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Dysphagia in Teens & Adults

[Editor’s note: The NFOSD would like to thank Ms. Nancy Swigert for volunteering her time to develop this article on swallowing disorder basics for teens and adults.]

ADOLESCENTS

If swallowing problems are present in teenagers, it is typically a continuation of feeding/swallowing problems the teen presented with as a younger child. Teens with developmental disabilities or chronic conditions, like cerebral palsy, may continue to present with swallowing problems throughout their life.

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The Suspected Throat Infection that Changed my Life

KarlyPickering

Byline: Karly. Click here for Karly’s blog.

Hello everyone. My name is Karly. I’m an 18 year old who is struggling with difficulty swallowing both food and liquids.

Two years ago, I went to the doctor with a painful, swollen throat and difficulty breathing. I was initially diagnosed as having pharyngitis and was put on a course of antibiotics. The antibiotics didn’t help, so I was put on another course of a different antibiotic. After this second course, I was told my problem was viral and that the glands in my throat were inflamed. Eventually most of the symptoms I had went away but I was then left with a distinct feeling of food getting caught in my throat. From this day on, my life drastically changed.

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A Decade of Coping (Voiceless, Hungry, and Determined at 16 – Part 2)

[Editor’s note. This Patient Story is the second of a two part series written by a member of the NFOSD team from a written interview with patient Angelica Hunsucker. Click here for part 1. All content stems directly from responses to documented interview questions and has been approved in written form by Angelica.]

The Laryngectomy

One of the hardest challenges I had to face with my diagnosis was losing my voice at age sixteen. The laryngectomy was one of those “world coming to an end” moments for me, I couldn’t stop thinking about all of the things that I wouldn’t be able to do anymore. The procedure not only removed my voice box but also changed the way I breathe from my mouth to a hole in my neck. Talking on the phone was gone. Swimming was gone – hell if I even fell in a pool I would die! Even things that I could still do, like breathing on my own, somehow became more complicated because of the hole in my neck. I have to be careful with aerosol sprays, dusty areas, and any cologne or strong smells. These set me off and I start coughing badly. I also have tobe careful playing with my girls. I can’t wrestle and play around the way I would like to be able to!

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Voiceless, Hungry, and Determined at Sixteen

2014-08-19 15.31.31[Editor’s note. This Patient Story is the first of a two part series written by a member of the NFOSD team from a written interview with patient Angelica Hunsucker. All content stems directly from responses to documented interview questions and has been approved in written form by Angelica.]

An Introduction

Imagine having a delicious family meal with laughter, conversation between bites, and clinking utensils transform into sustenance in the form of liquid vitamins and nutrients poured into your stomach through a tube. This liquid diet has replaced my memories of favorite foods and social meals for the past ten years. My name is Angelica Hunsucker. I’m a twenty-six-year-old disabled mother of two beautiful little girls. This is the story of how my whole world was turned upside down at age sixteen.

 

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The Hungry Games – A True Short Story of Life With Dysphagia

juliashaybiopicByline: Julia Shay Tuchman is a writer and intuitive living in New York City. Having dealt with chronic illness and dysphagia for much of her life, Julia now writes and teaches about self-love in the face of any circumstance. She teaches this because it is a lesson she herself is here to learn. Julia is currently busy working on her memoir and taking care of her six-pound rescue dog Bellie, who in turn offers lessons in unconditional love. www.juliatuchman.com

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