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Monday, April 12, 2010

Shakey Shakey



The voyage continues. I am doing well but the one thing that has taken me off guard is the loss of my voice, my breath, my energy. They are all related. My understanding is that part of the vagus nerve was severed during the surgery and so now half of my vocal cords are paralyzed. I think a similar thing happens during certain thyroid surgeries. One thing the internet specializes in are horror stories so if any of you have experience with success stories regarding voice restoration I would love to hear them.

The good news is I can swallow food, my tongue works, I only have a bit of numbness and crooked smile. I didn't have a stroke or nerve damage to my face. I am grateful for all of that.

I don't know how long I am going to be mending. My brain charges ahead with ideas and projects while my body tries to keep up. All in all I am feeling very good. Your prayers, messages and comments were the medicine that brought me through and I thank you for taking the time to send them.

And omigoodness is that quilt ever cozy and like wrapping your body in love. It's my security blanket.

I might be invisible for awhile longer; I am working at half speed if that. Still, I am woman hear me RAWR. (I love you all so much.) xo

95 comments:

Gwen said...

I'm usually the lurking kind of blog follower, but I thought I'd pop in with a positive story for you :) I had a professor last semester who had the same thing happen following a surgery. He couldn't speak for quite a long time and doctors weren't very encouraging, but his voice did come back! He just had to wait it out - all on its own, no additional surgery. I hope it works out for you as well :)

Judy Wise said...

YES! Thank you, Gwen.

Clare Wassermann said...

love and lots of it xxx

Snap said...

Hang in there! Everything takes time. Hugs and more hugs ... wrap yourself in your quilt and think of all the folks who are wishing you well.

dosfishes said...

So glad to hear and see your written,visual voice. So glad you came through wrapped in your quilt of love. Wishing you well for a speedy recovery.

xo

Corrine

Ro Bruhn said...

So glad you are on the mend Judy and that you still have your creative side of your brain working, over time, the rest will come.

Carmen said...

dear Judie,
i have been busy (moving) but i think my timing was perfect for my happy story, i went throught this too but fortunately was not a tumor but oh boy! my throat and neck grew but my voice never change
now thanks to medication, it is going (slow) back to normal
you will be okay soon
love, prayers and thoughts in your way

Cindy Swan-Eagan said...

Lots of love and good thoughts, Judy, as you heal.
Cindy

Dawn D. Sokol said...

Judy:

So glad to hear you are healing. It definitely takes time. Be kind to yourself and your body. Your body will pay you back tenfold!

Hugs!
Dawn

Jacky said...

Thinking of you and sending healing thoughts.
Sending a warm, gentle hug.

Jacky xox

lynda howells said...

Hello my internet friend. i wish l was nearer and l could come and say Hi and help in any way l could! But as l am not..sending you huge waves of healing white light, lots of winged hugs and a lot of love to help you to heal. I am sorry you have a voice problem but glad you have more serious problems. It is hard not being able to do the things you want but l so pleased to see your journal page.x Art and journalling are such amaxzing healing tools aren't they!xYour "gift" is nearly finished and then it will be winging its way to you. My husband sends his love, since his heart attack a month or so ago, he has realised how difficult being unable to do the simplest things SO irretating and frustratingx Anyway, thinking about you a lot even though we have never met, l think of you as a friend. keep safe and keep the spirits up my friendxlynda

lynda howells said...

oh forgot to say..glad that quilt is keeping you warmxlynda

Lelainia N. Lloyd said...

Judy, you have been constantly in my thoughts. I am relieved to hear the surgery was a success and you are on the road to recovery. Please don't rush it. I say this as one determined woman to another. Your body needs time to heal in order to serve you. Rest, read, watch funny movies, email (or don't!) and just pamper yourself. Everything else will wait.

My favourite ways to pass the time when I am in bed is to watch HOUSE on dvd, to listen to Garrison Keillor's Tales of Lake Wobegon podcasts (FREE on iTunes and his voice is *so* soothing) or watch The Rest of Everest video podcast (also free on iTUnes) or to "chat" on Skype with friends.

Hang in there!! You are FIERCE! xox

jgr said...

Judy, So glad you are mending! I'm sending you lots of hugs and many healing thoughts along with prayers for strength. Take care and please keep journaling and show us when you can-we need you!

jetfuellines said...

I was talking about you today and telling someone how amazing you are and how much I have learned from you. I finished my first encaustic painting (outside of your class). It reminds me of how much I have learned and grown since I first met you and how much you watered my scared soul into putting something on paper. Heal and know you have blessed me life more than you know. Love and sunshine! Jess

Pat said...

