It’s been a month since I’ve made the trip downtown to see my good doctor. He is the one who has been treating my throat for a weakened vocal cord, known as Paresis. Nearly a year ago, it came to be following an upper respiratory illness. After recuperating, I was left with this. I made reference to it in a post I wrote called, “Croaked,” https://kimgosselinblog.com/2013/12/30/croaked/.
My good doctor finally diagnosed me last December. He taught me the rigors of vocal therapy. We worked together in his office. When not there, I worked at home. A great amount of time was spent practicing my sounds, learning to breathe from my diaphragm, pushing my voice to the limit nearly each and every day since January. A small price to pay to speak again in a world where one’s voice is their message in a bottle.
Together, my doctor and I viewed new pictures taken of my vocal cords a month ago. They were much improved from others we had seen, last December. My throat felt well again. I was speaking better too, stronger and clearer. My next appointment was made for the following month. In the interim, I would continue my therapy as usual.
Living with a chronic illness takes a good and compliant patient. Never-the-less, I couldn’t help but experiment a bit. I was tired of practicing my sounds for nearly hours each and every day. What would happen if I took a break? Would my throat begin to regress? Did I have to practice my prescribed vocal exercises forever? Was I truly living with a Chronic Condition?
Only a few days passed of my “experiment,” before my throat began to feel sore. It hurt. I coughed at night. It felt scratchy during the day. My voice sounded a bit rough. When I spoke, it became weak and raspy. If I talked on my cell phone, I could feel myself working to overcompensate for what was not naturally there. In the end I croaked.
Immediately, I started my vocal exercises in a room where no one could hear me. My voice was already weakened. Taking my decibel meter with me, I struggled to reach numbers near the top. How disappointing it was for me. It had only been a few days; a week at the most. Would I have to do exercises for the rest of my life? If so, I could live with that. I simply wanted to know.
Yesterday, when I met with my doctor we looked eye to eye. Without saying a word we both knew it was time. Out of his pocket the white flag flew. We had done all we could. We had tried our best. From where I had begun to where I am now, it is remarkable. Still, I am not quite where I want to be. Without exercising forever, I may never be. It is not failure from a clinical standpoint. My doctor has done the most wonderful job and done it well. I am the one who hopes to put what is left of, “Humpty Dumpty” back together again.
Soon I will get an injection in my throat to plump up my weakened vocal cord. It is not something I am looking forward to. Still, it is another option. When I am through, I will not have to exercise my vocal cords any more. I will be cured, no longer living with a “chronic condition.” How lucky I am for this great miracle in life!
I am not sorry I worked so hard at vocal therapy. It was an option I had to try. I know I did everything I could. I tried my best. My good doctor too. In cases similar to mine, vocal therapy is a cure for most patients. I am an “exception,” I guess. Such is life. I wish to thank my good doctor for his time and patience. We worked together well. We tried our very best.
High hopes for the future. On to the next.