Well I’ll Be!

Although I live surrounded by neighbors, I don’t necessarily see them every day. In fact, sometimes I won’t see a single soul for maybe even a week. That’s not unusual since I’m retired and most people who live near me are younger and have jobs that keep them away during the day. And I’m the type who almost always has a project or two lined up to keep me busy, many times inside.

Since I live alone, I don’t always have someone to bounce ideas off of unless I use my phone or email, so I’ve become one of those people other people like to make fun of, because I talk to myself. Do any of you ever do that? I honestly don’t know why, but I don’t talk to myself out loud. I whisper, and only when I am alone. How strange is that?

Occasionally, when I’ve been out shopping or whatever, I’ve actually seen and heard people talking out loud to themselves, so I’m assuming I’m probably not THAT unusual, but I have no idea why I whisper. Maybe, my inner-self thinks it’s weird to talk to oneself, so if I whisper no one will notice? But if I’m alone…that doesn’t seem to make sense. I decided it wasn’t that big a deal and not serious enough to be concerned about so I just go about my activities as usual.

Often, my friends and family contact me via email, so I spend a part of each day conversing with them silently. However, my son makes it a point to phone me usually once a week or so. Most of the time these days, when my phone rings,  it’s a political ad, someone trying to sell me something, or someone trying to scam me, so if I don’t recognize the name on my Caller ID, I just ignore calls, and as a result, there may be days when I don’t speak with anyone.

I noticed the last few times my son called, my voice was hoarse and my tone was elevated and he asked if I was okay. I assured him I was fine, but started to be aware of my voice sounding differently. I also noticed I was having a little trouble swallowing and decided, since I had my annual check-up coming up, I’d run this past my doctor, just to make sure all actually was okay.

So, my appointment came and my doctor checked me over and asked if anything was different than before and I told him that I felt well except for the slight difficulty swallowing and hoarse voice. He said it was probably normal, but he’d recommend me going to see an Ears, Nose and Throat doctor, just to make sure. So long story short, I went to the ENT doctor, who did a thorough check and this is what he said, “I think you’re fine. It’s not uncommon for us, as we age, to get dry mouth, which you’ve told me you have, so my recommendation is to drink more fluids when eating. That will take care of the swallowing difficulty. And for the hoarse voice, I suggest you talk out loud to yourself during the day. That will keep your vocal cords warmed up and working for when you do need to say something to someone.”

Well I’ll be! Can you believe that? Have you ever heard of a DOCTOR prescribing talking out loud to yourself as a cure? This has become my favorite story to tell my friends. Hahahahaha!!!! Maybe those people I saw and heard talking to themselves were following their doctor’s orders!


Coco Ihle is the author of SHE HAD TO KNOW, an atmospheric traditional mystery set mainly in Scotland. Join her here each 11th of the month.


Filed under How To, musings

14 responses to “Well I’ll Be!

  1. Salustra

    That is so funny! I was born with Sjogrens so always had super dry mouth and hoarseness. So I drank gallons of water and always chewed gum. Don’t remember when I started talking out loud to myself though probably when started cussing out my computers at work on a regular basis! Gradually I noticed my voice better when I did and the PCs don’t care. Anyway I do all the time (with my ADHD hubby I’m still taking to myself most days!) that way I know I will at least get some interesting conversation LOL.

    • Salustra, we’ve know each other about 40 years and I am always amazed to learn something new about you. I feel I am in good company, too! Thanks for sharing and happy talking!

  2. Coco,
    As you already know I always have at least five projects I work on at all times. Therefore I bounce back and forth between them and my mind is constantly in a state of hectic enjoyment. While doing so I am talking, mostly silently, to myself except when I screw up, and that is often. I do not hesitate then to call myself a jerk out loud as well as a few things I should not repeat. I also suffer a little bit from dry mouth but I would hesitate to let others here me for fear of having people in white jackets hauling me away.

    • Art, I guess I was a little fearful about the white coats, too, but you have reassured me. I, too, am a real scolder at myself when I do something stupid or forgetful! It feels good having an ally! Thanks for letting me know!!!

  3. Pat Gordon

    Hi Coco, a very interesting story. Talking to one’s self always gives you the answer you want to hear.
    Cheers, Pat

    • Gee, Pat, I’m not sure I totally agree. I’ve had some pretty intense arguments with self. But, luckily, we work it all out. I think you are kinder than I am. Grin! Thanks for your comment. 🙂

  4. Cynthia

    This is good to know! Now I know I am not the only one! I’d also like to add talking out loud to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has become a favorite of mine to do, to exercise the vocal cords too. Plus the benefits are much greater!😁

    • Oh, Cynthia, you are absolutely right. Talking to my Lord goes without saying. He’s the first one I thank when I wake up in the morning. At my age, just waking up makes it a good day! It is good to know we’re not alone in this talking thing. Yeaaay! Thanks for the reminder!!!

  5. Virginia Dieste

    Hey Coco, good to hear that I’m not becoming an “old cat lady” because I talk to my cats all the time and they seem to recognize my “cat voice” ha,ha… I find this exercise a great way to “bond” with my living companions.

    • Too true, Virginia!!! When my two kitties were alive, we talked with each other a lot, and I agree, they know what we humans are saying. What a comfort they are. I miss my Annie and Pippi. Enjoy your fur babies and talk all you like!!! Thanks so much for sharing.

  6. Makes perfect sense to me! I’ve had the first person I talk to on the phone in the morning say to me more than once, “Are you okay?” or “You don’t sound like yourself.” Yup. It takes awhile to get warmed up.

  7. Susan Coggins

    All the responders are normal and that includes me. I have talked to myself for years. First, it assures me I will always have a good answer without argument from anyone else. Never heard of a doctor prescribe that rx but yeah for him! Age is relentless with all its little surprises isn’t it. I have not sung much in the past few years because I could always harmonize with Bob. Since that is no longer possible, my singing interest has dwindled but based upon your diagnosis, not only will I talk to myself, I shall now sing with our without music. Doors and windows closed to preserve friendship with the neighbors.

    • Oh, Susan, I think you should sing!!!! I sang a lot as a child, but my husband didn’t and I got out of the habit. Now, if I try, it sounds so bad, it hurts my ears! My problem is I have perfect pitch, I guess from those years playing cello and piano and singing in choirs, and I can’t sing on key any longer. My mother-in-law used to sing and whistle beautifully. How I miss hearing that. I’ll bet you have a wonderful voice. I say, go for it!!!! Thanks so much for your comment!!

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