Very soon, I will have throat dilatation surgery, for the 17th time since 2006. This will be to treat my highly recurrent subglottic stenosis. I experience narrowing within my trachea.
At its very worst, having a subglottic stenosis is like breathing through a clogged coffee stir stick. This condition was originally misdiagnosed as asthma. It took several subspecialists, and several years, to determine the accurate differential diagnosis.
My entire life has been turned upside down and inside out because of this chronic condition. This diagnosis is the major reason why I’m no longer able to work full-time. I used to be in excellent shape, and able to run, several miles per day.
Now, I struggle to even complete far less strenuous tasks. At this point, even walking across the room results in shortness of breath. Thankfully, the surgery is able to be performed without requiring a hospital admission.
Only one time was it necessary for me to be hospitalized after this surgery; my lungs partially collapsed, which is a known risk of this procedure. I will receive general anesthesia. The pain after surgery is horrific, but only for the first day post-procedure.
A couple of weeks after my procedure, I’ll require a follow-up appointment with my ENT surgeon; this will determine the extent to which I have adequately healed after surgery. How I wish that I could be assured that my next throat dilatation surgery will be my last one.