I realize that reading my blog, you might think that all I do is roam around the country taking pictures – so not true.  (Though I do know how to make a two-day trip into two weeks of blog posts.)  But there’s a lot of crazy life that happens in between the trips and pictures, a lot of crazy life that I don’t write about.

These past three weeks are a good example.

Even though I did make mention of losing my voice, I didn’t go into the details.

Three weeks ago in Montana, I caught a cold (I think I actually caught it before I went) and by the time I finished my workshops, I was barely talking.

Once home, I only felt worse. I was supposed to go back to work on Thursday, but did not have the strength, so I took a sick day … and then another.  I immediately went to the clinic because I was aware I had another conference coming up and I needed my voice and my strength. The doctor said probably what had happened is my resistance was down and some strange germ sitting in the dead-plane air must’ve attacked me.

All weekend I sat on my couch watching reruns, not even having the energy to change the remote. I sat in my voiceless fog.

By this time I wasn’t keeping any food down and nothing looked good to me.  Monday I took another sick day (I cannot even remember the last time I took three sick days). I was encased in my own bubble. No strength. No food. No voice.

I knew I would have to cancel my upcoming conference which was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I don’t like letting people down and I had been scheduled for two years!  But there was nothing I could do. I couldn’t talk.

One day mid-week, I actually got to work for a meeting – then came home and didn’t move for the rest of the day.

Finally, about Thursday, about 12 days after the initial onslaught of germs, I got my mental motivation back – but still could not really talk or move.  I went to work on Friday, but gave out by 2:00.

I sat speechless over the weekend.

Monday, I went to work, but again gave out by about 2:00 and still wasn’t talking.

Tuesday, I tried again and there were tiny, little moments when others could sort of hear my voice.

I had another conference coming up this weekend and I was absolutely determined NOT to cancel. This was the Gerards last conference after 39 years, so there were no do overs.

By Friday, my voice was a lot stronger and I wasn’t losing my strength until about 7:00, so I was hopeful. However, I had been cautioned that speaking all day, I might do permanent damage to my not-yet strong voice.

But I did it. Great conference – people were very patient with me and even though I had a packed room with people sitting on the floor, I managed to make myself heard. About 3:00 in the afternoon, I suddenly felt hungry, too!  I had two pieces of pizza for supper and they tasted good. (I actually lost ten pounds through the whole thing.)

So now we’re at day 23.  My voice is there, but still sounding weird – not quite back to normal.  But I’m once again happily eating and my strength is back 90%.

Whoa!  That was not something I’m anxious to go through again real soon.

OK, enough of that – I’ll be posting about the Minnesota trip soon.

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