Thursday, April 30, 2009

Life after vocal cord polyp removal surgery

April 30th
Hi all!! How is going for ya? Whadda ya mean how's it going with me? I asked you first! lolol Seriously do you know how hard it is to keep with my vocal speech limitations? Working on only 5 minutes an hour is harder than no talking at all. I mean how do you keep watch over your time? I lost it today though. Wouldn't you know one of my clients was blind (so she could not read what I wrote), and her son had a mental disability and no matter how hard I tried to get him to tell her what I wanted done, he just could not communicate it to her. So I had to talk more than I should. I could really feel it when I left her house. Then my whole body was aching! I mean aching! I felt feverish, hot, cold, and my left arm! What was the deal with that? It was aching from my forearm down to fingertips. I wasn't feeling too cool when I woke this morning. I told my rib I couldn't handle the 7 or 8 clients they would have given me today. She told me to see if I could ask them not to have so many clients today. Good thing I did! No way I could finish the day out. But my throat! After that sweet older lady's house, I felt the stitches that was still there. I must have eaten 2 pints of ice cream today to stop the pain. I am trying so hard to lay off the tylenol. When I got back to Wilson, I did not even stop at the office. I texted the primary PT and told her I was going straight home. After I got home, my throat was throbbing. I took a shower and went to bed. I woke up when Gianna got home asking for the phone so she could call Gigi. I feel asleep. Luckily I set the alarm clock to go off around 4:30 so I could call Gigi and find out what time to come pick her up. I stayed up until it was time to go get her. My wife was so tired today. It made me hurt worse to see her like that. She looked stressed also. My throat is still sore. And to boot, I am developing a cough like before a cold or something. I don't need that. That would stress my throat out too much. I sneezed earlier as well which hurt alot. So all you who will have this surgery later in life(I pray not), you have alot of variables to consider as you can see so far. Well, check you all later.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Life after vocal cord polyp removal surgery

April 29th
Hi All! How is everyone? Well, I went to work today after the long time off. The morning started off kinda bland. My wife asked me if I was anxious. I said no. I was anxious because all I could do is think about getting back home to my wife and children. I enjoy being around them so much. Much more also than being on a job. I left out taking the girls to school, then back to take Gigi to work being as we only have one vehicle right now. I got to work around 8:30 am. They seemed glad to see me. They asked about my physical condition and through writing, I gave them the lowdown on that. I went upstairs to the home health part of the company to download new updates to my computer and get my client schedule for today. I had over 50 updates to download on a dialup system. Whew! I also had 7 clients. I thought they would be thinking about me and only give me 4 maybe 5 clients today, but I guess I thought like lit,......(Gigi knows the finish to this one.) lololol It took me a while to get out of there. Melissa called my clients for me setting up a schedule and Joi gave me a rundown on clients I have not seen before. I still wasn't really talking but I did decide to talk for about 5 minutes to them both. When I left out, I called Gigi (something I always try to do so she will know where I am) so she would not worry about me. Now barring all the clients I had(I had 6), the day would have went smoothly if I had not had any surgery or anything, buttttttt..... I had to write down everything so the clients could understand what I wanted them to do. I did attempt the 5 minutes out of every hour thing. But it was so slow having to write everything down. It slowed me up. Not to mention the clients sat around waiting for me to finish writing out everything. Then from the speaking again part, my throat started hurting, stinging in fact, then once that happened, my head started hurting, then my stomach! What the correlation between all three were, I don't know. Now remember I have that bleed on my right vocal cord caused by the tylenol. I couldn't take the oxycodone because I would have been driving sleepy. So I was in a fix. The pain keep getting worse and worse. I called Gigi and told her. She texted back saying I could make it. I knew that, I just did not want the pain part of it. I did make it, getting back to Wilson around 4pm. I had to get Nessa from school and then go pick my lovely wife up from work. She said, "You survived!" I said yes, but I was thinking too, I rather have done without the pain part though. As soon as I got home, I took some Oxycodone, 1 tablet though, finished my work computer work. Now I am writing this for you all. Gigi has gone to sing. The mass choir had an engagement. What am I feeling? I am feeling a little lost right now. I wish I was singing. I can't wait to be singing with my wife again whether at home, church, or an engagement. What else am I feeling? I looking ahead at the long road I have to take before I get my voice back. I am excited yet sort of leery too. Leery because I don't want anything like this to happen. But when I think about Ms Ethel and when she sung at church, I am encouraged, so I am pressing on. Don't feel like eating much right now. I think I will eat some soup that is in the cabinet right now. I haven't had much of an appetite lately. Sometimes I have to force myself to eat. I don't know what is going on with that. Well, peeps, I will see you later. Take care and God bless. Remember that still, small voice that you feel in the center of your soul, is God talking to you telling you all is well. I know that is what I hear.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Life after vocal cord polyp removal surgery

