Vow of silence

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I've now had laryngitis, preventing me from speaking in more than a whisper or a rasp, for 24 days. I saw my doctors at the B.C. Cancer Agency yesterday, and they are referring me to an ear-nose-throat (ENT) specialist as soon as possible. Despite a couple of minor encouraging signs this week, simple rest and fluids didn't work, and an antibiotic didn't work.

My friend Evie suggested early on that it could be result of, or exacerbated by, a type of acid reflux. That's among the most common causes of laryngitis, and treatment for reflux (which she didn't know she had) cleared hers up after four weeks. It could be something more exotic, however (pressure on the body's most famous nerve, the RLN?), with potentially more exotic treatments (spraying one side of my larynx with Teflon?).

Anyway, we'll see what the ENT specialist says. In the meantime, my wife and kids are away for a few days, so I'm going to take the chance tomorrow (Saturday) and the day after (Sunday) to rest my larynx by not speaking at all. No whispering, no rasping, no nothing. Most of you won't notice, since you only see what I type anyway.

But I won't answer the phone. Whoever leaves a message will have to have some other way—SMS, text chat, Facebook, Twitter, email—for me to communicate back. Anyone seeing me in person will get messages written out on pieces of paper (yes, that's faster than an iPad, shut up).

Oft-time loner that I am, I suspect I might enjoy it a bit.

P.S. Yesterday my wife tweeted that I have "vocal cord paralysis," which alarmed a few people. I'll note that "vocal cord paralysis" and "laryngitis" mean the same thing (as does "I've lost my voice"): my vocal cords won't vibrate to produce sound. They describe a symptom, but not what's causing it, or what could treat it. A different name need not mean things are worse, or better, or different at all.


Years ago I developed vocal chord polyps due to what turned out to be an allergic reaction to Aspartame. I had to have them removed surgically and had to take the Vow of Silence for about ten days. I actually enjoyed it. No SMS or Twitter in those days. Barely email. ...doug

Do you know when you'll be able to comfortably use your voice again? Also, I'd love it if you made "Burnaby" your security words. Our city rocks! ;) heh

As an extremely extroverted extrovert, I can't imagine 24 day and counting with no voice!

Did you hear about the condition that Scott Adams had? The test to see if you have the same thing, according to him, is, "Can you still sing?" It's called spasmodic dysphonia.

I saw my ent a couple of weeks ago since the voice had been limited since early december and we figure it's the reflux so I had to cut down on coffee, tilt my bed up a bit and not eat less than 3 hours before going to bed. So far so good.

In a way, I'm kinda hoping it's spasmodic dysphonia, so you can at least say you had spaz. ;)

Must be very hard but thank god you can at least communicate via all these amazing interwebby tools.

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