Update May 2015

6 May

Blog update 6 May 2015

Another long over due update and lots has happen since February’s operations. One to improve the volume of my voice and the other to attached an titanium abutment into my skull to create a fixing point on my head for a BAHA (bone attached hearing aid) hearing aid. As I said in my previous post.

All went well on the day and I woke up feeling pretty good and not feeling too tired or sleepy from the anaesthetic, but I was talking a lot louder straightaway. But as I found out later, I should have been resting my voice for a couple of days after the operation. But no medical staff had told be this. A speech therapist should have come a see me whilst I was in hospital, but it took another 4 weeks for this to happen. After emailing my consultant after 4 weeks one morning not speaking to anyone about it. I actually got an appointment with the principle speech therapist on the same day. She was great and then told me that I should have rested my voice for a couple of days after the operation. Hindsight is a great thing! I then had 4 speech therapy session over 4 weeks with her which did really help me to understand how I could help my voice through different exercises. After the 4 sessions it was then decided that although the injection had improved my voice, their was still a gap in my throat between my good vocal cord on the right and the one that had stopped working on my left, which in reality is only about 1mm gap, but I have been told that I could still have another injection to push out the non working vocal cord to meet the good vocal cord better then hopefully I would get another increase in volume, which I definitely noticed after the first operation.

The BAHA abutment did take a few weeks for the settle down and for the skins around it to start to heal which did mean weekly visited to see the nurse, but after 5 weeks it was looking good. I was then booked in to get the actual BAHA hearing aid, which did take another 6 weeks for the appointment, but those finally happened on 27 April. So after getting my bonic ear clip on last week it’s been great and I have now got back my full hearing. The sound isn’t quite the same as my other ear, but with both ears working together I get a great surround sound, which also gives me back the ability to hear which direction sound is coming for. It has also help me in term of when I am anywhere where there is a lot of background noise and I have found even at parties I can hear well. So another thing to tick off as sorted.

At the beginning of April I had another one of my regular MRI scans to check on my neck and to see what’s going on in there and today I had an appointment with Mr Rubert Obholzer my consultant to review the scan and catch up on my progress. So Sue had the morning off school to come to Guys hospital with me. We was both feeling a bit nervous, as we had been told last summer there is still a very small trace of the tumour in my neck, but from August to December if anything it had reduced in size. So in the end it was a very positive appointment. Mr Obholzer explained a bit more about the tumour, that many people who had my sort of tumour often had small traces left, but often these are a very different sort of tissue and other people have lived with this sort of thing for 20 years with no problems. He has also booked me in to have another top up injection which will again be a general anaesthetic, as he believes this will again improve the volume of my voice, this should hopefully happen in the next 6 weeks and should only be a quick 30 minute operation. So with not great expectations for the appointment, we came away very happy.

As for everything else, eating is still slow, but improving slightly and I’ve halved the amount of shakes I’m still taking and generally my health is good and life is fairly normal. Work wise, I was a bit quiet in February, but this did pick up from March and I’ve been very busy since and I’ve had some great projects working on a Kronebourg beer and bottle packaging and an Orangina juice bottle and can packaging project for one agency for 5 weeks, which have been great projects to work on.

I must sign off now, but I once again want to thank all my family and friends for all your prayers and support as we as a family have got through this last 18 months together and we also believe that God has been watching over us and looking after us, every step of our journey. Thank you Jesus.

One Response to “Update May 2015”

  1. Anne bartlett May 7, 2015 at 6:09 am #

    Hi Neil and Sue,
    Great news about your progress and on the work front. Shocked by the poor Speech Therapy support initially. Glad they have redeemed themselves since.
    Looking forward to seeing you at the wedding.
    Lots of Love from Anne Chris and family xx

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