I had my first Speech Therapy appointment on Wednesday due to my craptastic post-throat surgery voice, and it was an interesting experience. The therapist, Joyce, is a lovely woman with whom I felt instantly comfortable, and we sat in her little office and made strange sounds at one another for over an hour.
She had me count to ten, say the days of the week, do scales (I can only get up to a weak "Fa"), and basically just try out different things to assess how badly old Lefty the Vocal Cord is stuck, then she taught me some exercises geared at getting him moving again and/or making Righty compensate for his lazy ass. The exercises were odd, and I definitely felt like a fool doing them. Seriously, one of them involves pushing on your chair and making guttural angry animal sounds.
I swear I kept it together right up till the point when we got to "O," because you know how my mind works: I was thinking about how I was showing her my "O Face" and we had just met.
Me: "O," (breathe from diaphragm)
"O," (breathe from diaphragm)
Me: "O!" (inhale)
Me: "Okay, I'm done. Wanna cuddle and watch TV?"
With a little bit of luck and some hard work I hope to regain an audible, clear speaking voice, so it's worth the embarrassment. Plus, I get to tell people that I have to go work my glottis and relish the look on their faces.
Joyce's office walls have pictures like this everywhere:
Remind you of anything? Yeah, me either. (smirk)
So that's that. Every Wednesday for the next 11 weeks I will sit in a small room and grunt out vowel sounds until people can hear me again. Joyce took a little video of me reading about rainbows (hey, I didn't pick the paragraph) and I look forward to the day when I can marvel at how bad I sounded back then.
I'm having a good voice day, something that has replaced good hair days in my little corner of the world. Joyce taught me that if I turn my head to the right my voice is louder, so I moved my phone at work to my right-hand side and now when it rings I take a deep breath, turn my head, and pray something good comes out. Of course, when I told Mala about this new quirk of mine she reminded me of a chick at our TV station who insisted on running the audio board even though she was deaf in one ear. When you spoke to her she would lift up the hair from the good side, cock her head towards you, and instruct you to speak into her good ear.
Great, now I'm the Deaf Audio girl. Perfect! Come sit on my right side, sugah, I need to tell you something....
Hope you all have a lovely, boisterous weekend in my honor. Shout, shout, let it all out. Do it for me (and Johnny)!