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Trouble swallowing

terryscarlett's picture
terryscarlett
Posts: 143
Joined: Aug 2010

Does anyone have an answer for trying to eat? Dave has the magic mouthwash and it does not help. He has a feeding tube and we will begin using it now, but I also want him to continue trying to swallow to keep his throat muscles working, any suggestions what will help with the soar throat. No sores yet so no problems there as of now just a raw throat and taste of food is unpleasant. Thanks in advance to all that take the time to respond.
Hope everyone is having a wonderful day.
Terry

ToBeGolden's picture
ToBeGolden
Posts: 697
Joined: Aug 2010

Compared to others on this board, I've had an easy time of it. So my suggestions may or may not be appropriate for your husband. But in any case, I don't think trying these suggestion will do any harm.

1) Extremely small bites (swallows for water). Unbelievably small. Almost nothing at all for each swallow. This advice also pertains to water. The larger the mouth of water, the more it hurts. I think your husband will find that this will be true. The question is when the swallow size is reduced to its absolute minimum, can he tolerate that pain.

It will take me almost an hour to drink an 8 oz. glass of water. So I sip almost around the clock.

2) Everything should be at near body temperature. My wife says its like preparing a bottle for a baby. That temperature. I warm bottled water in a pot of warm water.

3) Take "breaks from pain", in which no swallowing at all occurs. (Or at least a few swallows as possible.) Spit saliva into a tissue rather than swallowing it. I take a couple of breaks from pain each day; each break lasting a couple of hours. Of course, these breaks are not entirely pain free.

Everyone is different. I do hope these "tricks" will help; but they may have no effect at all for your husband. My oncologist thinks that I am remarkable in that I have not lost any weight through 6 weeks of radiotherapy. I think I'm ordinary. Rick.

ratface's picture
ratface
Posts: 1254
Joined: Aug 2009

Sips of room temperature water. Not swallowing for a few days won't have any long term effects. At it's worst pain level I probably had a week where anything touching my right tonsil was intolerable. I was able however to use the left side some. An efective alternative to the salt water/baking soda standby is a couple teaspoons of providione iodine mixed in a 16 ounce bottle of water. Just keep it by the sink, swig it, gargle, rinse and spit. Kept my mouth sores to only a few and tolerable.

D Lewis's picture
D Lewis
Posts: 1547
Joined: Jan 2010

I sipped a lot of green tea. I let it cool to lukewarm and carried it with me everywhere. As someone said above, it also took me an hour or two to finish a cup of tea, as I had to sip so slowly. But, I believe it helped me keep my swallow. I used my feeding tube exclusively (except for the tea) for the last four weeks of treatment, and then I slowly began to supplement with other liquids and soft food by mouth. I had my tube removed about eight weeks after treatment.

Deb

terryscarlett's picture
terryscarlett
Posts: 143
Joined: Aug 2010

Thanks again Deb you have been an inspiration for myself and David, Can't tell you how much it means to us.
Thanks
Terry

D Lewis's picture
D Lewis
Posts: 1547
Joined: Jan 2010

Thanks, Terry. Sometimes I even inspire myself. My profile picture is of me, 2 1/2 months out from end of treatment, riding in the high country. It was wonderful!

Deb

MarineE5
Posts: 762
Joined: Dec 2005

Terry,

As ratface mentioned, I too used the Baking Soda and Salt solution in room temperature water. I used 1 teaspoon of each in 1 quart of water. I rinsed and gargled as often as every 30 minutes if I felt I needed to. It semi-numbed my mouth and I also let a little bit slip down my throat to ease some of the discomfort. I often would do this just before I tried to eat anything.

As I moved into the later weeks of radiation, I increased the amount of Salt and Baking Soda to 1 tablespoon in the 1 quart of water. I was able to handle the slight burning effect that the salt had while rinsing and gargling. I ate soft foods as much as I could, but I also had the Peg Tube to fall back on in order to get the proper amount of calories in me daily.

My Best to Both of You and Everyone Here

fisrpotpe's picture
fisrpotpe
Posts: 1344
Joined: Aug 2010

I would think the best would be to use the feeding tube for solids and liquids by mouth. I used alot of chicken noodle soup liquid, chicken broth and room temp water. Along with the ensure type nutriants.

Good luck, no doubt it is a change.

Oh ya, one of favorites was Wendy's frosty's

john

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

Hi Terry,

When I was very sick during treatments, I used to take a big spoon of Manuka Honey and mix with herbal tea once it had cooled off a bit, and sip it. Manuka is a special type of honey with strong healing and antibacterial qualities I think only from New Zealand. It comes in varied degrees of strength rates as a UMF reading. You need 16+ or above. I mixed mine with Calli tea but any good herbal tea is fine or just warm water. I even used to inject the mix into my PEG.

Another thing maybe to try is getting some L-Glutamine Powder and mix it in with water and he will be able to drink that without it burning (yes even water will burn his mouth). it has great healing properties as well for his mouth an throat.

Regds
Scam

http://www.manukahoney.com/

Kent Cass's picture
Kent Cass
Posts: 1748
Joined: Nov 2009

to what Scam says in his post. For me, water and ice were about all I could handle for some 5 weeks, but was able to sip Ensure the other 3 weeks. Jevity ruled with me for the entire 8 weeks of my tunnel travel.

kcass

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5936
Joined: Apr 2009

Everything you do hurts when swallowing even water, like Scam said maybe the best thing to try is the L-Glutamine Power.

timreichhart
Posts: 195
Joined: Aug 2010

where can I get L-Glutamine Power at because I looked at krogers,wal mart, cvs cant find anything like that.

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

you should find it at Supplement outlets and some Gyms and can definitely buy it online from 100's of distributors.

Pam M's picture
Pam M
Posts: 2194
Joined: Nov 2009

Terry,

I took the same two pain meds for most of my time on pain meds - hydrocodone and lidocaine. The hydrocodone was every four hours, as needed - the lidocaine the same. The hydrocodone took longer to kick in, and lasted longer than the lidocaine. I did not know until I asked about it that my hydrocodone was at it's strongest pain fighting ability at a little over an hour after I took it, so I would try to time my eating, or "heavy" liquid swallowing when my hydrocodone was at its peak, and take the lidocaine shortly before I would be doing "bigger" swallowing. good luck

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