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BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2

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Subject: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 28 Nov 10 - 06:28 PM

It's time to start this thread as I need to email friends not on Facebook and who don't regularly check Mudcat on where to find updates while Tom and I are in Boston.

Tonight I trim Tom's beard, cut it way back under his chin and on his neck and so he can shave there (for the first time in YEARS). This time the incision will be through his neck rather than accessing the area via his throat. We head to Boston by train early on Wednesday -- first to Mass Eye & Ear for a CT scan, then up to 1 Bowdoin Square to see Dr. Zeitels, then to Beacon House, affiliated with Mass General, where we'll be staying for a week.

Thursday morning (Dec. 2) Tom will have surgery at Mass General -- he'll be awake during this surgery (though probably on some serious relaxation drugs) while Dr. Z installs a Gore-Tex flap and then tunes it ("like a guitar string"). Tom has to be awake so he can respond -- we don't want him sounding like Wayne Newton! And, since it's Gore-Tex and weatherproof, that means Tom will be able to sing in the rain, right?

The schlepping is complicated by the fact that I sprained my right knee last Sunday at work. Spent most of Monday at Lee Urgent Care. Woke up Tuesday with an annoying side effect of the med. Spent most of Tuesday sorting that out. A couple nights of poor sleeping -- have to sleep on my back (not my normal position), almost sitting up and with two pillows propping my knee. Wednesday was better and Wednesday night I actually was able to sleep on my side -- except then I hobbled around all Thanksgiving. Sigh. Haven't yet worked out the right combo of meds so I can get to sleep, stay asleep, and not wake up way too early. I was back to work today, but I'm not looking forward to all the walking I'll have to do in Boston despite knee brace and cane. Wednesday I'll have to carry our gear for the week, since Tom can't. Beacon House is steeply up Beacon Hill -- uphill from the hospital, Whole Foods, restaurants, etcet. There's a shuttle between Beacon House and the hospital, but at limited times.

Not sure if there's a computer at Beacon House from which I can update this thread. If there isn't, I'll call Jeri or Sinsull and have them update things.

Tom will spend Thursday night in the hospital. Then for 48 hours he can't utter a sound. For the next 2-3 weeks, he can only speak as loud as for someone less than an arm's length away to hear. And he'll be back on a low acid reflux diet -- no caffeine, no alcohol, no carbonation, no citrus, no tomatoes, no onions & peppers...no nothin'. The accommodations are kitchenette, so at least I can lay in provisions from Whole Foods -- rotisserie chicken, frozen meat loaf & mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, etc. We have to stick close to the hospital for 4-6 days in case of any bleeding or problems. Sutures should come out about 6 days after surgery.

I'm hoping we can come home the following Wednesday (Dec. 8th) if not before. I'm sure I'll run out of paid time off. Don't know yet if Tom will need further procedures or voice therapy or what. But who knows, maybe he'll have a voice by Christmas...

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Ebbie
Date: 28 Nov 10 - 06:40 PM

Fingers crossed here, Linn and Tom. May the surgery go well, the healing be swift and the outcome WONDERFUL.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: jacqui.c
Date: 28 Nov 10 - 07:17 PM

Here's hoping for the best possible outcome.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: gnu
Date: 28 Nov 10 - 07:49 PM

Mw too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: gnu
Date: 28 Nov 10 - 07:50 PM

You kow.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: GUEST,Bob Frost
Date: 28 Nov 10 - 07:52 PM

Lots of White Light on both of you. Safe trip and a successful procedure!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: kendall
Date: 28 Nov 10 - 08:33 PM

I am watching you old buddy, one day it will be my turn. The best of luck to you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Nov 10 - 09:04 PM

Love, Light, and Healing Energy sent to you, both.

Linn, I have been having to bring in all of our groceries since Rog broke his heel. I have a neat pull cart, which folds almost flat, in which I load them from the car and pull it behind me to the house. I'm sure you know what I mean as I learned about them when I lived back there. Probably too late for you to find one, but it might be helpful if you can at some point. Sorry to hear about your knee!

love and hugs,

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Nancy King
Date: 28 Nov 10 - 09:12 PM

Hope all goes well! Keeping you both in my thoughts...


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: catspaw49
Date: 28 Nov 10 - 11:32 PM

Don't know what I can say to you two at this point except what so many others around here are feeling as well. If there is anything at all to the power of good thoughts (and I know there is) than you go into this with a powerful force behind you. I wish you all the best.......You have all the "good thought wattage" my pissant transmitter can produce. I'm expecting nothing but the best outcome.


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: ragdall
Date: 28 Nov 10 - 11:50 PM

Sending good thoughts to both of you for a successful procedure and timely recovery for Tom and thorough mending for your knee, Linn.

rags


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 29 Nov 10 - 01:10 AM

me too

sandra


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 29 Nov 10 - 07:37 AM

Glad I have an appointment with my knee doc this morning ("before work" -- should I be able to get there). I think I re-sprained the knee last night. After posting this, etc. I went to stand up from the chair and must have moved just slightly wrong. More pain than last week. More difficulty walking. Tom will have to drive me as I know I can't safely drive.

What a pain! (Literally and figuratively.)

Unless the doctor can work some kind of magic, I don't see how I can possibly go to Boston with Tom.

Right now I have to call my boss and disturb his day off.

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 Nov 10 - 08:57 AM

Linn-

The knee sounds frustrating, to say the least. I sure wish I lived closer so I could be of some direct help.

Best of luck for you both!

Charley Noble and JudyB


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: kendall
Date: 29 Nov 10 - 11:10 AM

Linn if I could swap ailments with you, I would do it in a heart beat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: gnu
Date: 29 Nov 10 - 02:29 PM

SOP! Linn... Hope yer doin okay.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Jeri
Date: 29 Nov 10 - 05:38 PM

You might be able to get more rest in Boston, if you don't walk around a lot. Elevators, not stairs, no wood stove, cooking not needed, and it will likely feel better by the time you come home. Let me know what I can do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 29 Nov 10 - 05:49 PM

Linn, can you hire or borrow a mobility scooter to use while you knee is mending?

Best wishes and speedy recovery to you both.

Love Tam


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: SINSULL
Date: 29 Nov 10 - 06:13 PM

I will be thinking of you on Thursday, Tom. The beginning of the end, I think.
Mary


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: SINSULL
Date: 29 Nov 10 - 06:18 PM

I just tried to call and wish you both well but either Magic Jack or your phone refused to cooperate. Maybe tomorrow night.
Mary


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: ranger1
Date: 29 Nov 10 - 06:54 PM

Good thoughts from me and J-boy. I have the next two days off, if you need anything, please don't hesitate to call. You're not that far away.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 30 Nov 10 - 05:47 AM

Slept well last night -- knee doc actually gave me meds that work, at least for the night.

