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A good while ago, not long after I first started working, I noticed that I was having some speech difficulties.  I would often forget words, mix up my gendered pronouns, and I was starting to affect a stutter.  I was really annoyed with myself.  Forgetting words occasionally doesn’t bother me.  It happens.  But it seemed to be happening more frequently than normal.  And what was going on with mixing up my gendered pronouns?  I was raised in the US.  I may have learned Chinese first, but English is definitely my dominant language.  I never had problems with pronouns before.  And I have no idea what was going on with that stutter.  I figured, I was just tired and I just needed more sleep.  But I was wrong.

I learned that I have engineeringoma.  I am quite fortunate that I have friends who are healthcare professionals to set me straight.  My respected medical professional friend defines engineeringoma as a

cancerous growth of the engineering, which is located somewhere in the brain.  It causes compression of the ventricles and the lobes to swell up, affecting Broca’s area and thus causing stuttering.  Progressive state causes sickliness.  Growth metastasizes into all organs.  There is no cure.

When he told me that, suddenly it was all clear.  I used to get headaches (this was pre-MLC) sometimes.  They were probably one of the symptoms of the growth getting bigger and causing pressure in my skull.  It was affecting Broca’s area, an area of the brain necessary for speech production.  That probably explained my forgetting of words and stuttering.  I was getting sick more often.  I totally had engineeringoma!

Or…not really.  Sometimes my friends and I like to pretend we have weird, fake, and often gruesome diseases (or really, I like to pretend that I have weird, fake, and often gruesome diseases and they are more than willing to oblige me and make up said diseases for me if I find the real diseases to be not gruesome enough…then we make them even worse in banter).  But what was really funny was that I had written the definition (it’s a really good definition) on a scrap of paper and put it up on the outside of my cube wall.  One of the other noob engineers came by to talk to me one time and saw the definition.  He thought it was real.  He was having similar symptoms and he was actually sick during that time.  He came in to ask me how I found out about the disease.  Then he did a double take, probably because I looked so amused at his reaction.  He figured out rather quickly that it wasn’t a real disease.  And then he learned that my sense of humor is parched and arid and I really wasn’t to be trusted regarding these things.

Good times, good times.

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