Not speaking at all for the next three days, until I'm singing in front of everyone at church on Christmas Eve. Yep.
I’m losing & straining my voice every time I speak. If I cant sing anymore, I might die. Not even kidding, I seriously dont know what I would do.
I haavvvveeee to get better, right now.
so my throat hurts because I screamed so much at the BMTH gig on saturday. which meas I shouldn’t scream otherwise I’ll ruin my vocal cords. but I have to scream at the 30STM gig on november 26th because.. I mean it’s 30STM why do I even wanna give you a reason.. it’s 30 fucking SECONDS TO MARS!!! :3
Sunday - August 21, 2011
My throat has been bothering me since the end of Warped Tour. In fear that I may have polyps on my vocal chords, I am going to the doctor tomorrow.
- It feels like I have food caught in my throat except when I swallow nothing goes down and the feeling remains
- My throat is dry even when I consistently drink water
- I am not in pain and my throat does not feel scratchy but the feeling is uncomfortable and sometimes it is a bit more difficult to breathe
- I am not sick or congested
- My voice has been hoarse for about a week and a half now
Hopefully I just strained it and vocal rest will do the trick but something makes me think that it’s more serious than that. If anyone has ever had these symptoms before, get at me and let me know what it could be.
This is going to be long, so just skip over it on your dash if you're not interested in a musical theatre kid's problems...
I don’t really like posting things where I talk a lot about my life and stuff, because I really just look like a bitching teenager most of the time, but I just need to express to an audience, my year from hell.
Basically I had this teacher who was terrible to me all year, and my therapist has even coined her as emotionally abusive. She’s the music teacher at my school, and I was in two of her singing groups this year, as well as her music theory class and her musical review at the beginning of the year (basically a scaled-down, kind of pathetic, pre-spring musical, musical). At the end of September she told me to sing alto in one of her singing groups. I was against this idea, you know, since I’m a soprano through and through, but I figured if she needed some help then whatever. After two weeks of singing the part I started to experience a lot of pain in my throat when singing, and when I told her about this she shrugged it off as poor vocal technique, and told me “At your age there is not a note you cannot, your range is not set.” Ok no, that statement is so, extremely inaccurate, that I can’t believe it came out of a trained professional’s mouth. I was 15 and past puberty, I had a set range, and that was a soprano range, and by singing the alto parts in these songs, I was majorly stepping out of my personal range, and it was no wonder I was in so much pain. But she forced me to sing.
I sang alto in this group for four more months, and I remember five separate times of telling her that I was in physical pain when I sang, yet she did not care. It eventually escalated to the point where I was not just in pain when I was singing in a range too low for me, but all the time. Some days I was not able to speak because if I did I would cry from the pain. In the middle of January I went to an otolaryngologist, who told me that I had micronodules on my vocal cords that were extremely close to being considered full-blown nodules, but that they weren’t large enough for surgery to be necessary. Under normal circumstances he would have told me not to sing at all anymore, but because the irritation was a result of out-of-range singing, he wrote a note to the music teacher, demanding that I be moved back to the soprano section. He also said that to avoid any further irritation that I should not participate in the spring musical (the cast list had come out just a few days before.) I brought this note in to school and the teacher, not without many, very dirty looks, agreed to move me back to soprano, and when I told her I needed to withdraw from the musical she acted like I was a quitter, and accused me of not wanting a larger part, which was funny because I got the part that I wrote I wanted on my audition paper, so no, that was not an issue.
We thought that being moved back to soprano would solve the problem because the strain of singing in the wrong part was off of my vocal cords, but it turned out that the damage was done. I did not have my high notes, which at this point I considered “high notes” to be what was, for years before, notes that required absolutely no effort, and it still hurt me to sing low. So my voice was completely gone. And this teacher still did not recognize that she had done anything wrong.
