June 1 - 7 is Dystonia Awareness week. What a perfect time to learn a little more about Spasmodic Dysphonia - a focal dystonia!
Spasmodic Dysphonia (SD) is a vocal disorder which affects approximately 50, 000 people in North America but MANY more people are likely to have undiagnosed SD due to the lack of awareness about the disorder both by the general population and among the medical community.
SD is a neurological disorder in which the muscles controlling the vocal chords spasm uncontrollably making the production of a "normal" voice nearly impossible. There are two main types of SD - adductor SD in which the muscles which bring the vocal chords together are spasming and abductor SD in which the muscles which separate the vocal chords are spasming.
Personally, I have abductor SD (ABSD) which results in a very whispery voice with "breaks" where letters are not sounded. For example, when I try to say my father's name - Paul - it comes out sort of like this - p . . . . .aul - with the p sound being extremely quiet and a lot of air being released between the initial p and the rest of the word.
If you would like to hear more samples of what ABSD sounds like or what adductor SD (ADSD) sounds like, please head over to the National Spasmodic Dysphonia website. The website also has a lot of information about SD which you can peruse at your leisure!
I challenge everyone to learn a little more about SD this week. If you already know a lot about SD I challenge you to go out and tell one person about SD. If we all do that, think of how quickly SD awareness will spread!
Go out and spread the word about SD!
Voice Update: Pretty good - seems to be holding steady. My throat was a bit sore (not like a sore throat - but rather in the muscles) after talking to my parents. I did my massage as soon as I logged on to my blog because I saw me pledge to be better about it!
Wait - I am going to massage right now!
I am back. I am going to fire up my massages and massage my neck to try to get some of that darn soreness out of it. I think my speech therapist suggested that a while back but did I pay attention? No! I am going to give it a shot. I will let you know how it goes!