Tuesday, August 13, 2013

M has sounded hoarse for A LONG TIME...

I started to notice it last winter. I would say it actually started around October or November of 2012 and it never went away! Someone having a hoarse voice doesn't seem like that big of a deal throughout the winter because it's a time when people are commonly sick. BUT as spring rolled around, I knew something wasn't right. I mentioned it to my husband and he didn't seem to think anything it was a big deal. Summer set in. it seemed like it took M effort to talk at times. Sometimes she would stop, not even mid-sentence, but in the middle of a word (to swallow) then continue right on with that she was saying. Soon after I started to notice this difference, my Mom's doctor found a lesion on her vocal cord. Could this be hereditary?

I was ready to make a special appointment, just to have it checked out. Hubs said it was just coincidence, but it was ALWAYS ON MY MIND. My mom has chronic bronchitis, she gets it really bad every year and she stays hoarse throughout the wintertime; Looking at it in that respect, it doesn't seem like it would be hereditary. I did feel better a few days later after hearing more about my mom, what caused it for her, and how they were going to "fix it" (non-surgically). 

M had a random appointment that I had to make and I mentioned it there (it was with one of the other pediatricians in our practice). He had a few more questions about what was going on with my mom before saying anything more about it (in relation to M). Her 2 1/2 year appointment was a couple weeks later with her regular pediatrician and I was planning on going more in-depth at that time. 

After bringing this up with her regular doctor, she noticed what I was talking about. A possible paralyzed vocal cord, polyps on her vocal cords, cysts, and even more things that didn't sound good at all... all possibilities of what could be causing this. She recommended a visit to the E.N.T. I called that afternoon and was able to get in nine days later. I was so happy to get an appointment so quickly. Our vacation was coming up, and a 10 hour drive would be a long time to think about horrible possibilities! 

During our E.N.T. appointment, M wouldn't say a word. The doctor tried and tried everything to get her to talk. He was very patient and ended up watching some videos of her talking on my phone. In the videos, he was able to see the pausing/swallowing and the effort it took to, sometimes, finish a sentence; he said this "swallowing" is the way kids "clear their throats." He decided against scoping her (I was very happy that we didn't have to put her through that) and said he was pretty positive this was caused by reflux. He said 90% of adults have reflux (that it just doesn't affect everyone the same) and 100% of kids have reflux (and it just doesn't affect them all the same). 

He prescribed Prilosec... with lots of instructions. The Prilosec came in a gel cap (that I have to break open and pour the medicine over yogurt or peanut butter or something). I have to make sure she gets EVERY bead that comes out of the gel cap! She has to take it in the evenings prior to dinner, she has to take it on an empty stomach (so she can eat an hour prior to taking this medicine) and she has to have dinner within 30 minutes to 3 hours after taking it. This appointment was 4 days before our vacation; I felt like this was quite the task. We were already going to be out of our routine, she's a snacker, and simply just remembering to do it while we were away. Of course I'll do what I have to do. I wanted to make sure she has what she needs to and I want to make everything better!!! 

It really wasn't hard to get into a routine of this; Although it is a bit easier not that we're home, doing our regular day to day activities. Of the 9 days we were on vacation, we only had one medicine mishap, but she's had it just as she's supposed to all the other times. She was supposed to have a 6 week check up after starting this medicine. The doctor said we should see a SMALL difference by 6 weeks and a huge difference at 12 weeks. Her appointment was scheduled for August 13th. I called and happily reported that myself and other family members can hear a difference in her voice!  After talking to them, with the differences we see, the 6 week appointment wasn't necessary. We go back in October and with the change I've seen so far, it sounds like we'll be able to avoid having her scoped, that this medicine is doing what we need it to do! 


  1. So glad to hear it all worked out. Those doctors always like to throw those scary diagnosis out there. I went through that waiting game last fall with my daughter and thankfully it all turned out fine.

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