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#148894 - 04/30/12 04:28 PM Reduce the cough with thickened liquids  
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 697
AnitaFrances Offline
"Above & Beyond" Member (500+ posts)
AnitaFrances  Offline
"Above & Beyond" Member (500+ posts)

Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 697
Media, PA
My husband had a scary emergency Saturday evening that landed him in the ICU for 2 nights. I won't discuss that event but want to share my observations regarding his swallowing. He was put on a thickened clear liquid diet while in the ICU. And I noticed that the coughing and choking he usually experiences when he eats was remarkably GONE! The thickened food gave him more control with swallowing. Aspiration may become a thing of the past for him. I am purchasing Thick-it today and planning some new menus to support him. BTW, he was resistant to using this product before. But this hospital stay convinced him that he can look forward to and enjoy drinking and eating with thickened foods and focus on the taste. YAY BREAKTHROUGH!!!!


Anita (63)
CG to husband, Clark, 73,
DX SCC 11/07, T4N0Mx, PEG 1/08, RAD, post rad infection 3/08,
HBOT 40 dives, ORN, Surg 11/09 mandibulectomy w/fibular graft.
Plastic Surg 4/10, 12/10, 3/11, 10/11, 4/12, 10/12. All PETS clear,
PEG out 1/11. 6/11 non union jaw fracture
Fractured jaw w/surgery 7/14
#148905 - 04/30/12 09:35 PM Re: Reduce the cough with thickened liquids [Re: AnitaFrances]  
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 9,540
ChristineB Offline
Administrator, Director of Patient Support Services
ChristineB  Offline
Administrator, Director of Patient Support Services
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 9,540
PA
Im so sorry to hear Clark is having problems. Im glad that the thickened liquid worked so well for him. Hope he is doing much better now.


Christine
SCC 6/15/07 L chk & by L molar both Stag I, age44
2x cispltn-35 IMRT end 9/27/07, no caregiver
Clear PET 1/08
4/4/08 recur L chk Stag I
surg 4/16/08 clr marg
215 HBO dives
3/09 teeth out, trismus
7/2/09 recur, Stg IV
8/24/09 trach, ND, mandiblctmy
3wks medicly inducd coma
2 mo extended hospital stay, ICU & burn unit
PICC line w/ IV antibiotics 8 mo
10/4/10, 2/14/11 reconst surg
OC 3 times in 3 years
very happy to be alive smile
#148931 - 05/01/12 12:49 PM Re: Reduce the cough with thickened liquids [Re: ChristineB]  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 475
slim Offline
Platinum Member (300+ posts)
slim  Offline
Platinum Member (300+ posts)

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 475
PA
Hi Anita. I've been following your posts. Sorry to hear that Clark is having problems. I will keep both of you in my prayers. He is very lucky to have you by his side.


Wanda (47) caregiver to husband John (56) age at diag.
1-13-09 diagnosed Stage IV BOT SCC (HPV+)
2-12-09 PEG placed, 7-6-09 removed
Cisplatin 7 weeks, 7 weeks (35) IMRT
4-15-09 - treatment completed
8-09,12-09-CT Scans clear, 4-10,6-11-PET Scans clear
4-13 - HBO (30 dives) tooth extraction
#148940 - 05/01/12 06:44 PM Re: Reduce the cough with thickened liquids [Re: slim]  
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 5,260
Cheryld Offline
"OCF Canuck"
Cheryld  Offline
"OCF Canuck"
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 5,260
Toronto canada
Sounds like great option... I find that things go down easier some times with almond milk rather than water. ;o)


Cheryl : Irritation - 2004 BX: 6/2008 : Inflam. BX: 12/10, DX: 12/10 : SCC - LS tongue well dif. T2N1M0. 2/11 hemigloss + recon. : PND - 40 nodes - 39 clear. 3/11 - 5/11 IMRT 33 + cis x2, PEG 3/28/11 - 5/19/11 3 head, 2 chest scans - clear(fingers crossed) HPV-, No smoke, drink, or drugs, Vegan
#148957 - 05/02/12 12:58 AM Re: Reduce the cough with thickened liquids [Re: Cheryld]  
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 167
Jenslp Offline
Senior Member (100+ posts)
Jenslp  Offline
Senior Member (100+ posts)

Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 167
Seattle WA
Hey folks - been away for a while moving into a new position where I work as a speech pathologist in a hospital specializing with folks like me/us!

