Thyro… what?!

I had started dreading phone calls and conversations in the last few months as the hoarseness in my voice always made it into the conversations. The oncologist also wasn’t too happy with the fact that my voice wasn’t back to normal. After the appointment on the 9th, he decided a referral to the voice clinic was in order.

My husband and I met with the ENT (Ears, Nose and Throat) surgeon and his team at the voice clinic on May 1st. I had filled out a questionnaire and the team asked a few questions about my voice, the cough, if there was any pattern to it etc. After the Q&A session was over, the surgeon explained that it would be useful to put a camera down my nose to have a look at my vocal cords.

The camera insertion has to be one of the most uncomfortable procedures I’d done. Once the camera was in, I was asked to repeat a few different sounds. After what seemed like an eternity, the camera was removed and the surgeon proceeded to explain his findings. He could see from the video that my left vocal cord was paralyzed. He explained that the mass in my chest had probably damaged the nerve that controls the left vocal cord. He didn’t expect it to regain its functionality or for my voice to get better on his own and he proceeded to give me the three options I had.

The first was to do nothing and accept this hoarse voice as the new way I spoke. This wasn’t a good enough option.

The second was to have an injection to the vocal cord. However, this was a temporary solution and would need to be repeated ever so often.

The third was to have a surgery called Thyroplasty type 1 which basically involves putting in an implant to replace the paralyzed one. This would be a permanent solution and was the recommended option suggested by the surgeon. My husband and I agreed that was the best way forward and he explained that the waiting list could be up to five months. He suggested a reassessment in three months and I’ve got an appointment booked in for July 3rd for that.

I left the appointment thinking God must have a sense of humour. I’ve got so much going on already and we have to throw in this Thyroplasty surgery?! Talk about kicking someone when they are already down! It was great to have my husband’s support as usual and I actually managed not to cry! I think there’s a point beyond which crying achieves nothing. I tried to stick to my plan and stay positive but it’s getting difficult and I could totally use some positive news soon!

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