I have a praise report. (A “Praise Report” is how one labels and shares a favorable answer to prayer.) My PR: Remember how I went to the ENT last week? My weak vocal cord is all better. There has been progress over the past few months. As I saw different ENT’s they all told me what they saw.
- Dr. S – June – “One of your vocal cords (the one without the nodule) is weak.”
- Dr. N – August – “One of your cords is a little weak.”
- Dr. G – October – “I don’t see it.”
And believe me when I tell you that Dr. G looked thoroughly at my cords. She used both the flexible nose/throat scope and the rigid throat-only scope. This is what the rigid scope looks like:
She sprayed me with some numbing stuff that purportedly “tastes like cherries.” Mmm hmm. I was familiar with the process since I saw Tanpo do it last year when we came to get his final biopsy results (he was all clear). I was thrilled to hear that Dr. G did not see the weakness that had been obvious to others. It made sense to me because the right side of my face (the weaker side) has been feeling really good lately – I still grin lopsidedly if you make me laugh, but my right side has become more mobile. I can tell it feels different than it did a couple of months ago. It feels like it did when I was well – I forgot what that was like.
Dr. G knew I was Tanpo’s daughter so when she met me as her patient she had my paternal context. My health history was as brief as I could make it, and I guess it’s not to often that patients come in, demanding to be scoped. So she took a good look at my cords and I got to meet K, the ST, who also treated Dad.
I had my first ST session today and happily, there was no nectar (thickened liquid for practicing swallowing) – I got to drink regular juice, and I ate some things, too (Dorito girl rides again!). She said my swallowing looks quite strong, although it took her 2 seconds to ascertain that one side of my mouth is still weaker (she looked in with a flashlight), and I got some handy non-aspiration techniques to try out. We then practiced some familiar vocal exercises, but I didn’t do so great (understatement), so K very kindly gave me a non-vocal home exercise to strengthen whatever needs to be strengthened. She’ll evaluate my voice next time, and we’ll work on techniques to get me to use my voice differently (goal = make the nodule better).
So it’s been an eventful couple of weeks for me. I got the opinion I was hoping for from Dr. G (no surgery now), although I will get re-checked in a few months, and I’ve gone back to ST. The picture up top is of me getting scoped. Notice anything? Other than my amazingly white ankles? I’m not wearing any weights, or a brace! I’m even wearing itty bitty ankle socks, whereas I’ve been most comfortable for the past 2 years when my ankle and leg are covered to the max (covering = padding in case of a fall etc.) I got out of the habit of wearing all my ankle stuff this summer, and then one day I wore them all upstairs, and none of it made it back down after nap time. I’m doing well without them, so that’s progress! Although last week my left ankle started going all crazy while I was walking outside with Tanpo, so I still need to be careful and exercise it. But I’m grateful for the progress so far – not wanting to wear my brace/weights is a good thing in terms of my recovery. It’s like my vocal cords – there is still work to be done, but I’ve seen signs of improvement. So please join me in giving thanks for this.