Make Room For The Stuttering

Giving Blood And Stuttering

Posted on: January 26, 2016

Interesting title, huh? What would giving blood have to do with stuttering?

Yesterday, I donated blood at a local blood drive. If you’ve never donated before, you might not be aware of how meticulous blood drive staff are about making absolutely sure they are identifying donated blood correctly. They ask you to state your full name at least 5 different times during the process. Usually, stating my name is not a problem, but yesterday my stuttering showed up big time by the fourth time I had to repeat my name.

When I was asked to state my name, it came out “P-P-P-Pamela.” The staff person snickered and asked if I was OK. To her credit, she did not ask if I had forgotten my name, as clearly I had not, since I had repeated it several times already. But her snicker annoyed me nonetheless. But I didn’t say anything. I gave her the benefit of the doubt that she wasn’t sure what she had just heard.

When I was asked the fifth time to repeat my name, out came “P-P-P-Pamela” again. This time she didn’t snicker but asked me if I was feeling woozy or lightheaded. I told her no, I just stutter. They hadn’t started drawing my blood yet, so I couldn’t have felt woozy or lightheaded yet.

When I told her I just stutter, she just nodded her head and looked slightly embarrassed but didn’t respond.

I was glad I said something to let her know I stutter. Hopefully I educated her a tiny bit and she’ll remember not to snicker or assume something the next time she encounters someone who stutters.

How have you handled similar situations when you’ve had to repeat your name several times? Would you have done something differently?

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2 Responses to "Giving Blood And Stuttering"

It’s the everyday things that can give the most grief, eh? I try to take the high road and be gentle with people but man, sometimes, I just don’t feel all that generous. Sounds like you handled it well. I’m also glad to hear they aren’t lax with the blood protocols!

You handled that really well Pam, you’re really good at letting people know you stutter without getting upset or angry, that’s not easy to keep your emotions in check. I had a bad experience recently with a person on the phone from my phone provider, I was trying to resolve a problem. The woman on the phone asked me if I was ok and I said yes, why? And she said that I seemed to have a problem speaking, I was really upset and I angrily told her that I have a stutter and then I told her not to finish my sentences, it all felt awful and I didn’t feel I handled it well but its all learning 🙂

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© Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering, 2009 - 2016. 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 2016.