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Only Me....

By MauriceRevek - Posted on 12 May 2009

As most, if not all, of you know, I have had chronic vocal problems since the day before Memorial Day November 10. It started out as a simple loss of voice, same as I have had numerous times over the years since I moved to Ottawa nine and a half years ago, although, usually when I would lose my voice, I would also have a case of strep throat. So not wanting to take a chance and give time for the possibility of a throat infection to set in, I went to the doctor to verify if I needed antibiotics. Doctor gave me a quick check-up, took a throat swab and basically said: Don't see anything wrong. If you don't hear from us, then your throat is clear.

Ok, then. No problem. A couple of weeks pass, no news from the doc, so everything must be ok, and all I need to do is give it time to go away. This of course did not help me at all at work, online or when I would go ref at squash tournaments. It is very hard to be taken seriously when you speak like Mickey Mouse.

2 months pass. I endure merciless taunting and mocking from my "friends". Meetings at the office would suddenly break into gales of laughter whenever I would speak. And yet, my voice shows no sign of improving. In fact, it seems to get worse. I go back to the clinic to see the on duty general practitioner who again says that she does not see anything wrong with my throat. But since it has lasted 2 months, she will refer me to an ear, throat and nose specialist to make sure that there is nothing wrong with the vocal chords themselves, as she cannot see them with her equipment.

I get a call later in the week with the date for the appointment. 4 month in the future. Great. 4 more months of this. I did get a lot of advice and home remedies from various concerned people during this time. Everything from:

  • Licorice pills
  • Smeared butter on a scarf wrapped around my throat
  • Ginger tonic
  • Voodoo
  • Whodoo

And diagnostics, such as:

"Same thing happened to my cousin. She lost her voice for a year and a half before it finally returned to normal."

"My brother had the same thing too. When he went to the doctor, they told him he had cancer."


Not the kind of thing I wanted to hear.

The four months finally pass, and my appointment with the specialist has come. I must admit that I have been somewhat concerned over the last few weeks. A lot of things were going through my mind. But I tried my best to not let it affect me, and wait for what the doc had to say.

I got there 20 minutes before my appointment, and waited my turn. It did not take long. Before I had enough time to read a chapter, my name was called. I was directed to the examination room, and instructed to have a seat in the examination chair while the doctor finished with his other patient. I think this doctor sees only little people, because his chair was child size. I could barely clear the armrests, and started to feel claustrophobic!

After a short wait, the doctor arrives and begins the examination.

"Hello Mr. Plamondon."

"Hello Doctor."

"So what seems to be the problem?"

"Well, for the past 6 months, I have had problems with my voice."

"Interesting. Do you smoke?"


"Take any regular medication?"


"Have any other symptoms?"


"Do you know or have been in proximity of Stormblade? [Real name omitted]"

"Why yes. Over the X-Mas holidays in fact."

"I see. Well, there is no hope for you. You have been contaminated, and we will have to dispose of you now."

"I understand. Do I have enough time to make final arrangements?"

"I am sorry, but the sooner we proceed, the better the chances of stopping the spread of the contagion know as Stormitis."

"You are aware doctor that Stormblade has returned to the capital region on the weekend?"

"What?!? They were supposed to stop him at the border! You said he has arrived on the weekend? That means he has been here for at least 48 hours? Then we are all doomed. I will have to declare a medical catastrophe and recommend that they nuke the entire city to incinerate the contagion.

"Perhaps we should drop two nukes to ensure that we cover his entire body. He has been eating American food for the last 18 months or so."

(Sorry, the last exchange did not actually take place, but I could not resist.)

Back to reality.

"Okay Mr. Plamondon, I will take a closer look at your vocal chords with this little camera. I will insert it through your nose, so you feel a slight tickling sensation at the back of your throat."

"Really? Interesting. I have never experienced that."

The camera was inserted, and the doctor was right. I did feel a slight tickling sensation, as well as an urge to vomit all over him when the camera got close to that dangling thing at the back of my throat.

"Breath normally please."

[breath in] [breath out]

"Now say eeeeeeeeee"



[breath in] [breath out]

"Say eeeeee again"



[breath in] [breath out]

We repeated these steps a few more time.

"Okay, all done. I will remove the camera now."

And that was the second weirdest feeling I have ever experienced. The first of course was when the camera was inserted. Eyes immediately teared.

"Well Mr. Plamondon, I did not see anything wrong in there. There are no lesions on your chords, any growths or whiteness. Everything seems completely normal."


"Yes. So based on this, I think what you are experiencing is a speech problem. You might be speaking in the wrong register for your vocal chords."

[Blink] [Blink] "Hun?"

"Yes. I will send you to a vocal specialist who will perform an analysis of your voice, and will recommend a training program to retrain your voice."

"You’re prescribing speech therapy?"

"Yes sir."

"Interesting. I had no idea that this sort of this was even possible."

So. Six months of voice problems, and it all boils down to I don't know how to use my vocal chords properly.

On the bright side, at least I don't have Stormitis.

Elliotte's picture

I may have ze cure. It involves yoga, beaches and loads of tequila. For me, not you. You just get salt.


p.s. I probably do have the cure. Have you seen the therapist yet?

MauriceRevek's picture

This cure you speak of?

MauriceRevek's picture

Nope. But I did get a letter from the Ottawa Hospital aviising me that there is a 9 - 10 month wait, and that they will call me a few weeks ahead to set up an appointment.

Maybe sooner if there is a cancellation.


Coxxorz's picture

A buddy of mine was rushed there once with a severed head, and had to wait 3 days for an X-ray.

Stavr0's picture

Okay Mr Plamondon, for the next week, you must pronounce everything as if it were said by Worf.

"It is a good day to die!"


"If you were any other man, I would KILL you where you stand!"

Nice. Very assertive.

"Gosh, Minnie, you sure look pretty today!"


Swag's picture


MauriceRevek's picture

What do you mean learn? I have a great singning voice.

Coxxorz's picture

For a Castrati.

Coxxorz's picture

I totally had "Speech Impediment" in the pool.

Pay up, suckas.

Stormblade's picture


Q-Bert's picture

[doctor]: So, Mr. Plamondon, your throat seems to have changed in the past few years.... Gained any weight ?
[Revek] looking at the floor...
[doctor]: Well, let's see what we can do. How was your day ?
[Revek in his usual voice]: Not bad.
[doctor]: Right, let's try a higher range.
[Revek in a female voice]: Not bad.
[doctor]: Hmmm, still higher please.
[Revek in Storm's voice]: Not bad.
[doctor]: No, higher still.
[Revek in Mickey Mouse voice]: Not bad.
[doctor]: There we go, perfect. You will need to keep this voice until your throat expands back to its original size. I recommend a diet.
[Revek in Mickey Mouse voice]: Oh great.....

Akuf's picture

"Okay Mr. Plamondon, I will take a closer look at your vocal chords with this little camera. I will insert it through your nose, so you feel a slight tickling sensation at the back of your throat."

"Really? Interesting. I have never experienced that."

Are you sure? I seem to remember this conversation

Coxxorz's picture

Talk about leaving yourself wide open for an Aku.

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