I am an Evangelist, and in May 2005 my voice gave out. After speaking on a Sunday morning, a lady came up to me after the service and said, "I can't understand you. I don't know what you are saying."
I was diagnosed at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center by Dr. Clark Rosen and Dr. Jackie Gartner-Schmidt with Abductor Spasmodic Dysphonia. I declined the Botox injections and began rehabilitation being instructed in the vocal exercises developed by Dr. Raymond Smolover known as Vocal Behavior Training. Not a quick fix, but a real reversal of the paralyzing effects of SD, little by little my voice began to be restored. For three years I went to therapy twice a week and worked the other days on my own doing the exercises. I went from being able to barely make sound on eight notes on a piano to making sound on four octaves after three years of work. I did not know if I would ever talk again. (Most of the time I stayed in my bedroom.) Today I am back to public speaking and even singing, which I never even dreamed I would do again.
Good Vibrations is my story of how I had my voice restored to functional use. It is a step by step account of the exercises I did, and the fears I encountered. It also contains email correspondence of two people who were diagnosed with SD and I instructed each of them in the exercises by email with their voices being improved.
It is my desire that others who are suffering from SD can receive hope and help in overcoming SD. Dr. J. Gartner-Schmidt states, "...most professionals believe that success in voice therapy is defined as a return to a functional level of voicing..." Then according to this statement these exercises have been a success for me, for I have returned to a functional level of voicing, and that is from a public speaker, an evangelist, who at times is very hard on his voice.