Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Swallowing after a total glossectomy

Well, At 615 this AM I was able to swallow water for the first time in over 8 weeks. Now it is only little tiny bits of water. Nothing like what you all can swallow. BUT, I'll take it. for the first time in a long time, my throat feels moistened. When I took some water into my mouth and tilted my head back, I swallowed. I could feel the water go all the way down. from the back of my throat to the bottom of the belly. Man I tell you, the things we all take for granted.

I can remember when swallowing water, coffee, or chugging gatoraide was nothing but a normal reflex. All those muscles that are required to make that one simple thing happen, one does not realize. Take away the tongue and see how much you miss. A total glossectomy sucks in more than one way. But the ability to swallow is in the top of the list from my view point. T he Doctor is talking about a special made upper denture that will allow me to be able to swallow even better somehow. I have that appointment in about 2 weeks. And yes they are talking about being able to swallow food as well. Right now, I do not know how that will be possible. I can not see that in my neat future at all. But is sure sounds pretty good. Time will tell.

This is months of recoop time and progress comes in small baby steps. This is something I still have issues with. But no matter what my mind says... my body says....tough stuff!

What will come next? I am not sure. Hopefully the numbness and pain will all go away and the range of motion will return to normal. Again....small baby steps. As have said before, Day by day!

Till next time



Karen said...

John, I contacted you earlier this summer about my son and his cancer and his bit of depression. To let you know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, let me give you an update. He had had half his tongue removed and then did the radiation and chemo. After the treatments ended he felt he was never going to get to a new normal. Well, he has reached it. After not being able to eat anything that hadn't been liquefied, and it taking him over an hour to drink a can of Ensure or a bowl of soup, he is now starting to be able to handle soft solid food. He is doing speech therapy and physical therapy and wears some pretty strange contraptions at night. But he is so pleased with his progress.He told me that I now have to keep my promise to start cooking anything he wanted...which I am so happy to do. From following your blog, I can tell you are a strong personality and you will fight for a return to some type of normalcy. I admire the fight you have put up so far. Just keep doing it. As Churchill said, "When the going gets tough, keep going." My thoughts are with you and I will continue to watch your progress.

john said...

Karen, I am soo glad that your son has come so far. I know that it is now an easy task. He has ahd a long hard road, but he is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Here is to good eats in the future!


Wendy S. Harpham, MD said...

Dear John,
A step, no matter how small, is a good step and a good reason to celebrate.
Karen's message is especially uplifting right now, too.

with hope, Wendy

Anonymous said...

we've never met but i came across your blog through google. i just wanted to say hello and send you some well wishes if it helps to think that someone in the internet is rooting for you! :)

Meg Wolff said...

Hi John,
Nice to see you back blogging. That is progress in itself!! You sound very well considering what you have gone through. Thanks for your honesty and sharing your journey. It is very inspiring to read your blog. You have a really good attitude in spite of your rocky road!

I've had a leg amputation and a breast too. More than a few times I had sorenesses after my surgeries. I wondered if it would last forever. It always went away and became "normal" for me afterwards. Not painful, not the same as before, but a new "normal" I could definitely live with. Chances are that this could happen for you too.

Scriptor Senex said...

Glad to hear the latest op. has been and gone and just wanted to remind you that some folk 'out there' are thinking of you.