The pandemic was harsh and a lot of us struggled through it. The worse is over, but no sign of relief yet. Pandemic for healthcare workers meant crazy work hours and tremendous overload. SLPs too had their share of struggle! Increase in patient load and moving to tele-mode was becoming part of regular practice. That was difficult but, there were instances that motivated and we shared the joy of our patients. Sharing one such heartening story with you.
I had the pleasure of working with a very talented script writer who depends on his voice for a living! He was doing pretty well till he was affected by a particular health condition that led to restricted motion of one of his vocal folds (structure in his voice box). His breath support for speech had reduced significantly because of issues in his lungs. In the first session with him, I could sense his despair and hopelessness. He was by now exhausted by all attempts he had taken to treat his condition. He could hardly say a phrase without running out of breath. Whatever he spoke was barely audible because of his breathy voice quality. I started working with him (after a lot of referencing, learning, asking around and planning) and tried to motivate him to do everything in his power to overcome his mental barriers (including lifestyle changes). During the treatment course, he got tested positive for COVID and we had to discontinue for a bit. What surprised me is that it didn’t demotivate him. It gave him a lot of time to rethink and when he got back, I reassured him that we could work it out. We resumed the sessions soon after he got discharged and by the 10th session, he had made good progress. His breath support for speech and loudness had improved. Soon, he was able to speak as he used to before therapy. The happiness he felt and shared was so fulfilling that I’m forever grateful for what I’ve been trained to do. He now narrates the scripts he is working on and I’m a huge fan of his work.
How we take it for granted when we can hear and communicate without much efforts. Let’s be more thankful!