Some Unexpected Good News

Feb 04

A few days ago, I had a follow-up appointment with my vocal cord surgeon.  Honestly, I think he is extremely good at what he does (ok, like the best out there), but let’s just say his clinical bedside manner and my sensitivity haven’t always worked well together.  In fact, he was the very first specialist to perform a swallowing test on me in 2008, just a few months after my stroke.

As you can imagine, there are all sorts of mixed emotional associations with him and his office.  I quite vividly remember him asking me at that first swallowing test, “Do you actually think you are swallowing?”  It felt like he had stabbed me in the back.  So many hopes were dashed in his office that first visit nearly 5 years ago.  However, this most recent visit might have finally redeemed his office in my mind.


Last Spring, I had a surgery on my paralyzed, right vocal cord (postings here and here).  In some of the follow-up appointments, he noticed that my swallow was still very impaired.  The main issue, if your swallowing is not working properly, is that you can get liquid/food down into your lungs which can cause huge issues, including pneumonia, infection, lung damage, etc.  It wasn’t a major news flash that my swallowing was not normal, but to have a doctor (especially this doctor), confirm that again was very sad.


At this recent appointment, we performed the typical swallowing test, which involves having a spaghetti-like camera shoved down my nose and into my throat.  Then, I swallow various foods, dyed with food coloring, to see if they go down my esophagus or accidentally go down into my lungs.  Amazingly enough, after doing my normal eating technique, the doctor said that my throat was totally clear and none of the food went into my lungs.  Now, my swallowing is far from normal, and sometimes things definitely don’t work as they should, but to hear this unexpected bit of good news confirmed by a doctor was fabulous!  WOOHOO!


God is so good to give us the boosts we need when we need them, right?  Moreover, to see God’s redemption in people and relationships is one of the most amazing experiences in life.  The pain of that particular doctor’s office will always be there to a certain degree, but now, the hurt associated with it is overwhelmed by the hope that has been found there.

{Jay goes to doctors often, but not usually for himself.  Hilariously, He did end up getting in on the ENT action — here}

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