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Old 09-28-2008, 03:50 AM   #1
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tosh23 HB User
Vocal cord paralysis

Searching the net to find information on vocal cord paralysis I found this site and was fascinated to find others going through the same experiences as me. I had never heard of the condtion until I had it. I have had hoarseness since May, what seemed like a bout of laryngitis didn't go away. I had a couple of courses of antibiotics - no difference. I was also told to stop taking my steroid inhaler as this can cause this problem. I had partial thyroidectomy 10 years ago and have asthma so am used to breathing difficulties and tightness in the throat but this was so strange. The feelings of running out of steam when I was trying to say something and not being able to cough properly; as well as choking when drinking, especially tea (I was OK with food) really get you down.
I was diagnosed in August as having right side vocal cord paralysis. I had MRI and CT scans a few weeks ago, which have just come back clear, thankfully - this had been my main worry as I lost my Mother last December to thyroid cancer and it was scary having similar symptoms and treatment to her.
Also in the last few weeks my voice has come back to almost normal and swallowing not really a problem, so good in fact I do not need filler injections or speech therapy - even though the cord is still paralysed, I am compensating.
I am grateful for this and know a lot of you have suffered much worse, so bravely but I still don't have an answer as to what caused it. My asthma has been bad lately and I have been told I need steroid treatment again but am scared that if this was the cause the same could happen to my good cord.
Is anyone else just living with it indefinately without any real symptoms? Once it looks like a permenant condition do they insist on trying to fix it? Also what is the MMMs and NNNs thing, is this something I should know about?
I know I have waffled on a bit but it is relief to talk to people who understand. Thank you for being out there!. Cheers!

 
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Old 09-28-2008, 06:30 PM   #2
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frenchfri HB User
Re: Vocal cord paralysis

Hi tosh23,
I just had a thyroplasty on June 10th for my paralyzed vocal cord and I must say it's one of the best things I have ever done! Although my voice isn't where it should be yet, I know it's going to get there one day! The MMM's and NNN's is a speech therapy technique I'm pretty sure...but that's all I know about it (sorry I'm not much help in that department). Like you, I had never heard of a paralyzed vocal cord until I was diagnosed! I'm glad to hear you're voice has gotten better! Keep me updated!
Frenchfri

 
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Old 09-29-2008, 01:18 AM   #3
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tosh23 HB User
Re: Vocal cord paralysis

Thanks for the support. It is encouraging that your surgury was successful, hope your voice continues to improve.

 
Old 09-30-2008, 07:26 PM   #4
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julyg HB Userjulyg HB User
Re: Vocal cord paralysis

Hi to both of you, and frenchfri I am so pleased you are doing well!

I can explain the m and ns. After having ACDF cervical spine surgery my (they cut the front of throat) my right vocal cord was paralyzed. I was misdiagnosed for 2 months and I was aspirating liquids and had a high breathy voice or energy. After doing traditional speech therapy without success I opted for a surgical filler. The first one lasted 1 month. What heaven having almost my voice back and what torture knowing that after my 2nd filler I would have limited time with a voice and we were just buying time, hoping the nerve would come back.

I reached out to every major university voice department head and received a reply from Yale University Hospital. Lynn Acton who is a speech therapist. She sent me new exercises using words which have m and ns. These exercises force the vocal cords to move. She also suggested 3 isometric exercises I was doing with previous speech therapist had no place in vocal cord paralysis therapy.

Please search archives on this board by typing "vocal cord paralysis" or "paralyzed vocal cord" in the search box and you will see where I have explained the exercises in detail.

Do you get the vocal cord pain at the end of the day from strain?
Drink tons of water with a straw and please do not throat clear or whisper. Those will create more damage. If you get hoarse or start to lose your voice sip water right away and it clears your voice.

After I initially posted my story here Karmer from Austraila contacted her and she was sent a power point presentation from Lynn Acton!

I credit her with much of my recovery. And even more amazing we were charged nothing by Yale! They are truly wonderful professionals.

I have met several people who suffer from this and just give up and choose to live with the condition. I could not and would not. I fought very hard for my voice every day. You change your diet and you exercise your vocal cord 3x a day. The diet is the GERD diet and everything you avoid on that diet is bad for your vocal cords so it really helps in your recovery.


P.S. Frenchfri how do you like yhe sound of your new voice?

Julyg

Last edited by julyg; 09-30-2008 at 07:31 PM.

 
Old 10-13-2008, 08:59 PM   #5
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frenchfri HB User
Re: Vocal cord paralysis

Hey july!
I'm doing pretty good, however, I did find out that my vocal cord surgery was unsuccessful. I posted a more detailed explanation a few days ago. My doctor suggested these permanent injections. I think you only have to do them once but I don't know much about them yet. What was your experience with injections and how long is the recovery period? Thanks!

