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Lost Voice in a Painful Way

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KillerKu
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I'm a bit of a longtime lurker here. Years ago I was near obsessed with singing, I felt I had finally found my life's passion.

About three years ago, I was singing constantly, sometimes up to five hours a day, but something went seriously wrong. It's hard to even remember how it happened. I remember I was trying some new singing exercises, (glug glug, and hold your tongue out exercises, specifically, which might have been part of it) and I remember after that I got the worst case of laryngitis I'd ever had. Some point after that, my throat went into incredibly painful spasms, for 24 hours straight.

Ever since, my throat has been very prone to spasms, and is constantly in pain/hypertense. Making matters worse, talking and eating aggravate it immensely. I gave up solid food years ago, because generally when I try to eat it the spasms will be back within a few days.

I've been to multiple ENTs now and my vocal cords are fine, but beyond that they don't really know what to do. We've tried treating acid reflux which I had, it didn't work. I'm pretty sure it's not a speech problem 'directly' in itself, because it hurts all of the time, and fairly early on while they had me scoped I did some 'proper' speech for the therapist in which she said I was doing it correctly. When whatever is clamping down releases just a bit, I can produce a fairly normal sound, just with a lot of pain. When the spasms are coming, I can't speak at all, because my throat just locks up. At this rate, I'd prefer to never speak again, it's become torture. If I could trade in the pain and give up speaking for good, I would.

Anyway, I hate to do a fly by post, seeing so many other single post doing the same, but I've actually read you guys for a long time, and you could say I've lived a bit vicariously. I read you all here and I remember back on the days when I could sing. I even see how knowledgeable and passionate about vocal science some of the members are here and it's sometimes given me a bit of hope in the back of my mind that maybe someone will one day solve it. I wanted to be a song writer, I'm a pretty good musician in general, but singing, it was out of this world.

You all please take care of your voices. If something ever hurts just stop. I don't think I'm ever getting mine back now. It makes me think, I'm actually not even that far away from Robert Lunte, maybe if I had taken lessons/help from others, maybe if I wasn't trying maverick everything alone, maybe it wouldn't have happened. I don't even know what happened, apparently nobody knows or how to solve it. All I can guess is I have permanently injured a muscle/tendon/ligament that completely ruined my life.

All I can do is wish you well, and don't let it be you. You've all got fantastic instruments, but you've only got one. I can replace my guitar strings when they break, my drum heads, you can always get more, but not this, there's only one.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey, sorry to hear about your injury. One thought I have is that you may have injured a nerve while singing. Have any of your ENT's mentioned nerve damage? Did they perform an EMG? Since you said the ENTs you went to said everything looked perfectly healthy, looking at the neurological side might be the next step. Some ENT's do the neurological testing in house while some might work with a neurologist. Wherever you decide to go, here are some thoughts you can explore with your ENT:

When a nerve is damaged, it can become hypersensitive, firing off pain signals all the time. There are neurological drugs like Neurontin that are used to control nerve specific pain from damaged nerves. This might be an avenue you want to explore with an ENT. It will at least rule in or rule out the nerve as the source of pain.

Next, with muscle spasms, botox can sometimes be useful to basically paralyze the specific muscles that are spasming. You'd need an injection every 3 months or so. This is often used for muscle tension dysphonia. When you say spasms, are they like coughing fits or more like choking?

Something you could do yourself is look up a book on trigger point massage which might help relaxe some of the muscles in your neck.

Have you done any speech/voice therapy? This may help, too, as sometimes pain will cause more tension and more tension will cause more pain, etc, getting into a vicious cycle that a therapist might help to break.

Finally, what all have you done for the acid reflux and how do you know it's under control? Sometimes reflux can be silent in that you don't really feel the acid 'burn' but it is still getting to your larynx and burning the weaker tissue there. A 24 hour pH test can be a big help here to know for sure if ongoing acid is a factor preventing your healing. Dropping Acid is a great book on the subject, the best coverage on the 'silent' non-acid type of reflux I've seen out there so far, and has many diet tips.

Hope this helps and that you are able to manage this pain.

