Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Swallow Study

I had a swallow study today. Barium is some seriously nasty stuff!!!

Anyway, I aspirated once on thin liquids (went down the wrong pipe), the very first swallow, then it "penetrated" twice (goes into the wrong pipe, but not down it) and did better with controlled techniques like the chin tuck. Did fine with nectar, pudding got a bit thick and went down after multiple swallows, the peanut butter graham cracker went down very slowly, got a bit stuck, but after the trachea, so no worries of aspiration there. (no this is not me, forgot to pick up my films...)The pill got stuck, but also after the trachea, and had to have water to make it move down. So, as far as the airway goes I have to modify it a little, be very careful, small bites with chin tucks and a very controlled swallowing, and then a referral to a GI doc for the rest of it not going down issue. Said it may be because of muscle weakness from autoimmune stuff, if that is what's going on. My mouth and throat still feel "tired" from all the choking and coughing the first swallow.

The speech therapist that helped said it was good that I didn't have a "silent aspiration" in other words I still have a cough reflex and can get it up quickly. She said normally they would teach muscle exercises to help, but with it looking like autoimmune the exercises might make it worse. Suggested I do speech therapy after they figure it all out to help, and then suggested the same to get my speech and cognitive functioning back up to par.

So, we'll see what the docs say.

Really wishing I had that walker today, even though the very idea of it makes me cringe...

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