June 2011 Spasmodic Dysphonia Treatment Clinic
Diana: Slow deterioration of voice beginning in 2009/diagnosed in 2010 with Abductor SD, also sulcus vocalis and vocal fold atrophy (unilateral). Voice and psychological therapy, medication for reflux, bioenergetics, Reike treatment.
I did not improve much in volume or pitch, but I am pushing less and am more relaxed when I am talking. I gained a lot of knowledge and skills to continue to practice on my own.
The clinic is something every SD patient should do, for sure. We have to explore different options and this clinic is one of the best ways to do that because it is holistic and safe, and gives you hope while you enjoy your recovery. It must not be hard or painful.
As a human being, your diseases and health problems could be not physical; but mental, emotional, or a combination of all of them. To treat a condition in a holistic manner could really help you. In my case, I now have a lot of tools to be used in my recovery and a new thought that is not going to be hard, but something I can enjoy. It can be an adventure to discover the miracle of my voice that is now healing inside of me.
I learned that I am not alone in my journey. I have Connie and Dennis and all of my clinic mates’ support. I can also include people who love me to be part of my recovery.
Thanks, Connie, for sharing with us your experience and for helping us with such a sweetness and kindness. I thank God for the opportunity to be at the clinic!
Deb: Voice difficulties beginning in 1981 at age 19; diagnosed with Adductor SD in 1995; treated with psychological therapy, then Botox injections for the past 15 years. Last injection was January 5, 2011, so she felt she came to the clinic with her “baseline” SD voice.
My voice improved somewhat at the clinic, but I feel positive that it WILL continue to improve significantly in the future. I learned how I should be breathing and a lot of knowledge of what I should be doing with the voice.
Connie’s voice clinic is the best thing I have ever done to move towards improving my voice since being diagnosed. With SD 15 years ago until now, I had no tools or insight into how to help myself. The holistic approach to rehabilitation is so key to helping ourselves. I learned many ways to help myself using the different components that make up our health and bodies. Illness and problems do not happen as isolated entities. The clinic gave me insight into so many different aspects of well being, including posture, breathing, relaxation, vocalization, exercise, nutrition, and taking care of my mind and body. I know I can go out and be successful in freeing my voice with all I learned and experienced. Meeting other SD sufferers and supporting one another was very meaningful. And of course, Connie herself, who has been successful in overcoming SD, and working with her is very inspirational and shows us that we can do it too.
Jenny: Voice difficulties beginning in 2008 (glottal fry) that progressed to Adductor SD by 2009. Worked with a speech therapist, and tried botox twice with no improvement and increased difficulty singing. As a professional singer, she did not feel that this treatment was acceptable.
I experienced more control over SD and found a belief that I can go light anytime and it works, with less blocking. I experienced more good voice in general.
The clinic was a lifesaver. The main benefit is having a shining example of success in Connie. She is very open about all aspects of the rehabilitation process, positive and negative. The practical exercises are very, very effective and the one on one sessions ensure you get your specific needs addressed. The camaraderie of the group makes for a feeling of security and safety and empathy – all of which are very valuable to me.
There is a very scientific basis to the voice rehabilitation process, which is mixed in with the more personal/physical and spiritual aspects in good proportion. It is a holistic therapy program. I couldn’t imagine getting over SD without having experienced this clinic.
MY: Diagnosed with Adductor SD in May 2009, and immediately started regular botox injections, with mixed results; but positive effect lasting between one and five months. Last injection was in March, so he was still experiencing benefit at the time of the clinic. Goal was to become less reliant on botox and to extend the effectiveness of the injections if he chose to continue.
In addition to acquiring various techniques and exercises to utilize after the clinic, I gained a high level of hope in dealing with the condition. That feeling of hope combined with my level of determination makes the future something to look forward to rather than fear.