Thursday, March 20, 2008

We take turns. That is one of the secrets to the relationship that I share with Chris. The most recent example is the lingering effects of Old Pueblo. As stated before during the race I had some issues. During the race Chris had some issues too. He found his breathing was restricted during exertion (a.k.a. riding his bike). His throat also became hoarse, but we did not give it much thought. Both of these issues lingered for a week or so. The breathing was really getting to him, so I made him an appointment. We had spoken to people and assumed it was some asthma thing. Chris has allergies and they are often a package deal. The first doctor he saw would not listen to anything he had to say. He just threw some prescriptions at him including something for heart burn because he mentioned he had some at OP on one of his laps. The inhaler he got did not work so a few days later he got another appointment with a doctor that he knows and likes. He did not offer much but got him an appointment with a pulmonologist. The pulmonologist gave him a better inhaler and nasal spray. He additionally diagnosed him with a deviated septum and an abnormally small esophagus. The latter actually makes sense if you have ever eaten with Chris, but the diagnosis agitated Chris who just wanted to be able to breathe as he did before when he unknowingly had a deviated septum and small esophagus. None the less, these did not work either. He tried prednisone also which did nothing. Finally, after speaking to a guy who was supposed to perform an upcoming exercise breathing test, he was told to see an Ear, Nose, Throat (ENT) doctor.
At the ENT, he was diagnosed with vocal cord paralysis. There is a nerve (RLN) that runs from the brain stem through the chest and by the vocal cords. When this nerve is damaged due to tumors or viral infections, it affects the vocal cords. Most people do not realize the impact on breathing but they complain of a hoarse voice for an extended period of time. So within one week, Chris had his ENT appointment, an MRI, and a CAT scan. The MRI showed that there was no tumor on the brain stem, but the thymus was suspiciously large. The subsequent CAT scan indicated that his thymus was not abnormal. The conclusion after three weeks worth of appointments is vocal cord paralysis due to viral infection.
There is absolutely nothing we can do for this. The ENT recommended a quality vitamin—Chris takes lifepak nano religiously. So now we play the waiting game and hope that his body repairs itself. This can take up to a year. I am hoping for something sooner.
Now that we have Chris figured out. It is my turn. I went to the doctor to discuss my knee which has not responded to rest, ibuprofen, and/or a cortisone shot. I spoke to Bart who suggested medial plical irritation. I am doing some exercises to see if that works, but in the mean time I have an appointment scheduled with an orthopedist. Hopefully, we will both be able to ride our bikes as we have become accustom really soon.


Adam said...

Hmmm. I had a hoarse voice in high school for over a year. I don't remember having trouble with breathing, but I spoke like a 75 year old smoking lady for my entire sophomore year. It went away eventually. I don't know what caused it. But maybe I had whatever Chris has.

I am Matt said...

I know how the viral thing can take affect. This happened to my mom. She looked like she had a stroke. Her whole face was useless and sloppy at best. She couldn't blink or talk very well. Its been a long recovery back, several years. Its still not like it was before, but she is alive and doing better. Take care and get better Chris.