 
Old 10-15-2008, 08:23 AM   #6
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tosh23 HB User
Re: Vocal cord paralysis

Hi Frenchri

So sorry things did not go as well as you hoped but don't give up on this yet - you still have some options.
What do they use as an implant?
Thanks to both you and julyg for replying, I am doing OK, sorting my asthma out and back on steroid inhaler from tomorrow so I will see what happens. My voice is fine, been singing and doing some m's and n's! My good cord does get tired though, sort of cramp after exertion. I don't know if it will go on being this good but I won't knock it while it lasts.
I will keep reading your updates and offer you both my vey best wishes.

cheers
tosh23

 
Old 10-16-2008, 08:52 PM   #7
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frenchfri HB User
Re: Vocal cord paralysis

Thanks Tosh.
I'm not quite sure what they used for my implant (I want to say silicon but I'm not sure this is correct). I was kind of out of it at the time so I don't remember a lot! How is singing going for you? I used to take singing lessons a few years ago (before we found out about my vocal cord) but I always got dizzy when I tried to hit the high notes. My doctor said this was because I was having to work so hard to force air out since I had the paralyzed vocal cord. I think I'm going to start again soon which makes me kind of nervous since the surgery didn't work. I'll keep my fingers crossed that you continue to do well!
Thanks,
frenchfri

 
Old 08-21-2011, 09:55 AM   #8
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prettysue HB User
Re: Vocal cord paralysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by tosh23 View Post
Searching the net to find information on vocal cord paralysis I found this site and was fascinated to find others going through the same experiences as me. I had never heard of the condtion until I had it. I have had hoarseness since May, what seemed like a bout of laryngitis didn't go away. I had a couple of courses of antibiotics - no difference. I was also told to stop taking my steroid inhaler as this can cause this problem. I had partial thyroidectomy 10 years ago and have asthma so am used to breathing difficulties and tightness in the throat but this was so strange. The feelings of running out of steam when I was trying to say something and not being able to cough properly; as well as choking when drinking, especially tea (I was OK with food) really get you down.
I was diagnosed in August as having right side vocal cord paralysis. I had MRI and CT scans a few weeks ago, which have just come back clear, thankfully - this had been my main worry as I lost my Mother last December to thyroid cancer and it was scary having similar symptoms and treatment to her.
Also in the last few weeks my voice has come back to almost normal and swallowing not really a problem, so good in fact I do not need filler injections or speech therapy - even though the cord is still paralysed, I am compensating.
I am grateful for this and know a lot of you have suffered much worse, so bravely but I still don't have an answer as to what caused it. My asthma has been bad lately and I have been told I need steroid treatment again but am scared that if this was the cause the same could happen to my good cord.
Is anyone else just living with it indefinately without any real symptoms? Once it looks like a permenant condition do they insist on trying to fix it? Also what is the MMMs and NNNs thing, is this something I should know about?
I know I have waffled on a bit but it is relief to talk to people who understand. Thank you for being out there!. Cheers!
Hi, I am so sorry about your condition, I also am going through a aweful condition like You ! I had a tumor,goiter,non-cancerous, thank God on cancer size of a large bake potato, removed on Aug 2, issues with this was, was could not breath well, choking my wind pipe, hard to swallow, and could not eat well.If I got upset, I felt like I was choking to death, so I had to remain calm and let go of issues. Now since this serious operation, I cannot TALK, my vocal cords are not working, and I get so frustrated when I try to Talk to communicate, doctors rushed me back in to Hospital, to see if I had a Stroke, Cat scans, than had < 2 > MRIS, to prove NO Stroke,Thank God, as my vital signs are GREAT, Blood Pressure is Good to excellent etc.. I can swallow much better, Eat normally Now but slowly, was told I have to learn how to ea again, swallow and breath again,! Just cannot talk, and my Neck is very sore still, like a stiff neck and feels so tight at times,I still cannot bend backwards, it hurts so bad at times, like in shower or trying to look up to the sky, can't.,,I since have taken myself off pain pills as they make me feel sleepy and so tried at times,,, I am upset and frustrated, but since yesterday, finding this web page is making me feel much better. I appreciate these posts , and it explains to me that I am not the only one going through this !!

