Just imagine you are a normal human being.
Whaat???? You are????
Okay then you won’t find it too hard to imagine right???
Like I was saying, everything about you is normal. Maybe you are a little fat or a bit on the thin side but that’s not extraordinary that’s normal. U r dressed normally and nothing in your facial expressions indicates anything is amiss…..the smile is cheerful, u know like totally normal, the quizzical expressions which you give may be a bit more expressive than usual but still that also can be taken as normal. But when it comes to expressing your opinion or your wants in words, you use your hands to convey what you mean or better still whip out a piece of paper & pen to write what you want to say.
People who don’t know about your problem then mentally take a step back[yes you can see them do that if you watch carefully], attention which was half-hearted till then sharpens, they make an obvious effort to hide their curiosity and smile at you kindly. Oh the poor thing!!!! She can’t speak. Wonder if it is a birth defect?? An accident?? So terrible. Let me do whatever I can to ease her misery. My good deed for the day.
And from the back of the queue you are moved to the front. Your work finished in no time. I liked that bit anyway.
That’s what’s been happening in my life. I’m the you in the above scenario.
Remember the flu & other ailments
real and fabricated, I
told you I had 2 weeks back. Remember I told you how I hate doctors and
hospitals & that I rather swallow a whale than step into a hospital. Well I
swallowed big-time. I swallowed my pride. And went to the doc 4 days back and
got the required medical attention.
You see I lost my voice. Sometime last week there was a sandstorm in Dubai and I was smack in the middle of it. I guess I inhaled lot of dust that day and the flu which had almost disappeared came back with a vengeance and within 24 hours mY voICe wENt SQUEEEK somethEEEing like ThiSS.
And the next day….KABOOOM the voice was gone. Seriously, I open my mouth and no voice…..no noise…no nothing comes out. All I get for my efforts is a aaaaaah in a fierce whisper. The better-half bundled me off to the doc immediately. I didn’t put up much of a fight actually. "Oh my voice, my lovely voice what happened to you” I panicked.
The doc diagnosed it as “Laryngitis something something” meaning an inflammation causing hoarse voice or at its heights, loss of voice. I’ve mentioned earlier too[yep I love discussing my medical problems on my blog] that whenever I’m sick it’s my throat which gets affected first. During these phases I usually sound like
a guy Usha Uthup but this time it went one step
further. It rendered me voiceless.
Along with a bagful of antibiotics I was strictly advised by the doc to rest my voice atleast for a week. Nice doc, by the way. Actually cute doc. His wedding band had its wife’s name inscribed on it. And I was like…..awww…shooo cutttte. Beena, her name is Beena:-).
Feeling a bit more cheerful now I emerge from the med-center with my mind buzzing with ideas.
I send out an SMS out to all my friends...
“Don’t call me, I’ll call you”.
Around 20 calls came in the space of 10 minutes.
Bad idea…….bad bad idea.
Sent out another SMS immediately…
Voice totally gone stop under medication stop 1 wks voice rest stop doctors STRICT orders stop available on email stop.
Atleast 10 of them called to check if it was true. Another 10 wanted to hear how I sounded when I couldn’t speak;-/.
Came back home to a sympathetic better-half and worried kids. The kids who giggled at my squeaky voice the previous day looked really troubled now.
I lapped up all the attention and practised mime.
From there it was dumb charades all the way.
And pretending that my vocal cords were connected to my limbs and hence will not be able to cook or do any other work.
That worked only for one day though;-(
Anybody who communicated with me said I reminded them of….
The lady who read news for the hearing impaired on Doordarshan[remember her]
An owl[because I got impatient when they couldn’t decipher my hand signals].
A toy with a run-down battery……squeEEeeek…….SCREeeETCH.
It was a novelty initially. My miming improved dramatically.
But after 2 days I got tired of it.
My jaws ached because they were stationary.
My head ached because I was thinking so much.
My thoughts which were verbalised on a minute to minute basis were now going izzzzzzzz inside my head & giving me a migraine.
I no longer could just yell from one corner of the house and get the kids at my elbow in the next minute.
And for goodness sakes I lost my voice, not my hearing so please leave the miming to me.
For the 1st time in its life I think my sub-conscious realised it had the upper-hand. It gently prodded me into noticing a few things about myself….
I noticed that I interrupted people while they were speaking to add my two-bits worth. I need to stop doing that. Like immediately.
I didn’t need to answer every question which was put to me and definitely not those which were put to others.
Sometimes a look can convey what a 100 words put together can’t.
And sometimes being not able to talk is not such a bad thing……just for little while though.
My voice…..it’s precious. It’s as important as my arm if not more. When it comes back, it's going to get the respect it deserves.