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Original Post (Thread Starter)
#200964 09/05/2021 7:37 AM
by Modanisa
Hello Everyone, I'm new to this forum but I would like to give thanks to everyone for all the information and for sharing

My husband is currently still in the hospital. Today is his 10th day and will be released tomorrow. He is 73 and had 75% of his tongue removed, and thankfully pathology reports confirmed that his mouth is cancer free. Unfortunately it did metastasize to his neck, two on the right and one of the left. Early stages and the doctor is certain that with 6 weeks of radiation and 5 rounds of chemo, he will be fine. His treatment will start in 4 weeks. Now he is still recovering from the surgery.

Until today, he is finding it hard to swallow. We have been practicing with Ice, but water has been a total fiasco. He spurts it out the moment it settles in his mouth. He came to a very low point the other day, and felt that he was an utter failure because he couldn't swallow a sip of water. The threads here has been helpful and encouraging, and I came across the advice of Shaker Exercise and Mendelsohn Maneuver. He's been practıcıng the Mendelsohn, and feels like its giving him more confidence and 'control' over his epiglottis. He doesn't feel much pain when he swallows, its just that he has a fear that it will go down the windpipe leading to silent aspiration and so on.

My worry is that time is ticking, and his treatment is coming around the corner. He has lost a lot of weight. Seeing how radiation could impede on his swallowing ability even further, I'm looking for any advice or anyone who had gone through similar experience. How should he over come the fear? How long does it usually take post-surgery to be able to swallow water?

thank you so so much for all your help and info, keep fighting and I wish you all the best of health!
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#200965 Sep 5th a 05:05 PM
by gmcraft
Hi Modanisa, you did not mention what is causing your husband’s difficulty in swallowing. Has he had a barium swallowing test at the hospital? I think that should be the first step in looking for help for him. The test is administered by an SLP who will go over the images with you and give him exercises and suggestions for swallowing. Do speak to his doctor about scheduling a test. In the meantime, he may have more success with slightly thicker liquids like cream soup instead of water.
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