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was back on the job in China, but his voice, while
no longer spasming, was weak, breathy and raspy.
Because his vocal cords were farther apart than
before due to the surgery, he also had to push out
more air to make sounds. As a result, he got light-
headed when he talked for an extended time and
often felt exhausted. Sometimes he pretended to
be Marlon Brando in The Godfather to lighten the
mood, but after months, it became increasingly
difficult to carry out his work duties. Finally he
bowed to the inevitable, quitting his job and
taking a year off to travel and fully recover. He
channeled some of his creative energy into a blog,
SpasmodicDysphoniaSurgery.com, about his up-
and-down recuperation. “Dr. Berke and his team
told me it would take up to eight months to get my
voice back to normal, but I selectively heard ‘two
months,’” he says.
Now, three years post-surgery, Laurence is in
charge of marketing at FeeX, a New York startup,
and his voice, to his great joy, is no longer an issue.
“I don’t have to measure my words anymore, and
I’m back to the fun-loving person I was a long time
ago,” he brags. His only regret: going back to
work too soon, without giving his body sufficient
time to heal.
WE LISTEN IN AWE TO THE SOUNDS
emanating from the mouths of a Joan Sutherland
or Luciano Pavarotti and marvel at how these
We listen in awe
to the sounds
the mouths of a
Joan Sutherland or
and marvel at how
these vocal titans
play their voices like
instruments. U MAGAZINE