Today I visited a speech pathologist, to see if they can help minimise the chance of food or fluid entering my lungs. This is required as a tumour in my chest is affecting the left vocal cord nerve, resulting in the vocal cord being paralysed and permanently open. This in turn can allow food or fluid to enter my lungs.
When I got to reception I stated “I have an appointment at one thirty with Jess the speech pathologist”. Only it came out wrong. I got tongue tied on speech pathologist twice and sort of got it on the third go. Good grief!
The consultation started with a check of the muscles in my face, neck and throat by pulling various faces and making all sorts of noises. Quite amusing for my thirteen year old daughter who accompanied me.
Then I drank some water and ate a biscuit while the speech pathologist felt my neck. All appears to be OK, but the only way to make sure that food or fluid is not going into the lungs is to perform a barium x-ray. This involves consuming barium laced food and drink and the x-ray can detect where it is going. However, as I have had this condition for a long period it is unlikely that there is a problem. Therefore the speech pathologist will write to my oncologists to seek their opinion.
We also have to consider that planned radiation therapy may affect swallowing, so it may be best to wait.
So….there is nothing to do but wait to see what the recommendation is.
Good health and happiness to all. Cheers, Phil