I have felt very blessed to have others look outside of their own direct line of sight to "see me" in their 180. Thank you so much for the many prayers and words of encouragement you've sent. I want to give you an update on our trip to Vanderbilt's Voice Center yesterday. The halls and rooms there are lined with pictures of people like Reba McEntire and the Oakridge Boys, all famous patients who have had voice treatment there. There was much to be thankful for, not the least of which being that they didn't thread the foot long black cable through my nose and down my throat to see my vocal chords! Can I just say I was not looking forward to that again? ;) And there were no needles involved. By now you know that medical things are not my "sweet spot."
First of all, there was NO SCAR TISSUE.Woohoo! I've had 2 separate doctors, several years apart, show us pictures that revealed substantial scar tissue. The technology used yesterday was the most advanced thus far, but I don't want to be quick to chalk up the change to technology. I know many prayers have been offered for us, and I know God could've removed what has been confirmed by others more than once. The large scars we saw 2 weeks ago were gone yesterday!
After a thorough exam by 2 different doctors, they concluded that I suffered from some initial event/illness/occurrence while we were living in Asia that caused me to adapt the way I have produced voice. My vocal folds look very healthy (PTL!) but do not ever touch when I produce voice, and they should. That has created some other complications, and certain triggers have been bringing on these episodes of voicelessness off and on for the last 9 years. The doctors believe we can re-train my neurological pathways to produce my voice the way God intended, using vocal speech therapy and physical therapy. No surgery or medication needed. One of the doctors performed a short, but very painful procedure on part of my neck that seems to have helped already. No pain ... no gain. :)
Isn't it amazing .... suffering a physical "trauma" in the past created other problems that, left undetected/ignored/untreated, caused greater pain and difficulty, even diverting attention from the real cause? Lots of spiritual application there ...
So I'll go back in about 3 months for a re-evaluation, but I'll begin a combo of physical and vocal therapy in my own homecity. I appreciate your prayers as I re-train this small, but critical part of my body and as God uses it, I have a feeling, to work on my character in the process. ;)
Other things I was thankful for:
- great weather to travel after it rained buckets the day before
- no needles or long cables down my nose ;)
- access to excellent medical help - we are blessed
- texts from friends, letting me know they were praying for us
- sweet car conversation time with Jeff (and that he could go w/me)
- doctors who were so thorough, kind, and instilled confidence
- an awesome friend who brought dinner for the kids while we were gone!
- the opportunity to be with my Bible study group before we headed to N'ville
- a great night's rest after a full day
Be sure to check out yesterday's giveaway of Jill Savage's book: Living With Less So Your Family Has More.