Monday, January 6, 2014

Singing Harmony

It's been awhile since I last flew to New York to see my doctor, one of the best throat specialists in the world.  Several years ago he got the idea that by injecting Botox into the muscles controlling the vocal cords,  it might give some relief from the spasms that come with Spasmodic Dysphonia, a condition that robs a person of their ability to speak without great effort.  It worked, and many of us who struggle with this condition have benefited greatly from the procedure, administered in my case by the pioneer doctor himself.  

But it's only a temporary fix of course.  Botox loses its potency generally between three and four months.  That's why I'm a bit boggled.  I haven't been to Manhattan for over a year, actually fifteen months and  twelve days.  But who's counting?  I keep thinking I might wake up some morning and find a word or two stuck in the back of my throat that just won't break loose.  But that hasn't happened.  Not yet.  I'm not quite to the point where I'm completely confident that the spasms won't return.  I've been there before, hoping that my voice was no longer broken, and then have had to deal with the disappointment.  But I am becoming more confident in the hope.           

This whole voice thing has been quite a journey for me.  The inability to speak was frustrating and embarrassing, but singing was what I had loved most of all.  So many of the happy, fulfilling moments of my life have been spent singing at the piano, often by myself, sometimes with others.  And suddenly it was gone.  For four years I could hardly sing a note.

Time helped as it often does.  I had came to terms with the loss which early on had been so devastating and  felt I was moving on.  Fawn had pushed me to do more writing as a way to express what I had done through music before.  And I was.  This blog came out of that time of searching in fact.  And then suddenly without warning it was back!  I opened my mouth one day and actual notes came pouring out.  It was as if a friend I'd not seen in a long time had peeked out from behind a door and hollered, "Surprise!" No anticipation on my part, totally unexpected.  At first I was not quite believing, stunned at how easily it came.  And then I simply sang.  For hours. 

The gift, however, wasn't exactly what I had before.  The Giver made it pretty clear from the start that I wouldn't be singing lead.  In my prior life I had done a lot of that.  Leading.  Performing.   But I could no longer get into the upper range, only the lower notes came easily.  It was as if He was saying, "Here you are.  Sing to your heart's content.  But someone else can have the lead while you do the harmony."   And so that's what I've been doing ever since.  Singing harmony.

Something hit my throat  a week and a half ago, just a few days before the weekend.  By Saturday I had a  touch of laryngitis, the first in a very long time.  I was pretty sure there'd be nothing coming out of my microphone the next day.  Sunday morning as I warmed up the worship team, I took a stab at the first hymn.  There it was, deep and amazingly strong.  The harmony. 


Anonymous said...

Another wonderful, amazing, interesting and loving post. And the beat goes on. I love you Marcy Burke.
Love Barb

Anonymous said...

PTL :-)

Pastor Larry said...

I just read this and at the I said ... Wow, Marc

Bu the way, as I stand singing in the congregation, I can hear the harmony STRONG AND CLEAR!

Larry Burke

Anonymous said...

Rachel Howard. I love reading your blog!!!!