My appointment was this afternoon. I was stressed out trying not to get my hopes up but... too late. I grab any glimmers of hope I can get and then pay for it later.
I left the house early and stopped at my doctor's office here so I could sign a release to have my records sent to the new guy.
It was a gorgeous day here. The temperature was under 40 degrees but it was really sunny and bright. I hadn't gotten my car washed yet after the last snow and the grime was getting to me. I ended up getting off the highway in search of a car wash. That was a whole little side fiasco time suck that ended up stressing me out because I cut it too close time wise. Then when I got to the office I completely forgot about getting cash for parking. I parked in another business' visitor parking across the street hoping I wouldn't get towed. I found out from the receptionist that I could park there after I got in the building.
The doctor came to the waiting room and got me himself. His clinic has an edgy look with beautiful Colorado pictures framed in black and wood floors and very modern fixtures. He's probably around 5'7" tall but carries himself with confidence. A lot of times I get a vibe from men that are shorter than I am that I didn't get from him. He was dressed all in black which I found a little disarming. He explained later that he doesn't wear a white coat because they aren't magic (I did not ask, it just came up in the conversation). He gives great eye contact which is something I always take note of when meeting people. I'm also an eye contact person and it bothers me when that is limited. Yes, he is very good looking... which is something I don't really like in a doctor. LOL! And... he is young. I didn't care about the rule where you don't ask people their age and asked anyway. He's 36.
We went over my history and he took a look at my vocal chords. That requires a camera being threaded down my nose and into my throat. I tried to be a big girl but my eyes watered the whole time. He got onto me about my whispering. That is a compensatory behavior that has created some additional problems and I have to stop... and go back into speech therapy. Speech therapy does not help with SD but now I've added muscle tension with the whispering that I'm going to have to work on. Oy.
The doctor wants to try botox his way before we talk surgery. He was trained by Dr. Berke in California and he has done the surgery 8 times himself. He's actually speaking at the NSDA conference in May against surgery. It really is a last resort. He will do the surgery for me if I give him 3-6 months to see if he can help me without it (he usually makes people wait a year). He has a patient that had it that he wants me to get together with. And, quite frankly, he did a good job of freaking me out about it. I would have a scar across my neck ala Frankenstein. I would not be able to swallow at all for up to two weeks. I would not be able to talk for up to 6 months. People have had to have emergency tracheotomies due to the surgery... it can be life threatening. It is a major surgery with a very long recovery time. The results are not guaranteed and the damage can be devastating. Sigh...
I have a combined case of AD/AB Spasmodic Dysphonia. The AD part is the bigger problem but the combination makes things more difficult to treat. If you don't know what I'm talking about I have a blurb on my sidebar about SD. He's going to inject a small dose of botox into each vocal chord nerve from the side. The thing that is nice is that he does injections whenever he needs to... no only one day a month at his clinic and then waiting a month if the injection didn't work. He will call 5 days later and if we haven't gotten the desired result I will go back in to do it over at no charge. Of course, none of this will work if I am truly botox resistant. I did have it work twice though so I wonder about that. As soon as our insurance gives the thumbs up I will be headed back up there for the injections and speech therapy.
You know... there are people with SD that get just 3 or 4 injections a year and no one would even know they have SD. Wouldn't that be something if this doctor could do that for me?!?!! He thinks he can. I hope he's right!