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How To Have Tourette’s Part 11 – Voiceboxer

This post was going to be called Voice Of The Voiceless, but I decided I didn’t want Rage Against The Machine showing up on my doorstep screaming about copyright and royalties.

Thanks as always, army of geniuses.  Spread the word.  Movements need movers.


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  • Henri December 16, 2009, 1:10 am

    Thanks for sharing Josh. I wish you nothing but the most awesomest of times!

  • Allison Reynolds December 16, 2009, 2:35 am

    We will still hear you through the written word. And why not learn sign language and teach your little boy at the same time. Good for a laugh and he will pick up that second language quick smart.

    Cmon the sun will still come up tomorrow and we will be doing our stupid stuff and you will be doing yours and the world will still be turning. Do what you have to do 🙂

    • Josh Hanagarne December 16, 2009, 7:48 am

      Good suggestions. After sleeping on it again, the thought of the shots is too much. I waver back and forth, but I think I’ll wind up talking myself out of it. My voice is too lovely and sweet.

      • Lisis December 16, 2009, 11:28 am

        I love Allison’s idea about sign language for you and your boy. What a blessing and gift, even if YOU never need it.

        Josh, you ARE making a difference, and the fact that you received your interview so serendipitously, just means the Universe is trying to remind you of that.

        Voice or no voice, you will always be heard. We’ll be listening… reading… heck, I may even learn sign language to keep up with you! 😉

  • Ideas With A Kick December 16, 2009, 7:08 am

    So, now I know why people describe what you write about as “inspiring”.


  • Terrence December 16, 2009, 7:08 am

    Wow!! Man that is mindblowing, You do whatever you have to do to live the best life that you can!! you wife and lil’ boy still love you, don’t let the devil take you joy!! we will still come here to read your posts!! By, the way what is your email address??

    may God’s richess blessing be on you
    and you family!!

    • Josh Hanagarne December 16, 2009, 7:47 am

      Terrence, I sent you an email. My personal address isn’t on the blog and won’t be.

  • Linda Hanagarne December 16, 2009, 7:44 am

    Josh, I hope you don’t have to do it. I know how hard that was. I remember when you were first dating Janette she went with you to Salt Lake to get the shots and still came back for the next date and I thought she was amazing. I still do. The way I remember it was when you first got the shots you couldn’t talk at all and then you could whisper and got louder and louder as time went by and then you would get another one. I also remember how embarassed you were to show me the hernia because at first we didn’t know what was going on and it was in a distressing location. One thing that bothered me was how people, when I was with you, would always ask me stuff like “does he need a drink of water?” or “can you ask him to be quiet?” like you were retarded? You were 20 years old, 6 feet 8 inches tall, and they talked to me instead of you. Congratulations on the TSA article. I think that’s great. Mom

    • Josh Hanagarne December 16, 2009, 7:46 am

      I remember that by the time it was time to get the shots again, I was always desperate to get them, even though it sucked. When my voice started coming back, I would get too afraid that I would start yelling before I could get over there and get jabbed.

      I hope so, too.

  • Heather December 16, 2009, 8:13 am

    Hey, Josh, you do what you have to in order to keep yourself sane, your family fed, and your wife happy. Whatever you do, please keep writing/blogging, and I think you should go ahead and write out your frustrations here to all of us. Sometimes you just need people to read what you say, and sometimes you just need to write it all out to get it out of your system. Oh, and as a deterrent on the Rage Against the Machine boys showing up on your doorstep—I think that would only happen if you offered them possibilities of an award, and then gave the award to a different band. Then you’ll just have that De La Rocha guy climbing onto your roof or something. Can’t you just hire Adam Glass and Henry Rollins to go kick Tourette’s butt or something? Good luck, man! We’re all rootin’ for ya, and we’ll always be here, eager to see what you’ve written! Rock on, dude!

  • Rebecca Rizzuti December 16, 2009, 9:14 am

    Josh, this is really scary. I wonder if I would personally have the strength to make it through something like this, but there is no question in my mind that you *do* have that strength, Josh.

