Janice Williams Loves Austin And sometimes I write about it.

April 16, 2008

World Voice Day

Filed under: At home,Spasmodic Dysphonia — Janice @ 11:53 pm

I understand that today is World Voice Day. I learned that from Trisha, who discovered my blog this week and commented. She has a blog HERE. Like me, Trisha has Spasmodic Dysphonia. Unlike me, she is suffering from it a lot more right now than I am. I wish her well.  I got a lucky break concerning my voice today, and it is funny that it happened on World Voice Day.

Since I got laid off, I’ve thought about having a Botox treatment on my vocal cords again. I was always super conservative while I was on the air because I didn’t want the breathy voice result and have to be off the air for two or three weeks waiting for the voice to come back. Since I no longer HAVE to talk daily, I thought I would let Dr. Simpson just give a normal, full dose and see what it does to me and if it makes talking easier for a good long while. So I made an appointment. In the past, the co-pay was about $35 for the visit to this doctor. Things have changed on my the insurance now, though, and I discovered, just days before the appointment that I now have a deductible of $1000 or so. So, basically, none of the treatment would have been paid for this time, but it would all go toward the deductible. But finding $1000 during unemployment would be difficult and I didn’t see that it would be worth it either. I can talk, I don’t have to have the Botox, so I canceled the appointment. But the good folks in that office are so kind. When Veronica discovered why I was canceling, she offered me the opportunity to be a guinea pig for Dr. Simpson to show his technique to other doctors (I am quite sure she didn’t use the words “guinea pig”). I said I would love to do that, could I please make a speech beforehand and answer questions, too? I didn’t know if we were confirmed or not, but she called today, on World Voice Day, and confirmed that Friday afternoon I will get a big ol’ shot of poison in my vocal cords.

I will make a recording of my voice tomorrow so I will know what it sounds like pre-poison. It sounds fine to listeners, I know. Everyone tells me that it sounds fine. I have a lot more voice than I did a few years ago. But I know it doesn’t sound like it did in 2003 and before. It is more strained and has the “catches” that identify SD. And, very often, it is still a struggle to talk. Using the phone is a huge pain and I avoid it most of the time. I get the breath and make the effort and say something and then get a response of “What?” from a friend or loved one (yes, mostly dear-and deaf- Mark) and have to work through it all again to get it out. I hope the Botox can ease some of that for a while.

If you are in the dark about Spasmodic Dysphonia and my struggles with it on the radio since 2004, that story is still to come. I can feel it coming on, maybe this weekend. Who knows, it may even have audio examples to delight and amaze you.


  1. Wow! It sounds like World Voice Day was good to you this year! I am glad you are giving Botox another shot – I will be interested to hear how it works for you this time. I didn’t realize you worked on the radio. I am looking forward to your story coming up.

    Do you have AB or AD? I can’t remember is you told me that or not. It is one of those days!

    You should check into a phone that amplifies the outgoing voice. Since you live in Texas, you can get one free – yes, free – through the STAP program. I can’t recall right now what that stands for but it is a state program to help the hearing impaired and we slide in by being people with “weak voices.” I applied to the program, got a voucher and then got a phone. It isn’t the most modern of phones and isn’t cordless but just knowing that people can hear me helps me reduce my phone anxiety. I am not afraid to talk on the phone any more. The fact that I don’t have to “push” to be heard also makes my voice much better when I am on the phone. I think if you do a search for STAP you should find it.

    Good luck with your Botox!

    Comment by Trisha — April 17, 2008 @ 9:29 am

  2. I had no idea about this! I hope Friday helps. Hugs.

    Comment by Kyle Marie Stock — April 17, 2008 @ 11:16 am

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