Voice and swallowing is something we all take for granted until there is a problem. It can get scary pretty fast.
My adventure started innocently enough in the Summer of 2015 when I had a procedure on a tear duct in my right eye. The breathing tube damaged my vocal folds during the surgery and when I woke up I knew something wasn’t right. After a few months, when the problem had not cleared on its own, I was referred to an ENT in Napa. Using a scope, she identified the problem as a small granuloma on one of my vocal cords and scheduled a surgery to remove it. Unfortunately, as they sometimes do, the granuloma returned, and with a vengeance. So I was referred to the specialists at UC Davis where I met Dr. Peter Belafsky.
Dr. Belafsky proceeded with an aggressive steroid treatment program and made sure we took every possible action to ensure it would not return again. This included prescribing Prilosec twice a day to eliminate any chance of reflux damage while I was healing. After 6 weeks of total voice rest, my voice box healed and I started with voice therapy.
Additionally, I was directed to begin treatment with an alginate product from Britain so we could wean me off of the Prilosec. I was fascinated by the simple genius of alginate treatment, specifically because as a chef I am very familiar with the “rafts” we make with egg whites to clarify consommé. Fortunately for me, the alginate therapy was very effective, so when Dr. Belafsky asked me if I could help his team develop an alginate product that would be produced and marketed in California, I jumped at the chance. My job was to make it taste good and I’m also patient #1, using it regularly to protect my vocal folds from any possible reflux damage. I’ve been taking Mint Chocolate Rescue for over two years, and I remain reflux free!!