Saturday, August 11, 2007


It's interesting to lose your voice so totally that all you can do, when forced to speak by people who insist on calling even though they know you have lost your voice, is favour them with throaty whispers.

At least two of my friends thought I was being cheeky with them and waited for me to say:

"Hey, you wanna hear me come?"

One thought I was in a meeting.

Most yelled: "Hey, I can't hear you, speak up, speak up, your stupid phone ah, why don't you throw it away and get a proper one?"

(Did I tell you my phone was a cheap Motorola I picked up in Australia when my cheap Nokia gave out? Totally unacceptable in a Malaysian context where your phone has to be funkier than your boyfriend. The only benefit I can see to upgrading my phone, other than having space for more than 20 text messages in the inbox and outbox, is to be able to be always connected to my facebook....woo hoo!)

Anyway, my dear friend Mary, who is part doc, part-Mom, part kooky adviser, brought along her Louise Hays when I went to pick her up to try and help me figure out the metaphysical ramifications of laryngitis.

According to Hays, my total loss of voice could have been attributed to one of a few things. Either I was so mad it shut down my voice box (possible, we just did a function with the partners from HELL), I was afraid to speak up (no, I don't think so, I offered to kick partners from hell in the balls with my stilettos) and I can't remember what the third one was.

I was stunned that my anger (which caused me to imbibe a mix of different wines on an empty stomach) could flame me like this. Wow. Forget anger, this was pure, unadulterated rage.

Anyway, there I was, munching on my Chipotle Roast Chicken sandwich at Coffee Bean, while Mary was going through the book. She carried on a dramatic monologue and tried to lip read or interpret my gestures. Sometimes I took out a notebook and scribbled notes at her. I realised my sign language leaves something to be desired.

Neways, Mary decided that as much as I hate meds, I would have to get some going, especially if I were to be better by Monday, during which time I would be MC-ing an event. We repaired to this pharmacy that had a proper Scottish-trained pharmacist (my sister Jackie is Scottish-trained so I have a particular affection for those) and she was very very nice and gave me mild anti-biotics, an anti-inflammatory and some cough pills. She could tell I was not an anti-biotic sort of girl (they make me throw up) so she advised me like a hundred times to complete the course. Or else I would be signalling to the virus that it was OK to party in my throat.

Ye gods.

Mary stood by and shook a little finger at me and reminded me 50 times after that to take my meds that night. I was going to take the first set of pills at a kopi tiam (coffee shop) right in front of her. I said, yes, yes, OK. And she said, angelchild, set your phone alarm so if you fall asleep you wake up and take your meds, and I said yes, yes, OK and she said, come let's go buy some buns or something, so when you wake up, you can eat something first, no good to take anti-biotics on am empty stomach especially since they make you feel sick and I said yes, yes, OK.

Actually I didn't say anything at all because I couldn't, but just nodded vigorously.

(And you'll be pleased to know, I did)

I think there is an inverse relation between how little you can speak and how many people call you. Because, of course, the bloody phone never stopped ringing. I alarmed a reporter I had never met (who called to ask where Monday's function was going to be held) by whispering fiercely at him. He must have thought I was trying to come on to him.

The office called to alert me of yet another crisis. Changes would have to be made to speech and press release over the weekend. OK no problem.

Friend called to gossip. I couldn't speak and ended up yelling in whispers: "Go, go, go see Richard, or you'll regret it."

Another one called to ask if we were supposed to catch a movie tonight. "Um no, I think not."

Yet another called to find out how I was. He was very sympathetic. Ended up laughing fit to kill himself at my voice. Or the lack thereof. (Sorry Jenn, I couldn't help it, you sounded so funny!)


I woke up today feeling rather poorly. But got my voice back. Or at least the Scooby Doo version of it. It is gravelly and if my sisters were here I would make them laugh.

"Hello Raggy!"


stefany said...

I have "heard" that losing ones voice happens when one feels as if they are not being heard. This, however, usually makes me quite angry. How's your right hip feel?This is where we hold "unexpressed anger" accourding to my acupuncturist. I limped, literally, for 2 years because of incredible hip pain. I went to visit my mom and we had a fight that goes down in history. I screamed like a 14 year old. I even locked myself in the basement. I swear on my life, the pain was gone the next day and has never returned! Definitely consider the yoga. Or write that nasty e-mail living inside you. XO

Nessa said...

Uh, oh, I've had pain in my right hip for about a year. I better think about this. I haven't read Louise Hays in about 20 years. I have found her ideas useful for myself. I always look for the emotional reasons for my physical problems. It helps.

I bet you are very sexy with a gravel-ie voice.

Hope you feel better soon.

Jenn said...

Stef: My right hip feels fine but I will look out for how it feels from now on - thing is I'm busy expressing my anger all over the place...hmmm... I think I will definitely take up yoga - calming, healing, etc.

Nessa: Sexy? LMFAO! It sounds like Mr Ed or something...hehe.

Anonymous said...

Oh, my, this doesn't 'sound' good at all. I hope all your ministrations help. The only thing I've ever heard that is supposed to help this, is DO NOT TALK.

Jenn said...

Jackie: I have taken your advise to heart today. I gesture and make ineffectual noises. And that's about it.