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  • in reply to: Un-diagnosed Swallowing Problem #3908
    ClarkTaylor
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    30 years ago I was hospitalized and tested for just about every affliction that might cause a swallowing disorder (i.e. myasthemia gravis, stroke, Parkinson and the list goes on….no diagnosis. Back then, the doctors simply gave up; when we inquired about going to Johns Hopkins they said, ‘don’t come; we have beds of individuals with this same problem and we just don’t know…” No real trained speech pathologists for the problem then and the iced water on swabs were ridiculous in hindsight. Western medicines sort of wrote me off so I went to an acupuncturist and began swallowing in 6 months and the feeding tube removed. I used swallowing strategies to maintain and was reasonable about the types of foods (no nuts, no dry breads, thick hamburgers, etc.) and I could slowly and concentrating handle foods. Its been 30 years and I was hospitalized for pneumonia last summer and my swallowing shut down. The tests convinced doctors that I was a silence aspirator so back to the feeding tube and depressing ordeal. I am currently back in Santa Fe to a scalp acupuncturist and swallowing is improving. Soups and pureed foods go down pretty well. I do the exercises listed on the website herein and highly recommend you find a speech therapist who specializes in swallowing disorders. I still have the feeding tube and watch my weight…I’m a big guy…6’2″ 210 (now 175 lbs. but maintaining). I miss the socializing and also share the isolation that is often mentioned in these posts. Incidentally, I met a 45 ish year old lady who had spine surgery at Mayo that left here without ability to swallow. After a long road back from her ordeal and the swallowing problem, feeding tube, etc….she found the same acupuncturist (scalp)…and I ran into her in there….she shared her story and participated in a documentary. The scalp acupuncturist has helped Parkinson patients, has had successes with MS patients (I met one there too and his story was riveting), and others. This is not an advertisement. I just have walked this road and still keep going …. I understand.

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