Monday, March 28, 2011

"Voices, Continued" or "Oops! I Pushed the Wrong Button!"

When I had a spare minute the other day I thought I would add a little more to my last blog post that was supposed to be saved as a draft. I saw comments needing to be moderated. I looked at the screen in confusion, "Why would I have comments?" Then it hit me. I must have published my last post. So if you are suffering from the inertia it may have created when it came to a quick halt, I apologize. Where was I?

Yes, no voice. For seven weeks. It may seem like nothing, but this is how we communicate with each other. I know what it feels like to have a disability. People have no idea if you are intelligent, kind, angry, rude, sarcastic or any other emotion. Whispers come out mono-toned, like texting, except you can use all caps when you text to put an emphasis on words. I had to get good at Charades so people would know what I was talking about, especially in noisy places. You should have seen the kid's face at KFC when I ordered the chicken breast.

It was by accident I found out I could say one word without a problem. I was describing the voices in my head and how they were sounding a lot like Yosemite Sam. So I said a word that sounds like "spit" and my voice came out normal. I realized I didn't have laryngitis - I have Turrets Syndrome. During these last two months I have had to go to a Speech Pathologist for voice therapy. Who has ever heard of such a thing? I had to go around sounding out "mmmmm" on an exhale. Then it progressed to "mooooo." If anyone had any doubt that I was insane, it was all out at that point.

So that has been my trial this year. I feel as if I am overcoming an illness and can see the light of day now. When I went to work today, my friends came in the office to hear me speak, because they said they forgot what I sounded like. Our volunteer that has been coming in for over a month had never heard my voice before. I can answer the phones again. I can call my Mama. I can laugh. Most of you probably didn't even notice.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Some of you know I have been suffering with a voice disorder for going on seven weeks now. Suffering for me, blessing for others. I can say that I am every husband's dream right now. If you're a friend on Facebook, then you know there have been days I have tried to joke about it, there have been meltdowns, there has been sarcasm, and sometimes no mention of it at all.

It's kind of hard at this point not to think that God has some sort of personal vendetta out for me. It seems the things I enjoy doing, He takes away from me. I was an artist and my hand/wrist is full of pain and surgery didn't correct the pain - just gave me a different pain. I love to sing and after that surgery I do not have a voice. I'm not talking I don't have a beautiful voice - I can barely whisper, which takes much effort and if I talk too much I get light-headed.....not to mention my larynx actually hurts. I'm predicting the only thing left to take is my love of food, which now that I mention that.......I have had a metallic taste in my mouth since December and nothing tastes normal anymore. So maybe I will lose contact with everyone I know due to a traumatic brain injury in the near future. That's my Debbie Downer story for the day.

So when I was sitting in a church at a funeral, my friend graciously shared the hymn book. I waved my hand like I was turning down a serving of duck liver mousse on crudites. "Oh, yeah, I keep forgetting you can't sing," she says with a friendly smile. When you don't sing, you hear everyone around you. A person sitting behind us snorted. I think it was more like an accidental pig noise when your uvula trips over the back of your tongue. Then I heard the same person trying to make their voice match the low vibration of the organ. Then I heard this person's voice scoop to a squeeky high note. This was a lady person, who happened to have no control over her vocal cords and probably over her bladder. Then the conversation with her friend started, "What a shame Danny's not married." "He's not married?" "Well, he was engaged once, but it didn't work out." "He's such a good looking boy, too, what a shame."

Then that night we went to Ali's high school production of "Peter Pan." This time the person behind us was a four year old little girl and her grandma. As Wendy comes down from the air with an arrow through her and the lost boys laid her on the ground, she asks, "Is Wendy dead? Is she dead?" When the pirates were fighting she says as proper as she can, "That's not very nice."