I haven't seen an ENT yet but I was doing some research and was SO relieved to find out that many of my symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, hoarse voice) can be explained by Vocal Chord Dysfunction. The rest (weight loss, swollen lymph nodes, sore throat) can be explained by M.E.
I was most interested to discover that there is research indicating that Vocal Chord Dysfunction can be caused by toxin exposure, specifically water buildings:
The American Acadamy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology reports that:
Two building occupants experienced cough, chest tightness, shortness of breath, wheezing, and hoarseness when in the buildings. Clinical evaluation included laryngoscopy, which demonstrated abnormal closure (adduction) of the vocal cords during breathing in both cases. They were diagnosed with VCD. Co-workers developed upper and lower respiratory symptoms; their diagnoses included sinusitis and asthma, consistent with recognized effects of exposure to indoor dampness. Building evaluations documented water damage and mold growth. The building occupants with VCD continued to have symptoms in the buildings despite remediation efforts. They ultimately left employment due to VCD.
VCD can occur with exposure to water-damaged buildings and should be considered in exposed patients with asthma-like symptoms. The primary therapy for VCD occurring in relation to a water-damaged building should be exposure cessation. These cases highlight the diagnostic and therapeutic challenges that exposure-related VCD can pose.
Part of what spurred my research is while at therapy this past Thursday (we were in a different room than normal) I felt a tiny bit woozy. Noticing the fluorescent lights I asked if it would be possible to turn the lights down. It didn't help.
I was having episodes of hoarseness. Toward the end of the appointment I started getting that strange tickle that I've come to associate with impending throat closure. It didn't happen luckily.
I'll still follow up with an ENT to rule out cancer just to be on the safe side and also to find out if there is any treatment.
I'm so relieved. I don't want to be rendered voiceless by cancer just as I'm starting to find my voice (symbolically). :)
We were all traumatized by the suddenness of my mom's cancer diagnosis and subsequent death. She appeared healthy just a few months prior to dying so it still echo's in my psyche and it tends to be the first place my mind goes. Two weeks before she was diagnosed she appeared healthy aside from the weight loss and fatigued.
I had a dream last night that there were a couple boats in a place I was visiting. A guy named Erik Johnson was taking people on tours in one boat. I don't know why I couldn't get in his boat but the waves were getting rocky and it was becoming more difficult to navigate the waters.
I had a great couple days where my functioning level was close to pre-illness levels. It was awesome. Today I felt pretty awful with that hangover like flu feeling along with shearing muscle pain. I'm hoping it will ease up tomorrow. I was supposed to be at a conference again today but couldn't due to malaise.
The weather has been absolutely gorgeous...