I've had seasonal allergies for as long as I can remember. Living in Lexington, those allergies are exacerbated exponentially. Last I heard, Lexington was ranked one of the top 5 worst cities for Allergy sufferers, so I chalk any kind of cough, throat, or stuffy nose issue to being a Lexington Resident.
Anywho, over the past year, my voice has continued to get more & more raspy. I'm not exaggerating when I say that on most mornings, I sound like I smoked a carton of Marlboros & its painful to get words. Again, I just figured it was all related to my allergies.... Probably a pretty accurate assumption, seeing how I have so much medical training & all. Oh wait, not. at. all.
|Beautiful Scenery = horrendous allergies|
So after the combination of dealing w/ people asking me on a daily basis if I was sick & then one of my customers told me I might have a thyroid issue, I finally took the bull by horns & made an appointment with my ENT (Ear, Nose, & Throat specialist).
I assumed that the ENT would just ask me a few questions, do a quick diagnosis, and write me a script for some miracle product that would help my voice.
I. Was. So. Utterly. Wrong.
Much to my surprise, homeboy looked at his watch & told me he had time to do a full scope today. He sounded really excited about it, so it never entered my mind that a scope would be a bad thing. Um, don't worry kids, please look at the little camera gadget that was stuck down my nose so my ENT could get a better look at my throat. Its cute mini size is beyond deceiving because it was a devil machine.
ENT Homeboy was excited because that little number is not only a camera, but it is also a flashlight & a magnifier. Its like the Swiss Army Knife of doctor gadgets. If it hadn't hurt like hell, I would have probably been pretty pumped about it too.
Anywho, the scope ended up showing the ENT exactly what was causing my voice to mimic that of a 59 year old with emphysema. What? You all are dying to see the gorgeousness that is also known as my vocal chords?? Well, as luck would have it, I kept the pictures. They're obviously pretty frame worthy.
**(Side note- I feel like I should preface this picture because it is kind of ummm, graphic.)**
Let me decode for yall:
Top pic: My vocal chords w/out me talking--> note that you can still vocal chords (diamond shape in the middle)
Bottom Pic: My vocal chords w/ me trying to talk --> Note you can't see the little diamond shape at all.
So, what does that mean? Apparently, I have Stage 4 Vocal Chord Nodules. What? you've never heard of them? Yeah, me neither. But apparently, Adele has been suffering from this same affliction, which is why she recently underwent surgery to get them removed. Yes, I said surgery. The worst thing about Vocal Chord Nodules is that there are ZERO medications to help them improve.
Oh & Don't worry, along with weekly speech therapy, they gave me this handy little sheet with explicit instructions on pointers to possibly downgrade the nodules to a lower stage.
So, if you see me out, please sweet Jesus, don't ask me about my voice. #1, it takes forever to explain, and #2, while I'm explaining this random affliction to you, I'm having to talk more, which ends worsening the dern nodules. Its a lose lose kind of situation. But who knows, maybe I'll end up sounding like this after I eventually give in the the notion of getting them surgically removed.
Moving on, regardless of that little roadshow, I'm finally in the Christmas Spirit. Don't believe me? Our friends' annual Tacky Xmas Party last night, and I love this party more than I love Halloween. I'm not kidding.
One year, I was a life-sized stocking.
|Feel free to stuff me full of wine. Thanks.|
|Clearly, Kevin loved it.|