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Good News Day

As regular readers of my blog know, I lost my voice about 18 months ago. Permanently. It’s something exotic called Spasmodic Dysphonia. Essentially a part of the brain that controls speech just shuts down in some people, usually after you strain your voice during a bout with allergies (in my case) or some other sort of normal laryngitis. It happens to people in my age bracket.

I asked my doctor – a specialist for this condition – how many people have ever gotten better. Answer: zero. While there’s no cure, painful Botox injections through the front of the neck and into the vocal cords can stop the spasms for a few months. That weakens the muscles that otherwise spasm, but your voice is breathy and weak.

The weirdest part of this phenomenon is that speech is processed in different parts of the brain depending on the context. So people with this problem can often sing but they can’t talk. In my case I could do my normal professional speaking to large crowds but I could barely whisper and grunt off stage. And most people with this condition report they have the most trouble talking on the telephone or when there is background noise. I can speak normally alone, but not around others. That makes it sound like a social anxiety problem, but it’s really just a different context, because I could easily sing to those same people.

I stopped getting the Botox shots because although they allowed me to talk for a few weeks, my voice was too weak for public speaking. So at least until the fall speaking season ended, I chose to maximize my onstage voice at the expense of being able to speak in person.

My family and friends have been great. They read my lips as best they can. They lean in to hear the whispers. They guess. They put up with my six tries to say one word. And my personality is completely altered. My normal wittiness becomes slow and deliberate. And often, when it takes effort to speak a word intelligibly, the wrong word comes out because too much of my focus is on the effort of talking instead of the thinking of what to say. So a lot of the things that came out of my mouth frankly made no sense.

To state the obvious, much of life’s pleasure is diminished when you can’t speak. It has been tough.

But have I mentioned I’m an optimist?

Just because no one has ever gotten better from Spasmodic Dysphonia before doesn’t mean I can’t be the first. So every day for months and months I tried new tricks to regain my voice. I visualized speaking correctly and repeatedly told myself I could (affirmations). I used self hypnosis. I used voice therapy exercises. I spoke in higher pitches, or changing pitches. I observed when my voice worked best and when it was worst and looked for patterns. I tried speaking in foreign accents. I tried “singing” some words that were especially hard.

My theory was that the part of my brain responsible for normal speech was still intact, but for some reason had become disconnected from the neural pathways to my vocal cords. (That’s consistent with any expert’s best guess of what’s happening with Spasmodic Dysphonia. It’s somewhat mysterious.) And so I reasoned that there was some way to remap that connection. All I needed to do was find the type of speaking or context most similar – but still different enough – from normal speech that still worked. Once I could speak in that slightly different context, I would continue to close the gap between the different-context speech and normal speech until my neural pathways remapped. Well, that was my theory. But I’m no brain surgeon.

The day before yesterday, while helping on a homework assignment, I noticed I could speak perfectly in rhyme. Rhyme was a context I hadn’t considered. A poem isn’t singing and it isn’t regular talking. But for some reason the context is just different enough from normal speech that my brain handled it fine.

Jack be nimble, Jack be quick.
Jack jumped over the candlestick.

I repeated it dozens of times, partly because I could. It was effortless, even though it was similar to regular speech. I enjoyed repeating it, hearing the sound of my own voice working almost flawlessly. I longed for that sound, and the memory of normal speech. Perhaps the rhyme took me back to my own childhood too. Or maybe it’s just plain catchy. I enjoyed repeating it more than I should have. Then something happened.

My brain remapped.

My speech returned.

Not 100%, but close, like a car starting up on a cold winter night. And so I talked that night. A lot. And all the next day. A few times I felt my voice slipping away, so I repeated the nursery rhyme and tuned it back in. By the following night my voice was almost completely normal.

When I say my brain remapped, that’s the best description I have. During the worst of my voice problems, I would know in advance that I couldn’t get a word out. It was if I could feel the lack of connection between my brain and my vocal cords. But suddenly, yesterday, I felt the connection again. It wasn’t just being able to speak, it was KNOWING how. The knowing returned.

I still don’t know if this is permanent. But I do know that for one day I got to speak normally. And this is one of the happiest days of my life.

But enough about me. Leave me a comment telling me the happiest moment of YOUR life. Keep it brief. Only good news today. I don’t want to hear anything else.

Comments

Thanks for the information. I'm a medical student and I feel that all the clinical anecdotes I've picked up for years from various sources are serving me very well. Was it difficult to get the correct diagnosis and find the right expert clinicians?

Based on the uncommon interests, values, and experiences we held in common, when I finally reciprocated and told X that I loved him and he looked at me in the most vulnerable and touched way and asked, "But, how do you know?" I teared up, but it was a mutual expression of a miraculous love that I thought would never end and it is the happiest moment I can recall. Just a couple of months later X's ego grew to frightful proportions, there was his dalliance with someone in Poland, and he decided that everything was not perfect between us from the first moment so we shall never speak to one another again. A year later I still think of him daily, but look forward to a replacement happiest moment that will have the correct outcome.

Hi Scott!

Read one "Dibert" is very funny and terrible, there is a kind of "truth" in each history. I'm happy by your good state! Really Happy! Now try to use Skype and talk with everyone!

I was distressed to find out this only today, and by accident thanks to Google.

Be the first one to cure yourself.

Hi Scott,

What a thrilling story. You have made my day, and I will remember this story whenever (I hope never) something afflicts my brain. Actually, it already has. I lost my sense of balance, and regained it in a similar (but MUCH easier) manner.

Congratulations!!! Kudos!!! Cheers!!!

after reading your post today is quite a good day, well maybe not the best of my life, but still worth mentioning,
conglaturations

Hello Scott, and greetings from yet another person with SD. I was diagnosed about 14 months ago. Mine started about 7-8 years ago (age 43), and got progressively worse. In addition to running a small business, I became an Episcopal Priest a couple of years ago. It was ironically cruel that at nearly 50 I found what I wanted to do and be with the rest of my life, only to have this bizzare speech thing start up. I tried everything I could think of, and mostly thought it was pschosomatic. I would suffer in anguish as I struggled to get out words. Anyway, short story long, a speech therapist actually diagnosed my SD, and we have a couple of docs with nearly 20 years experience with SD and the Botox treatment. The only thing I would add is that the Botox really isn't painful. Three seconds, more like a pin prick. For me, I have 3 weeks of no voice immediately thereafter, then 10-12 weeks of very nice voice, then it declines to where I need to redo the cycle. So 2-3 shots a year gives me the most workable voice. I was just so grateful for the diagnosis, that I really had a legitimate thing, and that is wasn't just all in my head (so to speak). Most people will never know how agonizing it can be to not do what others take for granted - casual, normal speech. Peace and Blessings.

You are a great inspiration. We need more of these great success stories. Check out the DVD "The secret" (www.thesecret.tv). Your story should be a part of the next installment.

I was 19 and given six months to live. I have been healthy now for 20 years. My doctors "fired" me for not wanting to do the expected treatment. I made a conscious decision to live and to heal my body in part by re-mapping the brain for my health. I have learned science calls these neuronets.

My greatest happiness is focusing everyday what I want my day to be like and making it happen. Thank you

Amazing story. I'm speechless ;)

Scott, so glad to hear about your re-mapping. I too have been diagnosed with SD by the Mayo Clinic and others and was almost incapacitated. I was in marketing at the time and was able to sneak through for a while. I was encouraged to do Botox but because of my allergies and type of SD (only 40-60% chance it would work), I decided against it. I seemed to do better with Speech Therapy and so went that route for a while. I was then directed to Dr. Morton Cooper by a colleague. I spent 2 weeks with him and he uses a variety of techniques to help you find your voice again. Unfortunately, when I returned, my voice went back to its very poor condition. So I started with the exercises that Dr. Cooper had given me - because, like you, I believed I had made a start in remapping my brain but it didn't last. So using the words and exercises that Dr. Cooper gave to me, I started practicing every day - before the start of my day. It takes about 15 minutes a day but it really helps make a difference. I am back in sales and am able to make quite a good living - my company has supported me and that has made a big difference. I still have a great deal of difficulty talking in areas with background noise but I am hoping with more practice, it will get better. Thanks for posting this and letting others know. I am posting this so others know that your technique has worked for others, like myself. I needed some help to find it - via Dr. Cooper - but I want people to know there is help and hope out there - BUT you have to be willing to do the work.

Wow Congradulations Scott. Glad you can talk again.
Every day that I get to spend with my family are the happiest for me.

Congratulations! Wonderful story! Made me remember when I went to Zagreb, Croatia in 1990 and recieved intensive acupuncture treatments for two months from a Chinese lady living there. Those treatments gave me back a normal perception of touch 10 years(!) after I broke my neck in a car accident! Untill then I had almost none perception of touch below my chest.

Thank you for sharing your wonderful story! A coleague just forowarded it to me to give me hope in regaining my secondary language ability and possibly my listening skills.
There is one thing tha would like to share. I have foudn that often when people (inclduing myself) have been ill or had a serious injury there is inner fear that that injury or illnss will return. This can be disabling or limiting in itself...at the least stressful. There is a simple and easy to learn technique called EFT--the Emotional Freedom Technique that you could use. There is very good chance that it would helpyou release your focus and the concerns in very short period of time (possibly with minutes to hours of practice).
Many thanks for sharing! 'wishing you joy in allyou eneavors, Sandy

wow. awesome. really glad for you.

Wonderful news, Scott.

After all the joy and fun you've given others, you deserved this triumph. Your dedication to recovery is inspiring.

My happiest moments were the day I got married, the day my daughter was born, and the day she was admitted to Columbia University.

Keep up your good work.

Although my happiness may not be as large as the happiness you must have felt to talk again, I do find happiness in playing music. I DJ and love hip-hop music. The best feeling in the world is learning how to DJ. I felt so happy when I first learned how to scratch (when you make take a sound on a record and move the record with your hand so that it makes a new noise).

Your condition and resolution reminded me of hip-hop music because hip-hop music deals with telling a story through rhyme and different speech patterns. I don't know if you will read this comment because you have so many but, either way I'd love to interview you for my website. I run an online hip-hop radio station based in my apartment in Taipei, Taiwan.

Glad to read you story too. It's very inspiring.

Best,
KK aka DJ GoreJuice
http://allcity-radio.com

Congratulations! Such an incident maybe shouldn't be taken as lightly as I am about to, but I guess once it's over it can be laughed about in hindsight. Anyways, I just wanted to say that in a way it would be really awesome if the conclusion was that everything you said from that day on was a rhyme. It would certainly add to your character as opposed to detract. But I'm glad you're back speaking!

first I have to say, as I read your post (first time I've been here btw) when I got to this part I copied it to paste it later. I was uplifted by this statement "Just because no one has ever gotten better from Spasmodic Dysphonia before doesn’t mean I can’t be the first". Your healed. Claim it, it's yours.

My happy story.... I get new kitchen cabinets

Thank you for your inspirational story. The happiest moment in my life happens every day when I come home from work. My 3 year old daughter yells "daddy's home" and runs and gives me a big hug. My 19 month old son points, smiles and says "da da". My wife smiles and yells...."yeah for daddy". Life's great!

Well I have finally found my true love.. .3 weeks ago... IIt feels wonderful to KNOW the diffence when everything was congruent :)

Lovely day everyone! =) np

Well I have finally found my true love.. .3 weeks ago... It feels wonderful to KNOW the diffence when everything was congruent :)

Lovely day everyone! =) np

Congratulations Scott!

May your voice remain with you forever.

My happiest time? During the college graduation day. Thank God I passed!!

I was crazy in love for this guy. He was in a serious relationship.

Some day, he begged me to buy with him a ticket to a concert in another state. 12 hours car trip long. I did it.

3 weeks later, he dumped his wife and took me to the concert. When we got to the show he told me he was in love with me and that he wanted me to stay at his side forever.

That was the happiest day of my life.

He gave me your book, one day :)

I will not tell the end of this story today, cause today is all about happiness, right? And i´m really happy for you :)


My post'll be so buried in here I doubt you'll ever see it, Scott, but -- thanks for this. I was diagnosed with SD about eight years ago after a round of trips to a shrink, various doctors, an MRI -- the whole shebang (I'm 35 now, so I was pretty young).

Luckily, botox works well for me, though I hate the idea of it (and worry about side effects down the road). I'm a public radio producer, and while I'm not often on the air it was and remains a concern for me ... friends still wonder why I hate the telephone so much. I just hope it doesn't get any worse.

I'm also now obsessed with getting and keeping health insurance. At almost $2K a pop, those injections aren't great for your bottom line.

Anyway, your story was happy, hopeful, and a real boost on this grey fall day. Thanks, and keep us all posted on your process. Meanwhile, I'll be reciting a few "Jack Be Nimbles" tonight ...

At the time I was born, Dad had cancer. They told him he wouldn't live past 15 years, tops.

30 years later and he's still kicking.

Vey glad to hear you got your voice back, Scott! Keep going at it, and in no time you'll be totally recovered!

Maritza
CRFH.net

As a longtime fan of your work, I'm very glad to hear you were able to regain your voice. I am a stutterer and have experienced what it is like to be unable to speak at will. As you can attest, it is not a pleasant experience! The therapy techniques you detailed are very similar to what is used in therapy for stutterers and are excellent for improving fluency- it's great to hear you had success!

My happiest moment is probably passing the Foreign Service exam on the first try...Now just the oral part to get through;)

You are a genius. I love that you reasoned this out and kept trying until you found something that worked for you. Also I love that you're an optimist. I don't know if this solution was/will be permanent, but I hope so.

My life is just a series of best days, I could pick most of them out and say they are great. I'm lucky, and I know it. I hope you have many more great days in your future.

Praise; and congratulations on your recovery. A lot of us have been uplifted and can benefit others through your process sharing.

Congratulations. You've helped yourself and many others by sharing your story. I believe that part of any success story is the belief in oneself. My daughter had a speech impediment when she was little. I had one too and saw a speech therapist while in 3rd grade. I learned a lot from y own experiences so I worked with my daughter when she was 3-4 years old. Every night at bath time we would work on our words. Gradually, little by little her speech improved. Her last hurdle were her "R" words. She pronounced rabbit like "thwabbit". So, one night we were practicing "R" words and she started crying. She said, "I can't, I can't do it." I told her, "Yes you can Ashley, I KNOW you can because I've heard you say it correctly before." I really hadn't heard her ever say it correctly, but she believed me. She totally trusted me and if she had said it before then she knew she could say it again. She tried again and said it incorrectly, but on her second attempt she said a perfect "rabbit". Then she said many other "R" words. We said as many "R" words as possible. It was a VERY happy day for both of us. I still remember it very well today. So after bath time that day I dressed her in her pajamas and said, "Okay, now I want you to go into the family room and tell your daddy that you really, really want a red rabbit." She happily followed my instructions. I thought her father would be happy to hear that she could say these words correctly, but all he said was, "Are you crazy we can't get a rabbit!" He obviously missed the entire point, but still it is a very happy memory I have and I think helps to prove the point that belief in oneself is key to overcoming many of life's obstacles. Again, my congratulations on your success of overcoming your speech problem.

Congratulations. You've helped yourself and many others by sharing your story. I believe that part of any success story is the belief in oneself. My daughter had a speech impediment when she was little. I had one too and saw a speech therapist while in 3rd grade. I learned a lot from y own experiences so I worked with my daughter when she was 3-4 years old. Every night at bath time we would work on our words. Gradually, little by little her speech improved. Her last hurdle were her "R" words. She pronounced rabbit like "thwabbit". So, one night we were practicing "R" words and she started crying. She said, "I can't, I can't do it." I told her, "Yes you can Ashley, I KNOW you can because I've heard you say it correctly before." I really hadn't heard her ever say it correctly, but she believed me. She totally trusted me and if she had said it before then she knew she could say it again. She tried again and said it incorrectly, but on her second attempt she said a perfect "rabbit". Then she said many other "R" words. We said as many "R" words as possible. It was a VERY happy day for both of us. I still remember it very well today. So after bath time that day I dressed her in her pajamas and said, "Okay, now I want you to go into the family room and tell your daddy that you really, really want a red rabbit." She happily followed my instructions. I thought her father would be happy to hear that she could say these words correctly, but all he said was, "Are you crazy we can't get a rabbit!" He obviously missed the entire point, but still it is a very happy memory I have and I think helps to prove the point that belief in oneself is key to overcoming many of life's obstacles. Again, my congratulations on your success of overcoming your speech problem.

Congratulations and I hope your voice stays with you and that your brain still has space to keep coming up with my favourite comic of all time.

One of the happiest time of my life was when I dislocated my arm in a freak household accident and the following several months of recovery. I suddenly wanted to do more with my life and I started reading and writing a lot with my one good hand and after recovery, I took up rock climbing. Life's been great ever since. Funny when I think about it.

hi
I'm in New Zealand and I just read about your voice regaining news on Sunday Star Times here (published on 29th/Oct) in the World section. It is sourced from 'AP', not sure what newspaper that is. They mention about you wanting to 're-map' your brain with the rhyme. Very interesting to read about your account of the story first then on the paper. Anyway, I also want to congrat you on your good news too. I am an avid reader and I even turned someone (Raybon Kan, a comedian from NZ) to start reading your blog just last week, through communication on Myspace - isn't that funny?

God bless and keep believing in yourself and a higher power and ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. Thank you for your inspiring story.. We all have MUCh to overcome in this life. this is a great reminder that only WE hold OURSELFS BACK, NOTHING OR NO ONE ELSE IS EVER RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR SHORTCOMINGS and ONLY WE caqn change our selfs. If you believe Like the bible and most scripture texts that exist (The koran, old new test, etc.. edgar cayce etc.. seek and ye shall find, ask and ye shall recieve look and you will see.. God bless all and Peace!

Posting this serious staff is such a great idea. People who enjoy your sense of humor enjoy your common sense too. Hopefully some of your readers will take good note and will act in an optimistic way if ever they have to face strange situations like you had to do.
I am glad your good news. Your state of mind made them possible. No doubt about that.
Thanks for spreading good ideas to the people for free!

Marriage, and birth of both children (now 5 and 3). Few days ago, we were in my car, and they spontaneously began to sing a children song they learnt in school, something like "we're all cats, meow, meow, meow". Life is good.

As i already stated i wrote about your story on my weblog.

http://myglobalwebsites.com/WordPress/?p=82

And for those whose speaking problems are not solved, there is speaking without a word on the way.

http://myglobalwebsites.com/WordPress/?p=81

Henri

I was very interested in finding out more about your neurological situation, since a friend of a friend (FOF) just got back from the AARP event in Anaheim, CA, where you spoke. I had just read something short about SD, but had not had a chance to look it up. My FOF had been totally unaware of your having spasmodic dysphonia, and she was really impressed to find out how well you have managed to put it in its place. May it continue for the next 200 years!

Happiest day? My family came to California from New York City in 1950, when I was nearly twelve. It was a culture shock I came close to not recovering from--each of us kids was allowed to bring one can't-live-without toy, and mine was a pair of roller skates. Unfortunately, where we now lived there were no sidewalks. I was devastated, and went into a depression that had me eager to head for bed every night, where I dreamed continually of returning to the great City.

Then one day my 7th grade teacher informed us that he was taking us on a field trip to San Francisco. I was only mildly interested, but that day it was like God reached down and patted me on the head. Just approaching the city I felt a huge weight just disappear. The skyline, the fog, the harbors--I nearly cried with happiness. I had just discovered that there was, indeed, life after New York. To this moment I get a massive charge whenever I close in on San Francisco, take a deep breath of foggy air, and remember how it was that day more than 50 years ago.

Awesome. I do hope you stay well. My thoughts are on your continued recovery.

Happiest day?

I have two. The first is the day I married my wife Karie, 11 years ago. The other is when I foster/adopted my daughter Melissa who joined our family June of this year 2006.

Congratulations! How fabulous and inspiring. Your story reminds me of two that I've remembered and recounted many times. One is about a famous hypnotist, Charles Tebbetts, who practiced hypnosis and wrote and taught about it for many years. As an older man, he suffered a stroke, and went into the hospital. Apparently he was well aware of what had happened, so put himself into a state of self hypnosis, and told his brain to find new pathways for the nerve impulses needed to make all his limbs work, his speech, etc. If I remember correctly, in something like 24 hours he walked out of the hospital completely well! The second story that yours reminds me of is that of the singer Bill Withers. Back in the 70's I was living in Italy and heard him on Radio Free Europe; he was describing that all his early life he had a terrible stutter. He went into the Navy, and while on watch an emergency came up and he couldn't get the words out to warn people. However, he found that if he sang, he didn't have a stutter, so he practiced and practiced singing, until his stutter was finally cured. Well, that was good for him as well as for us! (He's perhaps best known for "Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone"). Anyway, thanks for telling us your story, I'll add it to my collection when I'm telling people how amazing the brain is, and that nothing is impossible! (I'm a hypnotherapist, too, so it does come up alot, and people do amazing things...)

Wow. I'm surprised at the number of comments on this article. I just hit the stumble button. Btw, what category is this under on stumble? I would like to remove that category. I didn't make it through the entire article. I didn't make it through most of the comments. I think some of you people should find people to talk to in real life. Haha, "talk". Get it? I can't believe there's so much written about this subject. What do you get out of this? "There are other people who can't talk too! I've decided not to kill myself." I hope that's what you are all getting from this. If this is saving lives, then more power to you. But honestly, why is this on stumble? I'm just stumbling around for silly flash games and art and music and shit. I guess to some people this might be under "shit". Personally, I'm going to file it there. In the mean time, could someone tell me what category this really is, because I will gladly remove it from my preferences.

OH and one more thing.. am so glad that this blog is to focus only on the happiest things that have happened to us.. Its time we acknowledge the abundance in our life than focus on the scarcity... To me I look at scarcity as the only tiniest pimple on my clear face!!! Its because there is so much of abundance in the universe that we take it for granted... Its time we acknowledge the positive!!

Hi Scott,
I am so impressed by your story. I have to tell you that I read about your affirmations that u had written long time back, and ever since then I have been passing the word around. I tell you its amazing how it works.. YOu are an inspiration to me. I even ask my Reiki students( am a Reiki Teacher) to use these affirmations which i call it as intentions . Its all about energy.. What you give out comes back to you...
All the best and thankyou. I would however like to know how you started these intentions long time back... could you sometime share it in your blog?
thanks
Rani

Hi Scott,
I was diagnosed in 1979 with spasmodic dysphonia. As a professional singer, teacher and psychotherapist, it was quite devastating. when my friend asked, "Why do you think you're losing your voice at this time?" I replied, "I think I'm supposed to shut up and listen for a change."

Of course, I looked for answers in every conceivable place: medical doctors, voice therapists, I considered surgery, found wonderful alternative and complementary medicine practitioners, and met untold healers, some of whom actually helped.

I treated the vocal condition as a spiritual crisis. And why wouldn't I? At the time my voice began to fail - an imperceptible interruption in the sound, at first - I was conducting workshops: "In Search of a Voice." The search for my own took me around the world 6 times to people and places I would not have encountered otherwise. My healing journey became a spiritual odyssey.

The upshot for me is this: I learned to "tell the truth" - that is, to let myself know in my heart that which is true for me and to speak it.

Bo-tox was not an option for 14 of the years I stuttered and stammered my way through life. The FDA did not approve it until around 1992 or 93. It seems to work for me, but there have been long periods - even years - when I was in India or couldn't get the treatment because I didn't have medical insurance or simply made the choice to take the vocal disability back to see what else I could learn about it and myself. There was always more.

Except to write about it, I'm really quite through with the disability and everything that went with it: poverty, isolation, striking personality changes, etc. I'm leading a normal life, but I haven't forgotten the GIFTS that this experience has conferred on me.

You may know that the beautiful Diane Rehm of NPR station WAMU in Washington, DC and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. both have the condition.

I want to mention an extraordinary speech pathologist I worked with in Southern California. He's frowned upon by the medical establishment, but he understands the intricate mechanics of spasmodic dysphonia and can provide much support to establiching correct vocal habits. His name is Morton Cooper, "Winning With Your Voice," and "Stop Commitiing Voice Suicide." You'd be doing yourself a favor to spend a week (or a month if you can afford it) in treatment with him. www.voice-doctor.com

I can tell that you've already undertaken a very creative process. I wish you well!
Prayers and blessings,
Pushkara

Scott -- had you been getting flu shots leading up to your loss? Unless you weigh 550 lbs, each time you get a flu shot you are over the EPA limit for mercury exposure.

Overt symptoms don't always appear immediately -- they can occur weeks, months, years later. The ability to excrete mercury is variable among the population, but eventually you accumulate a threshold where degeneration is inevitable.

Mercury is neurotoxic and affects on the brain are well-studied. Your sudden loss of speech is not unlike what the elderly experience with Alzheimer's or the young experience with regressive autism.

Mercury is also synergystically toxic with other things you are exposed to -- aluminum, lead ,pesticides, lots more.

By the way, the hair test mentioned above is one way to test but be aware that a result of low mercury (or other metals) is actually a bad sign -- it means you aren't able to excrete the metals and you are actually accumulating them inside.

Your great accomplishment in self-rewiring the brain is similar to applied behavior techniques which try to form (or re-form) pathways in people affected by various neurological diseases. These techniques are known to work considerably better after the body is detoxified.

Start thinking in terms of chemical body burden and your experience is not so mysterious afterall. -R

You are inspiring and I can stretch your illness and your working on it to so many other 'trivial' aspects of daily trials. My very most meaningful day of my life is when I gave birth to my one daughter. While she was being delivered I relived my moment of tunningly down my mother's birth canal. Those couple of seconds left me with the awesome knowledge that life and us and everything is so connected and so natural and so precious. I really mentally relived my moment of birth and now look back on it as such a special moment that I was given. It helps me know that the powers of life and the universe are so much more than daily living trials. All I have to do is to reflect back to these moments and I honestly know that there is something so much more than 'this' that I am not worried nor frightened of much anything. What you did to congure your speech problem just shows the magnificant power of the human brain and all of the very mysteries of life and it's capacities. The only thing I feel myself empty of is the fact that I may not be able to view our world in a hundred years.

Once, in the Royal Navy in the 19th century, a lookout came up to Captain Prothero, panicky and stammering so badly that he couldn't get a word out. Prothero (known as Prothero the Bad) said, "try singing it, boy" (Prothero called everyone boy, including the Admiral). The lookout replied:

"Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind,
Our Cookie's fallen overboard, and he's fourteen miles behind."

I am a neuroscientist, and specialize in cognitive neuroscience, neuro-linguistics specifically. I am personally and professionally extremely fascinated by how the brain works and malfunctions, and so much of that remains utterly enigmatic to us to this day. Your description of what happened in your brain is as good as mine would be; this was very exciting news for me to read, and while the explanation might remain a mystery, the end result is all that really matters. For you anyway; I hope your doctors have the good sense to investigate further, as that might help other people with your disorder. In any case, it is extremely impressive that you did not give up where science and medicine left you alone!

The day my son was born, when no one else was left in the hospital room- just holding him and realizing that the more people I had to love in my life, the more I loved them all. Adding another little one in a few months, and I wager that day will be just as happy. :)

Fantastic news and I congratulaate you, sir. I have long been a believer in the Napoleonic saying "anything the mind can believe, it can achieve". I've also been a strong believer in the Tao system, which believes that willpower trumps everything else.
In 2001, after being nearly deaf for most of my life, I received a cochlear implant. It reinvented me because from a loss of 95% of my hearing I have regained 90% (in one ear). I now can hear my children, the birds, music... its a wonderful thing.
In this day and age, believing in yourself and your abilities to overcome obstacles is so abundant, because the times have change, people are more open to suggestions and methods that were not accepted before. So for anyone out there "listening", if you're down in the dumps, do what the donkey who fell in a well full of trash did: he waited every day while people threw in their trash, and he stepped on the trash and gradually as the trash built up, he was able to reach the top and climb out. There are no downers, only winners!

Hi Scott! Great work; congratulations! You may be interested in a device that is helping re-establish neuropathways in the brain http://www.brainstatetech.com. As for relating a happy story, well, let's just say I feel that every single day I wake up I believe it's better than the last. It's really not that profound, it's just a simple philosophy. Best wishes! Let us know if you do try this treatment, and what results you get.

Every day I wake up to my beautiful wife and 4 beautiful children is a happy day. Awesome news about your voice...

Hey, congratulations Scott! That's great. I feel very happy for you.

I forgot!

Happiest "days" of my life: the "days" that I became father, the days that my daughters were born.

Am I not original? It doesn't matter, It's true.

Diego

PS: Agustina was born on 2001/03/29, Sofia was born on 2004/02/04

Scott, really really glad that you got better! Now get much better, be the best, as always!

Well, I have a lot of things that make me happy. My daughters, my wife, play with my Legos :-), read Dilbert every day, and know that stories like yours happen, really happen.

Thanks a lot Scott!

Diego, another Computer Programmer from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The day I really feel in love was the happiest moment of my life. But, because that feeling only gets stronger everytime I see him, every day with him is the happiest day of my life.

Here is a link from our local newspaper in Estonia about your miracle recovery

Fantastic - a pebble of happiness, and it has rippled across the world.

My happiest day occurred after several years of medical problems, losing touch with life, family and friends - the day I was best man at my brother's wedding, topped off with the girl I care for most, asked me to have a baby with her.

I can only strive and look forward to better days, and always try to help others achieve theirs (in both the big and small ways).

That is incredible. Congratulations, man!!

That is incredible. Congratulations, man!!

In exchange for your inspirational and heartwarming story, I'll share my top happinesses:

* paddling out for the first time on a surfboard in Hawaii (I'd moved there with $500 to my name)
* reaching the summit of Mt. Rainier (completely exhausted, nearly dead, and crying)
* quitting my first job (possibly the most mentally freeing thing ever)

and of course,

* my wife (beautiful, sharp as a tack, supportive through thick and thin)
* my family (they make up the deepest part of my soul)

-Adam

with my Guru in feb 2004 = )

Thank you for inspiring me with your story, for sending out so many positive vibes over the internet, and for all the laughs you have given me over the years. It is wonderful that you have your voice back.

My happiest day happens every time I see my kids smile at me. I waited until I was in my late 30's to have them, and I still can't get over my good fortune that I have these amazing beings in my life. I am so, so blessed.

Scott, you made my life better twice: once for inventing Tina, the carbon copy of my boss at a government facility who made my weeks miserable and is presumably still messing with people. Again for reconfiguring and remapping and so on, your briliant mind. Neurolinguistic reprogramming is there for us all would we but receive it-now lets see where your creativity takes us. I stopped the coffee and substituted licorice tea. Try it, the buzz is great and the art just flows. How about a character based on (sigh) so beautiful, so cleansing...like holistic harry or hannah. Love you, all of you and your crazy characters. Let your voice be heard!

wicked awesome!! here's hoping it's a permanent cure. =)

Glad to hear your condition has improved.

But I think you missed a great opportunity.
Why not sing all the time? That would be awesome!!

What a great world it would be if we all had to sing
to communicate. I am a research scientist and I have always wanted to give a lecture like: "Nonlinear HyperInverse Dynamics: the Musical"


(either sing, or get one of those really cool Stephen Hawking voice thingies. It would be a blast talking dirty with that. )

I have had too many "happiest days" to list them all, but a very recent one was recovering full visual function after suffering a stroke. It left me with a strange visual defect in my central field of vision, specifically a region where context information in the visual scene was not processed. I could look at a sign or text for example, and in one area of my vision the text would fade to nothing - I could see a jumble of black lines, but they did not register at all as letters. I could look at a face, and the right side would be fine, but the left would be a jumble of disconnected features like a Picasso painting - most disturbing. I soon found that I could perceive just about any scene just fine in a visual sense, but in that one region anything that needed to be extracted for further analysis (numbers, letters, faces, patterns) just broke down. It caused significant problems for me writing and doing other tasks that required me to locate a specific point with a pen etc.

There was no therapy for this condition available, so the docs told me if I didn't suffer additional strokes I would probably regain function in that region over the course of a year or so. I figured I would devise my own therapy, and with logic much like your own I decided that the rewiring would be best accomplished by repetition and reinforcement of the most basic of tasks, which presumably would be most thoroughly engrained in the old noggin to start with. I got a coloring book and colored pictures until I was able to keep the color in the lines; practiced writing sentences until I could keep the lines straight and spacing even again; and pushed myself to read from the moment I returned from the hospital. When things would come together, I could "feel" them click into place again just as you mentioned.
My homebrew therapy worked quite well for me, and I am back to essentially 100% pre-stroke condition. I thought the parallels between your nursery ryhme cure and my coloring book experience were quite interesting; perhaps the games and rhymes that have been adopted over the centuries play a more important role in early development of the brain and learning skills than we think.

May you laugh & talk & talk some more
with happy sound that hums & roars
may your voice & self know strength like brick
and endure like Jack's jump & candlestick.

I should havee mentioned that the messages I sent were not intended for your blog, they are off-topic for the happiest thing etc. You can post them somewhere someday if the ideas help you.

And silly me, you already have my email address.

By the way I've started drinking coffee based on your recent Dilbert strips. I subscribe to the daily email post.

You will cure this.

Brad Jensen
www.laservault.com
www.actasif.com

sorry, to continue:

P P Quimby came up with a new theory of disease, partcularly chronic and unexplainable conditions. His theory was basically psychological, but not psychosomatic in the current sense.

His idea is that the mind and body work together to create disease, sort of behind the scenes. He thinks most diesases begin with a mental, physical, or emotional shock. This shock creates temporary symtpoms. However, the mind is a theory-making machine, so it looks for a reason for the symptoms, overlooking the shock as the source. Often that reason is accepted as a theory presented by some friend, or an authority figure. Once the reason is accepted, the mind continues to remake the same symptom, over and over.

Thes symptoms are not imaginary, they are real. Quimby thnks the mind has a much more powerful ability to create symptoms in the body - or to control the body's health - than would be accepted by most people, including doctors.

I think he is on to something. You might read a short synopsis of his work called 'Mingling Minds' by Erwin Seale.

The actual Quimby Manuscripts exist, but the editing of them put them in a strange order that makes them almost impenetrable, since Quimby's vocabulary developed over time.

They are on the web at www.ppquimby.com - wher you can read them chronologically.

A watered-down and scrambled version of Quimby's teachings became Christian Science, and later inspired New Thought Christianity.

I'm a software engineer by trade (since the 1970s) and also a metaphysical writer.

I have a couple of mental exercises that I think would help you, but they will probably seem like they have absolutely nothing to do with your condition, so if you want them please email me. brad-at-elstore-dot-com.

Hi scott,
My sister passed on your blog / story today ironically the same day I was able to speak. For as long as I could remember I have always been prone to laryngitis. I have a raspy voice, breathy voice, and any time I am in a loud environment such as a bar no one can hear me. I got quite used to friends and family telling me I mumbled on the phone and the couldn't understand me. In September I began teaching again and with in weeks I was loosing my voice. It was quite different than before as it seemed I couldn't make sounds and I was exhausted after talking. My voice literally just stopped working and some sounds in words were dropped. I couldn't even fully tell what sounds were working and which were not. I began to wear a microphone while teaching first grade so the children could hear me. Once home from work I was fatigued from speaking and the last thing I wanted to do was talk to anyone. This was especially difficult as I am a social person. The music and speech teacher were onto me and thought it didn't sound like laryngitis anymore it was a different octive and it wasn't normal. It was suggested I see a larangologist to determine what was going on. A larangologist, I didn't even know what that was. When I got to my apointment I was exhausted and nervous. The Dr.'s office had pictures of famous rock singers like Cher and Steven Tyler and there I was someone who couldn't even sing if I wanted to. As I stepped into the office my nightmares I had of getting the scope re=occured as I had seen a Ear, Nose, and Throat speacialist a year before. The Dr. walked in and right away told me that my voice didn't sound normal. He scoped my throat and long and short I had two extremely large billateral nodules on my vocal cords with hemorraging. This was the reason I was having trouble speaking... fast forward a bit I had an operation to remove the nodules and haven't been able to speak or udder a word, sound, cough, laugh, whisper for two weeks. Today is my first day speaking in two weeks. I have to tell you that I can feel your pain of how removed you feel from life and your world. I used a dry erase board but found if I used the computer that worked best. I also had some pictures/icons from the computer printed which explained why I couldn't speak so I didn't have to tell everyone I saw. The dry erase board was good for short answers but mostly I learned you don't have to answer people. Most of the time you can just listen and even though you may want to respond it isn't necessary. I was wondering in your case if you have tried reflexology or accupuncture. I also just wanted to tell you to keep your spirits high. Do something every day for you something that makes you feel good. It is so easy to get down and feel depressed not being able to speak to the world as you once knew it. I am no expert but being someone who just experienced this for two weeks I would be happy to keep in touch. I have never done a blog before and coincidently just received your blog from an email. Be well, stay positive, and focus on your other senses.

Interesting thought: Song or poetry could be a specific part of the brain. Could we have the hardware for artistic expression and could that explain why some of us have more developed artistic ability (ability to play an instrument, painting, drawing etc...)?

Have any of you heard of "The Secret"? See www.thesecret.tv

It is about the "Law of Attraction". It is a very, very good movie/documentary. You can download it off of the internet in a pay-per-view style. Or buy the dvd. Which I did after seeing it. I'm trying to share this with whoever is ready to listen.

Scott, your work to self heal follows along right with it.
Check it out!

Thank you for sharing your story. I had lost my voice in college after a fun night of square dancing at a dusty barn dance. The next day was the dorm Halloween Dance. The first person to ask me to dance turned out to be my future husband. For the first two weeks we dated, all I could do was whisper, move my lips or write him a note. Maybe that made me alluring in some way. Whatever the case, we are celebrating 29 years together (25 of them married). I was glad when my voice returned...and he was still interested!

Keep up the good work and the positive attitude. You are an inspiration. Wendy

Scott:

Our daughter has mild cerebral palsy which affected her early speech and language development. Through therapy and hard work on her part, her brain has "remapped" around some of the problem areas and her speech is now very close to normal.

As we worked with therapists during her early years (she's now 16) we learned that brain-related speech problems can be helped with rhymes, repitition, and metronomic tapping as syllables are pronounced. (Dr. Seuss is a genius. His books worked wonders.)

So your observation that the brain can reroute instructions around problem areas is quite valid, and I think that many professionals would agree with you.

Happiest Day? Probably the day that the adoption of our daughter became final.

We wish you luck and good fortune. And please keep the absurd humor flowing our way. American business and industry are depending on you.

My happiest day? Probably the day I got engaged to a wonderful young gal after chasing her for what seemed like a *very* long time. (This after months of my family and friends telling me I needed "closure" and to move on.) We were in the elephant pens at the local zoo; it was kinda stinky and very humid, but we both will remember that momemt (fondly) for the rest of ... whatever. (We're both kinda quirky that way.) I was floating on a cloud for the rest of the day--or was that the fumes...

Now, just over ten years and six kids later, I still get excited about seeing her each morning, and again each evening when I get home from the salt mines (read "cubical farm"). That day with the elephants was the beginning of a very long "best moment".

Congratulations to you, Scott. Someone ought to award you the "Award for Extreme Cleverness" or something. :)

Shalos
(a.k.a., Warden of the Sloth Lair, DNRC)

What an incredible story.

My happiest moment was one day, when my son was 16 months old, I looked at him and realised motherhood wasn't just complete hell on earth, and that I could get through it, and even enjoy it. It was my first step out of a very dark place.

Wow, This blog started my day off on a great note! I've had some good news days but nothing like this. I'm happy for you and your family!

I had laryngitis on my birthday a few years ago. It was such an unpleasant experience. My wife & I were in a very groovy very crowded bar & it was so very difficult to be witty, much less get my drink & happy hour treat ordered. It cleared up a few days & 7 notepads later. Don’t know if that was my happiest day but it was right up there. I’m happy for your good fortune & pray that your recovery continues. Love your work!
,\\\.|.///
...(@@)
ooO_(_)_Ooo
More pearls of wisdom available at Fredville -
http://spaces.msn.com/members/fredville/

What an amazing story. A friend and fellow fan forwarded me this link. All I can say is wow - you have genius in you, Scott - we always new from the strip, but this just further confirms.

My happiest good news day was nearly eight years ago when I woke up one morning, wrote down a poem for a girl who was constantly in my head, called her up and asked her out for a coffee, had an amazing sunny November day and gave her the poem as we were saying goodbye. A week later we were dating and now in our eighth year, my wife and I hope soon to announce news of our first child.

I wish you continued success with this breakthrough... -jg

13 years of daily migraines, and then one day, bam. All gone - about 9 months now.

a wonderful thing isn't it? i mean, our mind, our body. probably the most complex machine ever created. we all have a significant ability to heal ourselves, much more than we are led to believe. it's all about unlocking the doors... like you did.

the happiest moment in my life? i think i'm still too young to answer that. i'll get back to you on that in a few years. so far i think the best moment ever was about a girl, a kiss and a promise of eternal love.

You are amazing, man!

When my daughter was 6 month's old we found she had a refluxing uritor -- a valve in her blatter didn't work properly and her urine backed up into her kidney when the blatter was full. It is a time-bomb in that any blatter infection quickly becomes a potentially deadly kidney infection. Sometimes kids grow out of this, but after three years her doctors finally decided it was time to operate.

One of my happiest days was after her operation. It was the last time I had to take her to the hospital to have her reflux test done. The procedure was painful and each time I had to hold her still and keep her calm while she cried so pitifully. Afterwards, we were sitting in a Boston Market, she was eating her favorite food -- Mac and Cheese and the late afternoon sun was streaming through the window, backlighting her blonde ringlets. She was so happy because she didn't have to go back to the hospital any more. As she chattered away, three seperate people touched me on the shoulder and with tears in their eyes told me how wonderful she was.

That was my happiest day.

Hi Scott

You could start writing poetic/ rhyming blogs. It just might help a lot. I am saying this because I remember clearly that I could write good english and I used to speak it in my mind without making sounds. It was like training myself to speak english. Now, I speak fluent english.

It just might do some kind of wonder.

Best wishes
Swapnil


Scott, I think you are on to something. Your condition is similar yet opposite to mine, which was stuttering. I too retrained my brain to eliminate the bad speech patterns. It took many long years, and courses in public speaking, but I am now symptom-free.

My hypothesis is that my brain mapped bad speech patterns in a type of sound loop and could not exit the loop. A biological endless loop if you will. My practicing sounds and speaking in a mirror without errors, and slowly speaking to friends, then finally, anyone, I managed to "teach" myself not to use the bad sounds.

I think after about 10 years of being error-free in my speech, every day is the greatest moment in my life. I wish you the best.

You are an amazing person! Its awesome to hear about such determination in a person. I realize now just how much of a gift it is to simply speak, to simply communicate. Bless you.

Congrats. to you Scott, thanks for your inspirational story.
As for MY happiest moment? It is on-going for me, I'll try to keep it brief. Some 11yrs. ago ,I suffered a "grand-mal"
seizure in my sleep, awaking confused with the severe pain in my shoulder.The flailing about of my limbs(in the seizure) had caused me to dislocate my shoulder. Some time later, in hospital, the cause of my seizure was found to be a Brain Tumor, of which Surgical removal was the only treatment advisable, followed by Radiation Therapy. Although a complete success, the removal of part of my brain left me with some degree of intellectual deficit.
Having been given a Friends' cast-off (=OLD) computer, I decided to Enrol in some Beginner's Classes to learn how to use the "scary beast".
My happiest Moment was receiving the "Most improved student" Award in Adult Learning Week, this year! with my Tutor winning "Best Tutor" award also. This was a great Honour for me, and a recognition of my determination to Progress in Life rather than stagnate in the "poor little me" Syndrome.
If this story has inspired any fellow sufferer to aspire to greater Achievments, then, my Purpose in Life has been reached!


My happiest day is tomorrow, and ill forever enjoy the journey towards it.

Hi, Scott. I had heard that you had SD. I also have it. Have you heard of Dr. Morton Cooper? He's a speech pathologist in practice out in LA and has had good success with voice retraining. If you get to a point where you need a bit of help you might contact him. He's got a website and responds to his own emails. I commend you on your success with your voice. Don't give up the practice and reciting of poems. If you can keep your positive attitude and keep your voice working, you'll be in good shape. I believe there's a lot to the voice "persona" in maintaining your voice. If you believe in your voice and have confidence in it, it'll be more likely to work for you.

Happiest day of my life?

I have many happy days and don't care to choose one above others. For me, that would be like choosing my favorite child.

That said, your story is inspiring! I am impressed and happy for you. I hope this helps others and I hope it's long lasting for you.

I'm not surprised it was you who figured this out. You're quite clever - as we all know.

Frank

I think...the happiest day(s) in my life? seeing somone come awake from a life threatening surgery, after hours and hours of toiling over the high risk percentage that comes with heart-issues.

They may not look pretty after all those drugs and hours of laying still for surgeons, but seeing them look at you with recognition, a sign that they are truly alive, then seeing them smile...

Everytime I see that smile of his, I remember just how great life really is and all my petty woes kinda just fall away.

The happiest moment of my life was probably the moment in which I realized I could remember happy moments.

I was in a state of severe depression and associated mental instability for nearly two decades. In that state, all I could think about were bad things. All I could remember were bad things. The only things that emotionally affected me were bad things. Somebody would advise me to "think of the good times" and I'd realize I couldn't remember any good times to think about. People would try to cheer me up by telling me jokes or bringing me my favorite foods and I'd be unable to laugh and the yummy treats would taste like sand.

Then my brain remapped itself. Now I can't really remember the those bad years, except in abstract. Now I can remember the good times I previously couldn't remember. My thoughts are mostly good. I can laugh at jokes and taste good food again. It's almost like bad stuff goes into one place and good stuff goes into another, and I had lost the ability to communicate with the good part.

The brain is a very interesting thing. I'm glad you found a way to speak again.

Scott, many congratulations. I think now is the time to look into hiphop classics such as Nas's Illmatic and the Genius's Liquid Swords. Fans have all the lyrics memorized. Maybe that could bolster Nimble Jack. Paul

Underdog spoke in rhyme. I think it was actually tied to his secret powers. I remember some villan who's attempt to foil Underdog was to paint the town orange, since there was no word that rhymed. But he overcame anyway.

Happiest day? Man, I've had a lot of those. Hard to pick one. Probably the day my first son was born and he had all his fingers and toes :)

Hey Scott,

For a fleeting moment while reading your piece I had images of you going all Dr Seuss on us (The Catbert in the Hatbert??), as you realised all you had to do was make all your sentences rhyme.

Heartfelt congratulations. To lose a sense and regain it is the rarest of personal fortunes.

My happiest day is always somewhere ahead of me...

I just am inspired to be more creative than I use to be. Thanks be to God for letting me find this site.

Oh my god. That's awesome news!!!

I'm a HUGE fan of the Dilbert series. I started reading about 2-3 years ago and I've been hooked since. I've even managed to scrounge up the dilbert episodes from when it aired.

I wish you the best and a continued and full recovery.

Scott,

Have always been a huge fan of your work..and reading the above about your condition, and your efforts to heal yourself really made my day. I am so thrilled that you were able to deal with the affliction, NOT let it get the best of you, and show the determination to overcome it. Bravo!

My happiest day was Nov. 8th, 2000... my daughter Jennifer was born. I was thrilled to be there during the entire delivery, watch her enter the world, and help the doctor cut the cord. What a moment that I will NEVER forget...I can't believe we are having her 6th birthday in two weeks.

Wishing you the best...and may your voice carry on stronger each day.

Scott Hollander

Happiest day of my life: dunno but a pretty gd one was when i learned to ride a bike (cheezy but listen):

I was in the New Forest (in UK) and a Knight on a horse rode up and gave me a (wait for it)... leaflet. And suddenly I felt the urge to get on my bike and follow the knight... but he strangely disappeared... I never saw him again. But after getting the leafelt I have been able to ride a bike perfectly!

