During this whole process we sought a second opinion at OHSU in Portland, OR for my voice and swallow and in the process gained another medical team and procedure. Well, that was about three months ago, and the procedure that had been done was starting to wear off. Needless to say I was hoarse for a few days and we began the process of securing an appointment down there. We got on a plane Monday afternoon and were there by the evening... loving direct flights. We saw Dr. Flint on Tuesday morning and decided to allow my body the full 18 months healing window before we jumped into surgery. He noticed that my throat & voice had changed and was also excited about my ability to swallow. We collectively agreed that I would again return this summer/early fall for another evaluation & potential swallow study to see if my paralyzed vocal chord is planning to return to normal function. If I do have the surgery, it requires that I am awake so that vocal pitches can be assessed. I would also have to stay over night in the hospital and near OHSU for 48 hours to ensure no complications arise. Yes, what I always wanted another scar in my neck to match my central line scars. UGH! Oh well, if that is all I have to do, I am thankful. Later that day we visited Voodoo donuts, a Portland landmark. Anyone who knows me probably thinks its weird I intentionally visited someplace with this name, but it got rave reviews and I had to try the TEXAS CHALLENGE. I will post pictures, I promise. While there we also got a voodoo doll donut filled with raspberry jelly and stuck with a pretzel and we had to try the maple bacon bar. I really enjoyed the voodoo doll and the maple bacon wasn't bad, but definitely not mine or Darren's cup of tea. Since we didn't have to stay until Friday night like we had originally planned due to potential surgery, we changed our tickets for the same flight time just on Wednesday. So to kill time, we went and saw a movie, slept in, shopped & people watched at the mall and finally headed to the airport. Boy was I glad to get home to see my boys.
The week before we left, we had our family portrait done. Hopefully I'll be able to share those without inf ridging on publishing rights.
Good/Scary news... everyone has agreed and the time has come... I am having my tube taken out on the 11th. I have to check into the hospital in the morning and be put under mild sedation so that they can pull it out. Yes, they just pull it out. From what I understand, I am left for a little while with a hole in my skin and the pathway from my stomach to my skin heals quickly. I don't know how long I will have the hole on my tummy, but it will be gone. Only now I get to pray that God continues healing me and that my swallow doesn't fail. Oh, the joys of life.
Enjoy the pictures!