Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Tea and honey

With all that unfolds in the news daily, I could so easily be up in arms in every post, but I choose not to do that. One cannot live in a constant howl. Suffice it to say more sh*t happened yesterday, including the president informing us that hurricane battered Puerto Rico was "out in the middle of the ocean" and you can't "drive a truck there." Good Lord. We all know what's going on. I get tired of beating the drum here.

A speech therapist came this morning to assess what is happening with my husband's voice. It is the only part of his healing that is lagging behind. Happy to report the back pain is for the most part gone. He can now walk a mile at a time, and every twilight we stroll to the food market to pick up groceries for our evening meal, which more often than not, he cooks. Our usual roles are reasserting themselves.

Now, it's just his voice. It is still a raspy whisper, and it turns out he should not have been using it at all. The intubation during his surgery very likely bruised his vocal chords, and their healing requires complete vocal rest, warm tea with honey, gentle massages of the throat, yoga neck rolls, and all the things professional singers do to preserve their instrument.

I wish someone had told us this immediately after the surgery. Instead we filled his hospital room with talk and laughter, and he told his stories, sometimes straining to be heard. Once we got home, the talk continued. In fact, we believed that the more he used his voice, the stronger it would get, like a muscle. Well, now we know the very opposite is true. It will be a challenge for him not to speak at all. Even as the speech therapist was telling him this, he was saying, "Okay. Got it. I see." Nooooo. Nod your head, my love, or shake it left to right. And I promise not to shout questions from the next room anymore.



20 comments:

  1. Thank you for this meditation with words, a loving portrait, silence, and love.

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  2. Oh goodness! They definitely SHOULD have told you at the hospital which leads me to wonder if they even know.
    Also? Beautiful post and beautiful photo.

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    1. Mary, perhaps I painted with too broad strokes. The fact is most people's voices return in full in a week or two. So maybe they don't worry about it too much. The speech therapist was annoyed. She said, "See, this is where we get upset." She suggested that in fact, they did not really know to give that advice. Otherwise, the nurses were great. Even now, I'm not mad at them. It is likely his voice will return, it will just take longer for him. love you, woman.

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  3. My dentist recently told me, today we have to advocate for our health. So true. Sadly, this was not always the case. Seems MD's are so rushed they can't keep up. Have hospital discharge instructions gone by the wayside? Not good. Not good at all. Susan

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    1. Susan, we got extensive discharge instructions, but the only instruction pertaining to voice was, if it doesn't return in another week, let them know and they would have him see a speech therapist. There may also be an ENT doctor before all is said and done (no pun intended). Thanks for caring.

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  4. In the middle of the ocean? Sigh.
    But look at your gorgeous husband! I'm so glad I came today and find him doing so much better. Isn't is amazing how things like a walk to the market can feel so very special? Lovely post.

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    1. liv, you're so right. that stroll to the market for dinner ingredients feels like a lovely ritual. Slow life. There is something to it in this hectic city.

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  5. I'm so glad your husband is healing well and now that you know about his voice, that will heal as well...As for the other remark, I'm left
    sputtering with anger and frustration...

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    1. e, thank you friend. as for the other, we will resist and persevere.

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  6. Wow, first I am glad for the healing your husband has made. Second, I'm angry no one told you that he shouldn't talk. I am grateful to have the care I have and I also feel confused by people in the medical profession who don't seem to care about doing their jobs right. But I am a naive one. I know the nurses and other staff don't get paid much and it's a hard job they do. I guess I thought if you're drawn to that profession. You might actually care. I hope more damage was not sustained by your husband due to this neglect.

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    1. Joanne, see my comment to Mary above. The speech therapist suggested that they don't really know enough to advise patients after intubation to not use their voice much. Since most people get their voices back within a few days, they likely don't think its much of a problem. I do believe my husband's voice will return, we just have to be patient. Thank you, dear friend, for caring.

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  7. I don't watch the news very often, but was sad to see such a long airing of Hugh Hefners dealth as opposed to what is going on in puerto Rico. So sad!

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    1. Kelleyn, I know what you mean. Who knew there was such a thing as the Jones Act. Why wasn't it waived for PR as quickly as it was waived for Houston and Florida? Not remotely ok. But welcome here. Nice to see you!

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  8. Really sorry to read about your husband's voice, but I am also full of hope that all the rest and the tea with honey will work for him. I have no words about our politics at the moment. I would be screaming all the time, and all the tea and honey in the world wouldn't help me. Sigh.

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    1. robin, i too am choosing to have faith that the voice will return. and if it doesn't in full, well, i still have him. xo

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  9. Oh, yikes! I certainly hope this is a temporary situation and his voice comes back full and strong as ever.

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    1. Steve, you and me, both! Thank you, friend.

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  10. I always, always found that the physio people knew their stuff - stuff that the nurses and doctors didn't know about. I don't know whether it's just a lack of communication or a division of knowledge, but my dad's physio people always had recommendations to make his breathing easier, his lungs stronger, and his care as a bed-ridden patient much better, so I'm not surprised at all that your husband's speech therapist had so much more help to offer. I'm glad he's on the right track now. The path to recovery is full of zigs and zags!

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    1. jenny_o, one day perhaps, the doctors will choose to bring the physio people in from the very start. Now there's an idea. Thank you for the reminder about the zigs and zags.

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