A Trip Back in Time

In the continuing saga of my voicelessness, I woke up this morning lacking the ability to speak completely. I could not and still cannot speak in anything above a whisper. No sound comes out whatsoever. I called my personnel boss to fill him in on the situation and he immediately demanded that I go to the hospital or doctor that day. Normally, I would have just ignored that advice, but since my job is dependent on my ability to speak, I agreed and got the necessary information from him. Then Jen, who was acting as my voice throughout the phone call, had the genius idea to send Hiro, her boyfriend, with me to my doctors visit. His Japanese is excellent, he is currently on vacation from work with not much else to do, and, best of all, he has a functioning voice.

So, we arrive at the doctors office around five, and it looks a little suspect, like an office straight out of the 1970s Japan style. After much ado, I see the doctor and with very little preliminary questions about what happened to me, all in very poor English that was more Japanese than English I might add, he proceeds to stick a fiber scope camera up my nose and into my throat. And let me tell you, it was seriously painful! Not something I would ever recommend to anyone. If you can avoid them, please do. And then I thought about other places they use fiber scopes. If it was that uncomfortable in my nose, I can only imagine it down my throat and into my stomach, or exploring my intestines. My sympathies go out to anyone who has ever had to endure a fiber scope.

But, anyway, the doctor then launched into a lengthy discussion in Japanese with a little English interspersed about what he saw with the camera, and it was not good. Apparently, in a normal, healthy person, when you speak, your vocal chords close completely. Strange, yes, seems a bit backwards. But when I try to speak, there is a gap. So, since my vocal chords cannot close, I also cannot speak. And my diagnosis is laryngitis. I had to have a camera stuck up my nose to tell me that I have laryngitis? I could have diagnosed that one myself at home. In fact, I DID diagnose that one at home myself. But oh well.

I then am directed to a series of breathing apparatuses that I can only assume were supposed to assist the healing of my vocal chords in some way. What way that is, I am not so sure. But again, oh well. I had to stick an instrument resembling a glass pipe in my nose and breathe for three minutes like that. I have never felt stupider in all my life, seriously. After that, I had to breathe in a warm vapor through my mouth that caused me to drool like a teething baby all down my chin. And as Hiro so aptly put it, the instruments were straight out of the 1970s. I am not entirely sure how they would replace parts if something were to break.

Finally I was finished and we were free to go. All that hassle for a diagnosis of laryngitis. At least it makes for a good blog. Now I am just left to take five days worth of medicine, and follow the doctors orders to speak softly only, as if I were actually able to do anything other than speak softly.

On a closing note, having laryngitis does have its own amusements. Most everyone that I talked to today started whispering as a natural response to my whispering. It was quite a lot of fun for me!


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