Wishing you a speedy recovery!!

xoxo

And so it goes... said...

So good to have an update! I've been checking your blog daily... Long ago a co-workers wife had a paralyzed vocal cord due to a thyroidectomy. They told her she would most likely never speak again, but her voice eventually came back...deep & sexy, like Susanne Pleshette! She loved it! Wonderful to hear your creativity is intact! Revel in these days of honoring your body, giving it the time it needs. Honor it, and it will honor you. xoxo deb/debbie/debra

Shari said...

Hang in there, Judy. I am and have been sending all of my healing thoughts and positive energy your way. You have such a strong, unflappable will. I have no doubt you will make a FULL recovery. Be patient... it will happen.

Martha Lever said...

Hi Judy!!! I am sending you prayers and hopes for your strong voice to return as your strength also returns. oxoxoxo

BJ Lantz said...

Sending lots of hugs & singing Kumbya at the top of my lungs for you, Sistah.

XO ~
Beej

Loretta a/k/a Mrs. Pom said...

Judy, I've been thinking about you so much these days. I'm glad to see your post. I imagine that while you are silent, your art will get deeper and deeper and more and more expressive to supplement your vocal silence.

May your voice heal and your heart rest!

snowbird42 said...

I have missed you.
Wonderful to see you back and mending.

Pattio said...

Judy, May peace and sweet contentment be yours while you rest and heal. Be kind to yourself and journal when you feel up to it.

I am such a fan of your art and your blog.

Healing hugs

La Dolce Vita said...

I have no doubt that you will mend easily, it is my belief that when you remove physiological stress from the body, that it will naturally heal on it's own and I beleive in miracles! blessings to you dear Judy!

Melanie said...

I have thought of you often these past days ... so glad to hear from you.

Ann K. said...

It's scary, and "shakey"-making, this kind of experience. I hope in the silence you will find your inner power and resilience, and the PATIENCE to let your body heal (that might be the hardest thing!). xxxooo

Amy Stoner said...

I am so very happy to know that your surgery went well, but I am sorry to hear that your voice is being "stubbornly quiet." I have the same issues with patience, so I can understand your frustration. But, you can take this time to think about all the other things you want as your "voice"...a sultry soul singer playing, some festive mexican folk music, a little Edith Piaf just for some va va voom! You're an amazing woman and can get through anything with flying colors!

femminismo said...

Never one to lurk myself, but spew comments galore, I just left one on your Facebook page and now I'm here. Can't get enough of you. The journal page is "right on" great. No voice would look like that - all white and empty. I send healing thoughts to your throat and vocal cords. You will flourish, I know it!

Ocean Lotus said...

healing thoughts
healing thoughts
healing thoughts

Kim Mailhot said...

So glad to know you are well, Beautiful Judy. The slow and steady recovery is your job now, and I know you will do it with the dedication and care that you do everything with ! Plus you have that quilt and circle of love around you to ease your through...
Much love and big gentle hugs !

Tara Finlay said...

Judy,
Are you going to get any form of speech therapy? Because using it (at the right time in the "right" way) ie don't overdo it) will likely forge new neural pathways!
You are in my thoughts.

Judy Wise said...

Yes, Tara, I'm going in for speech therapy in a couple of weeks. And looking forward to it.

Kelly Snelling_Soulhumming.typepad.com said...

your post today and...words, where are the words to describe your journal page...under the skin is what comes to mind. because it holds feelings that are so deep. it made me tear up over here. because i sat in that bed and looked at things as you now. and i cried because you are sitting in that bed. it is always a surprise how the feelings you have forgotten (and oh yes hallelujah you will wake up one day and these feelings will be vague. you will still be you. and you will not just talk but Sing) come upon you unexpectedly. i'm so glad that you journal judy. that you made this record. i am not a journal keeper. so i would stuff the hospital bracelet in a bag or take the bit of rubber the nurse used to tie off my arm for the blood pressure (once she couldn't get the machine to work and resorted to this old fashioned dealio) and put it in a pocket. i find these things again at odd moments like little signposts of the past to remind me of that time today. so you will be able to look at your pages and remember. and you will remember being brave and strong and scared and happy ALL AT The Same TIME. because that's how it goes. and when you are tired of being brave and strong and want to be worried instead you can look at these pages and remember what you are made of and tell yourself it won't always be like this moment. and then that moment will be past and you will feel better. i've gone on too long for my tiny little comment. but your page was so powerful and i so want to sit and talk to you so i rambled on. and now big lump in my throat as i think of you and send you great Big Love!

Herm said...