Yeah, I'll prolly get more walking rest in Boston then I would at work or home -- except for Wednesday and Thursday. Last time in Boston, BEFORE the sprain, when we just had to get from North Station to Dr. Z's and back, I was in agony by the time I got home. Knee doc said (a week later) that I'd "over done it". The pain then was after I got home, not while walking.

Right now I'm in the worst pain I've ever been in -- while moving or at rest. Sitting actually seems to be best,

The pain is worse than when I broke my arm (well, then it was initial shock and then good drugs; didn't get my brain back for over a month) and worse than the kidney stone I had over 20 years ago. And it's with each step.

And Thursday night I'll have to get back to Beacon House alone, as Tom will be spending the night at Mass General.

Builds character...(but I thought I was enough of a character already!).

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Donuel
Date: 30 Nov 10 - 06:01 AM

I hope you get some corticosteroids or NSAIDs for your knee.
Stress, change of season, overdoing it...things always feel worse when we feel close to panic.

I bet a trillion dollars that Tom can yell a blue streak by summer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 30 Nov 10 - 10:05 AM

Cortisone shot wore off in two weeks. Lined up for the 3 consecutive synovial fluid supplementation injections (not Synvisc; different brand) to hold off knee replacement until a) life simmers down a bit and b) maybe I can afford to take 6 weeks off from work for the rehab.

Aspirin works better than most meds for me. And I've finally got a pain med that works for night time. Capsaicin cream and Aspercreme also help. For the sprain, I'm still icing.

The thing is, at best, I'm not only going to be "overdoing it" by necessity for the next couple days, but it will also be painful, no matter what I do to make it better. I'll cope. We're travelling very light because we have to schlep. After Friday, I won't have to spend much time walking or on my feet -- but I need to keep moving so I don't seize up. Totally exercise-free isn't a good idea, either.

It would be nice if the timing were different on this, but it's not, so I'll do what I've gotta do and it'll be okay.

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: SINSULL
Date: 30 Nov 10 - 02:00 PM

Spoke with Tom last night. He is looking forward to getting this over with and hoping for lots of good drugs to help him through the awake surgery.
Here's to steady hands and a voice at Christmas.
Mary


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Slag
Date: 30 Nov 10 - 03:21 PM

My best to you both. What a struggle! Prayers all around.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Jeri
Date: 30 Nov 10 - 03:33 PM

Received training on how to properly operate cat bowls, where the good wood is, and funny door tricks.

I asked Tom if Helium would affect Goretex vocal chords the same way it affects the biological ones. Tom didn't know. Now that I've thought about it, I'd have to say he'd still sound like a chipmunk, because Helium doesn't affect the chords at all, but the way sound vibrations travel through Helium vs. air. I don't think it's a great idea to experiment though. Air, including oxygen, is important.

Good journey!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 30 Nov 10 - 03:46 PM

My best to you both. May Tom have a successful surgery, and a full and complete recovery. But you should see if you can get some outside help during that period. Being a care giver is very stressful, the more so if you have your own limitations...so think of yourself, too.

God Bless you both. Have terrific holidays, whichever they may be.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: maeve
Date: 30 Nov 10 - 09:17 PM

Thanks for lending a hand again, Jeri.
Love to Tom and Linn.

Maeve


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 01 Dec 10 - 07:44 AM

Tom, if I could give you one gift it would be the ability to shout MERRY CHRISTMAS.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: jacqui.c
Date: 01 Dec 10 - 09:22 AM

What Kendall said. Everything crossed for the best possible result.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: GUEST, Bat Goddess in Boston
Date: 01 Dec 10 - 04:55 PM

Okay! We're here at Beacon House. Tom's just back from exploring the Beacon Hill neighborhood -- their are several small grocery stores, a liquor and "fine foods" store and a pizza place that has non-tomato-based sauces so Tom can eat.

Got an early train because we needed to be at Mass Eye & Ear for a CT scan at 9. My knee behaved much better than I'd anticipated. I'm slow, but wasn't in any real discomfort. The Salvation Army bell ringer at North Station, who had a wonderful voice, was singing Christmas songs -- "Rudolf" and others. Got a Partners shuttle without too much of a wait and got to ME&EI early, got the scan done early, and had them call a cab to get us to Dr. Z's. Got there early, too, but, even though Sonny got us into an exam room early, didn't see Dr. Z until the scheduled time when he came in when he came in with the other doctor who was gearing up for Kendall's scoping requirements. Straightened them out -- this is Tom Hall, not Kendall Morse. Tom's from NH, Kendall's from Maine -- there's a difference.

Anywho, Tom had to run through another battery of vocal screenings, which gave us something to do until the lidocaine from the scoping wore off.

So we ate lunch again across from Bowdoin Square at Gourmet Cafe, that great little Italian hole-in-the-wall with the freshest sub rolls in the world.

Then got a cab to Beacon House -- only a few blocks, but straight up hill.

Tom's surgery is scheduled for 3 pm tomorrow, but he has to be there at noon and it could take place earlier. He'll be spending tomorrow night at Mass General and he may not be subject to the speaking restrictions that he's been expecting.

Dr. Zeitels hadn't heard that Gore-Tex is used for some guitar strings, but he said he wasn't surprised.

We'll take the shuttle down to the hospital and back for supper in about an hour.

Thanks for all your good wishes, etc.!

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 01 Dec 10 - 05:01 PM

Be thinking of you both tomorrow.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Jeri
Date: 01 Dec 10 - 05:06 PM

I'm glad your knee is cooperating. Will go staff the cats tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: GUEST,Steve Smith
Date: 01 Dec 10 - 06:01 PM

Linn,

I have a spare laptop I can bring you if you need it - let me know - I'll bring it to you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: gnu
Date: 01 Dec 10 - 06:16 PM

Good to hear about the knee. That was worrisome given the "venue". Hope it holds up. Looking for more good news... best to both of youse.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: SussexCarole
Date: 01 Dec 10 - 06:27 PM

Just caught up with this news....All our best to you both

Hugs   Carole & Andrew x


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: GUEST, Bat Goddess in Boston
Date: 01 Dec 10 - 06:57 PM

Houston, we have a problem...

