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Thread: Dysphagia

  1. #11
    Distinguished Community Member Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
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    ((((((Abby))))))

    I'm so sorry to hear that you're going through so much. I hope that you're able to find a diet to help put the weight back on and will be safe for you to consume.

    Please be careful with the almonds. Even ground, they could present a problem for you. I suggest almond milk, if you can have that consistency. There are "thickeners" available too.

    Rather than invest in a coffee grinder, could you possibly invest in a blender of some kind? Could you handle a smoothie, for example? Soups that aren't too thin? I'm thinking you cook the vegetables, then put them through a blender or food processor to puree them. I did this for my sons for many years, and it allowed them to be able to eat almost anything (but not nuts or seeds). Baby food is just pureed food. So, if you cook up your own food and puree it, it will be fresh, and organic/natural. And you can blend it to the right consistency for you.

    For the cost of a coffee grinder and a steamer, you might be able to afford a blender or a Magic Bullet. It might be worth shopping around on the internet to see what's out there and how much things cost, thinking of it as an overall investment in your health and prevention of aspiration.

    Sending healing thoughts to you ~

    Love & Light,

    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 48, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003 and now resides in Heaven. Our Angel Jon lives at home with me and Jim, the world's most wonderful dad.

  2. #12
    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    no bananas ( has strings)
    I'm wondering about the strings. There are those you can peel off, and if you haven't got all of them, you could fish them out if you mashed the banana.

    If you leave an unpeeled banana in the freezer, it will come out fairly pulpy. Or you can mash it yourself with a portable hand mixer or a potato masher.

    More up-to-date people can probably recommend newer gadgets for this, but I find a potato masher works fine.

    http://www.webstaurantstore.com/24-s...Fal7QgodIk0A_g
    Last edited by agate; 11-04-2012 at 10:24 PM.
    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
    Member of this MS board since 2001.

  3. #13
    Distinguished Community Member Abby2006's Avatar
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    Just checking in to say thanks for all the support

    Abby

    Getting a small personal smoothie maker maybe next week
    Last edited by Abby2006; 11-06-2012 at 11:37 AM.
    Stand for something or you will fall for anything

  4. #14
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    ((((((Abby))))))

    Good plan! Maybe you can also put veggies in it, as well as fruit.

    Hope you're feeling stronger.

    Love & Light,

    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 48, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003 and now resides in Heaven. Our Angel Jon lives at home with me and Jim, the world's most wonderful dad.

  5. #15

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    Abby2006,

    So very, sorry to hear you are having to deal with this. Ditto with whoever said they can't believe hospital/docs didn't give you some diet instructions.

    My mother has Parkinson's and dysphagia is her main problem. 3 x in hospital since Feb '12 b/c aspiration pneumonia. She is in a nursing home. Per speech therapist's recommendation after a barium swallow study, my mother is on a pureed foods, honey thickened [thicker than "nectar thickened"] liquids diet. I have had major problems with nursing home doing the proper things regarding her diet so I have done a good bit of research on this subject.

    Some highlights follow, but if you want to private message me and I will be glad to give you more detail.

    Posture - Remain sitting up for at least 30 mins after eating or drinking anything. Try leaning your head slightly forward and tucking your chin as you swallow.

    Plain water - You probably can drink it safely if you do it correctly. Google "Frazier water protocol" for good info about plain water issue.

    Google "pureed food" and you can get some good ideas.

    Basically, as I understand it you want foods to be the consistency of pudding. For instance, ice cream isn't considered OK because it melts to liquid before you swallow it.

    Whoever suggested a blender is on the right track.

    Mashed potatoes - tons of tasty & nutrient dense things you can puree with/ add to them.

    Rice or bread - Not good things to puree. They come out about the consistency of library paste or modeling clay and those things may have more taste - not a good thing.

    Cream soups - may have to blender a bit to puree the chunks of broccoli, chicken, etc. If too thin, crunch up some crackers up into bits and mix in or add a little of some other sort of thickener [see below].

    Pureed meats - chicken, ham, turkey salads works well; if end product of things like baked chicken or beef, thin with some gravy, a bouillion or veggie broth.

    Try to add things to foods to increase the nutrient/ good calorie content, like adding melted cheese to eggs or mashed potatoes.

    Fruits - if you want banana, remove those outer strings and run it thru the blender; apple sauce; most any fruits that don't have a lot of seeds will work, even things like strawberries can be eatten if put thru blender. I'd avoid blackberries. If too thin after going thru blender alone, thicken with some type of light/fluffy cake put in blender with the fruit.

