Is it my vagus nerve?

I painted outside for four hours today. It was lovely.  I could almost hear the garden growing after last night’s thunderstorm and rain. A small rabbit came out of the cedars and started munching on the Virginia Creeper that usually grows around the rim of our little pond.  Now I know why there is no Creeper this year.  He’s eaten it all. I’ve never seen leaves disappear so fast. How he gets into our fenced in, fully wired in backyard, I’ll never know but there he is, or she is. I’d rather have the rabbit then worry about a few leaves so the pond rim will stay bare and the rabbit will grow fat. Fair enough.

When is heartburn just heartburn and when is it my vagus nerve messing up my digestive system?  I’ve had the most awful heartburn all day.  For years I’ve taken Nexium that stops stomach acid for and it doesn’t seem to help when this happens.  I took Gavisgon and it barely touches it.  My voice is not really there, either. I think I need a real rest. The good old vagus nerve is sometimes called “The Wanderer” because it seems to go on forever and wanders all over your upper half, to put it very unscientifically.  It can affect your tongue, vocal cords, diaphragm, intestines and heaven knows what else.  I think it can even affect the brain stem and heart. I worked with CMT people for many years before I found out about the vagus nerve and that it is considered a peripheral nerve.

When I lost my voice many years ago, no doctor thought it was my CMT until I saw one in Toronto who actually examined my vocal cords and could see that one wasn’t working.  I saw two other “specialist”. One said I had “Canadian Crud” and the other said I’d never learned to speak correctly and wanted to send me to rehab.  As it turned out, I found what I had in the Mayo Clinic Healthletter and located a good ENT specialist in Toronto. I suggested what the Mayo Clinic said and he performed an Ishiki laryngoplasty on the vocal cord that was paralyzed. He put a little battleship shaped silicone wedge beside it which pushed it over to the one that wasn’t paralyzed. When you push air from your lungs with your diaphragm, the air comes through your vocal cords and when you speak, the two touch and vibrate to make sound. When only one moves and they don’t touch you get a strange double sounding voice or nothing. It’s exhausting trying to speak when your vocal cords don’t touch. You are blowing air against nothing. There is little or no resistance. I think that’s what’s happening to me again. I haven’t said more than 20 words all day. When I do, it’s so soft it can hardly be heard. I cant push. I know I’m tired out physically. I just wish my blasted brain would shut down and leave me in peace.  Ever get that way?

The silicone wedge was coughed up abut a year and a half after it went in. The doctor hadn’t told me it could choke me to death if it came up in my windpipe. Fortunately, it didn’t. I felt like my throat was being slit for two days and then, on the third morning, around 6 a.m., I coughed and there  it was. I called the doctor in Toronto and all he said was, “Yes, that can happen.” Really! Good thing I didn’t know. I would have worried about choking to death.

After the wedge was rejected, I still had my voice and have had it for many years unless I get really tired. I’m really tired.