My World of Parkinsonian Delights

My Lazy, Lazy Epiglottis!

Well, we figured out what the problem is.  It’s not that I aspirate food and drink on every swallow.  But, according to the delightful speech pathologist who fed me barium in various forms and explained the video she shot, there seems to be some weakness around my hyoid bone (the only bone in your body, by the way, that is NOT connected to another bone.  Save that for your next Trivial Pursuit game) and my epiglottis — that flap that’s supposed to close off your windpipe when you swallow — closes enough (most of the time) to keep stuff out of my larynx… but it doesn’t close all the way!  So, from time to time, when I’m not careful, some stuff is gonna leak through.

See, the muscles around the hyoid bone control the motion of the epiglottis.  My hyoid is supposed to move up and forward further than it does.  As a result, the way I understand it, the epiglottis inverts… but not completely.


And that, jolly readers, is that!

I will continue with my speech pathology and physical therapy in my ongoing effort to improve this thing that is me!

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