Being unable to speak for any length of time is difficult for anyone.
Me being unable to speak for 5 days was nearly impossible.
Vocal rest is not anything too out of the ordinary for singers. Your voice gets tired, just like all the other muscles in your body, and being over-stressed and over-worked can push you over the edge. So when I went to my otolaryngologist and took a look at my cords (via a little camera inserted through the nose into the throat) (blegh) and saw I had an irritation on one of my vocal cords, I agreed that the doctor imposed vocal rest was vital.
When one is not speaking.... and one's penmanship is pretty crappy....and one's typing skills are less than steno-worthy.... communication becomes very frustrating. Tiring, even. "Your Mom" jokes are still funny written down, but not 2 minutes later.
Carrying it with me everywhere.... the mall...IHOP..... and just leaving it by my bed..... Just knowing it was close by was a comfort.
But, as I said (and as you can see) my penmanship is atrocious. (My boyfriend who grew up in communist Russia points this out often. His penmanship is quite good, and I figure communism explains a lot of things about him....)
So after a while, you start to get creative.
Pantomime is key to the mute.
Suddenly all the beginner's acting classes I'd ever taken had proven themselves useful.
Pictionary, too, is a good tool.... however I didn't use that one as much as miming.
And I was disappointed to remember on the LAST day of my vocal rest, that my Mac can talk via the "text to speech" feature. (Although you still have to be a fairly good/quick typist)
So now it's back to the land of the speaking.... 3 hour gig tomorrow night (we'll see how that goes...) and work again during the day. (Did I mention I now have a part-time job, in the leasing office of my apartment building?)
One thing is certain...
Boyfriend and I will kick your ass at charades.