Everything you never wanted to know . . .

It occurred to me that most of you are—like I once was—totally unaware of the myriad of processes involved in “simply” swallowing. Around this time in 2018, a registered dietitian at Forbes Norris ALS Clinic in San Francisco shared an informative two-page printout titled “Swallowing Tips” (attached below for you).

Things have progressed since the dietician put x’s in some of the boxes. For example:

“Drink with a straw. This keeps your chin tucked and helps you control how much liquid you are taking in each sip.”

Drinking with a straw is no longer an option for me. The muscles controlling my lips have weakened, and I am not able to achieve the necessary suction to suck from a straw. Sad reality . . . I can no longer smooch Jon nor kiss our dogs. 😙

As referenced in my November 14 “Counting our many blessings . . .” post:

Something as seemingly insignificant as [chewing and swallowing] shouldn’t be taken for granted. 

12 Replies to “Everything you never wanted to know . . .”

  1. I am sad to hear that drinking from a straw is no longer an option. This seems to be progressing so rapidly! I have had Bell’s Palsey twice and using a straw was the only way I could drink anything during that time because thankfully I still had one side of my facial muscles working.

    1. Wow, Wendy—just read on Mayo Clinic’s website, “Rarely, Bell’s palsy can recur.” You are even more unique than I previously realized! Please avoid a third round❣️

  2. Continued prayers dear friend ❣️
    When it took 3 days to consume one banana, I was at my lowest. I wanted Jesus to just take me home. And suddenly it was in my mind, who would take care of Gary! They tell me there is no surgery, no pill that can help… Once again, improvement happened. Protocols: I shouldn’t drink through a straw and should thicken my liquids… purée my food.

    I pray for the Holy Spirit to renew, reverse, refresh you as He sustains you in every way ❣️
    Love you forever friend ❣️

    1. Fortunately, we don’t need to know what next month, next week, nor even tomorrow holds. We do the best we can today. Tomorrow will take care of itself. Praying that today will be a better day for you than yesterday. ❤️ you, too, Vicki❣️

  3. Oh, Les. As I’ve shared before, your entries take me to a place I’ve not been before. Raw insights into a world that I have only taken for granted; details I’ve never thought about. This “place” is deep, personal and overwhelming. Thankful you have the courage and the presence to share them.

    I am reminded of how intricately woven we all are, by a Master Designer who created each of us for one and only purpose – to bring Him glory. And that you do. You are showing us all how to suffer. In a world that seeks only comfort, you tackle these things head on with purpose, strength and humor ( love the pic).

    I pray for you, desperately pray for you, to continue the fight. You’re a feisty, faith-filled child of God… holding onto His Mighty Hand through one of the most difficult challenges life brings.

    Love you so.

    PS… thankful you put Jon before the dogs 🙂

    1. So here we are, Katie. Smack dab where God wants us at this moment in time. He makes no mistakes! If He chooses to heal me of this uninvited ailment, I’m all for it! If through this diagnosis He chooses to take me to my eternal home, I’m ready. Of this I’m certain: He hasn’t taken His eyes off me.

      Your prayers help me to keep on keeping on. Some days it’s more challenging than others.

      PS Jon will always be my best friend! 🙂

  4. We were told about the straw when dad started choking on his liquids. Unfortunately, his hands shook so badly, half of the liquids wound up on him, instead of his mouth. So many things we take for granted, until they are no longer working. My heart goes out to you, and I continue to pray for you and yours. I love you, Leslie

    1. Oh Nancy, you’re so right. Your father was undoubtedly one of the most kind, sweet, and caring men I’ve ever met. I know how much you miss him. 🙁

      My objective in sharing “Swallowing Tips” is to help educate followers of this blog to learn more about a debilitating, progressive disease that is not widely understood. People much younger than me who are extremely physically fit have suddenly experienced strange, unexplainable symptoms—ultimately diagnosed with ALS. It is shocking—kind of like being hit from behind by a “silent” train. Lethal!

  5. Katie Collins said it all beautifully. She and you are both amazing Christian women. Thank you for sharing your heart and your struggles and your gratefulness to our Lord.

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