Since 1995 you've been a great sounding board for me. Whether it's a question about life, parenting, relationships, money, or health. You've always been there for me with a reasonable observation and advice based on experience.

I need you again.

I have been diagnosed with bone spurs in my neck. These spurs are creating a situation with the nerves that run from the neck down through my arms. I have been experiencing a lot of discomfort in my neck. I also have been experiencing a lot of pain, loss of feeling, and even loss of function in both arms and in my hands. I can't even hold a pen to write my name so I wouldn't ask me to hold your baby or anything that might break.

The two doctors I have consulted about my condition suggest that surgery is my best option for relief. I have concerns about that surgery. My concerns aren't really about whether the procedure will be successful or not. My concerns are more about a possible side effect.

That side effect has to do with my voice.

Since the procedure will require an incision in my neck and the manipulation of the muscles and nerves in my neck. I am quite concerned about incidental contact or collateral damage.  Let me explain.

I keep my vocal cords in my neck, you probably do too. I use those vocal cords to make a living, feed my family, and visit with you. I would be absolutely lost if I couldn't speak with the voice I have cultivated and trained for my job. I know it's selfish but I like my job, it gives me a lot of satisfaction when I get to do my job.

Here's where I could really use your help. Have you had a similar surgery? Was the procedure successful in your mind? Did it affect your ability to speak? Did it vanquish the discomfort that you are feeling?

My doctors have suggested that the risk of damage to my voice is minimal. However, they have stopped short of saying there is no risk to my voice. They do that for obvious reasons.

One of my doctors told me off the record that the risk is very, very, small.  They, the doctors, can't say for sure that I won't sound differently after the procedure. They did assure me that the surgery would not correct my propensity to say a lot of stupid things.

I appreciate you allowing me to use your time for my personal benefit. You've always been so kind to me. I will let you know what I decide. I'd appreciate a good thought if you have one to spare.