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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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+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 18, 2008
...any of those meds left over there Scott?
 
 
Jul 18, 2008
Get well soon - all the best!
 
 
Jul 18, 2008
Good luck in your recovery Scott. I'm not making light of your situation, but I find it incredibly ironic that your main character, Dilbert, has no mouth, and you, his creator, contract an unsual vocal cord disorder. Coincidence, or is there something subconscious going on here? If the surgery doesn't work as well as hoped, maybe you should consider putting a mouth on Dilbert... it would be interesting to see what happens.

Hopefully it doesn't come to that though. Again, all the best in your recovery.
 
 
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 18, 2008
I also have spasmodic dysphonia. This is so good to hear! I will definitely be waiting for updates to see how it worked. I was given the option of having plastic stoppers put in to hold the vocal cords in place to stop the spasms. But I was told they only work for about six months and then the nerves grow back but with the botox injections, they work good together.

I wasn't willing to try surgery that may only work for six months. I hope your surgery shows better results and gives the rest of us with this AWFUL disease hope.

Do you know if you have abductor or adductor dysphonia? I was told I have the one that surgery doesn't work on.

Thank you for sharing!!!!
 
 
+3 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 18, 2008
get well soon.
 
 
+4 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 18, 2008
Scott, best wishes on a speedy, healthy, successful and voiciferous recovery!
 
 
+4 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 18, 2008
All the very best and a speedy convalescence.

SMK.
 
 
+4 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 18, 2008
Best wishes on your surgery, I hope to HEAR from you soon!
 
 
Jul 18, 2008
Take care. Wish you a speedy recovery.
 
 
Jul 18, 2008
Good luck, Scott!

I enjoy your blog immensely. Maybe someday I'll get to hear you speak in person!

Thanks for everything, and keep up the good work.

Jon
 
 
Jul 18, 2008
God Bless and Godspped on your recovery.

Half
 
 
Jul 18, 2008
Hooray! That's wonderful, Scott. To be forced into silence for so long is a nightmare I can barely fathom. I hope your recovery goes well and that you find yourself tired of saying so much.
 
 
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 18, 2008
Welcome back among the living! I'm from Singapore, I love to read Dilbert, and your very intelligent, insightful, and often humourous blog, and I wish you well for your operation, and subsequent recovery!
 
 
Jul 18, 2008
Congrats! To think it would never have happened without google.
 
 
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 18, 2008
Hope it all goes well. Longtime lurker here, thanks for all the posts, even the ones I didn't like. They were pretty good too.
 
 
Jul 18, 2008
Between the fact that Dilbert lost his moral compass and was quickly elevated in the company (which, boy howdee, do I see that here!) and the fact that I am also going to have surgery soon(just to improve my vision), I feel a kinship with you, Scott. Then I look at my checkbook and that goes away! JK, hope it works out well for you!
 
 
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 18, 2008
Scott,

Hope your voice returns promptly and everything goes as you wish.

Thanks for your blog. I definitely look forward to it every day. Love it when you write about the lack of free will : )

take care,
-Ivan
 
 
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 18, 2008
get well soon, mr. adams! all the best!
 
 
+4 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 18, 2008
Best wishes for a full recovery.
 
 
+7 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 18, 2008
Bravo! Fantastic news, and here's to a smooth and speedy recovery. Yay for Dr. Berke.
 
 
 
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