Thursday, March 05, 2009

HfH 3: Desperate laryngitis bleg

Ummm... I can't freaking talk.

This has happened to me twice before as I was getting over being sick. (As I am now.) Both times it was gone within a day.

We're starting day four.

And I'm through being positive about it. I hate it. I realize that the clever thing to do here is to be all mature and reasonable about it and view myself as a little island of silence in a noisy world. Or use this as an opportunity to really listen to people.

Unfortunately, I have a job, and things to do at that job and after days of this I feel like I'm just annoying people with the notes and the whispering and the "Would you mind if I got someone else to make this call today? I'm happy to do the followup next week" I think my lawyers are really trying to be nice about it, but the vast array of simple tasks I suddenly can't do is as annoying to them as it is to me.

Whispering is bad for my voice and ineffective on the phone. But I do it anyway because I'm so desperate to get a message across without writing it and/or because somebody calls me on the phone and it's the best I can do.

Sometimes my throat has phlegm in it, sometimes not. Sometimes I cough, sometimes not. Some coughs turn into staggarringly painful little coughing fits. Most don't. But my voice is never there.

Anyway, stuff I have tried:

-tea with honey
-tea without honey
-gargling water and baking soda
-Gargling mouthwash
-gargling water and lidocaine
-brushing lidocaine on the part of my throat that hurts, which turned out to be my gag reflex (NEVER do this. Trust me.)
-Dozens of cough drops in three varieties
-Chicken soup
-Vomiting (not a remedy I chose, mind you, though it did do a good job of clearing out my throat.)
-breathing steam in a hot bath
-Going to the Dr. (No, I don't have strep.)

I really have slept a lot. I really shouldn't miss anymore work and I refuse to miss anymore class.

Does anyone have any more ideas?



Anonymous said...

Fisherman's Friend (tastes nasty but was what the voice students used in the music dept), Mucinex (guaifenisen), and perhaps a NSAID like Aleve or Advil for their anti-swelling properties. Just more stuff to try. No fun. I had a really bad bout of laryngitis the first time I had to do a Back to School night as a teacher. Ugh.

Lilylou said...

I'm so sorry, CC. It's awful, I know. I've been recovering from something similar for several days as well. I have voice now, but not much. All I can suggest is "hang on"; don't overuse your voice; be patient. I know, it sucks.

Joel Monka said...

When it happened to me, I tried just plain water, but ice cold, on the theory that it would reduce swelling, like icing a sprained ankle. I don't know if it did that; I couldn't see well enough in the mirror- but it was very soothing.

Anonymous said...

You might try a nasal rinse if there's any post-nasal drip irritating your throat -- I swear by the NeilMed kit used with distilled water (

As far as directly on the throat remedies, anything with slippery elm in it works well for me -- especially Traditional Medicinals' Throat Coat tea ( It doesn't taste particularly good, but it soothes very well.

I'd also suggest hot compresses alternated with ice, which can stimulate blood flow to inflammation to help clear it up, and ibuprofen if the pain is really bad, again to help with inflammation. And drink enough water to drown yourself, too.

I hope you feel better soon!

Anonymous said...

Oh, and if you're really mucousy, hot water with lemon juice can help cut through -- either gargled or drunk with a little bit of honey.

LinguistFriend said...

Sounds nasty. The Mucinex (guaifenisen)may help, although slowly; I've used it on RS's recommendation. I have used Benadryl to decrease post-nasal drip, although it doubles as a sleeping pill, so I take it only at night.

Lizard Eater said...

Late in the day, but ... Throat Coat tea by Traditional Medicinals. Usually in the "natural foods" section of the grocery. A little viscous, but works wonders.

Louise said...

I have nothing to add but sympathy. Feel better soon!

Anonymous said...

What did the doctor say it is? What else did he say?
I'm no doctor, but it sounds like inflamed vocal chords. Which would mean DON'T USE THEM and maybe take anti-inflammatories. Whichever one works for you -- for me aspirin or Relafen/Nabumetone. I don't know if there's an anti-inflammatory specific for vocal chords.

fausto said...

Does your church have an earth-centered group with a shaman? We cultural imperialists used to call them "medicine men", you know.

Joel Monka said...

"Medicine Man" is actually a better term, a more accurate translation of what they called themselves. "Shaman" is a culturally specific term from Asia- so unless the practioner being referred to is Turco-Mongol, I believe it is cultural imperialism to call him a Shaman!

fausto said...

If s/he can cure CC's laryngitis, I'm sure CC won't care where s/he comes from. If s/he can also bring her spiritual peace of mind over her billables, so much the better. And if s/he can help her discover a connection between the two in the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part, ooh, hat trick! (If there is a ceremonial hat involved in the procedure, no cultural disrespect was intended.)

Robin Edgar said...

Shaman U*U Joel. . .

Interestingly enough the WVC is whorito which rhymes with a famous brand of cheesy nacho chip to me.

J'Carlin said...

Check your local COPD Clinic. My lingering laryngitis was traced to Asthma. Especially if it recurs at around the same time each year.

Long time no see CC. *Waves*

Hi also to ms.kitty, Joel and Robin