Anyone with a stroke had swallowing problems?
- 24 Nov 2012 by sara12345
- 26 Nov 2012
- dysphagia, ischemic stroke, doctor
I saw a gastroenterologist about it for 3.5 years, during which she gave me a swallowing test which came out okay at the time. She put me through 2 endocscopies, the second time doing one which was higher risk of puncturing my esophagus because she stretched it. My swallowing got far worse. Finally, I read on-line about swallowing exercises. I went to a physical therapist once about it, and upon doing the exercises I was able to swallow again. My second gastroenterologist also said that she wouldn't have thought to give me the exercises.
I'm wondering if anyone else had swallowing problems and what was done about it. I was really angry that I went so long with the problem and was at risk needlessly to fix it the wrong way.
Speech pathologists counsel people to get therapy. A good speech pathologist can teach you how to do the exercises. People that have been on feeding tubes from being in comas, stomach surgery, especially premature babies, damage from the wrong size tube, throat surgeries, cancers, strokes, etc. all need to be tested for muscle damage, and many need the therapy. Think of being a baby that spends its first 3 months on feeding tubes? They can't suck their thumbs, and they'd choke on the milk because they they didn't suck their thumbs. If an older person, and this includes 4 year-old children, doesn't get the therapy and do the exercises, they tend to swallow wrong and fluid can get into the bronchi and cause pneumonia, and they can choke on food. Your health should improve with the exercises. So take care, and I'm glad that you're getting help.
The gastroenterologist should have had you evaluated by a speech pathologist. They are the specialists in swallowing. They also are the ones who will treat it appropriately. I don't blame you, I would be ticked too. This could have been taken care of at the time. When you had the stroke, an evaluation by a speech pathologist should have been done as a matter of routine. It seems like they fell down in treating you, all the way around. The neurologist who treated you then should have ordered it.
I know exactly how you feel since at this moment I am researching a kinesiolgist, massage therapist, chiropractor to help me with my breathing from a hiatal hernia and GERD and acid reflux! These people are naturopathic doctors and rather than try the surgery for the hiatal hernia (fundiplication... tucking the hernia in the stomach) I would rather have some massaging to get the stomach to remain in place rather than sliding into the esophagus which creates a problem with swallowing and breathing too... so much information out there. Continue to research and bring it on this support group here so that we can all learn. If you are interested in this procedure of massage, kinesiolgist, then look up the nearest doctor to you... hope this helps some. I think you need to change your gastro doctor as I am seriously thinking of doing.
Good luck to you,
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