I Loves Me Some Speech Therapy
Had my first appointment with the speech therapist today. Olivia is a sweetie! She is a Marquette grad, so she knows her way around Milwaukee… another point in her favor. And she pretty much confirmed everything I suspected is going on — voice and swallow-wise.
First, my voice is still strong. Three decade as a broadcaster have seen to that. I already know how to project from the diaphragm, so I’m not prey (yet) to the thin, whispery voice of the Parkinson’s disease sufferer. I do, however, seem to be a “silent aspirator.” She had me take sips of water (without tucking my chin) and spoonfuls of yogurt and sure as heck, my voice got all gargly and bubbly. I’m still clearing my throat from all that.
She gave me some good tips on what to do when I get hung up on a word or find myself trying to say too much, too fast.
She wrote a note to Dr. Grill, my neurologist, suggesting a video flouroscopy to see how much is getting past my epiglottis. And she gave me a bunch of exercises to work on daily.
I always feel good after appointments like this one. It makes me feel like I’m fighting back, not just sitting there and letting it happen to me.
I have my first physical therapy appointment on Tuesday. That should be fun, too!