#HereditarySpasticParaplegia

We have a running joke around the house about my voice.

You see, when my muscles tighten, they tighten everywhere. This causes some weird things to happen. Now, we can choose to laugh or cry. Frankly, to maintain (in)sanity, we choose to do the former.

In a long conversation with my daughter, she explained the physiological changes that were going on in by body during the compression. My oldest daughter is not only band director, but someone that has had a number of collegiate-level choir courses (she loves music), and knows how to control the linguistic qualities of her voice exceedingly well.

I explained to her that I believed the compression affected my voice in three areas: 1) the voice box, 2) chest and 3) diaphragm. The pharynx is compressed, giving a larger opening of the flaps as they could no longer close tightly. 2) The chest became solid. This made moving air a challenge. The result was a long steady exhale. 3) Similarly, the diaphragm sinks low and I must work hard to fill my vital capacity and control the flow the best I can. However, there are occasional spasms which momentarily expel a considerable amount of air through the column. This results in a rather loud burst.

My oldest, suggests the characteristics of the even are very similar to what a bass oral perform does to sing very low notes. And, indeed, I can go about 1/2 octave lower, or more, than normal when I go into my compression.

The overall tonal quality is humorous. However, I must apologize. The fact that we giggle about me sounding like our beloved LSU Coach Ogeron, is not a slight. Coach O’ is an awesome coach for a wonderful institution. I am not. I’m just me…. sounding like his distinctive voice. Indeed, we can listen to my voice transform from a semblance of normal to that wonderful man’s linguistic style.

Everyone near, generally rolls with laughter, once my inner circle begins giggling. We generally have a lot of fun with it as I reach for my Lortabs and Zanaflex.

There are many silver linings. Occasionally, we just have to frame them the way we want to see them.

Life is a many splendored thing. We need to learn how to love it in all of it inglorious idiosyncrasies to respect and enjoy the glorious nature of the day, when He gives us.

In Christ’s name!

Jay C. Theriot

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