"[! ! !]" <-- Me on the phone.

Ask the guy who’s got full-blown laryngitis. Zero voice, just a fuzzy whisper.

The first question is free: How did I realize I had laryngitis? When I called to order a pizza. It was a surreal, wait-maybe-I’m-dreaming-moment.

Second question is also free: Does laryngitis make it impossible for you to see what forum you are posting in?

Answer: Apparently it does.

I had laryngitis a couple of years ago. So bad that I couldn’t whisper… couldn’t get a peep out of my mouth. Worked in retail at the time. Yeah, how can I be helping customers if I can’t talk so I needed to call out. Except, not a peep…like I said.

So I emailed a friend who I knew is at work early (another company), asking “are you there?” and explained I needed her to call out for me (no email at work so I couldn’t email directly). She answered immediately and gave her the names of the managers and let me know which one she got on the phone. Crazy, huh?

The next day I was able to at least whisper badly so I could call myself. Also had to go to the doctor to get a note for work. The doc’s receptionist kept asking me all kinds of questions. I kept whispering that I couldn’t talk… stupid…

Similar to this: When my epilepsy was first manifesting itself, I had a really bad grand mal. Net result was that my tongue got shredded. Now, this was after I’d had an EEG and been told it was normal. I called the clinic, wanting to let them know that the results must have been wrong, or at any rate, something was wrong, but kept getting directed to Cardiology instead of Neurology. Because my tongue was swollen, right? And “e” and “k” are hard to distinguish in that case. Well, so are “e” and any other letter, I suppose. “No! EEG! Electroencephelograh! NOT EKG! No, I don’t want Cardiology, I want Neurology!” Finally I said “brain scan” and that, at least, was understandable.

That happened to me when I was a bartender. And bartenders are supposed to talk. My best friend worked at the same place I did and after a couple text messages, she said she would call in for me. I had to get a doctor’s note, too because I missed a few days. At least the receptionist at my doctor’s office wasn’t a total idiot, like yours.

Oh, yeah. I can sympathize. I get a really good case of laryngitis at least once a year, and it was a bear to deal with when I worked on the phones full time. You have to strain to be heard, which only makes it worse. The job I have right now will take that into consideration, and give you off-phone work to do: but I have been in positions where the PTB just don’t give a damn.

Now, my job is off-phone all the time, so it doesn’t matter if I can talk or not.

I’m glad I haven’t had full laryngitis in a long time. I get very hoarse, sure, but have at least kept enough voice for things like short phone calls.

This is sort of like when I broke the wrist on my dominant hand and had to fill out a lot of paperwork at the orthopedist’s office. My husband couldn’t take off more work than he already had to come along, so it was just me, presented with a bunch of forms by a bewildered receptionist. The hand and wrist were in a tight brace, so I just lightly grasped the pen and wrote by moving through the elbow and upper arm, which moved my entire forearm around to make the letters. Legible, at least, and my fingers and wrist stayed immobile.

The last time I had laryngitis they called to verify my information for a loan. It took two more weeks to get the money because all they got that day was nothing from me when they called. They were all pissy about it too. What are you going to do about having no voice?

It could have been worse; it could have been your doctor calling to confirm your insurance information. And then billing you because he couldn’t get it from you. I know someone who ended up with a new doctor because of something like that.

A guy where I work got the flu this winter and lost his voice. It still hasn’t come back after a couple of months. I’m not sure why, because, of course, he can’t talk. Most I’ve gotten out of him is that it’s not cancer and the doctors don’t know if it will ever come back. For a while, he wasn’t talking at all, but now he will whisper, since resting his voice doesn’t seem to help any.

The only time I’ve come close to losing my voice was when I worked in a call center. I had a bit of a cold and, of course, a harsh attendance policy, so I went in and put myself on the list to be sent home if they didn’t need me. However, they needed me. Voice got worse and worse and worse throughout the day. Customers commented on it. Fellow employees said things like, “Back when it was Ma Bell, they’d have sent you home.” Finally, it was my last break of the day, and the supervisor called to ask if they could change it to 15 minutes later. It was all I could do to croak back, “I really wish you wouldn’t. I need to rest my voice.” Several minutes later, the supervisor told me I could go home. Think he felt sorry for me, but I was glad for his pity that day.