32-Year Update — November 28, 1994
Dear Dr. Cooper:
I saw you on the “Crusaders” on TV the other night and you looked great. I knew I would have to contact you, as although I haven’t seen you in many years, you have always been in my prayers. You are wonderful and have done wonderful things for me. Let me start at the beginning:
Almost thirty years ago, when I was a young mother of four active children, I had lost my voice and was directed to an Ear Nose and Throat specialist that promptly removed a polyp from my -vocal cords. He assured me that all would be well and frightened me with tales of cancer and death if I delayed. Six months after the surgery when I could not yet speak he said I could speak and that I had a psychological problem and my muteness was a neurotic reaction. I checked back with my physician who knew me for many years and thought the E.N.T.’s diagnosis was hasty. He suggested I relax go on a vacation and not even try to use my voice for a week or so. I did this but still could not speak. I did make at noise that sounded like a frog but that was all I could do. My husband and children were very cooperative but I was then getting very apprehensive of going out alone, after all I could not yell if I had an accident or got stuck in an elevator. I began to feel depressed after weeks more went by and I still had no voice. Finally I consented to see a psychologist. He gave me numerous tests which resulted in “no buttons missing, you seem O.K. to me.”
At this point I had spent a year with no voice. I wore a whistle around my neck to summon my kids. I could not tell them I loved them. I could not make my presence known without “croaking” my frog voice. I carried a little pad to write on and show to people if I needed something. I had many humiliating experiences. One that was typical was when I went to buy some perfume and handed the clerk a note explaining what I wanted only to hear her say to another clerk “look at that poor creature, she is so cute and she is ‘deaf’ I and dumb”. I wrote the ‘IF,, word on my pad and left the store.’ Hot tears rolled down my face all the way home. I stopped playing Bridge at the clubs as I could not call out my bids. I envisioned myself going through life hearing our men friends tell my husband how fortunate he was “’cause she can’t yell back”, They did not consider that I could also not answer the phone nor whisper words of love. Being voiceless was changing the quality of my life.
Next came the endless and sometimes senseless “helpful’, suggestions from doctors as well as lay people. I drank warm olive oil – ughl; kept a warm towel around my throat; tried to speak with marbles in my mouth; drank herbal concoctions and even went to a psychic healer all to no avail.
After all of the above and much, much more, I resigned myself to a speechless life. Then one night my husband came home and told me of another doctor he had heard about that was helping people in worse condition than me. I did not want to go to another disappointment but to appease him I did. This E.N.T., told us he had persuaded you, Dr. Cooper, to come to the San Fernando Valley one night a week and use his of f ice to work with people such as myself. He said you worked magic. magic indeed, I thought, but I went and I met you Morty Cooper and it became one of the-beat days of my life. My “croak” did not even make you wince. You said I would be speaking within six months (I did not believe that) but 1, had to do every thing you told me to do. I was willing to have you pull out my fingernails if it would help but you would have none of that. Then the business started. Suffice it say I hated having you tape my “croaks” but I did, I also did all of the voice exercises, and still do when necessary. Laying a f inger on the side of my nose and saying me – me – me- also, I still hear you saying “pitch up” higher and higher I went. I practiced day and night. my kids would say “there she goes again with the me’s”, even my dog got up and left the room with the first me – me out of Me. Also, I had to affect f ect a rather peculiar stance when I was learning to breathe properly. You know the technique so I do not have to say more about that.
Six months passed and I could speak. I had a voice and people could hear me. I could verbally communicate. I loved it! I was happy with it such as it was, but you were not.YOU pushed me further and further to heights I did not even aspire to. I really got a good voice. It did not sound like the original one that started all of the trouble, but it is O.K., and as a matter of fact many people compliment me on my voice. when I think of what I sounded like when I first went to see you I could cry, but this time my tears would be of gratitude not despair.
I owe you and thank you more than I can ever tell you. Also, I know that your battles over stupidity and ignorance are not over. I also know that despite the challenges of your adversaries, you, with your treatment and understanding will always win.
Again I want to say thank you for getting me out of my pain and. wish for you to go on in good health and happiness ever.