ENT visit today

this is just a quickie update about my visit to the ENT doc this afternoon. he wasn’t even gonna scope me this time – trying to save me money – because he could pretty much tell how i was doing just by listening to me. but we ended up deciding it would be good to have it documented, what my vocal cords were looking like, so he went ahead. it was very quick though. it didn’t even freak me out this time.

i don’t have any pics and though he swears i should have access to them via my chart (electronic patient file), they are never there. there are never any pictures or videos, just written reports. i wasn’t quick on the draw with my camera today so i didn’t think to video it. i couldn’t tell from looking at it myself what was going on so not sure the pics would be helpful anyways.

but dr. ballay said what he thinks is happening is my right vocal cord is compensating for the left one that is still mostly paralyzed. it works overtime and gets a little beefed up from doing so, and so makes contact with the left vocal cord better. hence, my voice improvements. but they are still not making a solid seal together. this was a bit of a bummer because i’d hoped he would tell me my left vocal cord was moving more. but apparently it’s not.

however, he said this is typical. and he did not recommend any procedures at this point, because i’m doing so well, able to speak so much better and not having swallowing or breathing problems that impede my functionality. so he said as long as i was OK with it, we should just give it some more time. he said sometimes he does see the nerves and vocal cord just spring back and start to work all of a sudden, so it could still happen. and he was overall very pleased with my progress.

he recommended i continue doing all the vocal exercises they gave me in speech therapy, that they will continue to help me. (i try to remember but have to admit to not doing as well with this as i was when i was actually IN speech therapy. so i will recommit to doing them every day.) he said to call him if anything changed in a bad way, if i was having any problems, but otherwise we agreed i would have another checkup in the fall, maybe around the one-year mark.

so there ya have it. he thinks i’m doing really well – a lot of patients who have post-surgical issues like mine come to him in much worse shape, not able to speak well, aspirating and unable to clear moisture that ends up in the airway. he said as long as i have a good strong cough that can clear anything that goes down the wrong way, i’m good. so i think i’m good! yay!

no more doctor’s appointments until i go back to see the neurosurgeon at the 9 month mark this summer. and i’ll have my annual with dr. yount around that same time. whew! i’m free for a while!

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