It has been 1 year and 1 month since I completed radiation~~still can't eat or drink~~still coughing

My radiation treatments were completed on Nov. 5th, 2010. On the 7th on Nov. , 2010 my trach was removed. In December 2010, I started pt with a speech pathologist for 8 weeks.She tested me and the drink still trickled down into the windpipe. Well, a year has passed and I still have the same problem with what they called a "flap that opens and closes over the windpipe when we open our mouth to eat or drink "..It does not work . Will it ever work again ? I am begining to get discouraged.


  • ratface
    ratface Member Posts: 1,337 Member
    Zero experience with the flap
    Welcome to the forum nonetheless. I admire your perseverance. Someone here is sure to have experience with that issue. Hang in there!
  • waywest
    waywest Member Posts: 44
    Epiglottis-the flap
    Hi drclem, husband had same problem. Has the pathologist givn you exercises to do? My husband does them religiously every day and has seen an enormous improvement. after 3 months, he rarely aspirates and is almost eating normally. I hope your outcome will be similar. I can't say enough about the benefits of those exercises, Good luck to you
  • sweetblood22
    sweetblood22 Member Posts: 3,228
    My cousins wife had esophageal cancer, and had to have her epiglottis removed completely. She had a peg tube for a short time, and removed it. My aunt told me that she is eating and drinking, I'm not sure what her weight is like, but I know she went through her treatment like two years before I went through mine, maybe. So, I'm thinking it's possible that you will be able eat and drink again. maybe with the therapy you will learn to work around it somehow.
  • Hal61
    Hal61 Member Posts: 655
    No fun
    Hi DrClem,

    I didn't have your cancer, but I did aspirate for a couple of days after having a selective neck dissection, and it was very unpleasant. What do you docs say. I'm asking because if the flap isn't sealing correctly either you will have to re-allign things--excersize--or the flap would need to be adjusted.

    hope you get relief soon,