Forced time off from music

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by bard2dbone, Jul 15, 2019.

  1. bard2dbone

    bard2dbone Member

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    Hey Guys -

    So I had surgery for thyroid cancer a couple weeks ago. The thyroid is normally wrapped around the voice box. Mine was, too...and then some. I had a inch and a quarter nodule with a papillary tumor inside. But because it was kinda ginormous for the territory it was in, it took a little extra digging to get it all.

    That extra digging traumatized the nerve enervating the right side of my voice box. So my right vocal cord is way weaker than the left now. That means it took a couple of days (six of them) before I could talk without pain, a little longer (two more on top of those) to swallow without pain, a week and a day of post-surgical pain, and, so far...two weeks without being able to change pitch vocally.

    I'm a singer in my band. The drummer sings about a third if our tunes, We split a few. And I sing around half or a bit more. Or at least I was and did until the surgery.

    Currently I have a two to two and a half step range.

    Hmmmm? ( I assume I hear you thinking...)Isn't that less variation than is typical for speaking, let alone for singing? Yes. That would kind of be the point.

    They told me that only about one out of twenty people who have papillary masses on their thyroid actually have cancer. I did. Then they told me that only around one out of twenty have the complication I was worried about where it wrecks your voice. Again, I got it.

    So let's see...That makes five percent of five percent of however many people get papillary thyroid masses...I don't know how many that is. But only 0.2% of those people end up where I am.

    But this all comes down to...I can't sing. And I don't know when I will be able to, again. I'm trying to assume I WILL be able to again. But I don't really know that.

    Have any of you had to stop playing/singing/performing for some reason completely outside your control? For how long?
     
  2. skullfunkerry

    skullfunkerry Member

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    Nowhere near the same, but I hurt my wrist a few weeks ago (no sniggering at the back), and couldn't play guitar without pain. I took a few days off and it got better, but I worried about it every day...

    I'm really sorry to hear what you're going through: I guess I can't give you any advice that your doctor hasn't already given you, but definitely rest it and don't try to push anything too soon: the singer in a band I was in a few years ago had his thyroid removed, and he didn't take anywhere near enough time off. In fact, he booked a gig for not long after the op despite everyone else in the band saying it was too soon. He can still sing, but listening to old recordings compared to now makes it clear that his voice used to be much better...
     
  3. FenderBigot

    FenderBigot Supporting Member

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    Mojo sent. Speedy recovery!
     
  4. tapeworm

    tapeworm Supporting Member

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    About to have at least 6 months of “forced” time off. My wife is due on 9/12 with our first child. So I figure I am going to take time off from gigging, wrote songs and new material and do some recording in between changing diapers.
     
    mad dog and Oriondk like this.
  5. SRQGuitar

    SRQGuitar Gold Supporting Member

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    Best wishes for a speedy recovery. If it helps I've been playing guitar for forty years without singing at all. Focus on playing for awhile.
     
    yfeefy and Oriondk like this.
  6. LKguitar

    LKguitar Member

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    Yep, hand surgery took me off the guitar for a while.
     
    chillybilly likes this.
  7. Bluzeboy

    Bluzeboy Member

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    Man I’m sorry about your issues. My daughter has thyroid cancer so I have some idea of what you’re going through.
     
  8. derekd

    derekd Member

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    Man, I'm sorry to hear about your illness, but hopefully, they got it all and you are well on the road to recovery.

    Yes, I've had shoulder surgery on both shoulders, not at the same time. Takes about a year before you start feeling normal again. Definitely took a bite out of guitar playing each time.

    Again, I wish you well.
     
  9. Madsen

    Madsen Member

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    I've broken most of my fingers over the years at different times, also had really bad tinnitus a while back (still have it, but at least I can function now). Both of which made me stop playing for a while. Sometimes you have to pull over & recover for as long as it takes.
     
    yfeefy likes this.
  10. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Member

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    Sad news...hate to hear it...hire a singer and keep going...
     
  11. TheGuildedAge

    TheGuildedAge Supporting Member

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    Certainly not on par with your situation, but I sliced the tip of my pointer finger off with a kitchen knife several years ago and wasn't able to play for months.
     
  12. Mayor McCheese

    Mayor McCheese Member

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    Dude - the important thing is it’s out and you’re not dead!

    As 2HB said, hire a singer when you’re ready and don’t sweat it. I can’t sing and I have no excuses other than I just suck as a singer.
     
  13. jimijimmyjeffy

    jimijimmyjeffy Member

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    sorry to hear and admire your courage even though not your choice. Heal well and completely!

    I always sang crappy with a small range. But if I had vocal talent it would not be fun to have some if that taken away.
     
  14. bard2dbone

    bard2dbone Member

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    I feel it may be misleading to let you think I have 'talent' as a singer. I'd say normally I'm good enough to be a backup singer, like most people.

    I just tend to sing because I write songs. The band is basically free therapy. We mostly do old classic rock stuff. Then at home I do originals. My voice isn't a tragedy to lose to anyone but me. But I'm feeling pretty mopey about it. My normal range was about the same as Peter Cetera's. Now it's more like late stage Leonard Cohen.
     
  15. bard2dbone

    bard2dbone Member

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    So far I'm three and a half weeks out from surgery and I still can't sing. I can now vary pitch somewhat. But my effective range is all the way from a low F to a low B...Yay.

    Yes. That's first fret E string to second fret A string. That's still less than normal speech variation.

    I'm pretty bitter about it.
     
  16. MoPho

    MoPho Pho Shizzle

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    Chin up. You're alive. Maybe take up the banjo?
     
  17. bard2dbone

    bard2dbone Member

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    I tried banjo for a while in the early 80s. It was...odd.

    I've been playing more keyboard. Maybe eventually that will help.
     
  18. GenoVox

    GenoVox Member

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    First off... my sincere sympathies, and hopes for a quick, permanent recovery

    Second: I can absolutely empathize with your dilemma, since I too have been forced into an early “retirement” from actively gigging - due to health issues (all heart related, and fairly serious). I maintained a busy gigging schedule for decades... but nowadays I’m relegated to infrequent jams, “guest spots” and fill-in gigs, and even those really take a lot out of me

    In addition, the various surgeries and procedures over the last several years have really hindered my singing voice, so I can (literally) feel your pain. I can still carry a tune, but the numerous scopes down the throat/windpipe, especially, have all but destroyed my falsetto, and the voice is overall much weaker now.
     
  19. Jimmy3Fingers

    Jimmy3Fingers Member

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    Sorry to hear about your situation and praying for a full recovery...hang in there.

    Had a forced break after hand surgery for a ganglia mass and dupytrens contracture. Took awhile for me and wondered if I would ever get back to normal.

    Now...with the complications of chronic Lyme disease, I stress daily about being able to play in general (and live) and for how long. Miserable freakin' disease.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2019
  20. jim lavender

    jim lavender Member

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    Sorry about this situation but praying for your recovery. Hang in there.
     

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