Welcome to my blog. I have had ALS for 10 years now.

Since I started this blog in June 2008 I've had amazing feedback. Family, friends, people from all over North America, Australia, Scotland, England, and places I can't recall, have commented, encouraged and corresponded. I had no idea when Cynthia taught me how to set this up, how much I would love posting and how many people would read it. I want to say THANK YOU to everyone who has helped propel this therapeutic exercise into a daily routine. All of you, both friends and visitors, are now part of my blog family. Welcome.

From Go Pro

From Go Pro
View from my living room

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Losing My Voice

Vocal Cord Paralysis

The vocal cords are two bands of tissue located in the larynx (voice box) above the trachea (windpipe). The vocal cords open and close like a valve during breathing, swallowing and voicing. Voice is produced when exhaled lung air passes over the closed vocal cords and causes them to vibrate. During swallowing, the vocal cords close to protect the airway.

Vocal cord paralysis is a condition that occurs when one or both of the vocal cords (or vocal folds) do not move properly. The lack of movement may be partial (paresis) or complete (paralysis), and the symptoms can range from mild to life threatening. A person who has a vocal cord paralysis may experience voice and/or swallowing difficulties.

Figure 2A (left):
The vocal fold on the top of the photo is paralyzed. .

Figure 2B (right): Even with extreme effort, the opposite vocal fold cannot meet its partner.
Figure 2A (LEFT): The vocal fold on the right of the photo is paralyzed.
Figure 2B (RIGHT): Even with extreme effort, the opposite vocal fold cannot meet its partner.

I'm showing you this to demonstrate why I struggle to speak now. Whenever I talk it feels like I'm trying to bring my throat walls together. It is very fatiguing. Eventually (4 or 5 mos. is my guess) I won't speak at all. Please still talk to me. I will be an excellent listener--for a change. LOL. By the way--don't feel sorry for me--I've talked my share in life and will still have the internet to speak my mind--if you dare give me your email address!

1 comment:

Alice said...

karyn - i know you have my email, but here it is again in case you lose it (kenoly2000@hotmail.com). i pray for you every day. i feel like i know you - some - even though we've never met in person. (i would change that if i could.) and i appreciate when you show us scientifically what is happening and what you can expect to happen with ALS. it helps me know how to pray - and how to understand a little.