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A Daughter’s Thoughts – Happy Father’s Day, Dad

Byline: Lisa Ingrassia

I have always been a “daddy’s girl”, so when my father was diagnosed with Stage IV base of the tongue cancer in late December of 2008 my entire life changed.  The days following my Dad’s diagnosis are forever etched in my brain.  Our family prepared for the fight of our lives. I quickly learned that when a cancer patient said he was “battling” cancer, he certainly was.  The weeks of my Dad’s intensive radiation and chemotherapy treatments were grueling and often times testing.

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Finding the Right Swallowing Specialist

By: Nancy B. Swigert*, M.A., CCC-SLP, BCS-S

[Editor’s note – We asked Ms. Swigert to write this article in response to the inquiries we receive weekly from people who feel they have been pushed aside by their physician when searching for assistance with a swallowing issue. There is a common set of themes… my doctor doesn’t believe me, he doesn’t see anything wrong (it’s in your head; have you seen a psychiatrist), and he can’t refer me to someone who might help. Although not every swallowing disorder can be addressed; there are science-based assessment tools and therapeutic techniques that can alleviate many swallowing issues. This article is a resource to help you find a clinician who is right for you.]  

If you or your loved one has a swallowing problem, you may have experienced frustration as you looked for the right person to help. Often, the first call should be to a speech-language pathologist (SLP), but not just any speech-language pathologist. Because speech—language pathologists have a wide scope of practice, not every speech-language pathologist knows about swallowing.

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181

Clinical Trials181 — The number of open clinical trials with a known status on http://clinicaltrials.gov with the word “dysphagia” in the study (as of 4/9/2013).  We receive inquires periodically about what’s in the medical treatment pipeline for swallowing disorder treatment. If one were interested in all dysphagia clinical trials in this valuable source of medical information the number jumps to 757.

Here’s a quick test. Who is your best medical advocate? Some may say one’s physician or physical therapist. We’d argue that your best medical advocate is yourself (or, if you are incapacitated, a loved one or family member).

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Making Every Bite Count

Healthy foodWritten by Laura Michael (Byline below)

When you are having trouble swallowing, getting the proper calories and nutrition for healing and health can be quite a challenge. Making foods that are pleasurable to look at, taste good and are also packed with calories and nutrition are the keys to making every bite count.

According to the American Dietetic Association, a healthy diet should consist of 45 to 65 percent of calories from carbohydrates, 30 to 35 percent from fat and the remaining 10 percent, or so, from protein.

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Jack is Back – Two Week Swallowing “Boot Camp”

A Daily Log of my experiences by Jack Eadon

[Editors note. The NFOSD published Jack Eadon’s story in mid-November. He has a website, www.jacksgettingback.com where he has chronicled his medical and personal journey. On January 14, 2013 he began an intensive two week “Boot Camp” to try and regain his swallowing ability. As President of the NFOSD, I communicate with a lot of people suffering from dysphagia. One of the pleasures of this position is meeting other people, like Jack, who are determined and committed to do what they need to succeed. The NFOSD wishes Jack the best and hopes this intensive approach to therapy opens a new avenue in our arsenal for fighting dysphagia.]

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