Sunday, July 18, 2010

Catching up

I elected to have my second vocal cord injection 2 days after Xmas. Along with that I also had a septoplasty with turbinette reduction.  Meaning  he cut out the elarged tissue in my nose so I could breathe better.  My nose was almost completely cosed.  Dr. K would ask"How can you breathe?"  Of course, doctors rarely tell you the after effects of such surgeries. 

It was TERRIBLE.  The vocal injection ws no problem but the nose was so painful. It was worse the next day when he pulled out all the packing.  OMG!!.  Never never would I do this  if I'd known how awful it was.  I felt on the verge of a mirgarine for weeks.

Let me explain the vocal cord injection, also called medialization.  They inject a collagen like substance into the flaccid vocal cord to "plump" it up so the functioning vocal cord has something to close up to so you can speak.  The paralyzed vocal cord is slack. Your vocal cords open and close when you speak. I only have one working vocal cord .  I ws trying very hard to talk now causing mucel tensin dysphonia. This means I was trying to use all my neck muscles to talk.

My voice did not return as fast as with my first injection.  It was very frustrating.  Followup  with Dr. K in January now revealed an arthynoid dislocation ( this is the cartialge that holds the vocal cord).  He referred me to Dr.  Stacey Halum at IU. In April, I saw  Dr. Halum  who wanted better "pictures" of my head and neck, so MRI and CT were ordered.

Randy's dad became very ill with a return of his pancreatic cancer.  He passed on Easter, April 9th.  I was admitted to the hospital for a groin abcess on the 11th.  MRSA+.  Released the day before his funeral.  Very painful and uncomfortable.  What else is going to happen?

I was so frustrated with my voice quality, I contacted Cleveland Clinic for a second opinion. Randy and I went up there in May.  I saw Dr. Milstien, phD in speech pathology and Dr. Cabrera, ENT.  her resident flet my neck and found a lump which was confirmed  by the MRI/CT. Dr. Cabrera said the vocal issue ws not important as was this mass in my neck. I could feel the lump in the right side of my neck.  She did a needle biopsy right then.  I was upset and anxious. Very upset.

I returned to Dr. Halum, who confirmed the mass and referred me to a head and neck cancer surgeon for excison. She also ordered another needle biopsy  and Ultrasound.  This biopsy was very very painful. Took 10 samples. So terrible.  Why  can't they put a person out for these kind of procedures?  They'd think twice about it if they actually had this done to them so they knew how painful it is. Bet they'd order some anestheisa then.  So frustrating.

Saw Dr. Micheal Moore before Memorial Day.  He believes it is cancerous and needs to be removed as soon as possible.  I was able to attend my daughter's  bridal shower Memorial weekend.  Had a nice time reconnecting with the Steele side of the family. Surgery scheduled for June 9th. This was rescheduled twice. My surgery was finally performed on June 15, 2010.

Randy stayed with with my all 3 days at IU. I had a private room due to the past MRSA dx. I ended up having a central neck dissection due to large size of my tumor.  It was a solid mass tumor, golf ball size. I drain was placed in my neck. I ws in recovery for 6 hours waiting for a room. Awful. Mom and Dad were so upset. I felt bad they had been there all day and were exhausted.  Having Randy with me was so helpful.
Most of the nurses were nice. You really can't sleep in a hospital. They are always waking you up for vitals, meds, etc.   The removal of the drain ws quite painful, very wierd feeling but painful. Amazing how long it was, all packed in my neck. Ugh.  Glad to go home. 

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