Here's what I tell my Pt's about thickened liquids:

What happens when you tip a glass of water over on the table?
It splashes and moves with lightening speed all over - going everywhere it possible can.

Now, what happens when you tip over something the consistency of a smoothie or a milkshake?
It doesn't splash and it moves slowly - giving you enough time to wipe it up before it makes a huge mess.

This is the principle at work that makes thickened liquids easier to swallow! The slower the liquid moves - the more time your muscles have to prepare for the swallow, seal your airway and protect you from coughing and choking.

Thickened liquids can sometimes get a bad rap - most people assume they're unappealling Let me say - there's very little that is MORE appealling than reducing coughing, choking and aspiration pneumonia!

Sadly, for some folks, even thickening the liquid doesn't improve the situation enough that they can safely swallow. Always ask your doctor questions you may have about swallowing and ask for a referral to an SLP!

Sorry if this sounds like a Public Service Announcement! :-)
Be well!


Jennifer (39)
02/10 SCCa Tongue & Base, HPV-
03/10 Partial Glossectomy & ND 11/10 Revision due to additional nodes 12/20-2/2/11 IMRT & concommitant chemo 2/11 PEG in 3/11 PEG out
Back at work and feeling good 03/24/11!
12/20/11 - 9 month f/u PET/CT - all clear!
#148987 - 05/02/12 09:24 PM Re: Reduce the cough with thickened liquids [Re: Jenslp]  
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 638
klo Offline
"OCF Down Under"
klo  Offline
"OCF Down Under"
"Above & Beyond" Member (500+ posts)

Joined: May 2010
Posts: 638
Sydney Australia
Brilliant! Can't wait to tell Alex!


Karen
Love of Life to Alex T4N2M0 SCC Tonsil, BOT, R lymph nodes
Dx March 2010 51yrs. Unresectable. HPV+ve
Tx Chemo x 3+1 cycles(cisplatin,docetaxel,5FU)- complete May 31
Chemoradiation (IMRTx35 + weekly cisplatin)
Finish Aug 27
Return to work 2 years on
3 years out Aug 27 2013 NED smile
Still underweight
#149073 - 05/04/12 04:30 PM Re: Reduce the cough with thickened liquids [Re: Jenslp]  
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 697
AnitaFrances Offline
"Above & Beyond" Member (500+ posts)
AnitaFrances  Offline
"Above & Beyond" Member (500+ posts)

Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 697
Media, PA
Thanks for posting this! It makes so much sense but here we are almost 4 years post Dx and my hubby is just now discovering the advantages of thickened liquids!

I LOVE your comparison, too. I do think that, at least with my husband, we assume the further out we are from DX and TX, that things SHOULD go back to what they were before Ca. But we are both realizing AGAIN that many things will forever be challenging. It is reassuring to know that there are ways to successfully navigate after OC.

How wonderful that you are working with OC patients! Who better than you to have an insider's view. All my best as you work with and help others find the best ways to manage the after effects! Yay for you!


Anita (63)
CG to husband, Clark, 73,
DX SCC 11/07, T4N0Mx, PEG 1/08, RAD, post rad infection 3/08,
HBOT 40 dives, ORN, Surg 11/09 mandibulectomy w/fibular graft.
Plastic Surg 4/10, 12/10, 3/11, 10/11, 4/12, 10/12. All PETS clear,
PEG out 1/11. 6/11 non union jaw fracture
Fractured jaw w/surgery 7/14

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