Wednesday, September 2, 2009

But Can You Believe My Voice?

My friend Kelly and I have a bit of a running joke going when she checks in to see how I’m doing. Because really, I don’t have a lot of positives to toss out when it comes to my body and health right now. Pain, migraines, immobility, exhaustion, my ever-expanding cheeks, a myriad of new complications, yada, yada, yada…

But after I get about halfway through the update on what’s happening that day I get to throw out, “But can you BELIEVE how great my voice sounds?!?!”

Because people, I have a voice again. And I’m milking that positive for all it’s worth. :)

One of the things that came about at my last doctor appointment was the suggestion that an air filtration system be installed in my condo. I am incredibly fortunate to have an ill and handicap waiver that can cover home modifications, and this type of system fell within that purview. After doing some research we settled on an air purifying system that installs right into my furnace/air conditioning unit so it would cleanse my whole condo by running the fan continuously.

Truly, we all kind of considered it a preventative measure. In reading the literature it talked about taking harmful stuff out of the air and preventing flu viruses and illnesses… I just figured it would hopefully help keep me from getting sick, and maybe keep my breathing from getting worse.

I really didn’t anticipate it making anything better.

Wow. Was I in for a shock.

They installed the system on a Tuesday, and by that Friday [that’s only four days, people] I was getting my voice back, breathing easier and no longer doing my nebulizer treatments. Treatments I was doing three to four times a day just to breathe. And my voice… other than short periods of time last winter, I hadn’t heard my normal voice in over a year. I had almost forgotten what it sounded like, becoming used to the quiet, raspy sound that had taken over.

So, while I thought my lungs and voice were still bad because of the severe reaction I had to the air when I left the house to go to the doctor, in reality I was reacting to the air inside my house. I was both relieved to have a solution that allowed me to breathe again, and totally freaked out that my sensitivities are that out of control. What has been really interesting, however, is learning all the things I’m allergic to around my house that I hadn’t realized.

Before, when in a constant state of reaction, my breathing was always bad, my voice always gone, my ears and throat always sore. So if I came in contact with something I was allergic to, I didn’t always notice because I was already symptomatic. Now, it’s a whole other story. The other day I was in the bathroom and put on some face powder… same stuff I’ve been using for ages… and within minutes my breathing was labored, my voice was gone, my ears and throat started to burn.

I’m allergic to freaking face powder and had no idea.

Yes, we can all acknowledge now how ridiculous that is and how weird my life has become. But you know what? MY VOICE SOUNDS GREAT. And breathing is not overrated, people. It’s a nice little perk in daily living, and I’m enjoying it immensely. I realize in order to have that perk I’m required to live in the bubble of my clean-air condo, but I have to say… breathing is worth it.

I’ll even sacrifice face powder for the privilege.

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