Any trouble singing??

    • Anonymous
      November 9, 2007 at 9:53 pm

      I’ve never seen this addressed here before, but I’m curious to know if anyone else has lost the ability to sing since GBS? I used to sing fairly well and since GBS, I’ve lost all quality and strength to my voice. I guess it’s not unusual since I’ve lost strength everywhere else, too, but I really miss not being able to sing! Has anyone else had this problem? Thanks.

    • Anonymous
      November 10, 2007 at 9:39 am

      Yeap! I can get a couple words out, but than the strength behind the breathe is gone:( It is frustrating to me, but to others it’s a blessing:rolleyes: because I’m tone deaf anyways.;)

    • Anonymous
      November 10, 2007 at 1:42 pm

      Yes – my spraking voice is weaker and my singing voice is a thing only a cat could love.:rolleyes:
      GBS-MFv 1993 and 2004

    • Anonymous
      November 10, 2007 at 2:09 pm

      At first I thought it was because my lung had colapsed, but found out it was not because of that but, the strenght. For two years I have done breathing exercises and first my telephone voice I could see I was able to complete sentences. Then later I could see that I was getting stronger by just talking for a longer and longer time without going hoarse. Now I am able to sing some songs. Mostly the slower songs. I tried while I was in the hospital to sing Christmas Caroles to myself on Christmas day but was not able to finish a line. Now I am able to finish a verse. I am also able to whistle for a bit longer and whistle to a song for the parrot. This poor parrot has had his life change. He learned to hic up because I got them many times during the day! Then he would whistle with me and help me finish the jingle, long after I was done. Most important is not to use your voice to the point it sounds strained and do breathing exercises to increase your lung capacity. It does take some time but gets you back to singing in the shower again. :rolleyes:

    • Anonymous
      November 10, 2007 at 6:56 pm

      I am glad you asked this. I also could not sing for several months after GBS. I had no breath support. I love to sing (just to do so), but it has always also been a way to help cope as well. I have always thought of this as a Southerner trait since many people in my childhood would sing (Gospel or the Blues, etc) out sadness in songs, but it may be universial. The songs I sing are not blues, but they have a way to address emotion without tears. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of emotion since this illness hit me. I am very glad to say that I can sing again now and people are commenting in church about my singing that they are enjoying it so hopefully it is not too bad. It is nice to have this function of being human back working and to have enough breath support to do so because this also reflects in breath support to walk. In many respects, singing again is the most positive manifestation of progress in my illness course and it is nice to think of it this way.
      With hope for cure of these illnesses (and a voice to help).

    • Anonymous
      November 11, 2007 at 7:11 pm

      Yes, I too lost the ability to sing, but over the intervening 8 years since my onset the vocal chords, which are muscles controlled by peripheral nerves, have returned to about 80% normal, the same as the rest of my body. What I’ve lost, apparently never to be recovered, is the ability to whistle. My lips and lower jaw and neck are still pretty much numb, which prevents me from having the strength or control to form a very good pucker!:rolleyes: I was actually pretty good at it pre-GBS, as I had played a trombone earlier in my life, but that ability is now also gone.

    • Anonymous
      November 11, 2007 at 10:14 pm

      Thank you to all of you who replied. I’m sorry for us, that we want to sing and enjoy singing, but can’t do it like we used to, or like we want to. But unlike GBSByron, I CAN still whistle. It’s encouraging to know that some of you are getting better at singing and I’ll look forward to the day I can sing again, too! Thanks again.

    • Anonymous
      November 12, 2007 at 10:52 am

      Oh the silly things we worry about and try! Atleast, I filled in the gaps with Humming! My hubby called me “hummingbird” after GBS I am sure that did not give the vocal cords a rest either. Also, in addition to what someone said about the vocal cords being control by the nerves and muscles, so is the diaphram and without that being strong enough to push the air it is hard to talk. I still now my diaphram is not strong as it was before because it gets out of control and the two muscles work against each other instead of together and I get hickup VERY OFTEN. I get them and I just laugh at them like a little kid. I can remember yawning 300 times right as I was ready to go to sleep. My jaw would be so sore from yawning. I would fall asleep with my jaw aching like it might after chewing bubble bum for a long time. I am sure I would be very good at playing the Kazoo with all this humming I do! Now it is just not from not knowing the words to the songs! So hum away your worries! Have a GREAT day!

    • Anonymous
      November 12, 2007 at 11:15 am

      I have lost my singing voice 🙁 My husband and I use to do duets, trios, and quartets. Now that I can’t be counted on it breaks my heart . . .
      Often when I get over-tired my speaking voice will just “disappear” to return “whenever”. Even today, after nearly 13 years, others try to tell me it is something other than GBS. Will this disease ever be understood??

