Saturday, July 10, 2010


In March 2009, I began to have hoarseness after talking all day at work. I'd be better in the morning. After several weeks, the hoarseness did not get better after a night's rest. By the end of the week, I now was soft spoken and could barely whisper.

Continuing on in my "not wanting to go to the doctor" vein, I finally went to my PCP after suffering a debilitating migraine. Migraines send me to the hospital ED for a morphine "cocktail". Telling my doctor about my migraine and my hoarseness. He asked "has anyone looked down your throat?" "No", I replied. He immediately got me an appointment with an ENT the next day. Things moved quickly from then on.

The ENT did a laryngeal scope, not fun. He stated that my right vocal cord was not moving. It was paralyzed for some reason. He felt my neck and said ,"You have a lump in your thyroid". This could be pressing on the nerve causing the paralysis. Seemed reasonable. I am very practical and like things to make sense.

Because of my poor speech quality and increasing fatigue. I took FMLA from work. I work as a physical therapist , specializing in lymphedema and wound care at Columbus Regional Hospital. I love my job and being off work is my hardest struggle. I worried about my patients, leaving the other therapists in the lurch, etc.

He immediately ordered a CT scan of the mass, a fine needle biopsy (called an FNA), and an MRI. All these were done in the next 3 days. I am glad I had my daughter, Amanda with me for the FNA. It hurt like heck. I do not see why they do not knock you out for procedures like this.

I returned the the ENT on July 2, 2009. I was told the mass was probably cancer and needed to be removed ASAP. Surgery was scheduled for 2 weeks later.

After this apportionment , my husband, Randy and I decided we did not care for this ENT too well. and decided to get a second opinion. I call ed my nurse friend , Jo and she recommended Dr. Edward Krowiak's name. As luck would have it, I was able to see him the next week.

I loved Dr. Krowiak right away. He was handsome, personable and caring. A University of Illinois grad like me. He did the now routine laryngoscopy. Yes, there was a mass, yes it needed to come out. However, he explained that the tumor could definitely be pressing on the nerve and he proceeded to explain how he would spend as much time as he needed to protect the nerve from further damage. And that he would leave my 2 paratrhyroids intact if at all possible . You need the parathyroids for calcium control in your body. Surgery was scheduled for August 3, 2009.

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