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Anyone have advice on swallowing pills? limited saliva

miccmill's picture
miccmill
Posts: 247
Joined: May 2010

Glenn is recovering really well and is eating again. He's at the stage of trying lots of stuff to see what works and what doesn't He ends up eating some of the most unlikely (to me) stuff but it works so we go with it.

The other night he swallowed a tiny pill at bedtime and hacked it up about 15 minutes later. He said it went down and stuck itself to the wall of his throat and couldn't be pushed down with water.

He has a few pills to take every day including Metformin which is a big pill.

Any suggestions for pill swallowing with limited saliva?

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8052
Joined: Sep 2009

When my swallowing was at it's worst, so was my taste. So for me it wasn't a big deal to just dissolve the pills in a small amount of water.

Part of my routine was to take a tsp of the magic mouth solution, or liquid hydrocodone left over from when I had my tonsils removed (numbing my throat).

That would also probably kill the taste if he has a good portion for a few minutes anyways, long enough to take the meds.

Not much help I know, but this routine worked for me...

Nest,
John

kimmygarland's picture
kimmygarland
Posts: 313
Joined: Aug 2009

My husband takes several pills twice daily and during the worst of his swallowing period (he didn't have a peg) we had to crush the bigger pills and he would literally choke them down with as much water as he could swallow. He would use the magic mouthwash prior to doing this.

Scambuster's picture
Scambuster
Posts: 975
Joined: Nov 2009

I think Glenn reflex and epiglottis may still be recovering as I had trouble for a while but now - I take a whole bunch of tablets every morning, some quite large (like about 20).

I find the best way is 1. Take a good sip of water first and swallow 2. I toss the first bunch of pills in and take a big swig of water and sort of swallow immediately like in one motion if that makes sense. I find if I wait a second till you get that 'it's right to swallow now' feeling, then I have trouble. Weird maybe be that's what works fro me.

I do think his throat is still under repair as said so this phase will hopefully pass before too long. If he has a PEG, crush them and pipe them in.

Scam

miccmill's picture
miccmill
Posts: 247
Joined: May 2010

Thanks everyone for the detailed information.

Scam, I think you're right. He's only 3 weeks out. We have been crushing everything and bolusing in through the PEG. He, of course, is anxious to start swallowing.

He's taken himself off all pain meds so the liquid Methadone and Morphine are gone. He says he doesn't actually have "pain" anymore.

Scambuster's picture
Scambuster
Posts: 975
Joined: Nov 2009

Sounds like he doing pretty well. keep the swallowing up as much as possible to get everything working again, especially the swallowing reflex.

If not already yoiu may want to get him into some L-Glutamine powder to assist the healing and general recovery. He can mix in water and swish and swallow and I won't burn, and/or put it with any fluids down the PEG. 'Vital nutrients' are also good to PEG. It is a powder of phytonutrients and regarded as a super food so again worth a look.

Keep on getting better.
Scam

miccmill's picture
miccmill
Posts: 247
Joined: May 2010

Scam, He is trying to start eating. We got a guide from the Speech Pathologist so he's working with soups, puddings and other soft foods. I think he's a little scared becasue he had a couple choking indidents during treatment and that was on plain water.

He tells me his mouth feels foreign to him now. He also had all his teeth removed before surgery and won't be able to get dentures for a couple more months. I think that's making a big impact.

I will look into Vital Nutrients and get some L-glutamine. I have a big "vitamin" store near us here.

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