Mute

What if you wake up one day and realize that you have lost your voice?

I had a very bad case of sore throat three days before writing this article. It started like all sore throats — harmless small coughs throughout the day, and some sneezes here and there. I didn’t pay much attention to it and hoped that it would go away by itself. I even tried to prevent it from becoming worse by drinking a lot of water to combat it. (I still don’t know what led me to believe that mere water can eradicate a virus. I was so, so wrong)
Little did I know I was in for a nasty surprise the following day.
My throat hurt like hell when I woke up. It was scratchy and dry and it hurt with each gulp especially when I drank.

“Good… Morning…,” I croaked when I was on my way to the kitchen to grab a cup of water (More water! What was I thinking?), in hopes of soothing the burning sensation raging in my throat. Every one of my family members immediately turned their heads and look at me incredulously. It was as if I was some kind of new exhibit or something.

((On a side note, my voice isn’t like other girls with squeaky soprano voices — I have a smooth alto voice. So, you can probably imagine what I sound like with a sore throat. Think Morgan Freeman with nasal sounds 🤔))
“Yerrr, why is your voice like that, jie?” My youngest brother was the first one to speak up and ask about my sudden change in pitch overnight. At first, I couldn’t believe the sounds that I was producing were coming out of my mouth. In a span of just a few hours, my voice had completely warped into… This? Try to imagine.
After being scolded of my consistent nocturnal habits and lack of water intake by my parents, I was told to drink some cough medicine and to sleep on it. I did as I was told and took a short nap.
I felt refreshed after that short nap session, but my voice was still hoarse and weird. It was only until later in the evening, my voice had returned after staying completely silent for three hours. (I guess you can say that time heals wounds. Literally, in my case anyway)

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At that time, a lot of things were running through my head. I thought of what I would be if I had no voice. If I couldn’t speak? If I couldn’t express my thoughts through speech? I can’t imagine a world without sound, let alone one without music. Especially the feeling you have when you want to speak but the people hearing are forced to look at your lips to make out your words. That is the time when you notice you took your God given voice for granted.

Being able to hear with your natural ears is already a wonderful thing in itself. You get to hear the world around you without the aid of external devices. It’s a glorious feeling. Hence, you should always be grateful for the things you have today and not regret it only when you lose it one day.

My voice hasn’t returned to normal yet, unfortunately. It’s still somewhat hoarse and croaky. I should probably give it more time to heal, while I spend time getting lost in silence for once.

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