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Voice disorder hits local radio personality

Posted by Rob H on January 31, 2012

I recently came across this article, this is a local radio host who had a voice disorder. (Additional article with video here). Of course, I do not have a job on the radio but I can only imagine the distress this must have caused her. Using your voice as your “money maker” would make this all the more difficult.

There is a happy ending to her story, and I hope mine has a similar fate. This is about the 5th time I’ve heard about a voice disorder patient going to the Cleveland Clinic, so there must be something to it. I am lucky to live so close to a world-class medical facility such as this. My plan is to continue with the voice therapy lessons and if they do not provide any relief, my next stop will be the Cleveland Clinic.

My wife thinks I should just go ahead and make the appointment now, and I’m a bit torn: do I give the voice therapy lessons a chance? So far, I’ve had 2 sessions and there are still 4 more left. I think after going to my appointment tomorrow, I’ll be better-equipped to make a decision on it. That will be the halfway point and I will get a good sense about whether this will be helpful to me or not. I do feel that it has been MARGINALLY helpful to this point, but not nearly as helpful as I thought it would be so far. I know, baby steps.

In the back of my mind, I know that I am going to end up at the Cleveland Clinic anyway, so I might as well get it scheduled…because I already know that the voice therapy sessions will not provide me with a “normal” voice…maybe slightly improved, but not enough that I’m going to be satisfied with it.

Progress Report – January 25, 2012

Posted by Rob H on January 25, 2012

This morning I went to my 2nd speech therapy session in my quest to conquer this crazy Spasmodic Dysphonia. During this session, I was practicing moving my voice more “forward” into the front of my mouth rather than coming from my throat. They had me doing sounds like MMMMMMMMM and trying to get me to get a “buzzing” feeling in my lips from it. I was able to get it a few times but definitely need to keep practicing because I really have to concentrate to get it to happen.

The therapist mentioned that my throat muscles looked visibly tense, which kinda shocked me because she could actually SEE it by looking at me. She suggested some relaxation exercises and neck rolls, along with heating pads to try to reduce the tension/stress in these muscles. Specifically, she said that the muscle running down the sides of my neck to my clavicle are clearly visible so I think there may be something to this.

My voice over the past couple days has been up & down – I would say it’s improved slightly over the past week. Whereas my voice was 90% bad and 10% good a week ago, I would say it’s more like 80% bad and 20% good. That extra 10% feels really good, I must say because I’m actually getting a few “normal” conversations in on the telephone. But still I have a long way to go.

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