today's event

I just spent some time going through some of my older bits to see if I had ever specifically mentioned the actions of the MS nurse. I can see that I have definitely expressed my dislike for her nursing manner (which I feel is reflection of her overall person), but I don't think that I ever told you that she discounts more than just my "wobbliness".

Today, I had a follow up with a speech pathologist. A speech pathologist is a professional, who has the task of identifying swallowing issues (as well as a number of other things). I say that it was a follow up because I first had evaluation and testing with a SP in the fall of '06.

You may or may not know this, but I take F-O-R-E-V-E-R to eat a meal. I'm as slow as a snail's pace...You get the picture...developed old school style to best understand what I am trying to say. My difficulty with eating is pretty simple: sometimes I feel like food gets stuck in my throat. This causes me to panic, because lately, it is as if the reflex of swallowing doesn't work. Aside from this, I also simply get tired. Tired of swallowing.

When I took in my list of concerns to my MS Clinic appointment back in October, swallowing was on it. The nurse read it, and responded:

"Swallowing problems. It is way too early in your disease to have swallowing problems. And besides, we really only see swallowing problems in people with mobility issues."

Then she continued on with her rise above speech.

So - when the speech pathologist contacted me, and wanted a follow-up, I thought to myself, "Well I do think that I have problems. Carla (the SP) said that I have a slightly weak muscle...but I don't want to waste their time. Oh, what the hey, let's go anyways".

So today, I had a consultation and a flouroscopy (I ate various consistencies of food coated in barium, while an x-ray version of my head played the event on a monitor in real-time and photos were taken). The diagnosis - I have swallowing problems!

I listened intently to the SP while she spoke and pointed to various areas of the mouth and throat on a photo-copy. Trickling liquid...stuck food...foods to avoid...foods to eat...exercises...fatigue...

When she appeared to be done, I asked, "So why is this? What causes this?"

"It's because of the MS", she responded. "It isn't your imagination. And hopefully, things will stay this way."

I'm okay with this. I appreciate the SP doing her job...presenting it with honesty, positivity, and a hint of empathy.

It's dinner time...



Little bits about my life with MS

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