By Stephanie Ciccarelli
June 30, 2009
What happens if you take your vocal cords (or vocal folds) for granted?
It's easy to fall into a pattern of voice abuse, and the scariest part is, you may not even realize you are doing it or how vulnerable your vocal cords truly are.
People in broadcast radio should take special note of this article.
Hear a cautionary story from voice talent Dave McCree about one of his friends who suffers from Spasmodic Dysphonia, and how years of overuse transformed a successful broadcasting career into that of a career in journalism, penning the stories instead of reading them.
By Dave McCree
Since 1985 I have been the host of Jim Davidson's nationally syndicated radio program called How To Plan Your Life. The reason I shared this is not to brag, but simply to explain that the reason I am doing it is because Jim Davidson could not continue doing his own program because he abused his vocal cords by overuse.
In addition to giving motivational speeches around the country he was producing his five minute radio programs 3-4 weeks ahead of scheduled air time just to keep ahead. Plus, he was experiencing stress in his personal life, which together spelled disaster to his chords.
Jim never had any formal vocal or broadcast experience to guide him on how much care he should give to his precious cords. Consequently, the price he paid was the complete loss of his vocal chords due to stress. Jim was diagnosed with something called Spasmodic Dysphonia. The chords wrap themselves around each other so all you can do is whisper. Pretty scary, huh?
Fortunately, Little Rock Arkansas has one the nations foremost doctors who specialized in repair of this medical disorder.
Fortunately, Jim regained full use of his cords after six months of therapy. However, he was afraid to overuse his cords again so he hired me to produce and host his syndicated radio program.
My good friend, Jim Davidson, is now a successful nationally syndicated newspaper columnist using many of his 3,000 radio scripts for use in his column. His radio program is still aired on several stations with yours truly, Dave McCree as host.
From my broadcasting and recording experience [since 1966], I have found that nothing ministers and speeds healing to a sore throat and chords better than gargling with warm water and salt several better times a day after meals and before going to bed. Obviously, rest must be exercised. I also have been successful incorporating additional prayer during those times of stress.
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and also any comments you may have for Dave.
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