12 years ago, before my husband and I were married we were leaders in our church youth ministry. At that time we were leading the worship (music) together. I love to worship, it's just a huge part of who I am. Eventually, after leading the youth worship for a while, I transitioned into leading it for the church. I loved it. I was very green at it but, loved it. It wasn't long after that transition that one day I noticed my voice getting very hoarse and after several days, actually losing my voice. It was very strange. Eventually I noticed that I couldn't sing anymore. This brought up some major concern and I scheduled an appointment with an Ear Nose and Throat specialist in my town.
After examining me thoroughly, he noticed a bump on my left vocal fold which is called a nodule. It is basically caused by vocal overuse and abuse, basically not always using my voice correctly and/or using it too much. So, long story short I ended up going to get a second opinion and sure enough that is what I had. I went through a period of voice therapy and voice rest (not talking). Needless to say, I stopped singing. This was a rough time for me. Really rough. I remember at one point I was at church and began to get frustrated that I couldn't sing out the way I wanted to. I remember saying to God "Why can't I just worship you?" and I distinctly remember Him saying back "You don't have to sing to worship me." That started me on a journey of discovering that the way I live my life is an offering of worship to God.
After months of the voice rest and voice therapy, the nodule eventually dissolved. But it was a lengthy process, getting my voice to where I could sing for long periods of time or even singing period. It's very much like exercise, when you stop exercising for a while and then start back up again, it can be difficult. That's how it was for me. I struggled for awhile.
Fast Forward 10 years to the present. We moved to the city to start this church and I am the worship leader, and I find myself in a similar situation to the one I just described. My voice is very hoarse, very tired-sounding and sometimes not even there at all. I have been to a specialist who indeed found a cyst on my left vocal chord. That darn left vocal chord. A cyst is slightly different from a nodule in that a nodule form on the outside of the vocal chord and can usually be dissolved by voice rest and voice therapy. A cyst forms from the inside out and does not go away very easily, if at all according to the doctor. A second opinion by another doctor in the practice stated that I need to have it surgically removed. ugh. Not what I wanted to hear. In fact, for a split second I was annoyed that he was so quick to suggest it.
After a little pleading with him, we agreed to a round a voice therapy and then a follow-up in 6 weeks to see where I'm at. To be honest, surgery frightens me a little. I'm not so keen on someone using a knife anywhere near my throat...or anywhere for that matter. Apparently, this type of surgery has mixed results. Some end up having success and others not so much.
My prayer is that over the next 6 weeks, a change will take place. I'd appreciate any prayers in that direction. :)
Thanks for letting me share a little piece of my life with you.