If your ENT doesn't do any of the neurological testing you may want to look for another ENT. I only know ENTs on the east coast not the west, but you can pm me if you want the names, you might be able to get a referral from them. It's really important to get to an elite voice specialist ENT, the level of diagnosis and treatment options between the 'regulars' and the world class ENT I went to was huge, between the use of EMG and the amount of things they caught that the others did not.

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Thanks for the reply, Truth1ness. I think you're right, in that the ENT I'm seeing right now might not have the right specialty in voice. He has not really suggested nerve damage as a possibility. On the last visit he basically told me he has no clue what is left to do, and that his last idea would be to inject random muscles in the region with botox, hoping to find the one triggering the spasm. Either that, or send me into voice therapy again, which I don't really consider a good option at this point. I've been trying to speak for 3 years, seen singing teachers, speech therapists, I really think it's not technique problem.

On the spasms, it's best described like really vicious leg cramps, except in my throat, near the hyoid region. When they get going fully multiple muscles in the region all seem to start fighting for control. The only theory I have left is I might have torn the ligament between the hyoid bone and larynx when doing the tongue stretch exercise and that the other muscles might be spasming to try to 'stabilize' the joint. But me not being a doctor, I don't really have a way to test that theory, except when I stretch I get a whole lot of tenderness/pain in that region. I've asked my ENTs about muscular/skeletal damage, and they say there is nothing they can do about that. But I don't think they ever did an EMG so maybe that would be a good start?

Nerve damage sounds plausible as well. I'll have to look into that. I've been at my wit's end here. Been traveling 100 miles both ways every couple of months to see a doctor, for 20 minutes tops, just to have him tell me "I really truly don't know." I was about prepared to accept it's not solvable, but if there are more knowledgeable people that's at least some hope. Not that I'm sure I can afford them.

I'm a bit wary of massage, maybe of the lower muscles, but I've triggered spasm before by trying to massage the region myself. At this point, I do everything I can to avoid them, as once they get started they can last for hours.

And I haven't figured out the PM system here yet, it looks like I have to set something up first, but getting a referral to someone with more expertise sounds like pretty much my best option. So thank you again.

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If you ever get over this malady, Killer, then sing whichever way your voice sings and don't think you have to do some mechanical thing like that again. And if anyone tells you otherwise, then, they obviously don't have a clue and their "advice" should receive equal value to zero, i.e., not having a clue.

I hope there is a remedy for you.

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Yea, asking about an EMG would be a good start, it can detect things like one nerve being weak, too much activity during relaxation, if there's any kind of nerve disease, and probably a lot more things that I don't know about. If you can afford it I'd do the EMG to get as much information as you can, then try the botox or any nerve drugs they prescribe.

Looking into the Linklater voice method might also be helpful. That method really focuses on using your whole body for voice production and helps take your mind away from the larynx, which might be helpful to you. There's a book on Amazon and the linklater site lists instructors. I'd normally suggest The New Voice which has a lot of manual tongue relaxation exercises inside your mouth but since you think the tongue exercises were involved maybe Linklater would be a better start. But I still mention it because I don't know what tongue exercises you were doing and the exercises in this book might still be helpful.

Also, here's a list of Laryngologists across the country, I'd start with someone on this list and call to see if they do EMGs: http://www.fauquierent.net/laryngologists.htm

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Whew - nerve damage is possible, but a muscle spasm in-or-around larynx is another possibility. Those bummers can linger a long time because hardly anyone knows what to look for or how to treat. Tongue mechanics move the hyoid bone at top of throat, which tugs on voice box, so an "oops" moment doing vigorous tongue exercises could be explained this way.

I'm just guessing though. Have gotten some good results with this sort of difficulty so feel free to follow-up off-list if you like. Meantime, be gentle, don't yank on your muscles any further, but also don't get stuck in thinking voice is lost for good.

Joanna

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Just curious, it is difficult to breathe while are having these spasms?

Actually, I'm wondering if you have laryngopharyngeal reflux, did your ENT look for that? You have a lot of the symptoms, and if the ENT looked at your vocal cords and noticed nothing wrong then that would make sense it if were LP Reflux.

