Hi there!

Some of you might know I work in a hospital. One of the advantages of working in a hospital (ok, maybe the only advantage, but it's an important one...) is you can have free consultations. Ever since the day I've been working there I had to try and do everything to please the doctors, so now I think it's about time they pleased me. So I was thinking that maybe my scientifical career might come in handy for my musical career. So I started to do some research to find a doctor who could check out my vocal cords... And I found one! Dear Prof. Dr. Olaf Michel was the lucky one to have a close look at my beloved cords :-) I wrote down my experience for the singers among us, or for those who'd just like to know how they test your voice box. After all... the procedure is exactly the same for patients who diagnose throat hoarseness or other voice problems, including cancer of the voice box (larynx).

I arrived at consultation where the doctor asked me some questions about cough, hoarseness, breathing etc... With a little mirror he looked right into my nose to have a little check. After that he performed indirect laryngoscopy. This means the doctor holds a mirror at the back of the throat. Meanwhile he had a very funny hat on with a big light attached to make sure he could have a proper look into my throat. Then he took me into a dark room, it almost looked like an OR. He said he'd perform direct fiber-optic laryngoscopy. I didn't like the sound of that and I knew he'd do it, but ah well... you have to pass this for better diagnosis.

So I lie down on this very confortable bed. I can see a big TV where they'd watch the view of the camera they were about to shove down my head. I was still in a pretty good mood and asked the doctor if I could watch along. So the doctor asked his assistant to move the TV to a place where I could watch too. I really liked this gesture, I must admit the doctor was a real nice guy. Then the doctor took a small flexible fiberoptic scope. He put the scope into my nose and very gently he shoved the scope deeper and deeper down into it. It wasn't painful, I just felt a little pressure and tiny bit ache on the inside of my nose, but since he put anesthetic paste on the scope it didn't hurt much. As he continued sliding the scope it finally arrived into my throath and my vocal cords were visible on the screen! I almost felt like a pregnant mother who saw her unborn child for the first time during echography :-) Anyways... although the experience wasn't painful and even a bit magical... It wasn't a very nice one... The feeling you have while you can feel the tubings in the middle of your head was an ackward and very unpleasant one. My eyes spontaneously started to cry and after a while I started retching. I suddenly felt very unconfortable and I saw flashes of the famous 'Ludovico Treatment'-scene of the film 'A Clockwork Orange'. All I wanted at that moment is the doctor to pull those darn wires out of my throat! After a while he did... Pfew...

And what was the result? At first sight my cords seemed to be fine. No dysfunctions, no abnormalities... My vocal cords are in good shape! I was very pleased to hear that! Guess I must thank my vocal coaches for learning me how to use my voice well :-) The only remark he had was the fact that my nose was very small (hell yeah... didn't need to say that... I felt the scope good enough to know that...). It could cause dry throat and sometimes sore throat (indeed... a common feeling I have when I wake up...), but after all no problems that cannot be fixed with some physiological solutions and nose strips :-)

In 2 weeks I have an appointment with the neurolinguist. He'll be checking the vibrations of my cords. I won't say I'm looking forward to it, but I am very curious about it. And of course... I'll explain you everything :-)))