It'd be great if some people could comment on this set of facts...
There are two straightforward questions at the end of this posting, in case you want to skip the rest.
Last June, my colleagues started telling me that I was sounding hoarse over the phone. Over the summer, in Croatia, it probably got better, for none of my friends and family referred to a change in my voice. Ever since I'm back to school, my voice has fluctuated but generally has been more or less hoarse since September.
What indicates LPR, is this:
- An expensive doctor has filmed my vocal folds and it turns out that one(!) of them is swollen quite a bit and looks inflammed. Also, there was quite some mucus on my vocal folds (though not A LOT, if you know what I mean). The doc just said it was more than usual.
- Four months before the hoarseness started, I moved out from home and started eating very late at night and usually shortly before I would go to sleep. These bad habits continued in the fall when the hoarseness recurred.
- I feel there might (!!) be some correlation between the degree of my hoarseness and stress I am experiencing. This, of course, does not indicate LPR as such but I just thought I would throw this anxiety-hoarseness interdependence out there.
- I sometimes notice white stuff at the back of my throat when I wake up. I guess that's post-nasal drip. However, can this substance also come from below (=reflux) or does it always come from below?
- Only when I am really anxious - and because of a number of issues I was VERY anxious and nervous for most of the time between September and December - I feel some minor cramps in my stomach. They last for 1-2 seconds or leave me with a very faint "lumpy" feeling in my stomach for a couple of hours. I do NOT however, have severe stomach troubles of any kind. Sometimes, I belched a little. (Now, I know that LPR does not require feeling really sick down there, as opposed to GERD. However, you might wanna know.)
The doc has just put me on 40mg of Nexium twice a day and I started taking these around a week ago. Sure, I could just wait to see if my hoarseness goes away after a couple of weeks (hopefully) or months (hopefully not).
I will start working as a lawyer in the fall and want to resolve it before then. The doc wants to have another look at me in 8 weeks and then go from there. I might not have the time for this. Even though he practically rules out cancer, a polyp or anything of that kind, the swollen vocal fold might(!!) in the very end require surgery because the inflammation and swelling don't go away, which I cannot afford once I have started working.
I therefore wanted to ask you two questions:
- My hoarseness is not super-bad. But given the fact that one of my vocal folds doesn't swing at all and blocks half of the other, I am effectively left with 25% of my voice. Anyway, I have seen pictures of inflammations of this area that look far worse and I therefore wanted to ask if anybody out there thinks that my symptoms might get better sooner than in a couple of months. Also, I barely feel my throat, a lump or anything during the day. Fortunately, it's all painless.
- Second, I often/almost always wake up with a white/greyish coated tongue. It's especially coated in the back and the slimy stuff cannot completely be removed by brushing it. Also there are some very minor very-little-breadcrumb-sized bumps on the back of my tongue (no geographical tongue (yet)). Does this support the theory that I am dealing with a reflux (and therefore LPR) issue? If symptom relief only occurs after a couple of months, how about the tongue? Should it go away earlier?
Thank you very, very much for your answers!