Dear Scott

You and your readers may be interested in my happiest day, though it was more of a series of days really. I've been working with people helping them to build confidence for a few years now and my happiest days were when I started training and working with people using The Lotus Seed Process(tm) or LSP(tm).

This is an incredibily deep holistic clearing process that clears away negative emotions and emotional baggage such as fear, anger, not being good enough, proving yourself, control, guilt and many, many more. It also works to clear away any negativity in current or past relationships completely.

The Lotus Seed Process(tm) works on many levels including mental, emotional, physical, psychological, energetic and spiritual.

The interesting thing is with this approach is that you don't have to know what caused something for it to work. Many times our behaviour, our circumstances, how others are with us and our health are all affected by what we are putting out there. But what about those times that we are not doing this consciously, as it happens at deeper levels than your thoughts and conscious emotions? How do you know what to do? LSP(tm) works regardless... :-)

I feel so happy and blessed to have now worked with so many people and to have helped them to improve their lives in a myriad of ways! (As well as my own of course...) I'd be happy to chat with anyone who would like to discover more.

Thanks for sharing your optimism!

Una
www.ConfidenceGetsResults.com

Congratulations. Your recovery is being celebrated throughout the 'pump & dump' spammer community... which is where I learned of it

"Dilbert creator regains voice Cartoonist suffered ailment which parts brain speech shut down is or haywire White House?"

('Price $0.65 (BIG DISCOUNT!), 5 day target $10'! They've got as much chance as Scott A.....!)

Congratulation.

This gives me strength to be an optimist and get over a seemingly really trivial problem.

Thanks,

So, are you going to see a doctor about this, Mr. Adams? If you really did cure yourself, then this could lead to research that could lead to the disease being cured for all the people who suffer from it.

Scott,
This is an amazing story - another proof of the power of optimism and positive thinking. I'm very happy for you.
The happiest moment of my life was when my son was born, after years of failed attempts and lost pregnancies. We are now trying for our second child and your story has helped me gain the optimism I need to continue the struggle.
Thank you so much for sharing.

I don't have many truly happy moments. But several happenings (which all connected) really stand out in my mind.

I successfully asked out a girl on 7 February 2005 at approximately 11:35am PST. In hindsight it is even more special as walking up to a person and actually getting their number and such is rare.

Two days after that, she kisses me on the cheek (keeping in mind we were both underclassmen in high school). The next day I kiss her, my first and a feat not since repeated. Sometime later that month we were hanging out in the auditorium prop room sitting on a couch whilst someone was playing their guitar, it was wonderful.

Just shy of two years ago, I awakened from an unexpected two-week coma to see my wife looking over me in the hospital. It was the happiest day of my life to discover that not only had I survived a terrible illness, but that my wife was through my side throughout it.

I know how you feel.

Wishing you a continued, prolonged and complete recovery, Mr Adams, and the continued safety and well-being of your family and loved ones.

I don't think I have one specific happiest moment; I'm a person who believes in simple joys and in always trying to keep a sense of humor no matter how absurd a situation or person may be (thank YOU for portraying the absurdities of the corporate world so well and humorously).

My sense of humor doesn't always work, but that and a relatively positive attitude have helped me tremendously my entire life, and especially the past few years when job-related stress was nearly overwhelming.

Your story is an inspiring one. Good luck, always!

wow so many comments I gave up after the 20th one or so. But, so noticable that people who have conquered adversities seem to be the happiest.

I believe you retrained your brain with a little help from the guy upstairs who knows you better than you know you and has something really special in store for that voice of yours.

Blessings,

Good for you Scott. Glad to hear of your recovery. Moreover, glad to hear that you made of it what you could and stayed an optimist.

Best day of my life? Walking away from the major car accident I had just about 100 km from Thunder Bay. My car had flown through the air nearly 20 meters, twice, and while it had landed on all four wheels there wasn't much left of it. However, all three of us in the car survived uninjured (save for cuts and such). I'll tell you, that and the days spent in Thunder Bay during the following week were the best days I have ever spent.

The happiest day was when I found out that I didn't really have cancer of the larynx, just RRP, which leaves me without speech every 4 months or so. I and a ton of other people feel your pain. and joy.

The happiest day of my life occured three years ago. My daughter was discovered to be deaf, and the doctors decided to put tubes in her eardrums to see if reducing/equalizing pressure and possibly draining whatever was in there would help. They did the surgery and an hour later discovered that she was allergic to the material the tubes were made of, so they had to go back in and take them out. The docs told me that there wasn't anything else they could do and to look in to cochlear implants, but that they didn't think that they would work either. I flew back home (my daughter lives with my parents) in despair. A month later my mom calls me and tells me to listen. I then hear her handing the phone to someone and saying 'Ok hun, go ahead and sing.' My daughter then sang me the Goodnight Song, told me she loved me, and giggled when I told her for the first time she could hear that I loved her too. I spent over an hour crying, because I never thought that I would be able to hear her speak or that she would be able to hear me. That is my happiest moment.

Wow, there's a lot of posts here. Have to remember to read through them when I have the time.

My happiest day... I don't know if I can narrow it down that much, but I'd say it's whenever I find a new favorite song, or manage to write the exact perfect thing in a story (that last doesn't happen often enough, but I expect I'll get better at it).

Anyway,congrads on getting your voice back. I'm currently dealing with a medical problem that I thought was pretty bad, but losing my voice would be worse, I think.

Scott, i am so happy for you, both for your silence and your recovery. I say this because of the experience I had reading Joel Ben-Izzy's book "The Beggar King and The Secret of Life" (http://www.storypage.com/) I realized that while a person is unable to speak he or she can understand all of those things that need to be said.

God bless you; you are the only critic of corporate life hip enough for a multinational insurance company (think: large icon in NY Harbor) to include in its monthly corporate communications magazine (4-color and everything!)

My happiest moments (in no order)

- Leaving that august insurance company after 19 years

- the births of my two children, and the marriage to my wife (24 years ago, God bless her)

- the blessing I receive every day when I open my eyes and realize I have more time with my family.

Be well, my friend.

I have never been diagnosed, but I think I have what you have/had. Or something similar. I can sing. I can dance. I can read from a script. I can read a book out loud in front of others. I can talk to myself. I have a really hard time talking to others. Especially on the phone, or with background noise, and especially especially around people known to talk over others (I won't even bother in those cases. Then again, many people who can talk just fine wouldn't bother either.) I can talk when I'm angry though. People get shocked looks when I scold them in a perfectly clear voice for talking over me.

Good news! Many people have gotten over this. There are many who report 100% "over" rate, ten times as many with 75%+. I don't know who told you no one as ever gotten over it. Maybe you misunderstood someone who said there was no cure. Hiccups does not have "a" cure. But there are hundreds of things that work for some people. Just about everyone gets over hiccups. That's just an example. Although, as for our problem, "many" does not mean "most."

Meditation has short term effects for me. I'm trying to meditate for 10 mins every morning, but it is just so darn boring. I'll try your poetry thing. Do you recite it to yourself over and over? Or do you try to incorporate poetry into your regular speech? I've tried all the other things you've mentioned that you've tried. I've heard that yoga does wonders.

There's also rubbing a silver dollar, and some weird device on your ear. Those sound like frauds though. I've tried the silver dollar, with no effect.

Good luck! Write me if you find anything else that works especially well. I'll do the same.

Happiest day? An easy one. The day my son was born.

Your story is especially encouraging to me, since my son has been diagnosed with PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Non-Specific). It means he has a difficult time communicating. Some consider it a form of autism and others consider PPD-NOS its own disorder, but I don't care all that much -- he has trouble communicating with us, processing information from us and has a few other related issues. He's otherwise bright and happy (his problem-solving skills and the like are normal), and he'll be going to a special school in a couple of weeks. I'm hoping we and his teachers can re-map his brain, as you have yours, to better communicate with us and vice versa. They have had success -- by the time a significant number of children are three, you would never know they had the disorder.

I hope your self-cure is permanent. And, hey, I like Dilbert ...

(Side story: I liken your ability to sing but not speak in a normal tone to a guy I read about who sustained a head injury and lost the ability to do math. He was otherwise normal, but he couldn't tell you how much 5+3 was. However, he could tell you it wasn't a ridiculous number, like 5,000,000. Brains are weird.)

Some happy moments/happiest days:

1) I became a Christian at age 20 (I still celebrate my "rebirthday.").

2) The day I got married to the most awesome, gently, kind, loving man.

3) The day that he comes home from a 6-month deployment will be a very happy day (He's due home in December.).

4) Being able to look in the mirror (cleft lip and all) and say that God made me perfect, in His image and not wanting to cry from disgust but from happiness. That made my day.

Congrats, Scott! I'm quite glad to see some optimists among the ocean of pessimists.

Now, if only more people would have Only Good News posts...

Fascinating. You may want to compare notes with Steve Wozniak of Apple Computer. He tells the story of being injured in a plane crash, and being unable to access much of his memory. The doctors told him it "might return in time", but he sat down and, in his own terms, "thought my brain from a zero to a one state." He was able to make an almost complete, and suprisingly rapid, recovery.

Watching the first high school students (low-income, first-generation college students, little family support) that I'd mentored for four years graduate and go off to university. Watching my students again this year, students I've mentored and worked closely with for all of their high school careers, go through the college application process--one has already received an acceptance letter.

Words can't even begin to describe how proud I am of my students--I can't imagine being more proud of my own (as of yet hypothetical) children than I am of these kids.

Visit my blog Scott. I just posted my happy story there today for you. Thanks for sharing...I'm just delighted you got your voice back.

Scott -

Congrats on your achivement! It's certainly a step in the right direction. I hope that you will end finding a way to deal with the SD completely...

Cheers!

Wow! I don't know if I am more impressed with your story or how your story has impacted others. Sharing your story has lifted the hearts of so many including myself.
To narrow down to the happiest Moment of my life is difficult but after conciderable thought, I'd have to say: The look in my husbands eyes the first time I told him I Loved Him! It was at that unplanned moment that I felt something inside me just open up and life as I had known it for 34 years changed.
Thank you for sharing a precious experience and reminding all of us to cherish our own.

I'm glad you found a way to get your voice back. Who would've thought singing was so good for you?

Happiest day of my life? Marrying my wife Tara. The birth of my daughter Emma. The birth of my twin sons Levi and Isaac.

Thanks for the invitation to keep living in light of what makes us happy. I keep thanking God for the good stuff he keeps giving to people like you and me.

Scott: Best wishes to your continued recovery. I sometimes get bronchitis and laryngitis due to a sinus infection. It is so frustrating not to communicate easily. I wish you the very best.

My happy day memories: 1)the birth of my children 2)my husband returning safely from a 3 1/2 week 6,000 mile motorcycle trip...

Fantastic news Scott, right out of an Oliver Sacks journal.

I'm dyslexic and dysgraphic and had a terrible time in school since reading and writing were extremely difficult for me. I somehow made it through college and did fine in life although reading and writing continued to be weaknesses for me. In the late '70s I typed a sentence on an Apple II computer with AppleWriter and I knew that my life would never be the same again. Computers eliminated handwriting issues and allowed me to get enough practice with the writing process to improve. I could finally see my intelligence expressed in words for the first time in my life. It was different from losing my voice because this was a voice I'd never had, but it was certainly like getting a voice, a voice I never thought I would have.

I didn't know you could have that. but glad your situation have improved. Wish you the best, Scott!

Love the comic, but where can I get a Dilbert Day planner sort of thing?

Be hold the power of the mind!!!

That is awesome. I'm glad you could make it.
You're the new Hellen Keller :)

Hi, Scott. I followed the link from Fark.com to get here, so you know even more people are hearing about your wonderful situation. I love Dilbert, and I'm glad you've found your voice again. That's absolutely fantastic. :)

Happy moment for me? Well, lately I guess the happiest moment in my life came almost a month ago, when I quit my job. Ha!

The job was driving me mad. I like to think I'm rational and thick-skinned, but after doing this job for several years, I noticed I'd lost the ability to socialize properly, couldn't speak very coherently (though I could write long and fantastical stories pretty well). And I began trembling and getting all twitchy when it came time for the weekend to end.

So I quit. Just like that, I quit. It sounds weak and sorry, maybe, but on the third or fourth day I think it was, it finally hit me that I really didn't ever have to go back again. Ever. I was so happy, I felt like I had a new lease on life, and I do.

In maybe a year's time, I'll have the paperwork and physical requirements met to enter flight school and begin a career doing what I've always wanted to do: fly. Just fly. That's all I want, and it's within grasp now.

My little happy moment stands in the long shadow of yours, but you DID say you wanted happy comments today. Again, I'm so glad to hear you're doing better. Keep up the good work, and keep giving the world more Dilbert! And Dogbert. Gotta have more of him. :)

Congrats Scott! I am so happy to hear the news. Keep up the good work!

Ok so I don't really read your blog but my wife put the lappy in my hands so...

The happiest moment of my life keeps changing as the context of things changes. I have happiest moments like the first date with my wife when I locked eyes with her and touched her palms and asked her if she felt the charge as strong as I did....

... but I'm not about happy moments I'm about a consistently happy state... more.. .the journey in the direction of...

With that in mind I find that stories like yours are what provides the necessary reminder of the method of pure happiness. Self hypnosis, prayer, meditation, visualization, muscle memory, etc etc.... it all works from the same general principal:

Whatever you put your mind on the most sets your direction and your destinations. If you spend all day thinking "life sucks and I'm unlucky" then you probably will be... alternatively thoughts like "I love being happy and I really enjoy life" will nudge you in the desired direction.

"Illusions" by Richard Bach is a good one, and short... Robert Anton Wilson, Herman Hesse, "Stranger in a Strange Land" by Heinlein... and now your blog story about your voice.

Good stuff brother.

Peace,

Dan

Wow, that is just an amazing story. I'm so glad that you managed to get your voice back, if even for a little while.

Happiest moments, huh? Well...there'd be several of those, for me. :) The moment I found out, after being epileptic for nearly three years, exactly what was causing it (the medications I was on, INCLUDING the antispasmodic...) and being able to go on to become seizure-free; the moment after my mother's heart attack when I got to see her again and know she was okay; the moment I graduated from high school, a year late, with my GED scores in the top ten percent of the nation; the moment my father, with less than ten percent lung function left, was able to quit smoking and go on to have almost complete lung function now, over five years later...there's a lot of them, and I'm grateful for every one of them.

Oh yes, and the moment I read this would qualify, too. :)

Here's my theory of what SD is as described in layman's terms by one of my Botox team members. I experienced a trauma (I know exactly when and what - woke up in the middle of the night choking from acid reflux; a side effect of a medication I had just started taking). Then, I lost my voice for about a week believing it to be a case of laryngitis. When my voice came back, I was unable to speak normally; muscle spasms broke up my words and sentences. It's been like that ever since. I was told that the brain may have perceived my trauma as life-threatening and shut down, but re-booted. When it re-booted, it sent out a mixed up signal to my vocal cord muscles telling them to close tight when I try to talk. It's been like that for 6 years now. Botox is a neuro-transmitter blocking agent; it "coats" the receptors that receive the mixed signal permanently. The spasms return when the body grows new receptors (located in the vocal cord muscles). I got a "B" in my Biology class. I would have gotten an "A" except I got a "D" in the lab portion of the course - I couldn't handle the smell of formaldahyde.

It's kinda weird how it just 'rolls' off the tongue... Spasmodic Dysphonia aka laryngeal focal dystonia adductor type. The ENT who diagnosed me said, "I know what you've got; I don't need to 'scope' you." Then he sent me to a Speech Pathologist who interrupted my attempt at introducing myself by exclaiming, "You have all of the classic symptoms." When I asked her what she meant by it, she told me I had SD. Then, she handed me a brochure that had a paragraph on the back of it asking me to volunteer my brain for research when I died. My God! I thought I had something fatal. That was my first question - Am I going to die from this??? After she explained things to me in detail about how my career as a Service Representative with SBC was over; that I'd have to give up talking on the phone because that was the nature of the beast, I went out to my car in the parking lot and cried for two hours. Then, I was done crying. Now, if only I could get over my childhood fear of needles.

Congratulations, Scott! Oh Happy Day!!!

The most happy day in my life was when my granddaughter was born. She is now 18 months old.

Another really happy day was when I passed the CPA exam the first time I took it. I was afraid to open the envelope because I was sure I had failed at least one part. But, I passed!! Yay!! I had gone back to college and graduated when I was 40.

Continuted good health to you.

Congratulations on getting your voice back! That is amazing, just amazing.

My happiest day would have to be the day that our son was born. I'll never forget my first sight of him.

The happiest day of my life is really two days, spread by many years. The first is when I truly, and I mean truly, actualized free will. Being free from god, destiny, and fate and knowing that I live or die purely by my will alone was, and still is, exhilarating. The second happiest day of my life is when my wife and I decided to live with each other until death and beyond. I could have lived my life alone, and I would have converted my life to heat into the universe--with about as much importance. But with her, I have meaning in life. I can see why Love is often attributed to god, because it is the only thing that you cannot produce or experience by yourself.

Honestly, I am truly happy for you Mr. Adams. You know what it means to have lost something so basic, so needed, so inconceivably inherent to your being that I dare say you are a totally different person and forever will be because of this experience. Even if you do lose your voice permanently, never be bitter or hateful to the world. Life is too short for that, even in the face of adversity.

Scott, first of all, I am so very happy for you. I really, really hope your recovery is permanent!

The happiest day in my life was in the spring of 1990 when i was a junior in college at UT-Austin. It was finals week, but I was very distracted because I was falling in love! Two nights before my history final, the Boy and I and another friend studied almost all night, then decided to drive to San Antonio (about an hour and a half drive) for breakfast. We left Austin at about 4:30 a.m., drove to San Antonio and found a German bakery/deli that was open early for breakfast. Of course, we then decided to visit the Alamo. Somewhere between there and the Riverwalk, the Boy started to hold my hand. Those few hours were just unbelievable bliss. We meandered around San Antonio until our friend had to get back for an evening final exam. So we drove back to Austin, and I went to sleep, woke up the next morning, went to my final without having studied any further, and aced it. :-)

I can still remember lying in bed just aching with that joyful pain of wanting to be with him, remembering the touch of his fingers in mind, picturing his facial expressions, trying to read them in my memory and analyze whether he was feeling for me the way I was starting to feel for him. I was 20 years old, and I don't know whether you can have *quite* that feeling again when you get just a little older. Maybe it's just me -- I haven't ever had a day like that again. But I remember it with happiness and count my blessings for it.

I'm glad you're getting your voice back, Scott. Stay committed to it and hopefully one day you'll completely get over the rare problem that you have :). P.S. I love your cartoons!

Thank you for writing this. Possibly there is something here for me that would explain my difficulty in speaking or translating what my mind is thinking and being able to express it verbally. Maybe I will be able to find my "voice" once again by remapping my brain somehow. That would make me very, very happy.


Incredible story. Everything I've ever learned about speech indicates that it is the most advanced and brain-taxing activity we can engage in. A mystery, indeed. But don't forget the ease of writing through this whole ordeal, as some sort of consolation.

I am so so so happy for you, Mr Adams. You are truly an amazing person. And God is definitely great.

Here is one of my most recent happy moments:
I am a third year Human Development major in college and for one of my classes, I intern at a local preschool. The kids are 2-4.5 years old. They are constantly running around, playing with and discovering new things in the classroom, so it's been hard to have one-on-one time with each of the 16 kids. Last Thursday, a three year old boy (during our first ever one-on-one time), sat next to me at the Play-Doh table and said, "I missed you."

My heart melted over and over again.

And moment #2: every day when I come home from school and my 3 month old puppydog is in her pen, with her tail wagging a million miles per hour, ready and waiting for us to play.

Good on you Scott! Am so happy for you!
Reading your story got the good vibes going.

One of my happiest moments happened in Aix-en-Provence, the spring of 2004, as my friend Presha and I sat down on newspaper spread outside the grilled doors of a closed shop on a Saturday morning, under the awning, feeling spatters of rain by our feet and tucked into our half a baguette each, with a half a blob of fresh cheese and a tomato bought from the marché. We were poor, hungry, out on the streets (because Saturdays were our host families' "day off" from hosting us), undignified (streets were littered with dog turd) and wet.
But biting into our sandwiches, and turning to look at each other and realizing just how fortunate we were even in our outwardly bedraggled and sorry state, and the laughter that we shared evoked by the looks of certain passers-by... =)
Simple as that.

I've had lots of *happiest days* - partly because I have terrible chronic health problems. A few days ago, I almost lost my left leg to a MRSA cellulitis infection.

So I'd say keeping my leg was way, way up there.

I'm still very sick, so I'm blogging and surfing, feet elevated just like the doc says.

Well! Some nice person entered my moth pix over at the Friday Ark at the Modulator!

And in surfing the other pretty pix, I came across a neuroscientist who posted about you getting your voice back.

I, too, am a *twitcher,* and my voice problems started from exactly the same source. I have this extreme, life-threatening allergic condition.

But I have a lot of good luck. Usually I can talk pretty well. And so far, I still haven't slipped on that banana peel.

Right now? To learn you got your voice back is way up there in the happiest days of MY life, too.

Congratulations to you. Big, huge heaps of congrats.

One of the happiest days of my life happened just last weekend.. my son's wedding day.

Wonderful about your voice. If you believe.. it will happen. Wishing you all the best.

Scott--your story is fascinating and inspirational to say the least. I am a speech-language pathologist and am wondering if you were in voice therapy with an SLP and what he/she might have had to say about your so insightful self-treatment. I wish all our patients were motivated to try to understand their communication issues and work with us to find the best solution for them. We like to think our therapy changes the brain; we are constantly asked to come up with proof. With functional MRIs we can now prove that different parts of the brain are activated DURING therapy (e.g., saying the nursery rhyme). Best of luck to you.

Do you have any idea how significant what you describe is? Potentially it has enormous implications for the centuries-old debate on the relationship of mind and body.

This is especially true if your theory of brain rewiring turns out to be true. The mind will no longer be seen as a passive by-product of physical processes. Instead you will have demonstrated that it can alter the physical organism itself. It's as if an electromagetic field decided one day it was going to change the shape of the magnet that produced it, and then did so.

While regaining your voice is fantastic news, I must say to you what Jerry once said to Kramer: "that's the least of what you've accomplished!"

Congratulations, Scott.

May your recovery be both continued and permanent.

(May I just throw in here, as a commited Christian, that absolutely NOTHING is impossible?!?)

The human body is a truly marvellous thing, and I believe that we will never understand it 100%, but we certainly know enough to get things done....

Happiest day of my life? Where do I start?
*My wedding day, December 16th 2000, to the most wonderful man, and the only one I will ever love

*October 1996, handing my life over to God, and committing my life to Him

*January 1992 - at age 13, I had a heart transplant after only 2 months on the waiting list (with a blood type of O-Neg - 9% of the Aussie population), and then being told that my old heart was so bad that I would not have made my 14th birthday on April 1st.

Learn to not take anything for granted, you will be surprised how much it will enrich your life...

I'm glad you got your voice back. That must have been tough to deal with.

This might sound like a fairly lame happy moment, but recently, I found out that my cat's kidney levels are almost normal, and she's going to be OK! She's 9, and she's kind of my "baby".

At my twenty-sixth birthday party, I met a wonderful girl. Shortly thereafter, I had to leave (for reasons that aren't relevant) in something of a hurry. The following day, having got the girl's address from a friend, I arrived on her doorstep, not sure if she would even remember me.

She did. Twenty-five years and much angst and trauma later, we're still together. But that day was the happiest day of my life so far.

I wish you much more success in your recovery.May God richly bless you for the enhancement to life we recieve from your creativity.I knew happiness when I acknowledged my creator and asked for his help.He has given me so much more than I knew was possible.NPUBLICI

Wow wow wow, I love this story and I love how you are using it as a "happiest moment meme" stimulator.

The happiest moment(s) of my life were the births of my three children. Nothing could prepare me for the feelings rushing through me when they arrived.

Congrats Scott!

i just randomly stumbled across this site....link from defectiveyeti.com....

being a young and wonderfully naive teenager, i would have to say just getting a hug from the girl i have a crush on...no, i lie....the moment i found my dog back after he ran away for 13 days...i'd spent 13 days looking for his body and then he came running out of a corn field.

Exceptionally awesome best days: Our wedding day and being present for the births of our three kids. Wow! After 28 years of marriage I find my wife more beautiful and yet more mysterious than ever. Our children are wonderful. I think I may have the best life ever.
Best moments: the first time each of our children first made serious eye contact with me and smiled. Still brings warm mushy memories.

Great to hear your wonderful news. God bless.

Best day of my life: May 10th, 1994. My friends and I skipped school and drove down to the University of Illinois observatory to watch the annular solar eclipse. The weather was absolutely perfect that day, indeed I do not recall a clearer day in my life. The best part was how an astronomical event brought total strangers together as we watched the moon cross in front of the sun. It doesn't get better then that.

Congratulations! That is incredible news.

I've got a number of candidates for really awesome days - the day I touched a tiger, the day my niece and nephew were born, the day I graduated after fighting my way through highschool and medical issues. The day my first article was published.

But the best day was probably the day I started Enbrel. My arthritis (with me since I was 4 - four decades now) had been getting steadily worse and I was getting to the point where I knew that if something didn't change, I wouldn't be able to live with the pain. Then I started Enbrel and got a second chance at life. That was two years ago and although there still are problems and pain, I am still grateful for being here. Every day.

It's interesting to hear about the things that can go haywire in the brain, though of course no fun when the wires getting hayed are one's own. At any rate, I'm glad to hear that there is hope!

The happiest day of my life is in the future. Don't get me wrong -- there have been plenty in the past, but the one coming up is going to eclipse them. Ya see, there's this girl. It amazes me how much she fits the "The Profile". You see, while it's true that everybody is somebody's weirdo, I'm lots of people's weirdo. You've never met anyone like me, and I'd never met anyone like Jean, and wondered if I ever would. Now I have.

The catch is, she's suffered some pretty heavy emotional abuse in her past, and is very skittish. So it's taking time. But hey, when someone calls you six times a day (literally) just to say, "Hey - so what are you up to?" you know *something* is going on, right? So, I'm patient, because I know she's worth it. There have been a lot of moments and a lot of looks, and one of these days there's going to be a look...and a kiss. And that will be the happiest day of my life.

Each time I see my son, is my best minute, hour, day ;) Congratulations of your recovery.

Scott, I would definitely get yourself tested for mercury or heavy metal poisoning. Mercury levels are above the safe levels in 1 in 6 people and it is wildly under-diagnosed. Here's a link to a hair test kit:

http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/news/get-tested-for-mercury-contami

A friend sent me this link and I am so glad! Amazing stories. The mind can do wonderful things!!! My happiest day? The day I awoke from brain surgery after a stroke and realized there was no cancer (the doctors thought a tumor was the cause originally)! The birth of our son is right up there with knowing God wants to keep me on this earth a little longer though.

Yesterday was a big day for me...I found out I do NOT have a blood disorder that they originally said caused my condition. After mixed emotions settled in (i.e. we still don't know what caused my stroke at age 31), I was simply thankful to not have a lifelong disorder to monitor. Now, I'm just living one day at a time. And, thanking God for each one!

Scott,

One of the happiest days of my life was reading that you finally may have overcome your voice problem. Isn't it amazing what we all take for granted until we lose it. All of us need to appreciate what truly remarkable organisms we are, how much we as humans really mean to each other and just be thankful for every day our feet hit the floor as we get to see another day. Wonderful story and hope you keep up the great contibution you make to keeping all of us laughing.

Wow...amazing story. congratulations and continued luck going forward.

My happiest day was watching the birth of my daughter. And maybe this wasn't *my* happiest day, but reading your story was certainly a bright spot in today.

Reading your story was so cool, but reading all the comments has been amazing. Thanks for the simple request of "Good News Only". It's so uplifting to hear that some people are happy about the simplest things like holding your husband's hand or watching the leaves turn golden in autumn. These warm and caring people who commented on your post made me feel better when I needed to feel better. I love Dilbert (I think I work at the same place he does!) and I'm so happy that you're better.

Thank you.

Congratulations Scott.

My happiest day(s):

* the birth of my four beautiful and healthy children.
* every time I hear my children say "I love you Mom".
* My 15 year old daughter telling me that I am a good Mom
* getting my three children back from overseas when their father abducted them.
* getting free from an abusive relationship.
* every day I can see, smell, love, breath, live.
* every day of health and memories with four children , parents, siblings, in-laws, neices and nephews- God has truly blessed us.

The happiest day of my life was seeing the tears in my wife's eyes and my exuberant children (2 and 4, at the time) running to see me in the airport upon my return from Iraq.

I'm happy for you!

I have two moments:

1. When I became a Christian at age 14 (am 53 now).

2. When I met my future wife, a lovely woman who would not stop annoying me (read: just talking to a "don't bother me" geek) in the Disney Anaheim Haunted Mansion waiting line 25 years ago. 8-)

Cheers,
Patrick

try listening to hip hop, maybe repeating, just curious if this would help ( if the rhyming thing helps u , cos thats what i got from what u said, find a song u like thats catchy and look up the lyrics online , go along with it hah, ) :) good luck

The happiest day of my life was my wedding day, then again each time I had one of my children. Since I have 6 children and 1 husband, I guess I've had a whole week of happiest days.

The best day of my life was the first day my future husband took me out to lunch. We had met 2 nights before at a party and I gave him my business card with my work number and wrote my home number on the back. OK I work for a bank, so if he were uh creepy things could have gotten ugly!! LOL Anyway, he called me up, my heart stopped, he was in the area could he take me to lunch. Hecks yes!! He showed up...and smiled...gosh I love that smile. Well he opened doors for me, as I jumped into his truck I saw all of the ladies at my branch piled into one teller cubicle and climbing ontop of one anther to see us. Well, 6 total years (3 married ones) later we're still together and he's still smilin...

Hey feel better and good luck man!!

Thank you so much for sharing your story, it is truly inspiring. The happiest moment of my life was my first kiss with my now girlfriend. It was the most electrifying moment of my life.

Keep it up!

The best day I've ever had was the day my nephew tried to stop my now wife from marrying me while she was walking to the alter. He kept yelling, no Shell marry me! He was almost 4 and in love!

Wow, Scott. Your story left our office speechless, so to speak, and awfully happy you can use those idioms without a cyncial thought too!
My happiest day - New Years Eve 2000 at a 7 hour nonstop Phish concert in the Everglades. Pure Bliss - all night long!

Happiest moment? Hard to say.

Happiest day? Got a few candidates. The day my husband officially proposed to me and put a ring on my finger after my last class (I had a sweet schedule, last Friday class got out at noon), took me for fast food, and then a great movie.

And then we got to tell everyone. First our friends in the dorm, and then I called lots of relatives. (One of my aunts was ecstatic that I was marrying someone with a common and easily-spelled last name. I'd been born with, and she'd married someone with, an uncommon name that's not spelled the way it sounds.)

And I am so, so, so glad to hear about your recovery! We have some familiarity with aphasia (my husband has migraines in which his "aura" is aphasia, very rare but not unheard of), and it's just very interesting what can happen in the brain, especially those bits used in communication.

Scott,

I've read these hundreds (or is it thousands) of inspirational and warming comments, and, ironically, haven't the words to write to congratulate you appropriately. I can't even begin to imagine the relief and euphoria which you must have felt. Your optimism and positive spirit are an inspiration to me, in ways you'll never know.

Thank you, my new friend.

Congrats, Scott! Mind over matter, mind over matter...

Besides my wedding days (got married to the same guy twice, just to be sure ;-) ) here is a recount of a happy day for me...

I work at a vet's office. One day a dog came in to be euthanized because the dog had attacked another dog a couple times and eventually killed the other dog, and the owner was at her wit's end. (The other dog had a history of antagonization, and we all wondered why the two had never been separated, especially since they had fought before.) The dog was very sweet, but it's behavior pattern told the owner that it was dangerous. None of us at the vet's wanted to put the dog down, but the county had approved the owner's request, so theoretically we were supposed to do her bidding. The last I saw the dog that day was in the kennel, wagging her tail, just wanting to play...

That night I had a dream that the dog was transported to a new home.

The next day I walked into work. One of the other techs came in with the death row dog.... she was alive! I couldn't help but cry with joy. The previous day while the dog was waiting in the kennel, a friend of the owner's had called the owner and offered to take the dog in since she had no other dogs or kids. The owner called our office to stop the euthanasia and signed over the dog to the new owner. We all had big grins on our faces as the pup was handed over to her new mom....

I'm watching CNN and I just saw a mention of you and your recovery on the crawl at the bottom of the screen.

That's great, Scott.

I'm subject to some neurological oddities myself and I have some idea what you are talking about.

As someone who has experienced regular bouts w/laryngitis over a lifetime (3-4X/yr), i am thrilled that a simple rhyme was so empowering.

happiest day of my life delivering my quadrupletes, 3 months premature and alive! Since then i spend alot of time celebrating daily.

I'm not a follower of your's but read the headline on Fazed.Org and followed the link to your story. WOW. Congratulations, I hope this "cure" works for you forever. I applaud you in not giving up and for trying new things.

Best wishes...

congratulations scott, on overcoming all odds and recovering your voice

i'm only 12, but the happiest moment of my life so far was when i was 6 i really wanted a dog, and one day, when i walked into my grandparents' house, i was met by a golden, long-eared, furbell staring straight at me.

today you have given me hope, thank you.

Hi,
In 1987, at the age of 42, I had brain surgery for an AVM (arterial venus malformation). The malformation was on the left side near the speech area. The doctor who performed the surgery was in Canada. In 1963 he had been called to perform surgery on JFK.

Days after the surgery I could speak - until there was a blood clot. After the blood clot I could speak only when playing cards. I quickly said all the things I wanted to while playing cards with relatives. I cherished the time playing cards.

The speech returned in a few weeks. However, the speech area is not remapped perfectly as I still say 'dog' for 'cat', etc.

I was able to continue my profession as a computer programmer. There is hope!

My best wishes to you, keep trying, keep strong, it is worth it.

Christine Taylor

My happiest day was the day after the day after my twin daughters were born. My wife had been suffering from pre-eclampsia during her pregnancy, and the day after the twins were born, at nine and a half weeks premature, she went into an eclamptic fit, losing her eyesight and all feeling on one side of her body. Things looked pretty bad that night and most of the next morning, but little by little, over the course of the day she regained feeling and her eyesight returned, from seeing indistinct blobs to being able to make out faces and details, she eventually made a full recovery. We both survived that day on pure optimism, the belief that things would get better. It was so good to read of your success and we wish you well for the future. And thanks for reminding us about the power of positive thought.

Congrats!! That is an amazing story, I wish I could give you a big hug right now!!

The best day of my life was the day I found out I passed the bar exam. Just the memory of that moment can still make me emotional.

When I was 17, I was away from high school for a few months... upon my return, a female friend of mine gave me a hand-drawn card, with a lipstick kiss and an Orea cookie taped to the inside.

Man, I'd love to be able to travel back and relive that time.

Glad to hear of your breakthrough. Best news I've read in ages.

God bless you, sir. You brought tears to my eyes.

The happiest day of my life is the day I married my wife. Hands down. She is the greatest person/place/thing/event/happening I have ever experienced.

May your path always lead you in light; never in darkness.

Happiest day of my life - leaving the hospital after having suffered acute renal/liver failure due to accidental Acetaminophen poisoning. Don't ever - EVER - take this and drink at night - EVER! I was given my last rights while in an 11 day coma and woke up on the 12th day and with lots of persistence and determination I left the hospital after only 1 month @ 99 lbs. but total liver recovery - KEEP THE FAITH AND BE STUBBORN AND PERSISTENT - IT WORKS!

Side note - I remember back in 1996 while working with Global Knowledge (worldwide IT training co.) in Waltham, MA that I got a phone call asking if we wanted licensing rights to Dilbert. I think if we had taken advantage of it we would be a much BIGGER company today.
:-)

My happiest day was when I had a small tumor removed from a nerve in my arm. For 15 years I had carried it around with the pain getting more and more severe. I was right handed until it got so bad, I learned how to use my left. Even someone brushing up against me sent shockwaves of pain up my arm. I couldn't even play with my young son. My life was literally almost over in my mind, when a chiropractor thought we should do an MRI. I had loads of doctors and specialists tell me over all of those years there was nothing there, I was fine and there was nothing they could do. They ALL took x-rays.

I woke up from the surgery knowing I might full well loose use of my right hand because they were afraid it was grown all into a nerve ganglion, but it wasn't. They just snipped it right off. Took about 5 minutes. My life started over that day. I get a second shot : )

Wow!! I am a speech therapist and just came home from school with a message from my brother-in-law to read your story. Congratulations and THANK YOU for sharing. I will pass this on to my the speech friends here. May you continue to enjoy the sound of your voice and the freedom of speech forever. You are an inspiration to us all!!

I'd have to say that today ranks up there. All of the happy things that have happened to all these folks and the fact that they appreciate their encounters with happiness just make me sigh as if i just got a hug of thanks

This sort of thing was written aboutin a book. Not necessarily in the Voice but definately in the Phantom Limbs and the sort.

the doctor would place a mirror on the middle of the persons body
the doctor would instruct the patient to put his hand in the same position as the paralyzed phantom limb
and then move them both t the same time
sometimes the person would then be able to over come the paralysis

the mind plays tricks in strange ways

im glad you recovered congratulations at beating the doctors

lets hope they dont call it case study and never tell others who suffer from the same as you

(Hopefully there dilber fans and read about the fix here)

The brain is a funny thing, and not at all understood (when it really comes down to it). Thank you for your uplifting article! It's positive to know that even seemingly catastrophic disabilities can be overcome.

Happiest Day: I suppose it'd be the first day I got my own car, it represented much freedom that I'd felt I never had.

The days that I found my two dogs.

The day that I was married.

The day that I realized that the real world is a fine place, steeped in natural beauty, with no need of a god or gods.

Riding down to the local bowling alley on my 10-speed to play "Time Pilot"

The first time I saw Star Wars in 79 at a drive-in in Naperville, Illinois.

I hope your voice stays with you. My happiest day as cheesy as it is would be the day that I admitted to my know wife that I was in love with her. I refused to admit it for months almost to the point of losing her. After I finally had enough courage to say it everyday has been better than the last. We have the most wonderful relationship of anyone I know. we have been together for 3 1/2 years now and we have argued to the point of anger only twice. Not to say things are perfect I bug her sometimes and vice versa but everyday is a joy with her.

Scott,

Congrats!

I have my own good news story. My wife and I tried to have kids for years. We got expert help and saw two different infertility doctors over the next two years, eventually having rounds of Invitro Fertilization (IVF) done. IVF is a rather emotional and difficult process to go through, to say the least. At the end of the second round of attempts which failed, we had an expensive test done that indicated that my wife's immune system would prevent the fertilized egg from ever implanting. The odds were 1 in 1000 that we could every get pregnant, naturally or otherwise. The news was devestating, to say the least. On top of it all the IVF cost us most of our savings, as our insurance would not pay (according to my insurance company at the time, having kids was a life choice).

My wife is stubborn, however, and didn't listen to the doctors. She took it upon her self to change her diet and exercise regularly. She saw a nutritionist that gave us some good advice. We stopped eating sugars, sodas, processed foods, and got an RO system installed, ate organic vegatables, among lots of other changes.

To make a long story short -- 4 months after being told we could never get pregnant, on my wife's birthday, she told me she was expecting. This was one of the happiest days of my life. Over two years later, I now have a healthly 18 month old daughter and a 7 month old son... they are the miracles and the light of my life.

Just goes to show you what modern doctors know... the hard times makes you appreciate what you have even more.

Best days?
Birth of my children.
Finding out my mother didn't have cancer.
The day a man I never met, who made me laugh a thousand times using his pictures, words, and animations, got his voice back.

Good luck Scott, you're earned it.

Dom

About 13 years ago my father had quadrupal Bypass heart surgery. The reason my father survived was my mother was there when he started having his heart attack and had enough sense to take him to the emergency room. 8 years earlier my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, and treated successfully. She would not have caught it if my father had not pushed her to get a mammogram for over a year and a half. He was relentless.

It is now 13 years after my father had his heart attack and instead of being parentless at age 16, the love my parents have for each other made it so I am 29 and they are living strong.

I count each day since as the best day.

Thank you for your story. I hope someone gets something from mine.

Rob

Scott,

Having recently been diagnosed with a rare laryngeal condition that has been slowly robbing me of my speach, and waiting to undergo a surgery that should help if there is no vocal fold scaring, I was glad to hear your story. It helps to know others understand that you feel like a completely different person when your voice just suddenly fails you.

Best of luck with your re-discovered voice and thanks for making my day!
Erin

My happiest day is also my most nervous day... the day that I proposed to my wife and she accepted. Right behind that are the wedding, the kids and each and every time I come home to the family.

Your dedication to a solution to your loss of voice is inspiring, challenging and enough to give me opportunity to challenge my own limitations.

Thank you for sharing your challenge and your success in such a public forum.

Tim

Congratulations Scott!

This is very interesting to me. Lately I have been puzzled by how I can speak so well infront of a large group, but my voice becomes so weak when I talk to just a few people - even when they are my closest friends and family. Hmmmm...

Anyway, my happiest moment is when my family gets together on christmas eve. It's kind of cheezy, but I wish I could feel that way everyday.


I could be like so many other people and say my wedding day, but actually I think it was the day after that. Waking up in the morning and realizing that after being together for almost six years (started dating in high school) we were finally husband and wife . . . it was a good day.

It can be hard to stay positive, especially when the doctor's can't do much to help. I was diagnosed with epilepsy when I was 14 and they said I would grow out of it in a couple years. It's been almost ten years and they have actually gotten worse. After two weeks of tests in one of the nations best neurology centers they basically said, "We don't know what causes them and we can't do any surgery so we'll keep trying different medicine combinations."

So now I'm in one of those "thought experiments." If the medicine prevents seizures, how will we know if the epilepsy "stops?" We can only prove it isn't working by having a seizure. The absence of disproof doesn't prove anything.

Wait does that make sense? I need more coffee . . .

Wow, very moving and motivating story! Reminds me the hungarian sculptor, Béni Ferenczy, who suffered brain haemorrhage in 1956, lost his speech, and his left side has been paralyzed; later he learned to draw with his left hand, and created fine art until the end of his life.

goodness, i haven't pestered you in years mr. adams. i, too, just learned of your blog.

two high points: 1. hearing the tale about how you and 'a friend' got logitech to re-write their mission statement from something fairly clear and sensible to something that made no sense at all -- and having that tale confirmed by you yourself personally, in a 2-word e-mail message; and

2. the husband moments. the moment i realized that i had to marry a specific man i'd know since his birth; the moment i learned he had the same realization at the same time. following through -- seven years ago.

all good.

you are a clever, clever person to have re-mapped your brain. and yes. an inspiration. overused word. need something better, but you've got to know what we mean.

Awesome story... I wish you all the best in the future.

Happiest days were when my children were born.

Once when I was young, while dreaming, I realized I was in a dream and decided to do what i wanted ( flew ) and controlled the outcome.

Kinda like what you did in real life... perhaps they are the same?

:) empowering story, thanks!

Scott, may your voice never be silent.

My happiest day? I don't know, there have been a lot of happy ones. Today is not bad. I live in New England, and the leaves are golden and beautiful in the sunlight. I'm starting a week's vacation. I love my job and there's another company that wants to hire me. My husband made me a delicious dinner last night. I had lunch with my best friend and now I get to do some creative and interesting work.

happiest day of my life?
sorry, too hard to decide...

but i will not hesitate
to tell you that i _can_ say
that reading about the problem with you
and your recent breakthrough
has just made
two big fat tears of joy run down my face,
so this has been the happiest minute of my day...

i'm a poet,
and i know it,
so i had an easy time
making this rhyme,
to help you stay fine...

-bowerbird
(giving you the word)

One of the happiest moments of my life was in February 1976. I had just finished a 4 week speech therapy (behavior mod) program for stutterers. Prior to the program it could take me up to 30 seconds to say my name due to blocking and repeating. When I answered the phone people would hang up before I could get a sound out. After the program I got up in chapel at my small college and spoke for a few minutes about the experience and was perfectly fluent. At the end the place broke out in loud applause and some hootin' and hollerin'. For the first time in my life I could speak fluently without using fake accents or a sing-song voice. And I am still fluent today.

One month and four days ago, I married the most impressive, happiest, sexxiest and funniest woman I have ever known. Need I say more?

It's a liberating feeling escaping what feels like a prison with no way out.

My happiest day was similar yet diff in that I realized I no longer had to be trapped in the role of the "youngest son" or the "little brother". Wish it would have happened much earlier but at 36 and having my own family I'm just happy I came to it at all. Congrats to you and Congrats to me.

Your story is the most ironic and positive piece of human interest I've seen in ages. It seems almost to good to be true really.

I just came by for a fix of Dilbertia and got a Buddha moment.

Happiest day of my life: When my son was discharged from the hospital after a 10-day stay with RSV at three weeks of age. A very happy day!

Great story,

Here's mine:

When I was in 7th grade or so, I was waiting for this game to come out: "Megaman Legends" (I'm still a Megaman fan). It ended up getting delayed for a couple of months, but me and my father would come to the store nearly every week to see if it came in. It ended up getting pushed back a lot of weeks. Everyday there was this cardboard cut-out of megaman as a promo for the game.

Finally, one day I came home from school, and when I opened the door I saw the cardboard cutout of megaman there, with a little speech bubble tacked onto the cutout that said, "Come inside and play!" Like a 4-year old at Christmas I ran to my room, and the game was right there. I played for 8 hours straight, one of the best days of my life :).

Awesome news! Can you stand one more happiest day story? The happiest day of my life was October 21, 2004, when my then 15 year-old-daughter came to see me after a four year estrangement with no contact whatsoever. She and my son continue to be the lights of my life.

All the best to you and your voice!

Your story is the most ironic and positive piece of human interest I've seen in ages. It seems almost to good to be true really.

I just came by for a fix of Dilbertia and got a Buddha moment.

Hi Scott!

It's great to hear that you've gotten your voice back (although, to be fair, I didn't realize that you'd lost it).

To further the happy-fest, I have a small contribution.

I am terrible at any sort of "-est" or "favorite" anything. I can't name the top in any list, without regretting leaving something else out.

So...some of my happy moments in what is turning out to be quite the charmed life I'm leading include (in no particular order):

-playing with my dogs in the backyard every afternoon
-running a few miles with nothing by me, my sneakers and my iPod
-drinking good red wine with my husband, listening to Miles Davis, and thinking about nothing other than the fact that we're holding hands
-talking about nothing or anything with my parents or either of my brothers
-seeing my 10-year-old nephew light up a stage recently in a community college-level drama
-talking about music with my 6-year-old niece
-singing (badly) along with Sweet Home Alabama with my best friend of 26 years (and I'm only 27, by the way...)

All my best wishes for continued vocal success,
Leah

The happiest day was also the scariest day. The day my oldest daughter had open heart surgery. The doctor came in and said the surgery went better than expected and she'd be fine and actually would improve from "this" point over time as she healed and grew. Without the surgery, she would either be dead or awaiting a heart-lung transplant at this point in time.

I hope your single happy day continues into a lifetime of them!

Scott,

It has been too long...a friend at work directed me to your blog, so I just learned of your battle with Spasmodic Dysphonia. I'm glad things are improving. Your positive attitude is the Scott I remember.

Best Wishes old friend!

Buzzman

Never, ever, ever believe what the doctor says. I was told not to get surgery on my unused right ear (they used to only give you a hearing aid on one side and let the other just "go"). I had less than 20% speech discrimination in that ear and had not heard anything on that side for many years.