I would also ask your doctor about spasmodic dysphonia since it is a VERY rare disorder and often goes misdiagnosed because doctors generally don't know of its existence.

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I suppose I'll give an update. It turns out I'm seeing a doctor on the list there so that's both good and bad. Good because I believe he's a good doctor and educated, bad as he seems pretty much at a loss. He's suggested he might be able to switch me to his colleague once he runs out of ideas.

Jcazden, yeah, I'm pretty sure spasming is a significant part of the problem. I got tempted into stretching my neck a few weeks back, and tried moving my tongue around lightly to stretch a little, just to see if I could loosen things up, but as a result I've set off more spasms, that have been coming about daily. Keep in mind, I was moving my tongue very lightly of it's own accord, not holding it out like I suspected caused the injury. Before messing with it, the spasms were not regular, but there is hypertension and pain regardless.

So when talking, stretching, and eating all seem to set it off, all I know to do is 'nothing' and hope it it doesn't randomly set itself off, which unfortunately happens on occasion too.

Mari, it makes breathing more uncomfortable and feels a bit more closed off, but it doesn't obstruct like I can't breath. Reflux was the first thing we tried treating, and I did have it, but supposedly the most recent test said I don't have that anymore after treatment. I'm not convinced on that, because I have involuntarily belching now? Maybe that's all air or it could be reflux, but we did try that path treating reflux and it seemed to dead end.

As far as where the spasm occurs, if it helps, seems very near the hyoid bone, usually seeming to pull it upward to start with. During this recent episode it seemed to start near the digastric or mylohyoideus muscles. After 3 years of spasming it's really hard to tell where it starts though, because once it goes full blown, I can feel multiple muscles fighting like crazy for control of the area.

Another thing I've noticed, is when I do a full stretch, head back, it feels like something is 'injured or wrong' immediately between my hyoid bone and larynx. I've researched there being a ligament there. I've had a theory that maybe that got torn by the tongue stretch and the rest of the muscles are fighting to stabilize an unstable joint. It's unfortunate I wasn't educated about these things prior to injury, or perhaps I would have been more careful.

Anyway, It feels strange going to a forum as new poster and doing a tell all on my medical problem that pretty much ruined my life. But honestly, I'm having enormous difficulty having hope now. Not just in singing, or speaking, eating again comfortably, but that I won't have to live in fear of the pain or experience the despair when it really kicks in, keeping me up all night.

So I wanted to thank you all for the words of encouragement. This is a very dark time for me, I spend every day trying to make a decision on whether to just throw in the towel or keep up the fight. It can be very, very painful. But if I can get better, somehow, someway it will all be worth it and I'll try to turn my life around after this major setback. I never got to achieve what I wanted yet in this life, and I don't think I've helped enough people or did enough good, and I never got to make the music and share it with the world that I desperately wanted to make.

But if this is as good as it gets, I don't think it's worth it over the long haul. I had a close friend commit suicide this year, and she was physically healthy, she was just tormented in other ways I understand, but I believe things could have gotten better for her. If I could I'd trade spots with her to give her another chance, but I think of everything she left behind (including me), and I don't feel ready. I want to fight. I want to have a reason to have hope. But I've never been a man of faith and when doctors are exasperated and telling me they have no idea how to fix it, a reason has only been getting harder to come by.

So EMG, hmmm... It sounds really painful inserting needles into an already spastic area and electrocuting them, but if it can help and I can get a doctor to do it on my insurance, hopefully that will at least take some of the mystery out of this. I still don't even have my next appointment setup, so that could be sometime away too.

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Hey man, don't give up hope. There's still a lot of docs and therapists with a lot of different tests and treatments left to try. I mean you haven't even tried the botox yet that your ENT recommended. If they can find the right muscle and calm it down that might solve your problem! I'm actually curious, is there a reason you haven't given it a try after three years? From the little I know it's a pretty safe and painless procedure and if your ENT suggested it maybe you should move forward with that after this much time. There's videos online of the procedure if watching it first helps. If it's going to be months before you can get an emg you could do a round of botox before then I think. I have no idea if your torn ligament theory is correct, but if it happens to be true, I imagine botox would also help it heal because your spasms are probably reinjuring the tear if that's actually what happened. I know they give it to people with granulomas because it gives the tissue a chance to heal with the muscles relaxed.

