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A Glitch in the Word Finding Process

29 July 2015

Sometimes, especially when I'm really tired , words seem to escape me. After night shift when I'm handing over my patients, it's like the word is there but I can't articulate it. So oft times I resort to using words that have similar meanings but they are not the words I want! I find it immensely frustrating. I want to just open up my head, like it's got a flip top lid and rumble around in there, till I find it, accidentally of course amongst the clutter and filing cabinets of experience and promptly hold it aloft and proclaim it.

"Yes, this is it! I found it!"

Sometimes it's like a game.

"I can't think of the word but it's similar to lengthy and means drawn out?"

Surprisingly people play this game with me.

"Delayed"  - Umm nope.

"Persistent" - no.

"Sustained" - no.

"How about prolonged."  "Hell yes! that's it. Thank-you."

So the handover continues. " We are keeping her on ventolin, every 90 minutes because she has a prolonged expiratory phase."

" Hallelujah! "

Not very professional but after a long night shift, lots of things don't work and I'm quite happy for people to start their day with a laugh and smile. After all, this is only a problem for me because I love words so much. I detest it when they won't come to me when I need them too. Very soon I might resort to playing charades!

Other times, I often use the wrong word for things.

"Miss O, can you make me a cup of tea please? My cup is on the bin"

"Mum, you mean bench, don't you?"

"Yep, yep that's what I meant, isn't that what I said?"   I know very well this is not what came out of my pretty little mouth. They both start with 'B' close enough?

"Umm, no mum! "

"Oh well, just my brain misfiring! You know what I meant though?"  Gosh I hope you do, I'm desperate for that bloody cup of tea. 

Then we have the other scenario, when I'm super fatigued. Words just pop out of my mouth in a random mish, mash that is  supposed to be a sentence. Stuff that doesn't even make sense. My brain is hearing this, as its spewing forth and It recognizes it is so not what I wanted to articulate. So far I have not embarrassed myself in public with this, I'm sure most people would not know how to respond. I envisage them backing away slowly from me. Usually I just try it again and it all makes sense second time around. I would be seriously annoyed and perturbed if this occurred all the time but I'm lucky enough that it only affects me when I'm tired or really fatigued and as such it is only a nuisance not a serious problem.


Comments (21)

I too play this game with my friends and family. My husband and I get into fits of laughter by the silliness of what comes out of my name. Though I find it so frustrating when trying to explain important things like you explained in your post and it takes twice as long to get it all out and said. Thank you for sharing Bec. I so relate to this.

It's like you reached into my head and wrote my experiences. After night shift morning report can be scattered. Thanks for writing.

whoah this weblog is fantastic i like studying your posts. Stay up the good work! You recognize, a lot of people are looking around for this information, you could aid them greatly.

just the thing I needed to read on a day when fatigue has set in and I can't seem to get my students' names out in class. There's ten of them and I've known some of them for years. Frustrating on so many levels! it's really nice to read this and breathe a sigh of relief "it's not just me". :)