I decided to try anyway, and put an old aid on that ear when I upgraded my "good" ear. I spent lots of hours in front of the TV trying to translate what sounded like people talking underwater. I think it only took a couple of months, but my speech discrimination got up to 80%, I have lost all the hearing in my other ear, and now I totally function on the one they said would never work.

Thanks for proving them wrong again, Mr. Adams!

Wow...I've been reading Dilbert forever [in fact, start my morning everyday with Dilbert] and I didn't know you even had a blog, though I shouldn't be suprised. Today, everyone's got one. Found this one through newsgator.

In any case, congrats on finding your voice! Just goes to show, patience, hard work, and positive thinking works.

Happiest day for me - when my wife found me on match.com three years ago

The power of a strong mind is amazing. The happiest day off my life.. Too many to count.. Dont know which one is happier than the next.. However the power of the mind.. Here is an example.. similar to you..

I HARDLY FEEL COLD ANYMORE. Live in DC and used to live in Chicago. The bitter winters got to me.. until through a lot of shivering and a lot of walking by the lake in winter.. all I need is a sweater anymore..

Believe something enough.. and it might work.. Live something enough.. and it will.

Scott,

Best, best wishes to you and prayers for your continued recovery. What a great reminder to be grateful every day for the abilities we have. I've been smirking at (and emailing) your strips without knowing what a difficult time you've been having -- kudos for being able to continue to be funny and timely.

My happiest day? Honestly, every day I get to hug and kiss my husband and daughter and hear a sweet little voice say, "I love you, Mommy."

A longtime fan,

Laura

Well done. I had a massive cerebral hemorrhage a few years ago (undiagnosed aneurysm) and I can encourage you with - it will get better and better. Once you cross that threshold the brain sorta'... learns how to repair those pathways. I can't explain it any other way. Once the mind learns what to do, it gets better and faster.

Good job on not giving up.

There is a National Spasmodic Dysphonia Association. Its website provides information on treatment, including what it terms "comlementary therapy".

Scott,

Going by the datestamp on your post, my day is your day. October 24th, 2006. My son was born that day. Healthy and perfect.


Go, Scott, Go! Thank you so much for sharing your story.

I have a nephew. He was born three months early, and those were hopeful, terrifying months while he fought his fight in the NICU.

He turned three last month. He is -- and I say this with complete objectivity, of course -- the single most delicious, sunshiny, ingenious, bright light of a kid ever in the history of children. And he's incredibly healthy.

His house and mine are several states apart, so we don't get to see each other all that often.

One of the happiest moments in my life happened this summer: the whole extended family was together, which was a lot of people for him to absorb all at once. Sunday morning before brunch, he walked into the room with his Mom. I dropped to toddler-height and opened my arms. He came trotting toward me, slowed down a few steps away, paused as if to think it over, and then threw his head back and his arms open with a big smile, and dropped himself into my arms as if he knew that he fit there.

I felt so lucky. He is helping me to remember how to celebrate and cherish the people I love.

Keep fighting your fight, Scott -- we are all pulling for you, even from states far away!

Two sons, both healthy. Thanks Scott.

Congrats!

My happiest day was when I finished a garden habitat project for a local inner city school. After planting the last plants and having dug a pond by hand the autumn before, I thought that good bad or ugly, this garden would give kids an experience of nature long after I'm forgotten.

You might check out the book _Left Brain, Right Brain_. Normally, the left hemisphere controls normal speech production, but the right hemisphere has more of an influence on tasks such as singing, poetry and second languages.

Leave it to a geek to re-map his own neural pathways! :)

Scott,

All the best and may you speak for a long, long time. I owe you much. In one of your books you describe a simple technique to write a goal 15 times in very specific language every day until you achieve the goal. I thought it silly at the time but I have found it works, and works well. Since that time I have used that simple method to get the career I want, the girl (now wife!) I adore and a host of other goals. I don't know how it works, but it does. And I read it in your book.

Thank you!

I'm glad you got your voice back. What a cool discovery!

Perhaps doctors and scientists will use your experience as an example, rather than pushing pharmaceutical remedies...

Congratulations, Mr. Adams! That's great, and I'm really happy for you.

Best moments of my life: 1)Graduating from college - I was the first in not only my immediate family, but my extended family too, who graduated from college. 2) When my husband proposed to me (in McSorley's Ale House in Greenwich Village) on a trip we'd taken to celebrate my 25th birthday. 3) Our wedding day and honeymoon (Mountain Lake resort in Va., and Kiawah Island and Charleston, both in S.C. 4) The births of all 3 of our children. And the most recent: 5) The moment when my autistic 6-year-old son demonstrated that he really could read.

The ability of the human brain to re-map and recover is truly amazing, isn't it? I remember reading in the book "Pat and Roald" about how singing is handled in a different part of the brain than regular speech, so Patricia Neal was able to sing immediately after her stroke, even while still unable to speak. Memorized poetry also seems to be stored in the brain in a different way than regular speech. I can still recite some of the poems I memorized in my teens. You're really on to something here. This is wonderful.

The happiest day of my life was during this past Easter weekend, my "Holy Saturday," April 15, 2006, when an impossible dream of mine came true for a little while. That taught me that nothing is truly impossible.

Hi Scott,

I'mm a Dilbert fan of many years but I was unaware of your problem and I'm amazed and inspired that you found a way to restore your voice. People simply do not appreciate enough how much strength there is in the human mind and how much we can achieve when we give it everything we have, when we believe that we can achieve our goals or overcome almost insurmountable obstacles.

Especially your rationalisation of your problem and what it said about your potential to restore your voice and how you went about it is spectacular. I have very deep respect for your ability to work around your problem and to keep your spirits up.

I'm looking forward to my happiest moment. It depends on whether I can ressucitate a few small, unique and irreplaceable files. When I can I will be very happy indeed .

Good luck, Scott! I hope your voice regains its original strength.

This is AMAZING! Best of luck to you.

my friend just linked me to your blog and this entry. i've always loved your work but never had been here before.
i've been in a world of internal and mental turmoil of my own for what feels like the longest time and i have felt very, very dismal and lost. this is exactly what i needed to hear right now. thank you for being a huge inspiration. in a world where the odds are constantly against us, it's nice to hear about someone else out there who doesn't believe in the odds. keep up the great work, i'm positive you'll regain full speaking abilities again. faith is an amazing thing.

You brave man! My greetings!

Did you try speek foreign language if you know one. It's must one more context.

--
WBR,
AG

PS: sorry for my English.

Great Story Scott!The power of the mind is simply amazing.
Glad that you could recover!
I just love Dilbert!Keep him going strong.
Best wishes for Dilbert's continued sucess and hope to see a lot more of gret Dilbert stuff coming out
Cheers!

Congratulations, Scott!
I'm very happy for you!

The happiest day in my life was when I met my love.

We have given you a new name, the "Dhil-bert".

Read more, here.
http://www.jambav.com/jambav/blogs/jottings/?p=92

Congrats!

Rajendran.
Team Jambav.

FANTASTIC!

Congrats on your rehabilitation. It's great that you have shared this and hopefully others with the same condition can use your methods to overcome similar problems.

Keep up the good work with Dilbert and of course, the best set of business books ever (Way of the Weasel has helped me immensely in dealing with others).

Best day of my life...every day I see good people do good things for others in need.

Take care and hope you do a speaking tour in Australia real soon (Please do not forget the city of Darwin if you do).

Dear Scott, I am so happy for you. Your optimism and persistence were rewarded.
The happiest day of my life was 10 years ago when I know I witnessed a miracle. My 10 year old son Joey had been deathly ill with meningitis/encephalitis. He had come out of a coma after about 2 weeks, but just lay in his hospital bed unresponsive, expressionless and speechless for days & no one could say if that would ever change. But his 2 year old brother who was the light of his life was brought to see him. Danny climbed up on Joey's chest and said "Hi Joey!" Joey blinked his eyes, focused on him and said "Hi Danny" just as normal as could be. It was as though someone had turned a light switch on. Joey was back! From that moment he continued to recover.
Maybe his brain "remapped" as yours did. But I always thought it was the power of their love and God's hand in it that brought him back. They are now 21 and 13, and still have a special bond that is heartwarming to see. Neither of them really remember what happened that day but I will never forget. Good Luck Scott and never stop sharing your story. Thanks for giving me a chance to share mine. Christina

thank you Mr.Adams for reminding me about yet another thing that I take for granted and for showing us all that happy ending ARE possible, provided we don't stop believing.

Live long and keep spreading the good word.

Always knew there was something wrong with your brain...but never could imagine you were in so much sorrow...how on earth did you manage to pretend to be so happy and carefree....this is commendable....All the best.

Dear Scott,
Gosh, I honestly did not realise that you had lost your voice, even though I am a religious reader of the dilbert strip and blog every day for the past 4 - 5 years (strip was around longer than the blog). I am very amazed and happy for you that, such a wonderful yet simple thing as a rhyme has helped you to get your voice back. A voice is a wonderful thing to have... :-) just listen to Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov...
As for the happiest day of my life... it was when the sweetest Russian girl in the world let me kiss her as we parted in a city in Germany's Black Forest, and I knew that it was not the end, but only the beginning :-)...
I wish you many happy days and hours of talking, singing, murmuring, whispering, making witty, biting, comments, the way you do it best, Scott.
With very best regards from windy Edinburgh,
Adam

Congratulations! I read you comic every day, but hadn't heard about your condition.

I guess poetry and rhyme follow on from songs/singing. Does non-rhyming poetry work?

Keep practicing!

I'm getting married tomorrow, so hopefully that will be my happiest day and, if not, then I've got the rest of my life with my beautiful new wife to have one!

I am so thrilled about this. Congratulations!!

Sad beginning of the story.... My brother, at age 42, was killed in a horrific multi-car accident in Avon last year, leaving a wife and 5 daughters, between the ages of 3 and 8. Beyond nightmare fuel, it was just heartwrenching to depths I didn't know existed.

I spend a lot of time with his girls, and this past August I got to spend a whole week at the beach with them. In a matter of 5 days my whole outlook on life improved so drastically... I went from believing that the world was a truly good place to fumbling around for anything to believe in, to realizing that each one of us, even those 5 little girls whose daddy was taken from them one day on his way to work, is full of nearly limitless positive energy, and that it is our job to beam it out at everyone we encounter. Seeing these girls whose worlds were simply destroyed rebuild them and then teach me and just about anyone that encounters them that it's as wonderful a world as you can make it yourself, and that you do so by making it a wonderful world for those around you....

Well, it gave me a new lease on life. No Jesus necessary.

Have you accepted your internal spark as your personal savior?

when I read this story, at first I was shocked. right from the start I was hearing your voice speaking this like a monologue. I only know what you sound like from the dilbert series dvd special features, but I could almost hear you struggling and it just about broke my heart, because I know how important communication in general is to you. I can tell that clearly from your work. anyways, this is just to add to the trillion congratulatory comments already left here, and also to say that I hope you retain your voice, even if only in rhyme, because I'd hate to think that I'll never have the chance to talk to scott adams.

Dude...

Congrats:

1) you, trough force of will remapped your brain. Too much for causality rles in your chemical reactions, huh? Whta do you have to say now about free will?

2) you decided to go trough the hardest path: first your seminars, second you hability to speak to others privately. And you won in the hardest path.

Thanks for the hopeful story
Wish mine own was as full of glory
Just one so humble
That I might mumble
Even though it is not at all gory!

There we were - my son, my ex-wife (who worked at Pacific Bell in SR at the time), and me - in the Pediatric Neurology Department of Oakland's Children's Hospital. The doctor comes out to tell us that our son is seizure free and will no longer need ot be on medication. I exhaled for the first time in years it seemed. Rarely does a day go by that I don't think of so many other parents and children that have not received such news.

i have always liked the saying "if you can walk you can dance; if you can talk you can sing." but i like even more the realisation that even if you can't talk, you might sing, and if you can't walk, you might dance anyway. i have noticed the happiest times of my life involve music, even though i am not a musician.
...
what happened with the allergies and how are you controlling them?

Wow, that is truly one of my greatest fears in life (having permenant damage in the brain). Congradulations on having your speech return to you!

congrats. It's always nice to see you can undermine your subconsciouos mind's decision to make decisions for you.

My best moment: Kirk Gibson 1988. All I have to say.

I didn't even know you had lost your voice, I got directed here from the National Review. That is absolutely wonderful for you, the thought of you staying up through the night talking just to be able to finally hear your voice working is touching. I am VERY happy for you and I'm glad I didn't find out about this story until it had a happy ending.

The happiest day of my life would be June 26th, 2003. That is my wedding day and I will always be grateful to God and my wife Lulu for all the blessings that have followed.

Mr. Adams,
I am so happy for you! As someone who loves to talk and whose wit is heavily laced with sarcasm, I can't image what it would be like to loose that. One of the simplest pleasures in my life is talking with my wife and daughter (granted, my daughter is only two, but having her respond to my voice is wonderful). My wife and I can carry on a conversation until the cows come home and beat us. She's witty and smart and amazing. I love talking with her just to hear the sound of her voice.

You asked for some happy days, well here are a few of the ones that stand out:
Any of my friends weddings. Nothing like seeing two people you love get married.
The day I met my wife, the day she said yes, our wedding day and the day we brought our daughter home from the hospital (complications at birth made this one especially great).

I hope you have continued success keeping your voice. Good luck.

Intensely happy things I experience every day: walking to work in the autumn sunshine, listening to beautiful music, laughing with the dear clowns who are my friends and co-workers, seeing strangers and knowing just from a glance what good people they are.

Congratulations, Scott, and thank you for inviting us to share!

Scott,
Thanks for the story. I'll admit that I'm not the most regular person here being a high school student among other things, but every time I come here for a good laugh, and a good perspective on things in our world. This time I was avoiding homework, I am very glad that I did. This story is very inspirational, and it is nice to hear things about the preservation and determination of the human spirit and mind. I have not lived long enough or experienced enough in this world to have a day or period stand out as the best time in my life, but I eagarly await the day that it comes, no matter how far off in the future. Hopefully you will be able to share this experience with others through other sources of media, and help show others that it is possible to overcome impossible odds. You're an inspiration to everyone, thanks for sharing your experience.

-Steve

This is my first time reading your blog--my boyfriend sent me the link today, and I am so excited for you!
The mind is so incredibly powerful, and your story confirms all my beliefs that people can overcome practically anything.

In addition, I work at a place that helps kids with autism and other mental and developmental difficulties. We have a "Sound Stimulation" device which works by basically the same methods you used--re-routing the neurons in the brain, so they perceive different frequencies of sound in the most optimal way. (Awe-inspiring results).

I cant wait to send your story to my coworkers and patients.

Too many happy days to share!

Keep conquering your brain, and good luck with everything.

Hey Scott,

I've been a fan of Dilbert for as long as I can remember ... far longer than it took for me to "grow-up" and go work for my own PHB, that's for sure. (In fact, like many who have written here, the corkboard next to my desk has quite a few of your cartoons tacked to it.)

Life is pretty hectic for me, and I generally don't follow ANYONE'S blog ... but a friend sent me the link to your posting. All I can say is that I am tremendously happy for you. The resiliency of the human mind never ceases to amaze me.

My daughter Kestrel was born two years ago. We had a terribly difficult labor/delivery that ended in an emergency c-section. The nurses took Kes to clean her, check her out for problems, etc., and were gone WAY longer than they should have been (hours, actually). Finally, someone came in and told us that Kestel had serious complications that were going to require emergency surgery. Specifically, she was born with her esophagus disconnected in the middle. The top part ended in a pouch (like a sock) and the bottom part was connected to her windpipe. (A condition called Tracheal Esophageal Fistula with accompanying Atresia ... or TEF/A for short.) Every time she took a breath, her stomach and intestines would fill with air (which alone could have killed her), and it was physically impossible for her to eat. I never even got to hold her before they had whisked her away to Children's Hospital in an ambulance. She was barely 30 hours old when they took her into the operating room. We had no idea what her doctors were going to find when they began the surgery, or even if she would come out of it okay. It is so impossible to prepare yourself for anything like that.

The happiest day of my life? When she woke up after the surgery and we found out she was going to be okay. She'll have some lifelong (minor) complications, but she doesn't let them slow her down. She's an amazing child, and the biggest blessing I have been lucky enough to ever have bestowed on me.

THE happiest? It would take too long to narrow down teh possibilities. Some of the happiest: my marriage, teh birth of my children, hearing God call me to and away from ministries, my parent's 50th wedding anniversary party this past summer, any day when the sun shines...

Your story rocks; I've sent it along to all friends and family. It is amazing.

why didnt you just learn sign language instead?

Wow! I am so happy for you. I love to talk and do it all the time, so I am glad that you can now talk. I can not remember the happiest day of my life, but I can relate one of the happier times this week. I found out that I will be a puppeteer in my school's production of "Little Shop of Horrors" (love theater) Also coincidentally I was extremely happy today. I must have laughed and danced and smiled three times more than I usually do today. Good happiness and speaking to you. Enjoy it.

The happiest day of my life was the day I was married - until the day I got divorced.

I saw a guy on a TV show here in Australia who had a similar problem to you, but due to a head injury. When he tried to talk normally, he spoke laboriously, stuttured and slurred his words. But he could talk normally if he put on a fake accent, like American or Spanish - in fact he could talk just like Speedy Gonzales, and at about the same speed!

As for my happiest day? Either my son's or daughter's birthday. I can't pick just one.

How appropriate that it was your own mind that came up with a concept for treating its own dysfunction!

Miracle: an event that *appears* inexplicable by the laws of nature and so is *held* to be supernatural in origin or an act of God.

Normalcy: the quality or condition of being usual.

I look forward to the day when amazing experiences like yours join our past "untreatable" ills and move into the realm of normalcy.

Wow, what an amazing story! I have Ken Jennings' (Jeopardy champ) blog to thank for pointing me to your story. I am particularly touched because my husband had a voice-loss problem several years ago after major heart surgery. The nerve to his left vocal cord was damaged, leaving that vocal cord paralyzed, and he was unable to speak above a hoarse whisper. It took several days for the cause to be determined, and months of trying various "fillers" to plump up the paralyzed vocal cord so that he could speak at all (though it was a very raspy, Selma&Patty-from-the-Simpsons; kind of voice). Speech therapy helped, but he ended up eventually having to have surgery on his throat to get his voice back to normal. The loss or reduction of speech is a very traumatic & life-altering experience. I am SO pleased to hear that your voice is back. You are a scientific breakthrough! Yay, you!

Wow, thank you for sharing that! What a shining example you are to never give up. The brian is a fantastic organ, and can do so much more than we give it credit for, if we just keep trying. There are so many examples of the brain re-learning and remapping the neural pathways, it can take a long time, but it can be done, as you've shown us. My happiest day? Finally marrying my husband after 15 years of being together. And today, reading your story, remembering all life is precious and we should appreciate every second of it. Thank you, reading your post has affected me deeply, you deserve all the best. P.S Love the cartoon.

As a former Muscle Tension Dysphonia patient, I extend my hearty congratulations on your recovery =)

Congratulations Scott! What an amazing story, you completely made my day. Thanks for sharing that touching moment with all of us.

It hasn't happened yet but...the happiest day of my life will be the day that I can forgive my partner for cheating on me, and even more importantly, stop blaming myself.

Enjoy it. I'm couldn't be happier for you.

I found this entry via Ezra Klein's blog. It's an amazing story... Inspiration and Hope. Huge congratulations to you for (at least) your one day of joy. I hope you have many, many more days of speaking ahead of you.

the day god let me bring another person into this world to make it a better place...cheers to your health.
and the sun will rise again...

that is great! as a cubicle dweller who started reading dilbert about a million years ago, and who thinks half of the strips aren't funny 'cause they're true, i've been one of your biggest fans. that is great, and i love your tenacity! i'm going to remember that technique should anyone i know ever need it.

i was having a very bad, frustrating day, and came across your post completely by accident. After reading what you had gone through, everything that was bothering me went away and reminded me how amazing and alternately puzzling the human physiology can be.

my happiest moment? I don't have a lot of them, but the latest one was after "courting" for 10 months, my partner George accepted my marriage proposal - it was close to midnight, in the middle of swimming pool, the water was gently lapping around us and I asked him if he would marry me, and without a moment's hesitation he said yes. I've lead a very solitary existance (big cities can be ironically lonely) for the last 14 years and since we've been married, I feel like I actually have a purpose that extends beyond myself and my needs.

thank you for your post, it was truly lovely.

Wonderful news. Isn't the brain the most amazing thing?

I think my happiest day, or at least it should have been, was the day I learned that my daughter, who was born 3 months premature, at less than 2 lbs., has an IQ of about 160. By all rights she should be severly brain damaged. She's 16 now.

Another less important day came for me after I had suffered for years with excessive sweating. I could simply feel the sweat running down my sides sometimes and it was extremely embarassing. My doctor told me that some people just sweat more than others and prescribed a really strong antiperspirant. Then one day for some reason or other I used a plain deodorant instead. And stopped sweating. From that day, I've never used an antiperspirant and I sweat like a normal person, unless under pressure or in high humidity. Hallelujah!

Scott,

Hmmmmmmmmm, this explains so much...

===========================

This explains the prompting to pray for you...

This explains the "tracer"...

This explains a teeny-tiny bit of how much God Loves You!!!

Once again, there is (literally in this case) Power in Words...

Esp. when prompted by the Master Programmer...

...Who can interrupt time and space to perform...

***A Miracle***

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

BTW-Thanks for replying to my email!!!

My dad had a stroke and was paralyzed for some time...but his mind remapped and he was able to use his arm a little. I think the only thing that doctors can say for sure about the brain is that they don't know much about it.

One of the happiest days of my life was when I watched my dad walk again after his stroke. After months of therapy, frustration, and dumb-dumb doctors who said it wasn't possible, he took two steps. Everyone in the gym stopped what they were doing and applauded and cheered.

That day he was wearing his favorite t-shirt that read, "Never, never, never give up!"

I guess that would be called the "power of positive thinking," and not only am I happy for you, I'm amazingly touched by this "spreading of the love" that's going on in response to your request.

Out of curiosity, was it any and all rhyming, or mostly couplets?

Happiest days? The day I got into med school was pretty good, as was the day of the first kiss with my current (and hopefully forever) paramour. There are so many days that revolve around good food and friends and fun that it's hard to calculate, and perhaps just thinking about them all together makes today one of the happiest days.

Congratulations!

I've heard it said at many a political rally that "God gave me a voice, but the Democratic Party let it be heard."

Be that as it may, I'm a big fan of yours, and my patron saint is Ratbert. Congratulations on getting your voice back. I miss venting on the Dilbert.com thread site.

I've read most of your books. I thought "The Dilbert Future" was the most bitter, until I came to the final chapter. I decided to give the written affirmations a try, and I managed to lose 35 pounds in one year, and I have kept it off for over four years now (plus another five lbs. that I have dropped since then) This has made a big difference in my outlook on life and what I now believe is possible. "You've gotta have a dream, if you don't have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?" (South Pacific/Happy Talk/Rogers & Hammerstein).

Best of luck in all that you do.

Cats SS

Wow, that is amazing. Here's hoping your recovery is permanent.

My personal good news - about a month ago, our cat went to the animal hospital in diabetic crisis. The doctor was honest enough to tell us that nine out of ten cats in his condition just give up and go to Kitty Heaven.

He spent a week in hospital, and when we brought him home he had no appteite, so back he went to have a feeding tube installed. We were giving him insulin shots twice a day, but when we took him back to get the feeding tube out and they analyzed his blood again, they said his glucose was low. That was Tuesday.

We took him in for a glucose curve this morning, and the doctor called to tell us our big guy was diabetes-free.

I hated sticking him with needles (and I'm sure the feeling was mutual), but a cat that was at death's door a month ago is now 100% back.

He's just a cat, but life would not have been the same without him.

But your good news trumps mine for sure. Keep on, and good luck.

Hands down, the days my kids were born. Unbelievable!

Would you please email me the name of the doctor or doctors who treated your voice disorder. I have a significant voice disorder and have been treated unsuccessfully by Dr. Sataloff (in Philly) and Dr. Koufman (who is now in NYC).
Thanks.
I can understand your JOY!! I hope to be able to have a normal voice soon too!!

Now with the rhyming you can begin your second career as a rapper!

My father would have responded immediately with "Count no man happy till he die. He is at best fortunate."

He's happy now (one assumes); you and I are fortunate.

Dear Scott Adams,

I am glad that you got your voice back. I hope that you permanently got it back.

One of the happiest times in my life was when I got a vasectomy at the age of 35. It is one of the happiest times because it solidified and made permanent my decision to be childfree.

In Science, Logic and Reason, instead of an imaginary god, We Trust,

ChildfreeMan1962
http://ChildfreeMan1962.tripod.com

How's this for brief? The day they told me my 3 year old daughter was cancer free.

Awesome story, mate...Congrats! Keep talking and keep laughing!

This may not be the single happiest moment, since it happened over a period of time, but it's certainly relevant to this thread. At about age two, it was becoming apparent that my daughter was having speech problems. She was late in speaking and difficult to understand when she did, L's and R's giving her particular trouble. She was otherwise a happy and apparently bright kid, but this sort of thing does gnaw at a parent, raising concerns that she's going to have a tough time in a number of areas throughout her life.

We took her to speech therapy for almost two years. And during that time, things not only got better but eventually resolved themselves completely. She's absolutely fine now, you would never know there had a been a problem. Was it the therapy? Or was she just on a different learning curve for this, just as some kids walk earlier or later than others, and all it took was a little time and patience? I don't know. Maybe she was fine all along and it was only a "problem" for her parents. But our sense of relief -- one that grew, a little at a time with each little victory -- was palpable, and knowing that today she can speak beautifully, articulately and intelligently ... well, that makes me very happy indeed.

Good luck, Scott. Let's hope you've stumbled onto something that can help a lot of other people.

The day I awoke from a suicide induced coma and knew I was going to live - precious.

Love to you and your happy day.

That.Is.Awesome.

I hope things continue forward positively for you.

I'm a surfer, so it's kinda hard to nail down my happiest day.

Since I'm also husband and a father and a bunch of other things, it makes me feel kinda cheesy to admit it, but my happiest day is any day there are overhead glassy waves without too big a crowd, and maybe a few good friends or one of my kids out with me. But it's the waves themselves, the ones that I ride, that put me in a state of euphoria that is just beyond description, unlike anything I've else I've ever experienced. And best of all, it happens again and again. I surf all the time, and it's not always that good -- nowhere near every day, not even all that frequently really, but often enough, better than a dozen or so times a year, swell size and direction and wind and tide and my physical conditioning all converge in such a way that for two or three hours I just can't stop smiling, laughing, howling, SCREAMING with delight.

This sensation is all the more meaningful to me now that I'm well into my 40's after having broken a leg rather badly just a couple years ago (surfing, of course). Up until that day it would never have occurred to me to walk someplace if I could run. Over the course of the next six months I managed to also mess up the knee on the opposite leg since that was the only foot that ever got planted on the ground. To this day both legs bother me quite a bit and I still can't quite run -- even a few steps jogging leaves me regretting it.

But I can still surf, and after six months out of the water not knowing if I'd be able to or not, those occassional days when it all comes together are as close to a religious experience as I'll ever get.

The only downside for me is how sad I sometimes get that so few people ever experience such joy. But then I console myself by thinking about what a drag the crowds would be if they did. :-)

Hi Scott,
Congratulations! What a great story! I did not know that you had lost your ability to speak. The happiest day of my life was when I was able to walk (ok badly) out of the hospital after a nasty bicycle accident. (Yes, I had a helmet on). My speech was affected as was my left side. After a bit of a battle for a few years, I am only left with a bit of a "gimpy" eye. Brains and how they work are still a mostly a mystery. Again, congratulations best news I have heard in a long time. Hope to hear you speak again soon.

go Scott! That's awesome.

I had not given a lot of thought to serious dating for a while when I found myself thinking more and more about a man I had begun speaking to on the internet. I knew I was falling for him, but I thought it was too good to be true; I was sure that when we finally met in person (he lived several hours away) that the spark wouldn't be there or, worse, that he just wouldn't show up at all. When my cab pulled up outside his hotel and I saw him standing there waiting for me, I knew that "too good to be true" was true after all. That was the happiest day of my life. :)

Congratulations Scott, and my sincere best wishes that you continue to get and stay better.

You might wish to take up Morse Code, there are several ways to generate morse code, you can whistle for example

I recall several years ago reading how some doctor had spent thousands of dollars creating a system so a person who could not speak could use a puff/sip switch on this wheel chair to control a computer to make speach happen.

Of course for well under a thousand any ham radio operator could have done the same thing, A VIC-20 was more than enough computer to read a puff sip switch and convert it to morse code, and from there to text and speech.

This is, indeed, Great News. I had 4 strokes about a year and a half ago, and as a result, am now "reluctant" to answer the telephone. So, we installed a digital answering device, and I found that when I heard the device pick up a call, I could recognize the voice and ANSWER it. Reluctant to deal with strangers, but I am still recovering, in spite of one speech therapist who claimed that you only get about 6 months to regain what you have lost, and then you are stuck with your condition.

I started following Dilbert years ago, while working at Texas Instruments in Austin, and we were convinced that you must work at TI Digital Systems Group as well. In particular, we were compelled to create a transparency for a section meeting each week. We used so much transparency film that a sales droids from 3M was convinced we MUST be making something from it, and offered to repackage the product for our specific needs. (I was tempted to ask for the machine to be altered so that it did not smear text so badly, in continued use, but I refrained.)

Thanks for the pleasure of your story and for creating Dilbert and the gang.

Cool. I wish you the best. Great minds always find a way.

The happiest day of my life is the day my daughter was born. When I was pregnant, my friends were all asking did I know if it would be a girl or a boy, and which did I want. My answer was that I didn't care, I just wanted the baby to be healthy, and I got my wish. That was 26 years ago, and she's grown up to be a beautiful, intelligent, and sucessful young lady.

Congrats Scott! What an amazing story!

I remember every detail of the happiest day of my life. After 8 miserable years of infertility treatments, followed by another miserable 2 years trying to adopt, the day they called to say we could come pick up our brand new baby girl will always stand out as they day my feet never touched the ground. She wasn't 24 hours old when we brought her home. That was 12 years ago. Over the years she's given me plenty of the normal trials, laughter, aggravation, upsets and joy associated with child rearing. All of it's magnified now that we've entered "the hormone years". I wouldn't trade a second of it for anything.

Pam

Thank you for making my day.

Yours truly,
David

I suspect you're not religious or what not, but I can't resist:

Oh Lord, open Thou my lips, that my mouth may show forth Thy praise. Psalm 51

Three comments:
1- At seven year old, I had Polio which put me in the hospital for six months and in physical therapy for 18 months. The teenager next to me in the hospital was in an iron lunge because Polio had destroyed his ability to breath for himself. He read books which were projected on the ceiling of our room. I learned that life is not over when you encounter hardship and that I needed to be grateful for any day I could put two feet on the floor and take my own breath or any day I could read books off the ceiling.
2- In June 2004, I had a stroke that eliminated half my visual field. It was unusual in that it was limited to the left occipital lobe and only affected my vision. It was also unusual because the rehab folks did not know quite what to do with it. Having been through rehab before, I believed that brains could be "remapped" and I developed exercises to develop new circuits in my brain. For instance, I developed what I called the pepper plant exercise. I have Chili Patin plants in my yard. The chili's ripen into a red, round chili in mid to late summer in south Texas. I started focusing on every ripe chili on the plant, every day, to develop depth perception.
Today, I have recovered 95% of the lost vision and my Opthmologit calls it a "miracle"- a term I accept as accurate.
3- My neurologist believes that a major part of the reason for my stroke was that I worked for an organzation like the one you describe in Dilbert. So do I. My staff and I often commented on the fact that you captured our work environment as though you had worked with us. It was a morale booster to have Dilbert available. Thank you.

This is a fascinating story and I'm so glad someone shared the link so I could read it.

Congratulations and salutations and affirmations and good vibrations... etc.

Congrats! That's wonderful to hear. I'll bet your doctors are thrilled to hear that such a thing is possible.

Can't tell you the happiest moment of my life - I'm not dead yet! Think I'll go for a walk.

Ranking right up there is anything that get my kids and me laughing at the same time (MP and the Holy Grail, Wallace and Gromit come to mind).

Keep those great Dilbert strips coming!

Great news! Congratulations on the good results, but more importantly on your persistence.

My story: Nine years ago, I started to feel very fatigued. In spite of taking some time off work, it got worse and worse for several months.

My general practitioner became concerned and sent me to a series of specialists, eliminating potential cause after cause -- while became more and more sick. After four months, I did not have the strength to lift a bag of groceries.

I realized I could very well die before they figured out what was wrong. So I said my goodbyes, told my husband who to call about the life insurance, etc.

So THEN I develop a sharp, stabbing pain in my right lung every time I took a deep breath. Great, I thought -- another weird symptom they won't be able to figure out!

The doctors suspected a blood clot, so I had a pulmonary angiogram (which is cool -- you get to see your heart and lungs working real-time in 3D!) -- it was indeed a clot. They put me on IV Heparin, standard for clots. I went to sleep in the hospital wondering what was going to happen next.

The following morning, I woke up with the energy of a nine year old amped up on too much birthday cake and soda. I wanted to rip out the IVs and run laps around the building.

To condense an already-too-long story: after all the specialists had worked all those months, it was my humble and brilliant GP who finally figured out I have antiphospholipid syndrome (APLS) -- an extremely rare but but treatable disorder.

I've been fine ever since - and that was the happiest day of my life! (Since I didn't get offed by the clot, I have considered every day since then to be GRAVY.)

For the very most happy day of my 85 years of life, go to > http://www.apeldoorn-canada.com/victory.html

- Best wishes - Ted

Scott, your story is fascinating and wonderful! I've shared it with many to brighten their day. To GOD be the glory!

My happiest day? The day God turned me around and showed me His Truth. For 43 years I was an atheist, though dabbling here and there with things like the occult, wicca, and New Age beliefs. But the God of the Bible and Christianity was pure fantasy and Christians were weak-minded folks who just needed the crutch of religion. But, praise God, one day a true believer came into my life and in my trying to prove him wrong over several months, God showed me what was right.

I've forgotten the exact date, but I'll never forget that evening sitting at my computer. I was reading yet another skeptic's website about the Bible (ammunition to prove my Christian friend wrong), when, all of a sudden, I realized that my thinking had taken a 180-degree turn and I was seeing all the holes and inaccuracies in the skeptic's material I was reading. It was at that moment I realized the Bible was true. God does exist, and so does his Son Jesus Christ. I literally pushed myself back from the computer and said aloud (to no one, as I was alone in the room), "Whoa! When did THAT happen?"

My prayer for non-believers is that they would simply not feed their unbelief, but to really examine BOTH SIDES. Read the Bible and decide for yourself. Don't just "go with the flow" of what you've always thought was true. Examine it!

May God bless you, Scott.

I'm lucky to have had a number of happiest days, but the first that springs to mind is the day my younger brother complimented me on my skills as a writer. We had the typical tumultuous relationship that siblings do during adolescence and I'm happy we're finally both adults and can appreciate each other for the gifts we possess. I'll end there -- you know, before I break into song. :)

Had no idea you'd been struggling, Scott. I linked here from the Pop Candy blog. Glad to hear things are turning around. Be well!

I'd had trouble with severe pain from lupus and felt very hopeless one night, but I saw something that made me laugh out loud in spite of myself -- my identical twin sister was wiggling her eyebrows in her sleep!

First, there was an expression of concern, then bemused question, then puzzlement, then surprise. hahaha! It was a weirdly funny wonderful moment. I was staring into the face of my DNA clone and thinking, "I'll bet I do much weirder things in my sleep. Like Riverdance."

All the best to you, sir. You take care!

Wow, you are a light in a darkening world. Thanks for sharing your strength and humor. As requested, here's my story...

When I was 27, I herniated 3 disks in my lumbar region of my back due to a fall on a concrete floor. The next six months proved to be very painful and by the 3rd month following, I had been laid off from my job, had a husband who thought I was faking the pain, and went from being a healthy athletic 27 year old to being on Oxycontins, Somas and Ultrams walking with a cane and bed ridden. After painful physical therapy and doctors that thought I was just looking for attention, I found my neurosurgeon. It took CAT scans, MRIs and myleograms to figure it out, but we found that my herniations were gone, but there was a slow growing spinal cord tumor in it's place. I had ruptured disks in my back at the exact location of my tumor. By this time, I got used to being in a wheelchair and really just wanted to die.

Six months after the initial fall, I had my tumor removed and was walking again, by myself and without pain. It was truely amazing, eye opening and the world changed at that moment. All was well, the birds sing and the snow falls. It was a wonderful trip to have taken.

Almost 10 years later and I still walk, run and jump...no pain!!! Welcome to the living....enjoy each moment, it's an amazing day!

Ruby

Scott, that is such great news! I'm so very happy for you -- and I'll bet your new wife and family are ecstatic!

As far as my happiest day goes, it's still in the future. I've had some very happy times in my life, and down ones as well, but I know that happiness increases with experience of living, so I know that my happiest day is yet to come. I'm just thankful for all the happy days I and those I love have had, and can look forward to.

I hope to see you at Stacey's some day, so I can hear your recovered voice. Again, that's really fantastic, and I'm so happy for you!

Wow, you are a light in a darkening world. Thanks for sharing your strength and humor. As requested, here's my story...

When I was 27, I herniated 3 disks in my lumbar region of my back due to a fall on a concrete floor. The next six months proved to be very painful and by the 3rd month following, I had been laid off from my job, had a husband who thought I was faking the pain, and went from being a healthy athletic 27 year old to being on Oxycontins, Somas and Ultrams walking with a cane and bed ridden. After painful physical therapy and doctors that thought I was just looking for attention, I found my neurosurgeon. It took CAT scans, MRIs and myleograms to figure it out, but we found that my herniations were gone, but there was a slow growing spinal cord tumor in it's place. I had ruptured disks in my back at the exact location of my tumor. By this time, I got used to being in a wheelchair and really just wanted to die.

Six months after the initial fall, I had my tumor removed and was walking again, by myself and without pain. It was truely amazing, eye opening and the world changed at that moment. All was well, the birds sing and the snow falls. It was a wonderful trip to have taken.

Almost 10 years later and I still walk, run and jump...no pain!!! Welcome to the living....enjoy each moment, it's an amazing day!

Ruby

I finally got that dream job.
Its been a long hard and very very frustrating journey.
Now i am finally relieved.

There are few things I remember as clearly and the memories of which bring me such joy as the times each of my two children distinctively smiled for their first times, with me holding them, when they were about two months.

I don't know how I missed your crisis. That's what I get for not reading your blog everyday. My worst day; the day I received my cancer diagnosis. My best day; today, because I'm still alive. Make every day count and never, never give up.

About two years ago my daughter, then 10, and I spent the day at an outdoor ice skating rink in downtown Pittsburgh. It was cold and it snowed off and on throughout the day. We skated for hours. We sat down to warm up every hour or so with hot chocolate and effortless conversation while the Zamboni would resurface the ice. A number of times during the day it struck me that I was in a state of complete bliss and that I was likely experiencing the happiest day of my life.

Congratulations!!

I was very unhappy for a lot of my childhood and teenage years, and had often felt suicidal. One day when I was fourteen, my two best friends and I went cycling round the woods after school on a gorgeous spring evening. We got hot and tired and had a water fight from the tap for dog drinking water, then collapsed on the grass singing Savage Garden's Truly Madly Deeply. I declared that I could never kill myself knowing life could contain moments like that. I've often felt suicidal since, but I'm still here.

Wow, I'm away for a few days, and look what happens.

Congratulations, Scott, that is indeed one that's hard to top! I won't even bother trying, although I must say it is good to be back in front of a computer, after messing up my back badly last week (it's not good when your doctor says "I've always wanted to try this!").

Best of luck to you, that your voice stays with you.

Thank goodness, I realized there were many, many good news things in my life I could have posted on. But I realized...reading Scott's good news blog made MY day better, because of HIS good news. All good things to you!

Happiest days of my life? The birth of our four children - and the oldest just shared your wonderful, ecouraging story with me.

Patti Wonders:

I wonder how many of these well wishers are atheists and how many believe in God?

I can't help noticing prayers being said for you and miracles being hoped for and...such

I truly have a warm feeling that.. most are people who have free will and believe in God.

Regardless of their different religions...
(Many may not even follow a formal/set religion)

But, I beleive that most wish you God-loving good wishes!
What do you think?? What do your readers think?

ps.
I am NOT saying that atheists cannot wish you well etc.
I just feel that most of these posts are good wishes and prayers for you... from people that beleieve in their God.

SO? What do you.. think? I am curious.


***************

When I first read this entry, I immediately thought of the Alexander Technique. The British government recognizes it as a valid supplemental therapy for many forms of vocal impairment, though it is as much as anything an approach to stagecraft. In any case, I recommend looking for more information on the Alexander Technique as a way to better cope with adult onset speech impairments, though I also extend my heartfelt wishes no additional treatment is required.

To be more directly responsive, it is hard to pin down just which was the happiest day of my life. However, I'm about to go meet the woman who shared this link with me. There is something in the air, and I look forward to the first of many new happiest days.

4 years ago I lost the use of my hands in a burglary. Imagine losing the ability to do things we take for granted like feeding, dressing and using the toilet. It's not too far off from this situation.

Here's the upside, I retrained the use of my hands through origami. In the span of 4 years and thousands of birds, I slowly increased the difficulty, from folding paper using 2 hands to going blindfolded. Then I went to using one hand before I became aware of the sort of commands that went from doing the same tasks eiter left handed or right. After that, it all became a matter of converting everything else from writing to chopsticks.

I hold myself as a case study of trainable ambidexterity , this is something I feel anyone is capable of learning. It has also given me a unique prespective on the problems of being 'right' all the time. It's only half the picture of the world.

The best day of my life is in the future.
But thanks for your testimony.
I'll fight to get better.

Scott,

Your brain rocks. We, your fans, already knew that.


/ Per

That's wonderful news! Not quite as wonderful, but still nice: We found out why our cat has been licking all the fur off his belly: fleas. Now it looks like we'll have to treat him w/ Advantage once a month for the rest of his life, but at least he'll have a furry tummy!

Congratuations on your recovery.

Happiest moment was July 24th, 2006 at 5:40 PM. The phone rang and the adoption agency said there was a 4 day old girl availalbe for immediate placement. All the legal stuff was complete 10 AM the next day and now she's home and will spend the rest of her life with us

That is amazing, Scott! It is amazing what the human mind can do, it is SO inspiring.

I can't think of one day that I would consider the happiest. Typically my joy isn't brought on by an event, but will hit me some days out of the blue and my heart will feel like it is swelling in my chest so much that it might burst, usually when I realize how fortunate I am after seeing something that I see every day and realizing how beautiful it is.

But yesterday I had a joyful moment that I will remember for a long time. I started suffering from anxiety attacks a few years back and my anxiety found a focus on being underground, specifically in a small tunnel. I have a hard time even driving through tunnels. Yesterday my nephew and I were running around in haunted maze and in the middle was a 50 foot tube that was just wide enough to fit through (that was placed in the maze as a cheat to bypass all of the turns). My nephew jumped in and asked me to follow him and I sat there, next to the tube, and felt that familiar cold creeping over me. I nearly stood up and told him I would meet him at the other end, but I decided to give it a go. On my belly, pulling myself with my elbows, I wiggled through the tube. Midway I started to panic, picturing myself being stuck, blacking out, trapped in the dark. But I took a breath and kept going and emerged out the other side with a whoop. We went back through the tunnel at least 5 more times after that, and I never felt a moment of panic again. I felt like I could take on the world. I think I might start by taking on another tunnel, though. : )

Scott,

Thank you for your story of optimism and imagination.

My happy story? My wife had a car accident some years ago. It wrecked her lower back a bit, and she was in constant agony. Painfully pinched nerves, sciatica, all that.

Yoga, physical therapy, and chiropractic adjustments were of some help, but not so much and not for any length of time. Pain meds are... well, they're pain meds.

One day, for completely unrelated reasons, she gave up eating meat. A few days later, her pain left. The improvement was not complete, but remarkable enough for her to be free from pain's prison the vast majority of the time. She's done some experimenting, and there does seem to be a correlation between cheating on her diet (eating meat) and a worsening of her back for the next day or so.

We're not sure why this works. We're not even sure that it does, but I'm grateful. I'd begun to fear she would never be free from it, and then suddenly she was.

Scott, congratulations on a remarkable recovery. If I couldn't speak I think my head would explode. The brain truly is unexplored territory (I will refrain from providing the obvious snarky follow up examples).

Happiest day so far: Tie. The days my kids were born.
First runner up: the day my first book got accepted for publication.

HI -

I just read the post about overcoming your voice problems. I'm a hypnotist and someone in a professional hypnosis group I belong to posted the link.

When you talked about re-mapping, it reminded me of my sister who is now 41. At the time of her birth, there was a problem and she was without oxygen for 4-7 minutes which destroyed parts of her brain and she has Cerebral Palsy. She cannot walk and her speech is sometimes hard to understand, but she is highly intelligent.

A few years ago, they did CAT and MRI scans of her brain. It showed that many areas were not functioning. The most amazing part is that she is as smart and physically functional as she is even though she is confined to a wheelchair. It appears areas of the brain that normally do other functions took over speech, vision, movement, etc. Our brains - and our bodies - have a powerful ability to heal, something few of us take advantage of fully. The mind/body connection is very strong.

Something you might be interested in is a method developed by Paul Aurand from the New York area. It's called "Body Wisdom" and it's a way of communicating with the body to find out why you may be experiencing problems physically and, in some cases, looking for emotional causes of physical problems.

We tend to store emotions in the body. For example, many people feel a tightness or tension in the neck and shoulders when they are stressed. They store that feeling in that area. Or you may have felt a tightness in your stomach when you're upset about something - literally an "upset stomach". It goes further though. You can store up negative feelings over a period of years and the area where you store it begins having problems.

When you mentioned your throat/voice/speaking, I remember reading that Laryngitis can sometimes be caused by emotional issues, in particular a fear of speaking up or holding in anger and resentment of authority. According to that concept, Dilbert should have lost his voice long ago!

Good luck and hopes for continued improvements.

Scott,

You are now my hero.

Dale.

*salutes*

The day we picked up our adopted son from an orphanage in Russia is my happiest day. Second place--every day that he says "Mommy!" when I get him out of his crib.

Best news to start anyone's day. Congratulations!

My best day? A few months ago, finding the cojones to leave cubicle life and NYC behind for good to freelance from home and start my own business. Now I can read your comic strip and laugh for real instead of feeling mortified that it's my life!

That's...well, I don't have a word for it. I suppose it would be like watching a computer fix its own operating system.

My happiest moment so far would have to be the point when I realized that I really had moved in to my current place, and that I wasn't paying rent now - I was paying off a loan.

I'm a psychologist, so just reading about your experience has made my day. Thanks for sharing. Meaning beyond words makes me happy. And sunshine on my shoulders, like John Denver. But that's the cynic talking and you said all positive. Bye.

Not only is your story wonderfully inspiring but also the vast amount of positive comments it is generating.

It's like everyone is sharing a piece of this eternal optimism - myself included.

I especially like the idea of creating a character on Dilbert that reflects this optimism - regardless the Dilbert-isms...

Carry on!!

That's a very interesting story. I hope and pray that your voice returns. Maybe this could lead to another medical breakthrough for other people who may have the same illness.

This reminds of this week and when me and my wife found out that we are not pregnant. Correction: She is not pregnant. It was great news because we don't want children and we want to enjoy other things in life first. It made my day when I was having a horrible day.

