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Very Long Cold!

About 3 weeks ago I slept in a caravan after a show at a holiday park, (pretty much winter at the time) Woke up the Monday after with a very slight tickle on my throat, didn't think too much of it. Even recorded a couple of tracks later that week which sounded good, but i knew things weren't quite right. however I had a gig on the Saturday night and after relatively resting all week it only hit me whilst warming up that i didn't have access to any of my high range and i was very hoarse and dry. worst part was I didn't even feel like i had a cold or particularly under the weather. Not great before a 2 hour set of 80s music.

I gotta say during the first 2 songs (Power of Love, huey lewis and Easy Lover, phil collins) I didn't think i was going to make it through the show.. I had some coffee on stage and this seemed to help, (prob more just hot drink as oppose to the coffee) Fortunately the rest of the first set was a bit more manageable but I did have to modify several melody lines to sing them and was a bit more stationary on stage in order to conserve energy and not wear myself out.

Dropped a few of the higher numbers that night and got through the gig, didn't make any excuses to the crowd just mentioned i was obviously fighting a cold, but afterwards many people came and complimented me on my husky voice! Personally i thought i sang terribly but just shows the lines of what a layman audience still thinks is good so its always best to not give up and keep performing as if nothing is wrong because people might not realise.

I drank 4 coffees and a couple of pints of water that night but got through it. So then comes the recovery, I was gigging again the following weekend so 7 days to recover.

Took standard cold and flu tablets not to much effect, the gig rolled on by, i was still pretty bunged up but had no sore throat or any other symptoms so managed to get through that but still had to ditch any really high stuff. I took a couple of ibuprofen before hand, can't tell if it had any major effect but, maybe even just mentally knowing you've done that it helps.

Hooray, i had (have) 2 weeks until my next gig to fully recover. So i get plenty of rest, luckily had some days off, re watched Kens vocal wellness portion and bought myself some of the main supplements (b12, zinc, C, cod liver oil, echinaceea and acidophilus) in the hope that would aid a quicker recovery, also got some antibiotics from the docs.

That was just over a week ago and still I'm totally bunged up, I can sing, and reach my higher register but its still an issue, and after taking everything i feel i can to help and resting plenty. I can decongest with olbas oil etc but although that temporally eases the blockage the underlying cold is still there.

Any thoughts on shifting this 3 weeker?!




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    rcrosierrcrosier Pro Posts: 275
    edited April 2015

    I've had a cough and chest cold for almost 8 weeks now... just finally getting to the point that I might be getting over it.  I heard from a few people at the company I work at that many people have had similar problems this winter/spring... long-lasting cold/cough.

    I finally got antibiotics last Friday (I don't like to take them if I can help it), and also asked for something to fight the cough, and they gave me Tylenol with codeine, which has made a HUGE difference for me to stop coughing all the time.

    I've been doing several of Ken's suggestions, too, which may have even helped, but still had it forever.

    It's a bear this year, I guess...

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    philmaherphilmaher Pro Posts: 48
    edited April 2015
    @rcrosier 8 weeks! eesh. that doesn't make me feel better haha, Ive got it in my head that I'l be better by mid next week judging by my recovery so far. The round of antibiotics i took did ease the cold slightly. I'm near the end of the phlegmy cough stage. 

    This leads me to a couple of thoughts i've had

    Cough medicines/syrups - From what i gather these are not a good idea for singing because they coat your throat etc, however, are they good to use in the recovery process when you arn't singing?

    Mucus - From a brief wikipedia search your body makes it to keep you moist but to also trap bacteria and fight virus' with antibodies, so is it better to keep mucus in throat, or to cough if out/blow it out your nose? @kentamplin @highmtn

    I can get through a live show now which is fine, and obviously you have to sing with a cold because its inevitable, it's just recording commitments which just become impossible, I have a couple of clients waiting on some recordings and last thing i want to tell the person booking me for my voice is that I have a cold and am unable to at the moment! 

    I'l look into the tylenol/codeine! The overall problem is now that I'm terrified of ever getting ill again!
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    highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,359

    Well, first of all, I hope you both get better very soon.  Ray, you've been sick for way too long, now.

