A Kingdom for Hillary’s Hoarse

People have been wondering what’s going on with Hillary Clinton’s health lately? First, the barking (is she off her meds?).  Then the hacking cough while speaking.  Today, she’s back to wearing her coke bottle glasses.

 

Conservative pundit guys have been having great fun at Hillary’s woes, especially Beck & The Guys, and Rush. But let us swallow our partisan pride, lest we choke on it, and look up Hillary and her coughing malady with some sympathy?

 

Pundits, not wanting to play doctor, have been asking for some answers as to why she’s having so much trouble getting her talking points out without choking. Her agenda is hard for us to swallow.  We should be the ones gagging.  But since no medical experts have come forward with explanations for her distressing conditions, let me put forward some theories as a fellow sufferer (if not, certainly, a fellow political traveler).

 

Speakers Cough. That’s what they used to call this problem years ago, before microphones, air conditioning and central heating. Public speakers as well as entertainers often suffer from this problem. As they speak and air increasing travels back and forth through the wind pipes, the air dries the throat out. Lack of humidity in a very warm room or a dry, arid climate aggravates this condition.

 

The more the speaker ignores the problem and the harder they try to speak, the worse it gets, until their throat is as dry as an iguana’s skin in the Arizona desert. Speakers compensate for this by carrying a bottle of water and excusing themselves for a moment while they hydrate.  I’ve observed this in the many speakers whom I’ve photographed over the years.  Performers and singers spray their throats with a mist before the performance, since carrying a water bottle is not an option on-stage.

 

Hillary may have been avoiding the water bottle treatment because the bottle does not make for good photo-ops. I complained about it often enough when photographing seminars.  However, choking on a dry throat makes for an even worse picture.  Hillary will pay a price for favoring image over health.

 

Post-Nasal Drip. This is a malady from which I (and others) have suffered for years. The darned condition is like clock-work. I can depend upon it arriving on the dot at 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. A little later if I oversleep in these unemployed mornings. When I was working, my co-workers could set their watches by my coughing fits.

 

In the office, I had means of escape. I also bought a bag of throat drops to soothe the dryness – and my co-workers nerves.  I would also excuse myself, escaping to the Ladies Room until the fit was over.  Nasal drops have helped to alleviate this problem.

 

At work, I had means of escape and freedom to deal with my aggravate throat. Not so much in band concerts.  With the dry air of winter (even in the relatively humid climate of New Jersey, the indoor air can still become dry), the coughing becomes more frequent and prolonged.  Last night at North Jersey Band rehearsal, the fit lasted from the last half of one song through the first 57 measures of the next – Armed Forces Salute.  I only had those 57 measures to stop the coughing.  Measure 58 was my solo – a solo, where my solo would be missed if I didn’t get back to my orchestra.

 

I came running back from the church’s basement break room, where I had been taking sips of water. But I was one measure too late.

 

“What was supposed to be there?” the conductor. “Something was supposed to be there?”

 

I played the solo for him. Aha!  He went back the two measures, and I was able to deliver the solo on cue.

 

To have this happen in concert is a nightmare. Depending on the concert venue, there may or may not be any place to which I can repair.  I’m lucky in that I’m a percussionist and, if  conditions permit, I can get away to deal with the cough.  Other times, we percussionists are hemmed in on a closed stage.

 

Only think if I was the poor tuba player, saddled with a 25 pound instrument on my lap and surrounded by other musicians whose expensive instruments I would trample and whose music stands I would overturn in my haste to get away? Quelle nightmare!

 

So I make sure I’m equipped with nasal spray (which I employ, like the actors and singers, discreetly beforehand) and throat drops. I also have my friend, the tuba players, water bottle at my disposal.  He’s usually seated somewhere nearby.  He, too, has allergy problems.  The antihistamines he takes cause his throat to dry out, which is why he has a water bottle.

 

Could antihistamines be contributing to Hillary’s problems?

 

Ring Nodes. If a dry throat from post-nasal drip is an everyday nuisance, Ring Nodes are the nightmare from Hell. Water, throat drops, mists and so forth will soothe the ordinary dry throat. But nothing soothes the savage beast of the unbearable Ring Nodes.Ring Nodes are the inflammation of the throat and wind pipes. Once they swell up, you begin to cough and cough – your body’s attempt to clear what it perceives as an obstruction. However, there is no clearing them. Throat drops, even the medicinal kind, only irritate them further. Anything with sugar or any other type of mineral irritates them.The harder it is to breathe, the more you cough. The more you cough, the more air passes by the inflammation, the worse it becomes, until you’re into a full-blown coughing hysteria, your eyes bulging out of your head like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s at the end of the 1990 film, “Total Recall.” Eventually, when you calm down from your panic attack, you can sit down and slowly drink a cool glass of water. Sip, don’t guzzle, and eventually you’ll be back to normal.If you’re suffering from Ring Nodes, it means you’re suffering from a cold of one sort or another, and that you’re well on your way to laryngitis. The best thing to do is put down the microphone, the tuba, or the xylophone mallets, go home, lie down and don’t talk.  

 

 

Let us fly the white flag of truce in our partisan battle with Hillary for a moment, even if we have to gag on our good manners, and wish her well. I wouldn’t wish Ring Nodes (or whatever she has; the way she was rasping afterwards sounded like Ring Nodes to me) on my worst enemy, political or otherwise.

 

This is not advice from a doctor, which I am not. These are simply words of wisdom from someone who’s been there and done that.

 

My hoarse; a kingdom for my hoarse.

 

 

 

 

 

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Published in: on February 18, 2016 at 1:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

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