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Hi, I'm back. More swallowing trouble


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#1 mando621

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 07:00 AM

Hi,
I took a leave of absence from the board for a while. Partly due to denial.

I am having more trouble swallowing. It is getting so hard to eat lunch and then go and teach. I have to talk through what is stuck in my throat, and I get hoarse by the end of the afternoon.

I'm going to see a Internist that specializes in GI on the 20th. I just have to figure out how to make it until then. It is getting so depressing to see myself getting worse, and every doctor I've seen so far has said it couldn't be scleroderma.

Does anyone have any suggestions about what might be best to eat, or suggestions on how to help with the stuff that is stuck. I try drinking water with what I'm eating, and that doesn't help very much.

Mando.

#2 janey

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 08:09 AM

Mando,
I'm so sorry to hear that you are having problems swallowing. I'm running into the same problem and it's so frustrating. I find that water doesn't help push things through so I drink soy milk when I feel something get stuck. I don't drink milk so I can't tell you if that would help. Water is just too thin. My rheumatologist prescribed Reglan and it does seem to help.

I try to avoid anything with a peel (apples) or too crisp (carrots, crackers). I eat a lot of soft fruit (banana, mango, melons) and cooked vegetables. Raw vegetables are notorious for getting stuck. Meats I cut up into small pieces and chew, chew, chew. So for me - the softer the food, the better.

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Janey Willis
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#3 Guest_Soaring Eagle_*

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 09:29 AM

Hi, Mando.

I, too, am having swallowing troubles (dysphagia). I haven't eaten anything solid since 9/27, and ate sparingly between July 22-then). If you have a sore mouth and/or pharyngeal area, and you take medrol (or prednisone) look for blisters and ulcers in your mouth. I had that last week and was put on Acyclovir, an anti-viral medication. I learned that sometimes medrol can make one more susceptible to oral Herpes Simplex. They think that is what I had, but the ER (where my GI sent me Friday because I was dehydrated) messed up and they didn't get the culture. But, based on my GI doctor's visual exam and my response to the med, that seems most logical explanation for the sore mouth. He did an endoscopy this morning and found one little spot he biopsied, but says he thinks I may have Sjogren's which produces some of the same symptoms you have. I always thought that it just meant dry mouth ( which I do have) but he said it can produce the sensation of a sore throat, pills sticking..

Another thing you can ask your doctor about (if you haven't already) is measuring your peristaltic action in your esophagus. My GI doctor does research on motility disorders. The tests aren't much fun, but were very revealing. I've lost a lot of smooth muscle action in my esophagus and stomach (gastroparesis), and we now think I am also losing it in my colon (UGHHH!). That, too, can contribute to your feelings that food is getting stuck. A barium swallow test is also something you may want to ask your doctor about.

One thing the ER doctor did teach me that works is to mix a combination of liquid allergy medicine and liquid antacid together and and swish it around my mouth and gargle with it to deaden the pain so I can swallow my pills. It really works (and didn't taste too bad, either)! You may want to ask your doctor about that.

What do you teach? I teach (ironically enough, speech-language pathology) at the University of Florida. In a 100 minute class I usually drink about 40-50 ounces of water or sports drink. I ALWAYS have something to drink with me - even if I just walk down the hall to my secretary's office because I get so dry that it makes me start gagging. Chewing sugarless gum and sucking on sour lemon balls helps, too (except I can't teach a class with a sour ball in my mouth!!). Sometimes I do that in the evenings so I don't drink so much in order to minimize the # of times I have to get out of bed to go to the bathroom!

Hope this helps!

Soaring Eagle

#4 lizzie

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 09:49 AM

Hi Mando , also sorry to hear you are having problems. Swallowing is an issue for me too , but just to give you a bit of a hope, I find that it is a symptom that comes and goes. I can be fine for a period of time and then suddenly start having problems again. My list of things to avoid /eat is pretty much the same as Janeys. Apples with peel cause coughing fits . I also avoid anything 'sharp' I.e toast, crusty bread , crackers , as I find that fragments seem to get lodged in my throat ( feels like I imagine a fishbone would) causing me to cough and vomit. As Janey says, raw vegetables are difficult and salad can be hard to swallow as well. When my swallowing is in a really bad phase, I tend to eat soft foods, e.g salmon, omlettes, cottage cheese, yogurts, fruit purees ( I sometimes buy pots of unsweetened puree that is intended for babies when haven't got time or can't be bothered making my own). Cooked vegetables are generally O K , especially 'moist' things like spinach , cooked tomato. I haven't found drinking water with meals particularly helpful- even though it is recommended. Chocolate always goes down easily :) but unfortunately not so good for the reflux.
Lizzie

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 11:34 AM

I have found similar food experiences. I don't eat sandwiches because bread really sticks in my throat. I'm also on a gastric paresis diet (low fat/low fiber) that's pretty strict, and a lot of the foods Lizzie and Janey mentioned as being problematic aren't allowed on that diet.

