Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Speaking Of ...

The biggest problem Parkinson's presents for me is my voice. It's the result of several different things. There's standard aphonia, which is the usual problem Parkinson's patients have, and which makes me sound much softer than I think I am. But there's also dysarthria, which causes slurring (such as that from a frontal lobe infarction); this is harder to pin down because the cause of pathology is unclear. It could have been a physical insult to my speech center -- or it could be something completely different. And there's also the butcher job that an E.N.T. did on my uvula, which causes extreme hypernasality. Plus my lungs are weak; this is caused by lateral scoliosis not leaving them enough room. P.D. exacerbates this. In short, while an operation may solve part of the problem, it might not solve it all. I'm reluctant to have my head unzipped just to see what's going on in there. The more research I do, the less inclined I am to believe that one procedure -- or even two or three -- will provide the Hail Mary pass that's needed here. I may have to settle for a cyborg-style mechanism that'll bypass my voice completely. Because it's looking more and more like, even a combination of brain surgery and reconstructive laryngeal surgery might not provide the magic bullet.

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