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Late August update – Progress report (with audio)

Posted by Rob H on August 31, 2012

Hello again, time for another update. Since my last post, I have been going about my normal life and my voice is still in the decline phase but very usable. I have prepared all the people around me that it will get worse so don’t be shocked when it happens!

The only thing I don’t know is, when that will happen. I had been told the normal time-frame is about 3 months after a Botox injection until I need to have another injection done. As of today, August 31, I am at 4 months plus another week +. I feel very fortunate to still have a usable voice this long after the injection.

I am having some of the stress headaches I had before the shot, caused by the muscles in my throat being too tense. It’s happening again now, but to a lesser extent. On a scale of 1 to 10, the pain is only about a 2 or 3 so it’s more of a nuisance than a concern. In addition, the last couple days I have had a very slight sore throat. I have heard this is common when the Botox wears off but can’t be sure if that’s what’s happening or if it’s just normal throat soreness from a cold or something.

I have an interesting development that I will share once I have more details but I am participating in a study next month, where they will be trying to gather data on SD patients along with administration of an experimental drug. I think all SD patients dream of a miracle pill/cure so if I can help find a cure, I’m going to go for it. Like I mentioned, I will have more details on this in a future post but I wanted to mention it here today.

I recorded a voice sample the other day and have included the recording below, click to hear the latest voice recording:

Audio MP3

Progress Report (with audio) – August 6

Posted by Rob H on August 6, 2012

Today my update is similar to my last few updates. I am in a bit of a “wait & see” mode and so far, my voice is still working. My voice this morning was a little bit weaker than the last couple weeks, which is consistent with what I’ve been experiencing: a very slow decline. I can still raise my voice and yell if I need to. I did notice my voice was a notch weaker while talking with my wife this morning. By weaker, I mean that my voice sounds audibly not as strong, and occasionally a little “froggy”. Once again, however, this is accompanying a minor cold I had over the weekend. So I can’t tell if the Botox is wearing off or my voice is weakened by the cold.

Which brings me to another point. This is probably the 3rd or 4th cold I’ve had since my shot April 23. I don’t normally get this many colds (once a month on average!!)…but at the same time, the severity and duration is less than I normally experience with a cold. I’m not sure if there is a correlation or not but it’s just an observation I’ve made.

So over the past 2 months, my voice has gone from near 100% to 90 to 80 to 70 and now I would say it’s at 60% of normal volume. Every notch lower has been noticeable to me. Probably not so much to others though. Every notch lower lasts about 1-2 weeks, until another drop in volume. Nothing about this “slow decline” in voice quality has been disappointing – all throughout this decline, there have been no spasms and I am completely able to speak and carry on with my normal life. As those of you with spasmodic dysphonia know, the spasms are the worst part. If you could just control the spasms, you can deal with the voice volume issues. That’s what Botox has done for me, control the spasms.

My next scheduled Botox appointment is August 20. I am holding out hope that I will need to postpone it again until September (remember I already postponed my July appointment since my voice was still doing well). I really want to know how long the Botox will last and establish the length of time it takes to get to my “baseline” as my doctor says. So I will continue to hold out on the next Botox shot until I absolutely need it.

I have a voice sample I recorded on July 26 to show my voice quality. My voice is similar to this today, August 6th, with just a slight decrease in volume (which wouldn’t be noticeable on the voice recording anyway).

Take a listen:

Audio MP3

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