I can’t begin to tell you where I am unless I first tell you where I have been, so let’s flip that page-a-day calendar in our brains back about four weeks to early January. It’s a bright fresh new year; the Christmas tree is packed up and the kids are back in school after a fairly pleasant and ordinary winter break. I am headed into my third doctor’s appointment in as many weeks with a sheet of paper clutched in my slightly sweaty hand. This isn’t my GPs office where I had been twice already with other notes in hand, this is a new-to-me specialist, this is an Ear Nose and Throat doctor’s office.
This is what the paper in my hand said (essentially, I’ve edited it a little because…typos, clarity and privacy):
Three weeks ago (week before Christmas) I got a very bad sore throat, earache and headache. No fever, but throat felt like there was a piece of glass in it. Home remedied for a cold, throat felt better just before Christmas day, but that’s when voice started to go.
The day after Christmas I sounded like a 3-pack a day smoker.
Since then, three weeks ago, it has mostly been gone or really hard to hear. I’ve been resting it as much as humanly possible for a mom. Yesterday I thought it was coming back in the morning, but was worse and totally gone by evening. Throat still hurts all-around, but the piece of glass feeling is gone.
Had a massive sinus headache a few days ago so I started Mucinex-D, Flonase and Motrin which helped (or the front coming through went away, could be, I have a sinus barometer). For the last three weeks I have: gargled with warm salt water, drank tea with honey, tea with lemon and honey, tea with cider vinegar and honey (I read it online, it had been surprisingly effective in the past), tea with lemon, honey and brandy, water by the gallon, steamy bathroom…everything this old wife can think of.
Two weeks ago, I went to Primary Doc with daughter who had similar symptoms (throat and ears but she had a voice), her strep test was negative. Our beloved doctor said what she had was viral, I probably had the same thing and to rest my voice. I’ve been resting it as much as I can but it’s not getting any better, actually it’s getting worse.
On my second visit to family doctor last week, I was put on an antibiotic; I put myself on a whisper only if absolutely necessary regimen. I lowered caffeine intake, upped fluids, I stopped the Flonase and Mucinex D a few days ago because I read (yes, online…I know- bad) that decongestants might be bad for laryngitis. No change with any of this.
TL;DR: No fever, no current nasal congestion, had a bad cold for a week 3 weeks ago and was left with a sore throat and no voice for almost 3 weeks now.
Emotional state: Supreme Frustration
Also, did I mention, I’m a podcaster? Kind of need a voice for that.
The new-to-me and very kind doctor read my note and smiled, “Let’s take a look at your throat,” she said.
An hour later I had an answer.
This is part one of a multi-part series, posts will be made at totally arbitrary times. I know, I should be more disciplined.