    Custards & puddings are good.

    Cooked veggies - most work well in blender. But do not attempt mixed vegetables in the blender - end product is neither tasty or nor pretty.

    Thickeners - there are commercial thickeners. Also try corn starch, flour, depending on what you are trying to thicken. Google "cooking thickeners".

  6. #16

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    Weird, I got kicked out mid "posting" and had to log in again, thought I revived things and did mange to post the above but it is missing a good bit of the things I added last.

    I hope I didn't duplicate too many things that are in diet for which Agate provided a link. I will take a look at that before I try to recreate rest of my initial reply.

    I hope some of my earlier post is helpful. I also hope your dysphagia is a short lived exacerbation.

    Keep us posted and take care,
    lawnerd

  7. #17

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    Abby2006,

    Its me again. . . Hope I am not overloading you. B/c of problems my mother has had with nursing home "not getting it" [or not careing if they get it], this is a hot button topic with me. Thus, I will try to re-create the parts of my earlier post that "got lost".

    Setting - Important to avoid distractions while eating. Avoid conversation. However, if possible, it is a good idea to have someone close by who knows heimlich maneuver. And/or learn it yourself. Eating is a situation when "doing one thing at a time" is a good idea.

    Oral Hygiene - Very important. Poor oral hygiene is a very high risk factor for aspiration pneumonia, even for people who have dysphagia and a feeding tube.

    Oral Meds, pills and capsules - If you have to take any such meds, how are you handling that? Some meds are very dangerous if crushed. Google "crushed medications" and you should locate a widely regarded "do not crush" list. Ask your pharmacist about this issue - some know about it others are rather clueless. There are liquid/pediatric formulations of a good number of pills and capsules. Caution, in a good number of instances the pill or capsule will be covered by insurance, but the liquid version won't be covered.

    Blender - If you can't afford to buy one, maybe you know someone who will lend you their blender. I have a blender that gathers dust about 364 days a year and I think that is fairly common.

    Ground meats [like sausage and hamburger or chili] - work well in blender. Add condiments and you can pretty well duplicate the taste of a hambuger w/o the bun or a chili dog w/o the dog or the bun.

    Eating smaller "meals" more frequently - As mentioned by someone else, this is a good idea.

    Jello - I saw this mentioned. Jello has same melt in your mouth problem as does ice cream.

    Lasagna - Most pasta dishes are a gunky mess if put thru blender, but for some reason lasagna seems to work well and has been a favorite for my mother.

    Cottage cheese & yogurts - Full fat versions - good for you calories. Can be blended with fruits or savories like a seeded, peeled tomatoe.

    Fruit pies - do pretty well in blender.

    Cheese Puffs - Not one of the 1st things that might come to mind. However, my mother loves them. Speech therapist had given the OK for them b/c the basically dissolve in your mouth. They are relatively high in calories, fat [& salt]. They can give you a bit of that crunch factor you may be craving.

    Hydration - It is almost as important to focus on good hydration as it is to focus on nutrient and calorie density. People on these type of diets are a high risk for dehydration. Don't just drink b/c you are thirsty, drink because you should. Soups also help.

    Mechanical soft diet - This is step in between pureed and regular diet. Usually meats are ground up, but most soft cooked veggies, soft raw or cooked fruits, soft scrambled or boiled eggs and soft breads can be eaten "as is."

    With a little imagination and caution, this doesn't have to be terrible.

    Good luck,
    lawnerd

  8. #18
    Distinguished Community Member Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
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    ((((((Lawnerd))))))

    Great suggestions!

    Lasagne was a favorite for my boys, and it did puree well. If a bit dry (pertains to anything), a little water, or juice, or broth can be added to thin or moisten.

    My sons loved pancakes, and with applesauce, maple syrup, a little water, it could blend into a good consistency.

    Borrowing a blender from someone is a terrific idea. Abby, you might also search the internet for "refurbished blenders."

    Love & Light,

    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 48, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003 and now resides in Heaven. Our Angel Jon lives at home with me and Jim, the world's most wonderful dad.

  9. #19
    Distinguished Community Member Abby2006's Avatar
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    I was back in the hospitalfor awhile now in rehab because I am not ready to go homw

    Abby
    Stand for something or you will fall for anything

  10. #20
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    (Abby),

    I am sorry to hear that you have been back in the hospital and now in rehab. I hope the can get you stronger and back to being independent.

    Please let us know how you are doing.
    ANN
    There comes a time when silence is betrayal.- MLK

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