April 28th
Well, had my Dr. appt today. Made it there by 9:28. My appt was at 9:30. I had to wait about 10 minutes. Man! They were busy. I did not see Dana today. I was seen by Melissa the other vocal therapist. She said that since I was there, it was okay to talk with her a little. My voice sounded like it was in the deepest tunnel filled with water. You know the sound when you have water in both of your ears. Weird feeling too. She scoped my throat, going with a steady "E" sound in lowest part of my range. After that, I did the "E" sound ranging from low to high, the again ranging from high to low. Felt so strange. She explained that my vocal cord was a little rigid from not speaking for a week and that it was to be expected. But something unsual showed on the screen also. I had a bright red lesion on my right vocal cord. She was stumped, I was too. We wondered how that could have happened. Maybe it happened when I sneezed/coughed in the restaurant this past weekend. Sounds plausible. She also stated it may have been caused by taking aspirin or some kind of NSAID. Dana later confirmed it may have been a factor when I emailed her later. I have been taking Walgreen's version of Tylenol not wanting to take that Oxycodone so much trying to wean myself off of it. I think it was a combination of both the sneeze and the tylenol did it. I am going to stop taking the tylenol. Dana believes it will heal on its' own. I hope so. Can't afford any scarring now. So now I am starting all over with the vocal exercises with the lip trills except I do those with a flutter tongue instead of with the motorboat lips simply because it is better for me. I do those 3 times a day 10 times each without sound, then in low steady range with sound 10 times each. Then I go from low to high 1o times, the high to low 10 times. This is all Dana and Melissa want me to do until my next Dr appt about May 12th. Going to be tiring because I did them for 1 session and my throat is tired already. I have to push through though. I am about in the week 3 range according to Melissa. I am to talk 5-10(10 minutes if I am feeling good) minutes of voice use per hour with 45 minutes of voice rest. They told me I must use a delicate, light, very breathy voice during my talking with no strain whatsoever. No whispering at all. No loud talking, excessive talking, yelling, screaming, or throat clearing. I have to drink 8-10 glasses of water daily, no alcohol( I don't drink anyway) but that also includes if you need Nyquil, keep caffeine use limited, no smoking(I don't smoke or chew any of that stuff). This is basically what they told me to do for a while. Like I said before, I am going to keep my eyes on the goal. I want to sing again and sing well. I miss singing. (Getting tired of me saying that yet?) Now, what am I feeling? I feel somewhat discouraged. That bleed lesion on my right vocal cord, the one not operated on, kinda through me for a loop. But then again, that special place inside of me says, don't worry, no matter what things will be okay. Well, now I am off to pick up my girls from their tennis lesson. Sayonara, C ya later, and all that good stuff.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Life after vocal cord polyp removal surgery

