Do you have colds or allergies and lose your voice for short periods? Do you whisper anyway when your throat is red and sore? If you answered yes or no to any of these questions, read on.

When my sister's speech vanished one morning I thought it was temporary. She tried whispering to speak to family members and friends. After a month her voice had not returned, she made an appointment to see an Ears, Nose and Throat doctor (ENT).

The doctor in his office placed a small electronic scope device down her nose and examined her vocal cords. Her vocal cords looked good, but the muscles next to them had been damaged by whispering when her voice had disappeared.

GERD:

To make matters worse he said she had Gastro Esophageal Reflux
Disease (GERD) which means she had an acid reflux from her stomach that actually spilled over into her throat and vocal cords. She is now on a restricted diet and must sleep with her head elevated.

SPEECH THERAPY:

My sister is now meeting with a Speech Therapist to relearn how to use the correct muscles to make vibrations, soon to be sounds, and then hopefully – she will speak.

SGD ELECTRONIC SPEECH COMMUNICATION:

My Speech Therapist suggested a new electronic device called Speech Generating Device (SGD).

For whatever reason you have lost your voice this small computer will help you find yours. It can be programmed for your lifestyle. It has many words and phrases already programmed into the system.
A voice choice is available. Man, woman or child. It is a great device and she fully intends to utilize this device for as long as she needs it. Medicare will pay part of the expense and as well as other medical insurance plans. She does not have this device yet but her Speech Therapist is now in the process of obtaining one for her.

EMOTIONS:

Do you have any idea how frustrating it is to not be able to communicate with anyone? Not her family or friends or necessary business calls, let alone an emergency. She absolutely can not use the telephone. She now communicates by writing out everything she wants to say or think but that does not mean the reader of her words says what she wanted to express. It is frustrating and extremely exhausting.

Sometimes she feels invisible since she can not speak and get herself hear. Her opinion or thoughts do not count. Deep down she knows this is not true but she can not help how she feels.

The doctor told her to journal all her thoughts and feelings. She now has been writing in a journal and also has been typing her thoughts on the computer.

GET YOUR EMOTIONS OUT:

SHE FINDS HELPFUL: EMOTIONALLY

(1) Medication

(2) Faith based groups.

(3) Stopping to decide what really counts.

(4) Most of the time accepting for whatever reason, you are where you are for a reason.

SHE FIND HELPFUL: PHYSICALLY

(5) Biking

(6) Walking

(7) Swimming

(8) Lifting Weights

(9) Going to a Health Club.

(10) Walking the dog.

COMMUNICATION:

My sister is using the finger alphabet with close family members. She does not know sign language. She is taking the loss of her voice will only be for a short time. So far she is into her third month. It is helpful if you can connect with someone who can read lips.

She is also seeing an acupuncturist three times a week. He has done miracles in decreasing the redness and swelling in her throat and loosing up her neck / throat muscles.

MEDICATION AND SIDE EFFECTS:

She wants you all to be aware before you take medication – any medication you know the side effects of that medication.

After the damage to her throat had been done she went to her Pharmacist and had her print out all the side effects of all the medication she was taking. They read all the material together.
They decided the medication which had caused most of her symptoms was the medication she used once a month for osteoporosis. Further reading and researching revealed the extensive side effects. Even the GERD which affected her throat did not present symptoms (heartburn) until five months after she started using the Osteoporosis medication. The medication was already causing damage but she did not realize it.

WARNING:

Her doctor explained these are actually drugs for Cancer, and they change bone density but not strength.

When she alerted her Speech Therapist and all of her doctors about the findings, they were shocked. They immediately stopped the Osteoporosis mediation.

SUGGESTION:

Take Calcium supplements with Vitamin D and Magnesium and walking are the way to go to build bone loss.

Thank you for reading my article. Please feel free to read any of my numerous other articles on various subjects.

Copyright Linda E. Meckler 2007