Three years ago I had my voicebox removed becaue of throat cancer and I speak with an effective, if rather monotonous, electro larynx (EL) . This particular make is a Servox. I will draw a veil over the whole business apart from saying that it totally changed my lifestyle as I am a freelance journalist and can no longer speak effectively on the phone for interviewing as it sounds very distorted unless face to face. But as the months have passed my acceptance and self confidnce have increased.
Then last month, October 6 to be exact, the day before I was going to America for the first time, arthritis struck for the first time ever. I was totally crippled down my right side, and on the left side most joints were affected, I won't go into the pain. Youi all know about it but I was totally unprepared. The very worst thing is that I hold the EL with my left hand. It has very sensitive buttton controls connecting with my throat imoulses--too complicated t explain, but that's how I modulate and operate and communicate. And feel part of the human race and can discuss more than the price of fish!
I always used the EL a lot. It is my lifelinre with normality if youu like, and my family and friends are used to it and accept it; I am used to the strange looks I get in shops where they don't know me.
But now, on, desperatelty worrying, days like today, I find it impossible to use the EL.
The arthritis--not properly diagnosed and I am on a cocktail of painkillers, frighteningly so. It is a double whammy. I can't speak until the strongest Nurofen kicks in and I can hold it in my hand. My morale --which has been so good in the dark days of the cancer operations etc etc--that is a different story which I wion't assail you with!--is not good. The tests I have had so far for the arthritis, blood tests, X-Rays, show absolutely nothing. And I am completely felled. Yesterday I made the drastic decision to take my old Clio to drive me to some shops for necessities for the dog and myself. Today the resulting agony shows it was a daft idea.
I live on my own; my three grown-up children who all live in their own homes, have been through so much with my throatxcancer that I am trying to keep has low key as I xcan but I feel that my life is disintegrating around me when this communicaton tool--a third hand--has been rendered useless.
I don't expect anyone on tbis site which I have thankfully discovered, to have an answer. But if there are any threads of help, thisses and thats, I'll be able to use some I know. I bought a terrible book from Amazon, Dummies' Guide to Arthritis , whixch I find useless and condescending in style and content. I was surprised that the UK consultant is that radio doctor whose name I forget--the book's at the other end of the house which seems like a marathon to me although itnis a small terraced house! but she should know better.
A hefty fee I should imagine for adding and tweaking little bits for people on this side of the pond.
There. I have vented and I am so sorry for ttaking up your time. I have been prescribed Solpadol and it quickly saps e the pain for an hour or so, but makes you feel detached and devoid of energy.
I will have to deal with things one at a time I know and you all sound as if you are doing that although some of you are as bewildered as I am about lack of correct diagnosis.
But the loss of my voic aid seems to inderline my helplessness. I am suffering from a bnit of poor-me or why-me , and a sense of uselessness. Panic at the idea of Christmas--I have six grandchildren. . By the way I am a woman, as I forgot to say, 68, a Scot living in East Anglia.. I feel totally out of my depth . I managed the cancer. This is sometibg else. Every bone in my body seems to be afected today. Hence this letter hoping for a few straws to clutch at.
Sorry to be so long-winded. I am not usually.
My regards and admiration to all of you.