Dear Dr. Cooper,
I'm writing this letter to you to let you know how thankful both myself and my family are for your many years of expertise in the field of voice rehabilitation. Without your knowledge of how to treat the disorder called Spasmodic Dysphonia, I would still be suffering from this voice disorder today. Below is a summary of what took place for the past 5 years of searching for a cure for my voice affliction.
In looking back at the five years of searching for a cure for my strained voice, I get upset when I think of all the doctors and speech clinicians at famous medical groups that I've seen (12 in all) that were the top in their field who gave me absolutely no relief from my voice problem. Not to mention all the money they collected from me. Most of them were arrogant in their assessment of my strained voice but after months and months of treatment, I had no improvement. The problem that I see is not solely with the medical community. The health insurance industry is equally to blame. Since most health insurance carriers do not cover speech therapy or voice rehabilitation, most people find it too expensive to pay out of pocket for voice rehabilitation, they gravitate to the medical community to see what kind of quick fix their doctor can give them. This is where the problem goes from bad to worse. Most of the doctors that I have seen recommended me having a Botox injection to help alleviate the symptoms of my voice problem, not to cure the problem.
They told me there are no cures. I was so desperate to get my voice back to normal, I was willing to actually have the most deadly poison injected into my vocal cords to give me some relief. In addition, I found out that my insurance covered these Botox shots so I gave it a try. I had 4 shots in a two year period. I was told that I would have slight breathiness for 1-2 weeks and that I would regain my voice and it would pretty much sound normal. I asked how long would I regain my voice and was told anywhere from 2-6 months on average. I thought that wasn't that bad of a trade off if I could get my normal voice back for 2-6 months.
Instead of the 1-2 weeks of breathiness, I had 8 straight weeks of no voice. I couldn't utter a sound if my life depended on it. After the 8th week till about the 10th week, my voice started coming back. After 11 weeks my voice did come back about 85% of my normal voice. It unfortunately only stayed like that for about 2 months and then it started to decline again. I was so desperate that I repeated this process 3 more times. In thinking about this I thought why aren't doctors recommending to people to get Direct Voice Rehabilitation that is proven to work versus Botox shots that only mask the symptoms of SD? I guess as the old saying goes, 'follow the money.' Is it that doctors only get paid when they administer the shots as opposed to advising people how to get the proper treatment?
This whole time, I kept searching and searching for anything that related to my disorder. I was determined to find someone who had my disorder who beat it and got their voice back. I researched the voice on the internet and in the library. It wasn't until I read Dr. Cooper's book, Stop Committing Voice Suicide that I first read about individuals that were going through similar problems with their voices. This was breath taking for me because I had gone years with suffering with this strangled voice with no relief. I finally found people who had the same affliction and got their voices back. My wife called Dr. Cooper to find out more about him and his Direct Voice Rehabilitation techniques for improving SD voices. He wanted me to come out to see him for a month which I didn't feel I could coordinate with having my own insurance agency. So as a result, I thought surely there has to be qualified help that uses the same techniques to rehabilitate my voice in my area. There wasn't.
Dr. Cooper is unique. After 2 more years of working with several more speech doctors with no improvement I made the call to Dr. Cooper's office again. This time I spoke to him. He said I can hear your problem and I know how to treat it. I was overjoyed to say the least. I started making arrangements to go out to California to see him. I saw Dr. Cooper for 30 days of Direct Voice Rehabilitation. I learned all the proper techniques that I needed to regain my voice again. When I left Dr. Cooper's clinic he recorded my before and after voice and I heard a substantial improvement my voice quality. However, the big test was yet to come with going home and using my new voice in everyday life.
Dr. Cooper said when I got home it would take about 6 months to a year for me to fully develop my new voice. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to sustain the new voice techniques that I had learned at this clinic. I took each day at a time. Some days were better than others. If I had a bad voice day I knew I was just going to have to work harder to get the proper focus of my voice. As the months went on my voice continued to improve. I've had an unbelievable amount of people tell me 'Oh you got your voice back.' All I could do is smile and thank God for leading me to Dr. Cooper. It has been about 9 months since I left his clinic and I would have to say I'm about 90-95% back to normal. I still have to warm up my voice in the morning to get it properly focused but once it is, my voice quality is excellent.
I have since spoken to several of my doctors to let them know the latest and they all can't believe how good my voice sounds. Part of me wanted to lay into them for all the time and money I wasted with them. But I didn't feel I had to say much to them as they knew they were totally wrong in their assessment of my voice. Once again I want to express my gratitude for all that you have done for me to get my voice and my life back on track. Forever grateful!