Andy loves to go out and eat but his swalling has gotten more often and is very hard on everyone when it happens when we are eating out.
So looks like we won't be eating out anymore.
it makes me feel sad.
I can understand the situation and concern. There is swallowing exercises that I have been practicing for about six months. They seem to help me quite a bit. I haven't had a serious problem in several months now. Have him give it a shot. It can't hurt. The link to it is: http://www.kennedysdisease.org/disc_tips_throat.html. Have him start with a few and progress from there. I highly recommend the one where you stick out your tongue and close your teeth on it and then swallow ten times. It is difficult at first, but becomes easier with practice.
Also, smaller bits, more chewing, and no talking while eating also helps.
I think this exercise is a great idea for our husbands to start before swallowing becomes an issue. My husband has trouble chewing his food. He doesn't eat near as much as he used to as he gets tired. He chokes a lot at night and is getting a lot of flem or something in his throat at night. The Dr at MDA said he can't choke to death on his own saliva, as if he were to pass out, his muscles would eventually relax and he would breath. - Lois
With swallowing difficulties, does anyone have the sensation that the mouth is dry while having excess saliva? My dad describes his swallowing and chewing difficulties this way. The best that I can understand it is that it feels like your mouth is numb after the dentist visit. (Just had a reminder on that a few weeks ago, not fun)
I've viewed the exercises... can they improve the swallowing or mouth muscles or just prevent further degeneration?
I have been doing the throat exercises for several years now. I believe it really helps with my swallowing. Since a person doesn't normally exercise the throat and tongue, I also believe the exercises improve the muscles. I have nothing scientific to back up the claim. I just know that I choke a lot less these days.
By focusing on specific muscles versus muscle groups, a person can improve their strength in that particular area. For example, after not being able to place any weight on my left leg for over six months, I began an exercise program to improve the quads. In the beginning, I was lucky to perform ten reps. Today, I exercise the quads every day and I am substantially stronger than before the initial fall. I found that I was becoming lazy and compensating for the weakness using a cane or walker. The specific exercises for the quads gave me new-found strength in those particular muscles.
Bruce is exactly right. One of the forums on this site is called "Exercise Discussion" and that forum has a thread "Swallowing Exercise?". I have personally done the Shaker Exercise described there and it does help with the swallowing. And to answer the question from lmiller, it does not just prevent further weakness, it actually strengthens the swallowing muscles a little.
If you have trouble understanding the directions, then consider seeing a physical therapist who should be able to give you guidance on doing the exercises safely and correctly. But by all means give it a try.
Today Bob began choking at a restaurant and I was unsure if he was choking vs. the "gasping" that happens at night. He just could not motion to me as to if he needed help. He stood up and raised both arms (a hint I think I found on here) but continued to gasp for air so I gave him the heimlich three times and viola, he began breathing! Be sure if you try this that you go under and up UNDER the ribs not over the ribs. He was very happy I tried it.
God is the greatest physician of all.
Kennedy's Disease Association
PO Box 1105 Coarsegold CA 93614