Singing Through the Pain-Burning Mouth Syndrome

Kali SingingNOTE: Although this post will remain on Kali’s Musings, future BMS posts will appear on A Burning Journey. Please check it out if you are interested in more about Burning Mouth Syndrome.

As those of you know who have visited this blog from time to time, I am a singer. In fact, when I die and my obituary goes into the paper, the first line will say, “She went to sing with her Savior…”

I don’t remember when I didn’t sing. Sometimes not so well, but with experimentation and practice comes expertise, and then there is always the question of talent. Not just hitting notes perfectly, great pitch, phrasing or vocal range, but something a bit more ephemeral…

I have the ability to make people feel something when I sing.

When I experienced Burning Mouth Syndrome the second time, I became aware that speaking and singing increased the burning, and so two things happened. I withdrew from my usual extremely extroverted social schedule and I stopped singing at church. I might as well have lost a limb. The pain of not expressing myself grew over time, and I found myself crying at worship services because I could not understand why God would take away my instrument of praise to Him.

I eventually discovered that He did not. That instrument was still available to me, but it was going to take a decision, some effort, and a great deal of perseverance on my part to use it.

I had to sing through the pain.

If you are not a singer, dancer or athlete, I am not sure I can convey to you what that is like, but if you are, you know that sometimes you simply hit a physical or mental wall and the only way to scale it is to break through until you come out the other side.

Each Sunday morning I would start easy, warming up my vocal cords, and by the end of the service, I made it my goal to be singing out in full voice. It wasn’t easy, and many times I questioned myself and my decision, but by the next Sunday, I was ready to try again.

Would I have continued if I was actually damaging my voice or vocal cords? Continue reading