THOUGHTS AFTER TWO DAYS OF SOME GNARLY LARYNGITIS
I've been sick with some sort of angry cold since Saturday. The laryngitis started Wednesday.
- •The looks on my colleagues' faces when they realized I have laryngitis is pure glee. Not in a malicious way, but in the way you enjoy something you never even thought about, let alone thought you'd experience. Like an otter giving you a high five.
- •I keep forgetting the sound, or lack thereof, that is going to come out when I try to say something.
- •I push harder and sometimes no sound comes out. My voice does not care how strong my will is to speak.
- •I find a sustainable register and stick with it for as long as I can ride it. The resulting tone would win me a place in a choir of Canadian geese.
- •When having a conversation, people are not only being overtly nice to me, they are at times talking to me in the gentle but slightly condescending way many people talk to small children and nursing home residents.
- •Some work I have done with organizations working to improve employment opps for persons with disabilities tells me that this slightly condescending tone should not be surprising. People unfortunately have implicit, unrecognized biases that make them react as if physical limitations are also cognitive limitations, even when we know they are not.
- •My temporary experience of laryngitis is by no means the same as that of a person with a disability. But the experience of that condescension made me think about how annoying and unfair it is and must feel if it's a regular occurrence in your life.
- •I feel really rude when I can't get "thank you" out clearly, in return for something I've bought, and I find I'm gesturing and smiling more to compensate. Reminds me of a four-hour silent yoga retreat where I didn't know how to thank our servers at lunch and it made me extremely uncomfortable. I was raised on please and thank you.
- •When I talk to someone who doesn't know me or hasn't seen me in a few days, there is something that happens in my brain right before I try to talk, curious about what their reaction will be.
- •The sweet but firm waitress who brought me my sushi meal the other day really wanted me to drink hot tea after hearing and seeing me struggle to order. I was focusing on soothing cold foods, so I didn't have any tea even though I wanted to, and it bugged her. I felt like I was being aggressively mothered by her tea-pushing, and I quite enjoyed it.