Luckily it happened AFTER my holiday vacation.
The common cold.
Like most of you, it began with that “uh-oh” feeling you get, when alla sudden it hurts to swallow. My wife — the RN — saw the white spots on my tonsils and diagnosed STREP! One of my daughters in the house had come down with it just a couple of days before, so share and share alike, I guess.
Most health experts are predicting a particularly bad cold ‘n’ flu season this year. Not sure why…but if you haven’t gotten a vaccination yet, it’s pretty smart to go get a flu shot. I did…back in October. It’s important to know the difference between a cold and the flu. Taking the wrong medicine can actually prolong your recovery I’ve heard.
Here’s an article on WebMD offering some wisdom on telling the diff between colds and the flu.
Nothing strikes fear into the heart of a voice actor like a performance-limiting rhinovirus. Sometimes it’s just congestion..that’s bad enough. Laryngitis can be particularly challenging…and do clients understand? No. Well, maybe some…but not for long, I’ll wager. They have their deadlines.
I’ve seen the harried messages on social media forums: “HELP…please…my voice is gone…and I have a big project/audiobook/promo due!!!…what can I do to hurry-up getting over this cold?”
I’m not here to dispense medical advice, but I think it’s pretty well accepted that viruses can’t be rushed. Yes, you can relieve the symptoms temporarily with various over-the-counter drugs, but a persistent barrage of anti-cold-symptom medicine can work against you too.
Hopefully, you’re in good health to begin with. You drink lots of fluids. You wash your hands assiduously. You’re getting lots of rest (this is a big deal). In the dry desert SouthWest where I live, humidifiers can encourage recovery. Some temporary solutions have enthusiastic support from the VO community. The Neti Pot always seems to come up. Yes, it’s good, but be careful to sanitize it after use (do you have an autoclave at home?), or you can re-infect the next time you use it.
I’ve written a previous blog about possible remedies for a sore throat/the cold: Can We (cough hack) Talk?
Here’s another one addressing overall care of your cords: 12+ Ways to Care for your Cords.
Both articles drew a number of responses from some people I respect, and who had further admonitions. I’ve included their comments in the articles.
I’m going to go get lots of sleep tonite…drink plenty of water…take some Mucinex so I don’t drown, and hope it’s better tomorrow. Luckily, my voice did not leave me. In fact, in an ironic twist… my “cold” voice gets even deeper and more textured.
Maybe NOW I should be cutting that new demo!