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nats66 10-03-2007 04:21 PM

New Here. TT and vocal cord damage questions
Hi everyone. Glad i found this board, its been informative but i have some questions for anyone out there whom can relate.:confused:

I had a TT 4 weeks ago yesterday. Had a huge multi-nodular goiter that stuck out of my neck like a baseball on the right and half a baseball on the left. Thank God there was no cancer! Was told by my surgeon that the surgery was very difficult; the thyroid had wrapped itself around everything and it was a challenge getting all of it. Lost 1 para thyroid glad but found it and reattached it to the muscle. Saw the left vocal nerve but due to how massive the right side of the goiter was she never saw the right nerve.

ok so here i am 4weeks out. From a surgical standpoint i feel fine. Butttt....i have a weakened voice(not too bad, can live with it if i have to) and i cannot swallow thin liquids all the time. About 25% of the time i aspirate them and choke like heck. Went to a voice clinic yesterday and had a scope and swallow test and found out that my right vocal cord is not moving at all. They were talking about proceedures and surgeries to fix it but my ENT said it could take up to 6 months for this to come back and not rush and do anything quite yet. Anyone have any experience with this???

Also i am having a heck of a time getting my synthriod adjusted. TSH was 16 two weeks ago now this monday it is they upped me to.88 mcg. I know everyone is different but was wondering how long it took others to get adjusted. These hypo symptoms are horrible! Haven't been able to get back 2 work yet and since i am a single mom i really really need to but my job is very physically demanding and i know theres no way with the fatigue and foggy head that i can do it.

Thanks in advance for any advice you all might have! :)

Trish558 10-03-2007 11:38 PM

Re: New Here. TT and vocal cord damage questions
Hi Nats.....

Welcome to my world. :-) I had surgery 9 weeks ago. I still do not have my voice back either. My right vocal cord is not moving. It is stuck in the open position. I experience all of the same issues you do......Hate that choking thing! My voice is very weak....and when I try to talk loud in a crowded room I start to sound a bit like Donald Duck. If I'm ever in danger and need to scream, I'm in big trouble. My surgeon is still hopeful that my voice will come back on it's own. The nerve was not cut. I go back for a check up in 6weeks. From all the research I have done, most doctors won't try surgical procedures to fix this problem until almost a year. They want to make sure that medical intervention is really needed before they try anything. Just like you, I can live with this, but I'm still hoping it comes back. Prayer can be a powerful thing. :-)

Wishing you the Best!

cruisin 10-04-2007 08:34 AM

Re: New Here. TT and vocal cord damage questions
My vocal cords were not damaged during my TT, but my voice did remain weak for about 8 weeks post op. When my Synthroid dosage was increased to a more appropriate level is when I gained my normal voice back. Hang in there, it takes time.

marissamm 10-06-2007 07:41 AM

Re: New Here. TT and vocal cord damage questions
I had a tt 3 years ago my vocal cords were cut, i was told i would never talk again, 6 months later i was talking, as far as aspirating on liquids get liquid thickner it helps you can put it in anything, it taste terrible in cofee though, in the mean time as you drink put your head down and tuck in your chin that might help, but give it time it will heal.

julyg 10-12-2007 04:26 PM

Re: New Here. TT and vocal cord damage questions
Hi Nats and Patty

Sorry to share your vocal cord issues. If you search "vocal cord" on this board you will see most of my posts. I am a sales mgr/office mgr and use my voice for presentations daily and am the voice which answers the business phones. Previous to my paralysis I did voice overs for commercials and enjoyed singing. I had a great voice.

First and foremost be your own advocate! I know this is hugely difficult as you are choking and have no voice volume and speaking absolutely exhauts you, but you must do this as MOST PEOPLE HAVE NO CLUE WHAT YOU ARE GOING THROUGH.

My vocal cord was paralyzed as a result of surgery, anterior spine surgery where they cut through front of throat to work on spine in back of neck. My surgeon damaged the nerve causing the paralysis.

How to help.... I went to an ENT and scoured the net. I have never had a reflux issue but I found the following to help.

Adopt the GERD diet as you cannot afford any more damage to vocal cords.

Sleep with a wedge pillow so stomach acid cannot back up and irritate.

Eliminate all caffeine and spicy foods ( I know :mad: I was a coffee junkie and now I drink chamomile tea)

You must be hydrated! If you are not, you get this sticky saliva which makes everything back up.Drink room temp. liquids this stops the choking and excess saliva. Cold drinks make us choke!