    I’m sure that your readers/listeners will miss hearing you if you have to get the shots again, but it is much, much more important that you preserve your own health, and surgery has its dangers as well.

    I’m sorry that you are going through this. You are in my family’s thoughts.

  • Chip December 16, 2009, 10:19 am

    Dammit, Josh, I don’t want to say that you are an inspiring hero, but there you go putting yourself out there being true to your heart and sharing yourself with all of your annonymous fans.

    I started following you just before HTHT #7 and when you made that video I was blown away. I had been struggling with some issues in my life at the time. I had allowed bad habits, and insecurities to keep me from reaching my goals and I really felt like a failure because of it. Your video post that day, and the written posts before it helped me focus less on myself and my own little troubles, and to see how minor they really were. My life is better with you in it and it isn’t because of the sound of your voice.

    I imagine that botox treatment can be an incredibly irritating way to manage your condition, and can make life even more of a challenge than it already is for you. What it cannot do is take away your ability to communicate.

    Your voice is more than just the sounds that come out of your mouth. Whether through your vocal chords or through your writing, your voice is the stories, the lessons, the love you share with your family and friends. The rest of it is just background noise.

    We’re all waiting to hear what happens next.

    • Josh Hanagarne December 16, 2009, 10:32 am

      Thanks Chip. These kind of comments are why this is worth doing.

  • Srinivas Rao December 16, 2009, 10:38 am

    I always thought this was one of the greatest parts of your story when I interviewed you :). I remember you saying that it made you a better listener.

  • Boris Bachmann December 16, 2009, 11:19 am

    Your “L” is backwards…

    I like your voice Josh.

  • Larissa December 16, 2009, 11:23 am

    What’s amazing to me is how you can talk about something so incredibly painful and emotional and somehow make it funny. Most magical unicorn?? lol! Anyway, what you are doing is a great blessing to many people. I know you’ll make the right decision that’s best for you and your family. 🙂
    Oh, and something else that might encourage you: (I meant to email you after that video you did for Ethan, but I never got around to it.) But I have to tell you the greatest moment was right after Ethan finished watching that video, he said, “I want to go write another book.” Seriously amazing, considering this was from the kid who hated writing with a passion! 🙂 So, just another little thing to let you know how much you are appreciated. Have a great day, Josh!

    • Josh Hanagarne December 16, 2009, 11:25 am

      I think the self-defensive humor has become its own tic. Better than crying.

      • Larissa December 16, 2009, 11:40 am

        okay, well, that is sad. . . but that is definitely a coping mechanism of mine as well, so I understand. 🙂 Keep laughing!!!

  • James Sjostrom December 16, 2009, 11:25 am

    Your one of few I know that can appreciate the fact that I pressed the BEAST with my right arm. 2009 goals complete!
    Thanks for your inspiration

    • Josh Hanagarne December 16, 2009, 3:25 pm

      You’re welcome. Get that goal board up so I can write “Beat James at everything” on it tomorrow.

  • Lorraine December 16, 2009, 11:32 am

    Sorry to sound unoriginal, but there’s no getting around it: You simply are a brave, intelligent, articulate and inspirational hero.

    It’s brutal that you have to make this treatment choice.

    While your larynx-produced voice is powerful, comforting and–sorry–inspiring. I agree with Chip. “Your voice is more than just the sounds that come out of your mouth.”

    You’ve busted through so many brick walls, I have no doubt you will break through sound barriers as well. You’ll find a way to express what’s in your head and heart.

    And then, as now, we’ll gain from your sharing.

    One thing to keep in mind if you decide to go with the shots: It’s temporary. Though the silent time must seem agonizingly long, it will end.

    • Josh Hanagarne December 16, 2009, 11:43 am

      Lorraine, just to be clear, I have no problem with any of this stuff being inspiring to people. But I always encourage people to ask themselves why something inspires them. It’s easy and sometimes natural to invest people with more credibility than they have, and mentors or lookers-up-to (sorry) should be chosen very wisely.

