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Talking With No Voice October 19, 2009

Posted by tttholcomb in Uncategorized.

It has been three years since I lost my voice due to extensive radiation for the elimination of a cancerous tumor in my tongue. The radiation damage the nerve in my tongue and that affected my vocal cords. It was a slow process, but eventually my vocal cords refused to work. That was a real interesting experience! It became necessary to find other ways to communicate with people, to make myself understood, and to be able to function as a normal person. No voice is a huge reality to have to face. It is however, an opportunity to discover new dimensions in what you are capable of doing.

First, it was necessary “to see” that losing my voice was an opportunity to do a lot of self discovering. It forces you to listen to what people are saying and how they say it. Since you listen so closely, you learn much more about the person than just what is being said. When you do communicate, you choose your words carefully because it is more difficult to express yourself so you use fewer words. The value of this is you get to the point quickly and succinctly. Eye contact is a must, and that alone might be a new experience. So talking with no voice becomes a new way to communicate.

Now that I have your attention, how do you talk with no voice? There are several techniques that you use. I am going to give you three at this time. The first one you always have a pencil and tablet with you. You can initiate a conversation by writing down a question. After that, often one word written will connect for the other person, and the conversation continues. Second, use charades. Not only is this fun, but you have captured the persons attention. I find they want to figure out what you are saying and when they do understand, it gives them a sense of accomplishment. The third tool is having another person that can understand you and they serve as an interpreter. Now you have three people in a conversation!

So if you have lost your voice due to throat cancer, tongue cancer or the functional loss of the hypoglossal nerve or any other reason, don’t let that stop you from communicating with other people. You are capable of much more than you realize, just get out there and do it! www.ListenToMeToday.com/



1. Julie Freeze - October 20, 2009

Hi Ted. The website looks great, and so do you on your blog. Thanks so much for keeping me informed and included in your progress.


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