    I recommend that you both get a couple of gallons of home-made chicken soup going, with lots of garlic, cumin, and other goodies to help with your recovery. 

    Coughing batters your vocal cords, so from that perspective, less coughing is good.  Codeine is addictive, so be very careful with it.  If you have a cough that just won't quit, sometimes that is the only way to get to sleep through the night.  You need your rest, and you need to be able to stop the coughing.

    It is always better to sing the gunk off your cords rather than scrape the cords together.  Clearing your voice is abrasive.  Coughing is even more abrasive.

    Drink tons of water, and try to stay away from diuretics like coffee and soft drinks.  I know, it's hard, but fruit juices are better and nothing beats water for hydration.  Lots of water/fluids will help to clean your system out of bacteria and toxins.  In many of these lingering colds and viruses, part of the problem is the thick consistency of the mucus.  That's a clear sign that you need a lot more hydration.

    I don't really like them, but the anti-mucus over-the-counter products can be helpful, if you've tried everything else.  They're a bit expensive, and I don't like how they make me feel.  You REALLY have to drink HUGE amounts of water when using that stuff, and it usually takes a long time to get through this kind of cold.

    My doctor gave me advice on nose-blowing a few years ago.  He told me to NEVER close one nostril in order to create more nose-blowing pressure in the opposite nostril.  In other words, hold the tissue and blow GENTLY out of both nostrils at once, always.

    The reason for this is the increased pressure on one side or the other can cause infection to be forced up into the eustachian tubes, which can cause very bad ear infections. 

    I don't really think it's good to keep mucus in the throat to help fight the infection.  I think you want to try to get it to thin out and make it easier to expel.  Lots of fluid will help to get it thinned out and keep your body expelling toxins.

    Get well, you two!  Sending up good prayers about you!


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    rcrosierrcrosier Pro Posts: 275
    Thanks Bob... I'm nearly back to 100%, finally.
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    Ken TamplinKen Tamplin Administrator, Moderator Posts: 446
    Here is what REALLY helps me get through this (though because I eat healthy, exercise, try t get enough sleep when possible, and do these things the moment I feel something starting to come on:

    For colds:

    Danielle L'Don Grape Seed Extract:  http://virafungalfighter.com

    The best Vitamin C on the planet  Incredible stuff! http://www.empirical-labs.com/product_p/liposomalvitaminc.htm

    Raw Garlic on toast and butter

    Juicing. 1 Bushel spinach, 1 celery stick, 4 carrots, a large clove garlic, 1/8th onion, a thumb size sprig of ginger. Do this 2 times per day with food.

    Avoid sugars (including bread and pasta if possible) as well as dairy products.

    Drink lots of filtered water.


    For flu you can do this: http://www.abi4health.com/index.php?sub=silver5002 as well as the vitamin C, garlic and juicing that I list above.
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    rcrosierrcrosier Pro Posts: 275
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    philmaherphilmaher Pro Posts: 48
    Thanks @kentamplin I will look into those ones too, i wanted to start with some basics. All these supplements, should you take them all at the same time? With the basic ones that i picked up i probably had between 7-8 tablets on the go a day, should you do them all at the same time or spread them out or? 

    Thanks @highmtn, Very interesting info on the covering one nostril, completely makes sense too so i will stop doing that! 

    After this weekend of gigging I am feeling 90%, i have clear airways but still have a bunged up tone whilst singing so recording is still off the agenda for a few days.

    As i mentioned i have a client waiting for some recordings, so far I've just said I haven't had time to do them yet due to it being easter holidays and other work but its has been about 3 weeks now and he is chasing me up for them. Whats the best course of action, I don't want to tell him I have a cold, but coming up with excuses also isn't great for customer service as it were, don't want him to be like "oh yea he was good but took a long time to get receive tracks from him." Wedding clients understandably want to be in the know and you want to supply with complete confidence in your ability.

