Vlog #3 – Speech Therapy and more.
So yesterday I had two appointments at the hospital. One was to get a bone density scan which I’m told is standard procedure for anyone on hormone replacement therapy. I had to take the top layer of my clothes off and lay down on a bench type thingee and have my feet rested on a high cube in order to keep my back as straight as possible. I guess I’ll hear from them if there are any.. abnormalities.
Then I had an appointment with a speech therapist along with an ear, nose and throat doctor. I had no real idea of what to expect so I was kinda nervous. I had to sit in the most uncomfortable chair ever which was situated next to a computer. They would later use this along with a long iron stick with a light and a camera attached to it. The doctor would literally hold my tongue as she put the camera in the back of my mouth. I had to make some noises while they would look at my vocal chords. It was recorded which they showed me afterward. It was weird. Apparently I’m also already in the female vocal range so there’s no problem there.
After a while they asked me why I was there and I told them that I felt too self-conscious about my voice. It is actually #2 on my list of things I’m insecure about. I told them that I mostly had the problems when I have to speak Dutch because I do so little of it, mainly only around family. Because of that I tend to focus more on my voice as I’m also translating making me feel less secure about my voice which causes tension and my voice gets worse.
This is admittedly a lot harder around people who’ve known me from before my transition than it is with people who didn’t. I always get the feeling that like family members are focusing a lot on my voice when I talk which then makes me more self conscious about it. If I’m talking to someone I just met it is a million times better as I don’t have to fear them making ‘comparisons’ or even criticizing it.
Both the doctor and the speech therapist told me I sounded feminine and that they would never mistake it for a male voice. They didn’t hear the typical male voice that comes from the chest. Articulation and everything was also fine. I said that was funny to hear because in the past I was always criticised for not properly enunciating but they told me they could hear every single word just fine.
They told me I could just go on as is unless I really did want actual speech therapy. I stated again that I would like to as I’m too self conscious when talking Dutch despite them telling me I had nothing to worry about. The only criticism they had is that I could use some improvement on melody and that at times I may talk a bit too fast. Though I think that last part was mostly caused by being nervous.
So they said they were going to look for a speech therapist with the necessary skills near me or in Amsterdam that can help me overcome what apparently is just all in my head and not my voice. Basically all I need to do is learn and accept that my voice is fine and stop being so nervous when talking. If I can do that I will be fine.