Everyone is Speaking in a Foreign Language on Me

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by TeaBisqit, Jul 14, 2006.

  1. TeaBisqit

    TeaBisqit Member

    Does anyone else get that? Like people all sound like they're talking in some foreign language on you. It's some kind of comprehension problem from the illness. And today I had an awful bought of it. I called my phone company because I wanted to change my service alittle bit. And it sounded just like she was speaking in a foreign language to me, and then when she switched me to the confirmation person, it was the same thing. I had to repeat everything they said over in my mind as they were saying it just to understand. What's weird, though, is I don't have a problem that often with watching tv. It seems to mostly be when someone is speaking to me. Maybe it's something to do with the concentration with that, I don't know. But I've had this happen with phone calls and with being out shopping. Like the checkout people also sound like they are speaking in a foreign language to me. And they are all speaking English, it's just me and CFIDS. Like I feel like I should be wearing this sign, "Please Speak CFIDS". It's just awful. I get no understanding with it either. I often ask my mother to make phone calls for me because of this and she just doesn't understand. It's always, "Why can't you call?". Well, I would if they would all speak CFIDS for me, but since they don't, it just doesn't work.
  2. Angelimbo

    Angelimbo New Member

    I think I understand what you are describing, but could you be just a little more specific, a little more detailed as you what you mean?

    You don't actually mean that it sounds like they are speaking French or Arabic or Martian (lol), do you?

    For example, when I try to develop anything more than a pretty basic understanding of computers, especially when I do searches online trying to troubleshoot problems, I always say (and feel), "It's like trying to read a foreign language, without even knowing a basic vocabulary for the language!"

    Is that what you mean?

    Or, do you mean, that your inability to concentrate, and take in information, is so impaired, that you have a hard time "getting" what is being said to you.

    That (above) is certainly the case for me. If I can look something up to read, at my own pace, I can usually figure it out. (Of course, some days, I can't even read Dr. Suess and make sense of it! lol!!!)

    But when I have to "take verbal instructions", whether by phone, or in person (especially if there is time pressure), it is nearly impossible for me. This is one of the most frustrating and debilitating things about these DDs, IMO.

    Hope this helps!

    PS - I like your idea of a sign that says, "Please speak CFIDS!" LOL!!!!! Problem is, we run into very few people, except in places like this board, where people can "understand" or "speak" CFIDS!!! It is a foreign language to them, and one which very few are interested in "learning to speak"!

  3. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    It doesn't happen often (I'm pretty high-functioning despite the CFS), but the last time it happened I was at a work-related dinner. There was so much cross-noise and I was so tired...I'd tune into a conversation and only 'understand' about half the words that would come out of the other person's mouth. Even though I could hear them very well and was watching their lips carefully!

    After a while, I just shut down.

    This has also happened to me on the phone -- it's rather disconcerting, especially when I have to tell someone else that the call is for them, and I can't figure out who is calling or what the message is.

    On the other hand, a couple of years ago, our office had a Japanese client. No one in the office could understand her accented English but me, and I never had to ask her to repeat herself, even on the phone. She'd call, and there would be a mad dash to transfer her to me!
  4. carebelle

    carebelle New Member

    I remember when I was really sick it was so hard to even make myself go to a store.I would look at the checkout girl and she would be talking but it was like a Charlie Brown cartoon where they talked but we only heard "Waaa,Waaa."If thats how you spell it .LOL

    I can laugh now but it wasnt funny back then, it was kind of scary.Trying to figure out what they said.I think it was my problem when my Anxiety was also bad around people.
  5. findmind

    findmind New Member

    Oh yes! So sorry you are experiencing this. Many of us have it, and there are ways I get help with it.

    First, when it happens, I stop the person and tell them I have a neurological illness, and could they talk to me slowly and clearly and make sure I understand what they have said!!! Everyone I've said that to has been wonderful to me.

    Secondly, I have a pencil and yellow legal pad at the ready for all phone calls where I have to make plans, appts, change services, and AFTER telling them the above, I make "outline" notes. They are invaluble to me.

    I also repeat things back (it gives me time to write when on phone, and pushes it into my soggy brain better).

    Sometimes the problem is completely gone for a long time, reappears and goes again. Being rested when needing to make important phone calls, especially, helps me.

    Maybe you could try to find ways that work for you, to get you over the worst spots of it.

    There's always hope!