Again, this is one first layer in your recovery, I'm sure there will more improvement.

Do you sing at anniversaries?

Kevis Wadlington
aka Captain Oblivious

You know, it just occurred to me; the happiest day of my life was the day I really believed my baby wasn't going to die of SIDS. The funny part is...I don't actually know what day that was!

I'm inexpressibly happy for you, Scott.

I'm so happy for you! I'm an engineer that does some control work and am fascinated by the complexity of the brain. Oliver Sachs stories amaze me...as does yours.

My happiest day was probably when our 10 year old son and I both got baptised as Christians in a very cold creek on a frigid day. As I knelt in the water and the pastor put his hands on my head and prayed, I felt this rush of warmth, that I've always thought was the Holy Spirit coming to live in me!

Now it's 13 years later, my son does stem cell research in NYC and sent me your story. Life is so good, even when it's hard.

Your story is very similar to that of F. Matthias Alexander, the developer of the Alexander Technique. I'd check out the website: http://www.alexandertechnique.com for more information.

What a breakthrough -- congratulations!

Best was Oct. 20, 2006: Music concert in Saratoga, followed by unexpected wonderful romantical episode.

2nd best was the very next day - which included meeting you at Stacy's Cafe where you graciously posed for a picture.

24 damn fine hours! :)

Congratulations on regaining your voice!

That reminds me of one of the happiest days of my life- I had fractured my spine and was having trouble walking. My orthopedic sugeon showed me my xrays and said I would never get better. Right after that, I was having a CT scan of my spine done and I felt tingling in my leg. Gradually from that point I started to get better and over time was able to walk normally!

A few years later my father had surgery and unfortunately developed a severe infection afterwards. For months he was in the ICU and every day we prayed for a miracle. Unfortunately he passed away. I was so sad after that, my dad was gone and we would never see him again. For many years my husband and I tried to have a baby and we were not able to. My sadness continued... by some miracle I got pregnant (still can't believe it!) and gave birth to a little boy a year ago. Whenever he smiles, I feel so incredibly happy because we are so blessed to have such an angel in our home. In some small way I know a part of my father lives on.

Amazing story thanks for sharing that.

Happiest moment of my life was the day my little sister was born.

Me and my family were going through a very difficult period with my father slowly dying of cancer. Without her I honestly don't know if we would have made it through. She was the light in all our lives and sometimes I thought she realised that from a very young age and has turned into the bright and cheerful young woman she is today because of that realisation.

I read your strip every day but I feel a physical anxiety as my eyes approach it on the page of my newspaper. I figured out it's because Dilbert's work world is so much like mine it's scary. (The cumulo-nimbus Alice? Change the raise to 2% and it's as if you're a fly on our office wall.)

I am so happy you have a voice again. And I have a suggestion, an outlet for your optimism. Create a Dilbert character who is the "eternal optimist", who takes whatever lemons (and crap) the workplace, the president, and everyone else pitches, and overcomes, recreates, reinterprets it to stay happy. It pisses off everyone else in the office, but s/he shows that we all have the power to tap into an inner peace that no person or event can take away.

Stay well! Your Christmas piece a few years ago about the woman giving her sandwich to a beggar moved me very much.

CONGRATULATIONS! :)

and then your internet connection broke

seriously, in normal speach in the united states all non acented vowels are pronounced "uh" (you don't believe me - listen very closely) - non acented vowels are actaully pronounced in speaking poetry or singing. either your feed back mechanism had been impaired (did you have some trouble understanding normal speech? - that would explain some speech confusion) or your brain was refusing to take the short cut in speaking

Dear Scott Adams,
I am a singer and voice teacher and have worked in voice therapy and your story is fascinating and upliftiing. Your comment about being able to sing but not speak reminds me of a wonderful bass I knew who had a terrible stuttering or stammering problem; he would simply get stuck on something and it was painful to hear him trying so hard to get the word out. BUT he could sing beautifully with no problem at all. His voice teacher worked with him to try a singing tone when he would stammer and I think it helped. The muscular cordination is a different and more intensified in singing than in speech.

I think the most inspiring thing is that you used your wits to figure out a connection and God willing this will continue and you will have your voice permanently.

My husband and I think your slant on business is right on so keep on keeping on. You give us a chuckle every day.

Best wishes for your continued recovery,
Jeanette Hall-Wood

The happiest day of my life was, when I realised that anything is possible - if it isn´t against the whole and if I 100% believe it. Anything.

Congrats to you, Scott. :-)

My happiest day?
Today. Now. Any day I open my eyes is a gift.
And Scott, regardless of what else has or will happen, you've added to the other great things you've already put in front of me - thanks.
Wishing you many more happy days,
Brian

My happiest moment was when I read this post.

No, really. Far too often I have contemplated if mind over matter truly does exist, and many times I have given up way too early because I've lost the drive and felt it to be hopeless, or created an excuse to pass it off to another time.. Many a spiritual thing, and many a practical thing have been passed by like this.

But when I read this post, it's instilled that nigh-religious, faith-based belief that if you keep trying as many ways just like a human can, we CAN progress, even in the worst conditions, even when the chips are down.

Mr. Adams, I salute you, and I hope that this inspiration keeps me going through the long nights.

Wonderful news!

My beautiful goddaughter has an anxiety disorder called Selective Mutism. It's somewhat like a fear of public speaking in adults, but it gets turned on too soon in a child, and it makes them so anxious they become literally incapable of speaking. At 3 years old she stopped speaking to anyone but her mom, dad, and maternal grandparents. Even though she never spoke outside her home or when anyone was visiting, she didn't get help for nearly 4 years.

My happiest day was about a month after she started therapy. I'd talked to her normally the whole time, and one day I asked her the name of the pig from Toy Story and out of the blue she whispered back, "Hammy." I cried to hear her voice again it made me so happy. She's been doing great with treatment and now speaks in a normal voice all the time - if anything she's too loud!

With all due respect, *my* best day doesnt enter into it. This was *your* best day, and I just wanted to write and tell you how happy I am for you. Congratulations, Scott, and I hope that you have seen the end of your tribulations with this ailment!

Thanks for sharing such a wonderful story. :)

I just happened on your blog. What a story. You must feel great. My guess is that feeling great will continue.

My happiest moment? Since 22:00, 6 June 2003, there have been many. On that evening I had a brain stem stroke, and I cannot really decide what my happiests moment is. Maybe walking again, or maybe the first time without the walker. Definitely not the first time after the stroke that I got on my horse, because I fell off as soon as he walked forward, but maybe the second time (around 6 months later) or maybe the first time I cantered with him (several months after that) or... there are so many things that have happened in the last three years to get from THERE to now, when people can't detect any difference and I'm back to work as a teacher.
I hope you have the same feeling, day after day. It's great.

I've never read your bog before But I caught it on Popcandy.
Anyway, I'll just mimic what everyone else said because it never get's tired. Congrats!
Let's hope your voice sticks around.

I will say this though, Personally Your voice isn't important to me, Your mind is. Don't ever let that go :)

Tina


Oh, My best moment. 4-22-00 11:11am, My daughter was born. She may be a pain in my ass now, But I wouldn't change it for the world.

Wow Scott, that's amazing, I'm really made up for you.

My happiest day?
Every day!
When I wake up, turn over, see my girlfirend, and know that she loves me as much as I love her.

That's just great! I'm so happy for you! Your comics and journal entries never fail or brighten up my day, or provide something thought provoking.

I had a moment of unbelievable luck also sometime last year. I had to take a math exam that determined if i was going to be allowed to stay in my school or be kicked out. Anyway, i prepared for weeks for it but i just couldn't focus during the actual exam. After 2 hours in the exam hall the room started spinning (probably due to my lack of sleep the night before) and i just gave up.

After that i was all prepared to leave the school. But when i came back from vacation to check the results, viola! i found that my name was on the list of people who were allowed to stay. Up till now i don't see anyway i could have passed that exam, i left most of the questions blank. (and i can't say i got everything else correct either) I reckon it's one of those things that happen that are just out of your own control, perhaps the teachers discussed that they should let me stay or something. Anyway, i'm doing better at studies this year, thank god for that.

I am SO happy for you!! God bless.

My happiest moment was when my daughter, born a month late and very large, finally took her first breath - it was relief, and extreme joy to hear that cry.

Thats awesome news man... Im happy for you. I hope it stays... if not, well thats life and theres people worse off. Hope it stays though. Aloha.

i would like to add my belated congatulations. It must have been wonderful for you.
my best day was when my wife delivered identical twin boys. I had not known what sex they would be and we already had a girl.

My happiest moment is everytime my (4 month old) baby wakes up in the morning and gives me his first gummy smile of the day.

Congrats! I'm happy that you are able to speak again.

And in today's news - moist robot reprograms self...
Really glad for you dude

Congratulations from spain ;)

Happiest day of my life? Bush and other devil's kicked out of earth control by USA people?... i hope soon ;)

I think the happiest day of my life was receiving my first 8-bit computer, a Yamaha AX150 MSX at the age of 8.

That little machine changed my life [ I'm still not sure if it's for the best or worst - I became a Programmer, and then a Lecturer :/ ]

That's really incredible! Here's hoping that it stays with ya!

-Rourkie

Youre an inspiration dude.. "this day, one life" ;)

Amazing...I'm speachless. Really, really great to hear this.

At the age of 9, I was sitting in class when I felt an electrical shock in my brain just as the teacher asked a question. Out of reflex, I answered the question correctly, without consciously knowing the answer. Ever since, I've been like Radar O'Rieley. It creeps people out. I've been living with this clairvoyance for the past 13 years now. More connections have been made, but I can't control them consciously. I have to let my mind go to sense anything.

My happiest day was the day I found the person whose life experiences matched my own.

At the age of 9, I was sitting in class when I felt an electrical shock in my brain just as the teacher asked a question. Out of reflex, I answered the question correctly, without consciously knowing the answer. Ever since, I've been like Radar O'Rieley. It creeps people out. I've been living with this clairvoyance for the past 13 years now. More connections have been made, but I can't control them consciously. I have to let my mind go to sense anything.

My happiest day was the day I found the person whose life experiences matched my own.

Reading those comments I see that most of the happiest moments of our lives are: getting married and having a child with the one you love. I am gay , and I realize I will probably never live either of those experiences. But anyway, one of the best moment of my life was when I realized my life was what I was making of it, and that I had to take the risk to be happy. It changed a lot of things. I am really glad for what just happened, I hope you stay as strong. And thank you for making this post and making us share such happiness.
Sunsets, oh so many road trips, music, flower smelling sheets, skinnydipping, cooking with my mum, graduation, hugs, children laughing, the sea, going back to my roots, drunk on a plane with a friend, realizing the picture i took is perfect, the first sip, swiming in rivers,... every day is a piece of my best day.

Hi Scott - Well, actually, I *am* a neuroscientist!! And I wanted to say kudos to you for rehabilitating yourself.

Your explanation makes perfect sense, and my best guess would be that your voice will just get stronger and stronger from here on in. Congratulations on following your intuition and having it pay off.

My happiest day? I've had many... but I've got my fingers crossed for next Tuesday - lol!

I also had a speech impediment. But it was a stutter/stammer. The happiest day of my life was when I realized my stutter was being caused by sugar intake. I cut out sugar from my diet, and my speech became clear.

Wow, thats crazy! :P
the happiest day of my life? that was probably when i figured out how to hack my brain for love. Yes, I accualy figured out that i could choose who i liked or not, and to stop loving them. I was so happy, cause i thought to myself "wow, i can choose whoever i want!" anyway, it has taken a whole load off of my mind and i am glad i found out how to do it.

When I found my big bro who helped raise me but whom I hadn't seen for years. I'd been in England, he'd been in America, and he turned up out of the blue on a dock in Curacao. Never before or since have I wept for pure happiness.

Scott, I hadn't heard about your voice, but glad to read a truly cool story, something good and uplifting. Congrats, and thanks.

My best day ever (of say, the last 7 years) was three weeks ago, when I got a postcard from a friend and former lover who wondered if we could bury the hatchet. I thought I'd gone to heaven. She was and is the finest of the fine, and now all of a sudden I'm visiting her, and because she was hurt in a an auto accident just a week after I got the postcard, I'm actually helping her a bit. It's the best feeling in the world.

Dear Mr. Adams: Saw a link to this post via BoingBoing. I don't have a dramatic tale of happiness to share - just the usual, marriage and parenthood and such ordinary miracles - but know that today your story has, in fact, filled me with joy for you.
Yours, Alan

When I was in fifth grade I broke my both bones in my lower leg trying to do a skateboard trick. Five months later I was walking about 6" above the floor after I finally did the damn thing.

Getting into my first-choice college early was pretty awesome. I saw that fat envelope and jumped up and down for a few minutes.

Just amazing...truly inspirational as always!

Keep up the great work!

The world is happy for you, but it would give you much more notoriety as a legendary figure if you just spoke in rhyme ever after. Even when giving speeches. Suddenly you'd go from being a semi-famous cartoonist to unmythical urban myth. With the right PR people, you could even become great and famous (or at least an obscure novelty for future generations, like Mad Emperor Norton). Maybe even politics--how cool would it be to hear the State of the Union delivered in blank verse?

But you're better now. And hell, wouldn't rather be able to end sentences with 'orange' than be President anyway?

that is SO WONDERFUL!!! as a linguist AND singer, I cannot imagine losing my voice permanently. I am SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!

lets see...lemme share some happy moments:
-getting to see the Dalai Lama
-Performing WITH my favorite singer
-All of the steps of moving up to musical stardom (albeit in a small and distinct group, tibetan music!)

So many others that I can't even list...

Scott,
You might want to look up Diane Rheam (sp?).
She hosts talk radio at American Univeristy in DC in spite of having your same problem. She gets botox injections to keep talking and will need them for life.

Time to start to rhyme. I've had SD for over 10 years -- and I'm a trial attorney! When the disease showed up, I was advised to change my focus and do legal writing, but I'm stubborn. I like to think my on-again, off-again voice just makes juries listen harder. I've won trials with this non-voice -- and I had one judge tell me never to appear before him again because he just couldn't understand me. But I keep on keeping on; because I'm a public defender and I like to think my clients need stubborn folks hanging in there for them. I'm happy for you, Scott, and grateful for the new idea. Now, where's that copy of Mother Goose???

Many congratulations on your recovery, Scott. It's always a happy day when my kids tell me they love me. People just have too great a capacity for making themselves miserable. Every day above ground is a good one.

You should try to contact the author and neuroscientist Ramachandran, who wrote, Phantoms in the Brain. Your story would seriously be of great help to science.

Congrats Scott, Today was the first I heard about your condition, but Dude I think there is the ultimate Dilbert cartoon to be made from this situation, especially the nursery rhyme.

Great news, I'm happy for you!

The happiest moment of my life? I can't pick any one single moment, but I can say that I am always happy being creative, whether it's writing, doing art, or even something mundane like cooking from scratch.

Congratulations! You proved the wonders of creative visualization and faith again.

Scott,
I am so happy for you. I have been a Dilbert fan for years, own every book. My happiest day-in August, 1993 when I took my first step after doctors told me I would never walk again. I had been in an automobile accident and sustained a spinal cord injury.

In the middle of graduate school - working on my PhD in an abstract field of science - my performance slowly degenerated over a period of two years. I was procrastinating more and my attention span shortened. Where I used to be able to do intellectually demanding work for 16 hours straight every day, my attention span dropped to a couple of hours, and then to minutes. The progress was so gradual I barely recognized it, but was shocked into an awakening when a friend I hadn't seen in three years called me out on being distant and detached when I visited her. I realized that I really had been feeling badly - slightly dizzy all the time, headaches more frequent, attention span gone. I was on the verge of getting kicked out of graduate school at age 27.

I started seeing doctors, demanding that they help me figure out what was wrong. At first nobody believed me - especially not my parents, but no doctors either - the symptoms were just too vague (reduced attention span?). Dozens of tests (blood sugar, hormones, brain scans, you name it) came back negative. But I'm an observant scientist and an objective analyst, and once my friend woke me up it was obvious to me that something was wrong: I wasn't myself anymore and it wasn't merely psychological.

It took nine months of persistence and research before a suggestion by my girlfriend led to a suspicion by my neurologist which led me to have a sleep study. During that sleep study, it was found that I stopped breathing and interrupted my sleep 200 times in six hours. This had gone on for years, and I never knew. I didn't even feel sleepy during the day, only distracted.

Doctors don't look for sleep apnea in 27-year-old athletic men, but it exists. After a few months figuring out the right treatment, I had my life - and myself - back again. I finished my degree and have gone on to be a successful professional and entrepreneur.

There was no one "happiest day" in this trial, but figuring it out and solving the problem in the face of everyone else's doubt gave me an immense feeling of success and satisfaction.

It takes persistence, for sure. Congratulations so much on yours.


Thank you for such an inspiring victory story. I guess the old adage "Mind over matter" really does apply in this case.
My greatest moment occurred yesterday - at age 49, and 1 year after my husband of 30 years died, I have entered my first year of a Bachelor's program in university as a voice performance major. I was given the opportunity yesterday, to sing solo, impromptu, in front of my peers, as well as the masters degree voice students, at a choral rehearsal. It was adrenalin-charged and I'm still a bit in shock!
Thanks for your time and work!!

this is really impressive. look what you've done to yourself! ^_^
it's gonna get better.

Ah Scott, you're world-famous in New Zealand now:

"Nursery rhyme cures Dilbert creator's speechlessness"

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/6/story.cfm?c_id=6&ObjectID;=10407712

:)

when he's happy there it is--the very best, sweetest, most involved and delightful smile the world has ever seen

I have had few genuinely happy moments. But perhaps the top of the list would be when I was about 25 and I came home from West Germany after being away for 6 years. My dad, whom I had had a strained relationship with for most of my life seemed genuinely glad to see me. It was a good moment.

WTG, Scott.

I'm so stoked for you. What a story!
You couldn't make it up if you tried.

Thanks for making my week!!

Congrats on your frabjous day and here's to evermore. I hadn't seen your blog before and it looks as if I picked the best day to stop by. Quite likely you will keep what you have gained although you might not find those neurons permenantly tuned. It sounds as if you have created quite an arsenal of self tuning skills and a great sensitivity to the "bits that's gone awry". Probably as important, you chose to continue to embrace yourself through your discombobulation. Good show. I think you're going to make it, kid. And besides, your story really made my day.

As to my happiest day-no contest, it was the day my daughter was born. Nothing like it, ever, ever. Second was the day I learned to really waltz.

Steady on.

one of the happiest moments of my Mom's life: The day in 1966 when my profoundly autistic brother laughed his head off *appropriately* at some geese on T.V. drinking water the way they do - head down, then up, gug-gug-gug. It marked the first time in four years he really registered the actions of another living being; he's since become exquisitely sensitive to the feelings of others. Many congratulations on your recovery! I and especially my kids have always loved your work/bought your books for the last 12 yrs at least. I thank god your cognition and senses were never impaired; I feel guilty for not having known about your problem and weird for just checking in now when it's over.
Speech is a miracle which eludes some of us for life. My bro, now 45, can still only scream and injure himself when in pain or distress over the rage or misery of others...but at least he's now in touch.

trust me it's a gloriously good thing

This one time at band camp

That...wow. I am awed. Thank you for sharing that, and best of luck with keeping that voice right where it should be. I suggest a leash.

Happiest day of my life was December 30, 2005. Best New Year's Party ever. Met old friends, made new friends, fell in love.

I went into a schizophrenic breakdown in September of
1961, stole a mail truck and ended up in a mental hospital.
After 19 years of struggle similar to what you
describe above I recovered my sanity in the summer of
1982, at the last it took three days of sustained effort
and when I knew for sure that I had regained my wits,
that I was free at last.. that last day of the three day effort
was indeed the happiest day of my life.

I'm thrilled to read your story.

Sometimes when I try to speak I stutter, and most of the time when that happens it is as you wrote, where I know in advance that I won't be able to say the next word. Or even knowing at the start of the sentence that I can't say the word at the end. I wonder if there is some of the same kind of mental mismatch going on as with spasmodic dysphonia, but then I'm not a brain surgeon either. Anyway, your story inspires me. Thank you.

I have a hard time picking a happiest day, so I'm going to resort to the cop-out line: "today". It's the only day I've ever got to live in, so I try to make the most of it every time it comes around.

My happiest moment involved more than one three-some with my girlfriend and a lesbian i knew...those were good times...

Well done. The body is wonderfully made and you are very aware of yours. Your story confirms my current studies in the field of classical chinese medicine. Every day is a happy day if one decides upon that perspective. http://www.jungtao.edu

Scott,

So this day was happier that your wedding?

Have you been back to have a "talk" with your doctor yet? I am sure he would like to know your achievments!
You may even get into a medical journal and become famous :D

Good to hear some good news.

Some of my happiest moments (not in order of importance):
* Having a blob of Dino the dinosaur eraser removed from my ear and being able to hear in stereo again.
* My daughter's first "I love you dad"

As far as optimism goes, I once burst an eardrum while diving - very painful experience but the upside was that I won plenty of bets (Mmm free beer) by proving that I could blow smoke out of my ear :)

The happiest day of my life, its hard to say. I've had a few and its hard to say which one is the happiest. One that comes to mind definitely is 11 AUG 2002, the day that my wife and I discovered that we had conceived our first child.

Tremendous! I'm impressed! :D

Scott-- Great news. What a story. I appreciate your reaching out.

My happiest day: holding my youngest daughter up to the window to see the ice covered Charles River in january about 3 minutes after she was born, after my wife and I had spent a really wonderful night at home in labor, and finally picked up and went to the hospital with just 2 hours to spare. BTW she is now nearly 21.

Scott, I hope you have many more happiest days!!

Mine:
October 28, 1989
The Place: Beaver Stadium, home of the Nittany Lions of Penn State
The Event: University of Alabama vs Penn State
Who won? BAMA - they blocked a field goal that would have put Penn State in the lead with 13 seconds left on the clock.

ROLL TIDE!!!

This seems unusually coincidental considering your past struggles with FOCAL dystonia. Or are the two types of dystonia commonly connected?

Fantastic! Our minds have amazing power over our bodies when we believe. Don't tell the drug companies!

My best day was when I realised I could use my mind to change my life - I didn't have to make myself unhappy anymore. Obviously still get down sometimes, but its not the same, just comes and goes. Happy Days!

This weblog entry should really have been an audioblog entry! Congrats, Scott. What it takes, you got.


Our Dilbert man Scott happened upon a factor we often use in our SD clinic. www.breathing.com/school/sd.htm
SD has a huge breathng component. So I suspect does stuttering. Opera for sure.
mike white

Wow, I am so happy for you. I also have an illness of the brain that no-one has ever recovered from. Just like you, it's a case of something working but being disconnected, as I have seen. Now that you have done, with just the power of poetry and your mind, what is thought to be impossible before, gives me hope again. You are right, there is always a chance of being the first. Thanks for your story.

Hi, Scott,

Your story is really interesting. As a Feldenkrais practitioner, I've dealt with these kinds of mysterious situations before. Congratulations!

Adam

The happiest day of my life so far was the day my daughter woke up from a surgery that we'd been told she likely wouldn't survive.

Congratulations on getting your voice back, and for never giving up. It's a rare quality.

old joke:
Little Jose' was mute from birth, but one morning at breakfast he suddenly spoke: "These Pancakes Are Terrible!"

Everyone exclaimed with joy, then questioned him, "How Come You Never Talked Before?"

"Well, Up Until Now, Everything was Fine."

Amazing, Scott! Congratulations! I sincerely hope you got it permanently!
The best day of my life was when I discovered that I had no fear of death. It was when I was under the suspicion of having colon cancer, illness that was responsible for my beloved wife passing away in '96. I went to all exams with such a composure that people were surprised. Luckily, it was not true and I'm still here, for good or for bad. However, people think now that I am super-cool and I feel great because I am able to enjoy life with a certain detachment.
Anyway, many thanks for Dilbert and for having giving us many reasons for laughter. I'm a Software Engineer and I can relate to your cartoons 100% because I have witnessed many of the jokes in them.
Take care and hope you succeed!!!

hi Scott

i had no idea u had this condition, it must have been really difficult to apply ur usual witty renditions

in fact now, i think u're on the right track
mofo went into his brain and got it hacked

aint no thang for my man Scott A
Freaky dilbert guy, read his blog every day.

i think u should download some eminem raps
that white boi can speak in rhymes, what u think about that?

MC Scizzle Adams, an MC Comic Writer
Dilbert is ill - no other comic is tighter.

Word~!

Peas.
^^
Chris

I'm so happy for you! My happiest day? Like so many others who've replied it's hard for me to to pick just one. There was one day that no one remembers except for me and that somehow makes it all the more precious: my children were still fairly small, and we went exploring in a little woods where we found a small creek surrounded by wild daylillies, a turtle,and lots of butterflies. No one else was around, we could hear the quiet tinkling of the creek, we snacked on wild strawberries, and the weather was perfect. That was a wonderful day!

My wife was loosing her voice because of a tumor or lump near her vocal cords which was getting larger. It also created the feeling of having something stuck in your throat.

Surgery would likely remove it for a while but it would also likely return and there was a chance the surgery could go wrong and eliminate her ability to speak so we never got the surgery.

Then... One day she coughed real hard and the thing somehow broke loose. She just coughed the thing up. We saved it and took it to the doctor who was flabbergasted. He had never seen or read anything like it.

In a word- WOOHOO! Congratulations on getting your voice back. Now could you get some of the other people in this world to lose THEIR voice? Now that would be a trick!

Last Friday (10/20) after two years of searching for a particular phenomena in my research, one of my techs was able to observe the phenomena. I was so excited, I couldn't sleep a wink on Friday night!

Thank you for sharing your success!

Happiest: I heard Bjork singing "it's not up to you, well it never really was". I mean I knew this from being a Christian, but I realized it in a profound way when I heard her singing it. Knowing this took a lot of blame and guilt and stress out of my life and allowed me to get on with it.

I bet that you have been carrying that big cup of coffee on your back for a week now, so you have developed and advanced mind control that will let you remap your brain using rhymes, speechless is just another word for not enough coffee :D

Now seriously, this is great, i hope you get it 100% back.

Hi Scott. A friend of mine posted a link to this entry on his livejournal. He basically said you "hacked" your brain. I love it. This is like the thing that is going to catapult the human species to a whole new level. Your accomplishments in regaining close to full speech is amazing, encouraging, and serve as a role model for anyone wishing to get a better handle on who they are and what their potential is.

My happiest day was a few days ago when one of my photos appeared on the local NPR station. I think (if I may make a gander here) it's the fact that there were no outlandish expectations involved in either of our endeavors that made it possible to achieve some measure of greatness.

That's great, Scott. The first part of this post was depressing, and it made me feel sad. Then I read the rest, and now I feel all warm and fuzzy and stuff. I'm really happy for you. I can't imagine how bad life without voice would be...

The first time I heard the third movement of Mahler's fourth symphony, I forgot everything. I felt even as if I didn't have a body and that I merely existed in a world of sound. It wasn't happiness in the normal sense -- no exuberance or energy, no thoughts of time or space. The word "content" seems the only way, though barely adequate, to describe the feeling. It was during a very difficult time in my life. That same music has never quite had that effect on me, but then my life has not been that dismal since then. Some day I hope to have that feeling again -- to get the up without the down. I don't know if it's possible, but I feel fortunate to have had that experience even once.

The happiest day of my life was when I finished writing my book. The second happiest day will be the day I hold that book in my hand (because that means it is published!!!)

Last week Wednesday I had a stroke.

Lest week Wednesday I was parayzed.

Today I am at my desk, not better buy 95%.

Today is the happiest day of MY life.

If this isn't an example of the power of affirmations, I don't know what is! Congratulations, Scott.

Well, this is late in the comment-game to start making such a great suggestion, as I am about to make, but here goes.

You should really get together with a composer, like Andrew Loyd Webber, and turn your story into a Musical. I'm thinking, you call it, 'Dilbert', and intermingle your story with that of your characters. But, you're the Protagonist, and finish the show having conquered all, and able to deliver a, smashing, final number!

I'm tellin' ya. It'd be a hit!

I am thrilled for you, but this just proves what a superior person you are, to have perservered like that. If it does not hold, remember - your pen is your strongest voice anyway. You gave us Dilbert!!

Best day?

Discovering I have talent as an artist. My life was forever altered.

Andy

Regarding your spasmodic disphonia, it might be valuable to neural science for you to have a brain scan to reveal what new part of your brain took over (if that was the case) or anything else helpful that might be revealed. Seems a pity to let this opportunity pass.

I've tried to single out one particular day, but I just love to live so much (regardless of what happens) that it was impossible. Maybe I could try if we divided by categories: love, work, friendship, recovery, etc.

Anyway, happy to hear your voice is back.
Though I never actually heard it. ;-)

Cheers,

Andreas

So all the pondering over free will has stemmed from this condition.

Congratulations on manifesting the power of your mind! And I'm sure there are many more good things in store for you now that you've learned this. I'm not the least surprised by your ability to overcome spasmodic dysphoria. Spinoza was right, the body and mind are integrated not seperate. As a certified hypnotist, I've seen how the mind can manifest what the heart desires. My best day? When I stood up and walked away after having been run down by a car on Fifth Avenue in NYC. It was the day before my birthday, and the whole event made the birthday so much more joyous!

I never comment on celeb blogs, but when reading this, I just felt compelled to say how happy I am for you. Reading this was a highlight of my day.

Wishing you the best,

Jim

That's GREAT to hear Scott! Let's hope and pray that your voice stays intact. Best wishes from Norway. And thanks for giving us all so much fun through your work.

Happiest day was the day i realized i wasn't responsible for changing the entire world, good luck too you, i read your comic everyday. (my favorite one too!)

congrats on this! i'm amazed that someone can actually hack his brain...

Swwwwweeeeeeeeeeeet. The brain rules. It's amazingly redundant. Most systems designed by humans aren't anywhere near as reliable.

Kevin

I'll give you a moment of deepest ecstasy:

It was about 11 PM in the middle of a late-June heatwave, in the mid-nineties still. I was in the midst of baking cupcakes for the school orchestra party ("Mom, you did remember you said you'd make cupcakes for tomorrow's party, didn't you?), getting a bit strung out and floury.

Out of nowhere my 12 year old daughter and I
suddenly found ourselves spontaneously doing the tango wildly around the kitchen, singing the Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd "Kill the Wabbit" version of the "Ride of the Valkyries" at the top of our lungs.

Just a five minute aberration before returning to the mundane life, but an achingly beautiful moment of realizing how much being a mother has enriched my life. Not that I ever expected my daughters would address me as "Dude," nor that I would find myself leaning down into the garbage bin outside on a summer's morning to see if there were any particularly nice maggots for my daughter's pet lizards.

I thank you for the posting of this, and bookmark it. I'm in my fourth week of laryngitis, and I remember how difficult even a single week of no talking was for me. I saved the little pads I had stashed all over the house
that week. Amazing how much of what I really needed to say had to be parental maintenance talk, including a cryptic note on one of them to try to clarify with a child, "By that do you mean your anus or your buttocks?"

Happiest day in my life.

Tough. Perhaps the last day I spent in California, after the implosion of a relationship, and the hopes of my impending move up to Minnesota, I went out and had a good time, knowing that tomorrow I would be leaving California behind.

Awesome!
I have three of the most awesome things that ever happened to me to share:

July 7, 1979 - I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. He accepted.
May 7, 2005 - I heard my wife say "I do."
June 26, 2006 - I heard my son's first cry in the delivery room.

Congratulations, Scott! This is phenomenal news. Talk on!

I'd actually try to make an appointment to talk with Oliver Sachs, it sounds like a bit of hackery right up his alley.

I'm an opera singer who lost her voice for just over 24 hours at Burning Man this summer. Your story is both terrifying, and inspirational.

My happiest moment? Getting the voice mail that I had gotten my first operatic role. I couldn't stop laughing and crying at the same time. Totally, uncontrollably overwhelming.

Congratulations!

A truely inspiring story.

I really welled up when you said you were an optimist.

Here's my story.

For the last 4 year I have been with my girlfriend and 4 months ago she left me for another man. I was heart broken. Yet an old friend (female) was going through the same thing and we got close. When I met the old friend we'd had a fling but i thought she was way out of my league and left it that.

We got together and she said one of the things she loved about me was my optimism. Which is why I welled up.

After the best 3 months of my life my now girlfriend decided to go back to ex. Again I was heart broken.

Yet I am sat here today and I feel like today I am the happiest I have been. And tomorrow I will be even happier. Cos no matter what gets thrown at you, you get what you make out of life.

So for me tomorrow is my happiest day. And always will be.

Hey there from Jamaica. Love the comic strip and the show, but sometimes the jokes are a little too high brow. Had no idea that existed. You are facing it with great bravery and optimism. God bless.

My happiest day is when I get a new job. Says a lot about my saddest day. Good work with your problem - never give up, never say no. Take the facts, log them, then start a fresh path. Many can learn from your example. My latest new job is quite a diversion from the past experiences. Not geared for the money this time but for the experience and the environment. So far I am quite happy. Will be interesting to see where it leads me.

I read a brief summary of this post elsewhere and it immediately sounded like a stuttering problem. Why do we not have any research on stuttering's relation to Spasmodic Dysphonia? Is it the same weird brain remapping to deal with an external cause (genetic, stroke, etc)?

Anyway, I have about 50 percent fluency but have learned to FORCE myself to think on the fly when I speak -- once you think about the impairment, the magic's gone. Not easy to do, especially since I'm in law school.

The happiest moment of my life was when I was sitting at home during an academic break a couple years ago during college. I just realized that everything I valued was perfect. Nothing too spectacular -- just a random day, but contentment is powerful and easily ignored.

On a side note, a drug called Pagoclone is coming out in a year or two. I've talked with some test subjects from the trials and they had 90 percent improvement. That's pretty encouraging...

That's nothing, this one time I cut off my head and ate it and then picked it out of the toilet and put it back together and it still worked! Everything always has a brown tinge to it though, kind of like wearing sunglasses. Weird. [/Topper]

Woohoo! That's awesome!

Day my first child was born. I was so happy and overwhelmed with emotion I hyperventilated. Two nurses working on me, on doc on my wife...baby, all by himself. Happiest day ever!

I read a brief summary of this post elsewhere and it immediately sounded like a stuttering problem. Why do we not have any research on stuttering's relation to Spasmodic Dysphonia? Is it the same weird brain remapping to deal with an external cause (genetic, stroke, etc)?

Anyway, I have about 50 percent fluency but have learned to FORCE myself to think on the fly when I speak -- once you think about the impairment, the magic's gone. Not easy to do, especially since I'm in law school.

The happiest moment of my life was when I was sitting at home during an academic break a couple years ago during college. I just realized that everything I valued was perfect. Nothing too spectacular -- just a random day, but contentment is powerful and easily ignored.

On a side note, a drug called Pagoclone is coming out in a year or two. I've talked with some test subjects from the trials and they had 90 percent improvement. That's pretty encouraging...

Wow, congrats... for your voice and over 1000 comments...

Scott,

This is an awesome story, congratulations! My son is a big fan of yours and sent me this link.

I have a similar condition, except that it affects any part of my body, multiple sclerosis. It can take away my voice, or my legs, or my hands, or my ability to think clearly. If the disease attacks the brain, there is a very good chance that it can re-route signals and have at least a partial recovery early in the disease.

If the damage is in the spine, there is not much room for re-routing the signals, and more likely to be permanent disability.

They are working on treatments and cures for illnesses such as these. I'll soon be on an experimental treatment called analogous T cell vaccine (Tovaxin), which takes my own blood and produces a vaccine against the MS.

I hope that they will also be able to treat your illness similarly someday.

Thanks for the good news, you proved the doctor wrong!! :-)

Wiz

The happiest moment of my life was when I married my sweetie. And every moment since then!

You asked us to share happy things and be brief. So here it is:

I know my husband loves me and I, him.

Scott - I didn't know this had happenned to you, but I am glad to hear you have recovered, at least in some manner.

What you had/have is exactly the same as what Diane Rehm has - her profile is located at http://www.wamu.org/programs/dr/diane_rehm/ - she struggles with it every day. She is often away regularly for treatments. Perhaps you should email her your account regarding how you recovered - I would so love to hear her speak "normally", and I am certain she would, too.

Furthermore, your account and how you "re-mapped" your brain falls right in line with some of the theories described by Jeff Hawkins in his book "On Intelligence" - see http://www.onintelligence.org - if you haven't read it, I highly reccommend it.

Good luck on your continued recovery, and I am certain your story will become an inspiration for all, whether they are struggling with neurological conditions or not.

Happiest day?

Simply every day I remember. Even the ones bad form other people perspective made me what I am today and were the happiest days of my life. Every one next is better!!!

I remember you once gave the advice to write down your life's goal 25 times a day.

That was good advice, too.

Congratulations!

I understand how all of that feels. One dosen't realize how much your voice defines you as an individual until it's gone. I was diagnosed with the same condition back in April 2004 (my ENT told me that it was due to emotional stress...my father was dying of cancer at the time). It continued to worsen, putting my job on the line (I was a receptionist at the time). Every time I would pick up the phone, I struggled to get my voice to come out. After trying several different meds and speech therapy for a few months, my voice suddenly returned in October the same year. I remember being at a concert in Berkeley when it came back. I was talking with a group of people there when I realized that I wasn't having to struggle to speak! I was thrilled! It's been two years and I still have my voice. I can certainly relate to the excitment of having your voice back.

Glad to hear your voice came back m8. it just shows with determiation and hope you can succeed against the odds.

PS;- Hearing the good news, i am going to get drunk and celebrate all for you. :-) (jk)

The day I graduated with my Master's degree with a 4.0. I have ADD, Attention Deficit Disorder, and school was always a struggle. I wanted to prove to myself that I am smart! More than that, I learned the power of determination! It was not easy, it took me longer to do things than my peers, but I did it! I am a Phi Kappa Phi now. Not, "the girl who did not work up to her potential"!

Becky

I have been a teacher of youngsters with severe/profound cognitive challenges for 30+ years. I am thrilled with your success as I am always looking for ways to break through my students' learning bariers. I have always included some sing song rhymes in learning situations because it seemed to lessen the stressfulness of the situation or make it more palatable for both student and teacher. I am wondering if this method didn't also help students to tap into the other non linear side of their brains, and help them with their output. Thank you for sharing your struggle and for inspiring me with your story. Best wishes!!!

Third happiest day of my life was when I met my future husband in a hallway. I was playing the piano and he stepped off the escalator.

Second happiest day of my life was when, over homemade nutmeg rum ice cream, he asked me to marry him.

The happiest day of my life will be the day we marry.

Thank you for this and good luck!

P.S. I was overjoyed to read Christopher McEwan's comments. I was born with a congenital ear defeat in my left ear that I suspect is the exact same as his. I have not gotten surgery to repair my hearing--I am afraid to find out if I have any hearing or not--but his words gave me hope that at least some of my hearing may be restored as well.

Majestic. Complete mind body connection. Every day is the happiest of my life.

A little over a year ago, i became symptomatic for Bell's Palsy. The left side of my face lost all motor function. Had to drink either with a straw or a sippy cup. I suppose one of the benefits might have been i lost all the wrinkles on my forehead, too? Anyway, about 3 or 4 weeks later, i woke up, and was THRILLED i could wink my left eye, i could raise and lower my left eyebrow, and eventually could smile with both sides of my face again. Amazing how the simplest thing (opening and closing my left eye) could bring such incredible joy to me. Sounds a lot like what Scott went through when he rhymed effortlessly...

My daughter is still a toddler...I am a single father. A couple weeks ago I put her to bed and told her I loved her, and for the first time she said "I love you too Daddy." Very good moment.

Congrats on your voice.

I have had many happiest days - kids being born, getting married, and I have had two near death experiences. Medically there is no reason why I am alive.
My happiest day is when I realized that my wife loved me - not the day she said it, but the day I realized it.

i read your blog often and often with great joy. never more so than today. my best day? this one. why? because it's here, and i am too. xox

Too many great days:
Birth of my son, wedding day...and night :-)
Just this past weekend: wife, cigar & red wine in Santa Barbara, CA.
Today!

Congrats, it's not every day that a person pulls together such courage seemingly from nowhere.

I am still young, but one of my happiest days was September 12th, 2001, when American flags came out of nowhere and even though we as a nation were faced with incredible terror and sadness, we came together for a cause. The first flag I saw hanging from the fence on a freeway overpass made me pull over and cry.

One of the happiest days of my life was watching my Son, age 10, tear down the soccer field in pursuit of a ball with nary a hitch in his gait. Zachary was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsey at age 2. Zach's limp and gait improved through use of shoe implants and walking on every curb, wall and painted line we found. Watching Zach turn his bad deal into a winning hand gifts me with happiness on a regular basis.

What irony; conisidering you and your comics have given a voice to millions of frustrated office workers for so many years.

Congratulations on this amazing feat; you're a hero to so many of us.

I started playing in bands in high school and I never had stage fright--it was such a high to play with a band. Then later, it crept in and I got more and more nervous on stage and I just completely lost enjoyment playing in front of people and stopped any public performing though I enjoyed playing more than ever.

20 years later, I was on a business trip with colleagues from work and we ended up at a blues bar. It was a "sit in" night and anybody could go up and play with the band. Since blues guitar was my thing, I borrowed a guitar from a guy and went up. It was great! The amp was great, the drummer was great and I could play and enjoy myself--and it rocked. The audience was really into it and my co-workers stood up holding lighters at the end. It just felt so good to be able to play like that.

That is the happiest thing I have ever heard. I almost cried it was so beautiful. I am so happy for you.

Double Congratulations. For being recovered and for being the first one.It must have been tough.

Wow... over 1000 comments... you must be overflowing in good news... well, excpet for your inernet being down and all...

my happiest day, im sure hasnt come yet; i'm only 16 so i have time....

Scott,

Fantastic news! I will gladly share with you my happiest day. When my wife and I went out to dinner with my son & his future bride and we had a wonderful meal with equally wonderful conversation. I had dreamed of that meal for years; just a moment in time when all was right. You never know just how things are going to turn out with your children and that day we realized that this son was going to be OK. Happy? Oh, you bet!

The first time those little eyes looked at me and she smiled closely followed by every time she says, "Dada,..."

My wife has Spasmodic Dysphonia and has put up with Botox injections and nerve surgury in her throat. I'm really excited to pass your success on to her.

Wow! This is amazingly inspirational! I had no idea this happened but I am so glad you are healed via this miracle! I will tell my classea bout this.

Happpiest day of my life? I've had many. My wedding day. The birth of my daughter. The day we opened our yoga studio in Maine. THose stand out most of all.

Be well. I am so happy for you!

That's awesome Scott!! You're the BEST!
Happiest moments of my life:
1) When I first met my first wife
2) When I first met my second wife
3) When I first met my third wife
4) When I met my first wife
5) When I first met my forth wife
6) When I realized that I don't need no wife
:)

Thank god it was simple rhyming that did the trick and not, say,
- haiku or
- iambic pentameter or
- devotional hymns

Happiest moment three years ago - quit my job, sold the house and car and went travelling for a year on the proceeds.

Happiest day of my life: July 3, 2002. I had been born with a congenital hearing defect in my left ear leaving me with almost a 100% hearing loss in that ear. My right ear is fine thought. Turns out the tiny bones in my left inner ear were fused together, preventing sound waves from vibrating them and thus being converted into something my brain could perceive. The summer of 2002 I had a surgery to unfuse those bones and enlarge my ear canal. On July 3, 2002, I had the last of the gauze and bandages removed, and it was like someone flipped a switch and I could hear nearly 100%. My girlfriend whispered "I love you" into my ear, and I could hear it with utmost clarity. The ride home was incredible listening to my favorite songs, hearing notes and layers in the music I had never heard before. I could now hear in stereo! Over the next month as my ear fully healed, the bones fused back together and it was like someone was slowly turning back down the volume until it was where it began. One of these days I'll go back, see if I can get it fixed permanently this time. But for a few short weeks that summer, I was given a gift.

Happy and amazed to read and see your trouble is solved and in this humorous way. This must be spectacular good news for you. You remain a humorist even in the way of solving! Keep going.

I will write about your amazing story in my daily weblog about life.

http://www.myglobalwebsites.com/WordPress

Best wishes,
Henri


Scott, I find your story inspiring from the fact that you are using your creativity to help you in your healing. Creativity is not just about being able to draw well or be funny, it is about problem solving in unique ways.

Just because a problem hasn't been solved before doesn't mean that there isn't a solution, so good for you for having the desire to be the first person to get better from Spasmodic Dysphonia. We can all learn from your tenacity. Bravo!

Congratualations!- Ezekial

15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.

16 He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.

17 Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?
18 Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this one person?"

19Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well."

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2017:11-19

The day my first child was born. Driving home from the hospital in the early morning. I was up all night with my laboring wife. I watched that baby enter the world. As I drove over the hill on the way home there was a beautiful rainbow.

Congrats on your recovery! Keeping a positive attitude despite the obstacles is the only way to victory (and it tends to piss the obstacles off in a most satisfying way).

My happiest moments often come from my storytelling. When I'm performing for an audience and the story goes well, the appreciation from the crowd puts me on top of the world.

I was recently in Edmonton (Alberta, Canada) at a festival and I was telling one of my favorite stories to a 75-person audience. The story was going well and I took a dramatic pause in the story so I could mentally take not of the moment. The people were hanging off every word, hungry for the next moment.

When I ended the story, the crowd's reaction was the icing on the cake. It's moments like those that remind me that being a storyteller is more than hobby, it's a life-calling.

Congrats... very cool.

Best day? Tough one to narrow down. Top 5:
1) Meeting my wife for the first time
2) Tie - birth of our 2 kids
3) First time I ever had a Double-Double from In-n-Out Burger
4) Last time I had a Double-Double before moving to Ohio.
5) Next time I get back to California and have another Double-Double.

I imagine the part of your brain controlling reading is failing about now...

What excellent news! I am so happy to hear it!

What an absolutely amazing discovery - congratulations to you.

The happiest days of my life so far are the day my husband asked me to marry him (actually he did it twice, and both of those days were insanely happy!), the day we got married, and the day our daughter was born. Keeping fingers crossed for another happy day when the one I'm pregnant with now is born too.

i'm a hand surgeon and we see a similar problem with people's periferal nerves. their sensations go all haywire and they get all sorts of odd pains. many doctors treat these people with pain meds, injections and all sorts of aggressive treatments. we just have them 're-program' their nerves with a scrubbing exercise that they build up the pressure gradually and this invariably works just fine.
so good for you for finding right route around the problem!

Hello Scott ! Wow, amazing. Would be excited to talk to you about anything, anytime. Most of the time I'm at work. My number is 303-499-9880 -- Hope you will not post work number (thanks)

The 24 hours-or-so following my wedding. I told total strangers I loved them. 7.5 years on, that feeling has never really gone away.

The happiest day of my life..really hard to say, though it's because life seems to smile at me. Every day is simply great! :)

As for you, Scott, I do hope you get to keep your voice! You deserve it! :)

I'm happy for you young fella ... Miracles are few in this day and age of sombre news. Thanks for sharing what happened ... May it happen for others with the same condition!

My happiest moment was when my wife said yes followed by the safe arivval of our children four decades ago.

Amazing story, brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for sharing, and good luck. :)

I'm happy for you young fella ... Miracles are few in this day and age of sombre news. Thanks for sharing what happened ... May it happen for others with the same condition!

My happiest moment was when my wife said yes followed by the safe arivval of our children for decades ago.

Scott, Yours is truly an inspirational and remarkable story. May God continue to bless you with a full and permanent recovery.

Best day: The day my best friend became my wife 24 years ago.

