Saturday, January 16, 2010

Looking good, feeling bad

Last Tuesday, I had my vocal cords scoped for what I hope is the last time. The prior week had been extremely emotional for me (for reasons I'm not yet ready to share). I'd been crying frequently and talking more than I should have. My voice sounded terrible and I was terrified that I had done damage to my cords. Fortunately, the scope showed that my cords have healed nicely. I wouldn't have believed it if I didn't have pictures to prove it. I sang a little the day after and though my voice is very weak, it sounds pretty much the same as far as I can tell. The muscles in my throat are really out of shape, but I think with regular vocal exercise I'll get my old voice back again.

Dr. King thought my hoarse vocal quality was probably because of all the mucus in my throat from crying and the stress I was under, and I agreed for a couple days. The lidocaine used in the endoscopy always irritates my sinuses tremendously which makes me feel like I have a cold for a couple days afterwards. However, on Thursday, I realized that something else was going on and by that night it was clear that I'd come down with something. I dragged myself to my friend Galen's office for acupuncture on Friday and I think it really helped because I had more energy and my head was clearer afterwards. She also gave me some Chinese herbal cold capsules which I've been taking every hour. This explains the hoarseness and weakness in my voice that I was experiencing, but it also means I have a short amount of time to recover before the show next Saturday. I'm doing everything I can to rest and help my body fight this thing.

As grateful as I am to Dr. King for his compassion, kindness, and skill with the laser, I'm not very happy with his office. I learned Tuesday that the procedure cost almost twice what I was quoted by the doctor and his staff. Instead of $1,000 for the procedure, it was actually $1800. Apparently, the doctor quoted the wrong code to billing. So, my total with the surgery and the other visits is over $2700. The last visit isn't included, but I'm hoping that my new insurance will pay for most of it. Then again, they are an insurance company and if there's a way they can get out of paying, I'm sure they'll try.

I guess I'd better start booking shows again so my voice can pay off its debt.

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