Side Note: It must be nice for the doctors to have someone else do their work for them. I'm not going to get started.
So the NP scheduled a Modified Barium Swallow. you can check out the information of how it is done and what it is used for here.
Her findings showed that my tongue muscles and larynx have weakened. She said she wasn't sure the cause but she pointed out that it had NOTHING to do with the esophageal dilation. This problem is entirely different. "BIG SIGH"She said it could be a combination of things such as age and CP.
Some of her recommendations were not new to me. I've done some for a while now. Makes me wonder if I am doing these and I still have problems, what am I doing wrong? Obviously something or maybe I need a few of these extra ones.
Typical of my crazy body. I can't just do standard things. I always need more. "SIGH".
1. I am not to use a straw! OH NO! I use a straw to drink practically everything. I thought it was making it easier to swallow but the x-ray showed otherwise.
|Photo Credit: Makeittakeit|
2. Take small bites and sip liquid. I usually do this anyway. She said an average person should take 45 minutes to eat a meal. Wow! Lets have a show of hands who take 45 minutes to eat one meal. Most people don't have that much time for a lunch break.
3. Swallow twice after every bite. The test shows it takes that many times to get my food down.
4. To swallow properly, getting it past my tongue, I need to put my chin to chest to swallow properly.
5. I am to use the Super Supraglottic and Supraglottic Swallowing methods. They help close off the windpipe which is an airway to prevent food and liquid from getting into my lungs which has always been a problem.
6. She gave me laryngeal and tongue strengthen exercises to do. I'm trying to figure out if I am doing them right because for the tongue strengthen exercises I have to say certain words focusing on making contact with the back of my tongue to the roof of my mouth.
7. I am to follow a Dysphagia Ground Diet Guideline which pretty much consists of ground solids and thin liquids. All my meats are to be ground with gravy or melted cheese. The irony of it is the diet I am suppose to eat for my GERD and constipation is nearly opposite of this diet. Go figure. Maybe I'll write another post focusing on this diet, if anyone is at all interesting.
8. Last but not least she recommends me see a Speech therapist. I feel like I am going full circle. As a young child I had to have speech therapy because of my speech. I had therapy from the time I was a toddler through 6th grade. I was so relieved when my Speech therapist at the time told me I didn't have to have it when I went to Junior High. But here I am about 40 years later back to speech therapy. UGH!
So there you have it. Another challenge for me to conquer. I have to admit doing some of the methods have helped me considerably. I just need to get into the habit.
Here's a challenge for you and let me know how you did. It is not a test. Just something I can compare myself too.
1) Focus on making contact with the back of tongue with the roof of your mouth say one or all of these words 10 times: Key, Kick, Go, Gig.
2) Bite on tip of your tongue and swallow 10 times.
So how hard or easy was it for you?
Thanks for reading this rather boring post to most. I hope it makes you think how much we take for granted putting food in our mouths, chewing and swallowing.
Until next time my friends….