April 27, 2009

Hello all,
Today, what happened today? Well woke up fine. Had to go to Fayetteville today to return Vanessa's car. Only took tylenol so I would not fall asleep. Needed it when we got to Fayetteville though. Still I am trying to wean from it. I know from experience to come off medication slowly. Anyway, made it down to Fayetteville. Gigi already told them I wasn't talking yet. Uncle Frank was there and anyone who knows Uncle Frank knows he likes a challenge. He tried every joke in his arsenal to get me to talk, laugh, or something. lolololol Mom fixed a dinner which was cool. Tried to save some of what I had for Gigi, but she did not want any after she arrived. Gigi had to drive back. I was still medicated. I have a new found respect for the non speaking non hearing community. We stopped at Baskin Robbins from ice cream. Gigi had me go in with Gianna. I wrote down what wanted. We went in the shop. The girl asked what I want. I gave her the note with what Gigi and I wanted. She looked at me for a moment reading what I had wrote. She asked if that was all. Gianna did not order yet. She was at the end of the counter trying to figure out what she wanted. Instead of being able to call her, I had to go to the end of the counter, touch her shoulder to get her attention so she could place her order. People in the shop were looking at me like I was a leper or something. Made me feel kinda small. Glad to have gotten out of there. It is also frustrating trying to get people to understand me if I don't write it down. Also frustrating for those trying to understand me. Gigi can attest to that. I was frustrating Gigi on the trip back. I was sleepy. I was fighting it. I was making Gigi sleepy. She made me go to sleep. Later she said it looked like I was going to break my neck sleeping. She was afraid I would hurt my throat or something. I had to go to sleep when I arrived home. While I was asleep, Gigi and girls went to choir practice. Her text message woke me up. What am I feeling at the moment? I miss the choir and singing so badly. Before I knew it, I said (Man!). It slipped out before I could stop it. Nothing hurt, just a little soreness. Still, hope I did not hurt anything. Oh, and the sound that came out was so quiet and whimpy. What am I feeling? That this is going to be a long recovery full of much needed patience and hard work. Wish I was rich enough so that I could stay home from work and devote my time and energies to the recovery. I am getting ready to eat something now. Something soft. Some potato soup with garlic Gigi bought me. I also will say a prayer. I have been saying alot of prayers in my head. Oh yeah all, I have not stopped doing that. Yet I know Gigi misses me praying out loud. Well, I have a 9:30 am doc appt tomorrow with the vocal therapist first. I know they are going to scopy my throat to see if it is healing correctly. I am a bit nervous about this. Yet there is a place residing in me(I know it is God) that is telling matter what the outcome don't worry. So I won't worry, but I will be a little concerned. I care what can I say? Well, until next time. C ya!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Life after vocal cord polyp removal surgery

April 26
Hi everyone,
Today , woke up with a little difficulty swallowing with some pins and needles feeling. No prob. Did not want to feel pain so I popped one pain pill and the antibiotic. Gigi and children going to see Heather in Durham for one of her programs. After much discussion and thinking with wife, decided not to go. Going to rest up and be able to drive Vanessa's car to her in Fayetteville tomorrow. Hate not going. Don't want to disappoint Heather. Gigi said she would understand. She prob would but I still don't feel that good about it. Did consider meeting them in Raleigh to the Bahama Breeze but I don't think I should drive while still taking pain medication. So I am cleaning Vanessa's car a little. I have to take rest breaks. Don't understand why I am feeling so tired unless I wasn't in top shape before the surgery and all the surgery did was take a little more out of me after surgery. What am I feeling? Still feel like I am letting God, wife, myself ,and church down. I should be there ministering. I did not feel well enough to make church this morning. Besides not being able to talk would have been interesting trying to tell everyone what happened and how I was feeling. But I have to trust God in this matter. Tye Tribbett has a song saying, I don't have no other choice but to trust You. I feel that way about God. He has to bring me through this. Well, let me go finish the car. I have the tires to do. C ya later