I, too, have re-discovered the baby food aisle. The fruits aren't too bad; in fact, the peaches are pretty good. I also eat low-fat yogurt. I don't like yogurt and have to minimize dairy, but the Yoplait Whips are good for breakfast. The only problem with the baby food routine is that I teach at the Univ of FL and live near campus, which means the grocery store I frequent the most is one that is also used by students. The other night I had my arms full of baby food (my husband had gone ahead with the cart) and ran into one of my undergrads! She didn't say anything, but I wondered what she was thinking since she knows my kids are grown and I have no grandkids! Oh well, maybe I'll just go across town to buy my baby food, or send my husband!!

#6 mando621

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 01:22 AM

Hi Soaring Eagle,
I teach Beginning Algebra at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater. I always have a water bottle with me. I use it to moisten my dry mouth and throat, but also to cool my burning mouth.

I can't eat bananas because they make me sick- literally. I get instant gas distress and nausea after eating a banana. My brother too. We think it is a food allergy.

I have tried eating soup and soft foods, a cup of pudding for dessert, and it still feels like something is stuck, burning the back of my throat. I can feel the food gradually go down, especially if I tip my head back. It feels almost like the food is getting stuck in my sinus cavity. Meat is terrible. Especially dry types of meat, I can't eat canned tuna it is guaranteed to be stuck.

I'm going to try more yogurt. See if that will burn less.

Thanks.

Mando.

#7 canon

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 05:42 PM

Hi Mando and all,

Isn't it awful having GI problems!!? Sometimes I have trouble with alot of things. Pills get stuck in my throat and start desolving before I can swollow it and some pills can't be crushed. What I end up doing is using milk or yogurt either with the pills or after they get stuck. Sometimes the milk or yogurt hurts later but not always. Sometimes toast or something chunky with fluid to follow will push things along. When food gets stuck it is just awful too. Sometimes it will make me sneeze and ends up in my nose, don't laugh now. :lol: Then I end up having to blow my nose. I really try not to let that happen, hamburg is not easy. The things we have to put up with. It doesn't happen all the time and you never know when it might happen so what to do? :o I'm hoping the reglan will prevent that sooner or later.

Talk to you again I'm sure.

Judy
A happy heart is good medicine.

#8 barefut

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 07:26 PM

Welcome back Mando ~

Sorry you are struggling with swallowing issues. The 20th probably seems like eons away.

Are you taking a proton pump inhibitor (such as Omperazole (generic Prilosec)? Maybe you already are on it?

I have to take 20mg in the morning and 20mg at night sometimes increasing to 40 at night. It won'thelp with that stuck feeling but will take away the burn.

Feel better soon and let us know what your gastro says.

I am not a medically trained professional, just rowing the same boat.... <_<

#9 Sheryl

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 12:44 AM

I keep a cup of hot water or coffee to help in swallowing issues. Some people say tea works. Very warm water, almost as warm as coffee works well for me.
Soaring Eagle, don't worry about what others see you picking up in a store. Nosy natured people will think up or concoct a story if they think it might make the day interesting. Baby food is picked up by many of us. I love dutch apple dessert and peaches. Yumm! Anyways, you could be giving the jars of food as a shower gift. It shouldn't concern you in the least what someone might say. If someone were to be bold enough to come up and ask you what the baby food is for, just tell them you never outgrew the taste for it. I use it in recipes. One jar of applesauce, peaches or plums in a dessert is great. I have a cake that I make that has a jar of plums or prunes in it. Don't sweat the small things. We have bigger fish to fry. Take care of you and don't let anyone esle bother you in the process. When I eat my next jar of delicious baby food I will think of you. Now, everyone on the forum will also know, and if they see me in the grocery store picking up baby food I hope they are in the same aisle as me and we can talk about which ones we like best. Did I give you your chuckle for the day. I hope so.
Strength and Warmth,
Sheryl

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 01:17 AM

Sheryl -- You are absolutely right! Thanks!!

Soaring Eagle

#11 barefut

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 05:34 PM

I prefer the plums and the little weiners - how to get them out of the jar?!

#12 Nina

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 01:58 PM

Sheryl ~
You are a hoot!! I have never heard of using baby food in recipes, what a great idea!!! Thank you...
And Mando, please don't let "others" make you feel badly. You have to do what you have to do and whatever "they" think or say is on them! If they have nothing better to do than worry about what you are buying...they have a pretty sad life.
You take care of YOU and don't even worry about others.
I do love some of the answers though ~ don't we just have the BEST bunch of people on here?
A very special Sclero Family!!
Much Love,
nina (DE)

#13 susie54

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 01:48 AM

Hi Mando,

So sorry about the swallowing issues. I have not had alot of problems with them except for periods of sticking apples and pills once inawhile. I do get these gagging after I eat like I have to clear my throat till I get mucus up. It's awful when that hits. Embarrassing more than anything. I think Sheryl had some good tips. I hope you get some help as this has to be very frustrating. Susie54

#14 Cheryle

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 02:21 AM

Sheryl,
My sister in law makes that cake with the plum baby food and it's delicious!
Cheryle