The EMG is not painful at all. I had one and when he finished I didn't even know he had put the needle all the way in and back out already.

That's good that your ENT was on the list. I think that at least adds extra weight to his recommendation to try botox. If you are still concerned you can ask him how often he does that procedure.

Keep your spirits up. I had a really dark period with my voice and legs at the same time and am still working through it so I partially understand how you feel having your life derailed. One hope inspiring thing I've noticed is that almost every truly great person has had some kind of horrible dark period in their life that seems like it should have stopped them but ended up pushing them to their ultimate accomplishment. It's almost like a requirement or a badge. My favorite one to think about is FDR. Guy gets polio and paralyzed from the waist down, spends 10 years basically trying various treatments with pretty much no result, then ends up saving the world as president and creating the world's leading polio rehab center.

And I think you're going to find a solution. What you've done so far with treating the reflux and some therapy is like the basic first line treatments they give to almost everyone. You may need to be more assertive with the doctor and let him know you are ready to get into more involved tests or treatments, even if he has to refer you to a larger voice center for them. Please keep us updated and don't feel bad about posting all this as a fairly new member. That's what this board is for.

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I'm actually curious, is there a reason you haven't given it a try after three years? From the little I know it's a pretty safe and painless procedure and if your ENT suggested it maybe you should move forward with that after this much time.

Numerous, really. First, it took at least a year to find someone (qualified) who would take the problem seriously. I've had a history of depression and have had doctors imply that I'm crazy and it's psychosomatic. I can't even describe how bad that feels to hear that, when I've broken bones, and that experience was a cakewalk compared to this.

It's also taken quite sometime to get the reflux treatment tested, treated, and tested again. My current doctor had said he was 70 percent sure it was an inferior pharyngeal muscle in response to reflux. But if it is, it feels much higher than that. Since then he seems to have no faith in that theory or in mentioning it, so it must have been a dead end.

I've never been able to drive well and speaking is pretty much torture, so I have to rely on family to coordinate the long trips, and they don't have that much free time, for example my brother is working and going to school. So finding a space for both a busy doctor and my family is very messy.

Finally, on the visit before last, I was actually 'in' a spasm for the first time seeing this doctor. I wrote a note explaining I probably wouldn't be able to talk well that day for that reason and was clearly distressed. He said he still wanted to look in there, and kept trying have me talk for the video, making the spasms worse. Ultimately he got visibly frustrated and told me 'there is no physical reason for this.'

After that he brought in a speech therapist who had never seen me before, or heard me speak, who told me in a condescending way, 'You look angry. Why are you so angry? I'll just have to break it to you then, that you talk wrong.' So she kept trying to force me into stretching and 'speaking correctly' (which was impossible because I was spasming, which is involuntary) until she eventually gave up leaving me in a worse state than when she came in. After that experience I lost most of my faith in my doctor, and felt crushed. It took me many months to work up the courage to go back, but I had to go back because I don't know where to go or what to do.

Only on the last visit, was botox suggested, but it was amongst 2 other options: "Rigorous speech therapy, going to see another doctor for a 2nd opinion, or 'maybe' botox," in which he kind of weighted his words to favor the other two, but I chose botox based on my understanding of the problem. Still, his body language and even the tonality in his voice haven't given me such great confidence anymore and he's suggested sending me to other doctors repeatedly.

But I'm afraid of going back on this gamut of seeing random doctors. I've had them sometimes barely containing their laughter at how much 'apparent pain the crazy guy is in.' Some of these doctors are just vicious, and if I could speak I'd have torn them a new asshole, but it's like they take advantage of the situation and will use that opportunity to put words in my mouth, and taunt me. Each time this happens, I feel despair so deep, it's like if you're drowning, and the only people who might have the life saver are just laughing at the 'crazy guy gulping down all of the water.' I really hate going to doctors at this point, I'd prefer if I never had to go again, but I know I've got a serious problem and they are the only people who can likely help.