Hello Scott! Long time strip-reader, first-time blog-reader. I had no idea that you were suffering from such an esoteric malady, but if you had to be stricken at all, it's somewhat fitting, considering your sense of humour, that it be by something suitably bizarre.

Thank you for reminding me of my happiest day. As it happens, nothing earth-shattering happened that day. No children were born to me that I know of, no relatives awakened from a coma, no supermodels asked me out for beverages. It was June of 1986, and I had just graduated from high school. I and seven friends went up to a cottage by a remote lake in northern Ontario one weekend, and we were simply doing what teenagers naturally do (I won't go into the details, but I assure you it was nothing tawdry), when suddenly a thought struck me from the blue: "Holy cow, this is the happiest I have ever been in my life." It was a feeling of simple but intense joy, and immediately after I had it, time seemed to slow, and the day seemed to last an age. Of course, I've felt happy since then, but never quite in that way. The memory gives me something to shoot for.

May your voice continue to strengthen, and for God's sake, take care of your drawing hand.

It was really hard for me to pick my happiest day. One that stands out was my graduation day from college. A month before my sophomore year of college was to begin, my mother died in an accident. The following semester, from all the stress and grief, I had to drop out. The next year, my family had to move to another state. It took me a total of 7 years of on-and-off study before I got there, but I did it on my own, paid for it myself, and my GPA qualified me to graduate with honors.

What an amazing story, Scott. The human mind truly is a marvelous piece of engineering.

My happiest day so far is a tie between the day my daughter was born and the day I married the most wonderful and beautiful woman in the world (and yes, she's the mother of my daughter). With both events my memory of details is murky and all a wonderous blur. It's as if I was so full of joy that my mind had no room to imprint the details.

Best of luck with progess on regaining your speech and all the best to you and your family.

hahaha, what a bunch of sappy crap. congrats for nthe voice, but all you mother losers try saving your irrelevant life experiences for your own uncirculated and unseen blogs.

die plz, kthxbye

Congrats Scott!!!

I'm pretty young (27) and unattached so my happiest moments are easily a bit different from some of the ones I've read. I have two.

(1) High school marching band, Sophomore year, marching band finals. The short version: We went into finals in fourth place for our division. Went out on the field, did our routine, had a great time with it - very relaxed. We just went out there to have fun and do what we could. At the end of the night as they read off the places for our division, we stood with our heads bowed, in formation as always. "Fourth Place: X." Hmmm, wow. They must not have done well. "Third Place: Y." Whuh-huh? Not us? Jeez, they must not have done well either. We couldn't have won. C'mon. "Second Place: ...Them!" !!!!!!!

To further describe the tremendous wave of excitement that rippled through the band would do it disservice. We won. We went from fourth to first in a huge upset. It was amazing. The entire scene, most of that night, is clearly fixed in my head. Such a good memory.

(2) This one is more of a scene than an event. I used to go camping at a Boy Scout camp (I was/am a Boy Scout) in Northern Connecticut. (Incidentally, they later sold the camp.) There was a lake there with a narrow, raised strip of land that ran past one part of the lake. I can remember purposefully going out to that narrow strip of land in the middle of the night, surrounded by the nighttime noises of the woods, insects, birds and assorted critters chattering away. I looked out over the placid water, the night sky reflected in the surface. And I looked up into a wide expanse of star-filled space. Another moment clearly fixed in my mind.

I like the way you took on your affliction as an intellectual challenge. We should all be so positive and creative.

Woah!

Scott, I had no idea you had such a problem with your voice. I'm glad that things are getting better, since your work really means a lot to me. I've literally spent days laughing my ass off while reading your books (yeah, those ones with not that many strips in them), loving every minute of it.

Best wishes,

No positive comment, but merely a hypothesis - it sounds almost as if your brain forgot the rhythym of normal speech? You know, as they call it in poetry, meter. When reading a rhyming poem, we use a different rhythym of speech than normal talking speech, but maybe somehow your brain was reminded of the correct pattern by reciting a brief poem?

Just a thought - I guess no one will ever really know. But congratulations!

Oddly enough, it was just yesterday that I was thinking if I were ever paralyzed, I'd never accept a doctor's diagnosis saying I'd never walk again and would make it happen. Must've been something in the air...

Today. Because this may help me get my hearing back in public places. Oh, yeah, I have perfect hearing, according to the doctors, but for some reason my brain chooses to make background noise louder. Thanks for being an optimist.

It is an interesting story

This is one of the best posts, and these are some of the best comments, I have ever had the pleasure to read.

Congratulations on getting your voice back! I'll be sure to keep you in my prayers. My husband (an IT guy) and I love your work.

My happiest day was last December, when my mom got her voice back. She was in a car accident in late November, and suffered collapsed lungs, among many other severe injuries. Because her lungs couldn't inflate properly, she had to be put on a ventilator to breathe, and her doctors performed a tracheotomy (a hole directly into her windpipe) to help the ventilator work better. She was completely unable to speak for nearly five weeks. Once she was out of the woods physically, the doctors began to wean her from the ventilator...she starting fully breathing on her own on Christmas day (best Christmas present ever!!). After a few days of strengthening her lungs, the doctors started allowing the tracheotomy to close, enabling her to speak again. She didn't stop talking for three whole days! Mom called me at work on the first morning she was able to talk, and I cried right there at my desk. We have spoken on the phone every day for my whole adult life, and I never realized how much I would miss hearing her voice, until I couldn't.

What incredible news Scott. My thoughts will be with you that your voice stays for good.

Most incredible day of my life:
The day my son was born. It is the one day I can remember every little detail, every little sound, and every little feeling. The most wonderful moment from it was having the nurses put my son in my arms. I looked down and was amazed I helped create such a beautiful baby. I silently promised him that I would be the best dad I could possibly be and would never leave his side. My father was not much of a father so it was very important to me to do a better job.

A couple of weeks ago my no 9 year-old son very sweetly told me "You're the best dad ever".

holding hands with my then boyfriend at a movie theater. during the movie i looked down at our thumbs side by side and realized in an instant that i wanted to create a life with him someday that would be half him and half me. he's been my husband for 2 years now and i think we're ready...

Yay! I am so glad you found the route to remapping! That is such an amazing story.

I just had one of the happiest *weekends* of my life. Gotta go into a little bad stuff first to set up why it was so happy- 6 years ago, my divorce was finalized. I felt like my whole world had crashed to a halt. I was 30, and did not see any of the much wanted children in my future. I was sure I would die alone, with the exception of my 30 cats. And since I was Catholic, I could no longer receive sacraments. Life sucked.

A few weekends ago, on Saturday, my now husband and I had our marriage blessed by the Catholic church. We'd been legally married for 3 1/2 years, but the annaulment had come through, and I am once again able to fully practice my faith. On Sunday, I was able to take communion at the mass that also saw the baptism of our second healthy and beautiful son.

Miracles happen. Daily.

The key item to remember of your request is that a moment is indeed brief. The happiest moment of my life occured on Friday, August 23, 1993 approx 2:00 AM. A nurse said to me (while I was holding the hand of the woman I loved) "Congratulations, it's a boy. You have a son." Witnessing the birth of my son, while holding his mothers hand is the happiest moment of my life. Lasting a few seconds, feeling it for a lifetime. Thank you for your blog (I was led to it by USATODAY's POP CANDY) It is inspirational.

Congrats Scott! Happiest health moment of my life was when I went running after two years off because of sharp pains in my knees and I was OK. Been back running for 6 months now.

I'll share two happy memories with you:

The day my husband proposed - completely out of left field. He even kept the ring hidden from me for three months.

And the day we actually got married. It still brings tears to my eyes. Which shouldn't be surprising, I cried through the vows anyway. :)

Anyway, congratulations. I hope you do find your voice again.

Great job in finding a way to defeat what must be an intensely frustrating disease! And how satisfying to do it against the odds!

When I had prostte cancer, they told me I would probably die. Obviously, I didn't.

Then they told me I would have to wear adult diapers. I don't.

They also told me I would never have sex again without a penis implant, due to damage of the sexual response nerves. Wrong.

They also told me that the next best sexual response therapy was to have penile injections, but that there was no clinic where I live, so I couldn't get them. Believe it or not, I learned to take a half inch needle and stick it into the side of my penis - four or more times each week.

People will always tell you why something won't work. I neve care about 'why it won't.' I'm only interested in 'how to make it work.'

Congratulations - I like it when someone defies the medical limitations imposed by others.

Congrads. Been a long time fan of your work myself, seen localy in "The Saginaw News".

I have two moments that stand out for me.

The first one is the day I moved out on my own about two years ago. Considering the disablites that I have to deal with, and all the problems connected to them, the fact that I haven't been doing too bad is pretty amazing.

The second one deals with the link. Just to see the look on people's faces, inculding the children, always brings a smile to my heart.

-JM Kraemer

Saginaw, Michgian

Wow, that's amazing Scott. Hope you stay well.

A good day is any day that I get to spend with the woman I love. The best days are those when she looks into my eyes and I know that she loves me too.

Hi Scott, that's great, great news. I just stumbled on this news item on boingboing and I hopped on over to wish you well.
Once my brother-in-law's nephew came over to spend summer vacation with us. He was a sullen, moody, troubled kid, in and out of rehab, suicide attempts, the works. We got along though, bonding quickly and becoming inseparable. One afternoon we were shooting hoops and from out of the blue he said, "You have to make this three-point shot for me, if you love me." I can't play basketball to save my live, but I raised the ball and without thinking or hesitating let it fly. It went in, perfectly, not even touching the rim.
One perfect moment in a life filled with misses.

I'm so happy for you! That's awesome! Now I gotta go remap my brain to learn how to stop singing out of key.

I don't know what the happiest moment in my life is - I haven't lived it all yet! I can tell you though, that the happiest moment in my day was reading this page.

my happiest day is torn between two:
When I married my wife I knew that every decision I had ever made in my life was the right one, because it brought me to that moment, to her. But I experienced the most inexpressable joy when we were shopping one day and I suggested we get peanut butter and she reached right past the chunky (for a split second I had been aware that I might have to eat chunky pb for the rest of my life) and went for the creamy peanut butter. I laughed and cried and told her how happy it made me.. we both laughed at how ridiculous it was.

The other day was this: All my life I've felt driven to understand and see everything in reality at once. To just feel it all simultaneously, the motion and the meaning behind everything.(grain of salt: I've never used any drugs, nor do I ever intend to.) No matter how many times I realized it was impossible, and moved on with my life, I always came back to that desire and it's impossibility depressed me. Finally, one day I was learning an ancient book (Daat Tevunoth or Knowledge of Practical Understanding) by Moshe Chaim Luzzato (a brilliant and prollific Rabbi from Italy who lived in the early 1700s and died at age 39), anyways in one of the early chapters of his book he said one of the sweetest things I've ever read: He said not only is it possible to perceive the oneness of God in the world, but that that is the very purpose of the creation of the world. To hear that my most deepest desire was not some insanity that I couldn't shake out of my head, but entirely possible and desirable it brought me to tears. (As does recounting this story now. so does the peanut butter story though :D )

Sounds like you know what you need, Scott - and good on ya! As for my happy moment, it's gotta be the births of my three kids. I know it's cliche, but I'm old-fashioned like that.

On Tuesday, October 24, 2006, for the first time, I forgave everyone for everything.

IS THE PART OF YOUR BRAIN THAT CONTROLS FUNNY STILL SHUT DOWN

Congratulations and I hope your recovery is as permanent as your wit. I also hope neuroscience finds your case to be positively applicable to other sufferers of this condition.

JM
--
http://starbase.globalpc.net/~xmx/starwreck.php

Hi Scott

Seems your comments are getting a little screwed up. It is placing the wrong 'Posted by' name and address with the post.

Unfortunately this is not true for me - "The happiest day of my life was after I finished playing a ping pong match against a man I knew I loved "

I however might change my mind if I meet him! ;)

Tommorrow may very well be the happiest day of my life if I do!

Perhaps this is a new affliction. Other peoples word coming out ones mouth.

I feel sorry for the person that has mine.


Rick

You are my hero! Also, I loved reading God's debris and The religion war :-)

The happiest moment of my life was when I discovered DNRC, obviously. At any rate, I couldn't stop laughing for quite a while, so that counts as a kind of happiness.

Happiest day of my life? The day I realized I have finally conquered my depression and was no longer in perpetual fear of it coming back. I fought it for over five years and tried all kinds of mind tricks and remedies. I guess I am an optimist, too. Even in the deepest pits of despair.

What eventually worked for me was magnesium supplementation. Every couple of months I forget taking it and a dark, depressive mood starts in less than a day. But it's not so frightening now that I know how to stop it.

This probably won't work for most people that do not have my particular problem, but I guess it's worth trying. Whatever you are dealing with - keep fighting!

Happiest moment of my life?
I remember being in a pet store watching a parrot eating a peanut, manipulating the nut with its foot and tongue. For some reason an incredible feeling of perfect peace came over me. For that moment everything was just right and I felt truly happy. Weird huh?
And most exciting happy must have been traversing the back side of Mooney falls by clinging to the rock wall, don't know if that counts because it was adrenaline induced happiness like witnessing the birth of ones children.
That reminds me of another moment of perfect peace/happiness. My son was in grade school and the two of us sitting quietly in a movie theater waiting for "Jungle Book" to begin. I was thinking that long after I'm gone I'd still have a connection to life through him, and I felt really great.

you're like uma thurman in kill bill. that's the most badass thing i've ever heard.

Congratulations! I'm so glad that you were able to get better.

I really enjoy your Dilbert comic strip because as a software engineer in telecommunications, I can relate to just about everything in the strip.

Two of the many best things that happened to me include my wonderful Husband and Toastmasters. My Husband is my absolute soul-mate that supports everything that I do. Toastmasters has given me the confidence and communication skills that is truly an asset for everyone.

I'm so happy for you!
Amy

Scott,
Your story is amazing and encouraging. I too have Spasmodic Dysphonia and have never tried reciting poems. I run a website especially for those who want to recover their voices without botox.

May I post your story under the "Success Stories" section of my website at http://www.spasmodicdysphonia.us?

Thanks
Micki Nellis

A rhyme in time saved thine (voice).
So pleased to hear it.

Scott, this is absolutely amazing. Thanks for being a continual inspiration and a true testament to the power of the mind. Congratulations! I have only recently become a fan of yours, and wonder where I've been for so long!

My happiest days for sure have to do with family and friends. Meeting my husband on the subway nine years ago. Taking my mom to Mother's Day brunch at the Plaza Hotel, then to a Broadway show (she passed away the following year). Taking my teenage cousin on a roller coaster ride so terrifying, I thought we would both pass out.

Thanks again for your continued commitment to excellence in your life.

Congratulations!

I truly understand your joy. In January 1986, while watching the Tonight show, I blacked out and fell over on the sofa. A few moments later, when my wife finally woke me up, I could not talk or walk. Within a few moments, my ability to move returned and I could talk, but only with a grotesque stutter. She drove me to the emergency room and they arranged batteries of tests. It took nearly a month, but the final diagnosis was a vascular migraine (like an aneurysm, but the balloon doesn't burst and returns to normal size).

For three months I struggled with my new speech impediment. Everything felt right in my brain, but the words just came out wrong. Speech therapy didn't seem to help much, and my employer was considering not bringing me back to work. In April 1986, our church was dedicating our new building (the old one burned in a catastrophic fire) and I was scheduled to be lector (reader). I convinced the priest to allow me to stumble through the first reading because I was not going to allow my newfound condition to rob me of all the pleasures in life.

As I began the reading, everything suddenly slipped back into place and I could read without stuttering! I was crying, my wife was crying, all my friends had tears in their eyes. When I went back to see my doctor, he called it a spontaneous remission. However, consider this: The Old Testament Reading for that Sunday, the first words I spoke without a stutter for over three months were from Isaiah 50:4, and begin with this sentence: "The Lord God has given me a well-trained tongue, that I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them."

Mick McKellar

Wonderful news, Scott.

The happiest moment of my life was the day I married my wife. Seeing her come down the aisle to Loreena McKennitt's "La Serennissima" was as magical and happy a moment as I can describe.

Every day since that day seven years ago has been priceless, too.

Congrats on your recovery, Scott. I hope it's permanent.

You might be able to use this as Dilbert fodder. I can see Wally, in yet another attempt at avoiding work, pretending that he has a condition in which he can't speak, read or hear unless it's in rhyme. Watching everyone else in the office try to adjust their communication to poetry would be hilarious.

Congratulations! :)

Waiting in line at the Greyhound station to get a ticket and go home from college for Thanksgiving weekend, a young lady I had been dating for a few weeks stood next to me. For no particular reason, she smiled at me and I instantly decided I would have to keep that smile around.

Thirty-seven years later, she still smiles at me at least once a day.

Congratulations...I know how frustrating it can be to know what you want to say, but not be able to, oh, SAY it!

My 4 year old daughter has Apraxia. It's not all that dissimilar from what you've been suffering with. Her brain doesn't communicate with her oral/motor muscles, so while she understands what you say and knows what she wants to say, she can't get her mouth to say it. She uses sign language to communicate most of the time. There's no way of knowing whether she'll ever speak or not, so it's a wait and see issue. She does have some words, but not what a regular 4 year old would have. All of this leads me to my best day...

There are two, actually. The first one, obviously, was the day she was born. She's a miracle in more ways than I can fit in a comment box. The second was recently when she said, "Mommy? I love you." It sounded more like "Mommy? eye-uh-you" but it was probably the most beautiful sound I've ever heard.

Thanks for sharing your story. It gives me hope that maybe my daughter's brain can remap itself one day.

This was linked to me by a friend. Thank you for sharing this with me and everyone else.

The happiest moment of my life was the moment that I stepped into my apartment. I know that it sounds very strange out of context, but since you only want to hear good things, I'll keep as much of the bad stuff out that I can.

I was in a very bad situation for many years, and one day, I decided to get into my car and drive for a very long time. I ended up at my sister's house halfway across the country, and she called a friend, a spoken word artist who was on national tour and who incidentally had an apartment that wasn't being used for two months. She had his keys, and he bequeathed them to me, for me to stay there until he got back.

As soon as I found the place, exhausted both mentally and physically from what I'd just decided to do, I breathed a sigh of relief. The sun was shining through the blinds onto the hardwood floors of the tiny apartment, and I collapsed on the bed, which smelled oddly like home.

Long story short, the guy came back, I found a different place to live, but three months later, he decided to move in with his girlfriend, and he signed over his lease to me. I got my home back.

That was two years ago. I still live here, and I got a good job, fantastic friends, and a wonderful relationship in that time. And the guy who gave me the apartment is marrying his girlfriend.

But that first moment when I laid in what would be my bed was by far my happiest.

Scott, that's fantastic. I'd have to say that my happiest moment was coming to this website and seeing the ad on the top right of the ridiculously super hot babe in a skimpy bikini!

Scott, I can't tell you how great it is to hear this, and my good news is the reason why. My wife has diabetic neuropathy, which causes the hands and feet (and eventually legs and arms) to first become excruciatingly painful, and then numb, and finally, if it gets that far, darn close to useless. She's been down because she keeps hearing there's no cure, so I'll definitely be telling her about your breakthrough -- that just because they haven't found a cure YET doesn't mean there isn't one! -- but yesterday she started a new study medication. It's supposed to actually cure the neuropathy, and she must be on the high dose (as opposed to the low-dose or placebo) because it seems to be working!!!

So good news all around. Congratulations!

---- Nick

Congratulations Scott!

You've certainly made many of my days happier through your work, and have always been able to make me laugh even when nothing else could.

Keep working your system and I'm sure you'll recover and remain that way, and through posting your progress, maybe you'll help someone else too.

Congratulations! That is a really inspirational story, you don't need to post this, but I remember meeting you years ago when I was waiting on tables at Michela's & you left a cartoon for one of our employees who liked your stuff. May you continue to regain your speaking voice.

Scott, I'm a longtime fan of your work (own all the books and the cartoon on dvd). I'm really glad that you are doing better. Most of my life I have suffered from debilitating mental health problems, along with severe respiratory troubles. Its all genetic, family members of mine have strokes and die at early ages, go crazy and get locked up, etc. So I didnt really have much to look forward to.

Last year I was referred to an otolaryngologist (ear nose and throat specialist). He did some basic looking at my respiratory system and announced that I had serious deformites in my sinuses and upper air ways. A sleep test confirmed that I was experiencing major sleep dysfunction. Where most people make the transition from REM sleep to non-REM sleep 4-5 times a night, I was doing it over a dozen times an hour.

For the first time in my life, I had a doctor able to explain to me why my brain would simply malfunction and shut down. It interfered with school, work, and my personal relationships. Severe migraines, constant respiratory infections, bouts of clinical depression and anxiety and even psychosis that would not respond to medication were common place in my life.

I had a "roto-rooter" type surger, where they basically went in with a fancy dremel tool and cut out a lot of hte excess, malformed, and swollen tissue. My nosebone was so bent that he cut out a section almost 2 inches long (he pushed the top and bottom pieces back together to form a single piece).

It changed my life. No more depression, I can function in the world, and every aspect of my life improved dramatically. 3 days after the surgery they removed the packing, and for the first time in my life I actually slept. It was amazing.

The only downer? 25 years of doctors, psychiatrists, therapy, and medication absolutely useless, compared to one expert who thinks outside the box. heh. Have a good one!

Congratulations! My Aunt Betty struggled with that for decades. I only wish she were still here so she could try it too!

Happiest Day: Wedding day - hands down the best! While standing at the alter, we turned around after our vows to face the congregation (and 300 pairs of eyes all watching!) knowing that the only reason they are there is because they care for/love you and your (new) spouse! It was an over whelming feeling that I hope I will never forget!

Happy Day!
:)

Scott,
What a comeback kid you are. I'm going to read the account of your struggle to my students, and then have them write about THEIR happiest moments! Thanks for sharing your incredible story and good luck. Your courage and fortitude are truly inspirational.
KD

Hi Scott. Congrats on finding a cure! I hope it is permanent!

From what you describe it seems that when you are in a situation where your brain is not expecting verbal interaction you are OK.
It may be that by saying something that is memorized while in the presence of possible verbal interaction (having to think and speak on the fly) your brain is not firing the same pathways that is causing it to 'misfire'. So you have basically given it a path around the block by allowing the brain to not think it has to speak on the fly.

I recommned you keep a log of what you do and what the results are.(more detailed than your blog). It may help your brain to see the repeated proof in a log that it could indeed allow speach in all conditions. Studies have shown that a log can actual help train the mind much better than memory. Re-read the parts of the log that show you have done it. (hopefully this is all a moot point now!)

I wish you and you family all the best.

Oh yes - my happiest day. Tomorrow. I have always found that to be true. ;)


The happiest day of my life was after I finished playing a ping pong match against a man I knew I loved from the first minute I saw him. After the game, we had a moment where we were looking into each other's eyes and for the first time in my life I felt completely understood and infatuated with his presence. It was a feeling that I'll never forget. Falling in love.

This is an amazing story.

To me, it's not so much a tribute to optimism as it is to human ingenuity and the scientific method.

Simply "willing" yourself to speak isn't what made this happen, you had to have the wherewithal to recognize the conditions that allowed you to surmount the synaptic hiccup and the ability to organize a process to remap your brain.

This is not to denigrate optimism, however. Without the positive outlook you've cultivated, you likely wouldn't have continued to engage life in a fully-realized way, closing off opportunities to have life-altering experiences. But simply being "optimistic," without being clever, wouldn't have gotten you the same results.

I dearly hope that your recovery continues apace, both for your own sake and that of other folks suffering from the same condition. As a fan of the comic strip medium and an ardent admirer of comic creators, it warms the cockles of my heart to think that a potential breakthrough in neuroscience and speech therapy could be made by a guy who draws the funnies!

hey, you cured your own dumbness! now if only other people could do the same with a different kind of dumbness...

Scott, my whole admiration for your strength and optimism. I've never knew about that condition, but what you did with it, is to show the world that something once thought as impossible, can be done with faith and tenacity.
My happiest day of my life?..I don't have one, I think I had many through my whole life, and it will be difficult to choose only one, because those days make my life really worth, and I'll expect more to come soon!.
Congratulations for your accomplishment, and keep showing others than life is always beautiful, despite any limitations or obstacles we can find along the way.

Yo, I guess it's Scott Adams the Rapper now then!?

That's wonderful news, Scott. I'm very happy for you...both because of your successful self-repair, and because your comments count for this far exceeds all the others on the active blog - indicating you seem to have a lot of people you've never met who care about what happens to you.

As for my happiest moment, I cannot be sure - there have been so many. (But thank you for asking the question - recalling so many cherished memories was a fantastic way to spend my lunch break.) The current favorite is weighted heavily toward the time a beautiful stranger who later became my wife spritzed me with cool water on a bike path on a hot August day.

Scott,
I am totally lacking any words for you. Hearty Congratulations on your recovery. You will sure be a big influence for us normal people to be optimistic in hard times. We have to realise that We have to put in our efforts even when we dont know, if they do pay us back. Seems more or less they certainly do. Keep up the good work Scott. Congratulations once again. Feel energised after reading you blog.

Don't have the same problem, but was given the following instructions to help strengthen my voice. It's a stretch, but maybe some of the phrases will work for you.

Here's something else to do:
These sentences can be used as a daily exercise, to work many of the vowel and consonant sounds in the English language. Saying them properly can actually strengthen your articulator muscles. Drink your water, then read each sentence aloud slowly, pronouncing each word as carefully and properly as you can. These are not tongue-twisters. DO NOT RACE. While doing the warm up, if your throat becomes sore or your voice feels strained, stop immediately. Work up gradually until you can comfortably do the entire exercise. And of course, if you have persistent hoarseness, weakness or any kind of throat or voice problem, call your doctor as you may have something bigger going on there.
Eat each green pea. Aim straight at the game. Ed said get ready.
It is in Italy. I tried my kite. Oaks grow slowly.
Father was calm as he threw the bomb on the dock.
An awed audience applauded Claude.
Go slow Joe, you're stepping on my toe.
Sauce makes the goose more succulent.
Up the bluff, Bud runs with the cup of love.
Red led men to the heifer that fell in the dell.
Maimed animals may become mean.
It's time to buy a nice limeade for a dime.
Oil soils doilies.
Flip a coin, Roy, you have a choice of oysters or poi.
Sheep shears should be sharp.
At her leisure, she used rouge to camouflage her features.
There's your cue, the curfew is due.
It was the student's duty to deliver the Tuesday newspaper.
He feels keen as he schemes and dreams.
Much of the flood comes under the hutch.
Boots and shoes lose newness soon.
Ruth was rude to the youthful recruit.
Vivid, livid, vivifying. Vivid experiences were lived vicariously.
Oddly, the ominous octopus remained calm.
The pod will rot if left on the rock.
Look, you could put your foot on the hood and push.
Nat nailed the new sign on the door of the diner.
Dale's dad died in the stampede for gold.
Thoughtful thinkers think things through.
Engineer Ethelbert wrecked the express at the end of Elm Street.

Happiest day of my life?

Hearing about yours. Seriously. Thank you very much!

Congratulations!

Happiest day of my life (#1) meeting my soon to be adopted 11 year old daughter for the first time.

Happiest day of my life (#2) holding my first granddaughter moments after birth.

The happiest day of my life? Finding out my second child is also a girl for how I'd have two sisters to raise in a happy, healthy home.

Dysphonia is a member of a family of diseases called dystonia. I have a different kind of dystonia, called generalized idiopathic torsion dystonia, which affects my whole body. Had it since i was a kid. It started in my hands, and now it affects my hands, speech, neck, legs and feet. The best thing I've found is staying physically active, and watching carefully how my body responds to different activities and stimuli. Bicycling helps, situps hurt.

I also use botox, for my neck.

It's hard for me to think of my happiest day. I'm mostly pretty happy, but I think it's best to focus more on happiness in the present than the past, or the future, for that matter, and better to focus on happiness independent of circumstances.

For my birthday this year, I got some friends together and baked about 600 brownies, and we gave them away at Critical Mass in Chicago. That was fun. But today's a good day too.

If you smile often
There is no doubt
That you will have plenty
To smile about

A wonderful story, one I will share widely, Thanks.

So smile and laugh, have a happy attack
What you give out, you will surely get back

Driving home from college, after a week of learning interesting stuff, having fun with friends, and generally feeling like my life was on track.

And congratulations on getting your voice back, but I was disappointed, expecting a punchline in which you hold conversations in iambic pentameter for the rest of your life.

Scott, forget the rest of us, this is a great day for you. CONGRATULATIONS on the effort and research you put forth rather than just waiting on a so-called miracle. I have to admit I actually had a tear in my eye as I finished reading your entry. Now that's some kind of effect for reading a supposed humorist's blog.

Congratulations! What a triumph for you!!

I don't know that I have one happiest day... I have 3 little boys who changed my life with their births... and I have another (and final) boy on the way. So maybe my happiest day will be when all 4 of my sons will be together, and I can try to hold them all (squirming and giggling) in my arms.

I am so happy for you. Many years ago my mother had the same condition. Having been a wonderful vocalist, it was a tragic thing for her. I know what you have been going through, and to have conquered it, for even a while, is wonderful. And now, to give hope to others with this 'incurable' syndrome--wow!!!
How incredibly interesting.

You've made this a happy day for me too, vicariously.

(That, and writing best comic ever-- keep up the good work!)

Scott- that's awesome. Few people have the audacity (am I spelling that right?) to stick it out through something like that.

Since you asked for it, the happiest moment of my life, was one day at work at got a call that my sister was in exterme pain (she had been having bad 'girlie-problems' for a few weeks, and had been going to several specialists), and my mom was taking her to the doctor. An hour later, I got another call saying that she was going in for surgery. I left work right away, and honestly was more scared then I had ever been. My sister and I are as close as brother and sister can be, and she's always been my best friend. Mom told me later that on the way to the hospital she was going into shock from the pain. Three hours later, she came out of surgery, but had to have her overy removed. The doctors told us that if nothing had been done in a few hours, it would have ruptured and killed her. I've never been happier than when i saw her come out of there.

You MUST have been a programmer before! I love your comic strip and WISH I could say it was meaningless and cartoonish. Sadly, it is all TOO realistic.

I'm ALWAYS glad to hear a nice guy beat the odds and got a break!

It really IS odd how the brain works. I am learning a lot of stuff now that science declared, even 10 years ago, was NOT true, but today they have proven it IS true. The brain CAN grow, etc... Granted, they STILL say the number of neurons may not grow, and branches can't be repaired. Even THAT may change! They HAVE admited that branches can grow, be replaced, or even be assisted(even FUNCTIONALLY) by glial cells, which can act LIKE neurons. Your experience may even be because of one of those things once thought to be NONSENSE.

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!

Steve

Fantastic! What a great day for you and I wish you better days from here on.

My best day is a cliche, but honest, the birth of my son which I recall in such detail that despite the fact that it's been more than eight years, I can still feel his sticky little head in the palm of my left hand and get tears in my eyes remembering saying hello for the first time.

That was very interesting, but I still don't care for Dilbert.

That's really great bro!! It's good to hear you have some good news for once. Brains are a bunch of crazy things that's for sure. One day I hope to get one and then maybe be able to have problems like this one day.

Really though, good luck on getting back to where you were.

Russell-P
http://russell.typepad.com
The life and times of a wanna-b Rockstar...

Scott,

Thank you for sharing this amazing and inspiring story. I believe in affirmations and use them, but in rather limited ways. Your story kicks open the doors to such wider realms of possibility. Nothing like hearing a true, personal story to inspire us all. Also reminds me to stay optimistic even when things are looking bleak. I'll be thinking of you and this for a long time to come.

The happiest moment lately... last week when I asked my daughter what she wanted for her fourth birthday, she said she wanted balloons. No dolls, no toys, just balloons.

Dear Scott,

Your strength and determination is my inspiration. Thank you. All the best, and keep up with the great job!

Warm regards,

Jay

I had just gotten home from South Africa and was looking forward to starting my junior year in high school. I had spent the summer helping out children who had a.i.d.s in the ghettos around Cape Town when I myself started to get quite sick. To make a long and painful story short, I had picked up a blood parasite of some sort in Africa. I spent most of my Junior year in high school in bed and all of my Senior year not only bedridden but in and out of the hospital while specialists scratched their heads (and asses?). I was too weak to hold a book or do more than take a few steps a day. I went through various treatments including chemo and a brief bout with rad therapy. College looked like it was never going to happen and there was talk of putting me in a long term care facility, basically a daycare for sick people. One of the things that I clearly remember, sadly my memories are very blurry thanks to the various drugs and the actual sickness, is staring at the ceiling, barely able to breathe, and refusing to end my days at 18. I refused to give up on life. I also refused to see any more doctors, which didn't do much good given that I couldn't exactly put up any kind of physical resistance. After that day I slowly started to get better. Very slowly but I had made up my mind that I was not going to give up and I did not. I actually made it into college, despite my total absence of a senior year and by the time my peers had entered college I was able to walk around and was not in extreme pain anymore. This was 5 years ago and my health problems have continued but I remember the very first day that I was able to walk without pain. It was heaven. I cried and for the first time in a year or more it was not from pain. They can find no trace of the parasite in my body and while my immune system is not the greatest around my life is good.

Happiest moment?

The day I asked my wife to marry me. I suspect when we get married that will supercede that day.

Amazing story...

Fascinating story! The "Xanth" series by Piers Anthony have Ogre's that can only speak in rhymes - maybe there's a little Ogre blood in you.

Happiest day for me: Graduating from Navy Flight School

Patti says:

It is Wednesday...almost noon EST and I just logged on.
I see 890 comments to this heartwarming story?
All with good wishes for you!

I am wondering. Is that an all time record for comments, Scott?

It does my heart good.. to see hundreds of people wishing you the best and telling their own happy stories.
(I will bet that it hits the thousand mark any time now!)

I realize that you will be back to your regular routine and receiving 250 or so comments from us every day.
However, I am impressed with the way that your story has
inspired so many people to reply in such an UPBEAT WAY.

You surely struck a chord with your admirers.

Good job! I hope your voice is still working..normally.. today.


*********

Don't you have something wrong with your hand that's almost exactly like that, where you can't draw on paper anymore but draw just fine on a computer? Is there a connection? Maybe if you draw Family Circus once a day, your hand will go back to normal.

Wow--I am a speech language pathologist and have some experience with Spasmodic Dysphonia. I got chills when I read your story. Happiest day of my life? Graduation...at least I hope that explains all of the nervous giggling.

I love it.

My good news: My aunt reversed her breast cancer using raw organic vegetarian food.

One more for the road: My college roommate reversed his asthma in 4 months doing the same.

Everybody's got a story. Good news breeds more good news. This is a wonderful blog to read - and return to and read some more. I'm getting teary with these many lovely and happy and re-affirming stories. This country needs more good news: thank you. Now, get out there and vote. For reform. For change. For good news.

I just learned our prob' today. The best for me was my marriage on the peak of Mt. Whitney. Congrats on finding the DNS for your brain. As I was reading your message (the part about singing and the rhyming I had a vision of your next speech done in Iambic Pentameter. Hope to catch you again sometime.

I'm happy for you Scott. One thing jumps to my mind - your lack of voice in normal conversation over the last couple of years must have led to some pretty funny situations, especially at places like airports. You already have funny stories for those, but this should make them even funnier. How about telling us some?

I loved to read your story. It made me strong !

The pain that life will deliver...can wake us up and deliver us to a state of consciousness in which we can make each moment count and find meaning in our existence.

Have been a big fan of your work, and just read through this, unfortunately had no idea you'd contracted this condition, but really glad to hear you've made it through, and big congratulations are in order! Shows a great amount of courage and determination, and shows how the mind can get through a lot more than people think. This is also the kind of breakthrough that can help others get through the condition and can spread happiness towards many more people. Excellent work :-)

My happiest moment? Not sure, I've had loads of good moments from getting into music, realising it's what I wanted to do and keeping up the determination to get there.

Nicely done once again!

Bob

Happiest Moment? The Day that Jesus Christ became real in my life! I thank him for healing you!

Long time listener, first time caller... Congratulations on getting some of your life back.

Happiest moment? Just being round friends and family. Doesn't sound very exciting, but i currently live a long way from most of the people special to me, so its all about perspective, i guess.

Congrats man,

The happiest moment of my life was realizing that "nothing's lost" after a year and a half long battle with severe depression. It's sorta the same deal I'd imagine, you have to dig your way out of yourself by jump-starting your mind with patterns in order to bootstrap into some kind of functionality.

Congrats again man, I hope this rebirth fills you with joy. :D

Congratulations, Scott! I'm so happy for you. I never heard of this disorder before, but it must be crushingly debilitating. I'm delighted that you have found a way through it. Keep working at it, and never give up hope.

My happiest days were:

1. The first time I had the big O with my husband - I was violently raped as a small child, and sex was extremely traumatic for me to deal with for a long time. My wonderful husband helped me to "remap" my brain, and learn how to enjoy that important part of a marriage!

2. The day my son was born. I had no idea that it was possible to love another human being that much, that immediately. He's the center of the universe.

Life is sweet. Always remember that, and keep being an optimist!

Congrats & nice job Scott! That is truely amazing both in determination and results.

Happiest day of my life? Day I asked my now wife to marry me! One of those moments that just seem to stand still in time.

For many many years, you have already (speechlessly) been the voice of many of us.... and yet your recent inabilty to talk hasn't stopped you speaking for us.

...And I'm also happy that you taught yourself how to talk again!! Thats immensely great!!! 3 cheers for your brain!

Yesterday, the day my eight year old daughter avoided a kidney biopsy as a result of an uncommon illness. A very very happy day!

What a great post. I really enjoyed reading it. Congratulations for your voice recovering. It's an amazing story.

Hey, Scott! A good friend sent me your blog because he knows that I have been coping with spasmodic dysphonia for the past 15 years or so. My interpretation of your wonderful story was that you got your voice back forone day (the happiest day of your life), and you didn't know if it would be permanent. Now you're on Wickepedia as the first person who was ever cured of SD! Did some people not read your story closely or are you still experiencing remission? If you are - you rock, buddy, and I am thrilled for you! I'll take up rhyming today! I so appreciate that your blog has drummed up other ideas and resources for those of us challenged by SD. Thank you!!

So... you excercised your freewill against an 'uncureable' condition. Congratulations.

Happiest life moment - birth of first son.

Happiest experience that is way too hard to communicate - Met God (non drug induced sleep deprived etc...). In an instance I understood 'why'.

We all like to think we can overcome something like this in our lives if we ever have to deal with them, but we still have the doubt. Scott I really hope this works out for you! If it does, then we can all learn how much a little bit of optimisim can change our lives, and maybe other problems we think are impossible in the world.

Well done Scott, you sure are something special, congratulations.

BREGARDS

Great story and nice outcome. I hope it continues.

My happiest days, since my wife moved out, are the ones when my son comes back to stay with me after having been away for a few days. I look forward to his return with anticipation as soon as he steps out the door.

Wow! Just plain, "WOW"! You can't believe how happy I am for you and your family.

I would have to say the birth of my son. He actually smiled and held my finger when the nurses were cleaning him.

Today! Since reading and enjoying Dilbert is one of the things that helps to keep me sane on a daily basis, your personal health and well being are extremely important to me. I am so thankful that someone with your wit and talent is able to create humor out of an otherwise horrific existence in the corporate world.

Congratulations on regaining your voice.

Excellent news, Scott! It's interesting, we tend to forget that written communication is only one of the voices we have. For those of us who read your blog, it's easy to forget about the physical challenges you have been facing. Thanks for reminding me how important verbal communication is, and how appreciative I should be to have those talents that we so often take for granted.

Great news!
I have a speech disability myself, and am trained/educated as a writer. This is a wonderful development for you and wish you will. As requested.

happiest day of life
either
1. day i got married
2. day i quit the corporate world and started working a disability/civil rights agency.

be well

Great news, Scott. I'm very, very happy for you.

The happiest day of my life has to be the day, while in chemo, I got my exam and it read 'zero' for beta-hCG. Called my father with bottled-up tears (didn't want to upset the others in the room with my happiness) to thank him for being the best person I could ever hope to have in my life.

:)

As a speech-language pathologist, I've worked with spastic dysphonia for several years with mixed results and usually in conjunction with a medical intervention such as botox injections. I've never considered rhyming as a way to address this devastating problem. I'll be very interested to know if your new found control continues!

Hi Scott,

As a 24/7/365 single father, the happiest day in my life is actually everyday. Every morning I get up and then get my two young daughters ready for school, and every afternoon I come home to have lunch with them, and after work I (sometimes we) make supper, and we eat together in the kitchen and talk. I am blessed I'd guess, but I won't question anything. All I know is the great joy, the pure happiness that I feel everyday being around them all the time. Congratulations on your recovery at this time, and I hope that it stays with you until the very last second.

Regards,
Louis


If mouths can be made nimble from rhymes about Jack
You must pick up the phone and call Oliver Sacks!
This affliction may not be as bad as it seems
Just turn on the radio and hear Diane Rehm!

(Just a little something to add to your repetoire...but sorry about my busy sense of meter)

One of the best feel-good stories I've ever heard:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5507789

Diane Rehm's bio on WAMU's web site:
http://www.wamu.org/programs/dr/diane_rehm/

I'm so happy for you, that is wonderful news!

I'm not sure about the happiest moment in my life, but visiting the Hermitage in St. Petersburg was certainly one of the highest points. Seeing my first Van Gogh in person moved me more than I could have imagined; from photos, I had had no idea that his work was so powerful.

Eek! Almost forgot. Happiest day so far: My wedding day. Runner-up is coming up: Our first baby comes in May.

Simply amazing!!
I creating a revolving homepage using a cookie so I could have dilbert my homepage first thing at work! I've taped a few coffee related dilbert strips by the coffee machine at work so the coffee back pack series was great.
A moment that really struck me was many years ago my college paper interviewed Huey Lewis prior to his performance, 02/18/87, and he related a story about his 3 yr old girl picking up a piece of gravel and showing him while saying "Daddy, isn't this a pretty rock?" He looked at it and said, " I looked at it and saw it and said yes it is". Later when my first of 3 kids was born, and about the same age as his, she handed me a piece of gravel. "Isn't this a pretty rock?" and I remembered his story and like him, I saw the rock through her eyes. Of course I said, "yes it's a pretty rock". My second girl is 5 now and has passed through the rock observing stage, and I have a 3 week old girl at home who will also show me ordinary things with eyes of wonder, and each time, I'm re-awakened to the beauty in the ordinary. Thanks again for the joy every morning!!
--Patrick in Alabama
P.S. the optimist point of view is very important. My newborn was diagnosed with Down's Syndrome. After a day or two with worry about the future, I decided I just might have a future olympian in the special olympics.

I looked thru some of your old blogs, and noted you did have an MRI of your brain and that the results were clean. That was the first thing that occurred to me too when a cluster of dystonias is occurring.

Anyway, happy day, and congrats!

One of my happiest days? Probably the day the purchase closed on our first house. We'd convinced ourselves that we were just going thru the process for the first time and they weren't really going to give us a mortgage, and then suddenly we (and the bank) owned a house. Exhilirating.

"But enough about me. Leave me a comment telling me the happiest moment of YOUR life. Keep it brief. Only good news today. I don’t want to hear anything else."

Yes, but if it's bad news, you can stick your fingers in your ears and sing, "Na na na na na na, I'm not listening," and be able to use your voice, so it works out both ways.

Congratulations on regaining your voice. It's yet another testament to the amazing resiliency of our brain and to how important it is to maintain a positive outlook.

After years of struggle with dyslexia, one of my happiest days was the day I finally learned how to read my first book. Two graduate degrees later I still look back on that day as signifying my greatest personal accomplishment. Yesterday was another happy day. My four year old daughter surprised me by reading, aloud, without my help. What a relief it is to know that she has not inherited my dyslexia.

By the way congradulations! I will READ your story today to my general psychology class at Century College.

Awesome & inspiring, man. I'm very happy for you, especially as you are someone whose work I have enjoyed so much over the years.
Happiest day thus far? Easy & simple: my wedding day.

Wow, I had NO CLUE you were going through that - none at all. Only been reading here regularly since sometime in May or June... well, CONGRATS on your sudden and drastic improvement!!!! That is awesome! I hope it sticks around and stays permanent!!!!!!!

Keep us posted! :-)

OK - I gotta ask... how'd you manage a wedding, without being able to say, "I Do"?? That musta been tuff.

Congratulations! That's really heart warming. Someone just posted it onto a "Good News" thread on the new Greenpeace Forum over here http://forum.greenpeace.org/int/showthread.php?t=26

I trust you've told others with Spasmodic Dysphonia about this too -- I hope rhyming works for them too.

All Thanks be to God. What a wonderful example of perseverance. Many would have given up.

My happiest moments were those where I learned or felt something deep about my existence and that of the world. That knowledge gives me a sense of absolute peace, albeit momentary.

My happiest day is yet to come.

May God protect you and your family.

You might also want to check out something called Vocal Cord Dysfunction or VCD. I lost my voice because of this - it mimics asthma but is not lung-related. There are losts of sites about it now. The cure is speech therapy and there is a helium-oxygen mix you can get in emergency when you are literally suffocating to stop the vocal cord spasm.

The obvious most happy day of my life is the birth of my son but, that like I say is obvious. I will tell you of the other one....and no its not my divorce...it's third. lol.
I was 12 years old. I remember everything perfectly. It was warm, baseball championship on the line. My grandparents are sitting on the back of the truck behind home plate to get the best seat in the house. My mom is the score keeper and is sitting in her lawn chair while my younger brother (10) chases butterflies (I still suspect he is well slow...and Jason if you read this...maybe you have become faster. lol). The game has been a pitching dual, and the score is 1-0. We are down by one run, top of the 6th inning, which for little league is the last inning. I can remember the smell of the grass, the sounds of the crowd cheering. There are 2 outs and there is a man on first. I step to the plate and get the signal from the coach...swing away. I remember looking around...this is my World Series, my team is against the fence cheering, the fans for both team are standing, Gramma gives me a thumbs up...Mom a wink. My dad is the coach, his game face is on..I put mine on and block everything out except for the pitcher. Its me and him now. First pitch....ball, outside, I back out of the box...sign from third..swing away. Second pitch...Inside curve ball, swing and a miss. Gavin is on first base and I can tell he is itching to run. Third pitch...in the dirt..ball 2. Fourth pitch...outside..ball 3. There coach calls time and goes to talk to the pitcher...I become a bit nervous..what are they talking about..probly that a walk doesn't hurt them. The sign from third...swing away...The next pitch..low...strike 2...I've got a full count..were loosing, I tell myself that I will not strike out no matter what...I dig in, I remember looking in the eyes of the pitcher..he was my neighbor and a friend...it was eyes of competition..him and me...the showdown at the O.K corral. The pitch, curve ball, I swing...I connect, I take off running, as I round 1st I see it go over the fence, I can barley see as I continue to run. Its a homer..I circle the bases and we are up 2-1. The next batter 1-2-3 strikes your out. The game is not over, bottom of 6 and the heart of there order is up. Coach tells me to play first base, I have been at 3rd all day, thats my position but, no arguing...First batter hits to short, easy play to first. 1 away. Second batter, their pitcher 2-2 count hits a long ball to the gap in right...great defence keeps him on first. We have a quick chat about my homer and who will win. I am playin deep first to make sure that any ball on the right side is kept in the infield for a possible double play and to limit the tying run getting to 3rd. The next batterhits a liner to my left, short hop in the dirt, I shouldn't be able to reach it...but I do with a flailing stab of my glove. The runner takes off, I step on first as I am right there now. I chase their pitcher...he is so fast. I should have thrown to wecond for the tag out or get him in the box but, I just couldn't I was running and it was him and I again. I can hear my team, his team all the fans, Tag him...run, throw the ball to second. I lunge and tag his foot. Unassisted double play. 3rd out we win.
That was 18 years ago. I will never forget that day as long as I live. Everything about it. The trophy presentation. I still have the trophy in my living room. Its small but, It's mine. I have other trophies from baseball, memories of playing with ball players who play in the major leagues now...Like Chris Reitsma of the Braves. But, this one stands out so much more. This is the best day of my life. And its tough competition to beat...I think it will stand the test of time. I hope you all enjoyed, because I certainly did.
And Scott...congradulations on the voice...that is awesome have fun with it.

