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Topic aspirating? Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By worriedaboutdad On 2011.12.03 23:07
My dad is having increasing problems with swallowing. We had a therapist come in and watch him eat etc and they told us that he shows no signs of aspirating. Now I realize I am untrained, but I disagree. I have sat with him through many meals and wiped the excessive food and phlegm out of his mouth etc. The other night, he got very strangled while eating and finally vomited. He spits out bits of food after meals, and coughs while eating etc. The other thing is the drool (I guess) is really no longer really like drool. It is so thick and more like phlegm. He cannot spit it out or swallow it. We go through rolls of paper towels because we have to wipe it out of his mouth constantly. Any thoughts?

By lvmymom On 2011.12.04 17:28
Excess food and spit coming out of his mouth sounds like maybe he is having problems swallowing at all. It won't go down. Almost like he's forgotten how or his mucscles aren't working?

When my folks aspirated it was when they WOULD swallow but the muscles worked poorly and the food would go down the incorrect pipe into their lungs insteadof into the pipe which took it down to their stomaches. (down the trachea instead of the esophegus).

Sounds like in either case the muscles are not working correctly.

Only a guess, but it seems like this is what the difference might be

By LOHENGR1N On 2011.12.04 18:54
Yes as lvmymom said it sounds like this is the problem. In our throat we have a flap (like a door or lid) that automatically shuts when we swallow so food and liquids don't get into our lungs. In time with Parkinson's this flap begins to malfunction. Our autonomic nervous system controls this among other things like blood pressure, breathing, reflexes, sight everything we do without thinking about doing. Even swallowing, the act seems conscious but remembering back in school we were taught that the muscles undulate in our throat forcing food downward? When these signals are not being sent or are being received in faulty way through the underlying disease things like food, phlegm and drool will come back up out of our throats instead of naturally being brought downward. So it might be that the mechanics look okay or seem sound however the process is not. Hope this helps explain some of what may be going on. Take care, best of luck and hang in there.

By jules On 2011.12.04 19:30
Dear worried, I have been there. It is so hard to watch your dad, the first guy you ever loved, go through this, its just awful. Please talk to him about "down the road" feeding tube. Mine wouldn't even consider it. I wonder if he had, maybe, he would still be with me. He was having such a hard time swallowing he wouldn't eat anything. Drinking water became a huge problem. Thicker things like soup or a shake helped but it was not long before they became a problem too. The doctor's talked of a feeding tube near the end, but I had to follow his wishes.

Good luck to you. Please keep posting. You have a huge family out here. I know they helped me. My thoughts are with you and your dad.

By BOCareGiver On 2011.12.05 00:20
Well, this may not be related, but my PD spouse would occasionally (a few times a week) start coughing from an excess of phlegm, to the point where she would regurgitate food. Her new asthma doctor said she seemed to have excessive post nasal drip, and prescribed Nasonex nasal spray. Since she started taking this she has not had a repeat of the problem (several months now).

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