I follow your blog and love your artwork. Love & prayers to you!

lilasvb said...

wish you to feel better, your art piece is great

Brian K said...

Here is to a speedy recovery for one of my inspirations! I hope you get lots of rest and your voice comes back soon! Take all the time you need. Rest, rest, rest(and create some wonderful art!)

lyle said...

happy tuesday! last nite when I read your report I was happy for you! I'm sure the speech problem is very distressing but you have so many other wonderful voices you will have to rely on them while the voice recovers!take it slowly and gently! sing with your crayons while your voice box rests! let us know when you feel up to it! lyle

Queen Of Toys said...

Judy,

Get strong, my blessings are with you at this difficult time.

Michele said...

Hi Judy -
I think your photo pictured you with that "fun" breathing gizmo they make you use...ha-ha - I remember that:). You might want to investigate acupuncture to stimulate any nerves that may have been challenged during the surgery. I supplemented my western curative surgery with eastern medicine and it was amazingly successful. I actually got the idea from my sweet dog - who had an ear operation which temporarily paralyzed one side of the face....I'll never forget the day that, during a treatment, she blinked...we all cried (Rosie wagged her tail). You are a wonderful being and the universe will heal you so that you can continue to share your gifts:)

angel said...

Judy I am so glad to hear you are doing well and the surgery is behind you now. Prayers going out for you for continued peaceful recovery. I can only imagine the creativity that will be pouring out of you after all of this!!

Anonymous said...

I am so happy to see that you've posted. I've been checking your blog each day, waiting to hear that you are doing well. I'm sending you healing thoughts and love. You will mend, wrapped in your lovely quilt of friendship, and every day you will find improvement.

LizNess said...

HUGS and all my best hopes and thoughts to you for a speedy recovery of health, body, and voice.

Carla Sonheim said...

Judy, many prayers and good thoughts to you today and always.

lynne h said...

oh, i am so glad to read that you are healing and resting, judy.... sending so much love from here... xo

sharon said...

glad to know you're on the mend judy. your spirit shines through so vividly in the journal photos. much love and blessings on you.

kluless said...

So good to have you back. Funny, your voice sounds just the same as always to me!
Seriously, let your body have the time it needs to heal and let your art speak for you until your voice is ready to come back out and play.
Take good care.

Anonymous said...

Judy,

I'm still keeping you in my prayers. If I can do anything, let me know. xo

Eunice

Dawn E. Shepherd Nguyen said...

I love you Judy.
Healing energy and restful thoughts coming your way - one day at a time.

Dawn

Scintilla said...

i love you. love you...

Donna Heart said...

healing thoughts and lots of love from down under! i'd love to meet you one day Judy - you inspire me daily! you are strong indeed - keep choosing brave - we're all right behind you...x donna

Karen Cole said...

I can hear you "rawring" from here.

Was so glad to see your post.
Keep the faith. I envy you, your ability to write it all down so well.
xoK

kitty said...

Never underestimate the power of the human mind.....to rejuvenate, regenerate, restore, repair, renew and heal......(I'm facing some daunting health issues and this mantra has helped me through some scarey times.....)...hoping for a speedy recovery for you!!!!

Mazarine said...

Dear Judy,

You are so brave for posting pictures of yourself, and making this your art journey too!

This too shall pass. I had a male friend who had breast cancer, had the full round of chemo, and a masectomy, and now he barely remembers the feeling of being weak. He is so strong! I know you are too!

You are in my thoughts!

Mazarine
http://melisander.org

Elizabeth MacCrellish said...

you are NOT invisible-- I see you everyday-- you are so HERE with me-- your spirit is everywhere and I love you so and wish for you healing healing healing-- bisous, Elizabeth

Stephani said...

Hi Judy, You are in my thoughts and prayers! :) Stephani

Stephanie Lee said...

Sound or no sound, your voice echos in my heart so loud and clear. It's just fun when it matches you mouth moving in person. :)

Rawr!!RAAAAAAAAAWR! :)
ox

susan in seattle said...

I'm a lurker here, but wanted to wish you a speedy recovery and relate my dad's experience. He too had a paralyzed vocal cord after surgery. He sounded like a little boy (before voice change) for the longest time...months! But his normal voice came back eventually. (I'm sure it helped that I constantly cleared my throat when I talked to him.) He didn't have any speech therapy, but I think he drank lots of hot liquids. Don't worry about it and breathe deep...relaxation helps the healing process! Love your art and your blog.

Judy Wise said...

Oh, thank you Susan in Seattle. Yesterday I was able to croak out a message via phone to my daughter in Hawaii; I was so elated to be understood. I am ever hopeful now and these success stories really give me confidence.

