For those who may know me, or at least those who have had the pleasure of having a conversation with me, know what my voice sounds like. It’s raspy, sometimes cracks, and has been frequently dubbed by my doctors as: the sexy voice. Thanks for the medical expertise docs! Anyway, what most of you don’t know is that this isn’t my real voice. It isn’t me. No, I didn’t lose it by partying too hard, and telling me to drink honey lemon tea will do absolutely nothing for me. It’s simply just gone.
Two years ago I began to lose my voice. There was no reason for it, I had never lost my ability to speak in the past, and to put it shortly, it was quite horrifying having to constantly question if there was a serious underlying medical problem I didn’t know about. After a plethora of doctor’s visits (37 to be exact), I was officially given my diagnosis: nothing is wrong with me. All my blood-work would constantly return flawless, nothing was out of line in any of my CAT scans, X-rays, or asthma tests, and to the world, I seemed like a perfectly healthy individual. There is something specifically frustrating with not being able to help yourself, or even being able to find a reason as to why things are happening to you. On one hand, I breathed a huge sigh of relief knowing that my body is functioning properly and that everything is okay. But is everything okay?
When my doctor told me that he had no explanation for my loss of voice I was shocked. Okay so it’s not totally gone, but it isn’t 100% there either. I began to grow more and more upset. Saying that I don’t think about my annoying vocal problems on a regular basis is a blatant lie. It feels so ridiculous and petty to be even complaining about my lack of voice when there’s nothing truly wrong with me. But you can’t help but think about all the things you’re missing out on. Everyone that’s close to me knows that one of my favorite past times is to ride around in my Jeep with all of the windows down, blaring music, and screaming my heart out. But my voice physically won’t let me do that anymore. I can’t go to concerts and cheer for my favorite bands. It’s often incredibly difficult and tiresome to tell stories, which is one of my all-time favorite things in the world. I completely lose my voice on a weekly basis, and regularly go days without being able to fully articulate what I want to say – an immensely frustrating burden.
But thinking about all of the negative things in your life can only get you so far. Yeah, it sucks that I can no longer scream my favorite Queen lyrics while recklessly cruising in my car, but isn’t it amazing that I can drive to begin with? Maybe I can’t cheer on my favorite band, but how incredible is it that I can go to those concerts surrounded by the people I love? And, okay, I can’t sing in the shower, but let’s be real, I couldn’t sing to save my life to begin with. So what if maybe somedays I can’t speak? I can still listen and hear what others are saying to me. I can’t shout, but I can still breathe, eat, run, jump, think, taste, feel, create, love, laugh, and truly live all on my own. This new voice is here to stay, and I’ll forever be a medical mystery to all of my doctors, but weirdly enough I’m okay with that. In the end, I don’t mind that my voice is a little raspy and hard to hear, at least I can still enjoy the wonderful life I have been given with the people that matter the most to me.