Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 07:07 AM EST

Contributed by: Named For Hank

Anyone who has hung out in section 518 with me can tell you that I can yell. I've always had good control of my voice, but a high school drama teacher taught me about my optimum pitch and altered the way I speak forever.

I thought nothing would ever again change the way I speak in such an extreme way. I was wrong.

18 months ago a variety of things came together to make my life difficult. My breathing became erratic and then nearly impossible. The fix involved a potent cocktail of inhaled stimulants and steroids in pill form. And after three weeks of that, my voice changed in a subtle and amazing way. I got my loud voice back, yes, but with it came with an unexpected bonus: I could sing notes half an octave lower than I could before, and hold notes for much longer.

I got to thinking: if I sang for a living and I knew there was a pill that was inexpensive, that I wouldn't have to take for very long and that didn't have any obvious or immediate side effects that would greatly improve my singing voice in less than a month, how could I justify not taking it?

That was a really weird, unexpected bit of perspective, courtesy of Life.