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life after polyps

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VideoHere
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well,

i just wanted to let all my forum buds know that i've seen dr. woo in manhattan (third opinion) about my voice issue and there is good news and not so good news.

the good news is the polyp is a benign growth. the bad news is it's still a polyp (albeit small) with a broken blood vessel.

so....i have two choices, get the surgery, or give it a year and try to (hopefully) have it shrink away. the doctor dosen't think it will go away on it's own, but since the "c" word is not a concern, i have opted to try the therapeutic approach anyway. can't hurt to try, right?

the bad part is no one can tell me exactly what caused it...vocal abuse, reflux, allergies, trauma, but i have to learn one thing..to live with it.

to speak more correctly and sing more correctly.

i can honestly say while i sang hard, i never remember ever hurting myself or losing my voice.

i did take chest up pretty high a lot, and for this perhaps i'm paying the price.

if there is anyone on this forum who has dealt with, or is dealing with vocal polyps, i really ask you to please let me know your experiences with it. whether you had sugery or not, whatever insight you can give me would be very much appreciated.

bob

if you feel better discussing it offline please feel free to contact me at:

videohere@earthlink.net

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Bob - I'm sorry you have to deal with this.

My sister was a voice major in college and she developed nodules. She had the surgery with no adverse reactions and she could sing again no problem. I'm not advocating surgery although it seems to be a fairly routine procedure.

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Thinking good thoughts for you, Bob. Polyps, as far as I understand, are not always from trauma. Just as equally, if not more so, they can be from genetics. Which means, in your case, they are not necessarily a result from singing or speaking. Pres Reagan had polyps in his colon. Make your own joke about that being induced by trauma.

You will get better. I have decreed it so.

Anyway, Bob, keep singing. And thank you for the gift of song you have given us, from time to time.

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ron, sounds like you're saying goodbye...lol!!!

that's just it..if there's any hope at all of getting this to go away without surgical intervention, i can't do anything...total vocal rest...

that means i barely open my mouth. lots of fun....

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I sometimes wonder if speach patterns and pathologies can be a result of where we live. NYC is a big, loud city and you have to elevate volume and pitch, sometimes, to be heard.

Whereas, where I live, in a rural county in Texas, surrounded by farms, many guys speak with a soft tone and a low volume. There's no need to holler. Not only is the sound level less but, out in a corn field, who are you going to holler to? Save your breath and keep working. Plus, the different pace of life.

That is, I wonder what cultural influences might have as an affect on how we speak and sing?

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All sorts of cultural influences, I would say.

I'm from an Eastern European country, Bulgaria, and higher speech-volumes seem to be the norm in our part of the world, also a more masculine-sounding speaking voice, including among women, especially outside the capitol. Hence, especially in men, the almost total repudiation of falsetto in singing means that almost no baritone here is able sing above A4, no matter the musical style (most top out at G4, which at least in singing competitions here is considered rather impressive).

Even though I'm quite certain that I have good singing technique, I still have a sort of psychological barrier to sing above G4 in front of people, because I'm a baritone, even though I can produce a good solid tone up to F#5. So yeah, cultural factors do matter a lot, and the US is a rather diverse country, both geographically and culturally.

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My problem ain't polyps, but I certainly understand the feeling. With a voice problem like this, the lack of explanation can make it so confusing. You wonder 'did I do it?' and if so what did I do?

But you're right, you'll just have to try harder to do it properly when you get it back. Maybe it's genetic, maybe it's overuse, maybe it was sickness and singing at a bad time?

The first priority is just to get better. If there's one thing I've learned, beating yourself up over what may or may have happened ain't going to bring it back. You just have to try to get it back, and if you can, do your best to take care of it.

Like you told me in the other thread, stick around and fight it. Maybe find something music related, that will be able to accompany your voice, when you get it back. I figure for me, in my case, I'll hopefully be able to play some piano along with my guitar and drumming, maybe some violin, or whatever I can get my hands on. If I get my voice back on top of that, I'll have my Prince routine right? Pull a Stevie Wonder, and play every instrument on my album (and hopefully while developing ridiculously good song writing skills too!).

That's my best advice. The sense of loss can be overwhelming at times, but if you can try to find something that will build on top of what you will get back, so when you do get it back, you'll have that much more. It's the kind of thing that can keep you sane.

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All sorts of cultural influences, I would say.

I'm from an Eastern European country, Bulgaria, and higher speech-volumes seem to be the norm in our part of the world, also a more masculine-sounding speaking voice, including among women, especially outside the capitol. Hence, especially in men, the almost total repudiation of falsetto in singing means that almost no baritone here is able sing above A4, no matter the musical style (most top out at G4, which at least in singing competitions here is considered rather impressive).

Even though I'm quite certain that I have good singing technique, I still have a sort of psychological barrier to sing above G4 in front of people, because I'm a baritone, even though I can produce a good solid tone up to F#5. So yeah, cultural factors do matter a lot, and the US is a rather diverse country, both geographically and culturally.

What an amazingly honest post. Kudos.

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Bob,

While I don't have nodes (to my knowledge), I know what it's like when you're passionate about singing, and you literally can't do it for a while. You're not alone in that. Take pride in the fact you probably have more willpower than others who have trashed their voices by continuing to sing when they shouldn't have (I do fit into this category).

A year of vocal rest seems a bit excessive though... the CVT book says 2 weeks of total vocal rest (i.e. no talking, whispering or anything) will get rid of most nodules. Have you considered that?

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Bob,

While I don't have nodes (to my knowledge), I know what it's like when you're passionate about singing, and you literally can't do it for a while. You're not alone in that. Take pride in the fact you probably have more willpower than others who have trashed their voices by continuing to sing when they shouldn't have (I do fit into this category).

A year of vocal rest seems a bit excessive though... the CVT book says 2 weeks of total vocal rest (i.e. no talking, whispering or anything) will get rid of most nodules. Have you considered that?

i "try" to talk only if i have to, and then not a whisper but softly and connected. i'm gonna give it 6 mos. tops.....

now i have intermitant laryngitis, so i'm going to see the primary care doctor soon. i feel like something else is wrong with me.

i'm so confused by all this.

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It does sound very frustrating. Do you think the laryngitis could be caused by nervousness or fear of damaging your voice? It's important to remember you can easily sabotage yourself, or hold yourself back, if you worry too much about your voice. Generally the healthier option I've found is to really go for it, and use lots of energy, than to hold back and risk under-supporting... this extends to something simple like talking.

When the laryngitis clears up, I hope you'll give some thought to the 2 weeks of total vocal abstinence, I know it would be much easier than going several months without singing.

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It does sound very frustrating. Do you think the laryngitis could be caused by nervousness or fear of damaging your voice? It's important to remember you can easily sabotage yourself, or hold yourself back, if you worry too much about your voice. Generally the healthier option I've found is to really go for it, and use lots of energy, than to hold back and risk under-supporting... this extends to something simple like talking.

When the laryngitis clears up, I hope you'll give some thought to the 2 weeks of total vocal abstinence, I know it would be much easier than going several months without singing.

i hear what you're saying, i wish i could abstain, but i have a business to run...but all the customers are aware i won't be saying much.

as far as singing once the polyp is gone, i'm so afraid of this happening again. it makes you a bit paranoid.

i'm still not convinced my singing caused it.

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Bob... I think you would've known if you were abusing your voice while singing. There are some teachers who say you can't "feel" vocal abuse but I reckon you can. If you don't notice immediate pain or discomfort while singing, then you will be able to tell half an hour later when the swelling sets in.

Good luck with your recovery mate... not that I think you'll need it. :)

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