Thank You for reading this, Please if you have a few moments, get back to me!
a Friend Prettysue in NY, and Hawaii

 
Old 08-22-2011, 05:16 PM   #9
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prettysue HB User
Re: Vocal cord paralysis

I had major operation on Aug 2, Huge <large bake potato > Goiter removed, left thyroid was taken out to, due to the size of goiter in my Throat. Non cancerous. I woke up with a soreness, pain, and was told not to talk or drink anything until 24 hours later from Drs. Next day nurses, came in and I could speak one to two words but it hurt so they gave me morphine as my pain in throat was severe. Had over 300 stitches,inside , on the out side of throat across my neck 8 to ten inches roughly, was told I needed to heal, and don't over due. I listened went home and sleep alot due to pain killers. Now as days went by, Voice was harsh and only could speak a few words no sentences, frustrated, as it was so hard to do. I called drs, and they were very concerned, rushed me back into hospital, thinking maybe I had a stroke during operation, or after , so I went through cat scans, 2 MRIS, wow, 12 hours with needles, to poking around etc, on Friday, Aug 19, NO STROKE all Tests came back negative. Blood and Vitals signs are Great.This brings me to today Monday,Aug 22, I went to go see my regular Doctor, and He is 100% shocked at this situation, daughter in law went with me to speak for me, She told him, I had a call from disability, and tried so hard to talk to communicate with her on phone, and all of a sudden, lost sound from my vocal cords I was in so much pain again, like the first day <waking up from operation> recovery room> and now I <100%> lost all sounds from my voice box, I cannot even say one, two words, I whisper very low with no sounds at all, My left ear was even hurting after this, where I was crying, but after about an hour, the pain calm down and I was alot better, but I cannot talk at all, and hearing in left ear is not good ? Wave sounds like in left ear>echoing> weird, never had that before, He said it not sure why all this is happening, looked very puzzled, He is sending me to ENT asap Tommorrow, aspecialist in this field. He advised me not to attempt to whisper or communicate with anyone, allow someone to do your communicating for you. I fully understand why you are scared, but you have no Cancer, and you did not have a Stroke. I said Praise God, You are in excellent health and young, just keep yourself calm, and try not to worry. Can anyone reply to me, if you have had, same issues with thyroid , goiter operation removal, experienced these issues, It would help me to understand this situation much better. Looking forward to your replies ASAP, Thank You !
Prettysue from NY and Hawaii

Last edited by prettysue; 08-22-2011 at 05:25 PM. Reason: delete

 
Old 08-25-2011, 06:34 PM   #10
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pancholargo HB User
Re: Vocal cord paralysis

Hello, I had my right vocal cord cut during surgery. I received an implant but my voice is still did not improve. They scoped me and found that I developed a granuloma. This is just scare tissue. So last Friday, they injected me with steroids in my neck and my voice was back to normal!! I had not heard my normal voice in almost 8 months. After 4 days my voice became hoarse again and now I have to work really hard to get any sound out at all. My voice is worse than even before the implant. I am going back for another shot. This is so frustrating. I tried searching the internet for the best vocal cord doctor in the U.S. but it is impossible to know who is really good. I was thinking about going to John Hopkins in MD but I live in NW Florida and would have to spend tons on airfare and a cab. Hopefully the shots will help but I cant stand this much longer. Prettysue are they going to give you a trach? I really feel for you not being able to speak. I can barely get above a whisper but at work I pretty much cant talk at all all day because no one can understand me.

 
Old 11-04-2011, 02:40 PM   #11
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Ken45140 HB User
Re: Vocal cord paralysis

I just found this thread and am still searching for more forums or messages. I have come to know that online interaction with people who have or have had your same problem is one of the best and maybe only way to find good doctors and come to know what they are talking about.

I have a right paralyzed vocal cord (cause unknown) and a "bowed" left vocal cord, common they say with older people. I am a 68 year old male and have had this condition since May 1, 2011. I have been trying various approaches (speech therapy, PPIs for reflux, sleep on a wedge cushion) but nothing has helped. I met with a local ENT who said he has had good experience with injections (which offer only temporary relief/improvement) and good experience with implants, which offer a more permanent improvement.

I had injection medialization with Radiesse Voice, a chemical which bulks up the vocal cords and "pushes" their edges towards the centerline of the voicebox. Since they become closer together, there is less airflow loss and the voice is supposed to sound stronger. That was the description.

My procedure was performed on 10/25, 10 days ago, and right now my "voice" is worse than it was before the procedure. The doc said it might take up to two weeks to show improvement so I still have some time to go. I have been doing a lot of research/searching and have found precious little information. Some good statistics of "improvement" (60% up to 80%) on injection medialization; but i have found no papers or articles on patients who have BOTH vocal cords injected.

I am anxious to talk with people (like folks in this thread) who have this problem. I am especially interested in sharing research findings as well as names of ENTs or vocal surgeons who have a reputation of success in this field. Another one of my search efforts is to try and find people who have had success with implants (and possibly injections) for paralyzed vocal cords.

Please write back with reactions, comments, questions, etc. I am happy to have more conversation.

Thanks,
Ken in Loveland Ohio

 
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