The Friday before last, I did one of Peisha's lessons at home and then a few hours later sang again in a different kind of vocal training at a friend's place for another hour. This particular lesson of Peisha's was a hard one with close to 45 minutes of gruelling workout. Not long after beginning the other training session, my voice was already feeling tired.
The next day, I was made very aware of my error. I had developed something known as Supraglottal Muscle Tension Dysphonia. The muscles around the voice box had tensed up making speech difficult. The only remedy is rest, vocal rest. So I've not spoken anything since last Wednesday.
Here in L.A., I get around with my newly acquired iPad. Before coming over, I purchased a popular painting program for the iPad called Brushes. Now when I need to communicate with someone, I pull the iPad out and write the words on the iPad using Brushes. It's quick and effective.
The people here are great, showing understanding and patience. There have however been two unexpected reactions. The first is that many people respond by also speaking very softly. Perhaps it's a learnt rule when being polite that you respond in a conversation in a similar volume to your partner. Some of the people talking to me can get very soft though.
The second reaction which I've seen at least twice is that the other person immediately looks for paper to write their response on. The assumption is that since I can't speak, then I'm also deaf. They are of course unaware that I'm not mute, simply on strict vocal rest, but it's an interesting response anyway. What is bizarre is that I've also seen this reaction from my wife who is very very aware that I'm not deaf!!!
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