Because the radiation surgery scarring apparently have closed off the wrong pipes, my trach is a permanent part of me. With a very few minor exceptions, no air moves in or out except through that stoma.

It's surprising what one can't do without pressurizing the mouth, like speak, whistle, spit, etc.

I would think he'd be able to rinse his mouth without swallowing (and risking aspiration). Another way to clean the inside of the mouth is with those little green sponges on a stick. They can be moistened. In fact, with my trismus that's about the only way I can clean my mouth of the thick mucous that builds up.

If he is unable to heavily participate in trach clearing and cleaning, then he will need someone there to help at all times. It's not rocket science, but is potentially fatal.

Age 67 1/2
Ventral Tongue SCC T2N0M0G1 10/05
Anterior Tongue SCC T2N0M0G2 6/08
Base of Tongue SCC T2N0M0G2 12/08
Three partial glossectomy (10/05,11/05,6/08), PEG, 37 XRT 66.6 Gy 1/06
Neck dissection, trach, PEG & forearm free flap (6/08)
Total glossectomy, trach, PEG & thigh free flap (12/08)
On August 21, 2010 at 9:20 am, Pete went off to play with the ratties in the sky.