I’ve had a rough month… well, rough couple of months actually.
I’ve been sick for a while. Mostly just cold-type sick, the kind students pass around the classroom and teachers with weak immune systems catch, no matter how often they drink Emergen-C or take their vitamins or keep up to date on things. I catch everything my students have, I always did. But, starting in September, I was throwing up almost on a daily basis, and I had a sore throat (that really kinda started in August if I want to be truthful). I drank tons of water and tea just to keep my voice from cracking and the soreness from getting worse. I got to the point that about mid-October I went to the doctor, because I just felt like something was wrong that had me throwing up and sore all over like that (diagnosis: acute laryngitis). He gave me some medicine and told me I would get better.
Two days later, however, something else happened. In fact, it was a month ago today.
I lost my voice.
And, no, I don’t mean that I can whisper or create some noises like humming sounds. The only thing I can make, and have been able to make in a month, is a cough. Even when I gurgle water, the only noise you hear is the liquid bubbling in my mouth.
I remember a lot about the day I lost my voice – specifically how bad of a day it was. My voice had been hoarse the whole week (what most people consider losing their voice actually), and we had a last moment parent-teacher conference that I had to lead when I got to work (which, I got there late of course) and I had no idea what it was about since I didn’t schedule it. And then, we had an AR party that interrupted the day and threw all of my 5th graders off of their schedules… which, of course, threw their behavior off as well. Parents were in the school that day, and constantly coming in to see what was going on in the classroom and to try to conference with me while I was trying to teach. By the time I got to lunch, I was miserable and in pain. I grabbed our 5th grade teapot (one of our now ex-parents works for Teavana and spoiled us rotten) and filled it with tea for me to drink just to try to get through my last class of students.
I drank the entire pot of tea. And my drama club in the afternoon were directed to come in and work on the scripts they were writing… I didn’t have it in me to even give them instruction, I just felt so weak.
The entire drive home, I was crying because the day was just horrible. My glimmer of hope was Shaun had a call-in shift (which they never need him for), and if he didn’t go in we were going to the comedy club that night to see a friend.
Well, he got called in, and I fell asleep on the bed for a nap feeling completely defeated.
When I woke up? My voice didn’t wake up with me.
It’s been a month, and five doctors, with no answers. I haven’t been able to work since then (try teaching 70 rambunctious 5th graders with no voice and see what happens), and am still fighting off constant laryngitis and other things. I’ve noticed over the past two weeks that light bothers me now, and lots of sound. I get dizzy easily. It’s weird to think it’s all connected to my voice… but, for some reason it is.
So… why am I writing about this out of nowhere, when it’s been almost a year and a half since I’ve written anything? Well… I needed to get my thoughts on it out somewhere. And, if it just so happens that I get through this, or get an answer, and someone else starts going through the same thing… well, maybe it’ll help them. I’ve scoured the internet for HOURS trying to find something similar to me. And do you know how hard that is to find?
I feel for Shaun, having to interpret everything his wife is saying (oh, yeah, hey, I got married). Having to provide for both of us on his movie theater job while looking for something more “adult.” Not knowing what our future is going to hold and having to live in constant distress.
It’s scary. I’m terrified. I’ve always relied on my voice, and even though I go through constant bouts of hoarseness with it (I’m always sick in my throat, always), I’ve never had this happen before. And currently, my career is hanging on the line with it.
I don’t know what’s going to happen… outside of my husband and I continuing to rely on one another, and learning how to communicate thoughts in different/unique ways. I do know one thing for sure though….
Silence isn’t golden.