    • Anonymous
      November 12, 2007 at 11:25 am


      Not a silly question at all, especially if you used to love to sing the way I did. I actually sang with Della Reese for two years in her church choir. It was very loud and we performed with full choreography all over Los Angeles. The most I can do now is sing some oldies but goodies with the local seniors, but I have no volume. After I experienced an “episode” or some type of seizure, I cannot hear the notes in my head and I have no volume due to the lung/breathing issue. And, of course, the legs don’t move enough to kick up my heels. So, I just do what I can and most people don’t seem to mind. As long as we are having fun — that is the main thing.:D

    • October 2, 2013 at 1:41 am

      I had Miller Fisher variant June this year. I play the guitar. I was working in Spain when I got Miller Fisher variant (of Guillan Barre). Apart from some tingling in my hands, there seemed no difference in my guitar playing afterwards but now I am back in a colder climate (London, UK) and my hands feel a bit cramped and slower. Maybe climate (and the relaxation that induces) and playing music are connected?

      • October 7, 2013 at 9:33 pm

        Hi Roddy

        Sorry you got the MF. Good sign you are already back to playing guitar, it took me longer. I’m back to playing and I’m making an attempt to gig again with a cover band. I have had to make some adjustments to my playing style, you may as well. Strap length had to be changed (no low-slung rockstar wannabe any more) I had to get a padded strap for my 11 lb. Les Paul (copy). I just ditched what were a lot of bad playing habits. I also switched from a Yamaha SG to a Gibson SG as a main guitar and the weight difference has made playing more comfortable and for a longer duration.

        As for climate, you might find the colder weather makes playing harder, but only as you warm up. For me, gone are the days where I can just pick up a guitar and play well, I always need time to warm up. I sometimes play after doing the dishes with gloves on and making the water hot.

        Good luck, keep at it and give it time

    • October 7, 2013 at 10:10 pm

      Hi Northernguitar Guy,

      Thanks for replying to my post. Playing guitar is very important to me. I really want my playing to return to its former level, if that’s possible.

      You mention that it takes a while to warm up nowadays. After warming up, can you play as well as you used to? Are your hands as fast. And what style of music do you play? I play a sort of hybrid influenced by blues, funk, rock, and bossa nova.

      When I had MFS, I did not notice hand problems at the time and could still write/feed myself etc when in hospital for ten days with six days of IVG. I had the ‘classic’ trio of double vision, ataxia, and loss of tendon reflexes. And also general fatigue. The double vision is 99% better, the ataxia has largely gone, reflexes are back but there are still problems. There is extreme fatigue, along with tingling (signifying nerve repair, I believe, so I’m not too worried about this), times with muscle tightness and some nausea. This fatigue is also affecting my playing it has made everything much less enjoyable, including music.

      Do you mind me asking if you had MFS or GBS? And when the condition was at its most severe, were your hands affected?

      Thanks again for your information in your reply.

    • October 7, 2013 at 10:15 pm

      Roddy here additional question. If you have played in bands, you know the things that go with that include social situations with involving alcohol. I haven’t given up drinking or, sometimes, smoking cigarettes. I wondered what your opinion is on this as well?

    • October 7, 2013 at 10:31 pm

      Hi Roddy

      I know how you feel. I had GBS and the first time I tried to sling a guitar on it nearly pulled me face first into the floor. The weight of a solidbody combined with my absence of balance was a recipe for disaster. Then, I tried playing seated, but the strings felt like knife edges on my fingertips. I never gave up and I’m glad.

      I was a good rhythm player before GBS and I was the singer in a cover band. I do alright now. Barre chording was the hardest to get back. Even just the power chord formation (think Johnny Ramone) lead to a painful cramping through my thumb and down into my wrist. Making physical adjustments helped.

      During GBS, my hands went first and were the hardest hit. I have remaining axonal damage, which I am told I’m gonna have to live with. Sometimes, I have difficulty feeling the fingertips on my fretting (left) hand. On my right hand, I have found that I can’t play without a pick that has some ‘thumb-grip’. I use a brand called ‘Brain’ Picks, they have a texture that feels like a cat’s tongue.

      I have also found that getting my guitars in ‘ship-shape’ playing condition helped a lot. Tidy frets, clean and oiled fretboard are a must. Polish the neck to keep the palm from dragging. I seem to play better on new strings, my fingers drag less, so I change them often. Finish matters as well. I find that the Gibson nitro finish is slicker than a poly finish.

      Dude, give it some time. I think you must be feeling frustrated. Playing the guitar is hard enough when healthy. Just don’t give up playing. Prepare to sound like shite a lot of the time. Do a lot of hand stretching (great vids on this on youtube).

      The drinking and smoking will be up to you. Neither helped my musical abilities; I stopped smoking years ago. Smoking regularly also messes with your blood circulation; that can’t be good for recovery. You show some positive signs (99% vision return, playing soon after MF descent) so I am hopeful for you. Hopefully, fatigue will lessen (quitting smoking will help this a lot) and you will be jamming as good as ever.

      One guitarist to another, all the best to you!