By Meikele Lee, author of the children’s book “My Belly has Two Buttons” and lives in Helena, Mt. She received a 2017 Purple Dragonfly Book Award; Honorable Mention in the category Special Needs/Disability Awareness She is a wife and mother to 3 amazing children, one of whom has a feeding tube. She has been in cosmetology for over 10 years, but became passionate about blogging when her youngest child’s oral aversions became life threatening. She used blogging to try and understand her son’s condition and how he can relate to others with or without a feeding tube, and to help educate the public about these life saving devices. continue reading →
It’s hard to know which events inform our reality and which only mark the passing of time.
Waking up in the hospital with a brand new feeding tube on board was clearly one of the former.
But there I was.
I had resisted repeated proposals from medical professionals to have a g-tube inserted. They warned of the worsening dysphagia I faced due to the effects of radiation for throat cancer I’d had years earlier. continue reading →
Byline: Jennifer Kurtz is a Speech Language Pathologist and stage IV oral cancer survivor practicing at Overlake Medical Center near Seattle, Washington. Her experience has given her an unexpected, yet unique, perspective on the clinician’s role in the management of the Head & Neck Cancer population and has motivated her to advocate for aggressive, collaborative, multi-disciplinary care of all patients across a broad continuum.
Xerostomia describes the subjective sensation of oral dryness and is commonly called “dry mouth.” The typical causes of dry mouth include medications, radiotherapy to the head and neck for cancer treatment, and systemic diseases.
Xerostomia can have a profound, negative impact on quality of life. The lack of salivary production impacts the ability to eat, sleep, speak, and swallow (Lew & Smith, 2007). Adequate salivary flow allows us to speak clearly without our lips sticking to our teeth and to mix saliva with food when we chew to enable easy transfer through the oral cavity as we swallow. Inadequate salivary function can create a number of complications such as: continue reading →
Byline: Tiffany Turner, MS, CCC-SLP, Owner, Swallowing and Neurological Rehabilitation, www.tulsasnr.com. Tiffany founded a dysphagia focused outpatient center in 2014 to serve the northeastern Oklahoma region and fill a gap in her community, as she feels adult speech pathology services are often misunderstood and underutilized. She is also an author and publishes resources for other SLPs to use with their patients which have been downloaded by over 2,000 speech-language pathologists worldwide.
Dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, affects up to 15 million adults in the United States. According to past publications, 1 in 25 people will experience some form of dysphagia in their lifetime, including 22% of those age 50 and older (ASHA, 2008; Bhattacharyya, 2014). People at the greatest risk for swallowing impairments include individuals who have had strokes, those with neurological conditions (such Parkinson’s disease), survivors of head and neck cancer, and the elderly. Despite the significant prevalence of dysphagia, this medical condition is often neglected, and many sufferers are never properly diagnosed or treated.
The National Foundation of Swallowing Disorders, with support from Cook Medical, is proud to present the second series of patient-centered webinars on the latest research and information on swallowing disorders. Experts in the field of swallowing disorders will present information on topics such as esophageal dilation, lymphedema, tracheotomies, and more! If you are a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) or know someone with a swallowing disorder, please share this web page with them.