Have you ever lost your voice? I mean, REALLY lost your voice?
I mean the losing of a voice to the point where you think you’ve forgotten how to speak
When you open your mouth and nothing comes out, not even a whisper and you genuinely wonder if you’ll ever be able to speak again?
A lot of people seem to lose their voices in winter – or at least they say they do – but they often manage to croak words out. Since becoming a mum and returning to work I have lost my voice on several occasions. Not partially, but completely, I haven’t even been able to croak or whisper a word
When it first started happening we all thought it was funny. We joked about it and I even went to a fancy dress party as a mime because coincidentally I had lost my voice when the party was due to happen. People would often laugh and joke that the hubster got his wish in me being quiet, and they’d try and act out charades at you because they thought it was the ‘thing to do’ with you
As time went on, losing my voice stopped being funny. The world isn’t equipped for mutes – devices like Siri and Echo rely on voices or speech recognition – shop assistants make small talk with you, and no one quite knows what to say or do with the mute before them
I have a speech app on my phone, and it is used whenever I’m unwell, but actually by the time I have typed and press play, the conversation has moved onto an other subject, or the person at the other end is frustrated at waiting – and I’m pretty fast at typing! It actually causes more arguments because I’m frustrated and so is the other person, and neither of us can effectively communicate
I know when it’s likely to happen – often when I’m rundown or catch a cold, in fact colds are the worst and I end up unbelievably cautious at this time of year – if you sneeze I’m likely to ask you if you’re ill and avoid you like the plague. I take daily vitamins, aim for 5+ vegetables and fruit a day, and even eliminated some key foods from my diet
It’s truly scary when it happens, and usually after 4-5 days or some antibiotics later I’m back in the land of talking and speaking, reminding myself that having a voice is an absolute luxury and that I need to find some magic method of preventing it’s loss again. I sit and wonder if I should learn sign language, or find a world where I can communicate effectively without fear of people thinking I’m weird of different
I often wonder how other people would cope – it certainly knocks my confidence. Would you be able to make it through a day without speaking – not even to say goodnight to your loved ones? Do you feel lucky to have your voice? I have mine back and I certainly do.