Anyway, am I right to assume the doctor knew about the performance and the timeline for when you had to be able to sing?
Yes to both. But she is not used to treating singers, really. I'm a student and because of location, time and money only had access to the university health center. It's a good one, but I know that only goes so far in this specific area.
I've never taken steroids, but I've known lots of singers who have, and they've been just fine afterwards. The key seems to be that they were careful about how they sang, and didn't abuse the apparent strength and clarity that the steroids gave them. Meaning, they only sang when they had to, and didn't waste their strength on practicing, testing, or excessive warm-ups (you know how some people neurotically warm-up, over and over?).
This is comforting, and I appreciate the warning. I pretty much plan to go on complete vocal rest until the day of the show. Having it be less great than it could be is really not my main concern right now. I've never heard my voice in the performance space, but eh... I'll let that one go.
If you just cannot sing the role on Thursday, remember that this isn't the end of life as you know it. Shit happens, and you WILL get another opportunity. Your longterm health is THE most important thing here.
I appreciate the support very much. I'm probably stressing more than I might need to, and I do hope to re-evaluate my performance ability realistically as it gets closer, but--without going into a lot of detail--my lack of solo performances prior to this is starting to affect other opportunities... so this is really pivotal for me. Not to mention I just sunk quite a bit of money into a semester of grad school from which I gained NOTHING in either performing or training... except what was to be this one credit on my resume. Kind of a drag to think that I paid thousands of dollars just to be in this opera, but worse to think that I might have paid that much to sit and watch it. :-/ Sorry for the rant! I'm having a hard time downplaying this right now, but I definitely agree that my long-term health takes priority.