Tuesday, February 10, 2009

"Sorry, he can't talk right now"

"Call back later. Much later."

Following surgery, the damage to my Vagus Nerve was such that I had lost the use of one vocal cord.
It takes two cords to produce a voice(imagine the sound of one hand clapping), so a few days later I was wheeled back to OR for another procedure. This procedure consisted of injecting collagen into the paralyzed cord, thereby swelling it to make contact with the working cord, giving the working cord something to vibrate against, in turn providing me with a weak, but usable, voice.

Sunday, I had noticed my voice was getting weaker, and by Monday morning I couldn't feel a vibration in my throat at all.
Just nothing.
It's a weird feeling when you try to talk and,no matter how hard you try, just can't get a word out.

Made a call to the doctor. He thinks the collagen may have worn out, and he may need to inject again, as he suspected he would, but was hoping to avoid.

I already had a follow-up scheduled for this week, anyway. Wednesday, actually. So it looks like he'll be scheduling another day in OR for me. Whoopee! Just what I wanted.

Right now, my voice is limited to a very faint whisper.
Beyond that, it's silence.
They may have found a way to shut me up, but I still have my hand gestures.

Update: Got back from seeing Mr. Doctor. Yeah, the one that hurt me three months ago. It'll be about four weeks before I can have another injection scheduled, and with it some semblance of a voice.
It'll be a quiet month around here. How boring is that?


kingdavid said...

There's just no justice in the universe. This happens to you; but, Keith Olberman's vocal cords are still working. It just ain't fair.

Brian said...

That sucks. Sorry to hear it.

Any chance of you vagus healing up? Have you experienced any other side effects of that injury specifically?

Gino said...

just the swallowing and the one vocal cord seem to be affected, and my tongue, of course, doesnt move the way it used to, but at least the tongue is coming back.
when i stick out my tongue, it goes to one side (its funny,really)gag reflex is strong as ever.

supposedly, it can take up to a year for a nerve to repair itself.
if it doesnt in that time, then they will try something else i think, but they didnt really bring that up.

they expect a full recovery in time. since i'm experiencing tongue improvement, i'm pretty sure healing is taking place. just a lot slower than they had anticipated, although doc said he hadnt seen a tumor quite like that one in that place that way. it was heavily vascular,so i think that is part of the long healing as well:all those blood vessels in the nerve got tweaked.

RW said...

It's onlu because I've forgotten you moved to a new url that I missed this. I am REAL sorry to hear about this complication. This truly sucks.

Something tells me the hand gestures will make up for it tho... somehow. Hmmm...

kr said...

Yarr. Good thing you joined Facebook, so you can talk to all your friends ;).