Was I Cured By Apple Cider Vinegar?

This is Toddy and me, together. Kind of.

After the ninth day without my voice, I got quite desperate. So I reached out to my ultimate favorite hipster hypochondriac, Toddy Wiseman. He is the type of person who does not drink tap water because it has fluoride in it. (He’s convinced it causes epilepsy.) He also warns of the dangers of aspartame (found in artificial sweeteners) and regularly avoids sending his pH balance out of whack by eating lots of alkaline foods.*

Because the cough drops and teas and vocal rest weren’t working, I asked Toddy for a suggestion. He found one on a Yahoo! forum an EarthClinic.com forum, posted by a woman who uses Yahoo!. It involved drinking or gargling apple cider vinegar with cayenne pepper in it. I went to Whole Foods to get the unpasteurized kind (because Toddy told me to), got a hot dog outside on the sidewalk (because it was a hot dog and it was only $2), and headed home to spike my vinegar with some cayenne pepper.

I wasn’t strong enough to swallow this combo so I just gargled it and nearly puked afterward. Half an hour later I tried it again. The next morning, I awoke with the ability to make some sounds for the first time in more than a week. I sounded like Kathleen Turner with bronchitis. But at least sounds were sort of coming out.

So. While I can’t say for sure, I gargled some of the vinegar concoction at the advice of my friend. And the next day, some of my voice returned. This has not been rigorously tested with the scientific method, but anecdotally, I took some vinegar and the next day I was sort of better. Thanks, Toddy?

*Other Todd wellness practices: Regular cold showers. Consuming spoonfuls of straight coconut oil. A stretch routine every night before bed. Neti-potting every morning.

The Lost Voice Chronicles

I lost my voice. It’s day six. This has never happened to me before.

I am not noticing any signs of becoming like Roger Ebert, whose forced silence has turned him into a modern day Lao Tzu. I’m mainly just frustrated. I silently attended a two-night wedding in Chicago, full of family I hadn’t seen in years, completely unable to speak with loved ones. Chicago is less fun as a mute, I tell ya.

Ways I’ve worked around this: Using Skype to webcam myself into group meetings or interviews (so at least I can respond with facial expressions) and typing my questions in while someone else reads them aloud. Conducting a lot of conversations with gchat. Whispering as loudly as possible.

Yesterday, after hearing me whisper all day at work, Friend Danny said that the whispering could actually be making my problem worse and slowing my recovery. So he taught me how to use the the Say command in my MacBook terminal to get the computer to speak for me. Turns out, you can change the program’s voices, so today I attended meetings as “Victoria.”

Friend Dan recommended using this method:

Perhaps I'll learn these in time for them to be useful.