  6. barbinindiana

    barbinindiana New Member

    and your the first person I heard talk about this. Thought maybe I was the only one. I do the repeating what the person is saying in my head not only for understanding, but also for remembering. Problem is, I still won't understand or remember if I do understand. I went to see a movie recently with a friend amd really got lost in it because with alot of it I could hear the actors talking just fine, but still couldn't make out what they were saying. I asked, my friend afterwards if she had a problem with it, and wished I hadn't because I just felt stupid when she said no. I love to listen to talk radio shows, but have this problem with them too. Still enjoy what I do get out of them, but feel I miss so much.
  7. Adl123

    Adl123 New Member

    This happened to me just this evening, while I was watching TV. Two people on the screen were talking to eachother (detective show), and it sounded like all of the sounds blended in together, with some missing, so I just couldn't figure out what they meant.

    This is the first time this has happened to me, and it was scary. I've had trouble understanding what people said before, but that was because they weren't eunciating or I couldn't really hear them. This was different.

    I happen to be stressed out right now, and very tired, as my cat has kept me awake for the past 4 nights. Maybe that is why it happened.

  8. musikmaker

    musikmaker New Member

    Yes, I totally understand what you are saying. Well, I guess I would because I too speak CFIDS (ha). I deal with this often. It happens mostly when I am tired or stressed. I have also started taking notes and using lists to help me. But mostly I try and stay at home when I am like this.
  9. tomcollins

    tomcollins New Member

    it is actually has a name, Audio Processing Disorder and there are many things you can do to help. Google APD. People with APD also struggle with reading, much like those of us with CFS and FMS.

    My wife has APD, and it wasn't until recently that we found out about this and giving it a name I know is a relief to both of us. And now, with the FMS, I get those times...and I know it makes me try to be more patient when she doesn't process what I say the first time.

    Hope this helps, even though I think a sign would be a great addition.
  10. TeaBisqit

    TeaBisqit Member

    I didn't know it had a name. I get aphasia with it sometimes, where I have trouble speaking or getting out what I mean. Been getting that the last few days, too. I'm not sure what brought it on. Sometimes I just get these "attacks" where I'll have both the comprehension and the speaking problem. Then it might be better for a long time, and then I get it back.

    I have had the comprehension problem with movies, too. There have been many movies where I think I missed half the dialogue. Even the new Pirates movie, I recently saw it and I missed a good deal of that dialogue, but at least I liked the visuals.
  11. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    My son was tested for this when he was about six. The audiologist's conclusion was that it was mild in him, and she gave me several things to read about dealing with this in a classroom situation. We've had him doing neurobiofeedback last spring (for ADD), and he will pick up again in August. It does seem to have helped him.
  12. Rose73

    Rose73 New Member

    It happens when I am really tired. There are times people are talking to me, and it is doesn't make sense. Even if I am looking at them trying to be attentive. Most of the time I miss parts and have to ask to have it repeated.

    On the phone it is another thing. People seem to want to talk fast. And to give a phone number fast. I give a number by spliting it like this 555 pause 12 pause 34. It is easier to write it down instead of 5551234.

    Call centers for companies here are overseas. It makes it difficult to understand the person.

    As far in person, I would ask to repeat it. I didn't catch it, or I am really tired.

  13. JewelRA

    JewelRA New Member

    Definitely understand what you are saying. And it's been 1000 times worse since I've been withdrawing from antidepressants.

    My kids will ask me something and I'll be like, "Uh, yeah" and then realize I have no idea what they've asked. Then my son will say, "Ya, we can have candy for supper!" LOL. Then I have to say, no, no I didn't mean that.

    It is really frustrating.
  14. libra55

    libra55 New Member

    I have an auditory processing disorder. Everything I hear goes in one ear and out the other. Or the words all sound muddled and distorted. Therefore I have to write everything down or have a picture or diagram of it.

    For example if we are out of milk and someone in the family asks me to pick up some, if I don't write it down immediately, I will most likely forget it. Or I will remember I was asked to pick up something but I won't recall what.

    But if someone leaves the empty milk carton out on the counter and then asks me to pick up milk I will remember it with no problem because I have a mental picture of that empty jug sitting on the counter.

    This is how I learn. Now I understand why I used to fall asleep during lectures in college. I simply do not process the spoken word. I managed to earn a degree; sometimes I wonder how!

    My daughter who has Asperger's can recite movie scripts and conversations word for word. She has terrific auditory functioning. The exact opposite of myself.

    I have to take a notebook with me and write in it, I am constantly making lists and revising and updating them, but it's how I survive, otherwise I don't remember much. I hate the telephone, especially the recorded voice mails; they go too fast for me.

    So it sounds like maybe you have some of that going on too, and if you're tired and brain fogged and FMish, that's going to make it worse. You're not alone, it's very common but I know it's frustrating.