Friday, 13 January 2012

A new voice for a new life?

For me, voice is very important.  As a barrister (trial lawyer) it is one of my principal working tools.  And my present voice is very definitely male.  The mean normal pitch of male voices is around 120Hz, and for female voices is 220Hz.  Mine is 90Hz.  So low, even in the male range.  I have been working with a speech therapist on this for some time (Gary Wood of the London ENT Hospital) but my difficulty is that I need to retain power and authority in the voice for use in court.

We have come to the conclusion that I will not achieve a female voice with which I am happy without surgical intervention.  This used to be terribly risky and not well understood but matters have moved on in past years. (I am grateful to those who have gone before.) And so in February I am off for a consultation with Anthony Cheesman at the Wellington Hospital to discuss a 'Cricothyroid Approximation'.  This is an operation which increases the tension on the vocal cords and so ups the pitch, hopefully by 60 Hz or so, getting me into the lower end of the female range, and also helping with the pitch of vegetal sounds, such a coughing.

Scary?  Yes!  But I am fed up with the pause when I ring my telephone banking service or they ask me 'Are you calling for someone else?'  I want every aspect of my presentation to be female and to support the other aspects.  After all, what chap will want a girlfriend with a deeper voice than him?

Facial electrolysis is going well.  Now I am down to 45 mins a week, with the therapist spending some time searching for the next hair at times.  Today we cleared everything with only 262 insertions of the needle, which compares with over 1000 per hour (for 3 hours) when I started 18 months ago.

Thank you to those of you who sympathised with my problems over Xmas with heating and hot water at home.  It is now fixed but it did take 15 days - an appaling service from Nationwide's 'Home Emergency' Service.  I will let you know what comes of the letter of complaint.

Oh gosh, and now its only 9 months and 22 days before I head off to Thailand for the 'big op'.  Time does seem to race by.  I was looking at flights the other evening........I'll keep you posted.

Robin White

1 comment:

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