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  • Judith Bareham

I Blame the Snake

Setbacks or injuries - we all experience them at some point in our lives. Sometimes warranted because of carelessness perhaps, but often because even when we follow correct procedures, take precautions and have good intentions we still experience problems.

Much like with physical exercise – we all know we should stretch, warm up, and cool down but some days we are simply more intentional than others.

I am learning in my field of work, that there are no quick substitutes when it comes to vocal care, and good voice techniques.

And even if you don’t use your voice professionally, it pays for us all to take care of our precious commodity in healthier ways.

So yes, I have my routine that I go through and I am somewhat proficient in warming up my voice. But not as attentive as I could have been perhaps……

In early Spring, I became acquainted with a charming snake called Adder, during my collaboration in narrating the book, Mathamagical, released through Audible this past May.

He was my first, very like-able character in the story and he sounds raspy, lisps frequently and is everything you would expect a snake to sound like.

If they actually talked in real life.

The issue was that shortly after I created him and a plethora of other characters, then set to recording for several hours a day, my throat several weeks later began to feel well, just big, bigger than normal.

I found I had trouble swallowing and it felt like I had constant irritation down there.

This discomfort led me down a road of discovery to visit an Otolaryngologist.

Maybe I should add it to my warm up words.

More specifically, and far easier to pronounce, to Charlotte Eye Ear Nose and Throat in Blakeney, (who I would recommend by the way if you ever find yourself in need).

As I underwent an endoscopy, it was fascinating to observe the dark depths and folds of my throat and see all the inner workings – definitely not for the squeamish!

Once acid reflux was determined not to be a major culprit, and after checking out fine in terms of bumps and lumps, I was referred to a vocal therapist at their South Park location for more investigative work.

After a more detailed endoscopy, with a more detailed camera, it appeared that my vocal folds don’t close completely: probably caused over time from a hefty bout of coughing or a respiratory infection.

Which wouldn’t be a problem ordinarily but for the line of work I have chosen. Go figure.

Armed with all kinds of information about an Otolaryngologist, types of vocal dysphonia, and all things laryngopharyngeal, I am considering embarking on a series of vocal therapy sessions.

I will share what I learn as I am taken through my paces to strengthen weak vocal chords and learn to use them appropriately and well.

And if this doesn’t capture your interest, you will have at the very least gained some excellent point scoring words for Scrabble, Scattegories or similar word play.

Now if Adder and I should be re-acquainted in the future, I will be far better equipped to linger and chat a while. Perhaps the blame doesn't lie with him after all.

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