Today is 3 months since my heart and double lung transplant. To celebrate the 3 months I was planning on going to visit the intensive cardiac care unit where I spent 7 weeks. Unfortunately Carol is coming down with a cold so I’ll have to visit them another day, but the nurses were invaluable to me and my family. The night nurses were especially memorable as the most difficult times for me were after dinner and early morning. Not a lot of sleeping happened in the icu.
Today I had my ENT appointment. To sum up, my left vocal chord isn’t functioning properly… the doctor used the word paralyzed.. and because of this my right vocal chord is compensating and air is leaking out. When I laugh, yawn, take a breath to talk when I’m already using my breath, I start to cough because my vocal chords aren’t strong enough to control the air flow.
I have an appointment with the ENT again in 3 months to see if the vocal chord has healed further. If it doesn’t get better and I’m still coughing and irritated, they’ll have to do surgery. He said they’d put local anesthesia while I’m a awake, make a cut in my throat and lift the flap to get to the vocal chord. At that point they’ll put plastic (the teflon…) on my left vocal chord to support it and help my voice stronger and my cough productive. In between now and the next 3 months I will have to go back and get the surgery if one of my pulmonary or cardio-thoracic surgeons calls the ENT and says they need him to do the surgery because they’re concerned about potential lung infections due to aspiration. We shall see.