A recent bout of laryngitis, brought me for a short time, into the world of someone experiencing a voice problem. While in my working life, I frequently work with people who are hoarse, I had, up until recently, never experienced this myself. The laryngitis came on suddenly, starting with a sore throat, which ironically started during a voice therapy session. Within a few hours I was quite hoarse, but could still use my voice. I assumed that a good night’s sleep would sort this out, but the following day I had no voice at all, and this continued for the next few days. By the fourth day, a voice had come back but it didn’t seem to be mine, as people commented on how different I sounded. In the end it took a week for my voice to get back to normal, and even with that, I had to be aware of how I used my voice for the following week or two. It was quite a shock to open my mouth and find no sound come out, and it gave me some direct insight into what it was like to experience voice loss.
So, what did I do…well I decided I had better follow some of my own advice….
I increased my water intake, drinking a lot of lukewarm water with honey.
I rested as much as possible.
I stopped drinking coffee.
I avoided coughing and throat clearing as much as possible.
I did not answer the phone or make phone calls.
I limited how much I spoke. The hardest aspect of this was with my own children.
I used a lot of creative gesture and signing!
I cancelled clients, as I didn’t think they’d appreciate my voice quality when doing speech or voice work!
And what was the hardest part of this illness…it was not being able to read stories to my three year old….but we’ve made up for it since!