Life after vocal cord polyp removal surgery

April 25

Hi All!
Well, another day has come and gone. Today is a new day. Yesterday, I had a painful scare. Went to Golden Corral to eat. It was a place my wife, myself and the girls could go that was somewhat quick cause of the buffet and I could find something I could swallow easily. While there their was a senior citizen, bless her heart, but she had on what I call "funeral home perfume" in which the smell was irritating my throat. I was having difficulty finding something for me to eat that wasn't too spicy and stuff. Then the cigarette smoke became noticeable. That is when it happened, one of the things I did not want to happen. I sneezed. I tried to hold back but it did not work. The pain in my throat was,,,um,,,,enough to bring tears to my eyes. I had to go. My wife understood, in fact she suggested it. I came home and popped a pain pill. It was a while before that pins and needles feeling left. My daughter Vanessa was worried about me the whole drive home from the restaurant. Whew! Glad that is over. Other thing that happened was that Nessa had the guy waiting on tables thinking I was a deaf mute or something. lolol I had to explain to him in writing of course the reason I could not talk was due to throat surgery. lololol Only other thing I did not tell my wife yet was when I was at Staples. I wanted to know about the new Netbooks that have there. I and the sales associate was text messaging with our cells to answer and ask questions. That was funny!!!!!!! Well anyway, today is a new day. I find it hard to swallow today. Maybe part to my allergies. I took allergy medication which should help. Been sleep all morning due to taking pain meds earlier in morning. My wife and children went to the church. She just texted stating heading to the store. I can't go to the movies with her and the girls today due to I may fall asleep or sneeze due to some irritant that happens to be there as far as smells. That's okay. Tennille will take my place. lololool Charlie decided not to go. Man! They are going to see Obsessed too! Well, have to wait for the dvd. llololol I will be so glad when I am healed. Just got a email from the vocal therapist asking if I can come in 8:30 Tuesday morning. I said yes of course. That day will be the day I can officially say a few sounds. I think they will probably scopy me to see what it looks like and that it is healing well. Well I think that is about it. I am still not as confident in my voice right now, but I am depending on the love of God to bring me through so I can do what I love to do. That is sing to God's glory, let the voice of God come through me, and pray someone is listening. Talk to you later, especially if something happens later today. olololol

Life after vocal cord polyp removal surgery

April 23
Let's see. Let's play catchup. I first started having vocal problems last year. Started with chronic hoarseness, then came the pain. Almost like a streak of lightning going from jawbone to collarbone. Then my vocal range diminished. I could only hit notes within my range and falsetto. Nothing in between. By this year 2009, the falsetto left. Then the normal range started diminishing. My singing time diminished from 2 hours to just barely finishing 30 minutes to nothing. That's when I had to go to an ENT. Visited Dr. Workman's office here in Wilson. He did a scopy of the area with a tube through my nose type deal. He saw "The Bump" as I will call it. He advised I go to his office in Greenville, NC. They had more equipment, an larynascopy machine to take a better look at the area. To make a long story short, after vocal exercises plateaued and after I could not sing at all, the surgery date was agreed upon. I would rather have had it earlier than April 21st, due to the fact I missed the Easter play, singing that is, and instead I was in the play itself as a minister(preacher) for Lazarus' funeral. I would have much rather been on stage singing with my fellow choir mates. I was feeling really low up to that point, feeling like I was not carrying my weight. Didn't want to bring my wife down too much though, but she kinda knew how I felt anyway. We are one you know. (smile) The strange part about that night is I wasn't going to say anything as I walked behind Lazarus' casket. I had in fact asked Deacon Joyce what was going to be said. I also had something written down just in case it was quite walking down the aisle. It was one of the funeral prayers from a real Jewish funeral. I did my research. So when we were coming down the aisle there was silence. Although I had a lot of words on that page, I kinda judged how long the aisle was with the words and read only a portion of them with a little improvisation. Still listening to the songs sung made me want to be on that stage. The day of the surgery, both Gigi and I was nervous. I couldn't keep still. We left the house in time to get there at 10:30 am to the Surgicenter in Greenville. We were suppose to be there by 11 am. That was okay though. Gave me a chance to not rush. We registered. Then sat down in the waiting room. The surgery was at 12 pm. They went through the normal routine. Getting weight, height, blood pressure. My blood pressure was high. Before I went out from the anesthesia it was someting like 179/109. Gigi later told me they gave me some when I was on the operating table and it went down. So I guess that is something I will have to address later. I don't like the high blood pressure medicine because it had made lifestyle changes in which the fella can relate. My surgery came out good. The doc says my voice should be better than ever once healed. " The Bump" turned out to be non cancerous which did have me concerned. My mom, my last two relatives all had throat problems. My last 2 aunts died of complications either from the throat cancer or the cancer itself. Thank God for His protection!!!! Where am I at now? Now, I have to go 7 days without saying a word, no coughing, sneezing hard or anything. I am out of work for this week. I don't really get bored but I need to move around. I have been washing clothes, cleaning up some, and on the computer to keep my mind things. Gigi is and has been great! She is such a wonderful wife and friend!!!! Staying totally quiet has been tough. I have messed a bit and talked a little, not loudly. I even got so nervous I emailed the ENT. I told her about the talking. She said not to worry. I wasn't loud talking. She said from this point on don't say anything. I have a doctor's appointment next Tuesday with her and Dr. Workman I believe. I am just going to wait this out. I love my choir, church, clergy, pastor. They have prayed for me and checked on me. Juleta, the food is wonderful!!! Thanks!!! Much better than applesauce and bananas. lolol I am now on day 2 of staying quiet. I will try to do a day by day thingy concerning my thoughts.