Until this happened, I never realized how hard it could be to convince some people you have a problem. I've even had a childhood friend, you know someone I've known since I was 4 years acting like I was faking it. Sure he's an asshole, but he's far from alone.

Back when I could tell my doctor seemed to have some faith in trying to resolve the problem I had a bit more faith too. So it's partly me losing faith in the situation that has slowed the process down, but also it's been a very long process until this point and a very, very bad experience on so many levels.

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Yikes, sorry to hear about the bad experience. Knowing more about your logistical situation, I think contacting Joanna Cazden who replied a few posts ago would be a really good idea. She does speech therapy online through Skype, which sounds perfect for you because of your transportation situation, not to mention she's super nice and knows your history already from this thread. Speech therapy is something that will be helpful whether you decide to get the botox or not, so I wouldn't look at it as an either-or decision. Try some sessions, and if you still need more help try the botox.

Also for future doctor visits, it might be a good idea to print out a summary of your symptoms so the doctor/therapist can read it in full before getting impatient. I don't see how anyone could get angry at you if they had read the history you've laid out in this post first.

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Yo, Killer, let me give you some advice from my life experience. I don't talk about this, not because I am afraid to but because it is not germaine to most posts on this forum.

My mother committed suicide with my S&W .38 Police Special. Shot herself 4 times in the mid-thoracic. 4 days in the hospital. She had a standing DNR with my brother and me. My brother had to make the decision. After the police were finished with the investigation, I retrieved the gun. Years later, my first wife swallowed the barrel of that same .38.

And then she visited me, a few months after her passing. "Ending it all" didn't end it all. It really is not a solution.

What if you could never sing again? Some of the best vocal instruction I have received is from a person who cannot sing again, ever. You could still have an excellent life giving to others the gift that you have and the wisdom you have, even if it is just to tell them to never try "tongue stretching" exercises. If that saves at least one more person from what you have been through, it is worth it and you have made the world a better place. That may or may not mean something to you. But it means something to me.

Trust me, I am on the highway to Hell. But I help people when I can. Even with my own baggage. Yes, my mother and my first wife made their own decisions, but they made their decisions with my gun (which I don't have, anymore.) Nor am I anti-gun. I fully believe in the 2nd Amendment rights we have in America. Truth be known, I would, if I could afford it, get a Mossberg ATR 100 series .308 with a scope to go deer hunting. But, with my limited budget, I would rather spend my money on singing and music. And I carry the weight of my mother's death and my 1st wife's death with me, always.

You do not want to saddle your family with that, trust me. And you have so much to give. And maybe the right doctor is just around the corner, sometimes, literally.

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  • 1 month later...

Thread revival. Kind of needed mental distance, but I'm ready so here we go.

Ronsw, this could go without saying, but I'll say it anyway. From your posts here I see you as a wonderful person and I'm truly sorry for the loss of those closest to you. I've had depression all of my life, probably since I was 7 years old, but I've always tried to fight this aspect of myself through seeking kindness and a greater rationality over my immediate feelings. I suppose those of us prone to this state of mind are walking time bombs, but I hope you know, that when we do have people who love us, however long we are here, it's incredibly valuable.

I'm sure you've given so much to your loved ones in the time you had together. I'm happy I could be there for my friend. Even though it wasn't enough for her to stay. I think in the end, people like us are a lot happier knowing people like you. So thank you from myself, and I'm sure your loved ones felt the same way. For your experiences of afterlife, I'm agnostic so I don't commit to anything I can't know, but I hope if there is one, there is no god that tortures those who were tortured in life. If I'm ever doomed to be a ghost, I hope I can spread good will to the world in some way.

