Doing the Thing

“The shortest answer is doing the thing.” – Ernest Hemingway

In the year 2021 I resolve to…nope, I don’t. I don’t see any point in doing this year any differently than the last. You see, I didn’t have one of those horrible, crappy, miserable years that so many have been telling us they had. Oh, sure, the pandemic part of it sucked, it pissed me off when people didn’t wear their masks, and I did lose a few people I knew – which sucked even more; but for the most part all of that seemed to be not much more than background noise to everything else that took place over the last 10 months of the year.

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Post-op Progress Proves Challenging

As with most surgical procedures, one must have follow-up visits or therapy to improve the healing and overall outcome. My vocal cord surgery was no different. I had made the decision to switch vocal therapists in the department and met with the new therapist. She explained her background as an opera singer and her plan to work with me to strengthen my voice, try to reduce the raspy sound that resulted from the surgery, and see if she couldn’t return some of my singing ability. She advised me that she could give no guarantees and that it would be a long process. She taught me the first series of exercises and sent me with instructions for alternating the process with some vocal rest to prevent a repeat of my first attempt at therapy exercises.

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I Have A New Voice!

It was the first Friday of October. Surgery day! The wait for my throat surgery was not nearly as long as the top surgery. It was also nice to know I would be able to recover at home rather than a hotel like after my top surgery. As with most procedures, the hospital required that someone accompany me and be available to drive me home.  I asked the friend who had previously offered to go to Kansas City with me and she gladly said yes. I had a 6 am arrival time, so I arrived at her house early that morning. I’d attended my pre-op appointments at the hospital and followed all of the instructions I’d been given for the night before surgery. I was thirsty and kind of cranky, but ready to head to the hospital.

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Repeat After Me… or…Vocal Therapy Is Not My Thing

Shortly after the top surgery it was clear that there were people still misgendering me. While I’d most often been addressed as “sir” before surgery, I was finding that “ma’am” was creeping into the picture a little more than I liked. Frankly, I didn’t like it one bit. I’d always had the issue over the phone but in person it hadn’t been so common in the past. I thought that if my voice pitch was lower – more masculine – this problem would go away.

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