Sharon Lovejoy said...

My heart is with you on this long and slow voyage. You have such spirit that I KNOW you will prevail.

Lots of love from so many of your friends,

Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

Marit said...

Thinking of you and sending good vibes and a big hug all across the ocean!

the GyPsY said...

Sending you good wishes and a bowl full of scented jasmins to cheer you up always.
Hope things will get better - and soon - I know what you mean about being an impatient patient :-)

Lynn said...

Well, here's how I see it. I am coming to Art and Soul in October:
1. either your voice will be back 100% by then
2. or you will teach visually by doing and us watching ...and perhaps you will have told someone else the words to say and they will say them for you! Or a microphone will help.
3. You will use slides on a screen telling us what to do next.
4. you can write things on a white board.

5. this will work. I am sure of it.
Your strength will return little by little, there is plenty of time for healing.

And hopefully it will be #1. and you will be in full voice...but if not, then we will still be able to learn from you as you will have your strength back well before then. You see I am counting on this! It may sound selfish on my part...but so be it! I WILL be in your class!!!!! ;-)

These are postive visualizations!
And I am very very hopeful
that it will all be well. In the meantime pace yourself...and enjoy the quiet of your voice...I am sure there is much to learn from this experience.

Hugs and enjoy the warm quilt.

Jeanneoli said...

thank you for your super sweet comment on my blog! Your work is outstanding! I hope you recover quickly.

peggy said...

I am so happy to hear that at least the surgery is over, now the healing begins and it will take awhile. It will take quite a while to get all of your energy back but it will come and your voice will improve over time. There are a lot of speech therapists that can help with that. You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers Judy. Love ya Peggy

Nic Hohn said...

Judy you will never be invisible... your energy is always present.

Hugs + Healing
Nic

Beth said...

Thinking of you and sure that you will sing and laugh again soon. Healing vibes winging across the continent from Montreal!

Andrea Stern said...

I was diagnosed with a paralyzed right vocal cord four years ago. My voice did recover as the other side learns to compensate. When I get very tired, talk too much, or it is a high allergen/particulate day I can find myself getting froggy, but a little rest will bring it back. It still is frustrating and I understand how hard it is to find one's voice gone, the four months between onset, diagnosis and the return of my voice were very difficult. I will keep you in my thoughts.

Judy Wise said...

thank you Andrea. i can live with imperfection. xo

Maria said...

I do love your art even though I don't comment on your blog here, but I want to say: Is there something you haven't expressed though you wanted to? The throat is about expressing oneself, and also about will power. Sometimes we give that away to other people, and we are left "behind" silent. Throat = expression.
To a speedy recovery. The birds sing, and so do we. :) (when we remember.)

Judy Wise said...

I like your ideas, Maria. I'm going to do some deep thinking on this.

Laurel said...

May your sweet voice return to your sweet self soon - big giant hugs to you...

oneartistjournal said...

If you were able to make this beautiful entry in your journal that means your voice is in tact....now the cords must follow, there is no other way....I wish you a whole recovery.
XOXOrly

Anonymous said...

Hi Dear Brave Judy,
Wanted to say, my grandmother had severed vocal cord way back in the 60's, her voice did come back, a halting but beautiful voice. I also have a disabled daughter who uses a communication device,I remind people,not speaking does not mean not communicating...I am aware of so many other ways we connect. Rest up, see you soon, words don't need to be spoken when a smile will do. Steph b

mary ann said...

who loves ya baby?
pancho does!
wrap up tight in your security blanket. there is a cocoon surrounding you. and it's growing bigger each day.

Jill Berry said...

Dear Judy,
I am using my voice for you, to ask for prayers and wishes for you, and to ask for good stories, which are coming in. Acupuncture and speech therapy are being mentioned to me and also here.
This life journey is always interesting. Sometimes a little too much so!
Much love to you,
Jill

lynda Howells said...

Think of you all the time and wish l was nearer to actually give you a hugxlynda

Chris said...

Lots of thoughts and good wishes and warmth to you. Your reach is far and wide and so many are with you!

Thanks for giving so much. Looking forward to more!

purple bird art said...

Glad to hear you came through the surgery and are on the healing path. Medicine is one of life's mysteries. Even the best physician's are proved wrong by the courage of one's heart and the strength of one's soul. Your voice will come with faith and time. Sending you love and best wishes for a quick recovery - Jan

Jennifer said...

Long time reader, but first time commenter.

Sending lots of healing energy your way.

Best and peace.

Jan said...

