The second time my E.N.T. stuck a needle filled with gel into my vocal folds, in an attempt to help them vibrate evenly when I sang, I was sure it would work, even though the first surgery had failed. But my E.N.T. said we could try again.
I thought I knew what to expect after anaesthesia; dopy, flirty and in love with hospital food. But, when I woke up the second time around, my cheeks were soaked. My throat was on fire. And I was certain everyone I had ever loved had died. What the hell was going on? Where was the floaty drugged-out feeling? It was bad enough already. I could only eat ice chips.
According to the post-op nurse, the elegant cocktail of twelve drugs in tiny doses for the first surgery, which had allowed me to wake up as if I’d had the best sleep of my life, was followed up in the second surgery with only four drugs but in large quantities. The result was that the emotional centre of my brain woke up before the logical side. The train had started moving. I had to ride it out until I pulled into sanity station.
I don’t think you need to go under anaesthesia to realize that your brain and body aren’t travelling at the same pace. All you need to do is sit still and listen. Then, make a change, or make life expensive.
I no longer ignore my body. If something hurts, I track when and where it happened. I cut out the thing, habit, person. And then, I’m singing like a rockstar.
What I discovered is that I didn’t need needles. I didn’t need to be put to sleep. And I didn’t need to spend almost twenty thousand dollars to accept that my vocal folds hadn’t changed, I had changed. My voice was no longer happy under pressure, it was happy helping others. I love seeing my students thrive. I love witnessing a light bulb moment and knowing that my particular kind of coaxing had something to do with it. The experience of losing my voice and getting it back wasn’t about putting me back on stage, it was about helping others get there. Priceless.
I want to prevent a needle from going into your throat.
A Memoir of waking up, living real and listening hard - by Jennifer Pastiloff
I read this book three times while I wrestled with my voice. It led me to surrender instead of struggle. It also taught me how to place a perfectly timed F*bomb in a sentence.
Review of my online Singing Lessons:
"My daughter is really enjoying her voice lessons, thank you! I am banished from the house during the lesson but I hope all is going well."
K.M. - Parent of an online student
(for Singers* Overhauling their Stories)
If you want to make a change before your life gets expensive, start an S.O.S. project with me.
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* where you're at*
*where you want to go*
*and how you're going to get there*
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photo credit: Josh-Appel-Unsplash