This is the story of losing my voice for 7 months this year.
Technically, I had what was diagnosed as vocal cord paralysis. I am writing this to help anybody else out there who is suffering from vocal cord paralysis. It can be healed naturally and without surgery!
At first, I figured my voice would come back in a few days, but it didn’t. By no voice, what I mean is that I had a quiet, hoarse whisper, and I would lose my breath after trying to say more than a few sentences.
A few days then turned into a month of no voice. I still trusted in my body’s innate ability to heal, but at the urging of my wife (we are now separated, a bit more on this later), I went to an urgent care facility after about a month. This was the first time I’d gone to a medical practitioner in the conventional medical system in about 10 years. My confidence in urgent care facilities was low, and I was reminded why during my visit. With very few questions and no actual testing of anything in my body, the urgent care doctor prescribed me antibiotics. Did you know that anti-biotic means “anti-life”? Against my intuition, I took them anyways. My voice still didn’t come back. I saw our family Chiropractor shortly after and she said that the antibiotics kill all the healthy bacteria in one’s gut, and it takes about 6 months to regenerate a healthy gut ecosystem!
Getting a bit more worried at this point, I decided to visit a Naturopath whom I had known from many years ago, who used to work for another now retired Naturopath that I used to see.
A brief tangent – I credit this now retired Naturopath, Dr. Pat Slusher, with saving my life. Back when I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Costa Rica from 2006-2008, I became infected with tapeworm parasites. This was shortly after receiving more than a dozen vaccine shots during the 3-month training period, which I never thought to even question at the time, but which I now believe severely harmed my body’s innate immune system (I’ve done a very deep dive of research on vaccines in the past 7 years). Let me just say that the corporate media and government narratives about vaccines are very incongruent with the actual history and science (science that is unencumbered by pharmaceutical funding, that is). In any case, I bounced from doctor to doctor for about 3 years, including gastroenterologists. I even had a colonoscopy done, in addition to numerous stool tests. I was very thin and looked pale and sick, yet every doctor told me I didn’t have parasites and instead prescribed me with pharmaceutical products for irritable bowel syndrome, which I’d take and then stop because of the side effects. At the recommendation of my mother-in-law in 2010, I went to see Dr. Slusher. This was the first holistic medical practitioner I’d ever gone to. I knew nothing about Naturopathy. She did a simple non-invasive muscle test of me, and told me the exact species of parasite that I was infected with. She then gave me several herbal remedies to take, and within a few days, I pooped out about 30 tapeworms. That was a life-altering experience for me, and definitely worth the trouble I went through because of the whole new paradigm of health that I was introduced to.
So back to losing my voice!
The new Naturopath that I saw earlier this year did find many deficiencies in my health, including with my adrenals and pituitary gland, among other things that I can’t quite remember. She prescribed several supplements to address these issues, but my voice still didn’t improve.
So I went to a different holistic doctor that we have also seen over the years. She found basically the same issues that the Naturopath found and provided a few additional supplements, but my voice still didn’t improve.
At this point, I was about 3-4 months into my vocal cord paralysis.
At the suggestion of this holistic doctor, I decided to see an Ear Nose and Throat doctor. He was the first to actually diagnose me with vocal cord paralysis by sticking a small microscope into my throat and seeing that my right-side vocal cord was not moving. So what did he do? He prescribed antibiotics. I even told him that I already tried that. He told me to try again! WTF, I thought to myself. I didn’t try them again.
Instead, I went to get a 2nd opinion from another ENT. He also peered down my throat with the microscope and saw the same thing. He then explained my options of 1) waiting and doing nothing, 2) injecting botox into my vocal cor every few months to artificially adjust its position so that it vibrates and makes sound, or 3) getting surgery, which would permanently close my throat by 50%. He said the chance of my voice ever coming back without surgery was probably less than 10%. Doctors get paid a lot for surgery, I do know that. Being someone who loves to play sports, there was no way I was going to get that surgery. And I didn’t believe what he said about my chances being less than 10%. I was still fully confident that my body could heal itself and my voice would come back. He was not so confident. WTF, I thought to myself again.