Judy, as with everyone here, I send positive and loving thoughts and energy your way. I look forward to seeing you in Idylwild in July.

rebecca said...

my darling judy,

i remember the first moment i looked into your bright eyes. i fell into your immediate wise, warm and vibrant
J O Y.
i can hear you singing...
i am sure your words will follow your lyrical spirit.
you are a polestar in all our lives.
we are all lifting you up...up up into wholeness and wonder.
xoxoxoxox,
rebecca

Tara Ross Studios said...

oh, i had no idea,,,, sending lots of positive love and hugs your way. I am sure from all the love and blessings you receive you will have your voice back in no time. ...sing.... in more than one way...
~Tara

Sam said...

So glad to hear you came through it all well, and are on the mend - you have been in my thoughts and prayers.

Rest, rest, enjoy the space and peace if you can. Your voice will return.

art spirit said...

Sweet Judy,
Sending much love and healing prayers your way.
Loving my little "Facebook" painting!
A good mantra...
"I will heal quickly!" and you will, with all that wonderful love that surrounds you and a dose of patience.
Big hugs and warm wishes,
Mary

Irene said...

Judy, my friend and inspiration, you KNOW I have been thinking of you, but what you may NOT know is that I became a grandmother on April 9th, and I have been in a state of delirium ever since! But not so delirious that I have forgotten to send good thoughts your way! I have never known you to fail at anything you set your mind to, and I expect this recent setback will soon be just a memory. I feel it in my very bones and also in my heart, where you have taken up permanent residence. Godspeed and keep smiling. :-) xoxoxo

say**yes said...

Judy, Wish I knew something specific about vocal cords. All I do know is you've already created a journal page (!!!) and you've made yourself heard all the way to Hawaii. Hallelujah, you're on your way! Your truth and your spirit are so LOUD, dear one! Your friends have been making some great suggestions: warm liquids, speech therapy, acupuncture. I know you will do them all, and you will heal amazingly. I'm still feeling such relief just to have you back. Recovering from surgery takes quite a while. Try to get more rest than you think you need. Be very, very gentle with yourself. I love you, Patsy

nina said...

miss judy - no advice here, you've already received ample supply of that - just a great big hug and loving thoughts sent your way. i know you can overcome ANY obstacle life throws at you - your power is amazing, as well as your love and optimism....xxxx

maddie said...

your FABulous spirit will
paddle through these rivers

i never met such a vivacious and gorgeous presence of pure lovin' energy

not to mention LOOK at all the
L O V E gathering and clamoring
on your doorstep to proclaim itself

love heals love will go to battle with you

i love you lovely judy!

Lisa said...

Judy...
You speak very loudly to me, through all of this. I hear your voice resonating deep in my chest. Take your time, listen to your body, and it will listen to you.
(((HUGS)))

Lindart said...

I love your quote about accepting things with simplicity. Your voice will always be heard through your journals, and I will always be listening! You are a woman with such strength, so inspiring! Keep thinking good thoughts and I will think them too.

Seth said...

Wishing you the best Judy and sending out healthy and healing thoughts on a loop over and over and over...

Brian K said...

Sending you wonderful healing thoughts across the miles! Safe travels & a successful journey you wonderful fabulous woman! Your pages are scrumptious.... Makes ME want to get out the plaster!

Carin said...

My boyfriend had surgery his aortic dissection and it had swelled so much that they had to do surgery on his voice box. He couldn't talk for a few weeks which he broke in the beginning because he is a big talker. Getting someone who loves talking to write on paper or a chalk board was a big struggle. His voice did come back in but it was scratchy. It takes a long time for the body to heal and he was the first living person the doctor had seen with that much swelling.
It's been 4 years and in the past couple of months I've noticed a big difference in his voice and he was told nothing could be done. Keep your chin up and give it time. It may sound corny but miracles happen all the time.

Isiliath said...

Your last few entries have included making sense of things in a random universe, which reminded me of my favorite poem that I thought you might enjoy during your convalescence:

"Joy Sonnet in a Random Universe"

Sometimes I'm happy: la la la la la la la
la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la
la la la la. Tum tum ti tum. La la la la la
la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la.
Hey nonny nonny. La la la la la la la la
la la la la la la la la la la la. Vo do di o do.
Poo poo pi doo. la la la la la la la la la la
la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la
la la. Whack a do. La la la la la la la la. Sh-
boom, sh-boom. La la la la la la la la la la
la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la
la la. Dum di dum. La la la la la la la la.
la la la la la la la la. Tra la la. Tra la la
la la la la la la la la la la. Yeah yeah yeah.


-Helen Chasin, 1968

Gretchen said...

Healing thoughts your way!!! Be well!