      As long as everyone knows why they are inspired by something, be-inspired-away!

  • Sophia December 16, 2009, 2:25 pm

    “L is for librarian” almost made me cry. I know that whatever challenge comes your way, you will use it as a way to become better and more insightful. *One big cyber hug from Scotland.*

    • Josh Hanagarne December 16, 2009, 3:26 pm

      Sophia, I’m going to come compete in the Highland Games in the next two years. When I’m in Scotland, I am nominating you for my tour guide.

  • Wendy December 16, 2009, 6:13 pm

    Good luck making this decision. I know you’re hoping to not go that direction, but if you do, you could make recordings of you reading all the best bedtime stories for Max -his own audiobook collection. You’d still be there, holding him and turning the pages, and he’d never know a time when his Daddy wasn’t reading to him. I bet you do a fantastic Where the Wild Things Are.

    • Josh Hanagarne December 16, 2009, 6:16 pm

      Wendy, it would make it too hard to yell at you in kettlebell class. Maybe that’s my answer right there:) I do like me some yelling.

      • Wendy December 16, 2009, 6:41 pm

        I can’t wait! See if you can make us cry.

  • Lori December 16, 2009, 10:06 pm

    I give myself shots three times a week to control my MS – but I think my husband wishes I’d loose my voice now and again. (jk)

    I realize this is no joking matter, but that’s how I choose to cope. Laughs + World’s Strongest Liberian is my prescription these days. I’ll do my best to keep you laughing, Josh.

    I’m behind you 100%!

  • Sreekala December 17, 2009, 11:09 pm

    So what if you do choose not to speak for a while? Many times when I get frustrated and say some cutting things to my loved ones, I later feel that it would have been better if I wasn’t able to speak at all if I couldn’t say good things. And from experience I know that my kids appreciate all my non-verbal loving (hugs, kisses, making their favorite dishes etc.) much better than anything I say.

    Just pretend that you are Mahatma Gandhi voluntarily quitting talking for a while (Get some round glasses to make it more realistic) or that you are in a Vipasana meditation camp!!!

    I love your glasses – coz they’re exactly like mine. Hey, let’s see whose glasses are stronger – mine are -6 and -10, what about yours????

    • Josh Hanagarne December 17, 2009, 11:11 pm

      My vision is something like 20/200. I’m not sure. I can’t read anything that’s not two inches from my eyeball.

      • Sreekala December 20, 2009, 2:31 am

        Tee hee, my vision is so unbalanced that without my glasses, I can’t read unless I close one eye AND hold the book about 2 inches from my face!

  • Kellie December 19, 2009, 1:59 pm

    I just read/listened through all 11 parts of this Tourette’s series in one sitting. As a result, I feel the need to commit a You Are. Sorry about that. But I’m compelled to say that you seem smart and strange and smart some more, Josh, and you are one hell of a writer with a voice that comes through in your words and rhythm. Whatever you do, I look forward to reading more.

    Good luck, and be well.

    • Josh Hanagarne December 19, 2009, 2:31 pm

      Thanks Kellie, that’s extremely flattering. Part 1-11 all at once? I command you to go do something fun with the rest of your weekend:)

      • Kellie December 20, 2009, 11:01 am

        Haha. Snowstorm! But seriously, that’s how interesting it was to read: not just because of the content, but also the style. You’ve got a voice that really grabs the reader and urges him along. In a web so saturated in bland, that’s a rare and wonderful thing to discover.

        Hope you have some fun in your weekend as well!

  • Debbie Ferm December 19, 2009, 7:04 pm

    Aw Josh,

    As my Grandma would say, “Bless your heart.”

    Yours has not been an easy road, but you are more than managing:)

    Also, what a wonderful family you have!

    Debbie Ferm

  • Debbie Ferm December 19, 2009, 7:07 pm

    Oh, and by the way, my vision used to be 20/1 zillion, but then I paid 5000 big ones to get them fixed. Now they are like 20/ half a zillion and I am blind again.

    I am blinder than you. I win.