People are overjoyed to hear your good news. Thanks so much for sharing with us! Btw what is it that causes people to revel in the troubles of others? best of luck with your recovery.

A few weeks ago I woke up with a strange problem with my vision. My right eye had seemingly decided to point about 15 degrees off-center, so I had two different overlapping perspectives instead of binocular vision. I couldn't even walk straight unless I closed my right eye, because the two fields of vision gave the feeling of spinning, and I became dizzy unless I was sitting down. I went to the hospital and had some tests done, but all that turned up was that it wasn't a brain tumor, multiple sclerosis, or a few other things. I still don't know what caused it.

I wore an eyepatch for a lot of things, but I tried to use the eye when I could, not wanting the visual center of my brain to just give up on it and make it become a "lazy eye". I would even cross my eyes (well, that's what it felt like I was doing) to line up the perspectives and hold it that way. Then one day I noticed I wasn't getting the dual-vision anymore. After a while my eyes got tired and slipped back to the vision problem, but the next day it lasted a little longer before that happened. Now, I have fairly normal vision again unless I am very fatigued.

So anyway, I know what it's like to lose a core function like that, and be left wondering how you'll adapt, or if it will get worse. I just want to congratulate you on finding a way to overcome the block, even if it takes some repetition to keep the fix going.

I also found your story reminiscient of "Weilding a Red Sword", the book about Mars, incarnation of War, from Piers Anthony's "Incarnations of Immortality" series. The mortal that became the new incarnation had a stutter, but he learned to overcome it by using a singsong speech style.

I was linked here from the forums at http://spamusement.com/, a sort of webcomic that takes spam subject lines and makes comics out of them.

Good for you, Scott! Nearly 20 years ago, the Coast Guard instituted their Rescue Swimmer program. I needed a challenge in my life, and that sounded like it. I'd never been a physical, athletic person (yes, a Drama Geek in high school), and it was the second most difficult school in the Navy, only exceeded by the SEALS. On graduation day, the Navy Instructors presented me the Honor Man Award...I was only the fourth Coast Guardsman to ever receive one at that school. That was my happiest, proudest moment: I'd had help and encouragement from other people, but I was the one who hadn't quit and had conquered my own doubts and fears (my own version of brain remapping). It changed my life.

Congratulations!

I suggest that the best way to ensure that your recovery is permanent is to start writing and performing rap music.

"MC-Cubicle", perhaps?

Happiest day of my life? The day I got punched in the face by a monkey

I am happy to hear of your day of recovery. I have episodic aphasia, aka stroke-like episodes involving complete loss of speech. The last time, I had a 2-hour episode, and managed to remember to get pen and paper and write out conversations with my spouse. I went about my business and filled out paperwork while I couldn't speak. Towards the end of the day, there were fireworks for Labor Day near our house. I watched for about a half hour, then towards the finale said very quietly "wow" at a particularly nice one, which precipitated the return of my speech.

Each time I lose my speech, I learn something more about how to deal with it. I can't control what brings on the episodes, but I can use pen and paper to continue "talking" and look for something special (like fireworks!) to reset my brain. They think that a MRI wouldn't show what is essentially a metabolic stroke (due to mitochondrial disease), perhaps a MR SPECT might show decreased perfusion.

I even would try swearing to get my speech back, but to no avail LOL; sometimes singing works, sometimes it doesn't. Speaking in rhyme has been associated with schizophrenia or psychosis. Perhaps that's a sign that speaking in rhyme accesses a different part of the brain, or a different pathway. It would be interesting if you could think of rhyming sentences to get your point across, as opposed to being limited to "known" rhymes.

BTW, I think getting my speech back due to the fireworks was my happiest recent moment, but spending the last 18+ years with my soulmate (and a bit less than that with our three kids as well) is pretty close! (okay, I guess that's a very long moment, but compared to the age of the universe...)

This sounds like an anecdote right out of Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill.

Good news only, huh?

Okay...After struggling for years with my wife over how to make our marriage work, we seem to be addressing the problems (which are just communication issues) with care and concern instead of anger and resentment. I believe my marriage will survive a failed business, bankruptcy, five children in 6 years, a house we can barely afford, and working in the IT industry, which doesn't really like to keep people gainfully employed for long periods of time.

I had hoped and worked hard to figure out ways to communicate better with my wife and she tried the same thing. It just took us a few years to get it right.

How's that for good news?

I still think yours is amazing. There are lots of amazing things in the world....sometimes we tend to ignore the fact that miracles can be created and that we don't have to (or shouldn't) wait for them to happen.

David C.

Congratulations! It was awesome to read about your feelings of renewal! May you serve as an example for many of those who suffer!

Scott, that's wonderful, incredible news. I hope you've shared it with your doctor, so that he can talk to other doctors who may be treating patients with this condition and suggest similar "rhyme therapy"! Who knows? If they can do a brain scan while you rhyme and trace the neural pathways, you could be responsible for discovering a new treatment for this previously "incurable" condition!

This shows what the power of positive thinking can do. The power lies within us and we only need to explore and grab the moment and make a difference. Its an awesome story (story an understatement cos this is not just a story, its the power of our thoughts) and puzzling too cos one cannot comprehend speaking at certain times and/or situations and other times just speechless. Will share this with friends. God bless.

My happiest moment was when I jumped off a second-floor balcony. That was the dark and rainy night I learned to stop looking at my feet, and instead look upwards towards my goals. That was the day I learned that some things were worth taking a risk for. If I hadn't found the courage then to make that jump, would I have found the courage later to ask my wife to marry me, or to turn down some serious cash in favor of a happier opportunity? I just don't know.

I've had so many happy moments, days in my life. I think the one that probably stands out was Oct. 10, 1979. I got glasses that day. I'm pretty sure my brothers made snarky comments all the way home - because a) they were like that and b) they are brothers -- but I don't remember a single thing they said because I just remember being awed by actually seeing everything I'd been missing before. I loved being able to see so much, I never was one of those kids who took their glasses off or lost them. The next time I experienced something similar was when I got contacts as a 16 year old. I spent hours looking in the mirror -- I had never seen my face in perspective -- I always either had my glasses on or had to be so close to the mirror that I lost perspective of my whole face.

This morning I am thrilled to read about your victory. You are a talented person with much to offer the world, and I am glad that you have found a (hopefully long-term) respite from your condition. Congratulations!

I get to have the happiest moment of my life every day when I come home and give my cat a big purry hug. It's nice to be loved.

Scott,
I can't imagine you will get around to reading this ... still I must tell you that I feel victorious when reading your experience.
How do I feel victorious from your victory and efforts? I don't know, but maybe you have scored one for mankind as a whole.

I'm not following the comment rules - I'm not leaving my own "happiest day of my life" story.

I just wanted to congratulate you on getting your speech back & for re-mapping your brain.

Guess you can chalk this experience up to a crazy idea that was wildly successful - so proud of you for not giving up!

When my wife was pregnant with our first child I would spend a lot of time feeling her belly for any movement from the baby. For what must have been months she could feel him, but I couldn't.

I don't cry much, and never in front of others. I cried with pure joy the day I first felt him kick. I can still remember what it felt like on my hand. It was like God spoke to me and said "You have a purpose."

I love being a dad.

congrats! i hope your voice stays with you

Cynic: Cynics view the world in terms of what isn't, or of what won't work. [www.summerjoy.com/Glossary.html]

Optimist: a person disposed to take a favorable view of things [wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn]

Isn't there a contradiction among the two things? What am I getting wrong?

Im so happy for you congrats!
I hope you recover 100% go for it!

Happiest day of my life? well im waiting for my miracle.

My grandfather had this problem for years before he died. I will probably have it too. I'll remember what you've been through and that you got out of it for my own sake. Thanks!!!

Hey, Scott. This is the first time I've read your blog and am really touched by your story. Having a son with CP really makes your story hit home. Re-training his brain has been a lifelong process for us. We are determined! Congratulations on your success and thank you for making us all smile with your incredible sense of humor.

It's hard to say the greatest moment in my life. I have an incredible life filled with blessings. To be honest with you, my son has taught me to be grateful for even the tiniest of things. I couldn't pin it down to just one!

Like everyone else mine involved births.

1)The best moment was when my son (first born child) was born.
2)Second (second kid syndrome?) was when my 4 year old son refused to let anyone else hold his new 30 minute old sister. No one else got a turn (besides the parents) to hold her for at least a few hours. He is still anamoured with her.

Scott, I did not know of your condition and learned about it through Slashdot. I must say your tale is truly proof of how optimism - and everything that comes with it, such as facing your problem head on, not losing contact of people, etc. - CAN be the difference between surrendering to a problem or finding a way to minimize or even defeat it. The human brain has GREAT power, not only over our own bodies but over our surroundings as well, and tales such as yours just shows how "blind" we are at acknowledging that. Congratulations for being such an inspiration, and ALL the luck in the world. I will be praying for you as well, Scott, as I do for family and friends daily. I am sure that you will find a way to overcome the challenge life has given you.

Answering your question, I believe the happiest moment in my life will be one I will experience in less than a month now: the birth of my first baby, a baby girl, a gift from life and the woman I love. I truly feel like I'm at a turning point in my life, for the better. And I hope she will be able to make a difference in our world and help it become a little bit better for everyone.

I can't help but think that one of the biggest causes for low recovery rates for disorders is because so many people just accept it and make no effort to overcome it.

I was diagnosed with everything from ADHD to OCD, and was told I would have to deal with it for the rest of my life.

I said "bah", worked hard to control my focus, and pretty much overcame it. Now I have near perfect concentration and my only obsessions are technology and writing (and even those are under my control).

Good luck on making a full recovery. :)

This was wonderful to read.
I suffered from brief spats of Spasmodic Dysphonia myself as a child, promarily when speaking to small groups. I would open my mouth to speak, but I couldn't. I would think the words, and but it was like I'd forgotten how to talk.
Fortunately, that passed after a couple of years, and I was left with a severe stuttering - also context-sensitive. I could sing, or recite memorized verse or dialogue perfectly, but spontaneous conversation was difficult.
Over time, I've trained myself to overcome this for the most part, but it still rears its head when I get excited.

As one who has experienced what you have, although for not as long, I found your account immensely inspirational.

And for my happiest moment? I'm having a hard time trying to pick one out.
This sounds kind of bittersweet, I guess, but it would be the time when I told my ex-fiancee (girlfriend at the time, of course) that I loved her for first time.
She and I are still the best of friends to this day.

My love, like a dove,
made me as happy as could be,
the day she proposed to me.

Congratulations on using your optimism and your determination to solve a problem that others had no solution for!
Happiest Day, 2 of them when my kids were born.

Weren't you just married?

I see the divorce proceedings going like this:

Wife: I married a mute.
Scott: If I can talk you shouldn't walk
Wife: I married a mute.
Scott:If you wanted someting in the cup you shouldn't of signed a pre-nup
Wife: I married a mute.
Scott:If it doesn't fit you must acquit
Wife: Now he is just making things up.
Scott:She stopped letting me poker now I am a joker.

Hi Scott,

Congratualtions on the 'remapping' !

My happiest moment - well it dosen't take much to keep me happy all the time :-) so there is atleast one in each day -Today's special though: My 2 month old neice is out of the ICU ward (and out of danger)just a few hours ago.

Scott, congratulations.

Happiest day of my life was when youngest son was born. I delivered him myself, with his mothers help obviously, in the bathroom. Two and a half minutes from waters breaking to delivery. His first cry was pure heaven.

Congrats on your greatest day!

If that were me, I'd be asking for someone to video tape me so I could always hear my voice again incase it didn't last.

My greatest day was when I finally met my favorite actress Joanna Gleason and had my picture taken with her.

Congrats again.

Having had something similar with my voice and suddenly having
a "cure" after nine operations during the first fourteen years of my life i can apprieciate your joy in getting your voice back. Been there done that, and ain't it wonderful!!!!
JWL

Hello, Scott,

Your experience was a great deal like mine with this malady. After a severe resperatory infection in my forties, I started losing my voice over a two week period. It felt like I had a knot in my voice box. My Dr. sent me to an ENT specialist, and both he and a speech therapist gave me the same diagnosis and prognosis as yours.
Being a musician, I found I could still sing much as I used to. At blues jams, my friends thought I was putting them on when I couldn't talk to them afterward. I also found I could "jog" my voice when I ran and apparently talk in my sleep, so I knew there was some hope and I kept on jamming, and jogging while talking to my dog.
Then, four years later, my voice started coming back. Gradually. I used a few tricks like "priming" some words by slightly vibrating my voice before speaking. And I still have moments when I can feel some degree of dysphonia.
I am close to normal, hoping the remission is permanent. Thanks for the affirmation.

Don Ousley

Drawing on my find command of the English language, and in congratulations, well done and good luck, I say, nothing.

Happiest day - wedding day. It's still as wonderful, 13 years later.. :)

I think the day I decided that mind over matter is what mattered was the happiest day of my life. Congrats Scott, I think this proves that whether you think you can or can't, either way you are right.

Great!!

Get lots of books of poetry and read them out loud often!

Out of work after the dot com bubble burst, under very pressing family circumstances, I had narrowed my focus to the task of getting a job. The day I received two job offers, and knew the worst was not going to happen, I started sighing, big deep sighs, over and over. I had no idea of the pressure I was under till I felt that relief. If happiness is absolute, that may not have been the happiest day of my life, but the change in feeling was enormous.

You love thinking about how systems work. That's what all your Middle East posts are about, that's what this is about, that's what most of your posts are about. I gotta reiterate, you ought to read "On Intelligence" by Jeff Hawkins. It pertains directly to your cure, and the process by which you discovered it. It's a very effective summary of current observations and speculations on the actual mechanisms underlying the most important aspects of human cognition, presented for the intelligent layman.

Check out the book, and his new company, Numenta. Given your inclinations, you'll find it fascinating.

Scott, you never run out of inspirational stories! :-)

(What would Dilbert say if he met up *you* inside the comic strip????) ;-)

I've had lots of happy moments, but can't really narrow down the best... shame on me. :-s But the one that sticks out is when I got an job offer from GE while pursuing my MBA. It was the job & company everyone in my batch wanted!

For me, the best part was waking up the next morning and asking my room-mate if I was *really* placed in GE.

Thanks again for sharing your story. Fingers crossed that it's permenant.

Seriously,,,congratulations, man.
The happiest moment of my life is every passing moment of course.

Congrats.

My happiest moment: Hearing my Autistic son say "Mommy". I had to wait 6 years to hear him talk.

Congratulations, Scott. That is great news.

I'd just like to also reccomend Dr. John Sarno's Books. My wife had an incurable disease (Barret's Esophagus) until she read his books. Following his advice and treatment, she got better immediatly. The doctors were flabbergasted how she magically recovered from this 'incurable' disease!

If you're short on time, he even puts out a DVD that lays out the tenants of his program at http://www.healingbackpain.com/video.html

He focuses a bit much on back pain, but that's because that's where most people's brains decide to create problems. I've seen that the brain will pick all sorts of things.. The more creative the person, the more creative a disorder it will come up with.

Wow, Scott! Congrats! You are world's most amazing person and deserve all the happiness in the world. :o)

Difficult to pick one happy moment - each moment with my boyfriend is happier than the previous. I know it sounds cloyingly mushy! but that my truth!

Amazing story. Proved again: Never give up. Scott, rap on, maybe we will see you on stage someday.

Oh my! Congratulations and best wishes for continued progress!

Scott, you will be fine. Thanks for sharing this experience. Happiest day: Day my son was born. Happy days: nearly every day I'm windsurfing no matter where.

Scott,

First off, your story is truly amazing. Congrats on figuring out how to beat the system and gain back your voice! I do hope it lasts.

As for my happiest moment, I was born with a mild form of cerebral palsy. Long story short, my leg muscles were too tight and I couldn't walk. At the age of six I underwent surgery and lots of physical therapy, and today I get around the city just like anyone else. That, however, is just the preamble.

Years later, my leg muscles began to tighten again, and so I underwent an outpatient procedure to loosen them. My surgeon told me I'd be recuperating for two weeks and then I'd be back in school. Three weeks went by and I was still hobbling around the house with a walker. We went back to see the surgeon to make sure everything was alright. He took me into his office and had me take a few tottering steps. Then, moving to my side, he said, "Alright," and here he grabbed my hand, "LET'S RUN!" With that, he set off at a fast pace across his office, leaving me with no choice but to keep up, and to my amazement, I was!

He showed me that my slow recovery was essentially all in my head. I was limiting myself. From that point on, my recovery proceeded quickly, and I was back in school in two weeks. Definitely ranks as one of the most incredible moments of my life.

-Jon

1. Holy shit that is great news.
2. Mine: (which I'm telling just because I sympathize and want to share it with you) I was very sick for 5 years. In college, I minored in dance and started having horrid "bathroom episodes" for a polite way to put it. Everything I put in my mouth came back out about 20 minutes later the other end. I was going like 10 times a day. When it got up to 20, 25 times, I had to drop my dance minor and I went to several doctors. It was a small town and they didn't properly diagnose me, put me on some meds I was allergic to which ended in a trip to the ER for IV Benadryl, and on the way back to college my Mom's beater car broke down and we had to climb a fence next to the highway and go door to door asking strangers if we could use their phone. And me in a Benadryl haze. Ah, college. But I digress. Turns out I had ulcerative colitis. Soon after the episodes started I started to bleed internally - basically like an ulcer in your stomach, but all through my large intestine. I won't go into the 5 years of misery and hell I went through in trying every new and experimental drug therapy, from drug trials to hospital stays with IV anti-rejection drugs that transplant patients are given. Nothing gave me long-term relief. I lived on credit cards and part-time jobs that I'd have to quit often because I was sick. I had 13 jobs my 1st year out of college and filed a whole $4900 in income. I had 11 jobs the 2nd year. I've had more jobs than anyone you've ever known - I recently counted them and am up to 44 and I'm only 38. But again I digress.

After 5 years my doctor finally convinced me to consider surgery. It was the scariest thing I've ever faced. I won't go into the details but it was a massive, 2-stage surgery and between stage 1 and stage 2, I had to go in a bag on my hip for 4 months. It was a nightmare for an otherwise healthy, attractive, twentysomething female. I thought the time with the bag would be the worst thing I'd ever go through, worse even than being sick.

After my initial, grueling recovery in the hospital, I was sent home to recuperate for several more weeks. I had to take small walks every day, first just to the kitchen or bathroom, bent over and back in pain from lack of stomach muscles, which had been severed during surgery, then tentative steps down the hall of my apartment on the arm of my boyfriend like a 90-year-old lady, then slowly back where I'd collapse in sweat. After a couple of weeks I was able to try the stairs and that went well enough that even though it was January, blowing snow and icy sidewalks, and even though I had no coat and I *hate* winter, I insisted we go outside. I was dying for the fresh air and encouraged by my progress. It took a very long time and my back was killing me but I made it to the street sign/corner where my apartment building sat, inching and inching across the ice and snow. I stood there hanging on to the pole to rest and looked up at the snow coming down and hitting my face and I couldn't believe how good it felt to not have to bolt for the bathroom. I felt like (if my back were stronger) I could have literally stood there for hours and not had to go - it was absolutely one of the most amazing moments of my life, with the cold blowing and the snow hitting my face, I just started crying because it was so wonderful. I'll never forget it, ever. I am glad every day I wake up that I am no longer in pain and it's been 11 years since the surgery.

Congratulations Scott!!

That is wonderful to hear. I am very happy for you and your entire family. My wife and I have been going through 14 months Thoracic Outlet Syndrom with many scary moments, many procedures & surgeries, rehab, and nerve damage. Your story gives us hope that perhaps some of the nerve issues will be rewired and life can become better.

Congratulations on your good news. You never know what they mean about 'having your health' until it is compromised. I am very happy for you.

Cheers and to your continued good health,

-Jason & Larissa Herman
PS: And thank you for years of Dilbert. I was convinved you put a bug in my cube at least once or twice!

Yay :D

Happiest moment, such a hard thing to quantify. I've been through some serious downs, but I always land on my feet, I think that survival and striving forward to find new happyness is the best part of life.

That which does not kill us, so to speak.

The one that comes to mind though was the moment I realized I was in love again, after my ex drug me through a living hell I never thought that would happen again... and one day I was blindsided by it.

Congratulations Scott! That's excellent news! Loyal Dilbert, Catbert, and Dogbert fans should rejoice.

Is this the most comments for any blog entry, Scott?

Scott,
I'm so glad I found your site today! You have described perfectly what I have been struggling with for a few years now. My normal talking voice has not gotten as bad as yours did, but it has gotten increasingly worse over the years. I'm not sure what to do next, but at least I have your blog entry to help describe to others what I struggle with. Thank you Scott and many blessings!!

Glad to hear that you found a way that has helped so far. I hope that you have continued success with this so that you can tell your doctor about it. If it helped you, it may help others. :)

Please keep us posted.

My happiest day was the day my daugher was born. It was also my scariest day. All I could think was Oh GOD what do I do now!
I look at her now at 9 years old she is beautiful smart and kind to animals and humans alike. She is also a very talented artist. (ok that is gross she is giving our yellow lab kisses on the mouth).
Thank you for reminding everyone the power of the mind.
Don't forget to laugh today

That's very inspirational. I am very happy for you, really.

So that'll be the medical Nobel too then. You've got to go for the grand slam now. Which one do you think will be hardest?

When I was a child I had a very bad speech impediment. I stuttered multiple times per word, and was basically unintelligible. People thought I was retarded, but I would score over 150 on my IQ tests.

Long story short, I started stuttering on purpose, making my brain re-think how it stuttered. Within about 5 hours of stuttering on purpose I no longer had any speech impediment at all. It simply went away.

Later, I found that I had a hard time balancing on certain occaisions. When I needed to walk a fine line (literally) but couldn't due to imbalance, I thought back to my speech impediment success and started practicing my balance by finding a straight line, walking it, and TRYING to lose my balance. Within hours I no longer had any balance issues.

Your blog entry has really cheered me up. Not that I was down in the dumps or anything but sometimes life becomes repetitive and meaningless and we forget all we have to be grateful for.

My happiest? Easy. There were three of them [3-I like to break rules ;-)]. the birth of David, Daniel, and Michael. I always wanted boys and 'boy' did I ever get them. I bawled uncontrollably when I saw their birth.

Cheers and good luck.

What a blessing. It's encouraging to see your confidence and determination. Thanks for all the great work.

My happiest day really, is every day around the hours of work when I get to be around my newborn son. Words fail to capture the absolute joy and happiness that overwhelms me when I see him. Every move and sound he makes is intoxicatingly wonderful.

Wonderful!

Congratulations, I am really really happy to hear that :)

My happiest moment has yet to come, but I know it's out there, and after 44 years, I keep trying.

I know I wouldn't accept "you're screwed" as a diagnosis for too long, and I know from personal experience what the brain can do from sheer stubborness. Most of the time, it doesn't work, so the myth of "just stand up and try and everything will be great" wears a little thin. But once in a while it works, often enough to give hope.

And that's what this is about: hope. Not sticktuitiveness or A Positive Amurkin Attitude, Young Man, Because You Can Be Rich, Just Like The President. But hope. We need more of that.

Way to go, and thank you for sharing the story. Good luck.

amazing news, i can't imagine how that must feel.

my great news? we got a new kitten at the weekend & there's nothing more optimistic than a kitten

Speaking in rhyme, eh? Maybe you're channeling the Demon Etrigan (of DC Comics fame)! ;)

I am in a similar situation..not only my speech, but my vision, hearing and movement patterns all got disconnected somehow. They function ok but I feel 'outside' of them.

My situation has improved greatly over the past 5 years with very hard work. I am going to try your rhyme thing with added visualizations.

Congratulations even from Germany, Scott! :o)

First I admired your switching to electronical drawing the Dilbert cartoons after your arm problems.
Now I'm really stunned by your voice recovery.

Happiest day of poor little me? - Well, it's always fantastic recovering from some illness or injury. I was glad not beeing seriously ill or injured till this day. But I am very glad and thankful, that I survived my only three motorbike accidents in 16 years with no severe consequences.

Be like me - keep your optimism!

Scott,

Oddly enough, your insight into office life changed my life in 1995. It forced me to realize it would never get better so I started my own company.

Thank you for everything. Every strip. Every laugh. You are very special and I'm so happy you're healed. Have a great life and I'll know you'll enjoy every moment.

Due to the volume of posts on this topic this comment will probably be lost and unseen, but I will say it anyway.

Is anyone else suprised to see that this post has 3 or 4 times the number of comments that we usually see on this board?

Everything else, world peace proposals, travel stories, even the "Oh my god he didn't just say that" posts get only 150-200 comments by my reckoning. But start a "good news" post and folks come out of the woodwork. 600 and counting as of this writing.

What does that say about us??? who knows, just thought someone should point it out.

Scott congratulations on your recovery, keep doing what your doing.

My happiest momemt.... The births of my daughters, and the day I was hired as a computer programmer after working 12 years as a Cell Biology Lab tech.

Well done! I am recovering from stage 3 RSI, and have been working on getting better every day for a year. Despite weeks and months of pain, I am nearly there - and nearly back to participating in all the sports I enjoy. It is the hardest thing I have ever done as I found very few tales of recovery, and very little in the way of hope. I too refused to believe that this was it, and have dedicated myself to getting better. It's amazing what you can achieve if you try. Stories like yours are important. All the best to you.

I was thinking of doing a two year moratorium on speech like R Buckminster Fuller. Your story is inspiring. I hope it will help others with Spasmodic Dysphonia. I have found rhyming critical in getting over my brief encounters with Neologistic Paraphasias.
Some of my life's happiest times have been spent in spontaneous rhymes.

That's excellent about your voice!
I think i'll be cliche and say my happiest day was my wedding day, it was an outdoor ceremony and it didn't rain! Although it pretty much hasn't rained since and we're in the middle of a monster drought now - I only prayed for ONE rain free day I swear!!!

Beethoven lost his hearing, and moved on from there. Good going!

Once upon a time
A 6 DOF friend of mine
Got his voice back
Through a rhyming speech hack
And now he won’t shut up.

Congratulations! Happiest day lately is getting my big raise and being able to quit my second job. In total, probably when my dad got released from the hospital. :).

Hi Scott,

Great news...My happiest moment came the last week. I had donated blood during a campaign to Rotary club in India which contributes blood to the hospitals...a week after my bllod had been taken I got a report which said my blood has tested positive to the screening test for Hepatitis B. As much as I could know about it from internet, I was in for some tough times...and it could even lead to liver cirrhosis. I went to a hospital to get myself diagnosed again and the four days before which I got to know that I am not Hepatitis B positive were the most thoughtful & troublingg days of my life. I was not afraid to die but my family relies on me and I didn't want to leave them without doing all what I wanted to do for them..

The negative report was a blessing and this has taught me the value of life...

Deepak

Congratulations, that's a wonderful story. I'm very happy for you.

My happiest day was in August 1990 with the love of my life. I'll wait until you have a Bad News Day before saying how that turned out.

What an incredible story!! Absolutely amazing! I wish you all the best in your efforts to conquer this horrible condition.

My happiest days are the usual stuff: my wedding, the day my son was born, etc.

But I think I can wholeheartedly agree with all those who count this day as well upon reading something so inspirational and optimistic.

Well done, that man!

thats fucking amazing.

When studying neuro-psychology my wife learned that your PHYSICAL brian pathways change based on your thought patterns. The interconnections between various neurons become stronger or weaker depending on how much you "exercise" them via thinking about certain things.
You really can be transformed by the renewing of your minds.

grats on recovery.
I was sent this link randomly by a friend as something cool to look at... and it is amazing. As for my happiest moment.. i can't think of one.. not like there are a bunch to choose from, but just no days stand out. Eh.. i'm 19.. still have time.

My happiest mopment was waking from anesthesia after getting a shunt installed for radiation induced hydrocephalis and feeling all my circuits connected for the first time in months. I was giddy for days.

I can quite clearly recall the thrill of the happiest moment of my life. Mmm, I can practically taste it when I think about it.

It was December 19, 2003, probably around 10:00pm, but the time is really irrelevant because I had just been on planes for about 30 hours. I had been abroad in Japan for 4 months. Although I have a great passion for Japan and Japanese culture, I was still incredibly home sick. I cried myself to sleep many nights while there, not because I wasn't enjoying myself, but because I just longed to be in my boyfriend's arms, or talking with my parents or twin sister.

Anyway, when I got off my (3rd) plane in Baltimore (after almost missing my connection from Chicago to Baltimore) I was walking through the mostly empty hallways towards the place where family and friends can meet new arrivals. I heard the (Whitney Houston?) song that goes "Oh I want to dance with somebody, with somebody to lean on." I had heard the song randomly once in Japan and suddenly I was overcome with the joy of being home. The elation lasted through meeting up with my family and boyfriend, through finding out about my lost luggage (I didn't care! I was among English speakers again!!), and through recounting my journey home to everyone until about 2am when I finally passed out from exhaustion.

That was the best 4 hours ever.

Ironically, the worst moment of my life was on the way TO Japan, trying to navigate Tokyo's Narita airport alone and with very little Japanese. After that experience, most other things don't seem so hard. :)

This is an amazing story. Thank you for sharing it.
My happiest moment? Realizing what I wanted to do with my life and finally knowing where I'm going. It feels good to have a goal.

mazel tov! i didn't know about this blog, but your strip always gives me a chuckle :)

one of my happiest days: finding out that my grandfather was alive after i was told he was dead. (a mixup) i had another whole year with him!

Is it too late to join in here? You rock, Scott! Optimisim and determination, indeed. Look at the number of comments on this topic: incredible. Keep writing, please.

We are pulling for you, Scott, and wish you all the best.

Congratulations!

scott... felt wonderful reading it... thanks for sharing the good news and congrats

OK, as some of us know, I have an autistic son. We have all been working hard to teach him to speak and communicate, but mostly he was highly echolalic. We could teach him to respond by rote (he could respond to standardly-worded questions with memorized answers- but he didn't understand what the words meant), and he could respond with words he had heard before (he liked to repeat entire episodes of Oobi when the context struck him as appropriate- for example, when on the playground, he would repeat the entire "Swing!" episode) but that was about it.

My son fell in love with a story about a mouse who lives in a guitar. Like all children, who knows why they like certain stories? So I decided to take him to the toy store, then to the music store. He also likes school buses, so we bought a new school bus in the toy store, then went to look at the guitars. He was very happy in the music store (and the people in there was VERY nice, I will be forever grateful), and he started naming the instruments, just like we talked about with his tv shows and book- guitar, violin, drum, cello. He found ukeleles (just like Mr. Guinea Pig plays on Pnky Dinky Doo) and a trumpet (just like Little Bear's) and a banjo (like Moose A. Moose plays!) This wasn't the best part...

On the way home, a little voice chimes in from behind me: "Thank you, Mommy." Did my son just speak to me??? So I replied, trying to stay calm, "You're welcome, sweetie. Do you like your bus?" "Yes, Mommy. Thank you!"

I had just had my first conversation with my son.

That is awesome news, Scott. I appreciate you sharing your understanding of this with us. Too many people attribute this type of 'miracle' to mystic causes. Once they do that, everyone else feels comfortable with dismissing it. By explaining your thinking and your method you make it possible for others to take it seriously. I hope more people learn from your example.

Absolutely inspiring post Scott,
Commendations on your optimism and discipline, which seem to have enabled this "miracle" to happen.
I can't claim anything quite so inspiring, although one of my favourite moments was being part of the crowd, watching my soccer team get their best ever result (a win over the mighty Bayern Munich) and the atmosphere was brilliant.
Keep up the great work.

Scott,congrats on your recovery! And thanks for making me believe even more in the powers of optimism!!!!

Congrats on getting the voice back.....

I can't think of any happy moments at the moment, but I am usually in a happy mood :)

I spent 6 months travelling a number of years ago, and the day I returned and saw my (now long ago ex) girlfriend was the happiest day of my life:

a) it was great to see her,
b) My solo-travelling stories made me self assured that I was in fact the coolest man alive,
c) she was so happy to see me it kind of rubbed off on me,
d) I still didn't have a worry in the world

... it's strange that I don't really think of that day much. But when it comes down to it I was utterly, utterly free of worries, greatly loved, and greatly in love.

A happy day.

I'm really glad for you. A lot of people could learn from this - 'don't ever give up!'

My happiest moment would be the first time my baby daughter smiled at me - after spending her first three months of life in the hospital. Her life started out as a fight, but she didn't give up on us either...

Scott: Remember that this is the happiest day TO DATE. Hopefully, this will pale in comparison to future happiness.

Congratulations Scott!!!!

The Mind is an Universe to discover. Thank you for your Universe.

Happiest moments... for me, often involve language and/or song.. maybe reading a book.. L'Ecume Des Jours, by Boris Vian, for example.. or watching the Berlin Wall performance of The Wall... And also, adapting to the peculiarities of one's brain.. Those are truly happy moments when you learn to do something simple that one couldn't do before, especially when it involves something really helpful, like for me overcoming some aspect of ADD, or in your case, 'learning' to speak again. Reading your story there made me truly happy, Scott. Even if it doesn't last, you've gained for all of us some tremendous insight into the workings of the human mind, and you've confirmed to some degree your optimistic postulate.
I was going to suggest that you learn to speak a foreign language, and I suggest that you still do... That might give your brain some new context to chew on and some new neural pathways to integrate with and/or circumvent your existing pathways.

Happiest moment in my life. Hard to be sure, but your wonderful story just reminded me, I think it was when I first heard my daughter laugh. We drove a long way to a little house in upstate New York which was deep in snow. It was pitch black and bitterly cold and my father and I had to set to with shovels just so we could get to the back door. My tiny little daughter laughed at the sight. She was about 5 months old.

Hello,

your Dilbert comic is very great, here in Spain is only knowed by hardcore geeks... but is usual because here the comic world is full of retarded otakus reading hentai and crap mangas or boring superheroes... and Spain is not one of the countries with a lot of people knowing computers, is full of retards that not knows how to install Windows XP on their computers (and sometimes I get money from then doing it).

This is great news and I hope your problem gets solved very soon. Did you tried to practice other rhimes? Like talking as medieval rhimes, sorry for my bad english but not know how to explain...

My best day in the world? When I installed Linux sucessfully, it was a Debian 2.0 (Slink) but that will be overseeded when I learn C programming (one of my biggest dreams of my life) and it's in progress thanks to a friend ;)

Best regards...

Yay congrats Scott!

Ok, my biggest good news day? When my dad won the lottery, enough money to pay off 30 years of bad debts (we weren't well off and he'd made some bad decisions in his youth).

After struggling with our finances for years, that was truly a gift from God.

Scott,
So the secret is out!! you need to make up ryhmes for everything you say, like Shakespeare.

Or try reapeting each time you lose your voice the poem you started:

my brain remapped
my speach returned
I now am apt
to talk unlearned


You've helped not only yourself but all future patients with this illness. Let us know when the articles appear in the medical journals.

My good news is I've decided not to have a gastric bypass, which is a fairly dangerous surgery with lots of life-long side effects.

It alters the stomach and small intestine so that only a tiny amount of food can be eaten at one time. It's a treatment for obesity.

However, though I can't speak for others, the cause of my obesity is definitely not in my digestive system. I don't consistently overeat because I feel hungry. It's a compulsion, like compulsive alcoholism.

I remember a time when I wasn't addicted to junk food and overeating. Like anyone else, I got pleasure from eating yummy food. Gradually that changed and the pleasure became more intense and encompassing. Pigging out alters my mood and perceptions. I have foolishly experimented with drugs in the past (don't do any now) and I can tell you that the high I get from eating is better than anything I've gotten from any drug.

I'm going to increase my self-awareness until I can discover and deal with the emotional issues that drive me to bury them behind the wall of euphoria I create with food.

Thanks for the inspiration, Scott.

The story of rhyming reminds me of the Adept series of fantasy novels, where magic is controlled by rhymes, but once you used one it lost its power. Thus the hero has to constantly find new rhymes to use his powers. Learning to spontaneously speak in poetry... that would be heavy lifting for the brain.

WoW! Congratulations. I read your Dilbert strips from Turkey and enjoy them alot. Keep up the good work, and keep talking too!

Great news! Good for you! Have you considered a career in rap? ;^}

thanks for sharing this
i am 26 and since 3 weeks I am almost deaf , the doctors have no clue why and send me home from hospital , I guess optimism is the best medizine

You sir, are an inspiration to us all! While the docs said it was 'permanent', you continued to try.. and succeeded!
Bravo for you! You are truly above and beyond the common man.
(Either that, or you're a stubborn S.O.B.) :-) :-) :-)
Regardless, it brightened my day! Kudos to you!
--Buz...

Ey! Congratulations from Spain! First of all, excuse my poor english.
I love Dilbert. Im informatic and I feel very close to Dilbert in my work jejeje
This history is amazing, it's looks like a tale of fantasy.
You are a example, not only to all the people with your same problem, you are a example to all of us.

The happiest moment of my life was 1 year and 5 months ago when I kiss my girlfriend for first time.
We travel to Fuengirola, a town on the cost of Malaga(Spain), from Seville(My city) to spend a pair of days together in the beach. At this moment we were only friends, but the day after the travell I confessed my love to her. She say that she need to think about this, and in the travell I was very nervous about it.
This night, when we come to Fuengirola, She went to the terrace of my beach´s house to see the night and stars...
The night was cold, so I surrounded her with my arms and she kissed me. This was our first kiss. And in the next mornig we make love for first time.
Now I´m mad of love for her.
I hope that you have liked my history.
Bye ;)

NPR's Diane Rehm also suffers from this, this would make a great discussion on her show, given she had the botox regularily. See URL.

http://www.wamu.org/programs/dr/

That is one uplifting story. We all enjoy your "voice" in your writing and cartooning, I'm delighted that you've rediscovered and remapped your voice for your friends, family and fans. Continued success. Instant karma coming your way.

I'm so happy for you, Scott - congratulations on being strong throughout this one. I hope you - and your listeners - will enjoy your newly found voice for many, many years...

Nice to hear of your improvement, and of your feelings about it.

My best ever moment, not the birth of any of my children, not the day I got amrried, none of that stuff. It was a joke.

After finishing a very tough course on Novell networking I and about 15 others went into London to do the much anticipated (and expensive) exam, lots of fear, lots of trepidation. And it was tough, I passed but not all of us did.

Afterward, while we were celebrating and drinking beers I told a joke, only I told it as a straight-up story as though it happened to me, and it involved crushing self-doubt, the yearning for a strange and beautiful woman, the overcoming of crushing self-doubt, and a punchline that came out of no-where and floored everyone for 5 minutes.

I was sitting in the sun, having passed the most difficult exam of my life, having told everyone the funniest story they ever heard. That was a good feeling, and one I regularly use to overcome jitters & doubts.

I am so happy for you - and well done - it didn't "just happen", you caused it to happen, the best result and your achievement.

Do you have any other imperfections you're going to work on next? There is a Tom Paxton song where joggers believe enough jogging will make them "young and tall and blond" - I suspect you could achieve that - if you wanted to - assuming you're not all those things already...

Happy times? I'm having a whole year! Achieved a long time dream and collected my llamas in May (I know, I know, but even weird things can make you happy), had a fantastic holiday with my son, was proposed to when I returned, had great fun planning the wedding, married four weeks ago - (which at 52 and three years after a divorce came as something of a surprise), and now we are moving to France which means I can quit my increasingly soul destroying job to live the "good life" (a reference probably more understandable if you're British) with llamas, chickens, my new husband and a beautiful view.... time to learn to speak French?

Congrats Scott! You must be feeling great! That deserves a holiday for celebration!

Great news, Scott, congratulations!

Fantastic news Scott! I admire persistence in pursuit of goals and you sure proved the importance of determination.

For something similar to what you describe, you might want to look at the history of F. Matthias Alexander, the developer of a system of physical training called The Alexander Technique.

He suffered from a voice affliction which has striking parallels with yours - he was a Shakespearian actor who found he was losing his ability to use his voice on stage - devastating. The doctors of the day could offer him nothing. Remarkably, he studied anatomy (and much other material) and then _developed_his_own_cure. This grew into the Alexander Technique, which cured a severe and incapacitating dose of muscle spasm and repetive strain injury in my neck and shoulders during the 1980s.

In neuropsychological parlance, the Alexander Technique incorporates elements of neurofeedback (via the instructor), powerful suggestion, and something like a "remapping" of the relationship between conciousness and the the neural feedback loops which control muscle tension and balance (my words - the Alexander people might not like this description). I was a sceptic. Check it out.

Thanks for Dilbert by the way - love it :)


Great news! Long live Scott :-) I am really happy to see you are getting better.

Hey Scott,

Your 'Good news day' got slashdotted

http://science.slashdot.org/science/06/10/24/2044220.shtml

Now thats really cool

I'm new to you and Dilbert. But this still made me very happy. Who cares if it happens to complete strangers, these kind of things make me feel much better.

Dear Scott,

Many congrats. There are few gifts as valuable as being able to express oneself (perhaps vision is more valuable).

Great to know that your voice is back.

Cool. You beat the odds. :)

With the spirit of the hundreds before myself, bloody well done old boy.

I rather think that with almost any affliction, once you give up, you're dead.

Good luck

Scott

I think that there are unknown viruses out there that either directly attack facial nerves, or stimulate an immune response that damages facial nerves. After the sudden onset of my own facial dystonia (Benign Essential Blepharospasm) I have just heard and read about way too many facial nerve dystonia cases. The medical literature says they are rare, but I suspect they are much more common than in the past. I wonder if somebody's bio-warfare virus got loose a decade or so ago?

My problem manifested itself as Dry Eye combined with strong, long-lasting eyelid spasms. It was impossible to drive, and very difficult to read or use a computer (my occupation). I tried Botox, which diminished the spasms but that tended to make my eyes so dry that it was very painful to keep my eyes open. I gave up on Botox after three treatments, and felt much better. After about 6 months of this, I found that the affected facial nerves (or the part of the brain running them) could only work in "half-duplex" mode! I could stop the spasms by touching my face or humming in a way that made my lips vibrate. By using those two techniques, I quickly regained the ability to drive and read. Now one year later, my dystonia is almost completely gone. I put in eye drops twice a day to make up for my lack of tear production, and maybe once a month I need to hum while I drive.

It didn't occur on a single day, but my recovery makes me VERY happy!

Scott,

Have you heard of VoiceAmp? It's designed for stutterers, but it might help you.

Check out: http://www.voiceamp.net

I'm sorry, did you say something?

Very impressive self diagnostics, be sure to send yourself a bill.

Thank you, I'll be here all week.

Seriously, as a dedicated reader of your blog for the past several months, reading your story felt as though I had just gotten the news that a friend had been cured of s life threatening disease.

Your story reminds me of 'Flowers For Algernon' (or Charly if you saw the movie). I'm sure someone is already working on the script of your recovery, maybe Cliff Robertson can play your dad in the movie.

Congratulations.

congratulations scott!! i am really happy for u. Hava gr8 day!!!

Proper congratulations mate thats amazing. Perhaps this can be useful for others as well. brilliant

Scott,

That is great!!!!!!!!

Keep on Rhyming!

I'm new to Dilbert and you, but hearing about your comeback definitely made me happy. These kind of things make me happy, even if they happen to complete strangers.

The happiest day of my life was tomorrow (?)

Why? Let's see:
*Tomorrow I have to give a presentation on thermochromic dyes to people who know a lot more about them than me. But that is in the morning. After that comes the sheer relief of having it over and done with
*After that, laboratory tour! I love touring the uni's labs, boring though it sounds (actually it is pretty boring, but beats work)
*Best of all: that evening, party with free alcohol. Oh, yeah!

By the way, congratulations. Though being smarter than a doctor isn't that hard.

Oh oh, I hear the sound of people coming to beat me up.

Congratulations, Scott! Thats truly wonderful news - I hope you make constant progress or at least hold the status quo.

Marrying my soulmate, having the chance to 'restart' my personal and professional life, seeing my sons again - these were the most happiest days of my life, so far.

What a wonderful thing to happen, thanks for sharing, it would appear that miracles *can* happen.
My most wonderful moment... Testing negative at the 6 month point during my treatment for HCV. Your tale has given me some new hope for the future, thank you very much.

Ps Reposted because I had a typo in the e-mail address and I didn't want to appear a spammer, so you can remove the Ps if you want.

Good news - I'm pleased for you, old bean!

My best moment - apart from marrying Mrs Smiffy, recovering from this http://www.gbsfi.com/overview.html

Congrats Scott, looks like when you truely believe in something, it will work.
My happiest moment...im a bit of a looser so when this girl i really liked actually said yes to me asking her out, thats gotta be one of my happiest moments.

that's just amazing Scott. Congratulations, and well done!

My happiest day? mmmm. Playing music sometime in front of an appreciative audience? falling in love, with a lover or with my kids?

I'm lucky, I have lots of them !

Hi Scott,

I hope you have experienced these comments as a great outpouring of the joys of all our lives. I know I have.

My most joyful moment was when my teenage sweetheart said that she'd marry me. That was 17 years and five children ago now. :)

In the sad days after 911, your reflections on how they'd stole our happiness (you used different, better, words) connected with my own sense of loss.

Thanks for bringing us joy again!

Cheers,

--GMS

Congratulations on your breakthrough!

I presume you've probably tried everything, but have you tried Thought Field Therapy? How about Neuro Linguistic Programming? These can help with all sorts of odd problems which supposedly are "incurable". You’ve probably heard of the celebrity hypnotist / NLP / TFT practitioner Paul McKenna (http://www.paulmckenna.com/) who famously resolves all sorts of problems with these techniques (from extreme chocolate addiction to supposedly incurable blindness in one case).

I've had many happy moments, but one major one was experiencing a significant breakthrough
with a simple Thought Field Therapy tapping technique – in summary half an hour with a TFT therapist accomplished more than years of conventional therapies ever could in resolving the physical & psychological effects of a childhood trauma.

Good luck with the rest of your recovery!

Great news Mr. Adams, I hope the silent time is over for good.

What comes to my happiest day ever... it has to be the day our baby girl was born :)

I am so, so happy for you. The thought of all your wit and insight, dammed behind such a little yet all-encompassing disability, was too cruel. I am so happy for you. And congratulations, once again, on showing up "common knowledge" for what it really is.

Scott, congratulations!!
I've a focal cervical dystonia (which is similar to dysphonia, only afflicting different muscles), and I'm trying to "remap around it" too, with exercises involving unfrequent movements. I'd be glad to hear other experiences.

That is great news Scott! I am so happy for you ^_^ My happiest moment was seeing the ocean for the first time :)

Congratulations from Italy Scott! Great news.
Happiest day of my life has been sitting on the beach on a september afternoon with my girlfriend hugging me from behind and telling me that the world could end outside that beach and she just wouldn't care.
Simone

Scott, congrats. In all honesty, I'm a sucker in the right moment and while I was reading over your story, Rufus Wainwright's Hallelujah was playing on the computer - I'll admit it - I cried.

Happiest moment: 2 weeks after my wife and I married, my wife shipped out overseas for the Army in preparation for going downrange - I thank my family for helping me through that. A month later, we got news that she didn't need to go downrange and I was able to meet back up with her. I don't think I've ever been so relieved in my life and we hugged and cried for what seems like an eternity.

