Voice fading a bit (with audio)

Posted by Rob H on September 27, 2013

I haven’t had an update in awhile, there hasn’t been any dramatic changes in my voice but rather a gradual weakening trend. Below is a voice sample from today, you can hear a little bit more weakening.

Audio MP3

Link to audio if the above audio player doesn’t work.

It’s especially noticeable when I talk a lot. If you recall from the last post, I lost my job towards the end of July and have struggled to find a replacement job since then. I did have a job for 2 weeks where I was constantly on the phone and I noticed my voice tended to wear out after longer phone calls. I have also experienced the return of my stress headaches, from the muscle strain in my neck. I sure didn’t miss that. But it’s usually a sign for me to go get my next Botox injection so that will probably be coming up next month in October. I could MAYBE stretch it out another month into November but that would be pushing it. We’ll see.

My bigger concern is, if I do get another job I will have to get the shot soon after starting…and how that will affect my employment status. Will I lose my job if I can’t speak above a whisper for 2 weeks? After all, I’ll be in my first 90 days of employment and most employers can let you go for no cause within that first 90 days. Also I have been trying to find a job that doesn’t involve talking as much…which is tough to do. Actually, it’s not hard to find those types of jobs but the pay is near minimum wage and that’s not going to help much.

That’s about all for this update, I will surely have more to come soon as I figure out my next Botox date, along with my job search.

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Oct 24, 2013

Good luck with your job search. I’m lucky enough to be able to work online from home, with only occasional phone calls (which can be brutal). The thought of going through a job interview in the future is not something I like to think about.

I’ve had SD for at least 15 years and have struggled with it and more as I’ve become increasingly self-conscious about it around others. One of the few things I found that helped a bit was reading aloud when I’m alone, but unfortunately these days that’s almost never. I haven’t had Botox shots and I’m reluctant to go that route.

Sometimes the situations you’d think would be least difficult are the worst and vice versa. I recently had to talk, unexpectedly, on a long-distance personal call that went on for at least half an hour, and my voice was, for the most part, better than when I have to say “hello” or order a cup of coffee to someone I’ll only speak to once. I think it did help that I let the person on the other end know right from the beginning that I have vocal issues (which I then almost didn’t have).

I think it’s interesting that, anecdotally at least, SD seems to strike a lot of singers and people who do a lot of public speaking. Oddly, judging from what I’ve seen in online forums, it also seems to affect a significant number of speech-language pathologists. You could argue that the singers had simply “damaged their voice,” but I suspect that’s not what’s going on. It seems to tend to affect people who are particularly conscious of their own speech, for whatever reason, or people who are just self-conscious in general, which I am.

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Oct 25, 2013

Thanks for the comment Herv. You may be onto something with the self-conscious thing, I have never liked the sound of my own voice, thought it was too high-pitched and not “manly” enough. Interestingly, now that I have SD I don’t mind my own voice at all (after the Botox, when it comes back). One of those things you take for granted, I guess and you don’t know how good you have it until you lose it.

I know you’re reluctant to try the Botox but I do think if you go to an experienced doctor who knows what they’re doing, you will probably have a pleasant experience. At the very least, if it doesn’t work then you’ll know that isn’t an option for you. But since it’s not permanent you’ll just go back to your old voice once it wears off. Lucky for you, you can work from home and that’s actually something I’ve been exploring a lot lately. We’ll see what turns up.

Anyway, glad you found my blog and keep in touch!

Rob

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