Some things are just not fair. The fact that Casey had the lowest number of votes on American Idol the other night and was almost off the show was just not fair. That guy is one of the most talented of the group. By far. Like the year that Adam Lambert lost to “can’t remember.” Talent is not that hard to judge. But hey, who said that all things in life are fair. We know they are not. Then again, no one said things have to be. We’d have a million definitions of fair. And the unfairness is what keeps life challenging, exciting, what we make it, and what it is.
I went into this second phase of treatment last month based on what I was told would be the average recovery time. Way off was that. Houston, we still don’t have closure of the trach hole. But one good thing did finally happen. The leakage stopped two days ago. Don’t want to get too excited until there is definite closure. But the fact that stuff stopped leaking out of the throat hole is kind of exciting.
The mouth and tongue were so sore and swollen the other day that I wrote another email to Dr Rad. He told me to come in, which I did (four days ago). He scoped my mouth and throat and said that he could see I was still quite sore, and the swelling was evident. He therefore gave me a week’s worth of a horse-pill size antibiotic in case the swollen neck is infection related. Otherwise, it’s just fluid trying to drain and find new pathways down through the neck. I need to keep messaging the neck in a downward motion. He was concerned enough to want to see me in two weeks.
On Friday had another appt with the speech therapist. She was surprised that my throat hole was not closed yet. But then she realized that I had been aspirating and said that was probably the reason for the hole taking so long to close. She said I should keep practicing the exercise whereby, when I drink something, I’m supposed to hold my breath, tighten the stomach muscles with pressure, and when I’m finished the last swallow, cough. She said I may want to do that forever so that I don’t aspirate. How nice, another surprise.
Then I asked her why I was still so sore one month after brachy radiation, and she said that it’s normal that recovery takes several months. I asked her why I was told much less that that. She didn’t know and wondered herself why they say such things.
I then asked her about the sensitive tongue issue with hot liquids, and she said that some people have extra sensitive sensory receptors in the tongue, and the tongue has many. I asked if there could be a correlation between a person sensitive to hot liquids and one receiving radiation and she said most definitely, that what I was saying made logical sense. Finally logic from a logical phd type.
So writing this again from close to 40k feet westbound from NYC. It remains very weird traveling with a scared up fat neck, a tongue that is half numb and half burnt, and a bandage over a hole in my throat. Can’t go anywhere without water for more than a few minutes. And the only food I can eat is whatever is mushy and combines well with liquid. And the somewhat loud ringing in the head has returned. Sucks, but we are chalking all this up in the ‘exciting’ category. I’m just glad to be flying, talking and mobile. That’s fair.