned what's causing it & why it just won't get better. I have some slurred speech all the time. It started with my mom noticing I was pronouncing some words wrong. I thought she just didn't realize I moved away for my job & didn't have her accent. But she was right & it got worse & worse along with my facial muscles not expressive and my big eyes droopy and one sometime stuck shut all day! So I also started having some movement issues. Ok a bunch of stuff was going wrong & I'd have to go through mounds of records & my calendars & figure out if I could pinpoint what changed, if anything. It does get worse on somedays but it's never normal except I've had a few times where it was almost normal for several hours. Any clues? I mean don't your Drs notice? What do they say?
     
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  11. daisybell

    daisybell Senior Member

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    The coordination and precision needed for clear speech and voice are huge.... Plus you need good breath support and control. Exhausted muscles do not make for good clarity and voice quality!
    Also, any dryness will exacerbate issues with voice...
    (Writing with my speech therapist hat on!)

    My top tips are
    1. Slow rate of speech
    2. Short phrases/sentences with plenty of pauses for breath
    3. Reduce background noise to a minimum and sit close to the person you are speaking with.
    4. Have a glass of water to hand for regular sips
     
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  12. Helencz

    Helencz

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    What do your Drs say? Can ppl understand u on the phone? Do u ever have normal speech? Mine is an articulation problem. It's not like a word retrieval issue. Is yours the same? If u want to tell me more abt your case, u can message me if ur not comfortable sharing here. As I said I know it won't kill me itself, but I've been told it's a bad sign along with my other issues, but i just think they haven't gotten to the bottom of this and have been treating symptoms. It's impossible to get a dr to listen when ur speech is bad & u have a systemic problem with a lot of issues. I don't know what to do at this point. They listened before when I had normal speech and I was someone important like they are...
     
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  13. Helencz

    Helencz

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    Thx, I get all that. I can sing, but not speak clearly. It's not my lungs, although I am having a lung issue for the first time right now. I've had speech therapy 4 times. I dont want to just accept it. I have my little "speech" (a sensitive word!) I give ppl abt my speech and how to understand me. I drink tons of water & get hydration. I am trained to breath from singing. It's not abt strategies- it's abt the cause. I want to know if ppl have articulation problems and if any Drs have told them why. I think it's related to BP fluctuations (or that makes it worse) & my facial muscles. But why? A brain mri showed I have a tiny lesion on my pons that the Drs just watch & think I was maybe born with & has nothing to do with all this, but I had an mri before I got sick and didn't have it. Ok sorry for typos. It's hard to see well & im in my window when I can type with my index finger.
     
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  14. Helencz

    Helencz

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    Ps thx everyone. Pls come back.
     
  15. Helencz

    Helencz

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    What made it better?
     
  16. Strawberry

    Strawberry Senior Member

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    I always felt my slurred speech was a symptom of exhaustion. I am just too exhausted to be able to make my facial muscles move. Now that my daughter is an adult and I am not wearing myself to the bone driving her to school functions I don't get it as bad. It isn't gone, but I no longer sound like I'm drunk at work. Although facial expressions are still very limited?
     
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  17. daisybell

    daisybell Senior Member

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    @Helencz Have the doctors ruled out other possible causes for your speech problems? For example, have they tested you for myasthenia gravis?
     
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  18. rosie26

    rosie26 Senior Member

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    I never saw a doctor about it. I think it was one of the very early signs of ME that I experienced even before mild ME kicked in 1994/95. I experience it as a kind of exhaustion and it restricts me from talking a lot. Some days I can talk reasonably fine and then the exhaustion sets in and I have to rest the voice. I have both articulation and word retrieval issues.

    Are you talking a lot during the day? Are you resting enough?
     
  19. Hutan

    Hutan Senior Member

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    Mostly time I think. The pattern of my illness, and that of my two children, was increasing severity for the first 6 months then a gradual improvement for the next 6 months, then an undulating pattern around a plateau. So, the slurred speech was worst when all of the symptoms were worst.

    Yes, I think extreme exhaustion is the main cause of the slurred speech. I think my brain just can't work fast enough to do all that it needs to sometimes. Sleep did and does still seem to resolve that specific problem of slurred speech. It seemed to occur together with an inability to follow a sustained conversation and sometimes, like rosie, an inability to find the right word.

    I have given up work, which involved a lot of international travel and now my daughter is not at home to care for, so even the household duties have reduced. It is difficult to say if things have improved over time due to the natural progress of the illness or a reduction in activity. I think it has been a bit of both.

    Although the slurred speech has improved, I continue to have problems with blurred vision which doesn't seem to be responsive to correction with sleep.
     
  20. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    For a brief period of time, I began to have trouble with my speech. I believe it was about the same time I was having trouble with my handwriting. The muscles in both my mouth and my hand felt incredibly weak at that time. If I remember correctly, both of these got better after I had a root-canaled tooth extracted.
    FWIW, hoarseness is a symptom of Hashimoto's Disease and/or hypothyroidism.
     

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