As some of you have already learned I underwent throat surgery a few weeks ago to have a polyp removed from my vocal cords. It was a relatively easy and painless procedure that was done in under and hour and I was back home eating ice cream the same day. Five days of vocal rest were needed after the ordeal and let me tell you, that is even more difficult than it sounds. I did slip up a few times, especially right around the time I was waking up, in that gray zone between reality and dreaming. I caught myself asking for more space on the bed and complaining about the incredible dryness that was my mouth.
Lucky for me I live in a time of new and exciting technology. Just the other night, maybe a week before the surgery, Nicole and I watched "The Theory of Everything." A movie which is a biography of Stephen Hawking. Long story short, the film chronicles his life as a guy diagnosed with ALS and his struggles with the loss of ability. Now, I'm not going to go as far as to even come close to saying that being told not to speak for 5 days is as debilitating as a disease as serious as ALS. No way. However, I did get to use a robot voice for 5 days, and as soon as I figured out my iPhone could do that I was super excited. I have a very tiny glimpse into the excitement Stephen Hawking must've felt when all of the sudden he had a voice again. It's almost like learning the guitar solo to Time by Pink Floyd and having that microscopic glimpse into the life of David Gilmour, a person that I obsessively look up to.
By far the hardest part about not talking for 5 days though is not being able to talk to the dog. It's really funny that the dog is a being that gets talked to more than you ever realize. "Do you want to go out," "Would you like a treat," and "Arlo stop, get down" are pretty much the only things I would say to the dog in which I expect a response from him. These sentences however only make-up about 20% of what I say to him. More often you'll hear me ask, "Who's the best buddy in the world," or say, "You might have the worst breath I've ever smelled." Arlo gets a lot of attention, and I do all the talking in that relationship.
Needless to say, the whole experience has left me thinking critically about how I treat myself and my vocal cords. It's easy to push the show and lose your voice. In fact, it's actually a lot of fun. Screaming at the top of your lungs and turning the guitar up suuuuper loud is a severely great time. But just like anything not great for my health, it should probably only be done in moderation.