Turns out they've discontinued the morning and evening shuttles to and from Mass General. Which basically means we have to pay for cabs. The streets up to Beacon House are seriously steep -- neither of our knees can hack it.

Ach. Nothing ever goes smoothly.

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: GUEST,Rombo
Date: 01 Dec 10 - 09:37 PM

Thoughts and prayers are with you bothere there in Boston~!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Crowhugger
Date: 01 Dec 10 - 09:53 PM

All best wishes for a wonderful result!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 02 Dec 10 - 02:38 AM

Did they say why they discontinued the shuttles? Really sux.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: mouldy
Date: 02 Dec 10 - 02:46 AM

Oh I really hope this all goes well, as it's 2nd December here!
I hope you have the shuttle problem sorted.

Thinking of you both.
Andrea x


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: GUEST, Bat Goddess in Boston
Date: 02 Dec 10 - 07:21 AM

Well, my knee behaved beautifully all day -- decided to hurt all night. Pain med again did not work. Took a benedryl to sleep, but that didn't work as well as it usually does. Funny thing, just about quarter of five, the knee decided to stop hurting. Just like it decided to START at 9 pm. Go figure.

Tom is curmudging. I've been awake since 4:00 or earlier. Watched out the window at shuttle time, to verify, and it did not appear. Told Tom to call MGH -- they should send a shuttle to collect him for surgery (or any other appointment).

Of course, the other reason he's curmudging is no coffee, no food, and his surgery isn't until this afternoon. Oh, did I say no coffee? And then there's the no coffee thing. (How do you people get so dependent on brown stuff in cups?)

Steve, thanks for the offer, but we're travelling extremely light. A laptop would be waaaaay over our load limit. Even with the bare necessities, it was REALLY nice to get our gear into the room yesterday afternoon after schlepping all over hell 'n gone.

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: kendall
Date: 02 Dec 10 - 07:52 AM

Tom, do you have any details on exactly what he is going to plant in your throat? And how?


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 02 Dec 10 - 07:56 AM

Came to this thread late but know that I'm sending light and love and caffeinated thoughts you-wards today. Beacon Hill is actually lovely - I hope you get a chance to look around some!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Charley Noble
Date: 02 Dec 10 - 08:43 AM

Linn and Tom-

We are wrapping up your caffeinated Christmas recovery package as this message is posted. Hope you have some way of grinding up coffee beans. Otherwise you'll have to use your teeth.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Jeri
Date: 02 Dec 10 - 09:10 AM

He can't have coffee, Charlie.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: maeve
Date: 02 Dec 10 - 09:18 AM

From Linn's post, upthread:
"And he'll be back on a low acid reflux diet -- no caffeine, no alcohol, no carbonation, no citrus, no tomatoes, no onions & peppers...no nothin'"


I think a bundle of fifties would be acceptable though, Charlie...

I'll get me barn coat.

Maeve


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: kendall
Date: 02 Dec 10 - 09:57 AM

No coffee? is that what I have to look forward to? Is this such a good idea? Got to think this over.

"And enterprises of great pith and moment become sicklied over with the pale cast of thought and lose the name of action." W.S. of course)


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: catspaw49
Date: 02 Dec 10 - 10:22 AM

W.S. really?   Willie Scarpalino said that? No shit? Doesn't sound like him...........

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: GUEST,sending love and prayers right to the OR
Date: 02 Dec 10 - 02:46 PM

All our love and prayers to you Tom and Linn....sending prayers right now to you in the OR   John and Rom


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 02 Dec 10 - 03:03 PM

Yup, thinking about you both, right now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Jeri
Date: 02 Dec 10 - 03:40 PM

Went to tend to cats. There was what I presume to be a Christmas card stuck in the door, now on the table. The Velcro orange cat glommed onto me when I came through the door. I petted him, then I put food in his dish (you could see a little bit of the bottom) and petted him. I put food in Sabine's dish, even though there was a bunch in there, and petted Rufie. I put water in the dish upstairs ...and petted the cat. I sat down to read my birthday card - haha-good one! - and petted the cat. I talked to him and told him what a lovely cat he was and that he was a fashion accessory that everyone should sport, and I petted him some more. He then decided it was play time and forgot only one of us has theoretically retractable claws. I spoke to him again... something along the lines of "Ow", and decided play time was over.

I didn't see Sabine at all, but I expect she didn't want to chance having to deal with that sweet orange cat. The house was fairly warm and nothing seems to have been destroyed in the past day.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: maeve
Date: 02 Dec 10 - 03:59 PM

But Jeri...Did you remember to pet the cat?


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Charley Noble
Date: 02 Dec 10 - 05:02 PM

Jeri-

Fairly warm is good for cats.

So is petting.

So is food.

How about emptying the litter box?

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Jeri
Date: 02 Dec 10 - 06:19 PM

Maeve, shoot! I knew I forgot somethin'!

I hope Linn has some energy left.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: GUEST,Bat Goddess In Boston
Date: 02 Dec 10 - 06:55 PM

Note: Tom heals fast and will probably only have to deal with caffeinelessness for a couple weeks. I know he'll start sneaking in decaf before that ('tho he loathes it -- better than no caf).

We called the hospital this morning and they sent a ride this morning. They do that if you have surgery or an appointment, but the shuttle was discontinued in October. I had to take a cab when I left -- and to go back tomorrow. His surgery was scheduled for 3, but he got in about 1:30. He was really, really hungry by then... (Curmudgery level very high.)

Anywho, talked to Dr. Zeitels after the surgery at 4:10 -- Dr. Z was very very pleased, and, I suppose Tom will be when he gets through the post op lung/throat/swallowing hassles. I think when I finally got to see him in the PACU around 5:30-ish with a thing strapped around his nose and a suction dealie pulling crap out of his mouth what he was mostly curmudgeoning about was that he couldn't easily talk to me about the procedure. He did say it was "fascinating" and he had a lot to tell me.

Oh, yes, Dr. Z said this probably isn't the end of the treatment. I asked about voice therapy and he said Tom will figure out how to make the flap work with his existing vocal cord. This procedure, by the way, was technically a laryngoplasty -- "moving" part of the larynx. It will give him more volume because it closes the gap where the right vocal cord used to be. But there will probably be more tweaking.

Tom said that Dr. Z told him not to worry, if this doesn't work, he has about 30 more tricks up his sleeve.

We had thought we could possibly come home on Monday, but it's now definitely Wednesday -- Dr. Z has promised the first appointment of the day so we can make the 11 am train home. (If we miss that, we have to wait til 5 pm; sigh.)

