In rural West Texas, periodically, I receive a phone call or communication from a speech pathologist, who now is faced with treating a laryngectomy for the very first time.
The only coursework that they have received on this topic of rehabilitiation has been a brief lecture or two, amidst the many millions of lectures received while in graduate school.
To the credit of these professionals, they seek help and whenever possible, I rearrange my day or week, so that I can accomodate them. Last Tuesday I spent an afternoon going over the basic information of alaryngeal rehabilitation with a speech pathologist, who lives about 130 miles from my home base at West Texas Rehabilitation Center in San Angelo, Texas.
I will work with her hopefully, once a week, over the next 3-4 weeks, along with as many professionals she can gather in, as we work together to assist not one but two new laryngectomees in her area. She has been working in the current position for 2 years and these patients will be the first, she has known of, in her entire town of about 60,000 people.
We share when we can. We pass it along when we can. We hope to encourage others to share their talents and resources, to help us in this journey, so that all laryngectomees and their families have access to support and assistance.