Does anyone know if a speech therapist can help a patient regain the use of the muscles in their throat to swallow food? My mom suffered a stroke a week ago. She just had a Peg tube put in her stomach but is so weak from only liquid nutrition. She is gurgling from her own saliva and they are suctioning her every couple of hrs. She has oxygen with some moisture to help with dry mouth. We are concerned about the muscles freezing up from not using them. I just wondered if anyone knew if a speech therapist has a way of helping a person retrain those muscles in the throat and tongue? Any info would help. Thanks
Hi Lynne Welcome I am so sorry to hear about your mom. It has only been one week and I do know that its important to get help in any form immediatly. There is always something that can be done to help.
Is she able to communicate with you at all?
Nutrition, communication, positive positive gentle encouragement is so important. Noise might bother her, lights might bother her. She might not understand what you are saying if you go to fast or make your sentences complicated. If you can get your hands on this book it might really help you. The book is MY STROKE OF INSIGHT by Jill Bolte Taylor PhD. She is a famous brain scientist who suffered a massive stroke. Her story will give you so much insight into what your mom is going through and what you can be doing. I bought my copy from chapters. I know you can also order it on line.
She gives details of how she was feeling what was going on in her mind. It is really a wonderful book for caregivers and it was a great book for me to read and understand what I was going through.
I will try and do some research for you on speech therapy/swallowing and get back to you. Please stay positive your mom will get better how much better we dont know but she will improve. Get all the help you can and all the information you can. And keep telling her it is going to be ok. She is going to be ok.
Good Luck God Bless Mulchie
Yes Lynn you are on the right track. Speech and Language Pathologists are the people you want in that room and seeing your mom. They have studied the art of swallowing for years and they know what can be done to make your mom more comfortable and working towards swallowing. It may be too soon I dont know it might not but they can tell you. When I researched it every time it came up Speech and Lang.
Good Luck God Bless Mulchie
I had a stroke 2 1/2 years ago and could not swallow. I was on a feeding tube for 6 weeks but finally was able to swallow again. Speech therapists helped. I think there are new techniques now to help people. No one could be sure that I ever would swallow again, but I am now able to eat normally. Sometimes I have difficulty. Hope this helps.
I would ask when the appropriate time for therapy is, and request it be started as soon as deemed possible. At this early stage, there is a chance that other issues might be going on that have to be resolved first.
For one thing, she will need to be able to communicate and understand the directions of the therapist to safely start therapy. She will need to be awake and alert enough, as well as be willing to do it.
Typically, in most hospitals, there are in house therapists of all sorts that will be working with her as soon as possible. That would include physical, occupational and speech to start with. I am sure your doctor can help you determine what state she is in, and when therapy will begin.
What do you think her level of understanding is? How was she before the strokes? Does she understand the she has had a stroke? Can you communicate with her?
At this point she needs lots of love and patience, a quiet voice and nothing that will disturb her. I know when I first woke up after my strokes (4), I was very confused and most of the time I was fading in and out of consciousness,. I could defiantly sense the presence of my family, but I could not say a word and often could not open my eyes. All I could do to communicate was squeeze their fingers on one hand. The lights and the tv and all the hospital sounds were very bothersome to me and I was kept in a room with all glass walls in the ICU. Although it seemed like I could not hear anything, I could hear everything and still remember some things that were said that were not meant for my ears. What ever you say in her presence, remember that she can likely hear and understand all of it.
Please feel free to come back anytime,we are happy to help you..