You Wanna Stick That WHERE?!?!?

by Jen on January 6, 2011

Today I went to a specialist to explore the problem behind my really hoarse, somewhat non-existent voice.  It began in September, but I blamed it on seasonal allergies and sinus drainage.  After dealing with it for almost five months, I decided to take action.  (I’m very on the ball, you see?)  
So, here’s how it went down.  I have zero voice.  None.  I can whisper, but that’s about it.  So, I whispered my symptoms to a nurse, who nodded knowingly while she took diligent notes.  I told her I’d been battling this frog in my throat for some time now and that it wasn’t painful and it was just annoying, and on good days, I can speak, but with a masculine (or “sultry” as my Grandma says) voice that doesn’t even closely resemble the rise and fall of my former perky sound.  She asked lots of questions about my vocal history.
“Are you a singer?”  I wish.
“Do you do a lot of speaking?”  A normal amount.
“Were you a cheerleader?”  Duh!
She closed my file with confidence, lubed up her cold hands with the blue germ gel and began poking around on my neck.
“Sounds to me like you’ve got a classic case of nodules on the vocal cords, honey, but I’ll go ahead and scope ‘em just to make sure.”
Big deal!  I’m tough.  I use a neti pot.
“It’s quite common in former cheerleaders actually, and very easy to get rid of!”
Sweet.
She leaves the room for a brief moment and returns rolling this.
I don’t know about you, but by my measurements, that rope thingy is about three miles long.
“Here’s the scope darlin’, but don’t be alarmed… It looks intimidating, but only a very small portion goes up the nose!”
Why the holy fuck is it so long then???  Gulp.  Double gulp.

To put me at ease keep me from haulin’ ass she sprays 2 puffs of Afrin and 2 puffs of lidocaine up each nostril to “numb” me.  Yeah right.  Then, she begins feeding it in.  Now, I can’t tell you it hurts.  But I can tell you it tickles miserably and makes you want to rip someone’s face off.  
So, she feeds in a couple inches.  Hmm, that’s not too awful.  Then, she yanks it to the right and left.  Okay, that’s kind of annoying.  Then she feeds it in another inch.  Ummm ma’am???  Does the right to left “peek” again.  Surely she’s done now.  Shrugs her shoulders and feeds 29 more feet of  ”medical” torture rope down my mother effing throat!!!  If I could have choked out a word, it would have been disrespectful I can assure you.
“Well hmmmm???”  She looks puzzled.  Then, she pulls the torture camera out of my snout like she was fly fishing.  ”Lemme check out the other side.”  Gimme a break.

She does the other side.  Makes a few more perplexed sounds and excuses herself to go get the doc.  At this point, I snap a few photos of the torture rope on my phone and start texting exaggerated scream texts along with the photos to my loved ones.  I needed moral support.  Through the door I hear my nurse saying things in her southern twang like, “She was a cheerleader, so I was darn certain…” and “I have never seen….” and “I just don’t know what to make of it…”  Great.

She returns with the extremely friendly doctor who, guess what???  Yep.  She needs to stick the torture rope up my nose too.  While doing so, she takes the liberty of teaching my nurse a few things by doing the right to left peek about 62 times.  Then, calls in another doctor and another nurse to get a second opinion.  There was standing room only.  Quite the party. 
In the end, all the great minds agreed.  Relief  (You gotta love it when everybody’s on the same page!)  The conclusion???  Absolutely… no….  idea.  (I’ll pause for that to soak in.)  Not a clue.  FUN.
They did agree that my vocal cords are about triple the size they should be and look like they’ve gone through a meat grinder.  Why?  They weren’t sure, but did say it could be caused by silent reflux.  I’ve never had any issues with acid reflux, but they explained that 85% of acid reflux sufferers don’t even know they are suffering.  Weird, right?  The concern is that the acid starts to eat away at your vocal cords, so they prescribed Nexium and a strict “no talking” policy.  For a month.  Did you hear that?  No talking for a month.  Impossible.  I’ve got A LOT to say!!!  I want the torture rope back!!!  This is waaaaay worse!
So now, I’m armed with a dry erase board, text savvy thumbs, a laptop, IM screens, and a super tolerant group of friends.  I’m trying to limit to less than 100 words a day.  Today was day one and it was not even close to possible.  The doctor fears I’ve done enough damage to my vocal cords that I won’t ever have my “normal” voice back.  Sad.  Not that I loved that voice, but at least it sounded female.  I’m desperate to repair  the damage and am determined to follow doctor’s orders as much as humanly possible.  How lucky is George right now???  No nagging wife voice for 30 days.  Jackpot!
Tomorrow I have a throat ultrasound to rule out thyroid issues and I should have my blood work back by Monday.  Maybe that will provide a little more insight into things.  I hope.  For now, I’m looking on the bright side.  There has gotta be a lot of blog material that comes out of this, right?  :-)
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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Megan January 6, 2011 at 7:52 pm

awww that is so traumatizing!!I got you a get well gift:http://living4london.blogspot.com/2011/01/awards-that-are-stylish.html

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2 Anonymous January 7, 2011 at 4:45 am

Hey Jenn. This is Colleen and Brendan's friend – Ali. Colleen forwarded me this blog post and I was cracking up!! I just went through the same torture at the hands of an ear nose and throat guy. I only received one pass of the torture rope but got an added bonus of a lecture about my drinking habits. I filled out on the medical questionnaire that I enjoyed 4-5 drinks 1-2 days a week. My doc thought this was shocking and proceeded to lecture me about how I should consider changing my wild ways…..if he only knew!! Good luck with the Nexium!!

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3 Lauren January 7, 2011 at 8:27 am

Hahahah aw I'm so sorry. I've had that done twice because I have a deviated septum and chronic sinus problems. It's the most screwed up feeling and I hate it!!! I hope they figure out what your deal is soon so you can treat it.

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4 Princess Andy January 7, 2011 at 9:17 am

good lord…nothing good EVER comes from sticking tubes into peoples orifices.i'm so sorry you can't talk for a month. perhaps pretend to be a monk on a vow of silence?or i think that there are some fancy gadgets that you can type into and then a robot voice says what you just typed? THAT would be kick ass.<3

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5 Meara January 7, 2011 at 11:42 am

Oh my gosh! That's awful! I feel so bad for you!! If it makes you feel better, I actually dropped by here to tell you that I awarded you the Stylish Blogger Award! Check it out here. If you don't do awards, that's ok too. :) Meara at Not Twenty-Seven Yet

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6 Nicole January 8, 2011 at 7:48 am

My goodness! What a story! Dropping by from the Tea Party!Pop by if you like – http://nicoleabdou-destinationunknown.blogspot.co

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7 KrzyKron January 8, 2011 at 9:47 am

Stopping by from Lady Bloggers Tea Party! I would be so ticked if they stuck that down my throat and still didn't know!!! Hope they find something out and it's not too serious! Keep us posted!http://thekimcheechronicles.blogspot.com/

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8 Home In The Hollow January 9, 2011 at 8:35 am

Well, it will either be blog material or nasal mucus! Sorry, I couldn't help that! I seriously hope it all goes well for you!…:)JP

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9 Jill January 9, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Ouch! That doesn't sound like anything I'd like to try in the near (or far) future. I hope you can get answers soon! Visiting from TRDC. :)

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10 Robin January 15, 2011 at 8:49 am

Here from LBS! That SUCKS! I don't think I could go 30 minutes without talking!!

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