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Vocal cord/trach question

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Old 04-09-2011, 05:16 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Roseland, NJ USA
Posts: 2
SherryX2 HB User
Vocal cord/trach question

Hello all - I am new to this site and feeling a bit down about my situation enough to try and research things for myself.
I am a 42 year old female who had my first surgery in a local hospital for a left side/possible complete thyroidectomy on December 7, 2010. It was supposed to be pretty simple but my surgeon got in there and saw a big fat mess. Did the best he could and closed me up. I woke with a raspy voice and was assured that although he may have stretched and sressed the vocal cord, it was not cut. We decided to go to Sloan Memorial so the mess could properly be cleaned up. My ENT scoped me and to his surprise, saw that my right cord was paralyzed. The left side was what we were thinking and unfortunately, it appeared that the cancer (Papillary/Tall Cell Varient) was encased around my left vocal cord meaning that if he had to cut it out, I would wake with a trach tube. I was in shock and when I woke from my 2nd surgery on 2/18 with a trach heart fell.
It has now been 4 months since my original surgery and still have a raspy voice that squeaks by the end of the day. The trach tube causes a constant tickle in my throat and suctioning really "sucks" and I don't do it nearly as comfortably as the people I saw in the learning videos. It causes such spasms...I wonder if I'm doing something wrong. Having this trach is not something I am dealing with well and feel so inadequate as a usually active mom. I am exhausted and have no motivation. I am starting radioactive iodine next week so the diet really doesn't help. I'm sure my body is still trying to regulate the Synthroid and future adjustments may need to be made.
Does anyone have any words of wisdom or a similar story to share?
Is it really possible that the right cord, which we really aren't sure wasn't cut, will come back?
Is there a way I can get rid of the trach tube and perhaps my ENT is being overly cautious and waiting until after treatment due to possible side effects?
Right now, my cords are in a semi open position so I believe my airway is ok.
I'm just so frustrated and wish to swim with the kids again this summer!
Thanks for listening and for any information you can provide.

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Old 05-09-2011, 12:31 PM   #2
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Missouri
Posts: 81
bcoceo85 HB User
Re: Vocal cord/trach question

I had my thyroid removed 5 weeks ago and had micro carcenoma cells in the thyroid. It was spose to be an simple precedure and one over night stay. My surgeon paralyzed one of my para thyroids...removed one on accident and my calcium bottomed way out off the charts. I was lethargic and super tired and ended up stayin 3 days in the hospital with calcium thru an iv as well as 12 pills per day and another med that was prescription for the para thyroid.
I also had a raspy hoarse voice and still do to this day. My right vocal chord is paralyzed. At times, I think Im talking good and that it is goin to wake up, but then a few hours later I cant talk again. My breathin is horrible. I sound like an 80 yr old woman with emphasema that has run a marathon. I get exerted and out of breathe just walkin upstairs or even tryin to talk.
My surgeon says he wants to inject my vocal chord with something that will stimulate it but he cant promise that it will work, or if it does how long it will be effective.
Im kinda tryin to give it time to heal and wake up itself...but so far no luck.
I dont have a trach like u mention so Im not able to help with that.

Old 05-11-2011, 03:54 AM   #3
Join Date: May 2011
Location: York
Posts: 6
terrikronmeyer HB User
Re: Vocal cord/trach question

I am so sorry to hear about your situation. I too just had thyroid surgery for a monster goiter, but don't know results yet. I work with trach care and it must be hard doing the sxning yourself. If your secretions are dry you can ask your doctor to write you a script for little pink normal saline bullets that you can squirt a few drops into the trach hole and it can losen the secretions to help you clear your airway better. But it all will take practice. It is close to what we use for eye contact wearer solution.

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