The Voice, End of Week 3

Welcome to the 4th blog post chronicling my journey as a career voice teacher and singer who was recently diagnosed with vocal fold paralysis.

I have chosen to proceed by looking for magic, rooting out unhealthy personal attitudes in order to heal them, continuing to teach and learn with joy, cultivate more stillness and move forward with my life somehow.

This week’s cat scan of my neck and brain stem went quickly, (results as yet unknown) and I was warned ahead of time, by the technician, of the strange sensations from the intravenous contrast drugs that accompany the procedure. Hot flashes and the sensation of peeing down my leg (just sensations, mind you–not actual pee going down my leg,) accompanied my sojourn into the cat scan machine. I would have gotten out of that place faster if the technician hadn’t decided I was a trustworthy soul to talk to about her upcoming elevation in the ranks of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

My decision to be open to magic and receive help from anywhere lit up this week in rainbows.  I felt like I was walking through Willie Wonka’s magic candy land. Ordinary conversations, teaching, cooking, all felt heart-happy. I was able to put things in perspective and see how blessed I am in tons of ways.

I had two lunches with friends. Mindy provided some wonderfully creative solutions to several issues and Kate surprised me with a gift of a pendant containing the gemstones chrysocolla and malachite.  According to healing and gemstone lore, chrysocolla is meant to heal the throat chakra and malachite heals the nervous system.


It was also week of stepping up self-care in a myriad of ways.

Wednesday I began psycho-spiritual counseling. I found it very fruitful. The baby steps toward dealing with life-long issues took a flying mile forward this week.

I’m actually taking off this week from both physical exercise and the vocal therapy exercises. I’ve put on a some weight this past fall, caring for my mom after she fell, and am giving up worrying about the weight-gain. Stress over-works the adrenal glands. When they burn out they produce cortisol which collects as fat in the belly. The adrenals have to get back into balance before exercise can burn fat effectively. I have been through healing the adrenals through nutrition and rest before, and I know that works.

While I am still exploring options on how to teach some things, students don’t seem to mind.

I am sorry it took this diagnosis to realize that I was not caring for myself in the ways I needed, but this realization has been one positive outcome. I am still collecting medical information. Having the vocal folds healthy but not able to respond to nerve impulses is a different scenerio than when vocal cords are damaged, like in the highly publicized case of pop singer Adele.

Our daughter, now 20, used to incessantly quote movie lines while she was young. Film characters spoke what she felt, thought and found funny. Recently, the character of Leslie Knope in the TV show Parks and Recreation spoke some lines for me:

No one achieves anything alone. So let’s embark on a new journey together. Let’s break out a map. Not the old out-of-date one that shows where we’ve been, but a crisp new one that shows where we might go.