    Any thoughts?
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    rcrosierrcrosier Pro Posts: 275
    edited April 2015

    My vote has always been to be straight with the client/customer.  I was in the consulting business (computer hardware, software, accounting systems, custom development) for many years, and it always worked better to be straight, up front, and honest with them.  I have caught SO MANY vendors and consultants in lies to me, when I knew the correct answer, that I can't count them all.  I never do business with them then, or in the future, as soon as I know they've been less than honest with me once.

    The customer may figure it out, so I would recommend that you just tell them what's up, and why you've been delayed, and they're likely to understand... after all, you want to be SURE that they get the absolute, 100% top notch recording that you could possibly give them, right?

    My two cents... :)

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    philmaherphilmaher Pro Posts: 48
    @rcrosier I do agree with you! and yes a good angle, i went with, they might want to include the track on their wedding video in future/ it will be a nice thing have so want it to be the best it can be! Can't argue with that!

    What originally happened is to clinch the gig i said I'd knock out a few lil clips which i did no problem, took a couple hours, got the gig, but then they asked for a couple other songs, at which point I should've said, no problem, it'l be x amount to cover my time but I didn't. and the amount of time it has eaten up since trying to get them done and worrying about it almost doesn't quite equate! Lesson learned, and also even if you think you can get it done in the next couple of days, give yourself some leeway on the deadline to allow for force majure! (a cold) haha.

    Thanks everyone for your input! 

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    rcrosierrcrosier Pro Posts: 275

    Yeah, I get that.  Hopefully, the word of mouth from it will be worth it overall.  We do almost everything on word of mouth now, which is great... other people suggest us, which helps a ton!

    And... would you believe that I was ALMOST back to normal, and last night, I felt crummy all night, woke up with a sore throat and head cold AGAIN!!  OMG, this thing is killing me this year.

    Luckily, I have some of Ken's recommended meds coming, and I'm hopeful they'll help me kick this for the summer...

    I'm tiring of it fast.
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    olskoololskool Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 68
    Ive been the same with the cold.
    Taking vitamins everyday etc.
    Gargling warm salt water before the gigs really helped a lot and doing my very best to keep the throat as open as i could.
    Lots of diaphragm support , cutting back air and trying not to sing heavy will really help.
    I was having to change my setlist continuously to work around any problems.
    I would be drinking a tonne of water between each song or if there was a long instrumental.
    Concentrate on that bright ping in your sound and if at any time you feel there's any roughness in your sound try open up the throat even more.
    When you finish that song that you felt you were struggling a little with go for a couple of lighter ones until it eases off.
    Turn your mic up a bit too...that helps.
    When you are warming up the voice even just go through volume one..Its good enough to get you back on track...
    You may feel its a step back if you are on level 3  but I feel the lightness of level 1 can really make a difference. You don't have to be a power house all the time.
    obviously just my experience but hope some of this can help.
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    rcrosierrcrosier Pro Posts: 275
    @olskool:  Thanks for the input.  I'm finally getting close to the end, I think.  I've been better this week.  Still a day or two with a cough, but now having more good days each week.

    Unfortunately (fortunately?) I have a gig tonight, so I'll see how that goes, but I've been able to do a little practicing to get my chords going again.  Sang a couple songs with my guitar-playing friend last weekend, and after "getting over the hump" of my voice being so unused for so long, I was pretty OK.

    Keeping my fingers crossed for tonight though... :)

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    olskoololskool Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 68
    All the very best for tonight..
    Let us all know how it goes
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    rcrosierrcrosier Pro Posts: 275

    Aside from coughing now and then (for which I brought some really strong halls menthol drops that work wonders)... it went surprisingly well.

    As a matter of fact, I was able to sing many songs, and a lot of high notes were really quite easy.  Maybe a rest was not such a bad thing for a while!  We played for 3 1/2 hours with no break!  Not even a bathroom break!  It was good to be back at it.

    Today, I still have a bit of a cough, but each day it's getting less and less, and my voice today has been fine... hooray!!

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    highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,359
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    olskoololskool Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 68
    That's great rcrosier chuffed for you...
    It's always a worry when you feel under the weather..
    Glad you pulled through..
    KTVA such a game changer eh.
    I'd never get through anymore without these teachings
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