You may ask why I'm bringing this up in a blog that mainly focuses on misophonia issues. Well, each club around the world has it's own personality and way of running meetings. Today's club was one of two that I had narrowed down my choices where I'd want to join. It is a very friendly club (like most are), the speakers are strong (great inspiration for improvement), and they even do some extra steps to aid in self-evaluation opportunities (like video taping the presentations). One other thing that they do which, out of all the other clubs I've attended or visited over the years, I've never seen done before, is they have a "Treatmaster" who
After the meeting, some of the members approached me and we talked about the meeting and my potentially joining their club. I explained to them that I really like the club very much, but as much as I *really* like the idea of the Treatmaster, I was worried if I might have trouble during meetings depending on what treats are brought into the meeting. That's when I explained my misophonia to them. Two gentlemen were especially intrigued by what I described, and I did my best to try to convey what it's like using the "nails on a chalkboard" and other examples.
I wound up having a very long one-on-one conversation with the president after we all left the room. He seemed to understand how misophonia affects me and although we both agreed that we wouldn't want to eliminate the Treatmaster position from meetings, he said there may be ways of working with me so that the other members can help minimize potential triggers (like perhaps recommending to the Treatmaster of the Day that they don't bring in especially crunchy foods or crinkly packaging.) I said I've had to deal with this for over thirty years, so I'm sure that there are things that I can do too to make my experience there more comfortable without having to completely revamp the club (like my sitting at the front of the room next to the speaker's lecturn so that I can wear my earplugs to block out triggers yet close enough to still hear the presentation).
He also suggested that I look into Neurolinguistic Programmers as another type of physician who might have some perspective on how to help this condition. (I'll have to look into what they are in more depth before reporting anything further but as I've mentioned in other posts, I'm open to explore different avenues if they might lead to a source of relief!) I should also mention that this Toastmasters' club is located in Wellmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield's headquarters, so I might be able to get even more insights from other members of the club... (Only a fraction of the overall membership was at today's meeting.)
The fact that these members are willing to work with me and my misophonia, even though I was a complete stranger to them, made my decision which club to join much easier. It still might not work out, which I won't know until I attend more meetings with Treatmasters, but I'm willing to give it a shot!