Enrich your life

“An obstacle is often an unrecognized opportunity”

Posted by on Nov 2, 2011

If your voice is your instrument and the way you make your living, the effect of laryngitis is quite simply devastating.

On Saturday night, my world came tumbling down, brick by painful brick.  For the first time in a very long time, I got laryngitis.  Laryngitis isn’t really so bad – there are no other side effects except for the fact that you can’t use your voice – but if your voice is your instrument and the way you make your living, the effect is quite simply devastating.

Even though I do have a few tricks up my sleeve as to when I have a sore throat, I had no idea what to do in terms of laryngitis.  I was desperate and needed solutions, stat, asap, NOW.  So I Googled, asked friends and relatives, asked other singers.  But it was my (and Druyd’s) dear friend Marko who came up with the best advice via Obnomika which I’d like to share with you here should you ever have a crisis situation:

1. Get as much rest as possible (this one, besides no. 11, is the most difficult for me.  Rest with 3 kids? Close to impossible!)
2. Drink lots of (non-alcoholic:) fluids
3. When you get a sore throat, gargle betadine solution (a bit of water with a capful of betadine)
4. Drink lots of warm tea
5. Eat honey and lemon (1/2 a lemon with 2-3 spoonfuls of honey)
6. Spray your throat with api pro propolis spray
7. Drink calcium tablets (calcium is fantastic for the vocal chords)
8. Eat honey and apple vinegar (if you get bored of honey and lemon)
9. Don’t drink antibiotics unless you’ve had a swab of your throat done that shows you actually do have a bacterial infection (so the antibiotic can target the bacteria more efficiently)
10. Spray your nose with aqua maris nasal spray (or buy a rhino horn and wash out your sinuses)
11. And the most difficult one of all – if you have a sore or hoarse throat, or can’t use your instrument in any way – BE QUIET :)
12. Another great thing that my teacher Baldo taught me – gargle hot water with 5 drops of sage oil, 5 drops of eucalyptus oil and a spoon of bicarbonate of soda.  Works wonders for me every time!

So I’ve been doing all of the above and slowly but surely, my voice is coming back.  I won’t be able to hit any high C’s for a while but hopefully will by the 23rd when we have our concert in Slovenia.  But  having laryngitis has had its (very few) good sides – I’ve been able to play the uke a bit more, instead of practicing I’ve been resting, I don’t scream at the kids so much, I can sing an octave lower no problemos, I’ve had time to compose a few songs for the kindy choir.  But I have to admit that I look forward to hitting the high C’s again and getting back to sounding more like BlackMary rather than Bob Dylan…

But the most positive effect of this experience is that it has reminded me, yet again, of three things: when your world comes tumbling down, all you can do is put your sleeves up, grab a pair of brick layer’s gloves and build your world back again, brick by brick.  Your voice is much more than just your vocal chords and is not just within you but without you as well.  And you always get by with a little help from your friends. So thank you again Marko for the invaluable advice!

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