The Diet AftermathBy NANA O. YEBOAH
The vocal cord is an integral instrument to a vocalist; without vocal health, dreams of becom- ing as successful as Mariah Carey are impossible. Vo- cal cord surgeries have gained prominence lately because great voices such as Adele, Steven Tyler, Lionel Richie, Julie Andrews, and Bjork have under- gone treatment. According to Massachusetts Gener- al Hospital, where some of the performers mentioned were treated, voice care is crucial for all individuals, not just vocalists. Voice issues are not only reserved for singers, coaches, TV hosts or other vocal athletes. Voice issues can be a problem for any person who uses his or her voice on a regular basis such as par- ents, educators, politicians, executives, and manag- ers. That could mean anyone could suffer from similar voice problems and yet the voice is taken for granted on a daily basis without necessarily realizing it. Los- ing one’s primary form of communication can be devastating. It can be more devastating to not know where to go or who to turn to for information.
After surgery, the healing process can be exceedingly trying but with the use of a strict and proper diet, recovery is definitively within reach. Georgetown University Hospital suggests that, right after surgery, a person should be well hydrated with fluids that will keep urine light yellow or clear in co- lour, such as water and sport drinks. If, for any rea-
son, you have issues drinking the liquids suggested, attempt thicker fluids that have more of a pudding- like consistency, such as shakes, cream soups, and nectars.
Once you have the clear liquid meals under control, the Osborne Head & Neck Institute of Cali- fornia suggests that you progress to soft foods such as, pureed vegetables, ice cream, mashed potatoes and even mac & cheese. Increase your intake of the suggested liquids and soft foods with extreme cau- tion and as tolerated. You basically need to be co- gnoscente of what you are putting into your mouth at this critical time.
The good news is that, if all goes well, you should be able to resume your normal eating habits within days of the procedure, pending any strong rec- ommendations from your surgeon of course. You still must remain active in your own health care by paying special attention to any possible side effects of vocal cord problems. Issues stemming from chronic acid reflux, stomach acid, gastric reflux symptoms such as heart burn and indigestion, which can cause further damage when you should be healing. Your doctor may suggest antacid medications and avoiding cer- tain foods you may love, like citrus fruits, caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, fatty foods, mint, spicy foods and tomato-based foods.