Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Botox in my Vocal Cords

In May of 2006, I was diagnosed with a voice condition called ABDUCTOR SPASMODIC DYSPHONIA.  It is involuntary muscle spasms in my vocal cords and I can't control them.  It is treatable (not curable) with speech therapy (which I did for the first year) and Botox injections (I have had 20 and my most recent was yesterday July 22nd). Yes, Botox is not just for cosmetics actually weakens the muscles by blocking nerve impulses.

I previously wrote some blog articles about my diagnosis, treatments, and even finding a jobI also recorded my voice for all to hear

Yesterday, my wife (aka, took some pictures and I am going to share those with you. Thank you Dr. Simpson from UT Medicine.

The procedure took less than 10 minutes.  I have never had any bad reactions.  Botox has been a life saver for me and I can tell a difference almost immediately.  

The only pain (and I wouldn't even call it pain) is always the first needle prick to my throat.  The numbing medication that is in injected in my throat makes me cough (that means it's working) and sometimes the doctor squeezes my throat to make sure it gets in.  

My nose is sprayed with numbing medication because they use a fiber optic Laryngoscope which goes in my nose and all the down to my vocal cords.  It is kinda funny because they always me which side and I am clueless (so they spray both nostrils).  Yeah, it is numb for about an hour after and it feels really weird!!  They always put some sensors on me and use and electromyography (EMG) machine to help with the correct placement of the Botox injection.  

Before I post the pictures, this is a WARNING that some of them are going to be a view from the fiber optic Laryngoscope...basically, you will see my vocal cords!!