Throat Blog — Return of the Beast?

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Well, long time, no update, shame on me. But, there hasn’t been much positive to report, and the negative hasn’t been that negative…didn’t want to sound like I was just indulging in a pity party, but here goes. (Oh, and for a better pity party, check out the below.)

We had high hopes that after the glottic web surgery and a bit of recovery my voice would start coming back. Well, that hasn’t happened. Instead, my voice remains virtually nothing, but my swallowing issues have gotten much worse. Prior to the surgery, I had a little issue with aspirating water occasionally, but no other swallowing issues. Now, I can’t eat or drink anything without some aspiration. And, whatever I eat or drink, I can’t swallow the last little bit. I have to rinse it down…and I can’t swallow the last little bit of whatever I used to rinse it down. And, I even have problems aspirating my own spit. And, all this aspiration results in a lot of coughing. Annoys me, my co-workers, and the cat.

Not my cat. Not me coughing.

The swallowing issues have caused me to resume a gradual weight loss. Well, that might also be because in my annual physical we found my A1C to be a little high, so I’ve cut out most sugars…which were a pretty easy source of calories. Not dire, but I’d much rather have my weight be headed up slowly.

And, last week I started feeling a little back-pressure when breathing (stridor). I don’t feel like I can’t get air…I can just tell that something is causing my airway to be a bit more closed than normal.

So, I reported all this to my SLP (Speech-Language Pathologist) yesterday and she decided we’d better take a look with a scope (goes down the nose and into the throat). After a pretty quick look, she wanted a doctor to take a look, so recruited one from the clinic. What they were seeing was either:

  • Swelling
  • Lesion (as from some infection or post-radiation necrosis)
  • Return of the beast (tumor)

What they could not see was my vocal cords. They’ve either gone away entirely or are masked by swelling. The SLP seemed to be leaning toward gone away entirely, probably due to necrosis (i.e. the tissue died). But, can’t be definitive without a deeper look. So, their recommendation was that I get a throat biopsy ASAP. I’m scheduled to see that doctor next Wednesday.

Meanwhile, I’ve not really felt bad. I’ve been going to work every day, and even have two business trips planned over the next 6 weeks (one to Louisville, KY and another to San Diego, then a personal trip to Nashville planned for June). Weather has been yucky, but I’ve started thinking I might start running, again, once this spate of rain passes. Of course, now all of that is up in the air, pending the results of the biopsy.

So, nothing to do but wait, practice my guitar, and try not to annoy the cat too much.

One Reply to “Throat Blog — Return of the Beast?”

  1. Cannot believe this continues. I’m hoping the biopsy will be good so they can at least treat you for you vocal cords again soon. Hang in ther Paul!

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