My knee has definitely had too many miles put on it today, despite the fact they didn't sent me from Wang 309 to the Gray Waiting Room across the veritable city of Mass General and then back (because Dr. Z. ALWAYS sees people at Wang 309). It was enough of a hike to Ellison and the PACU (not to mention lunch down at Eat Street -- me schlepping a bag with my purse, reading material, medical notebook & other necessities of life, and a jacket and a cane. Ach!).

When the cab dropped me off, I went right across the street to a little liquor store/convenience food establishment and bought a well-deserved bottle of wine. That and last night's left over pizza (and a couple bars of CHOCOLATE!!!!) will be dinner tonight, but I ate late and have no idea when the food part of that equation will happen.

I'm tired. I almost nodded off over Ian Fleming's "Live and Let Die" in the waiting room.

Thanks for all the white light, healing thoughts, prayers and good wishes. We really appreciate it!

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 02 Dec 10 - 07:16 PM

Love to you, dear Linn- wine and chocolate, you deserve it!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: katlaughing
Date: 02 Dec 10 - 09:31 PM

{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}} to you both and to Dr. Z!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Charley Noble
Date: 02 Dec 10 - 09:42 PM

Linn-

Thanks for the update. We needed that!

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 03 Dec 10 - 05:23 AM

Well thinghs sound positive, and I'm pleased to hear that.
Curmudging is a good sign.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: GUEST,Bat Goddess in Boston
Date: 03 Dec 10 - 08:08 AM

For what it's worth, I slept better and longer and in less pain. (And that's without the pain meds which didn't seem to be doing much.)

I'll call Tom in the PACU in a little less than an hour.

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 03 Dec 10 - 08:37 AM

good news so far & more to come.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 03 Dec 10 - 08:49 AM

If Mel Tormé was known as The Velvet Fog, could Tom become The GoreTex Fog ?


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: SINSULL
Date: 03 Dec 10 - 10:08 AM

Glad the surgery went well. Tom. Now rest and recover and get home ASAP. Hospitals are not a good place to be sick.
Mary


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Nancy King
Date: 03 Dec 10 - 11:04 AM

Sounds like things are going pretty well! That's good! Linn, I hope you're getting a chance for a little bit of rest between appointments. You certainly deserve it! Tom, you take it easy too -- and do what Dr. Z says! I'll be thinking of you both --

Nancy


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: SINSULL
Date: 03 Dec 10 - 11:43 AM

Or the Rubber Ducky, John?


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 03 Dec 10 - 12:26 PM

Ooh, remember you said that, and not me :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: gnu
Date: 03 Dec 10 - 01:17 PM

Glad to hear the good news. Looking forward to more of the same.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: GUEST, Bat Goddess in Boston
Date: 03 Dec 10 - 09:05 PM

Sorry I couldn't update this earlier, but when I last ventured to the computer lab, there were 4 people for the 3 computers and they were all involved in a complicated political discussion. Beacon Hill is an interesting NEIGHBORHOOD and Beacon House is an interesting COMMUNITY of mostly residents in senior apartments. (Just those of us on the second floor are medical transients.)

Today was the Day of the Cab Driver.

When I left the lab this morning and went back to our room, I got a call on my cell from the PACU just as I was trying to call them on the land line -- come get Tom; he was being sprung.

So I called Boston Cab and the cab was waiting for me when I got downstairs. At last! A cabbie who speaks English! AND he's been a musician around Boston since the '60s AND he wanted to talk about it. I had mentioned that Tom lived in the neighborhood during the Great Folk Scare of the '60s when he performed at local coffee houses and also cooked at The Turk's Head Coffeehouse. So the cabbie wanted to talk about Judy Collins and Joan Baez and the fact that when his band got together recently someone requested "Eve of Destruction" but they had never learned it. Because of clogged streets, we ended up detouring around the front of the State House so I got my first glimpse of Boston Common and the Public Garden in years, then back around unclogged streets to Cambridge St. and Mass General.

Got up to the PACU on Ellison and Tom was all ready for me (well, he hadn't put street clothes on yet). Got him together -- they'd lost his socks, so he has those horrible no skid socks the hospital gives 'em -- and they even got ME a wheelchair to take us out of here. If I'd had to walk, I never could have kept up and I definitely couldn't push him through the halls. So...out to the front of the hospital where we got a cab to Dr. Z's. Dr. Z wasn't there -- he was on a flight somewhere -- but one of the other associates scoped Tom, etc. The area is a little swollen, understandably, and he has a drain that has to be left in until Wed. morning -- looks like he has a white textured goiter. Got prescriptions for antibiotics and painkillers, consulted with Kim who is getting in touch with Dr. Z about whether voice therapy can/should be started Monday or Tuesday (since we really have no other plans than hanging out). She'll let us know.

By the way, Tom has NO dietary restrictions (other than common sense) -- if it's irritating to eat, don't eat it. He can even have coffee, I guess, but he won't want it for a few days. (Or weak so it's not uncomfortable.) AND there are no vocal restrictions, but until the swelling goes down and he relearns how to use the muscles where the right cord used to be, etc., he's still not up to "normal" volume.

So we left there and went across Cambridge St. to fill the Rxs at Rite-Aid -- which didn't stock the antibiotic. Soooo...a painful, slow walk down Cambridge St. to CVS where we got everything we needed. Back out on the street for a cab back to Beacon House.

Now THIS was the entertaining ride! Streets on the Hill are very, very narrow. There are narrow brick sidewalks that no one uses -- they walk in the street. There's parking on one side and delivery trucks, etc. often block the way. Confronted with a large truck blocking Myrtle St., our cabbie took stock of the situation and decided to squeeze past -- between truck, sidewalk, fenced in tree, etc. Slowly, very slowly, constantly recalculating and making minor corrections. When the side mirror made tight contact with the truck, he first adjusted the mirror, then discovered the truck's fiber glass (or something) side could be pushed in slightly while he inched past. One more minute course recalculation, compensation and, Voila! Free at last! Free at last! He's the Man! What an accomplished display of driving -- he got a bigger tip out of it, too. Worth it for the entertainment.

Had lunch from Beacon Pizza again -- and it was my new favorite flavor of all time: Alfredo spinach and bacon. Wonderful. Also enough (out of a small pizza) left for another meal.

I think we both took a nap this afternoon. I know I did. The exertions of this morning wore me out.

The Press Room session should be over for the evening, so this post should be here when friends get home and check the computer.

