Three of us were recently singing Happy Birthday to another family member via cell phone. Suddenly a raucous off-key sound marred the ending. I was startled then horrified.
I was the source of that noise!
Under pointed questioning, Husband Walter admitted that my “singing” had been that way ever since my stroke. He explained that he didn’t tell me earlier because he wanted me to enjoy singing as long as I could.
But what about those poor people around me whose ears I assaulted?
There was a sense of loss. But I can join in our church’s songs of worship SILENTLY, and that is still worship.
After that conversation I wondered if I might lose my voice all together as an effect of stroke. I wouldn’t like that, either. I love to talk.
Anna, gifted, gracious and thorough speech therapist
But an evaluation by Anna, a speech therapist at my neuro rehab center, put my fears to rest on that possibility. She said that most likely my pattern of breathing has changed, and I am not pushing adequate air through those vocal cords consistently. At least, I think that is something like what she said.
She gave me breathing exercises to use my “breathing muscles” and give me more control over the strength of my voice.
After I plowed through several Internet articles on the anatomy of breathing and singing, I was amazed at the number of muscles and their complicated interaction involved in breathing.
Now I better understand. Of course there were breathing changes due to stroke. I assume the stroke zapped those “breathing muscles” on my left side along with all the others that were affected.
The exercises are already making a difference in the strength of my speaking voice. But one other exercise I have added to what Anna assigned is to limit my out-loud singing to times when I am home alone.
That exercise is mandated by the scriptural command to love thy neighbor!