View Full Version : Swallowing is getting harder

9th January 2015, 05:22
My mother loves her food but is finding it increasingly hard to swallow. She drinks through a straw and can still just about eat solid food but there may come a time when this is not possible anymore. Her carer is highly resistant to the idea of any kind of tube but the neurologist, if I have understood him correctly, has indicated that it might be advisable to fit a tube through the wall of the stomach sooner rather then later because if we leave it too long her respiratory system may not be up to having the operation. Any thoughts or advice would be much appreciated.

9th January 2015, 09:19
Try making her food semi soft and include gravy, sauces ,and any things she finds easier to cope with ,dry toast made with brown bread, and any foods that have high calorie and fat content, in fact any combination she likes, pretty much all the items folk restrict in their diets non apply now ,all that really matters is she eats ,there are drinks available that provide a balanced intake if she finds it to difficult, but mash, veggie mash, eggs and cheese with cream added all work well ,as for having a gastric tube fitted the time is irrelevant they suggest a easier time scale but in real world they can fit a tube anytime including re sus so don't be panicked into forcing her into making choices, not everyone can or wants a tube and the possible risks that go with any operation ,take her opinions as to what she wants to do, it's not compulsory there are ways other than putting her through the stressful right thing to do mind set approach.

9th January 2015, 11:36
Hi Nigel
I have had swallowing problems for over a year and had a PEG 5 weeks ago. I still eat what I can but all liquids are passed through the tube as it is liquids which I have problems swallowing. Have you tried thickeners for the liquids, that can help. Forget healthy eating, go for anything which is fattening and full of goodness. I find the more runny the food, the more difficult it is to swallow.

9th January 2015, 12:05
That's very helpful advice, thank you.

The one thing she does seem to able able to swallow with little difficulty is thick yoghurt. It had never occurred to me that this might be easier than a thin liquid like water or juice. She loves Indian food (my wife is Indian so I have learned to cook several dishes). Daals (lentils) and liquidised saag (spinach) are two dishes which immediately come to mind which would have a good consistency. I am feeling inspired to get cooking and experimenting with new recipes now!

9th January 2015, 12:15
Hi Nigel,
“Her carer is highly resistant to the idea of any kind of tube”
Forgive me being blunt, but what has your mum’s carer got to do with deciding what’s best for her health and wellbeing?
It’s your mum’s decision and if she wants to get a feeding tube, it’s definitely better to do the procedure sooner rather than later. Having a feeding tube sounds daunting, but really, everyone gets used to it pretty quickly and it takes so much stress out of eating and drinking.

9th January 2015, 12:16
Hi Nigel

Many on the forum have had PEG tubes fitted, mine has been a godsend. I eat a lot of Indian food, any keema dish is well tolerated along with daal. If you want to add calories rice cooked with ghee packs a calorie punch and is delicious.

When drinking through a straw make sure your mum tilts her head down slightly. I also find it useful to take a tiny amount first and swallow before taking a larger amount. I find that prepares the mouth and throat for swallowing. I have tried loads of different straws and techniques and find that works best for me.

10th January 2015, 00:34
having a PEG fitted has to be your mums decision and hers alone, only your mum knows in her mind what she wants for now and the future. i would only advise that if she wants one the procedure would be better done sooner rather than later. i had mine done a year before i had use it. the procedure in my experience is pretty straightforward and i havent heard of to many complications. most people only generally stay one night in hospital and then off home. as for the carer they are there solely to help with your mums day to day needs and should not be involved in any medical decisions. if they cant understand that then show them the door.
hope it helps

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