My World of Parkinsonian Delights

Oh, You Lazy, SLUGGISH Epiglottis!

Had my follow-up appointment with the speech therapist this morning.  She hadn’t received a copy of the radiologist report from last week’s Modified Barium Swallow.  So, we discussed generalities and agreed that — so far — I’m doing all the right things, and she said she would try to get a copy of the report faxed to her.

Gail and I decided that as long as we were in the area, we’d head out to Howard County General Hospital to get a copy of the report.  But they wouldn’t give it to me, because it’s still in “draft” form.

So as we were driving home, Olivia (my speech therapist) called and shared the high points of the report she had faxed to her.

1.  For one thing, the radiologist disagrees with my nephew and the other speech paths who looked at my videos because the report says there was NO laryngeal penetration.

2.  The report indicates that there seems to be some weakness in the muscles near my hyoid bone since it doesn’t move up and forward as much as it should.  But it DOES move BRISKLY!

3.  The report indicated that there was one instance of my epiglottis acting “sluggishly” when swallowing, but that my airway remained uncompromised regardless.

4.  They suggested that I should just quit with the throat clearing, something Olivia disagrees with.

5.  They suggested a regimen of exercise to strengthen the muscles around my hyoid.  Olivia said she would have to do some research because she’s not aware of any such exercises.

So… my hyoid doesn’t move far enough when I swallow, but it does move BRISKLY!  My epiglottis was sluggish on at least one occasion (the applesauce swallowing episode where my epiglottis didn’t even TRY to close until most of the applesauce had passed it).  But the report said there was no sign of Parkinson’s disease-related dysphagia.

So that part’s good, anyway.

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