For me, it's getting increasingly difficult to use my desire to be good to my family, and my higher thinking to overcome my urge to stop the physical pain and all of the additional problems this has caused me. The speech problem is obvious, but just thinking back when I could eat comfortably and didn't have to go on an all liquid diet 'to be safe.' Perhaps worst, is while I've always been a shut in, I'm terrified of leaving my home now, because I don't want to be caught in a spasm in public. It's happened before, and it's terrible to be in that kind of pain, surrounded by people I can't even talk to. I feel the need to deal with this pain alone both because it's humiliating and people just 'don't get it.'

I suppose by keeping my option of giving up on the table, it allows me to think 'just fight one more day, and if you can't take it, you'll have that option.' I find that much easier to deal with than thinking 'you might live like this the rest of your life like this.'

The two biggest dangers I face, are the full blown spasms which are flat out the worst pain I've ever experienced in my life, and when I try to get help and having people treat me badly or say something that takes away my hope. I've come home from certain visits, so very very close to giving up.

But I'm terrified, that if the next person I see, I might not be be able to talk at all. To be in so much pain while people act like it's funny or nothing's happening because they can't 'see' it causes me so much stress. And you know, stress and muscle tension. That doesn't help either.

I will say, on the plus side, the last few days have been above average. I've been able to talk with less pain to my brother in short amounts a little over the day. If I can get a full sentence without having to stop, those are very good days.

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Ok Dante, I had not heard of muscle tension dysphonia, and my doctor had not mentioned this, but yes the name 'sounds' likely to be similar to what's going on. What's making me more frustrated is it doesn't seem to be isolated to one of the muscles, but the 'starting' point seems to generally be above the hyoid bone.

About current my doctor, while he hasn't been able to solve the problem thus far, I think doesn't know what to do with me and is extremely busy. I don't want to publicly name him on the forum, out of respect, but I can can email you his name once I figure out this email system on the site.

Over time, I've realized I'm a rare and problematic case. I've been reading that years ago, I would have probably been dismissed with 'globus hystericus' and tossed aside. I think this legacy is part of why I have such trouble getting taken seriously. For me that's obviously just no, this is so painful I've given up food. It's stressful too, obviously, but it happens when completely relaxed, randomly too. Or when trying to eat, all of that.

No I haven't tried any supplements. I've always kind of stayed on the science path, and am wary of things that haven't been researched very well or that I can't see a clear cause and effect. But if there is evidence that something might help repair tissue, I don't see why not. After 3 years, doctors not figuring it out. I don't know what to do.

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Hey Killer, Cuno's suggestion about supplements reminded me of something I thought I'd mention. I know Apple Cider Vinegar is recommended by a lot of people for general voice problems, but I learned it's really good for cramps, too. I remember I had seen some product called "Stops Leg and Foot Cramps" on Amazon and the main ingredient was ACV. My mom gets fairly regular horrible cramps in her legs and one time I poured her a shot of plain old ACV and to both of our amazements the cramp stopped within seconds. She keeps a bottle by her bedside now.

I know it's anecdotal but it's pretty cheap and commonly used among singers so might be worth a try. There's multiple reviews on the Amazon page with similar results. It also says you can rub it into the skin with a slightly slower effect, which might be the safest option for you if you are in the middle of a cramp since you probably don't want to risk swallowing anything at that time.

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Once again, Killer, you need a doctor that knows what he is doing and I said that in my outside voice and I don't care if that offends your current doctor or you in your choice of doctors. You need to find another doctor, period, paragraph, new book.

And by the way, I still find suicide to be selfish and it doesn't solve your problems, that was the whole point of that story. If, in your case, it is an hormonal or chemical imbalance, then it sounds like whatever doc has you on the right meds.

But I cursed Kurt Cobain and what he did was cowardly and eternally, for me, colors any accomplishment of his. For his action to kill himself left his children in the care of Courtney Love. What a dumb move. But he just had to leave because he had stomach pains and wouldn't go to a doctor? And didn't want to get too famous? What he needed to do was grow up and be a man. We all go to work, not always feeling 100 %. Suck it up and move on, anyway.

I think it's kind of interesting that Dante, who's not even a doctor, knows what to call your malady, which sounds like it dead-on and your doctor doesn't. You need a different doctor.

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Truth1ness, I was looking into the apple cider vinegar thing, for acid reflux, but I never tried it. Might as well, not much to lose.

