Alright, maybe not a bluebird. Alright, maybe not singing. But we "think" we hear more of a sound coming from my voice than before! That's a step in the right direction!!
So Monday was the day...the infamous "voice procedure." I didn't sleep very well Sunday night with the anticipation of this day looming over my head. What I should have done, was back in January when I first saw this doctor, and he suggested taking a stab at this procedure right then and there that day, was let him do it!! Cuz the anticipation and anxiety KILLS me!! That and the insurance company didn't want to pay for it.
Mom and Dad both went with me on Monday. Probably a good thing, because had I ever gone alone, I may have driven right past the hospital. We got there a little early and they took me right in. Good. Less time to think. Let's just do it. I explained my extreme anxiety and the speech pathologist that was helping with the procedure, politely smiled and said, "It won't be that bad." I then asked myself, "Yeah, sure, have YOU ever had this done to you?" I think that should be part of their medical education is to participate in the procedures that they perform on their patients. Anyone else agree??
Shirley, that's the speech pathologist, numbed my nasal passages for the scope and the back of my throat to begin the procedure. Then the doctor came in and said he had heard I was anxious, but that he had confidence in me and it would be over in no time. He explained again what he was going to do and we were off. Anyone real squeamish can skip the next part...
Dr. Saxon began with a topical numbing medication that he shot with a needle, up through the front of my neck, into my throat. It squirted this liquid into my throat and he asked me to cough, which spread it all over and almost instantly numbed the area. Shirley then guided the nasoscope up my nose and down my throat to give the doctor a view of my vocal cords. (And to think this used to make me gag and almost pass out?? Now I have a scope almost every time I go for a doctor's visit!) Dr. Saxon then took the needle, filled with a special gel-like substance, and now stuck this into the front of my neck and into my right vocal cord. Mom and Dad were both watching the screen and said they kept waiting for the needle to show up, but apparently it came from underneath and all you could see was the vocal cord "plumping" up. I knew nothing of this as my eyes were closed!
He pulled the needle out and had me make some sounds, then said he was half way done. Yikes! Another stick, here we go! Dad said I was moaning and it wasn't necessarily because I was in pain, although it was uncomfortable, I wouldn't say painful. I was concentrating on not coughing and choking and grabbing the doctor's hand and pushing it away! Another minute, and he was done!! It really wasn't as bad as I had anticipated. I wouldn't want to have it done every day, but now I know IF I have to have some adjustments or have it done a second time, I can do it and not pass out!
So there are really no restrictions for recovery...other than not to cough too forcefully or clear my throat too much. That's not to easy with a cold, but I am trying my best. I have more of a "raspy" voice now and people say they can hear a difference. The kids hear some difference, but not a lot louder than before. They say it can get hoarse for a few days until the swelling goes down, then hopefully, will get stronger as the days go on. I go back to Shirley in two weeks to learn some voice exercises and things I can do to prolong the life of this procedure. They can add more or do it again if we feel that it is helping.
We'll take it as another step forward and keep going. I'm still having a bit of a problem swallowing when I eat or drink, but I have to retrain my throat to work properly. Let's hope that gets better with time as well.
Maybe I'll see if they are taking auditions for the next Broadway show...or maybe I'll just enjoy the fact that I can actually talk to my children now and they can hear me!!