Another short tangent! 2020 was a crazy year for everyone, and as you can probably imagine, it was not easy to sound like I did in a year like this. I have 3 kids, though that part was actually easy, for them at least. They didn’t miss a beat and just knew that Daddy lost his voice, but it was no big deal to them! I love kids. On the other hand, it was very difficult to communicate with anyone out in public, and the fear response in many people was a bit magnified around me. Talking on the phone was laborious, and I sometimes got the feeling that the person on the other side of the line thought I was mentally disabled. For the first time ever, I felt like I could really identify with people who have disabilities, and how others may falsely perceive them. You know who never feared me? The guys I play basketball with. Even during the craziness of this year, there was a sense of normalcy when going to play ball. They closed the clubhouse in my neighborhood where we usually play, so we played at a court outside instead, every week! No one minded how I sounded. It was the only place I’d go this year where it felt like normal.
Discouraged after the visit with the 2nd ENT, but not without hope, I remembered what our family Chiropractor had told me at a visit earlier in the year. If nothing else worked, she had a referral to another Chiropractor that might be able to help. So I asked her about that and she gave me his name – Dr. Gary Blabey in Vienna, Virginia. I made an appointment right away.
I was so happy after my first appointment, as Dr. Blabey is the real deal! He’s the most brilliant doctor I’ve ever been to in my life. He had me do an extensive blood lab test, in addition to other in-person diagnostic procedures (all non-invasive, no fancy equipment or anything). From that, and from listening to me explain everything, he was able to piece together the whole puzzle of my poor health and how it led to my vocal cord becoming paralyzed.
The root causes of my vocal cord paralysis were complex, and included a poorly functioning thyroid gland, pituitary gland, poor absorption of nutrients, dehydration, and an actually decent diet that still needed a makeover, such as cutting out sugar, a large reduction in wheat, eating almost exclusively organic whole foods, etc. There were other issues as well, I just don’t remember the details. This all makes it sound like I was a really unhealthy person, but I wasn’t, at least on the surface! I was very active (perhaps too active), practicing yoga, and frequently playing competitive basketball, as mentioned above. The real kicker, which pushed everything over the edge, was chronic stress.
Here was the treatment plan: 1) Paleo diet for a month, 2) Exercise every day for at least 20 minutes (I bought a resistance band for strength training and combined that with cardio), 3) Several targeted supplements to address numerous health deficiencies. Lucky for us, we get most of our food from Moutoux Orchard (a whole-diet CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture) out in western Loudoun, so it was easy to do that diet. After about a month of the diet, exercise, and supplements, my body was in better shape to be able to heal itself. So then we started the second phase of treatment – laser therapy and pulsed EMF’s (electromagnetic frequencies) twice per week, for somewhere around 5-7 weeks. The pulsed EMF’s were to regenerate the nerve tissue around my vocal cord, which is connected to the vagus nerve. Nerves are electrical in nature, after all! After each week, I’d notice more improvement. About mid-August, I had my voice completely back to 100%! THANK YOU DR. BLABEY!!!! Since then, I’ve kept up the diet and exercise, and am in the best shape I’ve been in since I was about 20 years old.
We didn’t discuss the stress very much, other than me telling him that I was very stressed out when I lost my voice. The stress was in my marriage, though, and it had taken a real toll on my body. My wife and I met almost 17 years ago, when I was 19, and we’ve been married for 11 years. We’ve healed a lot together through our relationship, and have learned a lot from each other. We’ve also had more difficulty together than is healthy, and it took its toll on each of us, in different ways. A few months after getting my voice back, we mutually decided to separate and get a divorce, and co-parent our 3 kids. I think each of us sensed deep down for many years that something didn’t feel right, but it’s almost as if we had a karmic connection and had to go through these difficulties together to grow individually. We have 3 kids now and I am forever grateful to her. There is a lot to be said for listening to your inner voice.
If you have vocal cord paralysis, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am happy to share any helpful information that I can.
If you’d like to explore more of the world of natural health and your body’s innate ability to heal, here are a few resources that I recommend!