I start therapy today! Woohoo! (We always knew she was crazy!)
No, no, not THAT kind of therapy. VOICE therapy! Ever since teaching music, I've had issues with my voice. I lose it constantly, and even after a day of teaching, it is often hoarse.
I went to the Voice Clinic in December and had a consultation with a speech-language pathologist and will have another appointment in February with an ear-nose-throat specialist, both who have been doing a study on occupational voice use. The SLP told me that women (check!) who use their voices for their jobs (check!), particularly in large rooms (check!) with high celieings (check!), lots of concrete and windows (check! check!), and relatively noisy environments (check!) are much more susceptible to having voice trouble. This is also compounded when the person is talkative (triple check!), outgoing (check!) and has a busy, active life (check!) that might have them out at restaurants, dances, or in the outdoors freuently (check! check! check!).
Soooo basically, my lifestyle and occupation means that my voice doesn't have a chance. Good times.
And also, she thinks I probably have slightly higher than normal acid reflux when I sleep, compounding my voice and throat issues (which, she tells me, is probably why I cough all. the. time. or need to clear my throat so much even when I'm not sick! Hallelujah! An explanation!). She gave me a list of foods to avoid (um, chocolate, nuts, spicy foods... yeah right!) and told me to elevate the head of my bed 4 to 6 inches so I'm sleeping on an incline. Guess silk sheets are out oft he question, hey? I'd slip right out the end of my bed!
The good news is that the SLP is writing up a report that recommends I have an FM system in my classroom (hooray!). I get to have a little Brittny Spears mic on when I teach and it gets amplified through the entire classroom. Everyone I've ever talked to who has had one of these things says it saves their voice incredibly AND really imporves the behaviour of the students. I figure it's cause there are four speakers mounted around the classroom, and it jsut makes it seem like I'm EVERYWHERE! Muah ha ha!!!
But also, the SLP runs a seven-week, fourteen hour group therapy session for occupational voice users. I'll get to learn all about how my voice works and how to take proper care of it. It's covered by medical, so I'm there! Hip hip hooray, finally an end to my voice woes!
But giving up chocolate? It ain't gonna happen. Ha!
* ok, I know therapy is a GOOD thing and has done a world of good for many, many people. Please don't be offended by my 'crazy' joke, I'm just trying to poke fun at myself!