Entry Fifty Three
June 11, 2018
Visit With the ENT Specialist
Appointment on June 6, 2018
I have had trouble breathing since Junior High School, or earlier. I often breathe out of my mouth, more than my nose. It has become so normal a practice, that I don’t realize I’m doing it, unless my breathing (in conjunction with my Sjogren’s) dries my mouth so badly that my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth. I try to have a liquid nearby, as I must drink something throughout the day and night, in order to keep my mouth moistened.
In addition, after the Hypoparathyroid surgery I had, that ended up damaging the nerve which runs on top of the vocal cords and other vital areas; I have suffered from significant problems with swallowing, breathing, and speaking. I easily aspirate liquids and foods into my lungs if I’m not vigilant about how I am eating and drinking. Once I’ve done that, it becomes imperative I cough continually and roughly, until I’ve cleared my lungs; not always with complete success.
My voice has never been what it was prior to the surgery; it gets breathy, scratchy, gravelly, and crackly. There are times my voice gives out completely.
Directly after surgery, I had NO voice. I could not even whisper – NOTHING. This lasted for quite some time. My voice transitioned from the absence of sound to a whisper, and onto what literally sounded like Minnie Mouse; until, finally, I was able to speak “normally” four months later.
Sadly, before the surgery, I had a nice singing voice – one I had worked on since I was in elementary school. Later, when I was able to pay for them, I took voice lessons. Throughout the years, I sang in various choirs, musical groups, performed in bands and sang solo. That is a gift no longer available to me, due to the right side vocal cord paralysis. 😥
The doctor said my left side vocal cords move over enough to give me a fairly full voice (just not the voice I had before) so there is nothing he would do surgically on the vocal cords. See below
Often, when talking a lot, or doing something, that for me is slightly strenuous or physical, I will lose my breath. When speaking a lot, I must stop between each word, and gasp – taking big, gulping breaths – just to say what I wish to convey. When doing something strenuous or physical, I have the same problem with breathing. I figured all along this was due to the damage done during the parathyroid surgery, though I didn’t know, exactly, why.
Well, much was discovered at my doctor visit that answered the “WHYS?” I’ve pondered over these past nine years:
1. Nasal obstruction secondary to septal deviation (left) and inferior turbinate hypertrophy
Deviated Septum (2 pics)
Inferior turbinate hypertrophy (2 pics)
2. Right true vocal cord paralysis
Vocal cord paralysis (1 pic)
3. Rule out subglottic stenosis
Subglottic stenosis (2 pics)
Treatment rendered in the office today: Nasal endoscopy and flexible nasopharyngoscopy.
Procedure (1 pic)
Other advice: A CT scan of your larynx (voicebox) will be ordered to rule out subglottic stenosis
Sublottic stenosis surgery pics of before and after corrections (1 pic)
Follow up: We’ll make plans for surgery for your nasal breathing.
Lots of pictures, but it is the best way I have to explain and show you what I’m referring to.
Finally, I am thrilled to find a doctor who will do what is necessary to help with my breathing. My oncologist referred me to him with high recommendations; saying he was very good, would do surgery if needed, and he is very knowledgeable.
~ I go in Wednesday for my CT Scan. ~
Forgot to add, I had my “butt shots” today and after reminding the nurse, she administered the injections while I laid down on my stomach. That sure works so much better than when they are done while I stand. She has the medication warmed up and she injects it slowly. The only glitch could be no open exam rooms when it is time for her to give me the shots – if that happens, I’ll have to get them standing. 😞
Furthermore, I found that I no longer am experiencing that hideous chemical chemo/like smell and taste I had each month I’d start the three weeks of Ibrance. I completely believe it is due to having discontinued taking the Carnivora.
Entry Fifty Four
June 28, 2018
Update: I have my surgery date scheduled; the pre-op appointment with a doctor scheduled, who happens to be a heart specialist. I also have a couple of T/C appts with my surgeon – one before surgery and one after surgery. And then I have an appointment with the surgeon three weeks after surgery.
I had a CT Scan and it ruled out the possibility of my having subglottic stenosis. That’s good news.
I have a few questions regarding the pre-op doctor’s assessment and I hope to get those resolved soon.
I have a PET Scan coming due soon and I expect to be getting a call to schedule that in the near future. Don’t know why, but I dread that every time.