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Amazing Speech Therapist and Swallowing Tips

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    Amazing Speech Therapist and Swallowing Tips

    Just had a visit from an amazing speech therapist.

    You all probably know this already.

    So she got me to try and take a little sip of water (painful at the best of times).

    She said "ok that took three swallows to try and get it down".

    She then said to take a sip, keeping the little bit of water in the mouth.

    Then turn head to the left and swallow, so much easier, it also went down my throat rather than hanging around.

    So the head turn is different for different people, depending on which muscles are being affected.

    Also to use wider cups so head does not have to go back. I had moved to smaller and smaller glasses so that fluids weren't so daunting.

    There were happy tears of joy from me.

    So overjoyed at how wonderful the team of people are around here.

    I think I'm also very lucky that I did a lot of singing while growing up and know how to get a sound out.

    Any other swallowing tips? (now now)

    #2
    Originally posted by Christopher View Post
    Also to use wider cups so head does not have to go back.
    That's what I figured out. Although my swallowing isn't too bad I have trouble tilting my head back, and I noticed that drinking straight from a can was tricky because it hits your nose and you have to tilt back further to drain the can. The solution was to get drink glasses like pint pots that fit up over your nose and have widening straight sides that drain easily.
    Turns out that wine glasses are worst for me because 1) They have narrow tops that don't fit over my nose, and 2) The glass sides are "bellied" so even when I have tilted my head back to get the glass horizontal there is still wine left in the hollow side of the glass
    2 solutions - use a straw or drink my wine from pint glasses

    In my S&LT swallowing assessment I demonstrated that I have adopted a technique of doing a dry "practice swallow" before proceeding with the actual swallow. Still working reasonably well, although my last 2 choking episodes have been on sips of water

    They never suggested your "turn the head" tip, but I have given it a try and turning mine to the right may be helping a bit. Thanks for sharing!
    Hi, I'm Eddie.
    Started with wobbly left ankle in Nov 2020. Diagnosed 22 Oct 2021, confirmed by 2nd opinion 4 days later.
    Full time powerchair user. Overnight NIV. PEG'ed but still eating. Voice banked but still talking.
    Still wondering what the future will bring.

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      #3
      The turning head thing was amazing. It worked just like that.

      The lady also said that when you put your head back it makes the swallowing action more difficult too, not just about weakness in the neck.

      I stopped drinking alcohol three years ago because of all the medication. Do break the rule at Christmas for a day and my Birthday

      She is coming back in two weeks. So I will share any gems then too.

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        #4
        The chin tuck is good for swallowing too, as is not talking with your mouth full and avoid laughing at all costs - which, admittedly isn't always possible, and many's the time I've sprayed my screen as I coughed and spluttered 😬😳
        ​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
          Ellie you do make me laugh

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            #6
            Originally posted by Christopher View Post
            Ellie you do make me laugh
            Now look what you've done Ellie
            Don't worry Christopher we will send you some screen wipes

            Hi, I'm Eddie.
            Started with wobbly left ankle in Nov 2020. Diagnosed 22 Oct 2021, confirmed by 2nd opinion 4 days later.
            Full time powerchair user. Overnight NIV. PEG'ed but still eating. Voice banked but still talking.
            Still wondering what the future will bring.

            Comment


              #7
              Stephen likes to eat and sing at the same time. Many a meal I've ended up wearing 😮
              when i can think of something profound i will update this.

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                #8
                Originally posted by WheelsOfSteel View Post
                Now look what you've done Ellie
                Don't worry Christopher we will send you some screen wipes
                When are you touring, Eddie?

                I may sit in the back row in the cinema, but I'm definitely front row at a comedy gig 😘😘
                ​Diagnosed 03/2007. Sporadic Definite ALS/MND Spinal (hand) Onset.
                Eye gaze user - No functional limbs - No speech - Feeding tube - Overnight NIV.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by denise View Post
                  Stephen likes to eat and sing at the same time. Many a meal I've ended up wearing 😮
                  Well I used to sing in Welsh, so just think of all the phlegm (that took some spelling) flying then!

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                    #10
                    My dad was given a 'nosey cup' so that he didn't have to tip his head back and was advised to tuck his chin as well. His speech therapist has been fantastic as well.
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                      #11
                      Thank you Claireflo
                      that looks very useful.
                      Interesting what different advice we are given.

                      So nothing for me about tucking chin in, did explain about keeping level, then the turn to swallow.

                      I wonder if there will be more lessons in a few weeks.

                      I wonder if the administrators are compiling it.

                      After all we are the feedback of what actually happens in the community, actioned by the amazing teams out there.

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                        #12
                        You can also get nosey cups with handles for hot drinks.
                        Carer for husband diagnosed with ALS April 2021. Hand onset. PEG fed, completely immobile, communicated with eye gaze

                        Sense of humour intact throughout.

                        Sadly passed away peacefully 2/9/22

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                          #13
                          MMG Thank you for the tip about nosey cups with handles for hot drinks.

                          I'm like a very happy nodding dog this morning. Every sip of tea, then has a turn to left to swallow. I might actually finish a cup of tea!

                          Amazing how the body self selects. As we have learnt (I didn't realise this until the hospital said), the body finds it easier to swallow thicker liquids.

                          So that will be the reason I have been drinking lots of orange and mango juice, which is very thick.

                          Realised while talking to the speech therapist as well that I would never put gravy on a roast dinner. Loved the meat, roast potatoes and veg just as they were.

                          Now have them all covered in gravy, something I used to castigate my youngest son for, saying it must ruin the food.

                          So we can learn to cope in so many ways with the challenges.

                          Just to say again. The head turn for swallowing works. I don't know how long it is since I finished a cup of tea.

                          Tea all gone. For me its a turn to the left. For you it might be a turn to the right. Depending on the muscles.

                          Happy drinking everyone.
                          Big morning hugs and loves to everyone.

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                            #14
                            As my dad's swallow got more difficult he was given a powder to add to hot and cold liquids.
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                              #15
                              Claireflo Yes the therapist mentioned that yesterday. We had a good laugh about how a cup of tea should just be a cup of tea.

                              The biggest nag they have at the moment is that I still use skimmed milk for everything. I did buy semi and full fat but couldn't think of putting it in

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