A stroke, vocal cords & knitting!

It’s a month since I blogged, which tells me all kinds of things. No, I’m not 100% yet. Yes, I’m keeping up well with work, but it takes a toll. Yes, it’s too cold in my home office to spend much time in here!

I went to the Dr after seeing the ENT and she confirmed the stroke diagnosis because I have “foot drop” on the same side as the frozen vocal cord and lazy hand (which has healed already). She’s sending me to a neurologist for a check-up. A month on from the ENT specialist appointment  I keep telling people my voice is healing but, in reality, the improvement is pretty minimal so this is certainly a long husky road.

Over the last couple of months I have edged ever so slowly towards my goal weight of 75kg. I’ve felt okay being 77-78kg but it would have felt like a giant fail if I didn’t meet the surgeon’s goal weight for me. I’ve read about a lot of people who never got there, or regained, and I am determined not to go down that path.

July 2017In the last couple of weeks I have reached my goal weight, which just feels so good. And now, bizarrely, I am losing weight a bit quicker again, and am down to 72.8kg this morning. I was told I’d probably go lower eventually, and suspect I may end up sitting around 70kg.

knittingOn the doing side, it’s too cold to craft much in my office so I have taken up knitting again – something I haven’t done for 25+ years and something I was never that good at. I’ve competed one jersey, the front of another, and am taking a break from the 12ply and big needles to knit a 4ply Merino jersey for a library friend. It’s nice to sit in the lounge in the evenings with Tony and have something to do.

 

Turning into Darth Vader

A few days after I got out of ICU and HDU my voice became very quiet and husky for no apparent reason. If I try too hard to get real volume, or say a lot at once, or even talk too fast, I can get a bit dizzy. The doctors didn’t seem too concerned and thought it would come right in a few days.

My own Doctor thought it was inflammation from being intubated and said if it wasn’t right by the end of the month I’d need to see a specialist.

When I saw Mr Glenn Farrynt, to get the results of the MRI of my bowel, he strongly recommended more surgery otherwise there is a chance of another obstruction. I wanted to wait until I felt stronger but he said it was much riskier to operate with an obstruction because it makes me so sick.

His only hesitation was my voice; he wanted me to see an ENT urgently to ensure my airway was safe. In the meantime, he set a tentative date of 19 June for exploratory surgery and to fix whatever they found at the same time.

I saw the ENT, Mr Wayne Butt, on June 6. He put a camera up my nose and into my airway – which was as awful as it sounds. I’d said I wouldn’t let them do that, but he was so nice and gentle I didn’t feel I could refuse! My left vocal cord is totally paralysed, which explains my voice. He said even with heavy sedation it is rare to aspirate so he feels my airway can’t be trusted for now, especially as we also don’t know what caused the paralysis but have to assume it was damaged during intubation. He wants to see me again in three months because he’s hopeful my airway will heal on its own. There is nothing they can do it repair it but, if it doesn’t heal, they can improve my voice.

One thing we haven’t explored yet, which might explain a lot, is that since I came out of hospital my left foot sort of thumps down, particularly when I’m tired. I also tend to rest my left hand in my lap some of the time. There’s been some talk of a small stroke, but I didn’t want to explore the possibility. I might need to now, if it explains the vocal cord paralysis.

All I can say is, I have earned every single kilo I have lost. If anyone thinks surgery is an easy way out, I have news for them…

orange jersey