December 28th, 2017 I was in a vocal lesson. I was struggling with my warm ups, in a way that was frustrating me more than I can even put into words. For the past year leading up to this point, I was feeling this way on and off. For the first time in my life, my voice was not feeling reliable and singing was more difficult. It felt like something was pulling on my vocal chords, it was causing me a debilitating anxiety that was making me shy away from singing in public, something that was so out of character for me.
As I worked with my coach and internally beat myself up for not being able to hit notes that I knew were in my range, suddenly something just clicked. This is out of my control, this is not a case of improper technique. I am doing everything in my power to sing, and something just isn’t adding up. Something is actually wrong.
I got in the car to make my hour and a half drive home from New Jersey, and I called the ENT, to set up an appointment. Luckily, her office was slow because of the holiday week, and she would be able to see me the very next morning.
The next morning, my car ride to the doctor’s office was nothing but anxiety filled. I prayed, please don’t let this be anything serious or major, please, please, please. I was so afraid of needing surgery or having some kind of permanent damage. I was an absolute wreck.
When I got to the doctor, I explained my situation to her. After getting my vocal cords scoped, she told me I have developed an intolerance to yeast. Our bodies naturally produce yeast, and mine is incapable of breaking it down. The build up of yeast was causing me eczema on my eyelids, stomach issues, and coating my vocal cords. The yeast on my vocal cords was effecting how they vibrate to make sound, and because I was fighting to push pass it, they were also swollen. My doctor said between the build up and the swelling she was surprised I could even produce enough sound to speak, let alone sing. Can you imagine I was struggling with this for about a year?!
At this point, I had to take 3 different medicines, and go on a very strict cleanse for 3 weeks. Post cleanse, I would have to develop this into a lifestyle change with slight modifications.
The diet basically consists of eating carb free, non fermented, and sugar free foods (strictly no high fructose corn syrup). Yeast is in practically everything, and even when it’s not present, the food has undergone some type of fermentation process that exposes it to yeast. I knew the hardest challenges for me would be:
- bread (gluten free bread still has yeast)
December 29th, 2017 I found out about these allergies, and the past 8 months have been nothing short of a learning experience. Starting now, I will document more of what I can and can not eat, brands that I have found that are truly lifesavers, how I schedule my cheat days, and different recipes I have come up with to fill my cravings. In the beginning, I was so strict, I would not dare to touch anything that I was allergic to. Then life starts happening, and I began to make excuses and allowances. But as I write this blog post, I am vowing to get strict again. My next cheat day will be the first weekend of October, let’s do this!
Ciao for now, doll faces!