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vocal cord/fold weakness with shortness of breath and low chest tightness

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Old 07-07-2007, 08:00 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Monroe, NC USA
Posts: 1
mario777 HB User
Unhappy vocal cord/fold weakness with shortness of breath and low chest tightness

Hi there,
I have been on a journey toward getting my singing voice back for about a year. I have been involved in music all of my life and about 15 months ago, after a trip to Europe to sing with my church choir, I developed a cough that lasted for 6 months. I also noticed a marked inability to hold notes when I sang. I had always been able to effortlessly hold a note for a long time, and on perfect pitch and with as much volume as I wanted. I thought that I had asthma, so had a breathing test which was normal. My family doctor prescribed advair to get over the cough and chest cold. The cough went away, but vocally, I continued to deteriorate.

I made several trips to the best ENT in my area and it was discovered that I had a ruptured vocal cord and they speculated acid reflux disease. I began Nexium and prednisone to clear up my ruptured cord and then had a throat stroboscope exam which showed a vocal cord weakness. I began vocal therapy to try to strengthen the vocal tract, and then had an injection of collagen to "beef" up my cord, but I still am having problelms singing. I have also developed a tightness in my lower chest that makes it hard to get a good cleansing, deep breath. Can anyone offer a suggestion as to what to try next, or if you'e had a similair problem. You see singing is my passion, and I am actually pretty much devestated by this. God Bless You All!

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Old 07-15-2007, 06:35 PM   #2
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 355
julyg HB Userjulyg HB User
Re: vocal cord/fold weakness with shortness of breath and low chest tightness


I am one of the few people who will understand what you are going through.

I had neck(cervical) spine surgery last Oct and the surgeon goes thru front of neck. During surgery the larengyal nerve was damaged causing my right vocal cord/fold to be paralyzed.

Vocal cords control voice, breathing and helps you not to choke (aspiration) with liquids or food matter going into lungs.

I have had 2 vocal cord injections to improve my voice, speech therapy, and nonstop exercises since late Nov 06.

Not many people understand how life altering this is.

Wasn't the recovery period from the injection with total vocal silence just the worst? My husband said I wrote more notes than I ever spoke.

For my profession I teach specialized classes and do voice overs so my income has been adversely affected.

I just get weary from the high demands of my voice and still trying to work.

There is an operation called a thyroplasty with a permenant implant that is usually considered after 1 yr of paralysis /damage. Have you looked into it at all?

I do not have reflux but found by following a GERD diet I am doing better.
I swear by chamomile tea (you do get used to it!) I used to be a total caffeine addict and now it is zero and it seems to help.

I am curious about the vocal exercises they are having you do. Care to share?


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