In my line of work, I need to communicate ideas. I often find myself drawing complex issues as very simple designs. I tend to remind my kids that dad spends his days at work drawing. With each of those designs comes a story. I have spent 20 years (argh, that went by so fast!) dealing with clients of various types, learning to read their body language and response to my stories. I’d like to think that I’m rather good at what I do, given the feedback I’ve had.
All that to say that yesterday my voice starting going on me. By about 10am, I sounded like I had smoked a couple packs. By 1pm, like an 80 year old hitting puberty. By 5, well, there were sounds but it felt quite painful in my throat. Tried to sleep it off, no good and this morning I’m without any voice outside of a whisper.
While I can write just fine, and it’s a rather strong part of my toolset, it is not my primary tool. Speaking is where I tend to make the most direct impact, the writing is what precedes and follows it. Not being able to speak… it’s actually quite surreal. I can’t think of a time where I’ve ever lost my voice. Sure, a sore throat or something but not completely gone. It’s a bit like that dream where you’re in front of a crowd, only to realize that you don’t have pants. It isn’t the embarrassment, it’s that it’s not you.
So with a day off for rest (and pots of honey tea), it’s really making me think about how I am dependent on certain tools and am rather at a massive loss without them. Sure, you can say that you’d make do but I would bet dollars to donuts that there isn’t a single person out there who would try to go a day without speaking when they could. Well perhaps aside from the wise man on the mountain. It’s just such a massive piece of who we are that to lose it, even for a short period of time, it’s really quite dumbfounding and frustrating.
Hope it heals up quick.
I lost my voice once while on a short vacation. I agree with the surreal feeling. Being out in a place I was utterly unfamiliar, I had to rely on my then-girlfriend to communicate for me, talk to family, order food, etc. It was very strange not having a means of communication that I largely take for granted.