My World of Parkinsonian Delights

"Don't Inhale That Wine!"

Sitting in my recliner last night, settling in for the evening, getting ready to watch Countdown.  Had a nice little glass of port wine next to me that I was about 1/3 of the way into.

Picked up the glass, took a sip, and poured a mouthful of delicious, sweet wine right into my lung.

This wasn’t a case of a little bit of liquid sneaking past the seal made by my epiglottis and pharynx.  It poured STRAIGHT DOWN!

My epiglottis didn’t even TRY to close.

This was the first example of my Parkinson’s disease actually trying to kill me.  They call it dysphagia.  And aspiration pneumonia, along with injuries from falls, are the leading causes of PD-related death.

I immediately bent over and started hacking up the wine from my lung.  (Oddly enough, it only went into my left lung.  Didn’t get any in the right one.  Wonder why that is.)  If you don’t think wine burns when you get it in your trachea and lungs, think again.

For some reason, I was very upset about this.  That feeling was furthered by the fact that my wife has to sit and wear wireless headphones to block out my constant coughing and throat clearing every night or else she gets a headache.  Is this what it’s coming down to?  Is this how I’m going to spend the rest of my life?

I have a consult for a speech therapist.  Had it for awhile, but I’ve kept putting it off.  Nothing like getting a couple teaspoons of wine in your lung to motivate a fella!  I don’t think I need any work on my “loudness.”  I still have the “loud”.  But I better get to work on this swallowing thing before I inhale something I can’t cough back up.

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