I haven't even come close to being that happy since.

If you really want to cry, try reading all fan's comments with Arms of an Angel playing - good lord I need to change my play lists...

Congratulations !!!

makes me happy to hear your success story, Scott! :-) I believe that it is only our belief of limitations which limit us! like allergy - everyone 'knows' allergy is 'incurable'. well i cured mine by proper diet (Zone diet)! 29 years of being allergic to dust was gone within 6 weeks of proper diet. i tried much before i came to the cure, but nothing worthwhile is easy. :-) i am sure u will get your voice back. Alecxander Technique and Trigger point therapy might help too.

happiest moment of my life? many, but one that i vividly remember even after 10 years is this unlikely one: a junior in my hostel was diagnosed with an eye infection which needed immediate treatment at a big hospital in another city. to get her there, me and my friend had to get her off at a day's notice to the nearest big city which was 4 hours by train, from where we would have to put her into a flight so she could reach the hospital in time. none of the teachers or authority volunteered to do the needful! we were just girls in college (not a very independent stage of life in India!) but we did it somehow, missing classes for a day, and handling a nearly sightless girl. We missed buses, handled suspicious cabbies and bland airplane crew (that was the first time i saw the inside of an airport). well, she was packed off, and came back a month later fully cured. then she told us that a day's delay would have meant loss of her sight and that her mother had sent her thanks. well...that time i was so happy i almost cried!
other instances have been of personal happiness but nothing compares to knowing that u have made a positive difference in another's life. :-)

Glad the voice is back. Happiest day of my life was when my daughter was born. She's gorgeous!

Congratulations!

Happiest day will be when the twins will be in my arms instead of my wife's belly!

Cheers,

Lars

Congratulations! And thank you for telling us this story and making our day much happier.

Awesome :)

That's the best Slashdot I've ever read

Hi Scott,

Congratulations on getting your voice back, I bet making your vows at the wedding was fun. Did you sing the words 'I DO!'?

I was thinking of the happiest moment of my life last night, a book I'm reading on boosting confidence recommended I recalled my happiest moment. For me it was being in south africa working at a monkey rehabilitation center, the happiest moment was while I was hand rearing an orphan monkey, listenting to the sounds of the night with my girlfriend beside me. Funnily enough, remembering this happy memory makes me sad because I wish I was still there.

Thanks for continuting to brighten my days with your comic strips and blogs, I look forward to much more entertainment in the future.

Congratulations Scott, i'm very happy for you.

Best regards.

Happiest moment of my life?
When my brother came off life support the right way after we'd been told there was zero chance of him making it. And he's made it back to normal, despite us being warned he would likely have been severely brain damaged.
Miracles happen. Good news is what keeps us going, the past and the hope of more in the future!
Thanks for sharing your good news!

Congratulations, I really hope it stays!

Congratulations Scott.

My happiest moment: after around 35 years of dreaming of seeing Egypt, I finally got to visit. The sense of awe you feel while standing smack bang in the middle of the Great Pyramid is incredible.

I do some work on language and the brain, have a book coming out on the subject, and find your story professionally interesting - and personally very gratifying. There are countless ways from Sunday my own interests would take this, but I`ll suggest you take one on your own: contact Oliver Sacks (oliversacks.com/contact.htm), THE expert in areas of brain function loss. He should at least be exposed to your story and may be able to offer some valuable reflections or advice. He`s also an extremely congenial guy.

And congratulations.

Dan Shanahan
Professor of Communication
Charles University
Prague

You rock man,

best wishes.

alot of people wish i couldnt speak but yeah thats the worst

Emma is the happiest moment of my life so far, a girlfriend who I have loved moer than anyone else I have been with, though it ended a long time ago, when I think of her I always remember the good times.

COngratulations on getting your voice back scott, does this mean we should be expecting some exceptionally witty cartoons sometime soon?

http://ramblingsofanofficeworker.blogspot.com

Congratulations - you got your voice back, and made it into one of Norway's biggest newspapers: http://www.kjendis.no/2006/10/24/480769.html

Congratulations Scott! We tend to take the normal things for granted then when we lose them and get them back you realise just how cool they were in the first place. (Like an old CD you haven't listened to in ages and then decide to put on again...just a few thousand times cooler)

My happiest moment (and probably will always be) was when I was released from hospital after jumping out of a helicopter that was shot down...spent several months in hospital with broken bones (amazing how many bones you can break when jumping out of something spinning wildly 50 feet up in the air) had to learn how to walk again and all that shenanigans....essentially fine now except for some scars on my legs...life is good on them days.

I still fly back to the country where it happened once every two years to thank the people who helped me there, and the pilots who lost their lives in that crash.

Congratulations man! I can only imagine how losing a usually taken for granted function must feel - probably that's why I can't think of any really happy event that stands out in my life.

Scott,

I am really glad to hear the news! I am a strong believer in the rewiring concept..

Happiest moment of my life? I am truly fortunate in the fact that I have many..most recently, I have rekindled a relationship with someone that I have been in love with for 14 years, and the future looks pretty bright!!

That kicks ass!

Congratulations Scott, so glad to hear your story and I have to say that it really touched me. All the best for you!!

My happiest moment in my life?
I guess that was the day I found to myself.

Find a few patients suffering from Spasmodic Dysphonia, try your method of 'contexting' on them and if at least some of them get better you can become a doctor of medicine.
Scott Adams, MD. Almost like Hannibal Lecter, MD.

Congratulations, keep at it and make sure it doesn't go away again!

While not to your extent, I experienced an overnight inability to swallow my food a couple of years back. My brain just forgot how to time the muscular action. I spent 3 months eating real slow, and drinking very carefully, because I would often choke and come pretty damned close to being in real trouble. While not the happiest day of my life, it disappeared one day pretty much out of the blue. It was a huge relief, and a complete mystery.

Damn, dude. I wish you the best of luck with your voice.

And the happiest day of my life? When I woke up in the hospital *after* my appendix exploded.

Wow, recovering from a disease that no one has ever recovered from? That's like Chuck Norris level stuff. Pretty soon they'll have to make a list of Scott Adams facts.

For my happiest day? Probably when I made the varsity cross country team after years of trying.

Congratulations, that shows what a positive attitude can do. You're great.

first of all, i have to say i really enjoy your blog.

and i believe if you set your mind to do something, you can achieve it. and you proved to be a very good example.

my happiest moment in life when my newborn son was finally out of the hospital after staying there in the ICU for 2 weeks. that he is out of danger and does not rely on drugs and machines to stay alive.

An interviewer once asked me, "What's your greatest accomplishment?" I answered with some faux response that sounded, well, faux. I should have answered "It hasn't happened yet!" . . . For happiest, let me say it, because I know it's true: "The happiest moment in my life is yet to come; but, when it happens, I'll let you know - and I hope I'm as happy as you are today!" Congratulations, Scott. You deserve it.

Congratulations Scott,
quite clearly this is down to being married. After a couple of months of:
"take out the rubbish"
"repaint the garage"
"Dance for me Biatch!"
etc. your brain must have finally said "C'mon Scott we must say no" (Well possibly not the last one, you may like that sort of thing) the only problem with that is in your new style of thinking you may inadvertantly rhyme and say "No ho'" - I think this may be bad.
Though before I got to the end of your blog to say you could also speak normallly I was whisked back to when I was watching the 2003 or maybe 2004 Eurovision song contest (where all the countries in europe, and for some random reason Israel, get together and present the naffest and cheesiest pop sensations they currently have, in a bid to promote social harmony) where the entire evening was presented in rhyming couplets. That was the Eurovision cheese at its finest.

Well done - carry on

Scott,

great news!

My best moment? Seeing a little heart beat when they did an ultrasound of my wife's womb. I would have never thought I would feel like that.

Take care
Andrea

Well Scott, congratulations to your voice. Over the last 18 months I've been struggling with voice problems myself, needing to learn again how to use my voice properly and lasting. Taking small steps but I really understand the pain of not being able to talk. Especially when you talk a lot... and work as a sales engineer...

My happiest moments are the births of my two sons, now 6 and 10 years - no matter how much we fight over simple things, they are still the highlights of my life.

Scott be melodic, Scott be poetic
Scott rhyme over the spasm speech

Welcome back to the land of the speech...

(And many more cartoon strips too)

Congratulations! So pleased for you. I very much enjoy reading your blog.

My happiest moment had to be when my life completely changed direction - I used to be a medical secretary, nothing wrong with that, but I felt as if I was wasting my life. Then I got into medical school and everything changed. I qualify next year. Woot!

congratulations, scott

Congrats Scott, always good to hear good news

Hi Scott,

Grats!!

I don't know if it was my happiest day, but it is speaking/language related. I am a native English speaker who now lives in Sweden. Many years ago, before I even lived here I was learning Swedish and struggling to learn it was well as I could. I was visiting relatives in Sweden (the beloved's not mine) who don't speak much English. It's very tiring to try to communicate in a language which you only half comprehend but one day ...

I was sitting around a table listening to them all talk, and I suddenly noticed that the little translator inside my head who converted everything into English had shut up and I was understanding the Swedish without translating it! It didn't last long at that time, but I just sat there with this big stupid grin on my face because I was so happy with the progress that this signified.

Now I am working in Sweden, trying to communicate on a far higher level and the little translator is back a lot of the time, even though my Swedish is much better.

Again, congratulations, hope it continues to work (although if you talk too much your relatives might start doing affirmations of their own ...)

cheers

neopolitan

Glad you got your speech back.

It's amusing how the mind works. How does it know the difference between what are rhymes and what are not? What is the real difference between rhymes and non-rhyming words anyway?

Could you for example say "Yellow"? If not, then how about "Yellow Fellow"? Would really love to hear more about your experiments.

Good News Day

Scott lost his voice to a thing exotic:
A Dsyphonia of type Spasmodic.
But his attitude remained Quixotic
Even though he was oh so sick

And so he searched for the solution
To regain his lost locution.
Scott stayed nimble, Scott stayed quick.
Scott tried every health care kick.

Number of those who've gotten well:
Zero, said the tolling bell.
Scott tried everything, got worse,
Before he thought of trying verse.

His nimble wit became deliberate
As he attempted more than gibberate
And family and friends all leaned in
To guess what meaning lay within.

Alas, life’s pleasures are diminished
When loquaciousness is finished.
As his speech-brain just shut down
His happy face became a frown.

It was tough but so was he,
And stuck with no soliloquy
He visualized his syllables
And looked for breaks in all the lulls.

Affirmations, self-hypnosis,
He tried every hocus pocus.
Foreign accents, higher pitches,
He worked out the bugs and glitches.

Searching for those neural pathways
That he traveled back in old days.
What to do when larynx laxes?
Maybe try new Google mapses.

Armed with theory, short on training,
His vocal cords just kept refraining.
For months and months he tried new tricks.
For months and months he just got licked.

Then one day when homework helping
He found that he was somehow yelping.
He could speak perfectly in rhyme
His brain, his vocal cords? All fine.

Jack jumped high for Scott’s amusement
Then jumped again so Scott wouldn’t lose it.
Jack was nimble, Jack was quick;
Scott enjoyed repeating it.
His brain remapped; his speech returned
The engine warmed; homework was learned.

All that night he jabbered away
Until Good News Night became Good News Day
And Scott invited us to have our say
Only good news; nothing sad!
Or he’ll get very very mad.

For mysterious and strange is life
And Scott’s as vocal as a fife.
Now that he can make a din.
Happy days are here again.

I travelling by train, when it stopped for signal; I had no book with me and I was finding it difficult to pass my time. I gazed out of the window and spotted a squirrel running about to and fro in the tender branches of a bush. It was mine for the moment, my sweet little squirrel; the squirrel is still mine. Its nimble feet.

"I have tinitus, which is an ear-noise that only you could hear. I've had it for years but recently it's reduced in volume by over a half."

Oh dear. So you're going deaf as well!

My experience was with Guilain Barret Syndrome, witch leaves your body totally paralysed in a few weeks and you in a hospital bed full of machines.

In this syndrome your own body defences destroy the cover of the nerve connections and your brain partially loses communications with the body, making your body parts feel numb.

Doctors told me i would be performing my normal physical tasks in about 6 months to a year. I told them that I would do it in 5 months.

I just kept my word, partially because of a physical therapist that never patronized me and partially because of the same reasons you state: Never gave up, always trying to find new ways to regain control of myself.

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

Wow! Congratualations! This is awsome reading, the human brain is something else...

By far the happiest moment in my life was when my wife said "I do" to me :)

scott,
i too have some experience with brain remapping... at 18 i broke my neck in a diving accident. i was a quad with a c4-5 incomplete compression fracture - paralyzed from the neck down. docs told me i'd never be able to sit up or feed myself again.

a few weeks after the injury i started getting muscle spasms. big ones. sometimes i could kinda get a sense of when a big one was welling up. it would feel kinda like a static charge building up. being a part-time optimist and full-time control freak, i started to concentrate on "controlling" the spasms. stopping them was out of the question, that was obvious, so i focused on making them stronger.

To make a very long story short, it's been a struggle but twenty-two years later, not only can i sit up, i can walk short distances without a cane and even type a comment on the dilbert blog.

It’s simple…free your mind and your ass will follow

This is amazing! I've always loved your comic and i wish you well in life and i'm happy you got your voice back. Keep those funny Dilbert comics comming and consider bringing the cartoon show on tv back!

Scott, that is such great news! Congrats! I actually can sympathize with you quite a bit. The happiest day in my life (other than my wedding day of course) was the day I got the movement back in my arm after being paralyzed from a freak stroke during one of my many brain surgeries. I did very similar stuff to what you did as far as trying off the wall things to get my brain to "remember" how to move my arm again. For me it was very scary because I was already somewhat paralyzed from birth from Spina Bifida, but at least I had learned to live with that and didn't really know the difference. It is very scary having one of your senses taken away from you and not knowing if you will get it back. Well God Bless and I hope you continue to make a complete and full recovery! Hugs!

Congrats scott. I have heard that one can move mountains with the mind.You are almost there. you are the man!

Happiest day.

Getting my daughter to the hospital before she died.

Paying a $9,000.00 hospital bill is much better than a $3,000.00 funeral bill.

Honestly, that is one of the most inspirational stories I've ever heard.

Makes me happy. Sitting here, in front of my piles of homework. I'm happy!!!

And I got 104% on my AP Statistics test. Everything is happy.

yay

I am pretty happy most of the time, but I was extremely happy the day I took the buy out and left Bishop Ranch 4E750A where I had been working for way too long.

Glad you're happy. I really am interested in your process work on fixing it yourself.

I had a somewhat similar incident with my voice getting weak and/or non-existent only when talking on the taxicab radio.

Turned out it was cancer of the thyroid, caused by pressure on the larynx? Surgery fixed it.

Since I'm studying cognitive science, I followed your analysis closely. It seems pretty accurate.

Good luck with any further remapping. Look up epigenesis for more hope if it recurs.

Ormond Otvos Richmond CA Age 66

Scott,

I happened upon this story while surfing idly and was wonderfully happy to hear your news. It's the eve of my birthday and this amazing news is the best birthday present ever, may your voice continue to grow in strength and reach far and wide. Best wishes and your perserverence is an inspiration to us all.

Congratulations man! Very happy for you! (Affirmation, yeah!)

I had an awesome rock show in New York just tonight! The other two people in the band are like, my best friends (one practrically since we were born), and I'm thinking I'm soooo lucky to hang out with them and make the best music I've ever heard. We had the whole audience dancing and yelling "Let's tear this place apart!" by the end (while I was basically smashing everything in my drum kit). I also had a mohawk for the first time in my life and all the girls loved it. I was just thinking this could be among the best days of my life. So there's a happy moment.

By the way, congratulations, Scott. To me that story sounds EXACTLY like an engineer taking joy in cracking a problem no one's figured out before. Go tech-heads!

Congrats. I guess it's very good that poetry worked, or the next step would have been talking in rap. And maybe even writing your blog in rap. Really grim thought.

And now you can really tell your new wife that you love her.

I am *deeply* fascinated by your mind, and sad that this blog is the only way I get to experience it. Woops... I am HAPPY I have this blog to experience it! Question: have you ever explored altered states of consciousness, and if so, do you think you could share some of that through your blog?

Congrats! Scott,

Glad to hear about your innovative recover technique.

Today is one of my best days. I just got a hug from my son today.

I can't wait to get a hug my daughter after three years.

I am blessed by having my other son stand by me.

Thanks for sharing.

Bob Deschner

Wow. Way to keep at it. Amazing.

My happiest day is always changing.
I have an 18-month old daughter.
My happiest day is always the most recent day
during which she has laughed uncontrollably.
Right now that makes my happiest day
yesterday, when she nearly burst from laughing
about turning on and off the shower while in the tub.

hejdig.

In the 70th I lost my ability to fly.
I have tried all sorts of things since I believe the connection between my ability to fly and the rest of me has lost connection somehow. I don't know, I am not a rocket surgeon.
I mainly try different take offs to somehow "cheat" the body to fly in another way; and then try to map this flying feeling back to the ordinary way.

So far it has rendered me a flat nose, a somewhat different speech due to lack of front teeth and numerous headaches.

But you posting gives me hope. Someday I will be able to fly. Again.

DNRC member #5446

/OF

Awesome. Diagnosed it yourself despite universal "it's just one of those things", cured it yourself despite "No one ever gets better."

You're fast becoming my hero.

So... I am curious why we are supposed to be surprised by this? You ARE a member of the DNRC, aren't you? Being the only person in history every to conquer a disease is EXPECTED of you.

Well done! Congratulations!

My happiest moment was when I held my son in my arms for the first time, seconds after my doctor (and friend) saved my wife's and his life.

He was a helthy 3.5kg and all functions working normally.

I cried uncontrollably for 20min. Never been happier before or after.

Congratulations! You're very loved!

Keep on rhyming!!! So glad to hear such good news about my favorite cartoonist!

For me, it was the day I realized how much my parents loved me...when my first son was born. Prior to that, I had no clue and don't believe anyone can until they have their own.

Great Scot! You lost your voice and found it back! Always thought such pronouncements are puns done for humor. Glad for you and look forward to your next dilbert....

Scott,

That's truly amazing, and I am incredibly happy for you. I've been a stutterer since middle school, and was told that people who stutter to my age (mid-20s) will never fully recover. I, like you, am an optimist and refuse to believe blanket statements, especially when no one's really sure what causes stuttering. Also like you, I was able to sing, speak at big public engagements, etc., but stuttered in small social interactions. Well, relatively recently, for no good reason I started to speak fluently. Saying exactly what's on my mind makes me happier than words can describe (but I will gladly talk about it!), but I'd still like to find a way to help other people. You might be onto something with the neurological remapping. Congrats again, I hope it stays with you.

oops, did you say something about being brief?

sorry.

really. i didnt see that-

Congratulations!

congrats scott!

God bless you

Scott:

Your perservance that has made you successful that you also apply towards your difficult condition makes me very happy. I love to hear of people displaying the amazing human spirit of not giving up rather than giving in, which Martin Seligman has termed Learned Helplessness in his theory of depression.

One of the happiest days for me was meeting my birth mother for the first time when I was about 33. I met other members of her family I was biologically related to and learned I was biolgoically related to a few Ph.Ds. The psycholgoical effect of seeing others who looked like yourself, had similar traits or abilities was validating. Althought my adoptive parents meant well I never felt I fit in as neither finished high school and I just felt different from them. I feel very lucky and fortunate to know something about my birth history and still have contact with my birth mother. My birth father is another story who wants no contact but at least I have information about him and he is very sucessful living on a golf course of a trendy suburb of Nashvile. It motivated me more personally to know I have some good genes and after getting a 2.9 in college before knowing this info achieved a 4.0 in grad school and my career progressed. The reason I feel fortunate and very happy about this knowledge is that I know many others do now have this good of luck when digging into their birth history or they were abandoned and have no idea of their orgins.

On a purely selfish level achieving my 4.0 in grad school was one of the happiest days.

Doug
Your friendly free interent psychologist

Congratulations on your recovery. I am sure you will make your voice stay with you. Thanks for sharing it!

I agree with Cosmo: who gives a rats arse about my happiest day? Lets all celebrate with Scott - after all, Dilbert makes me laugh and laugh - especially when I feel like crying.

Actually, I rarely feel like crying. I do feel like bringing a weapon to work and simplifying the org structure a little.

Scott, I'd have to say the happiest moment of my life was the night my fiance proposed to me, out of nowhere, after I came home from a long day of cubical hell. Congratulations Sir, I wish you all the happiness in the world.

That's fantastic--yay for you!

The days just get better and better for me. Logically then, today was the best day of my life! "Firsts" for me are usually highs. First day in a new job. First short story published. First house sold. First day after I'd quit my job as teacher. First day back in teaching again two years later. First time... *ahem* Anyway. Yayyyy for you!

Congratulations on getting your voice back!

Will you create a series of Dilbert based on your ordeal? Like maybe make the loud mouth guy go silent for a bit. *snicker*

The third thing that shocked me -- the first being finding out that you had the illness, which I wasn't aware of despite reading your cartoon daily, and second that you healed -- is the fact that in the last 18 months all your daily Dilberts were as funny as ever, if not more. What an amazing story. Almost as amazing as the one with the spider in your night water glass that you saw because your cat accidentally turned on the light with the remote.

Best wishes for the full recovery, Scott, and many thanks for all the spirit uplifting you've provided over the years. Eight years ago, when I came to this country, I remember browsing LA times for housing ads and being drawn to an odd-looking cartoon featuring a funny egg-shaped being with glasses. The next day I bought my first ever book in the US, Journey to Cubeville. The rest of the series came soon after. How much I have learned from them!

Congratulations Scott, it's great to hear that you beat it :)

(Does it annoy you that people keep telling you to praise God for something you achieved? It would annoy me.)

There are many happy days, and I can be an infectiously cheerful person on some days. I think that I'm asked at least once a month why I'm so happy, and I say "because I choose to be!"

One of the more memorable moments for me came after explaining my idea for a new project to my wife; as loving and supportive as she is, she managed to humble me with: "your brain never stops working, does it?" I still remember that feeling.

Todd

Another lesson in thinking creatively. Thank for sharing your stories, and I wish you well!

Wow, Scott, that's phenomenal... I suppose for me it was the moment the doctors told me that their initial diagnosis was wrong and that I wasn't going to die by my own heart tearing itself apart at the age of 30.

Cheers, Scott.

Who cares about MY happiest moment?? This is wonderful news, Scott! Thanks for sharing :)

Many, many congratulations.

Hey man... really glad i found ur page afterall :)
Im gonna think of my happiest day and come back soon.. :)
BTW, Congratualtions :)

Congrats to you! Happiest moment in my life? Hard to pick... I like life! But I'm going to pick giving my bipolar fiance a hug for the first time after he was released from the temporary mental ward in the hospital. Amazing emotions. :)

I'm a pretty stoic kind of guy. Most people can't tell when I'm drunk, and with thirty-plus years of practice, I've gotten to the point where most people can't tell that I'm upset unless I'm really seriously pissed off.

But this story, from and about one of my favourite people (and artists)? I almost hate to admit it, but I was close to crying.

Wow. I can't think of a day in my life when I felt that kind of joy. I've had happy days, sure. Today, reading about your positive results -- that's probably one of the happiest days of my life.

Congratulations, i have always been a firm believer in mind over matter and that is a great example of it.
i was born deaf and nobody knew why the happiest moment of my life was when i was five and all of a sudden i heard a bird chirp very quietly. It scared me to death because i had never heard a noise before. it took 4 years to be able to hear fully but i will never forget that first one.

Brief? OK!
Great comics!
Strange with your voice.
Good to hear you are getting better.
What about speaking a different language?
Good luck!

Congratulations. I have to admit that I stopped following your blog for a long time, shortyly after it started. But after hearing this piece of good news, I would definitely visit your blog more often.

As for happy moments, I used to be really anti-social and didn't like being around people. But I am starting to open up. I made a friend last year, and we had some fun times. I think it was the first time I gave a hug to someone outside of the family. It feels nice to talk with other people.

I have a voice, yet I didn't use it. Compared to you, that was a poor choice, wasn't it?

Scott, congradualation and I hope the voice sticks. Love your commic.

The happiest day in my life was after five days of labor where my wife and I got only a few hours of sleep between the contractions and my daughter was born at 11lbs 4oz!

Congratulations - a coworker of mine has been recently diagnosed with this malady too. She is fine when speaking to one person, but in meetings she loses her voice completely. She tries to speak as if she were singing but it hasn't helped much. I'm pointing her to your post so that she can see there is some hope!

My happiest moment - waking up on Christmas morning and getting the stockings down while my Mom slept in. My brothers and I always enjoyed the Christmas stockings the most - sometimes better than everything else under the tree. We would spend a few hours in the morning waiting for Mom to get up playing with our toys, tip-toeing around showing off whatever we got, trying not to wake-up mom, but being elated we almost always did. I can't wait until I have kids so that I can do the same for them!

That is so wonderful!!!!

There is power in positive thinking :)

I have sort of a similar story, only think memory loss.

Not going to share it on the board because its embarrassing/personal, but major positive vibes got me sort of back to normal. Maybe better?

Thank you for sharing your positive personal momentos!!!

Very encouring. i will keep you in my prayers!

Wow, congratulations on beating this! It takes a strong mental fortitude to not give up just because nobody has ever recovered from this condition. Mind over matter indeed!

Happiest day of my life? I'd say one of them has to be when I overcame Crohn's disease, a supposedly incurable auto-immune disease that I'd had for 10+ years. Restoring Your DIgestive Health by Jordan Rubin and Joseph Brasco is the approach I used, if anyone is interested. Been 100% healthy and off of meds for a year now. Feels great!

Congrats again. Really happy for you dude. BTW, I love your comic. Hands down the best one out there.

Congratulations ! As a psychiatrist i see this happening all the time. You have used exactly the same term i use: your brain *remapped* the lost area .

Anyways, our brains are plastic. They regenerate and grow back new circuitry every day. Even more, neurons reproduce ! As a child i was always told that our neurons were something like ten thousand billions when we were born, but we lost one million every day, with every breath, or every time we sneezed.

So i spent most of my childhood trying not to move too fast in order to not kill more neurons than we needed to, and that led me to read a lot of books during my teenage years, and i ended in med school. From there to psychiatry there was one step. Nah, there were several years.

Anyways, there i learnt that neurons DO reproduce. In fact they seem to have a sex life more interesting that the rest of the body. They are born in the thalamus and then they travel to the cortex. Slowly. Veeery slowly. But they do move, and retrain, and reconnect.

So your history is the-brain-in-action, and of course, yourself trying to figure out how to do it. Kids do it. Tennis players do it. Piano players do it. I guess that comic strip makers should do it too.

And it's everybody else's story here too. So, boys, take good care of your neurons, feed them right, go to sleep early, and don't do too much drugs.

Cheers and congratulations again.

The day my sister got over cancer after experimental treatments with a near zero survival rate.

Scott,

Amazing.

Wow, Scott, you know, you may qualify for three Nobel Prizes, literature, medicine and peace. Greedy bastard.
Seriously, am happy you found a most inventive solution to your affliction. In 1995, when I went into remission for Crohn's disease, the relief I felt not having to take prednisone, 6MP and other crazy drugs and being able to eat ANYTHING for the first time in ten years was beyond euphoric. Because I had two resections of the ileum, though, I still get occassional small bowel obstructions due to strictures from those operations. And I still have to go to the bathroom 4-8 times a day, unless I mainline Immodium for a couple of weeks. But I persevere, remain hopeful and remember how bad I used to be before remission.

Hi Scott - that's an amazing and inspiring story... I can see you still think like an engineer (with your attempts to fix the problem).

You wanted to hear about happy times - for me it was the birth and week in hospital for our daughter. There is nothing happier in this world than a proud father!

btw. Your work has given me a lot of joy and happiness over the years, hence you're one of the people that makes me happy. You have my thanks.

Congrats!

The original modern brain remapper to my knowledge is Greg Doman. www.iahp.org is the website for his institute, 15 acres close to Philly.

His work with stroke patients after WWII, then work with catatonic children and brain-injured children was the basis for today stroke therapies and many related therapies. I have met staff members that were catatonic children, brought out by brain remapping, as well as severe cerebal palsy patients (malformed spines, etc.)that could speak practically in a normal fashion and had learned to walk, etc. You might want to contact them for further refinement - no one has as much experience as they do - 50 years of dedication to the cause.

Good news!

I'm amazed that no one had told me of your problem, important as you are to our culture. Why do tabloids not cover cartoonists and authors.

My good news is recent:

On the eve of my thirty-eighth B-day I recieved a call at my mind numbing, soul sucking job (on a Friday at 6:30 when I had given up hoping for it) informing me that I would be offered the best job I can imagine, and the first job I've ever had that I would consider to be actually important.

I had the next day off, had a picnic by a waterfall and night hike with my Dad and brother scheduled, and when I got home I e-mailed my brother (co-owner of MotoJava in SF) to tell him that I would after all buy the motorcycle he had picked out for me, which I had thought that I couldn't afford.

And of course I gave two weeks notice.

Since then life has returned to somewhat more normal proportions, it's not as perfect as promised: that's a given.

What a day it was, what a weekend, and in the time since (while waiting for my new job to take form) I've been touring Napa and Sonoma on a Honda Pacific Coast 800, which is also bliss.

After reading other responses I'd also like to say that the other best day ever is the one when I never had a kid, which was yesterday, today, and tomorrow, ever after, suckers!

Jack be nimble!

Well, that makes my restless leg syndrome look pretty lame.

That is the coolest thing I've ever heard of. Congratulations, Scott.

Per your instructions, I can relate a similar story:

I developed a phobia related to compressed gas cylinders after a propane bottle blew up in the back of my pickup truck in 1986.

I'll avoid telling the whole story, but I was running away from the truck after the gas from one of my leaking propane bottles ignited. When I was about 40 feet away one bottle exploded.

For years after that I had physical symptoms when I was in the vicinity of compressed gas cylinders. I got panic attacks, my heart raced, I became short of breath; sometimes I ran away from the bottles just to reduce the physical reaction. And in my work at nuclear facilities, compressed gas cylinders are everywhere. In fact, I have to work with them every day.

Instruments that I use on a day to day basis are connected to compressed gas cylinders.

I am now a qualified trainer for respiratory protection equipment -- including the Self Contained Breathing Apparatus. The SCBA is what you see firefighters wear -- A 4500 psi bottle of compressed breathing air with a respirator facepiece. I have to put one on my back and wear it, and help others do the same.

So I had to get over my phobia. Like you I had to remap my brain. I still freak out from time to time, but it's all internalized now. Somehow I talk myself out of it. I really don't know how it works, but I make myself calm. I've never tried to articulate it. You told the story beautifully. The specifics are different, but the mechanics of your journey are very similar to mine.

Congratulations again.

Congrats! I love your comic.

Ok, goodnews...
I have tinitus, which is an ear-noise that only you could hear. I've had it for years but recently it's reduced in volume by over a half.

You should post your experience at http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/. I've always suspected that the incurable diseases of the world have simple and unexpected cures. The idea of talking in rhyme to cure your disease is invaluable, and I'll suggest it to anyone I meet who has Spasmodic Dysphonia.

You've heard this so many times today Scott, but I have to chime in - Congratulations. I'm so incredibly happy for you. You make me laugh almost daily, and even when you don't, you give me something to think about. Love your blog, and I'm truly happy for you.

Wow, intersting story, i love learning a bit about brain disorders and whatnot, because i myself have one, not officialy diagnosed because of its rarity, but its dyscalcula, a disability to do with numbers falling under the same family as dyslexia. for me, i can learn simple math problems, possibly, and if i do learn them, its for a very temporary time. because of this i am basically not able to do day to day math functions needed, multipication is a hard point, sometimes with even addition, i confuse the functions, and with anything with a number, if im not careful and overlook it a few times, i could see a COMPLETELY different number, it happens so often half the time i dont know im seeing a number thats non existant.

having dyscalcula isnt common and because of that, there are maybe 5 doctors in the usa that can officially diagnose it, although i was lucky enough to have a teacher in my GED course (yes, it caused me to get my ged) that was able to help me somewhat, because she had a degree in dyscalcula, it was a Godsend i think. i hear that there are ways to get over this, but you pretty much have to find your own way, i guess im still finding mine.

nonetheless, intersting discovery, and best of luck to you.

Hello,

We read your work almost everyday. Good to hear your voice is back.

Best regards,

Vivek

Scott -

Congratulations... What a wonderful event for you...I can only say congratulations and that I hope things continue to work well for you...

As to my happiest moment...that's tough. But I think I have one... I spent much of the past decade working as a volunter advisor with my fraternity. Working with undergrads can be fun, but it can also be a chore (particularly when they do dumb things, which I'm sure seemed like good ideas at the time).

When I watched a young man who had been pro-hazing when I arrived turn 180 degrees and work to stop it both at his chapter and at others, well, I knew I'd made a difference.

Knowing that you've touched someone's life in a positive way is truly a happy occassion. As Emerson said, "Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile."

I suspect that your approach may work for others with your condition -- and that your impact will be felt by them and their families. (Even more so than the impact you have had with Dilbert, Dogbert, Wally, and the rest...)

-N

Hey Scott.... Many congratulations on remapping the voice control system of your brain, I just loved your description of regaining the voice.. it directly reflects how much pain you have had while not been able to speak up properly... Hats off to your Optimism... There are so many of happiest momemnts I have to mention here.. that I cant write any :) .. Wish you Gud Luck for always.

Just wanted to say congrats. I found your blog about six months ago and it almost always makes me laugh, and considering the state of the world I can use all the laughs I can get. I truly hope your voice is back to stay. You are a man who actually has things to say that all of us need to hear and to have that voice disappear would be a tragedy indeed.

Congratulations, Mr. Scott. This is very moving and inspirational. I feel very happy for you. At the same time, I marvel at the ability of the brain and its creator :). Too fantastic.

Congrats, you deserve it. Thanks for making our days better through your blog and comics. I'm going to have a baby in 3 months time. Can't wait. Feeling her move inside me has been magical.

Congrats! After a particularly "rough" night in college, I woke up the next afternoon. I had missed all of my classes, and other important stuff. After a couple of hours of totally torturing myself with guilt, I got dressed and went outside. Somehow, the light was all wrong. Turns out I had misread the clock, and only slept a couple of hours. It was early morning. I got the entire day back! I've never again experienced the feelings of peace and grace that followed me for the rest of that day.

Bestest congratulations Mr Scott. :)

Great news! I know you probably won't read this (who would read all these) but my grandfather sends his congratulations as well. You met him once, apparently at your College's 10th anniversary. He asked you how you got into doing Dilbert, and was related (distantly) to one of you classmates. Regardless, he enjoys reading Dilbert as do I, so congratulations from both of us.

CONGRATS SCOTT (:
truly happy for you.

I had the exact same condition about 20 years ago. It started during the 6th month of my pregnancy and continued for about 6 months all together. I completely recovered. It was tough because I am a consultant and earn my living by using my voice. I would be glad to share some information if you like. Just not here on the blog.

I can believe you are an optimist. Someone commented on your recient post, "can a synic be an optimist?" -- I guest you are a case in point. I haven't been with you very long, and I had no idea you had a voice problem. In fact, when I saw the first few lines of your blog on my rss feed, I was sure you were quoting someone else. The quality of your blogs and cartoons didn't seem to leave room for it in my mind (although I should know better -- I'm a dyslexic, myself, like Einstine, Edison, etc).

Is it possible that the hinderance to communication in one area contributed to the quality of your communication in other areas ie. blogging and cartooning?

Whatever -- that's no reason to stay speachless. I'm glad for you.

Scott,

Congratulations on your healing!

There is a post above from a "Scott2" that describes the theories of Dr. John Sarno. He has developed a theory called "The Mindbody Syndrome" or TMS.

He did not link your problems to TMS, but I think what you are experiencing is likely TMS.

I really recommend reading that you read Dr. Sarno's books and try his treatment methods. I am certain that this will make your recovery permanent.

Matt

*Bows to the cubicle God*

Scott,
I feel a fool for not knowing of your malady before (I don't read blogs very often). I can't tell you how happy I am that you have recovered. I believe that your analogy of brain remapping is really right on! When I used to travel alone in my corporate world job, I found the peace and quiet and isolation of long airline flights very relaxing after days of the constant hammering of points home to convince customers that our progress was real and meaningful. I welcomed those long transcontinental flights where I could cocoon with my adult beverage and ignore the food and the people. In any case, I found at the end of those long flights that I had "forgotten" how to speak! It would take me a couple of hours before I could "make a sentence". No, it was not excessive consumption of adult beverages, they limited you in those days. It was frustrating and hearing of your malady, I wonder if my brain was flirting with such a phenomenon! I have been retired from that world since 1989 and never even think about a return.
Welcome back to the talking world. I have collected many of the bound Dilbert volumes and reread them frequently.
Thanks for showing the rest of the world how wierd the corporate world really is.
Dick

Congrats Scott.

My HAPPIEST Moment:
The one that passed just now, the one where nothing bad happened :)

PS: This has been my philosophy for some time now, don't think I invented it after reading your story!!

Optimism is the word I like so much and this optimistic spirit is really infectious.The happiest day is very difficult for me to describe as there are so many happy days in our life and I do cherish each and every day of
them.

congrats, mr. adams! i am sincerely happy for you.

however, there's a cynical little scott adams inside of me that has this theory that says this could all be a big story concocted by you to inspire all of us to be more optimistic about life and reinforce your "mind over matter" mantra. if i am right, then i deserve a prize. if i am wrong then i apologize to you and all those who suffer from spasmodic dysphonia for being an insensitive bastard.

My wife of 40 years is in the late stages of recovery from that same diagnosis. She is a music teacher so you can imagine the stress that caused. Whether the details were the same as yours, I'm happy to relate that Botox DID work in her case but a different dosage regime was used in her case as she would begin to talk and then progressively shut down over the course of a sentence.

I was with her when they doctor and therapist proposed Botox treatments. "You mean your are going to paralyze her vocal cords so that she can't talk"? "Just one side at a time - she will be able to talk, just softly and very breathly". "Oh well, I guess I should be thankful for anything I get". After ducking for cover, they did just as they proposed. In her case, doing only one side of the larynx at a time worked. It took 4 or 5 rounds, alternating sides each time but after almost a year she is back in the classroom. She uses a portable amp to avoid strain, but it did work. BTW, she was a voice major and was able to sing even if she couldn't talk.

Glad your system worked - and I start each morning with Dilbert.

Congratulations, Scott.

My happiest days were when my two children were born. I can remember feeling like my heart was going leap out of my chest. I still look at them in amazement. When I look at them, they seem like matryoshka, the Russian nesting dolls and I can see them as they were, as they are and as they will be.

Again, I'm glad for your good news. I have gotten a lot of good feelings from reading your comic strip over the years and I hope for many more years of it.

My life's been pretty good so far (with it's ups and downs of course), but I can't really say that i've had the happiest day of my life. I've felt incredible joy and peace but I still haven't felt that unique euphoria, that marvelous peak in yor life when you say that it's just the happiest day of your life. Then again i'm still very young and i'm sure it will come.

About your voice... let me tell that I am nothing short but stunned, in a good way, about your recovery. I, being a psicology student with a particular fondness for neuroscience, can tell you that to hear what you've done makes me incredibly happy and I would love to hear more about it. I hope you can share yor experience to help others with the same ailment.

Happiest moment: when, after not seeing my internet boyfriend from oversees for eight months, and not talking to him for 4 months because it was too hard, we met up in England and we still loved each other.

Second moment: When he moved to Canada and we moved in together.

Good luck. By the way, God's Debris was brilliant. Wether you can speak or not, you're still one of my favourite writers, funny or not.

Kim.

Here's one you may not have heard:

There was a well-known syndicated cartoonist who was a firm believer in affirmations. The bewildered looks/comments that he got whenever he exposed his belief always troubled him a bit. He decided that he will put the theory into one ultimate test and, since he was also quite self-satisfied with the way his life was going, he decided that his goal will be "I will get really worried by something".

He started doing his daily affirmations and for a few weeks, there was no effect but he was unperturbed. The weeks turned into months and then he started getting ...

though botox injections sound to me more scary then the condition itself - you are just sometimes quiet, that's all - you can sing, do speeches, write -
i thought you was kidding - but after these many congrats and people shared thoughts about fighting their own problems, about searching and finding their happiness - i feel - it's serious and inspiring

and your solution is so cool - rhymes -
+xxxxx points

Congrats man. Thats all i gotta say. :-)

This is the kind of thing one sees and wants to dance on a rooftop. People overcoming things that others say are impossible...we need to focus on that more as humans. I'm so happy for you Scott. Your books have given me a great deal of smiles and laughs over the years, not to mention giving me tons of bad ideas....(my favorite character is dogbert....^_^). One can do absolutely anything if they have the will and the hope.
One of the best moments in my life (I like to think more are coming) was when I was still living with my parents, and there had been a huge fight with the three of us, yelling screaming horrible things; and I went to take a shower and had some music on, this one piece I had never heard before. I felt something simply amazing coming over me and a primal joy. I was not defined by my relations to other humans. I was myself. I was me. No one could take that from me.
No One.

I'm forwarding this post around. People need to see this kind of thing.

You're a true role model, Scott. Congratulations.

Scott,

You might consider trying:

BrainGym.org: Physical movements that help to create new neural pathways.

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) at emofree.com.

Ed

Wow! Congratulations on having your voice back! And for figuring it out on your own as well. Hopefully, this is going to be of much use for others who are suffering from Spasmodic Dysphonia.

I do have a question? Will you still be speaking in rhymes in normal conversation? 'Cause if you will, that would be AWESOME!!

As a 1st year psychology student that's quite an incredible story! Gonna print it off and bring it in to my prof tomorrow.
It'd be pretty cool if it were possible to see a before and after set of EEGs or something...or even just the after, and after that...like trying to speak pre-remapping and post-remapping...

...it's stuff like this that kind of affirms the whole 'intelligent design theory' stuff...I mean...it's like, intentional evolution(intelligently redesigning oneself?) or God designing us pretty efficiently, ha.

Anyhow, the happiest day of my life was back in grade 8...some time in the spring...I was walking back to school after lunch...and *bam* like a ton of bricks I was hit with a wave of bliss...life was just awesome...and nothing could threaten that...everything was viewed in such a peaceful context.
...all those peaks in awesomeness seem to arise spontaneously...not expecting a wave of bliss...not expecting the return of your voice.
...inspiring stuff! Congratulations!

-Rob

Hi,

My heartiest congratulations to you. Although i am not a fan or an avid reader of Dilbert or so but what u did for recovering is really inspiring.

Congrats, Scott!
My son is 6 months old. He wakes me in the morning, singing his baby babble. I love it. I can't wait to hear him speak his first words. In a way, you've reconnected with this magic moment in life. Good luck!

My good news is not as good as yours but excellently good for me! :-) I also have Spasmodic Dysphonia and have had it for 22 years now. I also did the Botox thing for a number of years and then quit for about 10 years and then went back to it when the frustration became too much. But then I heard about a new surgical technique where they do a nerve transplant of part of the recurrent laryngeal nerve and in January of 2005, I went to UCLA hospital and got it done. It worked wonderfully and after the nerve regenerated, my speech is near normal (a little raspy at times, but absolutely no "breaking" in the speech) for the first time since I was 26!!!

So all I have to say to you is, YOU GO BOY!!! Way to remap the pathway, and yes, that's exactly what you did.

BTW, I love Dilbert (I was in hi-tech for 20 years, no voice never slowed me down) and have Dogbert gracing my monitor.

Take good care and I am SO happy that you have made such great strides. All the best to you.

~Debi Tharp

CONGRATULATIONS!!!

That is awesome.
Reading your story made my day.

Scott, we have more in common than just a warped sense of humor and a telco work history. I have my cubicle papered with your cartoons and I receive your daily cartoons in my work email (for the moment). What I wasn't aware of, until my son told me this afternoon, was that you were diagnosed with Spasmodic Dysphonia. It never manifested itself in any other part of my body (that I know of).

I was told that there was no known cure, so I didn't spend a whole lot of time sharing my condition with others because I got tired of discovering that they knew more about my condition than any neurologist or ENT specialist could ever hope to learn. The most common offering was that mind over matter would solve all of my problems.

If I wake up some day and my voice is back and stays back, I'll be happy. I'm kind of where you are about it. I'm still discovering what works and what doesn't seem to work.

I've been doing the Botox injections for awhile. I'd like to know if this thing you're doing sticks with you.

Dr. Steven Saltzman in San Diego, working for Kaiser Hospital is my ENT. Cameron (can't think of her last name) is my speech pathologist and I can't think of my neurologist at the moment - the Botox injection team.

It's so that you know I'm for real and I can relate to what a positive thing you are communicating.


I am extremely happy for you, Scott. You are a true inspiration in many ways. My happiest moments (like many parents who have commented here) was when each of my three children were born. I wept openly and unabashedly with happiness. I could not control it. It was pure, unadulterated joy.

Inspiring and interesting story. Congradulations, I hope your success and health continues. As for my happiest day, I dont know, maybe thats something I should think about.

I stuttered severely until I was 30. At my most fluent, I needed an hour to say what non-stutterers could say in 5 minutes. At my worst, I could block for ten minutes on a word -- and listeners couldn't understand me at all. Seven speech therapy programs had little or no effect on my speech. I couldn't get a job and didn't have friends. At 30 I stopped avoiding my problem and worked full-time to find a treatment for stuttering. I developed electronic devices that alter how I heard my voice, inducing my brain to relax my breathing and vocal folds. Suddenly I could talk. Within two months the anger at the world I'd had all my life -- and never realized that I had -- lifted. Coincidentally, I met Scott Adams then, when he spoke at Computer Literacy bookstore in San Jose in 1992. I'm pretty sure that was one of his first public speaking appearances. 14 years later my company, Casa Futura Technologies, has helped thousands of stutterers, as well as persons with speech disorders related to Parkinson's disease. One person with spasmodic dysphonia found that our devices improved his speech. We haven't tested the devices more widely with spasmodic dysphonia.

With a two year old in the house, it's hard to pick one, but it would have to be the day my little guy watched me leave for work at the door from daycare. Everyday for the past 3 months he HAS to shake my hand, tell me to have a good day, and we wave at each other as I drive away.

And with winter settling in, you'd be right if I'm going to keep rolling the window down and waving in negative degree wind chill.

i was born with a disease called neurofibromatosis (www.nf.org), and i constantly think that there is some way that i can cure myself, someway i can get my immune system to attack these tumor cells. maybe i can be the first like you, that would be the happiest day of my life. kudos 100x.

Over 400 comments and counting..... People are overjoyed to hear your good news. Thanks so much for sharing with us! By doing so, you have inspired and encouraged so many whose day might otherwise have been very bland.

Scott, you're the bomb. I read your blog every day and always come away with a feeling of admiration for all that you've accomplished.

By the way, the happpiest day of my life was the day my husband asked me out on our first date. We've been together for 26 years since then.

It's probably not the happiest moment of my entire LIFE, but the other day, I finally figured out how to eat with chopsticks. Not a major accomplishment, but never again will I have to ask for a fork with my takeout Thai food.

Post us a recording of your voice, Scott!

Congrats, by the way. :)

Great story Scott. I can imagine how you feel. The docs told me that I'd probably have trouble walking the rest of my life after a fall. After almost a year on crutches and a couple of surgeries to put the pieces of my back and hip back together I transitioned to walking with a cane. My physical therapy was simple. I would get on the bus, ride a ways and walk home. After another year, one day I walked 10 miles back and dropped the cane off at Goodwill on the way. The docs don't know everything. 18 years later and still going strong.

