David saw the specialist in laryngitis this afternoon. Seth and I went with him, and we got to be in the room, ask questions, and see the whole procedure. The doctor put a scope down David's throat (poor guy, it was hard not to gag), and he took video of the vocal cords when David spoke. He used a strobe to get better slow motion pictures. The pictures were quite clear, and he used the machine to show that David does have vocal paralysis of the right vocal cord. The muscle tone of it was slack and drooping, and though it did move some, it wasn't moving much at all. Because of this, his vocal cords weren't coming together and closing when he spoke, leading to the higher pitched, weak voice that he has now had for nearly two months.
Here's where things got really hard for me. David's ENT doctor who referred us to this specialist had given us the wrong idea about what he would do for us at this visit. That ENT gave us the impression that this visit would more clearly diagnose the problem, which it did, but also that he would be able to do a test that would determine whether or not David's vocal cord function is likely to return on it's own. At the conclusion of these tests, she said, David could get a shot in the vocal cord to give him much more normal speech. That test could be scheduled for this following week, before we left D.C. This is what we were led to believe. She was wrong, and that was hard on us. We had waited a month for this appointment, for the hope of some improvement.
Instead, the specialist tested David with the strobe and recommended that he see another doctor for a second test to determine future vocal cord function. He couldn't do that test at this visit. In fact, he didn't do it at all, and only one doctor in this area actually does it. Of course, we couldn't see him next week. He's completely booked. So we waited a month, looking forward to David getting this shot and getting some of his voice back, all for nothing.
I don't think I realized how much I'd been looking forward to the possible return of David's voice until it was denied to me. I was very angry at first, and I felt really betrayed by the false information we received. I was angry that this long wait had given us nothing but more waiting and more tests. And I was then sad that this tough chapter is not over for us. I had really high hopes that we would leave DC with the problem at least partially solved and with less to worry about.
It is hard to trust God with this, and I think it's getting harder in some ways. David's ability to do his future job depends on his ability to speak above a whisper. In a way, I think I was clinging to him getting the shot as a lifeline. If we got it before we left DC, even if it was a few days before, and it didn't work for some reason, then we could cancel the movers, get out of our lease, and figure out what to do next without uprooting our life to move to Raleigh. We'd have some time to think. We wouldn't potentially leave here for nothing. We'd have an out, and even if it was by the skin of our teeth, we could stop this thing.
But as I have learned over and over, God doesn't deal that way with us. He wants us to hang EVERYTHING on Him, when doctors can't make promises, and when doctors can't do anything. Haven't I learned by now that doctors can't fix anything without the Lord? I don't like the lesson this time any more than I liked it last time. But it's what I have come face to face with, once again. So on July 22, this little family will be packing up our moving van and driving to Raleigh to start over. We're doing it, hanging everything on faith that the Lord has called us to this job and this place. He has provided a wonderful home for us. And He will make a way.