CSN Login
Members Online: 22

Obturator and other challenges.....

tobagogirl
Posts: 11
Joined: Apr 2002

I've been without an obturator for the past couple of years. Sinus cancer took half my hard and soft palates in 2002. The first prosthesis no longer fit after my tissues shrunk following surgery. In the meantime, I've been using a feeding tube since I have not been able to swallow since May 2003. Although I still have some of my salivary glands, I have a great accumulation of mucus which I must constantly remove with sponge tipped wands. When the mucus collects at the back of my throat, because I can't swallow, it tickles and it makes me cough. The coughing can be a real drag when I'm trying to sleep or carry on a decent conversation.
Anyone else have similar challenges?

bethne
Posts: 3
Joined: Dec 2005

My situation is somewhat different from yours. In Nov I completed radiation treatment to my neck for thyroid cancer that spread to my lymph nodes. I also have had a feeding tube since Oct due to pain and difficulty swallowing. I had a terrible mucus problem in my throat that has gradually gotten better but at the worst of it it caused me to gag and vomit a lot! My dr recommended I take plain Robitussin to thin it out. It really helped me to be able to cough it up and spit it out. (so disgusting I know!) It is the one formulated for chest congestion. I take 1 1/2-2 tsp every 4 hours in my tube along with 8 oz of water. Any more than that dries me out too much. I hope this might help you.

tobagogirl
Posts: 11
Joined: Apr 2002

Hi bethne:
Thanks so much for your response. But unfortunately, I have little to no movement around my uvula and at the back of my throat. And since I have half of the roof of my mouth gone, spitting up is a real challenge and not possible. Sometimes when the coughing makes me gag, it becomes a little scary as it becomes difficult to breathe. It feels like I'm drowning in my own fluids. I've learned how to control my gag reflex so my day to day has become manageable.
How are you managing with your g-tube? How long will it be in use?

bethne
Posts: 3
Joined: Dec 2005

I'm so sorry to hear that won't help! Have you asked your dr about a suction machine, if that is possible for you to use? This was mentioned to me when I was having a bad time but I was scared to do it because I have super sensitive gag reflex. Maybe it might work for you? I know how awful it was with my situation; I cannot imagine how difficult it must be in yours. My thoughts are with you.
I have come to terms with my tube. At first I hated it and Ensure made me violently ill. But now it is my "friend". I am on another type of liquid meal, soy-based. I don't know how long I will have to use it; still unable to take anything by mouth because of sore throat and excessive saliva, which is a big problem. Drs tell me I will be able to eat again, but they use that famous phrase, "it takes time"
I hope you can find some relief. Have drs told you anything about this problem??

amarleaux2's picture
amarleaux2
Posts: 18
Joined: Jun 2004

Only those who have a similar situation can understand what you are going thru.

I had SCC of the nasal septum stage III and had to have my nose removed 1 1/2 yrs ago. However I was not prepared for the situation of having my hard palate removed too! I can relate to your situation. Sometimes when my sinus' swell the obturator will rub my sinus and the leakage is a constant hassle. When I get a cold it is really bad and have trouble breathing. You can see my CSN web page. Go to the search section and enter "A sqaumous nose that had to go"
-Blayne

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network