Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Ghost of a Voice

Ammon has been home three weeks yesterday. He seems to be getting stronger every day except for his voice. After they took the breathing tube out the last time, he couldn't talk at all, which is normal. The following day he could barely whisper. Each day it got a little better until finally he could be heard. But his voice is only about half as loud as it once was. The anesthesiologist told us that he had a very difficult time getting the breathing tube inserted and we noticed that they had put signs up in the PICU around his bed saying, "Difficult Airway." None of the other anesthesiologists had seemed to have difficulty so we were concerned right at the beginning. We have never had those signs posted in previous surgeries, either.
Once Ammon had been home for about 10 days, we decided to take him to our pediatrician, Dr. Valdez, to see if he would examine Ammon's throat to see if it was sore or swollen. He said the throat looked fine but he was very concerned with the loss of the voice to the extent Ammon's was gone. We did a cortizone treatment on him (medication) for 5 days and then started a breathing treatment using Pulimcort. We checked in with Dr. Valdez three times within about a 10 day period of time. He isn't satisfied with the voice, feeling like we saw a little progress but not enough.
So we now have to take Ammon to an ENT doctor for an endoscopy, which is taking a minute little camera down through his nose into the throat to see if the one good vocal cord has been damaged. As long as the vocal cord is working, then time will probably heal the voice. If there has been damage and the vocal cord isn't working well, then we go back up to PCMC to meet with ENT doctors up there to determine if a traceotomy is necessary. I don't know all the purposes of the vocal cord other than to make noise, but Dr. Valdez said it is essential that one has to be working properly to protect Ammon's airways and that it would be a very serious situation if it wasn't. The endoscopy isn't painful at all, but it reminds Ammon too much of all the suctioning he had to have done down into his lungs so he isn't terribly happy about it.
As a family, we are going to fast for Ammon on Sept. 28 and Ammon wants to participate himself for the very first time.
Last night when I was explaining to Ammon what might have to happen, he was quiet for a minute and then looked up at me and said, "Well, if that is the way it has to be, then I will just be a quiet man!" He has been more accepting than I would ever be.
Anyone that wants to join in the fasting and praying in behalf of Ammon would be welcome.


Ally Hawkins said...

Gosh he is such a brave little guy. He always has a good attitude. Im thinking of you guys. Love you Ammon!

Jeni said...

Oh my! If it isn't one thing, it's another! Grrr to the anesthesiologist. I wish Ammon the best! I've had one of those procedures before and it is slick as a whistle! Kudos to Ammon for your bravery and patience.

Jess and Jen said...

Ammon, you are an awesome guy! You are such a good example to all of us! We hope you heal quickly! --Jen