Life after vocal cord nodule removal

April 24
Another day has gone by. It has been 3 days since the surgery. Yesterday evening I got through it pretty well. Do you know it is almost impossible to control young children without a voice? I guess they think a parent has no voice, we have no power. lololol Amazing that after any kind of surgery, one can be weak. Well anyway today, I woke up coughing which is a no-no. Kinda hurt tho. I took a couple of my pain medication and the antibiotic. Don't worry! I made sure I ate a little something before taking the medication. I decided to try a suggestion my wife made. She believed I could eat some fish. Mash it up real well and make sure the bones are out. Seem to be going pretty good until I found some bones in it. Anyone that knows me, knows that if I find any kind of bones in filet fish, that I won't eat no more of it. Still it was a good suggestion. The not speaking is getting easier. I could not do it without my wife though. In the morning she tells me she is getting ready to leave. Before she finishes the sentence she always says don't talk reminding me in my sleepy state not to talk. lololollol Just taking one day at a time. My wife went to choir practice last night. I miss going. I miss singing. They are preparing for choir day. The date for the choir day got moved to July 26th I believe. I look forward to being healed by then and at full strength voice wise. What will be hard is learning the songs correctly. I am behind in that endeavor. I have done this before a few years back for male chorus day. I didn't know if I could sing then. Thought I would have to work, but due to someone at work switching days with me I was able to sing. So in a 5 days, I had to learn 7 songs, some of which I had a solo part or some part in it. If it had been 8 songs, I don't know if I could have made it. lolololol What am I feeling now? I feel like there is a lesson somewhere in this. One lesson is to take care of my body and not be afraid to go to the doctor if need be. Another is to be more prepared for singing by proper warmup and warmdown. Another is to not take my voice for granted anymore. To sing more with my wife and family at home. I thought I was doing a good thing by not singing at home so that my wife would be surprised when I do sing a song in front of people. I think now, I will sing any chance I get, bonding more with her, you know? But the main lesson I believe is that whenever and whatever I sing, sing to God with love and reverence. Let Him feel the love and above all, let me know and feel what God already knows about me. That I love Him and I would not even have a voice if not for Him. Until then, I must continue to be obedient to recommendation by Dr. Workman and Dana Gribble. You know, that first note that I am finally able to produce will be the most nervous time in my life. lolololol What else am I feeling? That I need to build my confidence level back up as well. It is down right now. Well let me go. That pain medication is kicking in pretty good. I feel no pain right now. lololololol