Dry mouth, swallowing, choking

Posted By: catwoman3420

Dry mouth, swallowing, choking - 03-17-2020 02:20 PM

I am 16 years post treatment and very thankful for recovery. I am dealing with long term effects of radiation. Very dry mouth, difficulty swallowing and choking often -- even on water. I believe radiation has damaged nerves since I have progressive difficulty forming some words. I don't have full control as I once did of my lower lip on the side where I had the tonsil tumor. I have a crooked smile and speak more from one side of my mouth. It is much more obvious to me than others. I have another strange effect I believe may be from radiation. My neck is tight from radiation and when I look up too long, I get lightheaded. I can stop the lightheadedness by looking down for a few seconds. My question to all of you is whether anyone has experienced anything similar.
Posted By: JohnY

Re: Dry mouth, swallowing, choking - 03-20-2020 07:36 PM

How long has it been since you finished treatment?
Posted By: catwoman3420

Re: Dry mouth, swallowing, choking - 03-25-2020 03:22 PM

I completed treatment in November 2003. My experience seems to be problems are increasing with time.
Posted By: ChristineB

Re: Dry mouth, swallowing, choking - 03-26-2020 03:38 PM

Unfortunately theres a great many long term survivors who struggle with a wide variety of late effect issues from their OC treatments. Issues with heart, kidneys, blood pressure, thyroid, poor circulation, osteoradionecrosis, baroreceptor failure (blood pressure regulator), motor neuron disease (ALS), are a few of the more common issues long term survivors notice but theres a great many other ailments doctors attribute to OC and its treatments..

If you had a neck dissection or surgery to check lymph nodes that could be whats behind your lightheadedness and range of motion issues. Almost every person who underwent that kind of surgery has similar issues along with limited motion on the side of the surgery. Biggest noticeable issue is the arm is not able to be raised making getting dressed a daily challenge. Stiffness with limited range of motion are difficult to improve even with doing lots of PT. Ive dealt with this since 2007 and I actually feel pretty lucky to not have much else popping up besides my regular daily challenges.

As far as looks go... everybody gets older and in time will eventually lose their looks. Even the "amazing" older people we see on tv who look decades younger than they are show the effects of aging. Even the best looking people only have their good looks on a temporary basis. I forced myself to believe this while I was stuck in the hospital for my 2 month extended stay after the mandibulectomy with complications caused me to become disfigured. It was NOT easy to face the truth but I went into the hospital one person and came out another. After waking up from 3 weeks of a medically induced coma, I didnt recognize myself but luckily I had weeks before I was well enough to go home and able to tell myself over and over.... looks fade, everybody ages and doesnt look the same as they get older. Im willing to bet, your crooked smile is not even close to what you think it is. We are ALL our own worst enemies and are the hardest on ourselves. Remember everyone is different and has their own quirks.

Best wishes with everything you are currently going thru!!!
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