But from here until Wednesday morning, it will be mostly hanging out. We're seeing Dr. Z 8:30 on Wed., so we'll be out of there in time to get the 11 a.m. train back home.

I'll keep checking here and posting, though, don't worry.

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Jeri
Date: 03 Dec 10 - 09:15 PM

Sounds like things are going great! I imagine Tom was pretty happy with the common-sense dietary changes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Leadfingers
Date: 03 Dec 10 - 09:47 PM

Cup Half Full seems better than Cup Half Empty ! Good Thoughts from across the Pond !


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: GUEST,sharon
Date: 03 Dec 10 - 09:47 PM

Glad Tom's procedure is over and here's hoping for a perfect outcome! Love to you both!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: GUEST,izo
Date: 03 Dec 10 - 09:55 PM

Glad to hear Tom came through everything so well,and will be getting back to normal soon.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: katlaughing
Date: 03 Dec 10 - 10:34 PM

Whatta day for cabbies! Thanks for the recounting, Linn. Hope you both get lots of quality rest and are on your way ever upwards from here.

I once had a semi-truck driver tell me he'd rather drive in NYC any day than Boston!

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Nancy King
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 12:24 AM

Sounds good! Keep mending and resting!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: gnu
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 06:18 AM

Double ditto my last post!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: bbc
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 07:43 AM

Sorry I came to this thread so late, but I'm thankful that things are going well. You two have been through much too much in recent times. Hope you are starting to see light at the end of the tunnel.

love,

Barbara


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 07:48 AM

I second all the above!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: jacqui.c
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 08:20 AM

How is Tom doing with being out of hospital and all? Here's hoping for a fast recovery and a VOICE!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Jeri
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 10:11 AM

Over to feed and water cats and remove results of previous feeding and watering soon. Depending on how cold it is in the house, I may start a fire. It's probably OK, but it's cloudy and supposed to flurry, so I'll see. I hope sleeping/resting/recovering is going well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Charley Noble
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 10:17 AM

Linn-

Thanks for your vivid descriptions of riding cabs in downtown Boston.

Pleased to hear that Tom's in the recovery phase and there are fewer restrictions than discussed above.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble and JudyB


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: GUEST,Guest curmudgeon
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 11:39 AM

Greetings to all - first time on the computerb since Wed. early a'am.
Thanks ofr all the well wishing, et al.

While it is great to have no dietary restrictions imposed from without, my own limitations are somewhat annoying; warm coffee -not hot, ice water, not tepid, and with only the taste of rum. Taking pills is a bit painful first thing in tjhe am, but ice cream really helps, espicially with the oxycodone, which then helps everything else.

One reason there are no real restrictions is that there was no internal cutting or stitching; the gortex was "tucked" into place during which procedure I many time uttered "eeeeee," aaaaaaa," and counted from 1 to 10 while Dr. Z proceed with the "tuning."

I actually had more volune right after the procedure than I do now, but the new voice should be retturning as the swelling goes down.

I'll post more at some other time so as to give pthers a chance at the computer -- Thanks again - Tom


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Ebbie
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 12:04 PM

I LOVE happy endings! Especially at the beginnings.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 12:08 PM

Good to *hear* from you, Tom. A fruit smoothie with half a banana, blueberries, and raspberries, made with almond milk really helps get pills down in the AM, too.

Getting in tune with Dr. Z, eh?*bg*

luvyakat


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Jeri
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 12:12 PM

Sounds good, Tom.

You're back up to two cats. Sabine came out of hiding and let me know in no uncertain terms that she wanted FOOD! IN! THE! DISH!, DAMMIT! They'd cleaned out the food bowls. I cleaned out the cat box.

I started a fire. Couldn't find the matches because, evidently the cats had done some redecorating. I found matches on the back of the table. Lit the fire, went to get some more wood and the cats un-redecorated and there were the matches. Let the fire go on for a bit, then shut everything (vents, flue & fan) back down. It wasn't that cold, but it wasn't comfortable either.

It must be something to hear your voice after whispering for months. Enjoy the ice cream!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 12:12 PM

Fingers firmly crossed Tom


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: jacqui.c
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 12:25 PM

Good to hear from you Tom! The self imposed dietary restrictions will go away with time - the voice will come back - probably a trade worth making right now.

Keep us updated, won't you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 12:52 PM

Great to hear from you in person.There is only so much Linn can tell us about you, so, keep us informed first person. Ok?


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: SINSULL
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 02:19 PM

Good news, Tom! I keep thinking of George Costanza's huge Gortex coat on Seinfeld. He kept knocking things over and bumping into people. Looked like the Michelin Tire man. Do we get to see the contraption once you're healed?
Mary


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 02:57 PM

Glad Tom finally got a chance to check the thread and post. His writer's block dissipated (or at least was alleviated) after the first restoration procedure. Hurray for moving forward!!!

This is going to be fun -- I forgot my cheaters (which usually live on the top of my head) back on top of the James Bond book in our room. Seem to be doing okay as long as I can keep my eyes way back from the screen.

His sleeping pill worked a trick last night, but I slept very poorly last night. Even a double dose of benedryl didn't work. Having only one sleeping position -- on my back, upper body slightly raised, pillows under my bum knee -- is a real pain in the posterior. Literally. And the base of my spine. Plus the light of one of the street lamps found its way through the shad and directly into my eye -- and, having no option of moving, I couldn't avoid it. And the people outside conversing loudly at 2:30 in the mornng, fer-pete's-sake.

Tom is feeling sooooo much better today, and looking so much better. The steroids they prescribed (one less per day for six days) started working immediately, but the swelling is complicating things such as taking the pain meds (and the host of other meds he has to take).

Finally I can rest -- no place today I have to go, nothing I have to do (other than take the elevator to the lower level and post here). No excuse for stressing the knee, so maybe it will heal a bit more so I can return to work on Thursday (and NOT reinjure it!!!)

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: GUEST, Bat Goddess in Boston
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 02:58 PM

By the way, that post was from me -- Bat Goddess in Boston. But I'll bet you figured it out.

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: gnu
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 03:47 PM

It gets better and better! I like it!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: kendall
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 03:54 PM

Frost you say?


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: GUEST,Justine
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 05:35 PM

What great news from two people who deserve the best. There will be so much to celebrate in the New Year. Linn, will Tom share his sleeping pills, or at least his rum?


