Well, I finally had my appointment with the ENT (ear, nose, throat doctor) last week who assured me after sticking a teeny tiny camera through my nose and down my throat that my vocal chords looked just fine, thank you. Of course, by the time of this visit my voice had returned to near normal.
In his opinion, my sexy (hoarse) voice, might have been caused by a broken blood vessel due to coughing. Imagine that! I've been told that I will always have a cough due to the problems with my lungs. Sometimes I cough a lot, sometimes not so much. But I always have a cough.
Oh, and the ENT said there is some evidence of acid in my throat, too. No surprise there as acid reflux is a complication of scleroderma, which is my case is pretty well-controlled by taking medications, avoiding certain foods, elevating my bed, etc., etc., etc.
So thank goodness, no new meds, no further testing, no follow-up appointment. Just some tips on how to prevent acid reflux. Avoid coffee, tea, cola - basically anything with caffeine, don't drink red wine, and don't eat dairy products after dinner, blah blah blah.
I am pretty good at avoiding foods or drinks that will trigger acid reflux, except for one of my favorites:
Yes, the doc said to limit chocolate. I can do without coffee. I don't drink cola or red wine, and I hardly ever eat after dinner. But chocolate? I enjoy having a little bit of chocolate each day. Isn't it supposed to be good for you in some antioxidant sort of way? Doesn't everyone deserve a little bit of chocolate every now and again?
I don't think I can easily give up chocolate. I can try, but I will have to be strong.
I will try to remember this quote by author Judith Viorst:
"Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands --- and then eat just one of the four pieces."
Viorst is best known to me as the author of the children's book, "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day." It is precisely on that kind of day when I need a little bit of chocolate.
Wouldn't you agree?