Monday, January 09, 2006

Back to the doctor's

After my experience last night I called my specialist (Dr. Hagege) in the morning to move my appointment from next Monday (16/01) to as soon as possible. I was very lucky to get an appointment for this afternoon.

I tried to get a bit of work done in the morning as I now knew my afternoon was blocked.

I received one of my Christmas presents in the post today. I had received an Amazon gift certificate from my in-laws and I ordered the DVD of one of my all-time favourite series from my youth: Cheers: The Complete First Season. For lunch I ran out and got myself a Greek sandwich and sat at home watching 3 episodes. I had a great time!

Although I arrived just in front of Dr. Hagege’s office about 25 minutes early I arrived in his office on time. It took me that long to park… even illegally! The appointment was nightmarish. If I knew it was going to be that bad I might have waited another week. I explained to him my symptoms and problems. He explained that it’s still too soon after the end of the treatments (one month today) to start work on the surveillance aspect of treatment and that it’s normal that all of my throat and nasal passages are currently severely damaged. However he did a full examination.

He shpritzed the back of my throat with an anaesthesia and then put the cotton up my nostrils with anaesthesia as well. Already I was gagging and almost throwing up. Then came the actual examination which started to remind me of the dentist scene with Laurence Olivier and Dustin Hoffman in Marathon Man. He performed a full fiberscope (camera up the nostril and down the throat). I could have killed him… if I had the strength. It ended with my throwing up, slightly, and collapsing in to a ball of tears on his chair. He said that next time I should take a Xanax (relaxant) about an hour before coming to see him as I was obviously quite “tense”. Talk about an understatement.

Going through the full exam at least allowed him to answer my questions. Although I still can’t speak it’s temporary. My vocal chords were not damaged and my voice should come back to normal… eventually. Like every other doctor however he does not provide any idea as to time. It could be weeks or it could be months. He believes my coughing is due to a problem of “reflux” whereby acid is coming up from my stomach through my oesophagus. He’s given me medication for that which should help over the next week. I’m praying it does as this is one of the biggest problems I have. As regards the pain in the throat there’s practically nothing to be done. Pain killers, apart from Morphine, are useless. This explains why the Efferalgan/Codeine had so little effect… if any. I just have to keep the throat as lubricated as possible as often as possible. He did give me a new mouth wash which includes a bit of anaesthesia in it which may help. He was also kind enough to give me some pills to help me sleep. Here too I pray that works as I can’t remember the last time I had a full night’s sleep. According to him the next time I should see him is in 3 months at which time we will do our first post-treatment scan.

I got home feeling pretty awful as the exam was quite painful. As the anaesthesia wore off my nostrils started really killing me.

Desney had made some Bolognese sauce yesterday, along with all the other cooking she had done, and we had pasta Bolognese for dinner… delicious. An hour and a half after the exam I was able to eat and I did so voraciously.

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