also gargling

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You really want to keep enough oxygen going to your brain.


I know this will work because the biggest bummer for many weeks, beside the sutures not melting thing that made itself known later, after my spinal surgery, coming on nine years ago now, was that my voice sounded just like Olive Oyl when Brutus had her by the neck. The extra-terrestrial bodhisattva surgeon god had warned me that one's voice almost always recovers, but heavy probability I was not going to like it for a "few days" after. Two months after it, I still had the most embarrassing pipes in North America.

So I got with Nat King Cole on Mona Lisa and just sang along to that one song repeating for hours every evening... ignoring the terror of Russell Crowe or Richard Gere finally deciding to call me just then... until I finally sounded like me again. My friends had been trying to hide their concern with jokes and laughter. It was soooo silly. Ended up taking me about ten weeks from surgery to return of normal voice. Then I got about six weeks off until the infection from the nonmeltation of the sutures used to close me up knocked me on my ass. I still totally, totally, totally encourage anyone whose spinal canal is being occluded by collapsing disks to have the surgery. Most people are not as weird as I am and the sutures will melt just fine. Most people probably won't even suffer the voice humiliation for more than a few days... I am weird. Very. Very weird. And, even so, it is transcendentally preferable to spending the rest of your life in a wheelchair... or a hospital bed. Don't be a jackass.

Anyway, I bring this up because I just remembered that I had begun to think the surgery might've helped me stop snoring. I suddenly could nap, drift off whilst reclining, without startling myself back awake with a wall-wafflingly loud and scary snorting snore. But that ended up returning after another year or so. I reckon all that singing was what fixed me up.

Nowadays I try to gargle as much as I can stand. I have a somewhat curtailed range of motion from my spinal wreckage. It's no more pronounced now that I've had the surgery, and not so bad as to be really noticeable to anyone who's not expecting me to be able to crane my neck like normal people can, but I don't seem to be able to get into optimal gargling position without losing my balance if I don't hold onto the sink and lean way back. So I do that, but it looks goofy and can be disorienting if I'm too strident about it. This would be the titanium plate preventing my head from going back as far as it was originally designed to go. When I remember to do this regularly, the snoring ebbs. When the snoring ebbs, I'm not worried one of the screws is unraveling and poking my windpipe closed.

But maybe I ought to take back up with Nat again....