A ray of hope…

As many of you know I’ve been struggling with breathing issues for months. Last week, I finally got a diagnosis that made sense of one of the most difficult symptoms to deal with  – the inability to talk fluently. For months, I’ve hardly been able to communicate as my voice hasn’t been consistent and I’ve been speaking in staccato, trying to get in a breath in every few words.

As somebody who has made their living from talking, either teaching in a classroom or as a speaker at conferences the consequences of this have been extremely difficult to deal with.

After being diagnosed with Vocal cord dysfunction (VCD) last week I met with a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) today. Not only did she make the assessment fun (a huge achievement in itself) but she has offered a ray of hope.

She believes that I have a rare condition – functional (or muscle tension) dysphonia. The good news about this is, that while rare, with intensive therapy she thinks that I can probably get my voice back within a few weeks.

I’ll need to learn good vocal hygiene to protect my voice generally and specific exercises to treat myself in case of a reoccurrence of functional dysphonia but there is a ray of hope!

I finish steroids this week so hopefully my problems from steroid toxicity will start to reverse soon; without my being fully reactive to everything again as I was when I tried to come off them the last few times.

Though last week’s anaphylactic reaction wasn’t a good sign.

Hopefully my Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome (RADS) will improve with time and my allergies and hyper-responsiveness won’t be so quick to react and with rehab. I’ll be able to get back to a relatively normal life once more.

So here’s to a specialist who not only made a difficult assessment fun, but also offered a ray of hope for both my immediate future (next few weeks) and my long-term future.

Thank you!


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