Congratulations!

My happiest day? Three of them - one for the birth of each of my sons.

wow, that is absolutely amazing. I hope you can get the word out to others!

As regular reader of your strip, congratulations, and hope it sticks.

Congrats!

Thanks for giving me material to research, this is going to be interesting!

Happiest day? A project I had been working on for 6-7 months finally came together in 2 days. I was elated. I had spent hours at the lab working, crying, throwing tantrums, and contemplating suicide and in 2 short days, everything worked as planned.
I'm never happier than when I have an AHA moment at work, it makes even the worst days worth struggling through...

Thanks for a wicked post, you made my day.

I was SO excited to read your blog about your voice. Back in 1991 I lost my voice for 6-1/2 mos. They called it "aphonia" back then. It was simply gone. I had a camera put down my throat at Johns Hopkins and the only way my vocal chords would move was for coughing or sneezing--NO other sounds of any sorts. Speech therapy of all sorts did no good. Counselling--nothing. Then one day I was driving the car with the radio on and found myself humming very softly to a favorite song--just a few moments, but it was working! I rushed home and put that song on to play and hummed a tiny bit to my family. After a few days of occasionally being able to hum, I was able to "hum" my way to a speaking sound, and very gradually my speaking voice came back. I have never gotten my full range of singing voice back (it was very large), but I can speak with no problems. And yes, your WHOLE life is changed when you cannot speak. Even written notes to family members become cryptic and often misunderstood. It becomes to laborious for either you or them to attempt most ordinary communications. You have my sympathy for those 18 months, and my congratulations that you are past them!!

I've enjoyed your work for many years, so I was delighted to hear of your recovery.

Today was a great day for me. I'm separated with a good relationship with my ex-wife. We have two amazing girls, both in the gifted program, smart, funny, and excessively loved. I have been very sick with bronchitis the last week, and I wasn't able to see the girls for fear of passing the illness on to them.

Today, I felt much better, my cough subsided substantially, and (after buying an N95 mask to wear), I was able to see them. My older daughter told me she had won the cross country race at an 8-school meet, and Thursday, she runs in the regional final. To see this beautiful, smart, athletic girl so excited about competing in an event where I had won many races as a schoolboy was inspiring on so many levels. To see that utter joy on her face, and to feel that what had coursed through my veins now ran through hers - all of it, the queasiness before the meet, the determination to keep running, the pain in the last mile, and the thrill of streaking down the stretch to win - this is all a father can ask for. She is truly flesh of my flesh, blood of my blood. I feel closer to her than ever before, knowing that we share so much more. It was a great day!

Scott,
If by some chance you are not already familiar with Dr. Morton Cooper and his Direct Voice Rehabilitation clinic in Brentwood, CA or Speech Pathologist Connie Pike and her "Free To Speak" Voice Therapy Clinic/Retreat in Florida, suggest you check them out. Dr. Cooper's techniques have helped and cured many people suffering from SD and other voice disorders. Connie Pike is a living, breathing example of someone who had SD and figured out a way to beat it. Using what I learned at these clinics, my voice is gradually improving and I expect to regain my full speaking and singing voice within about a year's time.

I think you are right on with the re-mapping approach. Connie calls it re-grooving. As a musician, I think of it as re-mastering my voice. Whatever one wishes to call it, it's that process of finding the sweet spot and then through repetition, gradually replacing the unwanted voice with the desired (sometimes new and improved!) voice. As I am sure you know by now, SD is a tricky and insidious voice disorder that affects everyone who is afflicted by it differently. A sense of optimism and hope is essential in overcoming it. So glad to hear that you have found a piece of the SD puzzle that works for you. Hope it sticks!

Certainly one of my happiest moments was Friday afternoon of my first week at Dr. Cooper's clinic when, after several hours of humming, my natural voice suddenly surfaced out of nowhere and I was able to speak effortlessly for an hour or two. That was a happy moment indeed.

Awesome! Just awesome! While I don't want to get all super spiritual and crazy on you all, I would like to point out one thing. Our minds are really stronger than what most people take it for. God truely has made a wonderful creation...and being created in His likeness, we share certain qualities that He has. Not claiming that we can create heavens and magical objects, but you know...if you check out the Bible, look at how much God mentions about the mouth and how powerful it is. He spoke...and created with His voice. We have a lot of power in our words...in ourselves. I believe if you really know you are better, then speak it! You are one step closer to that truth when you believe in it as you have!

Congratulations on your recovery!

Doesnt it feel good to have your voice back, and have so many people from around the world wish you well?

The best day of my life is always changing. I live on for more "best days." The current one is knowing that yet another person proved that human beings are more capable than they think they are.


We always forget that somewhere back then a two men proved that man could fly. If we can take to the skies, it shows that there is no real limitation.


Have a great day Scott.

Much Love.

Congratulations Scott! Just one thing. Give the glory to God. He created your brain and He knows exactly how to fix it. Whether you know Him or not, He knows you and He felt your cries and sent His mercy. One of the happiest days for me is right now knowing your better.

Well, I've never posted here before, I never even looked at the blog till today, and...I didn't find out about you having this weird disorder till today either, but I guarantee you I'm gonna keep up on your blog now Scott.

Well, like everyone else says, Congrats.

btw, I donno what the happiest day of my life was...*thinks*...nope, still don't know.

What a wonderful story! Congratulations on your recovery!

At the risk of being cliche and corny, every day with my family is a great day. I am blessed with an amazing husband and two fantastic kids.

One particular day that stands out in my mind is Good Friday of this year. The kids and I decided to go to a strawberry farm and pick strawberries. The weather was beautiful. The kids ran down the rows of strawberries and filled their baskets almost to the brim. I just didn't have the heart to tell them that we didn't need THAT many strawberries! We fed the goats, had pony rides and ate home-made strawberry popsicles. They giggled, laughed and squealed. I watched in awe at the blessings that God gave me. The only way it could have been better was if my husband had been able to be with us. He had to work that day, unfortunately. But we got to come home and relive it all as we told him about it. (And we relived it for days on end as we ate strawberries in EVERYTHING! That Easter is now remembered as the Strawberry Easter.)

I can't wait until next spring!

An amazing and inspiring story! Congratulations!

My happiest moment? The birth of my daughter, no doubt about it!

"My girls. They are the best thing. And my husband continues to be right up there :)"

Was the latter part an intentional pun?? :-) sorry, maybe my pathways need re-routing too...

Good stuff Scott, glad you can speak again.

john

After Hurricane Katrina, I left New Orleans for 6 weeks to go stay with my parents. All I heard on the news were horror stories about what was going on in New Orleans & how bad everything was. I lived on the second floor of a house in Uptown, near Tulane University, so I figured I was safe from the flood waters, but not likely the winds & rains. I had a very large window in my room just above my computer & my bed, both of which I had left behind (of course). I was certain that the window was smashed by the trees right outside it.

When I finally came down to see the results, I entered my room to find it just as I had left it, with no damage at all. The feeling of relief that washed over me was like nothing I had ever felt before.

I'm probably one of maybe ten people in all of New Orleans with a story like that. I feel like the luckiest man alive.

That's awesome. :)

Best day of my life so far? Well, my teenage son flipped his bicycle after hitting a pothole and broke his neck. 4 whole vertebrae, one described as "a bag of rocks" by the doc. That's not the good part. The good part was when he got home from the hospital.

He walked. He got out of the car and walked into the house on his own two legs. Shakey, but he did it.

You keep tricking your brain. It'll stick eventually. :)

Getting noise canceling headphones. I have ADHD, and my ears are extremely sensitive to external noise. I'm finally able to concentrate.

The happiest day of my life was today!

I woke up
I am alive
I am still me
Yesterday, was history
Today is life
I am glad for today
I long for tomorrow
Tonight means sleep
Fear I may no longer exist
Hope that I will

Scott, we aren't friends or even acquaintances. We don't email each other or correspond in any way. Everyday I take from you by enjoying my free Daily Dilbert and reading your blog.

Today my one year old daughter took her first step and my three year old son is almost completely potty trained. It made me very happy and I feel very lucky.

Your good news made my day.

Thank you.

I wonder if the Gettysburg
Address or Pledge of
Allegiance would work as well
as a rhyme? Maybe reciting
the alphabet or counting out
numbers would also work?

The day the person I was in love with got the nerve up to ask me out. I know, slow mover. He was cute about it though

I'll tell you about my happiest moment. I'm only nineteen, so I don't have any children or marriage to be happy about. I've got something far more significant. I beat the videogame Metal Gear Solid 3 on the "Extreme" difficulty setting.

But, hey, finding a cure for Spasmodic Dysphonia, that's something too.

Last week I realized that I'm 21, I have a car, an apartment, a good job and family and friends who love me. I'm finally an adult and I'm good at it. That makes me happy.

I'm internetin' through my cell and it went dead while my comment was posting. Exactly where said comment was on its cybertrail when the death occured, I do not know. And so with much self revulsion (for I'd hate to be a repeat-poster) I re-post the aforementioned comment in the hope that the prior never actually made its way to the great cyberuniverse of the Adams.

-----------------


My friend, that's amazing. You're a great man (aside for a pinch of antisemitism) and I'm truly happy for you and appreciate that you shared your joy with us. I can't imagine how terrible it must have been for you to have lost that speech and I'm amazed by your resilience and stuborness in determining to get it back and I'm happy as hell that you suceeded. Whatever the problem may have been (physical psychological - I can't say that I know), it appears quite likely that you've discovered a cure for others who may be likewise afflicted. I'm truly impressed, I hope you stay talkable (and talkative) and again, I thank you for sharing your joy with us as well as much else of value that you've shared with us otherwise.

So far as the happiest day in MY life would be concerned, that you'd like me to share with you - I would say that would likely be when I got out of the shower to take the phone that my roommate was holding. He didn't know the fellow on the other end and he simply passed the phone to me saying, "it's for you".

I said "hello", recognized the voice at the other end, and after an initial split moment misunderstanding (he spoke Hebrew with a Russian accent), I understood from him - and from the wails of crying joy in the background - that I, personally, had successfully saved a man's life. The feeling then was impossible to describe.

May we all share only happy moments.

mnuez

You sound ignorant, compared to usual.

Scott, I'm giddy with delight for you. Serious! What a wonderful thing you've done, and thankyou so much for sharing it with us.

Happiest day - one day (in a moment!) I realised I just didn't have to worry about everything so much - I went from being fundamentally unhappy (for about 10 years) to happy. Now me and my girl are planning a family, and I'm looking forward to a new 'happiest day'.

mmm, knowing the peace that cannot disturb. even tho the iceburgs of life buffet. basically knowing god. (i am reading the free god debris, thanks).

wow, a cacophony of "welcome back". so how much of another "welcome back" means? i dont know, but "welcome back"!

Congratulations! I know how it feels to not be able to speak. I was without my voice for about 18 months.

It seems that the paired muscles in my larynx had decided they wanted independence from each other and no longer worked in unison. I was left coming up with creative ways to make noises to communicate (for example, my dogs learned that if I rattled my keys loudly in the park, I was calling them back). It was isolating as a freelance living alone, to be unable to just pick up the phone and talk to friends, family, and colleagues.

Many sessions with a speech therapist did finally enable me to speak, but I will never have my acting and singing voice back again. Even now, several years later, if I have important speaking to do I can be found chanting voice exercises to remind those muscles to stay in sync.

We take our voices for granted, but they really can be quite fragile things.

Wow, that IS good news! Congratulations!

Happiest moment, at least recently, was when I got the call inviting me to join my school's Law Review. Not because of what it means in the future, but because it meant someone actually thought I could write reasonably well, and that meant that maybe quitting a tech job for law school (at age 39-and-holding) was not a completely stupid decision -- I might actually be good at this stuff.

A couple of days later I locked myself out on my balcony. This had no serious consequences, but was just embarassingly foolish enough to deflate the swelled head I was beginning to develop, without diminishing the happiness. There is balance. It is good.

Congratulations on finding a pathway back to the functionality you lost.

When I was 7 I was brought to specialist after specialist because I spoke all my words through my nose. It was becoming a social liability that was only going to get more so, but none of the specialists had an answer.

Then my father, a guidance director in the local schools, talked with one of his contract speech therapists, who said to bring me around. In 5 minutes he had me started learning to close off my soft palate for m, n, and ng sounds (using feedback from a stethoscope with the end cut off and the two tubes stuck up my nose). Six weeks later I was speaking normally.

When I'm tired at the end of a day, or when I have irritation of the soft palate from a cold or allergies, I still (some 55 years later) have to add a conscious "push" to make it happen accurately. That's fine with me. It's an elegant solution that has served me well.

Wow!! Reminds me of when my daughter had her successful ablation for WPW syndrome. Congratulations!

The happiest day of my life? The day my son Andrew was born (oldest of 3 children, now).

Now he is 6 and the happiness keeps coming as the days roll by and the children learn and grow and experience new things.

Thanks for sharing and allowing us to share with you.
Bill

Wow... that's amazing. Shows the power of human mind.

Congratulations!

Absolutely fantastic and congratulations not only for regaining the proper context to speak but for maintaining the discipline to keep trying until something worked.

Now go kick Eminem's ass in a verbal throwdown!!!!!!!

First off, to echo the crowd CONGRATULATIONS! Weird as hell but whatever works right? OK, you want good news (mine) you got it. I've been an alcoholic for about 25 years. Worse at times than others but never well. 10 days ago I finallt went to AA with an earnest desire to quit. Today I am ten days sober for the first time since I was 14. So frankly that's pretty good f*cking news for me. Thanks for your wonderful wit and insightful ways. You make this werid world a better place. Rock the f*ck on!

I'm so happy for you! What an experience you've been through. You made your own recovery, and I'm confident that you'll make it permanent. I think it's time I started doing affirmations!

I had a very happy day yesterday when my dog, who had a sudden, mysterious liver problem earlier this year had a perfect blood test when I took him in for a check-up. In May, his ALT was 1465 and he made a miraculous recovery after a friend suggested that I pray to St. Francis to ask God to help him. We have a wonderful vet, but when I thanked the vet for making my boy better, he wouldn't take the credit and said he was just lucky. Yesterday my dog was sick, so I feared that he was in danger again, but he had a perfect blood panel. His ALT was 60 (normal is 10 to 120). He is only 8, and I am grateful that I still have more time with him.

My friend, that's amazing. You're a great man (aside for a pinch of antisemitism) and I'm truly happy for you and appreciate that you shared your joy with us. I can't imagine how terrible it must have been for you to have lost that speech and I'm amazed by your resilience and stuborness in determining to get it back and I'm happy as hell that you suceeded. Whatever the problem may have been (physical psychological - I can't say that I know), it appears quite likely that you've discovered a cure for others who may be likewise afflicted. I'm truly impressed, I hope you stay talkable (and talkative) and again, I thank you for sharing your joy with us as well as much else of value that you've shared with us otherwise.

So far as the happiest day in MY life would be concerned, that you'd like me to share with you - I would say that would likely be when I got out of the shower to take the phone that my roommate was holding. He didn't know the fellow on the other end and he simply passed the phone to me saying, "it's for you".

I said "hello", recognized the voice at the other end, and after an initial split moment misunderstanding (he spoke Hebrew with a Russian accent), I understood from him - and from the wails of crying joy in the background - that I, personally, had successfully saved a man's life. The feeling then was impossible to describe.

May we all share only happy moments.

mnuez

I had a very cool moment recently. I've been doing affirmations ever since you wrote about them. There's been success already. It feels really good. The moment was when I was having some negative thoughts about my ability to do one of the goals in one of my affirmations. Suddenly I thought, "Maybe I can." Maybe I can? Since when do I think that? Even the tone of my thought (yes, my thoughts have tones) was unusually positive.
I've also felt happy because one of the affirmations has to do with improving my attitude with my child, and I've felt a difference every day.
I love my affirmations.
Thanks for that, Scott.
Please keep giving updates on your progress. I didn't know you were suffering with that. I'm so glad you had a breakthrough.

I'm ridiculously happy for you! I read your story to my wife and five kids. They loved it!

In regards to your other blog posts - I'm just stunned at how seriously people take you. Your job has just gotta be a gas!

The day I found out my wife's cancer had been cured.

It was a "mild" cancer with a high cure rate but, let me tell you -- it's still scary as hell. One day you're worried about being able to afford a new house next year or not. Next day you have "real" problems and you can't remember why you cared about a stupid house.

Congratulations! You used The Secret to cure yourself. www.TheSecret.tv

I believe it will be permanent, as long as you believe it will be permanent.

I highly recommend the movie The Secret, if you haven't already seen it. It's really just a documentary on the law of attraction.

wow! congratulations! it feels like i'm watching
one of the best episodes of "House" (TV series).

Congratulations! I've always been amazed at the people who re-establish functionality after a brain injury or similar problem. Your creativity and flexibility will certainly inspire others.

I get a best day of my life for at least a few hours each day, when I am not at work and am with my 10-month old son. Making him giggle is the best of the best. 15 minutes of that, 30 minutes of holding him while sleeps, and I can put up with anything else, easy.

Awesome for you- Blessings are often overlooked or under-celebrated. I was pretty recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, so I know a bit about life-style changes :). Keeping a good attitude, and supportive family & friends are the most important parts, indeed. Happiest day of my life is a tie between the day I married my wife, and the day we found out that she was pregnant (6.5 months till 'baby's birthday' ties with marriage, I think).

YAY!!!!! Congrats man!

Several fantastic days adorn my past (probably more than my fair share):

1. actually having my feelings reciprocated
2. realizing that i cannot do it all...and its not all up to me.

Congratulations! That is such great news.

I would say the happiest moment of my life was about 2 months ago, when I asked my girlfriend to marry me...and she said yes!

Congradulations! The day in my life that has brought me the most happiness(though I didn't recognize the everyday miracle at the time) was the day I was befriended by a new girl in my class. That was many years ago and our friendship has grown and strengthened into something wonderful, I guess the happiest day of my life(thus far) was when she agreed to go out with me... hope your voice remains, good luck and good night, and merry christmas

The best day of my life?
it was the day that we got all of our Dilbert books (every one in existence at that time) put in chronological order. Congradulation, we love your books and hope you'll keep writing, and good luck with your voice I hope it stays with you

Congratulations! Good luck with the long-term recovery. I have to say that one of the happiest things in my life has been watching my 16-month old nephew grasping the basic concepts of speech, and exploring this amazing world he's being brought up in.

Best of luck!

I’m amazed that it took all of two days for you to cure yourself of an incurable disease. I’m even more amazed that anyone would allow you to help a child with their homework. “Why did the Old Lady live in a shoe?” “Why does the alphabet rhyme?” “How now, Brown Cow?”

Happy day, Scott. Not sure why but all this reminds of one of my favorite books:

"And because, in all the galaxy, they had found nothing more precious than Mind, they encouraged its dawning everywhere. They became farmers in the fields of stars; they sowed, and sometimes they reaped."
--Arthur C. Clarke, 2001: A Space Odyssey

Congrats with the rest of them. If I were thrown into this situation it would be quite cool. I'm learning to be a singer, and my teacher encourages me to speak as though I'm singing. I've tried it at times and the improvement in my singing voice has been incredible. But inevitably people make fun of it - how could they now - it's *weird*! :)

But! If I had a disorder like this then I could tell people that I had a legitimate reason for wanting to sing at them.

Maybe I could just lie to people and do it anyway.

That's wonderful.

I supposse this might seem sappy, but every day I have a moment of happiness is a good day for me. Depression steals a lot of the contentment I imagine most people feel away from me, but I've learned to cherish my good days that much more.

Recently I wrote in my journal: "Despite all the bullshit I am filled with the sense that I love everything."

I can't sum it up better than that.

Congratulations! the interesting thing to see will be weather this type of therapy works for other people with this disorder. I'll bet that they can't even say the rhymes, because everything is in the mental state (it is a mental disability). But as long as you believe you can talk in rhyme you can talk in rhyme, and as long as you can talk in rhyme you can talk normally. Just remember, life is mental: You've already been the first person to recover from this, so whats next?

Well done sir! May others with the same affliction have the same degree of success as yourself.

Happiest moment of my life? Well, in recent memory, that would be Friday. Some good friends, decent vodka and cheap wine to start my evening. I spent some time with a young lady from my dorm talking about school. Now one must realize that things have been a little dark for me as of late. Over the past few years I've felt my connection with other people starting to slip away. I've felt isolated and depressed, despite a group of nice folks I'm priveleged to call my friends. Well this pretty young lady asked me if she could have some paper and a pencil, so I ran to my room and she started doodling. She ended up making a beautiful pencil drawing of a Japanese woman with a fan and a flower and an aura. Then she gave it to me. I never told her how good that made me feel, but for at least two days I was the happiest person in the world. I was in such a good mood I gave a homeless guy my super-duper warm thermal underwear (Pittsburgh gets damn cold).

What an inspiration! Scott, will you let me share your story with others? I'm a freelance writer here in the Bay Area and I've already suggested it to friends at U.S. News & World Report, but I can also see it inspiring millions in Parade or another general-circulation magazine. Can I come see you soon, or are you up to talking on the phone? I'll take the whole thing in verse if that's what you'd prefer! Please say yes! Janet Rae-Dupree, janet@raedupree.com, 650-346-6983, www.raedupree.com -- scampering around now trying to find a Dr. Seuss book to guide me in writing a "postable" post in rhyme....

Scott, congratulations!

I'm really glad you regained your normal voice. I went to Stacey's in Pleasanton last week. (First visit. Great! I'll go back.) It wouldn't be the same with some strange cartoonist singing to the the customers.

Joe

Hello I just want to tell you congratulations!

Well the happiest day of my life so far was when I recieved the results of the National exams needed to enter College/University, as I was in the top 50 of the whole country!

Anyway... your history reminded me strongly of a book by Vernor Vinge, called True Names. It's science fiction, but when you get to the meat of the story, you will see why this episode of your life resembles so much the fiction in that book.

My left foot and the left side of my pelvis were both shattered as a result of a car accident with a drunk driver. It took months before I could even put weight on my left leg. I remember the first day that I walked again after the accident - for a distance of 8 feet.

I felt as though I had conquered the world.

Scott,

This is certainly a miracle. I enjoy your comics very much. Apparently someone was praying for you along with your hard work. I know I will continue to wish you the best.

Frank

Congratulations Scott. I'm very happy for you.

I'm sure all the good wishes and prayers by millions of your fans have reached HIM. :)

Wow. what an inspiration you are, Scott. I wish you all the best in each and every way with your voice in future.

Osho

Scott, congratulations on your amazing recovery!! I just got the story from Slashdot, and have "wasted" the last hour or so of my time reading everything on this page. I totally believe in the power of determination, and it seems that this is a great example.

(This part's especially for Doug at 9:28) I can't say it was the happiest moment, or even a single moment, but I sure was thrilled when I finally was able to run 4 and 5 miles with ease. I had had bouts of asthma when younger, sometimes needing several doses of inhaler in a day, and my first few small jogs were almost impossible. I remember jogging along, slower and slower, having difficulty breathing. And I thought, there's no way I'm going to go through life with this asthma; either it's going to kill me, or I'm killing it. For weeks I forced myself to run regularly. Each time, the asthma seemed terrible during and after the run, but in between it slowly improved. I refused to take the inhaler if I could possibly go without it. Miles racked up, my breathing got better, and finally I could run for miles with NO asthma!!!

It's been a few years now, and the only times when I have (very slight) trouble breathing are when I've been particularly lazy about running.

Never give in. Never give in. Never give in.

PS: thanks mjc jr for your post. It was beautiful...

Just reading that post was quite a happy moment for me.

Like Lee Jones the happiest day in my life (though I didn't understand it as the time) would have been when Jesus forgave my sins and I was born again.

The second happiest will be the day I die and go to heaven where waiting for me will be not 40 virgins, but Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, creator of heaven and earth.

Go God.

...adg

Congratulations, Scott! I am as happy for you as the day I got back from Iraq in 2004. What you have done is really inspiring. Thank you for all your work. I love it.

Congratulations Scott! I hope your voice stays!

I gotta tell you, one of the happiest moments of my life is when I was sitting at work and heard someone who I really respect reading a story from the current Dilbert Newsletter. It was a story I had submitted to you about asking a cashier at Burger King for some extra change! That was pretty cool! A "Name Up In Lights" moment for me!

What an amazing day!

Patti says:


Scott... I have to say I was totally ignorant concerning this ..spasmodic dysphonia...affliction of yours.

I truly believed that you were "putting us on".
I thought you made it up ..or... that perhaps you experienced something like it for a brief moment and then.. exaggerated it..and wrote a fun blog about it.

I have googled-it and found it to be quite a real problem for singers and many others.

I am happy that you have had some relief from it's symptoms. I suppose that I was so use to you clowning around and being sarcastic and bold at times, that I couldn't separate truth from fiction.

MY MISTAKE. Because you are very literate and come across so very well in your comics and blog ..(and also since you give lectures)..I could not imagine you.. without a strong or normal voice.

It would seem ironic that you could have such a distinct voice on here and through your cartoons and lectures...yet not have an audible voice in... normal conversation.

I actually think.. that I can hear your voice as I read your blogs. And that is no joke.
My mind has always created a voice for you and .. your characters.

At any rate.
I now believe you and I am truly happy that you are doing a bit better.

I only started reading your blogs about 3 months ago.
Up until that time, I read your comic strip all the time but did not know you were on the web and had a blog.

SCOTT, All kidding aside, on this one...... Thanks for your blogs and your unusual topics and your serious topics. It always brightens my day.

If there are miracles.. I hope you find one. I hope your affirmations work for this.. and you somehow become fully healed.

You will certainly make me.. rethink my comments on what I sometimes believe to be "humorous" topics.
Maybe I need to, consider the possibilities that some topics are not to be taken so lightly.


NOW, on a lighter note: I also believe your affliction makes me see "Loud Howard"... in another light.


AND.....

One last question (with just a bit of humor..since I cannot help it....just a little)
When you got married, did you answer "yes"....audibly?


Again, thanks Scott... I love this site and your blogs.
AND...I look forward to them, everyday!!


********************

I got a girl friend recently and it was an uber happy day. Course, I'm not married like you, but than....I'm not 18 either...

Truly amazing--can I recommend finding a bunch of poems and memorizing them? It's possible that having a wide variety of them might work even better, as it involves your brain in a broader way. Lewis Carroll's probably a good place to start.

This year I've lost a knee, two shoulders and my nuts to bizarre neuromuscular adventures.

Your news is good... let there be more!

Congratulations Scott, what a way to triumph through a tough situation. You are truley inspiring and I wish you the best and that your voice and brain continue to work together!

I have had similar moments where medically I have had great moments in my life , some of which could have turned out quite unfortunatley, Because of these little miracles, breakthrough, remapping, or just my will to live I can say that my happiest momments have been the day I married my husband, attending mass at Notre Dame and the day my miracle baby boy was born.
Happiest days to you Scott!!!!! I wish you only the best.

the happiest day of my life is the day i stopped smoking.
Congrats, Scott
i enjoy your blog a lot
cheers

Scott,

No happiest moment, just a thank you for sharing that and making MY day brighter. Good Luck and keep your good spirits, they are contagious.

I prayed in front of Jesus with my 6 month old daughter! Best moment in a long time.

A dorm room in UCSC, my junior year. Saying the words "I love you" and knowing I meant it... that I couldn't mean anything else.

The second true love of my life. Being a romantic (and a teenager), reconciling the loss of my first love was harder for the absolute certainty that it had been real. Until this epiphany, there was a part of me seriously wondering if the rest of my life would be spent in the shadow of that memory. Nope.

Life followed. A glorious marriage and sad divorce. Friends and family and miracles aplenty. All with the absolute certainty that joy and love are found, not spent.

If you wade this far into the responses, I hope this made you smile a bit. Your story certainly did that for me. Much luck to you and many happy and frivolous conversations.

Scott's recovery is already on Wikipedia! I checked it to look up Spasmodic Dysphonia, and looked at the "famous people with it" section to see if Scott was mentioned. He was, but more surprisingly it says "Scott Adams, the creator of the famous cartoon Dilbert, had Spasmodic dysphonia up until mid-October of 2006. He developed a method to work around the disorder and has been able to speak normally since. He is the first person in history to recover from this disorder."

Here is a link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spasmodic_dysphonia#Famous_people_with_spasmodic_dysphonia

Ok Scott. You never publish my comments. But this comment of mine is something I don't care you publish or not. But, I want to tell you something. I have undergone EXACTLY the same experience you have undergone except that I had SUDDENLY started to stammer very very badly, and without any professional help I cured myself by reading here and there[at that time and place I could not get professional help for myself]; and by the way if this fact tilts you in favour of publishing my post, I have also graduated from the same Institute as your character Asok[Indian Institute of Technology].(I have a theory that nearly all the very creative people have had some sort of speech problem in their life. Remember Einstein? He could not speak for a good part of his early years)

It took a lot of thought but I think the happiest day of my life was the day my not yet wife and I spent a day wandering around Boston going to art galleries and just enjoying our developing friendship. 14 years later I'm still happy about it.

Good for you Scott. And thank you for sharing your victory with us.

Rob

There are things in your life that you know you will only remember. I'm sure this story is one of them. However if by some chance I get this affliction I think I see if quoting monty python will work for me :)

Happiest moment? When my darling daughter was born, and I was holding her when she opened her eyes for the first time. It was blast of pure, unadulterated love that forever changed me.

What a gift! Congratulations.

My happiest day was the day my son left the neonatal intensive care unit. . .even though I remember few if any facts of the actual day, I remember the joy.

My son was born in May. My wife had planned for a natural birth, but things got complicated and she had to have an emergency c-section. When I was forced to leave the operating room my son had been born--perfectly healthy, I was holding him, I carried him out through the swinging doors--but my wife was bleeding badly. No one would tell me anything--after 24+ hours of supporting my wife as things got worse, I was too strung out to really form the questions I needed to ask--but I gathered from what I heard the doctor's saying that they weren't sure they could stop the bleeding.

My son and I waited for 2 hours, more, alone--it was the middle of the night--and didn't know anything. Then a nurse came and took us to the recovery room, where my wife was awake and pale but fine and happy. The doctors hadn't had to do an emergency hysterectomy, they hadn't had to cauterize any blood vessels in her reproductive organs, they hadn't had to giver her a transfusion. We'd all lucked out.

That's the happiest day of my life.

Congratulations Mr. Adams!

You asked about favorite days. Mine was when I received 100% physical and legal custody of my daughter from her very abusive mother. It was a hard fight and I represented myself.

10 years later my daughter and I are best friends and I am putting her through college.

Cheers!

Bill

Scott - Remember when you were a kid and you'd inadvertently said something that rhymed and all the kids did the "Poet and don't know-it" thing?

All of us have done that, and developed a pre-speech filter that stops us when we're about to say something that rhymes. What it sounds like to me is that in your case, that filter got too ambitious and blocked all speech, right up until you deliberately *wanted* to say something that rhymed. Since rhyming was your intent, that filter was disabled, and your speech returned.

I found that when I got mentally exhausted, I could write poetry effortlessly. Since I'm not interested in poetry, I figured it was just another useless talent, but I never made the connection to your speech problem.

Congratulations on prevailing!

It's hard to choose, but my happiest day of all was the day I found God. I'd been an atheist for 24 years and had become a hopeless drug addict living in a rescue mission when, on a 12 step retreat at Big Sur, I had an experience that knocked my socks off. I had gone to five meetings that day, and stayed up 'til 3am talking about others' experiences with God. That night I said what's called the Third Step Prayer, where we offer ourselves to God, only I added that I would do anything if God would just show me what His (or Her) Will was, even if it was to die by torture trying to carry God's message of hope and redemption (definitely easier said than done, but I felt like I meant it at the time). I had come to believe. I went to sleep that night and woke up a few hours later with the sun streaming down through the Redwood canopy and filled with the greatest loving feeling I had ever experienced. Then, to top it off, I heard a voice from within that said, "This is all the love you've ever needed. Don't seek love and approval from others but take this love and give it away." I quit cigarettes that day, and had quit drugs and alcohol about a week earlier. I also cried for hours that day. I was permanently changed. I starting enjoying helping people, pretty much for the first time in my life. Since then my life has come together and now, nine years later, I'm a teacher. That was a very difficult time, as you can imagine, but that day has to go down as the most amazing and beautiful I have ever experienced.

Congratz Scott! Glad that you have your voice back.

I think the happiest moment of my life so far would be during my graduation trip. Nothing to worry about and just enjoy every moment of it. If I'm getting marry with my current gf then I think that will be the happiest moment.

Congrats on your voice returning. However if the unfortunate event should occur that you have a relapse, I think it would be very interesting to see what would happen if you were to learn a new language. Learning causes neurons to grow new synapses to each other, so if the cause really is a disconnect issue then maybe the process of acquiring a new a language would create new connections which would allow you to communicate in that language normally. If you decide to learn Italian and go to Italy to really get it right, take me with you.

Scott, what you had was the fundamental root of a stutter. You could sing because you were never hit as a child for 'singing back' to your parents. Stutterers learn to block their vocal chords (the Valsalva Response) when they are hit as babies, and as young children. You learn that speaking can result in pain - from your parents. Everything you said in your text sounds directly like the symptoms a stutterer goes through. They can shout loud and possibly talk to a crowd, but as soon as they talk quietly, they are in a different mental mode. It is not genetic. It is not a 'disease'. It is merely a re-awakening of old symptoms that you've been managing to avoid or quell for your entire life.
When you say you strained your voice during a bout with allergies - was it painful to speak during this time? Maybe that's what happened - you learnt that speaking equals pain - a lot of pain, and naturally your brain told you to stop speaking as soon as you tried to start.
Don't dismiss these ideas because the idiots in the media (or so-called 'experts') have never introducted them to you. These ideas explain what happened to you, and what happens to all stutterers.

Congrats! As much laughter and intellectual stimulation you bring all of us, you definitely deserve it.

For me, it was the day I completed Pathways, originally a Dr. Phil workshop, that changed my life forever. My friends thought I had joined a cult, but I didn't sell all my belongings or move into a communal home. It just changed the way I look at life.

I was a Drill Sergeant in the 1st Infantry Training Brigade at Ft. Benning a few years ago.

Usually you never hear from your trainees once they leave the Hill. They only want to get away from you, and you just want some peace and quiet.

One day, however, I got a visit from one of my first trainees. It had been nearly two years since I saw him. He was a screw-up - was disrespectful, didn't listen, got into more trouble than most, and only graduated by some kind of divine intervention. I wanted him out of the Army.

Now, he had just finished 18 months in Iraq. He had received a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. That's a long story, and one he's best to tell.

He came up to me, in dress greens, buttons polished, fresh Corporal stripes on his sleeves where there had been nothing, standing straighter and prouder than you could imagine. I couldn't beleive it. He said, "Drill Sergeant, I never got a chance to thank you for all your time and hard work. Thanks for giving me a chance."

It was right out of a movie. We exchanged a few more words, and then parted again, as I had work to attend to. I never saw him again.

Wonderful news Scott! I feel very happy for you! Hope this blessing gives you joy for the rest of your life.

Scott, I can just see it now ... medical journal headline reads:

"Scott Adams discovers that rappers hold the secret to Spasmodic Dysphonia cure."

I'm really happy for you, Scott. I hope things continue to get better, and even more, stay permanent.

Congratulations man, that's awesome.

The happiest moment of my life was in March 2004, during my senior year in high school, when I came home and found a big fat package from MIT in my mailbox.

In February, a chap caused me to headbutt his car door from my pushbike. I spent 6 months in hospital (so far) being repaired, and am still awaiting a chunk of Titanium to be fitted into my skull.

I know pretty much how it feels to have an almost-normal life, but with certain things dysfunctional, and it's inspiring to know about your successful efforts to work around your own problems.

I'm very grateful that my injury happened in suburban Perth, not out in the sticks or in some country with a primitive medical system, else I'd be dead -- plain & simple. Now it's up to me to find ways around my zillion or so cumulating small deficiencies, as you have with yours.

I must say that the Dilbertian point of view helps a lot with facing "impossible" situations calmly. Thanks for being bold enough to publish your insightful artwork.

Congratulations Scott. You've brought the world the Dilbert all these years and made people laugh. It sucks that you had to lose your voice to begin with, but amazing that it returned. Hopefully permanently. Congrats man.

Almost all my happiest days involve contact with those people among us who lift others with their open hearts and goodwill (even if they prefer to call it "optimism"). :>)

I once read that Wayne Gretsky was such an amazing hockey player because he literally perceived the passage of time differently than other people. He was able to watch a hockey game unfold in what other people would regard as slow motion, so he had time to see who was going where, extrapolate their movements, and arrange to be in the most advantageous position to score (or assist) goals.

I'm no Wayne Gretsky, but I had a brief, glorious moment of Neo-esque Gretsky Time once years ago when I was inline skating through my city (not recommended). I was travelling at some speed down the sidewalk of a major street and crossing a side street. Too late, I realized that the giant, pre-OPEC sedan coming down the side street was blowing right through the stop sign.

At the last instant I jumped in the air, and time slowed down as I hit the vast hood and began to roll. I turned once and began to roll up the windshield. I could see the driver through the glass, his eyes bulging with fear. More important, I could see the driver's side wing mirror approaching. I decided I wanted that mirror.

As I sailed off the side of the windshield, I reached out and grabbed the wing mirror as tightly as I could. It came right off the side of the car. I ended up sitting on my ass in the middle of the side street about three feet away from the driver's side of the car, cradling the wing mirror in my arms.

I stood up, brushed myself off, and knocked on the driver's window. He half-turned toward me and pushed the power window button, gaping. When the window was completely down, I reached through the opening and held out his wing mirror.

Not knowing what else to do, he took it, and rolled his window back up. I turned and skated away.

It was one of the finest experiences I've ever had.

This might sound strange but the happiest day of my life was when I dropped out of college. I had never been a good student, but felt it was my obligation to my parents to attend a university. I jumped from major to major, and though some held my interest for a few months I would eventually get bored and want to try something new. After strugling for 4 years I was no closer to graduating than when I started. After some sould searching I realized that I wasn't putting myself through this hell for me, it was for everyone else in my family, and I just didn't want it. I droped out and moved on.
I had always been a hands on person and was fairly handy on a computer, so I got a job in New Jersey refurbishing used PC's. Now I'm a senior technician working for IBM, bringing in a good salary with several technical certifications under my belt. And I couldn't be happier.

Congratulations on an extraordinary achievment!

about 13 months ago I awoke one morning to discover i had gone deaf in my right ear...as a remastering technican, this was the worst possible thing i could imagine..my hearing was my life, my job, everything. a doctor looked and said my entire ear canal had closed up...we tried all sorts of various anti-inlamatories and treatments, but, still, nothing.

after leaving the career i loved and adjusted to having half my hearing and never being able to enjoy music fully again, i slowly grew depressed, not being able to complely enjoy the one thing that helped. my friends saw the results...i never wanted to go out and do anything, i became anti-social and spent most of my time watching comedy central with the volume turned day up.

then one day, i noticed i started hearing a buzzing sound in my ear. suddenly sounds were making it through, but, it had been so long since anything back there did it's job that my brain had foregotten how to process sound...it took about 3 months to get it back to normal, and even now i have a slightly bit more tinninus in that side...but i've slowly gone back to remastering.

Words fail me.

Seriously.. they do, all the time. I feel so let down.

But then this is about you and not me right?

Happiest day of my life? The day the Red Sox beat the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS. That year, of course, the Red Sox beat the Cardinals in the 2004 World Series. It wasn't a single day of course, but rather a supremely happy period. My daughter and wife might agree. :-)

Your story is wonderful, Scott!

Google bought me a $40 steak today :D

That's awsome. I'm not sure what my happiest day is, but today's in the running. I walked home from school without my legs getting tired at all(they normaly would because they are still not back to normal after luekemia. I'm in remmission now). I read your blog which put me in a good mood. Then I checked the mail and found out I had been accepted to the college I want to go to. Because I was in such a good mood, I was able to write a paper I had been worrying about in no time at all. I never new how much faster I can write when i'm in a good mood and not worrying about the assignment.

I'm very happy for you, Scott. That's awesome.

Happiest moment for me? Hmmmm... hard call. Maybe walking back down the aisle with my husband after our vows? All these faces of people that I loved were surrounding me on both sides, clapping and cheering. I felt so... rich. Like I had the biggest family in the world, and they were all supporting my marriage. Of course, looking at my little girl brings me so much joy that sometimes I think my happiest moments are just gazing into her eyes.

I didn't realise you had lost your voice but Scott your writing has always been your voice to many of us who never had the pleasure to meet you in person and through your writing you have been able to say much more than most can ever say in spoken words.

I lost my sight for a week due to an accident involving intense ultraviolet light. I remember the day my bandages came off and I could look at my watch and *know* what time it was, rather than lament the fact that I'd never bought a speaking click; ...The day I could tell what denomination of bills I was handing to the pizza delivery guy. It was exciting, refreshing and empowering.

My dilemma was minuscule compare to yours, Scott. I hope that excitement never has reason to disappear.

Keep up the great work. You should get a grant for your personal research into this topic.

..TJ

Hooray! What wonderful news! I might suggest, however, that it was the rhythm of the poem (rather than the rhyme) which helped to remap your brain. You know all about the brain plasticity stuff... but rhythm can play a vital part in re-wiring damaged areas of the brain during neurological rehabilitation. I myself am a Neurologic Music Therapist, and while I've never treated a patient with this specific condition, speech and language interventions using rhythm (and melody, but in this case rhythm is the key) can be extremely effective in helping people regain the faculties of speech or increase their intelligibility. Thanks for letting me get on my Music Therapy soapbox for a moment. And again, congrats!

Happiest day of my life? You, being an optimist, already know it's the day I am living. I am ecstatic to hear of your recovery! Keep doing your rhymes, as the old neuology adage goes, those neurons that fire together wire together (theres a rhyme for ya!) Thanks for all the laughs!

Wow that is truly inspiring. I remember hearing about you strange malady and feeling sad. I'm so glad you managed to overcome!

Happiest day for me was probably the day I first realized I loved the girl who I eventually married. soooo sappy, but true.

Ironically, if I was in your situation after my voice returned I'd be overwhelmed with joy I'd have nothing to say.

Oh yeah, my happiest day it's a bit over PG, but I will say it was in Amsterdam =P

- When God told me that he loved me
- When I got married
- When I did my first singing gig in the band, and I was nervous, but the crowd went crazy and loved it

Great news Scott!! Happiest moment was probably seeing my first grandchild immediately after she was born. No feeling matches it, not even sex....

Scott,

Just curious, but how did you say "I do" at your wedding?

That is great news.

I look forward to any public speaking you may choose to do.

Your account of the condition reminds me of amblyopia ("lazy eye" as some people call it). What's frustrating about the condition is that there's nothing actually wrong with your eyeball itself, but rather that the neurological interpretation of the signal that the eye receives is somehow faulty.

I haven't been able to describe the effect on the vision in my one affected eye. I have trouble seeing through it, but it's NOTHING like a camera lens being out of focus (e.g. nearsightedness or farsightedness). I can see colors, I can see shapes, I can make out objects and people and faces, but somehow the signal in my affected eye just is not clear. I've even tried (unsuccessfully) using photoshop on a picture to communicate the effect.

Hearing stories about people recovering from neurological issues, which is, as far as most doctors consider it, a lost cause, is extremely reassuring.

Thanks for sharing the story, Scott. You've given me some ideas.

Congratulations! That's just wonderful!

Talking of uplifting, I must mention Channel 4's (in the UK) documentary "The Boy Whose Skin Fell Off".

I recorded it because I thought it was going to be an interesting medical documentary, but it was infinitely more than that Nothing (and I repeat nothing) could prepare anyone for what a harrowing and uplifting this program is.

The program starts by showing what looks to be a boy, asleep in the chair. Then the voiceover starts. The voiceover , "Hello. That's me. I'm dead now, but I wanted to share my story with you."

It then skips back four months and follows Johnny as his crippling skin condition slowly kills him. Although that in itself would be painfully depressing program, Johnny's moral strength, his honesty and his humour blew me - and everyone else who saw it - away.

I think I've cried twice in adulthood, once when watching that program and once just now when remembering at as I read some reviews of it online.


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0466710/

http://www.chicagodocfestival.org/boy_whose_skin.htm


Incredible, simply incredible.

I'm not an optimist. I'm not quite sure how optimists work myself, but I'm glad they exist. It's not useful depressing yourself because the world sucks and you're not helping. I'm not confinced that telling myself it's not the case will help.
I can't really pinpoint a happiest point in my life. (See previous paragraph)

Congratulations! A link to your blog was posted on a listserve for people who use augmentative and alternative communications systems (acolug). Glad to hear you won't be one of us!!

I lost my ability to speak or swallow due to ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) about a year ago.

My happiest moment? Crossing the finish line of my first marathon at age 50 in 2002.

There was a young lady from Bude,
Who went for a swim in the lake,
Till a man in a punt
Stuck his pole in her ear,
And said "You can't swim here, it's private."

Outstanding! And Bravo!

My happiest day: The first time I held my newborn son.

Hey Great News,
I am so happy for you.
My daughter is learning to read after what looked like a lot of neurological problems. I've watched as her brain had to remap itself. God gave her a serious amount of determination for a little girl. Happy days.

My son has cerebral palsy. 7 years later that's still hard to say, write... think, but I'll get to why in a minute.

When he was born there were a lot of mistakes and when the doctor finally spoke to us, while our son lived on tubes in another room, he told us, "We love our children for as long as we have them..." and then he left the room.

We were devistated beyond words, but it didn't matter, because that little boy was still breathing and we gave him a strong name: Tristan. The hardest part was how easily he was being dimissed by some of the most important people in his life at that time.

Then, later, we met a man, a brilliant man, a neuralagist with a scottish accent. And this man said to us, "I could tell you horrible, horrible things, but the truth is, I just don't know, none of us do. The human brain holds so many mysteries, that even _I_, we, would be guessing. That boy has already lived through more than most of us will ever know." He went on to explain that in a brain so young it is not uncommon for new pathways to be mapped to accomplish the same tasks that we take for granted. In this case, things he hasn't even learned yet.

We left the hospital prepared (HA!) for a life with a fully dependant child. Seven years later Tristan talks (in short sentences, but sentences), sings, dances (with a walker) and can use a wheelchair with one hand better than I could with both. He feeds himself, knows the people in his life, his bedtime routine and helps dress himself. And you know what's most important? He is the happiest boy I have ever met. And he is never discouraged.

Scott, the happiest day of my life was today. Without a doubt that will all change tomorrow, as it has for every day since I've been blessed with this amazing child.

(Oh, and congrats on the brain-remapping!)

Congratulations Scott! I lived with a vocal polyp for many months, being unable to talk with a normal voice. The isolation was the worst part of it. I was told the problem would not be solved without surgery, but while I waited for a surgery date I went through vocal therapy. I took the instructions to heart, following every possible direction that could help my voice. Over a three month period, the polyp that couldn't be removed without surgery disappeared! You're another winner for positive thinking!

Wow, Scott. I had no idea. Congrats on the breakthrough and the perseverance.

My happiest day? Each new day with my wife and 6 1/2 month old son!

Congrats! Wish u good recovery.

I am a big Dilberts fan.

All the best from Kosovo.

Bez

Scott,
Ever consider that it may be meter rather than rhyme?

Best day (in this vein) is when 9 years old and trying to be a competitive swimmer I swam the first lap in my old, slogging manner. Kept a mental picture of a (new for then) ergonomic. At the turn for the second lap it clicked! Went from last to first. The new stroke kept. Went from loser to winner in one moment.

Most remarkable is that nearly 50 years later, when in the water swimming sloggily along, I can recall this memory and the fast style returns.