Today my voice is slightly better, although not strong. It hurts after talking last night while bowling. I constantly feel as if I’m about to strangle on nothing at all. My run through prednisone land gave me some of my voice back – but now I’m in free fall again. It was just a five or six day cycle, and now that I’m weaned off of it, my throat has been tightening back up. Which I’m guessing means my thyroid is swelling or growing again. If I needed any proof, when I got home last night, I sneezed and nearly fell out of my chair in agony. Yup. It’s back.
As it turns out, I apparently have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis – a common enough autoimmune disease in which (for reasons nobody really knows) the body’s defenses turn on the thyroid and attempt to destroy it. As I understand it, the war being waged by myself against myself caused the thyroid to inflame and impinge upon the nerve bundle passing through it, which is responsible for voice quality. Tada: my primary presenting problem.
Usually it affects women. In fact, depending on where you read, the ratio of women to men affected with Hashimoto’s is somewhere between 10:1 and 50:1. Hooray. I’m rare.
I’ve been started on a synthetic thyroid hormone. Thirty days and retest. It’s a wait and see game. I really don’t want to play, thanks. But I have to endure the game. Silently.
When I talked to the nurse this morning, I asked her how long it could be till my voice returns to normal. “At least a few weeks,” she told me, then told me to stop talking or it will take longer. Treat it like laryngitis and rest the vocal cords.
Um. I’m a pastor. I preach on Sunday.
Not this week, she graciously hinted. Then she very nicely implied that I shouldn’t be talking to her either.
So now I’m sitting here in silence. At least it’s good practice.
“If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless.” (James 1:26, NASB95)