Thursday, March 29, 2007

Update: 29th March

Nasal endoscopy
I've just returned home from having a second nasal endoscopy. Not the most pleasant experience (although there are worse places to stick an endoscope, I assume), but second time round the results were not quite so surprising. It was a similar procedure back towards the end of November that first discovered my paralysed left vocal cord and which led to my first CT scan that found the tumour.

Options
This time, the result was the same: a palsy (paralysis) of the left vocal cord, most likely from nerve damage to the nerve that controls it. I have two options: speech therapy to help my right vocal cord compensate (more than it already is, since the gradual improvement of my voice since October is the result of this tendency); or a surgical procedure to insert a piece of plastic into my larynx in order to turn my left vocal cord permanently 'on'. Non-invasive procedures are nearly always better to try first, so I will give speech therapy a few months and see if there is any improvement before I let them take a knife to my throat.

11 comments:

Joanna said...

Hey Byron,

glad to hear the endoscopy is done with!

I don't think I've ever told you this, but when I was three months old, I too was diagnosed with a paralysed left vocal chord...

I've not had it checked since, so there's no evidence for it either working again or remaining as it was... Although apparently it would be unusual for it to suddenly work again...

Hmm, anyway, my real point is this.

All my friends, family, acquaintances and neighbours would agree I'm sure that my voice is working very well. Very loudly in fact. And so, perhaps, the speech therapy will have a similar desirable affect!

If not, maybe we could start a special secret society for people with paralysed left vocal chords. I'm sure you'd be able to think of an awesome Greek or Hebrew name for it, and we could have a handshake and everything!

:-) Jo

Alan Wood said...

I always wondered about the 'end' in endoscope, but I can never be bothered looking it up. I suspect it's a little like the 'rhino' in rhinoplasty - it has a perfect right to be used that way, it just sounds like the innovator was drinking while making up the name.

So, what does it mean to have a vocal cord 'on' all the time? Will Jess have to get used to sleeping with a low hum all the time? Will you finally be able to sing along with bagpipes?

byron said...

Jo - that's amazing! You've never been to a speech therapist? I was wondering how you ended up having it checked when you were 3 months - I assume your parents were worried that your crying wasn't loud enough (!).

PS I'm sure I replied to this comment earlier, but my earlier comment seems to have disappeared.

byron said...

Alan - endon is Greek for 'within', so endo- is an English prefix meaning 'internal or within'. Thus endoscope is 'internal vision' (scopos = 'sight').

Joanna said...

No Byron, I've never been to a speech therapist. I guess I just learnt to talk with the "disability" and so I just automatically compensated for it...

I'm not sure what the exact reason was for my parents to have me investigated, although I believe there was a fear that I was asthmatic because I was wheezing when I breathed. I think they just had a poke around and found it (or something... can one even do that?)

My wheezing was very pronounced when I was younger, but decreased as I grew up.

So, how 'bout that secret society eh?!

byron said...

I think they just had a poke around and found it (or something... can one even do that?)

I presume it can't be accurately diagnosed without a nasal endoscopy (sticking a tube up through your nasal cavity to have have a look at your larynx). Or rather, I hope it can't be - otherwise I've suffered two of them for nothing...

We could call our secret society nishbar qol: broken voice.

Joanna said...

Well there was definitely the poking of tubes down my innner tubes, and I'm sure I found it very uncomfortable.

My mother is a nurse, but apparently she freaked out a little at her own three month old having such things done... Then I went and got a hernia and had to have a big proper operation!

By poke around, I really just meant that I'm not sure they knew what they were looking for... But they found it!

I knew you'd come up with a funky name for our secret society! Do you say it like it reads? Is it Hebrew? Or Greek??

Anyway, I'll be praying for you and the PET scan. I hate that glucose syrup, it's so gross, like drinking condensed lemonade...

byron said...

Have you had a PET scan? Last time I received the glucose as an injection.

Nishbar qol is Hebrew, though I realised it should be the other way round (qol nishbar) or it says 'a voice is broken'. Pronounce it as it appears (though with the 'q' being hard, like a 'k').

Joanna said...

Cool, Nishbar Qol it is!

Well, clearly I didn't read the glucose post correctly, you said injected! Oops.

I have had a CT where they injected something into me, but it was fast acting. Very fast. And it gave the awful and very real sensation that I was wetting myself in front of everyone :-s

The glucose syrup I drank was for some blood tests. But I'm sure it's equally uncomfortable having it injected... The things they do!!

Joanna said...

Oops, I mean, Qol Nishbar!!

byron said...

Yes, the CT scan injection would have probably been iodine and it does have that effect!

Actually, last time I don't remember the glucose injections being too bad. The worst bit about the PET scan was trying not to cough for 20 minutes while lying on the cold scanner (and at that time back in Dec I was having a lot of trouble breathing anyway, esp when lying down).