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    Choking and coughing

    Hi all

    My husband has had several episodes recently where something goes the wrong way or catches his breath (chilli sauce a few days ago, g+t tonight) and he chokes and then is coughing almost constantly for hours.

    any advice? He is coughing every minute at the moment and I don’t know what to do.

    he has a cough assist but we haven’t managed to use it successfully. He also has niv which he hasn’t yet worn overnight as intended but he is using it at the moment. Don’t know if that’s a good idea or not but have to try something.

    Thanks



    #2
    my husband has had the same problem but it doesnt last for too long. i did have a problem like that myself (i dont have mnd) and i think my problem was isome food went onto my lungs. it did take some time to go. i dont have any medial training but if its gone on like that i would say it might be worth getting help.

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      #3
      Does he have a feeding tube and do you have thickener?I have both but I still drink liquid but very thoughtfully. 😊x

      Comment


        #4
        Hi Rebecca,

        Coughing fits are a sign that all’s not OK with swallowing and certain foods and liquids, such as spices and alcohol, often catch our breath - chilli is my nemesis!

        If your husband can be seen by his SLT (or, failing that, MND Nurse, if he has one) for a swallow assessment sooner rather than later. If he is pragmatic, he’ll get a feeding tube ASAP - he does not have to stop eating and drinking just because he has a tube (unless it is not safe to) but can combine oral food and liquids with tube use, the best of both worlds!

        It can be comforting and practical to use NIV to get breathing back into a nice rhythm - he will know what’s best in each situation. Sometimes just holding the air near his nose is good, rather than putting on a mask, particularly if coughing hard and panicking. Panicking makes it 10x worse of course, so whatever makes it easier to get breathing ‘normal’ again is best.

        Tucking his chin into his chest whilst swallowing can help.

        Has he an opinion on feeding tubes?

        Love Ellie.


        ​Diagnosed 03/2007. Sporadic Definite ALS/MND Spinal (hand) Onset.
        Eye gaze user - No functional limbs - No speech - Feeding tube - Overnight NIV.

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          #5
          He doesn’t have a feeding tube or thickener. We haven’t discussed feeding tube yet and even typing it is increasing my heart rate. It’s an upsetting thought and I imagine he feels the same but I know I will have to broach it soon. Sadly we don’t have an mnd nurse, never know who to contact if anything is wrong. He had a swallow assessment a couple months back and she just advised that he take small bites and sips. I will mention the trick of tucking his chin in to him. He has decided that his days of G&T are behind him. Think I will contact physios about getting the cough machine in use and will see what he thinks about contacting slt too. Thanks for the tips and support.

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            #6
            I miss burgers more than anything but I wouldn't swap my tube. There's a lot of bad press but I don't get it. 😊x

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              #7
              Bexy, I just hope that you get help with your husband’s swallowing and coughing issues very soon. Love Lynne x
              ALS diagnosed November 2017, limb onset. For the 4 yrs previously I was losing my ballance.
              I'm staying positive and taking each day as it comes.

              Comment


                #8
                Bexxy Rebecca, just another thought - does your husband have excess saliva?

                Love Ellie.
                ​Diagnosed 03/2007. Sporadic Definite ALS/MND Spinal (hand) Onset.
                Eye gaze user - No functional limbs - No speech - Feeding tube - Overnight NIV.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Matthew your positive attitude to the tube is reassuring. I just find it upsetting due to the fact it means my husbands health is declining.
                  Lynne, thank you for your well wishes.
                  Ellie, he hasn’t had issues with excess saliva but more recently there has been the odd occasion where I’ve needed to wipe a bit of drool from the corner of his mouth.
                  he says he has an appointment with SLT but I can’t remember when it is. Hopefully we will get a reminder text!
                  thanks all

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I know your husband's progression is such a slap in the face Rebecca, especially something such as a feeding tube but honestly, it makes life easier. No more stressing about him getting enough calories, fluids or meds. I know it's easy for us to say how it improves our lives but it honestly is not as daunting as it sounds.

                    As swallow worsens, saliva can build up in the mouth, but it can also pool in the throat, exacerbating or causing coughing fits - saliva production can be lessened with meds - the SLT will check this too.

                    Love Ellie.
                    ​Diagnosed 03/2007. Sporadic Definite ALS/MND Spinal (hand) Onset.
                    Eye gaze user - No functional limbs - No speech - Feeding tube - Overnight NIV.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Bexxy,

                      Today, I elected to have a feeding tube fitted. When I first learned of them, only a few weeks ago, I was horrified at the thought of having one. The dietician recommended I watch the videos on this site. https://mytube.mymnd.org.uk/

                      I'd sort of made my mind up that it made sense to have it done ASAP if I'm going to have it done anyway. The videos helped enormously in allaying some of my concerns. I hope they help.
                      Each day is made easier with a bit of humour.

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