I was reminded today of how very thankful I am to have so much of my voice again. I am about 8 months out from the surgery that damaged one of the major nerves to my vocal chords. It was an unexpected outcome. I woke up from surgery with only a hoarse whisper, and as the months progressed I saw very little improvement. Eventually, I got a robot-like voice and a laugh like Donald Duck had in the cartoons. Many people and their churches prayed for me, and I am so grateful.
It was unbelievably isolating, and actually more frightening than I would have imagined. If I tried to yell for help…. no one would hear me. If I wanted to go through a drive through….they didn’t know anyone was there. In a crowded room, I couldn’t contribute, because I just couldn’t be heard. I have to say that my experience gave me so much more of an appreciation for people who struggle with any kind of disability. People don’t mean to be insensitive, but it seems to be an unfortunate reality that if you can’t keep up….you get left behind.
The title of my blog ended up unintendedly ironic. The title has to do with my very sincere belief that artists and their artwork have a very definite message, and that they need to be aware of and are responsible for that message. The irony was of course that I had lost my voice, but hoped to still speak through my art.
This week though, my mom (who lives far away from me) said my voice finally sounds like me. That is tremendous victory. Every week she’d call and every week I’d hear tears in her voice, because she couldn’t hear me.
I’d say it’s at about 80% of what it was. I sound a little interesting when I sing… and there are pitches and tones that are pretty much absent still. BUT I can be heard, and I don’t sound like a robot or a duck anymore. I doubt if you met me on the street if you’d have any idea that my voice wasn’t normal, it sounds that much better. 🙂 I can even yell. 🙂 So today I am just amazingly thankful. God was so very gracious and kind to restore what was damaged; and the small view I got of what it’s like when you can’t keep up makes me pause, and remember when I see someone struggle. I have about another 4 months where the nerve can continue to regenerate (according to the surgeon), and we’re of course hopeful and prayerful for the return of the other 20%.
Hope you have a wonderful Sunday. To all of you that prayed and above all to God who answered….. thank you.