Surviving No Speak Week - Dana Chirps

It's been quite an interesting week or so. The surgery I had on my vocal chords was (as predicted) a piece of cake. It was way harder to not talk for a week than it was painful. My forms of communication included but were not limited to: messages on my whiteboard, whistling, clapping, facial expressions, and texting. My whiteboard quickly became an extension of myself. The tricky part was writing/texting fast enough to keep up with the conversations.

Caught in action. 

Going out in public during no speak week was a little nerve wracking. On Christmas Eve I ventured out into the wilderness that is the Short Pump Mall with my best friend, Jay. I received looks of confusion, complete skepticism, and sympathy when salespeople would try to talk to me. Luckily Jay was quick to act as my interpreter and communicator. We also put the whiteboard to good use playing hangman and tic-tac-toe while waiting for gift wrapping. We ended up having a great time finishing our last minute Christmas shopping despite my silence.

On other occasions, I felt embarrassed having to type my thoughts into a phone (those messages usually began with "Forgive me, but I'm unable to speak...) for salespeople to read, or when running into people I knew. But I appreciated it so much when those people didn't make a big deal of it. 

Quiet accomplishments:

  • At home, I was pleasantly impressed with how quickly my parents and brother learned my "whistle language." I felt like R2D2 in human form.
  • I also successfully FaceTimed with my trusty whiteboard which was pretty funny. 
  • Got out of paying a toll (wrong turn) communicating via whiteboard and very desperate facial expressions.

As far as what shows I watched:

  • The OA - This is on Netflix, and just Season 1 is out. Several people recommended this show. It's super weird, a little sinister, and very intriguing - perfect ingredients for a great story if you ask me! But if you ask my mom, she thought the show was weird as hell, and was glad when it was over.
  • Revenge - This is also on Netflix, and is an older series. Totally a chick show with tons of backstabbing and drama - it was as though Perez Hilton wrote the script. There's quite a few theatric "reminders" of why it is a bad idea to lie or cheat on your significant other, ha! My mom and I aggressively plowed through the first season.
  • Movies - I haven't gotten to movies just yet, but someone (thank you SS!) was kind enough to send some for me to watch. But since I can only speak "as needed" for the next week or two - I have a feeling I'll be watching them!

So how about my actual new voice? It's weird to say it's my "new" voice because it's sort of technically my "old" voice. I suppose a more accurate phrase would be my "real voice." I held out until the afternoon of freedom day (the first day I was allowed to talk) because I was nervous by what it would sound like! But it's a lot softer, and higher than the raspy tone I had pre-op! I forgot how girly my voice really is. The quality of my voice will continue to improve over the next couple of weeks as my vocal chords fully heal.

Everyone wanted to know what my first words would be. I'm sure this will shock the grand total of nobody, but those words ended up being, "The Bruins won last night." :)

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Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

No Speak Week, Initial Thoughts - Dana Chirps

First and foremost - thank you to every person who has been thoughtful enough to reach out to me, send me suggestions, and toss thoughts/prayers in my direction. I was warmly blown away by how many people reached out - it was a wonderful reminder that I have such incredible people in my life. Yesterday morning I had my vocal chord surgery, and my doc said it was a great success! My throat is a little sore, and it hurts when I clear my throat/cough, but other than that I feel like a million bucks. 

But I thought it might be interesting to share what it's like to not be allowed to talk! I downloaded a text-to-speech app call "Speak," am texting a TON, and also bought and have been using a whiteboard. It's nice to have the whiteboard simply so that I don't have a glowing screen in my face all day long. I haven't used the app much yet, but I selected a woman with a British accent in my futile hopes of having Adele's voice when this is done with because she had the same procedure done. ;)

Other thoughts:

  • It's fun to actually write (versus type!). I'm having a good time sending pics of messages/doodles I scribble on my whiteboard. I realize I could text them too, but it's fun to change it up and do something different.
  • I feel like I'm having to relearn how to write.
  • This is a good one - only people who know me extremely well would know this, but I happen whistle a ton. I don't even realize I'm doing it half the time. My dad and brother do, too. But given the restraints of no-speak-week, I instinctively started to respond/acknowledge with a whistle. Especially "thank you."
  • I clap whenever I'm trying to express being happy or excited. I didn't think to do this, I just sort of did it. Funny how one can naturally and quickly adapt as their environment or circumstances change. 
  • The spidey sense effect is real. Everything is 1000x louder, I swear to God. I hear everything.

I think I'll venture out into the public either today or tomorrow - we'll see how that goes! :)

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.