Today is the fifth day I have gone without a voice. It kind of sucks. But it’s also kind of interesting. I don’t feel sick, just tired, so I’m mostly able to go about my life normally except that my main mode of communication is now cut off.
I spent some time the other night thinking about what it would be like to go through the rest of my life unable to talk. To those of you that know me, you know that’d be very difficult for me!
Modern technology has made it much easier for a voiceless person to communicate. I don’t feel very cut off since I can text message and email with friends. However, I couldn’t chat with my grandma when she called me yesterday. And when I went to get dog food yesterday afternoon, the clerk seemed confused at first when I wasn’t responding verbally.
Luckily, I normally tend to talk with my hands (thanks, Grandma!) so that makes it somewhat easier, at least in my mind. Perhaps what others are seeing is a red-nosed, wild-eyed, redhead maniacally waving her arms about, almost whacking strangers in the head. I think I’m communicating because the clerk smiles and rings me up. What’s really happening is that she’s terrified and wants to get me out of the store as quickly as possible. One of her hands on the register, the other on the red emergency button.
In general, it seems that once people notice that I can’t talk, they get more polite and helpful. Perhaps its my perspective. Maybe I’m a bit more passive since I can’t defend myself vocally. It’s an interesting interaction with the world.
But the idea of not being able to talk, or yell, or call for help, unnerves me a bit. What happens if I need to make an appointment with my doctor since I can’t talk on the phone? If someone breaks in to my house at 2am, how do I communicate to the 911 operator? What if I fall down and can’t get up? I went to the grocery store with a friend yesterday afternoon. She wandered away to grab some eggs and I couldn’t call after her to get me a dozen too. Okay, that one was more of an annoyance than necessity, but still.
I hope my voice comes back soon.