Dear Readers, earlier this week I was sharing the story of my CT scan, for which I am still awaiting my results. However, on Sunday I took a trip to Barnet Hospital to their Ear, Nose and Throat department, so that the consultant could have a look at my vocal cords – one of the symptoms of my cough has been hoarseness/a change in my voice, so the doctor wanted to make sure that all is well in that department.
Well, I don’t know what I was expecting to happen, and just as well because I would have worried myself silly about it, but I didn’t expect to get a camera poked up my nose.
However, although I was initially a little perturbed (who wouldn’t be, at the sight of someone fixing a tiny camera to a massively long, thin rubber tube), I am here to report that it was actually completely fine – a bit strange, but not painful, and actually easier than your average nasal lateral flow test. The camera has a little light attached, and the consultant looked at the images on the screen and took some photos. When he asked me if I wanted to see them I positively elbowed him out of the way in my excitement, because who wouldn’t want to see their vocal cords? And they are apparently completely normal, which means that that’s one less thing to be concerned about.
The vocal cords are actually very complicated organs, comprising five different layers of tissue. The whole thing is susceptible to influence from hormones, particularly testosterone: this chemical changes the size and musculature of the vocal cords, which is why the pitch of a male’s voice changes when he reaches puberty. In addition, genetic factors will determine whether we’re a soprano or a basso profondo, though vocal training can extend our range. Sadly, we don’t have a syrinx, a very special organ that birds have, so our chances of twittering or hooting or warbling are rather limited.
So here we are. What a week it’s been! I’ve been irradiated, punctured (twice) and now invaded. But how grateful I am for all the care that I’ve experienced this week. And it’s reminded me of how much I love London – I have been tended by such varied people, all of whom have made London their home, and we are all all the richer for it. I will keep you posted on my results, but tomorrow I am heading to Dorset, for a much wished-for rest, and a chance to visit Mum and Dad’s grave. I always find it so peaceful there, and so restorative. I know how interested Mum would have been in all these medical procedures – she was a real NHS warrior, and there weren’t many things that she hadn’t endured – and yet she was always so curious about what was happening. I wish I could sit down and discuss them with her, over a cup of tea and piece of cake like we used to.
Enjoy your break to the full.
Thanks for the explanations. I’m sure you’re relieved that you’re vocal chords are fine. I can see why you find Dorset so peaceful, after the hustle and bustle of London. Have a nice, relaxing holiday.