No more nightmares

The other day I took my daughter to the pediatrician for her annual checkup. (All is good). During the visit I asked about something specific, and about getting a referral. So before leaving, I was handed a paper, the referral. I asked the person at the front desk what I should do with it (I don’t do this often). So she said to call the number on the top, and they’d be able to help me. Seems reasonable.

The next day I called the number and asked about the specific service I needed. There was some confusion. And then some transferring. And then a bit more confusion. Then I was told that I should call the doctor’s office back, and that they should make the referral call. So I called the doctor’s office back, and … nobody picked up. So I left a message with all the details. After a bit, they called me back and explained to me how what I was told at the front desk was wrong, that they’d handle all the calls, and then call me once it’s all done.

Which made more sense.

Basically I made a bunch of phone calls that I didn’t have to. And I gave a bunch of information that I stuttered hard on that I didn’t have to. And I was a bit confused which I also didn’t have to be.

That evening I told the story to my wife, and she said, “they made you call which they didn’t know was your worst nightmare.”

And I thought about this for a while afterward. (My wife knows all about my stuttering and the journey I’ve been on. She knows my feelings toward the phone and its challenges. She’s been very supportive throughout.)

I thought about how a few years ago, yes, it was a nightmare. Calling on the phone was something I would completely avoid at all costs. I’d put things off due to having to call. I’d e-mail or text or whatever else.

When I had to make the calls to the doctor, I knew I’d stutter. Maybe on my name, my date of birth, whatever. I always do. But I’m finally well past the point that it bothers me. Or brings me down before and after the call. Right now it’s just an annoyance more than anything. I want to get on with the call, get on with giving information, and get back to doing what I want to do.

Years ago after calls like that I’d be mentally wiped out. I’d feel like garbage, and get really down on myself. I’d sink back into a hole and avoid the phone all over again. I’d let it cloud my thoughts for hours and hours.

These days I make calls when I need to make calls. I’ll stutter. I sure will. Sometimes I advertise it, sometimes I don’t.

But the nightmares are over.

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