My Need Pushing Your Need

by TestTubeBaby

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Once the first wave of the pandemic passed, I was able to get in to see an otolaryngologist (in full PPE armour) again about my decrepit voice.

The last time I'd been in (before the pandemic), she hadn't seen anything, so assumed the most likely culprit... acid reflux. I had no other symptoms of acid reflux, so I looked askance at this diagnosis. However, my paternal grandfather had had acid reflux, so I went with the drill of diet overhaul, medication and sleeping at an angle (the foam from which the album title "Wedge" came). I also went to see a voice therapist a few times and started making noise on kazoos and so forth (semi-occluded vocal tract therapy).

While this fix for acid reflux was only supposed to be a 3-month experiment, with the pandemic, it doubled... with no improvement. It seemed things were, instead, getting worse. Thankfully when the otolarynologist put her lubricated occular snake up my nose and down my throat again, she said she saw a "sub-laryngal mass" and, because I use my voice both for my singing "career" and my job, she sent me off to a "surgeon."

On the theory that I might be doing permanent damage to my voice when I used or pushed it, I had mostly stopped singing (except for finishing the two final songs on the "American Martyrs" EP, and then making the 3-song "Quips" EP, which only had a handful of vocalized words on it). The visit to the surgeon yielded a photo that confirmed I had a mass growing behind my vocal cords that was sticking out between them, obstructing their full functioning. It was thus clear (and the surgeon confirmed this) that using my voice wouldn't harm it. The lesion (which she said was nearly 100% certain to be HPV) would have to be excised for anything to improve.

Knowing I could safely sing didn't, however, mean I could sing very well... but I had the itch to emote, so... what could I sing that would make sense with my mangled voice? How about songs about how I might have contracted throat HPV?


released October 7, 2020


all rights reserved



TestTubeBaby Vancouver, British Columbia

Just walked
On a long slab of concrete
Probably hundreds of metric tons
To the store
Thinking about the similarities
And differences
Between me and a squirrel

All proceeds from sales are donated to Matsqui-Abbotsford Impact Society.
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