Make Room For The Stuttering

Medical Students and Rock Stars

Posted on: March 7, 2009

Yesterday, I ran into a stuttering friend at an unlikely place -the hospital waiting room. We had not seen each other for a while, but he recognized me immediately, even though I was half asleep in a twisted position on this very uncomfortable chair. He came right up to me, startled me out of my stupor, and we began catching up.

He had been attending the same support group as I do, but we haven’t seen him lately. He’s a medical student, and has been busy interviewing for residencies for next year. He tells me he couldn’t swing both at same time, as he is traveling for the interviews. He had some difficulties with his speech as we chatted – he has major blocks and gets very frustrated, kind of rolls his eyes while waiting for the block to pass, but keeps a great big smile at same time too. Pretty cool.

We both stuttered while chatting – in a crowded waiting room. I didn’t care, and he didn’t seem to either. He seemed really annoyed with blocking for so long, but I, on the other hand, maintained eye contact for what seemed an eternity. I was sort of gazing up at him, expectantly, just patiently waiting. Not when I say gazing, that is correct. He was standing and is tall. I was still sitting in the cramped little chair, and my foot had fallen asleep. So no way was I getting up. Plus, I didn’t want to risk losing my seat.

It was really nice catching up with him. He is a young man, full of potential, going into a demanding career field, and believes in him self. He knows he is going to hit bumps along the way(he used to share that in group), but he’s going for what he wants. He has switched specialities – will now go into pediatrics. How awesome is that. His young patients will have a super role model in their doctor. Whether he chooses to be a role model or not, he will be one for sure. He will be a friendly, competent, compassionate doctor of little people who also happens to stutter.

I am glad we ran into each other. We had a real conversation, and neither of us held back with our stuttering. I found it particularly cute when I asked him, “Whwh whwh-when will you be back to group”, and he had this mischievous twinkle in his eye, as he patiently waited for me. It was like he was saying, “Ah good, your turn now”.

Its good to be ourselves when we meet by chance out and about. In a crowded waiting room, years ago, I might have not had this conversation with the future doctor. I might have pretended to be asleep, or tried to avoid certain words and wouldn’t have said what I wanted. I don’t do that anymore. That’s a good feeling.

I also want to comment on some new friends I am meeting on Twitter. One has introduced me to some of his friends as Rock Star PWS. Now, is that cool or what? I rather like it. Its like I am being referred to as being cool. Never in my wildest dreams during my covert years would I have thought that someone would hang that moniker on me and I would like it. Maybe one day they’ll let me have one of those “over 40” guest audition spots on American Idol!

Yay for young doctors who stutter. Yay for us who are not afraid to stutter publicly. Yay for rock stars. Yay for friends.

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2 Responses to "Medical Students and Rock Stars"

That was a very cool story. Great to hear about your friend and yourself being open about your stuttering, though waiting for your block to take it’s course can be annoying at times 🙂

Thanks for reading and sharing that comment. I think its important to share with each other. Thats how we get through this thing called life.

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© Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering, 2009 - 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Same protection applies to the podcasts linked to this blog, "Women Who Stutter: Our Stories" and "He Stutters: She Asks Him." Please give credit to owner/author Pamela A Mertz 2017.