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: GUEST,curmudgeon
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 02:32 PM

Second attempt. Why do strange computers always bugger things up? I'll never remember what I just wrote, except that improvement seems to be the watchword du jour; less swelling, less irritation, easier swalloing, some vocal tone. The voice is not yet as strong as it was right after the op, but is slowly coming back. Appetite is good, can eat/drink most anything I'e triedf not too hot or acidic, but I drank hotter coffee today than yesterday.

Can't stay and chat more now, as I am a slow typist, and there are only three macines for the whole place.

Thanks again for all the support - Tom


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: gnu
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 02:37 PM

Better and better. What a joy!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: maeve
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 02:56 PM

Thank you both for the updates, Tom and Linn.

Maeve


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Charley Noble
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 08:43 PM

Tom and Linn-

I'm curious about the "tuning." It would be intriguing if one could click a remote to adjust one's register to lead a particular song, rather than do what I do by dropping it a key or two!

But having any kind of more vocal presence will certainly be welcome, even if you chew us out for the sentimental claptrap that we've been singing for months at the shanty sessions.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: kendall
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 08:51 PM

Keep it coming Tom. You know that brevity is the soul of wit. That's why your posts don't go on and on.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 10:12 PM

Tom, keep healing. Linn, consider a sleep mask (blindfold) and wax earplugs, They are inexpensive and don't take up much room when packing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 10:44 PM

Tom,
Once you're tuned, don't let them near you with a capo.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: MikeL2
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 06:33 AM

hi linn & Tom

I am delighted to read the recent news. It sounds as if you are now both making great progress.

Having been through some of what you are experiencing I can empathise.

Keep going both of you.......it's sometimes tough but you will get there.

Kind Regards

MikeL2


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 07:11 AM

Goretex Shanty anybody?


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: GUEST,Bat Goddess in Boston
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 08:30 AM

ChanteyLass -- got 'em, thanks. Always travel with them. But, alas, that's not the current problem. Because of my bum knee, I can only sleep in one position -- on my back -- and that's neither my usual sleep position, nor a particularly comfortable one for me. Sleeping on my side, no matter how I prop or cushion the knee, is painful. Sooo...because I can't change positions, stress is placed on my lower back and, often, at some point the sciatic nerve is irritated and is just enough discomfort to keep me from falling back to sleep unless I sit at the table to unkink it for awhile.

Actually slept fairly well last night. I think I've finally figured out the pain pill dosage. Plus a benedryl to encourage sleep -- I've not liked any prescription sleeping pill I've taken, but that usually works fine.

Totally goofed off yesterday -- didn't have to go anywhere or do anything. Kept active enough so the knee wouldn't seize up, but didn't put any stress on it. All I did all day was read (finished my re-read after 45 years of "Live and Let Die" by Ian Fleming -- then started "Moonraker") and watch the Food Channel. Need to find some resident to whom to give the Vanity Fair magazine I just wrapped up so I don't have to carry it home. (Also read a couple local free magazines -- Stuff and The Improper Bostonian.)

Intend to do more of the same today -- unless Kim calls and Tom can start voice therapy.

Today, too, Beacon House is doing a K9 inspection for bed bugs -- prophylactic as they've never had a problem.

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Jeri
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 08:44 AM

I had the phone off and charging, and this morning, I got a voice mail from Tom. YES! Real honest-to-goodness audible vocal cordage!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 11:53 AM

Wahooooooooooooooo


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: jacqui.c
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 12:44 PM

Great news Jeri!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: SINSULL
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 02:14 PM

Great news, Jeri! Thank you.
SINS at work.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 02:57 PM

Thank you Doctor Z!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: GUEST,curmudgeon
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 03:19 PM

A bit more voice, but with more volume some of the time. It's rather hard to explain partly ecause, perhaps, my voice is only a memory to me, and I'm not sure if I sound amnything like I used to..I'll let some of you be the judges of that when I get around to the round of phone calls yet to come.

No voice rehab today, perhaps tomorrow. Anon - Tom


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: gnu
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 03:26 PM

Well, I gotta bit of a frog in me t'roat and a wee bit a moisture in me eyes! DAMN this is good news!

And, like was said many times on Kendall's threads, as far as getting yer old voice back, nowt to be concerned. That's not the important thing.

Take care both.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Jeri
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 05:27 PM

Tom, I don't know that it wasn't a bit higher pitched than previously, but what I DID discover was how much your voice has to do with almost everything except what's making the noise. I would have recognized it was you because of your diction, enunciation, emphasis, and basically everything else that shapes the sound.

Hope you get in to see the voice therapist. It will likely involve doing things out of your comfort zone, possibly involving the Ministry of Silly Noises. I bet you have to get used to operating the new cord set-up, too. Must be weird having your voice change again!

I had things to do at home today, so I didn't get over to your house. I just went out to the mail box, and it's windy and COLD (mostly because of the wind). Tomorrow, I have a full day involving the gym, shopping and the dentist. I'll get over in the morning to feed,water and pet the fire and light the cats.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: GUEST,kfarmnh
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 06:12 PM

Way to go both of you... Book rush is on.
Working Sun-Wed+ some of next week. Doubt we will get to PR before leaving.
My buddy ML is not doing well, prognoses is dismal.Will call you when you get home. Keep up the good work, we need some good news.
Love,          j


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Bill D
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 06:31 PM

What a tale! I follow all this, but don't chime in regularly. I am not sure whether I feel more concern for Tom's throat or Linn's knee and back! (How about 75% for both!)
...discard jokes about "song & dance team"...

What I DO hear in all this is how much you both care for each other and what great friends you have up there...particularly one who deals with the cats.

Very best wishes for continued improvement for both of you... keep on keeping on!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: My guru always said
Date: 07 Dec 10 - 08:29 AM

Just managed to catch up with this fantastic news. So very glad that the op has gone so well, will keep sending positive thoughts for continuing recovery. Wonderful to hear that your voice is returning Tom, and great to read Jeri's description!!

So sorry to read all about your knee Linn, hope that your enforced rest has caught up some recovery and that things will improve for you!

Jeri, you are an absolute angel! Please note that Cat's tails do flare up quite quickly when lit, stand well back.

Sending warm thoughts to the wonderful Dr Z!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Charley Noble
Date: 07 Dec 10 - 08:54 AM

I like to hear continued good news!

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: GUEST,Bat Goddess in Boston
Date: 07 Dec 10 - 09:40 AM

Tom is hoping to get a start on voice therapy today -- he needs to relearn how to use his voice and unlearn the workarounds that his throat came up with to compensate for the diseased fold.