Ronsw, I can respect how you feel, but my belief is it's pretty much impossible to understand completely someone else's state of mind or their pain threshold. While I'd agree leaving your children behind is unacceptable, I'm blessed to have none, and having felt some of the emotions suicidal people feel, I think I can forgive at least those in my life.

It's probably not worth going into detail about my family's history and how it's effected me as this is a singing forum. I'll just say my father was a violent psychopath (died when I was young), and my mother has been mentally ill throughout her life. She's now medicated beyond recognition of the person I once knew growing up. All of the intelligence I remembered, she's almost a zombie now. I still love her, but I'm very careful what I put into my body after seeing what they did to her to try to fix her 'mental illness.'

Me, I have good qualities and bad qualities. I'm fairly intelligent and kind, I care about those close to me and I try to be a good person, but people expect more of me and I could never deliver this in my lifetime so far. You know how some people are naturally intellectually challenged? I don't think I am, but I've come to the conclusion that I likely have an emotional equivalent. That's what every doctor has said about me, what I've been diagnosed with my whole life, I believe it's there. That's personal information and a lot of people use that kind of information to attack me, but it's my honest belief. This was already challenging for me, but the physical pain, and not being able to eat, not being able to socialize reliably, it's enough for me to want to justify intellectually giving up if there is not a solution to be found in the near future. It may be selfish to end the pain, but it's also selfish for people to demand I live in pain indefinitely for a cure that might not be possible.

That said, I'm willing to fight. I'm willing to keep going. You're right, everything hasn't been tried yet. I will keep trying. I will look for more solutions and if I can solve this I'll try to turn my life around. I will try to contact different people, but yes you're right I'm choking. I'm well known for choking. I could never drive, because I get really strong emotions that I'm going to hit someone and kill them. I could never overcome that feeling and when I felt that way I couldn't focus on the road. I'd run stop signs, and generally freak out.

But now, it's not just an emotional thing, it's a physical problem that I'm trying to cope with. And when it gets going fully it's the worst pain I've ever encountered. For once, I have a very very good reason for my fear.

I'll just say I really wanted to do something artistic in my life, because I thought I could capitalize on all of my flaws. Just on a sound level, on an artistic level, that's a place I can actually join other people and not be so disadvantaged. What I feel in art, it doesn't have to be an emotional disability anymore when I feel things I'm not supposed to feel. Everywhere else I've ever found in this world, I always felt the wrong things. I'd always do the wrong things. People don't want me. But with music, I've thought maybe all of these things that people truly hate about me could be turned good for a lot of people. That by expressing some of those feelings, I could make a lot of people happy. That's probably why I ever felt such a strong drive to sing in the first place. I just never expected even this would go wrong. I guess I did this wrong too.

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Glad to know I'm not alone in having felt this way, Dante. I've had my thyroid checked but none of the other things. Considering I've been on a primarily all liquid diet (nutrition shakes) for years it's possible my body is going out of whack too.

To be honest, I feel a bit overexposed and vulnerable. I never intended to get this personal on the forum. Probably not a problem, but I think I'll step back for a bit.

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Ok everyone. I emailed Joanna. I have to take these steps. I can't let my fear control me. I have to do whatever I can to get better, even if it's not possible I have to try. Thank you all for the words of encouragement. If I didn't have your perspectives, I might still be sitting here letting the fear, pain, and previous experiences with my doctors control me.

______________________________________

Edit:

She says my current doctor would be great to try (probably didn't know he was my current doctor!). I thought he was the best doctor I've found so far and a good person. I know he's frustrated with me (can't figure out what's wrong with me and tired of dead end treatments), but I was confident he was a good doctor, that's why I'm not going to drag him through the mud here.

Still, I might have to try another one but hopefully his choice of a speech therapist will be good if we can get back in contact. Dante has a suggested another doctor I can contact too for the route of a second opinion. I think I need to give an extremely skilled and educated speech therapist a try. I'm not at all convinced it will work, because I have tried about everything under the sun to fix my voice, but I'm not an expert.

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