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Voice changing – but different this time…(with audio)

Posted by Rob H on November 1, 2012

So far my Botox has had a different effect on me than the last Botox shot. As I wrote in my last blog post, there are some definite differences in how my voice is responding to the Botox treatment.

Today, I am writing a follow-up post because I’m still experiencing some weird results. As I write this, it’s been 2 weeks and 3 days since the Botox shot on October 15. Whereas the last time, my voice was near-normal by this point, it’s still going in and out quite frequently for me this time.

An example of this is the following voice recording taken October 30 (please note, my voice is still doing this today, 2 days later).

Audio MP3

It’s a bit frustrating to have my voice like this, mainly because I have no control over when it will go in & out. I’ll be talking normally and suddenly my voice drops off. It sounds like I have a very bad puberty voice at times, and is a bit embarrassing when it happens in public.

One additional side effect I’m experiencing this time that’s worse than the last time, is that I’m having some difficulty swallowing. This happens when I have a big meal and especially when I have a larger mouthful of food. Also it happens more at the end of my meal, as if my swallowing mechanism tires out. I do remember having very minor difficulty swallowing after the first Botox shot but this time it’s more pronounced. This is frustrating, of course, because it takes me much longer to eat so for instance, eating at Applebee’s the other night was a much longer experience than I’m used to. I’ll keep an eye on this to see if it continues but I’m sure it’s because the muscles in my throat are paralyzed so it makes sense.

One reason for the differences, that I hadn’t thought of but my wife pointed out: this time, my voice was not terrible before the Botox shot so I’m starting from a different “baseline”. Last time, I started from the absolute worst voice possible and the improvement was dramatic. This time, I started from about a still-usable voice that was just weaker (no spasms) so maybe that’s the reason for the different results. I really don’t know but one thing I DO know is that variable results are common with this procedure. I’ve heard of people who have had no positive effects, all the way up to people who have had 6-12 months positive effects, and everywhere in between. I’ve also heard that the shots are sometimes not as effective for no apparent reason…and some people even develop an “immunity” to it. I’ve also heard of people who have been on the Botox for 20 years and have had steady, predictable results the whole time. It’s really hard to say.

So in the meantime, I’ll continue to blog about my progress and hope it improves soon. In the back of my mind, I wonder if this shot will ever give me my normal voice back…that’s probably my worst fear but if that happens, I’ll just have to talk to my doctor and figure out how to get back to the results I had the first time – which was great. But that’s all jumping the gun, and if everything smooths out over the next couple days it’ll all be a moot point.

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