Find yourself the BEST speech therapist (it really helps!)

I had 2 radience injections (minor surgery) in my vocal cord to fluff up (LASTS A FEW MONTHS!) cord which means you can speak and eat again withmuch less fear of aspiration. Do not fear this as it really helps.

I am now 1 year out from my surgery and my vocal cord is still 30% paralyzed. I faithfully do my exercises and follow this diet. I can speak, cannot sing, will not be doing any voice overs with current voice;) I try to limit my speech because at around 3:00PM every day I am in pain where my vocal cord is. My dr says it is the demand on my voice. (I have to work so.....)

Anyway I hope I have helped.


nats66 10-12-2007 06:50 PM

Re: New Here. TT and vocal cord damage questions

Thank you soooo much for your reply!!! It was very informative!! After reading it I felt like I had found someone who knows exactly how I feel. The sticky saliva in the back of my throat, the reflux (first time i choked on the acid I thought I was going to die!! LOL) , choking more on cold liquids; i thought the colder the better, thought it might reduce any inflamation down there. But now that I think about it I do choke more on colder liquids.
Never thought to check for vocal cords on this site but that is right where I am heading!
Thank you so much!:) You really have been a big help!

julyg 10-12-2007 08:19 PM

Re: New Here. TT and vocal cord damage questions
Hi again, Just thought I'd add a few thoughts...My vocal cord was not cut but "injured" causing paralysis during surgery.

When Drs are talking about not doing sugery for a year, they are referring to a permanant solution, a thyroplasty. I have not had that done.
I had my first surgical radience gel implant in December, 2 months after my spine surgery. It was a wonderful temporary fix and lasted 3 months. It was explained to me that this injection would not jepordize healing if it were to happen.

When I say wonderful I mean it sounded like someones normal voice, not quite mine. And I was still hoarse. For 4 days after the injection you are not allowed to say one word, as if your life depends on it. The reason is if you speak before healing the gel squirts? leaks? out, and you are back to no voice. So I wrote notes to everyone. My husband said I wrote more than I ever spoke. And I had a bell for help (was still recovering from major spine surgery AND could not speak) I was feeling very low.

You should be all over the net searching vocal fold and vocal cord paralysis.

Another tip avoid menthols and mints and mint teas, vert irritating to vocal cord and I thought it would help! Glad I checked before I put anything in my mouth.

Hope I have helped.


Trish558 10-12-2007 10:38 PM

Re: New Here. TT and vocal cord damage questions
Hi July & Nat.....

July, I came across your posts a couple of weeks ago and almost wrote you when I read your background. Every symptom was exactly as you said. You posted such great info! Nat, I so relate to what you are going through.

I just wanted to write you ladies a quick note of encouragement. I can't believe I'm writing you this......but 3 days ago....Tuesday voice came back! Oh my goodness, it was so totally out of the blue. It was just like someone (thank you Lord) turned on a switch! I went to bed Monday night with my very weak NO volume voice. I went to work Tuesday morning, spoke my first words of the day to a co-worker, and couldn't believe the sound that came out of my mouth! I was shocked. I could actually talk loud. I spent the rest of the day talking to everyone who walked by saying.....Can you hear me?....can you hear me now? There are still a few sounds I can't make yet, but for the most part my voice is almost normal again.

I just wanted to let you know there is hope! Stay encouraged.....It can happen when you least expect it! :-)

Blessings to you both!

julyg 10-13-2007 08:08 AM

Re: New Here. TT and vocal cord damage questions
Now thats a miracle! how long had you been with voice issues? The longer the time frame more likely not to resolve on its own. I pray for my miracle daily;)

Trish558 10-13-2007 09:45 AM

Re: New Here. TT and vocal cord damage questions
Hi July,

My surgery was August 9th and my voice returned on October 9th. I was told that one of my vocal cords was stuck in the open position. During that time I read everything on the internet I could find. It was a test, not to get discouraged. Aside from the physical discomforts and inability to communicate, I really missed singing at church.

I know you have gone through alot in the last year. I pray that there will be a day when suddenly your voice is restored. God is so good. But if God happens to have another plan for you, I pray He will give you the grace, peace and patience to accept it.

Blessings to you,

julyg 10-21-2007 09:46 AM

Re: New Here. TT and vocal cord damage questions
Thanks Patty!

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