Sunday, May 30, 2010


Went to roller derby tonight, talked for a little while over the music and the crowd, and promptly lost my voice. I didn't even cheer. Not one exuberant word of encouragement left these lips, and still I find myself struggling to talk tonight.

Granted I know this is trivial. People cope with more debilitating problems than vocal cord cysts, but I can't seem to wrap my brain around it. I eschew most social obligations these days for fear of talking. I don't get to sing in church or along with the radio anymore. When we go out to eat, we have to choose restaurants that don't get too loud. I even hesitate to shout commands at my dogs across the yard. It's more frustrating than I expected, and I'm finding myself saddened by music anymore, feeling envious of those who made it.

There's also this fear that I won't sound the same after the surgery. I know my voice wasn't God's gift to everyone, but I liked to sing, and Lord knows I loved to talk. Still, my voice is mine, and it's surreal to imagine it otherwise. It's the voice I hear in my head even when I read others' publications. But when I was talking to my friend tonight about having lost my voice again, he said, "but isn't your voice always lost?" At first I felt defensive, but then I suppose it has been for the last year or so. So, without sounding too reflective and cheesy, maybe this voice I've gotten used to isn't really the same anyway. I suppose there's some consolation in that.

Friday, May 28, 2010

I don't got these

Yeah, so rather than these beauteous protruberances, I actually have vocal cord cysts. I'm slated for surgery in a couple weeks.

Apparently the surgery is a little difficult, considering it's on such a small scale, and you're dealing with layers of tissue about 100 microns thick (think the width of a dust mite). So as I'm meeting with the surgeon today, and he's explaining the difficulty of the procedure and the risks and his stellar success record, I notice that his hands are covered in permanent marker. Like literally, one of his fingers was completely colored past the first joint. My concern is this, if he is not so deft at using a Sharpie, do I really want him using virtually microscopic machetes to hack away at my vocal cords? Further he mentioned that about 1% of the patients who elect this procedure (or as he put it, 10 in 1000. Maybe that was supposed to fool me into security) get their teeth chipped during the surgery, but typically this only happens in people who weigh 300 pounds or more. And this is exactly why I have watched my weight all these years, so that should I chance to need laryngoscopy, I would have a lower chance of having my teeth knocked out. But anyway, I'm a risk-taker.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Am I famous enough?

Today at work I was trained to use a search engine for locating people who have seemingly fallen off the face of the earth. We use it to help us locate participants in longitudinal studies (with their prior consent) so that we can follow up with them. It's pretty awesome and frightening all at the same time. Longitudinal research is imperative to understanding social change and long-term effects of trauma, but it's really expensive and time-consuming. As a result, most researchers opt for cross-sectional data. But I digress.

During the training session, the coordinator felt the need to stop and explain that should I search for a celebrity, a red flag appears on my account, and they immediately contact me asking why I have tried to find Justin Bieber's house.

My question is, how famous does one have to be to turn up a red flag? Obviously, there is, as of yet, no standardized quantifiable measurement of celebrity. Yes, you can check the STARmeter on IMDB, and obviously if you've had an US Weekly cover in the last 3 years you're probably off limits, but the public is fickle, and fame is relative. If I look up Snooki, does the SWAT team show up at my office? If I just want to ask Steve Bartman what the hell he was thinking, and in person, is that off limits? What about that delicious man in the Old Spice commercials? Either way, the training coordinator had no answer for me, and I think even the fact that I asked made him nervous. On another note, if you type in the first five letters of my name ("kate h..."), my name is second on the google drop down list...second only to Kate Hudson. I think that's pretty kick ass.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

the backup plan

I feel like I just set a precedent that will last for the rest of my marriage and probably spill over into my parenting skills, should that ever be a necessary skill set.

Mitch agreed to plan a picnic (scheduled for tonight) for our bible study group, and of course forgot, and now begins the scramble. The barrage of mass e-mails began yesterday, during which he instructed people to go to the wrong location, and sort of left people to their own devices which we know never helps anyone make decisions. Only one person offered to bring pie and pigs in a blanket. Anyway, being the enabler I am, I told him I was taking over, and now I find myself rushing home to cook chicken and egg salads, dig our old card games out of the basement, and reclaim the frisbees from our dogs. Sometimes I think he signs up for stuff knowing I'm the backup plan. He must know I love micromanaging.