Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Damned If You Do...

After 2 weeks of taking various foods by mouth, I was given a 2nd chance at the swallow test at MoBap (hospital).  Things had been going okay in practice, but I was definitely concerned what the test revealed.  While sitting in front of an X-ray machine they had me swallow some Barium infused pudding and liquid.  Delicious!  That was just like the 1st test.  This time I also had some graham cracker pieces dipped in the pudding.

The X-rays showed my Epiglottis did not move much.  When swallowing, the epiglottis normally folds down to help prevent food from going into the trachea.  The Speech Therapist administering the test said that my swallowing muscles were now compensating for the "stiff" epiglottis.  That was the good news, however there is still risk of aspiration because of this problem.  I was told I needed to wash solid foods with liquids and also tuck my chin while swallowing.  These 2 things seem to be the key for reducing the risks.

If you ever have a meal with me, and you see me bow my head (over and over), consider it a prayer of thanks to the powers that be, for letting me eat through my oral cavity instead of my Jejunostomy Tube.  It tastes much better that way.

Speculation is that my epiglottis was affected by previous radiation treatments from my Hodgkins disease adventures.  It may have been faulty for quite awhile.  Who knows?  The one thing I have found out is that there is only so much chemo the body can take.  There is also a limit on how much radiation any parts of the body can take AND that radiation can affect those body parts for years to come.  Damned if you do,…

By the way, my last blaug post about anniversaries failed to mention the above referenced Hodgkins radiation treatments.  They ended 25 years ago last month.  I'll drink (and tuck) to that.

Bottom line is that I continue to eat (mostly soft foods) and am reducing my tube feedings in anticipation of the tube removal.  Hopefully that will occur very soon.  Maybe my next post will contain that good news.  Keep your fingers crossed and maybe tuck your chin too.

Song of the week:
  "Take it as it Comes" by J. Roddy Walston & The Business

Nathan turned me on to him recently.  Check out this video from their appearance on the Conan Show.

Also, I can never resist a good pic of Lucy

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