Kim from Dr. Z's office called late yesterday -- Tom hopes to hear from her this morning.

Have an appointment with Dr. Z first thing tomorrow morning, but we have to catch the 11 a.m. train afterwards, so it would make more sense to get in some initial treatment today so he can start practicing.

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: SINSULL
Date: 07 Dec 10 - 10:45 AM

Just the idea that Tom is posting again says a lot. Glad to have you back, old man. Take care of yourself, less old woman. It's icy out there.
Jeri, you're a treasure. But you knew that.
SINS


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Dec 10 - 01:38 PM

I think Tom and I have received our major Christmas gift this year -- his voice.

As the swelling goes down and things heal, his voice has gotten a little stronger every day since last Thursday's surgery. Not by far back to pre-cancer strength, but definitely encouraging and distinctly louder than the past 14 months.

Tom had a short introductory therapy session with Carol Krusemark, voice pathologist/singing voice specialist at the Voice Center this morning. (The other end of the hall from Dr. Z's.) She guided him in a few directions and had him vocalizing through a straw, basically showing him the exercises he'll need to practice to get the medial cord to work with the intact vocal cord. (Or maybe it's vice versa -- anyway, getting them to work optimally together).

He even sang, sort of. He's got some work to do -- 10 or 15 minutes twice a day -- and he'll be seeing her again when he comes down for followups with Dr. Z. But, wow. He's sounding even better than he did earlier this morning.

Sonny changed the dressing, says everything is looking good. Tom's beard is starting to grow out on his neck again, and wasbeing irritated by the blood on the old dressing.

Tomorrow the stitches and drain come out and we can come home.

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: GUEST,Bat Goddess in Boston
Date: 07 Dec 10 - 01:39 PM

Sigh. Again, that last post was from me -- I was so excited about telling you all about Tom's therapy session that I forgot to identify myself.

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: maeve
Date: 07 Dec 10 - 01:41 PM

What encouraging news, Linn! Thank you.

Tom, I will look forward to hearing you for myself.

Maeve


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: SINSULL
Date: 07 Dec 10 - 03:34 PM

All good, Linn. Thanks.
Mary


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: gnu
Date: 07 Dec 10 - 04:37 PM

Good new continues.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 07 Dec 10 - 05:39 PM

yes!

another (everyday) miracle - you are very fortunate to have the best access to the best treatment by the leading doctor in the field.

sandra


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Nancy King
Date: 07 Dec 10 - 05:44 PM

Great news! So glad things seem to be going well -- at last!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: GUEST,Bat Goddess in Boston
Date: 08 Dec 10 - 06:34 AM

Tom's in better humor, too, than I've seen him in in a looong time.

Now, if I could just get a full night's sleep. It's not the knee pain that wakes me up and keeps me awake, but sciatic pain. Because of the knee, I can only sleep on my back, and that puts pressure on the base of my spine which triggers the sciatic pain. At least it's only comparatively minor pain at base of spine and outside of my right calf, but enough to keep me from falling back to sleep.

Argh!

Early appointment with Dr. Z, then home. Really looking forward to going home. And the velcro cats. (Thanks, Jeri, for keeping their purrs warmed up -- if they'd not had any petting for a week, they'd be impossible.)

And I'm back to work tomorrow -- still maneuvering slowly and with a cane, but will be careful not to re-injure the knee.

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Charley Noble
Date: 08 Dec 10 - 08:16 AM

Give the fuzzies an extra hug for us as well!

Cheerily,
Charley and Judy


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 08 Dec 10 - 01:42 PM

We're home -- Jeri got a fire started in the woodstove so we didn't come home to a totally cold house. (And brought in some firewood, too.)

But it's finger-numbing cold here at the computer, so that's all I'm telling ya right now.

BTW, Dr. Z said he was "over the moon" pleased with the results of Tom's surgery.

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Jeri
Date: 08 Dec 10 - 02:46 PM

Tom seemed pretty happy, too! He sounded more like "Tom" today, and will just keep getting better, I think.

Tom, you should have maybe asked your voice therapist if kazoo playing would be a good thing.

The cold built up after a week of not having a fire going all the time. I started it around 11, and thought it might warm up a bit more than it did by the time you got home, but it's effin COLD outside!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: gnu
Date: 08 Dec 10 - 03:10 PM

If you could take all the warmth of the hearts that have glowed from hearing this great news day after day youse would have to open the windows.

And, Jeri, I submit that you were/are a great comfort/help to Linn and Tom with your efforts.

Good on yas all!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: kendall
Date: 08 Dec 10 - 04:14 PM

I just talked to him on the phone and if I wasn't expecting a call I still would have known in an instant who it was. The voice is weaker than normal but the Timbre' is still there!
Wonderful!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 08 Dec 10 - 06:58 PM

We got to Dr. Z's about 8 a.m. -- what time do these people START in the morning?!? Anywho, an associate came in and got the white goiter of gauze off Tom's neck, snipped the stitches and pulled out the drain. Then took pictures through his throat rather than snaking the camera down his nose. Even that's changed since Friday -- things are working together better and the gap is eliminated.

Then Dr. Zeitels came in and Tom greeted him. Dr. Z's smile was incredible! He asked Tom to count, etc. I made some comment about him looking pleased. He said, "Pleased? I'm over the moon!"

Before we could get out of there, though, Tom had to have another voice evaluation -- he'd had the first one back in September of 2009 and another this past Wednesday before the surgery.

Alas, they were fairly tightly scheduled this morning and we HAD to be out of there by not long after 10 so we could make the 11:05 Downeaster home. Everybody was hopping -- Carol, Tom's therapist, Kim, Sonny -- and Tara finally got to us. Ran through the same procedures as last Wednesday -- but the fastest she'd ever done an eval. Then they called a cab for us to save more time.

Carol came by to say she had overheard Dr. Z and Dr. Hillman -- they both think not only has this been a very very successful laryngoplasty, but that Tom recovers very well and very fast.

We go back in six weeks -- to be seen by Dr. Zeitels and to have another therapy session with Carol.

Meanwhile, Tom is under orders from Dr. Zeitels -- to talk as much and as often as possible. It's just going to get better as Tom learns to use his new voice.

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 08 Dec 10 - 07:13 PM

Dr. Zeitels has some pretty high profile patients...but he also has some pretty high profile MUDCAT patients -- Kendall Morse and Tom Hall.

