I came down with a bad cold just before the Christmas holidays, which turned into laryngitis by the evening of Christmas Day, after a lot of visiting with family over a delicious turkey dinner.
I’ve never had laryngitis before. It’s a strange affliction, where you try to speak and there’s simply nothing there but air. Not a hoarse rasp or a faded voice, but the absence of all sound.
I went to the walk-in clinic today to confirm that what I have is just viral and will go away on its own in the standard 7-14 days (yes and yes), so no antibiotics are required. Only patience, which I tend to have in very limited supply. The doctor also confirmed what a Google search had already revealed: even whispering can do further damage to my swollen vocal chords and should be studiously avoided.
Having quiet forced upon me (and likely a pleasant delight to my immediate family members) has been an interesting experiment. The many thoughts that flit through my mind can be noticed and then discarded. Not every one of them needs to be voiced aloud. I hope I carry this lesson with me into the new year when my voice will hopefully return.
With my voice out of commission, it forces me to observe those around me and listen to what they say without chiming in. I can learn a lot from others by doing this. Not every conversation needs my words in it.
Sitting around with my husband and kids when we are all reading or scrolling through phones or pasting Star Wars stickers in a book can be quite peaceful and restful. Normally I would pepper these times with witty observations (would my family refer to these comments as witty?) but right now I cannot speak so we mostly spend this holiday week together quietly. And it’s been so lovely.
Laryngitis has helped me up my game when it comes to nonverbal communication. A gentle smile for William and a shoulder rub, particularly when he whispers to me even though his voice is in tip-top shape. A hug for Ava as we pass each other in the kitchen or on the stairs. A kiss for Jason and a nod or a goofy wink. All ways to connect with those I love without using the words I usually rely on.
It’s been a silent night over here. I’m soaking up these quiet, relaxing pajama days and getting ready to say goodbye to 2017 and bid hello to a brand new year, full of unknown possibilities, joys and heartbreaks.
May the rest of your holidays be warm, pleasant and beautiful. Thank you for being a part of my blog and my life in 2017. Let’s chat again in the new year.