Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sometimes I can relate to my sister

Each peak allergy season, I get sick. My asthma is the kind that is fine till allergens come along and play in my lungs. So, Spring and Fall, I get a lovely lung-fest. It is rather unladylike, and even guys are a little weirded out by the noises emanating from me. Those noises are an attempt to move the yuk out of its nestling spot, and avoid abrading my vocal cords from excessive coughing. Coughing does nothing to clear my airways anyhow. It's utterly futile. Plus it makes people cross the street and walk on the other side, because if I'm coughing, I'm obviously contagious right? Anyway, after several days of coughing, noisemaking etc, sometimes I still get laryngitis and lose my voice completely. Sometimes I can talk one minute and can only muster a whisper or squeak a few minutes later. At those times, I feel for my sister because she has a condition called Spasmodic Dysphonia, which means her vocal cords spasm and freeze up rendering her speechless and frustrated. I've half joked that we need to learn sign language. My hearing is damaged from multiple major ear infections as a child, which I'm sure ruptured my ear drums several times considering the repeated occasions I was writhing in my mother's lap inconsolable with tears and agony from the pain. You know it was bad if I was in my mother's lap. I never really bonded with my mother the way my daughter has bonded with me. Then I spent a number of years with loud music - high school band brass section right next to the bass drums, large speaker box in the trunk of our car blasting WuTang, Fugees, Mary J Blige, Enigma, etc., and the daily din in my house because no one here understands my need for quiet. My sister has been unable to even make a squeak or whisper with her SD sometimes. Those are times pen and paper are flying but it would be easier if we understood sign language. I've joked that we'll be two old ladies on a porch somewhere, fingers and hands flying as we talk, but not a sound comes out of us. While my sister and I are similar in a lot of ways (we like the same foods and condiments), the four years between us makes for some differing perspectives quite often. She also doesn't have kids, nor desires any (they're sticky and loud), and her music tastes are vastly different than mine. She also has some other issues that I just don't share, but I've tried to learn about them for the sake of trying to understand her as a person. But right now, as I try to spare my voice since talking renders me a coughing puddle of frustration, I can relate to my sister. I don't know how much I truly relate, but I have an inkling. And anyone that knows me, knows two things about me: I talk and eat a LOT. If I'm not doing either, something is out of whack with me. Well, there is lots out of whack with me, but we're not going there today, if ever.

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