This is the interview from last Friday night. Only California got to see it all. Dr. Z needs another $3 million to get the biogel that can almost totally restore both Tom's and Kendall's (especially Kendall's, because his voice was destroyed by the radiation that was part of his cancer treatment) through the FDA testing so Dr. Z can use it to bring voices back from what could have been the grave.

http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2010/12/02/the-who-frontman-opens-up-about-almost-losing-his-voice/

I truly thank God for Dr. Zeitels...and for the fact that he's so close in Boston...and that his goal is to preserve and restore the voice. Most other doctors just don't get it -- they just don't get how important the voice is to LIVING.

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Dec 10 - 07:41 PM

Well! It sounds like Kendall & Tom are part of the cutting edge of a pretty new medical technology. It is good to know such advances are happening..... and Sea Chanties NEED to be heard more than rock & roll...in MY prejudiced opinion....

I am glad that you are so close to Boston.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Jeri
Date: 08 Dec 10 - 08:21 PM

Good article. I think it's cute when they spell it "vocal chords".


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: gnu
Date: 08 Dec 10 - 08:39 PM

Jeri... music to my ears.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Charley Noble
Date: 08 Dec 10 - 10:37 PM

There was also this interesting message from Tom on my machine when I got home this evening from Roll & Go rehearsal. There was no doubt at all that it was Tom. I think this is probably the best machine message that Judy and I have listened to in years.

Dr. Z is certainly breaking new ground in voice restoration. We should invite him (and his crew) up to a Press Room session so he could more keenly appreciate how we use (and mis-use) our voices.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 09 Dec 10 - 09:38 PM

There's a lot to be said for sleeping in one's own bed.

I didn't have time to post this morning, but I actually got a decent night's sleep last night. No waking up at 3 a.m. with sciatic nerve pain, etcet etcet. Still can only sleep on my back which irritates the sciatic nerve, but I slept well anyway. Did manage a few minutes on my left side -- right side is still out of the question.

First day back at work in, for all practical purposes, two and a half weeks. Not bad -- I'm slow and deliberate. The cane gets in the way around the optical shop, but I need it to get between the store and the parking lot.

My boss is wonderful -- he put in a lot of not only extra days, but extra hours on the days we close at 8 p.m. He left me some glasses to check in, people to call to let them know their glasses were in, and some paperwork that he didn't have time to get done, but I certainly don't mind doing that. Especially since a lot of it could be done seated. Thanks, Jeff! (Even though he probably won't read this.)

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: SINSULL
Date: 09 Dec 10 - 09:58 PM

I misssed Tom's call tonight. I will call back tomorrow night, Tom. All good news. A lot to celebrate for the New Year.
SINS


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Jeri
Date: 09 Dec 10 - 10:46 PM

Tomorrow night is Friday night is session night.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: My guru always said
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 03:38 AM

So very pleased to keep seeing the good news, keep it up!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 08:34 AM

Thanks to Marty Stock who found this and posted it at Facebook -- it gives a lot of information about the procedure that Tom just went through and Dr. Z's philosophy, and the workings of the Voice Center. Tom has also gone through the voice evaluation as shown several times.

laryngoplasty

The young man in the video has both vocal cords but had a dysfunction. Tom had no right vocal cord left after the cancer was removed. But they both had a Gore-Tex medialization laryngoplasty.

Dr. Z has considerably less facial foliage now -- and it's a bit grayer, too.

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Charley Noble
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 12:30 PM

I had a nice talk with Tom over the phone about noon yesterday. There is definitely greater volume and there is no doubt that it's Tom speaking. And he sounded very pleased!

Dr. Z's work is certainly impressive and one can only hope that more people will soon benefit from his results.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 12:33 PM

Tom's car's battery died yesterday, so I had to leave work a bit early to fetch him to The Press Room. (We'll get that sorted out tomorrow or Monday.)

Steve Smith said he'd wanted to video friends' reactions to Tom's voice, but he didn't get it set up quickly enough.

Despite the sound sucking ability of The Press Room (which is, of course, exaggerated during the session), Tom was finally able to actually talk to people last night and friends could hear and understand him.

He's been doing his straw-vocalization exercises and talking to a lot of people on the phone. There's still work to do, but this has been a MAJOR advance. We see Dr. Zeitels and Carol, Tom's voice therapist, in about six weeks.

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: gnu
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 12:42 PM

What a wonderful gift. Brings a tear...


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: jacqui.c
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 12:46 PM

Really good news! Can't wait to hear him.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 10:33 AM

Tom sang!

He came upstairs about 45 minutes ago and waited patiently outside the bedroom door while I finished my free weight exercises, then came in with a quiet smile on his face but a gleam in his eye and announced that he had sung the first verse and chorus of "The Internationale" (except for the high note). No volume, of course, but he SANG!

He's been doing his exercises -- vocalizing through a straw and roller coaster tones and humming. His voice therapist had him trying to sing last week during his first therapy session and he was moderately successful (even though the stitches and drain were still in his neck and his throat was still somewhat swollen). We could see that the potential was definitely there.

It's early days yet and is going to take more work (and possibly some more procedures), but I can say in full confidence that Tom Hall will, indeed, sing again.

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Nancy King
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 10:49 AM

Excellent! What a great Christmas present!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: jacqui.c
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 11:04 AM

Wonderful!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 11:11 AM

The Goretex Carol

The Goretex as I understand
Is the finest gift to Tom and Linn
I pray you all to make merry
Give thanks to science, and Doctor Z

In caelum cerevisiae est nullum,
Itaque hic bibemus illum


{Vir sapit qui pauca loquitur}


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: ClaireBear
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 11:51 AM

For the first time, I find myself wishing there was a "like" button I could press (twice: once for the singing and once for the Gore-tex Carol). Congratulations!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: gnu
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 02:35 PM

Oh my! >:-)))))))))))


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: KathWestra
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 02:58 PM

Three cheers to Tom for the singing (and for the perseverance to get to that point).
Three cheers to Linn for all the long months of waiting and hand-holding with Tom while also holding down her job and dealing with her own health issues.
Three cheers to Dr. Z for having the right stuff and working surgical miracles.
And a final round of cheers to John McKenzie for the wonderful GoreTex Carol. What fun!
And a Merry Solstice to All, with wishes for a CALM and peaceful and HEALTHY 2011. xoxoxoxo


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: katlaughing
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 06:00 PM

Here, here!!

'S wonderful news!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 06:04 PM

That is Fantastic!!! YEAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!! Sing on!!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Voice Restoration, Part 2
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 09:26 PM

LOVE the Gor-Tex Carol!!!

Linn


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