My Vocal Injury Journey Part IV
(Back-entried from April 2017)
After another month of speech pathology, I was allowed to start testing out my vocal range with scales, in front of my pathologist and ENT. I have finally found out that my issue lies on the notes A, Bb, B, and C… the passaggio of a female voice, and where my nodules were located due to overuse of my belt in that range. During this time, my chords finally were starting to work outside of this range a little bit, but the sound it made on these notes in particular was now a strong grinding sound instead of just air or cracking. Almost like a supreme heavy rock singer who had been smoking for 50 years…
A Worker’s Comp nurse has been coming with me to all of my appointments now, and sort of acts as a liason between my show, my case manager, and all of my doctors. I’m not allowed to communicate much with anyone other than her, which can be difficult at times. She is SUPER nice, and really helping make this process easier now, but it takes weeks sometimes to go through each and every person a part of my injury case for approval with simple stuff, ie: starting to work with an actual singing voice doctor. Hopefully I’ll be getting approval for that after my next ENT appointment, and can really start the forward momentum to get back to work.
When I’m not at physical therapy for my spine, vocal or doctors appointments, I mainly sit on the couch and count the fuzzies on the carpet… or write. I can’t work out, I can’t train my new pup. My family, boyfriend, and best friend all took turns watching my dog, taking him to dog training and walks. I’ve been pretty physically and vocally helpless. Throw in scrolling through social media in a negative spot and seeing everyone happy and healthy doesn’t help my mental empowerment much, either.
Oh- And you remember that “pseudo-celebrity” lifestyle I was talking about in the first entry? Not when you’re out of sight! Almost everyone has seemed to go missing. I’ve noticed a lack of communication from basically anyone in the industry now, unless I go out to an event with my boyfriend- then the floods of questions come. Not sure if it was because they didn’t know the depth of how much a text “hello” would help, or if I turned down an invite more than a few times I was canned. I’ve stopped reaching out, because I don’t want to seem like I am needing attention or a dark cloud. I just want to be normal again.
Granted, the majority don’t even know about my back, but I learned two very big lessons: it’s very hard to cry out for help and have someone just listen, and it’s also very apparent who your truest friends are in a lingering moment of crisis. I do wish that this process wasn’t so isolating, but at the same time, when friends do reach out, I don’t really feel like talking. I’ve become a bit of a dark cloud, and don’t have a whole lot of positivity to add to a conversation. Hopefully this is just a part of the entire journey, and it is allowing me to 100% focus on healing my voice… and my back.
Speaking of my back….
Two injections and a small back surgery later, I was back up, in physical therapy 3 times a week, and vocal rehab 3-4 times a week. Throw in ENT appointments for Worker’s Comp, letters proving I’m not just wanting time off “for fun”, and having my integrity tested, I am a super super busy lady. 10 times busier than if I were healthy… ironic.
There are still days I start bawling because I dropped my cell phone and didn’t want to bend over to pick it up. Or I’m embarrassed to ask my boyfriend to fold my laundry, or watching my dog taking a dump on my carpet right in front of me, and not being able to clean it up.
Everything this last month made me on edge, except for my dog, my amazing family, a few close friends, and my boyfriend. Isaac showed every single color of his core throughout this process, and they are all so vividly bright. As cheesy as it sounds, I call him my Earth Angel. I don’t know how I would have gotten through all of this without him.
It can get overwhelming, but my mental state is FINALLY starting to change from sadness to determination. I am absolutely determined not to get swallowed up.