For the last seven days, I have been hardly able to whisper. Although my voice never completely left me, it was painful to attempt to talk. My throat went back and forth between feeling like I was swallowing knives and swallowing fire. My throat even hurt when I wasn't doing anything. Today is a little better but the memory of the last week hasn't faded yet.
The laryngitis and all that came with it has been obnoxious but there was another side effect that shocked me. I didn't realize how much my kids respond to my voice. Alex kept asking me why I was mad or sad and if I whispered he would say, "Stop talking like that. I want you to talk loud!" My sister was in town for a week and it overlapped with four days of my voicelessness. She let me sleep in and take naps to try to recover but there were still plenty of times that I had to parent (darn parenting!). It was frustrating. The boys didn't understand why I was angry. I had to let almost everything go except for when they did something really bad. I would clap to get their attention from across the room to try to get them to stop doing something immediately.
Alex is a quick learner and stopped turning around when I clapped. I felt like a child; I was unable to communicate. I would stamp my feet if they didn't understand me. If I deemed something worthy of talking, I would whisper through the razorblades to try to get my message across. There were plenty of times when the person I was talking to couldn't hear me though. Lots of times I was so busy coughing after my attempt that I decided it wasn't worth repeating. I felt so trapped in my own brain. I felt like I was going to explode. I had never experienced that feeling before. Usually I say what I think, even to a fault. I have "turned off my voice" before but was always able to use sign language to communicate. My boys do not understand my signing and they also didn't understand why I was so sick. I was totally helpless.
Edison and Alex have started exhibiting symptoms and Edison's cough sounds very croupy. It has been a rough week and I know we have at least another week of this ahead. It has been horrible but I am glad that I had it first at least. Now I can have more empathy for my whimpering children. I wish things could be better but I am glad they aren't worse.