Friday, March 5, 2010

Shouldn't you buy me dinner first?

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)
Her: "Good."
Me: "O!" (inhale)
Her: "Excellent!"

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)!


Organic Meatbag said...

Hang in there, sweetie...

Mala said...

HA!!!!! "Okay, I'm done. Wanna cuddle and watch TV?" made me pee myself.
just a little.

My cute little dog cocks his head when I talk to him too. Trust, it's irresistable!

I think we should learn sign language and hit the karoke bars!

Mike said...

I remember when my son has speech therapy. Yeah they really make you work it. Good luck with it all. Soon you'll be American Idol.

Elliott said...

You always have such a way of conveying the bright side of things.

Not that being the half-deaf audio girl is a bright side, but it's funny in a perfectly politically incorrect way.

And that's fine, too.

And I have a Pythonesque vision of your therapist saying "I thought you'd never ask!"

BigSis said...

Oh that picture. It totally looks like something else!

MtnMama said...

Elliott said it for me.

You are doing great, sweet girl! Hugs!

Lindsey Himmler said...

Hah! This is right up my alley!!

I hate the rainbow passage. It's standard for voice therapists, but ugh. It's stupid. I actually thought about doing a new, more interesting passage for my research thesis, but...

Keep at it! Hopefully you'll get to to do the neat trick where you actually get to see your vocal folds wave at you. It's pretty neat.

I'm a nerd.

MJenks said...

Oh my. That picture does look like something else.

I thought the Eye of Sauron was destroyed when Gollum fell into the fires of Mount Doom with the ring...

Bev said...

Thanks, all! You too funny, m' peeps.


Samsmama said...

That picture is so wrong.

Half deaf audio girl sounds like a Family Guy character. One that would offend so many that Facebook would start a group to boycott it. Most of my friends would agree it wasn't offensive, but one idiot would freak out. Then a friend would come to my rescue, telling said douche to chill, ultimately resulting in him acting a bitch and defriending me. Or something like that. Although that scenario is so ridiculous it would surely never happen.

Way to go out on a Tears For Fears slash Outsiders note!

Enjoy your weekend, lady love!

Stacie's Madness said...

keep practicing your O face, it will all come one day

onebadmamajama said...

Speech therapy outta do the trick for you. Katie had to have speech therapy a couple of years ago and there was a noticeable difference in the 6 weeks we went. Her speech therapist was a very lovely person as well!

Keep your chin up..everything is gonna be just fine:)

Jillinator said...

OMFG - I was CRACKING up when you were writing about the "O"s - srsly.. so much hubby wanted to know what was so funny and I proceeded to read it aloud to him... at least you had a reason to be saying the o's - I, on the other hand, just giggled and felt foolish :)
Glad to hear you like her and that you're on the road to recovering your ability to crack up a group with your witty verbal banter :)

dogimo said...

Bev, I'm so glad there's a plan for recovery and that strengths are being rediscovered - at least when you turn to the right! Keep working and resting and healing, as recommended!

But within your daily vocal exercises, I think you should take the time once per week to videotape yourself singing the Beach Boys' "Barbara Ann", so you can retrospectively gauge your week-by-week progress, later on after you've fully recovered.

Senorita said...

Thanks for making me laugh.

I say she owes you dinner for sure !

Melissa said...

You are so awesome Bev.

totalblammblamm said...

Oh gods, the 'o' face also made me tinkle just a bit! LOLOLOLOL!!

Keep at it. It will come back soon and you will be shouting for joy!

In the meantime, your blog posts are fun and funny, so there is still freedom of expression there, no?

jessica o said...

"O Face" and "Awkward" in one post? Were you looking for me?! I know there's a "Deep Throat" joke in here somewhere.

Kidding aside, I hope you heal quickly.

Mike129 said...

You will do great; I know you will!

And I can think of some other throat exercises that might help. Heh.