Saturday, September 6, 2014

Singing Again

For over 20 years I have sung with a group called Good Time Singers from the Junior League that sing weekly at nursing homes in the area.  I don't have a wonderful voice but I do have a nice strong alto and really enjoy singing.  I started with this group the first year it was formed because the "old time favorites" reminded me of my father.  When I was a child we would sing and I harmonized with him.  He had a pretty tenor voice and we sang the miles away when we traveled in the car.

Daddy was a musician and enjoyed playing most any instrument but the saxophone was his favorite.  He bought a sax when he was 16 years old and continued to play it all his life.  I played the same sax in high school and my son and grandson played it also.  That old horn is quite a treasure in our family.

Anyway music is important to me and I was concerned since I was sick that I may not get my voice back.  My voice was very weak from being on the ventilator and having a trache (sp) in the hospital for so long.  I have struggled to get my speaking voice back and had a polyp on my vocal chords that made it even harder to talk.  Under doctors orders I went a whole week without speaking to see if the polyp would decrease then I had speech therapy and was able with the guidance of a great speech therapist to get rid of the polyp completely.

My voice was still pretty weak and it was hard for others to hear me and not strain my voice.  I really wanted to join my friends in GTS but didn't know if I could really contribute.  They encouraged me to come to practice anyway.  This past Thursday was our first practice and when we started singing my voice was weak and  a bit off key but as I continued it became stronger.  All of a sudden I started crying and was overcome with emotion.  This time last year I was in the hospital and so very ill and now I am able to sing again even though my voice is still a bit weak.

My recovery from the West Nile Virus has been like that.  It seems like I face each hurdle as the priority in front of me.  First it was to be able to sit up, then stand, get up from a chair and finally walk.  My vision was poor but walking was the first priority.  When I had my eyes checked we found that I had damage to the optic nerve in my left eye that could not be improved but with glasses my right eye would manage.  Then I dealt with getting my voice strong enough to carry on a conversation and now I will learn to sing again.

I have split seconds of anger about what happened to me but I don't entertain it for long because it really doesn't help me at all.  My overwhelming feelings are of gratitude that I have come this far and I am daily reminded of how things could have been.

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