who do you know who can help tom rohe?

Tom Rohe was a professional voice over talent until about a year and a half ago. He is still involved in a voice over agency called SunSpots.

Because of complications following oral surgery, Tom has enormous trouble even speaking today without the help of the drug Ambien.

What Tom is asking for is help from anyone who can direct him to medical professionals who might better diagnose and help treat his condition which I would imagine to be enormously frustrating and as a voice talent, heartbreaking.

This is a video of his plight.

If there IS someone in the medical profession who you think Tom should speak to please contact Tom at Tom (at sign) mysunspots dot com.


9 Responses to “who do you know who can help tom rohe?”

  1. Wow – I had no idea he was going through this. I’m going to put out some feelers here in the med community. Damn, that’s scary. Tom, we’ve never met but you’ve got my best thoughts traveling with you. Here’s to a wonderful life and a lot of great answers and cures!

  2. Hi Mandy,

    Yeah, I was aware of it but not to the extent the video portrayed.

    The stress and frustration of our lives pale in comparison to this daily challenge Tom faces.

    My hope (and I think his) is that the power of social media will connect him with the right people (where ever they are in the world) who can offer him a sense of normalcy again.

    Thanks for reading.

    Best always,

  3. Heartbreaking and horrifically scary for any of us who do this for a living. Rooting for Tom and praying some knowledge will be directed his way soon.

  4. Tom, take a look at the website ilovemylaser.com. A lot of people with a lot of different conditions have been helped by this cold laser. It might be worth it to take a look. – Good luck.

  5. Hi Karen,

    Thanks very much for visiting and offering the help.

    Best always,

  6. Hi Joe,

    It is very tough but I got a phone call from a lady who is waaaay outside VO but who has experience with this condition. I passed her information on to Tom’s team and that nugget, along with all the others I’m told they’ve received does offer Tom hope. Thanks for reading.

    Best always,

  7. Peter,

    I put this out on the Simon’s Rock Refector, it’s an email list serve that a lot of alums chime in on.

    We’ll see if there’s any insight.



  8. Hi,

    I wasn’t able to watch much of the video, but here are my two cents. I would particularly pay attention to this if you have physical or psychological symptoms that you didn’t used to have, as well. It appears to me as if there might be something going on with your face and your neuromuscular control, and that is what set off bells for me.

    A few years ago, I got Lyme disease. I went on a course of antibiotics and got somewhat better, but not totally.

    We tried some different antibiotics, and I got very much worse, very quickly. The list of symptoms is too long to describe, but one of the most dramatic is that I overnight lost my ability to speak. Nobody could figure it out. So many things were so severely wrong with me, and my blood tests for Lyme kept coming back negative, because they are extremely unreliable and commonly produce false negatives.

    We knew I had Lyme in the first place because of a known tick bite and EM rash at the site, followed by joint pain. However, as all these “weird” symptoms accumulated and I didn’t get better, the doctors gave up on me and told me I did not have Lyme because the tests were negative and “Lyme didn’t do this.” They pretty much left me to die.

    Fortunately, I had a friend with Lyme who sent me printouts from Lymenet about a woman who periodically lost her voice, and also a trailer from the movie, Under Our Skin (which I strongly recommend), where one of the people has lost his ability to speak. She kept urging me to get retested, and finally, after 1.5 years after infection and nine months with no treatment, getting worse and worse, I had positive tests for Lyme and babesia (another tick-borne disease). Later I was also diagnosed with bartonella (also a TBD).

    The other woman I spoke to online who lost her voice in a similar way to me also had Lyme and babesia, and we think it is something about having the combination of those two infections, maybe, that caused our problem with voicing. I fortunately met a SLP online who had Lyme herself and had lost her voice, too, and who used her own professional expertise to get it back. She diagnosed me over email! She said it was “vocal cord apraxia,” which had to do with the vagal nerve not innervating (sp?) correctly with the vocal cords. It’s a combination of neurological and muscular. And indeed, the days or weeks, when I couldn’t speak at all, were when my neuro and muscular symptoms were worst. She gave me some exercises to try, and they helped a lot. They didn’t always help me to bring my voice back to normal, but they allowed me to produce intelligible speech when I otherwise couldn’t. I experimented a lot with different angles of my head and neck and breathing and found some ways to improve my ability to speak.

    What I had was the inability to produce speech — intentional sounds. I could produce unintentional sounds, such as yelling in surprise, or laughing. Sometimes my voice would come back if I just responded totally without thought to something or someone.

    It took about a year of being on aggressive Lyme, babesia, and bartonella treatment until my voice started coming back for real. Now my voice sounds totally normal most of the time. I am still quite ill, and on a bad day sometimes I can’t talk, but for the most part, those days of muteness are behind me.

    Tick-borne diseases can affect you in a huge variety of ways. Typical symptoms are joint or muscle pain, headaches (especially headaches that include pain in the neck and shoulders), muscle twitches or paralysis (especially in the face, like Bell’s palsy), rashes, fatigue, weakness, vertigo, and lots of other things. Virtually anything can be a symptom of a tick-borne disease because often people are multiply infected (like me), and these are systemic pathogens that invade all areas of the body. A lot of people have digestive issues and psychological symptoms and have no idea it’s Lyme-related. I had chronic migraines for years before the first known tick bite, and they started going away when I was on antibiotics. We now believe I had a previous, undiagnosed infection. I used to have migraines almost every day, and now I only get them a few days a month.

    I strongly encourage you to be evaluated for tick-borne disease by a Lyme-literate physician and to watch Under Our Skin and read some of the good books on Lyme, such as Curing Lyme or Cure Unknown. Of course, I have no way of knowing if you have Lyme or babesia, etc., or not, but it’s extremely, extremely underdiagnosed because it mimics so many other diseases, so it’s definitely worth looking into. I have more Lyme-related info on my blog. Best wishes to you for a swift and complete recovery.

  9. Just a thought…has Tom contacted the makers of Ambien about this welcome side effect? It seems to me it would be in their best interest to investigate this since it could lead to an additional use for their product.