Monday, February 15, 2016
Help! I've lost my voice!
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Sick sick sick. I am sick. I have laryngitis.
And what’s more Jonathan has laryngitis, too. But his is different. He started with laryngitis, and it turned into coughing.
I started with laryngitis, and it stayed laryngitis.
We are quite the pair. The doctor told Jonathan: One, it's not contagious And two, the only thing that can cure it is –not talking. So we’ll be riding along in the car, silent. I’ve got to tell you, that is weird. From time to time I’ll think—what’s wrong with him? Is he upset? Then I remember—he’s trying not to talk. And we know, whispering is not a good alternative--it makes it worse.
Not so easy for me, on so many levels. My whole life is about talking. I had to tape a script the other day for an upcoming story—and I sound all croaky. So I’ll have to re-do the whole thing when my voice comes back. (It's called "doing a scratch track." Perfectly named, right? In the old days of analog video tape, I learned to say the same thing with an un-sick voice in exactly the same time—otherwise, it ruined the videoed it. Now with digital, it’s easier.)
And the other day I had to give a speech in from of 150 or so people! So I slugged down a cup of tea and honey (which was more like a cup of honey with tea) which seemed to coat my throat enough to manage. I was very Brenda Vaccarro (Demi Moore?) sounding—and the audio guy pumped the microphone level so I could speak softly. It worked.
We have gulped tea and honey, sipped hot water and lemon, rested out voices. We still sound like a froggy duet.
Do you have any laryngitis remedies? Have you ever had it? What did you do?
HALLIE EPHRON: When I taught school I got it a couple of times a year. The only cure is: Shut. Up. Really your vocal cards need to recover. Tea with honey and a little bourbon is nice, too.
RHYS BOWEN: Poor you! John has had a cough that has lingered on and it's not fun for either of us. But I do have a couple of suggestions for laryngitis. I have hung out with singers at various times in my life (opera chorus etc) and my daughter studied to be an opera singer. Pineapple juice is great for throats. Also hot water with apple cider vinegar and honey in it, sipped slowly. These are what singers take. Good luck!
JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: Oh no! I know that weird feeling - why isn't he saying anything? and it's so frustrating when the answer is because he can't. I'm terrible at keeping my mouth shut (which will surprise none of you.) I rely on the old standby, hot strong honey and lemon tea. I also find my grandmother's receipt for a sore throat works better than any over-the-counter soother: make a glass of warm salt water - as salty as you can stand - and use it as a gargle. Salt on inflamed tissues sounds counterintuitive, but you'll feel so much better afterwards. She was also a big believer in a spoonful of medicinal blackberry brandy, which I suppose worked like Nyquil does today. I like Hallie's idea - if you have enough bourbon, at least you won't CARE about the laryngitis anymore.
DEBORAH CROMBIE: Poor Hank! Poor Jonathan! And poor me--now deprived of seeing or holding my new granddaughter for more than a week. I came down with the Horrid Cold the day she came home from the hospital. Isn't that the pits? And then five days later, Rick got it, too, so our whole house is going to be a no-go zone even longer. (Everything on the web says cold viruses can be contagious up to two weeks!!! Flu, actually, is not as bad...) Thankfully, neither of us has laryngitis. We're just coughy and croaky. Cure for laryngitis? I'm with Julia, the warm salt water gargle. That was my grandmother's remedy. For soothing the throat, hot water with lemon and lots of honey. For a tickly cough, lemon juice, honey, and a good slug of brandy (my mom's remedy.) Eventually we will all get well…
HANK: But isn't it funny how "well" seems so impossible? I know it will happen, but somehow it seems so far away.
LUCY BURDETTE: Sorry you guys, hope you all get healthy soon! I have no great remedies to add, but I sure wouldn't dare use the salt water gargle cure with my new condition! so I'm lathering my hands with lavender-scented hand sanitizer and hoping for the best...
HANK: Yup. Gargling Salt water, and it does work. And honey is miraculous. And SLEEP! Love it. So Reds readers, any secret cures? Medicine, or not? Oscillococcinum? Zinc? And how are you all doing on winter colds and flu? Any victims yet? And any good cold remedies? Do you believe in hand sanitizer? We need to make an arsenal of healing….weigh in on remedies!