Spasmodic Dysphonia
October 26, 2006 8:16 AM   Subscribe

As you might imagine, Dilbert creator Scott Adams' blog is funny and entertaining, but lately he's had a serious personal health issue to discuss: the loss of his voice due to Spasmodic Dysphonia. More on this troublesome disease (including some audio and video) from the National Spasmodic Dysphonia Association.
posted by flapjax at midnite (15 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: previously posted

posted by bshort at 8:21 AM on October 26, 2006

Damn! Apologies.

I did run "spasmodic dysphonia" through the search. Should've been more thorough, obviously.

Any nice animated GIFs while we wait for deletion?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:26 AM on October 26, 2006

I think images are banned. :(
posted by thirteenkiller at 8:31 AM on October 26, 2006

There is a security thing with images now. It's being fixed.
posted by delmoi at 8:32 AM on October 26, 2006

Maybe we could have the entire treaty between the Holy Roman Emperor and whoever it was. I enjoyed that last time.

FWIW, I really think this is an amazing story, and I'm so happy for Scott that he's hacked himself back to speech. Maybe one or two people who missed it last time will see it before the plug is pulled.
posted by imperium at 8:34 AM on October 26, 2006 [1 favorite]

That was The Treaty of Westphalia. Glad you liked it.

BTW, Rush Limbaugh says Scott Adams is faking it.
posted by sourwookie at 8:38 AM on October 26, 2006

Ever since 9-11, we can't take toothpaste on airplanes or use animated gifs.
posted by found missing at 8:40 AM on October 26, 2006

I had no idea about this so I at least welcome the double.

This intrigues me though:

The weirdest part of this phenomenon is that speech is processed in different parts of the brain depending on the context. So people with this problem can often sing but they can’t talk. In my case I could do my normal professional speaking to large crowds but I could barely whisper and grunt off stage.

That makes a certain amount of sense I guess. What makes no sense at all though is how you discover, knowing that you can't speak, that you can in fact speak in front of large audiences. Who's going to put themselves in such a situation to discover that when you can't even ask "What time am I on?" That must take some balls to do.
posted by vbfg at 8:41 AM on October 26, 2006

This is a much better post, IMO-- I went right past that optimism FPP because I had no idea what it would be about. Too vague.
posted by InfidelZombie at 8:48 AM on October 26, 2006

Just an FYI -- On Monday evening someone made off with all of my kids'

pumpkins (the pumpkins were on our front porch) and also took 5 of my
neighbor's pumpkins. Seems a pumpkin thief is on duty in the neighborhoo
or at least on my street (University St). If you have pumpkins out for

display, I would advise to take them in at night.
posted by thirteenkiller at 8:49 AM on October 26, 2006

Who's going to put themselves in such a situation to discover that when you can't even ask "What time am I on?" That must take some balls to do.

Here is his first post about the syndrome. It only came on gradually, so I'm guessing he gradually lost his voice in one-on-one conversations, while maintaining his ability to publicly speak.
posted by antifuse at 9:04 AM on October 26, 2006

BTW, Rush Limbaugh says Scott Adams is faking it.

I had a friend back when who "got amnesia", pretty soon after some embarassing social stuff. He was Korean, and his family spoke no english, so I had no way to confirm whether or not he really had been to the hospital or anything. We all told him if he was faking it, it'd come out, and we'd kick his ass, but maybe he really had it.

That was the first thing that came to mind when I read Scott's story.
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:05 AM on October 26, 2006

Hey lady, I could've left them smashed on the doorstep and traumatized your kids, show a little gratitude.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:08 AM on October 26, 2006

Scott Adams is a strange, strange dude and a bit of a slippery customer. In an appendix to the Dilbert principle, he wrote about what he called "Affirmations" -- writing down, 20 times a day, something you want to happen makes it happen apparently. He claimed they even had the power to change the result of an exam he took, while the sealed envelope was lying on his desk.

He got a huge amount of shit for it, mostly from Christians. So in a much later follow-up he said "I once advocated the power of focusing on your goals by writing them down, and they got all upset with me!? Wha!?", which struck me as more than a little disingenuous.

Recently, he wrote an article about how he is the greatest person ever, who has led a charmed life, attained everything he ever wanted and so on. I wish I could find the link so I could check again what his conclusion is. There's something about him smells fishy, and I don't like that his persona made me doubt his sincerity over this too, because it sounds like yet more "I'm great me! I'm the only person ever to cure myself of this disease!".

vbfg OTM about speaking to audiences.
posted by bonaldi at 9:09 AM on October 26, 2006

I agree that this is far better than the previous one link no detail FPP - even if it is old news.
posted by empatterson at 9:12 AM on October 26, 2006

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