Memory, Like Life Itself, Is Fleeting

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Mortality in the Form of a Fried Dumpling

My 15-year dance with Parkinson’s disease has not been without its moments of fun. One such moment came during lunchtime yesterday. We ordered Chinese food. As is my wont, I had the fried dumpling. Love them fried dumplings.

I believe I was on my fourth one, when a chunk of ground sausage found its way past my lazy, sluggish epiglottis into my windpipe.  A choked and coughed and eventually brought up the sausage chunk. And for the rest of the day, I could barely speak without coughing as I must have irritated one of the flaps in my vocal cords.

Dysphagia is nothing new for me. I generally get a little squirt of liquid into my windpipe every time I try to drink something. But it’s happening more and more frequently.

Back in 2010, I had a “swallowing test” done. The verdict… the muscles which cause the hyoid bone to pull the epiglottis shut were sluggish. That was five years ago.

Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 11.04.12 AMThe wires are from the Deep Brain Stimulation.

As a result, we’ve decided to take the next step and adopt a “soft food” diet. No more chunky stuff that can sneak around that lazy epiglottis and choke me.

It’s a horrible feeling!

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