Eva* lost her voice after a tragic event.
Read her touching recollection of her rehabilitation with Sari Lotem, a speech therapist at Hadassah Hospital and Lecturer at HAC’s Department of Communication Disorders.
In Eva’s words:
The day they told me that I lost my mother, I froze. I mean, really froze. When I tried to speak, no sound would come out. I could only manage a whisper. I know my voice wasn’t strained because I hadn’t shouted or screamed when I heard the news. I just experienced such an immense send of grief and such a broken heart with my mother’s passing.
Although I cried a lot, I never understood what happened to me, especially during the Shiva period of mourning. I could only whisper the wonderful memories I had of my mother to the guests that paid their respects and visited.
After a few days, my throat became irritated and started to hurt, causing me lot of discomfort and pain. My voice had completely disappeared. I suffered in silence but after a week I had to return to work. I returned without a voice, which made my job nearly impossible.
I finally made it to a doctor, who was about to treat my condition with steroids medication, but then recommended that I first consult with Sari Lotem, a highly recommended speech therapist at Hadassah Hospital who also serves as a lecturer at HAC’s Department of Communications Disorders.
I must admit, that I questioned the doctor and wondered what a speech therapist could offer me.
But after meeting Sari, I immediately realized that she had a lot to offer. She didn’t start to treat me until she asked me a series of questions around that pivotal moment I heard my mom had passed away.
After our discussion, Sari told me that steroids would not help in my particular case. She told me my voice had disappeared because of my emotional condition. She reassured me and told me to relax and stay calm as it was all just temporary. She told me, we would need to train my voice to come back.
And so we began- Sari trained me to use my vocal muscles and taught me new breathing techniques which would help me produce a sound. Of course, I had never had such training before, but Sari was wonderful and patient and explained every step of the process to me.
The sessions with Sari didn’t take too long. Over the course of half a year and with a lot of confidence and patience, she guided me to use my voice again- without straining my throat.
I couldn’t believe it when I finally heard my voice again!
The first thing that I did was call my husband and children! When they heard my voice, they almost fainted!
Sometimes life takes us to unexpected, quiet and muted places.
Although it’s very difficult, do yourself a favour. Before taking any medication, seek out specialists that may be able to help you with alternative solutions.
*(Name has been changed in order to ensure privacy)