Greetings all! About 3 weeks ago I posted that I was starting to lose my voice - I am almost 6 months post op from a C6/7 ACDF with a partial Corpectomy. Like many, I had the squeaky voice for about 2 and a half weeks after surgery, then it seemed all done. No pain, no problems swallowing, talking, all was good in that area!
At just past the 5 month post op, I started losing my voice in 5-10 minute increments. No soreness, scratchy, nothing, just the voice got weird. High pitch would go, some words were "skippy" in how they came out. Then after a few minutes back to normal. At first this was only a few times a day, so I didn't think much of it then. By week 2, I was getting it near 10 times a day, and would last 30-45 minutes. I started to get puzzled because there was no pain, I didn't just finish yelling or anything like that. My husband even started noticing me losing my voice more frequently. I chuckled to ease his concerns, and told him the "good" thing is there isn't any throat pain.
This week it all changed! The voice issues aren't going away and are steady! I can't sing even the most basic song (not saying I was a singer to begin with mind you!), when I talk it sounds like I have laryngitis but with a big difference. When *I* have a cold that causes laryngitis, and I lower my voice to a whisper, you can't tell I have any problems, with this however, if I try to whisper, I have even worse problems speaking! The left side of my neck also feels weird - again no pain. Drinking liquids. 4 out of ten times I drink something, I end up chocking! I didn't have that before either.
Today we had a Professor of Neurosurgery from upper state NY at our location to speak with our officers about his success concerning an officer who was shot several times, locations to include the spinal area and back of the head. Excellent briefing! He then went on to discuss various conditions of spine problems that arise in this job...boy did I have a lot of eyes on me! During a break I asked him if I could ask him an "off the record" question concerning my voice. As I asked him that, he was looking at my throat. He asked me when my surgery was, and was my voice like this since the surgery. I advised him that I had the usual horse throat voice for about 2 weeks after surgery, then all was fine until about 3 weeks ago. He told me that he could "hear" by my voice patterns that I was exhibiting strong symptoms of vocal cord paralysis! He then advised me that for us "post surgical" types this far from the surgery, *most* times it is caused by the hardware moving and irritating the Recurrent Larygneal Nerve! This floored me, but in some ways, didn't surprise me?!? He of course followed that up properly that he can't give me a diagnosis without scans and a full work up. He advised I might want to see about getting a "Sagital CT Scan" (not sure of the spelling) so my doctor can see the soft tissues to be sure since an MRI and hardware don't make for clear enough viewing of the area. I asked him why if the hardware might be moving I had no pain. He basically said that all depends on how fast it moves, and what it hits! This has only taken 3 weeks to develop, so I was not a happy camper after this conversation!
My brain is screaming, "What next? This is ridiculous! I can't believe yet again, something else to deal with!" Did I mention nerves suck? Okay Brenda, breath, in out, in out..... Thanks all for taking the time to read this. Aside from getting this "out there" for my own psycho health, hopefully if someone else has something like this, it will be of help, or heads up? Take care, and again, thanks for listening!!!
PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.