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As regular readers of my blog already know, about three years ago, out of the blue, I got an exotic voice problem called spasmodic dysphonia. I couldn't speak above a whisper for a year. Then one day, while practicing a nursery rhyme with my stepson, my voice suddenly returned to a functional level. Unfortunately, as is typical with spasmodic dysphonia, my voice only worked well in quiet, unstressful environments, and the world is not a quiet or unstressful place. I couldn't, for example, order a pizza over the telephone and expect the person on the other end to understand me. So for most of the last few years I have been the ghost in the room, listening and smiling, silently cursing my partial existence.

This week I underwent surgery that has a high likelihood of fixing the problem. The top surgeon on the planet for this procedure, Gerald Berke, M.D., at UCLA, opened my neck and rewired the nerve connections to my vocal cords. In three or four months, when the new nerve pathways regenerate, I should be able to speak again, in weak voice at first, and improving over the year.

So I find myself delirious today, for a number of reasons. I'm exhausted, and medicated, and most of all optimistic that the ghost in the room can get one more chance among the living.

Today is a good day.
 
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Jul 21, 2008
I imagine you already know you're listed as a "notable person" with spasmodic dysphonia on the disorder's wikipedia site. Hope it works in spite of the negative stuff wiki says.

In case it doesn't, why not get one of those speaking do dads that Stephen Hawking has to talk like microsoft sam? I think you've mentioned before it really has helped him get the chick's attention. I know you're an old married guy now, but it's always fun to have the chicks pay attention anyway.
 
 
Jul 21, 2008
Get well soon Scott. I trust that you will have success with this procedure!
 
 
Jul 20, 2008
Very peculiar all this.

Reminds me of Ludwig Van Beethoven. Absolutely tragic.
 
 
Jul 20, 2008
wishing a you a super speedy recovery.

one more vote for explaining the apparent failure of the therapy taken about a year ago?

i too often forget that if I were to ever meet you at an airport, (seems the most likely place to meet someone famous these days) you wouldn't be able to talk as glibly as the persona of you I have in my head. Not being able to talk normally must be a killer for a man of your intellect and humour

hope that you make a full recovery soon, and looking forward to keynote from you real soon

Regards,
Manik
 
 
Jul 20, 2008
Dear Scott, I often forget reading your blog that you have lost the ability so speak normally; it is odd for me to think that should I meet you in person, you would be unable to convey the humor and wit in your mind which you put down so clearly on paper. I pray that your voice will recover, and that you will once again share your thoughts outside of your blog and home.
 
 
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Jul 20, 2008
加油
 
 
Jul 20, 2008
Best wishes for a speedy recovery
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 20, 2008
Scott, your blog is like a morning cup of coffee, essential to get throught the day.

Get well soon,
Locky
Sydney Australia
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 20, 2008
Hey Scott, hope you get well soon and regain your voice.
On a more satirical note, dont we all want some one else (like the pointy haired boss, or some talkative know it all) to lose their voice?
I am just mentally making lists. (I guess everyone has a nasty side, some one might wish I lose my voice)
 
 
Jul 20, 2008
Wonderful news, Scott. So happy for you. :) I hope it is completely successful! Can't imagine what it would be like to not be able to talk properly.
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 20, 2008
This is an awesome Place!
here a place you can learn more!!
http://www.uoha.com / life is all around
 
 
Jul 20, 2008
Scott, I feel you man... I have been battling this [BLEEPING] voice disorder for 2 years now and have been on the edge of my seat following your struggle, hoping against hope that you found the breakthrough and the thousand of us who are silenced can finally speak. We are all rooting for you.

Please, please keep us updated on how this works for you.

All of you out there: if you suffer from this, or want to help, check out the National Spasmodic Dysphonia Association ( http://www.dysphonia.org/join/ ) Those of you who have SD know what I am talking about when I say that I literally have my heart in my throat following Scott in this battle. To everyone else -- imagine that every time you try to speak, silence comes out. Day after day. Imagine trying to do your job, shop, or go through your normal day. Communicate with friends and family. Imagine that terrifying scene in the Matrix where Neo's mouth is closed over with skin... and being told there is no cure. Well, screw despair. There IS a cure, it just hasn't been found yet. Rock on, Scott!
 
 
Jul 20, 2008
Glad to hear it! Best of luck during the recovery...
 
 
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 20, 2008
I didn't know they could fix this by Surgery, in which case it is wonderful news. Get well soon (immediately!). :-)
 
 
Jul 20, 2008
Hey, all the best from India. Btw, did you try any forms of meditation to reduce your stress levels? did they work?
 
 
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 20, 2008
Get well soon...

read this if you got time http://www.dailynews.lk/2008/07/16/news12.asp
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 20, 2008
Best wishes from Israel, Scott.
I hope (and am pretty confident that) your natural optimism will shorten your recovery time.
 
 
Jul 19, 2008
way to go scott, best piece of news i read on the net all day...take care
 
 
Jul 19, 2008
!!!!!!!

Congratulations, and good luck! As an avid fan of your strip and your blog, I can only hope your voice (heard so vibrantly around the world via screen and paper) will return and do you justice.

The best of wishes--
 
 
Jul 19, 2008
i really hope you get better. i really really do.

best wishes from Argentina.
 
 
 
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