REHAB, Day 9 10.17.2013
I'm not singing, but I'm not not singing ...
Last Tuesday, 10.8, was Zero Hour. My mandatory 2 1/2 weeks of vocal rest were up. This was the day the doctor said I could start singing again. I had spend the 17 days leading up to that in great anticipation of what would be. Then the day came and I was overcome with fear. Honestly, the last thing I wanted to do was sing. I knew it wouldn't be pretty, but I was more worried that it wouldn't be there at all. Thankfully, those fears were quickly assuaged.
I was only able to vocalize (lightly, in a hot shower) for about 5 minutes, before I felt that I was pushing too much, and I stopped. But what came out in those 5 minutes, while still breathy, had more clarity than I've had in the last few months. I vocalized, first on a lip trill, then on a closed vowel, then an open vowel, from A3 - F5, with no breaks, no stops in the flow of sound. It's been a very long time since that has happened. And then I did what any self respecting person who has just been given a second chance would do ... I crumbled to the floor of the shower and cried like a baby.
In the week+ since then, I haven't deviated from that routine too much (minus the crying). I still only vocalize under controlled conditions, either in the shower or immediately after steaming in the humidifier. I've extended my singing time from 5 minutes to 10, but have found that 10 minutes is really when I need to stop, because it starts to feel pushed. I've been referred to a voice teacher who specializes in singers with injured instruments, and I'll start seeing her after my follow up with the doctor next week. I want to get the green light from him, before I begin any kind of vocal regimen. The last thing I want to do is jump back in the pool before I ought to. That's what got me in this situation in the first place.
I've also cut down a little on my water consumption. As I drive a lot, going to and from lessons, I can't be stopping at every gas station and 7-11 to use the bathroom. That's just not possible. So I've gone from 6 liters to 4 (or a gallon and a half to a gallon), and life is way more manageable. I've also, on occasional days, consumed more coffee and/or tea than what the doctor would like, and I've felt the effects of that, too. Boy, they weren't kidding when they said that caffeine dries you out. One cup of regular, black tea and my voice feels terrible. Which is wholly disappointing, because I love my tea. But I guess I'm just going to have to accept that decaf green tea will be how I roll from now on. A small sacrifice, for a far larger (and better) goal. Thankfully, I don't have to give up my morning coffee, just watch how much or it I drink. Because me, without coffee ... no. Just no.
Ok, off to shower ... mi, mi, MI, MIIIIIIII, MI, mi, mi ...