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Recovery after reflux damage!

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googoohead
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I had nodules after overuse and I actually gave up music for many years! When I began singing again, my voice was totally functional as long as I warmed up. But then a medication I started taking caused acid reflux. I didn't even know it was happening until I began to feel the same pain I felt years ago due to overuse!

I'm controlling the reflux now, and after a giant effort to encourage healing, (by not speaking and making sure I catch the reflux quickly to stop it with occasional meds and "home remedies").

Now the pain is gone. My speaking voice has been getting stronger and stronger... and after a long long while, now I started singing again while writing music.... using voice VERY softly... after humming softly to warm up.

The singing seems to've helped. I can hit notes clearly after only a few days but it feels like I'm always in head voice. Gone is the crisp clear tone I had before the meds wrecked my voice. In the morning I sound better... even before warm-up. As the day wares on, that "head voice" thing gets worse. I'm alone during the day so I don't speak at all.

Any advice will be very much appreciated.

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First off, how wonderful you have made it back to singing.

Our admin, Videohere (everyone calls him Bob) suffered a polyp that went away without surgery, through use of vocal rehab. Then he got some lessons with an opera coach.

He, too, suffered from acid reflux. And took meds for that. So, he would really identify with you on that.

A few years ago, I gave myself partial laryngitis, twice, trying something that was not meant for me and I tried it without direct instruction.

So, I went back to the classical methods I understood and re-assessed my goals and have not had a problem since then.

What is difficult is to assess what different people mean by head voice. We had a guy that thought he was doing falsetto because it didn't feel to him the same as his lower notes. But hearing him sing, it was not falsetto.

By technical definition, one is in head voice after passaggio, whether it "feels like it" or not. "chest" on higher notes is an auditory illusion.

And some people just do better when they first wake up than later in the day. There are morning singers who do fine in the pro world because their "morning" is about 2 or 3 in the afternoon.

Anyway, look up Videohere and look up Joanna Cazden. And Steven Fraser. Videohere for a fellow sufferer of similar maladies. Joanna, the reigning queen of vocal health. And Steven, the encyclopedia of all things singing and the ability to express it in layman's terms.

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THANK YOU for being so diligent in voice care.

Have you seen a laryngology doctor recently? A checkup would make sense at this point.

Your symptoms sound like a possible vocal weakness (cords don't meet fully or internal strength doesn't engage). Best to get a videostrobe exam, however, and a few sessions of speech therapy with a voice expert who can help "tune-up your equipment." If you're no longer near the medical team who helped you previously, www.ncvs.org has a good referral list for USA clinics.

Meantime I would be careful NOT to push too much air through your voice; the standard recipe of "relaxed throat and more breath" does NOT work for everyone especially those who feel stuck in falsetto.

Feel free to contact me off-list or schedule a Skype consult, I'm happy to trouble-shoot further.

all the best --

Joanna

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