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Two weeks ago I went to have my throat checked out again so the doctor could see if speech therapy was making any progress. Great news, I’m so much better. My throat has healed a ton.

Why am I terrified? I. Still. Can’t. Talk.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s better than it was when I was performing all the time. But I still get fatigued so easily. I can hear and feel my throat not making the whole sound it used to be capable of.

While the callouses (or pre-nodule formations) have gone way down, there is still a lot of inflammation in my throat. From my understanding, that shouldn’t make me so tired of speaking so quickly. 

I get surgery on August 7th. That will finally stop the onslaught of stomach contents invading and burning my throat. My biggest fear is that once the dust settles from the surgery, I still won’t be able to speak.

It’s really eating at me this week. I know that I shouldn’t let it consume me so much. There’s really no use in it.

What I should be doing is letting go of this stress – which is probably making my condition way worse! -, keep practicing voice and phonation excercises, and chill the fuck out until the surgery actually happens.

Everything else appears to be outside my control, so why obsess? It’s just so hard not to worry.

If you told me six months ago that I would lose my voice, of course I would be devastated. But I honestly had no idea to what extent it affects my life. When your ability to communicate with other people is taken away, you feel so powerless. 

Obviously losing my voice has not only changed the literal way I interact with people (using a white board or mouthing words with big facial expression versus verbal communication), but it’s also changed the way I choose to manage my social life.

I don’t go places without one of my security blanket people anymore. I’d rather go alone. In between people are the worst. Especially well-intended ones.

They want to be accommodating, but they sincerely don’t know how. And there are times I’d rather be ignored (and get to feel sorry for myself!) than go through the laborious process of explaining what I need to someone without being able to just tell them. 

 

Constant Reminders

The thing that makes it hardest to forget about all this and just move on with my chin up is the fact that everything I do/encounter/see/hear/feel is tied to my voice in some way. Literally everything.

Whether I’m judging other people for using their voices for something I consider unworthy (superiority complex, much?), or a song gets stuck in my head that I can’t sing, or the insurance claims adjuster calls me for a statement and I have to forewarn him that I have a “throat condition”, so I’m not being rude, I just can’t give lengthy answers and don’t want to waste what voice I have on pleasantries, something always brings it back to the front of my mind.

“A throat what?”

“Condition.”

“…Oh… okay…”

It took everything he had not to ask me what this mysterious condition was. I’m sure he would have if I hadn’t just told him talking was a problem.

There’s nothing wrong with that. There’s nothing wrong with him. He’s just being a human.

The hard part is remembering there’s nothing wrong with me. There’s nothing wrong with the fact that I’m upset at him for thinking about asking me what “throat condition” means, and for already getting defensive because I have a feeling part of the reason he asked is he questioned the legitimacy of my claim.

As long as I don’t act shitty, it is totally okay to have those accusatory, defensive, and above all else self-centered thoughts. And I can’t indulge in feeling guilty over those thoughts, because that leads me down a really rough cycle that just adds to the stress I’m trying to ignore. 

Which, of course, is mostly self-imposed.

I promise this will become a more positive place soon. Just like my head, once I’m ready to make that change.

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