Nicola + Laryngitis = Sad Times
On the last week of 2018, I lost my voice for the first time. It was a combination of catching my sister's cold and (maybe) shouting too much during a night out drinking with my friends. I had been in the Philippines for a week and suddenly realized my voice was getting hoarser and croakier until it disappeared altogether.
Adapting to this was weird. I would call myself a quiet person, so I never thought that losing my voice would cause such a handicap to my day-to-day.
Suddenly, I had to type out amateur Tagalog phrases on my phone to my sister, so that we could communicate with the security guards and find directions. Her Tagalog wasn't great, so I would type out what little Tagalog I knew, and have her read out loud my questions.
I went out to a bar with my family and met up with some friends. Let me tell you.. Trying to communicate in a night club via whispering and hand gestures was nothing short of a feat.
And what about trying to introduce my family to my friends, and vice versa? Yes, the night was fun. BUT trying to converse and coordinate between both groups was a nightmare... for me, anyways. I found myself getting extremely frustrated when nobody could understand me. And then... incredibly, endlessly grateful when someone DID understand me. Even if all I was trying to communicate was as mundane as, "Can you ask the waiter to close out our bar tab?"
In fact, most of my week was spent playing charades. And it was wholly aggravating when nobody could understand my points and facial gestures, until I finally resorted to typing out all my thoughts. It wasn’t their fault - I just didn’t realize how much I rely on my voice to communicate. I spent the week miming and gesturing. It was funny.. and frustrating, all at once.
I have such a newfound appreciation for my voice. And on a similar note - to those who are mute or deaf, and have found ways to communicate to the world despite everything. Kudos to you.
My voice has (mostly) returned. It’s a little raspy, but there’s definitely sound emitting from my throat now!
And I’m never, ever taking it for granted ever again.