Symptoms of Vocal Hoarseness Led to a Complexity of Problems and Treatments

Symptoms of Vocal Hoarseness Led to a Complexity of Problems and Treatments

Do you want your medical situation to choose you? If you ignore signs and symptoms, you may find that is the case.

 I want to share a story about someone who didn’t know he had an issue.

A client of mine told me they ignored their persistent hoarseness for several years.  

It became progressively worse for people to understand him. Work was becoming more difficult as he was a sales representative speaking on the phone most of the day.

His symptoms consisted of:

•           Hoarseness

•           Excessive throat clearing

•           Fullness in his throat

•           Trouble swallowing

•           Infrequent heartburn

He finally saw a doctor about his voice and was told he needed to see a gastroenterologist (a physician that specializes in diagnosis and treatment of the esophagus, stomach and intestines).

A diagnosis of esophageal cancer surprised him.  

He underwent chemo and radiation therapy.

After his course of treatment, he suffered from swallowing problems which required therapy.My client became fatigued, depressed, anxious, and experienced low energy. He found it more challenging to keep up with his appointments, recall what he needed to do, and follow up with his care. He often forgot to take his medications, do his swallowing therapy, and began losing weight. 

He didn’t have home support since he lived alone.  

These were some of the specialists he saw during his course of treatment:

•           Oncologist

•           Radiation therapist

•           Speech Pathologist

•           Nutritionist 

•           Gastroenterology physician

•           ENT physician

As you can see, his ignored symptoms of hoarseness led to a host of other medical problems and more specialists to care for him.  His medical expenses skyrocketed while he searched for remedies.  

What can he do to help manage his situation, now that it is quite complicated? 

Hire a patient advocate…You don’t know what you don’t know.

Managing the current situation:  What can a patient advocate do to help when you are already in a complex medical condition?

•           Setting up medical appointments

•           Educating you about your diagnosis and help you get more from your doctors’ visits

•           Make sure you get the information you need about your care.

•           Help you understand your medical bills

How to prevent a complex medical situation:  You may ask yourself what why would you hire a patient advocate if you have symptoms but not a complicated medical issue? 

•           Educate you about red flags and warning signs

•           Promote wellness and ways to be proactive with your care

•           Identify gaps in your care

You can choose to be proactive with your care and hire a professional patient advocate who can manage your medical situation. If your medical problem has become complex, a patient advocate will be on your side to guide and advise you to better care.  With my experience and specialty in voice disorders, I can guide you through your concerns and help avoid a situation going from a symptom to a complicated problem.

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