Throughout these months, my vocal coach was extremely worried about me, and I promised her that if I felt any pain that I would just mouth the words, but when it came to the actual situation, if I didn’t sing then the sound being emitted from our group was too quiet for the number of girls that we had, and she would yell that we sounded “disgusting” or “like garbage”. This is ironic because the actual disgusting thing was that a teacher would ever dare to speak to students like this. If I mouthed the words, the other girls would get yelled at because of me, and I knew how awful it felt to be yelled at by her, so I sang through the pain.
I was ready to give up singing completely. Actually, “ready” is not the right word. I was not ready at all. I have been crying every night for two months now, but it seemed there was nothing I could do to help my voice. But the day before yesterday I saw this homeopathic doctor, and even though it was a one-hour consultation, we sat and talked for two and a half hours, and she believes that the most important thing in my life and for my emotional and psychological health, is for me to get my voice back. She made me promise to never sing in school again, but to keep going to my vocal coach, who is the most amazing, positive influence in my life, and she even attributed some other things to the stress that this teacher was causing me. We’d noticed that my OCD was getting pretty bad this year, and according to this doctor and to my therapist, that was my brain’s response to this abusive treatment. I couldn’t control how she acted toward me, so my brain was trying to gain control over as much as possible, which was causing my counting habits and my evenness habits (that’s the only way I know how to describe it in a word…) to get worse.
This homeopathic doctor really thinks she can help me get my voice back, and I could not be more excited. I miss singing so much. I miss being able to match a pitch. I miss auditioning. I miss performing. I miss belting. Hell, I even miss my head voice. I think it’s going to take me a very long time to get over the anger I have toward this teacher, but at the same time I think this was a very important life experience for me to have, because it taught me so many things.
I know none of you care about this, but all year I’ve never really told the whole story to anybody, so I feel like it’s lifting a heavy weight off of my chest to post this somewhere that people will actually see it.
So uh…ok bye.
“These talking machines are going to ruin the artistic development of music in this country. When I was a boy...in front of every house in the summer evenings, you would find young people together singing the songs of the day or old songs. Today you hear these infernal machines going night and day. We will not have a vocal cord left. The vocal cord will be eliminated by a process of evolution, as was the tail of man when he came from the ape.”—John Philip Sousa, testifying before Congress
One Week Post-Op!
I went to the Doctor’s office today for my one week post-op appointment. I was going in there a little worried because that’s how I roll. No seriously….I was supposed to be on 100% vocal rest and 4 out of the 7 days that I was on vocal rest I spoke 5 words or less each day!!! I know! How could I do such a thing?! AND to top it off….I coughed 4 times during that period including once this morning when I woke up at 5:30am (the magic throat tickle hour) and gave a good ‘ol cough to cap off my vocal rest! Luckily, I never sneezed….not once. Oh, the travesty of trying to be perfect at vocal rest. Perfect, perfect, perfect! Didn’t I listen in grammar school when the message every day was “there’s no such thing as perfect” ? Me listen?! No……why risk leaving the self sabotage behind? It gives my tummy something to rumble about and my head something to hurt about. Fun!
Alright, back to the story….the doc took another scope today. Are you ready for this?!
No swelling (yay!!)
No Hemorrhage (yay!!!)
NO Polyp (yay!!!!!!!!)
The Doc said I look magnificent….(that is, my throat does AND personally I think my skin does too from all of the great juicing this week and awesome foods I have been uncooking and cooking up with the pulp from the juice!).
She said that I could start talking at a low volume, 5 minutes per hour, but not all at once. I have the quietest voice when I talk, but it’s nice to hear it. I am still being really conservative about talking today because I get to see my voice therapist tomorrow and he is going to put me on a plan! A Champion-Get-Back-to-My-Awesome-Voice Plan!
I left the piece-de-resistance for all of you good people who read my blogs the whole way through…..”what is that?” you might ask….. Well, it’s a BEFORE AND AFTER pic of my vagi…I mean, my vocal cords!!!!!! yay!!! Enjoy.
ps. The doctor said I was the perfect patient though :-P