December 14, 2015
Where is this appointment anyway? First floor. Speech therapy. No wrong speech therapy. I am supposed to be at the Northwest Center for Voice and Swallowing. Big difference. Regular rehab therapist vs evaluation specialist with TECHNOLOGY. The receptionist says “Did you bring your paper work along?” If I had been sent paperwork I would have had it done. You know my fetish with paperwork. No paperwork came to me. She hands me a pen, a clipboard and a pile of papers to fill out. How many surgeries have I had? Do I smoke? Drink? Eat I eat cream at midnight? Am I a professional singer? Why am I here? The questions are endless. The evaluator calls me into the exam room and I sit in one of those funky ENT chairs. Like an fancy upright dentist chair. She says “Oh I see you brought paperwork. But you are already a patient here at the hospital. We know all of this. Just fill out the last page. But we don’t have time to do this now so you can do it when we are done.” She puts a microphone up to my face and keeps the distance from my mouth consistent by an unattractive metal space bar. An intern comes to observe. AN INTERN. We know how I love speech pathology interns. I am on it. Where are you from? Where did you go to school? What is your area of specialty? Do they pay you good here? Wanna come out to visit eastern Oregon? I’ll show you around, buy you lunch and offer you a job (oh back to reality) it’s revealed I am one of “them”. Charlie arrives on the scene and now it’s a room of speech pathologists, from young to old we have it covered. Both the intern and evaluator are delighted that one of Oregon’s former premiere speech pathologist couples is in their exam room. Now to the voice evaluation. It remains the same as it has been through the ages from the beginning of speech pathology. It’s the tools of measurement that change. “Read the Rainbow passage.” (Gag or scream, which do I do first) “Give us a one minute narrative about your home town. How long can you say “ahhhh”. Let’s hear your range… pitch from low to high, high to low” Her laptop spews out charts and graphs. What, no oral exam? No hearing evaluation? Nope. This is the Voice Lab. Recommendations: LSVT Loud. The evaluator is very surprised we have local practitioners. I laugh. My former colleagues will now become my therapists!