Sorry for the lack of updates, my handful of dear but loyal readers. Recovery from this has been…..weird.
But! On with some good news before I get my shit together an do some posts about the recovery. I had a swallow test on Tuesday (yesterday, as I write this). I was quite nervous about it, worried that going on three years of non-use was going to be problematic.
As it turns out, the largest obstacle – or, rather, the biggest missing piece of the entire process – is not having a full tongue (and not being able to move what I have, thanks to the muscle removal that was necessary during the original cancer surgery).
However, by tilting my head back a little and doing a swallow, I can get thin liquids down. Hooray!
It takes 3-4 tries to actually clear my mouth, because of the tongue, but it goes down eventually. Now I can use my Yeti cup again and also just have a regular drink after working outside (or just walking outside, it’s 100F here and will be for the next ten days, according to the forecast).
I did try a slightly thicker swallow during the test, but could not swallow that well at all until a little thin was introduced into it. My esophagus has thinned a little at spots, but that, like the swallowing function itself, should get a bit better with practice. And this practice will be a lot more fun than most of the other things I’ve had to do over these past 14 years.
Until next time, peeps: be well. I’ll try to make the next time a bit of a shorter interval.